School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine
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.
WSU cardiologist represents American College of Cardiology at speaking series in India
In Headlines on June 5, 2013
Luis Afonso, M.D., F.A.C.C., speaks at the American College of Cardiology’s 2013 Scientific Sessions Highlights Program in India last month.

Luis Afonso, M.D., F.A.C.C., speaks at the American College of Cardiology’s 2013 Scientific Sessions Highlights Program in India last month.

Dr. Afonso is associate professor of internal medicine in the Division of Cardiology.

Dr. Afonso is associate professor of internal medicine in the Division of Cardiology.

A Wayne State University School of Medicine faculty member was one of three cardiologists from the United States invited to represent the American College of Cardiology at a weeklong series of presentations in India.

Luis Afonso, M.D., F.A.C.C., associate professor of internal medicine in the Division of Cardiology and director of the WSU Cardiology Fellowship Program and the Echocardiography Laboratory at Harper University Hospital in Detroit, traveled to the cities of Lucknow, Kolkata and Delhi to present highlights and clinical updates from the ACC’s 2013 Scientific Sessions, held last March in San Francisco.

The speaking trio included medical faculty from Temple University School of Medicine in Pittsburgh and Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.

Dr. Afonso was asked to attend by WSU Professor and Division of Cardiology Chair Kim Williams Sr., M.D., vice president of the ACC, and the ACC Presidential Committee, in recognition of his role as a leader in the field of lipids, a group of naturally occurring molecules.

In “Lipids: Management in 2013 and Beyond,” Dr. Afonso presented the status of managing patients with statin medications (used to lower cholesterol levels), including side effects and intolerance, and highlighted newer developments and treatments to elevate high-density lipoprotein (good) cholesterol, believed to reduce the likelihood of a heart attack or recurrent heart attack, through medications such as niacin and newer agents such as dalcetrapib and Anacetrapib, he said.

He also discussed a new class of medications called PCSK9 inhibitors. These injectable medications “are administered every two weeks and have been found to dramatically reduce low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol,” he said, adding they will be available soon.

“These agents would serve as excellent alternatives for patients who do not respond to standard treatment with statin medications,” he said.

The series was organized by the ACC’s International Affairs Department and Alkem Laboratories, one of India’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Dr. Afonso said.

“There were between 150 to 400 attendees for these talks, with lively (question-and-answer) sessions that often exceeded the 30-minute allotted time, with moderator panels comprised of well-informed cardiologists from leading institutions in India,” he added.

The ACC is an international organization that represents more than 30,000 cardiovascular physician practitioners and several thousand allied health and cardiac care associates. The college promotes high quality cardiovascular care with registries for intervention and device therapies, disease treatment and procedure guidelines, position statements, and appropriate use criteria for diagnostic studies and cardiac interventions.

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