All posts by Kelly Edwards

Changes announced in Physician Assistant program, Department of Graduate Health Professions

Lindsay Abernethy
Lindsay Abernethy

Lindsay Abernethy, MMSc, PA-C, has been selected to serve as the interim program director of the School of Medicine’s Master of Medical Science-Physician Assistant program. The appointment is part of a recent restructuring within the Department of Graduate Health Professions in medicine and the PA program.

Abernethy takes over the role held previously by Katherine Ervie, who served as program director from the inception of the program in 2012 until January 2021. Abernethy will direct the clinical curriculum and provide overall leadership of the PA program.

She first joined the School of Medicine faculty in 2018 as an adjunct assistant professor. She previously served as assistant director of clinical education with the South University Physician Assistant Program in Savannah, Georgia.

Abernethy received her master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Emory University. Before joining UMKC, she was the first physician assistant to practice medicine on the island of Anguilla, where she provided family and emergency medicine care. Upon moving back to the United States, she found her niche in occupational and urgent care medicine. She continues to serve the Kansas City area through clinical practice one day a week.

Other staff and faculty changes include Laura Begley, Ph.D., serving as assistant dean for Gradate Health Professions; Sara Cox, MPAS, PA-C, as director of didactic education; and Stephanie Painter, MPA-PA-C, serving as director of assessment and student learning.

Begley joined the School of Medicine in 2009 as program assistant for the school’s Master of Science in Anesthesia program. She spent seven years as program coordinator for the Office of Allied Health and most recently was appointed associate director of the Department of Graduate Health Professions. She will provide leadership in accreditation and assessment, as well as supervision of student support personnel.

Cox has been part of the school’s PA program faculty since 2018 and will work to ensure that didactic curriculum content meets the program’s defined goals, student learning outcomes and accreditation standards.

Painter joined the School of Medicine in 2020. She will oversee the assessment needs across the program’s didactic and clinical curriculum to assess students for mastery of defined learning outcomes and competencies.

Two additional staff also have joined the department: Darlene Hirst as adjunct assistant professor in the PA program and Amber Blair as a student support specialist.

Edwin Kreamer, M.D., continues to serve as medical director for the physician assistant program and Julie Banderas, Pharm.D., will continue to serve as assistant dean and department chair for Graduate Health Professions in Medicine.

School of Medicine faculty among those to be honored at university-wide event

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas spoke at the 2019 faculty recognition celebration

Six School of Medicine faculty will be among more than 60 UMKC faculty recognized in a university-wide virtual event to honor promotion, tenure, endowed chairs, distinguished professorships, and unique UMKC and UM System awards throughout 2020.

These recognitions occur throughout the year and are typically celebrated together at an annual event. They have taken on special meaning this year as all members of the university community have faced unprecedented challenges in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, instead of a live event, faculty will be recognized at a virtual event on Feb. 12, where they will be honored in a special video celebrating their accomplishments. Following the event, the video will be posted on the Provost’s website for the remainder of the year.

“The effort, flexibility and patience our faculty have put into this difficult year have not gone unnoticed, and it is especially important to recognize the significant contributions of our faculty this year,” said Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. “Many of our students say their relationships with our faculty are some of the biggest reasons they love being a Roo.”

Last October, the School of Medicine recognized 73 faculty members who received promotions and tenure, and special School of Medicine awards.

Medical school faculty recognitions featured in the video include:

New Endowed Chairs:      

  • Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., James B. Nutter, Annabel Nutter and Harry Jonas M.D. Professorship, School of Medicine
  • Mamta Reddy, M.D., Vijay Babu Rayudu Endowed Chair of Patient Safety, School of Medicine

Chancellor’s Award for Career Contributions to the University:
This is one of the highest honors for a UMKC employee who has made significant contributions to higher education at UMKC over the course of their career and has significantly enhanced the mission of the university.

  • Paul Cuddy, Pharm.D., vice dean and professor, School of Medicine

Chancellor’s Award for Embracing Diversity:
This award recognizes and celebrates UMKC faculty, staff and registered student organizations that embrace diversity by celebrating diversity in all aspects of university life, creating inclusive environments, culturally competent citizens, and globally oriented curricula and programs.

  • School of Medicine Summer Scholars Program, School of Medicine

Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching:
This is the university’s highest honor for excellence in teaching. It recognizes and celebrates UMKC faculty who are consistently superior teachers at the graduate, undergraduate or professional level over an extended period of time.

  • Mike Wacker, Ph.D., associate professor, School of Medicine

Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching:
This award recognizes and celebrates teaching excellence among UMKC clinical and teaching faculty.

  • Monica Gaddis, Ph.D., associate teaching professor, School of Medicine

Elmer F. Pierson Good Teaching Awards:
These are awarded annually to outstanding teachers in the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, and the Schools of Dentistry, Law and Medicine.

  • Jennifer Quaintance, Ph.D., assistant dean, School of Medicine

Trustees Faculty Fellows Award:
Through this award, trustees recognize the very best faculty who distinguished themselves through scholarship and creativity.

  • Peter Koulen, Ph.D., professor, School of Medicine

AMA past president to deliver 2021 Shannon Lectureship

Patrice Harris Bio PicThe UMKC School of Medicine will welcome Patrice Harris, M.D., immediate past president of the American Medical Association, as keynote speaker at the 2021 Dr. Reaner and Mr. Henry Shannon Endowed Lecture in Minority Health. This year’s lecture will be a virtual event at noon Feb. 12.

Harris, a psychiatrist and recognized expert in children’s mental health and childhood trauma, will discuss the persistent gaps and inequities in health care highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the role of organized medicine and physician leaders in bringing greater equity.

A private practice physician, county public health director, patient advocate and medical society lobbyist, Harris became the AMA’s first African American woman president in 2020. Before that, she developed a deep understanding of health care issues through several AMA leadership roles. She previously served as a member of the AMA Board of Trustees and has led the AMA Opioid Task Force since its origin in 2014.

Harris has also served in leadership roles with psychiatric organizations including the American Psychiatric Association, the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, the Medical Association of Georgia and the Big Cities Health Coalition.

She also is an adjunct assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Morehouse School of Medicine and the Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. In private practice she consults public and private organizations on health service delivery and emerging trends in practice and health policy.

Harris is a graduate of West Virginia University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in counseling psychology before receiving her medical degree in 1992.

Student Research Program announces Sarah Morrison Award recipients

UMKC School of Medicine Sarah Morrison student research award winners. First row: Anum Ahmed, Rohan Ahuja, Shiva Balasubramanian, Vijay Dimri. Second row: Nikki Gill, Shubhika Jain, Madhavi Murali, Christian Kingeter. Bottom row: Victoria Shi, Xi Wang, Matthew William.

The School of Medicine Student Research Program announced 11 recipients of the 2021 Sarah Morrison Student Research Awards that includes 10 medical students and one graduate student.

Awards of up to $3,000 are presented annually to School of Medicine students as they become involved in and learn about a wide variety of research activities based on their interests. The research may be in the basic sciences or in clinical medicine.

Students may develop their own hypothesis and work plan or work on an established research project with their mentor. Winners of the awards are expected to present the results of the research at a School of Medicine student research event such as the UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit or a similar venue as recommended by Research Administration.

More than 130 students have received Sarah Morrison awards since the program began in 2013 with more than $270,000 of financial support provided to conduct research projects at the School of Medicine.

All UMKC School of Medicine students with the exception of first-year students are eligible to receive a Sarah Morrison award through the school’s Office of Research and Administration. Second-year medical students must have  approval from the Student Research Committee.

Students interested in receiving a Sarah Morrison award must apply by noon on Nov. 15 to be considered. Applications must include a proposal protocol, budget, letters of reference, transcripts and curriculum vitae of the student. For complete application information, visit the student research website.

Award winners are selected by a panel of more than 25 School of Medicine faculty who review applications for the quality of the proposed research and outcomes, completion of application materials, a detailed project budget and academic achievement.

2021 Sarah Morrison Research Awards
(Recipient / Faculty Mentor / Project Title)

  • Anum Ahmed, MS 4 / Dr. Karl Kador, assistant professor, biomedical sciences / The effect of substrate stiffness on retinal ganglion cell neurite outgrowth
  • Rohan Ahuja, MS 4 / Dr. Michael Wacker, associate professor, vice-chair biomedical science / The effect of trimethylamine N-oxide on epiflourescent calcium imaging of mouse atria
  • Shiva Balasubramanian, MS 3 / Dr. Jignesh Shah, assistant professor of medicine and docent / Radical prostatectomy readmissions: causes, risk factors, national rates, and costs
  • Vijay Dimri, MS 3 / Dr. Seung Suk Kang, assistant professor, biomedical sciences / Effect of 4 weeks of transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation on heart rate variability and symptoms in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Nikki Gill, MS 3 / Dr. Paula Nichols, professor, chair biomedical sciences, associate dean research administration / The impact of cannabinoid exposure of glucocorticoid receptor signaling in neural stem cells
  • Shubhika Jain, MS 5 / Dr. Micah Sinclair, assistant professor orthopaedic surgery / Establishing the role of inflammatory markers in the diagnosis and treatment of acute hand infections in the pediatric population
  • Christian Kingeter, MS 5 / Dr. Peter Koulen, professor, director of basic research, Vision Research Center / Does an immune response to viral infection put patients on higher risk for developing age-related macular degeneration? Development of novel clinical diagnostic tools to identify at-risk patients
  • Madhavi Murali, MS 5 / Dr. Adriane Latz, otolaryngologist, Children’s Mercy Kansas City / Immediate recovery room hypoxemia after tympanostomy tube placement in children with PDC
  • Victoria Shi, MS 3 / Dr. Paula Nichols, professor, chair biomedical sciences, associate dean research administration / Transcriptome analysis of response to glucocorticoid treatment for bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Xi Wang, graduate student / Dr. Jenifer Allsworth, associate professor, biomedical and health informatics / Natural language processing of gestational diabetes mellitus management documentation from electronic health records
  • Matthew William, MS 3 / Dr. Xiang-Ping Chu, professor of biomedical sciences / Modulation of heteromeric ASIC1b/3 channels by Zinc

 

 

 

School of Medicine recognizes fall semester graduates

The School of Medicine recognized nearly 30 graduating students who participated in the university’s virtual December commencement ceremony on Dec. 19. Similar to the virtual commencement last May, UMKC worked with friends and supporters across Kansas City to celebrate Fall semester graduates with a spectacular “Light Up the Night” salute, with iconic Kansas City buildings lit up in vivid Roo blue and gold.

This school’s list of participants included 18 students who received their M.D. and 11 who received either a graduate certificate or master’s degree.

“Earning a degree from an accredited research university such as ours is a true achievement, one worthy of celebration,” said Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D. “In these times, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our celebrations must be planned with care. The health and safety of our graduates and their loved ones must remain our highest priority.”

In addition to going virtual in December, UMKC announced that it still intends to have an in-person commencement for May and December 2020 grads at some future date but will postpone setting a date until health and safety conditions permit. Earlier in the year, UMKC had hoped to hold that in-person celebration in December.

In a letter to campus, Chancellor Agrawal and Provost Jenny Lundgren said: “Clearly, we do not know when large events will be safe again and cannot realistically set a date at this time.”

But they noted that they “firmly believe that every UMKC graduate should have the opportunity to be personally recognized for the degree they’ve worked so hard to earn in the presence of their loved ones and closest friends and fellow graduates.”

UMKC leaders worked with students to plan the virtual ceremony last spring and consulted with them again on the decision to stay virtual this fall while continuing to plan for an in-person ceremony once it is safe to hold one.

Students earning a Doctor of Medicine
Sarah Atallah
Austin Bachar
Rico Beuford
Jaco Bly
Tom Chen
Julia Clem
Anna Curtis
Manuela Garcia
Nina Govalla
Andrew Jozwiakowski
Connor King
Alex Luke
Michael Manalo
Adiba Matin
Deanne Pisarkiewicz
Kavelin Rumalla
Margaret Urschler
Brandon Wesche

Students earning a Graduate Certificate
Binod Wagle
Tamika Cranford
Sarah Studyvin
Travis Gratton
Bini Moorthy

Students earning a Master of Science in Bioinformatics
Moghniuddin Mohammed
Andy Tran
Yahia Mohamed

Students earning a Master of Health Professions Education
Melanie Camejo
Courney McCain
Joy Solano

 

In Memoriam: Dr. Louise Arnold

2-12-2021 Memorial Link
“Remembering Louise Arnold, Ph.D.”

 

One of the School of Medicine’s earliest and long-time faculty members, Louise Arnold, Ph.D., who served as associate dean for medical education and research until her retirement in 2012, died on Dec. 17.

Arnold joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1971 after hearing about the new School of Medicine serendipitously when she, her son Conrad, and her husband, Wilf, came to Kansas City as Wilf was joining the staff at the University of Kansas. Hired as education researcher and ultimately as the associate dean, Arnold spent more than 40 years helping refine the school’s curriculum and touting its key elements to medical educators nationwide.

She received her doctorate in sociology at Cornell University. Arnold and Richardson K. Noback, the UMKC School of Medicine’s founding dean, regularly discussed the many values, beliefs and enthusiasm they shared for their alma mater. As a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell’s Sloan Institute of Hospital Administration, Arnold studied the qualities that were most important for hospitals to provide compassionate care of patients. Thus began her storied career in promoting the role of professionalism and the importance of the development of professional identity for UMKC School of Medicine students.

A respected national and international scholar, Arnold was the founding chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges National Group on Combined Baccalaureate-M.D. Programs. She continued throughout her career to be an active participant at AAMC meetings.

She helped the City University of New York develop a seven-year combined degree medical school. The University of New Mexico established a combined baccalaureate-M.D. program with her help. Arnold encouraged faculty at the University of Washington to use learning communities patterned after UMKC’s docent system to deliver part of their clinical curriculum.

By 2011-2012, more than 60 medi­cal schools had incorporated some form of learning communities similar to those at UMKC. Many are members of the national Learning Communities Institute that Arnold and other leaders infor­mally organized.

In 2012, Arnold received the Ron Arky Award, named for the professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who founded the Learning Communities Institute, for significant contributions to the development in learning communities in medical education.

“Dean Emerita Betty Drees remembers Dr. Arnold as a role model and as a strong woman faculty member and I would agree,” said School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, MD. , ’78. “Through the months of the pandemic as Dr. Arnold worked from home, she continued to actively work on projects and curriculum, mentoring junior faculty and connecting with others as she has always done. Having known Dr. Arnold as a student who started here in 1972, I greatly valued the opportunity to work with and learn from her during the last several years. She was truly one of the warmest, most gracious and smartest colleagues and she will be dearly missed.”

School of Medicine leaders will be planning a special event in the coming weeks to celebrate Arnold’s life and contributions to the school.

UMKC Vision Research Center receives NIH award to promote diversity in health-related research as part of ongoing glaucoma studies

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded the UMKC Vision Research Center a new $120,399 grant that promotes the training of researchers from diverse backgrounds as part of ongoing research projects to develop novel glaucoma therapies.

Funded through the NIH’s National Eye Institute (NEI), the new funding is part of a larger NIH initiative to enhance the diversity of the research workforce. It will aid in recruiting and supporting students, postdoctorates and eligible investigators from diverse backgrounds including those from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in health-related research.

“We are pleased to receive this support from the NIH,” said Peter Koulen, Ph.D., director of the Vision Research Center. “This funding is a substantial contribution to our mission to provide a more diverse workforce in biomedicine and the overall mission to discover new and improved treatments and therapies for vision health world-wide.”

The funding is part of Koulen’s NEI-supported program exploring novel therapeutic strategies to preserve the viability and function of the nerve cells of the retina affected by glaucoma. The research targets a novel mechanism of nerve cell protection utilizing intracellular calcium signaling as a drug target to treat degeneration of nerve cells in glaucoma.

“The new award is part of research that will allow us to generate data needed for the development of novel glaucoma drugs to complement existing therapies targeting abnormally high pressure in the eye,” Koulen said. Koulen and his team at the Vision Research Center received a $1.16 million NIH grant earlier this year to investigate a mechanism that allows nerve cells to communicate effectively and could lead to the development of such new treatments for glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a major cause of irreversible vision loss and blindness in the United States and worldwide. The disease causes degeneration of the retina and optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain. Preventing such degeneration and the death of affected cells is currently the only feasible way to prevent vision loss due to glaucoma.

In the past year, Koulen has won two other major NIH research grants. His current study of new chemical compounds to treat and prevent age-related macular degeneration received a $1.16 million grant. He is also part of an innovative $1.5 million project exploring a novel tissue-preservation method that could help meet far-reaching clinical needs in ophthalmology and other fields of medicine

This glaucoma research will focus on alternative strategies directly targeting the damaging effects of the disease on the retina and optic nerve.

“Just like elevated blood pressure predisposes patients to stroke, high pressure inside the eye is a predisposing factor for glaucoma,” Koulen said. “There are currently several therapies available to patients to reduce abnormally high eye pressure, but when these therapies fail or cease to be effective, glaucoma and the accompanying vision loss continue to progress.”

Koulen’s project, including the new award to promote diversity in health-related research, will determine how to boost the cell-to-cell communication that retinal nerve cells use to defend themselves from disease and injury. The hope is this will protect these cells from the damaging effects of glaucoma.

If successful, Koulen’s research will result in new drug candidates that would contribute to “neuroprotection” as a strategy to treat and prevent glaucoma.

New therapies could potentially act in concert with current eye pressure lowering drugs. Other areas of medicine, such as cancer treatment, have effectively employed the concept of using complementary drug action in combination therapies.

Dr. John Lantos answers question, ‘Do we still need doctors?’

Dr. John Lantos

Doctors have been around since the beginning of human civilization. But are they still necessary today?

John Lantos, M.D., director of the Bioethics Center at Children’s Mercy Kansas City Hospital, broached the subject on Dec. 10 as keynote speaker at the School of Medicine’s annual Noback-Burton Lectureship.

For much of early civilization, doctors offered little more than a caring bedside presence, Lantos said. Advanced medical science, however, changes the way people think about doctors and what they can do.

School of Medicine founding dean Richardson K. Noback, M.D., for whom the annual lectureship is named, once described the doctor as a morally responsible problem solver on behalf of people experiencing difficulty.

Lantos asked to imagine what would happen if artificial intelligence could be used to remove from doctors the moral responsibility of making decisions. Similarly, he asked, if algorithms can be developed to solve many of the problems that doctors use their minds to discern, will we still need doctors?

He quoted Eric Topol, noted cardiologist and former head of the Cleveland Clinic and Scripps Institute for Translational Research, with the answer.

“We will still need doctors to give the human touch,” Lantos said. “We still need doctors to provide empathy.”

Lantos said doctors still need to learn how to have difficult conversations with their patients. Where the tools to keep people alive were previously not available, doctors today can keep people alive while their bodies are failing.

“The result is that almost every decision about death is preceded by a decision made by doctors, patients and family members about when and whether to withhold or withdraw potentially life-prolonging medical treatment,” Lantos said. “That is a skill that doctors didn’t used to have, didn’t use to need. Now it is a crucial part of medicine.”

Patients still want their doctors to know them as individuals, Lantos said. And doctors, in many cases, want to know their patients as individuals.

“To imagine that we will always fail seems like it might be a pessimistic view, but it’s not,” Lantos said. “It doesn’t negate the remarkable achievements of medicine. It does, however, suggest that the role of the doctor has changed dramatically. Maybe the doctor’s expectations about the role and nature of their work no longer aligns with the work they actually do.”

The Noback-Burton Lectureship was established in 2016 to honor Noback, the school’s inaugural dean and Jerry Burton, M.D. ’73, who is recognized as the first graduate of the medical school.

Grant will help Black churches fight COVID-19

Berkley-Patton, JanetteCOVID-19 has infected, hospitalized and killed Black Americans at a higher rate compared with whites. As it has with other health disparities, the University of Missouri-Kansas City is going to partner with churches to fight this one. The National Institutes of Health has awarded UMKC a two-year, $1.9 million grant to do so as part of its Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics-Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) initiative.

“By working with 16 churches, which are trusted institutions in the African American community, we will greatly expand COVID-19 testing opportunities and access to care in low-income areas of Kansas City,” said Jannette Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., principal investigator of the grant, director of the UMKC Health Equity Institute and a professor at the School of Medicine. “This RADx-UP grant will help people who probably never would have gotten tested get the support they need.”

The team of investigators on the grant are from UMKC, Children’s Mercy, University of Kansas Medical Center, University of Massachusetts, University of California-San Francisco and Johns Hopkins University. In addition to churches and their leaders and members, they will work in partnership with Calvary Community Outreach Network and the Kansas City Health Department for testing, contact tracing and linkage to care services.

“By working with 16 churches, which are trusted institutions in the African American community, we will greatly expand COVID-19 testing opportunities and access to care in low-income areas of Kansas City. This RADx-UP grant will help people who probably never would have gotten tested get the support they need.” – Jannette Berkley-Patton

“One of our aims with the grant is to not only expand testing but to also help get the community prepared for the vaccine,” said Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., an investigator of the grant, dean of the UMKC School of Medicine and an infectious disease expert at Children’s Mercy. “Vaccine confidence relies on trust and transparent communication of vaccine science and safety. The mistrust among people of color about the COVID-19 vaccine stems back toward experience in other research impacting this population, namely the Tuskegee trials in 1932 to study syphilis where Black males were not provided treatment.”

Key social determinants contribute to the disparities for Blacks and COVID-19 including essential public-facing jobs, cultural norms like medical and contact tracing mistrust and limited access to health care. African Americans also have a high burden of chronic health conditions including obesity, diabetes and heart disease, which put them at an increased risk for COVID-19.

Studies, including UMKC investigations led by Berkley-Patton, have shown that community-engaged research with African American churches has led to health screening uptake for HIV and STD testing and reducing risks for diabetes. Yet, no proven COVID-19 testing interventions exist for African American churches, which have wide reach and influence in their communities, high attendance rates and supportive health and social services for community members.

At churches, the grant aims to reach people through sermons, testimonials, church bulletins, and text messages. This also includes faith leaders promoting testing – and getting tested in front of their congregations – so that people can actually see what the testing process looks like.

To date, Berkley-Patton’s work has been supported by more than $12 million in federal grants over the past 14 years. The community-engaged research she has conducted in partnership with faith communities has benefited people in the Kansas City area as well as Alabama and Jamaica.

“At UMKC, we fight racial inequity at all levels, and that includes life-saving health care at our public urban research university,” said UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. “We are proud of the work Dr. Berkley-Patton is leading through proven strategies at places of worship. We know this team of investigators and their partners will help keep our community safer from COVID-19.”

UMKC Trustees honor SOM’s Peter Koulen for distinguished work in research

Koulen, PeterThe UMKC Board of Trustees has selected UMKC School of Medicine’s vision and neuroscience researcher Peter Koulen, Ph.D., as the recipient of the 2020 UMKC Trustees’ Faculty Fellow Award.

Dr . Koulen is the school’s Felix and Carmen Sabates/Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research and serves as director of basic research at the Vision Research Center. Under his guidance, the research center and the UMKC Department of Ophthalmology have secured millions of dollars in grants from the National Institutes of Health and other recognized sources for their groundbreaking work in developing technology and therapies to recognize and treat chronic diseases of the eye and brain.

He has been awarded more than 50 extramural grants totaling over $15 million, and he recently was the recipient of two R01 NIH/NEI awards totaling over $4 million. With a focus on the retina as part of the central nervous system, he has peer-reviewed publications in more than 100 prestigious journals including International Journal Molecular Science, Journal of Cell Science, Cellular Molecular Neurobiology, and Neuroscience. He also has been awarded three patents.

A member of an NIH study section committee, and active reviewer for prestigious scientific journals, he has been the recipient of more than 20 awards and honors since joining our School of Medicine, including recognition as the NT Veatch Award for Research and Creativity in 2013. Dr. Koulen’s work has been acknowledged worldwide. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, a global organization of researchers, honored Koulen as a member of its 2018 Fellows Class.

He also serves as a mentor and sponsor for students involved in research and he has effectively launched the careers of the next generation of physician scientists. His mentorship has placed graduates in highly competitive research environments such as NIH, FDA, Harvard Medical School, Alcon Laboratories, Fresenius and numerous others.

“I am impressed that Dr. Koulen contributes with passion, grace and enthusiasm and that he truly represents what a faculty scholar should exemplify,” said School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D.. “It is my pleasure to call him a colleague and to work with him at our University.”

Each year, UMKC’s Board of Trustees selects an established faculty member for the Faculty Fellow Award to honor a nationally and internationally recognized record of research and creative achievements at UMKC.

Yusheng Liu, Ph.D., vice chancellor for research in the Office of Research and Economic Development, said the award helps the university enhance and pursue its goal to be a major urban research university with excellence, creativity, and scholarship across all disciplines.