AAMC News and Leadership Announcements, 2013 Aug. 29

The current issue of AAMC News and Leadership Announcements is now available:

Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for the past ten years, has been named the Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Health, Quality, Safety and Value, within the VA’s Veterans Health Administration. She will help lead the VHA’s efforts to improve the reliability, value and patient focus of health care across the VA system. Dr. Clancy announced in January that she would step down as AHRQ director when a successor was named. Last week, Richard Kronick, PhD, was named the new AHRQ director.

Drs. Senthil Kumar Rajasekaran, David Nierenberg, Simon Maxwell, and Kelly Karpa authored a posting on the Wing of Zock blog site on Tuesday about, “Addressing Medication Errors Through Education and Assessment.” The authors report, “Medical students must understand how to become safe and effective prescribers before they become physicians and gain the ability to prescribe independently. But in most medical schools, pharmacology training is limited to the basic science years, leaving medical graduates to acquire prescribing proficiency through clinical experience within their residency program.” To address the problem, the authors report, “We have formed a consortium of like-minded medical school faculty members to address this key area in the United States. At Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, we have designed a four-year longitudinal curriculum on prescribing competency, built into the Art & Practice of Medicine course. It includes a series of contact sessions, case discussions, and an assessment. Our long-term goal is to gain an eventual commitment from all U.S. medical schools to implement the standard assessment tool for their 3rd- and 4th-year medical students.”

The NIH on Wednesday published its revised policy on “Mitigating Risks of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC).” The notice reflects the federal government’s 2012 policy for the oversight of life sciences DURC, which is defined as “research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, information, products, or technologies that could be directly misapplied to pose a significant threat with broad potential consequences to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, materiel, or national security.” Mitigation plans will be required for projects determined to be DURC, based on an administrative review.

The Huffington Post recently published an article based on an interview with NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins on the impact of the sequester and the on-going federal fiscal crisis and the impact on medical research. The article reported, “The real-world implications of irrationality, Collins added, are quite grave. His most vivid example is the flu vaccine, which he says could be as close as five years away from discovery… ‘If you want to convert this into real meaningful numbers, that means people are going to die of influenza five years from now because we don’t yet have the universal vaccine…And God help us if we get a worldwide pandemic that emerges in the next five years, which takes a long time to prepare a vaccine for. If we had the universal vaccine, it would work for that too.'”

The Archon Genomics XPrize, which offered $10 million “to the first team that could rapidly and accurately sequence 100 whole human genomes to a standard never before achieved at a cost of $10,000 or less per genome,” has been withdrawn.

USA Today on Wednesday reported, “Nearly 3,400 military medical workers quit this year in the months when furloughs were threatened or being carried out because of spending cuts known as sequestration. The vast majority of those losses were with Army medical facilities.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer on Wednesday reported, “An orthopedic surgeon at Ohio State University recently used Google Glass, the wearable computer with a head-mounted display, to send real-time video of an operation to another doctor and a group of medical students across town.” The article highlighted several schools and teaching hospitals where the device is being tested as an educational resource.

Gannett newspapers reported this week that the transition of UMDNJ’s two medical schools to Rutgers is going smoothly.

The new issue of Science Translational Medicine, released on Wednesday, features a lead article titled, “Curing Consortium Fatigue.” The article reports that, “The complex pathology of consortium fatigue provides diagnostic data on how to improve collaboration in biomedical innovation.”

UCSF has announced that, “For 36 hours on September 11 and 12, members of the UC San Francisco community will have an opportunity to share their bold ideas to map the future of the University by participating in a novel online game. The game — called UCSF2025 — seeks to engage faculty, staff, students, trainees and friends of UCSF to envision the University’s continued leadership in education, health and research through the next decade.” The initiative is in partnership with the Institute for the Future (IFTF).

The Chronicle of Higher Education this week featured a story titled, “Medical Schools Prepare Students to Navigate a New Flood of Biodata.” The article largely focused on initiatives at the University of Maryland, including a new “foundations of research and critical thinking” course that, in part, is focused on training students “who will have to grapple with an environment awash in data…”

A new National Center for Functional Glycomics (NCFG) has been created at Emory University School of Medicine with funding from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). The center will be directed by Richard D. Cummings, PhD, chair of the Department of Biochemistry.

The AAMC has announced four recipients of the Award for Innovative Institutional Partnerships in Research and Research-focused Training. The awards program was established to identify bright spots in research and disseminate innovations that create and sustain institutional partnerships in research and research-focused training.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on Tuesday that Carl E. Wieman, former White House adviser on education policy and a Nobel laureate in physics, is joining Stanford University’s faculty. Dr. Wieman has most recently been at the University of British Columbia. His research related to the discovery of the Bose-Einstein condensate was conducted at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Wieman was the Richard M. Knapp Lecturer at the 2012 AAMC Council of Academic Societies Spring Meeting.

Dr. Sidney H. Golub, has been named the Interim Director of the Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine, effective September 1. Dr. Golub has held a number of leadership positions at both UCLA and UCI. Most recently he has directed the clinical research ethics unit of the UCI Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and has chaired the UCI Human Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee since its inception in 2005. From 1999 to 2003, Dr. Golub served as the Executive Director of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).

Kevin E. Klingele, MD, has been appointed chief of Orthopedics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. In his previous role, Dr. Klingele was the interim chief of Orthopedics. He will continue to serve as the surgical director of Sports Medicine at Nationwide Children’s. Dr. Klingele is director of Orthopedic Education and Clinical Research at the hospital, and is a clinical assistant professor of Orthopedics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Brett Kissela, MD, has been appointed the Albert Barnes Voorheis Chair of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine and UC Health, effective Jan. 1, 2014. Dr. Kissela succeeds Joseph Broderick, MD, who is stepping down from the position to focus on his research and clinical duties and on his leadership role as research director with the UC Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Kissela has served as vice chair of the department since 2004.

Dr. K. Craig Kent, Chairman of the University of Wisconsin Department of Surgery, has announced the appointment of Shahab A. Akhter, MD as the new Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UW. Dr. Akhter is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Chicago and serves as Surgical Director of the Heart Rhythm Center and Director of Cardiovascular Translational Research.

J. Kevin Foskett, PhD, the Isaac Ott Professor of Physiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has been named the Chair of the Department of Physiology, effective immediately. Dr. Foskett served as Vice Chairman of the Department since 2008. He succeeds Dr. H. Lee Sweeney, who earlier was named the inaugural director of Penn’s Center for Orphan Disease Research and Therapy.

Dr. Peter Lange, the provost at Duke for the past 15 years, announced on Wednesday that he will step down at the conclusion of his third term in June. Dr. Lange will stay at Duke in the political science department.

Andrew J. Satin, M.D., has been named the new director and Dorothy Edwards Professor of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He will also serve as the director of gynecology and obstetrics for Johns Hopkins Medicine. Dr. Satin is currently a professor of gynecology and obstetrics and has served since 2007 as both deputy director of the Gyn/Ob department at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and The Johns Hopkins Hospital, as well as director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and chair of the medical board at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Before joining Johns Hopkins, Dr. Satin was a professor and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at his medical school alma mater, the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

Merril T. Dayton, MD, Chair of the Department of Surgery at SUNY Buffalo for the past 11 years, has announced he is stepping down as chair. Dr. Dayton is returning to Salt Lake City, where he will continue to be active in teaching and patient care. Earlier in his career, Dr. Dayton was head of medical school admissions at the University of Utah.

The Columbus Dispatch on Tuesday reported, “The Ohio State Board of Trustees is to vote Friday on a proposal to create the Abercrombie & Fitch Emergency Department, which will be twice the size of the department now housed at OSU’s Wexner Medical Center when it opens in 2014. The name is a nod to the more than $10 million the New Albany-based company has given the medical center in recent years…and for helping to create the Abercrombie & Fitch Chair in Inflammatory Bowel Disease faculty position.”

The San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday published an interview with Dr. Herman Singh Bagga, a UCSF urologist and one of the main authors of several recent studies on the frequency of “genitourinary” injuries.  Asked why the studies have received attention across the globe, Dr. Singh said that “People talk about these things and maybe giggle about it at first, but when you see the data it’s perhaps not as rare as you think.” The authors found that about 142,000 adults went to the ER between 2002 and 2010 for these types of injuries – including an estimated 17,616 patients – virtually all male – who had zipper-related injuries. Dr. Bagga hopes that the articles can improve treatment and prevention.

Tony Mazzaschi

PS: Feel free to email <cfas@aamc.org> if you have a problem accessing any article or resource mentioned in this summary. Also, have colleagues email <cfas@aamc.org> if they would like to receive these news postings. We also welcome news tips and corrections.

PPS: Registration is now open for the 2013 AAMC Annual Meeting, November 1-6, in Philadelphia.


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