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Date: Monday, February 16, 2004

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Bradley Britigan, New Chairman of Medicine

Bradley Edward Britigan, M.D., has been appointed chair of the Department of Internal Medicine pending approval by the UC Board of Trustees. Dr. Britigan is currently director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and professor of internal medicine and radiation oncology at the University of Iowa.  He is also a member of the University of Iowa Cancer Center and the graduate program in free radical biology.  He received his M.D. from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.  Dr. Britigan will lead the COM's largest department and will be instrumental in our mission to create a comprehensive cancer center.

Thomas Presents at Prestigious Lecture

George Thomas, Ph.D.,  who will soon join the COM as professor of Genome Science and deputy director of the Genome Research Institute (GRI), was a presenter at the 19th Hans Lindner Memorial Lecture, held last month at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.  The lecture was named for Hans Lindner (1922-1982), a pioneer in the study of reproductive sciences.  "I was extremely honored by the invitation to present at the Hans Lindner Memorial Lecture," Dr. Thomas said.  Dr. Thomas is one of the world's foremost biomedical researchers, having contributed to discoveries in diabetes, obesity and cancer,  work he will continue and expand upon at GRI.  He will be joined by his wife, Dr. Sara Kozma, a renowned researcher in her own right and an integral part of the Thomas research team.


NetWellness Logs 22,000th Question

Myles L. Pensak, M.D. (Department of Otolaryngology) recently answered the 22,000th question posted to NetWellness.  The question was posed by a visitor to the Website who had been feeling "dizzy, hot and nauseous" for the past three months and had been told they had vertigo and TMJ.  NetWellness ( was created by the UC Medical Center in 1994 and now features health professionals from Ohio State and Case Western Reserve as well as UC.  It is dedicated to improving the health of Ohioans and people worldwide through information that is scientifically sound, high quality and unbiased.  About 150 UC Medical Center faculty serve as experts, providing a highly valued community service. The site is always looking for more health professionals to provide advice and answer questions; to get involved, please contact Charlie Kishman (8-3849, 


Development of Sleep Medicine Program Moving Forward

Victoria Surdulescu, M.D., FCCP, D-ABSM, has been recruited to the Department of Internal Medicine (Pulmonary and Critical Care) with an eye toward creating a sleep medicine program at the COM.  Dr. Surdulescu received pulmonary medicine training at UC before leaving to concentrate in the area of sleep disorders; she also established a sleep clinic in Oxford, Ohio.  A sleep medicine program would include teaching, research and clinical service in all areas of sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, narcolepsy, insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness.


Sharp to Receive Samual Kaplan, M.D. Visionary Award

Frank Sharp, M.D. (Pediatric Neurology) will receive the Samuel Kaplan, M.D. Visionary Award this Saturday.  The Award, the most prestigious award presented by The American Heart Association in Cincinnati, is presented annually to those individuals carrying on the tradition of excellence in cardiovascular science exemplified by Dr. Kaplan.  Dr. Kaplan founded and served as director of the Division of Cardiology at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; he passed away on January 21. 


Patient Advocacy Continues to Grow in Importance

COM Dean William J. Martin, M.D., spoke on the topic of patient advocacy at the Fifth Annual Public Interest Organization meeting at NIH last week.  He followed Dr. Elias Zerhouni who opened the session with a presentation on the NIH Roadmap. The meeting, convened by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), emphasized the increasing importance and clout of patient advocacy groups as an integral part of the research equation.  Dr. Martin presented how the NHLBI could be a catalyst for public involvement, drawing on his development of the American Thoracic Society's Public Advisory Roundtable when he served as the Society's president.


Sherman Named to New Post

Kenneth E. Sherman, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed director of the Division of Digestive Diseases in the Department of Internal Medicine.  Dr. Sherman earned his Ph.D. in microbiology at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology (Rutgers University) and his M.D. from George Washington University.  He is now a tenured professor of Medicine and occupies the Gould Chair in Gastroenterology.  His research is focused on the molecular pathogenesis and pharmacological treatment of viral hepatitis, especially in patients with combined hepatitis C and HIV infection


Student Organization Spotlight: SNMA

Our occasional spotlight on student organizations shines today on the Student National Medical Association (SNMA), an organization designed to aid in the recruitment to and retention of minorities in fields of medicine.  Membership is open to anyone, and there are about 40 members of the COM chapter.  Every member mentors a younger student in the medical school and/or at the undergraduate or high school levels; approximately 55 students are currently being mentored.   SNMA's biggest activity is the High School Premedical Recruitment and Exposure Program (HPREP), an annual program in which high school students are exposed to different fields of medicine and given the requisite information to explore a career in a medical field.  Success stories include students who have successfully matriculated through the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students program to gain acceptance into a medical or other professional school.  SNMA also targets the "health gap" by holding health fairs to educate individuals of health issues prevalent in their community such as diabetes and hypertension.  In honor of Black History Month, SNMA and the Office of Minority Affairs will be holding an event called Recreating A Community of Equality, or R.A.C.E.  The event, slated for February 28 at the Vernon Manor, will offer "good food and participation in a meeting of the minds" along with Keynote Speaker Adrian L. Wallace, 30th General President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  Ticket information is available at


Queen City 101

The only goetta packing plant in North America is located in Greater Cincinnati.  For the uninitiated, goetta (pronounced "get-uh"), is a combination of steel-cut pinhead oatmeal, pork, beef and seasonings introduced here in the 19th century by German immigrants.

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