Medical Faculty Council

Medical Faculty Council Officers, 2014 - 2015:

Gabrielle Yeaney, MD, Chair

Anne Nofziger, MD, Associate Chair

Martha Gdowski, PhD, Secretary

Julie L. Ryan, PhD, MPH, Past Chair

The Medical Faculty Council (MFC) has long provided a forum for faculty discussion and communication with School leadership. However, the Council had been inactive in recent months, as its role had become increasingly unclear. With an eye toward improving faculty's communication and connectedness to School governance (in part as a response to the AAMC Faculty Forward survey), MFC members drafted a revised charter for the approval of our School faculty, which was approved in July 2013.
Why do we need a Medical Faculty Council (MFC)?
A vital, active MFC is an important mechanism for discussion and expression of faculty views, and for improving communication between our faculty members and School leadership. Items from School leaders for information or discussion can be brought to faculty in our Departments and Centers directly by their MFC representatives, rather than solely through department chairs and center directors. Faculty concerns also can be brought directly to School leaders in the Dean’s Office by the MFC.
Why did we revise the Medical Faculty Council Charter?
Members of the MFC increasingly felt that their role was unclear, in large part because its work felt disconnected from the Dean’s Office and other School leaders. Not surprisingly, the engagement of the MFC representatives had lessened.
So how did the MFC revise the charter?

The revised charter includes the following main changes:

  • Making it clear that the MFC works closely with the Dean’s Office, particularly with the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, who will coordinate MFC meeting agendas with the MFC officers to ensure that the desired communication and alignment of efforts take place.
  • Allowing more flexibility in how each department selects its representative, while providing for alternate representatives and accountability for engagement so that all faculty members have active representation in the MFC’s work.
  • Changing the MFC officers’ structure to provide more continuity of this leadership group across the years.
  • Making it clearer that, while the MFC retains the right to call special faculty meetings independent of the Dean’s Office, this is to be done only under special circumstances after consultation with the University President.
  • Allowing MFC electronic voting for time-sensitive issues requiring MFC approval.


MFC Charter & By-Laws

The Charter and By-Laws describe the purpose, officers, representatives, and functions of the Medical Faculty Council.

Medical Faculty Council Charter & By Laws

MFC Meeting Notes
MFC Membership List

The following is the membership list for the Medical Faculty Council. Also below is the same list with photos of members.

MFC Membership List
MFC Membership List with Photos

The following is an updated listing of all MFC members with a new field showing when each representative's term ends. While our new Charter gives each rep a 3-year term, we decided that for these initial MFC appointments we would arbitrarily assign the rep terms to be either 1, 2, or 3 years. That way, as of 2015 every rep will have a 3-year term but staggered, so only 1/3 of the MFC turns over in any given year. Therefore, one-third of the current reps have terms that end this July. Such reps are certainly welcome to let their Chair know if they want to be considered to re-up for a new 3-year term. (The Charter allows reps to serve up to 2 consecutive terms on the MFC.)
MFC Member List Dept. End of Term

MFC Travel Awards

The results for the URSMD MFC Student/Trainee Travel Award have been completed.  This was a competitive round of applications with 9 basic science and 7 clinical science submissions.   The recipients of the second round of URSMD MFC Student/Trainee Travel Awards 2014 are:


  • Basic Science Research Award:          Yelena Lerman
  • Clinical Science Research Award:       Makenzi Hillard, M.D.

Yelena Lerman is in her sixth year of the Pharamacology PhD program under the mentorship of Dr. Minsoo Kim in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology.  Yelena gave an oral and poster presentation of her work on “Exacerbated tissue homing of neutrophils during sepsis and TLR2-induced cytokine production are regulated by integrin a3b1” at the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) meeting in May 2014.  Her work evaluated the surface expression kinetics of b1 and b3 integrin heterodimers on neutrophils during sepsis in both mice and humans.  She showed that only integrin a3b1 is significantly upregulated during sepsis.  Previous studies suggested a role for IL-10 as a regulator of the transition from mild sepsis to irreversible septic shock. Thus, sepsis progression could be modulated by altering IL-10 release and α3β1 upregulation.


Dr. Makenzi Hillard, M.D. is in her final year of medical residency fellowship in Pediatrics under the mentorship of Dr. Peter Szilagyi.  She recently attended the Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting in May 2014.  She gave a platform presentation on her fellowship research project entitled, “What did they learn – A qualitative study of pediatric resident critical incident essays.”  Dr. Hillard conducted a large, qualitative analysis of critical incident essays written by pediatric residents at University of Rochester since 2002.  Her results provided insight into the  emotional triumphs and struggles of pediatric residents and suggest that reflective essays may be effective for evaluating the progress of residents through important areas of training.  Additionally, Dr. Hillard contributed to two workshops with two other oral presentations,  “Reflecting on Reflections – the How and Why of Fostering Reflective Capacity in your Learners” and “Applying Self-Determination Theory to Stimulate the motivation of Teachers and Learners.”


Previous MFC Student/Trainee Travel Award Winners 2014:


The recipients of the first round of URSMD MFC Student/Trainee Travel Awards 2014 are:

  • Basic Science Research Award:          Bethany Plakke, Ph.D.
  • Clinical Science Research Award:       Shira Black, D.O.

Bethany Plakke, Ph.D. is a post-doc in the laboratory of Dr. Lizabeth Romanski in the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy.  Dr. Plakke gave a poster and short oral presentation on her research entitled, “The role of ventral prefrontal cortex in auditory, visual, and audiovisual working memory” at the Advances & Perspectives in Auditory Neurophysiology (APAN) meeting associated with the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in November 2013.  Her study investigated whether the ventral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) was essential for an audiovisual non-match-to-sample task designed to test auditory and visual working memory.  In rhesus macaques, Dr. Plakke showed that the VLPFC is necessary for cross-modal attention/switching and auditory working memory but not for visual working memory.  A better understanding of the neural circuit underlying audiovisual and auditory processes will enable further elucidation of effects observed in autism, attention hyperactivity disorder, and schizophrenia. 


Shira Black, D.O. is a fourth year resident in the Department of Anesthesiology under the mentorship of Dr. Jerrold Lerman.  Dr. Black have an oral presentation on her research entitled, “Drug calculation errors in anesthesia residents and faculty” at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in October 2013.  Her study investigated the frequency of computational drug error rates in a national sample of anesthesiology residents (N=223) and  faculty (N=163) from seven U.S. academic institutions.  A standard questionnaire designed to determine the frequency of drug calculation errors, identify possible contributing factors to the error rate, and the type of errors made by the respondents.  Dr. Black found that drug error rates by residents and faculty occur at a similar rate (2.5 error per test; 15% wrong answers).  Additionally, CA-1 residents and senior faculty make the largest drug calculation errors and lack of sleep does not result in an increase in error rate.  This study is the first step in developing methods for improvement in drug calculations performed by anesthesiologists. 


Medical Faculty Council University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Student/Trainee Travel Awards 2014 Request for Applications (RFA)


The Medical Faculty Council wishes to announce a pair of travel awards to support University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry (URSMD) medical student, graduate student, post-doctoral trainee, clinical resident, and clinical fellow presentations at meetings of national organizationsl This is the second RFAs for this yearly award. Two awards will be given this funding cycle (one for clinical research and one for basic sciences research).


The purpose of this award is to assist students and trainees in the URSMD to attend important national meetings at which they will present their research and make professional connections and to assist mentors with limited funds to promote their student’s professional success. The amount of each travel award is no more than $1,000.  The award can be used for registration and travel costs to national or international meetings. This award may be given in the form of reimbursement for a meeting that an applicant has already attended and presented their research or for anticipated meeting travel for presentation.  Eligible applications are for travel between March 1, 2014 and August 31, 2014. 


DeadlineMay 9th at 6pm


Applicants may submit applications for: 1) abstracts that have not yet been accepted to their specified meeting; 2) abstracts that have been accepted to their specified meeting; and 3) abstracts that have been accepted and already presented at their specified meeting.  Applicants should make sure the meeting dates concur with the specified travel dates above.  (Note:  The next RFA will be released in November 2014 for travel between September 1, 2014 and February 28, 2015.  Please look for the formal request for applications in November.)


Applications should describe the science to be presented, the significance of the meeting to be attended, and the steps the student and mentor will take to ensure that the applicant takes full advantage of the meeting to help develop their career.  Applications for this travel award should be submitted as a single PDF containing the following components:

  • Copy of the abstract submitted for the presentation.  If the abstract has already been accepted for presentation at the meeting, please include a copy of its acceptance containing the indication of the type of presentation (e.g., poster or oral).
  • Applicant’s Personal Statement discussing the importance of attending the meeting and the science to be presented (limit to 1 page).
  • Applicant’s CV
  • Recommendation Letter from the Applicant’s Mentor (The letter should explain the significance of this meeting to the applicant's career development).
  • Please include an intramural box number (i.e., department box number) in the application.  (Note:  Notification letters will be mailed via intramural mail).
  • Please indicate whether the application should be considered for a “clinical science” or “basic science” award.  This should be determined primarily by the type of study and not the type of meeting to be attended.  If an investigator is uncertain if the project should best be judged as a “clinical” or “basic science” application, please forward the abstract to the MFC Chair (Dr. Julie Ryan), who will make a consensus recommendation.

Each application will be scored using a 1.0 to 5.0 scoring system (i.e., where 1.0 is perfect and 5.0 is terrible), for the following three criteria: 1) How the meeting will advance the applicant’s career; 2) Significance of the meeting; and 3) Quality of Science.  Each application will be reviewed by 3 reviewers.  The final score for the application will be an average of all three evaluation scores.  Notification of awards will occur approximately 2-3 weeks after application deadline.


This award specifically funds travel to meetings at which the applicant will be presenting his/her work.  Therefore, if the chosen award recipient is an applicant who submitted a “not-yet-accepted abstract” for this award, and the abstract is ultimately not accepted to the meeting, the applicant will forfeit the award.  The travel award will then go to the next highest ranking abstract in its category (clinical or basic research). 


An application will be ineligible if the applicant has received other travel funds (i.e., funds from the meeting sponsor/host society) for the same abstract and same meeting before or during the review of applications.  We request that the applicant notify the MFC Chair if other travel funds have been awarded to them, so that their application may be withdrawn. 


Please combine all application materials into one single PDF with formatted title: “MFCTravelAward-applicant’s last name-Basic/Clinical”.  (If applicant’s name is Jane Doe applying for Basic Science award, the title of the PDF would be: “MFCTravelAward-Doe-Basic”.  Please deliver PDF by email to Laura Francz in the Office of Academic Affairs at:  Applications that are not in PDF format will not be processed.  Please use the PDF title as the subject line of the email.


For questions please contact:

Julie L. Ryan, PhD, MPH

Medical Faculty Council Chair

Departments of Dermatology and Radiation Oncology

(585) 276-3862