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A PUBLICATION

FOR

ALUMNI

AND

FRIENDS

OF

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL

S P R I N G

OF

MEDICINE

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Capital Breast Care Center Bringing Cura Personalis to the Community In This Issue n n

Partners in Research Georgetown Opens Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research


ON THE COVER Cover photo by Phil Humnicky THIS PAGE Vibrant yellow daffodils make for a cheery entrance to the Georgetown campus.

INTERACT WITH GEORGETOWN MEDICINE What do you think? We want to know. LETTERS Georgetown Medicine Office of Advancement University Box 571253 Washington, DC 20057-1253 E-MAIL medalumni@georgetown.edu FAX 202-687-4722

HIGHEST RANKING Charity Navigator, The Guide to Intelligent Giving, has awarded Georgetown University its highest ranking for effective and efficient organizational, programmatic, and fundraising expense and income management.

FSC Certification ensures that the paper used in this magazine contains fiber from well-managed and responsibly harvested forests and the publication is printed using vegetable-based inks.


A PUBLICATION

FOR

ALUMNI

AND

FRIENDS

OF

GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL

OF

MEDICINE

GEORGETOWN MEDICINE S P R I N G

2 0 1 3

Cover Story

4 18

23 Capital Breast Care Center Bringing Cura Personalis to the Community

Feature

28 Partners in Research Front-Row Participants in Discovery

Departments

23 28

From the EVP and Dean

3

Parents News

21

News Briefs

4

Class Notes

32

Philanthropy

16

Alumni Profile

35

Inside GUMC

18

Student Profile

38


Editor Andrea Sumner Design Director Robin Lazarus-Berlin, Lazarus Design Contributing Writers Victoria Churchville Patti North Renee Twombly University Photographer Phil Humnicky Printing ColorCraft of Virginia

Executive Vice President for Health Sciences Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D. Dean for Medical Education Stephen Ray Mitchell, M.D., MACP, FAAP (W’86) Georgetown Medicine is published two times a year for alumni of the School of Medicine. Please address all correspondence and address changes to: Editor, Georgetown Medicine, Office of Advancement, P.O. Box 571253, Washington, DC 20057-1253. Georgetown University does not discriminate in its programs, activities or employment practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability. The university’s compliance program under these statutes and regulations is supervised by Rosemary Kilkenny, vice president for institutional diversity and equity. She may be reached in Room G-10, Darnall Hall, or at (202) 687-4798. For the most up-to-date information about events, what’s happening at Georgetown, and what’s new with alumni, go to Georgetown Alumni Online, Georgetown’s online alumni community, at alumni.georgetown.edu © 2013 Georgetown University Medical Center All rights reserved.

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Georgetown Medicine

Fr om t h e EV P a n d D e a n

Welcome to the Spring 2013 issue of Georgetown Medicine, I hope this edition of our magazine for alumni, parents and friends finds you and your family well. This issue’s cover story highlights the Georgetown Capitol Breast Care Center and its efforts to provide culturally sensitive breast cancer screening services and health education to women in the Washington, D.C., area, regardless of their ability to pay. Much as Georgetown has always had a strong commitment to ensuring the very best students can come to Georgetown regardless of their ability to pay, the CBCC is committed to ensuring that these women have access to high-quality health care, screening and education services.

Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D.

Stephen Ray Mitchell, M.D., MACP, FAAP

The District of Columbia has some of the highest rates of breast cancer mortality in the nation, and patients in this community—especially low-income, minority women— face many barriers to receiving breast cancer screening services and health education. The CBCC, part of Georgetown University’s Office for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Program, under the direction of Lucile Adams-Campbell, Ph.D., has recently hired an assistant medical director, Bridget Oppong, M.D., and a new medical director, Shawna Willey, M.D., and both have ambitious goals for the center. See the feature article on page 23 for more on the exciting work and opportunities to support the center’s efforts to reduce health disparities in our nation’s capitol. In this issue, we’re also eager to share with you a new philanthropic initiative, Partners in Research. Started by local community activists, this unique program offers our community partners and friends a chance to peek inside the world of biomedical research. By making a minimum donation of $1,000 and becoming a Partner, donors are joining forces with the researchers who conduct this high-level and potentially lifesaving research. Read more about this initiative and how you can join on page 28. Technology has always been an integral partner in the world of medicine—both in the classroom and beyond. In this issue, we’ll explore some of the ways that technology is changing the face of medical education and the practice of medicine here at Georgetown. From apps and iPads to electronically optimized classrooms and online degree-granting programs, we’re embracing these new advances across campus. Read more on page 18. There are also a number of new programs and leadership positions at GUMC and we invite you to learn about these great leaders who are coming to Georgetown, eager to share their expertise and wealth of experience with our already robust programs and seasoned faculty. As always, we invite you to submit Class Notes and share any news or announcements with your fellow classmates by visiting alumni.georgetown.edu. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

With warm regards,

Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D. Stephen Ray Mitchell, M.D., MACP, FAAP Executive Vice President for Health Sciences Dean for Medical Education and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine

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News Briefs

Georgetown Medicine

Top: A few members of the Class of 1962—on campus to celebrate their 50th reunion—gathered for a group portrait following the the Golden Jubilee Luncheon. Above: Louis M. Weiner, M.D., director of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, event co-chair, DeMaurice Smith (right) of the NFL Players Association and Robert Kraft, Chairman and CEO of the New England Patriots. Kraft was presented with the NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award during this year’s event. The Lombardi Gala raised over $750,000 this year for cancer research. Left: About 700 people gathered in Gaston Hall on Oct. 18 to hear then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discuss the need for worldwide access to energy. Of the 1.3 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to energy, Clinton said, “We believe the more they can access power, the better their chances of starting businesses, educating their children, increasing their incomes and joining the global economy—all of which is good for them and for us.”

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Top Left: The Georgetown University Alumni Association presented the prestigious Timothy S. Healy, S.J., Award to Ambassador Mark Dybul (C’85, M’92, H’08) on Oct. 26 in Gaston Hall during the School of Medicine Reunion Weekend. The event also included a global health panel featuring Dybul, Barbara Bush, Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and Ambassador Eric Goosby. The award is named for Rev. Timothy Healy, 47th president of Georgetown University (1976-1989). It was established in 1996 to recognize an alumnus of Georgetown who has rendered outstanding and exemplary community, public or professional service in support of humanitarian causes and advancements for the benefit of mankind. Top Right: Stephen Ray Mitchell, M.D., dean for medical education at Georgetown University School of Medicine, congratulates Christina Kozlovski, a medical student who is also a nun, on receiving her white coat. Mitchell welcomed a standing-room only crowd gathered in Gaston Hall for the annual White Coat Ceremony, a time-honored tradition that marks the beginning of a first-year medical student’s career in health care. Above: The towers of Healy Hall are silhouetted against the winter morning light.

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News Briefs

Georgetown Medicine

Georgetown Honors NIH Researcher’s Commitment to Reducing Health Disparities Georgetown University Medical Center awarded its highest honor, the Cura Personalis Award, to John Ruffin, Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The Cura Personalis medal and citation were presented during the medical center’s annual convocation. The award is given to a health professional who has made outstanding contributions to human health care, guided by compassion and service. The Catholic, Jesuit concept of cura personalis, or care of the whole person, promotes individualized attention to the needs of others, distinct respect for unique circumstances and an appropriate appreciation for singular gifts and insights. This is the founding principle of Georgetown University Medical Center, or GUMC, and has special significance for the scientific and educational missions of the university.

John Ruffin, Ph.D., director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

“Dr. Ruffin uniquely embodies qualities those of us at Georgetown hold dear, namely his dedication to improving the health of those often underserved,” said Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for health sciences at GUMC and executive dean of Georgetown’s School of Medicine. “It is an honor to present him with the Cura Personalis Award and to have him take his place among past winners who represent some of the best human qualities.”

A Visionary Leader Ruffin is a renowned leader and visionary in the field of health disparities. He has devoted his professional life to improving the health status of minority populations in the United States and to developing and supporting educational programs for minority researchers and health care practitioners. Ruffin’s success has been due in large part to his ability to motivate others and gain the support of key individuals and organizations, as well as his expertise in strategic planning, administration and the development of numerous collaborative partnerships. For more than 15 years, Ruffin has led the transformation of the National Institutes of Health minority health and health disparities research agenda from a programmatic concept to an institutional reality.

A Transformative Commitment Ruffin’s selection for the Cura Personalis Award comes at a time when Georgetown University has launched the Initiative to Reduce Health Disparities. Shortly after its launch, the medical center received a $6.1 million grant from the NIH to establish the Center of Excellence for Health Disparities in our nation’s capital. Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center has also announced the opening of the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research in southeast Washington, D.C. The community-based office is a commitment to engaging underserved and ethnic minority populations in research focused on reducing cancer disparities. The office is about a

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mile from the Capital Breast Care Center, a breast screening initiative of Georgetown Lombardi and an important component of its health disparities research program. n

Center for Drug Discovery Promotes Interdisciplinary Research and Development

Read more about the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research on page 14 and the CBCC on page 23.

Georgetown University Medical Center has established the Center for Drug Discovery under the direction of Milton L. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of oncology at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.  The center allows faculty from various disciplines to collaborate on drug discovery and the development of a pipeline for molecular targets. It also examines the full continuum of development, from drug discovery to preclinical studies and clinical trials. Teams of medicinal chemists, biologists, scientists and physicians will work toward the shared goal of discovery and development, especially in areas of unmet need such as cancer, neurologic disorders and cardiovascular and infectious diseases.  “Academic drug discovery is an emerging and much-needed area for advancing human health,” Brown said. “The center will help create a model academic center to actively support faculty and collaborators in providing innovative therapies for improving the care of patients.”  Initiatives include education, innovative and transformative research and collaborative programs, he added.  The new center is a translational medicine initiative made possible by a Chemical Diversity Center grant from the National Cancer Institute and membership in the NCI Chemical Biology Consortium.  “GUMC has a long history of distinguished leadership in drug discovery and development,” said Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for health sciences at GUMC and executive dean of Georgetown’s School of Medicine. “The CDD will build on these strengths functioning as a vertically integrated research center within GUMC that will interact with the existing research and clinical capabilities in the discovery and development of novel therapeutics in meeting its goal of multidisciplinary research and education.” 

Milton L. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., pictured in his lab.

In addition to serving as the center’s director, Brown is principal investigator of the NCI Chemical Diversity Center grant. He holds the Edwin H. Richard and Elisabeth Richard von Matsch Endowed Chair in Experimental Therapeutics at Georgetown and is associate professor in the Department of Oncology. As a national and international leader in academic drug discovery and development, Brown has filed patents on novel compounds to treat cancer, epilepsy, pain, chronic kidney disease and hypertension. n

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News Briefs

Georgetown Medicine

Georgetown Appoints Biostatistics Department Heads “One of my goals is to foster collaborations with GUMC researchers and further develop the research programs in biostatistics and computational biology. I’m also very committed to our strong graduate program to train the next generation of biostatisticians.” —Ming T. Tan, Ph.D.

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Georgetown University Medical Center has named  Ming T. Tan, Ph.D., chair of its Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics and Biomathematics.  Tan joined Georgetown from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center, where he had been professor of epidemiology and public health and director of biostatistics since 2002. He also had headed the division of biostatistics and bioinformatics since 2009.  “Dr. Tan is a very highly regarded cancer-focused biostatistician and bioinformatician,” said Louis M. Weiner, M.D., director of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. “He brings an excellent skill set and extensive leadership experience, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Georgetown Lombardi team.”  Tan has a robust record of scientific accomplishment and is known for his extensive collaborative research in the design, implementation and analysis of clinical trials, both in multicenter and single-institution settings, Weiner added.  “One of my goals is to foster collaborations with GUMC researchers and further develop the research programs in biostatistics and computational biology,” Tan said. “I’m also very committed to our strong graduate program to train the next generation of biostatisticians.”  Tan’s research focuses on the quantitative modeling and integration of multiple stages of therapeutics and diagnostics, using his statistical and bioinformatics expertise in preclinical discoveries, clinical trials and epidemiologic studies.  Prior to his work at Maryland, Tan was a senior faculty member at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Cancer Center and biostatistics director of St. Jude’s Developmental Therapeutics for Solid Malignancies Program. He received a Ph.D. in statistics from Purdue University in Indiana. n


Georgetown Lombardi Appoints New Deputy Director Michael B. Atkins, M.D., has joined the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center as deputy director. In announcing the appointment, Louis M. Weiner, M.D., director of Georgetown Lombardi, described Atkins as “an internationally recognized authority in the areas of cancer immunotherapy, angiogenesis, kidney cancer and melanoma who has played a major role in translational research, drug development and career development efforts in each of these fields.” As deputy director, Atkins will enhance Georgetown-Lombardi’s strategic vision and support the center’s operational direction by working to strengthen and grow clinical and translational research activities and increase its funding base. In addition, he will lead the expansion of clinical and research activities in melanoma and kidney cancer as well as facilitate multidisciplinary disease-specific program development at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital and across the MedStar Health Network. 

Michael B. Atkins, M.D.

In describing his move Atkins said, “I am excited to be joining the Georgetown Lombardi and MedStar Health communities and to work with Dr. Weiner and the many talented scientists, clinicians and administrators to help strengthen existing cancer research programs and expand clinical and translational research efforts. Georgetown Lombardi is clearly poised for growth, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to be part of it.” Weiner added, “We are exceptionally pleased to welcome Atkins to Georgetown Lombardi. With his addition, we have another powerful weapon to combat cancer through pioneering research, expert and compassionate patient care, teaching and service to the community.” Atkins comes to Georgetown Lombardi from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, where he was professor of medicine and deputy chief of the division of hematology/oncology and associate director for clinical research for the Beth Israel Deaconess Cancer Center. He both established and led the cutaneous oncology and biologic therapy programs and the cancer clinical trials office at Beth Israel, as well as the kidney cancer program of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.  At Dana-Farber, he directed the Specialized Program of Research Excellence, or SPORE, in kidney cancer and served as co-principal investigator of the Harvard skin cancer SPORE. SPOREs are a cornerstone of the National Cancer Institute’s efforts to promote collaborative, interdisciplinary translational cancer research. Atkins is married to Susan Crockin, an attorney nationally recognized for her expertise in reproductive technology law and policy. Crockin will be teaching at Georgetown Law Center and will also be affiliated with the Law Center’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. n

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News Briefs

Georgetown Medicine

Researcher Receives Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Grant to Study Aphasia The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation selected Peter E. Turkeltaub, M.D., Ph.D., for a 2012 Clinical Scientist Development Award. The highly competitive grant, totaling $486,000 for three years, is intended to support junior physician-scientists as they transition to independent clinical researchers. 

Peter E. Turkeltaub, M.D., Ph.D.

“My mission is to find new ways to improve the lives of people living with cognitive and language difficulties by enhancing the brain’s ability to reorganize after an injury.” —Peter E. Turkeltaub M.D., Ph.D.

Turkeltaub is involved in the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery, a joint program of Georgetown University and MedStar National Rehabilitation Network that focuses on the study of neural plasticity, the biologic process that underlies the brain’s ability to learn, develop and recover from injury. Supporting the work of the center is a strategic priority in the university’s For Generations to Come campaign. Turkeltaub is an assistant professor in the department of neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center and director of the aphasia clinic in the research division at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital. Turkeltaub’s research focuses on brain plasticity and recovery following a stroke, the leading cause of disability in the United States. Stroke often causes damage in the part of the brain responsible for language comprehension and speech—a condition known as aphasia. The Doris Duke grant will support Turkeltaub in examining a specific clinical intervention to help people recover from this side effect.  “I’m honored to receive this support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation,” Turkeltaub said. “My mission is to find new ways to improve the lives of people living with cognitive and language difficulties by enhancing the brain’s ability to reorganize after an injury. This award will be critical for establishing my research program at Georgetown and at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital.”  “Peter is an outstanding selection for this grant because of his strong record of research accomplishments and productivity at every stage of his early career,” said Edward B. Healton, M.D., MPH, chair of the department of neurology at GUMC. “His research is innovative and carefully designed to ultimately improve the lives of patients.”  “Aphasia is a tremendously frustrating and disabling condition for people with stroke and other brain injuries,” said Turkeltaub’s mentor, Alexander Dromerick, M.D., associate medical director for research at MedStar NRH. “Peter is developing an aphasia research center with the deep clinical resources at MedStar NRH and in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of Georgetown University faculty who study language. The Doris Duke grant will help catalyze this effort with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of people with aphasia.” Dromerick also is co-director of the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery.  Recovering from aphasia, which affects one-third of all people who have a stroke, requires robust neural plasticity. In most cases, recovery from aphasia is incomplete, resulting in substantial long-term disability. Approximately 1 million Americans have chronic aphasia, and there are no effective medical treatments to improve recovery.  After a stroke causes aphasia, brain networks for language reorganize with time. This dynamic process involves compensatory recruitment of left-hemisphere brain tissue but also potentially poorly adaptive right-brain tissue. “One potential avenue for intervention might be to externally enhance left-hemisphere activity while inhibiting the right,” Turkeltaub explained.  He noted that transcranial direct current stimulation, abbreviated as tDCS, is a new technique that can safely and noninvasively modulate brain activity. 

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“We hypothesize that a course of tDCS designed to simultaneously enhance the left hemisphere and inhibit the right hemisphere can improve recovery from post-stroke aphasia, especially in the first few months after a stroke,” Turkeltaub explained. “I’m hopeful this research will lead to a new treatment option for people with aphasia.” The foundation has awarded 202 Clinical Scientist Development Awards since 1998, totaling approximately $90 million.  “We are committed to developing the clinical research workforce, and the Clinical Scientist Development Award is a cornerstone of that strategy,” said Betsy Myers, director of the medical research program at the foundation. “Providing support to talented young physician-scientists as they move to independence is crucial, as they face the dual challenges of seeing patients and conducting research. Our hope is that the CSDA grant helps with this important transition.” n

Georgetown Physician Leads National Resveratrol Study for Alzheimer’s Disease A compound found in red wine and red grapes could change the course of the illness.

© Andrei Dragut | Dreamstime.com

A national phase II clinical trial examining the effects of resveratrol on individuals with mild to moderate dementia as a result of Alzheimer’s disease has begun with more than two dozen academic institutions recruiting volunteers. R. Scott Turner, M.D., Ph.D., director of Georgetown University Medical Center’s Memory Disorders Program, is the lead investigator for the study.  Resveratrol is a compound found in red grapes, red grape juice, red wine, chocolate, tomatoes and peanuts. Preclinical and pilot clinical research studies suggest that resveratrol may prevent diabetes, act as a natural cancer fighter, ward off cardiovascular disease and prevent memory loss, but there has been no large definitive study of its effects in humans.  The risk of all of these diseases increases with aging, and animal studies suggest that resveratrol may impede molecular mechanisms of aging. Human population studies suggest several health benefits from modest daily consumption of red wine, but the mechanisms of action in the body are unknown.  “Most resveratrol studies showing any health benefits have been conducted in animal models, such as mice, and with doses that far exceed intake from sipping wine or nibbling on chocolate,” Turner said. “With this clinical trial, we’ll find out if daily doses of pure resveratrol can delay or alter memory deterioration and daily functioning in people with mild to moderate dementia due to Alzheimer’s.”  “During this study, we will also test whether resveratrol improves glucose and insulin metabolism in older individuals—although those who already have diabetes will not be included in this study,” he added. In addition, the phase II study will examine the safety and tolerability of resveratrol administered twice daily, with a dose increase planned at three-month intervals, he said.  According to the National Institute of Aging, more than 5.3 million people in the United States suffer from Alzheimer’s, and every 70 seconds another person develops this disease. In Washington, D.C., more than 9,000 people 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s.  The resveratrol study will be conducted at 26 U.S. academic institutions affiliated with the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study. The research is sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study through a grant from the National Institute on Aging. n

To learn more about the resveratrol study or other Alzheimer’s studies underway at Georgetown, contact Kelly Behan in the GUMC Memory Disorders Program at 202-687-0413, email keb53@georgetown.edu or visit memory.georgetown.edu.

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News Briefs

During the 2012 Med Reunion, Dean Mitchell, far right, shows off artist’s renderings of the planned space during a tour.

Georgetown Medicine

Amphitheater Renovations Underway in Historic Med-Dent Building Thanks to the generosity of alumni, students, parents and friends, Georgetown has continued transforming the heart of the historic Medical-Dental Building into the W. Proctor Harvey Clinical Teaching Amphitheater. The space is named for the legendary and beloved professor who was part of Georgetown’s medical faculty for more than a half-century. According to Stephen Ray Mitchell, M.D., dean for medical education, W. Proctor Harvey, M.D. (H’79), who died in 2007, learned that the original design for the 1928 building included large doors that converted the auditorium into an “amphitheater in the round” and charged Georgetown with creating “a place to train excellent clinical teachers.” The new amphitheater—which Harvey and his family helped fund—will realize his vision. Mitchell said the technologically advanced facility will take student grand rounds to “an entirely new level.” The project will combine two teaching classrooms, C104 and C105, to make a space that can seat 325 individuals. If the full room is not needed, an “electronic sky wall” will divide the space into two classrooms with the touch of a button.

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“This transformation is taking Dr. Harvey’s 60-year career of clinical teaching to the cutting edge,” Mitchell said. “We will be able to connect directly to every place our students learn, from all our clinical affiliates to Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur in Haiti.” Equipping students with the best technology in the learning environment is the vehicle that will enhance our strong tradition of teaching clinical skills, patient care and high standards of ethics and integrity, Mitchell said. This technologically optimized classroom will prepare students to apply those cherished standards to constantly changing clinical environments. Harvey was a pioneer in cardiac medicine. He had been a professor at Georgetown since 1950 and was considered the nation’s most skilled practitioner of auscultation—the ability to detect cardiac ailments by listening to the sounds of the heart. He invented models of stethoscopes, his books have been standard texts for more than 50 years and his patients included presidents, diplomats and members of Congress. The renovation, which began in 2012, also coincided with the iTunes release of Harvey’s audiobook Clinical Heart Disease, an unparalleled collection of heart sounds and murmurs from patients from more than five decades. The $7 million facility is being funded entirely through philanthropy. n

Creating the W. Proctor Harvey Clinical Teaching Amphitheater is one of the strategic priorities of the For Generations to Come campaign, which includes enhancing student life and community experience. To learn more about the amphitheater’s renovation and ways you can support it, visit giving.georgetown.edu/ med/som.html.

Construction underway in the Med-Dent building.

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News Briefs

Georgetown Medicine

New Community-Based Office Will Address Health Disparities Georgetown University Medical Center has opened a community-based office designed to research and reduce cancer disparities among minority and underserved communities in the nation’s capital.

“This office enables us to better engage the greater D.C. community and to address real challenges to help improve the health of our neighbors.” —Louis Weiner, M.D.

“We recognized that to achieve meaningful gains toward reducing health disparities, our research teams need to be in the community to engage directly with those who are most affected,” said Howard Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for health sciences at GUMC. The Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research, located in southeast Washington, provides a community “anchor” for the cancer-related research already underway as part of a $6.1 million grant awarded to GUMC earlier this year by the National Institutes of Health.

Research Responsibilities Internationally renowned cancer epidemiologist Lucile Adams-Campbell, Ph.D., associate director for minority health and health disparities research at Lombardi, is leading the effort. “We hear so much about health disparities, and people often think that it’s only about blacks and whites,” Adams-Campbell said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the center. “But health disparities is defined as any inequity in treatment of services that includes race, gender, physical and mental disabilities, occupation, location, geography, age and education.” The District of Columbia has one of the highest cancer mortality rates in the nation, ranking highest for prostate cancer, second highest for breast cancer, third highest for cervical cancer and seventh highest in the nation for all cancers combined, according to the DC Cancer Consortium. The city’s African-American population is disproportionately affected by cancer. Blacks in D.C. are 9 percent more likely to be diagnosed with breast, cervical, prostate, lung and colon cancers when compared with their white neighbors, and 49 percent of these African-Americans are likely to die from these diseases, according to the DC Cancer Consortium. There are many reasons for the disproportionate numbers, Adams-Campbell said, including an inherent susceptibility to more aggressive forms of cancer, environmental factors and barriers to health education, insurance and treatment. “This office was born out of our commitment to reducing health disparities in the community and the recognition that we can’t expect the people who are most affected to always come find us on campus,” said Louis Weiner, M.D., director of Georgetown Lombardi. “This office enables us to better engage the greater D.C. community and to address real challenges to help improve the health of our neighbors.” It also represents yet another way in which Georgetown is carrying out its mission of engagement and educational outreach to the surrounding community.

Targeted Interventions In addition to disproportionately high cancer mortality rates, Washington has higherthan-average disparity rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Overall, more than 22 percent of adults 18 and older are obese in the District, 28 percent have hypertension and 8 percent have Type 2 diabetes, according to the D.C. Department of Health.

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While there are similar percentages of adults by race and ethnicity who are overweight, the D.C. health department states that 35 percent of African Americans are more likely to be obese, compared to 22 percent of Hispanics, 10 percent of adults of other racial or ethnic groups and 9 percent of Caucasians.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray, third from left, and other community and university leaders were on hand for the 2012 ribbon-cutting.

Research and Interventions Much of Adams-Campbell’s own research focuses on community-based interventions to improve diet and exercise among underserved populations. The new office features an exercise physiology lab, rooms to research the positive effects of exercise through video games and equipment for measuring body fat composition and bone density. The office also includes Lombardi faculty members with expertise in cancer epidemiology, health communications, exercise physiology and nutrition, as well as a nurse practitioner, community health educators and an administrative staff. “Under Dr. Adams-Campbell’s leadership, I’m confident that we can expedite research directly impacting health disparities—particularly those disproportionately affecting minority and underserved populations in the District,” Federoff said. The Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research is also metro accessible to facilitate easy access by community members. It is also only about a mile from the Capital Breast Care Center, a Lombardi breast-screening initiative and another important component of Georgetown’s health disparities research program (see page 23 for more about the center). “The importance of local communities cannot be overstated … we cannot do it alone,” said Adams-Campbell. “If we can just improve the lifestyles of the community that we serve, we can make a difference.” n

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P h i l a n t h r op y

Georgetown Medicine

Alumnus Repays His Education through Two Scholarship Funds As one of four children raised by a single parent in Washington, D.C., Murray Hammerman, M.D., (M’60) did not grow up wealthy. “We did not have any extra anything,” Hammerman said. But in the late 1950s, after applying—and being accepted to— Georgetown’s School of Medicine, two of his uncles, Sam and Herman, stepped in and offered to cover the cost of attendance in full. The now-retired Hammerman attended school and eventually embarked on a successful ophthalmology career in Rockville, Md. But he remained deeply touched by the generosity he was shown and made a promise that once it became financially viable, he would honor his uncles.

Murray Hammerman and his wife pose with scholarship recipients on Match Day 2012.

He and his wife, Marilyn, established two scholarship funds to support aspiring Georgetown medical students: the Herman and Sam Hammerman Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Murray F. and Marilyn Hammerman Foundation Scholarship Fund. Since 1980, the Hammermans have awarded nearly 110 scholarships to needy students through the two funds. Hammerman hopes potential scholarship recipients will be students who demonstrate the potential to maintain a good academic standing and who come from similar economic backgrounds as his. “I always felt that Georgetown gave me an excellent education and the opportunity to do exactly what I wanted with my life. Now it’s my turn to give back,” he said. He continues to give, because, as he puts it, “Once I commit to something—I stick to it.” In fact, he’s made provisions to ensure this fund is carried forth for the generations to come: Hammerman’s son, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney, “will carry this on when I’m gone,” he added. That philosophy of continued giving, of repaying generosity once shown to him, is something he hopes to impart on those students who benefit from his scholarship. “I would like them to consider doing this for someone else when they are in the same position,” he said. “It’s certainly not required, but it’s the right thing to do.” n

Bergeron Professorship Provides Support for Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery George Bergeron lived his life as a man for others. Since Bergeron’s passing in 1999—after having lived with multiple sclerosis for 30 years—his son Doug and Doug’s wife, Sandra, have sought ways to honor his legacy. They’ve found that place at Georgetown University Medical Center and have established the George Bergeron Endowed Professorship in Neuroscience. Their $1.25 million gift 

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supports the director of the Center for Brain Plasticity and Recovery and will bolster GUMC’s efforts in cutting-edge biomedical research in the neurosciences. The center will also unite faculty conducting research in disparate areas to develop and refine groundbreaking approaches to restore cognitive, sensory and motor functions after stroke and provide novel treatments for other neurologic disorders, including MS. “We’re committed to doing what we can to not only further all types of research involving MS but also to make life incrementally better for those afflicted with it. Georgetown is the ideal setting for that type of work,” Doug Bergeron said.

‘A Real Inspiration’ While George Bergeron was alive, he chaired the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s WindsorEssex chapter and showed others how to find happiness despite physical difficulties. He was a mentor, friend and advisor to countless newly diagnosed patients, providing a beacon of hope in the dark days after initial diagnosis. His son remembers this well: “I would come home and there’d be a newly diagnosed 25-yearold sitting at the kitchen table with him. My father would give helpful hints, things he’d learned over his years of living with the disease.”

“We’re committed to doing what we can to not only further all types of research involving MS but also to make life incrementally better

For all who sat at that table, George Bergeron was a real inspiration. “He was the go-to guy for newly diagnosed patients; he was able to tell them life isn’t over,” his son said. After his death, the city of Windsor, Ontario, opened the George Bergeron Healing Garden on the banks of the Detroit River in his honor.

for those afflicted with

Now, thanks to the endowed professorship, George Bergeron’s legacy will live on for generations to come, providing critical support to recruit and retain exceptional faculty who will lead the center’s research efforts to slow the progression of and eventually cure neurologic disorders.

ideal setting for that

“Due to the nation’s aging population, we expect neurological disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s to grow and lead to burgeoning health problems, surpassing heart disease and cancer in the very near future,” said Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for health sciences at GUMC and executive dean of the School of Medicine. “This gift creates the foundation to develop the center where neurological discoveries can be made and shape the manner in which medicine is taught and clinical care is delivered.”

—Doug Bergeron

it. Georgetown is the

type of work.”

‘A Bright Future’ The center will bring together researchers across disciplines to study recovery in adults. This unique interdisciplinary approach combines Georgetown’s strengths in the sciences and humanities—linguistics, foreign languages, psychology and philosophy—with research and clinical efforts to combat neurologic diseases and disorders. “We are grateful and honored to be the recipient of this extraordinary philanthropy that will exist in perpetuity in the name of George Bergeron,” Federoff continued. Over the years, a friendship has blossomed between the Bergeron family and President John J. DeGioia—Doug and Sandra’s oldest daughter, Genève (C’10, G’12), received her graduate degree last spring—and the family believes in DeGioia’s leadership and strategic vision. “I’ve met many university chancellors and presidents, and I think he’s a unique and special guy. Georgetown’s got a bright future,” Bergeron said. This gift is dedicated to advancing research in neurologic diseases, a strategic priority for Georgetown University Medical Center as part of the university’s $1.5 billion capital campaign For Generations to Come. n

Sandra and Doug Bergeron

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Georgetown Medicine

Š Neil Kendall | iStockphoto

I n s i de G U M C

Ruesch Center researchers are

iPad App Streamlines Patient Data Collection, Standardization

collaborating with

By Lauren Wolkoff

others on a study

One of the most tedious parts of the patient experience is being handed the clipboard to fill out the dreaded patient questionnaire. Standardizing patient data is also a constant challenge for those who collect it—volumes of forms and questionnaires can become unwieldy and cumbersome, and the quality of information can vary from patient to patient.

that will use Tonic to streamline patient questionnaires and consent forms that are necessary to enroll a patient onto a research study.

The Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers, part of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, is seeking to modernize this clunky process and improve the quality of the information that comes in. Researchers and clinicians agree that to improve the patient experience and ultimately enhance patient care. Enter Tonic, an iPad-based application, or app, that creates a more seamless, engaging and dynamic experience for patients to report family medical histories. Ruesch Center researchers are collaborating with others on a study, called the Lombardi Research Participant Registry, that will use Tonic to streamline patient questionnaires and consent forms that are necessary to enroll a patient in a research study. Patients will be able to receive a link ahead of time or fill out the information on an iPad when they come to clinic. The study relies on obtaining consent from patients with gastrointestinal cancers such as colon and pancreas cancers, as well as some cancer-free patients and relatives, who are asked to answer an in-depth questionnaire on topics ranging from family history to treatment details to quality of life. To date, researchers have guided nearly 600 patients through the lengthy paper questionnaire process to standardize information. Someone then enters this information into a secure database.

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Unlike current paper-based systems, Tonic is bright and engaging—just as a game on an iPad would be. And, because Tonic’s system is cloud-based, the data is secure. Every time a patient hits “submit” after an answer, the response is saved on an electronic health record. The patients are also asked to provide specimens as well as tumor tissue, when available— and all are tracked and facilitated by companion systems that interface with Tonic. As one of the first studies at Georgetown to use Tonic for its consenting and questionnaire processes, the effort will integrate with other patient databases and tissue repository efforts at Georgetown Lombardi; the intent is to collect data once and use it multiple times to improve patient care and research.

Improving the Patient Experience Subha Madhavan, Ph.D., director of clinical informatics at Georgetown Lombardi and head of the Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics at Georgetown University Medical Center, is collaborating on the study. In her role that bridges biomedical science and informatics, Madhavan is naturally interested in ways to improve the standardized collection and use of clinical data in ways that improve patient care. “Traditional paper-based questionnaires geared toward collection of family medical history are complex and cumbersome for patients, involving documenting details related to histories of numerous maternal and paternal relations,” she said. “We are implementing an iPad-based application to improve the patient experience in the clinic related to reporting family medical history information and to streamline numerous aspects of collecting and reporting this information.” The information that is gathered will be used to provide reports to physicians that are then used as part of the physician–patient encounter. The system allows for standardization of data elements across multiple questionnaires, allowing the information to be integrated and analyzed with much greater ease by researchers.

A Model for the Future The introduction of Tonic into the clinical research realm greatly bolsters the ongoing work of the Ruesch Center and could serve as an invaluable tool for many other studies, according to John L. Marshall, M.D., the center’s director and another Tonic study collaborator. “The Ruesch Center has a number of ongoing studies involving the gathering of extensive patient personal and medical history data, necessitating organization of patient consent and questionnaires. The use of secure electronic methods to gather patient data and health information, while making the process fun for patients, has great appeal,” Marshall said. n

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Georgetown Medicine

Technology at GUMC In addition to patient-centric technology, GUMC is using electronic enhancements in other exciting ways.

On the Web Nursing@Georgetown is an innovative Master of Science in Nursing program delivered online by the School of Nursing & Health Studies. The school provides a nationally ranked graduate nursing program—on campus and online—at a major student-centered research university with an international presence. Using highly interactive Web 2.0 technology, Nursing@Georgetown—the school’s online program—engages students and faculty in a highly personalized, seminarstyle learning environment that leverages one-to-one interaction to promote camaraderie and collaboration. This online coursework is combined with carefully selected clinical experiences in close proximity to where students live, making this innovative program and learning platform available to committed nursing professionals from across the country. https://online.nursing.georgetown.edu/

In Rounds Armed with an iPad, Jonathan Hartmann, MLS, joins the pediatrics and internal medicine units as they move en masse from one bed to another during rounds. Hartmann, the hospital informationist/ librarian at Dahlgren Memorial Library,

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says the physicians call on him when they have trouble finding something. “It isn’t easy to find the right study to answer a complex question, and my searching skills are really good—it is what I do, it is my job,” said Hartmann. As an example, during teaching rounds in an internal medicine unit, the attending physician wanted to know if warfarin, an anticoagulant, should be used for stroke prevention for a patient with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Hartmann pulled up journal articles that talked about how both cancer treatment and cancer spread can increase the risk of stroke. This initiative to integrate the medical library services with clinical operations is a welcome addition to rounds, especially in the academic hospital setting where everyone expects cutting-edge information to be delivered quickly.

In the Classroom The new W. Proctor Harvey Clinical Teaching is being designed to be a technologically advanced facility that will take student grand rounds to “an entirely new level,” according to Stephen Ray Mitchell. The project will combine two teaching classrooms, C104 and C105, to make a space that can seat 325 individuals. If the full room is not needed, an “electronic sky wall” divides the space into two classrooms with the touch of a button. n

For more on the amphitheater’s progress, please see page 12.


Georgetown Medicine

Pa r e n t N e w s

By serving on the Medical Parents Council for the past five years, we have had the unique opportunity to support the very special student body and faculty of the Georgetown University School of Medicine in a variety of ways. And as co-chairs for 2012-13, we are eagerly anticipating another exciting academic year and the prospect of projects to come. We have been associated with the School of Medicine and the university’s MedStar hospital for more than 35 years and feel privileged to continue our involvement. Both our children were born at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Our daughter, Stephanie (M’11), earned her master’s degree at Georgetown and will be a resident along with her husband, J.T. Cardella (M’10), at the University of North CarolinaChapel Hill. Our son, a Georgetown University undergraduate and master’s graduate, is a fourth-year student in the School of Medicine and president of that wonderful M’13 class. The concept of cura personalis and the commitment to the academic excellence of Georgetown University is engrained into our family philosophy.

Jean and William Davis

Welcome

At Georgetown, the opportunities for students in the School of Medicine are vast. The tradition of outstanding faculty and staff and the ever-expanding technology presents students with unparalleled educational experiences. The process of learning and growing as future physicians continues to present challenges. The academic workload, the responsibilities of actual patient care, the long hours and the financial burdens can be stressful. Balancing the academic requirements and maintaining healthy lifestyle can be a daunting task. As parents council members, we have chosen to support the learning atmosphere for our students in a variety of ways. Based on student assessment and feedback, we have helped improve study spaces in the Med-Dent building, provided areas for relaxation and casual recreation and enhanced the services provided by the university to our medical students. While working closely with the dean of students, the council members offer time, creative ideas, insight and financial assistance to the students. A benefit of parents council membership that often goes unmentioned is that we are given a certain “insider’s perspective” into the educational journey of our daughters and sons. We meet their teachers, advisors, mentors, peers and other parents and develop a better understanding of the experiences of our adult children. Parents and students alike have found this to be an important connection at a significant time in a student’s career. In broad terms, the goal of the medical parents council this year is to continue the projects that have been initiated and to seek innovative approaches to improve the lives of our students. We encourage more parents to become involved with the council or other volunteer activities available through the School of Medicine. We are grateful to the ever-supportive faculty and staff and the parents who have already given their time and talent to enrich the learning experience of each student in the School of Medicine. 

Thank you, Jean and William Davis

There are many ways for you to support and become involved in the work of the Medical Parents Council. To find out more, contact Libby Bell at eb326@ georgetown.edu.

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Georgetown Medicine

Fourth-Year Class Gift Honors Beloved Professor Donald Knowlan The fourth-year class gift committee, led by Kathy Sweeney (M’12), saw 100 percent participation among its classmates. The gift will go toward the purchase and installation of a two-faced clock. The unanimous participation effort was born from a love for Georgetown and a commitment to give back in honor of a man who has given so much.

“Remember: the patient, the patient, the patient. He needs you now, as never before.” —Donald Knowlan, M.D.

“I loved my four years at Georgetown, and I received a tremendous education here,” Sweeney said. “As the daughter of a Georgetown alumnus (Mike Sweeney, M’82) I have witnessed firsthand the type of physician Georgetown produces—the physician who embodies cura personalis in his daily patient care like my father did.” Getting all 192 members of the Class of 2012 to participate is particularly commendable, she added, considering the slapdash schedule of a med student. But Sweeney and her committee tapped into the smartphone culture—knowing that most students would have fingertip email access—and they quickly forged an easy and efficient method to receive quick responses and gift commitments. Sweeney believed that the teamwork and unity demonstrated by the class gift effort was a testament to the type of student Georgetown attracts and the strong bonds forged over the four years of medical school. After a class-wide vote, it was decided the two-faced clock will be donated to the school in honor of professor emeritus Donald Knowlan, M.D., who’s final remark at the M’12 white coat ceremony was, “Remember: the patient, the patient, the patient. He needs you now, as never before.” “He is an outstanding example of what it means to be a physician, and an equally remarkable teacher,” Sweeny said. “Our class felt blessed to have him be a part of our medical school experience. He had the remarkable ability to meet a student one time and two years later remember where they went to high school and what sports they played.” The clock will be displayed in the Med-Dent building and will mark a memorable four years for the Class of 2012, but it also commemorates the lasting impression a Georgetown professor made on a class and the commitment of Georgetown medical students to give back. n

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Georgetown Medicine

Capital Breast Car e Center

Capital Breast Care Center Bringing Cura Personalis to the Community By Patti North

The lump. There is hardly a woman alive, at least in the developed world, who has not thought about finding one and having to face a biopsy, diagnosis, possibly surgery and treatment—each unwelcome thought followed by a scarier one. Spr ing 2013

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Ca p i ta l B r e ast Ca r e C e n t e r

Georgetown Medicine

90

percent of women with breast cancer make it to the survival mark, up from percent in the 1960s.

5-year

63

CBCC Executive Director Wanda Lucas, herself a breast cancer survivor, has ambitious plans for the center.

For most women, these fears will be unfounded. Less than 10 percent of all breast cancer screenings result in an abnormal finding and only a very small fraction—two to four of every 1,000 women—actually have the disease when they are screened, according to the American Cancer Society. For those who are not so lucky, a breast cancer diagnosis will be followed by an often dizzying array of choices, decisions and appointments that a patient makes in close consultation with her health care team. While this is not a prospect that anyone wants to face, for most it is a manageable one. But for a person who is un- or underinsured with a low income, the challenge is substantially more daunting. She may ask herself: “How much will my care cost, and how will I pay for it? Will I be able to take time off from work for appointments? How will I take care of my family while I am being treated?” For undocumented immigrants, the threats of exposure, arrest and deportation compound and complicate these concerns. And ironically, even though early detection is widely known to increase a woman’s chances for survival, the very prospect of a diagnosis will lead some women to put off their yearly mammogram or avoid it altogether. After an abnormal screening, some women will abandon the health care system—temporarily avoiding the toll and expense of surgery or treatment—perhaps until it is too late.

The Worst Part Two years ago, Flavia Campos was launching a business that was not yet sufficiently established to enable her to insure herself—especially given high premiums for individual insurance plans. She had been introduced to Georgetown’s Capital Breast Care Center, also referred to as the CBCC, via a friend’s referral and had already taken her mother and older sister there for mammograms but had never been screened herself. “I was relatively young, of normal weight, ate healthy, exercised and had no breast cancer in my family. I did not think I was a candidate,” Campos recalled. A routine mammogram detected an abnormality and a biopsy later confirmed she had stage I breast cancer. “I was in shock,” she said. “The worst part of it was that I knew I could not afford the treatment.” Scenarios such as the one Campos faced are far too common. With these fears and setbacks in mind, CBCC stepped into the breach as one of the only community-based, licensed and accredited mammography facilities providing comprehensive, culturally appropriate breast

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cancer screening, referrals and health education to women in the Washington, D.C., area regardless of their ability to pay. Campos worked with CBCC “patient navigators” to find treatment and the insurance that would pay for it. After a lumpectomy and radiation, Campos is cancer free. “I feel really blessed,” she said. “I don’t know what I would have done without them.” The stakes are high in the nation’s capital—no city has a higher death rate from breast cancer than Washington. A combination of variables is likely responsible for this fact, including less access to health care in low-income neighborhoods, less knowledge about nutrition and exercise, high-risk behaviors such as tobacco use and genetic risks that come with family history. African-Americans, which make up the majority of the city’s population, tend to have a lower incidence of breast cancer than Caucasian women overall, but are more likely to get the disease at a younger age when screening is not commonly covered by insurance. They also tend to develop more aggressive tumors that result in higher mortality and morbidity. In fact, the rate at which African-American women die from the disease annually is more than twice the rate for Asian and Hispanic women, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Conquering the Coverage Conundrum CBCC was founded by Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2004 and realigned in 2008 to fall under the Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research, spearheaded by Lucile Adams-Campbell, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert on health disparities and reducing cancer risk in underserved communities. A longtime resident of D.C., Adams-Campbell is an epidemiologist who specializes in community health research, interventions and outreach. The mission of this initiative, in part, is to combat cancer health disparities in the District through research, training, communication and education. In so doing, Adams-Campbell confronts another barrier that low-income women seeking care may face: fragmentation. While a patient may be covered by Medicaid, that insurance plan may be accepted by only a few providers or the treatment plan may require seeing several providers.

82 10-year

percent of women make it to the survival mark.

“Some insurance plans will cover the screening, but not a biopsy; others will cover the screening and the biopsy but not chemotherapy; still others will cover chemotherapy but not radiation or surgery. If your coverage will cover detection but not treatment, you’re basically uninsured,” Adams-Campbell said. CBCC Medical Director Shawna Willey, M.D., grapples with this phenomenon all too frequently. “We don’t want to under-treat people, but for every patient, we have to look at the cost of care and what the benefit will be. If a patient’s long-term survival will likely increase 2 percent with chemotherapy, but that might bankrupt the family, two percent may not be enough. It may be more cost-effective for a patient to have a mastectomy than a lumpectomy and radiation. You don’t make recommendations based only on economics, but that must be considered. There are limits on coverage,” she explained.

Lucile Adams-Campbell, Ph.D.

Fortunately, due to the continued generosity of the Avon Foundation for Women and others, CBCC has been able to find treatment options for 100 percent of its patients. It does so with the help of the aforementioned “patient navigators” who help steer patients through the maze of insurance plan limits, providers and funders and a blizzard of paperwork that accompanies virtually every case. Often the physician must take on the role of advocate. “As a clinician said, I can call the insurance company and say, ‘This is something I feel I should do,’” said Bridget Oppong, M.D., assistant medical director of CBBC, assistant professor of surgery and attending physician in the Division of Breast Surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Department of Surgery. “I have yet to have a carrier refuse, but you have to go that extra mile.”

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Ca p i ta l B r e ast Ca r e C e n t e r

2,971,610 the number of female breast cancer survivors in the United States as of Jan. 1, 2011. By 2022, that number is expected to reach

3.78 million.

Georgetown Medicine

from left: Zhilphia Turner, Wanda Lucas, Bridget Oppong, M.D.

In addition to its mammograms, clinical examinations and navigation services provided by a bilingual staff, CBCC offers referrals for emotional support, primary care and untreated health conditions, as well as transportation to and from appointments for those who need it.

Making a Powerful Statement CBCC serves approximately 2,000 patients each year, but that number is growing, in part due to the center’s education and outreach programs. Center staff and volunteers go to community centers, churches and events to raise awareness about breast health. Zhilphia Turner, a community health worker who specializes in outreach to the community, has been known to approach bus stops to ask women, “Have you had your mammogram this year?” “They’re scared,” Turner said. “They’ve heard rumors that it hurts and I’ll say ‘It does hurt, but a little hurt can save your life. And if we find something, CBCC will stick with you all the way.’ They need to know they’re not alone.” The anxiety that accompanies a diagnosis is not an abstraction to CBCC Executive Director Wanda Lucas, who is also a survivor. “I know what it is to hear, ‘You have breast cancer.’ I understand what it’s like to wonder if you are going to be here next year.” Overcoming the patient’s apprehension is often a daunting task. “I tell every newly diagnosed patient that our intention is for them to come out the other side and be exactly the same person they are now, except with this experience behind them,” Willey added. “’Yes, you have to go through treatment, but that does not mean you won’t go on to live a long and healthy life.’ That’s a powerful statement for them.” Lucas, who was appointed to her post in November, has ambitious plans for CBCC. (See page 27.) She intends CBCC to be a national model for both screening and education. Working with Adams-Campbell and the health disparities team, CBCC could also be a gold mine of data, providing valuable information on breast cancer risk and prevention for African-Americans and Latina women, who are woefully understudied. While working as an advocate after her diagnosis in 2006, Lucas noticed so many of the patients she encountered lived in her neighborhood. And, there are several D.C. wards— an area similar to a county or diocese—that are cancer “hotspots,” suggesting an as-yet unknown environmental risk factor. “We don’t even live in an industrialized area, with smokestacks billowing out, but we have residual effects from environmental damage,” explained Adams-Campbell. “We can’t explain the causes, because we don’t have the data.”

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Deposing Deadliest D.C. Identifying its cause and preventing breast cancer is, at present, beyond the capability of medical practitioners, but early detection, risk awareness and reduction is an agenda every woman can make her own. “Getting sick was just not in my plans,” said Campos. “Thanks to CBCC I am much more attentive to my health now.” Adams-Campbell hopes more women will follow in the footsteps of Campos after a diagnosis. “Don’t let the fear paralyze you, but mobilize you,” Adams-Campbell advised. And if the staff of CBCC and Lombardi’s Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research have their way, D.C. will be knocked off its unwelcome perch as America’s deadliest place to face breast cancer. “When I found out that my hometown has the highest breast cancer mortality rate in the nation, I said, ‘I just can’t accept that,’” Lucas said. “I won’t accept it.” n

The CBCC operates a District-wide patient transportation program for breast cancer screening. This 12passenger service van picks up women from partnering agencies, churches, shelters and service agencies.

Ways You Can Support the CBCC In-house educational program $500,000

Ward 6 community outreach

This program would allow the CBCC to provide consistent, relevant educational programming for its patients, spouses and caregivers sitting in the waiting room and/or prior to receiving screening services. This would include the creation of specific educational videos and the purchase of television/audio equipment. Education topics would include overall cancer screening, development of healthy lifestyle behaviors, research/clinical trials education and survivorship issues.

This program would target D.C.’s low-income Ward 6 population, including those who work and reside in the area. There is a large untapped population of women who work in this ward or who reside in public housing properties who could benefit from the services of CBCC. Trained community health workers would use consistent and repeatable programming to increase screening. This program would encourage patients to bring family members and neighbors as a way to build a community.

Accommodations for persons $500,000 with physical disabilities/limitations

Mobile mammography

This would ensure the ability of CBCC to accommodate persons requiring additional assistance due to physical limitations for transportation (van with wheelchair lift), and screening services (adjustable clinical exam tables).

High school education program

$400,000

This program would target female high school students who would receive education on age-appropriate breast health issues. In addition, they would be trained to serve as navigators where they would work with family members, neighbors, and others who may not follow screening guidelines. As lay navigators, they could advise others on the services of CBCC.

$750,000

$1.5 million

Mobile mammography technology offers the same high-quality imaging as found in most facilities. By providing these services to medically underserved women in their communities, the CBCC would be able to reach its goal of enhancing access to state-ofthe-art breast cancer screening technology and, ultimately, to reduce the burden of breast cancer in our community. The Planmed Sophie Classic Mobile is the ideal product to launch mammography screening within Walmart stores in Southeast Washington. It can move from neighborhood to neighborhood and offer screening opportunities that may not be readily accessible. The portability of the unit lends itself well to community outreach opportunities. n

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Pa rt n e r s i n R e s e a r c h

Georgetown Medicine

Front-Row Participants in Discovery

by Victoria Churchville

On a crisp fall morning, people begin to arrive at a Georgetown University conference space reconfigured to resemble a classroom. Soon, four scientists make their way to a podium and dive into lay-friendly explanations of scientific research they would like to pursue at Georgetown. This is Georgetown University Medical Center’s Partners in Research program— also known as PIR—an innovative, philanthropic program that gives donors frontrow seats to witness the iconic biomedical discovery path from the laboratory to the bedside. In little more than a year, these Partners have given $145,000 in grant money to jump-start promising basic science laboratory experiments aimed at developing treatments for a range of diseases and disorders. The audience members, a cadre of caring community activists with a zest for science and a passion for helping others, listen thoughtfully and ask detailed questions. They will vote shortly on which two of the four projects will be funded.

A Community Ready to Learn, Give Back Four women from Washington, D.C., created Partners in Research to unite members of the metropolitan Washington community who appreciate the importance of biomedical research and the positive effect it can have when translated into patient care. On that October day, the Partners awarded $35,000 each to two laboratory projects: n

Rebecca Riggins, Ph.D., assistant professor of oncology, plans to test a new drug that stops the transformation of a healthy tumor suppressor gene into a rogue one that triggers breast and brain cancers.

n

John VanMeter, Ph.D., associate professor of neurology, has proposed a new way to create drug doses that are perfectly tailored to the individual in an effort to minimize negative side effects and maximize efficiency.

The Partners will follow these research projects as they progress, visit the labs and be the first to learn the results of the research at a showcase event in 2013.

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Partners are invited to participate in lab tours as a way to stay connected to the research and interact with scientists.

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Georgetown Medicine

Although these grants are modest—especially in the world of medical research—they could be the springboards that transform scientific vision to reality for Riggins and VanMeter. The approval process for new treatments and therapies is lengthy, averaging 10 to 12 years between laboratory-born ideas and U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to market. It is wildly expensive to pursue novel treatments, a process that is fraught with pitfalls and it carries no guarantee of success. Further complicating advances in biomedical research is the continuing decline in federal funding from the National Institutes of Health. But the Partners are motivated by their interest in helping others and continually declining federal funds for biomedical research.

Partnerships Forged

“PIR has enabled individuals to do what none could do on their own: fund a biomedical research project at a top-tier academic research center with the potential to reveal the next great medical breakthrough.” —Vivien Marion, GUMC senior director of development

PIR has roots in Doctors Speak Out, or DSO, a community education program started in 2009 by community philanthropists, led by Alma Gildenhorn and chaired by Liz Dubin. These educational luncheons offer a captivating forum for discussing both clinical therapeutics and translational science. During these dynamic events, Georgetown physicians and scientists discuss such topics as health disparities and how blood pressure can affect your health as well as personalized cancer treatments and dying with dignity. Audience members are also invited to ask questions and interact with the researchers. Still, Gildenhorn wanted a way to bring the community even closer to the research. So DSO regulars came up with the idea of donating a minimum of $1,000 to GUMC and asking their friends and acquaintances to do the same. This collaboration launched PIR. (Read more about how you can become a Partner in Research on the next page.) “This is what we had in mind: an engaged community coming together with all these brilliant minds,” Gildenhorn said about the initiative.

From left, Cathy Gildenhorn, Nomita Brady and Bette Kramer, listen to researcher’s presentations.

Leadership Involvement Robert Clarke, Ph.D., D.Sc., dean for research at GUMC, has become an advocate for the unique partners initiative, encouraging GUMC investigators to submit research proposals. A committee of experts from various research backgrounds reviewed those submissions, which followed the same stringent proposal review guidelines used by the National Institutes of Health. Clarke sees the value in these grants. “The importance of seed funding cannot be overestimated. It provides the necessary resources to invest in ‘high-risk, high-reward’ projects with the potential to generate new insights into a biological question or disease process that may fundamentally change the way we think about approaches to treatments.” Vivien Marion, GUMC’s senior development director, is also keenly aware of the program’s unique role in philanthropy. “PIR is the only project I know of where an academic medical center permits—in fact, invites—the community to make the decision about which

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scientific research to fund,” Marion said. “PIR has enabled individuals to do what none could do on their own: fund a biomedical research project at a top-tier academic research center with the potential to reveal the next great medical breakthrough.” n

From left, Vivien Marion, Nancy Katz, Koula Papadopoulos, Robert Clarke, Carol Wiener and Joan Heyman.

Becoming a Partner in Research at GUMC Georgetown University Medical Center is home to a robust, disease-focused research enterprise that spans multiple disciplines and promotes lifesaving research. The Partners in Research  initiative has been created to allow donors to join forces with the researchers who conduct this high-level research. With the government cutting back federal funding, the environment for researchers is becoming increasingly competitive. Each time a researcher applies for a federal grant, that person has a 10 percent chance of being funded. Due to continuing federal cutbacks, the already slim chance of receiving funding continues to decrease. Partners in Research is a pooled fund that puts its members on the inside of biomedical research. A minimum of $1,000 is

required to become a Partner, and contributions for the 2013 grant year are now being accepted Grants are awarded annually, with the total collected funds awarded each year to the researchers selected. In addition to determining which projects are funded, Partners receive a written update on the progress of the funded projects, are invited to visit the laboratories of the grantees and attend the showcase meeting at which the final research findings are presented. Contributors below the Partner level receive the briefing and are invited to the showcase meeting. For more information about Partners, please call 202-687-8416 or email partnersinresearch.gumc@georgetown.edu. n

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C l as s N o t e s

Georgetown Medicine

1940s

After serving the Northern Kentucky community for almost 60 years, James Allen ( Jim) Schroer (C’46, M’47) retired from his practice in internal medicine. On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of their medical school graduation, he would like to congratulate all his fellow classmates and expresses his appreciation to Georgetown University for being the springboard to a wonderful and satisfying life in the service of others.

1950s

William Vitale (M’55) was honored as a recipient of the Wilbur Wright Master Pilot Award by the Federal Aviation Administration for 50 years of Active Pilot Certificate without a reportable incident. It was actually 65 years, counting time in the Army Air Force in 1945 and 1946.

1960s

Brian Doberstyn (C’63, M’67, W’71, R’83) is pleased to report that, after 20 years as a medical officer in the Army—drafted in 1971 —he overlapped for 12 years with the World Health Organization as a tropical diseases specialist and regional director of communicable diseases. Doberstyn has now retired in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Working alongside his sister, he has established a nonprofit designed to improve access to education for underprivileged children and young adults here and in the Thailand-Burma border area. The nonprofit focuses on the “hill tribes” living in remote isolated areas and on children with intellectual disabilities and learning disorders. The organization also provides university scholarships for underprivileged young people. More information can be found on www.dulabhatorn.org.

1970s

Paul Barreira (M’74) was promoted to director of Harvard University Health Services from his previous position as director of Behavioral Health and Academic Counsel at Harvard University. David Hidalgo (C’74, M’78) was honored at Joan’s Legacy: Uniting Against Lung Cancer’s Strolling Supper with Blues and News gala in New York City on Nov. 14, 2012. The event raises awareness and critical funds for lung cancer research through Uniting Against Lung Cancer’s Scientific Program. NBC’s Brian Williams was the evening’s host. Fred Ledley (M’78) is pleased to announce the release of Sputnik’s Child published by CreateSpace. Sputnik’s Child recalls the events that shaped the ideas and lives of the baby boom generation and produced an age of technology. Told through the eyes of a child born the day Sputnik was launched in 1957, it is the story of an age of irrational exuberance and a mother’s struggle to find a cure for her stricken child and retain her faith in the future.

1980s

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Joseph A. Zenel (C’76, M’80), of Sioux Falls, S.D., was named editor-in-chief of the American Academy of Pediatrics continuing medical education journal Pediatrics in Review. Zenel most recently served as deputy editor and associate editor of the publication. He is professor in the division of general pediatrics and director of the pediatric residency program in the Department of Pediatrics at Sanford Children’s Hospital at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine.


age range

24

20-39

1,209 398 accepted

interviews

196 matriculated 89

colleges and universities represented

19

from Georgetown University

3

32

students from outside the United States

states in addition to Washington, D.C., and Guam

average age

103

1

students from Canada

2

students from China

11,733 applicants

females

93

males

School of Medicine

Class of 2015

Matthew Cooper (M’94) has accepted a position at Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute in Washington, D.C., as director of kidney and pancreas transplantation. Cooper was previously employed at University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, Md., as director of kidney transplantation.

1990s

Julie Silver (M’91) has been named “Top Innovator in Medicine” by the Globe 100 for her Northborough, Mass.-based health care company, Oncology Rehab Partners, and its STAR Program Certification, a unique model of evidence-based cancer rehabilitation that offers hospitals and cancer centers the tools—education, training, evaluation and treatment protocols—to set up and implement high-quality cancer rehabilitation services for their patients. Eric Vallone (C’90, M’97, R’00) and his wife, Kristi, are ecstatic to be expecting their first child, a baby girl, due in 2013.

Visit alumni.georgetown.edu for more class notes or to submit your own.

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C l as s N o t e s

Georgetown Medicine

Professor Who Revolutionized Radiology Dies at 86 Robert S. Ledley, DDS, the emeritus professor who created the first whole-body CT scanner that revolutionized the practice of radiology, passed away July 24, 2012, in Kensington, Md., at age 86. Ledley, who pioneered the use of electronic digital computers in biology and medicine, had been a faculty member in the departments of radiology, physiology and biophysics for nearly 40 years. He received the National Medal of Technology in 1997 from President Bill Clinton.

Great Innovator “He was a great innovator, scholar, scientist and educator,” said Howard Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for health sciences at Georgetown University Medical Center and executive dean of the School of Medicine. Ledley received several patents on applications to medical instrumentation, and the prototype for the CT scanner he created is on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Robert S. Ledley, DDS

First Genetic Databases

Pleasure of Thinking

In addition to pioneering the use of computers to aid physicians and treat patients, Ledley also developed genetic databases. In the 1960s, along with colleague Margaret Dayhoff, he compiled an atlas of all known protein sequences. Later, when it was put in electronic form, it became the Protein Information Resource, one of the premier protein sequence databases in the world used by nearly everyone in molecular biology.

Ledley is survived by his wife, Terry, and two sons, Fred (M’78), and Gary (M’82), both graduates of Georgetown’s School of Medicine. He received his doctorate in dental surgery from New York University, and a master’s degree in mathematical physics from Columbia University. In addition to the National Medal of Technology, Ledley received the 1998 Morris F. Collen Award for lifetime achievements from the American Medical Informatics Association and American College of Medical Informatics. In 1990, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Precocious Experimenter In a 1998 Georgetown Magazine article, Ledley explained that he began rendering mechanical drawings at age 6. Soon after, he started creating trick locks and marionettes made of wood. The article noted that while he was working on the prototype for the CT scanner, the engineer he was working with wanted specifics about the signal the scanner would emit. “I’ve never done it before, I didn’t have the foggiest idea,” Ledley recalled in the article. “So he says, ‘Well, how can I make it work if I don’t know what the signal is going to be?’ ” Stumped, Ledley said, “You want a number? I’ll give you a number: 10. Ten of whatever it is. And he made it for 10, then adapted it for the actual value.” That, the article stated, was the essence of Ledley: a professor who often started with a pie-in-the-sky idea and ended up with an invention that furthered the medical profession.

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“My father loved science, and he was privileged in his career to have an opportunity to go into worlds that were so unknown at the time,” Fred Ledley said in an article on the GUMC website. “He was one of the first people who had the pleasure of thinking about how computers could be applied to healing.” Fred Ledley, a professor of natural and applied sciences at Bentley University, has treated children’s genetic diseases with gene therapy at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and is the author of a novel, Sputnik’s Child. His brother is a cardiologist at Drexel University College of Medicine. n


Georgetown Medicine

A l u m n i P r of i l e

Alumni Spotlight: Michael Palko Michael Palko, M.D. (M’85), is a board-certified dermatopathologist and laboratory director of Georgia Dermatopathology, the dermatopathology laboratory of Georgia Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center. Georgia Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center is owned by Palko’s classmate, Michael Sharkey, M.D. (M’85), a dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon. Georgetown Medicine sat down with Palko to discuss his relationship with Georgetown and to talk about some of his favorite memories from his time as a medical student—glacier climbing, anyone?

Q

You’ve stayed connected to Georgetown well after graduating. What does being a Hoya signify to you?

Top: Michael Palko (right) in Vail, Colo., on a 2012 ski vacation with his brother David Palko, M.D. (left) and medical school classmate Sean Coyle, M.D. (M’85). Above: 2013 Palko Family Ski Vacation in Breckenridge, Colorado. All four Palko siblings are physicians. From left to right: David Palko, M.D., Bill Palko, M.D. (C’78), Mary Beth Palko, M.D. and Michael Palko, M.D. (M’85).

A

To me, it means being associated with a special Jesuit university with outstanding students, facility and alumni. The list of alumni includes my older brother Bill Palko, M.D. (C’78), and his wife Maria (Stiso) Palko (B’78). I am proud to be a graduate from one of the most prestigious universities in the world, and I am truly thankful for having had the opportunity to attend Georgetown. Furthermore, I am privileged to be able to give back to Georgetown through philanthropy.

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Georgetown Medicine

Q Q

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in school? One of my fondest memories is traveling with my classmates, including external medical school rotations in Phoenix and Boston. During breaks in the academic calendar, I went skiing in Wyoming, visited scenic destinations in California and toured several countries in Europe, including England, Greece, Germany and Austria. For me, one of the most memorable events was glacier climbing in the Austrian Alps with a local hiking guide and a medical school classmate who was born in Austria, Albin Gritsch, M.D. (M’85). Dr. Gritsch is now a transplant surgeon at UCLA.

A

Can you tell me a little bit more about your current practice?

I render a dermatopathologic diagnosis on biopsy specimens of skin using light microscopy, which are surgically obtained by Dr. Sharkey (M’85) and his associates. As a dermatopathologist, I integrate clinical information with microscopic observations of the skin biopsy to provide diagnostic information to the treating physician. The accurate microscopic interpretation of the biopsy is vitally important in the selection of appropriate therapies by the dermatologist.

A

Georgia Dermatopathology is located in rural Georgia, in a Department of Health and Human Services–designated health professional shortage area, or HPSA. These are geographic areas that lack sufficient health care providers to meet the health care needs of the population. Providing medical care in areas of great need accentuates the satisfaction of practicing medicine, and resonates with the Jesuit ideal of service to others. Michael Palko (center) with classmate Joe Timpone (left) and Dean Stephen Ray Mitchell in a Riggs Library ceremony to honor Timpone.

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Q

Can you give some words of wisdom to current medical students? Something you wish you knew when you were in school, perhaps? n

Thank God every day for the opportunity you have been given to become a physician. Strive to be the best physician you can be by hard work and perseverance. Remember that our mission is to serve the patient; the patient comes first. Always.

n

If you have an interest in a particular area of medicine, take a rotation in that field as soon as possible to see if you might want to pursue that specialty as a career choice. Don’t wait.

n

Begin to master the art of diagnosing a patient’s disease utilizing a “problem-orientated” approach.

n

Get an MBA or—at the very least—learn as much as you can about the “business” side of medicine. It will benefit you in the long run as a physician.

A


Q

In 2011, you hosted a reception at Riggs Library to announce the establishment of an endowed scholarship for School of Medicine students in honor of your classmate Joseph Timone Jr., M.D., (M’85). What inspired you to give and why is a scholarship so important?

If you are interested in reconnecting to the School of Medicine through philanthropy, please contact Libby Bell at eb326@georgetown.edu.

My classmate, Joseph Timone Jr., M.D. (M’85), has spent a large portion of his academic career at Georgetown—through medical school, internship, residency, fellowship, attending staff physician and so on. Joe has excelled in teaching, clinical practice and research. He is also a solid family man with a wonderful wife, Karen, and twin boys, Andrew and Matthew. He has been an inspiration to the students and staff at Georgetown University by overcoming health obstacles—something that would have dissuaded most individuals from continuing to pursue a career in medicine, but not Joe. The importance of an endowed scholarship in honor of Joe is that it will supply financial aid to students in need and the legacy of Joe’s contributions to Georgetown will be acknowledged in perpetuity. He is an outstanding role model for young physicians in training, and I wanted to honor him.

Q

A

Can you share with our readers why you’re so passionate about giving back to Georgetown?

I am so passionate about giving back because so much has been given to me. God has blessed me in numerous ways. The least I can do in return is to help others. This is my way of thanking and honoring Christ. In this spirit, I think it is befitting, when making a donation to Georgetown, to make the gift in honor of someone. I think this gives the contribution more meaning; it makes it more personal. This was the impetus behind establishing the endowed scholarship for School of Medicine students in honor of Joe Timpone. This was also the motivation behind donating a painting to Georgetown University in December 2004 in honor of Colleen M. Coyle, Esq. (C’84). Colleen is a good friend of mine and a fellow Hoya who also has had health issues. The donation of Georgetown University at the Second Millennium was made in Colleen’s honor to acknowledge her courage and fortitude as she battled her health difficulties. It’s so important—if you’re able—to give back, and I’d encourage others to do the same. n

A

Pictured Above: Michael Palko and Colleen M. Coyle, Esq. (C’84) Left: Georgetown University at the Second Millennium by John Gable, was dedicated on Dec. 3, 2004, by John J. DeGioia, president of Georgetown University, in honor of Colleen M. Coyle, Esq. (C’84) and is displayed outside of historic Riggs Library.

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S t u de n t P r of i l e

Georgetown Medicine

Outstanding NHS Undergrad Pursues Medical Degree A version of this article appeared on gumc.georgetown.edu in January 2013.

Armond Esmaili (NHS’11, M’15) first became inspired to pursue a career in medicine in high school after his mother was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder. “It was during the hours I spent with my mother at her hospital ... [that I observed] the compassionate care provided by her physicians and became inspired to gain expertise in the biological science that underlies human health and illness,” he said. Before becoming a student at the School of Medicine, Esmaili graduated at the top of his class from Georgetown’s School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS) as a human science major in 2011. He earned the NHS’ Dean’s Award for highest cumulative grade point average that year and distinction as a Rhodes scholar finalist in 2012. Armond Esmaili (NHS’11, M’15)

“It was during the hours I spent with my mother at her hospital ... [that I observed] the compassionate care provided by her physicians and discussing the medical complexities of her illness with doctors and became inspired to gain expertise in the biological science that underlies human health and illness.” —Armond Esmaili

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During his undergraduate years, Esmaili was also one of 11 Georgetown students selected for an internship in Buenos Aires that involved completing coursework, conducting lab research and participating in hospital visits related to pediatric respiratory syncytial virus infections. Pablo Irusta, Ph.D., associate professor of human science, oversaw Esmaili’s research in the lab at Georgetown and during the trip to South America. “While in Argentina, his questions and work ethic impressed physicians and researchers alike,” Irusta wrote in his recommendation letter for the


Rhodes scholarship. “He was passionate about working with children and trying to better understand the disease that affected them.” And despite not being selected as a Rhodes scholar, Esmaili said it was a “tremendous honor and deeply humbling to have been selected and invited to sit for an interview.” He is also grateful to John Glavin, English professor and fellowship secretary at Georgetown. “Glavin and the fellowship process challenged me to do precisely what my undergraduate and medical education at Georgetown have spurred me to do in the past six years: to reflect critically upon my experiences and ask how I can use the knowledge and insights of my education to better engage my community and serve others,” he added. While in Buenos Aires, Esmaili received invaluable firsthand experience about how discoveries in the laboratory are translated to clinical care.

“My experience with patients in the hospitals not

“In Argentina and in my subsequent only furthered my understanding of the disease research pursuits, I have found that the essence of translational research is process, but it directly helped me to refine and directly linking the needs of patients in clinical settings with one's research in the focus my research work in the laboratory.” laboratory,” Esmaili said. “My experience with patients in the hospitals not only furthered my understanding of the disease —Armond Esmaili process, but it directly helped me to refine and focus my research work in the laboratory.” He believes there is no greater learning opportunity than observing the clinical challenges patients face and having the opportunity to ask questions and uncover new findings in the laboratory that may improve their health in the long term.

Committed to Georgetown, Serving Others Esmaili conducted cell biology research under Irusta’s mentorship as an undergraduate that led to a collaborative publication in the journal Cell Cycle, an impressive feat for an undergraduate student. For three summers, he also had the opportunity to serve as a research fellow at National Jewish Health in Denver, the highest-ranked respiratory hospital in the country. “At National Jewish, my work focused on understanding how a particular cell in our immune system can damage lungs in respiratory illnesses and how we can prevent this disease process from occurring,” he said. In summer 2012, Esmaili was a research fellow at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he helped advance the development of a novel therapy that he says “may soon be used in the treatment of pediatric bone cancer.” Although he says he is passionate about scientific discovery in immunology and oncology, he has yet to selected a specialty field. “It is my foremost goal as a future physician to provide care for individual patients,” he explained. “But in addition to clinical care, I also hope to move my research beyond the microscope and examine how health systems can better deliver therapies and prevent illness for patients most in need of care.”

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S t u de n t P r of i l e

Georgetown Medicine

“It is my foremost goal as a future physician to provide care for individual patients, but in addition to clinical care, I also hope to move my research beyond the scope of the microscope and to examine how health systems can better delivery therapies and prevent illness for patients most in need of care.” —Armond Esmaili

Embodying the Jesuit Tradition Esmaili says the university’s Jesuit tradition of helping others is why he came to Georgetown as an undergraduate and stayed to pursue a medical education. Over the years, he’s been extremely involved in the Hoya community and has served as a coordinator of a science tutoring program at NHS, and as a volunteer and board member with Georgetown’s Best Buddies chapter, an organization that works with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He also has worked as a volunteer coordinator of an annual charity basketball tournament and as an admissions ambassador for the university.

“I am extremely grateful to all of my professors who have shaped my spiritual and intellectual growth and challenged me to embrace a future serving others,” he says.

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Calendar of Events Global Health Panel Georgetown University Medical Center in conjunction with The Royal Society of Medicine John Carroll Weekend 2013

April 19 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Wimpole Theatre The Royal Society of Medicine London

Dental Reunion (for classes ending in 3’s and 8’s)

May 31 - June 2 Georgetown University

4th Annual Biotechnology Panel Discussion and Networking Event

June 13 North Bethesda Marriott

For the most up-to-date information about medical alumni news and events, log on to alumni.georgetown.edu/medicalalumni

GEORGETOWN

UNIVERSITY

MEDICAL

CENTER

SAVE THE DATE

An evening to support new cures and treatments for neurologic diseases.

WHEN: SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2013 at 6 p.m. WHERE: THE JOHN F. KENNEDY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS 2700 F Street N.W. Washington, D.C.

HONORARY CO-CHAIRS MARK AND JEANNE SHRIVER CO-CHAIRS WILLIAM AND DANA SCHREINER The event includes a cocktail buffet reception followed by the performance, NSO Pops: The Wizard and I: The Musical Journey of Stephen Schwartz. Steven Reineke, conductor at The Kennedy Center. Proceeds from Music for the Mind will be directed to a Young Investigators Fund benefiting Georgetown’s young neuroscientists conducting cutting-edge research in their quest to discover the treatments and cures of tomorrow. For reservations and sponsorship opportunities, contact Elena Jeannotte at ej48@georgetown.edu or 202-687-3866.


GEORGETOWN MEDICINE Medical Alumni Affairs Office of Advancement University Box 571253 Washington, DC 20057-1253

NON-PROFIT ORG. US POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 3901 WASHINGTON, DC

Profile for Georgetown Advancement

Georgetown Medicine  

A publication for alumni and friends of the Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Georgetown Medicine  

A publication for alumni and friends of the Georgetown University School of Medicine.

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