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January 2009

SPOTLIGHT ON Terry Zenser, Ph.D., has been a faculty member of St. Louis University Medical School for more than 32 years. He arrived in St. Louis by way of the University of Pittsburgh Medical School in 1976 along with Dr. Bernard B. Davis. They were the first members of the Geriatric Research and Clinical Center (GRECC) located at the VA Medical Center and affiliated with the Department of Internal Medicine at St. Louis University Medical School. This affiliation developed into the Division of Geriatric Medicine. This division has been consistently rated among the best in Geriatric medicine in the USA. Scholarship and research have been the highlight of Dr. Zenser’s academic career. He has more than 200 publications and continuous research grant funding for the last 25 years. Cancer has been described as a degenerative disease associated with aging. Bladder and colon cancer dramatically increase with increasing age and these diseases have been the focus of Dr. Zenser’s research. Zenser’s group has assessed the role of environmental chemicals in initiating these cancers. The etiology of both colon and bladder cancer is complex and likely involves multiple factors, which may vary for different individuals. Both inflammation and diet influence the incidence of colon cancer. The role of diet is thought to be associated with the consumption of well-done red meat, which

produces heterocyclic amines. Dr. Zenser’s group has demonstrated that heterocyclic amines can form N-nitrosoamines by reacting with nitric oxide, generated by inflammation. These compounds are mutagenic and form DNA adducts, and an animal study is evaluating this carcinogenesis model. Mouse metabolic studies of heterocyclic amines have demonstrated important similarities to human metabolism, which will aid in understanding of human pathways. Research on bladder cancer by the Zenser lab focused on aromatic amines from cigarette smoke and exposures in the chemical, dye, and rubber industries. One such carcinogen, benzidine, was extensively studied not only in animals, but also in humans. Informed consent was received from workers manufacturing and using this chemical to make dyes in a National Institute of Cancer study done under the auspices the Indian National Institute of Occupational Health. This seminal human study was consistent with animal experiments and demonstrated the role of N-acetylation and N-glucuronidation by the liver along with acidic urine in initiation of bladder cancer. Their work was recently cited in a World Health Organization monograph to explain the mechanism for aromatic amine-induced bladder cancer. Dr. Zenser will retire on February 7, 2009. HEALTH RESOURCE CENTER IN NEED OF PHYSICIAN VOLUNTEERS The Health Resource Center (HRC) is Saint Louis University School of Medicine’s (SLUSOM) free, student-run clinic operating in the North Saint Louis City neighborhood of



January 2009

Hamilton Heights. Located in the basement of St. Augustine’s Church, the clinic has a waiting area for patients with functional space for children’s play, patient education, and television watching, a back office area with a social worker and part-time nutritionist, five exam rooms, and a laboratory. For over 14 years, the clinic has and continues to dedicate itself to our mission of providing the underserved population with access to quality basic healthcare and providing medical students the opportunity to develop and practice clinical skills.

to supply our patients with a one month supply of a prescription. Every spring, the HRC hosts an auction to raise money for our clinic. For more information, please visit our website. -

The health resource center is in constant need for new physician volunteers. Currently we have about 30 regular physician volunteer volunteers; however we would like this number to increase by about 20 volunteers to ensure that a physician is available every weekend.

If you would like any additional information about the Health Resource Center or would like to volunteer or contribute in any other way, please visit our website at or email us at AWARDS

Dedicated to helping the community in which it operates, the HRC is continuously expanding and changing its services to meet the needs of our patients. However, to do so can be arduous due to funding and protocol constraints. At the present time, the HRC is most in need of resources for the following projects: -

The clinic is in desperate need for funding to cover operation costs. Our largest operating costs are for medical supplies such as PPDs and flu shots, and our Walgreens Fund which we use

Michael Ombrello, M.D., rheumatology subspecialty resident, was selected as a 2009 recipient of the American College of Rheumatology/ Research Education Foundation Physician Scientist Development Award. This highly competitive and prestigious award provides a grant valued at $150,000, to be disbursed over 3 years, and is intended to support young rheumatologist scientists seeking to develop careers in basic science research.



January 2009

ANNOUNCEMENTS Lawrence Biondi, S.J., President, Saint Louis University, announced in an email on January 13, 2009 that Robert M. Heaney, M.D., professor of internal medicine and Senior Associate Dean of the Medical School, has been named Assistant Vice President for Health Sciences and that Philip O. Alderson, M.D., professor of radiology and Dean of the School of Medicine, has been named Vice President for Health Sciences. RESIDENCY PROGRAM UPDATE Residents' Excellence Program The months of November and December witnessed a strong presence of the Med-Ped residents winning two of the six awards and tying for a third. November Winners (Sponsor - Dr. Gammack) Top Intern: Kevin Bylund Top Resident: Omar Abu Romeh (PGY-II) Quiz Master: Leslie Field (PGY-III Med-Ped) December Winners (Sponsor - Dr. Fitch) Top Intern: George Kasarala (Med-Ped) Top Resident: Pradeep Chandra (PGY III) Quiz Master: Luke Ledbetter (PGY-I) and George Kasarala (PGY-I MedPed)

The overall winner every month receives a monetary award of $100 donated by a faculty member. July was sponsored by Dr. Omran, August by Dr. Maxwell, September by Dr. Castillo, October by Dr. Di Bisceglie, November by Dr. Gammack, December by Dr. Fitch. More faculty sponsors are needed and their contributions are greatly appreciated. Runners up are awarded an extra day off in the following service month. INTERN OF THE YEAR AWARD Mark A. Walshauser, M.D., was announced as the winner of the “Intern of the Year” award for the year 2008. It is an award extended annually by the Department of Internal Medicine to the intern selected by his peers and faculty as the best of the year. Throughout the year, Dr. Walshauser collected an uninterrupted streak of superior evaluations in spite of working with a group of faculty who do not take the evaluation process lightly. The faculty that he managed to impress included Dr. Heaney, Dr. Petruska, Dr. Kaplan, Dr. Chauhan, and Dr. Gammack, to name a few. Some of the comments he received included: “He is clearly an avid reader who retains and applies the knowledge he gains.”



January 2009

“He challenges himself to be the best diagnostician and provides the best available care for his patients.” “He is reliable, responsible, collegial, and committed. Friendly and giving.”

More than 40 residents participated along with their loved ones. The residents enjoyed food and dessert as they spent quality relaxed time together. The evening concluded with dancing, after the adult supervision (faculty) left the premises.

“He is independent but oriented towards teamwork.” One of his evaluators, Dr.Heaney, concluded his evaluation by predicting that he “Will make an excellent internist, and likely an excellent oncologist”. Dr. Heaney hoped to work with him again, and to have the benefit of referring patients to him in the future. Dr. Walshauser received his award during a special presentation as part of Grand Rounds on 11/21/2008. Congratulations! Christmas/Holidays Party 2008 The Department of Internal Medicine sponsored a Christmas/Holiday party for the internal medicine and medicine/pediatric residents on December 19th, 2008 at a downtown rooftop loft. Dr. Asombang headed the planning committee that included Drs. Banerji, Brown, Cha, Choksi, Desai, Omran, Russel, and Ms. Robinson.

DATES OF NOTE Wednesday, February 11, 2009 – Department of Internal Medicine Faculty Retreat. 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, in the Learning Resources Auditorium. Please RSVP to Lynda Mikolay at Monday, February 23, 2009 – Dean Monteleone Portrait Unveiling and brief presentation, 4:00 pm (promptly, please), LRC Auditorium. LRC lobby area reception, 4:45 pm – 6:00 pm. The portrait will be hung after the ceremony, but will be displayed on stage and available for your “inspection.” Many faculty members from Internal Medicine and other departments contributed to this portrait.



January 2009



Marcia Sokol-Anderson, Infectious Diseases, $20,064 from Washington University / HRSA for “Ryan White Part C Outpatient Early Intervention Services Program.”

To the family of Kenneth Eugene Walter, M.D., retired cardiologist, who died December 31, 2008. Dr. Walter retired in 1990 as professor emeritus in the Department of Internal Medicine.

Charlene Prather, Gastroenterology / Hepatology, $45,137 from Mayo Clinic / NIDDK for “Antidepressant Therapy for Functional Dyspepsia.”

WEBSITE Access the Department of Internal Medicine website at




If you have any news, grants, notices, achievements that you would like to be included in the next newsletter or if you think something important was missed, please let Camille Goff know at .


FY 08 YTD BILLED AMB ENCs OCTOBER 4,660 359 1,118 24,862 182 151 82 7,110 3,052 5,000 3,006 49,581

FY 09 YTD BILLED AMB ENCs OCTOBER 4,3909 3777 1,460 25,062 0 106 794 6,913 3,537 5,100 3,814 51,553 104.0%

Editor Adrian M. Di Bisceglie, MD, FACP Professor of Internal Medicine Acting Chairman