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December 14, 2012


Vol. 31, No. 18

To watch a video about this year’s MUSC Angel Tree Toy Parade, go to

MUSC donates 3,600 toys, bikes T

Above, Patriot Guard members decorated their motorcycles. Below, volunteers gathered donated gifts after the parade.


he MUSC community celebrated the completion of the 2012 Angel Tree program with a parade on Friday, Dec. 7. More than 3,500 toys were donated to the Salvation Army, along with approximately 100 bicycles and two $1,000 checks.

FELLOW SELECTS MUSC Arkansas pharmacy dean shadows Dr. Greenberg and learns about interprofessional education.

The Patriot Guard, Charleston Police Department, West Ashley High School ROTC, Burke High School Drum Corp, veterans, and Santa and Mrs. Claus marched from the Institute of Psychiatry to the Horeshoe via Calhoun Street to deliver the toys and bikes.


The West Ashley High School ROTC and the Charleston Police Department bagpipers marched in the parade, above. Santa and Mrs. Claus, left, rode in a military vehicle.



Charleston Friendly Yard

Children’s Hospital looking at ways to reduce CT scans.


Meet Andrea


Tribute to Dr. Carolyn Reed


2 THE CATALYST, December 14, 2012

Dean chooses MUSC to host education fellowship BY ASHLEY BARKER Public Relations

One of the 57 American Council on Education (ACE) fellows for the 2012-13 academic year has chosen to spend three months at MUSC learning about the challenges and opportunities at universities. Stephanie F. Gardner, PharmD, dean and professor of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), will spend November, January and April at MUSC, shadowing President Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D, and working closely with the interprofessional education program. “Dr. Gardner has just arrived on campus, but already she has had an opportunity to observe a great deal about what makes MUSC such a special place, particularly in the area of collaboration across disciplines,” Greenberg said. “I am pleased that she decided to spend this prestigious fellowship here – it is a real honor for our institution, and it increases the visibility of our campus not only to Dr. Gardner, but to other fellows with whom she will interact.” Gardner, who has been a member of the UAMS faculty for more than 20 years, was selected to join the prestigious ACE Fellows Program, which was established in 1965 to “strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration.” Each fellow is asked to pick 20 institutions that they are interested in visiting. After researching them, the fellow then narrows the list down to three before making an official visit. “I heard that Dr. Greenberg was a phenomenal leader,” Gardner said. “He has over a decade of experience at MUSC in his current role. He’s very well respected across the country.” When Gardner met Greenberg in person she knew picking MUSC was the right decision. “I could tell that he was someone who

Editorial of fice MUSC Office of Public Relations 135 Cannon Street, Suite 403C, Charleston, SC 29425. 843-792-4107 Fax: 843-792-6723 Editor: Kim Draughn Catalyst staff: Cindy Abole, Ashley Barker,

Dr. Stephanie Gardner, dean and professor of the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, left, was named a 2012 American Council on Education fellow. Dr. Emily Moore, professor and associate dean for academic and faculty affairs at MUSC, was named a fellow in 1989. would be easy to talk with and that he would help me further grow as a leader.” Another important reason why she chose MUSC was Amy Blue, Ph.D., and her work in interprofessional education. “During my interview here, she and several other faculty took me to dinner, and we talked for a couple hours about interprofessional education,” Gardner said. “I knew that this would be the perfect place to learn about that as well.” She plans on learning as much as possible about interprofessional education at MUSC so that she can take her new knowledge back to UAMS. But she will also focus on developing her career and deciding the path that she will take. “My ultimate goal is to find out more about the role of a provost and a president — normal day-to-day responsibilities and what their job is like,” she said. Gardner will shadow Greenberg for approximately

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20 to 30 percent of her fellowship time, attending meetings and being included in the highest level of decision making for the campus. During the remainder of her time, she will attend interprofessional activities and schedule meetings with faculty members and administration. “As she prepares for the next step in her career, I hope that the experiences that she gains here will help to further develop her already strong leadership skills,” Greenberg said. As a fellow, Gardner’s career path looks promising. Sharon A. McDade, Ed.D., director of the program, said in a release that “of the more than 1,700 participants in the first 47 years of the program, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become vice presidents or deans.” Although she is the first fellow to pick MUSC as its host institution, Gardner is not the only ACE Fellows Program member on campus. Emily Moore, Ed.D., professor and associate dean for academic and faculty affairs, College of Health Professions, and William Hueston, M.D., professor for the Department of Family Medicine, were named fellows in 1989 and 2008, respectively. Gardner called Houston prior to deciding on MUSC to get some advice about the community and scheduled a meeting with Moore during her second week on campus. Moore said she tells new fellows two things. “One is the key of preparation. Selected fellows are knowledgeable, savvy, determined, passionate about higher education issues, and decisive in decision making,” she said. “Thus, it is understandable that a person must be at the right point in their career for the fellowship to have the greatest meaning. …Secondly, it is not just the fellows who gain from the program, but also the host institution, the home university as well as the higher education agenda and the students it impacts.” ACE represents more than 1,600 college and university presidents nationwide. For information, visit

OSHP provides guidelines for use of space heaters Portable space heating devices are permitted in non-sleeping staff and employee areas. Space heaters must adhere to the following guidelines: q UL listed, oil-filled radiator type heaters are the only approved heaters allowed within MUSC facilities. q A minimum of four feet must be maintained around the space heater to prevent combustibles from overheating. No space heaters are allowed under desks. q The device must be equipped with a

tip-over switch that will shut the power off if the heater is accidently turned over. q The device must be plugged into a wall outlet and must not receive power from an extension cord. q All heating devices must be procured through the appropriate hospital channels. q No heater purchased outside the facility by an employee may be utilized on campus. For information, call Occupational Safety and Health Programs 792-3604.

THE CATALYST, December 14, 2012 3

Future of higher education discussed at workshop BY ASHLEY BARKER Public Relations MUSC hosted a Southern Association of College and University Business Officers (SACUBO) higher education leadership drive–in workshop Dec. 10 and 11 at the Charleston Marriott. Approximately 100 representatives from universities as far away as Texas registered for the event, which featured sessions about tax issues, credit ratings, financial reporting and MUSC’s responsibility center management (RCM) model. Larry Goldstein, president of Campus Strategies, LLC, a management consulting firm that provides services to institutions, spoke about the future of higher education. Goldstein said he rejects the doom and gloom predictions of brick and mortar college campuses disappearing because of online options and financial problems. “I get really frustrated when I hear people question the value of an education,” he said. “Even a little bit of college gives you

“I get really frustrated when I hear people question the value of an education. Even a little bit of college gives you some better job security.” Larry Goldstein

some better job security.” The seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for workers with a bachelor’s degree was 4.3 percent in July 2011, but at the same time it was 9.3 percent for high school graduates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Goldstein also quoted statistics from Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce that said folks with a bachelor’s degree can expect to make $2.268 million during their

lifetime, while high school graduates will only see an average of $1.304 million during the same period. He emphasized that the landscape of higher education has changed recently — state appropriations have been slashed, student demographics have shifted, and there has been an increase in the demand for accountability. In order to combat these changes, he said institutions must learn to better understand costs and revenues and then

redistribute existing resources. He explained Robert C. Dickeson’s prioritization model, which is presented in “Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services,” and said it has been successfully employed at “dozens, if not hundreds of institutions.” The model helps leaders of institutions make decisions that support the reallocation of resources away from underperforming activities to successful activities. Patrick Wamsley, MUSC’s chief financial officer, hosted and helped organize the event. “SACUBO drive-in workshops are a great way to bring high quality professional development to the campus. We were extremely fortunate to have the caliber of speakers we did,” Wamsley said. “Mr. Goldstein’s presentation, as well as the others that followed, provided a broad perspective of the national higher-education landscape. We were also enthused by the large turnout of higher-education professionals from all over the region." For information, visit

4 THE CATALYST, December 14, 2012

MUSC Urban Farm named Charleston Friendly Yard

MUSC Urban Farm was recently recognized as a “Charleston Friendly Yard” by the Keep Charleston Beautiful Committee for creating and maintaining an environmentally-sound garden. Charleston Friendly Yards is an interactive program designed to recognize those in the community who are creating and maintaining sustainable, environmentally conscious yards and gardens. It also acts as a resource for the community to share ideas and experiences regarding sustainable yard development and maintenance. Charleston Friendly Yards focuses on five major categories pertaining to yard care: plants, water, soils and chemicals, waste and pollution, and wildlife. Charleston Friendly Yards encourages natural beauty and diversity with limited negative impact. MUSC Urban Farm promotes sustainable urban agriculture through the following: q Organic gardening methods: insecticidal soap; compost (demonstrating four to six methods); integrated pest management; encouraging beneficial insects such as honey bees, frogs, lady bugs, etc. through the use of bee hives, attractive flowers and plants, and no pesticide use; crop rotation; raised beds; various species are used, no monoculture; training of staff, volunteers and general public; no chemical fertilizers; trap crops; good garden hygiene; and mulch

of creating a “Keep MUSC Beautiful” campaign to support the efforts of the City of Charleston. For information, email Susan Johnson, Ph.D., at

Members of the Urban Farm Leadership Team are presented with a cedar bird house and a Charleston Friendly Yard sign by Jennifer Scales, far left, from the City of Charleston. q Weed barriers (newspapers): using reused or reusable items and recycling q Water conservation: drip irrigation using timers (adjusted as indicated by crops); hand watering of plants unreachable by irrigation system; weed barriers reduce competition to water; weed control; plant placement; ideal soil and compost; and selective watering of planting beds q Reduce, reuse, recycle: all gloves were donated and are reused by whomever comes to work in the farm; some seeds

are started in compostable containers; compost all plant waste and coffee grounds from cafeteria; recycling bins for plastics, glass and steel cans are on site for events; permanent recycling bins are located just outside the garden; and reuse newspaper as a weed barrier. Keep Charleston Beautiful’s mission is to promote the cleanliness and beautification of the City of Charleston through education, public awareness and community involvement. MUSC Office of Health Promotion is in the process

MUSC Employee Wellness events q Fitness series: A spin class will be held from 4:15 to 4:45 p.m., Dec. 19. The class will include a guided workout in phases from warm-up to sprints and climbs. Participants may control resistance on the bike to make the pedaling as easy or difficult as needed. Email to register for this free class for employees. A free day pass to the Wellness Center will be provided to all participants. q Farmers markets: Fruits and vegetables are available from farmers on Thursday at Ashley River Tower, and Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Horseshoe and Ashley River Tower. q The next Weight Management Center’s Lunchtime Losers class begins Jan. 10, 2013, and will meet for 10 weeks from noon to 1 p.m. every Thursday. The program is designed for employees and offered in partnership with MUSC Employee Wellness. Email browjosh@ for information or to register. MUSC Urban Farm q Work and Learn with child-friendly activities from 9 to 11 a.m., Dec. 15. The Urban Farm will be closed Dec. 16 through Jan. 6, 2013.

GOLDEN APPLE WINNERS CELEBRATED The 50th annual Golden Apple Awards ceremony recognized excellence in medical education. The awards are given in memory of physiology professor Dr. Bernard Metz, who was honored by his students for his love and devotion to teaching. Each year, medical student classes nominate and vote to honor exceptional faculty for teaching excellence. The event also featured the annual Robert P. Walton Lecture on Medical Education, which was given this year by Donna Kern, M.D., associate dean for curriculum in the College of Medicine. Kern spoke about the role of educators who illuminate, cultivate and inspire their students. Golden Apple Awards were presented to Dr. Thierry Bacro (First Year Faculty Award), Inda Johnson (First Year Appreciation Award), Dr. Debra Hazen-Martin (First Year Appreciation Award), Dr. Laura Kasman (Second Year Faculty Award), Sandy Nelson (Second Year Appreciation Award), Dr. David Mills (Clinical Years Sara Winn, second from left, presented the Clinical Years Special Faculty Award), Dr. Eric Nelson (Clinical Years Faculty Award), and Dr. Angela Appreciation awards to Sara Frampton, from left, Christine Talbot-Bond Choi (Clinical Years House Staff Award). and Melissa Jacob Nov. 29.

THE CATALYST, December 14, 2012 5


Andrea Coyle, R.N. Department Professional Excellence Coordinator How long at MUSC 9 years How are you changing what’s possible at MUSC Elevating the profession of nursing Dream vacation Backpacking in Europe Favorite radio station 70s on Sirius Last book read “How to Raise a Gentleman” A must-have in the pantry Peanut butter Favorite place in the world Italy Favorite restaurant Elio’s in New York City Dream job Film location direction What do you do on a rainy day Wear fancy rain boots Children Finn and Adelaide

6 THE CATALYST, December 14, 2012

College of Health Professions receives more than $5,000

Cami and Dennis Meyer presents a check for $4,850 to College of Health Professions Dean Dr. Lisa Saladin for the Camden Scott Meyer Pediatric Fund, named after their late son. The money was raised by their families in the final of a series of community yard sales.

Class president Lauren Wengerd and other representatives from the Occupational Therapy 2013 and 2014 classes presented a check for $250 to College of Health Professions Dean Dr. Lisa Saladin for OT student scholarships on Nov. 30.

The Catalyst, December 14, 2012 7

8 THE CATALYST, December 14, 2012

Dr. Carolyn E. Reed

Warrior, hero

“Dr. Reed was not only my husband John’s surgeon, but also his advocate. She always made it a point to get to know her patients, and John was no exception. She found out during one of their many conversations that he loved to play golf and wondered if he would not be able to do this anymore after she removed the right upper lobe of his lung. She took the time to reassure him and drew pictures on the exam table paper of how she would not cut certain muscles that would affect his golf swing. It took awhile, but we got him back out on the golf course again. One of his best memories, one that he always talked about, was being able to go play with our son; her attention to detail and being a patient advocate made indelible memories for both a father and son.” —Peggy Anthony, R.N., (right) surgical services nurse manager Dr. Carolyn Reed was my hero on more than one occasion. Pediatric pulmonology was not available at MUSC for many years. Dr. Reed always made herself available to us in pediatric hematology/oncology when we needed her expertise. It was seldom a planned consultation; however, she was swift in her response and excellent in her care and advice. —Roc Tennyson, pediatric hematology/oncology Dr. Reed was the consummate clinician – dedicated to the complete care of her patients. Many of them developed close personal relationships with her, not just because she treated their life-threatening illness, but because she had compassion and understanding for them as people. All of her colleagues here and beyond respected her skill, her diligence, her high standards, and her wonderful sense of humor.” —Ray Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., MUSC president She was not only a skilled surgeon but she had something extra — the ability to relate to her patients in such a way that they loved her. She was a wonderful teacher and served as a role model

Dr. Reed, second from right, breaks ground for the sevenstory addition to MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center Dec. 13, 2001 with MUSC President Dr. Ray Greenberg and others.

to many women who wanted to pursue a career in surgery. She developed a national reputation, which led to important leadership roles in national and international thoracic surgery organizations — she became the first woman in our specialty to be recognized. Our specialty has lost a true giant, and I have lost a great friend. —Fred A. Crawford Jr., M.D., Distinguished University Professor, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery Dr. Carolyn Reed was a kindhearted person who cared for the well-being of those around her. I was touched by the words of advice and encouragement that she gave to students in our grant-funded summer undergraduate research program for students from historically black colleges and universities in South Carolina. —Marvella E. Ford, Ph.D., cancer disparities To me, Dr. Reed was one of the doctors who gave my mother 13 wonderful years after being diagnosed with cancer and one of the people who inspired me to go in to the field of oncology. —Claudia Miller, thoracic nurse navigator

I had the honor of serving on numerous committees with Dr. Reed. I have met no one more committed to his or her job than she was to hers and have been amazed at her accomplishments. Glass ceilings were shattered as she entered the here-to-then male dominated bastion, the MUSC operating rooms. She once told me that she memorized scores of football games each weekend so that she could chat with the predominantly male fellows and residents each week in the operating room so that they would be comfortable working with her. I have lost a wonderful friend, whom I will never forget. —Buddy Jenrette, M.D., Department of Radiation Oncology Carolyn was as a friend and highly esteemed colleague. She was a surgeon of both unparalleled skill and great compassion who respected the critical balance of art and science in patient care. She was a tireless advocate for restoring humanism to the practice of medicine and cultivating that value in her colleagues and the residents she trained. Dr. Reed was a pathfinder, and her legacy will continue on for generations to come. —David Cole, M.D., Department of Surgery

THE CATALYST, December 14, 2012 9

In Memorium: 1950 - 2012

and steady as a rock Hundreds of people from around the Charleston Lowcountry, the Palmetto State and throughout the country remember and honor the life of Carolyn E. Reed, M.D. One thing that these people have in common is how they’ve been touched by her passion, love for life and dedication to healing. Reed, 62, who was an esteemed thoracic surgeon and oncologist specializing in the field of lung and esophageal cancer and a consummate advocate to her patients, died Nov. 16. Recruited to MUSC in 1985 by Fred A. Crawford Jr., M.D., former chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Reed succeeded Edward F. Parker, M.D., commonly known as the father of thoracic surgery in South Carolina. She stepped into those shoes to become the “go to” thoracic surgeon in South Carolina. She has been named among the nation’s Top Doctors every year since 1996. She played a key role in developing the Hollings Cancer Center, serving as its director from 2000 to 2004 and as associate director of medical affairs from 2004 to 2012. A trail-blazer, Reed was elected to the Southern Surgical Association in 2006, the first woman to serve as president of a major thoracic surgical organization. She was the first woman elected to the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, the accrediting body for thoracic

surgeons, and the first woman to serve as its chair from 2005 to 2006. Reed also mentored generations of residents and served as an exemplar of professionalism for thoracic surgeons in training, particularly women. She was awarded the Student Teaching Award at MUSC and received multiple nominations for the Golden Apple Award. One of Reed’s patients, Nikki Hardin, the founder and publisher of Skirt Magazine, shared nothing but praise for her oncologist and personal hero. “From our first meeting, I knew this was the doctor I’d entrust with my life. Yes, she was a brilliant surgeon, but she was also compassionate and strong and steady as a rock, and I knew she would give me the straight-up truth about my condition every step of the journey. She was a warrior, a healer, a hero, the best guide I could have had for my passage through the dark underworld of cancer.” A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m., Jan. 9 in St. Luke’s Chapel. Two campus auditoriums will provide live video coverage and a reception will follow at Hollings Cancer Center. To honor her legacy, MUSC is establishing an endowed chair in her name. Donations can be sent to: The Carolyn E. Reed, MD Distinguished Chair in Thoracic Surgical Oncology, c/o MUSC Foundation, 18 Bee St., MSC 450, Charleston SC 29425-8610.

As passionate as Dr. Reed was about the science and practice of medicine and surgery, she was even more passionate about the human side. Her love for her patients is what elevated her to true greatness. —John Ikonomidis, M.D., Ph.D., Cardiothoracic Surgery

blazed trails for women leaders. I’m so proud to have known her and be given the opportunity to learn and work with her. I hope to carry on her spirit in improving cancer care. —Tricia Adrales Bentz, Clinical Trials Network

Carolyn was a marvelous and unique person: an internationally renowned surgeon beloved by her patients and colleagues, an accomplished researcher involved in numerous multi-institutional studies, a high-level national and local leader who pioneered a leadership role for women in academic medicine and thoracic surgery, and a first-rate administrator exemplified by her leadership of the Hollings Cancer Center. Most of all, though, she was a wonderful friend with a great sense of humor, a refined taste for good wine and colorful M&Ms, and a great griller of steaks with her own secret sauce. In a real sense, she lives on in all of us. —Bob Sade, M.D., Department of Surgery

While it is widely recognized that Carolyn was dedicated to providing the best care to her patients, she was also responsible for moving the Hollings Cancer Center toward becoming an NCI Designated Cancer Center. With her guidance and commitment, the Cancer Center’s research programs were established. She was always an advocate of translational research and a motivating force for all who knew her. I personally enjoyed my interactions with her, both in HCC meetings and planning sessions as well as our collaborative research efforts. Among her many strengths, I particularly admired her for her ability to get to the point quickly; one always knew she was going to tell you exactly what she was thinking. Carolyn will be missed by all that were fortunate to have known her. —Dennis K. Watson, Ph.D., MCBP Cancer Biology & Cancer Genes and Molecular Regulation Programs

Dr. Reed is part of the heart and soul of the Hollings Cancer Center. I will miss her voice, her stories. She

Dr. Reed makes the first cut of the cake commemorating HCC as a National Cancer Institute Designated Cancer Center on March 2, 2009. Dr. Reed carried her patients in her heart, was passionate about her work and at all times gave her all. —Chaplain Terry L. Wilson, Pastoral Care Services I can remember the first time I met Carolyn Reed (we both started July 1985). She came to my office on our third day to ask, “So, what are we going to do about esophageal cancer?” I had never met or heard of a cardiothoracic surgeon who wanted to work exclusively on patients with thoracic malignancies. What an uplifting experience it was to meet someone like Carolyn in the first week at my new institution. Carolyn was the driving force behind the multidisciplinary approach to thoracic cancers in South Carolina and created a superb program, despite the lack of medical oncologists at MUSC then. She deserved her awards, and she contributed as much as anyone to the success of Hollings Cancer Center. —Robert K. Stuart, M.D., Division of Hematology/Oncology My boss, my friend, my sister. I will always remember and love you. —Lavonna E. Newsome, Surgery

10 THE CATALYST, December 14, 2012

Eva Jones Kidney Foundation donates to Division of Nephrology Approximately 40 participants completed the Eva Jones Kidney Foundation (EJKF) 5K on Nov. 11 at the Westcott Golf Club in Summerville. All proceeds from the 5K were donated to MUSC’s Division of Nephrology during a ceremony on Dec. 4. The EJKF was founded by Tonya Jones-Clark, Kara Hinde and MaryAnn

Majcher in 2012 in honor of JonesClark’s mother, Eva Jones. Jones, who died of chronic kidney disease, was a patient of the MUSC Division of Nephrology. To view the 2012 5K results, register for the 2013 event and to donate to the Eva Jones Foundation, visit www.sekdc. org/EJKF.htm.

THE CATALYST, December 14, 2012 11

AIDS scientist accepts Eminent Scholar Award BY CINDY ABOLE Public Relations


nderstanding the complexities of HIV and the AIDS virus and sharing her team’s translational research progress was the goal of visiting biochemist and scientist Pamela Bjorkman, Ph.D. Bjorkman visited MUSC on Oct. 25 as a speaker and Women’s Scholars Initiative’s (WSI) 2012 Eminent Scholar Award recipient. “It’s a real honor to be here and accept this award. Charleston is a beautiful city, and I’m very happy to be able to see it for the first time,” she said. Bjorkman, who is known for her pioneering work in structural studies of biological macromolecules, is the Max Delbruck professor of biology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Calif. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, American Philosophical Society and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her research looks at the structure and function of proteins in the immune system and interactions with immune recognition using X-ray crystallography, and confocal and electron microscopy. As part of her visit, Bjorkman met with research faculty, graduate and postdoctoral students and other basic scientists to discuss their research progress, offer career advice and share her insight on topics. She praised the institution for providing a good foundation of medical science and basic research to have the best of both worlds – clinical people interested in basic mechanisms and investigators who can look at basic mechanisms and apply it to something clinical. “Teaching institutions need to be prepared to train students throughout their career and in other up-andcoming jobs and specialties such as jobs in biotech, science policy, patent applications, public health and other areas of need,” she said. Bjorkman also spent time with WSI members to discuss faculty development, mentorship activities and gender issues in science-related careers. The

Dr. Pamela Bjorkman, left, accepts the 2012 Eminent Scholar Award from Dr. Suzanne Thomas with the Women’s Scholars Initiative. culmination of her visit featured her presentation at the Gazes Building Auditorium and award presentation by Suzanne Thomas, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. Bjorkman’s talk was titled, “Overcoming HIV Pathways for Escape Using Rationally-Designated Anti-HIV Antibodies.” Bjorkman spoke about how HIV/ AIDS continues to be a global health problem especially in underdeveloped countries. It’s been estimated that there are 34 million AIDS cases worldwide without a curable vaccine. According to Bjorkman, the virus mutates much faster than the flu virus, making it difficult for researchers to develop effective vaccines that can work with the body’s immune cells. She also spoke about current progress made with anti-retroviral drugs, but she said most are in the early stages of development. Bjorkman received her Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from the University of Oregon and her doctorate in biochemistry from Harvard University. She conducted her postdoctoral research at both Harvard and Stanford University before joining Caltech in 1989. In addition to research and scientific awards, Bjorkman was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, given the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award and named in 2011 one of the Most Powerful Moms in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in Working Mother magazine.

12 THE CATALYST, December 14, 2012

Protocol reduces radiation exposure for patients BY GERRY LE Public Relations

Computed tomography (CT) scans allow medical professionals to look inside a patient’s body without ever having to make a physical incision. However, the radiation that the patient is exposed to during these scans is potentially harmful, especially for pediatric patients. Radiation is a concern because repetitive exposure can result in cancer. As the dosage increases, over time the cancer risk will also increase. MUSC’s Children’s Hospital is taking measures to reduce radiation exposure in its patients with a new protocol for the children’s hospital requiring that a surgeon must see the patient before a CT scan is ordered. Christian Streck, M.D., assistant professor of pediatric surgery, said children are more prone to cancer through radiation because of three factors: q Weight and age. They are younger and their bodies are smaller; therefore, children are exposed to more radiation because the dosage that would be low in an adult is higher for children. q They have a longer life span. Because children are still aging, they have longer to develop. After exposure, they have an increased lifetime risk. q Their cells are still dividing. This process allows

“The physicians need to weigh the risk and benefits of child CT scans. Ordering a CT scan should be absolutely necessary for health benefits.” Dr. Jeanne Hill them to be more prone to develop cancerous cells over time. Because it takes more time for cancer to show up in developing cells, cancer is often missed. The biggest impact on children at MUSC is a lack of communication from referral hospitals. Streck said that other community hospitals will refer a child to MUSC’s Children’s Hospital and will have already given them a CT scan. But once they arrive, they are often re-scanned due to bad image quality. This repetitive scanning could double a child’s risk of cancer. In the past six years, the overall amount of ordered CT scans has risen significantly, according to Streck. “In the past, doctors used medical history and physical exams to treat a patient. Now, it just seems easier for a doctor to order a scan before even seeing a patient,” he

said. “One in every 1,000 children gets cancer.” The two main causes at MUSC that call for pediatric CT scans are appendicitis and trauma cases. Streck said most trauma patients come in for neck, head, chest, pelvic or abdomen injury. For such problems, the “old fashioned” physical examination should be enough for a surgeon to decide if surgery is needed. According to Streck, MUSC sees about 100 appendicitis and 300 trauma cases a year. “These are the two cases where people overuse CT scans,” Streck said. “It should be the last option, and a hands-on evaluation should be the first step to diagnostics.” Therefore, MUSC is taking steps to change the system. Jeanne G Hill, M.D., professor of radiology and pediatrics, said there are ways to minimize a child’s exposure to radiation. Doctors have found that by focusing on one area of interest, and changing the radiation dosage to fit the child’s weight and size, the amount of radiation exposure is lowered significantly. “Doctors also are starting to use screen captures instead of repetitive scans to reduce further exposure,” she said. “The types of cancer that develop from repeat scans and radiation exposure are typically GI cancer in the abdomen, and thyroid cancer in the neck area.” By requiring physical examinations by a surgeon before being allowed to order a CT scan, MUSC has

See RADIATION on page 13

THE CATALYST, December 14, 2012 13

Assistant professor receives AAA neuroanatomy award The American Association of Anatomists (AAA) awarded Thomas Jhou, Ph.D., assistant professor in the MUSC Department of Neurosciences, the 2013 C.J. Jhou Herrick Award in Neuroanatomy. Jhou will present an award lecture on “Dopamine and Anti-dopamine Systems: Polar Opposite Roles in Behavior” at the annual AAA meeting. The award recognizes Jhou for the significant role he played in unraveling the complex midbrain and hypothalamic circuitry involved in arousal and motivation. He was also involved in the characterization of the rostromedial tegmental nucleus as a critical cell group that interacts with dopaminergic circuitry to convey negative reward signals. Clifford Saper nominated Jhou and said he is “a remarkable, young talent in neuroanatomy and neuroscience, who uses the fundamentals of neuroanatomy to explore the functional significance of

brain circuitry.” Jhou received his Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from MIT and his doctorate in neurobiology from Harvard University. After completing postdocs at University of California (UC), San Francisco, Johns Hopkins University, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, he joined the Department of Neurosciences at MUSC in 2010. In addition to the award, he was also given a travel fellowship for the winter conference on brain research. The Herrick Award is given annually “to recognize young investigators who have made important contributions to the field of comparative neuroanatomy and have demonstrated remarkable promise of future accomplishments.” The winner was chosen by the committee, chaired by Andrew J. Ewald (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine) and included Iain Cheeseman (Whitehead Institute), Julian Guttman (Simon Fraser University), Konrad Hochedlinger (Massachusetts General Hospital), Jason Radley (University of Iowa), Jeremy Reiter (UC San Francisco) Peter Reddien (Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research), and Alexis M. Stranahan (Medical College of Georgia).

RADIATION Continued from Page Twelve reduced the amount of CTs by about 80 percent, said Streck. “The physicians need to weigh the risk and benefits of child CT scans,” Hill said. “Ordering a CT scan should be absolutely necessary for health benefits.” In trauma patients, MUSC has lowered the order of CT scans by almost 50 percent, in the past five years. This allows for patients who are brought into the emergency department to save money and reduce radiation. For every one CT scan that is ordered, five ultrasounds could be performed for the same price. Both Streck and Hill believe that an ultrasound is a better, non-radiation alternative to CT scans in pediatric patients because of body fat and size. However, according to Hill, CT scans are used rather than ultrasounds because ultrasounds are about 80 percent

accurate compared to the 99 percent accuracy of a CT. Also, ultrasounds allow room for human error. Another alternative to CT scans are MRI scans. However, because MRI scans are behind in technology, they take much longer. And since the patient must lie very still for a longer period of time, usually children are sedated. Streck and Hill agree that if MRI scans were faster, they would be a much better alternative. Even though there is a higher cancer risk with CT scans, Streck and Hill stress that the fear of radiation should not affect a parent’s decision to get the treatment needed for their child. CT scans are still a huge impact on the medical field and until other alternatives are found, MUSC will continue to reduce the amount of ordered scans in pediatric patients.

14 THE CATALYST, December 14, 2012

New laser suite for eye surgery quick, more precise BY DAVID QUICK Of The Post and Courier

hours. He added that people ages 18 to 65 are eligible for the surgery. The cost comes in at about $2,500 per eye, which Waring said is “a little more expensive” than other Lasik surgery. Insurance does not cover the surgery, though some health savings plans allow it to be covered. “We’re excited to offer this,” Waring said. “It’s a great thing for MUSC to offer this world-class technology.”


rmy veteran Damiene Green will never forget one of many horrific battles he faced in Iraq during a tour in 2004-05. “I was standing up in the middle of an attack and rockets were firing and people were getting blown up all around me. I could barely see. People were telling me to get down,” Green said. “I managed to get through it without a scratch.” When the Kingstree native said he couldn’t see, it wasn’t because of the conditions. He really couldn’t see well. Never has. Poor vision has plagued Green all his life, starting with emotional scars from being teased for wearing “Coke bottle” glasses as a child, which he stopped doing, and subsequently began failing seventh grade. But two weeks ago, the 28-year-old Trident Technical College student and a dozen other people became the first in the United States to have Lasik surgery using the Alcon Refractive Suite at the Magill Vision Center at MUSC’s Storm Eye Institute. Green said his life is renewed. His first order of business is getting a driver’s license, finishing his school work and becoming more physically active.

FAST AND PRECISE The suite features two lasers, the Wavelight FS200 Femtosecond Laser and the Wavelight EX500 Excimer Laser, that offer the fastest — mere seconds —


Kenneth Batie (background) watches Dr. George Waring IV perform Lasik surgery on his friend Damiene Green at Magill Vision Center last month. To watch a video on Lasik surgery, visit bladeless vision correction in the United States. The first laser cuts a flap, and the second corrects the “refractive error,” or the issue requiring contact lenses or glasses. The technology allows doctors to tailor treatments for patients’ individual needs — nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism or age-related pre-presbyopia — using a fully customizable laser machine. Besides speed, the precision of the machine is touted for producing better outcomes, minimizing recovery time, and being the safest machine of its kind.

“This is the most advanced laser available in the United States, mostly due to its speed and customization,” said George Waring IV, M.D., medical director at Magill and director of refractive surgery at Storm Eye. Putting the technology in perspective, Waring describes the refractive suite as a “quantum leap” from the earliest days of laser eye surgery in the 1990s and a “major breakthrough” since 2000. Waring said patients usually see better immediately following the surgery, and the majority have “super vision,” or better than 20/20 vision, within 24

Like Green, 31-year-old dentist Walter Renne, DDS has been troubled by poor vision all his life. Without thick glasses or contacts, he couldn’t see clearly 3 feet beyond his face. All the things I loved doing in life — like camping or surfing — I was handicapped,” Renne said. “If I lost or broke my glasses or my contacts came out, I would literally be blind.” He was reluctant, however, to do laser surgery until now because he depended on “super-crisp vision” for his career. Renne, who teaches technology at the MUSC dental school, gained more confidence with the new lasers. While he could see better immediately after the surgery, his vision improved immensely three days following the surgery. “And it keeps getting better,” Renne said. “It’s amazing that the surgery took place faster than it took me to put a contact lens in my eye.” Editor’s note: This article ran in the Dec. 3 issue of The Post and Courier and is reprinted with permission.

16 THE CATALYST, December 14, 2012

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