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June 2013 Archives


New architecture review judges McGlothlin MEC to be in good company

The June 18 edition of Style Weekly includes a complimentary architectural review of the McGlothlin Medical Education Center by Ed Slipek.

The review leads off with a list chronicling the remarkable architects whose works populate the blocks surrounding the new education center.

“Recently, a jewel by a 21st-century starchitect has been set comfortably into this architectural diadem,” Slipek writes. “It’s a crystallinelike high rise, the James W. and Frances C. McGlothlin Medical Education Center at the VCU School of Medicine.”

The review makes particular note of the restoration of the 70-year-old murals commissioned by then-president William T. Sanger, Ph.D., and it goes on to commend the contemporary art collection that has been assembled in the facility: “It’s also heartening that the dean of the school of medicine, Dr. Jerome Strauss, has continued Sanger’s commitment to the arts by placing contemporary works by VCU-related artists in public places throughout the building.”

Read Style’s Architecture Review: Life of Pei: VCU’s new medical education center excites with the work of a master modern architect.


The Class of 2010’s Jeff Wang is first grad of global health & disparities residency track

Louis J. De Felice, Ph.D.

Dr. Wang examines a patient in Yoro, Honduras.
Photo courtesy of Mike Stevens, M.D., M.P.H.,’s blog, Bugs, Drugs & Global Health.

Jeff Wang, M.D., is the first graduate of VCU’s Global Health & Health Disparities Program (GH2DP) residency track.

Launched last year, the GH2DP track exists within the Internal Medicine Residency Program and is designed to provide motivated residents with a robust curriculum in global health as well as exposure to global health issues. The program has both domestic and international components, and residents have to apply and be accepted into the track. A second resident has applied to the program, which eventually may enroll as many as four trainees.

“While many medical students and residents have identified within themselves a passion to help medically underserved members of society, it can be overwhelming to know how to even begin to approach the problem in a sustainable, data-driven way,” Wang said. “With the demands of the clinical years in medical school and then residency it can be easy to lose sight of that initial passion. I found that the GH2DP residency track provided structure and academic rigor towards that passion, and consequently strengthened and matured it.”

Wang completed approximately 15 hours of online modules, graduate level course work in public health and a quality improvement project related to the GH2DP’s medical records system in Honduras. He also undertook an IRB-approved survey examining satisfaction with brigade care.

“VCU’s annual brigade to Northern Honduras has been tweaked and refined to reflect years of ongoing meticulous research, and has subsequently seen increases in patient and provider satisfaction. It was very rewarding to experience that first hand,” said Wang. “My hope is that as I go forward in my training I will continue to build on the concepts I learned from the GH2DP residency track and incorporate them in my daily practice, both domestically and abroad.”

After earning his medical degree from the VCU School of Medicine in 2010, Wang remained on the MCV Campus to complete his internal medicine residency training. This July, he will begin work as a hospitalist at Richmond’s Chippenham and Johnston Willis hospitals and will apply for an infectious disease fellowship.

Learn more about the Global Health & Health Disparities Program residency track.


Bela Sood: First Virginian elected as Secretary of AACAP

Aradhana “Bela” Sood, M.D.

Aradhana “Bela” Sood, M.D.

Aradhana “Bela” Sood, M.D., will begin her term this October as secretary of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Sood is the first Virginian elected to this position within her field, child psychiatry. Elections within AACAP prohibit individuals from campaigning for a governing position. Sood’s electoral win can be credited to her impressive reputation and notable work recognition.

Sood, who has been a member of AACAP for nearly 30 years, hopes to use her tenure as secretary to address issues pertaining to access to mental healthcare by building collaborations within health care delivery systems that take care of children and explore ways to reduce stigma associated with mental illness. She expects to assist AACAP’s executive council in identifying gaps in delivery of mental health services nationally and assist in key decisions for the organization that would shape policy and improve strategic relationships among various healthcare agencies to deliver quality care to children.

An ELAM Fellow (2003), Sood currently serves as chair of the Division of Child Psychiatry at VCU’s School of Medicine and as medical director of the Virginia Treatment Center for Children. Sood received her M.D. from Jiwaji University, India, and completed her residency and fellowship at the University of Missouri and Ohio State University, respectively, and earned her Masters of Science in Health Administration in 2006 from VCU. Her specialties include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and mood disorders. Her interests are in national health care policy, systems of care in mental health and advocacy for children’s health.


Class of 1977’s Chris Colenda to lead West Virginia United Health System

Christopher C. Colenda, M.D., M.P.H., has been named the next president and CEO of the West Virginia United Health System, the largest healthcare network in the state. In January 2014 he will become the third leader of the health system, which was founded in 1996.

The health system includes WVU’s flagship academic medical center Ruby Memorial Hospital and other medical centers around the state. It employs nearly 12,000 people and cares for nearly one-quarter of West Virginia’s hospital patients.

Colenda has been chancellor for health sciences at West Virginia University since 2009. Prior to that he served as the Jean and Thomas McMullin Dean of the College of Medicine of Texas A&M Health Science Center and Vice President for Clinical Affairs.

In 2003, VCU celebrated Colenda’s contributions to the medical field by naming him one of the medical school’s Alumni Stars.

Read more about Colenda’s new responsibilities or his days on the MCV Campus.


Ian Nixon inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame

Nixon Rugby

John V. “Ian” Nixon, M.D.

On a rugby playing field, there’s just one referee. There are 30 players of varying sizes and strengths. But just one man, carrying a whistle, charged with making sure the game is played according to the sport’s laws. That’s right. Not rules. Laws.

It’s a role in which John V. “Ian” Nixon, M.D., excelled. So much so, in fact, that he was inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame this summer.

For more than a decade, Nixon traveled the world refereeing dozens of high-profile international match-ups. He was America’s first international referee and, at his retirement in 1987, the country’s highest ranking – a position he held for seven years running.

Nixon never looked to be recognized in this way and, while he counts it an honor that his Hall of Fame election was voted on by respected colleagues, he says, “The memories are what count. That and your enjoyment of it.”

His love of the game got its start in his native England. He caught his first rugby pass when he was eight and went on to play for nearly 30 years, earning the position of scrumhalf, akin to the quarterback in football.

Throughout his playing and refereeing days, he was always very strict about sending players with serious bleeding cuts to the sidelines, and he’d re-set the occasional dislocated finger. But few on the field knew he was a physician.

In 1972, he immigrated to the United States, securing a residency at Worcester City Hospital in Massachusetts and later a prestigious cardiology fellowship at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. There he trained with Richard Gorlin, M.D., famed for developing a formula still considered the gold standard for evaluating the severity of valve stenosis.

While in Boston, he became interested in echocardiography. Then in its infancy, the non-invasive technology held the potential to give cardiologists a moving picture of the heart. In 1974, he was recruited by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to bring that potential to Dallas, where he could continue his fellowship training. Echocardiography would be the cornerstone of his career, first in Dallas and later at VCU. Over the past 40 years, he says, “the technology has grown more sophisticated and more common.” When he arrived on the MCV Campus in 1986, the hospital did 1,450 procedures a year. Now it’s up to 12,000.

His affinity for sports didn’t end on the rugby field. He’s known for his book chapter The Athlete’s Heart published in the textbook “Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Cardiology,” and he’s conducted studies on heart function in athletes. Findings from those and other studies have resulted in the publication of more than 130 original papers, book chapters and review articles, and he’s presented more than 170 abstracts at international, national and regional scientific meetings.

He may be best known as the two-time editor of “The AHA Clinical Cardiac Consult Book.” Nixon describes it as a cardiac textbook for the non-cardiologist with its fast, reliable guidance on the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular problems. His stellar work on the project, first in 2006 and again in 2011, resulted last year in the American Heart Association recognizing him with its Award of Meritorious Achievement.

Today a professor of internal medicine and director of Cardiovascular Imaging and Noninvasive Cardiology, Nixon says he still calls on skills he learned on the rugby field. As a referee, he prided himself on his game and player management, developing a rapport with the teams that he could use to defuse conflict.

He was known for his deft management of people under stress. “It’s two 40-minute halves of continuous play. The physiological demands are enormously high.” He compares it to managing medical personnel in critical situations: “When they are exhausted, fuses are shorter, concentration is more fixed.”

Those skills paved the way for Nixon’s Hall of Fame election. Nixon is among just the third class of inductees. His level of service to the sport sets him apart, having also served two terms as president of the United States of America Rugby Football Union.

Now he limits his involvement to that of spectator. He’s eagerly anticipating the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. After all, he points out, the USA has to defend the Olympic gold it won the last time rugby was played. In the Paris Olympics, back in 1924.

MCV’s Rugby Roster

We don’t have enough to field a 15-man team, but we could almost manage a seven-a-side squad, like those that will play in the 2016 Olympics.

John Duval

John Duval

Martin Graham

Martin Graham

Ian Nixon

Ian Nixon

Jerry Strauss

Jerry Strauss

John Duval, MBA, FACHE, chief executive officer of MCV Hospitals, VCU Health Systems, played two positions: prop forward (front row) and lock (second row) for University of California Irvine RFC ‘74-‘76; Irvine Coast RFC ‘76-‘77; Long Island RFC ‘77-‘78; Irvine Coast RFC ‘78-‘82; Southern California Rugby Referee Society ‘82-‘85

Martin Graham, M.D., professor of pediatrics, biochemistry and physiology, and chief, Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, played hooker for Prince Edward High School 1st XV ‘66, ‘67, Salisbury, Rhodesia; Rhodesian Schoolboys, Craven Week, Pretoria, South Africa ‘67; University of Capetown ‘68-‘72

John V. “Ian” Nixon, M.D., professor of internal medicine and director of Cardiovascular Imaging and Noninvasive Cardiology, played scrumhalf for University of Manchester, England ‘59-‘65; Heaton Moor RFC, Stockport England ‘65-‘71; Boston RFC ‘72-‘74; Dallas Harlequins RFC ‘74-‘76

Jerry Strauss, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Medicine and executive vice president for medical affairs, VCU Health System, played lock for Brown University, ‘67-‘69


Residents and Fellows Share Findings at Annual Research Day

Physicians today must be life-long learners with the skills to judge whether the latest research findings should change the way they care for patients. To hone those skills, residents training in the various specialties at the VCU Medical Center are increasingly getting first-hand experience leading their own research projects.

Each year, the Resident-Fellow Research Day gives the physicians-in-training the chance to showcase their research findings through poster and oral presentations. This year’s event, held on Thursday, June 6, 2013 in the Molecular Medicine Research Building, drew more than 80 presenters.

For topics ranging from hepatitis C to prostate cancer and traumatic brain injury, prizes were awarded to half a dozen residents and fellows in the categories of clinical science research, basic science research and poster presentations.

“In the 10 years we’ve held Research Day, I’ve been impressed with the quality of the work presented by our residents and fellows,” said Mary Alice O’Donnell, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate medical education. “They have much to be proud of with the important work that they are pursuing.”

Throughout its 10-year run, the Research Day has been coordinated by Evan Reiter, M.D., an associate professor and director of Otolaryngology’s residency program, and Stephanie Brown, an administrative staff specialist in the otolaryngology department. This year’s judges were Diane Biskobing, M.D., Brian Kaplan, M.D., Arti Pandya, M.D., M.B.A., Bruce Spiess, M.D., Frank Macrina, Ph.D., and Gonzalo Bearman, M.D. Laurie Lyckholm, M.D., Evan Reiter, M.D., and Brandon Wills, D.O., reviewed the submitted abstracts.

To encourage residents to get involved with research, the Graduate Medical Education Office teamed up with VCU’s Center for Clinical and Translational Research to organize a research primer held earlier this year that familiarized more than 100 residents with concepts like research design and Institutional Review Boards.

2013 Resident-Fellow Research Day Prize Winners

1st Place Prize in Clinical Science Research
Julie Linatoc, M.D., Fellow in Internal Medicine Nephrology Transplant
Effect of induction therapy with thymoglobulin on outcome in hepatitis C infected kidney transplant recipients: A single center experience

2nd Place Prize in Clinical Science Research
M. Luke Gambill, D.O., Fellow in Internal Medicine Cardiovascular Diseases
Interleukin-1 blockade with anakinra induces endogenous production of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor in patients with STEMI

1st Place Prize in Basic Science Research
Albert Petrossian, M.D., Resident in Urology
Molecular imaging of dendritic cell trafficking in vivo in a murine prostate cancer model

2nd Place Prize in Basic Science Research
Tommy Pacana, M.D., Fellow, Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology Research
Dysregulated methionine metabolism and hyperhomocysteinemia in diet-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

1st Place Poster Award
Jawad Al-Khafaji, M.D., Resident, Internal Medicine
Synergistic interactions between the irreversible proteasome inhibitor cafrfilzomib and the selective HDAC6 inhibitor ACY1215 in DLBCL cells sensitive or resistant to bortezomib

2nd Place Poster Award
Kendall Leonard, M.D., Resident, Anesthesiology Research
Effects of oxygent perfluorocarbon therapy on alpha II spectrin biomarker of brain damage and cognitive outcome associated with repetitive air blast traumatic brain injury

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Updated: 04/29/2016