VCU's Medical College Of Virginia
School Of Medicine News

Volume 13 - Number 1 - Winter 2014

We have email addresses for fewer than half of our medical school's 16,000 alumni, so to help keep your classmates connected, please forward this issue of SOM eNews!

Student News

Grandis family’s gift creates first full-tution scholarship endowment
The $1-million gift memorializes Harry and Harriet Grandis, Richmond philanthropists who made yearly gifts to fully cover tuition for deserving medical students. It also kicks off the medical school’s 1838 scholarship campaign. Read more about the scholarship campaign and about an additional gift from the Grandis family that will create an endowed chair to support lung cancer research.

A pair of basic science awards go to students
Ph.D. candidate Matthew Allen-Daniels was selected by the American Society for Microbiology as a 2013 award recipient of its ASM Undergraduate Research Capstone Program. MD-PhD student Reed McDonagh received a Predoctoral Molecular Imaging Scholar Program grant from the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.

Medical students team up with Richmond non-profits in DOCS 2013
Earlier this winter, 150 medical students participated in a Day of Community Service. Each of our school's four medical societies helped out with a different local non-profit. From cleaning up a stream near the James River to assembling goodie bags for children who participate with Stop Child Abuse Now, learn more and see pictures.

Research News

Research into tick-transmitted disease receives VIP funding
A statewide network funded four VCU research projects including one from the medical school. Microbiology and Immunology’s Drs. Richard Marconi and Jason Carlyon were awarded $40,000 for their project to develop a novel chimeric vaccine for tick-transmitted disease. Read more about the Virginia Innovation Partnership that provides proof-of-concept funding to advance early-stage research.

Liver enzyme may play critical role in removing cholesterol from body
A key enzyme called CEH regulates the removal of cholesterol from cells and makes it available to HDL, or good cholesterol. Internal Medicine’s Dr. Shobha Ghosh published findings on the work in the November issue of the Journal of Lipid Research. Read more about how the human body works to keep cholesterol levels in check.

$4.4M grant to boost employment for people with physical disabilities
The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the School of Education will use the five-year grant to conduct advanced research, training and technical assistance that helps people with physical disabilities find jobs. Read more about the project that will examine several clinical interventions including technology and programs for transition-aged youth and young adults with physical disabilities.

Clinical News

New guidance for dressing to prevent healthcare-associated infections
VCU Medical Center epidemiologist Dr. Gonzalo Bearman is lead author on an important new guidance paper on healthcare worker attire. Infectious disease fellow Dr. Josh White was a co-author along with other physicians from Miami to Los Angeles, including the NIH. Check out coverage from NBC News, USA Today, the NY Times and the guidance itself.

Alumni News

Reunion Weekend is April 11-13
MD alumni whose graduation year ends in a '4 or '9 will return to campus and reunite at Reunion Weekend 2014. It kicks off with Friday evening's class parties and culminates with a reception on campus in the McGlothlin Medical Education Center. There's also a CME course, campus tours and a chance to advise current students at the popular Career Fair. Alumni marking a Reunion Year should have already received a registration brochure. If you did not, contact Jodi T. Smith, director of alumni engagement.

Calling all golfers!
The medical students will host the 3rd Annual VCU School of Medicine Charity Golf Tournament on Sat. April 12 at The Tradition Golf Club at Brickshire. Proceeds will benefit the Center for High Blood Pressure, a local non-profit free clinic that helps under- and uninsured Richmond in managing the chronic disease. Please note that the tourney coincides with Reunion Weekend! Additional information and registration is available online.

Med School goes on the road
Check out the photo gallery from a recent alumni gathering in Philadelphia. The reception was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges, so Dean Jerry Strauss and nearly a dozen faculty members were on hand to share the latest news. Maybe you’ll recognize a classmate or two!

Attention South Florida alumni
Dean of Medicine Jerry Strauss will host a reception for medical school alumni who live in South Florida on Thurs. Feb. 27 at 32 East Restaurant in Delray. Invitations will be mailed in February.

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

Dr. Raymond Dionne honored among university’s Alumni Stars
A career in dentistry took an unusual turn when Raymond Dionne earned his Ph.D. in pharmacology in 1980. In an NIH career that spanned more than 30 years, he published extensively on promising therapies for patients’ pain and anxiety and pointed the way to molecular-genetic targets for new medications. In October he was honored as one of VCU’s most accomplished alumni. Read more about Dionne’s career.

Alumni in the news
The Class of 2011’s Esther Johnston was honored by the American Academy of Family Physicians with its Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education. The Class of 2004's Michael Phipps is on faculty in the Department of Neurology at the University of Maryland after completing a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program Fellowship at Yale and a neurovascular fellowship at the University of Connecticut. Housestaff alumnus Christopher Gelwix is in the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Division of Cardiovascular Disease where his research aims to identify genetic associations to complex heart rhythm problems.

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Mark your calendars for

Reunion Weekend 2014
April 11-13, 2014
For Class Years
ending in a '4 or '9.

Reunion Weekend 2015
April 17-19, 2015
For Class Years
ending in a '5 or '0.

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