NIH Chooses Rochester to Lead National Initiative
Oct. 3, history was made at the University of Rochester, as senior leadership
announced that the National Institutes of Health had made its largest
grant ever to the University when it selected the School of Medicine and
Dentistry as one of 12 institutions to lead the emerging field of clinical
and translational research.
Announcing the News: Senior leadership talk to faculty, staff and media about the new $40-million NIH grant. From L. to R.: University President Joel Seligman; Medical Center CEO Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D.; School of Medicine and Dentistry Dean David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D.; and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Research Thomas Pearson, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D.
The $40-million grant will be spread over five years to establish a Clinical
and Translational Science Institute, which will work to produce innovative
technology and methods that more efficiently and more quickly advance
treatments to patients.
"We have been piecing together the building blocks for clinical
and translational science at the School of Medicine over my entire time
as dean," said David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of
Medicine since 2002 and principal investigator for the NIH project. "We
share a common vision with NIH that there should be an academic home for
such research. Our Institute is the next logical step in this
area of investigation. The School of Medicine increasingly will be known
as one of the places for conducting translational research and for training
successful academic researchers."
In winning the award, the School takes a seat among some of the nation's
most prestigious medical schools and universities including Yale, Duke
and Columbia universities and the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
"We won the Super Bowl of clinical translational research,"
said Medical Center CEO Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., during the press
conference announcing the grant. "Now the work begins."
That work is multifaceted and will include increased funds for pilot
projects and faculty training; enhanced services for data management,
computer simulation, biostatistics, epidemiology, research ethics and
community involvement; new master's and doctoral degree programs
in clinical and translational science; and formation of a network of hospitals
and biomedical research institutions in upstate New York whose members
will collaborate on projects and share resources.
For more in-depth information visit: Clinical
and Translational Science Institute.
Orthopaedics Reaches No. 1 Spot in NIH Funding
Advancing in Research: From L. to R.: Edward M. Schwarz, Ph.D., professor of Orthopaedics; Randy Rosier, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of Orthopaedics, and J. Edward Puzas, Ph.D., professor of Orthopaedics recently review research findings.
The Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation has reached a major
milestone, earning the No. 1 ranking spot based on funding by the National
Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2005. In reaching this distinction, the
Department heads a list of some of the nation's top-rated academic
medical schools including Yale University, Washington University, Thomas
Jefferson Medical School and the University of Pennsylvania.
"The University of Rochester has a distinguished history of musculoskeletal
research, a heritage that was furthered strengthened with the creation
of the Center for Musculoskeletal Research in 2000," said David
S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
"I applaud the tireless efforts of Department Chair Randy Rosier,
Center Director Regis O'Keefe, and their team, whose hard work and
creative focus are resulting in notable orthopaedic research accomplishments
that have true translational importance for patient care."
A majority of the Department's research is conducted in the Musculoskeletal
Research Center, one of the few formal musculoskeletal research centers
in the country. Headed by Regis O'Keefe, M.D., Ph.D., Center staff
of 65 includes 16 faculty, and close to two dozen graduate students and
post-doctoral fellows who work in the areas of Bone Biology, Cartilage
Biology, Skeletal Repair, Inflammatory Bone Diseases, as well as Musculoskeletal
Recent research by faculty garnering recent national attention includes
studies allowing scientists to transform transplanted bone graft into
living tissue; studies of the effects of lead on skeletal growth and development,
as well as bone fracture healing; investigations into the causes of bone
loss in joint implants; and the development of a gene therapy to augment
Most recently, the Department landed a $7.8 million Center of Research
Translation (CORT) grant in orthopaedics from the National Institute of
Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. A team of orthopaedic
faculty will work on a variety of basic science and clinical research
aimed at speeding the conversion of basic bone science into new treatments
that prevent arthritis, improving fracture healing and saving limbs.
"This is an exciting time for us, both as researchers and as physicians,"
Randy Rosier, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Orthopaedics and
Rehabilitation, said. "We are getting close to the point where decades
of research is finally paying off, with several of our teams on the cusp
of translating exciting research discoveries into clinical treatments.
I congratulate all orthopaedics faculty and staff for reaching this accomplishment,
and also thank our colleagues throughout the Medical Center, who have
helped to support our work."
of Medicine Progresses in Ranking
The School of Medicine and Dentistry moved up one spot to No. 29
in the overall 2005 NIH rankings, with $143 million in funding.
In all, 10 departments both ranked among the top 25 and within the
top 25 percent of their peers in 2005. The School of Nursing
also moved up one spot in NIH funding in 2005, ranking 12th out
of 102 nursing schools with total NIH support of $3 million. Congratulations
to all faculty and staff, whose hard work and vision make these
high rankings possible.
School of Medicine Department
Public Health/Preventive Medicine
You Have the Power to Beat the Flu
Memorial Hospital is arming itself with more than needles this year to
encourage all clinical faculty and staff to obtain a flu vaccine. Through
the newly launched InFLUence program, a series of informational
and convenient vaccination programs will begin reaching hospital employees
to help boost vaccination rates among frontline clinicians.
According to Paul Graman, M.D., Strong Memorial's epidemiologist,
influenza is a serious infectious disease responsible for about 36,000
deaths and 226,000 hospitalizations in the U.S. each year. He said that
health care professionals play a special role in preventing the deadliest
cases of this disease because they directly interact with those at greatest
risk of experiencing serious complications from the flu.
"Health care professionals are at risk both of transmitting flu
to their patients and being exposed to flu from their patients,"
Graman said. "We need to do all we can to keep ourselves, our patients,
our co-workers and our families as safe and healthy as possible."
Research shows that the most effective way to prevent influenza is through
annual vaccinations. Unfortunately, research also shows that less than
half – just 40 percent – of health care professionals nationwide
receive the influenza vaccine each year.
Representatives from Infection Control, Occupational Health and Safety,
University Health Service, Human Resources, and the Pharmacy Department
formed a team to develop a program to increase influenza vaccination rates
among clinical faculty and staff.
"Our goal in creating InFLUence is to remind our clinicians
how important it is that they get vaccinated," said Strong Memorial's
Chief Operating Officer Kathy Parrinello. "By providing them with
timely information, and making the actual vaccination as simple and convenient
as possible, I'm confident we'll be able to boost our rates
Program components include:
- Peer Vaccination Program: Almost all
units in the hospital and at outpatient clinical locations have designated
a nurse who will be available to vaccinate faculty and staff right where
they work. See your nurse manager or supervisor for more information.
- Mobile Vaccination Carts: Beginning
in November, Mobile Vaccination Carts will visit Strong Memorial Hospital
departments to vaccinate large groups of faculty and staff. Please call
275-7795, Option 1 to arrange a visit. The Mobile Vaccination Cart also
will attend several Grand Rounds throughout November and December.
- Flu Clinics: In addition to the flu
clinics run by the HR Benefits Office for all University faculty and staff,
flu clinics geared toward health care professionals will be held in the
House of Six Nations cafeteria during November through January.
- Health Updates: Those faculty and staff
who participate in Health Updates during October to January can receive
a flu shot during these annual exams.
- InFLUence Hotline: A hotline (275-1732)
for faculty and staff is available to call with any questions and concerns
about the program, or any general questions about the flu and the vaccine.
There is no charge for Strong Memorial employees to receive a flu shot,
though please bring both your employee ID and insurance card when getting
For more information about the flu, including information on frequent
vaccine myths, flu vaccine myths, and a complete schedule of upcoming
flu clinics, visit the InFLUence
website, accessible through the Medical Center's intranet. If you
have any questions on the program, please call 275-1732.
MCNet Substantially Upgrades Medical
Center Computer Network
comprehensive upgrade to the Medical Center's networking infrastructure,
MCNet, is underway. When completed MCNet is expected to boost network
capacity, add a new level of reliability, and place wireless technology
throughout the Medical Center allowing connectivity for wireless laptops
and other Wi-Fi mobile devices in most areas. Enhanced security features
are also part of the package.
Led by Information Systems Division staff, MCNet will cover the entire
Medical Center campus. The Medical Center's current network design and
equipment, which connects more than 20,000 computers and devices, is over
eight years old. With increased staff and computing demand, network requirements
have been growing at about 10 percent each year. The MCNet upgrade will
replace the existing network with a newly designed state-of-the-art network
provided by IBM and Cisco Systems.
MCNet also will include exceptional security features to address a growing
amount of critical systems and general concern about a safe computing
environment. These features will be turned on once the network is in place
and will have minimal visible impact to users. It will, however, create
one of the safest computing environments available while maintaining broad
"We are very excited about the opportunities MCNet will bring to
our operations – both academic and clinical," said Jerry Powell,
chief information officer for the Medical Center. "This network
upgrade will enhance the quality and effectiveness of our network and
will make wireless connectivity available throughout the medical center."
MCNet will be phased in over a period of nine months. Planning, testing,
and configuring the network components is underway now. The actual upgrades
are expected to begin in November, and will continue well into 2007. Most
of the work will be done behind the scenes and will have little noticeable
impact to users. In fact, the majority of the work to take place between
11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
All work will be carefully scheduled and monitored to minimize impacts
to users and systems. A detailed schedule is under development and will
be posted on the MCNet Upgrade project web page at http://intrashare.urmc.rochester.edu/MCNET/default.aspx.
Specific notifications will be posted in affected areas prior to work
being done. November is the first month end users might encounter a brief
disruption in connectivity.
Any questions or concerns regarding this project should be addressed
to the MCNet Project Manager Dave Lindsey at 275-0175 or Dave_Lindsey@URMC.Rochester.edu.
Chicago Tribune (Oct. 17) carried David Topham’s
comments on the implications of new research on Spanish flu for
scientists working on a vaccine against bird flu.
Kevin Fiscella’s work on racial disparities
in medical screening was covered by the Washington
Post (Oct. 17).
Scientist (Oct. 17) covered research by Howard Federoff
on a vaccine against mad-cow disease.
Research by Nega Goji and John Treanor
on a possible “prime and boost” vaccination strategy
against bird flu was covered by the Associated
Press (Oct. 16).
(Oct. 11) carried Christopher Ritchlin’s
comments on new findings that patients with psoriasis are at increased
risk for heart disease.
Saleem Ismail’s work on a potential new
treatment for Alzheimer’s disease was covered by several
TV stations around the country (Oct. 11).
(Oct. 11) reported Robert Shaw’s work showing
that our facial bones sag as we age.
London Daily Mail (Oct. 10) quoted Andy Goodman
about the promise of a new drug to help patients with multiple sclerosis.
New York Times (Oct. 10) quoted Jane Greenlaw
about decision-making at the end of life.
An analysis by Michael Pichichero on the best
antibiotics to use to get rid of a strep infection was covered by
Broadcast (Oct. 9).
Benedict DiGiovanni’s find that a simple
stretching exercise can relieve plantar fasciitis was covered by
Today (Oct. 9).
The University’s role in a new network established by NIH
to develop clinical and translational research was reported in an
Press (Oct. 3) story carried around the nation.
Press (Oct. 2) spoke with Handy Gelbard about
his work aimed at treating or preventing the dementia that affects
many AIDS patients.
20/20 (Sept. 29) featured the University’s research on
gender differences in the way people navigate.
The role of Medical Center cardiologists in diagnosing the condition
of a hockey star was covered widely in the Denver
Post (Sept. 29).
Kevin Fiscella’s work on racial disparities
in medical screening was covered by the Atlanta-Journal
Constitution (Sept. 29).
(Sept. 26) ran a story quoting Ruth Lawrence about
the health benefits of breast milk.
ABC affiliate KTBS
in Louisiana covered Jonathan Friedberg’s
research testing a potential new treatment for lymphoma (Sept. 25).
Jeff Peters spoke with the Wall
Street Journal (Sept. 24) about the changing face of esophageal
(Sept. 18) turned to Robert McCann to help put
new research on genetic biomarkers and lifespan into perspective.
Cecelia Horwitz discussed with Newsday
(Sept.16) future technologies that will likely be available to monitor
Work by Arthur Moss and colleagues on the risk
of sudden death among boys and girls with a heart rhythm disorder
was covered by HealthCentral
(Sept. 12) covered Robert Frisina’s publication
showing that hormone-replacement therapy hurts hearing.
Karl Kieburtz was quoted in an Associated
Press (Sept. 8) story about the safety of mercury fillings.
Health (Sept. 6) spoke with Gary Lyman about
possible use of an anti-clotting medication for patients with cancer.
Syracuse Post-Standard (Sept. 4) covered a state program funding
several investigators that uses fines from speeding tickets to fund
research on spinal cord injuries.
Scientist (Sept. 4) interviewed John Looney
about the interplay between the nervous system and the immune system.
Ruth Lawrence discussed with the New
York Times (Sept. 1) the plight of nursing mothers
seeking to carry breast milk aboard airplanes.
American (Aug. 29) spoke with John Treanor
about the possibility that blood from surviving patients might help
those infected with bird flu.
Richard G. Farmer, M.D.,
M.S., professor of Medicine and chief of the Gastroenterology
and Hepatology Division, was selected as an honoree in the American
Gastroenterological Association Foundation’s 2007 Mentors
Research Scholar Award program. Recognized nationally and internationally
as an expert in inflammatory bowel disease, the award honors Farmer’s
contributions to the future of gastroenterology through mentoring
activities of more than 100 gastroenterology Fellows and junior
Robert Holloway, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor
in the Department of Neurology, has been appointed co-chair of the
Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement Stroke and Stroke
Rehabilitation Work Group. An AMA-led initiative, the Consortium
is working to provide performance measurement tools to practicing
physicians to facilitate quality improvement in providing care to
Ania Majewska, Ph.D., an assistant professor of
Neurobiology and Anatomy, has won the prestigious 2006 Cajal Club
Explorer Award, which honors a junior scientist who received an
advanced professional degree within the last six years. The oldest
ongoing neuroscience professional society, the Cajal Club gives
out three prizes to outstanding neuroscientists at different stages
of their careers investigating the cerebral cortex or its connections.
Majewska was honored for her work examining dendritic spine changes
at the molecular level. By understanding the dynamics of spine shape
changes and utilizing state-of-the-art technology to observe structures
in live tissue, Majewska hopes to gain insight into possible targets
for therapeutic treatment.
Donna Tortoretti, RNC, C.M.A.C., chief executive
officer of the Center for Nursing Entrepreneurship (CNEC), is being
honored by the Rochester Women's Network for Innovation and Accomplishment.
The CNEC’s Health Care Consulting Associates links community
forensic needs with legal nurse consulting, providing expert testimony,
on-site consultation and other care consulting services. Under Tortorelli’s
leadership, Health Care Consulting Associates moved from an exclusively
research and development base entity into a web-based practice working
with other national companies to broaden its range of services.
James R. Woods, Jr., M.D., Henry A. Thiede Professor
and chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will accept
the Outstanding Media Award from the Malignant Hyperthermia Association
of the United States (MHAUS) for contributing to public awareness
of the disease through effective use of media. Malignant hyperthermia
is an inherited and sometimes fatal disease. The video helps teach
health care providers about the disease through scenarios that simulate
Amy Vierhile, RN, P.N.P., will receive the Association
of Child Neurology Nurses Award for Excellence in Child Neurology
(ACNN) this month. The annual award recognizes and honors a nursing
professional for distinguished service within the profession of
child neurology nursing. An avid advocate for patients and their
families facing the challenges of complex neurological disorders,
Vierhile is known for her resourcefulness and creative approach
in working with families by providing advice and by identifying
the best resources in the community for patients’ benefit.
Two emergency medicine nurses will be honored by the New York State
Emergency Medical Services Council later this month. Betty
Montgomery, R.N., E.M.T., will receive the Registered Professional
Nurse of Excellence award, given annually to a registered nurse
whose dedication and insight helps to support and improve prehospital
care. Both a nurse at Strong’s emergency department and an
actively practicing paramedic, Montgomery has helped to expand the
knowledge and skills of future paramedics through her mentoring
skills. She previously won the regional Nurse of the Year award
in April. Sharon Chiumento, R.N., E.M.T., will
receive the Harriet C. Weber EMS Leadership Award, given annually
to a long-time EMS leader whose dedication has helped promote and
expand EMS organizations within the community and the state. As
quality improvement coordinator and manager of the Office of Prehospital
Care for the Monroe and Livingston Counties EMS Council, Chiumento’s
tireless quality oversight and coordination of training opportunities
has greatly strengthened the EMS community in our region. Chiumento
also won the regional Leadership Award earlier this year.