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!
I had the honor last night of joining with many others throughout the community in paying tribute to Dr. Sara Tariq, Professor of Internal Medicine and Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Dr. Tariq was the special honoree at the annual “Taste of Little Rock” fundraiser for the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, her undergraduate alma mater. Dr. Tariq has been a source of pride for us here at UAMS for many years. I felt that sense of pride when reading a guest column by Dr. Tariq in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette last week. As a highly respected leader, she has a keen perspective on the “secret sauce” that makes leaders – and their teams – successful.
“Research shows that when team members feel a strong relationship with their leaders, they feel more engaged,” Dr. Tariq wrote. “This results in a measurable and transformational impact on the organization. Relationships are the ‘special sauce’ of our ability to attract and keep the very best people. Leadership is not the simple transaction between managers and employees; it is a dynamic that is created through intentional acts of investment in people.”
You nailed it, Dr. Tariq. COM team members can read the full column here.
Enhancing Clinical Research Data
Congratulations to Dr. Maryam Garza, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics, on her election as Operations Committee Co-Chair of the Vulcan Accelerator, a clinical research-focused project of the Health Level Seven International (HL7) data standards organization. Vulcan and other accelerators are focused on the crucial work of speeding the development and availability of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) compliant data to deliver better health outcomes. The work depends on experts in interoperability and standards-based data exchange, such as Dr. Garza, from academia, government agencies, technology companies and other organizations.
Financial Profit in Medicine
A position paper from the American College of Physicians (ACP) coauthored by Dr. Omar Atiq, Professor of Internal Medicine, has won the John A. Benson Jr., M.D., Professionalism Article Prize for Commentary from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation. The paper explores the effects of the growth of corporate interests and influence in health care on patients, physicians and the health care system. The article from the ACP Health and Public Policy Committee, which Dr. Atiq chairs, also makes recommendations for policies that can foster and sustain the physician-patient relationship. Dr. Atiq is now President-Elect of the ACP. Well done!
Dr. Zhiqiang Qin, Associate Professor of Pathology, and colleagues have published two recent articles, including one exploring how some anti-COVID-19 drugs, especially Remdesivir, may induce oncogenic herpesvirus reactivation. The article, with postdoctoral fellow Dr. Jungang Chen as first author, was published in the American Society for Microbiology journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Dr. Chen is also a first author on an article from Dr. Qin’s group, published in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, that identifies some new natural compounds with excellent anti-small-cell lung cancer activities. Other UAMS contributors to these papers included Dr. Lu Dai and Dr. Steven Post (Pathology); Dr. Samantha Kendrick (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology); and Dr. Shengyu Mu (Pharmacology and Toxicology.)
COVID Prevalence in Children
Researchers at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s and the Arkansas Department of Health found evidence through a seroprevalence study that SARS-CoV2 infections in children were more common in Arkansas than previously recognized during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study, led by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology’s Dr. Karl Boehme and Dr. Craig Forrest and the Department of Pediatrics’ Dr. Josh Kennedy, was published this month in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.
The research team tested remnant serum samples from children who visited Arkansas hospitals or clinics for non-COVID reasons from April 2020 through April 2021. The presence of antibodies in samples revealed a steady increase of infections during the first eight months of the pandemic, followed by a more rapid increase. The researchers also found racial and ethnic disparities, with Hispanic and Black children being at increased risk for COVID infection. Along with many faculty members, contributors included postdoctoral fellow Dr. Shana Owens (Dr. Forrest’s lab), Pediatrics resident Dr. Katherine Caid and medical student Zeel Modi. Great work, all.
This week’s Accolades started, and now ends, with a note about a colleague who has made their mark as an alumnus. Dr. Terry Harville, Professor of Pathology and Internal Medicine, is highly regarded among peers nationwide for his expertise in pediatric allergy, asthma, immunology, autoimmunity and much more. Recently, his expertise has been integral in groundbreaking research into “long COVID.” However, it is also wonderful when your accomplishments are recognized by those who were peers and teachers in your formative years. I am pleased to congratulate Dr. Harville on being named to the Lake County Schools Alumni Hall of Fame in Florida, where he is a proud graduate of the Groveland High School Class of 1971!