School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine
Medical student Jannel Lee-Allen wins scholarship named for 1958 graduate Dr. Charles Vincent
In Headlines on June 14, 2013
Jannel Lee-Allen, right, meets Martha Vincent, wife of Charles C. Vincent, M.D., at the Wayne County Medical Society of Southeast Michiganís annual meeting in May 2013.

Jannel Lee-Allen, right, meets Martha Vincent, wife of Charles C. Vincent, M.D., at the Wayne County Medical Society of Southeast Michiganís annual meeting in May 2013.

Married mother of two Jannel Lee-Allen spends the majority of her days and nights studying to become a doctor. But when the Wayne State University School of Medicine student earns the title of physician in 2016, it won’t be her first stint as a working professional.

The Wayne County Medical Society of Southeast Michigan Foundation awarded Lee-Allen the Charles C. Vincent, M.D., Memorial Scholarship at the society’s 2013 annual meeting, held May 22 at the Detroit Athletic Club. She will use the $2,500 scholarship for summer living expenses.

The award is given annually to a WSU medical student who reflects the work of its namesake, a 1958 graduate and former associate dean of admissions for the School of Medicine. Lee-Allen, mother to an 8-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, was once a typical 20-something career professional, working for seven years in nonprofit and public housing development in Detroit after earning her master’s degree in urban planning from WSU.

She had a chance to speak with Dr. Vincent’s wife, Martha, after receiving the scholarship.

“She said she felt like her husband would be pleased with the choice,” she said. “He was committed to the African-American community.”

Dr. Vincent, an obstetrician and gynecologist, received the School of Medicine’s distinguished alumni award in 1981. The Wayne County Medical Society established the scholarship in 2000 to honor his work as an advocate for the health and well-being of the Detroit community, including his efforts to combat teen pregnancy. It is presented annually to a WSU medical student on the basis of financial need and academic merit, once the students have qualified for admission to the School of Medicine.

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Lisa MacLean, M.D., recommended Lee-Allen for the scholarship at the suggestion of De’Andrea Wiggins, interim director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

“Her (urban planning) degree speaks to her interest in policies as it relates to urban issues, which is of particular interest if she is to be a culturally-competent physician,” Wiggins said.

Lee-Allen, a resident of Detroit, was raised in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood in upper Manhattan. Her mother, a state nursing aide, encouraged her to pursue medicine as an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, where Lee-Allen majored in neuroscience. She moved to Detroit to study urban planning after graduation. Years later, after funding to the Detroit nonprofit for which she worked was cut, she thought about starting a new career. “I began to soul search for a little bit,” she said.

The 32 year old will enter her second year of medical school this fall. She recently completed one-week externships shadowing a gastroenterologist and a neurologist with St. John Providence Health System, and was one of only 13 first-year students picked to prepare cadavers – termed prosecting – this summer for the incoming Class of 2017’s general anatomy courses. She will serve as external vice president of the Black Medical Association for 2013-2014.

In addition to receiving the scholarship, Krishna Sawhney, M.D., offered to sponsor Lee-Allen’s student membership in the Wayne County Medical Society, which includes membership in the Michigan State Medical Society and American Medical Association.
Dr. Horn appointed chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation - DMC
In Headlines on June 12, 2013
Lawrence Horn, M.D., M.R.M.

Lawrence Horn, M.D., M.R.M.

Lawrence Horn, M.D., M.R.M., has been appointed chair of the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Detroit Medical Center - Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan.

Valerie M. Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., dean of the School of Medicine, announced the appointment June 12. The appointment is effective immediately.

Dr. Horn has served as interim chair of the department since mid-2010.

“While serving as interim chair, Dr. Horn has proven to be a strong leader, and due to his outstanding performance and leadership, the faculty of the department unanimously elected to forgo a national search and recommended that he be appointed chair. The school’s executive committee of the faculty senate and the university administration also supported this decision,” Dean Parisi said. “I, too, am convinced Dr. Horn is the appropriate person to lead the department as we continue building the future of our School of Medicine.”

A professor with the department since 2005, Dr. Horn previously served 12 years as professor and the Coughlin Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Medical College of Ohio, which is now the University of Toledo School of Medicine.

“It is an honor to continue the rejuvenation of the reputation of the department to national prominence once again,” said Dr. Horn, a resident of Monroe, Mich. “We are fortunate to have the support of the dean and the administration of the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan in this endeavor.”

One of his immediate goals, he said, is to recruit mid-career physiatrist-scientists to the department.

Dr. Horn’s specialty interests include traumatic brain injury and spasticity. He received a bachelor’s degree in medicine from Northwestern University, and a medical degree from the same university in 1978. He earned a master’s degree in rehabilitative medicine from the University of Washington in 1981. His post-graduate experience includes a combined internship and residency at University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals in Seattle and a fellowship in rehabilitation of traumatic brain injury at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, a Stanford affiliate. He is subspecialty certified in spinal cord injury medicine.

He has served as the WSU Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency program director since 2006, and is the service chief for physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, and medical director of the Neuroscience Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan. In addition, he is an advisory board member for the WSU Department of Bioengineering and previously served as vice chair for the Neurological Rehabilitation Program Planning Committee of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Twice a winner of the Frank M. Blumenthal Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Wayne State University- Detroit Medical Center Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dr. Horn has continuously been named to the Bester Doctors in America list.
Michigan GEAR UP visits the School of Medicine
In Headlines on June 7, 2013
GEAR UP students get a close-up look at the Kado Clinical Skills Center.

GEAR UP students get a close-up look at the Kado Clinical Skills Center.

Thirty-two eighth-graders from Earhart Middle School in the Michigan Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs visited the Wayne State University School of Medicine on June 3.

GEAR UP is a federally-funded grant program that offers college exposure and support services to inner-city middle and high school students.

The morning program began with a welcome from De’Andrea Wiggins, Ph.D., interim director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, who discussed the pipeline between high school and becoming a physician.

Next, the students visited the Kado Clinical Skills Center, where Phil Gilchrist, director of Operations for the center, led half of the students on a tour of the facility while Joe Weertz, outreach coordinator, led the other students in a hand-washing demonstration.

Joining the morning’s activities were Lori McParlane, standardized patient supervisor, and Peter Durham, Pipeline site coordinator.
WSU alumnus, professor secures $1.4 million VA career development grant to study spinal cord injury
In Headlines on June 6, 2013
Abdul Ghani Sankri-Tarbichi, M.D., Ph.D., will use a new $1.4 million grant to study sleep and breathing disorders in spinal cord injury patients.

Abdul Ghani Sankri-Tarbichi, M.D., Ph.D., will use a new $1.4 million grant to study sleep and breathing disorders in spinal cord injury patients.

The United States Department of Veteran Affairs’ Veterans Health Administration has granted the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Abdul Ghani Sankri-Tarbichi, M.D, Ph.D., a new five-year, $1.4 million career development award to study sleep and breathing disorders in spinal cord injury patients at the John D. Dingell Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Detroit.

The results will have a direct impact on the quality of life of veterans living with spinal cord injury, he said.

Dr. Sankri-Tarbichi is assistant professor of medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care and Sleep Medicine.

“This study may become a seed for a comprehensive program for spinal cord injury research and cutting-edge treatments,” he said. “This study will be one of few studies to focus on veterans’ long-term health related to traumatic injury to the spine.”

A severe spinal cord injury often causes loss of feeling and paralysis, as well as loss of reflex function below the point of injury, according to the National Institutes of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine. The injury interrupts bodily functions such as breathing, bowel control and bladder control.

The Career Development Award I01BX007080 is from the Biomedical Laboratory clinical service program of the VHA Office of Research and Development.

Dr. Sankri-Tarbichi started the project, “Pathogenesis of Sleep Disordered Breathing in Spinal Cord Injury Patients,” in April. It’s the first of its kind seeking to determine the mechanism of sleep apnea (a sleep disorder characterized by intermittent paused or very low breathing) in injury survivors. The project sets the stage for the development of innovative therapies for this prevalent disorder, he added.

The research team includes Professor of Medicine and Division Chief Safwan Badr, M.D.; Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology Harry Goshgarian, Ph.D.; and doctoral student Amy Bascom. The team will first determine the mechanisms of sleep apnea in spinal cord injury patients, then test the effect of breathing air with low oxygen on breathing patterns in sleeping patients.

From there, they will study the effect of the medications buspirone (for anxiety) and trazodone (for depression) on breathing during sleep, including using an animal model to pinpoint the level responsible for unstable breathing while asleep.

Study subjects will include veterans and civilians with spinal cord injury in the thoracic and cervical levels.

Dr. Sankri-Tarbichi earned his medical degree in 2000 from Aleppo University in Syria, and his doctoral degree in physiology from the School of Medicine’s graduate program in 2009. He completed a pulmonary and critical care fellowship at WSU in 2008. He is a physician at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center and the Wayne State University Physician Group Sleep Disorders Center at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
SEMCME announces Research Forum winners
In Headlines on June 6, 2013
Jocelyn Leon Peters, M.D., right, accepts the first place award in the oral competition.

Jocelyn Leon Peters, M.D., right, accepts the first place award in the oral competition.

The Southeast Michigan Center for Medical Education, in collaboration with the Wayne State University School of Medicine and Oakland University, presented the 36th annual Meadow Brook Lecture and the 35th annual SEMCME Research Forum at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, Mich.

The May 22 Meadow Brook Lecture featured Julie Gerderding, M.D., M.P.H., former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who presented “Emerging Infections: New Treachery and New Tools.”

The Research Forum involved 28 residents from the SEMCME member hospitals presenting research projects in the form of oral or poster presentations. More than $4,000 in cash prizes and awards were handed out, including the coveted Donald Dawson Medallion, named in honor of the gifted medical researcher and educator.

This year’s winners were:

“Neonatal Mortality According to Timing Of Elective Repeat Cesarean Delivery,” Jocelyn Leon Peters, M.D.; Gustavo Vilchez, M.D.; Anushka Chelliah, M.D.; and Roohi Jeelani, M.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Huzel Women’s Hospital, first place, oral competition, $1,500 and the Donald Dawson Medallion.

“Effects of Amantadine on Functional Recovery in Acute Stroke Patients,” Neena Sharma, M.D., and Tatyana Geraschenko, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, second place, oral competition, $500.

“Systemic Proteomic Profiles Associated with Healing and Nonunion Of Mid-Shaft Femur Fractures,” Andrew Ringnes, M.D., and Melissa Zimel, M.D., Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, William Beaumont Hospital, first place, poster competition, $750 and engraved plaque.

“Molecular MiRNAs for Early Detection, Prevention and Treatment of Breast Cancer Metastasis to Brain,” Seema Sethi, M.D., Department of Pathology, Detroit Medical Center, second place, poster competition, $500.

Judges from the WSU School of Medicine faculty included Lisa MacLean, M.D., assistant dean of Student Affairs and Career Development; James Meza, M.D., assistant professor of Family Medicine & Public Health Sciences, and Bonita Stanton, M.D., the Schotanus professor of Pediatrics and vice dean of Research.
Ophthalmology organization recognizes WSU fellow Dr. Xiaoyu Jiang for corneal infection research
In Headlines on June 5, 2013
Xiaoyu Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., presented this poster on the role of autophagy on corneal infection.

Xiaoyu Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., presented this poster on the role of autophagy on corneal infection.

A 2012 alumnus of the Wayne State University School of Medicine graduate program was honored for his research last month at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology annual meeting.

Xiaoyu Jiang M.D., Ph.D., won the Cora Verhagen Prize for his poster presentation of “The Role of Autophagy in Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Keratitis” at the meeting, held May 5-9 in Seattle.

The award is presented annually to the best ocular immunology poster or paper presentation. His was part of an immunology and microbiology poster session on corneal infection and inflammation.

The Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world, made up of more than 12,500 eye and vision researchers from 80 countries. The Maryland-based organization encourages and assists research, training, publication and knowledge-sharing in vision and ophthalmology.

Dr. Jiang is a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Linda Hazlett, Ph.D., distinguished professor and chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology.

“I am happy to have received this award and it is a privilege to present my work to a group of renowned scientists in the areas of immunology and ophthalmology,” Dr. Jiang said. “I also appreciate all of the training from my advisor, Dr. Hazlett.”

The study provides evidence that autophagy – a pro-survival mechanism involving cell degradation of unnecessary cell components – plays an important role in bacterial infections of the cornea.

Dr. Jiang received $250, a bronze medallion and a plaque.

He began his doctoral studies at the School of Medicine in 2008, and joined Dr. Hazlett's lab in 2009. He completed his doctoral studies in 2012, and chose to remain in the lab as a postdoctoral fellow to further his research and grant-writing skills, he said. He received his medical degree from Hebei Medical University in northern China.

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