VCU's Medical College Of Virginia
School Of Medicine News

Volume 14 ­ - Number 2 -­ Spring 2015

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Student News

Congratulations to the Class of 2015
Spring is full of milestone events like Match Day and graduation. Check out our coverage that includes photos from the events as well as a list of where graduates are headed – take a look and plan to welcome those who are headed to your area.

Students interact with nationally known neuroscientists
The annual symposium of the Central Virginia Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience has always been a place to learn about recent findings. It’s also an important forum for students to begin to take their place in the neuroscience community. On March 20, 150 neuroscientists were on the MCV Campus to hear speakers from UC Irvine, Yale, Baylor and the NIH. Then the students stepped into the spotlight.

Research News

Mouth, as well as gut, could hold key to liver disease flare­ups
In a recent study, researchers predicted which cirrhosis patients would suffer inflammations and require hospitalization by analyzing their saliva. Senior author Jasmohan S. Bajaj, M.D., says what makes the discovery so interesting is that it’s been believed that most of the pathogenesis of cirrhosis starts in the gut. “The fact that saliva, along with fluid in the gut, can be an indicator of inflammation tells us that we need to further explore the oral cavity and its connections to liver disease.”

VCU­-developed compound continues in phase 1 clinical trials
The novel therapeutic compound may have broad applicability in acute organ injuries and in several metabolic diseases such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Nearly 20 years of discovery research by Internal Medicine’s Shunlin Ren, M.D., Ph.D., led to the compound that modulates the activity of various nuclear receptors that play an important regulatory role in lipid homeostasis, inflammation and cell survival.

Clinical News

Hope restored: A new device eases patient’s life-­altering seizures
An implantable monitor recently approved by the FDA identifies when a seizure is about to happen and administers an undetectable level of electrical stimulation directly to the brain to stop the seizure before it occurs. You can read about Joey Mapp’s experience and watch a video that tells his story.

Emotional adjustment following traumatic brain injury
For those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury, “Physically there is often a rapid period of improvement that begins once people receive good quality medical care,” says Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s Jeffrey Kreutzer, Ph.D. But emotional recovery “tends to take place in a two­-, five-­ or 10­-year period.” He’s leading research and clinical services focused on helping survivors, couples and families re-­build their lives.

Medical Center among first to receive PH accreditation
The Pulmonary Hypertension Association’s new accreditation program aims to improve the outcomes of patients. As one of the nation’s first to complete the accreditation, the VCU Medical Center will contribute to a national patient registry that will track diagnostic and treatment patterns and patient outcomes, and help establish best practices in patient care.

Alumni News

Reunion Weekend 2015
Reunion 2015 saw hundreds of alumni return to the MCV Campus for a weekend’s worth of activities. You can read about the weekend’s highlights including award winners Pete Sowers, M'70, and David Lanning, M'95, and flip through photos.

Alumnus named president of national ACMG
With his experience working across the full spectrum of clinical genetics services and education, Gerald L. “Jerry” Feldman, M'84, PhD'82, is uniquely equipped to represent the diverse members of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. Read about Feldman’s career and goals for the organization.

Alumni on campus
The welcome mat has been out all spring as we’ve had numerous alumni returning to campus to present on their areas of expertise. You can read more about what some of them had to say:

  • Joe Sherman, M'85, H'88, encouraged the graduating students to remember “working as a doctor is a role you play. Not who you are. It’s what you do.”
  • Margaret “Kenny” Offermann, M'80, PhD'81, gave MD­PhD students concrete ways they could become advocates and speak out on behalf of science.
  • Serving as the Shaia Lecturer gave Bob Centor, M'75, H'78, a chance to recall some of the influences on his life: longtime faculty members Reno Vlahcevic, Hal Fallon and Orhan Muren along with Al Zfass, M'57 ­­ not to mention the Skull and Bones and their dangerously good limeade.
  • At the height of the Ebola epidemic, Tom Kerkering, M'74, H'79, traveled to Sierra Leone to train health workers in techniques to prevent the virus from spreading to caregivers
  • Bob Feezor, M'99, counted serving as the HM Lee Lecturer as a particular privilege because of his personal connection to the pioneering surgeon.

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April 15-­17, 2016
For Class Years
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Reunion Weekend 2017
April 7-­9, 2017
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Reunion Weekend 2018
April 20­-22, 2018
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