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January 2004 Issue

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40 Under 40

Published January 2004

In August, we brought you the first half of the 40 people under 40 to watch at the UC Medical Center. The Medical Center's impact on the region, and its significant increase in research funding, makes it an attractive place for top investigators and medical educators. The final 20 includes researchers and physicians from a wide variety of departments at the Medical Center, with highlights of major research and education accomplishments, and clinical endeavors that would make any medical center very proud.

Lique Coolen, PhD, 37

Dr. Coolen, associate professor, Cell Biology, Neurobiology, and Anatomy, has received international recognition for her ground-breaking research on neural circuitry mediating male sexual behavior and motivation. She recently received the Charles Judson Herrick Award from the American Association of Anatomists, an award given to young investigators who have made important contributions in neuroscience and have demonstrated remarkable promise of future accomplishments. In addition, in 1999 she was the recipient of the Frank Beach Award from the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology. She is on the editorial board for several prestigious scientific journals and has received major grant funding for her research from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Last year, Dr. Coolen reported in the August 30 edition of Science the discovery that a group of cells found in the lumbar portion of the spinal cord are responsible for male sexual reflexes. This finding that may lead to better treatments for men who have been paralyzed through a traumatic injury to the spine.

Estrelita Dixon, MD, 39

Dr. Dixon, assistant professor in UC's Department of Internal Medicine, received her bachelors in chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and her MD from the Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC. She did her residency and fellowship in general internal medicine at the UC College of Medicine and University Hospital. From 1992 to 1999, she was a staff physician at the UC Sickle Cell Center. From 1993 to 1996 she worked for the Cincinnati Health Department Braxton Cann Health Center. She has been the medical director of the Internal Medicine Clinic Faculty Practice Group since 1997. Her clinical interests include hypertension, diabetes mellitus, sickle cell disease, genetics in primary care and patient education.

Harvey Hahn, MD, 35

Dr. Hahn, assistant professor of cardiology, is interested in ischemia-reperfusion injury, cardiac physiology, and echocardiography. He graduated from Loma Linda University Medical School, where he also did his residency. He and his collaborators have published 14 articles in the past three years based on his research studies in the field of cardiology. His most recent article was published in 2003 in Circulation Research. He won the third place prize for junior faculty basic science research in October 2002 at the Eighth Annual AstraZeneca Cardiovascular Young Investigators' Forum in San Francisco, CA. He is currently the director of the Echo Laboratory at the University Hospital.

Abdul-Rahman Jazieh, MD, MPH, 39

Dr. Jazieh is an associate professor and acting division director of the Division of Hematology-Oncology in the UC Department of Internal Medicine. He serves as the director of the Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program and chairman of the Scientific Review Committee of UC Cancer Programs. He is a hematologist/oncologist with special expertise in management of thoracic oncology and oncology clinical research in general. Dr. Jazieh is the co-director of Thoracic Oncology and the founder and chairman of the Lung Cancer Research Group, which helped in building a comprehensive lung cancer program. He managed to expand the Division of Hematology-Oncology staff and services. Dr. Jazieh has presented and published his work in various national meetings and journals. He is a member of the American College of Physicians, American Society of Hematology, American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Association of Cancer Research.

Joseph Kiesler, MD, 35

Dr. Kiesler, assistant professor of clinical family medicine, followed in his family's footsteps and became a leading advocate for health care for Cincinnati's poor. He developed an underserved residency track that teaches family medicine residents how to provide high-quality care to poor patients, and recently landed a $400,000 federal grant to support the effort. The grant will provide physician training and health care specific to underserved populations in Cincinnati. He is also part of a team that recently opened a medical respite center for homeless that are too ill to be on the street. "His compassion for helping the underserved was sparked at a young age by . . . examples set by his relatives, who volunteered at soup kitchens, hospices and other agencies dedicated to helping the poor," said Jeffrey Susman, MD, chairman of UC's Department of Family Medicine.

Amy Beth Kressel, MD, 39

Dr. Kressel is an associate professor of clinical medicine at the UC College of Medicine and medical director of Infection Control at University Hospital. In her role as Infection Control Medical Director, Dr. Kressel identifies and intervenes to prevent hospital-acquired infection, educates physicians and employees about infections, and serves as a bridge between the hospital and Cincinnati Department of Health. Dr. Kressel is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases and is a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Her published works include approximately 20 articles, reviews, letters, presentations and abstracts. She lectures about infection control.

Monica J. Mitchell, PhD, 32

Dr. Mitchell is an assistant professor of pediatrics, clinical psychologist, and co-director of INNOVATIONS. She is committed to closing the gaps in health, social, and educational outcomes that exist for African-American children. Through INNOVATIONS, she has created a unique link between expertise at Cincinnati Children's and expertise in the community (the United Way, FamiliesFORWARD, and Headstart) to inform best practices in intervention, and prevention programs to improve literacy, social-emotional development, and parenting for African-American families.

Joseph Mrus, MD, 38

Dr. Mrus, assistant professor in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, received his MD in 1994 from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. He is a part of the Institute for Health Policy and Health Services Research, and a physician at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. Dr. Mrus completed his residency in internal medicine and pediatrics and fellowship in outcomes research at the UC College of Medicine. In 1999, he received his MS in clinical epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Mrus' clinical and research interests focus on HIV/AIDS. He directs the HIV Family Care Center, the only site in the region that provides care to children with HIV. He received the VA Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D) Career Development Award and an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) grant to study quality of life in patients with HIV/AIDS in 2002. Dr. Mrus has published 11 research articles in journals including Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, AIDS, Journal of Pediatrics, and Medical Decision Making.

Julie Nelson, PhD, 36

Dr. Nelson, assistant professor, Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology, follows the evolution of HIV and hepatitis C virus within patients who are infected with one or both of these viruses. She is interested in determining the interaction of the viruses with each other and the host immune system. Dr. Nelson received her doctorate from the University of Minnesota and completed her postdoctoral training at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

with state-of-the-art equipment that enables him to evaluate nearly every aspect of renal and cardiovascular function in the mouse. Dr. Noonan focuses on the elucidating mechanisms of renal and cardiovascular perturbations in diabetes. He is also interested in determining the role of vasoactive molecules and ion channels in hypertension.

William Noonan, PhD, 33

Dr. Noonan, post doctoral fellow, is a buckeye through and through. He was born and raised in a suburb of Cleveland, OH, and received his undergraduate and master's degrees from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH. Dr. Noonan chose UC because of the track record of the faculty in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology. His graduate work focused on evaluating renal function in the obese diabetic mouse. Dr. Noonan chose to stay in Cincinnati and take a position within the newly created Department of Genome Science at the Genome Research Institute. His lab is filled with state-of-the-art equipment that enables him to evaluate nearly every aspect of renal and cardiovascular function in the mouse. Dr. Noonan focuses on the elucidating mechanisms of renal and cardiovascular perturbations in diabetes. He is also interested in determining the role of vasoactive molecules and ion channels in hypertension.

Barbara Ramlo-Halsted, MD, 38

Dr. Ramlo-Halsted, assistant professor, UC Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, has been with UC since 1999 and co-directs the division's fellowship training program. She graduated from Yale University School of Medicine in 1993. Her postdoctoral research focused on the actions of insulin at the cellular level and the pathogenesis and natural history of Type 2 diabetes. She will assume the role of Medical Director of the UC Diabetes Treatment Center slated to open in the Spring of 2004. Her clinical interests focus on diabetes mellitus. Dr. Ramlo-Halsted is an attending physician at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center.

Michael Reed, MD, 38

Dr. Reed is an assistant professor of surgery within the Division of Thoracic Surgery in the Department of Surgery at the UC Medical Center. He also practices at the VA Medical Center. Dr. Reed has special expertise in lung and esophageal surgery, tracheal disease, and minimally invasive approaches for thoracic surgical procedures. He helps direct lung cancer trials at the University Hospital and VA Medical Center. He also sees patients in the Barrett Cancer Center thoracic oncology program. Dr. Reed's laboratory research at the Vontz Center for Molecular Studies focuses on the role of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor in lung cancer.

Andrew Ringer, MD, 36

Dr. Ringer is an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the UC College of Medicine and a neurosurgeon with the Mayfield Clinic & Spine Institute. He is at the forefront of efforts to develop and perfect endovascular methods for treating life-threatening abnormalities of the brain and spine. As director of the Endovascular Laboratory for the Department of Neurosurgery at UC, Dr. Ringer specializes in the use of minimally invasive methods to treat aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations, carotid and intracranial artery disease, and stroke. Dr. Ringer is among a select group of physicians nationwide who are authorized to treat wide-necked brain aneurysms with the new Neuroform Microdelivery Stent, and is a leader in the use of kyphoplasty to reduce disability in patients who have suffered a fractured or collapsed vertebra because of osteoporosis.

Jared Robins, MD, 35

Dr. Robins is an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology/Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He has won many awards including the State University of New York at Stony Brook School of Medicine Award for Distinction in Research,1994; Resident Scholar Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 1997; Young Investigator Award from the North American Menopause Society, 1999; and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Novartis Pharmaceuticals Fellowship for Research of the Postreproductive Woman, 2000. Most recently, Dr. Robins was honored with Young Investigator Awards from the Endocrine Society in 2001 and the International Bone and Mineral Society in 2003. Dr. Robins' interests include alternatives to hysterectomy for the treatment of excessive uterine bleeding, the effect of hypoxia on bone cell and trophoblast differentiation, and reproductive medicine.

Jo El Schultz, PhD, 34

Dr. Schultz, assistant professor, Department of Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics, graduated with a PhD from Medical College of Wisconsin in 1997 and did her post-doc fellowship at UC in the Department of Molecular Genetics. She leads the isolated heart lab and is also advisor to three graduate students. Her research focuses on the mechanisms of cardiac remodeling following a heart attack or increase in hemodynamic load, and identification of signaling events involved in protecting the heart against ischemia-reperfusion injury (myocardial dysfunction and infarction). She and her colleagues have published 22 articles since 1995. The most recent articles were in the November 2003 issue of American Journal of Physiology/Heart Circulation Physiology and the December 2003 issue of Circulation.

Randy Seeley, PhD, 36

Dr. Seeley, professor, Department of Psychiatry, studies the involvement of the brain in the regulation of food intake and body weight, with the hopes of contributing to new treatments for the ever growing population of obese individuals. Over 300,000 Americans are estimated to die each year from diseases caused by their obesity and Dr. Seeley is part of a multi-disciplinary research team at UC that is working to understand both the causes and potential treatments to stem this tide. He has published over 125 peer-reviewed articles including articles in Science, Nature, Nature Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine and Nature Neuroscience Reviews. Dr. Seeley is the youngest full professor in the UC College of Medicine.

Dan Snavely, MD, 36

Dr. Snavely is one of the busiest interventional cardiologists in the city. He is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology/Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Snavely received his MD from West Virginia University School of Medicine. He completed a coronary and peripheral interventional fellowship at UC in 2001. Dr. Snavely has been nominated for the 2004 Health Care Heroes Awards presented by the Business Courier. A patient of Dr. Snavely's said, "How lucky we were to have found such a talented, young, and energetic doctor like Dr. Snavely who obviously enjoys his work."

Hong-Sheng Wang, PhD, 34

Dr. Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Cell Biophysics. He graduated with his PhD from SUNY Stony Brook in 1997. He is an electrophysiologist, and his research focuses on ion channels and their function in cardiac myocardial cells and the nervous system. He has published 12 articles based on his research since 1996. His most recent article was in the March 2003 issue of Journal of Physiology. Dr. Wang is most proud of his publication in Science."

Eric Warm, MD, 36

Dr. Warm is an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine. He is an undergraduate, medical school and residency graduate of UC. He joined the faculty of the Division of General Internal Medicine after completing his chief residency year in 1997. He is currently the medical director of the Adult Medicine Practice at Hoxworth, and associate program director of the residency program in Internal Medicine. He is a member of the faculty of a Robert Wood Johnson Project to improve end-of-life care teaching among residency programs. In addition to his medical practice, he is actively involved in teaching, especially regarding ethical and end-of-life care issues. He is an expert in end-of-life care in American hospitals.

Daniel Woo, MD, 35

Dr. Woo, is an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the UC College of Medicine. Dr. Woo's main research interest is in the genetics of stroke incidence, disease prevention and treatment. He holds a NIH grant to study the genetic epidemiology of stroke and is the principal investigator in three other grants related to the genetic epidemiology of stroke. He is a member of the steering and executive committee for a large, multinational grant to identify a gene for intracranial aneurysm. This spring, Dr. Woo will also complete a masters of science in molecular genetics which will supplement coursework. He has been awarded oral platform presentations at the Annals of Neurology and the American Heart Association meetings and teaches a course on stroke in the young at the American Academy of Neurology. In February, 2004, Dr. Woo will receive the American Heart Association Robert G. Siekert New Investigator Award for Stroke which is given only once per year."

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