Here are this week’s Accolades, a roundup of some of the honors and accomplishments of College of Medicine and UAMS faculty, staff, residents, fellows and students I’ve heard about recently!
Nutrition Sciences Award
Congratulations to Dr. Aline Andres, Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Director of the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center (ACNC), on receiving the 2022 ANS Nutrition Sciences Award from the American Society for Nutrition. The award recognizes Dr. Andres for her work to advance the understanding of how dietary, metabolic and lifestyle factors impact the growth, development and long-term health of children. Professor and ACNC Director Dr. Mario Ferruzzi explains why the recognition is so well-earned for Dr. Andres and her team. “Their critical work here at the ACNC requires time and commitment and is unique in its combination of diverse and complex clinical designs,” he said. “Dr. Andres’ efforts are critical to our goal to improve infant and child health.”
Trauma Team Excellence
The Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery has been doing phenomenal work, thanks to strong leadership by Department of Surgery Chair Dr. Ron Robertson and faculty who have taken on leadership roles at UAMS and beyond. The successful launch of the life-saving ECMO program during the pandemic and integral contributions to the new Cardiovascular Service Line are just a couple of examples of the team’s major achievements. Dr. Ben Davis, Medical Director of the SICU and ECMO programs, has been named Director of the growing division, and Dr. Kyle Kalkwarf and Dr. Avi Bhavaraju have been named Associate Trauma Medical Directors. Together with Dr. Robertson, they will steer the UAMS trauma program through the upcoming site survey with the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. Congratulations also to Dr. Kalkwarf on being named Trauma Medical Consultant to the Arkansas Department of Health, which he will advise on continued development of the statewide trauma system.
Robotics Goes Outpatient
A shout-out to the Women and Infants Service Line, UAMS Robotics Committee and many perioperative team members for successfully completing the first Da Vinci Robotic case in UAMS One Day Surgery. Special thanks to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s Dr. Alexis White, Dr. Luann Racher and Dr. Chad Taylor for leading the transition of Da Vinci Robotic surgery to the outpatient setting, and congratulations to second-year OB/GYN resident Dr. Natalie Tips, who performed the majority of the case as operating surgeon on the robotic console. Well done.
Teach the Teacher
The 13th annual Teach the Teacher Symposium was a great success thanks to the hard work of the organizers, insightful speakers and panelists from across our college and UAMS, and the many faculty and learners who contributed to more than two dozen posters on teaching and health care education topics. Special thanks to Dr. Karina Clemmons, Assistant Dean for Medical Education and Associate Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics, for her leadership of the April 1 symposium, along with Dr. Sara Tariq, Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Professor of Internal Medicine, and the UAMS Academic Affairs Educators Academy. Learn more about the presentations, panel discussions and posters presented during the workshop here.
First-Place Predoctoral Research
Lance Benson, a Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Shengyu Mu’s laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, took first place in the American Physiology Society Predoctoral Excellence in Renal Research competition. The award follows his selection as one of five finalists from around the country who were invited to present their research into kidney disease at the Experimental Biology annual meeting. Lance won the top award for his presentation, “The IFNγ-PDL1 Pathway Enhances the Interaction Between CD8+ T Cells and Distal Convoluted Tubules to Promote Salt-Sensitive Hypertension.” Congratulations!
Emergency Medicine Assistant Professors Dr. Meredith Von Dohlen and Dr. Lauren Evans and second-year resident Dr. Adam Watkins did a great job at the Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine’s recent Academic Assembly conference in San Diego. Dr. Watkins presented a case in the Clinical Pathologic Case competition; Dr. Von Dohlen was a faculty discussant of another case; and Dr. Evans served as a judge for this prestigious national competition. Dr. Von Dohlen also presented a research abstract, “Emergency Medicine Resident RVU Trends at an Academic Medical Center,” on behalf of the department’s Division of Medical Education.
Congratulations to third-year medical students Sophia Ly and Alyson McKinnon on their recent presentations at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Conference in Boston. Sophia, who is mentored by Dermatology Professor Dr. Henry Wong, presented “Treatment with rituximab for refractory adult dermatomyositis complicated with calcinosis cutis.” Alyson, who is mentored by Dr. Andrea Mabry of Pinnacle Dermatology, presented “Autoimmune progesterone dermatitis following infertility treatment.” Great job!
Estimating Postpartum Blood Loss
Dr. Muhammad Athar, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, is the first author on a newly published paper in the International Journal of Obstetric Anesthesia that explores inaccuracies in the visual estimation of blood loss during postpartum hemorrhage under different scenarios. Dr. Athar collaborated with researchers at Stanford University on the study. Postpartum hemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal mortality nationwide, making accurate blood loss estimation essential for optimal management. Well done.
Roots & Wings
Gifts that fund scholarships are among the most forward-thinking ways to support the College of Medicine and our mission in Arkansas. It is always humbling to hear about the motivations and inspirations for these gifts. The late Dr. Marvin Murphy was a cardiologist at UAMS for over three decades until his retirement in 1996. His wife, Rosanne Murphy of Hot Springs, has given $100,000 to establish an endowed scholarship. In a UAMS news article, she said her husband was passionate about UAMS’ mission to educate outstanding doctors. “He and I always sought to impart two things to our children – roots and wings,” Mrs. Murphy said. “With this scholarship, in honoring him, our family seeks to help physicians establish strong roots at UAMS and to move forward to serve, honor and care for patients and their families.”
More Inspired Giving
Meanwhile, in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, faculty have established a scholarship in honor of Dr. Gloria Richard-Davis, Professor, reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist, and Executive Director of the UAMS Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The scholarship will attract and support visiting medical students from underrepresented groups, in support of the department’s commitment to recruit a more diverse resident population and OB/GYNs for Arkansas. “Dr. Richard-Davis has worked tirelessly for diversity, equity and inclusion among medical students, residents and colleagues,” said OB/GYN Chair Dr. Nirvana Manning. “Thank you to Dr. Luann Racher, who was instrumental in getting this up and going.” Learn more about the scholarship here.