VCU's Medical College Of Virginia
School Of Medicine News

Volume 9 - Number 3 - Summer 2010

We have email addresses for less than half of our medical school's 10,000 alumni, so to help keep your classmates connected, please forward this issue of SOM eNews!

Student News

Linda Costanzo's Last Lecture 
When one of the most decorated teachers in the history of the medical school announced her retirement, the students started plotting. The M1s lobbied the Virginia General Assembly to pass a resolution in her honor. The M2s put together a scrapbook containing hundreds of thank you notes from her current and former students. Read about her career and watch a video from the finale of her last lecture.

On the eve of her retirement, Costanzo herself made an appeal to her former students, asking them to consider supporting scholarships by making a gift to the medical school's Annual Fund. Watch her video or go directly to the eGiving site to make a gift in her honor

Convocation 2010 
Revisit great memories from the medical school's 2010 convocation via our photo gallery or video montage

Rising M2 Spends Summers in Bangladesh 
Rising second-year student Richard Hubbard recently returned from Bangladesh, where he's started a non-profit organization that helps fatherless children. He's service-minded like his father, medical school alum Thomas Hubbard of the Class of 1988. Read more in the Richmond Times-Dispatch story or on the medical school's Web site

Research News

VCU Receives Largest NIH Grant in Its History 
VCU has received a $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to become part of a consortium working to speed laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients. The Clinical and Translational Science Award makes VCU the only academic health center in Virginia to join the nationwide network of 55 research centers. Read more and view video clips at the VCU News Center

Vitamin E and Pioglitazone Significantly Improve Liver Disease 
A New England Journal of Medicine study led by an internal medicine professor drew national and international attention to its surprising findings. Dr. Arun Sanyal was quoted by the Associated Press: "In all honesty, I was surprised. A vitamin has not been previously used to cure a serious disease" that is not caused by a deficiency. Sanyal is co-chair of the NASH Clinical Research Network that investigates nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Read more about the study findings.

Clinical News

VCU Medical Center Again Ranked in U.S. News' Best Hospitals 
This is the fourth consecutive year that the medical center has been included in U.S. News' Best Hospitals rankings. The report also includes 16 specialty rankings, in which the VCU Massey Cancer Center ranked 38th, the heart and heart surgery programs ranked 41st, the kidney program was ranked 36th and the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation ranked 20th. Read more about the rankings

Announcing the Children's Hospital of Richmond 
The VCU Health System and Children's Hospital have united to form the Children's Hospital of Richmond. Read more and watch video about the unified hospital that will provide the specialty pediatric care essential to meeting the diverse and complex needs of critically ill or injured children and adolescents. 

School News

Progress Toward a New Education Building for the Medical School 
Medical school alumni have strongly supported a new home for the school, contributing more than $2 million to date. Check out the new Web site that chronicles the construction project; you'll find architectural renderings, floor plans and even be able to control the angle of a live camera trained on the construction site.

American Academy of Family Physicians Lauds Student Group 
"At a time when our health care system is struggling with a shortage of primary care physicians, it's imperative that medical students discover the joys — and challenges — of family medicine," said Perry Pugno, M.D., director of the AAFP Division of Education. Read more about VCU's Family Medicine Interest Group that has been recognized for its retention rates and for giving students the chance to learn more about the specialty.

CME Opportunities 
For additional information and to register for the courses below, visit, or call (804) 828-3640 or (800) 413-2872.

Pain Management Symposium 2010
October 9-10, 2010 
Downtown Richmond Marriott 

Chronic pain affects nearly 80 percent of all American adults at some point in their lifetime. This symposium is designed for physicians and other health care professionals who encounter patients suffering from painful disorders. Featuring a distinguished group of pain management specialists, this symposium will provide the opportunity to learn more about the appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for chronic pain.

9th Annual Alumni Update Course 
April 16, 2011 
MCV Campus

The one-day program will cover the latest in a broad range of fields. The course coincides with Reunion Weekend, but is open to all alumni. Mark your calendar now; confirmed speakers and topics will be available this fall. 

Alumni News

Four Medicine Alums Honored at Reunion 2010 
More than 175 MD alumni returned to campus to celebrate Reunion. One of the Weekend's highlights was recognizing alumni achievements. Two medicine alums were selected for the MCV Alumni Association's campus-wide awards: the Hodges-Kay Service Award went to Basic Health Science alumna Mary Snyder Shall, PhD'91 and the MCV Outstanding Alumnus Award recognized Richard Baylor, M'46. In addition, the Medical Division recognized the Class of 1980's Mark Kransdorf with its Outstanding Alumnus Award and the Class of 1975's Domenic Sica with the Caravati Service Award. Read more about their achievements by clicking on their names. 

Tell us if you have a classmate who should be honored next year. Preference is given to alumni nominees who are celebrating a Reunion year. 

See pictures from Reunion 2010 and mark your calendars if your graduation year:

  • ends in a 1 or 6 :: Reunion Weekend April 15-17, 2011
  • ends in a 2 or 7 :: Reunion Weekend April 20-22, 2012
  • ends in a 3 or 8 :: Reunion Weekend April 26-28, 2013

Med School Goes on the Road 
Next stop: the Raleigh/Durham area! Go online to give us your latest contact information to be sure that you'll get an invitation to join Dean Strauss for cocktails at The Umstead Hotel and Spa on October 28.

Alumni in the News 
Did you know that Charles McKown, M'60, is the country's longest serving med school dean? Or that Housestaff alum David Nichols was featured in a Parade Magazine article about Tangier Island? For more than 30 years, Nichols has made the 25-mile flight to deliver health care to the remote island community.

Alumni e-mail is here! 
Thanks to a university partnership with Google, alumni now can obtain a complimentary, lifetime e-mail address! Register now or learn more at the FAQs page.

School of Medicine eNews is prepared by the School of Medicine's Alumni and Development Office. All alumni and friends for whom we have e-mail addresses will receive School of Medicine eNews unless they unsubscribe; you can do so by sending an e-mail to If this newsletter was forwarded to you by a colleague and you would like to subscribe to future issues, please send an e-mail to We use collected e-mail addresses only to send our own information to you; we do not rent or sell e-mail addresses to anyone.

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How well do you know
Dr. Linda Costanzo?
See if you can choose which of the statements below is not true?

a) She celebrated retirement with a trip to Ireland.
b) In junior high, she was lauded for her needle work.
c) Less than 20% of her high school's graduates went on to college.
d) She played an accordion in a Klezmer band in college.
e) Physiology was not her first love; her PhD's in pharmacology.
f) She put her own children to work running experiments in her lab.
g) When she first arrived at MCV, she had tears in her eyes.
h) Her first attempt at a medical lecture was greeted by a stern response from her department chair: "This will never do."

Annual Fund dollars now go 
100% to support of scholarships! You can give online at the
school's eGiving page

Check out the upcoming CME offerings from the medical school's Office of Continuing Professional Development & Evaluation Studies including conferences .

Past issues of SOM
eNews are online.

For More Information: 

School of Medicine 
MCV Alumni Association 
MCV Foundation