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UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Association

UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Association

Bi-weekly Newsflash

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Would you like to know more about what's happening at UC Davis School of Medicine? The Dean's Newsletter and Weekly Update are available to all alumni via e-mail. Contact the Alumni Office if you are interested in receiving either of these informative publications.

Phone: (916) 734-9410


Internationally Renowned Neuroscientist Joins UC Davis Mind Institute

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Jacqueline N. Crawley, one of the world's foremost researchers in behavioral neuroscience and a leading investigator using mouse models to develop novel, targeted treatments for individuals with autism spectrum disorder, joins the faculty of the UC Davis School of Medicine and UC Davis MIND Institute in July as the Robert E. Chason Chair in Translational Research.

Crawley comes to UC Davis from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Intramural Research Program, where she led a large behavioral neuroscience laboratory. She is the recipient of numerous national and international awards and honors, including the Distinguished Investigator Award of the International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society; the Special Achievement Award of the National Institute of Mental Health; the National Institute of Mental Health Director's Award; and the Marjorie A. Myers Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society.
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Timothy Albertson Named Chair of Internal Medicine at UC Davis

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Timothy E. Albertson, a pulmonary, critical care and toxicology specialist, has been named chair of the UC Davis Department of Internal Medicine.

Albertson has served as the department’s interim chair since 2009. Aschair, he oversees UC Davis Health System’s largest department, comprising 11 divisions and more than 500 physicians, researchers, clinicians, fellows and other staff. The department provides a wide range of general medicine and specialty care services, from cardiovascular medicine and infectious diseases to pulmonary and critical care medicine.
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Why Doctors Die Differently

Careers in medicine have taught them the limits of treatment and the need to plan for the end.

Years ago, Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. It was diagnosed as pancreatic cancer by one of the best surgeons in the country, who had developed a procedure that could triple a patient's five-year-survival odds—from 5% to 15%—albeit with a poor quality of life.

Charlie, 68 years old, was uninterested. He went home the next day, closed his practice and never set foot in a hospital again. He focused on spending time with his family. Several months later, he died at home. He got no chemotherapy, radiation or surgical treatment. Medicare didn't spend much on him.
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M.E.D.I.C.O.S Nicaragua

Dear Alumni Association,

We are writing to humbly ask for your support of the UC Davis School of Medicine MEDICOS Nicaragua exchange program. This project allows UC Davis medical students and UNAN Leon medical students to engage in professional and cultural competency development through hospital and clinical rotations in the respective countries, as well as build an understanding of the great public health needs of the patients being served. Your donation this year will help fund the travel of eight UC Davis medical students to Nicaragua as well as the stay of two Nicaraguan medical students, Tatiana Garcia Lopez and Ana Maria Chavez Munguia, at the UC Davis Medical Center for 4 weeks of rotations and training.
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Dr. Evan Waxman was awarded a Carnegie Science Award in the Catalyst for Professional and Community

It was recently announced that Dr. Evan Waxman, who completed his residency at UC Davis, was awarded a Carnegie Science Award in the Catalyst for Professional and Community Education category. The Carnegie Science Center established the Carnegie Science Awards program to recognize and promote outstanding science and technology achievements in western Pennsylvania. Celebrating its 16th year, the Carnegie Science Awards have honored the accomplishments of more than 300 individuals and organizations that have improved lives through their commitment and contributions in science and technology. Among Dr. Waxman's most notable achievements is the Guerilla Eye Service, a community service and teaching project that provides essential eye exams to underserved patients. Since 2005, Guerilla Eye Service has trained dozens of students in eye exam structure and has provided care for thousands of patients in need.


UC Davis Cancer Center Earns "Comprehensive" Status From National Cancer Institute

Prestigious designation puts cancer center in top tier of cancer centers nationwide
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Nanoparticles that carry drugs directly to tumors, tests that predict whether chemotherapy will be effective before toxic doses of drugs have been administered, radiation aimed at tumors that spares healthy tissue, and culturally sensitive interventions to encourage American Indian women to get regular mammograms and cut their higher-than-average risk of death from breast cancer.

These and other advances in cancer research, care and outreach have earned the UC Davis Cancer Center the world's most prestigious honor in oncology: a "comprehensive" designation from the National Cancer Institute. Its new name, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center, reflects this designation.
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UC Davis Ranks Among the Nation's Top Medical Schools for Rural Medicine, Primary Care and Research

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — U.S. News & World Report has ranked UC Davis School of Medicine among America's best medical schools for the quality of its educational programs in rural medicine, primary care and research. The annual listing appears today on the news magazine's website and will be published in the guidebook "Best Graduate Schools 2013," available April 3.


This year's rankings place UC Davis School of Medicine at 9th among rural medicine specialty programs, 24th among top schools for primary-care training and 42nd among research institutions.
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Abbeduto Receives $3.5 Million Grant From NIH to Study Language Learning in Fragile X

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Leonard Abbeduto, director of the UC Davis MIND Institute, has received a more than $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct an examination of the development of language among individuals with fragile X syndrome, the leading inherited cause of intellectual disability and the foremost single-gene cause of autism spectrum disorder.

Abbeduto will lead the five-year-long multi-site study, which will explore language development in a group of adolescent and young adult males with fragile X syndrome, the factors that affect their language development, and the consequences of language impairments for independent functioning in adulthood.
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Association of California Nurse Leasers Honor School of Nursing Dean for Contributions to Education

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Heather M. Young, associate vice chancellor for nursing and founding dean at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, was honored with the 2012 Best Practice Education Award by the Association of California Nurse Leaders.

Young received the award at the 34th Annual Association of California Nurse Leaders Conference Awards Banquet Luncheon Feb. 7 in Rancho Mirage. The award recognizes a nurse for excellence in nursing leadership. Young was specifically recognized for her contributions in the area of nursing education.

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UC Davis Researcher Receives Prestigious Grant to Study Improvement of Cognition in Stable Schizophr

Research examines whether the drug Modafinil, used to treat the sleep disorder narcolepsy,
also can improve outcomes for schizophrenia patients

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Michael Minzenberg, a UC Davis psychiatry researcher, has been awarded a prestigious three-year, $200,000 seed grant from the Dana Foundation to study the brains of patients being treated for schizophrenia to determine how additional treatment to improve cognition interacts with antipsychotic medication.

"Cognition is very important in schizophrenia because it is a strong predictor of outcome. It determines whether a person can be a contributing member of a community, stay out of the hospital and live independently," said Minzenberg, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a faculty member of the UC Davis Imaging Research Center.

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UC Davis Department of Neurology Chair to Receive
National Epilepsy Award

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Michael A. Rogawski, professor and chair of the Department of Neurology in the UC Davis School of Medicine, has been named the recipient of the American Epilepsy Society's 2011 Service Award. The award honors Rogawski for his many contributions to the field of epilepsy and for his long record of service to the epilepsy society and its members. Among his leadership activities, Rogawski has for the past 10 years served as the co-editor of Epilepsy Currents, the society's official journal.

Rogawski played a key role in the founding of the journal in 2001, and in the intervening years he has been instrumental in its establishment as a key educational resource for basic and clinical epilepsy researchers and clinicians. Among his other contributions to the work of the American Epilepsy Society (AES) during his more than 20 years of service, Rogawski has served on its board of directors, as chair of its technology committee and as a member of its long-range planning committee.

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UC Davis Medical Center Receives Excellence Award
for Kidney Transplantation

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — For the third year in a row, a leading, independent health-care ratings organization has recognized UC Davis Medical Center as one of the top hospitals in the nation for kidney transplantation.

The medical center’s Kidney Transplant Program was one of only eight of 221 hospitals evaluated in the United States to receive a Kidney Transplant Excellence Award from HealthGrades, a Colorado-based firm that analyzes publicly available data in order to rate hospitals and their programs based solely on clinical outcomes.

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DR. Erich Loewy, First UC Davis Bioethics Chair, Dies at 83

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Dr. Erich H. Loewy, the first UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Association Endowed Chair of Bioethics, died in his sleep on Wednesday, Oct, 26, at his home in Sacramento. He was 83.

When Dr. Loewy was appointed as the School of Medicine's chair of bioethicsin 1996, the position was one of only a few endowed bioethics chairs in the country. As chair of bioethics, Dr. Loewy established a full-fledged bioethics program at the school, which includes teaching medical students, consulting with researchers and hospital medical staff, and providing public service.

"Dr. Loewy was an inspirational thought leader who challenged and inspired us all to embrace the highest ethical standards," said Claire Pomeroy, UC Davis vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine. "His life experiences informed his commitment to providing a voice to those who might otherwise be forgotten by society."

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Renowned Fetal and Neonatal Surgeon Chosen to
Lead UC Davis Department of Surgery

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Diana L. Farmer, an internationally renowned fetal and neonatal surgeon, has been named chair of the Department of Surgery at UC Davis Health System.

Farmer is known for her skilled surgical treatment of congenital anomalies and for her expertise in cancer, airway and intestinal surgeries in newborns. She is principal investigator of several National Institutes of Health clinical trials on the effectiveness and safety of spina bifida treatments before birth, and she is researching a novel stem cell therapy for repairing damaged neural tissue in spina bifida patients.

"Dr. Farmer is a worldwide innovator in treating complex birth defects and diseases in very young children," said Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis. "Her technical insights, expert leadership and dedication to patients will assure that our surgical team continues to offer compassionate care together with the latest technologies."

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Please Join Us for Aggie Diner on October 26, 2011

The Cal Aggie Student Alumni Association (SAA) invites you to join us on Wednesday, October 26 for Aggie Diner. This annual event connects members of SAA with Aggie alumni over a delicious three-course dinner at Freeborn Hall catered by Buckhorn Steakhouse. We also hope you will join us for the exclusive alumni wine reception immediately preceding the meal. The event will be a rewarding opportunity to visit campus, reconnect with former classmates, and share life and career advice with current students interested in your field.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Announces
New Cohort of Clinical Scholars

Twenty-Six Physicians Selected for Prestigious Leadership, Healthy Policy and Research Program

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has announced the selection of 26 new Clinical Scholars who will begin two-year fellowships next summer. Through this highly competitive program, the young physicians will be trained in leadership, healthy policy and health services research. They will also engage in a community-based participatory research project.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will support twelve of the 26 new scholars.



UC Merced and UC Davis announce first class of medical students in the UC Merced San Joaquin Valley

New program to address the pressing health concerns of the Valley

MERCED, Calif. — The University of California, Merced, and UC Davis School of Medicine announced today the first cohort of students who are expected to enroll this fall in the UC Merced San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education (PRIME).

The two campuses announced in September a partnership to begin educating medical students in the Valley. A gift to UC Merced from the United Health Foundation in 2006 is helping to fund the new program.

The students are:

  • Sidra Ayub, of Modesto, graduated from UC Davis
  • Kelly Fujikawa, of Fowler, graduated from UC Berkeley
  • Agustin Morales, of Salinas, graduated from UC Santa Cruz
  • Randell Rueda, of Fresno, graduated from UC Merced
  • Christina Thabit, of Bakersfield, graduated from CSU Long Beach

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The Medical Board of California is sharing the following information from the Office of Statewide Planning and Development regarding the California State Loan Repayment Program and Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program:

1.7 MILLION AVAILABLE FOR PHYSICIANS The California State Loan Repayment Program and Steven M. Thompson Physician Corps Loan Repayment Program authorize a plan for repaying up to $105,000 in educational loans in exchange for full-time service for a minimum of three (3) years. Allopathic and osteopathic physicians who meet the following criteria should submit an application by August 1, 2011. 
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Leader in Women's Cardiovascular Health Honored with
Distinguished Public Service Award

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Amparo Villablanca, a pioneer, leader and recognized expert in women’s cardiovascular medicine, has been selected as a recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Scholarly Public Service Award by the Public Service Committee of the Davis Division of the Academic Senate of the University of California.

“Dr. Villablanca exemplifies excellence in academic medicine and reducing gender disparities,” said Claire Pomeroy, vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis. “Her work is advancing knowledge of the distinctions in heart disease for women and diverse populations and is helping those most at risk improve their heart health.”
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Fund Raiser for The UC Davis School of Medicine:
Flying Samaritans

The UC Davis Flying Samaritans student organization is holding a fund raiser to support medical students traveling to Baja California to operate a free monthly clinic for the severely underserved populations of migrant workers. The event features don Miguel Ruiz MD, author of "The Four Agreements" and "Mastery of Love", who will be speaking on:

Spiritual Science: The Search for Truth “Pure Science is a true religion without any dogma. Pure Science requires great dedication and faith in the processes, while remaining objective to the outcome. This is the process of seeking truth and striving to understand it once found.
Pure Science requires us to look outside of what we believe is true, to find and prove what is really true. This inquiry can only be successful when done with significant amounts of curiosity, skepticism and inspiration. Pure Science and True Spirituality are ultimately one and the same; the methodical pursuit of truth, through, and in spite of, the knowledge we currently possess.”
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A Reporter at Large about Nadine Burke and Research on How Childhood Trauma Affects Adult Health

The Poverty Clinic Can a stressful childhood make you a sick adult? 
by Paul Tough

(The New Yorker)—A REPORTER AT LARGE about Nadine Burke and research on how childhood trauma affects adult health. Monisha Sullivan first visited the Bayview Child Health Center a few days before Christmas, in 2008. Sixteen years old, she was an African-American teen-age mother who had grown up in the poorest and most violent neighborhood in San Francisco, Bayview-Hunters Point. Sullivan had ailments that the staff routinely observed in patients: strep throat, asthma, scabies, and a weight problem. The clinic’s medical director, Nadine Burke, examined Sullivan and prescribed the usual remedies. But Burke, who founded the center in 2007, was having a crisis of confidence regarding her practice. At the clinic, Burke gently interrogated Sullivan until she opened up about her childhood: her mother was a cocaine addict who had abandoned her in the hospital only a few days after she was born. As a child, she lived with her father, who also took drugs, and at the age of ten she and her brother were placed in foster care. Since then, she’s been in nine placements. Sullivan encountered Nadine Burke at a moment when Burke was just beginning to think deeply about the physical effects of anxiety. She was immersing herself in the rapidly evolving sciences of stress physiology and neuroendocrinology.
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UC Davis School of Medicine now among TOP 40 in U.S. for National Institutes of Health Funding

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — The UC Davis School of Medicine rose to 37th place among 134 schools of medicine in the United States in an annual ranking based on the amount of National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funds received over the course of a year. The 2010 ranking puts UC Davis School of Medicine 11 places higher than in 2009 and 25 places higher than in 2001, when it ranked 62nd nationwide.

Total NIH funding for the School of Medicine has more than doubled in the past nine years. In 2010, NIH funds topped out at nearly $119 million; the total in 2001 was just over $46 million. NIH funding represents 62 percent of the school’s total extramural funding, which in fiscal year 2009/2010 reached $190.4 million.
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UC Davis Physicians Awarded State Stem Cell Grants

Research to explore innovative treatment for non-healing wounds and an alternative to liver transplantations

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — California's stem cell agency voted today to fund two new grants to UC Davis School of Medicine physicians for their work in regenerative medicine research. Roslyn Rivkah Isseroff, professor of dermatology, and Mark Zern, professor of internal medicine, were among the scientists from around the state whose Early Translational study proposals were approved by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s governing board in Los Angeles.

The funding enables Isseroff to further explore her innovative work to create a bandage-like material composed of stem cells and a collagen framework that can be applied to chronic wounds to prompt rapid healing. Zern’s research is designed to establish clinically useful methods of generating human liver cells that could be used to repair an injured liver. Known as hepatocytes, these cells provide a safer and less expensive treatment than whole-liver transplantation.
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UC Davis Physician Appointed President of American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Jonathan Sykes, professor of otolaryngology in the UC Davis School of Medicine, has been appointed president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).

Sykes will represent the more than 2,700 U.S. facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons. He served a four-year term as the organization’s vice president of education and also was a member of its board of directors. The academy is the world's largest association of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons. Its members specialize in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery and focus on the face, head and neck.
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UC Davis Emergency Medicine Physician Elected to the Institute of Medicine

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Nathan Kuppermann, professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an achievement that is among the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. The institute, which is part of the National Academies of Sciences, is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision-makers and the public. Its members include individuals who have made outstanding contributions to advance medical sciences, health care and public health. The IOM announced Kuppermann’s election at its 40th annual meeting today.
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UC Davis School of Medicine Student Receives National Scholarship Award

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Oliva Campa, a first-year student at the UC Davis School of Medicine, has been awarded a 2010 Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship from the National Hispanic Health Foundation. The annual award was created to honor Hispanic students in medicine, nursing, dentistry and public health who exhibit exceptional academic performance, leadership and commitment to Hispanic communities. Campa will receive the $5,000 scholarship award during ceremonies on Oct. 9 in San Francisco.

As an undergraduate at Loyola Marymount University in Southern California, Campa worked in research efforts aimed at advancing the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, lung cancer and other chronic illnesses. At UC Davis School of Medicine, she has taken an active interest reducing health disparities and increasing awareness of career opportunities in health care among young people from underserved communities.
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Father and son are supportive rivals for Ironman World Championships

Mark, left, and Kyle Song. The father and son
help each other – then try to outdo the other.

(Sacramento Bee) — Dehydrated and half- delirious, packed in ice and hooked to an IV bag, Mark Song lay in the medical tent at the Buffalo Springs Half Ironman Triathlon and tried to remember what led him to utter exhaustion.

He dimly recalled that he was competing for a coveted age-group qualifying spot in the World Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii, and needed to be the top 60-to-64-year-old finisher on that brutally hot June race day on the high plains of Lubbock, Texas.
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Meyers Named Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.)—Frederick Meyers, executive associate dean of UC Davis Heath System, has been named as a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, in London.

Physicians elected to the Royal College of Physicians must have made a significant impact on the service within their field of research and in the education of the undergraduate or postgraduate study of medical students.
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UC Davis School of Medicine Honors Three Alumni For Contributions to the Field of Medicine

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Bryna Kane has helped nearly 5,000 former gang members and at-risk youths in the Los Angeles area erase their past and go forward with their lives through a free tattoo removal program she founded. Dennis Bourdette has spent his career trying to unlock the mysteries of the brain, benefiting thousands of people suffering from neurological disorders, especially those with multiple sclerosis. And Kathleen Taylor, executive director of Prevention International: No Cervical Cancer, is screening and treating poor women with cervical cancer in developing countries.

These three distinguished alumni of the UC Davis School of Medicine will be honored for their contributions to medicine and service to UC Davis and the community at the school's 24th Alumni Day Reunion Dinner in Sacramento on May 15, beginning at 5 p.m. at the MIND Institute.
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UC Davis Physician Leader
Awarded Top Telehealth Honor

Nesbitt recognized for pioneering work in telemedicine

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Thomas Nesbitt, associate vice chancellor for strategic technologies and alliances for UC Davis Health System, has received the 2010 Leadership Award for the Advancement of Telemedicine from the American Telemedicine Association in recognition of his vigorous efforts to expand health-care access and education through the use of telecommunications technology.

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) is the nation’s leading organization for promoting access to medical care using high-speed communications connections such as videoconferencing. The ATA award recognizes individual leadership at the local, national and international levels in promoting telehealth and e-health initiatives. Nesbitt received the award during ceremonies held last night in San Antonio.
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UC Davis Research Team Documents Benefits of Endovascular Stent Repair for Traumatic Aortic Injury

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — A UC Davis team of cardiovascular specialists has demonstrated the effectiveness of using stents -- as compared to traditional open-chest surgery -- to repair aortas that are torn as the result of accidents. The researchers will present their findings at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery Aortic Symposium 2010, which takes place April 29-30 in New York City.

"We are always looking for ways to reduce the impact of surgical treatment for patients, especially in instances where there can be multiple and potentially life-threatening injuries," said Royce Calhoun, a cardiothoracic surgeon and principal investigator of the research. "Our results show that it is possible to use stents to repair thoracic aortic tears due to trauma and improve results at the same time."
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UC Davis Pediatric Urology Expert Awarded Major Stem Cell Grant

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Eric Kurzrock, associate professor of urology and pediatrics at UC Davis, has received an $885,000 grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) for stem cell research that aims to lead the way to bioengineering replacement organs such as bladders.

Kurzrock’s award, among the 16 grants approved by the agency’s governing board at its April 29 meeting, will support basic research to answer fundamental questions about stem cell biology. The funding will enable him to explore ways to direct human stem cells into becoming the unique cells that line the bladder. The technique could make it possible for surgeons to bioengineer new tissue for treating patients with bladder defects or bladder cancer.
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Become a fan of The National Health Service Corps (NHSC)

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC), a Program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, wants to connect with licensed primary care clinicians who have an interest in working underserved communities as well as learning about educational debt relief opportunities. To become a fan of NHSC page at:

In the history of the NHSC, there has never been a better time to join to Corps than now. NHSC has an unprecedented amount of funding available and over 9,000 job opportunities to choose from all over the Country in many clinical disciplines. Individuals can search for our current job opportunities at:

For more information about the NHSC Loan Repayment Program, visit:


Medical Resident FICA/Medicare Tax Refund Claims

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — The Internal Revenue Service recently announced that it will refund the employer and employee portion of FICA taxes paid for medical residents prior to April 1, 2005, so long as the employer previously filed a timely refund claim with the IRS. The University of California has already made the requisite filing on behalf of all of its medical schools and medical centers for tax periods dating back to January 1, 1995.


UC Davis School of Medicine Alumni Day
Saturday, May 15, 2010


Save the Date!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Honoring the class of 1975/1980/1985/1990/1995/2000/2005

Alumni Day Lunch: Noon—Putah Creek Lodge, Davis.
Reception and Dinner: 5:00 p.m.—MIND Institute.  2825 50th Street, Sacramento

Click to view details on Event Schedules, Maps, Lodging Information and RSVP information. (pdf / 616 KB) >>

Questions: Please contact Beth Abad in Alumni Office: (916) 734-9410 or


Meyers Awarded for Legacy of Compassionate Care for Cancer Patients

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Frederick J. Meyers, executive associate dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine, has been awarded the prestigious Lane Adams Quality of Life Award from the American Cancer Society, which recognizes excellence in the provision “of compassionate care and support to individuals with cancer.”

Meyers will accept the honor at a special American Cancer Society event in Atlanta on May 6.
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UC Davis Medical Center Completes Four Kidney Transplants in Two Days Using Paired Exchange

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Using the revolutionary new approach to kidney transplants known as paired exchange, four patients have received live-donor kidney transplants through the UC Davis Kidney Transplant Program. When a live donor is unable to donate to an intended recipient due to blood or tissue type incompatibility, they have an option called paired kidney exchange. Paired exchange matches incompatible donor-recipient pairs with other pairs, and they "exchange" donors.
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2010 House Staff Professionalism Award

The purpose of the award is to recognize and honor those Residents identified by their co-workers and ancillary staff for exemplifying the attributes of professionalism. The American Board of Internal Medicine defines professionalism as one who "aspires to altruism, accountability, excellence, duty, service, honor, integrity, and respect for others."

All current UC Davis postgraduate house staff are eligible for nomination. Nominations will be accepted between March 1 and March 22, 2010. House staff, RN’s, medical students, ancillary staff, transporters, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, X-Ray technicians, dietary, clerical staff and telephone operators are strongly encouraged to nominate Residents who comport themselves with the highest degree of professionalism.
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2010 Clinical Fellow Professionalism Award

Established, in 2008, the purpose of the award is to recognize and honor a clinical fellow identified by her/his co-workers and ancillary staff for exemplifying the attributes of professionalism. The American Board of Internal Medicine defines professionalism as one who "aspires to altruism, accountability, excellence, duty, service, honor, integrity, and respect for others."

All current UC Davis clinical fellows are eligible for nomination. Nominations will be accepted between March 1, and March 22, 2010. House staff, RN’s, medical students, ancillary staff, transporters, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, X-Ray technicians, dietary, clerical staff and telephone operators are strongly encouraged to nominate fellows who comport themselves with the highest degree of professionalism.
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UC Davis Kidney Transplant Program Among Top-Rated in Nation

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — UC Davis Medical Center was rated among the top hospitals in the United States for kidney transplantation by a leading, independent health-care ratings organization.

The medical center’s Kidney Transplant Program was one of only two recipients in California, and one of just 10 in the country, to receive a Kidney Transplant Excellence Award from HealthGrades, a Colorado-based firm that analyzes publicly available data in order to rate hospitals and their programs based solely on clinical outcomes.
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UC Davis Pediatrician to Receive 2010 Physician Humanitarian Award

Medical Board of California to laud Richard Pan for public-health advocacy

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Richard J.D. Pan, an associate clinical professor of pediatrics in the UC Davis School of Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2010 Physician Humanitarian Award from the Medical Board of California, the state government agency that licenses and regulates physicians.

Pan is a leading health-care reformer, child-health advocate and medical educator who is well-known in California and beyond for his efforts to bring community members together with health-care organizations to improve health-care access, especially for children. The award will be presented in July at the quarterly meeting of the Medical Board of California.
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UC Davis Breaks Ground on Telehealth Building

(Sacramento Business Journal) — Construction of the new California Telehealth Resource Center on the UC Davis Health System campus begins Friday. Also covered by Business Review, San Francisco Business Times, MSN Money, Washington Business Journal and other business news.
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Tahoe Forest Health System Named 'Rural Center of Excellence'

(Sierra Sun) — Tahoe Forest Health System celebrated the launch of its Rural-PRIME initiative, which partners Tahoe Forest with UC Davis Health System in training medical students to work with medically underserved populations in rural communities.


Villablanca and Howell Receive Grant to Examine Women's Careers in Medicine

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — UC Davis physician researchers Amparo Villablanca and Lydia Howell have received a $1.27 million, four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health for research on family-friendly policies for women with careers in medicine.

The grant is one of 14 funded in response to a 2007 National Academies report — Beyond Bias and Barriers — that led to greater NIH attention on the challenges of women scientists and engineers.
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People to People Citizen Ambassador Programs

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to inform you of an exciting international program this spring. I am honored to have been selected by Dean Claire Pomeroy, MD, MBA, to lead a delegation of University of California, Davis School of Medicine Faculty and Alumni to China in conjunction with People to People Citizen Ambassador Programs. As you may know, People-to-People foster one-on-one dialogue with our overseas counterparts to continue the tradition of professional diplomacy first set forth by President Eisenhower in 1956. This delegation will visit China in May 2010. I invite you to join me in this important international exchange because I believe you would contribute valued expertise to the team while gaining both personally and professionally from the experience.
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2009 Serotonin Surge Golf Release for UC Davis School of Medicine

The twelfth annual Serotonin Surge charity golf tournament was held at the Teal Bend Golf Club on September 16th and raised a total of $50,000 for the UC Davis School of Medicine's network of student run community clinics, Dr. Ernie Bodai’s Cure Breast Cancer organization, and the Maggi Carlile Memorial Scholarship Fund. The $25,000 donation to the School of Medicine was made in honor of Amy Jouan who was recognized for her visionary and passionate leadership of the student clinics.
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UC Davis Study Profiles "Bad-Guy Magnet" Gun Dealers

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — A new UC Davis study finds that licensed handgun retailers who sell crime guns more frequently than expected have distinguishing characteristics that can be identified using existing records collected at the federal level. The study, published in the October issue of the journal Injury Prevention, suggests that screening and focused law enforcement could help disrupt illegal gun commerce without unduly affecting the legitimate gun market.

“Nationwide, 1.2 percent of licensed gun retailers sell 57 percent of guns that are later used in crime,” said Garen Wintemute, professor of emergency medicine at UC Davis School of Medicine and lead investigator of the study. “Our study found that licensed handgun retailers who sell crime guns more frequently than expected have a number of factors in common. When compared to other licensed retailers, they are more likely to sell inexpensive handguns, to be pawnbrokers, to be located in central urban areas, and to be patronized by would-be gun buyers whose purchases are denied when they are found to be prohibited from owning guns.”
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MSV Foundation Announces 2009 Salute to Service Awards

Parker C. Dooley, M.D., '75
Nassawadox physician recognized for service to the uninsured

(Richmond, VA.) — The Medical Society of Virginia (MSV) Foundation announced today that Parker C. Dooley, M.D. of Nassawadox will receive the Foundation’s 2009 Salute to Service Awards for Outstanding Service on behalf of the Uninsured and Underserved.

Dr. Dooley came to the Eastern Shore of Virginia in 1978 as a National Health Scholar working in an underserved area. In the thirty years since, he has become an integral part of the Eastern Shore community, serving thousands of underserved and uninsured patients as both a private practice physician and as a physician and medical director for the Eastern Shore Rural Health System.
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Dr. Jon Andrus is Named PAHO Deputy Director

ZIZ News...Washington, D.C., 28 September 2009 (PAHO) — Dr. Jon Kim Andrus, a public health expert with 25 years of experience of working in the field of vaccines, immunization, and primary care in developing countries, has been named deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization, Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).

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UC Davis Medical Students Honoring those who have Donated Their Bodies to Science

Unique memorial service includes medical students and donor family members
(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — UC Davis School of Medicine students from the Class of 2011 have planned what will likely be the largest memorial service in the school’s history to honor individuals who have donated their bodies to support medical research and education.

An estimated 750 students, faculty members and donor families are expected to attend the memorial ceremonies on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in Davis. The event, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., includes a reading of the first names of donors, musical performances by students (guitar, piano, violin and voice) and refreshments.

"The study of anatomy has given me more than just knowledge of the structures of the body. I walk away with a deeper appreciation for life,” said Sahar Doctorvaladan, a second-year medical student at UC Davis and one of the coordinators of the event. “As we move forward in our education, we must strive to remain empathetic and compassionate with our patients, and we are deeply indebted and grateful to the families who donated the ultimate gift for the sake of our learning.”

Medical students work with human cadavers in the first semester of their first year of training at the School of Medicine in the gross anatomy lab. Over the course of six months, students conduct dissections from the chest through the abdomen, pelvis, head and neck to the limbs to learn about body structures in a way that they cannot be done through a textbook or computerized graphics. Cadavers also are used in research laboratories to better understand disease. They also play an important role in emergency medicine and other specialty care training, where physicians must practice new surgical techniques to save lives.

“This ceremony is a way for us to show respect for the donors and gratitude to their families,” said Doctorvaladan. “Our anatomy class takes us on a journey and is a unique experience.”

UC Davis anatomy classes are unique opportunities for students to learn what the human body looks like both inside and out. The goal is not only to learn anatomy, but also to develop a genuine appreciation and respect for the individuals who have donated their bodies. In some respects, donated bodies are a medical student’s first patient.

Students say it is not uncommon to write notes and poems of appreciation in honor of the once-living individuals who have enabled them to learn about human anatomy and had a powerful impact on their lives.

“Many of my first life lessons at medical school were learned inside the anatomy lab,” said Meghan McClure, another second-year medical student who is helping coordinate the memorial event. “Although I knew nothing about my cadaver except her age and probable cause of death, I mourned her after our final exam and came back to the lab, held her hand and cried. I was so thankful for the educational opportunity she had given me.”

The Donated Body Program at UC Davis School of Medicine receives donations from throughout Northern California. Established in 1968, the program receives approximately 150 donations each year. The school uses about 30 for its anatomy classes, with the rest used by other UC Davis departments or distributed for scientific and medical research to other colleges and institutions that do not have donor programs.

For more information about the donation process, call 916-734-9560, e-mail or visit the UC Davis Donated Body Program at

UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its specialty-and primary-care programs. The school offers combined medical and master's degree programs in public health, business administration, and rural health, as well as a combined medical and doctoral degree for physician scientists interested in addressing specific scientific, social, ethical and political challenges of health care. Along with being a leader in health-care research, the school is known for its commitment to people from underserved communities and a passion for clinical care. For more information, visit


David Kilmer, UC Davis Chair of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dies at 52

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — David D. Kilmer, professor and chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at UC Davis Health System, died at his home in Sacramento on Tuesday, Sept. 15, of lymphoma at the age of 52.

Dr. Kilmer was an internationally renowned clinician, teacher and researcher. He was known for the state-of-the-art and compassionate rehabilitation care he provided to patients with traumatic neurologic conditions, amputations and neuromuscular diseases.

Longtime colleague Craig McDonald, professor and interim chair of the PM&R department, said, "He was passionate about teaching his medical students and residents. Dave was a gifted researcher who published extensively in the medical literature on the effects of exercise in patients with neuromuscular disease, and he made numerous contributions that have influenced the care of these patients worldwide."

Born on July 25, 1957 in Newport Beach, Calif., Dr. Kilmer received his bachelor's degree in kinesiology from UCLA, graduating magna cum laude. He received his medical degree from the UC Davis School of Medicine in 1985, graduating with Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society distinction. Upon completing his PM&R residency at UC Davis Medical Center in 1989, he joined the faculty of the PM&R department. He was director of UC Davis Medical Center's electromyography laboratory, and adult prosthetics and orthotics clinics.

Dr. Kilmer had been chair of the PM&R department since 2000. During his time as chair, the department grew in faculty, staff and research activity to its current, internationally recognized status. He twice won the faculty teaching award and was greatly respected by medical students, residents and colleagues. In 2005, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UC Davis School of Medicine and the Citation for Excellence from the Cal Aggie Alumni Association.

Other achievements include serving on the board of directors for the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and membership on the editorial board for the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Kilmer was a founding member of the neuromuscular medicine subspecialty board, jointly under the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Two close friends who trained with Dr. Kilmer said he had a tremendous impact on those around him.

"All who knew Dave remember him as a man with exceptional talents and a humble nature, and were moved by his love of people and devotion to serve others," said Dr. Doug Kindall.

Dr. Greg Carter said, "His legacy now continues in his family, multitude of friends and the PM&R department at UC Davis Medical Center, which he helped build and nurture."

"A devoted man of God, Dave began his days reading God's word," said Chris Hardwicke, a friend and leader of the Men's Ministry at River Life Covenant Church in Sacramento. "Through his example of a life well-lived, Dave touched the lives of countless individuals as he shared his love of God with them."

"Dad felt closest to God while enjoying the beautiful outdoors," said his daughter, Taryn. "He loved tending his perennial garden, running, competing in triathlons, hiking in the mountains and enjoying the beach with his family."

"Dr. Kilmer was a devoted husband who deeply loved his wife, Stephanie, the woman of his dreams," said Hardwicke. "Their union was rooted in God's love for them."

Dr. Kilmer's wife, Stephanie, said, "His proudest legacy is that of his four children. Taryn, Ryan, Matthew and Anna all reflect the love, intelligence and inner strength of their father. Dave's most cherished role in life was being a husband and father: swimming with Taryn, riding bikes with the boys, Ryan and Matthew, and telling Anna, his 'princess,' how pretty and smart she is. His laughter and love made our house a home."

Mrs. Kilmer added, "His family cherishes the memories of his faithful love for all, which was rooted in Jesus' faithful love for him."

Dr. Kilmer also is survived by his parents, M. Daniel and Betty Kilmer of Newport Beach, Calif.; his parents-in-law, Larry and Linda Putnam of Atascadero, Calif.; two sisters, Debbie Mullin of Irvine, Calif. and Suzanne DeMarks of Costa Mesa, Calif.; two sisters-in-law, Carol (Todd) Moberg of Pleasanton, Calif., and Nicole Putnam of Sacramento; and nieces and nephews Peter and Sarah Mullin, Kayla and Parker Moberg, and Nadine Redling.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 4 p.m. at Fremont Presbyterian Church, 5570 Carlson Dr., Sacramento. There will be a reception in the Community Life Center at the church immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Dr. David Kilmer Memorial Fund, c/o Sheryl Nichols, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UC Davis Medical Center, 4860 Y Street, Suite 3850, Sacramento, CA 95817.



UC Davis and Sutter Amador Hospital Partner to Train Rural Physicians

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Rural-PRIME, an innovative UC Davis School of Medicine program designed to increase access to health care in rural areas of California, entered a new phase this month with the launch of a medical-training partnership in Amador County.

This month, two third-year medical students began clinical rotations in primary care and obstetrics and gynecology at Sutter Amador Hospital in the town of Jackson. Sutter Amador is the third official site beyond the UC Davis Sacramento campus where the School of Medicine will train its students as the next generation of rural physicians.

“We are thrilled to have this new partnership with UC Davis,” said Anne Platt, CEO for Sutter Amador Hospital. “Being a training and teaching site for future physicians is win-win for us. Our physicians and staff get to work with bright medical students who are passionate about health care. In return, these students will experience the unique and special qualities of rural medicine. We think they’ll find their time here fulfilling, and we are especially hopeful that it will lead them to practice in a rural community some day, maybe even here in Jackson.”

By 2015, experts predict the state will face a significant shortage of physicians, with rural communities struggling to provide health care with fewer doctors per resident than in urban areas. Rural-PRIME is part of the University of California's Programs in Medical Education, or PRIME, which is designed to produce physician leaders who are trained in and committed to helping California's medically underserved communities. By next year, UC Davis School of Medicine will have nearly 50 students enrolled in the program.

Rural residents often lack access to the full spectrum of medical services that urban populations enjoy. Most rural areas around the state face the challenge of recruiting and retaining enough primary care physicians to serve the needs of their communities. Access to specialty care is an even more difficult issue, with many rural patients having poorer outcomes than their urban counterparts on several health measures including cancer-related deaths. Rural-PRIME was specifically developed to address the health-care disparities frequently found in less populated or remote areas of the state.

As part of Rural-PRIME, UC Davis is partnering with other health systems in the state that are committed to improving rural health, passionate in their advocacy for change in the rural health-care delivery system and willing to become teaching sites for medical students. Jackson, along with the mountain town of Truckee and the central valley community of Reedley, are the first designated Rural-PRIME sites.

Students will spend from four-to-eight weeks immersed in rural clinical settings, experiencing some of the unique challenges and benefits that only those types of communities can offer. The students are also given opportunities to integrate technology into their curriculum and training through distance learning and the use of telemedicine. High-speed telecommunications technologies such as telemedicine help bridge the rural gaps in access to quality health care and are a key element in Rural-PRIME training.

“Increasing the number of physicians who plan to practice in rural areas, and training those future doctors in the use of technology to provide specialty care for their patients, are two crucial ways to improve health-care access,” said Thomas Nesbitt, professor of family and community medicine and associate vice chancellor for strategic technologies and alliances at UC Davis Health System. “Sutter Amador Hospital is a model of high-quality rural health care and is a good example for our students. With their adoption of the electronic intensive care unit, they are leaders in the use of technology and quality care, which offers an ideal learning environment for future physicians.”


UC Davis Stem Cell Researcher Awarded Funding for Novel Approach to Wound Repair

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — Min Zhao, professor of dermatology and an expert in cell migration, has been awarded a three-year, $1 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). The award to Zhao was part of a $16 million infusion from the state’s stem cell agency this week to support research that will lead to advances in understanding the basic mechanisms underlying stem cell biology and cellular differentiation.

The funding supports Zhao’s research developing scientific techniques using electric fields to direct the migration of human stem cells for the repair of wounds and regeneration of damaged tissues. Currently, physicians use electric fields for deep brain stimulation to control seizures and for pain management. They represent a novel approach in the effort to turn stem cells into cures.

“Studying the migration of stem cells toward electrical gradients is very cutting edge and will have important implications in wound repair,” said Jan Nolta, director of the stem cell program at UC Davis and a co-investigator on the grant with Zhao. “It is very exciting work that could potentially help patients with burn injuries and other conditions such as non-healing ulcers. UC Davis is committed to bringing this important basic science research from the bench to the patient’s bedside rapidly.”

One of the barriers to stem cell therapies is that researchers cannot precisely target or consistently integrate transplanted stem cells with the damaged tissues of an injury site. Studies have shown that electric fields can guide the migration and division of certain types of stem cells. Zhao and his colleagues think the same electric fields could produce an effective signal for directing neural stem cells and the progeny of human embryonic stem cells, as well as for ensuring that the cells successfully interact and fully connect with sites of tissue damage.

The next step is to better understand the electrical controls required to guide stem cells to a specific location in the body. If successful, the new techniques will help overcome one of the biggest road blocks in stem cell therapies.

“My focus is to explore the feasibility of using electric signals to direct stem cells to migrate toward diseased tissues, with the goal of being able to restore their structure and function,” said Zhao. “The influence of electric fields on stem cells is not well understood and has not been fully studied. My hope is that this investigation will provide a critical step in developing safe and successful techniques for guiding stem cells directly to the appropriate injury sites in patients.”

Prior to coming to UC Davis in 2007, Zhao was a professor of regenerative medicine at the School of Medical Science at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. UC Davis colleagues who will be collaborating on Zhao’s research include Ebenezer Yamoah, professor of anesthesiology and pain medicine, and Ronald Li, associate professor of cell biology and human anatomy. With this latest award, UC Davis has received 15 grants from CIRM totaling nearly $50 million dollars.


Walk-in medical care names new director, Curtis Kommer

( Arizona Daily Sun) — Walk-In Medical Care has announced that Curtis Kommer will serve as its new medical director. Kommer, who graduated from UC Davis School of Medicine, has done humanitarian work in Nicaragua and served as a representative to China with the World Eye Foundation.

Steve Edelman, M.D., '82 receives 2009 Outstanding Educator in Diabetes Award

(San Diego News Network) — When he was 15 and attending junior high in Los Angeles, Steve Edelman was often reprimanded for falling asleep in class; then he’d have to make a beeline to the restroom to urinate, and finally to a drinking fountain to try to satisfy an unquenchable thirst.

Steve Edelman, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 15, has dedicated his life to educating others about the disease. Plus, he had scrapes and sores that took forever to heal, his vision became blurred, he lost weight and was continually tired, often tumbling into bed immediately after school and not waking up until the next morning. Finally, Edelman ended up in intensive care, and he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes - something that later determined his life direction.

Scorecard Gives UC Davis Medical School “A” on Ethics

(Sacramento Business Journal) — UC Davis School of Medicine received an A in ethical policies, as scored by the American Medical Student Association. The PharmFree Scorecard – developed by AMSA and the Pew Prescription Project – noted UC Davis had an "exemplary conflict-of-interest policy." This story was also covered by the San Diego Union Tribune, Del Mar Times, San Francisco Sentinel, PR Newswire, KMTV Online, Centre Daily Times, Schwitzer Health News, Pittsburg Post-Gazette, Associated Press, Houston Business Journal, KFMB-CBS, KUSI-IND and many other news outlets.

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UC Davis Lab Nurtures Teens' Science Dreams

(Sacramento Bee) — This feature story focuses on Michael DeGregorio, a professor of hematology and oncology at UC Davis, and the new science internships in his lab for rural high-school students. The opportunities were created as part of his research on an experimental vaccine that could prime the body's immune system to attack breast cancer.

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Inside Medicine: Global Health and Us

(Sacramento Bee) — Michael Wilkes, University of California, Davis professor of internal medicine, writes in his column about the importance of understanding global health issues and how they impact California, using the H1N1 virus outbreak as an example.

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Serotonin Surge Charities’ fifth annual food and wine fundraiser for safety net medical clinics

Spring Break 2009, Serotonin Surge Charities’ fifth annual food and wine fundraiser for safety net medical clinics in the greater Sacramento region was held at the CSUS Alumni Center on Friday, April 24th. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, donors, guests, and volunteers, we were able to raise $285,000 for eighteen medical clinics that provide over 125,000 patient visits per year.

Our special honoree for the evening was The Honorable Helen Thomson, Yolo County Supervisor and former Chair of the California State Assembly Committee on Health. Helen was introduced by UC Davis family practice residency alumnus, Dr. Joan Smith-Maclean, and lauded for her steadfast advocacy for quality health care for all, including the medically uninsured.

Corporate sponsors for Spring Break 2009 included the UC Davis Health System, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, Epic, Mercy, Kaneski Associates, New York Life, and Teichert. The media sponsorship team included Sacramento Magazine, Ellis & Ellis Signs, Sacramento & Company/News10, Bashore Design,, and Glenda Fox Photography. Guests were treated to an outstanding collection of fine foods and wines donated by Chocolate Fountains Delite, Crisp Catering, Dianda's Italian Bakery & Café, Hawks, Joan Leineke Catering, Magpie Caterers, Marriott's Midtown Courtyard, Mason's, Mikuni, Mulvaney's, Tapa the World, Tre, Arger-Martucci, Astoria Wine Group, Fiddlehead Cellars, Heringer Wines, Mevany Wines, Michael-David, Pedroncelli, Seavey Vineyard, Senders Wines, Silver Oak Cellars, Spoto Winery, Spoto Wines, Whitehall Lane, and Yorba Winery. Those in attendance also enjoyed a video created by local filmmaker, Jared Martin, documenting the story of Serotonin Surge Charities surpassing the $1 million cumulative fundraising milestone.

You are invited to visit to find out more about Spring Break 2009 and the marvelous people and companies that made it all possible. We could use help to make Spring Break 2010 even more successful because the challenges for the medically uninsured are only getting worse. For corporate sponsorship and donation opportunities, please contact