VCU's Medical College Of Virginia
School Of Medicine News

Volume 5 - Number 2 - Spring 2006

We hope that you'll enjoy these quick highlights from the MCV Campus. Please  to friends who might like to learn more about the 
School of Medicine! In this issue...

Student News

Match Day! 
According to the National Resident Matching Program, 26,715 applicants participated in this year's "Match" - including 172 of our own fourth-year students. As the clock struck noon on March 16, students all across the country received the envelopes containing the name of the institution where they will spend their years of residency training. The most popular residency match for our students was internal medicine, with family medicine and pediatrics next in line. See pictures from Match Day, read a story about the celebration or review a list of the students' residency destinations. 

First Open House for Prospective Medical Students 
"The overall goal was to highlight some of our combined programs and to show students what VCU is all about," said Agnes Mack, director of admissions in the School of Medicine. "We don't always get out to some of the smaller schools, so we invited them to take a tour and meet some of our students and professors." Read more about the school's first open house. 

Research News

Kukreja Receives NIH MERIT Award for Research in Heart Protection 
Dr. Rakesh C. Kukreja's research has been honored with a MERIT award totaling nearly $4 million from the National Institutes of Health. Read more about Dr. Kukreja's work to protect the heart muscle from serious damage. 

New Method for Measuring Oxygen Level in Tissues 
For trauma patients, inadequate oxygenation can lead to organ failure and death. Now researchers in VCU's Reanimation Engineering Shock Center have modified a decades-old technology to track changes in hemoglobin oxygen saturation in tissues. Read more about their patented innovation that provides a key barometer to how well the body is functioning. 

Designing New Skin Cancer Prevention Programs 
In a search for more effective skin cancer prevention programs, the Department of Psychiatry's Dr. Carolyn Heckman will look at young adults' skin care habits and attitudes toward tanning. Read more about her Skin Savvy study, targeting a disease that affects more than 1 million Americans each year. 

Clinical News

Total Artificial Heart Implant is First on East Coast 
A cardiac surgery team at the Pauley Heart Center has performed the first artificial heart implant on the East Coast. A Virginia man received the implant -- the only total artificial heart approved by the FDA. Read more about the surgery and watch video clips with the physicians involved. 

Precise Treatment for Tumors 
By combining two state-of-the-art systems for advanced precision image-guided radiosurgery, doctors are able to visualize and target tumors within 0.4 millimeters of accuracy. Read more about one of the most precise systems in the world to treat both cancerous and non-malignant tumors, making operable many that once were not. 

Web-Based Course Trains in Standards for Children's Care 
Experts in the medical school played a key role in the development of an online course that teaches health care providers Virginia's guidelines for children's health care. Over 400 health professionals have already registered and begun participating in the online course. Read more about the online training that is designed to be convenient, from work, home or even the public library. 

Faculty News

State Honors Medical Faculty 
Dr. John T. Povlishock, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, is internationally known for his work in identifying how the brain responds to injury and translating that work into promising clinical trials for brain injured patients. For his contributions, Dr. Povlishock was named Virginia's Outstanding Scientist of 2006. Read more and watch video clips of an interview with Dr. Povlishock

Two medical school faculty members were awarded the state's highest honor for teaching excellence: Drs. Joann N. Bodurtha and Alpha A. "Berry" Fowler III. Read more about the Outstanding Faculty Awards

Alum Appointed Chair of Radiation Oncology 
Dr. Mitchell S. Anscher has been named chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. The 1981 graduate of the School of Medicine and prostate cancer expert will join the medical school in June from Duke University Medical Center. Read more about Dr. Anscher's career

School News

Alum Appointed as Associate Dean of Admissions 
Dr. Michelle Whitehurst-Cook has been appointed Associate Dean of Admissions for the medical school, effective in June 2006. A member of the Department of Family Medicine's faculty since 1993, she has served as Chair of the Admissions Committee and director of Family Medicine's Pre-doctoral Programs. A 1979 graduate of the medical school, she also directs the Inner City/Rural Preceptorship Program, which provides educational experiences for medical students interested in providing care to the underserved. Dr. Whitehurst-Cook will replace Cynthia Heldberg, Ph.D., who retires June 30 after a 16-year career in the School of Medicine. 

US Surgeon General on Campus 
Using his life as the springboard into public health lessons, Vice Adm. Richard H. Carmona, M.D., U.S. Surgeon General, spoke to a packed auditorium in early April. He was the keynote speaker during the university's weeklong observance of National Public Health Week. The week was coordinated by the VCU School of Public Health -- Virginia's first and only school of public health, established in 2005. Read local news coverage of the Surgeon General's talk. 

Public Health Program Participating in Kellogg Foundation Initiative 
Two departments from the medical school - Biostatistics and Epidemiology and Community Health - are the School of Public Health's founding academic units. Recently, the graduate program in public health was one of 12 in the U.S. selected to participate in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Engaged Institutions initiative. Read more about the initiative that will focus on eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities

VCU Takes National Wear Red Day to Heart 
More than 400 faculty, staff and students kicked off American Heart Month by participating in National Wear Red Day. Dressed in red to show their support for women's heart disease awareness, they gathered in the shape of a heart in the Egyptian Building's courtyard in February. See a picture of the valentine

Alumni News

Reunion 2006 
Hundreds of alumni are headed back to the MCV Campus for Reunion Weekend! The celebrations will kick off on Friday April 21. Look for pictures of familiar faces in the Summer issue of this email newsletter. 

Mark Your Calendar 
Newly appointed Dean Dr. Jerry Strauss will host two receptions for alumni this Spring. Alumni in the Washington D.C. area will soon receive invitations to an afternoon reception on Sunday May 21. And Thursday June 6 is the date for an evening reception honoring alumni of the Baltimore region. Make sure that your contact info is up-to-date so that you'll receive your invitation. 

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