Tag Archives: Faculty

American Heart Association honors Dr. John Spertus with Distinguished Scientist Award

John Spertus, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and Daniel J. Lauer, M.D., Endowed Chair in Metabolism and Vascular Disease Research, was honored with the American Heart Association’s 2018 Distinguished Scientist Award.

John Spertus, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and Daniel J. Lauer, M.D., Endowed Chair in Metabolism and Vascular Disease Research, received the American Heart Association’s 2018 Distinguished Scientist Award on Nov. 11 at the AHA Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

The award recognizes prominent scientists and clinicians who have made significant and sustained contributions to advancing the understanding, management and treatment of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

As clinical director of outcomes research at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, Spertus developed technology that guides physicians and patients in medical-decision making by using models to measure and predict the risk factors of various procedures. Many experts cite two tools he created — the Seattle Angina Questionnaire and the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire — as the gold standards for measuring symptoms, function and quality of life in treating coronary artery disease and heart failure. Both have been translated into more than 95 languages.

“I am humbled by the honor to be recognized by the AHA for our work to improve the patient-centeredness of care,” Spertus said. “While traditionally the basic sciences are prioritized, to see the work of our community to improve care and outcomes is a terrific validation of the collective efforts of my entire team and colleagues.”

Spertus is the founder of two outcomes research organizations. The Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Consortium and CV Outcomes is a non-profit corporation dedicated to advancing health care quality and outcomes research in cardiovascular disease. The Health Outcomes Sciences is an information technology company that implements precision medicine in clinical care.

He is currently leading a regional effort with BioNexus KC and the Frontiers CTSA to bring local hospitals together in collaboration to improve the value of health care in Kansas City.

This is Spertus’ third major award from the AHA. He previously received the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 and the Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Distinguished Achievement Award in 2013.

Sutkin receives NIH grant to develop technology for safer surgeries

Gary Sutkin, M.D., has received a $600,000 research grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop technology that will make surgeries safer.

Gary Sutkin, M.D., director of the UMKC School of Medicine’s Surgical Innovations Laboratory, has received a three-year, $600,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop simulation technology that can be used to prevent surgical errors.

With magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a 3-D printer, Sutkin plans to create a high-fidelity pelvic simulator and use motion analysis to identify surgical errors involved in Midurethral Sling surgery.

Sutkin, professor of surgery, serves as associate dean for women’s health and is Victor and Caroline Shutte Endowed Chair in Women’s Health at the School of Medicine. He chose this particular surgery for his research because it is common in older women and includes a high-risk step. During the procedure, the surgeon must blindly guide a sharp, pointed steel trocar past vital structures, including the bladder, bowel, and major blood vessels.

Performed to improve quality of life, the procedure also has the potential for catastrophic outcomes.

The project will use MRI to create a virtual model of a human pelvis of a patient with reproducible stress urinary incontinence. From that, a 3-D model will be printed, assembled and tested for fidelity to human tissue.

A group of five seasoned surgeon who are experts in Midurethral Surgery and five surgeons who are novices in the procedure will perform the surgery on the model. Motion analysis will collect kinematic data of shoulder, elbow, and wrist motions. The information will be combined into a 3-D model to analyze movements that lead to the most common errors: perforation of the bladder or bowel, and injury to the external iliac veins.

Sutkin’s groundbreaking research has the potential to have a major impact on the prevention of surgical errors by minimizing patient distress and health care costs. Once successful, Sutkin said he plans to incorporate the technology into the School of Medicine’s surgical residency program and apply the approach to reducing errors in other surgeries.

In Memoriam: Shui Qing Ye

Ye, Shui Qing

Remembering Shui Qing Ye
(1954-2018)

School of Medicine faculty member and renowned researcher Shui Qing Ye, M.D., Ph.D., died on Oct. 24 following a prolonged illness.

A professor in the Department of Pediatrics, and professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics, Ye served as the William R. Brown / Missouri Endowed chair in Medical Genetics and Molecular Medicine. He also served as director of the Division of Experimental and Translational Genetics and Core of Omic Research at Children’s Mercy.

He is survived by wife and research collaborator, Li Qin Zhang, an associate professor at the UMKC School of Medicine, and daughter, YuMin Ye.

“Our hearts are broken,” said Mary Anne Jackson, interim dean at the UMKC School of Medicine and his colleague at Children’s Mercy. “He was a dedicated faculty member and excellent researcher, but above all that, he was one of the kindest people I have known.”

An expert in genomic and translational bioinformatics, Ye had a strong track record of using new-age tools to gather and explore Big Data. He was a highly active researcher, partnering with local and worldwide scientists to pinpoint new diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for human diseases.

“He was a fellow University of Chicago graduate, co-author, co-teacher and briefly, I had the privilege of having him as the chair of the department where I hold a courtesy appointment in the UMKC School of Medicine — I already miss him terribly,” said Gerald J. Wyckoff, interim chair of the Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences, UMKC School of Pharmacy. “He was a rare individual with a true appreciation not only for the results of science, but for the process of science. He enriched a lot of lives; mine included.”

A principal investigator or co-investigator for many National Institutes of Health-funded research studies, Ye served on grant review panels for the NIH-National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the U.S. Department of Defense and the American Heart Association.

He authored two highly acclaimed books on bioinformatics and Big Data:Bioinformatics — A Practical Approach, published in 2007, and “Big Data Analysis for Bioinformatics and Biomedical Discoveries,” published in 2016.

Before joining UMKC faculty in 2010, Ye served as director of the Gene Expression Profiling Core at the Center of Translational Respiratory Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also served as director of the Molecular Resource Core at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

Ye earned his medical degree from Wuhan University School of Medicine at Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in lipid metabolism at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City, and received his Ph.D. in molecular mechanisms of disease from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

Visitation will be from 2 to 3 p.m. and a memorial service from 3 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3 at Mt. Moriah, Newcomer and Freeman Funeral Home, 10507 Holmes Road, Kansas City, MO 64131.

 

UMKC School of Medicine receives full, eight-year LCME accreditation

The UMKC School of Medicine on Oct. 22 received an official letter from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education announcing a full, eight-year accreditation. It is the highest level and the maximum accreditation term granted by the committee.

An LCME survey team visited the School of Medicine last spring, reviewing 93 elements of the school and its programs.

“The comprehensive evaluation of our school by the LCME allows us to continue to improve and to focus on opportunities to enhance our curriculum and support for students,” said School of Medicine Interim Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., ‘78 “The full accreditation for the maximum term clearly reflects the vitality of the school and underscores the programmatic excellence achieved by our faculty, staff and students.”

Jackson said she is committed to ensuring that School of Medicine culture is dedicated to maintaining a curriculum that enhances the program, advancing diversity among students, staff and faculty, and promoting a supportive and professional environment for all students.

The LCME is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association as the accrediting body for academic programs throughout the country leading to an M.D. degree.

LCME accreditation indicates that the M.D. degree program meets the appropriate national standards for educational quality and that graduates of the program are sufficiently prepared for the next stage of medical training.

Pediatrics researcher receives humanitarian award

Richard Schwend, M.D., professor of orthopaedics and pediatrics, received the Walter P. Blount Humanitarian Award from the Scoliosis Research Society.

Richard Schwend, M.D., professor of orthopaedics and pediatrics, was recently honored with the Walter P. Blount Humanitarian Award by the Scoliosis Research Society.

The award recognizes outstanding service to patients with spinal deformities and generosity to the profession of scoliosis research. It was presented during the 53rd annual Scoliosis Research Society Annual Meeting in Bologna, Italy, in October.

Schwend serves as chief of orthopaedic research at Children’s Mercy Hospital, one of the UMKC School of Medicine’s partner teaching hospitals. He recently completed the Global Clinical Research Training Research Program at Harvard University.

For the past 18 years, Schwend has been active in a humanitarian effort in Ecuador for children with spinal deformities. He also serves as the medical director for Project Perfect World, Ecuador, a program that sponsors the Ecuador Spine Project.

The immediate past president of the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America, Schwend received the organization’s Humanitarian Award in 2014 and its Special Effort award in 2013. He also served as chair of the Orthopaedic Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics from 2010-2014 and created a scholarship program to provide residents with international global experiences.

 

School of Medicine celebrates faculty, student achievements

The School of Medicine recognized 36 faculty members who recently received promotions and tenure and presented six special awards for faculty and student achievements during a reception on Sept. 28 at Diastole.

This year’s list included 12 faculty promotions to the rank of professor and 24 to the rank of associate professor. Visit the School of Medicine web site for the complete list of faculty promotions.

Special Award Recognitions

Louise E Arnold Excellence in Medical Education Research Award
George Thompson, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry, received the third-annual award that recognizes someone who has contributed to innovation and scholarship in medical education.

Thompson says his goal in medical education is to support students in fully integrating humanism, good communication, and professionalism into their practice of competent biological medicine. He has served as course director for the School of Medicine’s courses on fundamentals of medical practice and CUES to medical communication. A nomination letter recognized him for nurturing medical professionalism in his students.


Betty M. Drees, M.D., Awards for Excelling in Mentoring
The fifth-annual awards were presented to faculty members for their excellence in mentoring, guiding, coaching and sponsoring students, trainees, staff and peer faculty.

Prakash Chandra, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, received the award presented each year to an assistant or associate professor. Chandra joined the School of Medicine faculty in 2013. In letters supporting his nomination, Chandra’s trainees wrote, “I cannot remember a single time where Dr. Chandra was not there for us. No matter how busy he is, he always put his mentees ahead. He is a great listener and eager to teach. In addition to being a guide, Dr. Chandra has pushed me to achieve more than I could imagine.”


Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D., vice dean of the School of Medicine, received the Lifetime Achieve in Mentoring Award that is given to a full professor. Letters of nomination noted Cuddy’s 37 years of service to the School of Medicine where he has also served as senior associate dean for academic affair and associate dean for the curriculum among many other roles. One wrote, “Paul is a careful listener, gives constructive feedback and criticism in a manner that leaves a feeling that something was accomplished. He is the soul of the SOM.”


Christopher Papasian Excellence in Teaching Award
Theodore Cole, Ph.D, professor of biomedical sciences, received the second-annual award recognizing a faculty member who excels in medical student education through innovative contributors to the educational mission. Cole has served a member of the School of Medicine’s biomedical sciences faculty since 1999. His students commended his encouragement and support in their nomination letters for the award. “Never a more respectful or gracious man, and with such a calming, ‘it’s not so complicated’ voice, he teaches.”


Excellence in Diversity and Health Equity in Medicine Awards
These awards recognize an individual or organization that has demonstrated sustained and impactful contribution to diversity, inclusion and cultural competency or health equity. The award is given to a student or student organization, and to faculty, staff, resident and/or organization/department.

Taylor Carter, a sixth-year medical student received the student award for her leadership and service with many school and national organizations. A member of Student National Medical Association, a national organization representing underrepresented minority medical students, since 2013, she currently serves as chair of the national academic affairs committee.

Carter has also served as a School of Medicine student representative to the diversity council as well as a student representative to the Children’s Mercy Diversity General Medical Education Sub-Committee. She works with School of Medicine partners on cultural competency curriculum reform to improve the student training in areas such as social determinants of health, personal biases and treating individuals from different backgrounds.

Two groups, the UMKC Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and the Children’s Mercy Hospital Faculty and Trainee Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (FTEDI) Committee, received diversity awards for organizations.

In the past year, the school’s SNMA chapter currently partnered with the Linwood YMCA to provide members who assist with its events, including the Launchpad after-school program, tutoring and mentoring middle and high school students. The chapter has also initiated new programming including a cultural competency workshop and a campus Living Culture event to celebrate diversity. For the past nine years, the organization has conducted a Black History Month Celebration that allows students to display their talents, while educating the audience about health issues that predominately affect the African American and Hispanic population.

The Children’s Mercy FTEDI Committee began as a grassroots effort led by physicians Bridgette Jones, Tamorah Lewis and Jaszianne Tolbert to improve diversity among the pediatrics residency class. The group has since implemented initiatives producing active national recruitment outreach to underrepresented minority trainees and faculty candidates, bias training for hospital leadership, a visiting professorship by national leaders and an elective for minority medical students.

Dr. Mark Nichols appointed interim chair of Biomedical and Health Informatics

School of Medicine Interim Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., has appointed Mark Nichols, Ph.D., interim chair of the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics effective August 1, 2018. In this role, he will work closely with faculty, staff and students to help position the department as a catalyst for innovation and creativity.

Dr. Nichols received his Ph.D. from Yale University in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry. He then undertook postdoctoral training in molecular biology at the German Cancer Research Center, and the European Molecular Biology Lab, both in Heidelberg.

In 1998, Dr. Nichols returned to the United States as an assistant professor of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine.

From 2010-2016, he served as a Scientist Administrator for Research Development in the Senior Vice Chancellor’s Office of Research at the University of Pittsburgh. In that capacity, he served all six health science schools at the University of Pittsburgh with the specific objective of assisting other investigators in their quest to obtain extramural research funding. His work resulted in 77 grants funded for more than $121 million.

In 2016, Dr. Nichols was recruited to UMKC as Associate Dean for Research at the School of Nursing and Health Studies and as Associate Research Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics at the School of Medicine.

His expertise includes molecular mechanisms of drug and enzyme action, molecular biology, mutagenesis, cloning, signal transduction, genomic regulation, cell cycle, and steroid hormones, with peer-reviewed publications in 20 biomedical journals, an siRNA biotechnology patent, and funding from NIH (NIDDK, NCI), DOD CDRMP, and American Cancer Society.

Kansas City Marathon offers UMKC School of Medicine discount

The UMKC School of Medicine is serving as a Gold Sponsor of the 2018 Kansas City Marathon, and race organizers are excited to offer a 15 percent discount on race registration fees to all  faculty, staff, students and residents. This year’s event will take place on Oct. 20 with four race distances to chose from — 5K, 10K, half marathon or full marathon.

The discount code can be used for any of the KC Marathon’s race distances. The event is open to walkers as well as runners.

To get the discount, simply copy and paste or enter 15OFF2018KCM in the “Got a discount code?” box near the end of the online registration process at www.kcmarathon.org. Please note that this discount code is case sensitive. It must be entered exactly as it appears.

Why should you participate in the Kansas City Marathon on October 20?

  • This is Kansas City’s largest and most exciting race. It gives runners a tour of the city’s most beautiful landmarks and interesting neighborhoods, including the World War I Memorial, the Country Club Plaza, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Waldo, Westport, 18th & Vine and more.
  • The race has distance options for all fitness levels with a 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon.
  • There are fireworks to kick off the race and a huge after party with live music, free food and free beer!
  • All runners will receive a participant shirt, a large finisher’s medal, free downloadable race photos and more.
  • After you conquer the Kansas City hills, you’ll be rewarded with a lightning-fast downhill finish that includes a breathtaking view of the Kansas City skyline!
  • Still not sure? Click here to check out their 2017 recap video to learn what the Kansas City Marathon is all about.

School of Medicine welcomes new docent to Blue 1 unit

Rishi Sharma, M.D.

The School of Medicine welcomed Rishi Sharma, M.D., M.H.S.A., to the faculty as the new docent for the Blue 1 unit on July 1.

In addition to his role as assistant professor of internal medicine at the School of Medicine, he will also serve as a research associate in cardiovascular and renal research at the Kansas City VA Medical Center.

Before joining the School of Medicine, Sharma served two years as a hospitalist at Overland Park Regional Medical Center in Overland Park, Kansas. He has also served as a hospitalist and director of cardiopulmonary services at St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City, Kansas.

Sharma brings a research background, having served as a research assistant at the Midwest Biomedical Research Foundation in Kansas City.

He came to the United States after earning his medical degree from the Guwahati Medical College in India. He received a master’s in health services administration at the Kansas University Medical Center, then completed his internal medicine residency at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York. There, he was recognized as Intern of the Year.

In addition, Sharma served as chief resident at Nassau University, and as an instructor for Introduction to Clinical Medicine at the State University of New York-Stony Brook.

The author of many research posters, presentations and journal articles, Sharma is also a member of many health care societies including the American Heart Association, Doctors for America and the American College of Health Care Executives.

School of Medicine seeks nominations for annual awards

The School of Medicine is accepting nominations until Aug. 1 for four faculty, staff and student awards. These will recognize achievements in diversity and health equity, mentoring, medical education research and teaching.

The Excellence in Diversity and Health Equity in Medicine Awards recognize an individual or organization that has demonstrated sustained and impactful contribution to diversity, inclusion and cultural competency or health equity. The award is given to a student or student organization, and to faculty, staff, resident and/or organization/department.

Nominees should be those who have made consistent contributions to diversity, inclusion, cultural competency or health equity through one or more of the following:

o Recruiting or retaining a diverse student or faculty body;
o Fostering an inclusive environment for success of all;
o Working to promote health equity and the elimination of health disparities;
o Strengthening efforts to develop or implement cultural competency strategies that improve health-care delivery.

Nomination materials should be sent to the attention of Dr. Nate Thomas, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at thomasen@umkc.edu

Two Betty M. Drees, M.D., Excellence in Mentoring Awards are presented each year. The Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award is for a faculty member with the rank of professor. The Excellence in Mentoring Award goes to a faculty member who is either an associate or assistant professor.

The awards recognize the significant contributions mentors make to enhance and develop the careers of our faculty and trainees. Characteristics of successful mentoring include generosity, listening, objectivity, and constructive feedback regarding career and professional/personal development.

The third annual Louise E. Arnold, Ph.D., Excellence in Medical Education Research Award will be given to a tenure track or non-tenure track faculty member who has contributed to innovation and scholarship related to medical education at UMKC School of Medicine for a minimum of five years.

The second annual Christopher Papasian, Ph.D., Excellence in Teaching Award will be given to a tenure track or nontenure track faculty member who has contributed to medical student pre-clinical education.

Nominations for the mentoring, medical education research and teaching awards should be sent to Dr. Rebecca R. Pauly, chair, selection committee, at paulyr@umkc.edu.

Winners of the awards will be announced on Sept. 13th during the annual Faculty Promotion and Awards reception at 4 p.m. in Theater B.

Past award recipients:

Excellence in Diversity and Health Equity in Medicine Awards
Individual:
2015 Jim Stanford
2016 Fariha Shafi
2017 Briana Woods-Jaeger
Organization:
2015 Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association
2016 Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association
2017 Gender Pathways

Betty M. Drees, M.D. Excellence in Mentoring Awards
Lifetime Achievement Awards:
2014 Vidya Sharma
2015 John Foxworth
2016 Agostino Molteni
2017 Julie Strickland

Excellence in Mentoring Awards:
2014 Simon Kaja
2015 Vincent Barone
2016 Pamela Nicklaus
2017 Brenda Rogers

Louise E. Arnold, Ph.D., Excellence in Medical Education Research Award
2016 Louise Arnold
2017 Stefanie Ellison

Christopher Papasian, Ph.D., Excellence in Teaching Research
2017 Christopher Papasian