Amid the merriment, a moment devoted to medicine

James Graham Brown Cancer Center's Scientist, Physician of the Year to be recognized at The Julep Ball, May 3
Amid the merriment, a moment devoted to medicine

At The Julep Ball each year, a moment comes when the fun and excitement of the party retreat to the wings, allowing the reason the event exists to take center stage. This year, that moment will again come as the James Graham Brown Cancer Center’s Scientist and Physician of the Year are introduced.

Today, the Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville, a proud partner of KentuckyOne Health, announced that Jonathan "Brad" Chaires is Scientist of the Year and Jeffrey "Jeff" Bumpous is Physician of the Year. The two will be honored at the ball on Friday, May 3, at the KFC Yum! Center.

Known as the "Derby Eve Party with a Purpose," The Julep Ball supports the work of the Brown Cancer Center and its researchers and physicians such as Chaires and Bumpous.

"One of the main goals of the Brown Cancer Center is to have on our faculty excellent physicians like Jeff Bumpous and scientists like Brad Chaires," said Donald Miller, M.D., director of the cancer center. "This allows us to provide the most advanced cancer treatment available anywhere in the world. Jeff and Brad are prime representatives of all the scientists and physicians at the Brown Cancer Center who work every day to make life better for cancer patients in our region."

Both Chaires and Bumpous are "Bucks for Brains" faculty at UofL: Chaires is the James Graham Brown Endowed Chair of Biophysics and professor in the Department of Medicine; and Bumpous is the J. Samuel Bumgardner Professor of Otolaryngologic Surgery and chief of the Division of Otolaryngology in the Department of Surgery. Kentucky’s Research Challenge Trust Fund – created in 1997 and commonly known as Bucks for Brains – matches state funds with private donations providing strategic investment in university scholarship and research.

"Kentucky is a beautiful state, a wonderful state, but we still have a major problem with cancer in Kentucky," Miller said. "Supporters of The Julep Ball help us advance the war on cancer and better meet the needs of our patients and their families. We cannot thank our volunteers and supporters enough for what they help make possible."

At The Julep Ball, local and national business leaders, horse industry professionals and celebrities from sports, music, cinema and television again will be on hand. Entertainment will be provided by the World’s Greatest Party Band, the B-52s, and a celebrity emcee for the evening will be CBS Sports Radio broadcaster and former NFL great Tiki Barber. The celebrity red carpet entrance will return, as will dancing until the wee hours of Saturday morning following the B-52s concert. Special moments of The Julep Ball again will come when the scientists, physicians and patients at the forefront of cancer treatment and delivery are honored and saluted for their efforts.

Three-quarters of the available tickets for the full evening’s entertainment are now sold out, but plenty of dance-only tickets are still available. The full evening’s entertainment is $500 per person while dance-only tickets are $150 per person. For further information and to buy tickets, go to The Julep Ball website,

The Julep Ball is sponsored in part by Brown-Forman, Republic National Distribution Company of Kentucky, Power Creative, Kroger, LG&E, Ingrid Design, Raymond E. and Eleanor H. Loyd, Hilliard Lyons, KentuckyOne Health, Tafel Motors, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Advanced Electrical Systems, Montgomery Chevrolet, AT&T Kentucky, BKD, Republic Bank, Stites & Harbison, Heuser Clinic and Publishers Printing. Media partners are Louisville Magazine, NFocus, the Voice-Tribune, WHAS11 and 102.3 The Max.

About Brad Chaires, Ph.D., Scientist of the Year

Chaires came to UofL in 2004. In his work, he collaborates closely with other Brown Cancer Center faculty members, and it is this type of collaboration that drew him to Louisville from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. "What the Brown Cancer Center and Don Miller have done in creating a strong structural biology program gave me an instant team for collaborative efforts. This collaborative approach is unique among cancer centers throughout the country," he said.

Chaires’ current research focuses on drug discovery at the basic research level, examining new compounds that interact with nucleic acid structures. "We believe there are specific nucleic acid structures that we can target to shut off the production of proteins early in the development of cancer," he said.

Earlier in his tenure at UofL, Chaires and his research team pioneered the use of calorimetry for characterizing the human plasma proteome as a new tool for the rapid diagnosis of disease. Calorimetry is the technique used to measure the heat produced by chemical reactions or physical changes that occur in organisms. Chaires and his team used differential scanning calorimetry, which enables the collection of data from a very small amount of material, to create a visual map of how blood proteins behave when heated, providing clues to specific diseases.

"It turns out that these maps look pretty much the same for people who are healthy," Chaires said. "However, they look different for people with various diseases. In fact, our research showed that diseases leave a distinctive ‘fingerprint’ on the test result," making a simple blood test a possible new way to spot disease more quickly.

Chaires earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Connecticut and was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University. He was on the faculty of the University of Mississippi from 1982 to 2004; during that time, he spent a year on sabbatical as a Visiting Professor at the prestigious Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

Chaires is co-holder of three U.S. patents for technology developed from his research, and even as federal funding for research has diminished over the past decade, he has won competitive grant funding continuously since 1984 from the National Cancer Institute, other National Institutes of Health agencies, the National Science Foundation and a variety of other agencies and foundations. He has published prolifically in scientific and medical journals as the lead or co-author of more than 150 articles.

About Jeff Bumpous, M.D., Physician of the Year

Bumpous has been at UofL since 1994 and leads a multidisciplinary team of health care providers in treating cancers of the head and neck. These include cancers of the mouth, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), nasal cavity, sinuses, salivary glands and thyroid gland.

Kentucky has one of the highest rates of head and neck cancer in the United States, making the work of surgeons such as Bumpous crucial. "In Kentucky, we see a high rate of patients with oropharyngeal cancers, and at the Brown Cancer Center, our patients number in the hundreds each year," he said. The oropharynx is the middle section of the pharynx.

As might be expected, the high rate of oropharyngeal cancers is attributed to Kentucky’s higher-than-average rate of smoking, Bumpous said, but, "we also have seen over the past decade an increase in oropharyngeal ragged cancer that is HPV-related." HPV is the human papillomavirus; in January, the American Cancer Society reported that it has passed tobacco as the most common cause of oral cancer in the United States.

To treat cancer, Bumpous said, an inclusive approach is paramount. "I am a big believer in the multidisciplinary approach, and am proud that our clinic was one of the first multidisciplinary clinics at the Brown Cancer Center," he said. Multidisciplinary care involves a complete treatment team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons and other medical professionals along with support staff such as social workers, palliative care providers and other caregivers.

"We put the patient first and the cancer second," Bumpous said. "The entire team develops the plan with the patient, and my fundamental role is to serve the patient through the best evidence-based medicine we can provide."

Bumpous earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University and his medical degree from UofL. He completed his internship and residency in general surgery, otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Saint Louis University and a post-graduate fellowship in advanced head and neck and cranial base surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. He is board-certified in otolaryngology and is lead or co-author of more than 60 journal articles and scientific book chapters.

Dead Man Walking

‘Lack of insurance can be lethal,’ write UofL faculty in 'New England Journal of Medicine'
Dead Man Walking

<p align="left">Physicians have a fundamental responsibility to treat people in need, to educate their patients about health care reforms and to work with their professional organizations to demand health care for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.</p>
<p align="left">That is the thrust two University of Louisville physicians, Michael Stillman, M.D., and Monalisa Tailor, M.D., put forth in a “Perspective” for the <i>New England Journal of Medicine.</i> Their article, “<a href="">Dead Man Walking</a>,” will be published in an upcoming print issue of the publication and was posted online Oct. 23.</p>
<p align="left">The two <a href="">Department of Medicine</a> faculty tell the story of a man they call “Tommy Davis” who was chronically uninsured despite being employed full-time. Davis spent a year experiencing severe abdominal pain and constipation. Only when the pain was at its most severe did he come to the emergency room for relief.</p>
<p align="left">The diagnosis? Metastatic colon cancer. Davis will die too soon because he was uninsured.</p>
<p align="left">“If we’d found it sooner,” Davis said to the physicians, “it would have made a difference. But now I’m just a dead man walking.”</p>
<p align="left">Stillman and Tailor say this patient’s circumstances are not unique. “For many of our patients, poverty alone limits access to care,” they write. “… a fair number of our patients – the medical ‘have-nots’ – are denied basic services simply because they lack insurance, and our country’s response to this problem has, at times, seemed toothless.”</p>
<p align="left">While the physicians cite elected officials for bearing the brunt of the blame for the “appalling vulnerability of the 22 percent of American adults who currently lack insurance,” they also point to each physician’s responsibility for improving conditions for the un- and under-insured.</p>
<p align="left">“In discussing and grieving over what has happened to Mr. Davis and our many clinic patients (like him) we have considered our own obligations. First, we can honor our fundamental professional duty to help. … the Hippocratic Oath compels us to treat the sick according to our ability and judgment … .</p>
<p align="left">“Second, we can familiarize ourselves with legislative details and educate our patients” so they can receive the fullest possible benefits due them.</p>
<p align="left">“Finally, we can pressure our professional organizations to demand health care for all. … Lack of insurance can be lethal, and we believe our professional community should treat inaccessible coverage as a public health catastrophe and stand behind people who are at risk.</p>
<p align="left">“We find it terribly and tragically inhumane that Mr. Davis and tens of thousands of other citizens of this wealthy country will die this year for lack of insurance.”</p>

Breast cancer survivors invited to get their groove on

‘Breast Cancer Survivors Greatest Hits 2013’ celebrates survival with a 1970s theme
Breast cancer survivors invited to get their groove on

<p align="left">The Kentucky Cancer Program at the University of Louisville, Buckhead Mountain Grill and Rocky’s Italian Grill invite area breast cancer survivors to get their groove on on Tuesday, Oct. 8.</p>
<p align="left"><a href="">“Breast Cancer Survivors Greatest Hits 2013”</a> will be Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 5:30 p.m. at Buckhead Mountain Grill, 707 W. Riverside Dr., Jeffersonville, Ind. This annual event held exclusively for breast cancer survivors kicks off the weeklong celebration leading up to the Komen Louisville Race for the Cure<sup>©</sup>.</p>
<p align="left">WHAS11 anchor and “Great Day Live” host <a href="">Rachel Platt</a> will emcee this celebration of breast cancer survival with a 1970s theme. Participants are invited to wear clothing, hair styles and accessories of the 1970s, and contests for Best Platform Shoes, Grooviest Outfit, Best ’70s Hair and Widest Bell Bottoms will be held. The Kentucky Cancer Program also will honor area programs receiving grants for cancer awareness, treatment, support and research.</p>
<p align="left">For more information, contact Pam Temple-Jennings, cancer control specialist with the Kentucky Cancer Program at UofL, at 502-852-6318.</p>

Amy Holthouser, M.D., selected for executive leadership program in medical education

Amy Holthouser, M.D., selected for executive leadership program in medical education

Amy Holthouser, M.D.

University of Louisville associate dean for medical education and associate professor of medicine and pediatrics Amy Holthouser, M.D., has been selected as a member of the 2016-2017 class of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (ELAM). Holthouser is one of only 54 women in the nation selected for the program, and is the 18th UofL faculty member to participate.

ELAM is a year-long fellowship for women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry and public health in which they develop professional and personal skills required for leadership and management in health care. More than 900 ELAM alumnae hold leadership positions in institutions around the world.

Holthouser oversees the design and implementation of the MD program curriculum. She also leads the steering committee for the eQuality Project at UofL, a national pilot initiative to integrate competencies published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) related to provision of care for LGBT and DSD individuals into the school of medicine curriculum. Holthouser was a primary investigator on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to develop a required palliative care educational experience for medical students, and co-investigator on iCOPE, a five-year NIH grant funding the development of an interdisciplinary palliative care curriculum to improve the care of cancer patients.

Among her 24 teaching awards at the university and school of medicine level, Holthouser has received the American College of Physicians Outstanding Faculty Award and twice won the American Medical Women’s Association Gender Equity Award. The Louisville native is an alumna of the UofL School of Medicine where she also completed her residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics. In addition to her academic duties, Holthouser practices as a pediatric hospitalist at Kosair Children’s Hospital.

In ELAM’s 21-year history, 17 faculty members from UofL have completed the fellowship. Toni Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the UofL School of Medicine, is among UofL’s ELAM alumnae, and Diane Harper, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., chair of the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, was part of the 2015-2016 class. A complete list of UofL’s ELAM alumnae is included below.

Owensboro Health, UofL partner on new family medicine residency program

Owensboro Health, UofL partner on new family medicine residency program

Owensboro Health’s Parrish Medical Building will house a new family medicine residency program, a partnership of Owensboro Health and the University of Louisville.

Owensboro Health and the University of Louisville School of Medicine are partnering to create Owensboro’s first family medicine residency program. The program will be located at Owensboro Health’s Parrish Medical Building and is scheduled to open on July 1, 2020.

“By establishing a family residency program in Owensboro, we hope to improve the health of our region for years to come,” said Greg Strahan, president and CEO of Owensboro Health. “This program gives Owensboro Health a pivotal role in educating the next generation of physicians and will help meet an important need for more primary care in our area.”

The three-year program is expected to open with a class of six resident physicians and admit an additional six physicians each year. Residents will undertake a robust curriculum of classroom studies and clinical rotations, working alongside expert instructors and practicing physicians from a variety of specialties. They also will provide primary care at Owensboro Health’s family medicine location on Parrish Avenue, which means expanded health care access for area patients.

“Part of our vision for this program is that some physicians will want to continue practicing in Western Kentucky after they have completed their residency,” said Steve Johnson, vice president of government and community affairs for Owensboro Health. “For our system to be working toward that vision, with a valuable partner like UofL, is an exciting development for this region.”

The agreement between the two health care systems establishes UofL School of Medicine as the program’s academic sponsor, a key step toward obtaining approval and accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Under the affiliation agreement, UofL will provide a program director and faculty and also lend its expertise to help the program achieve and maintain accreditation.

“UofL has achieved success with its family medicine residency program in Glasgow, Ky., in terms of building relationships in the community and improving primary care,” said Brent Wright, M.D., UofL School of Medicine associate dean for rural health innovation, and vice chair for rural health and professor in the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine at UofL. “We plan to achieve the same success in Owensboro.”

Rural-based graduate medical education programs are important to physician distribution since physicians tend to practice within a 100-mile radius of where they did their residency training, Wright said.

The establishment of the residency program is also another positive step in the redevelopment of the Parrish Avenue campus, which was home to Owensboro Health Regional Hospital until 2013, when the system opened a new hospital on Owensboro’s east side. Since then, Owensboro Health has remodeled the Parrish campus, keeping or expanding key services including outpatient cancer treatment, family medicine and several specialty clinics.

“The residency program helps fulfill the promise we made to the community: that the Parrish campus would continue to provide access to care, support the regional economy and become an educational facility,” Strahan said. “We are especially grateful for the efforts of State Sen. Joe Bowen, who helped the project gain support in the Kentucky legislature. Now these dreams are becoming reality.”

UofL hosts famed trumpeter Doc Severinsen for benefit concert Apr. 7

Concert and gala to benefit Kentucky Lions Eye Center and UofL Jazz students
UofL hosts famed trumpeter Doc Severinsen for benefit concert Apr. 7

Doc Severinsen

"Heeeeere's Johnny!" That lead-in, followed by a big-band trumpet blast, was the hallmark of late-night television for three decades. “Johnny” was Johnny Carson, the announcer was Ed McMahon and the bandleader was Doc Severinsen. Beginning in 1962, “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson ruled the night airwaves for 30 years.

A Louisville audience will have the chance to hear Severinsen’s iconic big band sound next month. UofL’s Department of Ophthalmology and Jazz Studies Program will present “Jazz-4-Sight” featuring Severinsen performing with the UofL Jazz Ensemble at 8 p.m. April 7 at the School of Music’s Comstock Hall, 105 W. Brandeis Ave. Concert tickets are $50 a person, with all proceeds benefiting the Kentucky Lions Eye Center and UofL jazz students.

Doc Severinsen and His Big Band hit the road in 1992, following the final telecast of Carson’s show, and hasn’t stopped touring since. Audiences enjoy Severinsen’s shows not only because he shared their living rooms for so many years but also because of the Big Band repertoire, which includes Duke Ellington and Count Basie standards, pop, jazz, ballads, big band classics and, of course, “The Tonight Show” theme.

Severinsen, 90, can still play hard and hit all the high notes, a result of his continued commitment to studio practice and the refinement of his craft. The trumpeter also surrounds himself with the best in the business and enjoys sharing the spotlight. 

The public also is invited to a 6 p.m. gala that includes dinner and a silent auction at the University Club, 200 E. Brandeis Ave. 

Click to purchase tickets for the concert or gala. For questions or more information, contact the School of Music at 502-852-6907. 

Global satellite mini-conference on air pollution and health scheduled for Oct. 30-31 at University Club

UofL Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute provides free access to World Health Organization event
Global satellite mini-conference on air pollution and health scheduled for Oct. 30-31 at University Club

Air pollution from coal-fired power plants such as the Mill Creek Plant in Louisville can have a significant impact on health. (Photo: The Nature Conservancy)

The Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute and its Center for Healthy Air, Water and Soil at the University of Louisville will host a satellite mini-conference of the World Health Organization’s Global Conference on Air Pollution and Health on Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 30-31. The conference will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day at the University Club, 200 E. Brandeis Ave.

“We are pleased to be an official satellite mini-conference host site of the World Health Organization’s first global conference on air pollution and health,” said Ted Smith, Ph.D., Center for Healthy Air, Water and Soil Director. “This conference is a prime opportunity for Kentuckiana citizens who are interested in the impact air pollution has on health and well-being to share ideas and learn from experts around the globe as well as those in our own community.”

The mini conference will include video streams from the plenary session of the main conference in Geneva with an opportunity for discussions in Louisville to be shared with the main conference each day.

Tuesday’s session will open with remarks from Smith. A session will follow that examines the scientific evidence that exists showing the impact air pollution has on health with a discussion to follow mediated by Daniel Conklin, Ph.D., UofL professor of medicine.

Wednesday’s session will cover engaging the health sector as a leader of change in public policy, and communication, advocacy and partnerships to develop opportunities and remove barriers for promoting clean air policy.

Admission is free but reservations are required to receive a box lunch. To register, go to the online registration form here. For additional information, contact Lauren Anderson at

The event is organized in collaboration with the United National Environment Programme, World Meteorological Organization, Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Economic Commission for Europe and The World Bank.

Increasing access to psych therapies is focus of UofL lecture

Talk kicks off Depression Center’s 12th annual conference
Increasing access to psych therapies is focus of UofL lecture

David M. Clark, Ph.D.

The need to make psychological therapies widely available is the focus of the “Building Hope” public lecture on Thursday, Nov. 1.

David M. Clark, Ph.D., professor of experimental psychology at the University of Oxford in England and director of the Oxford Centre of Anxiety Disorders & Trauma, will present “Thrive: How Psychological Therapies Transform Lives and Save Money.” The event is part of the “Building Hope” public lecture series sponsored by the University of Louisville Depression Center and will be held at 6 p.m. at the Clifton Center, 2117 Payne St.

“Effective psychological treatments are available for most mental health problems, but the public rarely benefits. This can be changed,” Clark said. “The clinical and economic arguments for increasing access to psychological therapies are overwhelming.”

The lecture kicks off the Depression Center’s 12th annual conference at the Clifton Center on Friday, Nov. 2, that will focus on translating science into clinical practice for depression and anxiety disorders.

Conference sessions are geared toward psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners, primary care physicians and other mental health clinicians. Focusing on some of the most promising developments in biological psychiatry and psychotherapy, participants will learn about advanced methods for challenging clinical problems.

Keynote speakers include Clark, Mark A. Frye, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at the Mayo Clinic and director of the Mayo Clinic Depression Center, and Laura Wright McCray, M.D., associate professor and residency program director of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Vermont.

Continuing education credits are available for attendees.

Attendance is free for UofL physicians, nurses, faculty members, students, residents and fellows. Registration for other health care professionals costs $100. For more information, call 502-588-4886 or visit the website.

The conference is supported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Centerstone Kentucky, Norton Healthcare and Passport Health Plan.

The UofL Depression Center is Kentuckiana’s leading resource for depression and bipolar disorder treatment, research and education. It is a charter member of the National Network of Depression Centers, a consortium of leading depression centers that develops and fosters connections among members to advance scientific discovery and provide stigma-free, evidence-based care to patients with depressive and bipolar illnesses.



October 25, 2018

NIH institute director George F. Koob, Ph.D., to speak on neurobiology of addiction at Research!Louisville

NIH institute director George F. Koob, Ph.D., to speak on neurobiology of addiction at Research!Louisville

George F. Koob, Ph.D.

A greater understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying addiction could help communities such as Louisville and Southern Indiana cope with the opioid crisis, alcoholism and other problems related to substance use. George F. Koob, Ph.D., an internationally-recognized expert on alcohol and stress and the neurobiology of alcohol and drug addiction, will discuss his research on this topic in the keynote address for Research!Louisville.

Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one of the National Institutes of Health, will discuss “The Neurobiology of Addiction: View from the Dark Side,” on Friday, Sept. 15, at 1 p.m. in the Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building (KCCTRB) at the University of Louisville.

Koob’s talk will address how addiction is perpetuated by the motivation to alleviate emotional and physical distress created by abstinence from the drug. Addicted individuals compulsively use the drug in order to reduce the hypohedonia, anxiety, irritability and other symptoms of drug abstinence. Such negative reinforcement is known as the “dark side of addiction.” Koob’s research presents compelling evidence that plasticity in the brain’s emotional systems adapts to repeated drug taking and contributes to the development and persistence of compulsive drug seeking.

Research!Louisville is the annual exposition of health-related research in the Louisville Medical Center. The 2017 event, scheduled for Sept. 12-15, showcases scientific research, lectures and activities for scientists of all ages. Investigators from high school through professional faculty will present their research in five poster sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Awards for top research presentations will be announced on Friday following the keynote address. Research!Louisville is co-sponsored by UofL, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation/KentuckyOne Health and Norton Healthcare.

Events during the week include:

  • Women innovators – A panel of women entrepreneurs and innovators will discuss their experiences with the commercialization of university research by licensing to an established company and/or forming a new start-up company.  Panelists will share lessons they have learned and will discuss the "commercialization culture shift" of moving from academic research to working with industry. Tuesday, Sept. 12, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. in KCCTRB, 550 S. Hancock St., Room 124.
  • Kentucky Science Center – A preview in health-care training for biomedical-focused middle and high school students. Co-sponsored by UofL and Jewish Hospital and St. Mary's Foundation/KentuckyOne Health and in collaboration with the Greater Louisville Medical Society and Louisville Women in Medicine and Science (L-WIMS), students will work in sessions and hear from leaders in the science community. Students will be introduced to alternative science career opportunities and educational advancements with a biomedical focus. Pulse of Surgery will be one of the highlights, providing students the opportunity to observe a live-streamed open-heart surgery while asking questions of the operating room staff in real time. Pre-registration is required. Sessions are Wednesday, Sept. 13, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Kentucky Science Center, 727 W. Main St.
  • Beer with LOTS of Scientists – This evening gathering will be a get-to-know-you event, with seven or more UofL researchers introducing themselves and their work, then mixing and mingling with guests. Topics will include 3-D printing, pain, nanoparticles, cancer, aging and precision medicine. Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 8 p.m. at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St.
  • Translational Research Symposium – Seven areas of translational research will be highlighted with 10-minute presentations. Areas include cancer, environmental health, neurosciences and spinal cord injury, digestive health, cardiovascular disease, the microbiome, and clinical trials research and services. Thursday, Sept. 14, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. in room 124 of KCCTRB.
  • Across Sectors, Across Generations:  Achieving Health Equity for All – Rachel Thornton, M.D., Ph.D., is an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on childhood obesity and cardiovascular disease risk, health disparities and social determinants of health. She has expertise in racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care. Thornton is committed to informing the development of novel interventions to eliminate health disparities by addressing individual, family and community level factors that contribute to disparities in child and adolescent obesity and cardiovascular disease risk. Thursday, Sept. 14, at noon in room 101/102 of KCCTRB.

For additional information, poster abstract booklet and a program of events for the 22nd annual Research!Louisville, visit

UofL physicians conducting vaccine trial for children with relapsed tumors at Kosair Children’s Hospital

UofL physicians conducting vaccine trial for children with relapsed tumors at Kosair Children’s Hospital

Kenneth Lucas, M.D., injects Tyler Foster with a cancer vaccine made from Tyler's own cells.

Zach feels “pretty good.” Sam wants to be “done with shots!” And Tyler finds it helps to “just keep thinking that at least I’m getting out of school.”

They are normal boys who had normal lives until cancer came into the picture. All have faced the disease for two years or more, with surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. All were diagnosed with various malignant solid tumors, went into remission and then relapsed.

Today, however, they and their parents are finding hope in a Phase I research study led by Kenneth G. Lucas, M.D., chief of the division of pediatric hematology/oncology and stem cell transplantation at the University of Louisville. Leading a team of his colleagues at Kosair Children’s Hospital and in the UofL Department of Pediatrics, Lucas is making progress in developing a vaccine that one day could possibly prevent recurrence of some childhood cancers.

Lucas began the trial – the only one of its kind – while on the faculty of Penn State in 2011. Coming to Louisville in 2012, he now has three patients enrolled in the trial. Another 13 have previously completed the regimen. He uses the patient’s own blood cells in developing the vaccine.

“The vaccine is designed to stimulate the patient’s immune system to attack specific tumor proteins, and then fight the tumor,” said Lucas, who also is the chief of pediatric hematology/oncology at Kosair Children’s Hospital.

The vaccine is prepared and frozen in a cell therapy lab and then thawed for injection. Patients come to UofL’s Kosair Charities Pediatric Clinical Research Unit for a week of chemotherapy that helps make the tumor cells express these cancer proteins. These proteins enable the tumors to be killed by immune cells that are stimulated by the vaccine.

The following two weeks are devoted to vaccination, followed by another two weeks of observation for side effects to the vaccine. The process is repeated four times, making the treatment take anywhere from four to five months. Thus far, the vaccine has been well tolerated by most patients, Lucas said.

Patients may be referred by their own physician or can self-refer, Lucas said. Anyone interested in the trial should contact or 502-629-5820.

The trial is partially funded by the Children’s Hospital Foundation and raiseRED, a dance marathon fundraising effort organized by UofL students to support pediatric cancer research.

Sam Rosebrock, age 5, Morganton, N.C.

Like any 5-year-old, Sam Rosebrock of Morganton, N.C., is anxious prior to his injection.

“I don’t want a shot,” he repeatedly said amid tears as mom Denielle Rosebrock comforted him. After the injection, he asked her, “Are we done with our shots?” Hearing that there would be no more injections, he was happy to repeat, “Done with shots! Done with shots!”

Sam had neuroblastoma, a type of cancer most commonly found in young children that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body. Sam’s neuroblastoma was originally diagnosed in 2012 in the adrenal glands. Following chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, stem cell transplantation and antibody immunotherapy, he went into remission.

The cancer later came back in the groin area and left testicle. More chemo and immunotherapy followed, putting Sam into remission again. Sam’s oncologist in Charlotte, N.C., learned about the trial in Louisville and Denielle said it was easy to make the decision to enroll him.

“With neuroblastoma, even when you have no evidence of disease, the likelihood of it coming back is extremely high,” said Denielle, who with her husband, Mark, has another son, Isiah, age 10. “When you relapse, you have to do something.”

Zach Hartwell, age 20, Lyndonville, Vt.

Doing “something” also is uppermost in the mind of Bill Hartwell, father of 20-year-old Zach who was diagnosed in 2011 with a medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor found in children and occurring in the cerebellum, which is the part of brain located at the base of the skull, just above the brainstem. Bill, wife Nancy and Zach have been on a four-state odyssey since diagnosis, from their home in Lyndonville, Vt., to Dartmouth, N.H., where the diagnosis was confirmed, to treatment in Boston and now to Louisville.

Along the way, Zach had surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and more. He also experienced posterior fossa syndrome, a condition that affected his ability to move and speak.

Through a Facebook group, Parents of Kids with Medulloblastoma, Nancy learned about the experimental therapy.

“At 8 o’clock on a Saturday night, Nancy is checking Facebook and she saw information about Dr. Lucas and his trial, so she emailed him,” Bill said. “At 10 o’clock, he returns the email – it was just that quick – and says he thinks Zach may be eligible.”

Zach is the first patient in the trial with medulloblastoma. He receives a similar round of treatment as Sam: First week of chemotherapy, second and third weeks for vaccination, and fourth and fifth weeks for observation.

In speech halted by posterior fossa syndrome but still clear, Zach said, “I knew I was going to have to do something – chemo or radiation or both – and this just seemed like it was the better option.”

“To us, this treatment seems like a very logical thing to do, a very logical approach. And much less invasive than the other treatments he has had,” Bill said.

Tyler Foster, age 14, Beechmont, Ky.

The fact that the vaccine therapy is less invasive is a plus for Tyler Foster’s dad, Michael Foster of Beechmont, Ky.

“This is a lot milder than any other treatment he has had,” Michael said.  “I believe this has been the easiest treatment he has faced.”

Tyler is 14 and was originally diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma in 2013 in his right knee, femur and lung. It also is known as osteosarcoma and is a type of bone cancer. It often starts in the ends of the bones where new bone tissue forms as a young person grows.

After chemotherapy and surgeries, Tyler went into remission at Christmastime in 2013. In September 2014, the cancer came back, followed by more surgeries, including removing all of his femur and hip. He then underwent a rigorous chemotherapy regimen known as “ICE” – a three-drug combination of ifosamide, carboplatin and etoposide.

“It’s hard enough to hear your child has cancer. That’s a blow out of this world,” said Michael, who with wife Susan has another child, Alexis, age 20. “And then to hear it a second time is even harder.

“ICE was hard, very, very hard. We almost lost Tyler a couple of times. He had feeding tubes. He was vomiting. He vomited up around 17 liters (of fluid) in one day.

“So that was a pretty rocky road. But he got better and had radiation after that.”

Tyler speaks with the wisdom of a teenager who tests above his grade level but still is … well, a teenager.

“When I heard I had cancer, my first thought was that I was going to get out of school for awhile,” he said with a laugh.

The journey since, however, has the ginger-haired teen philosophical. “I just really have tried to not think too much about what was happening,” he said, “and just look towards the future, that one day, I can get over this.”

Hope for the future

That focus on the future is what keeps Bill Hartwell going, too. “We feel like this treatment is going to be the cure. People always talk about statistics, but we don’t even think about that kind of stuff.

“We saw this trial, the treatment seemed to make good sense, and so we think … this is going to cure Zach, and we’re going to move forward from there.”

Denielle Rosebrock has hope as well. “We don’t get ‘definites’ (definitive answers) because it is a trial and it’s very new,” she said. “We also know that participating in the trial is one of our choices. We have to do something to prevent the cancer from coming back. We know there is a lot of promise in it.”

“If this works, man, it would be terrific for other kids that face this,” said Michael Foster. Adds Tyler: “It helps me to know that if this does work, it wouldn’t put other kids through the same thing I’ve been through.”

HD digital video accompanying this story is available at Print-quality still photos can be found at Video and still photography furnished byKosair Children’s Hospital.

Research to Prevent Blindness awards RPB Stein Innovation Award to UofL researcher

Research to Prevent Blindness awards RPB Stein Innovation Award to UofL researcher

Douglas Dean, Ph.D.

Douglas Dean, Ph.D., the Robert W. Rounsavall Jr. and Gretchen C. Rounsavall Endowed Chair in Ocular Molecular Biology in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Louisville, has been awarded the 2015 RPB Stein Innovation Award from Research to Prevent Blindness.

The award is $300,000 over three years and provides funding to scientists actively engaged in research that investigates the visual system and the diseases that compromise its function. Dean is one of seven researchers at six institutions who have received the award since it was established in 2014.

“We are most grateful for the research support provided by Research to Prevent Blindness,” said Henry J. Kaplan, Evans Professor of Ophthalmology and chair of UofL’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. “Dr. Dean and his collaborators have recently made very important observations concerning the rescue of cone photoreceptors in retinitis pigmentosa, the leading form of hereditary retinal degeneration in the United States. His demonstration that cone photoreceptor demise in this disease appears related to ‘glucose starvation’ may have enormous translational impact.”

Dean’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health. He has published more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals including Cell, Molecular Cell, Nature and Genes & Development.

Prior to coming to UofL in 2004, Dean served on the faculty in the departments of Cell Biology and Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. He completed a three-year fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He then completed a second postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif.

Research to Prevent Blindness is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has channeled hundreds of millions of dollars to medical institutions for research into the causes, treatment and prevention of blinding eye diseases. For information on RPB, RPB-funded research, eye disorders and the RPB Grants Program, go to

Schapmire receives national award for leadership in oncology social work

Tara Schapmire, Ph.D., M.S.S.W., of the University of Louisville’s Interdisciplinary Program for Palliative Care and Chronic Illness, today receives the Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW)/American Cancer Society Leadership in Oncology Social Work Award for 2015. The national award recognizes an AOSW member for contributions to the field of oncology social work and leadership through administration, education, clinical practice or research.
Schapmire receives national award for leadership in oncology social work

Tara Schapmire, Ph.D., M.S.S.W.


Schapmire, an assistant professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and affiliated faculty member at the Kent School of Social Work, will receive the award and give remarks today at the AOSW Conference in Seattle.

Schapmire is co-investigator on a five-year, $1.5 million National Cancer Institute grant to create and evaluate an interdisciplinary oncology palliative care curriculum known as iCOPE (Interdisciplinary Curriculum in Oncology Palliative Care Education). The program is implemented across schools of social work, medicine, nursing and chaplaincy residency programs.

In addition to her work on iCOPE, Schapmire is a co-investigator on the $7.5 Million Kentucky LEADS Collaborative dedicated to reducing the burden of lung cancer in Kentucky through community-based interventions to educate providers and care for survivors, and the prevention and early detection of lung cancer.

As a practicing oncology social worker, Schapmire was responsible for securing grant funds to provide support for all aspects of psychosocial adjustment in all phases of the cancer experience by providing direct financial support, social support and teaching coping skills to patients and their families. She also created a palliative care program, support groups and provided continuing education for hospital employees in these areas.

“Dr. Schapmire’s work affirms UofL’s emphasis at addressing the comprehensive needs of cancer patients and their families through an interdisciplinary approach in treatment and education,” said Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D., the director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

“My nominators, and the committee who voted for me are all leaders in this field who equally deserve this award.  To be ‘lifted up’ and celebrated by these amazing people is especially meaningful,” Schapmire said.

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders created at UofL

Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders created at UofL

Dean Toni Ganzel, M.D.

Strengthening the provision of clinical care to patients and education and training to future physicians is an ongoing goal of the University of Louisville School of Medicine. The UofL Board of Trustees approved action in furthering that goal on Thursday (May 14) by establishing the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders, elevating the program from two divisions within the Department of Surgery.

Otolaryngology – also sometimes known as otorhinolaryngology – is the oldest medical specialty in the United States, according to the American Association of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Otolaryngologists are physicians trained in the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT) and related structures of the head and neck. They are commonly referred to as ENT physicians.

The Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders is one of 23 departments – 18 clinical and five basic science – comprising the School of Medicine. At UofL, board-certified otolaryngologists practice with University of Louisville Physicians-Ear, Nose & Throat.

“Elevating the otolaryngology and communicative disorders divisions to departmental status puts UofL on par with other such programs at medical schools throughout the United States and reflects the growth of the UofL program,” said Toni Ganzel, M.D., dean of the UofL School of Medicine. “It further demonstrates the value of the program to the School of Medicine and the university.”

“Creation of this department will provide the opportunity for continued growth and expansion of the services provided in Otolaryngology and Communicative Disorders,” said Kelly McMasters, M.D., Ph.D., the Ben A. Reid, Sr., M.D. Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery. “By establishing autonomy for this department, UofL will be able to increase the focus on the specific needs of this subspecialty in education, research and clinical care.”

UofL Optimal Aging Month continues with cooking demo, walks

The University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging’s Optimal Aging Month continues this week with a healthy cooking demo and participation in community walks.

The institute will host a healthy eating demonstration at Aposento Alto Food Pantry, 2093 Midland Trail in Simpsonville, at 4:45 p.m., Friday, Sept. 11. The program will feature information, recipes and demonstrations on ways to make healthy eating fun and flavorful for the entire family.

On Saturday, Sept. 12, the institute will participate in two community walks: the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s and the Kentuckian Rural Diabetes Coalition Community Walks.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s begins with registration and check-in at 8:30 a.m. at the Great Lawn at Waterfront Park in Downtown Louisville, 231 Witherspoon St. For information and to register, visit the Walk to End Alzheimer’s website.

The Kentuckian Rural Diabetes Coalition Walks will take place at several venues: Clear Creek Park in Shelby County; Shepherdsville City Park in Bullitt County; and Henry County Recreational Park. Registration and check-in will be at 9:30 a.m. with the walks getting underway at 10 a.m. For information, visit the coalition’s Community Walks website.

For information about Optimal Aging Month and the Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging, contact the institute at 502-852-5629.

Focused electrical blasts increase survival for patients with pancreatic cancer

Focused electrical blasts increase survival for patients with pancreatic cancer

Robert Martin, M.D., Ph.D.

Use of irreversible electroporation (IRE) doubles the survival time for patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer say researchers at the University of Louisville in a paper in the September edition of the Annals of Surgery (

“The appropriate and precise use of IRE in appropriately selected patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer can result in a median overall survival close to 24 months, which is nearly double the survival rate with the best new chemotherapy and chemo-radiotherapy,” said Robert Martin, M.D., Ph.D., director of surgical oncology at UofL.

IRE uses ultra-short but strong electrical fields to create holes in cell membranes, ultimately leading to cell death. The main use of IRE lies in tumor removal in regions where precision and conservation of the basic cellular matrix, blood flow and nerves are of importance.

In the study, 200 patients at six sites throughout the United States received IRE following chemotherapy. The patients were followed for up to seven years following their initial diagnosis and initiation of treatment. The average survival time for patients was close to two years.

IRE is commonly performed as an open surgery with an incision of about six to eight centimeters. This allows for better visualization for probe placement, as well as combined tumor removal as dictated for individual patients. This commonly requires a five- to seven-day hospital stay and a two- to three-week recovery for the patient to get back to their baseline quality of life

Pancreatic cancer has one of the highest mortality rates of all cancers and is expected to climb from the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States to the second by 2020. Ninety four percent of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis, and 74 percent of patients die within the first year of diagnosis.

“This study demonstrates that IRE, in conjunction with standard-of-care, may substantially prolong the survival rates of patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer,” Martin said. “While additional research is needed, ablation may represent an addition to the current standard of care for Stage III pancreatic cancer patients whose only treatment options until now have been chemotherapy or a combination of chemo-radiation therapy.”

Patients in the study were seen at UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health, Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, the Cleveland Clinic, Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Swedish Medical Center in Denver and Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Atlanta.

Martin initially reported these finding at the American Surgical Association annual meeting in April 2015.

How can 3D printing advance medicine and scientific research?

UofL's Tim Gornet will explain at the next “Beer with a Scientist” program August 26
How can 3D printing advance medicine and scientific research?

Tim Gornet, manager of the Rapid Prototyping Center at UofL

As the manager of the Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC) at the University of Louisville, Tim Gornet has collaborated on numerous exciting and groundbreaking research and medical applications. Most recently, the center created a three-dimensional model of a child’s defective heart to allow the surgeons to plan and prepare for his surgery.

At the next “Beer with a Scientist” event, Gornet will discuss more potential applications for 3D printing in medicine, scientific research and advanced manufacturing.

The program begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 26 at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

The Beer with a Scientist program began in 2014 and is the brainchild of UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D. Once a month, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.

Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged.

Organizers add that they also encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

For more information and to suggest future Beer with a Scientist topics, follow Louisville Underground Science on Facebook.

Match Day 2017!

Match Day 2017!

Match Day 2016

Fourth-year students in the UofL School of Medicine learned where they will embark on residency training during the Match Day celebration, Friday, March 17 at noon. Each student received an envelope informing the soon-to-be doctors where they will live, what medical specialty they will pursue, and who will join them for the next three to seven years of their training. Fourth-year students at medical schools across the nation all learn their residency destinations at noon EDT on Match Day.

UofL students celebrated Match Day at Mellwood Arts Center beginning at 11 a.m.

The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) provides a uniform process for matching medical school applicants with residency programs based on the preferences of both. The students interview with officials at residency programs in the fall of their final year of medical school. Students then submit their preferences to the NRMP, and residency programs submit their preferences for applicants. A matching algorithm uses those preferences to match individuals into positions, and students throughout the United States receive their match notices precisely at noon on the third Friday of March – Match Day.

Watch a video of the 2016 event.

The perfect match - medical students prep for their next phase of medical training

The perfect match - medical students prep for their next phase of medical training

Ethan Tomlinson and Ian Bastian

Fourth-year medical students now begin the process of planning where they will live and other logistics associated with a move to a new place. Most of the nearly 150 Class of 2019 students recently learned where they’ll complete the next three to seven years of residency training.

Each year, medical students throughout the United States receive their written match notices precisely at noon on the third Friday of March – Match Day. UofL medical students experienced a 97-percent match rate, with 42 percent going into primary care.

The National Resident Matching Program provides a uniform process for matching medical school applicants with residency programs based on the preferences of both. A matching algorithm uses those preferences to match individuals into positions.

Ethan Tomlinson already knew what was in his envelope because of a separate military match program, but he was excited to join his classmates in the Match Day celebration on Friday.

“The true beauty of my medical school experience is the friendships; those relationships and memories are what made the tough times better and the journey worthwhile,” he said.

Tomlinson, who also earned two undergraduate degrees at UofL, will continue his medical training in Internal Medicine as a captain in the U. S. Air Force at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

A native of Louisville, Tomlinson has a family history of military service, including his grandfather who served in the Marines and an uncle who was a fighter pilot in the Air Force.

Although Tomlinson had no military experience prior to medical school, he was accepted into the Health Professions Scholarship Program, where students agree to serve as a military physician in exchange for a full tuition scholarship and monthly stipend. He then joined the Air Force, and went on to complete Commissioned Officer Training and a course in Aerospace Medicine.

Ian Bastian of Madisonville, Ky., also completed medical school through the Health Professions Scholarship Program.

“I have enjoyed my medical school rotations at military treatment facilities,” said Bastian, a second lieutenant in the Army. “Treating soldiers and their families is a rewarding experience, and I look forward to continuing it during residency.”

Bastian will go to Madigan Army Medical Center located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord just south of Tacoma, Wash., for neurology residency training.

“My first encounter with a patient in the neurology clinic at the end of my first year was perhaps the most memorable aspect of medical school,” Bastian said. “Prior to that patient evaluation, I had not considered neurology as a career choice - it was that experience that led me into the neurology specialty.”

Both Tomlinson and Bastian say they are excited about the next step in their educational journeys.

 “I don’t know where my future might take me, but I hope to return to Louisville one day because I love my city. It will always be my first home,” Tomlinson said.

Watch the video from Match Day 2019

UofL physicians, student win 2015 Louisville Medicine essay contests

Mary G. Barry, M.D., editor of Louisville Medicine, announced the winners of the eighth annual Richard Spear, M.D., Memorial Essay Contest during the Greater Louisville Medical Society Presidents’ Celebration on May 31 in the Muhammad Ali Center. The theme of the physician essay contest was “Medicine and the Unexpected” for the practicing/life category and “Using Technology in Medicine Without Becoming a Robot” for the in-training/medical student category.
Nina Vasavada, M.D., was the winner in the practicing/life category for “The Unexpected in Front of Us.” Vasavada is an assistant clinical professor with the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension in the University of Louisville Department of Medicine. She practices with University of Louisville Physicians-Kidney Disease Program.
There was a tie in the in-training/medical student category. Joseph Bales, M.D., was the first of two winners for his piece, “The Machine in All of Us.” Bales will graduate from his residency in UofL’s Department of Emergency Medicine this month and will practice in College Station, Texas, beginning in July.
Sarah Khayat, a third-year medical student at UofL, was the second winner in the in-training/medical student category for her piece, “Hold the Phone.”
Spear was a respected Louisville general surgeon who also served on the faculty of the UofL School of Medicine. When he died in 2007, he left GLMS a bequest to fund the annual essay contest. Spear wished to support high quality writing about the practice of medicine. The winning essays will be published in Louisville Medicine’s July edition.