VCU's Medical College Of Virginia
School Of Medicine News

Volume 5 - Number 1 - Winter 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

Getting an Early Look at the Business of Medicine 
For students in the midst of anatomy labs, respiratory lectures and third-year clerkships, the life of a practicing physician can seem like a far-off mystery. To give their classmates an insider's look into the business side of medicine, two student groups teamed up with alumni and other experts. Read more about the popular lunch-lecture elective 

Skull and Bones Hits the Stands - Electronically 
After an almost 25-year hiatus, the Medical Student Government has breathed new life into the Skull and Bones. First introduced in the fall of 1915, the student-produced weekly newspaper was available for an annual subscription of $1.50. Today, the publication has evolved into a periodic electronic journal. TheSkull and Bones remains a student production, and its editors aim to hold to the tradition of its predecessor. "We hope to serve as an outlet for students' creative expression-from photography and artwork to poetry and prose; in addition, we hope to promote medicine as both an art and a science." 

Research News

Medical Research Gets Major Funding Boost 
In December, Gov. Mark R. Warner included $255 million in his proposed state budget to support research and development facilities and faculty at Virginia's colleges and universities. The institutions would have to provide a $299 million match, resulting in a $544-million-dollar investment. At the School of Medicine, the investment would fund research into cancer, neurological and metabolic disorders as well as help support a new 125,000 net-square-foot medical research building, which will provide laboratory space that will be vitally important to plans to recruit 102 new faculty members. Read more about the Governor's proposal

If You Live In Virginia
The voices of faculty, staff, alumni and students will be needed to advance an effort in educating members of the General Assembly on the importance of the Governor's Higher Education Research Proposal, which, if enacted, will have a dramatic impact on translational research and economic development. Please consider contacting your House of Delegates and Senate of Virginia legislators by email or phone to inform them how the recommendations will further the academic and health care missions of the university and medical school. Your message can be as simple as "I support Governor Warner's research initiative and want my Delegate/Senator to support it as well." For your convenience, click here for a link to "Who's My Legislator" which includes a link for their office contact information. 

Researcher Named AAAS Fellow 
For his research in developing promising new drugs to combat leukemia, Steven Grant, M.D., has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Read more about the award bestowed by the world's largest general scientific society

Ensuring Access to Medical Treatments Would Save More Lives
More lives could be saved in the U.S. by spending less money on making medical treatments better and more on getting existing treatments to the patients who need them. "For every dollar Congress gives the National Institutes of Health to develop blockbuster treatments, it spends only one penny to ensure that Americans actually receive them," said Family Medicine's Steven H. Woolf, M.D. Read more about the study published in the Dec. 6 issue of the Annals of Family Medicine

Buckyballs to Target and Treat Brain Tumors
Researchers working with a man-made, metal-filled nanoparticle are developing the material for use as a diagnostic and therapeutic agent that may boost the sensitivity of MRI techniques and improve the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors. Read more about buckyballs and the five-year, $3.7 million grant from the NCI to Radiology's Panos Fatouros, Ph.D., who will lead a team of scientists from VCU and Virginia Tech. 

Clinical News

Heart Center Receives $5 Million Gift 
With a $5 million commitment, the Pauley Family Foundation has signaled its confidence in the VCU Heart Center. "They are doing a great job in making a difference in peoples' lives," said Stanley Pauley, who was treated at the center. Read more about the gift, which the family hopes will extend the heart center's capabilities through providing assets to keep up with the rapidly changing technology needed to treat heart diseases. 

New Critical Care Hospital Launches New Era for Treatment 
In November, former patients and hospital officials turned earth together for a new critical care hospital, launching a new era in how seriously ill and injured patients will receive treatment in Central Virginia. Read more about the 15-level, $192-million, 367,000-square-foot building that will greatly enhance the VCU Medical Center's intensive-care capability when it opens in fall 2008. 

Plans Announced to Create a Full-Service Children's Hospital 
The university has announced a partnership with the Children's Hospital of Richmond to build a hospital on the MCV Campus dedicated to pediatric care. The project will create a center of excellence for the care of children in the region as well as for research and medical education in pediatrics and pediatric specialties. Read more about the project and view architectural renderings

Sharing Trauma Expertise in the Amazon Jungle 
Surgeon Michel Aboutanos, M.D., is working with health-care providers in Ecuador to develop a nation-wide trauma system for preventing and managing injuries in the South American country. Read how he built on rudimentary trauma care and management to empower local physicians and health-care workers

Alumni News

Earn CME, Reconnect with Your Alma Mater 
The medical school's popular Alumni Update Course is back for a fourth year. The daylong course will be held on Friday, April 21, 2006, when - for the first time - it will kick off Reunion Weekend. Offering up to 6.75 hours in CME credit, the course features stellar faculty covering topics ranging from pediatric obesity and geriatric medicine, to screening tests and avian flu. The course brochure is available online. Plan to start Reunion Weekend a day early, or even make a special trip to Richmond - the course is available to all alumni regardless of what year you graduated. You can also register online

Alumni, Parents and Retired Faculty Meet Medicine's Dean Strauss 
In October, Dr. Jerry Strauss and his wife Cathy greeted more than 180 alumni, emeriti faculty and other friends from the Central Virginia area at the annual Dean's Tea. Guests met Dr. Strauss one-on-one and connected with long-time friends and colleagues. View photos from the Country Club of Virginia reception

In December, the Dean shared the latest news from the MCV Campus with several dozen alumni and parents from the Virginia Beach area. View photos from the afternoon reception at the Princess Anne Country Club

Dr. Strauss will be on the road again in the spring, with plans for alumni receptions in Roanoke, Baltimore and the Washington DC areas. Make sure that your contact info is up-to-date so that you'll receive your invitation.

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

Alumni from class years ending in '6s and '1s should mark their calendars for Reunion Weekend April 21 - 23!Alumni from these classes should have already received information on making hotel reservations and updating addresses with the Alumni Association. If you did not, please call the association at (800) 628-7799.

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

Check out the upcoming CME offerings from the medical school's Office of Continuing Physician Professional Development & Evaluation Studies including conferences in liver and gastroenterology as well as the 14th annual Pathways to Leadership Conference.

Annual Fund dollars support student interest groups and scholarships as well as milestone events in the medical school. Learn about how your Annual Fund gift impacts the school and find a link to online giving via the MCV Foundation's secure eGiving page.

For More Information:

MCV Alumni Association 
MCV Foundation 
VCU Campaign