VCU's Medical College Of Virginia
School Of Medicine News

Volume 5 - Number 3 - Summer 2006

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

Student News

A Quick Look at the School Year's End 

  • Listen to or download an audio recording that captures sounds and soundbites at the medical school's convocation ceremony
  • Read and see pictures from the closing ceremony of Project HEART, the year-long program that reminded first-year medical students of their call to service as physicians 

    Honors Day 
    Marking the close of the school year, Honors Day has grown into an annual celebration of scholarship - both in terms of academic accomplishments as well as in the form of financial assistance. This year's ceremony was particularly special, as tribute was paid to an exceptional young woman who was to have been a member of the Class of 2009. Read more about Honors Day.


Research News

New Materials Developed for Vascular Graft 
A new material may one day help patients with damaged arteries regenerate new ones. Anatomy's David Simpson collaborated with other university scientists and engineers on the design and fabrication of a synthetic biodegradable polymer that was described in the June issue of the journal Biomedical Materials. Read more about the vascular graft

Protein's Role in Hemoglobin Gene Silencing Identified 
Researchers have identified the role of a protein in hemoglobin gene silencing that may one day be a potential molecular target for the treatment of genetic blood disorders like sickle-cell anemia. "The more targeted the approach the better, because there is less likelihood of producing any unintended negative side-effects," said Massey Cancer Center Director Dr. Gordon Ginder, lead author of the study. Read more about the protein's role

Clinical News

First East Coast Artificial Heart Recipient Goes Home 
More than two months after arriving at the VCU Medical Center with a failing heart, 60-year-old Cecil Nester publicly thanked the doctors, nurses and other staff members who saved his life. He also thanked Inga - that's the nickname he gave to the mechanical device that kept his artificial heart pumping for seven weeks while he waited for a donor heart to come available. Read more about Cecil Nester or see digital photos and animation that show how the artificial heart works. 

Road Map to Preventive Services with Greatest Impact, Best Cost Value 
A new study identifies the most beneficial and cost-effective preventive health services, giving Americans a unique tool to make decisions about their health care. Family Medicine's Dr. Steven Woolf contributed to the study that was released by Partnership for Prevention. Read more about the report that ranks 25 recommended services

Screening Changes Could Help Detect Deaf Newborns 
Several changes could be made to existing newborn screening tests for hearing defects that could advance the standard of care in detecting deaf infants. Human Genetics' Dr. Walter Nance is corresponding author on an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine that summarizes four important criteria that should be considered for screening programs throughout the country. Read more about the suggested changes

School News

Egyptian Building Commemorated with an Historic Marker 
A new roadside marker now stands beside the Egyptian Building thanks to the effort of a group of students, alumni and faculty members who are involved in a secret philanthropic society called the Junto Society. Read more about the national landmark considered one of the finest examples of Egyptian Revival architecture in the US. 

First Chief of Anesthesiology Dr. Boyan Dies 
An Olympic downhill skier who turned his talents to the operating room, Dr. Charles Paul Boyan headed the medical school's Department of Anesthesiology for 13 years. Dr. Boyan was recruited to the MCV Campus in 1968 by Dr. David Hume, who had learned of Dr. Boyan's pioneering studies on blood transfusions and methods of warming blood for surgical patients. Read more about Dr. Boyan's varied career

Internal Medicine Chair Takes Helm of Infectious Diseases Society 
Last month in Lisbon, Dr. Richard Wenzel was installed as President of the International Society for Infectious Diseases with 3000 delegates from 106 countries looking on. He will serve a two-year term, leading the organization that is unique for its focus on infectious diseases in the third world. The Society operates the largest international surveillance system in the world for emerging infections, with 10,000 hits a day. The surveillance system identified the SARS outbreak even before the World Health Organization. 

Alumni News

Reunion 2006 
The School of Medicine had one of its best turnouts in recent memory with hundreds of alumni returning to the MCV Campus from all over the country to celebrate Reunion Weekend. See photos from Reunion events. 

Baltimore Reception 
On June 8, alumni and friends of the medical school were welcomed to Baltimore's Green Spring Valley Hunt Club by Dean Dr. Jerry Strauss. As they visited with friends and colleagues, they heard from the Dean about the latest developments in the medical school. See photos from the Baltimore reception

Mark Your Calendar 
Dean Dr. Jerry Strauss will host a reception in the fall for Roanoke-area alums. Make sure that your contact info is up-to-date so that you'll receive your invitation. 

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  Egyptian Building


We're interested in your comments on this communication. Please email us your thoughts.

Mark Your Calendar Now for the medical school's popular Alumni Update Course. Back for a fifth year, the daylong course will be held on Friday, April 27, offering up to 6.75 credit hours, and kicking off Reunion Weekend.


Update Your Contact Info and provide the Alumni and Development Office with your latest news via our online update form.

Past issues of SOM eNews are online.

Check out the upcoming CME offerings from the medical school's Office of Continuing Physician Professional Development & Evaluation Studies including November's Latino Health Summit

Annual Fund dollars support scholarships and student interest groups as well as milestone events in the medical school. You can give online via the MCV Foundation's secure eGiving page.

For More Information: 

MCV Alumni Association 
MCV Foundation 
VCU Campaign