NEWS | January 30, 2009

Eight faculty at UC Davis School of Medicine selected for Dean's Awards


Eight faculty members have been selected to receive two awards from the Office of Faculty Development: the Dean's Award for Excellence and the Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring.

All awardees will receive a cash prize of $2,000 and be honored at a faculty recognition reception to be held on the evening of March 2.

The Dean's Award for Excellence recognizes outstanding faculty contributions in the core mission areas of research, education, clinical care and community engagement. The purpose of the award is not only to reward the outstanding performance of a faculty member but also to acknowledge their contribution as a transformative leader. The faculty chosen for this award are Cameron Carter, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences; Nathan Kuppermann, professor and chair of emergency medicine; John McGahan, professor of radiology; Ulfat Shaikh, assistant professor of pediatrics; and Peter Sokolove, associate professor of emergency medicine.

The Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring recognizes and rewards School of Medicine scholars who excel in mentoring and thus contribute to the success of the faculty and UC Davis Health System. A mentor plays a critical role in the successful development of others to realize their full academic potential. The faculty chosen for this award are Charles DeCarli, professor of neurology; John Keltner, professor of ophthalmology and vision science; and Frazier Stevenson, associate professor of internal medicine.

Dean's Award for Excellence

Cameron Carter
Carter was cited for his innovative research in the area of early intervention for young people at risk for schizophrenia and those who have had their first psychotic episode through his founding the Early Diagnosis and Preventive Treatment (EDAPT) clinic. He has given numerous presentations to school and mental health personnel in the community and sits on the Mental Health Advisory Board of the Sacramento Unified School district. He has organized an extensive community advisory board to assist him in the development of the program, and the EDAPT clinic is a statewide model for early intervention.

Nathan Kuppermann
The nominator for Kuppermann stated that his research has "dramatically impacted the science of pediatric emergency medicine, identified and developed the next generation of leaders in the field and improved patient care for children here at UC Davis Medical Center and around the nation." Along with a group of colleagues he helped to mentor and develop, he is responsible for elevating research into the care of acutely ill and injured children to a nationally recognized and nationally funded area. The nomination also pointed to his special interest in establishing clinical decision rules that can help physicians in any hospital, under any circumstances, make correct emergency treatment choices in the care of acutely ill and injured children, particularly when there is little time to make decisions in critical situations.

John McGahan
McGahan's nomination cites his pioneering development of the concept of percutaneous thermal ablation of tumors, using minimally invasive techniques.  He developed the use of radiofrequency energy at UC Davis to initially treat liver tumors and, as a result of his work in radiofrequency ablation, this technique is now practiced world-wide by radiologists and other physicians. Well-known in the Sacramento region by private practice radiologists, many of whom trained at UC Davis under him, McGahan has published a number of books for radiologists. The publications not only provide to his work at UC Davis, they draw referrals from the local area, as well as nationally and from other continents. His nominator stated that "McGahan is clearly one of the most widely respected radiologists in his field, and he is a widely sought international expert."

Ulfat Shaikh
Shaikh was cited for her development and leadership of the Telemedicine Pediatric Obesity Program, an innovative model of delivering care for obesity to children and adolescents in rural underserved areas of California. The program is one of the first programs in the United States that provides clinical support to rural health-care providers by telemedicine to assist them in the management of childhood obesity. It is the third-largest outpatient telemedicine service at UC Davis Medical Center, and has provided over 460 consultations for obesity. In addition, Shaikh has developed an effective and well-received educational curriculum for pediatric obesity for house staff as well as faculty and community health-care clinicians.

Peter Sokolove
In his role as Vice Chair for Education and director of the residency program for the Department of Emergency Medicine, Sokolove "spends countless hours dedicated to the highly-demanding administrative and educational functions of the residency program, department and community," his nomination states. He received praise for his compassionate support of his residents through the difficulties of a demanding and highly competitive program while teaching students and colleagues at the national level in a variety of capacities. He has achieved national recognition for his service, and led his department's residency program to an unprecedented review by the ACGME not requiring formal re-evaluation for eight years. His recognition as a local and national leader in emergency medicine education is reflected in his service as chair of the Academic Affairs Committee for the American College of Emergency Physicians and his membership on the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Graduate Medical Education Committee.

Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentoring

Charles DeCarli
One of DeCarli's nominators sought to "recognize his deep and continual commitment to mentorship as a vehicle for advancing patient care in the long term." According to the nominator, whom DeCarli recruited for a junior faculty position, DeCarli "truly feels, deep down, that he has a moral responsibility to groom promising undergraduate researchers into successful predoctoral students, pre-docs into postdocs, postdocs into junior faculty, and junior faculty into field leaders. In his mind, neglecting this responsibility is tantamount to increasing patient pain and suffering in the long term by starving the medical research enterprise of personnel critically needed to enable clinical advances." The nominator also cited DeCarli's dedication to instilling the value of work-life balance in his mentees: "Charlie tries very hard to connect with mentees on a personal level in order to more fully understand how their life experiences influence their approach to their professional lives."

John Keltner
Keltner's nominator, a new faculty member in the Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, said that since her first day in the department, "Dr. Keltner has been a constant presence and advisor, not only clinically, and through research, but also as a fellow Davis resident. His numerous accomplishments in the field have raised him to an iconic level, not only in our department, but throughout the entire ophthalmologic community. It is with great pride and amazement that I can call him a mentor, a colleague and a friend." The nominator noted that Keltner's specialty overlaps with hers, and he has provided her with contacts at Stanford, UCSF and UCLA that will make it much easier for her to develop a clinical trial at the appropriate time.

Frazier Stevenson
One nominator for Stevenson said he has been instrumental in her development as a teacher at the School of Medicine and, without his guidance, does not believe she would have succeeded as a teacher. She lauds Stevenson's "consistent dedication to my development as a teacher, not just for my own benefit, but also for the benefit of my students." The nominator said that he recruited her to participate in "Teaching Scholars," a nine-month faculty development course conducted by Stevenson. Through the experience, she said she "gained tremendous insight into teaching through participation in this course and was able to make several improvements in my approach as a result. I consider him to be one of the most talented teachers I have had the pleasure of knowing in my career, both as a student and as a faculty, and I know that the medical students feel the same way."

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 UC Davis School of Medicine.


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