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June 2019 Research Edition

The chemicals used to flavor e-cigarettes have a detrimental effect on the cells that line the interior of blood vessels and could eventually harm heart health when inhaled, results from a study led by Won Hee Lee, PhD, an assistant professor at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, and Joseph Wu, MD, director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute revealed. The study was published last week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. “We found the e-liquids caused changes in the endothelial cells that are closely related to those seen during the development of cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Lee said.

Study Discovers “Metabolic Fingerprint” to Help Treat Cervical Cancer

UA researchers completed the first-of-its-kind study that could aid in the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of cervical cancer by identifying cervicovaginal metabolic signatures that distinguish patients with HPV, pre-cancerous cervical conditions and cancer. An interdisciplinary team led by Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz, PhD, associate professor at the College, integrated cutting-edge analyses, including metabolomics, to reveal new information about how viruses, bacteria, inflammation and disease impact metabolic signatures.

Researchers Share Discoveries at ABRC Conference

More than 140 researchers gathered at the College to present their grant-funded research at the fourth annual Arizona Biomedical Research Centre (ABRC) Conference last month. The event, sponsored by the College’s Research Office, displayed the work of 80 awardees from the Flinn Foundation, Valley Research Partnership and the ABRC. Jennifer Barton, PhD, director of the UA BIO5 Institute, delivered the keynote address and Paul Keim, PhD, (pictured) executive director of the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute at Northern Arizona University, presented new approaches to C. Difficile infections.

BUMCP House Staff Quality and Safety Day Offers Innovative Solutions to Improve Patient Care

Four residents and fellows from the College presented innovative solutions to enhance the safety and quality of care for their patients at the sixth annual House Staff Quality and Safety Day at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix. More than 130 residents and fellows attended sessions to learn about the cost-effective and research-backed projects being implemented by their colleagues. Internal Medicine residents Daniel Hannon, DO, and Kelly Zucker, DO, were awarded best presentation and project for “Clostridium Difficile: Improving Hospital Management.”

College Hosts 23rd Annual Academic Excellence Day

The 23rd annual Academic Excellence Day showcased bench research by residents, fellows, medical and graduate students, clinical allied health and physician staff from seven Phoenix-area hospitals. The day, hosted by the College, included 118 poster presentations and 23 oral presentations. Participating hospitals included Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH), Maricopa Integrated Health System and HonorHealth. Terence Stull, MD, senior vice president and chief research officer at PCH delivered the keynote.

Newest Members Inducted Into Gold Humanism Honor Society

Twelve third-year medical students from the College were inducted into the Phoenix chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. The group recognizes extraordinary individuals in the medical field who serve as role models, mentors and leaders to their fellow students and to the community. Mark Fischione, MD, and Stephanie Briney, DO, were chosen by the students as faculty inductees.


Recent graduate Gabriella Smith, MD, was awarded the John H. Mattox, MD, Award at the Phoenix Obstetrical and Gynecological Society Resident Research Night. Dr. Mattox, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, created the award to recognize a fourth-year student who has demonstrated academic excellence and dedication to women’s health. Smith is a resident at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.

Congratulations to Michelle Dorsey, MD, who has been recognized with a Service to the Citizen Award for her work in the White House Leadership Fellowship program. Dr. Dorsey, chief of Radiology at the Phoenix VA Health Care System and a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Radiology at the College, is serving as the first Department of Veterans Affairs physician in the White House program. 

Cynthia Standley, PhD, has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Phoenix Center for the Arts. Dr. Stanley is director of the College’s Art in Medicine program and a professor in the Department of Bioethics and Medical Humanism.

Maha Saber, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow in the Translational Neurotrauma Research Program, has earned the National Neurotrauma Society WiNTR-VISA for 2019. The visiting international scholar award allows a female scientist to travel overseas for a collaboration to expand her technical training.  Additionally, Dr. Saber earned a Postdoctoral Research Development Grant and the title “University of Arizona Sursum Fellow.” The funds will support Dr. Saber to refine procedures to quantify synapse in the injured and recovering brain.

Congratulations to Pathway scholar Isiah Romo, who was chosen to receive the University of Arizona Health Sciences Office of Diversity and Inclusion Arizona Health Opportunities Pathways to Excellence scholarship for $7,000.

Howard Silverman, MD, one of the founders of the College who retired in 2017, continues to impact the field of biomedical informatics. Dr. Silverman was lead author for a seminal white paper released by the American Medical Informatics Association detailing the results of a first-of-its-kind workforce practice analysis for clinical informatics subspecialty diplomates.

An article by Cammy Bellis, MEd, education and training specialist for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, was recently published in Family Court Review, an interdisciplinary journal for the Association of Family and Conciliatory Courts. The article discussed recommendations for non-intact families with transgender and gender non-conforming children who may have a higher risk of depression.

Anna Burke, MD, clinical associate professor of Psychiatry, and Frederic Zenhausern, PhD, MBA, professor and director of the Center for Applied NanoBioscience and Medicine, were named Healthcare Innovators of the Year by the editorial board of AZ Business magazine. Kevin N. Foster, MD, MBA, clinical professor of surgery and chief of the Arizona Burn Center, and Michael L. Ritchey, MD, professor of Child Health and chief medical officer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, were also named Physicians of the Year.

Beating the Odds: What it Takes to Have a Healthy Heart

1 in 2 Americans will develop cardiovascular disease. What is being done? Download the latest podcast featuring Dean Guy Reed, MD, MS, Martha Gulati, MD, MS, and Taben Hale, PhD, who discuss the newest research and treatments for heart disease.


Alumni Spotlight: Tabz’ Journey to an MD

Harlan Stone Surgery Scholarship Day
June 6


Grand Rounds
June 19

White Coat Ceremony
July 19


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