News From UW Medicine

Honors | Research | Patient Care | Education | WWAMI | Special Events

For more news from UW Medicine, please visit www.uwmedicine.org. Our website also provides a wealth of information regarding health services and other resources.

Honors

Anthony L. Back, M.D., Res. ’87, UW professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology and director of palliative care and the Program on Cancer Communication at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, received the American Cancer Society’s Pathfinder in Palliative Care Award.

William J. Bremner, M.D. ’69, Res. ’72, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Medicine and the Robert G. Petersdorf Endowed Chair in Medicine, has been chosen by the Association of Professors of Medicine to receive the 2011 Robert H. Williams, M.D., Distinguished Chair of Medicine Award.

William A. Catterall, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Pharmacology, has been awarded the 2010 Wachter Research Prize by the University of Innsbruck, Austria, for exceptional scientific achievements in all fields of medicine. Catterall was recognized for the discovery of sodium and calcium channel proteins and the definition of their receptor sites for drugs.

Karen Horvath, M.D., UW professor of surgery and director of the general surgery residency program, was named the 2011 Distinguished Educator by the Association for Surgical Education.

Three UW School of Medicine faculty and staff received the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education’s (ACGME’s) highest awards in March 2011. Byron D. Joyner, M.D., UW professor and residency program director in the Department of Urology and associate dean for graduate medical education, and Karen J. Souter, M.D., UW associate professor, residency program director and vice chair for education in the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, will receive the Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award. Michelle Rickard, academic program manager in the Department of Pathology, will receive the Coordinator Excellence Award.

In recognition of his commitment to patient welfare, patient autonomy and social justice, Harry R. Kimball, M.D., Res. ’64, Chief Res. ’68, former president of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and senior advisor to the dean, received the Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). He shares the award with Dr. John Benson, the first president of the ABIM.

Mary-Claire King, Ph.D., UW professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Genetics and the Department of Genome Sciences and the American Cancer Society Professor of Medicine and Genome Sciences, will serve as president of the American Society of Human Genetics in 2012. She’s the sixth UW Medicine faculty member to hold this position.

Teresa L. Massagli, M.D., Res. ’88, UW professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, director of the physical medicine and rehabilitation residency program, and Rehabilitation Medicine Residency Director Endowed Professor, was elected chair of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Carlos A. Pellegrini, M.D., the chair of the Department of Surgery and Henry N. Harkins Endowed Chair in Surgery, has been elected chair of the Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons.

Lalita Ramakrishnan, MBBS, Ph.D., UW professor of microbiology and adjunct professor of immunology, a tuberculosis researcher, and Ram Samudrala, Ph.D., a UW associate professor of microbiology who studies the connections between proteins, DNA and metabolites, were among 17 scientists nationwide to receive the Director’s Pioneer Awards from the National Institutes of Health.

Muneesh Tewari, M.D., Ph.D., UW assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology and an assistant member of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is among 85 people selected by President Obama to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

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Research

A number of genomic research projects conducted at UW Medicine were featured in Science’s “2010 Breakthroughs of the Year.” Among them were genetic discoveries brought about by parallel sequencing methods and the location of the gene responsible for a rare, single-gene Mendelian disorder

Analyses of data from nearly 50,000 people have uncovered several DNA sequence variations associated with the electrical impulses that make the heart beat. These findings were reported in Nature Genetics by Nona Sotoodehnia, M.D., Res. ’00, Fel. ’02, UW assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology, and her colleagues.

UW Medicine’s prominence in comparative effectiveness research was recently recognized with $24 million in patient-centered research grants from the national Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The grants will support several areas, including cardiovascular risk factors among HIV-infected patients, a clinical scientist career development program and lower back pain interventions in the elderly. Such research is key to ensuring that health systems deliver the best care.

The UW is one of 41 research institutions participating in ResearchMatch, a National Institutes of Health enterprise that helps match research studies and people who want to volunteer. Volunteers are crucial in testing hypotheses, theories and protocols that help advance medicine.

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Patient Care

On Jan. 18, 2011, UW Medicine and Valley Medical Center (VMC) signed a non-binding Letter of Intent to explore a strategic alliance that would integrate VMC into UW Medicine and increase access to health-care services for South King County residents.

The University of Washington, the University of Maryland and the University of Nairobi are working together to expand clinical training outside of Nairobi, Kenya, to 12 rural sites. They are using UW Medicine’s WWAMI program as their model.

In mid-October, a patient at UW Medical Center became the world’s first recipient of a device designed to quell the disabling vertigo associated with Ménière’s disease. Jay T. Rubinstein, M.D. ’87, Ph.D. ’88, UW professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, director of the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center and Virginia Merrill Bloedel Chair in Clinical Hearing Research, and James O. Phillips, M.D., Res. ’92, Ph.D. ’93, UW professor in the Department of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery and director of the Dizziness and Balance Center, developed the device.

Harborview Medical Center’s satellite clinics for HIV/AIDS patients, located in Bremerton and Everett, received the 2010 Warren Featherstone Reid Award for Excellence in Health Care from the State of Washington.

Read about ROAM, the Rural Opiate Addiction Management Collaborative. A collaboration between Washington State University and the University of Washington, the program recently trained rural providers on the use of buprenorphine, a drug useful in treating opioid addiction, in Spokane, Wash.

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Education

To address the strong need for residency training positions in eastern Washington, a committee was convened to identify graduate medical education (GME) opportunities. The committee sponsored a regional conference on GME in Spokane in October that was attended by more than 150 participants from throughout the WWAMI region.

UW Medicine concluded its annual Mini-Medical School program a few weeks ago. In a series of informative and entertaining sessions for the general public, UW Medicine faculty lectured on topics such as cardiac care and work on the male birth control pill. Visit www.uwtv.org (search for “mini med”) to view lectures from the series.

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WWAMI

The University of Alaska, Anchorage campus, received a $1.2 million award from the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities. The award created the university’s first NIH-funded Center of Excellence, and it will bring health pathway programs together to catalyze the creation of new programs and research capacity.

The Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence Program is a consortium of 10 research and educational institutions in Idaho. One of its goals is to serve as a pipeline to graduate and professional education by providing a variety of training, activities and awards for students and teachers at various levels. This pipeline serves the WWAMI region by preparing undergraduates in Idaho colleges to pursue biomedical research at programs like those offered by the UW School of Medicine.

The WWAMI program turns 40 this year! Share your WWAMI story.

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Special Events

Prostate cancer survivors, researchers and advocates gathered on Dec. 9, 2010, for the third Prostate Cancer Survivors Celebration Breakfast, a benefit for the Institute for Prostate Cancer Research (IPCR). Together, attendees and sponsors helped the event gross $1 million.

Scholarship students shared inspiring stories with scholarship donors at UW Medicine’s annual scholarship celebration on Feb. 9, 2011.

And on Feb. 26, 2011, the 19th Annual UW Medicine Salute Harborview Gala drew together more than 700 supporters for an evening that grossed $1.4 million. Event proceeds support charity-care programs at Harborview Medical Center.

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