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Date: Monday, August 19, 2013

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Melanie Cushion, PhD

Melanie Cushion, PhD

Cushion Appointed Senior Associate Dean for Research

Dean Thomas Boat, MD, has appointed Melanie Cushion, PhD, senior associate dean for research, effective Sept. 1. Cushion, a professor of internal medicine, will create a team to oversee all research areas and doctoral training programs within the college.

Additionally, she will preside over the College of Medicine Research Council; oversee grants acquisition and management; direct the graduate component of the Medical Scientist Training Program; work closely with research leadership across the university and with its clinical and research partners and oversee core research facilities. "An important priority for Dr. Cushion will be to increase grant submissions, awards and extramural funding from all sources,” Boat said.

Cushion replaces Stephen Strakowski, MD, who stepped down earlier this month as senior associate dean for research to become senior vice president of strategic planning and business development at UC Health. He continues as the Dr. Stanley and Mickey Kaplan Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience.

Arnold Strauss, MD

Arnold Strauss, MD

Strauss to Step Down from Pediatrics Chair

Arnold Strauss, MD, will step down as Rachford Professor and Chair of the UC Department of Pediatrics, director of the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation and chief medical officer, effective June 30, 2014.

Strauss joined Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in May 2007. During his tenure, the hospital opened new facilities and he successfully recruited more than 330 departmental faculty, including 17 new division directors. In a memo to faculty and staff, Dean Thomas Boat, MD, wrote, "He has been instrumental in forging educational and research partnerships globally, including several in China. In this era of tightening NIH budgets, he has been a strong advocate for funding for pediatric research.”

Louis Muglia, MD, PhD, and Lori Stark, PhD, will chair the international search committee for Strauss’s replacement, which plans to complete the search and be ready to transition to a new pediatric chair by July 1.

Alvin Crawford, MD, department of orthopaedic surgery

Alvin Crawford, MD

Crawford Receives Esteemed Laurel Wreath Award

Alvin Crawford, MD, professor emeritus of pediatric orthopedic surgery, received the Laurel Wreath award at the annual meeting of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, held Aug. 6-9 in Houston. The Laurel Wreath award is the fraternity’s highest award for a member’s achievement in service to the fraternity or in human endeavors, national or international.

Kappa Alpha Psi, a predominantly African-American fraternity with over 110,000 members, has only awarded the Laurel Wreath to 71 members since its inception in 1911.  

Crawford is the founding director of the Crawford Spine Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and an attending physician with UC Health Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine.  

›› Read more about the award

Brett Harnett

Brett Harnett

Harnett Named Health Informatics Director

Brett Harnett, research assistant professor of surgery and internal medicine, has been appointed director of the UC Center for Health Informatics (CHI). Harnett previously served as interim director of the CHI.

The CHI is the academic home for health informatics researchers and educators on UC’s medical campus. It includes partners and affiliates from other departments, hospitals and health care or organizations across campus and the region and primarily focuses on the sub-domains of Health Informatics concerned with clinical care, clinical research and public health.

Kettering Laboratory

Environmental Health Presenting in Switzerland

Researchers from the UC Department of Environmental Health and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center are presenting at the "Environment and Health–Bridging South, North, East and West,” conference, being held in Basel, Switzerland Aug. 19-23. It’s billed as the first joint conference of three leading scientific societies dedicated to improving public health.

Presenters include Aimin Chen, MD, PhD, assistant professor of environmental health whose waste team research includes Shuk-Mei Ho, PhD, Jacob G. Schmidlapp Chair of Environmental Health; environmental health faculty Susan Pinney, PhD, Tiina Reponen, PhD, and Erin Haynes, DrPH; and Shelley Ehrlich, MD, and Patrick Ryan, PhD, faculty in the departments of pediatrics and environmental health based at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Eric Kettleson, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow on Reponen’s team, and Robert Herrick, a PhD student mentored by Pinney, will also deliver presentations.

›› Read more about their research

HealthNews Photos / General Research.jpg

LEAF Grants Open for Women Faculty

The University of Cincinnati’s LEAF initiative, or "Leadership, Empowerment and Advancement of Women in Stem Faculty,” will be awarding a series of grants to support women STEM faculty at the university.

UC LEAF grants will target new research initiatives, career advancement training, diversity initiatives, and leadership development. Three types of grants are available: the UC LEAF Seed Award, the Career Branch Award and the Leadership Branch Award.

Visit the UC LEAF Grants webpage to learn more. Deadline for submissions is Monday, Sept. 16. For more information, contact Nancie Ehlert, program coordinator, at

CARE/Crawley Building

Outside Activity Reporting Due Sept. 6

UC employees of the College of Medicine must complete an annual report of collateral employment, conflicts of commitment and conflicts of interest by no later than Friday, Sept. 6, with the exception of all externally funded investigators who must complete their report by Tuesday, Sept. 10, to comply with federal deadlines.

To complete the Outside Activity Report (OAR), go to:

The OAR form has been revised this year to comply with requirements for federally funded research and in response to feedback.

For more information on who must complete the report and activities to report, visit the online FAQ. For questions, email or

Kingsgate Marriott

Save the Date: UC Pancreatic Cancer Symposium Nov. 2

The Pancreatic Cancer Symposium, "Updates for Clinical Care in 2013,” will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Kingsgate Marriott.

The event is aimed at physicians. Registration cost is $50 through Oct. 18, and $75 after.

For more information, contact Ashley Bonner at 513-584-8900 or

UC Academic Health Center

Upcoming Lectures and Seminars

  • Neurology Grand Rounds, Aug. 21: Robert Neel, MD, assistant professor of neurology and rehabilitation medicine, will present, "Current Research in ALS” from 8 to 9 a.m. in MSB E-351.
  • Medical Grand Rounds Aug. 21: Mark Eckman, MD, will present, "Decision support tools for anticoagulation," at noon in Kresge Auditorium.
  • Translational Cancer Research Seminar Series Aug. 22: Jorge F. DiMartino MD, PhD, executive director of translational development oncology at Celgene Corporation, will present, "The Celgene Early Development Oncology Pipeline,” at 3 p.m. in Cincinnati Children’s Research Auditorium, Location R, 3381.
  • Neuroscience Seminar Series Aug. 29: Steven Crone, PhD, divisions of neurosurgery and developmental biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, will discuss, "A circuit mechanism of neurodegeneration in Spinal Muscular Atrophy,” at 4 p.m. in MSB E-351.
  • Pharmacology & Cell Biophysics Faculty Scholars Seminar Series Aug. 29: John Littleton, MD, PhD, professor of psychology at University of Kentucky, will discuss, "Directed evolution of plant drugs by un-natural selection,” at 4 p.m. in MSB 4051.
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