As this academic year nears completion, it’s important that we take time to recognize the exemplary work our trainees achieve during their brief time with us. Next week during Grand Rounds on Thursday, April 28, at noon in the Medical Alumni Auditorium, we will spend the first few minutes congratulating a few of those trainees. The Thomas J. Parsons Award will go to Jessica Gaulter, who has exhibited the compassion, sensitivity, and humanistic ideals exemplified by the award’s namesake. The John and Oral Sebelin Award for Excellence in Internal Medicine will go to two seniors who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship and show promise in Internal Medicine, Thomas Hoyt and Kale Bongers. Finally, the William R. Wilson Award will go to Elizabeth Bowen and Tyler Rasmussen. These two senior students have achieved exceptional accomplishments in their clinical care and research in Internal Medicine. I am pleased to say that Ms. Bowen and Mr. Rasmussen will remain in our Department as house staff. We hope you will join us next week to offer our congratulations to these hard-working students.
Last week one of our most distinguished colleagues, Dr. Donald Heistad, was presented with the 2016 Leadership in Research Award. This award from the UI’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPRED) recognizes faculty members who have a consistent record of highly cited, influential publications. Dr. Heistad is the R. T. Zahn Professor of Cardiology at Iowa. He has authored more than 500 peer-reviewed manuscripts, editorials, and book chapters. He has nearly 20,000 citations and an astounding h-index score of 71. He has been an editor-in-chief and associate editor of several journals. He has been continuously funded by NIH for 43 years, including Principal Investigator of two Program Project Grants. He received the highest research award from the American Heart Association, the Research Achievement Award. His research has focused on atherosclerosis and cerebral circulation in hypertension and stroke. His role as a mentor to predoctoral students, medical students, post docs, and visiting faculty is also enduring. His career has been and continues to stand as a remarkable example of brilliance in research and dedication to this institution. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition, Don! A full list of OVPRED award winners from our Department will be announced soon.
Congratulations are also due to Dr. Paloma Giangrande, Professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transfusion. Dr. Giangrande is senior author on a publication in the April issue of Molecular Therapy. In this study, she and the other contributors describe a vascular smooth muscle cell-targeted RNA aptamer drug capable of blocking cell migration and formation of intima. This research also led to the award of a $1.5m grant from the Department of Defense. Dr. Giangrande will collaborate as co-PI with Dr. Francis Miller of Duke University as they develop a therapeutic from this RNA aptamer to suppress extracellular histones and prevent the morbidity and mortality associated with acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Finally, I would encourage all faculty members to please take a few minutes and complete this survey following up on the recent Research Town Hall. A summary of the discussions was emailed separately to faculty. If you would like to receive a copy please contact Trevor Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org). Your responses to the survey will greatly benefit our planning as we strive to enhance our research mission.