Vol. 33, No. 1     Winter 2010
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News From UW Medicine

Honors

  • Professor and chair of the Department of Pathology, Nelson Fausto, M.D., received the 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease in November.
  • Erika Goldstein, M.D. ’84, MPH ’88, professor of medicine and founding director of the Colleges program, received the 2009 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teaching Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges.
  • This March, vice chair of surgery, Ron Maier, Res.’78, and pediatric critical-care fellow Omar Bhutta, Res. ’08, will be honored by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for their contributions to graduate medical education.

Research

  • Professor of Genome Sciences Evan Eichler and his colleagues developed a new computational method called the micro-read Fast Alignment Search Tool, which counts copies of duplicated genome sequences.
  • Professor of Radiology and Neurological Surgery Jeffrey Jarvik, MPH ’95, and colleagues at UW Medicine and other institutions showed that vertebroplasty, a procedure in which bone cement is injected into a fractured vertebra to stabilize it, should not be performed routinely.
  • UW Medicine has received millions of dollars in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including an award to create the Northwest Genomics Center (see the feature story in this publication).
  • Robert Vessella, Jr., professor of urology, received a National Institutes of Health grant to study the process by which prostate cancer metastasizes to bone.
  • Chet Moritz, research assistant professor of physiology and biophysics, and Philip Horner, associate professor of neurological surgery, have received an award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to develop a method of using electrical stimulation to guide transplanted stem cells to form connections and repair neural circuits; if successful, this approach could be used to treat patients suffering from central nervous system damage such as traumatic brain injury, stroke or spinal cord injury.
  • TIME magazine selected the gene-therapy treatment of color blindness in monkeys performed by UW Medicine researchers Jay and Maureen Neitz and their colleagues as one of the top three scientific discoveries of 2009 — part of its annual listing, “The Top Ten of Everything.”
  • Lalita Ramakrishnan, associate professor of microbiology, medicine and immunology, has discovered a signaling pathway that tuberculosis bacteria use to coerce disease-fighting cells to switch allegiance and work on their behalf.

Patient Care

  • In January 2010, we welcomed Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, a 281-bed, full-service, acute-care hospital, to UW Medicine.
  • The UW Medicine Center for Pain Relief celebrated expanded facilities at UW Medical Center-Roosevelt this fall.
  • The UW School of Medicine and Providence Hospice of Seattle are providing a year-long fellowship training (and board certification) in end-of-life care for Pacific Northwest physicians.
  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is studying how to improve language services in hospitals; one of its test sites is Harborview Medical Center.
  • A number of UW Medicine and UW Health Sciences faculty, healthcare professionals and students are working with disaster response agencies and healthcare organizations in Haiti, and some may blog about their experiences on the main University of Washington website once reliable Internet connections have been established (washington.edu).
  • UW Medical Center was recently awarded the international designation of a Baby-Friendly birth facility, the first medical center in Seattle to receive this recognition, which focuses on supporting breastfeeding.

Education

  • In September, 216 M.D. students (out of the 4,266 candidates who applied) began their first year of school at UW Medicine.

WWAMI News

  • In November, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute made an award to UW Medicine’s Molecular Medicine Training Program, one that will allow the program — which exposes Ph.D. candidates to medical courses and clinical settings — to expand to WWAMI sites.
  • Assistant clinical professor of family medicine and Rural/Underserved Opportunities Program preceptor Kevin Creelman received the 2009 Alaska Family Physician of the Year Award from the Alaska Academy of Family Physicians.

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