Fellowship match successful again for UofL residents

Trend of near perfection in fellowship matches for UofL internal medicine residents continues with the Class of 2017
Fellowship match successful again for UofL residents

Several members of the of the UofL Internal Medicine Residency Program seeking fellowship appointments were matched successfully for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The quest for fellowship matches was successful again for several members of the University of Louisville Internal Medicine Residency Program following their graduation in 2018, including three who will continue their training at UofL.

"UofL internal medicine residents have once again shown that hard work, careful preparation, and demonstration of intellectual curiosity and scholarly productivity result in amazing professional opportunities," Jennifer Koch, M.D., director of the UofL Internal Medicine Residency Program said. "Congratulations to our residents on an outstanding fellowship match!"

Over the past six years, nearly all of the program's internal medicine residents have successfully matched into their choice of fellowship.

Those from The University of Louisville who matched for 2018-2019 include:


Alok Bhatt

Dhruv Chaudhary

Monika Darji

Rahul Dhawan

Brian Dong

Syed Hussaini

Natalie Kelsey

Yash Kothari

Ninad Maniar

Taku Mkorombindo

Drew Murray

Nevin Murthy

Alex Pontikos

Nelson Seabrook

Srividya Srinivasamaharaj

Chandra Vethody

Pulmonary/Critical Care







Pulmonary/Critical Care

Pulmonary/Critical Care

Pulmonary/Critical Care







New York University

Allegheny College

University of Chicago

University of Nebraska

University of Louisville

Western University of Health Sciences

University of Louisville

University of Southern California

Baylor University

University of Alabama at Birmingham

University of Louisville

University of Chicago

Case Western Reserve University

Medical University of South Carolina

Allegheny College

Vanderbilt University

M&I Faculty Awarded Multiple NIH/NIAID Grants in 2017

M&I Associate Professor Matthew Lawrenz was recently awarded a National Institute of Health R21 grant entitled "Zinc Acquisition in Yersinia pestis".  The major goal of this project is to define the contribution of the yersiniabactin synthase-dependent zinc acquisition system on the virulence of Yersinia pestis.  This NIH funded project is budgeted from 11/24/2017 - 10/31/2019 for $437,080.

M&I Professor Dr. Esma Yolcu recently awarded a National Institute of Health SSRT grant to study “SA-FasL-engineered human islets as a novel product for the treatment of type 1 diabetes."  The major goal of this phase I STTR application is to develop SA-FasL-engineered human islets as a novel immune privileged product for the treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D).  This NIH funded project is budgeted from 07/01/2017 – 03/30/2018 for $224,529.00.


M&I Professors Drs. Thomas Mitchell and Carolyn Casella were recently awarded a National Institute of Health R01 grant to study “Mechanisms of successful vaccine adjuvants." This NIH funded project is budgeted from 06/26/2017 – 05/31/2022 for $1,925,000.



Drs. Haval Shirwan and Esma Yolcu have been awarded a multiple PI NIH/NIAID UO1 grant with Andres Garcia from Georgia Institute of Technology. The grant is entitled “Targeted delivery of immunomodulatory biologics for induction of immune privilege to allogeneic pancreatic islet grafts”.  The major focus of this project is to develop immunomodulatory biomaterials for induction of tolerance to allogeneic islets as a cure for type 1 diabetes.  The award amount of $1,954,270 is budgeted for 06/20/20176 – 05/31/2022



M&I Professor and Vice Chair, Haribabu Bodduluri, PhD was awarded a grant titled ‘Innate immune mechanisms regulating silicosis”. This NIH/NIAID funded project is budgeted from 6/6/2017 - 5/30/2019 for $423,500. This research is important to explore the mechanisms of their recent work on silicosis and lung cancer;

Hari Bodduluri


M&I Associate Professors Drs. Jon Warawa and Matt Lawrenz were recently awarded an NIH/ NIAID grant contract to study “Therapeutics Testing In a Murine Model of Multiple Drug Resistant (MDR) Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Lung Infection.” This NIH/ NIAID funded project is budgeted from 03/2017 – 11/2018 for $729,174.

Jonathan Warawa     Matthew Lawrenz


M&I Assistant Professor Dr. Krishna Jala was recently awarded a National Cancer Institute of National Institute of Health R21 grant to study “PQ-10:  Microbial metabolite, Urolithin A is a potent immunomodulator and chemosensitizing adjuvant in treating color cancer.” This NIH funded project is budgeted from 04/12/2017 – 03/31/2019 for $368,445.


M&I Associate Professor Dr. Jon Warawa was recently awarded an NIH/ NIAID grant contract to study “HHSN272201000033I/HHSN2720005 / Task A91- Mod #1.” This NIH/ NIAID funded project is budgeted from 03/21/2017 – 05/25/2018 for $508,703.


M&I Professor Dr. Nathan Schmidt was recently awarded an NIH/ NIAID grant contract to study “Role of gut microbiota in shaping severity of malaria.” This NIH/ NIAID funded project is budgeted from 01/11/2017 – 12/31/2021 for $2.6M.

Student Highlights

M&I Graduate students win University doctoral awards

Dylan Johnson and Irina Miralda received University’s Guy Stevenson Award and the John Richard Binford Memorial Award, respectively.

Please click here to view Dylan Johnson's virtual Graduate School Graduation speech.

The Guy Stevenson Award recognizes an outstanding doctoral degree recipient who has demonstrated excellence in both scholarship and leadership within the discipline, and has made significant contributions to teaching and service. This award is the highest award given by the Graduate School and the winner carries the graduate school banner at both the Doctoral Hooding and Commencement Ceremonies, and provides remarks during the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.  The Binford Award is presented to a doctoral degree recipient who excels in scholarship, and has contributed to other areas within the discipline such as leadership, teaching, or service.  The winner receives special recognition at the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation ceremony.  Congratulations Dylan and Irina!

Autumn LaPointe wins presentation award at Viruses 2020 conference in Barcelona

Autumn LaPointe, PhD candidate, received the best oral presentation award, elected by the scientific committee and sponsored by the journal Microorganisms, for her talk entitled “Noncapped genomic RNA are critical for Alphaviral infection and pathogenicity”. LaPointe is a PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. KevinSokoloski. Read more at




M&I students receive 1st and 2nd place for doctoral dissertation at Research! Louisville

Congratulations to Autumn LaPointe on receiving 1st place and Samantha Morrissey on receiving 2nd place for the  2019 Research!Louisville Doctoral Basic Science award. Autumn is a doctoral candidate in the lab of Dr. Kevin Sokoloski and Samantha is a doctoral candidate in the lab of Dr. Jun Yan. Read more at:


2019 T32 Awardees announced

The Inflammation and Pathogenesis T32 Training Grant is excited to announce its newest PhD graduate student fellows: Drew Skidmore, laboratory of Dr. Donghoon Chung, Trey Landers, laboratory of Dr. Kevin Sokoloski, and Sarah Price laboratory of Dr. Matthew Lawrenz. These students will join 2018 fellow Autumn LaPointe, laboratory of Dr. Kevin Sokolowski, in the program. 

 This year M&I’s summer high school program MISTRE merged with Louisville Science Pathways, which is the Science Policy and Outreach Group’s University-wide internship program. This merger expanded the opportunities to include weekly career seminars, and how to apply to two- and four-year colleges, with emphasis on careers in the biomedical field. Altogether, seventeen 10th and 11th graders experienced hands on research projects.  M&I provided stipends to two of the seventeen participants, Awa Koita from Central High, and Osazuwa Omoruyi from St. Francis; who were hosted in the labs of Drs. Venkatakrishna Jala and Sylvia Uriarte, respectively. During their internship, the students participated in mentored biomedical research, focused on the roles of microbial communities inhuman disease.

MISTRE is coordinated by Claire Jones, and Louisville Science Pathways is coordinated by Dylan Johnson and Sarah Price. Claire, Dylan and Sarah are all PhD candidates in the Department.

The Microbiology and2018 SLB Group Immunology Department was well represented by its graduate students at the 2018 Joint Meeting of the Society for Leukocyte Biology and International Endotoxin and Innate Immunity Society in October. Amanda Pulsifer (laboratory of Matthew Lawrenz) was one of three finalists for the SLB Presidential Award, which included the opportunity to present her research at a plenary session during the first day of the meeting. Katlin Stivers’ research (laboratory of Jay Hoying) was also highlighted and she was chosen to give a “Poster Flash Talk”. Irina Miralda (laboratory of Silvia Uriarte) won a SLB travel Award for her poster presentation. Finally, Hazel Ozuna (laboratory of Don Demuth) was selected to present her research at the Late Breaking Research Poster Session. Congratulations to all of the students!

Tiva Vancleave, a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Lawrenz, has been awarded the 2018 University of Louisville School of Medicine Student Diversity Award.  This award acknowledged Tiva’s commitment to the educational and societal needs of underrepresented minorities through mentorship and service during her PhD career. Tiva was recognized for this award during the 2018 PhD Commencement Ceremony, where she also received a Dean’s Citation for her PhD research on the YapE protein of Yersinia pestis.


Hazel Ozuna, a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Donald Demuth, has been awarded a five year F31 Research Fellowship from the National Institiute of Dental & Craniofacial Research for her project entitled: "Exploitation of the host response by Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans mediated by QseBC".



Katlin Stivers, a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. James Hoying, has been awarded a predoctoral fellowship from the American Heart Association for her project entitled "Regulation of Adipose Tissue Inflammation by Resident Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells". The two year award will fully support her research investigating the role of tissue resident, immunosuppressive myeloid cells in promoting immune homeostasis in healthy, lean adipose tissue and preventing the chronic inflammation that can lead to the development of obesity.

Earlier this year, Katlin also received a travel award to give an oral presentation on her current work "Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Adipose Tissue Homeostasis" as  part of the Kaley Lecture featured topic session, "The Complications of Diabetes and the Role of Inflammation: Mechanisms and Therapeutic Opportunities" at the Experimental Biology 2017 Conference, April 22-26, Chicago, IL.

Amanda Pulsifer was awarded a “Best Poster Presentation” prize at The Yin and Yang of Phagocytes: Regulators of Human Health and Disease Gordon Research Conference, June 11-16, Waterville Valley, NH for her work entitled “Exploitation of Host Rab GTPases by Yersinia pestis Facilitates Intracellular Survival”. Amanda is a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Matthew Lawrenz.



M&I Faculty Receive Excellence in Education Awards

Methods of CPR training vary among U.S. high schools, study by UofL doctor finds

State laws don’t ensure high-quality training; hope is to standardize process
Methods of CPR training vary among U.S. high schools, study by UofL doctor finds

While CPR instruction in high school is required by law in a growing number of states, there is no standard method of implementation, according to a study by a University of Louisville doctor published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The study by Lorrel Brown, M.D., an assistant professor at the UofL School of Medicine and physician director for resuscitation at UofL Hospital, is titled “CPR instruction in U.S. high schools: What is the state in the nation?”

In the U.S., 350,000 people suffer cardiac arrest outside a hospital each year. Only 30 percent get bystander CPR, which affects survival, Brown said. Only 11 percent of those 350,000 survive.

“If we improve survival by just 1 percent, that’s 3,500 more people who will live,” Brown said.

The American Heart Association wants to double the percentage of cardiac arrest victims who receive bystander CPR by 2020, and CPR training in high schools has been endorsed by a variety of organizations. Thirty-nine states have passed laws requiring the training before graduation, including Kentucky, which passed a law last year. Similar laws in the remaining 11 states are being considered.

For the study, Brown examined the state laws and characterized them based on stringency of training. 

“We know high school students can learn CPR. However, we have found CPR skill retention in high schoolers is poor, with only 30 percent performing adequate CPR six months after training,” she said. “We wanted to know, is there a better way to do it? How can we make the best use of this opportunity?”

The study had two parts: 1) what the law in each state requires and 2) how the laws are being implemented in schools.

To find out, Brown sent a survey to schools in the 39 states. She asked how CPR was being taught, who was doing the teaching and at what grade level.

“We found a wide degree of variability from state to state, and even school to school,” she said. “While the laws all have some similar features, such as teaching the hands-only method, they still leave a lot to the individual schools to decide.”

Most laws don’t recommend a specific program. Some require the training take place in a specific grade, while others don’t.  Most training was being taught as part of a physical education class, but it varied widely who taught it, from a firefighter, a nurse, to the American Red Cross. Most laws don’t require the instructor to be certified to teach, an important distinction, Brown said, since not everyone who is certified in CPR will necessarily be a good instructor.

She said a major barrier for schools is the cost of CPR training.  Certified instructors are not always readily available, and most states don’t provide funding for CPR training, leaving it to individual schools and districts.  And high-quality mannequins, which are important for a more realistic experience and muscle memory, are expensive, Brown said. Thirty-six percent of schools surveyed were using a low-quality, inexpensive inflatable one.

She said the study “hopefully will help standardize the process to provide high-quality training.” Brown was assisted in the study by two UofL medical students, third-year Carlos Lynes, and fourth-year Travis Carroll, with Henry Halperin, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, advising on the study.

She said it’s too early to tell whether the training in U.S. high schools has been effective in saving lives, but in some places such as Denmark, similar laws lead to increased rates of bystander CPR and survival.

“We’re still about 10 years out in the U.S.,” she said. With about 4 million students per year now graduating with CPR training, “by then we’ll have an army of people trained in CPR.”

Expanding CPR training has been especially important to Brown, who has worked for several years on unique approaches such as halftime demonstrations at UofL men’s basketball games.  She founded and directs a program called “Alive in 5” (, a five-minute method of teaching CPR she developed that could become a standard for training. She studied the method at the Kentucky State Fair and found adults could learn high-quality CPR in just 5 minutes.

“We are still investigating the best method that is effective and efficient,” she said.  

Professor Steven Myers (in memoriam) recognized as faculty favorite by UofL students

This past academic year, the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning solicited nominations from students for the UofL faculty member they would like to recognize for making a significant impact on their learning and intellectual development.  Through a link on the Delphi Center website, students submitted 701 nominations for 308 faculty members.

Professor Steven Myers, who passed away suddenly in December 2016 has been named among the "top six" and will be recognized for this achievement with a ceremony scheduled in February 2018.  Information about the faculty favorites and the student nominations are available at

Despite recent study findings, pregnant moms still need flu shot

Despite recent study findings, pregnant moms still need flu shot

Heather Felton, M.D.

In the wake of a new study in the journal Vaccine, a UofL pediatrician reminds pregnant women that the flu vaccine is still recommended and very important for their own health and that of their newborns.

The recent study looks at a possible link between flu shots in pregnant women and miscarriage, but experts from the CDC note that the study has shortcomings due to the small number of women studied. Even one of the study’s co-authors, Edward Belongia, M.D., director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, and a member of the CDC's advisory committee on immunization practices, said the study does not show a causal relationship between flu vaccination and miscarriage.

For that reason, Heather Felton, M.D., medical director of the University of Louisville Pediatrics Clinic at Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre, echoes the CDC recommendation that pregnant women in all trimesters get the vaccine this flu season.

“Not only does the vaccine help keep the expectant mom protected from flu, but some of her antibodies will cross to the baby to protect the little one,” Felton said. “Babies can't get the flu vaccine until they are 6 months old so the protection they get during gestation is imperative.”

Expectant moms can make an appointment to get the vaccine, along with complete prenatal care, from UofL Physicians-General Obstetrics and Gynecology by calling 502-588-4400. After baby’s birth, Felton and other staff provide pediatric care at UofL Pediatrics-Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre on Eastern Parkway, 502-588-0700.

NCI Cancer Education Program Students Receive Best Poster Awards at 2017 Research!Louisville

NCI Cancer Education Program Norbert J. Burzynski Award Professional Student Category

3rd place: Taylor Q. Nguyen  “Development of novel diagnostic methodologies for diagnosis and monitoring in melanoma” Mentor: Nichola Garbett

2nd place: Emily Martin  “Laser-Irradiated “Binary Bomb” Nanoparticles with Encapsulated Gold Nanorods and Chemotherapeutics selectively mediate Hepatocellular Carcinoma Apoptosis” Mentor: Robert CG Martin

1st place: Cecily Allen  “Understanding the Role of Hydralazine as an Epigenetic Cancer Therapy in Relation to N-Acetyltransferase Acetylator Phenotype” Mentor: David Hein

NCI Cancer Education Program Norbert J. Burzynski Award Undergraduate Student Category

3rd place: Megan Peterson  “Evaluating the Potential of Two Copper-Containing Compounds to Selectively Target Cancer Cells” Mentor: Paula Bates

2nd place: Roxana Gonzalez-Ramos  “Enhancement of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Virotherapy via Alkylating Agent-Induced Autophagy” Mentor: Jorge Gomez-Guttierez

1st place: Sarah McQuaide  “Genotypic Analysis of Mammary Carcinoma Susceptibility 3 Nominated Gene Expression Levels in Rat Mammary Glands” Mentor: David Samuelson

Photos of the award winners can be viewed here.

Full listing of all Research!Louisville winners can be viewed here.



Six Pharmacology & Toxicology Graduate Students Receive Top Research Poster Awards at Research!Louisville

2017 School of Medicine Graduate Student  Research!Louisville Winners

Doctoral Basic Science Graduate Student Awards

 2nd place: Cierra Sharp  “Worsened Renal Fibrosis in Kras4bG12D Lung Adenocarcinoma-Bearing Mice Treated with Repeated Dosing of Cisplatin may be EGFR-Mediated” Mentor: Leah Siskind

 2nd place: Marcus Stepp  “Acetylomic Analysis of Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase 1 Knockout in the MDA-MB-231 Triple Negative Breast Cancer Line” Mentor: David Hein

 1st place: John Caleb Greenwell  “Interplay between aging, lung remodeling, and fibronectin EDA in lung cancer progression” Mentor: Jesse Roman

Master’s Basic Science Graduate Student Award

2nd place Fengyuan Li  “CRAMP Deletion Exacerbates Alcohol-Induced Liver and Pancreas Injury via Regulation of Gut Microbiota and Systemic Inflammasome Activation” Mentor: Wenke Feng

 2nd place Jamie Young  “Effects of Early Life Chronic Exposure to Arsenic and Cadmium on the Development of Adult Cardiometabolic Syndrome” Mentor: Gavin Arteel

 1st place Joshua Royal  “Epicertin, A Cholera Toxin B Subunit Variant, Enhances Intestinal Wound Healing in a mouse acute colitis model and human ulcerative colitis colon explants” Mentor: Nobuyuki Matoba 

DOM members excel at 2017 Research!Louisville

Annual event highlights, promotes excellence and public awareness of health sciences research at the Louisville Medical Center
DOM members excel at 2017 Research!Louisville

Ming Song, Ph.D., of the UofL Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition receives the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's Foundation Faculty Award - Instructor at Research!Louisville 2017

Several members of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine made an impact at the recent 2017 Research!Louisville competitions, held in conjunction with the event's 22nd annual showcase of health/life sciences research conducted at UofL.

A panel of university faculty judges selected the winners of this year's contest from hundreds of entries in the categories of professional/clinical students, basic science grad students, postgraduates and faculty.

Here's a look at finished at or near the top in their respective categories:

Master's Basic Science Graduate Student Award

  • 2nd place: Fengyuan Li - CRAMP Deletion Exacerbates Alcohol-Induced Liver and Pancreas Injury via Regulation of Gut Microbiota and Systemic Inflammasome Activation. Mentor: Wenke Feng

Doctoral Basic Science Graduate Student Award

  • 1st place: John Caleb Greenwell - Interplay between aging, lung remodeling, and fibronectin EDA in lung cancer progression. Mentor: Jesse Roman

Postdoctoral Fellow Award

  • 2nd place: Hridgandh Donde - Tributyrin Administration Targets Alcohol-induced Pathogenic Mechanisms in the Gut-liver Axis: Relevance to the Development of Therapeutic Strategies in Alcoholic Liver Disease. Mentor: Shirish Barve
  • 1st place: Nazimuddin Khan - Human Guanylate Kinase: NMR structure determination and functional investigation of a new biomolecular target for lung cancer. Mentor: T. Michael Sabo

Research Associate Award

  • 2nd place: Ray Yeager - Residential Proximity to Green Vegetation is Negatively Associated with Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds. Mentor: Aruni Bhatnagar

Research Staff Award

  • Winner: Ernesto Pena Calderin - Exercise-Enhanced Macrophage Phagocytosis And Resolvin Biosynthesis Are Abrogated By A Diet High In Fat. Mentor: Jason Hellmann
  • Winner: Bryan Betty - Current Practice of Bronchodilator Reversibility Measurement Underestimates Asthma in the Older Adult

Public Health & Information Sciences

  • Master's Student Award: Thomas Chandler - Using Time to Clinical Stability to Predict Long-Term Mortality in Adult Patients Hospitalized for Community-Acquired Pneumonia: Results from the University of Louisville Pneumonia Study. Mentors: Paula Peyrani & Stephen Furmanek
  • Doctoral Student Award: Stacey Konkle - The Association of Volatile Organic Compound Exposures with Serum Lipids. Mentor: Aruni Bhatnagar

NCI Cancer Education Program Norbert J. Burzynski Award Professional Student Category

  • 3rd place: Taylor Q. Nguyen - Development of novel diagnostic methodologies for diagnosis and monitoring in melanoma. Mentor: Nichola Garbett

NCI Cancer Education Program Norbert J. Burzynski Award Undergraduate Student Category

  • 3rd place: Megan Peterson - Evaluating the Potential of Two Copper-Containing Compounds to Selectively Target Cancer Cells. Mentor: Paula Bates

Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation Faculty Award - Instructor

  • Winner: Ming Song - Dietary Copper-Fructose Interactions Alter Gut Microbial Activity in Male Rats

Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation Faculty Award - Assistant Professor

  • Winner: Leila Gobejishvili - Correlation between the phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) family of enzymes and inflammatory and fibrotic markers in human livers

Louisville Chapter-Women in Medicine and Science

  • 3rd place: Jennifer Koch - Gender Differences in the Experience of Internal Medicine Residents

Excellence in Health Disparities Research Award

  • 1st place: Adam Neff - Prevalence and Risk Factors for Anal Dysplasia in HIV-negative and HIV-positive Men Who Have Sex with Men: Results from the 550 Clinic Cohort Study. Mentor: Paula Peyrani

UofL names chairs in departments of Family and Geriatric Medicine and Pediatrics

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees has named chairs in two primary care departments within the UofL School of Medicine. The appointments were approved by the board at its Sept. 15 meeting.

Effective Oct. 1, Jonathan Becker, M.D., will be the chair of the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine and Charles R. Woods Jr., M.D., M.S., will be the chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

“I am so impressed with the leadership that both Jonathan and Charles have shown in their interim roles,” said Toni Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the UofL School of Medicine. “They have ensured each of their departments has progressed in our missions of education, research and clinical care, even during challenging times. I am excited to see where each will take their teams.”

About Jonathan Becker

 Since the beginning of this year, Becker has led the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine as acting chair, following his three-year role as program director of the Family Medicine Residency and senior adviser of the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship.

Becker started at UofL in 2005 as an assistant professor and assistant director of residency training. He went on to become director of the Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship and team physician for UofL athletics in 2007; he continues to serve as the lead doctor for the UofL football and men’s basketball teams. Becker also was appointed academic advisory dean for the School of Medicine in 2010.

Becker, who also practices with UofL Physicians – Sports Medicine, has been involved in the community as a team physician and medical director for a number of events, including local races.

With nearly 100 regional and national presentations related to sports medicine, Becker has helped educate both health care workers and the public on topics ranging from concussion prevention to athletes and drug use. Becker has published almost two dozen peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and is a reviewer for Journal of Family Practice and Sport Health.

Becker earned his medical degree from Chicago Medical School, and completed a family medicine residency and primary care sports medicine fellowship at Hennepin County Medical Center.

About Charles R. Woods

 Woods has served in three successive administrative leadership roles within the Department of Pediatrics since January 2015 – associate chair, acting chair and interim chair. He succeeds Gerard Rabalais, M.D., interim CEO of UofL Physicians. 

The department has 193 faculty members in 21 clinical pediatric subspecialties and four research units. It is affiliated with Norton Children’s Hospital, where Woods serves as chief of the Medical Staff.

Woods came to UofL in 2006 as professor of pediatrics specializing in infectious diseases. He previously was on the faculty of the pediatrics department at Wake Forest University from 1992 to 2006. 

Woods founded the department’s health services research unit in 2012, which now has grants and contracts in excess of $2 million. He is an associate editor of the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and assistant editor for biostatistical review for Pediatrics, the lead publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). He has authored more than 150 journal articles and book chapters.

He has received multiple teaching awards, including the 2017 Kentucky Medical Association’s Educational Achievement Award and the UofL School of Medicine’s 2013 Distinguished Educator Award. He has given more than 170 invited national and regional lectures. He has held multiple leadership positions in the AAP and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and currently has major roles in development of national clinical practice guidelines for both organizations.  

Woods earned his M.D. degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at Baylor and Texas Children’s Hospital. He earned a master of science degree in epidemiology from Wake Forest University. He practices with UofL Physicians-Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

Cave garners $4 million NIEHS-NIH grant to continue innovative liver research (w/ VIDEO)

Funding will aid UofL gastroenterologist's research into long-term effects of environmental chemicals on the liver
Cave garners $4 million NIEHS-NIH grant to continue innovative liver research (w/ VIDEO)

Matthew C. Cave, M.D.


Matthew Cave, M.D., associate professor in the UofL Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, believes that chemicals we breathe, consume or come in contact with in the environment may be contributing to liver disease in as many as one in four people.

As a result of his research efforts in these areas, his studies have been awarded $4.01 million over eight years by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a part of the National Institutes of Health, to explore the long-term effects of environmental chemicals on the liver.

"In environmental health, the study of liver disease is relatively new, particularly in the field of endocrine disrupting chemicals," Cave said. "These chemicals, such as bisphenol-A (BPA), found in plastic drink bottles, may cause endocrine and metabolic diseases like diabetes and obesity, or make them worse."

With the NIEHS award, Cave plans to explore how any number of endocrine disrupting chemicals contribute to fatty liver disease. The flexible nature of the award allows him to redirect the research over the course of the funding, and adapt the work in light of new leads.

Cave is one of eight environmental health scientists receiving the new Revolutionizing Innovative, Visionary Environmental health Research (RIVER) Outstanding Investigator Award from the NIEHS. Awardees were selected based on their record of innovative and impactful research.

Cave's eight-year funding is the maximum awarded for this program. The new RIVER awards differ from the NIH's traditional approach of funding projects designed to study specific aims, which can steadily produce new knowledge but may limit scientists when their results suggest new directions. Through RIVER, Cave will be able to explore novel directions of research in environmental liver disease.

"The RIVER program is designed to fund people, not projects," David Balshaw, Ph.D., chief of the NIEHS Exposure, Response and Technology Branch who leads the NIEHS team overseeing this initiative said. "It gives outstanding environmental health scientists stable funding, time, and importantly, flexibility to pursue creative scientific ideas, rather than constantly writing grants to support their research programs."

"This funding mechanism gives us the flexibility to study this evolving field and the freedom to pursue the hot leads as they develop,” Cave said. "I am very flattered to receive this award. It demonstrates the confidence the NIEHS has in my work."

While the specific projects will evolve over time, Cave's initial work will focus on exposures to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and vinyl chloride. PCBs are chemical compounds previously used in electrical equipment and other products. Although banned from production in 1979, PCBs do not readily break down and can remain in the environment.

Vinyl chloride is used in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), from which plastic pipes and other construction materials are formed. Both compounds are known to cause liver damage. Cave plans a multi-tiered research approach, beginning with cell cultures and animal models and then in humans.

As a framework for his research, Cave will establish the Environmental Liver Disease Revolutionizing Innovative, Visionary Environmental Health Research Program (ELD-RIVER), a unique integrative and collaborative research program including collaborations with academia, government agencies, industry, and scientific/medical societies.

Cave and award co-investigator Juliane Beier Arteel, Ph.D., are collaborating with UofL's NIAAA Alcohol Research Center, Diabetes and Obesity Center, and researchers in cardiology, biochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency.


Kosair Charities provides $1 million for children’s health care programs

Kosair Charities provides $1 million for children’s health care programs

The University of Louisville has received $1 million from Kosair Charities to support four health-related programs designed to benefit our most precious gift, our children.

The largest portion of funds will support the Department of Pediatrics’ Forensics Medicine team who work to identify, evaluate, document and prevent child abuse and neglect. Other programs supported include the UofL Autism Center at Kosair Charities, the Kosair Charities Pediatric Clinical Research Unit and the Division of Child Neurology.

“For decades, Kosair Charities has been an unwavering supporter of our efforts to make the lives of our children better,” said Gregory Postel, M.D., interim president of the University of Louisville. “Our partnership with Kosair Charities continues to bring about new knowledge and enables that knowledge to be put into practical use. This commitment of support is critical to our ability to recruit and retain high-quality faculty and staff.”

Through the years, Kosair has provided more than $30 million in philanthropic support to the university in its efforts to provide the highest quality health care possible to children.

“The services that UofL provides to the children of Kentucky and beyond are invaluable,” said Jerry Ward, chairman of the Kosair Charities Board of Directors. “The faculty and staff have an unending desire to make the lives of children better. It is a privilege to partner with such an organization.”

The Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine at UofL was the first pediatric physical abuse and neglect assessment program established in Kentucky. The formal consultation service provides medical expertise on the diagnosis, documentation and follow-up of suspected cases of child physical abuse and neglect.

The University of Louisville Autism Center at Kosair Charities is committed to building a collaborative partnership among the area’s leading autism resources. Incorporating services from the Bingham Clinic, the Weisskopf Child Evaluation Center and the Kentucky Autism Training Center, this center furthers each partner’s mission to provide evaluation and evidence-based treatment and interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. In addition, the Center promotes clinical research in ASD and provides training for caregivers and educators working with children with ASD. The UofL Autism Center also collaborates with community agencies to build a statewide network for the development of regional centers across Kentucky.

The Kosair Charities Pediatric Clinical Research Unit (KCPCRU) is the region’s first state-of-the-art clinical facility dedicated solely to conducting inpatient and outpatient pediatric clinical pharmacology studies. The primary mission of the KCPCRU, which opened in May 2002, is threefold: research (clinical and translational), clinical service and education/training. More than 1,000 subjects have been enrolled in clinical trials since 2002.

The Division of Child Neurology in the UofL Department of Neurology provides comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for infants and children with disorders of the nervous system.

M&I Welcomes Incoming Students of 2017

Monday, August 7, the Department of Microbiology & Immunology welcomed  the incoming M&I graduate students with a luncheon in the CTRB. Incoming students include Anne Geller, Melissa Henckel, Zak Henn, Claire Jones, Consolee Karangwa, Trey Landers, and Rejeena Shrestha.



UofL Department of Medicine boasts over a dozen 'Top Docs' for 2017

Annual survey conducted by Louisville Magazine and Greater Louisville Medical Society leads to accolades for several UofL medicine faculty
UofL Department of Medicine boasts over a dozen 'Top Docs' for 2017

Louisville Magazine recently honored 13 faculty members from the UofL Department of Medicine as "Top Docs" for 2017.

A group of 14 members of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine were recently recognized as "Top Docs" as voted on by their peers in the Louisville medical community in the August 2017 edition of Louisville Magazine.

According to the guidelines of the survey, questionnaires were sent to the more than 2,000 members of the Greater Louisville Medical Society asking the question, "If you or a member of your family were in need of medical care or treatment, who among the Louisville-area doctors would you choose to provide medical care in the following specialties?"

From the UofL Department of Medicine, those recognized include (categories as listed in the publication):

UofL Cancer Education Program undergraduates to present research Friday Aug 4

UofL Cancer Education Program undergraduates will present their research projects at the Undergraduate Research Symposium scheduled for Friday, Aug 4 from noon to 3 pm on the first floor of the Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building.  This year's class can be viewed here and their research posters can be viewed here.  A short video clip from WHAS news can be viewed here.

Continuing Professional Development for Faculty

Continuing Professional Development for Faculty
The authors of this Invited Commentary describe a key element missing from most of the reform efforts underway in our academic medical centers—the preparation of faculty for new models of health care and educational practice. CLICK HERE to read the full text.

UofL honors David Novak and family

Names new pediatric facility Novak Center for Children’s Health
 UofL honors David Novak and family

The architectural rendering shows the Novak Center for Children’s Health, scheduled to open in July 2018 at the UofL Health Sciences Center.

In recognition of their outstanding support to the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics, the University of Louisville today honored David Novak, his family and the Lift-A-Life Foundation by naming its new pediatrics medical office building the Novak Center for Children’s Health.

The Novak Center for Children’s Health is scheduled to open to patients in July 2018. The eight-story, 176,000-square-foot building is the first new health care facility in the Louisville Medical Center in nearly a decade.

“David Novak and his family continually demonstrate their strong commitment to the well-being of the children of Kentucky and beyond,” said Gregory C. Postel, M.D., interim president of the University of Louisville. “It is not just symbolic, but appropriate that one of the area’s premiere pediatric health care centers be named in their honor.”

In addition to financial support toward the construction of the Novak Center for Children’s Health, the Novak Family and the Lift-A-Life Foundation have been instrumental in the creation and growth of the Wendy Novak Diabetes Center, which will have its outpatient services based in the new facility.

“At the University of Louisville, and through its primary children’s partner in Norton Healthcare, we have some of the premiere health care providers in the nation,” Novak said. “We now will have the world-class outpatient facility to match the level of care our children receive.”

One of the significant advantages of the new facility will be the ability for patients to see all their childhood health providers in a single location. Currently, patients and their caregivers oftentimes must travel to multiple buildings in the medical center to see providers.

The story of Noah Barone and his family demonstrates the significant change the new facility will make in the lives of patients and their families and caregivers. Since 2006, he has been fighting a rare brain disorder that has required him seeing providers in hematology, ophthalmology, neurology and more.

“Everyone person who has helped provide for Noah through the years has been exceptional,” said Geneva Barone, Noah’s mother. “At times, it has been inconvenient having to go to the varying locations to see everyone. To have everyone in a single location, and knowing that we will not have to travel throughout the medical center is wonderful. While everyone makes us feel like family, to have a single location to visit will be like having a medical home.”

“We are building the future of pediatric health care right here in Louisville,” said Charles Woods, M.D., interim chair of the UofL Department of Pediatrics. “This facility will enable us to transform how we deliver care by having our multidisciplinary teams located in one space so they can meet simultaneously with the patients and their families. This will eliminate substantial inconvenient delays and obstacles in our patients receiving the very best of care in the most time way possible.”

Parents, beware: Mosquitoes can bring illness with the itch

UofL pediatrician provides advice on avoiding bites to avoid sickness
Parents, beware: Mosquitoes can bring illness with the itch

The pesky mosquito can cause more than just an itchy welt; it also can bring on potentially life-threatening diseases and conditions.

Mosquitoes are as much a part of summertime as hot temperatures and outdoor picnics. But a University of Louisville pediatrician warns parents that preventing mosquito bites in children is important for their long-term health.

Besides making your kids uncomfortable, mosquito bites can cause an allergic reaction in some children, resulting in welts, lesions, bruises, a burning, itching sensation or hives. In extreme cases, an allergy to mosquito bites causes anaphylaxis, a rare, serious condition that results in swelling in the throat and wheezing and requires immediate medical attention.

Mosquitoes also can carry viruses with even greater long-term consequences, such as malaria, dengue fever, encephalitis, yellow fever, West Nile virus and meningitis. While occurring rarely, these diseases are serious and life-threatening.

“I have lots of patient visits over the summer about mosquito bites,” said Heather Felton, M.D., an instructor in the UofL Department of Pediatrics and medical director of the UofL Pediatrics Clinic at Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre. “They are more than just pests, but with correct preventative measures, the incidence of mosquito bites can be greatly reduced.”

Here’s what parents can do:

  • Dress all children in clothing that covers their arms and legs
  • For infants and toddlers, use mosquito netting over their stroller.
  • For children older than 2 months, use insect repellant containing DEET.
  • Be sure your windows and doors have screens to keep pests out of the home.
  • Empty containers of standing water – the mosquito breeding ground – around your house.
  • See a pediatrician immediately if your child is bitten and then exhibits symptoms such as fever, wheezing, headache, body ache, nausea, rash or hives around the bite, sensitivity to light, confusion or muscle weakness in one area of the body.

“Parents can contact us any time if they have concern about a bite,” Felton said. “We have a nursing triage line and doctors on call, so if a parent is unsure about the seriousness of a mosquito bite, we encourage them to call immediately.”

The after-hours line is 502-242-0328 and the UofL Pediatrics Clinic at Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre is located at 982 Eastern Parkway.

UofL internal medicine training programs welcome new residents

Trainees welcomed with festive events as they prepare to set sail on next phase of their careers
UofL internal medicine training programs welcome new residents

New University of Louisville Internal Medicine residents enjoyed a carnival themed orientation as they prepared for their first day as trainees at UofL.


Hope springs eternal, and so it was for the incoming residents of the University of Louisville Internal Medicine Residency Program.

The Class of 2020 was welcomed recently with a carnival themed orientation program, and then hit the ground running on July 1 at the various facilities where they will train.

Directed by Dr. Jennifer Koch, the UofL Internal Medicine Residency Program completed a perfect match yet again in March 2017, filling 24 categorical and 13 preliminary positions.

In addition the Combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program, under the direction of Dr. Laura Workman, added five new members.

"This is such an exciting time of year for the program, as we welcome so many new physicians to our residency programs!," Koch said. "Internship is an amazing year full of hard work, lots of learning, and plenty of fun, as well."

The programs have a tradition of educational leadership with nearly all of the program's internal medicine residents having successfully matched into their choice of fellowship over the past five years.

Also adding to the excitement on July 1 was the return of management of University of Louisville Hospital, the program's primary training facility, to University Medical Center, a non-profit affiliate of UofL.

"We in the internal medicine residency program  are excited about the management transition of UofL Hospital," Koch said. "We know this will translate into a variety of positive changes for our residents, as well as for our patients!"