School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine
DMC's Graduate Medical Education Research Day rewards three medical student projects
In Headlines on May 3, 2013
Caitlin Biedron, Class of 2014.

Caitlin Biedron, Class of 2014.

Kimberly Ku, Class of 2013.

Kimberly Ku, Class of 2013.

Wenxi (Richard) Gao, Class of 2016.

Wenxi (Richard) Gao, Class of 2016.

Three Wayne State University School of Medicine students were recognized by the Detroit Medical Center as winners of the second annual Quality Education and Safe Systems Training Graduate Medical Education Research Day Poster Competition.

The event, held April 17 at the University Health Center in Detroit, showcased resident and student research projects that tackled the topics of patient safety and quality improvement in a clinical setting. The Clinical Campus student winners were the Class of 2014’s Caitlin Biedron, M.S., first place; the Class of 2013’s Kimberly Ku, second place; and the Class of 2016’s Wenxi (Richard) Gao, M.S., third place. The students were mentored by WSU School of Medicine faculty.

The Biedron-headed project, “Antibiotic Stewardship in Long-Term Acute Care Facilities: The 7-Step Pyramid Approach,” assessed antibiotic prescribing practices and the excess costs associated with inappropriate and unnecessary therapy as the first step in implementing an antimicrobial stewardship program. The program aims to facilitate optimal antibiotic use in a long-term acute care facility in Detroit.

“We also conducted a survey of health care worker perspectives on antibiotic resistance and antibiotic prescribing practices,” Biedron said. “This survey allowed educational and informational needs to be identified, which facilitated the development of educational sessions and an antimicrobial stewardship program tailored to this particular facility.”

Biedron is interested in pursuing an Internal Medicine residency, and later, an Infectious Diseases fellowship program with a strong global health focus.

“Presenting this project during the QuESST poster session was a great opportunity to discuss the project with other students, residents and faculty, and to receive very helpful feedback on areas for further improvement and expansion of the project,” she said. “As a student organization, the School of Medicine’s Institute for Healthcare Improvement chapter was also excited to participate in this event, as it was the first year that medical students were invited to participate, and provided a great opportunity for us to present and discuss our various quality improvement projects that are under way.”

Biedron will use the $250 prize money to help defray travel expenses for a trip to the national IHI Student Quality Leadership Academy, set for June 13-14 in Cambridge, Mass. The program is designed to help student and resident participants strengthen their leadership and communication skills, with a focus on quality improvement and patient safety, she said.

Biedron was mentored by Teena Chopra, M.D., and Keith Kaye, M.D., who she thanked for ongoing support, along with fellow award-winner Ku, for her encouragement, advice and leadership as president of the WSU IHI chapter.

Ku was honored for “Improving Patient Flow in the Outpatient Cancer Clinic,” which addresses the long-term implications of cost savings and operational efficiency for both patients and clinic staff by decreasing the amount of time patients must wait to see an oncologist.

“I feel incredibly lucky to be given this opportunity, as it took great support from WSU and DMC leadership in order to succeed every step of the way,” she said.

She’s grateful for long-term mentors Elisabeth Heath, M.D.; Diane Levine, M.D.; Bruno DiGiovine, M.D., M.P.H.; the DMC Graduate Medical Education staff; the IHI; and her family. She will put her $200 prize toward the national IHI trip as well.
Like Ku, Gao is thankful to the IHI, including Ku, who helped him and Class of 2016 co-contributors Kamya Sankar and Monika Toton get started on the project “Use of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist in Surgical Oncology Operating Rooms in Detroit.” Ku also connected the group with mentor Lydia Choi, M.D., a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit.

“We are in the beginning stages of our project, which focuses on the use of a surgical safety checklist developed by the World Health Organization in surgical oncology operating rooms. The World Health Organization conducted a study which showed that the use of a surgical safety checklist dramatically decreases surgical complication and mortality rates, so we want to adapt it in operating rooms specifically for cancer surgeries,” Gao said.

The project is split into two phases: before and after the implementation of the surgical safety checklist. The first phase will look at how often key processes are verbalized during surgical operations of cancer cases. They will collaborate with the WSU Surgical Interest Group, of which Gao is incoming coordinator, to recruit medical student volunteers to observe operations and collect data.

“This gives them a chance to get a glimpse of the surgical specialty while helping us collect data. We will also determine the baseline complication and mortality rates before the implementation of the checklist,” he added.

The second phase will implement the surgical safety checklist and compare the complication and mortality rates with those pre-implementation.
Wayne State University Physician Group employee hosts 'Zombie Out Hunger' event for Gleaners
In Headlines on May 3, 2013
Zombie Out Hunger to benefit Gleaners was held May 4 at Corktown Tavern in Detroit.

Zombie Out Hunger to benefit Gleaners was held May 4 at Corktown Tavern in Detroit.

Piper and Chris Smith renew their wedding vows at the May 4 charity event Zombie Out Hunger.

Piper and Chris Smith renew their wedding vows at the May 4 charity event Zombie Out Hunger.

Instead of planning the traditional wedding anniversary party, married couple Piper and Chris Smith donned zombie-inspired make-up and clothes a la “The Walking Dead” and renewed their wedding vows May 4, raising more than $650 for Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan.

Piper Smith is an in-house paralegal with the Wayne State University Physician Group’s Legal Affairs and Compliance unit, and co-hosted the zombie apocalypse-themed party “Zombie Out Hunger!,” attended by more than 75 people at Corktown Tavern in Detroit.

Monetary donations will be accepted online here, through May 20.

Why the zombie theme? “I’m really into (AMC’s television’s) ‘The Walking Dead,’ and so is Chris,” she said.

Local emcee DJ Greebo spun ‘80s tunes, and guests donated food to Gleaners and vied for several zombie-themed prizes, including a zombie gnome designed by sellers Chris Stever and Jane DeRosa, and an original art piece by Martin Alexander. Both pieces were donated by the artists after Smith had purchased them and mentioned they were for a charity effort.

The duo was married April 4, 1998, at a waterside ceremony at Lake St. Clair Metropark (formerly Metro Beach) in Harrison Township, Mich. They renewed their vows five years ago at a ceremony in the Caribbean, and wanted to do something just as special for their 15th anniversary. Initially, they planned a party at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Resort in Orlando, Fla., their go-to vacation spot for years. Then they decided local was better. “Chris said, ‘Let’s make it a public charity event.’ And I said ‘Yes, let’s do that,’” she said.
United Arab Emirates' Khalifa University leadership visit WSU medicine, engineering
In Headlines on May 1, 2013
The Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Maryjean Schenk, M.D., M.P.H., and former WSU president Jay Noren, M.D., M.P.H., now at Khalifa University, United Arab Emirates, join leadership from both universities at an April 29 visit to the WSU School of Medicine.

The Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Maryjean Schenk, M.D., M.P.H., and former WSU president Jay Noren, M.D., M.P.H., now at Khalifa University, United Arab Emirates, join leadership from both universities at an April 29 visit to the WSU School of Medicine.

Khalifa University's leadership visit with the WSU College of Engineering's Dean Farshad Fotouhi and others.

Khalifa University's leadership visit with the WSU College of Engineering's Dean Farshad Fotouhi and others.

A delegation from Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research in the United Arab Emirates visited Wayne State University April 29-30 to discuss potential future collaborations.

Khalifa University, founded in 2007 and located in Abu Dhabi, the nation’s capital and second largest city, is in its second year of a five-year strategic plan. The group met with leadership from the WSU School of Medicine and College of Engineering throughout the two-day tour. Khalifa is in the process of establishing its own College of Medicine and Health Sciences.

“They wanted to explore the inner workings of how a medical school is operated and we were happy to have them as our guests and share ideas,” said School of Medicine Vice Dean of Education Maryjean Schenk, M.D., M.P.H. “They were very interested in medical school curriculum and we arranged meetings with our administrators so that they could pick our brains.”

The visiting group included former WSU president Jay Noren, M.D., M.P.H., now provost and Khalifa professor of Biomedical Engineering, and President Tod Laursen, Ph.D.

"We were pleased to welcome Dr. Jay Noren and others from Khalifa University to the WSU College of Engineering. We are in discussion with Khalifa University in establishing various collaboration agreements in Engineering and Medicine,” said WSU’s Farshad Fotouhi, dean of the WSU College of Engineering.
Physiology's Dr. Xuequn Chen wins WSU research grant to explore drug targets for diabetes
In Headlines on May 1, 2013
Xuequn Chen, Ph.D.

Xuequn Chen, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Physiology Xuequn Chen, Ph.D., will receive a $10,000 Wayne State University Research Grant to help identify proteins that could lead to novel drug targets to treat diabetes.

Dr. Chen joined the School of Medicine faculty in 2010. This is his first University Research Grant. He will use the funds to develop a novel proteomics approach expected to identify the protein alteration of the beta cells in a cellular compartment called endoplasmic reticulum, where insulin is produced. Insulin plays a central role in regulating blood glucose, and pancreatic beta cells are the only source to make and secrete insulin, he said.

“Under normal conditions, the balance between the workload of the endoplasmic reticulum and its processing capacity is well maintained. However, in disease states, this balance is disrupted, which ultimately causes beta cell death,” Dr. Chen said. “Modern mass spectrometers, which have the power to identify thousands of unknown proteins, will be utilized to find out what endoplasmic reticulum protein changes are responsible for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. These newly identified proteins can provide novel drug targets to treat these diseases.”

He is grateful for the competitive grant, which he called “very critical.”

“The money can actually help. And the applications (go through) stringent reviews by experts in the broad field. Receiving a favorable review means my ideas are attractive. This helps me a lot to determine a right direction to carry on my research,” he said.

He is assisted in his lab by postdoctoral fellow Jingye Fang, Ph.D., and research associate Jin-sook Lee, Ph.D.
WSU recognizes employees for years of service
In Headlines on April 30, 2013

More than 500 Wayne State University employees were honored for their service at the 2013 Employee Recognition Program ceremony, held April 23 in the Community Arts Auditorium and hosted by the Office of the Associate Vice President of Human Resources.

Employees were recognized for their years of service every five years beginning at 10 years and concluding with those who have recently retired.

School of Medicine employees who were recognized include:


Muneer Abidi
Husam Abu-Soud
Namir Al-Ansare
Terrance Albrecht
Fouad Azizi
Sanjeev Banerjee
Melissa Barton
Elizabeth Berger
Cathryn Bock
April Carcone
Lakshmi Chaturvedi
Di Chen
Xinguang Chen
Sherry Dawson
Qinping Dou
Elizabeth Duffy
Michelle Dunn
Sandra Field
Julie Gleason-Comstock
Robin Gold
Harry Grates
Tina Guthrie
Annie Hill
Barbara House
Shahid Hussain
Vicki Ineson
Donghong Ju
Gwyn Kropp
Phillip Levy
Xiaoming Li
Daniel Lott
Phillip Lupo
Lorri McLuckie
Julie McQueeney
Sharon Michelhaugh
Paula Most
Renee Page
Louis Penner
Cindy Peters
Amy Peterson
Anelia Petkova
Jabal Raval
Hossein Salimnia
Matthew Sanders
Suzanne Shaw
Bonita Stanton
Fawn Vigneau
Valerie Wade
Amy Weckle
Yufen Xie
Youming Xie
Cecilia Yee
Xiao-Qing Zhao
Senlin Zhou


Victor Ajluni
Ahdi Amer
Alireza Amirsadri
Mary Angelillii
Javaid Arrine
Swan Atty
Maria Bernardo
Laura Bott
Beth Ann Brooks
Gary Budry
James Chinarian
Pamela Conley
Tara Covert
Barbara Cushing
Edward Dabrowski
Michael Dereniewski
Vicki Diaz
Stephen DiCarlo
Brenda Dickow
Mary Dismuke
Kirk Douglas
Sylvia Dryden
Martha Farrough
Ann Ferris
Xiufeng Gao
Elese Hairston
Lowell Hedquist
Teresa Holtrop
Csaba Juhsz
Peter Karpawich
Omar Khan
Gladys King
Celia Knobelsdorf
Rita Kumar
Zahid Latif
Jeffrey Loeb
Heidi Lujan
Flicia Mada
Krishnarao Maddipati
Suzaane Manji
Harold Marsh
Raymond Mattingly
Sylvie Naar-King
Jackqueline Parker
Benita Patrick
Lenora Paul
Pamela Pembertson
Albert Pizzuti
Deborah Richmond
Ghassan Saed
Diego Sbrissa
Elizabeth Secord
Shijie Sheng
Ginger Steinhilber
Susan Stine
Carolyn Sudz
Jonathon Sullivan
Stanley Terlecky
Ron Thomas
Jeffrey Triest
Mary Uryga
Angela Wenzlaff
Judith Whittum-Hudson
Mary Windham
Carol Yates


Anil Aranha
Jesse Wiley Bell
Juliann Binienda
Dina Boikov
Lisa Brownschidle
Michael Butkus
Harry Chugani
Jennifer Coombs
Christine Cupps
Karen Forman
Robert Freedman
Rafael Fridman
Matthew Galloway
Murali Guthikonda
Sabrina Heidemann
Jiani Hu
Karen Janas
Hyeong-Reh Kim
Markku Kurkinen
John Ramocki
Lisa Ramos
Kaladhar Reddy
Linda Roth
Aashit Shah
Anne Skoff
Richard Wiegan
Dawn Yargeau
Wei Zhou


Robert Akins
Beverly Bealmear
William Berk
Donald DeGracia
Paula Dore-Duffy
Susan Eggly
Lynnette Essenmacher
Michael Hagen
Eric Iverson
Nadya Kazzi
Brenda Kennedy-Marable
Delana Knighton
Wayne Lancaster
Lawrence Lash
Mansoureh Sameni
Arun Wakade
Michael Webber


Denise Bessert
Dennis Goebel
Lawrence Grossman
Sandra Jacobson
Paul Montgomery
Linea Rydstedt
Robert Sokol


Miley Davison
Clement Diglio
Dennis Drescher
Anita Harper
Joseph Jacobson
Joanne Kaiser
Jimmie Leleszi
Richard Needleman
Sunil Palchaudhuri
Elizabeth Roggenbuck
Robert Skoff
Ronald Spalding
Anna Spiroff


Theodora Bolestra
Robert Frank
Donald Levine
Bruce Linebaugh
Daniel Walz


Felix Fernandez-Madrid
Charles Lucas
Ananda Prasad
V. Sardesai
Robert Wilson

WSU to host interdisciplinary Society for Neuroscience annual meeting May 13
In Headlines on April 29, 2013

Wayne State University will host the 44th annual meeting of the Michigan Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience on May 13 at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit. Registration is open online at

“The meeting allows neuroscientists from throughout the state to interact. The hope is that this can stimulate greater interaction and collaboration across the state,” said Thomas Fischer, Ph.D., WSU associate professor of Psychology, Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience and president of the Michigan Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience.

The meeting will include talks; a general poster session; poster competition for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and technicians; paper competition presentation and banquet lunch.

This year's keynote speaker is Claudia Robertson, M.D., professor of Neurosurgery at the Baylor University College of Medicine and medical director of the Center for Neurosurgical Intensive Care at Ben Taub Hospital, in Houston. Dr. Robertson is known for her research on the mechanisms of brain damage and neuroprotection following traumatic brain injury.

Guests also will have the opportunity to attend a private showing of the "Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion" exhibit at a discounted rate of $10.

A variety of WSU departments and centers will be represented, including the School of Medicine’s Departments of Anesthesiology, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences and its Translational Neuroscience graduate program, and the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics; the Graduate School’s Institute of Gerontology; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Departments of Psychology, Biological Sciences and Chemistry, and the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute; the College of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering; and the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Science’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Late registration will be open through the day of the event. Abstract and poster submission is closed.

For information, visit the chapter website at

Older Articles Newer Articles