All posts by Kelly Edwards

Student scientists go online for 9th annual Health Sciences Student Research Summit

Health Sciences Student Research SummitStudents from across UMKC’s Health Sciences campus displayed their research skills during the 9th annual Health Sciences Student Research Summit, making 82 presentations in a week-long virtual, online format because of coronavirus concerns.

The event brings together members of the UMKC health sciences community in a forum that highlights the research being conducted by students. It also fosters research collaborations across disciplines and schools to produce economic, health, education and quality of life benefits for the Kansas City community.

Students were invited to either present a poster or give an oral PowerPoint presentation of their research findings. A panel of judges selected the top three in both graduate student and undergraduate divisions.

Judges were from the School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Truman Medical Centers, Children’s Mercy Kansas City Hospital and the Kansas City Veterans Administration Medical Center.

This year’s research summit drew 66 participants, including 51 medical students, eight pharmacy students, two from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and two from master’s programs.

Graduate Clinical Poster Presentations
(BA/MD and MD Year 5 and 6 medical students, master’s students, Pharm.D. students and medical residents)

  • 1st Place: Mark Gray, master’s student SBCS: Bone Strain Alters Cardiac Function. Mentor: Michael Wacker, SOM
  • 2nd Place: Suma Ancha, SOM MS VI: Electronic Health Record Functionality: Medical Students’ Perspective.
  • 3rd Place Tie: Brooke Jacobson, PharmD YR4: Development of a Cystic Fibrosis Specific Antibiogram. Mentor: Claire Elson, CMH
  • 3rd Place Tie: Rachna Talluri, SOM MS V: The influence of maturity on the relationship between the triglyceride/HDL ratio and vascular health in children and adolescents with dyslipidemia. Mentor: Geetha Raghuveer, CMH
  • 3rd Place Tie: Brandon Wesche, SOM MS VI: Transcriptome Changes after Glucocorticoids for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia. Mentor: Paula Monaghan Nichols, SOM

Graduate Oral PowerPoint Presentations
(BA/MD and MD Year 5 and 6 medical students, master’s students, Pharm.D. students, and medical residents)

  • 1st Place: Darya Tajfiroozeh, SOM MS VI: Immune profiling of dexamethasone response in treatment of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Mentor: Paula Monaghan Nichols, SOM
  • 2nd Place: Andrew Peterson, SOM MS V: Development and Validation of the Nasal Outcome Score for Epistaxis in Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (NOSE HHT). Mentor: Jay Piccirillo, Washington University-St. Louis
  • 3rd Place: Emily Boschert, SOM MS VI: 22 Years of Pediatric Musculoskeletal Firearm Injuries: The Carnage Continues. Mentor: Richard Schwend, CMH

Undergraduate Poster Presentations
(BA/MD and MD Years 1 to 4 medical students, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences students)

  • 1st Place: Adnan Islam, SOM MS IV: rfaZ’s Role in Escherichia coli Neonatal Sepsis: In-Vitro Bacterial Growth. Mentor: Susana Chavez-Bueno, CMH
  • 2nd Place: Som P. Singh, SOM MS III: Mental Health Outcomes of Early-Entrance to College Students: A Cross Sectional Study. Mentor: Jianwei Jiao, SOM
  • 3rd Place: Shil Shah, MS III: The Effects of Necrotizing Enterocolitis on Cytoskeletal Genes in Gut Epithelium. Mentor: Paula Monaghan Nichols, SOM

Undergraduate Oral PowerPoint Presentations
(BA/MD and MD Years 1 to 4 Medical students, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences students)

  • 1st Place: Madhavi Murali, SOM MS IV: Challenges of interpreting Naranjo causality assessment of pediatric adverse drug reactions. Mentor: Jennifer Goldman, CMH
  • 2nd Place: Aarya Ramprasad, SOM MS II: Contributions to Health Disparities Observed in the COVID19 Pandemic. Mentor: Bridgette Jones, SOM
  • 3rd Place: Victoria Shi, SOM MS II: Transcriptome Analysis of Patients with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia. Mentor: Paula Monaghan-Nichols, SOM

SOM announces research winners from annual Quality and Patient Safety Day

Tara Krishnan and Cynthia Liu received the top student honors for their research abstracts at the School of Medicine’s annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality and Patient Safety Day. The top resident/fellow awards went to Dr. Heather Morgans and Dr. Anas Al Bawaliz.

The four were chosen from a record 53 submitted abstracts and invited to make oral presentations of their research in this year’s virtual, online event on May 29. More than 100 people participated in the seventh annual event. It included an executive panel discussion of  continuing challenges from the COVID-19 crisis and how it has changed the future of health care.

The School of Medicine presents the annual patient safety day program to provide an opportunity for students, residents and fellows to display their work in quality improvement and patient safety to the entire medical school community.

Both the panel discussion and the oral presentations can be viewed online.

Krishnan, a fourth-year medical student, received a top student award and presented her work on “Beeps, Squeals, and Drones: Reducing the Impact of Noise Pollution in the Operating Room.” Dr. Gary Sutkin served as her research mentor. Liu, a sixth-year medical student, was also mentored by Sutkin and presented “Semantically Ambiguous Language in the Teaching Operating Room.”

Morgans earn one of the top awards for residents and fellows with her abstract, “A Systematic Approach to Improving Metabolic Acidosis in Patients with Stage 3-5 Chronic Kidney Disease in the Nephrology Clinic at Children’s Mercy Hospital.” Dr. Darcy Weidemann served as her faculty research mentor. Bawaliz, mentored by Dr. David Wooldridge, presented on “Reducing Unnecessary Inpatient Laboratory Testing at Truman Medical Center.”

Students, residents and fellows submitting the remaining abstracts were invited to create posters along with 5-minute audios, which were posted online in a virtual poster showcase.

The panel discussion, moderated by School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., included six health care leaders from the QIPS Consortium Hospital Affiliates. The group included Mark Steele, M.D., chief operating officer, chief medical officer, Truman Medical Centers; Peter Holt, M.D., vice president of medical affairs, Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City; Robert Lane, M.D., MS, executive vice president and physician-in-chief, Children’s Mercy Hospital; Timothy Dellenbaugh, M.D., assistant medical director, Center for Behavioral Medicine; Ahmad Batrash, M.D., chief of staff, Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center​; and Olevia Pitts, M.D., chief medical officer, HCA Research Medical Center.

 

UMKC’s Nicholas Yeisley appointed to AAMC steering committee on quality care

Nicholas Yeisley, a fourth-year student at the School of Medicine, has been selected to serve as student liaison to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Integrating Quality steering committee.

The group serves an advisory role for the AAMC to provide recommendations and feedback regarding high-value initiatives relating to quality of patient care. It focuses on activities to promote a culture of quality care, and patient safety strategies and resources.

Yeisley has been a member of the national organization’s Office of Student Representatives (OSR). He was selected to serve a one-year term as the sole student liaison to the Integrating Quality committee beginning this summer.

He has also had leadership opportunities through the American Medical Association’s Medical Student Section, including his current role as chairperson of the regional executive board.

“I am personally interested in quality improvement and translational research and thought being on the steering committee would be a great way to learn,” Yeisley said. “A personal goal is to share insights on quality improvement and translational research with the rest of the OSR and our medical students at UMKC so that we all can learn more about medical careers enriched in quality improvement.”

During the past three years, Yeisley has worked with Stefanie Ellison, M.D., professor of emergency medicine and associate dean for learning initiatives, on a Community Home Health Initiative. The project is to develop a survey that will help determine if important social history questions are being missed in standard emergency room visits. The inquiries would focus on topics such as home environment, finances, literacy and disabilities. Yeisley has also helped coordinate an annual opioid overdose training program for fellow trainees.

He said he plans to take the next year off from medical school to complete an accelerated MPH program at Johns Hopkins University.

“I want to continue gaining skills toward quality improvement and translational research in the context of public and community health,” he said.

 

 

Three UMKC faculty receive Fulbright Scholar Awards

Three University of Missouri-Kansas City faculty members, Charlie Inboriboon, M.D.; Brian Frehner, Ph.D.; and Clara Irazábal-Zurita, Ph.D.; received prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards.

The Fulbright program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational program. Award recipients teach, conduct research and provide expertise abroad in a program designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and other countries.

Charlie Inboriboon, M.D.

Inboriboon, director of International Emergency Medicine Programs at the School of Medicine and associate professor of emergency medicine, received an award to Thailand where he spend six months teaching at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. His project was designed to enhance emergency medicine education by incorporating active learning into the didactic curriculum. He will also developed online learning resources to enhance individual learner feedback.

Inboriboon has led several programs in Thailand during the country’s transition to competency-based medical education.

Frehner, associate professor in the UMKC History Department, received an award to Germany where he plans to teach and conduct research for three months. Much of his time will be spent working with colleagues at the University of Hamburg to expand upon an online course that examines themes in transatlantic history and German migration from Hamburg to St. Louis, Missouri.

He will also travel to Munich to review documents in the Deutsches Museum relating to the acquisition of oil exploration technology related to geophysicial oil exploration. The research is for a book he is working on that details the science and technology of exploration geophysics that seres as the basis for oil discovery throughout the world.

Clara Irazabal-ZuritaIrazabal-Zurita, director of the Latinx and Latin American Studies program and professor of planning in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design, received an award to lecture and conduct research at the Universidad de Costa Rica. She will focus on selective (dis)affiliations and (sub)urban implications of middle-class Venezuelan migration to Costa Rica.

The project is an extension of her study of migration and urban planning in U.S. Latinx/immigrant communities and in Latin America, including Costa Rica and Venezuela. Irazabal-Zurita plans to conduct her work in Costa Rica during the summers of 2021 and 2022.

Fulbright award recipients are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields. Funded through the U.S. Department of State, the program is also supported by and operates in more than 160 countries throughout the world.

UMKC’s Som Singh invited to present research on sports injuries at international conference

Med student Som Singh, left, is helping lead a study group that monitors injuries to U.S. rugby players. He is pictured with Dr. Victor Lopez Jr., Dr. Alex Metoxen (UMKC Orthopedic Surgery Resident), Dr. Sean Bonnani (UMKC Orthopedic Surgery Resident), and Chizitam Ibezim (2020 UMKC medical school graduate).

Like many young, aspiring athletes, Som Singh saw his football career end early with an injury during high school. Yet, his love for sports never waned. Now, it could be taking the fourth-year UMKC medical student to the European College of Sports Science in Spain next fall to present as lead author of a research project on rugby player injuries.

His work is part of a project affiliated with the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and the Rugby Research and Injury Prevention Group (RRIPG) that has been monitoring U.S. Rugby Club-Sevens player injuries and performance.

“The culture of sports has always had an impact on me and I wanted to stay around sports,” Singh said.

When he first came to the School of Medicine, Singh used what free time he had to help as a volunteer assistant football coach at a local high school. While coaching, he realized the hunger to be connected to sports still burned.

“Coaching players was cool, teaching, talking to the players,” Singh said. “That aspect of teaching sports was unique and it led me to seek out other things I could do to combine sports and medicine.”

About a year ago, a national rugby tournament came to Kansas City. Dr. Victor Lopez Jr., founder and executive director of the RRIPG in New York, arrived as well to study the players on the field, monitoring their injuries and the effects on their performance. Lopez was also looking for medical students and residents to help with his project. A UMKC orthopaedic surgery resident who knew both Lopez and Singh introduced the two.

Singh began working on the sidelines in the medical tents and soon became the assistant national study coordinator for the group, attending countless rugby matches and collecting injury data.

His report, which was based on a five-year analysis of medical costs related to player injuries sustained in U.S. Rugby-Sevens regional tournaments, caught the eye of the European College of Sports Sciences.

He said his findings could serve as a profile of the financial impact that sports injuries have on both men and women players. Much like the National Football League has done in developing its concussion protocols, Singh said his data could also serve as a tool for national U.S. Rugby-Sevens to improve player welfare and safety.

“It is a growing collision sport,” Singh said of rugby.

Singh also is co-author of two other group abstracts that were selected for presentation at the international conference in Seville, Spain – assuming limitations brought by the novel coronavirus are lifted and allow the conference to take place.

In addition to Lopez, the project has Singh working closely with Dr. Richard Ma, Gregory L. and Ann L. Hummel Distinguished Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery Missouri Orthopaedic Institute at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Dr. Answorth Allen, an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and team doctor for the NBA’s New York Knicks.

Singh said he doesn’t plan to let up on his injury prevention research with the group anytime soon.

“We have plenty of studies coming up,” he said. “I’m booked for the next couple of years. We’re continuing to grow and understand more about sports injuries.”

Take Wing winner driven by passion to serve

Dana Thompson, M.D., M.S., M.B.A ’91, was just a child when she began to realize what it meant to be a physician.

Her maternal grandfather, throughout most of his career as a general practitioner in Mississippi, was the only black physician in a nearly 100-mile radius. Thompson watched him and learned about commitment to patients and community. She saw the endless drive for excellence and the longing to provide patient care where it was sorely needed.

Her father, in the midst of the Civil Rights Era, was among the first black physicians to enter the integrated obstetrics/gynecology residency program at Kansas City General Hospital. As she grew older, Thompson accompanied her father to the hospital, and during her high school years she worked in his Kansas City, Kansas, practice. She was even one of the early graduates of the UMKC School of Medicine’s Summer Scholars pipeline program for area high school students.

Now, Thompson is a third-generation African-American physician who embodies those same family characteristics, the drive for excellence and a thirst to assure access to medical care for those in need. Those traits also made her a natural for the School of Medicine’s 2020 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award winner.

Thompson delivered this year’s Take Wing lecture online to a School of Medicine audience on May 19.

Thompson serves as the Lauren D. Holinger Chair of Pediatric Otolaryngology at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and a professor of otolaryngology head and neck surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Working in Chicago, where the population is diverse and ranges across socioeconomic backgrounds, Thompson is on a personal mission to educate others about the unintended consequences of bias in health care delivery.

“At this point in my career, I think that’s what I’m most passionate about,” Thompson said.

After graduating from the School of Medicine, she completed her residency in otorhinolaryngology head and neck surgery at the Mayo Clinic. She followed that with a fellowship in pediatric otolaryngology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where she trained under the pioneer of pediatric airway surgery, Dr. Robin Cotton.

Throughout a 23-year career in academic medicine, Thompson has become a leader in pediatric airway and swallowing disorders. Her landmark research in laryngomalacia made her a world authority and transformed the medical and surgical management of the condition, the most common cause of infant stridor, a high-pitched wheezing caused by disrupted airflow.

Thompson spent most of her career at the Mayo Clinic, where she became the inaugural chair of the division of pediatric otolaryngology.

“What an opportunity that was – at age 32, to build a program from scratch and create a service line at a world-class organization,” she said.

The experience also helped her understand that she wanted to have the same sort of impact in an urban setting at a major academic children’s hospital. So, when the opportunity arose to lead the division of otolaryngology at Lurie Children’s Hospital, Thompson made the move.

Now a surgeon and administrator, she also serves as vice chair of the Department of Surgery and executive director for the hospital’s ambulatory practice.

Much of her work in the operating room involves highly specialized, complex, high-risk surgeries on children with obstructions in the upper airway. With the onslaught of the coronavirus, the procedure is of particular high risk for transmission of the virus to health care workers. As a result, Thompson has been busy helping the hospital and her surgical teams adjust to new, safer ways to provide such patient care.

“We’re taking different processes in the operating room in terms of protecting our team with personal protection equipment, while assuring a safe environment to deliver care to children in need,” she said. “We’ve even changed some minor details of how we ordinarily do surgeries to prevent virus aerosolization during surgery. It’s rapidly changing and evolving. We’re going to have a whole new way of doing things.”

School of Medicine celebrates Class of 2020

Erica Sherry, 2020 graduate of the master of science of anesthesia program, is hooded by her husband in the School of Medicine’s virtual commencement ceremony.

Graduation had a slightly different look and feel because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the excitement and joy was the same. The UMKC School of Medicine honored 145 members of the Class of 2020 on May 18 with an online commencement ceremony.

School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., joined Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D., and Dana Thompson, M.D., ’91, the E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award recipient, in applauding the graduates.

The celebration included video clips of graduates being hooded by family and friends at home as each name was read following a congratulatory message from each individual’s docent and program director.

“It’s been inspiring to see the resilience and determined efforts of our students, faculty and staff,” Jackson said. “But our success has not been surprising because the School of Medicine has always taken a different approach.”

This class will be part of a team of health care providers involved in developing and implementing new diagnostics, therapies and vaccines going forward, she said.

“You will continue to be the heart of the health care system as we traverse the next days, weeks and years of this pandemic,” Jackson said. “Be proud and celebrate this day. We are honored to have been a part of this success.”

In her recorded message, Thompson talked about the values of learning, diversity, integrity, accountability, respect and collaboration that the school has imparted upon its more than 4,000 graduates.

“As health care professionals, all of you are also leaders,” Thompson said. “Each one of you will lead teams, policies, processes and procedures that will change health care education, research and delivery. These values have shaped each one of you for success as you start your careers at this time of unprecedented change in medicine. As the world changes, so must we. You will be called upon to shape and change the future of medicine.”

Dean of Students Honors Recipients

Fourteen School of Medicine students are among those nominated as Dean of Students Honors Recipients. Students are nominated by faculty and staff for their commitment to academic success while actively participating in leadership and service to the community and our university outside of the classroom.

The students are Priyesha Bijlan, Morgan Dresvyannikov, Elsa George, Thomas Haferkamp, Chizitam Ibezim, Anusha Kodidhi, Christopher Kurian, Rmaah Memon, Anthony Oyekan, Nicole Rogers, Subhjit Sekhon, Mehr-Zahra Shah, Saumya Singh, Garima Thakkar.

Nominators and students recorded videos reflecting on this semester’s honors.

School of Medicine 2020 Senior Awards

Master of Science in Anesthesia

Sadie Laddusaw | Student Ambassador Award

 Doctor of Medicine

Priyesha Bijlani | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Emily Boschert | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation; Missouri State Medical Association Honors Graduates

Tim Brotherton | Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence

Shelby Chesbro | Dean of Students Honor Recipient; Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation

Jordan Dhuse | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Morgan Dresvyannikov | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Karen Figenshau | Malhotra Family Scholarship for Academic and Clinical Excellence; Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation

Elizabeth George | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Keerthi Gondi | Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Harry S. Jonas, M.D., Award; Missouri State Medical Association Honors Graduates

Thomas Haferkamp | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Chizitam Ibezim | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Robert Johnson | J. Michael de Ungria, M.D., Humanitarian Award

Anusha Kodidhi | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Christopher Kurian | Dean of Students Honor Recipient; UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Senior Partner

Robert Link | Pat. D. Do, M.D., Matching Scholarship in Orthopedics

Cynthia Liu | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation

Neil Maitra | ACP Senior Student Book Award; Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Basic Science Award

Rmaah Memon | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Daniel O’Toole | Bette Hamilton, M.D., Memorial Award for Excellence in Immunology; Lee Langley Award; Merck Manual for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Education; Richardson K. Noback Founders’ Award for Clinical Excellence; Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D., Award for Excellence in Microbiology; Thomas R. Hamilton, M.D., Award for Excellence in Pathology

Anthony Oyekan | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Nikita Rafie | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation

Zachary Randall | Dean of Students Honor Recipient; James F. Stanford, M.D., Patient Advocate Scholarship; UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Medical Education

Marcella Riley | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Nicole Rogers | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Landon Rohowetz | Dean of Students Honor Recipient; Friends of UMKC School of Medicine Award for Research; Merck Manual for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Education; Missouri State Medical Association Honors Graduates; Ratilal S. Shah Medical Scholarship Fund

Subhjit Sekhon | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Mehr Zahra Shah | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Saumya Singh | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Shane Storm | Laura L. Backus, M.D., Award for Excellence in Pediatrics

Garima Thakkar | Dean of Students Honor Recipient

Krishna Trivedi | Women in Medicine Scholarship Achievement Citation

Grab your running shoes! Hospital Hill Run goes virtual and extends to July 1

UMKC participants receive discounted registration

The UMKC-Hospital Hill Run relationship may go back 47 years, but it’s still making history. The 2020 Hospital Hill Run has gone virtual, and participants can run their distance anytime and anywhere they choose before July 1.

This year’s race is sponsored by the UMKC Health Sciences District and UMKC faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends receive a 20% discounted registration using code WPFCUMKC20.

The race, founded in 1973 by School of Medicine founder Dr. E. Grey Dimond, has long been a favorite of runners and walkers nationwide. As in the past, the 2020 virtual race offers three race options – 5K, 10K and half marathon. Participants will receive digital finisher certificates and a swag packet – including t-shirts and medals – in the mail. Here’s how to join the virtual event:

  • Register and run virtual by July 1. Run or walk your distance on roads, tracks, treadmills, or one of many new race routes throughout town and provided on the HHR virtual website.
  • Submit your results. Runners and walkers send in their results online and see how they stack up against other participants.
  • Share your experience. Using the HHR Facebook page and hashtag #HHRVirtual2020, share your run photos, videos and screenshots.

Race organizers have also developed several race challenges (with prizes!), training tip videos and other resources to support participants. Visit https://virtual.hospitalhillrun.com/ for more information.

Dr. Akin Cil Appointed Interim Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery

The School  of Medicine has announced that Dr. Akin Cil has accepted the appointment as interim Department and Academic Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery.

A member of the School of Medicine faculty since 2008, he has served since 2012 as the Franklin D. Dickson/Missouri Endowed Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Research in recognition of his collaborative research with colleagues in the Department of Civil & Mechanical Engineering in UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering.

A 1999 graduate of the Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine,  Cil completed his orthopaedic residency in Turkey. He then emigrated to the United States where he completed a fellowship in adult lower extremity reconstructon at Baylor University and a fellowship in upper extremity reconstruction at the Mayo Clinic. He also added a sports medicine fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston-Harvard Medical School before coming to UMKC.

Board certified in orthopaeidc surgery, he has served as the vice chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and has been a member of the staff at Truman Medical Center Health Sciences District for the past 12 years. A mentor to more than 100 students, residents and fellows, his clinical and research emphases focus on shoulder and elbow injuries.

UMKC announces Dr. Mary Anne Jackson as School of Medicine dean

Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., has been announced as the next dean of the UMKC School of Medicine, effective May 1, 2020.

Having served as interim dean since July 2018, she now becomes the ninth dean in the school’s nearly 50-year history. A 1978 graduate of UMKC’s innovative six-year medical school program, Jackson is the first alumnus and the third woman to lead the School of Medicine.

Jackson is a pediatric infectious diseases expert, affiliated with Children’s Mercy and internationally known for her research. During the current COVID-19 crisis, she is one of the six physicians statewide advising Missouri Governor Mike Parson. She also continues to be a frequently sourced expert for the media and national publications.

“I am honored to serve as the dean for this medical school, which has been ahead of the curve in educating and mentoring physicians and health professionals for nearly half a century,” Jackson said. “I look forward to helping grow its research enterprise to improve the health of our community and beyond.”

Jackson, a professor of pediatrics, joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1984.

UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal announced Jackson’s appointment and that of Jenny Lungren, Ph.D., as executive vice chancellor, in a letter to the university on April 28. Both had been serving their roles on an interim basis.

“In this challenging time, there is an immediate need for stable, innovative leadership,” Agrawal said. “Drs. Lundgren and Jackson have led with intellect and heart during the pandemic, and I have full confidence that they will continue to capably help us navigate through the uncharted territory ahead.”

Jackson is recognized locally, regionally and nationally as a master clinician and educator on the topic of pediatric infectious diseases. The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Infectious Diseases Executive Committee honored her with the 2019 Award for Lifetime Contribution in Infectious Diseases Education last October.

She has served on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Red Book Committee on Infectious Diseases, a publication that provides guidance on the diagnosis, treatment, manifestations and epidemiology of more than 200 childhood conditions. She is also a journal reviewer for American Journal of Infection Control, Journal of Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal and JAMA Pediatrics, among many other research publications.

Jackson has won numerous awards for her mentorship including the Children’s Mercy Department of Pediatrics Excellence in Mentoring award in 2015, and Golden Apple Mentoring Awards in 2012 for mentoring fellows and in 2013 for mentoring residents. In 2012, she received the Take Wing Award, presented annually at the School of Medicine to an alum who has demonstrated excellence in his or her chosen field and exceeded the expectations of peers in the practice of medicine, academic medicine or research.

In 2017, Jackson was selected to the National Vaccine Advisory Committee. She also serves on the American Heart Association’s Committee on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young, as well as additional national, regional and local committees.