Tag Archives: Faculty

‘Slow Medicine’ aims to foster more thoughtful care

Pieter Cohen, M.D., gave the 31st lecture in the William Goodson Jr., M.D., Memorial Lectureship series.

In an age of rapidly advancing technology and conflicting economic forces, it is important to guard against overuse of medical treatments and interventions, according to Pieter Cohen, M.D. He was this year’s William Goodson Jr. lecturer.

Cohen, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, spoke Nov. 3 about “Slow Medicine,” the approach he and others promote at slowmedupdates.com. Cohen described Slow Medicine as thoughtful practice that involves patients, relies on the best evidence available and is “applied to help decrease excessive and potentially harmful interventions.”

Relatively high use of medical resources and procedures does not produce better results in many areas, Cohen said. For example, research indicates that 30 percent of U.S. knee replacement surgeries are not appropriate. That’s 200,000 major surgeries a year that should have been avoided, he said, resulting in 14,000 people needlessly suffering serious complications and side effects.

Similarly, aggressively ordering lots of CT scans and other tests can result in other overtreatments, not to mention increased anxiety and other side effects, he said, especially when tests produce false positive results.

Cohen cited research in 1973 by John Wennberg, M.D., author of “Tracking Medicine,” who identified the two main drivers of medical overuse. One is supply, so that adding physicians, specialists and hospital beds to an area will increase its use of medicine. The other is the style of medical practice prevalent in an area.

When Wennberg did his research, it was rejected by the Journal of the American Medical Association. But Dartmouth University then financed Wennberg’s work and started the Atlas Project, which examined patterns of medical use and resource intensity in the U.S.

According to Cohen, Wennberg’s conclusions have been proven correct, and Slow Medicine “digs deeper into the style issue to figure out what we can do better.” By involving patients, fully looking at options and not quickly reaching for a specific diagnosis and treatment, he said, Slow Medicine can improve care.

Economic pressures from pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers can promote overuse of some treatments, while cost pressures can curb others than might be beneficial. Slow Medicine tries to put the focus back on what’s best for the patient, which can end up saving money, but for the right reasons. It also keeps physicians from doing things mainly to make themselves feel better, and can prevent extending a treatment that works for some types of patients to others for whom it really wouldn’t be beneficial.

Cohen said Slow Medicine also can take more effort, to fully explain possible risks and rewards of different treatment choices, so that patients have more information and can know that there’s a good case to be made for more than one treatment option. In the end, more thoughtful, appropriate and caring practice can result.

Slow Medicine also is “about letting go of a specific, certain diagnosis” in favor of a more general assessment and then watchful waiting for signs of a particular ailment or for a clearer indication that treatment is needed. The slower approach often provides time for healing without intervention, he said, or provides the data needed to take the best treatment approach possible.

Cohen was the 31st speaker in the William B. Goodson Jr., M.D., Memorial Lectureship, which was established in 1987 by a group of families, patients, colleagues and friends to honor Goodson’s many contributions to medicine.

Pieter Cohen, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, was flanked by David Wooldridge, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the UMKCSchool of Medicine, and John Goodson, M.D., also an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, who presented last year’s lecture in the series named for his father, William Goodson, M.D.

The right dose of research could help children, professor says

J. Steven Leeder

The challenge of finding the right dosage of medicines for young patients is complex and requires fresh thinking, J. Steven Leeder, Pharm.D., Ph.D., told the audience for the latest installment of the Health Sciences Deans’ Seminar Series.

Leeder, a professor of pediatrics and pharmacology at the UMKC School of Medicine, spoke Oct. 25 in the Health Sciences Building on Hospital Hill on “Exploring Inter-Individual Variability in Drug Response: Moving Beyond the Dose-Exposure Relationship.”

Leeder, who leads the pediatric clinical pharmacology group at Children’s Mercy Hospital, noted that many drugs are initially developed for adults and tested on them, making dosage calculations for children more difficult. On top of that, he said, the typical differences in how people respond to a drug can be magnified in children, given great differences in patient weight and in how rapidly different biological mechanisms in children can change during growth and development.

 The maturation of the brain, Leeder said, implies that receptors and transporters affecting drugs’ effectiveness may be changing in children and adolescents, but there’s relatively little research knowledge of these changes.

Given those challenges, he said, it makes sense to invert the usual sequence of “dose-exposure-response”:  administering a standard dosage of a drug and then seeing how much of that dosage is present in a patient’s body and how much the patient’s condition responded to the drug. Instead, he favors looking at “response-exposure-dose”: identifying the desired response or therapeutic outcome, and determining the amount of drug that needs to be in the body – the “exposure” — to achieve the desired response. Given that knowledge, he said, then a dosage can be tailored to the patient.

Leader, who practices at Children’s Mercy Hospital, noted that many drugs are initially developed for adults and tested on them, making dosage calculations for children more difficult. On top of that, he said, the typical differences in how people respond to a drug can be magnified in children, given great differences in patient weight and in how rapidly different biological mechanisms in children can change.

The maturation of the brain, Leeder said, means receptors and transporters that affect drugs’ effectiveness must be changing in children and adolescents, but there’s relatively little research knowledge of these changes.

Given those challenges, he said, it makes sense to invert the usual sequence of administering a standard dosage of a drug and then seeing how much of that dosage was used by a patient, and how much the patient’s condition responded to the drug. Instead, he favors looking at the response or outcome that’s desired, and then trying to gauge how well an individual patient’s system will use a drug. Given that knowledge, he said, then a dosage can be tailored to the patient.

Such an approach, he said, might best use the “more information on everyone” being provided by the increase in genomics, bioinformatics and population-wide data from electronic health records.

Leeder holds the Marion Merrell Dow Endowed Chair in Pediatric Clinical Pharmacology and is division director for clinical pharmacology and therapeutic innovations. He earned his pharmacy degree at the University of Minnesota and his doctorate at the University of Toronto. He completed a fellowship in clinical pharmacology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

AAMC journal recognizes Dr. Louise Arnold

Louise Arnold, Ph.D.

Retirement hasn’t stopped Louise Arnold, Ph.D., from being a major proponent for medical education and research. The School of Medicine’s former associate dean recently joined the list of master reviewers for the Association of American Medical Colleges’ journal, Academic Medicine.

A long-time volunteer peer reviewer for the journal, Arnold has received the publication’s annual Excellence in Reviewing Award three times. The journal’s editor in chief, David Sklar, said that Arnold’s consistently superior reviews have demonstrated her commitment to the peer-review process.

Because of her excellent performance, Arnold has earned the title of “Master Reviewer,” which recognizes the best of the best in Academic Medicine’s reviewer pool, Sklar said.

Arnold will receive special recognition as a master reviewer at the Academic Medicine’s annual MedEdPORTAL Reviewer Reception, as well as in the January issue of the journal and on the journal’s “For Reviewers” web page.

The journal’s editors also offer Master Reviewers the opportunity to become more involved in the review process. As a master reviewer, Arnold will have the opportunity to meet and consult with other master reviewers on needed changes to the review process, participate in peer-review webinars, and serve as a peer review mentor.

Arnold served on the School of Medicine faculty from 1971 through 2012. As director of the Office of Medical Education and Research, she championed on a national stage the school’s docent system and the large role it played as a learning community within the six-year program. She served as founding chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Group on Combined Baccalaureate-MD Programs. The group now represents more than 100 medical schools across the country.

UMKC researchers to present late-breaking studies at cardiovascular symposium

Research studies by UMKC School of Medicine faculty researchers at the Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute have been selected for presentation at the world’s largest educational meeting for interventional cardiovascular medicine.

The researchers are the first or senior authors of 10 original studies and contributing authors of nine other studies selected for presentation at the 2017 Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics symposium in Denver, running October 30 through November 2.

The presentations includes two major studies selected as Late-Breaking Clinical Trials. Only 12 research breakthroughs highlighting the most innovative treatments for heart disease are selected for the late-breaking presentations.

“It is rare for any institution to have even one late-breaking trial presentation at a major cardiology meeting,” said David Cohen, M.D., professor of medicine and MAHI director of cardiovascular research. “Having two of the 12 come from the Mid America Heart Institute is an incredible honor and a testimony to both the Mid America Heart Institute Clinical Scholars program and the international reputation that our research program has come to enjoy.”

Suzanne Baron, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, is the lead author of a study that describes the long-term quality of life outcomes of nearly 2,000 patients enrolled in a landmark multi-center trial. The research compared everolimus-eluting stents and bypass surgery for the treatment of left main coronary artery disease. Cohen is the lead author of the second study that evaluates the cost effectiveness of transcatheter aortic valve replacement compared with surgical aortic valve replacement in intermediate risk patients.

Four of the MAHI studies to be presented at this year’s meeting are the direct result of a groundbreaking OPEN-Chronic Total Occlusions (CTO) registry. The registry is led by Aaron Grantham, M.D., associate professor of medicine, with assistants from  Adam Salisbury, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, and the support of the MAHI Outcomes Research group. The studies define the success, safety, health benefits and cost effectiveness of novel techniques to open blocked coronary arteries that are considered untreatable through minimally invasive techniques.

Stanford explores physicians’ role in countering intimate partner violence

Carol Stanford, M.D.’79, associate professor at the UMKC School of Medicine, delivered the annual Marjorie Sirridge Outstanding Women in Medicine Lecture.

Domestic violence deeply touched the life of Carol Stanford, M.D. ’79, when one of her colleagues was murdered many years ago.

At a Sept. 28 lecture at the UMKC School of Medicine, Stanford shared the story of that crime while exploring what physicians can do about the problem of intimate partner violence.

Stanford, delivering the 2017 Marjorie Sirridge Outstanding Women in Medicine Lecture, said such violence causes “tremendous emotional, social and economic dislocations” and crosses all demographic lines.

To illustrate that, Stanford told about reading a newspaper report of a “Johnson County soccer mom” who had been killed, and her businessman husband arrested. She found out a few hours later that the victim was her nurse practitioner.

“This is real and touches each of us,” said Stanford, associate professor at the School of Medicine. Most victims are women in heterosexual relationships, she noted, but men also can be victimized. Abuse also occurs in same-sex relationships and ones involving bisexual or transgender partners.

According to Stanford,  2 million women in the United States suffer intimate partner violence annually. Of those, more than 300,000 are pregnant women. One-third of homicides stem from intimate partner violence, Stanford said.

In their lifetimes, one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe intimate partner violence. By one estimate, the costs of care and economic loss from intimate partner violence are more than $8 billion a year. A victim’s health care needs can be increased for 15 years after such abuse, Stanford said.

She went on to say that it’s important for physicians to be aware and look for a wide range of physical symptoms that can indicate abuse, along with psychological problems, including depression, low self esteem, anxiety and substance abuse.

“I’ve started asking routinely, ‘Have you ever been abused?’ or ‘Do you feel safe in your relationship?’ ”

Prenatal care calls for particular vigilance, she said, given women’s vulnerability during that time. The safety of children in an abusive household also must be considered and physicians must report abuse if there are minor children.

In educating future physicians, Stanford said that it’s important to include clinical experience with victims, and suggested integrating more education about intimate partner violence into the curriculum. Students are becoming more aware of the issue through their community involvement, such as volunteering at such places as the Rose Brooks Center for domestic violence victims.

Stanford also said it was important for physicians to do their part because to raise awareness and battle domestic violence. An abused partner’s situation can be difficult and complicated, so a physician may provide a confidential ear, limited by the need to report child endangerment. The criminal justice system, a victim’s employer and other institutions simply can’t address the problem alone, she said.

Stanford also provided several resources to aid physicians in referring victimized patients for  help.

“I think it’s important that we empower patients, because they are the expert on their own situation.”

As violent as the world is, Stanford says she is optimistic. “I think the key to solving this, ultimately, is gender equity. We need a multi-disciplinary educational approach.”

Stanford is a longtime faculty member and docent, known for her dedication to students and involvement with their activities. She has served as faculty adviser or sponsor for many students groups and programs, including the Gold Humanism Honor Society, the UMKC chapter of the American Medical Women’s Association and Camp Cardiac.

At the lecture she thanked her husband, James Stanford, M.D. ’80, and son, Ian Stanford, both in attendance. She also thanked the several members of the Sirridge family present and praised the late Drs. William and Marjorie Sirridge as giants in the success of the School of Medicine and its “humanistic approach to interacting with patients.”

The Marjorie S. Sirridge, M.D., Outstanding Women in Medicine Lectureship was established in 1997 to recognize her dedication, compassion and advancement of patient care and medical education in Kansas City.

Alumni join SOM faculty as newest docents

Monica Katamura, M.D.

It had been four years since Monica Lau Katamura, M.D., ’13, last stepped inside the UMKC School of Medicine. So when the school’s newest docent returned in August, she wasted little time in heading to the fourth-floor Gold 1 docent unit.

“One of the first things I did was go back to my old office and take a walk down memory lane,” Katamura said. “It was surreal coming back to the place that had trained me.”

Katamura completed her residency in medicine pediatrics at Tulane University in New Orleans last spring. Now, as the School of Medicine’s Blue 8 docent, she has a new office located on the fifth floor.

As a docent, Katamura said she fees a responsibility to take what she learned as a resident, combined with her time as a student at UMKC, to help the next generation of physicians.

“I want to come back and apply some of what I learned to assess the needs among my individual group of students and make a framework of how to best mentor them, guide them and nurture them through their years three through six,” she said.

Katamura served as chief resident during her final year at Tulane, where she gained administrative experience that she hopes to incorporate into her new role as a docent. She was active in numerous volunteer activities throughout her residency, serving both locally and abroad. She collaborated with pediatrics residency staff and co-residents on the clinical learning environment committee to improve clinical and academic learning environments and provided resident leadership as chair of the medicine-pediatrics ambulatory committee.

Ultimately, Katamura said, she returned to the School of Medicine largely because of the docent program and to be a part of the mentorship that docents provide students.

“Somebody told me that alumni are the most enthusiastic docents,” Katamura said. “I am very enthusiastic about coming back.”

She isn’t alone. Two more recent additions to the School of Medicine’s docent teams are alumni.

Richard Harlow, M.D.

Richard Harlow, M.D., ’82, began his role as Green 1 docent this past November.

He was a founder and one of the original owners of HIMS, one of the first and largest hospitalist groups in the Kansas City metro area. After 20 years as a hospitalist, he was ready to return to his roots.

“I have always had medical students with me during my entire time in private practice and have always loved to teach,” Harlow said. “I really feel that the UMKC School of Medicine does a singularly excellent job of preparing students to be doctors on day one and I had always wanted to return one day to give back to what I so enjoyed. I really love working with the students and residents.”

After completing an internal medicine residency at the UMKC School of Medicine and Truman Medical Centers, Harlow entered private practice in Belton, Missouri. He also served as president of the medical staff at Research Belton Hospital and as chairman of the Department of Medicine at St. Joseph Hospital.

David John, M.D.

David John, M.D., ’77, returned to Kansas City last spring and joined the School of Medicine faculty as docent for Katamura’s old student unit, Gold 1. A board-certified rheumatologist for more than 30 years, John previously practiced at Queen’s Medical Center and at  Spark Matsunaga V.A. Medical Center in Honolulu.

He said when the growing demands of electronic medical records began encroaching on his teaching time, he decided to step down from his hospital work and eventually decided to leave his private practice.

“Leaving was the hardest decision I believe I’ve ever made,” John said.

In January, John stepped down as Chair of  Pu’ulu Lapa’au, the Hawaii’s Physican’s Health Committee, to return to UMKC.

“It’s been a very good decision,” he said.

While in Hawaii, John served as chair of the Life Foundation, an organization that continues the fight against HIV/AIDS, and participated as a board member of Friends of Youth Outreach, attacking the problem of child homelessness.

He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine and his rheumatology fellowship at the University of Michigan. He joined the teaching faculty at the University of Hawaii in the department of medicine in 1984. There, he served on many committees and received the school’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

 

 

Dr. Gardner appointed Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education

Dr. Sara Gardner

School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., announced that Sara Gardner, M.D., associate professor and director of the Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency program, has been appointed assistant dean for Graduate Medical Education.

Dr. Gardner will work directly with the associate dean for Graduate Medical Education in interacting with the school’s Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and non-ACGME programs, residents and fellows. She will be responsible for quality improvement of graduate programs and providing faculty development opportunities to enhance the educational experience for residents and fellows.

She brings important qualifications to this new role, with leadership experience in Graduate Medical Education, teaching and mentoring. Dr. Gardner has experience in the ACGME review process, having served as residency program director since 2009, and as associate program director in 2007 and 2008. She also serves as a member of the Graduate Medical Education Committee.

She has chaired the School of Medicine’s Council on Evaluation, served as a Years’ 1 and 2 Docent, and has been a member of many School of Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics residency committees.

A 2002 graduate of the UMKC School of Medicine, Dr. Gardner completed her residency and served as chief resident in internal medicine and pediatrics at UMKC.

Please join Dean Kanter in congratulating Dr. Gardner and welcoming her to this important new role at the School of Medicine.

School of Medicine celebrates faculty achievements, honors

Julie Strickland, M.D., second from left, received the UMKC School of Medicine’s Betty M. Drees, M.D., Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring award. She is pictured with School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, Betty M. Drees, M.D., former dean, and Rebecca Pauly, M.D., associate dean of faculty development.

The School of Medicine recognized members of its faculty who have recently received promotions and tenure and presented awards for faculty achievements at its annual reception on Sept. 7.

This year’s promotions included 59 faculty members, 16 of those promoted to the rank of professor and 43 promoted to the rank of associate professor.

School of Medicine Dean Steven Kanter, M.D., said that serving as a faculty member  is a special privilege because it provides a remarkable opportunity to shape the future of health care through teaching and discovery. He said faculty are responsible for making the school a model of medical education.

“It’s the caring, thoughtful and individualized approach that you use to mentor and advise learners here throughout the docent system and outside the docent systems,” Kanter said. “It’s the cutting-edge research by outstanding investigators among our faculty. It’s the way you take care of patients, the way you model that for students, and the way you embody professionalism.”

Special Recognitions

Dr. Betty M. Drees Excellence in Mentoring Awards

Julie Strickland, M.D., was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award given to a faculty member with the rank of professor. Her nomination letters for the award described her as an example of leadership, confidence and collegiality, and an outstanding role model for all women physicians for how to balance one’s personal and professional success. She is an expert in pediatric and adolescent gynecology and is instrumental in a fellowship program that has graduated many fellows. At the same time, she has also served as a mentor for residents, medical students and young faculty members.

Brenda Rogers, M.D., associate dean for student affairs, received the Excellence in Mentoring Award given to a faculty member with the rank of associate or assistant professor. For the past three years, Rogers, a 1990 graduate of the School of Medicine, has also received Children’s Mercy Hospital the Golden Apple Award that recognizes a faculty member identified by pediatrics residents as a mentor. Through her many different roles working with students, staff, residents and faculty colleagues, Rogers’ style of mentoring is frequently more informal and often based on establishing relationships.

Louise E. Arnold Excellence in Medical Education and Research

Stefanie Ellison, M.D., associate dean for learning initiatives, received the award presented for significant contributions to the School of Medicine in the area of medical education research. Ellison has been a key figure of support for two subcommittees in preparation for the school’s 2018 LCME accreditation visit. She served as associate dean for curriculum from 2010-2017 and was instrumental in bringing the school’s general competency objectives up to date and into alignment with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s established competencies. She also plays an integral role as one of the primary organizers for the UMKC health sciences schools’ interprofessional education program.

Excellence in Diversity and Health Equity in Medicine awards

  Brianna Woods-Jaeger, M.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics and a child psychologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital, received the individual award for effective and sustained contributions to promoting diversity, inclusion, cultural competency, or health equity. She is heavily involved in Operation Breakthrough, a non-profit organization that provides a safe, loving and educational environment for children growing up in poverty. She has studied the effects of trauma passed from one generation to the next and its heavy burden on the health and well being of disadvantaged communities, particularly in the African-American community. Seeing patients from 7-years-old to adulthood, Woods-Jaeger is described as treating each client as a unique individual, worthy of her close care and attention and a model of patience, respect and cultural humility in every patient interaction.

Gender Pathways Service and its medical director, Jill Jacobsen, M.D., received the diversity award for an organization. The service, based in the Children’s Mercy Hospital Division of Endocrinology, provides interdisciplinary and family-centered services for transgender, gender-variant, and gender-questioning patients. It is the only center of its kind in the Midwest, and one of only a few in the entire country. Specialists in endocrinology, psychology, adolescent medicine and social work are all part of the clinic. Psychological evaluation is provided to continuously meet the mental health needs of the patient and the family. Jacobsen and her team are active in community education, advocating at patient’s schools, churches and with families.

SOM professor explores history of locally-owned mummies

Randall Thompson, M.D., professor of medicine and cardiologist at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, used a hospital CT scan to look at the history of a pair of locally-owned mummies.

The mummies are part of an exhibit that is on display at Kansas City’s Union Station.

Thompson said the remains appeared to be of someone who lived between 500 and 1,500 years ago in the highlands area of Peru.

The story was featured recently on Kansas City television station KCTV.

Brain tumor research follows unusual path

Tom Curran, Ph.D.

A promising therapy to combat brain tumors in children has emerged from a confluence of bold research, scientific insight and luck, a Children’s Mercy research director said Aug. 30 in the latest installment in the UMKC Health Sciences Deans’ Seminar Series.

The research aims to block a pathway that mutant cells often take when forming tumors near the brain stem. The work’s progress and hurdles were detailed by Tom Curran, Ph.D., who is the executive director and chief scientific officer of the Children’s Research Institute and a professor of pediatrics at the UMKC School of Medicine.

His presentation was titled “How mice, sheep, corn lilies and a beer helped children with brain tumors: Targeting the hedgehog pathway in medulloblastoma.”

When he started the hedgehog inhibitor work, Curran already had contributed extensively to the understanding of tumor formation – and knew plenty about mice. He discovered the Fos-Jun tumor-generating complex, and had identified reelin, the gene responsible for reeler, the mutation that makes mice lose muscle control.

Curran wanted to extend his mutation research to the tumors that form during brain development, “so we made the decision that we would take a take a precision medicine approach to medulloblastoma, even though we knew nothing about it at the time.”

He said his team came up with “a very naive concept” for proceeding: to identify molecules involved in tumor formation and then develop inhibitors for them, confirming both the mutations and their inhibition in mouse studies. After cause and prevention were demonstrated in mice, clinical drug trials in humans would follow.

The plan, however naive, has generated significant research success.

“That’s what translational research is about,” he said. “You have to develop a simple model … with milestones that let you know you’re making progress toward the goals.

“The other factor that is really important to this kind of science is luck. You need to be in the right place at the right time.”

The project’s first indication of good timing came quickly.

“Three weeks after we decided we were going to target medulloblastoma, the very first paper came out linking the sonic hedgehog pathway and … these tumors.” (A family of mutant genes with a spiky appearance is called hedgehog genes, and one of those was named after the Sonic Hedgehog computer game a Harvard researcher’s son was fond of.)

Sheep and corn lilies entered the picture when Curran was looking for a hedgehog-path inhibitor to work with and recalled a story about sheep giving birth to one-eyed lambs. What might have been a genetic defect was determined instead to be caused by a chemical in the corn lilies the ewes had eaten. The chemical, named cyclopamine, was found to block the sonic hedgehog path, the effect Curran was looking for. But it also was toxic and eventually seemed unlikely to lead to a suitable drug for humans.

Fortune intervened again when Curran was having a beer with a colleague after a conference in Taos, N.M. The friend was an expert on the sonic hedgehog pathway and referred Curran to another researcher whose team was doing similar work but running out of money for testing. Curran got in touch with the other team and was able to do the testing, which produced good results.

The project also has had its share of challenges to overcome, including recurrence of tumors after initial success in a human trial. That often happens in cancer treatment, Curran said, as drug resistance develops. But a biopsy from that case has provided further information, and trials continue.

Besides his positions at the Children’s Research Institute and UMKC, Curran is the Donald J. Hall Eminent Scholar in Pediatric Research and a professor of cancer biology at the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

Before coming to Kansas City, he led the Translational Brain Tumor Program for a decade at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; was deputy scientific director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute for another decade; and set up the multi-institution Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium.

Curran earned his doctorate for studies at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories in London. His work has been published in nearly 300 papers and cited more than 50,000 times.