School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine
School honors medical students at 2015 recognition program
In Headlines on April 16, 2015
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development Lisa MacLean, M.D., and Class of 2015 student Christine Kang at the event.

Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development Lisa MacLean, M.D., and Class of 2015 student Christine Kang at the event.

Wayne State University School of Medicine medical students gathered with faculty, family and friends in the Scott Hall cafeteria April 15 to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the Classes of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The annual Medical Student Recognition Program honors students with awards based on academic and clinical success, community service and leadership.

Vice Dean of Medical Education Maryjean Schenk, M.D. ‘83, M.P.H., M.S., and WSU Medical Alumni Association President Sheila Ray, M.D. ‘87, spoke at the event, which was emceed by Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development Lisa MacLean, M.D.

“The students we honor today are not just ordinary students. They are truly extraordinary. They have dedicated thousands of hours to the mastery of medicine with one goal in mind: to have the knowledge to save the lives of others,” Dr. MacLean said. “There can be no greater honor or privilege than to serve the lives of others and to know that you do so with excellence.”

Dr. MacLean took a moment at the start of the program to thank faculty in attendance for supporting the students.

“A teacher is truly a person who pushes you to be your best even when you don’t fully recognize it. They push you to strive for your best and not accept anything less. They show you that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. The best teachers use humor, a positive attitude and high expectations. If an educator possesses these qualities and more, they can truly impact the lives of their students and all the lives their students touch. So, thank you faculty for all that you do,” she said.

The following honors were announced:

The Golden Apple Awards: Student Recipients – Mirek Mychajlowycz and Rasika Chepuri; Faculty Recipient – Stephen DiCarlo, M.D.; Staff Recipient – Scott Nelsen

Class of 2017 Year I Honors 2013-2014 Academic Year: Shruti Agrawal, Chloe Bass, Carolyn Benages, Zachary Beswick, Michael Bobian, Thomas Bolig, Joshua Brady, Jeffrey Budzyn, Martha Buscarino, Kyle Bussis, Derek Cheung, Sarah Choi, Seung Won Chung, Bryan Curnutte, Melinda Dewald, Robert Dikeman, Joshua Eby, Alexander Farr, Tricia Fernandez, Eric Franz, Sachin Gandhi, Michael Gemayel, Brooke Gustafson, Steven Halter, Remi Hamel, Angela Hollis, Marvin Kajy, William Kane, Samantha Kaufman, Jessica Koehler, Juhi Kushwaha, Melissa Levoska, Kevin Lodewyk, Tatjana Milovic, Mirek Mychajlowycz, Andrea Plawecki, David Robinson, Sara Russcher, Erica Smith, Bryan Squires, Yuxiang Wang, Daniel Warren, Andrew Wayne, Ethan Zhao, Karla Zoratti

Class of 2016 Year II Honors 2013-2014 Academic Year: Ashley Anderson, Charlie Beaupied, Kayla Berigan, Jennifer Brady, Jeffrey Brakora, Jacqueline Brand, Jessica Campf, Yaser Carcora, Lauren Corona, Kimberly Coughlin, Michael Damit, Scott Dawsey, Catherine Edgell, Jamie Everett, Amanda Goldstone, Hannah Harmsen, Aws Hasan, Clara Hildebrandt, David Hoogstra, Tom Hu, Christopher Jackson, Philip Jackson, John Joseph, Marcella Kaddoura, Michael Koets, John Korona, Adnan Kurtovic, Eoghan McGreevy, Sachin Mehta, Jennie Meier, Lea Monday, Melissa Neuman, Shannon Neville, Regina O’Brien, Danny Orabi, Maria Palazeti, Kate Petty, Molly Roseland, Douglas Rottmann, Kamya Sankar, Kelsey Serfozo, Erin Shea, Abdala Sirajeldin, Carlen Smith, Sarah Stern, Monika Toton, Jacob Vander-Starre, Marlisa Wolf, Ryan Wooley, Hanhan Zhang

Class of 2015 Year III Honors 2013-2014 Academic Year: Newaj Abdullah, Michael Adams, Alexandru Alexa, Stephanie Baum, David Bergman, Felix Boucher, Samantha Bruni, Marie Burke, Sarah Cavenaugh, Sarah Chan, David Coleman, John deVries, Melissa Drewry, Sarah Ellerbrock, Jeremy Farida, Chelsea Fortin, Jillian Frieder, Rachael Fuller, Payel Gangopadhyay, Sarah Gleason, Mark Goralewski, Sarah Gorgis, Alexander Greenstein, Elise Gross, Cameron Heilbronn, Alysia Hogan, Houmehr Hojjat, Samuel Hoppe, Fariha Hussain, Sook Hwang, Hussein Issa, Jayme Laurencelle, Bianca Kizy, Allen Kadado, Maria Yaldo, Michelle Kasprick, Jeffrey Kepes, Andrew Kure, Tori Lafleur, Jason Laufman, Kelsey Lawrence, Stephanie Lazar, Thomas Maatman, Mohamed Macki (2011-12), Devin Mangold, Kyle Markel, Leslie McDonough, Joshua McKamie, Nicole Messenger, Kyle Miletic (2012-13), Lindsay Miller, Melinda Mitchell, Patrick Moen, Mary Nixon, Eric Nowicki, David Oberlin, Michelle Ouyang, Daniel Overbeek, Ashleigh Porter, Vidya Raghavan, Sarah Russell, Hannan Saad, Devan Schlund, Andrew Schwartz, Scott Schwartz, Mikhail Shteynvil, Elizabeth Smith, Matthew Steffes, Andrew Swartz, Christopher Sy, Alexander Tapper, Domenico Terenzi, Etsegenet Tizazu, Amy Vandenberg, Joel Vanderschuur, Caleb Vanderveen, Andrew Vasyluk, Jesse Veenstra, Kathryn Vorwald, Kara Wackerle, Kristen Webber, Maya Weitzer, Cory Wernimont, Kelly Wilt, Derek Wood, Thomas Zervos, Jian Zhang

Dean’s Distinguished Leadership Awards:

Class of 2015: Lindsey Aurora, Felix Boucher, Sarah Cavenaugh, Tanuka Datta, Mousab Eteer, Matthew Falkiewicz, Sameen Farooq, Alysia Hogan, Osamuedemen Iyoha, Youngwu Kim, Bianca Kizy, Logan Kinch, Alexander Lee, Jeremy Llaniguez, Scott Merriman, Aleksey Mishulin, Anthony Provenzano, David Smeenge

Class of 2016: Mohammed Abdel-Al, John Dawdy, David Hoogstra, Lauren Kava, Tahsin Khundkar, Ryan Mathew, Eoghan McGreevy, Lea Monday, Amira Nasser, Patrick Nolan, Regina O’Brien, Laura Ruble, Ajit Rai, Francis Tinney, Julie Weber

Class of 2017: Leann Arcori, Tasneem Ahmed, Swati Bajpayee, Thomas Bolig,David Cao, Latorya Ellison, Amol Kamat, William Kane, Mary Meinke, Dominique Sanchez, Erica Saunders, Vineet Sharma, Lauren Wrona, Allison Zarbo

Class of 2018: Marwan Boulis, Edwin David, Riemer Praamsma, Mallory Smith, Monica Thipparthi, Liz Ulrich, Ardiana Vuljaj

Student Senate Leadership Awards:

Executive Board of the Student Senate: Julie Weber, Executive Senate President; Allison Zarbo, Executive Senate Vice President; Laura Ruble, Executive Senate Treasurer; John Dawdy, Executive Senate Secretary; Tasneem Ahmed, President of the BSO; Jeremy Llaniguez, M.D./Ph.D. Representative; Vineet Sharma, Main Campus Representative

Class of 2015: Matthew Falkiewicz, President; Alexander Lee, Vice President; Sarah Cavenaugh, Treasurer; Sameen Farooq, Representative; Mousab Eteer, Representative; Osamuedemen Iyoha, OSR Year IV Delegate

Class of 2016: Eoghan McGreevy, President; Patrick Nolan, Vice President; Lauren Kava, Treasurer; Mohammed Abdel-Al, Representative; Ryan Mathew, Representative; Regina O’Brien, Representative; Tahsin Khundkar, OSR Year III Delegate

Class of 2017: David Cao, President; Amol Kamat, Vice President; Dominique Sanchez, Treasurer; Leann Arcori, Representative; William Kane, Representative; Mary Meinke, Representative; Lauren Wrona, OSR Year II Delegate

Class of 2018: Ardiana Vuljaj, President; Monica Thipparthi, Vice President; Liz Ulrich, Treasurer; Mallory Smith, Representative; Edwin David, Representative; Marwan Boulis, Representative; Riemer Praamsma, OSR Year I Delegate

Michigan Association of Physicians from India Annual Award: Payel Gangopadhyay

Janet M. Glasgow Memorial Achievement Citation: Samantha Bruni, Marie Burke, Melissa Drewry, Sarah Ellerbrock, Jillian Frieder, Payel Gangopadhyay, Alysia Hogan, Fariha Hussain, Maria Kashat, Jayme Laurencelle, Bianca Kizy, Kelsey Lawrence, Stephanie Lazar, Lindsay Miller, Melinda Mitchell, Sarah Russell, Hannan Saad, Elizabeth Smith, Kathryn Vorwald, Kara Wackerle, Kristen Webber, Kelly Wilt, Jian Zhang

Dorothy and Charles Pokriefka Scholarship: Matthew Falkiewicz and Mark Goralewski

Raymond R. Margherio, M.D. Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund: Leann Arcori

Detroit Receiving Hospital Medical Staff Senior Award: Rasika Chepuri

Departmental awards:

Anesthesiology

Dr. Morris S. Brent Senior Medical Student Award: Bradley Larson

Dermatology

Senior Award in Dermatology: Maria Yaldo

Emergency Medicine

Society for Academic Emergency Medicine 2015 Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award: Sal Calo

Family Medicine

North American Primary Care Research Group Student Research Award: David Smeenge

Rural Medicine Student Achievement Award: Anna Chase

The George Mogill, M.D., Endowed Award for Family Medicine: Kate Firlik and Eleanor King

Southeast Michigan Family Medicine Leadership Award: Alysia Hogan

Frederick Maynard, M.D., and Mrs. Ruth Maynard Endowed Scholarship: Alysia Hogan

Dale L. Williams, M.D., Endowed Award in Family Medicine: Matthew Falkewicz

Bruce Carl Endowed Scholarship in Family Medicine: David Smeenge

Medical Students Specializing in Family Medicine Award: Alysia Hogan

John R. Manis and Arpie Manis Endowed Scholarship: Caleb Vanderveen

2015 Excellence in Public Health Award (presented by Lt. Cmdr. Jevon McFadden): Adam Milam

Internal Medicine

Gordon B. Myers Memorial Award: Jayme Laurencelle

Dr. A. Ashley Rousuck Award in Internal Medicine: Sarah Gorgis

Oliver J. Marcotte, M.D., Endowed Humanitarian Award: Sameen Farooq

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Student Scholar of the Year Award: Arjun Gowda and Lauren Uroda

Neurology

American Academy of Neurology Medical Prize for Excellence in Neurology: Lindsay Miller

Neurosurgery

Karl G. Pinckard Scholarship: Christopher Sy

Obstetrics/Gynecology

David S. Diamond Memorial Award: Chelsea Fortin

Ophthalmology

Dong H. Shin Outstanding Ophthalmology Research Award: Bianca Kizy and Aleksey Mishulin

Robert C. Fraser, M.D., Endowed Scholarship: Class of 2018 – Emily Armstrong, John Dayco, John-Michael Guest, Jordan Huang, Omar Kaddurah, Serena Liu, Nilesh Raval; Class of 2017 – Shruti Agrawal, Swati Bajpayee, Jawan Gorgis, Mamta Kanwar, Kevin Lodewyk, Ramy Mando, Timothy Quinn, Monica Ray, Sara Russcher; Class of 2016 – Aharon Feldman, Amanda Ismail, Joseph Joshua, Tahsin Khundkar, Patrick Lee, Daniel Malach, Brett Malbin, Candice Nofar, Bruce Rottmann, Abdala Sirajeldin; Class of 2015 – Aleksey Mishulin, Craig White

Orthopaedic Surgery

Palmer Award in Orthopaedic Surgery: Mary Nixon and Ali Sobh

Otolaryngology

Roger V. Walker Jr. Memorial Scholarship: Houmehr Hojjat

Pathology

The Robert Rutzky Award: Marie Burke and Stephanie Lazar

The Saul Brown Award: Jonathan Arcobello

The Frank B. Walker, M.D., Endowed Memorial Prize in Pathology: Lindsey Miller

Pediatrics

The Anna Rutzky Memorial Award: Kristen Webber

The Jeffrey Farkas Memorial Award: Eric Nowicki

The Cheryl Hack, M.D. Pediatric Award: Vidya Raghavan

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Student Achievement Award: Jean Park

Psychiatry

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences Achievement Award: Harinder Rai

Jerrold S. Maxmen, M.D., Endowed Scholarship: Harinder Rai, Umair Daimee, Joi Moree, Osamuedemen Iyoha

Surgery

Junior Scholarship Award in Surgery: Andrew Vasyluk

Charles L. Huang, M.D., Award: Devan Schlund

John E. Hauser, M.D., Endowed Scholarship: Thomas Maatman

Urology

Roger V. Walker Sr. Memorial Scholarship: Alex Tapper and Newaj Abdullah

Distinction in Biomedical Research: Newaj Abdullah, Salman Baig, Erik Brown, Alexander Greenstein, Mohamed Macki, Kyle Miletic, Nicholas Mischel, Harinder Rai, Ana Rambhatla, David Smeenge, Ali Sobh, Andrew Swartz, Christopher Sy, Jesse Veenstra, Victoria Yee

Joseph Ferguson, M.D., Endowed Research Award Fund: Aaron Stubbs

School of Medicine Research Symposium winners:

Dr. Hershel and Lois Sandberg Travel Award: Rebeca Kelly

Basic Science Oral Presentations: First place, Andrej Nedic; second place, Steve Halter; third place, Matthew Ashbrook

Clinical Science Oral Presentations: First place, Chung-Xian Ho, Joy Tan; second place, Francis Tinney; third place, Nathan Wood

Basic Science Poster Presentations: First place, Vincent Lizzio; second place, Justin Gerard; third place, Yiqing Xu

Clinical Science Poster Presentations: First place, Rebeca Kelly; second place, Lisa Daum; third place, David Boyce

Medical Alumni Senior Scholarship Award: Jeremy Farida and Derek Wood

Robert J. Sokol, M.D. Medical Alumni Association Endowed Prize: Stephanie Lazar

The Class of 2015 Academic Achievement Awards: Freshman Year, Jonathan Arcobello; Sophomore Year, Derek Wood; Junior Year, Bianca Kizy, Devin Mangold, Alexander Tapper; Senior Year, David Bergman, Jasmine Omar

Elvis Smith Alford, M.D. and Nellie Corbin Alford Memorial Award: David Bergman

Class Marshal: Barbara Bosch, M.D.

Voluntary Faculty Awards: Ronald Cheek, M.D., and Sean Drake, M.D.

Penfil-Tischler Award (tie): Ali Sobh and Sameen Farooq

Distinguished Service Awards: Jacob Price, Cletus Stanton, Lauren Robinson, Sameen Farooq, Adhnan Mohamed, Jonathan Wong, Lindsey Aurora, Christopher Sy, Matthew Falkiewicz, Hieu Nguyen, Sarah Gorgis, Carolyn Chan, Allen Kadado, Christine Kang, Osamuedemen Iyoha, Mansoor Siddiqui and Alexander Lee

Marjorie Edwards Prize for Scholarship and Community Service: Joi Moore

Herbert Mendelson Enthusiasm for Medicine Endowed Scholarship: David Coleman

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award (Faculty): Mary Morreale, M.D.

Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award (Student): Matt Falkiewicz

Cancer Biology grad students show off research in 2015 symposium
In Headlines on April 15, 2015
Brittany Haynes, left, and Rayna Rosati

Brittany Haynes, left, and Rayna Rosati

Anthony Guastella

Anthony Guastella

The Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Cancer Biology Graduate Program held its fifth annual symposium March 27 at the Margherio Family Conference Center. The event highlighted the research accomplishments of the program’s 24 M.D./Ph.D. and Ph.D. students, who described their dissertation projects through oral and poster presentations.

“It provides an outstanding opportunity for scientific and social discourse between students and faculty. For this year’s event, we again combined our graduate symposium with our graduate recruiting day to give prospective doctorate students a chance to meet current students and faculty, and to experience the dynamic and supportive environment that constitutes the Cancer Biology Graduate Program,” said Program Director Larry Matherly, Ph.D.

Class of 2010 program alumna Amanda Larson Gedman, Ph.D., a field applications scientist with Illumina in Raleigh, N.C., delivered the keynote address at the event, speaking about her experiences in graduate school and the path that lead her to industry work. Dr. Larson Gedman studied under the mentorship of Dr. Matherly.

An awards ceremony was held at the end of the day. In oral presentations, first place went to Brittany Haynes and Rayna Rosati. In poster presentations, first place went to Anthony Guastella, second place to Sidra Ahsan and third place to Michael Wilson and Andreana Holowatyj.

The spring event is largely organized and run by the doctoral students, including Haynes and Rosati. “The Cancer Biology Symposium was a great success. Every year this event is a showcase of how the Cancer Biology Graduate Program is a community of researchers who support one another and excel in their research endeavors,” Haynes said.

Rosati agreed. “There is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into planning the day. It really is an opportunity for each student in the program to showcase their research,” she said.

Guastella attended last year’s event as a prospective student.

“I think the symposium is great for the program and just adds to the ‘family’ mentality that is so prevalent in our group. It’s a chance for students to come together and admire the great work that everyone is doing,” he said. “We have the opportunity to present our research and receive feedback. In science, it’s crucial to be able to vocalize your research and we need all the practice we can get as students.”

He works in the translational neuro-oncology lab of Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and of Oncology Sandeep Mittal, M.D., studying glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM, the most common primary brain tumor.

“It was a huge honor to have won. There were so many amazing projects being presented and so many smart and talented students presenting those projects. Having won first place as a first year student means a lot to me and has motivated me to continue pushing myself in my research,” he said.

His poster, “Targeting Glioblastoma with anti-CD3 x anti-EGFR Bispecific Antibody Armed T Cells,” is a collaborative project with the lab of Lawrence Lum, M.D.

“Within GBMs, we see that 57 percent of them have overexpression or amplification of the epidermal growth factor receptor, which leads to drug resistance, increased cell proliferation, migration and aggressiveness; all of which make GBMs more deadly. There have been a number of studies using EGFR as a target, and we hope to use this same idea (the targeting of EGFR) and combine it with T-cells to cause an immunological response towards the tumor,” Guastella said. T-cells are ‘armed’ with a bispecific antibody that has anti-CD3 (cell surface marker on T-cells) on one end and anti-EGFR on the other.

“Our results showed us that the armed T-cells did in fact cross the blood brain barrier and penetrated the tumor tissue, which were very promising results,” he said.

Fellow first place finisher Haynes is a third-year graduate student working in the lab of Associate Professor of Oncology Malathy Shekhar, Ph.D.

“All of the Cancer Biology students conduct excellent research and present their research with poise and enthusiasm. To be chosen from a group as dedicated and skilled as my colleagues to receive this award was a tremendous honor,” she said.

She presented “Evaluation of the Efficacy of a Rad6 Small Molecule Inhibitor Conjugated Gold Nanoparticles in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells.” In it, she explained that overexpression of Rad6, an E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme and a fundamental component of the postreplication DNA repair, or PRR pathway, induces resistance to anti-cancer drugs. Triple negative breast cancers, called TNBCs, are a heterogeneous and difficult to treat subset of breast cancers. 

“Several DNA repair proteins, including those involved in the PRR pathway, are upregulated in TNBCs and contribute to drug resistance in TNBCs. Our laboratory recently reported the development of a Rad6-selective small molecule inhibitor – SMI#9 – that inhibits Rad6 and suppresses breast cancer cell survival,” she said. “However, the effect of this inhibitor is limited by its solubility. To overcome this limitation we conjugated our SMI#9 to gold nanoparticles, or GNP. This project focuses on comparing the unconjugated SMI#9 to the GNP conjugated SMI#9. Our current data suggest that our SMI#9-conjugated GNPs are efficient in permeating the cells, releasing SMI#9, and sensitizing TNBC cell lines.” 

Co-winner Rosati presented “Structural Requirements for the Association of the ETS Domain Transcription Factor Elk1 and the Androgen Receptor in Enabling the Growth of Prostate Cancer Cells” at the event. The project focuses on disrupting the interaction between two proteins, Elk1 and the androgen receptor, to prevent growth in prostate cancer. She is mentored and works in the lab of Professor of Oncology Manohar Ratnam, Ph.D.

“I feel very honored to have received the award. Much of the past and current work in my lab has built the foundation for this project. The work is very exciting and wouldn’t be possible without my mentor or my lab members,” she said.

Prostate cancer is dependent on the androgen receptor for growth. Current therapies for prostate cancer include androgen ablation or the deprivation of the hormone testosterone, which initially are effective. “However, because androgen is needed for the maintenance of so many other tissues in the body, the patient is left with severe side effects. Also, the cancer develops resistant mechanisms enabling the cancer to grow in the absence of androgen,” Rosati added. “Our lab has shown that prostate cancer cells are addicted to Elk1 for growth through its interaction with the androgen receptor. Developing therapies that target this interaction will not only be effective in tumors refractory to current AR-targeted treatments, but will also dramatically improve the quality of life of the patient by avoiding deprivation of testosterone or AR function in various normal tissues.”

WSU vision-restoring technology wins national Angel Capital award
In Headlines on April 15, 2015
Zhuo-Hua Pan, Ph.D.

Zhuo-Hua Pan, Ph.D.

RetroSense Therapeutics, licensee of technology developed by Wayne State University School of Medicine scientist Zhuo-Hua Pan, Ph.D., to restore vision using a component of green algae, has won the Luis Villalobos Award sponsored by the Angel Capital Association. The winner was announced Wednesday at the 2015 ACA Summit in San Diego. Named in memory of angel investor Luis Villalobos, the award recognizes startup innovation and ingenuity.

Dr. Pan is scientific director of the Ligon Research Center of Vision at the Kresge Eye Institute, the School of Medicine's Edward T. and Ellen K. Dryer Endowed Professor in Vision and Blindness Research in the Department of Ophthalmology, and a professor of anatomy and cell biology.

RetroSense Therapeutics, LLC, is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing lead product RST-001 as a first-in-class gene therapy application of optogenetics designed to restore vision in patients suffering from blindness due to retinitis pigmentosa and advanced dry age-related macular degeneration. In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Orphan Drug designation for RST-001 for the treatment of RP. There are currently no FDA-approved drugs to improve or restore vision in patients with these retinal degenerative conditions.

Dr. Pan and RetroSense Therapeutics Chief Executive Officer Sean Ainsworth were in San Diego when the final winner was announced.

“We’re honored to have been selected as a finalist for the Luis Villalobos Award,” Ainsworth said. “Given the sheer number of angel investments that transpire every year, to be included as one of three finalists for a national award is really meaningful.”

The Angel Capital Association is the leading professional and trade association focused on fueling the success of accredited angel investors and portfolio companies in high-growth, early-stage ventures. ACA provides professional development, public policy advocacy and significant benefits and resources to its membership of 220 angel groups and more than 12,000 individual accredited investors.

“RetroSense Therapeutics represents a rare opportunity for angel investors to participate in the biotech space,” said Ken Kousky, president of Midland, Mich.-based BlueWater Angels, in a news release. “The company’s virtual business model has been capital efficient by leveraging extraordinary talent from around the country. RetroSense is on course to reach a major value inflection point in the clinic, driven by financing from angel investors. It’s exciting to see something as game-changing as vision restoration being fueled by angel investment.”

Optogenetics confers light sensitivity to cells that were not previously or natively light sensitive. By applying optogenetics to retinas in which rod and cone photoreceptors have degenerated, RetroSense is conferring new light sensitivity to the retina, with the expectation of improved or restored vision.

The company's approach to using optogenetics in vision restoration is based on pioneering, proprietary research conducted in Dr. Pan’s lab and at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital. RetroSense has worldwide exclusive rights to the relevant intellectual property from both institutions. In an angel-led round, RetroSense Therapeutics recently secured $6 million in financing, with participation from across the United States and abroad.
Brain Injury Association of Michigan Legacy Society honors, inducts Dr. Lawrence Horn
In Headlines on April 14, 2015
Lawrence Horn, M.D.

Lawrence Horn, M.D.

Wayne State University School of Medicine Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Professor and Chair Lawrence Horn, M.D., will be honored at the 17th annual Brain Injury Association of Michigan Legacy Society Spring Tribute Dinner April 18 at the Suburban Collection Showplace’s Diamond Center in Novi.

Dr. Horn, a Wayne State University Physician Group provider who also leads the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan at the Detroit Medical Center, will receive the Legacy Society Professional Service Award for his leadership and exceptional dedication to providing advocacy and consultation for patients enduring brain injuries.

“It was a great and unexpected honor to have been selected to receive the Professional Service Award from the Brain Injury Association of Michigan,” Dr. Horn said. “Our state has many superb professionals who have devoted their careers to the care and support of people who sustained traumatic brain injuries.”

The Monroe resident’s specialty interests include traumatic brain injury and spasticity. He has served as his department’s 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 RIM.

He has been involved with national and state chapters of the Brain Injury Association since the early 1980s, when it was called the National Head Injury Foundation. The association educates and robustly promotes important issues regarding brain injuries to patients, their families and caregivers.

“It is this long tradition of advocacy that makes this award so special,” he added.

The Legacy Society was established in 1999 to raise community awareness and visibility of the brain injury field while also celebrating the work of key individuals in the movement. As a service award recipient, Dr. Horn will be an honorary member of the society.

“Dr. Horn has worked tirelessly and selflessly throughout his entire career in creating a better future for brain injury survivors and their families,” said BIAMI President Michael Dabbs. “Thanks in large part to his efforts, Michigan continues to lead the nation in providing early and expert care to brain injury patients. This award, and his induction into our Legacy Society, is richly deserved.”

More than 1,000 brain injury professionals, legislators, community leaders and supporters are expected to attend the event, which raises awareness of the estimated 200,000 Michigan residents who are living with a brain injury. The dinner also raises funds so that BIAMI, a nonprofit organization, can provide education, advocacy, support treatment services and resources for brain injury survivors and their families. In addition, a two-week online auction will raise funds for BIAMI’s program for military veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress injury.  The Legacy Auction, available at www.biddingforgood.com/biami, will run April 17-May 1.

Twelve to represent WSU at ACP Resident's Day
In Headlines on April 9, 2015
The Wayne State University School of Medicine and its Department of Internal Medicine will be well represented at the American College of Physicians Michigan Chapter’s annual Resident’s Day on May 22.

Six Internal Medicine residents have been selected to present at the meeting. The posters of six WSU medical students were selected for presentation at the meeting.

“This meeting has become quite competitive,” said Diane Levine, M.D., F.A.C.P., associate professor of Internal Medicine and vice chair for Education in that department. “Acceptance provides a wonderful opportunity for our trainees to showcase their scholarly work and gain experience presenting to the academic community of internists in the state.”

Residents whose abstracts were accepted are:

Humayun Ashraf, M.D., “Use of Tedizolid in the Treatment of Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus: A Case Report.”

Gaurav Bhalla, M.D., “Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole Associated Isolated Hyponatremia.”

Maria Diab, M.D., “A Foe Disguised as a Friend: A Case of Mediastinal Myoepithelial Carcinoma.”

Naveen Nannapaneni, M.D., “A Killer Combination: Honeydew Melon and Methadone Induced Hyperkalemia.”

Waseem Petros, M.D., “Use of Digital Retinal Photography at the Point-of-Care to Determine Trainee Competence in Performing Direct Ophthalmoscopy to Diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy.”

Robby Singh, M.D., “Diagnosing Castleman’s Disease, the Lymphoma Imposter, and the Challenges Associated with Treating a Young AIDS Patient With the Disease.”

Medical students whose posters were accepted are:

Catherine Edgell, “Clostridium Difficile Prevalence in Patients with Fecal Management Systems.”

Taneev Escamilla, “Pregnancy in Simultaneous Kidney Pancreas Transplant Recipients: Is it Worth the Risk?”

Marcella Kaddoura, “Can Nanog Activity Identify Aggressive Breast Cancer Stem Cell Populations?”

William Perry, “Body Mass Index Modifies the Association between PNPLA3 I148M and Hepatic Steatosis in African-Americans.”

Mai Sedki, “Incidence, National Trends and Disparities in Surgical Management for Testicular Torsion.”

Matthew Weeks, “Androgen Deprivation Therapy in Prostate Cancer: Analysis of the Number Needed to Harm.”
Dr. Zhang oversees tinnitus edition of Frontiers in Neurology
In Headlines on April 8, 2015
Jinsheng Zhang, Ph.D.

Jinsheng Zhang, Ph.D.

A Wayne State University School of Medicine researcher has been invited by Frontiers in Neurology to serve as editor and publish online a collection of original or review articles focusing on tinnitus.

Jinsheng Zhang, Ph.D., professor and research director of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and Communication Sciences and Disorders, hosted submissions for the special issue titled  “Tinnitus: An Attempt to Confront the Diverse Models,” which appears in the journal Frontiers In Neurology, Neuro-Otology section.

Tinnitus is a sound sensation in the ear, head or brain that can range from a ringing noise to a high pitched whining. As many as 50 million Americans have experienced tinnitus and as many as 9 million of these individuals are inflicted with debilitating tinnitus. The condition can cause a wide range of distress and strongly correlates with anxiety, depression, insomnia and a decrease in cognitive functioning. The causes can include noise exposure, aging, head and neck trauma, ototoxic medications and cardiovascular disease. Tinnitus is a leading service-connected disability that affects military personnel and veterans, leading to approximately $2 billion in annual disability compensation for U.S. veterans, according to U.S. Veterans Benefits Administration reports.

Due in part to limited understanding of underlying mechanisms, Dr. Zhang said, effective treatments remain elusive. During the last 15 years, researchers have made “tremendous efforts in understanding the underlying mechanisms of tinnitus and its treatment and have gleaned a large volume of data using both human and animal models. Numerous methods have been employed to address the complexity of tinnitus etiology, including molecular biology, electrophysiology, pharmacology, neuroimaging, behavioral assays and mathematical modeling.”

Current thinking places the blame for the most common form of tinnitus on changes caused by cochlear and/or brain damage, but other models have been proposed. Dr. Zhang set out to challenge the plausibility of these models and to clarify their similarities and differences in the research submitted for the special issue.

Frontiers, an online scientific journal, often approaches established scientists to host special issues on specific subjects. The selected host (or hosts) submits an abstract to Frontiers for review and approval. Following an approval, host(s) then invites contributors to submit articles for the special issue. Submissions undergo a rigorous peer review before publication.

Dr. Zhang invited Professor Arnaud Noreña of the Laboratory of Adaptive and Integrative Neurobiology at the Universite de Provence, Marseille, France, a tinnitus expert, to serve as co-host of the tinnitus issue. They received “enthusiastic responses” after inviting experts in the field of tinnitus to contribute, Dr. Zhang said.

As of today, this special issue contains 18 articles involving 66 authors from around the world. The editors expect a few more articles to be included upon completion of the peer-review process.

“The number of publications represents quite a success,” Dr. Zhang said. “I received positive comments on the successful turnout from colleagues.

"Certainly this effort is an important contribution to the field of tinnitus, which will help further the ongoing research activities in developing effective treatments and cures for tinnitus” he added.

View the edition at http://journal.frontiersin.org/researchtopic/2633.

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