VCU's Medical College Of Virginia
School Of Medicine News

Volume 11 - Number 1 - Winter 2012

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!

Successful Surgery Separates Conjoined Twins 
In November, the Class of 1995's David Lanning, now on faculty, led a 45-member team in a 20-hour surgery that separated a pair of toddlers from the Dominican Republic. It is estimated fewer than six such surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year, and it was the first for the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. View extensive coverage of the November surgery - in print, video and photography - as well as of their release from the hospital a month later.

Student News

Half-Million Dollars in New Scholarship Endowments 
A pioneering woman and a grateful son. An aunt, a businessman, a surgeon and a widow. They are the individuals behind more than a half dozen new scholarship endowments in the medical school, together worth more than $500,000. Read about the new scholarship awards benefiting students for the first time this year.

Students Challenge Alumni and Faculty to Step It Up 
The Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k has been named one of the country's top races by USA Today. For the seventh year in a row, the Massey Cancer Center is the race's official charity, and our medical students are challenging alumni and faculty to join them on the course and in raising money for the life-saving work done at Massey. Interested? First register for the March 31 race. Then join the students' "MCV Medical School" fundraising team.

The students are also challenging the other MCV Campus schools for bragging rights. But other schools will have a lot of ground to make up: MCV Medical School was ranked in the top 10 money-raising teams at press time!

We know we've got runners out there. Just check out this story about medical students who tackled the SunTrust Richmond Marathon in November. If you can't join the students in the 10k, you can still support the MCV Medical School team with a gift. 

Research News

Researchers Form Consortium to Study Post-Cardiac Arrest Patients 
The Pauley Heart Center is part of a new consortium funded by the NIH to study patients who've survived cardiac arrest. We're joined by Beth Israel-Deaconess/Harvard University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pennsylvania who, like our medical center, treat about 70 or 80 post-arrest patients annually. Read more about the cardiac arrest consortium's work

New Discovery Could Explain High Blood Pressure in Pregnancy 
Obstetrics and Gynecology's Scott W. Walsh, Ph.D., has published findings that could lead to new avenues for treating pregnant women with preeclampsia. He has discovered that the infiltration of white blood cells into an expectant mother's blood vessels may explain high blood pressure in pregnancy. Read more about the study, published in the journal Hypertension.

Defeating Hurdle to Eradicate Inactive Multiple Myeloma Cells 
Multiple myeloma can rest in a non-proliferative state for extended periods of time, which is a major hurdle to treating this fatal disease with strategies that target the cell cycle process. The Massey Cancer Center's Steven Grant, M.D., has developed a novel treatment strategy that delivers a deadly one-two blow to kill even the most inactive cells. Read more about the findings published in the journal Blood.

Clinical News

Professors' Research Makes Headlines in the NY Times 
In the traumatic brain injury field, the work of Jeff Kreutzer, Ph.D., and Emilie Godwin, Ph.D., is well-known. Particularly as the two Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation researchers travel around the country training health care professionals, patients and families, in approaches they have developed for addressing emotional, behavioral and cognitive changes that occur with brain injury. Now their work has come to the attention of a much wider audience through a Jan. 10 front-page story in the New York Times' Science section

NEJM Review of Genetic Screenings 
The Jan. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine features a review authored by Dean of Medicine Jerry Strauss, M.D., Ph.D., and Joann Bodurtha, M.D., M.P.H., a former medical school faculty member now affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. The authors review genomic technologies available from preconception to newborn care, cautioning that interpreting results for use in decision-making can be complex, requiring expert consultation. Read coverage of the article, or the review itself

Alumni News

Register now for Reunion Weekend 2012: April 20-22 
Classes ending in '7s and '2s will reunite, revisit campus and make new memories. Reunion Weekend kicks off with Friday evening's Class Parties and culminates with a reception that will bring you back to campus on the Egyptian Building Plaza. There's also a CME course and a chance to advise current students at the popular Career Fair. Check it out and register online!

Reunion Weekend is one part of VCU's Alumni Month. Learn more about the month's activities

Med School Goes on the Road 
Check out the photo gallery from a recent alumni gathering in Denver. Maybe you'll recognize a classmate or two!

Go online to give us your latest contact information to be sure that you'll get an invitation to future events in your area. 

Alumni in the News 
Did you know that, in addition to her pediatrics practice, the Class of 1992's Jennifer Shu is an author and media guest who's appeared on NBC Nightly News and CNN? The Class of 1984's Leah Bush is Virginia's chief medical examiner. Housestaff alumnus Colin Banas has been named one of the top 25 clinical informaticists in the country by "Modern Healthcare."

Learn what your classmates have been up to since graduation without waiting for the latest issue of Scarab to arrive. Read more Class Notes, now available online. Or submit your update now. 

White House Comes to Richmond 
Dean of Medicine Jerry Strauss, M.D., Ph.D., shared the stage with the First Lady at an announcement of the Joining Forces initiative that commits to care for veterans and service members. About 200 of our medical students were on hand, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with service members from Fort Lee. The First Lady told our students the profession they've chosen is "the essence of true service." Read the Dean's first-hand account of the event or news coverage.

The White House said it chose VCU for the site of its announcement because our medical center is a national leader in TBI research and a strong partner with the McGuire VA Medical Center. Read more about cross-campus research that aims to improve lives of soldiers, veterans and families

Construction Progress :: a New Medical Education Building 
The medical school celebrated the McGlothlin Medical Education Center with a topping out ceremony in November. Nearly 100 students, faculty, alumni and donors were on hand when the final steel beam was hoisted into place. The project is still on track for completion in spring 2013. View pictures from the ceremony

Faculty in the News 
Did you know that residency director Stephanie Call, M.D., is one of just 10 program directors across the US honored by the ACGME for innovative ways of teaching residents? Internal Medicine's Richard Wenzel, M.D., has been awarded the prestigious John P. McGovern Compleat Physician Award.Psychiatry's Kenneth Kendler, M.D., has been named one of Virginia's Outstanding Scientists of 2012; this comes in addition to last year's recognition by the World Psychiatric Association with its Jean Delay Prize, sometimes called the Nobel Prize of psychiatry.

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

16th Annual Virginia Liver Symposium and Update in Gastroenterology Conference
March 24, 2012

Distinguished faculty who treat patients with liver and gastrointestinal disorders will offer physicians and mid-level medical providers the opportunity to hear about new treatments and clinical topics to enhance their knowledge of the field. 

10th Annual Alumni Update Course
April 21, 2012
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. Earn up to 6.75 credit hours, covering topics as diverse as psychiatry, pediatrics and heart health. 

23rd Annual Virginia Geriatrics Society Conference
April 27-29, 2012

This 19 CE conference is designed to provide physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants with advanced information on a broad range of clinical, including the latest information on diagnosis, management and treatment for common problems in the aging population. Forty conference scholarships are available for Virginia providers who are first or second time attendees. Visit for details.

40th Annual Hans Berger Symposium: The Evaluation and Management of Post-Traumatic Epilepsy
May 21-22, 2012
MCV Campus 

Distinguished faculty from epilepsy centers and neurophysiology laboratories from across the country will offer physicians, technologists and medical professionals practical information in applying state-of-the-art electrodiagnostic testing in the clinical management of patients with epilepsy and related disorders. 

"Peds at the Beach"
July 20 - 22, 2012
Virginia Beach 

The 34th Annual Pediatric Primary Care Conference features three half-day sessions that will include important topics in the areas of emergency medicine, primary care, developmental and behavioral pediatrics. Kids' activities are available through "Kids Cove" located at the Wyndham Hotel. 

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Mark your calendars for futureReunion Weekends 
April 20-22, 2012
For Class years 
ending in a 2 or 7

April 26-28, 2013
For Class Years 
ending in a 3 or 8 

Annual Fund dollars now go 
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school's eGiving page

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

Check out the 2011 issue of 
Gifts at Work

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