The center spread of this month's SOMnews is dedicated to Chancellor Kirwan. Of his numerous endeavors as the leader of the University System of Maryland (USM), Dr. Kirwan launched the Closing the Achievement Gap initiative to reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the disparity in higher education participation, retention and graduation between students from lower-income and underrepresented minority backgrounds and the general student population.
I am both honored and pleased to have worked with someone who was not afraid to work for necessary change. Dr. Kirwan is also a devoted supporter of higher education and medical discovery and innovation. He was indispensable in bringing the new School of Medicine Research Building, Health Sciences Facility III, into reality, because he knows the transformative research that will take place there will improve the lives of all people, regardless of race, income or creed. We are all so fortunate to have been the beneficiaries of the work of this visionary leader.
This month, we also celebrate the commitment to Baltimore and the tangible scientific contributions of the late Dr. Elijah Saunders. As an alumnus of the School of Medicine (Class of 1960), and one of the first African-American graduates, Dr. Saunders became a leader in medicine at a time when many cultural and societal obstacles stood in his path. He became the first African American resident in the University of Maryland Internal Medicine Program; the first African American fellow in the Maryland Cardiology Program; and the first African-American cardiologist in the State of Maryland.
Dr. Saunders was integral in abolishing segregated hospital wards at what was then University Hospital (now the University of Maryland Medical Center). As the Head of the Hypertension Section in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Department of Medicine, his groundbreaking research showed that African Americans respond differently to blood pressure medications, which prompted minority enrollment in clinical trials.
Most notably, he established a community health program to promote greater awareness of heart disease incidence, the importance of screening and the need to adhere to medication regimens within the African-American community. Had he still been with us, I have no doubt that Dr. Saunders would have been distressed about the recent events in Baltimore. Nevertheless, the Elijah Saunders we knew would have been undaunted in his resolve to continue his work in the community.
As we reflect on the rebuilding—both physical and ideological—that is underway in Baltimore, and the visionary leaders who helped shape this city, let us honor their legacy by remaining optimistic and joining the renewal of the community of which the School of Medicine is an integral partner.
In the relentless pursuit of excellence, I am
E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA
Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland
John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and
Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine
A job well done to all who have kept us in the media spotlight!
Claire Fraser, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology, and Director, Institute for Genome Sciences, was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News on March 10 in an article about the Intel Science Talent Search. Dr. Fraser is one of the judges for the prestigious science competition.
Julie Hotopp, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, Institute for Genome Sciences, was quoted in The Scientist on March 12 in an article about horizontal gene transfer.
Jacques Ravel, PhD, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, and Associate Director, Institute for Genome Sciences, was quoted in an online article about vaginal microbiomes on MotherBoard on March 3. MotherBoard is an online magazine and video channel dedicated to the intersection of technology, science and humans.
Thelma Wright, MD, Esq., Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, was interviewed on The Marc Steiner Show on February 26 about “The Complexity Around Pain Management for Patients.”
Kudos to our colleagues who are experts in their fields and give their all to represent the School of Medicine!
Clement Adebamowo, BM, ChB, ScD, FWACS, FACS, Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health, Institute for Human Virology, gave a presentation to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission), on the ethics of placebo-controlled trials in the context of public health emergencies, at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel in Washington, DC, on February 5–6. Dr. Adebamowo was also invited to give a presentation on “Implementing Cancer Control Strategies in Low and Middle Income Countries” at the 3rd Annual Symposium on Global Cancer Research in Boston, MA, on March 25, and was invited to be the Keynote Speaker at the annual Teaching Skills in International Research Ethics (TaSkR) Workshop at Indiana University from April 15–17, where his topic was “The Fire Next Time: Ethical and Practical Issues in Conducting Research During Acute Infectious Disease Epidemics.”
Rudy Castellani, MD, Professor, Department of Pathology, was invited to speak on the topic of chronic traumatic encephalopathy at the 24th annual meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine in Hollywood, FL, from April 14–19.
Vasken Dilsizian, MD, Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, presented “Viability: To Operate or Not, Looking May Help” at the Breakthroughs and Controversies in Cardiovascular Imaging session, and “Nuclear Cardiology Applications in Clinical Practice: Myocardial Viability,” both at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Conference, held in San Diego, CA, March 15–16.
Ann Gruber-Baldini, PhD, Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, presented “Hip Fractures, Delirium, and Dementia” at Dementia Care Grand Rounds at the Copper Ridge Institute in Eldersburg, MD, on March 4.
Benjamin Lawner, DO, MS, EMT-P, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, collaborated with Deputy Chief Mark Fletcher from the Baltimore City Fire Department in leading an interactive presentation titled “Sidestepping the Road to Yellow Alert: A Proactive Approach to Reducing Ambulance Offload Delay” during EMS Today: The JEMS Conference and Exhibition, held in Baltimore in late February. At the same conference, attended by 4,500 prehospital personnel from across the country, medical students Andrew Bouland, MS-III, and Megan Halliday, MS-II, presented at the Prehospital Research Forum on the implementation of the Baltimore City Fire Department’s Medical Duty Officer Program. Dr. Lawner also presented “EMS Darwin Awards: Strategies for Survival and Evolution,” “Resuscitation Review 2014: Articles You’ve Got to Know,” and “How Low Do We Go to Stop the Flow? Prehospital Trauma Resuscitation” at the 22nd Annual Conference of the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation, held in Baltimore in late February, as well. At the same conference, D. Chimene Richa, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, presented “Trauma and the Eye,” and Jennifer Guyther, MD, Instructor, Departments of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, presented “Sticks, Stones and Broken Bones: Pediatric Injuries.”
Frank Lewis, Jr. MD, Class of 1965, executive Director of the American Board of Surgery, and Secretary-Treasurer and past Chair of the American Board of Surgery, presented “Supply Dependent Oxygen Consumption: Getting it All Backwards” at Shock Trauma Grand Rounds on February 19.
Richard Lichenstein, MD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, presented “Strategies to Increase GDL Enforcement, Compliance and the Passage of Stronger Laws—The Howard County, Maryland Parking Permit Program” at the annual Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities on March 16.
David Loane, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, presented a Plenary Lecture at the National Capital Area TBI Research Symposium 2015, held in The Natcher Conference Center at NIH in Bethesda, MD, on March 10. The topic of his talk was “Microglia in the TBI Brain: The Good, The Bad, and The Dysregulated.” In addition, a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Loane, Alok Kumar, PhD, won first prize in the Poster Competition at the symposium for his research on “NOX2 Regulation of Microglia Activation Following TBI.”
Andrew Malinow, MD, Professor, Departments of Anesthesiology and Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, recently participated in the 1st International Symposium of PROMPT, held in Bath, UK. Practical Obstetric Multi-Professional Training (PROMPT) is the only obstetric emergency simulation program so far shown to decrease maternal and neonatal mortality/morbidity. Before an audience composed of physicians, midwives, nurses and psychologists from 19 countries, Dr. Malinow, a member of the North American group led by Carl Weiner MD, presented the seven-year maternal and neonatal outcome data.
David Rasko, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, Institute for Genome Sciences, was an invited speaker on the topic of “Application of Genomics to the Study of Enteric Pathogenesis” at the University of Virginia on February 10.
Lynn Schriml, PhD, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health, Institute for Genome Sciences, was invited to participate in a meeting of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in late February in New York City. She discussed “Ontology Design for Integrated Measures For UNEP-led Monitoring of Sustainable Development Goal Indicators.”
Henry Silverman, MD, MA, Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, gave a two-day workshop on research ethics in Yangon, Myanmar February 4–5. Dr. Silverman, in conjunction with Myaing Nyunt, MD, MPH, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, organized the workshop, which involved more than 40 participants from various institutions in Myanmar. This workshop was made possible through a Fogarty International Center/NIH supplement grant to the parent MERETI grant. One of the aims of this workshop was to select 4–6 applicants to join the summer program in research ethics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. This initial effort will be the start of a research ethics capacity program in this country.
Ronn Wade, Director of Anatomical Services at the School of Medicine, introduced the Burns “Medical Mummies” at the opening of an exhibit of the School of Medicine’s Burns Museum Collection at the Cincinnati Science Center on March 7. He also presented “Replication of Egyptian Mummification: An On-Going Research Project,” which detailed his experience mummifying a human body using the exact tools and techniques of the ancient Egyptians.
Congratulations to our very productive faculty on their recent grants and contracts!
Sergei Atamas, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, has been awarded a four-year, $1,535,000 grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to study “The Mechanisms of Profibrotic Sensitization by IL-33.”
E. James Britt, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine, has been awarded a three year, $135,675 grant from FibroGen, Inc. for “A Phase 2, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of FG-3019 in Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.”
Ronna Hertzano, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, and UMB affiliated faculty in the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology and the Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS), have been awarded a five-year, $2,369,373 award from the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders to study “Cell Type-Specific Transcriptional Cascades in Inner Ear Development.” The project includes development of a novel new web-based tool for visualization of gene expression, the gEAR, spearheaded by Joshua Orvis and Anup Mahurkar, who work on the Bioinformatices team at the IGS.
Marta Lipinski, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departments of Anesthesiology and Anatomy & Neurobiology, has been awarded a five-year, $1,678,905 R01 grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) for “Function and Mechanisms of Autophagy-Lysosomal Pathway in Traumatic Brain Injury.”
Glenn Ostir, PhD, Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, has entered into a one-year, $5,000 research services agreement with Ammonett Pharma, LLC.
Dan Schulze, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, and Path Sensors, a company housed in the BioPark, have been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Maryland Industrial Partnership to develop a “Universal Antibody-Based Biosensor System.”
Robert Sheneberger, MD, Assistant Professor of Family & Community Medicine and Country Medical Director, Institute of Human Virology, has been awarded a five-year, $50 million award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office of Global Health for “Stop Mother and Child HIV Transmission (SMACHT) in the Republic of Zambia,” under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In utilizing this award, IHV’s project strategy will incorporate community workers into the process of identifying, testing, and monitoring pregnant women and their infants throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding with a goal of improving maternal-infant outcomes.
Congratulations to the following who have received honors!
Julie Frank, MS, CGC, Genetic Counselor, Department of Pediatrics, passed the National Genetic Counseling Board exam in February and is now a Certified Genetic Counselor (CGC).
Elena Grill, MS-I, is the first medical student to be selected by the Foundation in Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER) to work with a faculty member at her own institution (FAER criteria normally require that applicants must travel to another medical school for their summer research). Ms. Grill will be mentored by Maureen McCunn, MD, MIPP, FCCM, Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology. Dr. McCunn is performing qualitative research using semi-structured interviews and a modified grounded theory technique in order to define the services, information, access to care, and support systems that trauma survivors want after hospital discharge, that are currently unavailable in our healthcare system.
Mimi Lu, MD, MS, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, received this year’s Young Educator Award from the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM). The award, recognizing outstanding educational contributions to the organization, was presented during AAEM’s annual Scientific Assembly, held in Austin, TX, in early March.
Rachel Palmquist, MS, CGC, Genetic Counselor, Department of Pediatrics, passed the National Genetic Counseling Board exam in February 2015 and is now a Certified Genetic Counselor (CGC).
Larry Weiss, MD, JD, Clinical Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, was named a Master of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) during the organization’s 2015 Scientific Assembly, held in Austin, TX, in early March. This prestigious honor, awarded only seven times during AAEM’s 20-year history, recognizes extraordinary contributions to the association and to the specialty through service, published works, education, and leadership. Dr. Weiss is a charter member of AAEM, has served as its national president, and currently is a member of its Board of Directors.
Owen White, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health; Associate Director, Institute for Genome Sciences; and Co-Director, Center for Health-related Informatics and Bioimaging, received the Franklin Open Access Award on February 24. The Benjamin Franklin Award for Open Access in the Life Sciences is a humanitarian/bioethics award presented annually by this organization to an individual who has, in his or her practice, promoted free and open access to the materials and methods used in the life sciences.
We applaud our colleagues on their recent appointments!
Clement Adebamowo, BM, ChB, ScD, FWACS, FACS, Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health, Institute for Human Virology, has been appointed as a member of a joint World Health Organization/Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases Committee that will develop a curriculum on “Ethics in Implementation Research” to train intermediate-level public health personnel, researchers, and policy makers on how to conduct implementation research ethically.
Thomas Scalea, MD, FACS, the Honorable Francis X. Kelly Distinguished Professor of Trauma Surgery, Department of Surgery, and Director, Program in Trauma, was appointed President of the Western Trauma Association for 2015–2016 at the 45th Annual meeting in Telluride, CO.
Deborah Stein, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Surgery and the Program in Trauma, was recently appointed as Director-at-Large, Board of Directors, and Chair of the Professional Development Division for the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma for 2015–2016. Dr. Stein was also appointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery and was appointed as the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center’s Adult Trauma Standards Representative for the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS).
We welcome our new faculty!
Nicholas Schluterman, PhD, has been appointed as an Instructor in the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, in the Division of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics. Dr. Schluterman graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arkansas, and received his MS in Epidemiology in 2011 and his PhD in Epidemiology in 2014, both from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He has been a member of the research team of J. Kathleen Tracy, PhD, Associate Professor, since January 2010, and was hired as a research analyst in 2012. His particular area of expertise and interest is in mathematical modeling and statistical methods, and he has expertise in R programming language. He will co-teach PREV706 with Dr. Tracy.
Thanks to those who selflessly donate their time, talent and resources. Your goodwill does not go unappreciated.
Students from the Graduate Program in Life Sciences (GPILS) prepared and served breakfast for families staying at the nearby Ronald McDonald House on March 4. The GPILS Student Advisory Committee, which organized the breakfast, hopes to make it a monthly event.
Hats off to those who have been published!
Clement Adebamowo, BM, ChB, ScD, FWACS, FACS, Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health, Institute for Human Virology, was a co-author on the Wellcome Trust/Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota Recommendations for Accelerating the Development of Ebola Vaccines: Report and Analysis, published in February 2015, and available on the CIDRAP website at http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/
Sonia Agrawal, Bioinformatics Software Engineer, Senior, and Hervé Tettelin, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, both from the Institute for Genome Sciences, were among the co-authors on “Composite Mobile Genetic Elements Disseminating Macrolide Resistance in Streptococcus Pneumoniae” in Frontiers in Microbiology, 2015 Feb 9;6:26. Dr. Tettelin and Nikhil Kumar, Laboratory Manager; Elliott Drabek, PhD, Bioinformatics Software Engineer; Sean Daugherty, Senior Bioinformatics Analyst; Sandra Ott, Research Specialist; Naomi Sengamalay, Program Manager; Lisa Sadzewicz Deshong, PhD, Administrative Director; Luke Tallon, Scientific Director; and Claire Fraser, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology, all from the Institute for Genome Sciences, which Dr. Fraser directs, were among the co-authors on “Transcriptional Attenuation Controls Macrolide Inducible Efflux and Resistance in Streptococcus Pneumoniae and in Other Gram-Positive Bacteria Containing Mef/mel(msr(D)) Elements” in PLoS One, 2015 Feb 19;10(2):e0116254.
Jennifer Albrecht, PhD, Assistant Professor; Gordon Smith, MB, ChB, MPH, Professor; Mona Baumgarten, PhD, Professor; and Patricia Langenberg, PhD, Professor, all from the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health; along with Steven Gambert, MD, Professor, Department of Medicine, were among the co-authors on “Stroke Incidence Following Traumatic Brain Injury in Older Adults” in Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 2015 Mar-Apr;30(2):E62-7.
Sania Amr, MD, Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, was among the co-authors on “Substance Use By Egyptian Youth: Current Patterns and Potential Avenues for Prevention” in Substance Use & Misuse [serial online], 2015 Jan 28. Dr. Amr; Laurence Magder, PhD, Professor; and Diane-Marie St. George, PhD, Assistant Professor, both also from the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, and Katherine Squibb, PhD, Professor, Department of Medicine, were among the co-authors on “Pesticide, Gene Polymorphisms and Bladder Cancer among Egyptian Agricultural Workers” in Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health, 2015 Jan;70:(1):19–26.
Mona Baumgarten, PhD, Professor; Gordon Smith, MB, ChB, MPH, Professor; Jennifer Albrecht, PhD, Assistant Professor; and Patricia Langenberg, PhD, Professor, all from the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health; and Steven Gambert, MD, and Stephen Gottlieb, MD, both Professors in the Department of Medicine, were among the co-authors on “Warfarin Usage Among Elderly Atrial Fibrillation Patients with Traumatic Injury, an Analysis of United States Medicare Fee-for-Service Enrollees” in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 2015 Jan;55(1):25-32.
D. Hunter Boggs, MD, Resident, and Mohan Suntharalingam, MD, The Marlene & Stewart Greenebaum Professor of Radiation Oncology, both from the Department of Radiation Oncology, were the first and senior authors, respectively, on “Primary Gross Tumor Volume is an Important Prognostic Factor in Locally Advanced Esophageal Cancer Patients Treated With Trimodality Therapy” in Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer, 2015 Mar 11. Co-authors included Andrew Hanna, MS-IV; Whitney Burrows, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery; and M. Naomi Horiba, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine. Dr. Suntharalingam was also among the co-authors on “Long-term Results of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 9903: A Randomized Phase 3 Trial to Assess the Effect of Erythropoietin on Local-Regional Control in Anemic Patients Treated With Radiation Therapy for Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck” in International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 2015 Apr 1;91(5)907-915.
Christina Boulton, MD, Assistant Professor, and Andrew Pollak, MD, The James Lawrence Kernan Professor and Chair, both from the Department of Orthopaedics, were co-authors on “Special Topic: Ipsilateral Femoral Neck and Shaft Fractures: Does Evidence Give Us the Answer?” in Injury, 2015 Mar;46(3):478-483.
Shifeng Chen, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, was among the co-authors on “LDA-SVM-based EGFR Mutation Model for NSCLC Brain Metastases: An Observational Study” in Medicine (Baltimore), 2015 Feb;94(5):e375.
Michael Chuong, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, was among the co-authors on “Long-Term Outcomes of Induction Chemotherapy and Neoadjuvant Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy for Borderline Resectable and Locally Advanced Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma” in Acta Oncologica, 2015 Mar 3:1-7 [Epub ahead of print].
Barry Daly, MD, Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, was among the co-authors on “Complications of Optical Colonoscopy: CT Findings” in Radiology Clinics of North America, 2014 Sep;52(5):1087-99.
Eduardo Davila, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, was among the co-authors on “Inhibition of IRAK1/4 Sensitizes T Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia to Chemotherapies” in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2015 Mar 2;125(3):1081-97. Dr. Davila also was invited to give a brief video interview with JCI that debuted with the article. The article was also selected to be highlighted in Cancer Discovery.
Derik Davis, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, was among the co-authors on “Botulinum Toxin Is Detrimental to Repair of Chronic Rotator Cuff Tear in a Rabbit Model” in Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 2015 Jan 28 [Epub ahead of print].
Timm Dickfeld, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, and Vasken Dilsizian, MD, Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, published a multi-author collaborative paper on the basis of data gleaned from their Investigator-Initiated Research Grant from GE Healthcare, on which they are co-principal investigators. “Three-Dimensional 123I-Meta-iodobenzylguanidine Cardiac Innervation Maps to Assess Substrate and Successful Ablation Sites for Ventricular Tachycardia—A Feasibility Study for a Novel Paradigm of Innervation Imaging” was published in Journal of Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, 2015 Feb 23 [Epub ahead of print].
Alexander Engelman, MD, Resident, and Minesh Mehta, MB, ChB, Professor, both in the Department of Radiation Oncology, were among the co-authors on “Should We Irradiate a Brain Tumor in a Patient with Parkinsonism? A Case Report and Literature Review” in Practical Radiation Oncology, 2015 Feb 4 [Epub ahead of print].
Dheeraj Gandhi, MBBS, Professor; Timothy Miller, MD, Assistant Professor; and Gaurav Jindal, MD, Assistant Professor, all from the Department of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, were among the co-authors on “Incidence of Contrast Material-Induced Nephropathy After Neuroendovascular Procedures” in Radiology, 2014 Dec;273(3):853-8. Drs. Gandhi, Miller and Jindal, along with Jaroslaw Krejza, MD, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, were among the co-authors on “Impact of Endovascular Technique on Fluoroscopy Usage: Stent-Assisted Coiling versus Flow Diversion for Paraclinoid Internal Carotid Artery Aneurysms” in Neuroradiology Journal, 2014 Dec 1;27(6):725-31.
Amal Isaiah, MD, PhD, PGY-5, and Kevin Pereira, MBBS, MS, Professor, both from the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, were among the co-authors on “Outcomes After Adenotonsillectomy Using a Fixed Anesthesia Protocol in Children with Obstructive Sleep Apnea” in International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, January 2015 May;79(5):638-43. Dr. Pereira, Timothy Ortlip, MD, PGY-3, and Bryan Ambro, MD, MS, Clinical Assistant Professor, all from the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, were co-authors on “Midline Approach to Pediatric Nasofrontal Dermoids” in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, 2015 Feb;141(2):174-7. Dr. Pereira; Katherine Perry, MD, PGY-5; Andrew Tkaczuk, MD, PGY-2; and John Caccamese, MD, DMD, Associate Professor, all from the Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, were among the co-authors on “Tumors of the Pediatric Maxillo-Facial Skeleton: A Twenty Year Clinical Study” in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, 2015 Jan;141(1):40-4.
Patricia Langenberg, PhD, Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health; Adem Can, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, and Teodor Postolache, MD, Professor, both from the Department of Psychiatry, were among the co-authors on “’Latent’ Infection with Toxoplasma gondii: Association with Trait Aggression and Impulsivity in Healthy Adults” in Journal of Psychiatric Research, 2015 Jan;60:87-94.
Benjamin Lawner, DO, MS, EMT-P, Assistant Professor; Jon Mark Hirshon, MD, MPH, PhD, Associate Professor; and Debra Lee, MD, Assistant Professor, all from the Department of Emergency Medicine, along with Samuel Galvagno, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, were among the co-authors on “Comparison of Prediction Models for Use of Medical Resources at Urban Auto-Racing Events” in Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 2014 Dec;29(6):608-13. Their study was based on data from the Grand Prix events held in Baltimore in 2011 and 2012. By applying standard prediction models used for response readiness planning, the investigators found that those widely accepted tools over-predict the medical resources that will be required by spectators and participants.
Wei Lu, PhD, Associate Professor; Jiahui Wang, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow; and Hao “Howard” Zhang, PhD, Assistant Professor, all from the Department of Radiation Oncology, were among the co-authors on “Computerized PET/CT Image Analysis in the Evaluation of Tumor Response to Therapy” in The British Journal of Radiology, 2015 Apr;88(1048):20140625.
Michaela Mathews, MD, Assistant Professor, and Steven Bernstein, MD, PhD, Professor, both from the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, and Patricia Langenberg, PhD, Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, were among the co-authors on “Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor (CNTF)-Mediated Ganglion Cell Survival in a Rodent Model of Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischaemic Optic Neuropathy (NAION)” in The British Journal of Ophthalmology, 2015 Jan;99(1):133-7.
Minesh Mehta, MB, ChB, Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, was among the co-authors on “Variation Over Time and Interdependence Between Disease Progression and Death Among Patients With Glioblastoma on RTOG 0525” in Neuro-Oncology, 2015 Feb 16 [Epub ahead of print]. He was also the first author on “Veliparib in Combination with Whole Brain Radiation Therapy in Patients with Brain Metastases: Results of a Phase 1 Study” in Journal of Neuro-Oncology, 2015 Apr:122(2):409-417, and was the senior author on “Phase 2 Study of Temozolomide-Based Chemoradiation Therapy for High-Risk Low-Grade Gliomas: Preliminary Results of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 0424” in International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, 2015 Mar;91(3):497–504.
Nicholas Pietris, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, was among the co-authors on “The Innate Immune System Contributes to Tissue-Engineered Vascular Graft Performance” in FASEB Journal, 2015, Feb 20 [Epub ahead of print].
Laura Pimentel, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, and Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Maryland Emergency Medicine Network, was among the co-authors on “The Maryland Medicare Waiver and Emergency Care: Mixed Experiences Deserve Close Scrutiny” in American Journal of Medical Quality, 2015 Mar-Apr;30(2):186-7.
Charlene Quinn, RN, PhD, Associate Professor; Erik Barr, BA, Data Analyst; and Anne Gruber-Baldini, PhD, Professor, all from the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, were among the co-authors on “Older Adult Self-Efficacy Study of Mobile Phone Diabetes Management” in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, 2015 Feb 18;17:6.
Prashant Raghavan, MBBS, Assistant Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, was among the co-authors on “Accuracy of MRI for the Diagnosis of Metastatic Cervical Lymphadenopathy in Patients with Thyroid Cancer” in La Radiologia Medica, 2015 Mar 1 [Epub ahead of print], and “Noninvasive Evaluation of the Regional Variations of GABA Using Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy at 3 Tesla” in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 2015 Feb 20 [Epub ahead of print].
Jason Sahl and Carolyn Morris, Postdoctoral Fellows in the Rasko Lab; Jennifer Emberger, MD Student in the Rasko Lab; Claire Fraser, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology, and Director of the Institute for Genome Sciences, and David Rasko, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, all from the Institute for Genome Sciences, were among the co-authors on “Defining the Phylogenomics of Shigella Species: A Pathway to Diagnostics” in Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 2015 Mar;53(3):951-60. Dr. Rasko and Tracy Hazen, Research Associate, both from the Department of Microbiology & Immunology and the Institute for Genome Sciences, were among the co-authors on “Host-Specific Induction of Escherichia coli Fitness Genes During Human Urinary Tract Infection” in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA, 2014 Dec 23;111(51):18327-32.
Michael Shipley, PhD, Professor and Chair, and Adam Puche, PhD, Associate Professor, both from the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, were co-authors on “Cholinergic Inputs From Basal Forebrain Add an Excitatory Bias to Odor Coding in the Olfactory Bulb” in Journal of Neuroscience, 2014;34(14):4654-64. They were also co-authors on Chapter 27, “The Olfactory System,” in The Rat Nervous System, Edition 4 (G. Paxinos, Ed), 2014, and were amonth the co-authors on “Role of Intraglomerular Circuits in Shaping Temporally Structured Responses to Naturalistic Inhalation-Driven Sensory Input to the Olfactory Bulb” in Journal of Neurophysiology, 2015 February 25.
Henry Silverman, MD, MA, Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, was a co-author on “Were There Additional Foreseeable Risks in the SUPPORT Study? Lessons Not Learned from the ARDSnet Clinical Trials” in the Hastings Center Report, 2015; 45(1):21-9.
Rodney Taylor, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, was among the co-authors on “Ex Vivo Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity Inducibility Predicts Efficacy of Cetuximab” in Cancer Immunology Research, 2015 Mar 13 [Epub ahead of print].
Robert Wachbroit, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, authored “Rescue, Strangers, and Research Participants” in The American Journal of Bioethics, 2015 Feb 12;15:(2):21-22.
Su Xu, PhD, Associate Professor, and Rao Gullapalli, PhD, MBA, Professor, both from the Department of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, were among the co-authors on “Prenatal Exposure of Guinea Pigs to the Organophosphorus Pesticide Chlorpyrifos Disrupts the Structural and Functional Integrity of the Brain” in Neurotoxicology, 2015 Feb 19 [Epub ahead of print].
Xiuwu Zhang, BM, DM, Assistant Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, was among the co-authors on “Dopamine Receptor D2 and Associated microRNAs are Involved in Stress Susceptibility and Resistance to Escitalopram Treatment” in The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2015 Mar 3.
On April 8, E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, Vice President of Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and Dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine, announced with deep sadness the passing of one of the legendary figures in School of Medicine history, Elijah Saunders, MD, FACC, FACP, FAHA, FASH, Professor of Medicine and Head of the Section on Hypertension in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine.
Dr. Saunders was an internationally-renowned expert on hypertension in African Americans. He was consistently recognized for his pioneering patient education efforts in raising awareness of high blood pressure and of the connection between diabetes, heart attack and stroke, particularly in the African-American community. He devoted his career to exploring new treatment options and developing innovative programs to reach patients—often in non-traditional settings in the local community—and to educating at-risk members of the population about the importance of cardiovascular health.
A Pioneer and Visionary
Dr. Saunders developed his clinical and leadership skills at a time when there were few African-American colleagues, and even fewer mentors within the field of medicine. He graduated from the School of Maryland in 1960 and became the first African-American resident in internal medicine at what was then University Hospital (now the University of Maryland Medical Center), and the first African-American cardiologist in the state of Maryland in 1965. He was also integral in abolishing segregated hospital wards at University Hospital. Despite the challenges, Dr. Saunders followed his own vision for equality in health care, and became a compassionate leader for what was, at the time, an often overlooked patient population.
“The School of Medicine joins together with the entire University of Maryland Community to mourn the loss of this great pioneer and visionary. In particular, we extend our sincerest condolences to his wife, Dr. Sharon Saunders, and family,” said Dean Reece. “Dr. Saunders transitioned with the grace and dignity that was symbolic of how he carried himself each day. He was a giant, a legend who leaves a legacy that will always live on in the hearts and minds of many of us at the School of Medicine. We will strive to uphold and honor his dedication to science and medicine and his lifelong efforts to respect and preserve every human life,” Dean Reece added.
A Clinician and Researcher
After operating a successful private practice for the first 20 years of his career, Dr. Saunders became a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he pursued research on hypertension among African Americans. Over his career, Dr. Saunders published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and eight books. His research showed that some blood pressure medications are more effective for these patients. As a result of his findings, drug companies often require African Americans to be included in research in general and particularly in research on cardiovascular conditions.
“Dr. Saunders was the true definition of the healing physician,” said Jeffrey A. Rivest, MS, President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center. “His positive demeanor and caring disposition for each and every one of his patients, combined with his passion and persistence in finding a cure, made him one of the most revered doctors in Maryland history. He was a tremendous model for all of us in healthcare to follow.”
Stephen N. Davis, MBBS, the Theodore E. Woodward Endowed Chair and Professor, Department of Medicine, said “Dr. Elijah Saunders is a great loss. He was an innovative and inspirational leader.”
Sanjay Rajagopalan, MBBS, Head of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, added, “We have been proud to have Dr. Saunders as part of our faculty and to lead our hypertension program. Indeed, we are eternally indebted to him for his selfless contribution by continuing to provide uncompensated care for patients in our clinic for more than a decade.”
A Legacy of Leadership
Dr. Saunders was a founding member, past chairman of the board, and past president of the Association of Black Cardiologists; past president, chairman of the board, and founder of both the International Society of Hypertension in Blacks (ISHIB) and the (former) Urban Cardiology Research Center, Inc. He was the co-founder of Heart House of the American College of Cardiology; a charter member of the American Society of Hypertension; past president of the Maryland High Blood Pressure Coordinating Council; former commissioner of the Maryland High Blood Pressure Commission; and chairman, Maryland Advisory Council on High Blood Pressure and Related Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Dr. Saunders was also a violinist and co-founded the University Players Orchestra, known for their concerts in the lobby of the medical center.
In 2006, Dr. Saunders developed the Hair, Heart and Health program, an effort to bring awareness of heart disease to African-American communities via barbers and hairstylists. This work received national and international attention and continues to train barbers and hairstylists to pre-screen customers for hypertension and make referrals for medical care.
In 2011, he received the prestigious Herbert W. Nickens Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges. The award honors those who make outstanding contributions to promote justice in medical education and health care equality. In the same year, he was featured in a documentary commissioned by the Diabetes Awareness Project called “Faces of Diabetes.” Dr. Saunders also received posthumously the Dean’s Distinguished Gold Medal at the 2015 SOM Commencement, in recognition of his exemplary life and work.
The SOM Office of Development and the Department of Medicine were working toward finalizing funds to establish a $1.5 million Elijah Saunders Endowed Professorship in recognition of his lifetime of accomplishments. “Dr. Saunders’ passing only strengthens our resolve to honor his legacy by establishing a permanent mechanism to remember his contributions,” vowed Dean Reece.