School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine
Medical students shine at 2016 recognition program
In Headlines on April 29, 2016

Wayne State University School of Medicine medical students gathered with faculty, family and friends in WSU’s McGregor Memorial Conference Center in Detroit April 21 to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the Classes of 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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

School of Medicine Dean Jack D. Sobel, M.D., Vice Dean of Medical Education Richard Baker, M.D., and Medical Alumni Association President Lawrence Blaty, M.D. ’86, spoke at the event, which was emceed by Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development Lisa MacLean, M.D.

The following honors were announced:

The Golden Apple Awards: Student recipients – Alexander Wester and Abigail Entz; Faculty recipient – Christopher Steffes, M.D.; Staff recipient – Ronald Spalding

Mort Harris Endowed Scholarship: Philip Jackson, Adam Milam and Allison Springstead

Board of Visitors Annual Scholarship Award: Jacob VanderStarre

Michigan Association of Physicians from India Annual Award: Kamya Sankar

Janet M. Glasgow Memorial Achievement Citation: Ashley Anderson, Kayla Berigan, Jennifer Brady, Jacqueline Brand, Jessica Campf, Lauren Corona, Kimberly Coughlin, Catherine Edgell, Jamie Everett, Amanda Goldstone, Hannah Harmsen, Clara Hildebrandt, Taryn Huizenga, Marcella Kaddoura, Jennie Meier, Lea Monday, Melissa Neuman, Shannon Neville, Regina O’Brien, Kate Petty, Molly Roseland, Kamya Sankar, Kelsey Serfozo, Erin Shea, Carlen Smith, Sarah Stern, Monika Toton, Marlisa Wolf and Hanhan Zhang

Dorothy and Charles Pokriefka Scholarship: Aharon Feldman

Raymond R. Margherio, M.D. Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund: Patrick Nolan

Detroit Receiving Hospital Medical Staff Senior Award: Charles Frank

2016 Dean’s Distinguished Leadership Awards: Sarah Atkinson, Lauren Corona, Cecily Dubusker, Clara Hildebrandt, Phillip Kucab, Adam Milam, Patrick Nolan, Laura Ruble, Abdala Sirajeldin and Julie Weber Childers

Distinction in Biomedical Research Awards: Sarah Atkinson, David Broome, Jeena Chorath, Lauren Corona, Taneev Escamilla, David Hoogstra, Taryn Huizenga, Pranav Jagtap, Timothy Jelsema, Matthew LaVelle, Adam Milam, Craig Tschautscher, Brandon Twardy and Michael Twiner

Departmental Awards:


Dr. Morris S. Brent Senior Medical Student Award: Brandon Jarvis


Senior Award in Dermatology: Taryn Huizenga

Emergency Medicine

Society for Academic Emergency Medicine 2016 Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award: Craig Tschautscher

John Skjaerlund M.D. Endowed Fellowship: Douglas Stayer

Family Medicine

The George Mogill, M.D. Endowed Award for Family Medicine: Amrit Basi, Kayla Berigan, Melissa Jennings, Christopher LaJeunesse, Melissa Neuman, Carlen Smith, Phillip So and Amanda Truer

Frederick Maynard, M.D., and Mrs. Ruth Maynard Endowed Scholarship: Christopher LaJeunesse and Mariam Saleh

Dale L. Williams, M.D. Endowed Award in Family Medicine: Amanda Truer

Bruce Carl Endowed Scholarship in Family Medicine: Joshua Frederick

Medical Students Specializing in Family Medicine Award: Colleen Harkreader

John R. Manis, M.D. and Arpie Manis Endowed Scholarship: Taneev Escamilla

2016 Excellence in Public Health Award: Taneev Escamilla

Internal Medicine

Gordon B. Myers Memorial Award: Kamya Sankar

Dr. A. Ashley Rousuck Award in Internal Medicine: Kathryn Rice

Emanual Graff Endowed Memorial Award: Graham McGee

Oliver J. Marcotte, M.D., Endowed Humanitarian Award: Lea Monday

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics

Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Student Scholar of the Year Award: Curtis Hanba, Jane Philip, Kathryn Rice and Peter Xie


American Academy of Neurology Medical Prize for Excellence in Neurology: Jessica Johns


Karl G. Pinckard Scholarship: Joseph Domino

Obstetrics and Gynecology

David S. Diamond Memorial Award: Ruchi Amin


Dong H. Shin Outstanding Ophthalmology Research Award: Aws Hasan, Daniel Malach, Brett Malbin and Abdala Sirajeldin

Robert C. Fraser, M.D. Endowed Scholarship: Class of 2016, Tahsin Khundkar, Abdala Sirajeldin, Daniel Malach; Class of 2017, Shruti Agrawal, Kevin Lodewyk, Michael Gemayel; Class of 2018, Emily Armstrong, Xiaofan Mi, Jordan Huang, Nilesh Raval, Fareea Khaliq, Bruce Rottmann, Jamie Leong; Class of 2019, Joshua Barbosa, Ankur Patel, Hai Hoang, Janine Preble, Jenny Jan, Mark Pressprich, Nikita Khetarpal, Victoria Sattarova, Frank Mei

Orthopaedic Surgery

Palmer Award in Orthopaedic Surgery: Aws Hammad and Toufic Jildeh


The Robert Rutzky Award: Molly Roseland

The Saul Brown Award: Hannah Harmsen

The Frank B. Walker, M.D., Endowed Memorial Prize in Pathology: Tom Hu


The Anna Rutzky Memorial Award: Marissa Coury

The Jeffrey Farkas Memorial Award: Kathryn Rice

The Cheryl Hack, M.D., Pediatric Award: David Hoogstra

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

The Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Student Achievement Award: Joshua Startup


The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences Achievement Award: Kara Hunter and Sarah Bommarito


Zimmerman Endowed Radiology Fellowship: Payam Lahiji


Junior Scholarship Award in Surgery: Jennie Meier

Charles L. Huang, M.D. Award: Benjamin Johnson

John E. Hauser M.D. Endowed Scholarship: Jane Cheng


Roger V. Walker Sr. Memorial Scholarship: Lauren Corona

Time selects Flint pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha for '100 Most Influential' list
In Headlines on April 29, 2016
Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D., M.P.H., speaks about the Flint water crisis at a seminar held March 7 in Scott Hall.

Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D., M.P.H., speaks about the Flint water crisis at a seminar held March 7 in Scott Hall.

Time magazine has named pediatrician Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., to its 100 Most Influential People list, which is included in the May 2, 2016 issue.

In 2015, the Wayne State University School of Medicine residency graduate and former faculty member discovered the elevated lead levels in the blood of children living in the city of Flint. Dr. Hanna-Attisha, is director of the Hurley Children’s Hospital Public Health Initiative.

She is listed in the “Pioneers” category alongside Virginia Tech Professor of Civil and Environmental Professor Mark Edwards, who blew the whistle on lead in the water that year.

Dr. Hanna-Attisha completed her Wayne State University residency at the Detroit Medical Center Children’s Hospital of Michigan, serving as chief resident in 2006, and was an attending physician with the Department of Pediatrics’ Division of Ambulatory Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine before joining Flint’s Hurley Medical Center in 2011.

The Time list features a variety of people from various industries, including politics, film and television, music, science, visual art and more.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, one of the media’s most visible and outspoken critics of the government’s handling of the Flint water crisis, wrote Time’s article about the duo.

“Up against official ignorance and indifference, Edwards and Hanna-Attisha were right, they were brave, and they were insistent,” Maddow wrote. “Flint is still a crime scene, but these two caring, tough researchers are the detectives who cracked the case.

Read the full article here.
NIH awards Jin lab $1.5 million to target, treat heart failure
In Headlines on April 29, 2016
Jian-Ping Jin, M.D., Ph.D.

Jian-Ping Jin, M.D., Ph.D.

Jian-Ping Jin, M.D., Ph.D., a professor and the William D. Traitel Endowed Chair of Physiology, will lead a study on a regulatory protein in heart muscle using a new $1.57 million, four-year grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Jin is the principal investigator of the project “Regulation of Troponin I in Cardiac Adaptation and Failure.”

Contraction of the cardiac muscle is the basis of heart function, and cardiac troponin I is a key regulatory protein in cardiac muscle.

The Jin lab researches the regulation and function of myofilament and cytoskeleton proteins, using heart failure, myopathy and cell motility models.

“We are excited because this added support permits us to explore an exciting new area of heart failure research with a high translational potential,” Dr. Jin said.

The team recently discovered that the N-terminal extension of cardiac troponin I can be removed by restrictive proteolysis in a normal heart and up-regulated in cardiac adaptation to hemodynamic stresses and heart failure. The N-terminal truncated cardiac troponin I facilitates the filling of heart chambers to increase cardiac output, suggesting an attractive new target for the treatment of heart failure, especially diastolic heart failure -- a major health challenge with no effective treatment, Dr. Jin said.

“Our research project combines the complementary expertise of several research laboratories to study the function and production of N-terminal truncated cardiac troponin I for the ultimate goal of translating this novel molecular mechanism into the development of a new treatment for diastolic heart failure,” he said.

Heart failure is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality of heart diseases. Approximately 5 million people in the United States have it, with nearly 300,000 annual deaths, Dr. Jin said. More than 500,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

“Despite continuing improvement in the treatment of heart diseases, heart failure remains a major medical challenge and an economical burden on health care. More effective treatments are urgently needed,” he said.

The grant, R01-HL127691, is one of four the National Institutes of Health has awarded to faculty in the Department of Physiology for 2016 to date.

Dr. Jin also is the principal of another NIH R01 grant on troponin mutations in nemaline myopathy; principal investigator and project director of the Detroit Cardiovascular Training Program, a NIH T32 training grant; and co-principal investigator of an NIH multi-PI R21 project on novel diagnosis of C. difficile infections.
Wayne State professors receive $1.1 M grant to study sickle cell disease
In Headlines on April 25, 2016
E. Mark Haacke, Ph.D.

E. Mark Haacke, Ph.D.

Paul Swerdlow, M.D.

Paul Swerdlow, M.D.

With the help of a $1.1 million grant from Biogen Idec MA Inc., two Wayne State University professors hope to make great strides in understanding sickle cell disease.

The grant, “A study of noninvasive methodologies to measure blood flow and oxygenation as potential biomarkers in adult sickle cell disease patients,” aims to better understand perfusion and blood flow issues in the disease using a variety of imaging methods, including Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

The project will be led by Paul Swerdlow, M.D., professor of Oncology, Medicine and Pediatrics, and E. Mark Haacke, Ph.D., professor of Radiology, in Wayne State’s School of Medicine. Dr. Swerdlow specializes in hematology and sickle cell disease, and previously chaired the National Institutes of Health’s Sickle Cell Advisory Committee. Dr. Haacke is known for the development and implementation of advanced MRI techniques, specifically in developing susceptibility weighted imaging and MR angiography, both of which are used extensively to study neurovascular diseases.

More than 3 million people have sickle cell disease, and an additional 43 million are carriers of the sickle-cell trait. The oxygen-carrying protein hemoglobin, found in red blood cells, contorts into a sickle shape, causing cells to die early, leaving a shortage of healthy red blood cells, ultimately blocking blood flow and leading to pain, anemia, bacterial infections and stroke.

Student receives NIH fellowship to study stress-induced use of nicotine
In Headlines on April 21, 2016
Eric Woodcock

Eric Woodcock

Eric Woodcock, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences in Wayne State University’s School of Medicine, has been awarded a two-year, $76,000 predoctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health for the project,“Neuropharmacological investigation of frontostriatal network function and nicotine seeking behavior in current smokers.”

The NIH predoctoral fellowship is a highly regarded, prestigious award that will provide training support for Woodcock to investigate the effects of stress in cigarette smokers in a controlled experiment, and relate physiological and smoking behavior changes to changes found in brain imaging markers (chemistry, function and network dynamics).

“The study design integrates multiple neuroimaging technologies that are highly novel and will provide Eric with a unique set of skills and expertise that will establish a sound foundation for his continued training in academic research,” said Mark Greenwald, Ph.D., professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Wayne State. “This NIDA award reflects Eric's academic promise and specific plans to achieve his objectives, and will position him in the top tier of emerging addiction neuroscientists.”

The normal stresses of daily life often contribute to individuals relapsing to substance use by creating aversive internal sensations such as anxiety or distress, increasing appetitive motivation such as cravings, and/or degrading executive function such as self-control.

“These factors do not exist in isolation but, rather, occur simultaneously and interact to promote relapse,” Woodcock said. “After a stressful event, a person who previously had quit smoking may feel distressed, which will enhance their desire to smoke, thus challenging their ability to exercise self-control. One of the goals of this study is to better understand how stress alters brain function and make individuals more likely to relapse such that better treatments can be developed for patients.”

Woodcock said he will investigate the prefrontal cortex and how stress impairs its functioning. This area of the brain is associated with higher order thinking and planning, goal-directed behavior, self-control and delayed gratification. If his hypothesis is supported, he and other researchers will investigate medications that may blunt the effect of stress on prefrontal cortex function, which may increase the likelihood of patients’ maintaining abstinence.

Woodcock received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Washington, Seattle. He is mentored by Dr. Greenwald; Vaibhav Diwadkar, Ph.D.; and Jeffrey Stanley, Ph.D., all professors in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences in Wayne State University’s School of Medicine.

The project number for this National Institutes of Health study is F31 DA040369.

Future Docs proves a hit with doctors-to-be
In Headlines on April 19, 2016
Medical student Jordan Brand puts Braylon Ball's finger in a cast.

Medical student Jordan Brand puts Braylon Ball's finger in a cast.

Isabelle Van Hoof, 7, drills holes for a bone plate with the help of medical student Liang Liang.

Isabelle Van Hoof, 7, drills holes for a bone plate with the help of medical student Liang Liang.

Cousins Anjali Issac, 10, and Ayush Patel, 8, examine a lamb's eye at the Kresge vision station.

Cousins Anjali Issac, 10, and Ayush Patel, 8, examine a lamb's eye at the Kresge vision station.

More than 600 children and their parents explored the world of medicine and science during Future Docs 2016 at the Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Sponsored by the School of Medicine’s Alumni Association, the April 16 event saw children explore the first two floors of Scott Hall and the Kado Clinical Skills Center in the Mazurek Medical Education Commons to engage in hands-on activities at stations explaining various facets of medicine.

The annual event is designed to instill children with an early interest and appreciation for science that may eventually blossom into a desire for a medical career.

Braylon Ball, 10, already knows he wants to become a pediatrician.

“I want to help children because sometimes it’s hard for them to say when they hurt,” the St. Fabian Catholic School of Detroit student said while having his finger put in a cast by third-year medical student Jordan Brand. “I want to help make them better.”

For Brand, 25, who wants to become an orthopedic surgeon, Future Docs offered an opportunity to give something back.

“My medical education is very important to me, and volunteering for this allows me to give something back to the community,” he said.

Second-year medical student Liang Liang, 26, echoed a similar sentiment while manning the “Saw Bones Lab.”

“I did this last year, and it’s fun to work with the kids,” said Liang, who plans to go into Family Medicine. “Plus, it’s a fun break from studying.”

Liang’s station was a popular stop for young visitors, who had the opportunity to play orthopedic surgeon. They sawed through bones, placed artificial joints and used state-of-the-art equipment to align holes drilled through bones with metal rods and plates.

Other exhibits included stations on the importance of keeping healthy through proper nutrition and exercise, examining vision and visiting with dogs from Leader Dogs for the Blind, learning the anatomy of the human heart and lungs, and learning how ultrasounds work.

Attendees also received a goodie bag and Future Docs T-shirt, and enjoyed lunch in the Scott Hall cafeteria.

Older Articles