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Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2007

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Strakowski, Kotb Appointed Department Chairs

The College of Medicine has named Stephen Strakowski, MD, chair of psychiatry, and Malak Kotb, PhD, chair of molecular genetics, biochemistry and microbiology. Dean David Stern, MD, made the appointments, pending approval by the UC Board of Trustees. Strakowski’s appointment is effective Nov. 1. Kotb will join the college May 1, 2008.


Strawkowski, who has served as interim chair since May 1, 2006, holds secondary appointments as professor of biomedical engineering and psychology, and is a member of the neuroscience graduate program faculty. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Strakowski serves as attending clinical chief of psychiatry at University Hospital and as a consulting psychiatrist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. An experienced researcher, Strakowski serves as director of the Center for Imaging Research and is principal investigator of a large National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) center (P50) award.


Kotb currently serves as the A.C. Mullins Professor of Translational Research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis where she established and directed the immunogenetics, translational and biodefense research programs. At UTHSC, Kotb also directs the Mid-South Center for Biodefense and Security, a multidisciplinary research and education center dedicated to improving preparedness in natural or deliberate biological crises and pandemics, and is senior research career scientist and chief of the Lymphocyte Research Program at the VA Medical Center in Memphis. Kotb will replace Jerry Lingrel, PhD, who has chaired the department since 1981. Lingrel will remain chair until Kotb arrives and will stay a UC professor.

Graham Named Chair of the Alliance for Health Reform

Robert Graham, MD, has been named chair of the Alliance for Health Reform, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that educates opinion leaders on Capitol Hill and nationwide about health policy issues. Graham is a professor of family medicine and holds the Robert and Myfanwy Smith Chair. He succeeds the organization’s founding chair, U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller.

Embi Named to American College of Rheumatology Committee

Peter Embi, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine and director of the Center for Health Informatics, has been appointed to a three-year term on the American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR) Committee on Education. Embi’s term begins in November. The committee creates policies and guidelines for programs on continuing medical education (CME) in rheumatology and professional education products for both specialists and primary care physicians. The group also develops meeting programs for ACR-granted CME, including the association’s annual meeting and other professional meetings.

Pietras to Present at AMA Meeting
Research on the growth factor FGF2 by Daniel Pietras, a MD-PhD student, has been selected for presentation at the 5th annual Research Poster Symposium, hosted by the American Medical Association's (AMA) Medical Student Section. Pietras, under the mentorship of Jo El Schultz, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and cell biophysics, has found evidence that FGF2, a growth factor currently being studied in clinical trials as treatment for heart attack patients, works to maintain function in mouse hearts during a simulated attack by promoting activity of an energy-sensing potassium channel in cardiac mitochondria (the "powerhouse" of the cell). The poster symposium will take place Friday, Nov. 9, in Honolulu, Hawaii, with the winner announced Saturday, Nov. 10. For more information, visit

MLK Scholarship Deadline Nov. 9

The deadline to submit nominations for a Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship is Friday, Nov. 9. Two $1,000 scholarships will be presented Jan. 18, 2008, at the 36th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Celebration in Kresge Auditorium. The scholarships recognize recipients for contributions to society through activities in their workplace, community, place of worship or other organizations that make a difference in the lives of others. Candidates can be nominated by someone or be self-nominated. Scholarships can be used toward any program, workshop, conference or class that betters the life of the recipient. Applications are available in the College of Medicine dean’s office (MSB E-251) and in the office of the senior vice president and provost for health affairs (HPB 250). The celebration is sponsored annually by the Academic Health Center, Health Alliance, University Hospital and Quest Diagnostics. For more information, call (513) 558-6052.


Submissions Sought for AIDS Day Arts Extravaganza

The College of Medicine’s chapter of the American Medical Student Association is soliciting works of art to be displayed in an “AIDS Day Arts Extravaganza,” a multimedia exhibition in Kresge Auditorium on Friday, Nov. 30. The show hopes to educate people about AIDS through the creative endeavors of the Cincinnati community. Paintings, videos, photographs, poetry, prose, sculpture, dance and any other creative works, especially any pieces concerning AIDS, are welcome. All works will be reproduced in a printed catalog and sold to raise money for AIDS research and community efforts. Artists also may sell their works at the exhibition. For consideration, submit digital copies of artwork to by 5 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14.


2007 Hutton Lectureship Reservations Due Nov. 6
A nationally recognized authority on medical humanities and ethics will deliver UC’s 2007 Hutton Lectureship in Ethics. Abraham Verghese, MD, will discuss “The Pen and the Stethoscope—How Literature Informs Medicine,” at noon Tuesday, Nov. 13, in Kresge Auditorium. Verghese is a Marvin Forland Distinguished Professor in Medical Ethics and Joaquin Cigarroa Jr., MD, Chair at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He also directs the Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics, which helps students to “reach their full potential as physicians through self-discovery.” The lecture is free and open to the public, but reservations are encouraged. For more information, call (513) 558-0905. Register online by Tuesday, Nov. 6, at

Early Environmental Exposures Meeting Held at UC

The 4th annual early environmental exposures meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 8, and Friday, Nov. 9, at the West Hotel, 21 E. Fifth Street. “Emerging Topics in Breast Cancer and the Environment Research” will focus on presenting the latest research from the four Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Centers and other studies addressing the basic biology of breast development, environmental exposures and gene-environment interactions that influence puberty onset and cancer susceptibility. The conference—underwritten by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, the National Cancer Institute and the Avon Foundation—is free and open to the public. Registration is required, and space is limited to 220 participants. For more information, visit


Cancer Rehabilitation: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Faculty from UC and Wright State University will discuss the missing link in the care of cancer survivors—rehabilitation—in a presentation on Wednesday, Nov. 28. The discussion will be led by UC’s Elizabeth Shaughnessy, MD, PhD, Beverly Reigle, PhD, and Carolyn Nickol and Wright State’s Karen Wonders, PhD. It will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon in University Hospital Room 1457A. Nursing continuing education credits are available and continental breakfast will be provided. Registration deadline is Friday, Nov. 16. For more information or to register, e-mail or call (513) 558-5276.


New Grant Program Supports Several Stages of Technology Development

Two information sessions will be held on a new grant program that provides support to researchers as they transition from early stage technology development through the commercialization pipeline and into new company formation. These “imagining grants” are worth up to $40,000 each, and will be awarded on a competitive basis for six to 10 projects annually. Sessions are scheduled at UC from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31, in University Hall Room 450 and Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation Building Room 2024. The grants are made possible through CincyTechUSA’s new Third Frontier-funded Entrepreneur Signature Program. Winners must use funding to conduct pre-commercialization activities related to establishing proof of concept and/or the need for the business. To register for the sessions, e-mail or call (513) 558-5054, ext. 102. Questions about the grants should be directed to Dorothy Air at or (513) 558-6054.


Cancer Research Pilot Grants

The UC Barrett Cancer Center at UC is currently accepting applications from clinicians, translational researchers and basic scientists for several grants. Four pilot grants of up to $40,000 will be awarded during the fall cycle of the Cancer Center Pilot Grant Program. Any cancer center member can apply to the program, which supports collaboration, interaction, and increased research in cancer.  The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, Nov. 27, at 5 p.m. Three additional grants of up to $30,000 also will be awarded to breast cancer researchers through the newly established Marlene Harris-Ride Cincinnati Breast Cancer Pilot Grant Program. The deadline for submission is Thursday, Nov. 29. Funds for the program were raised in June 2007 during the first Ride Cincinnati cycling event, which was started by three Cincinnati men whose lives were touched by breast cancer. The program is named after Marlene Harris, who died from breast cancer in 2005. For an application or more information on either grant program, e-mail or call (513) 558-1284.


Four Join Internal Medicine Faculty

  • Sara Goldsberry, MD, has been named an assistant professor of clinical medicine in the division of general internal medicine. Goldsberry earned her medical degree at UC and completed an internal medicine residency and a women’s health fellowship at University Hospitals of Cleveland. She specializes in women’s health and will see patients in the adult medicine clinic at Hoxworth Blood Center.
  • Timmy Lee, MD, has been named an associate professor of clinical medicine in the division of nephrology and hypertension. He specializes in general nephrology. Lee completed an internal medicine residency and general nephrology fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He will see patients at University and Christ hospitals and in Indiana.
  • Massoud Leesar, MD, has been named professor of medicine in the division of cardiovascular diseases. He specializes in interventional cardiology. Leesar completed an internal medicine residency at Yale University and fellowships in interventional cardiology at the University of Louisville and in critical care at UC. He will see patients at University and Ft. Hamilton hospitals.  
  • Jenny Tong, MD, has been appointed an assistant professor of clinical medicine in the division of endocrinology. A diabetes and obesity specialist, Tong’s clinical research focuses on the role of gut hormone in regulating glucose metabolism. She completed an internal medicine residency at Alameda County Medical Center/University of California-San Francisco and a fellowship in endocrinology at the University of Washington in Seattle. 

Dean’s List is a publication of the UC College of Medicine, published each Monday by the Academic Health Center Public Relations and Communications Office.
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