Can technology be used to treat eating disorders? Beer with a Scientist, Jan. 17

Can technology be used to treat eating disorders? Beer with a Scientist, Jan. 17

Cheri Levinson, Ph.D.

Eating disorders affect about 8 million people in the United States at any one time. Although a large majority is young women, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other types of eating disorders can affect men and people of any age. Cheri Levinson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and director of the Eating Anxiety Treatment Laboratory at the University of Louisville, will share some of her research in the treatment of eating disorders at the next Beer with a Scientist event, Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Levinson will discuss the lab’s research on the association between eating disorders and anxiety. In addition, she will describe therapies that incorporate technological innovations.

“The most common treatments for eating disorders only work for about 50 percent of individuals,” Levinson said. “In the Eating Anxiety Treatment Lab, we are working on developing novel treatments personalized to the individual,” Levinson said. “Many of our treatments use technology to help improve treatment and reach more people.”

Levinson’s talk begins at 8 p.m. onWednesday, Jan. 17, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. in Louisville. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

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.

UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D., created the Beer with a Scientist program in 2014 as a way to bring science to the public in an informal setting. Once a month, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science. For more information and to suggest future Beer with a Scientist topics, follow Louisville Underground Science on Facebook.

Upcoming Beer with a Scientist dates:  Mar. 14, Apr. 18.




January 9, 2018

Boland named interim chair of pediatrics at University of Louisville

Boland named interim chair of pediatrics at University of Louisville

Kimberly Boland, M.D.

University of Louisville School of Medicine Dean Toni Ganzel, M.D., has appointed Kimberly Boland, M.D., to serve as interim chair of the Department of Pediatrics. The appointment is effective July 1, 2018.

Boland has served as assistant dean of resident education and work environment in the Office of Graduate Medical Education at the UofL medical school since August 2016. Additionally, she holds the positions of executive vice chair of pediatrics, associate director of pediatric residency training and professor in the UofL Department of Pediatrics. Board-certified in pediatrics, Boland is a pediatric hospitalist with UofL Physicians – Pediatric Hospital Medicine and Norton Children’s Hospital.

“Kim Boland is an outstanding clinician educator, scholar and leader,” Ganzel said. “She is well positioned to lead the Department of Pediatrics now and into the future.”

In addition to overseeing the pediatric residency program for nine years as program director, Boland oversaw nine pediatric fellowship programs at UofL. She assisted in the creation of the department’s Development and Behavioral Fellowship, Pediatric Child Abuse Fellowship, Pediatric Pulmonary Fellowship, Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship and Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship. She also serves the university on the Promotion Appointment and Tenure Committee and the School of Medicine Wellness Committee.

She is a past recipient of the Paul Weber Award, the School of Medicine Master Educator Award and Dean’s Educator Award for Distinguished Teaching along with five clinical teaching awards and seven faculty peer-mentoring awards.

Boland was named a fellow of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program’s 2017-18 class. ELAM is a yearlong fellowship for women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry and public health and provides training and experiential learning to help expand the national pool of qualified women candidates for executive positions in the academic health sciences.

She also is immediate past chair of the Association of Pediatric Program Directors’ Mid-America Region and a member of its Curriculum Task Force and a past president of both the Kentucky Pediatric Foundation and the Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A Louisville native, Boland earned her undergraduate degree from Notre Dame University and her medical degree from UofL. She completed her residency and chief residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric critical care at St. Louis Children’s Hospital at Washington University in St. Louis.

Boland succeeds Charles Woods, M.D., who has been named pediatrics chair at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and Children’s Hospital at Erlanger after serving at UofL for 12 years. “We thank Dr. Woods for his many years of service and leadership at the School of Medicine and wish him well in his new position,” Ganzel said.



The epic battle between superbugs and humans – and our unexpected allies

Hear how we can win the war with drug-resistant bacteria at Beer with a Scientist, April 18
The epic battle between superbugs and humans – and our unexpected allies

Deborah Yoder-Himes, Ph.D.

We have been bombarded with the notion that bacteria are bad for us. You probably also have heard that germs are becoming more and more resistant to antibiotics, leaving us vulnerable to diseases that we thought were conquered. As scientists develop ever-more-powerful medications to fight bacterial infections, the bacteria are fighting back, and sometimes seem to be winning.

Will we eventually enter a post-antibiotic era where simple infections can kill us?

Deborah Yoder-Himes, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Louisville, assures us we are not yet doomed, but we do need to have a battle plan.

“If we take steps now to combat the rising rates of antibiotic resistance, develop new antibiotics and secure these medicines for future use, we can win the war against these bugs,” Yoder-Himes said.

How do we do this?

At the next Beer with a Scientist, Yoder-Himes will discuss how most bacteria are actually good for us, how pathogenic bacteria evolve to resist our most potent medications and how science can preserve our ability to fight illness-causing infections.

The talk begins at 8 p.m. on  Wednesday, Apr. 18, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. in Louisville. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

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.

UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D., created the Beer with a Scientist program in 2014 as a way to bring science to the public in an informal setting. Once a month, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.

Watch for info on the next Beer with a Scientist, scheduled for May 16.

UofL a site for patients who might be candidates for new drug therapy for peripheral T-cell lymphoma

CAR T-cells targeting CD4 protein granted orphan drug designation
UofL a site for patients who might be candidates for new drug therapy for peripheral T-cell lymphoma

William Tse, M.D.

iCell Gene Therapeutics announced Aug. 11 that the Food and Drug Administration has granted Orphan Drug Designation for its chimeric antigen receptor engineered T-cells directed against the target protein CD4 (CD4CAR) for the treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL).

William Tse, M.D., chief of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Division, Department of Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, said “We are very excited to have this opportunity to partner with iCell Gene Therapeutics to lead the efforts of preparing this cutting-edge immunotherapy into first-in-human clinical trial for patients suffering this extremely difficult-to-treat T-cell lymphoma.”

The Orphan Drug Designation program provides orphan status and associated development incentives, to drugs and biologics intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases or disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.

Yupo Ma, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology at Stony Brook University and chairman and chief scientific officer at iCell Gene Therapeutics, said, “CD4CAR could significantly enhance currently available treatment options for these patients. The Orphan Drug Designation is an important achievement as we advance our development plans for this promising treatment in T-cell hematologic cancers.”

For information about CD4DAR treatment for T-cell lymphoma at UofL, contact

About CAR T-cell Technology

A "chimeric antigen receptor" (CAR) engineered T-cell is a patient's T-cell (a component of the immune system) that has been genetically modified to express a protein on its surface with the capability to bind to a target protein on another cell. Upon binding the target protein, the CAR protein will send a signal across the cell membrane to the interior of the T-cell to set in motion mechanisms to selectively kill the targeted cell.

About PTCL

Although there are clinical development programs ongoing with CAR T-cells for CD19+ cell hematological malignancies, CD4+ peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) have not been targeted by a CAR therapy in a human trial. PTCLs account for 10–15 percent of all non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHLs) and are more difficult to treat in comparison to B-cell NHLs.

Furthermore, and with few exceptions, T-cell NHLs have poorer outcomes, lower response rates, shorter times to progression, and shorter median survival in comparison to B-cell NHLs. As a result, the standard of care for PTCLs is not well-established and the only potential curative regimen is bone marrow transplant (BMT).

However, not only is BMT poorly tolerated, but is not an option for a significant subset of patients with resistant disease. This leaves many patients with no curative options.

About CD4CAR

CD4CAR is in development for CD4+ T-cell malignancies. The novel CD4-specific chimeric antigen receptor engineered T-cells are properly-matched allogeneic human T-cells engineered to express an anti-CD4scFV antibody domain. An initial Phase I clinical study is being planned through collaboration between iCell Gene Therapeutics, the National Institutes of Health, Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Stony Brook Hospital and the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Division and the Clinical Trial Research Unit at James Graham Brown Cancer Center at University of Louisville.

About iCell Gene Therapeutics

iCell Gene Therapeutics is focused on developing CAR T and NK cells that target and destroy multiple types of cancer. The primary focus is to treat and cure malignancies that have very poor prognoses and few available curative treatment options. The goal is to eradicate these devastating diseases, and to offer patients with resistant cancer a chance at a cure. Diseases covered by the company’s proprietary CAR technologies include B and T cell lymphoma and leukemia, myeloproliferative neoplasms, myeloid dysplastic syndrome (MDS), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), multiple myeloma (MM), non-hematological (non-blood) cancers and autoimmune disorders. For more information, visit


UofL Human Subjects Protection Program earns reaccreditation

Participants in clinical trials are assured of professionalism, ethical standards
UofL Human Subjects Protection Program earns reaccreditation

Dr. Ken Lucas, right, checks Sam Rosebrock of Morganton, N.C., at UofL's Kosair Charities Pediatric Clinical Research Unit. The UofL office overseeing patients in research trials like Sam has earned reaccreditation for the next five years.

Research involving human subjects at the University of Louisville continues to follow the most stringent ethical and professional guidelines in existence, as evidenced by the UofL Human Subjects Protection Program earning reaccreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs.

The UofL Human Subjects Protection Program Office (HSPPO) was awarded full accreditation for the maximum period allowed, five years. The HSPPO was the first such program in Kentucky accredited by the association when it received its original accreditation in 2005.

“Accreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs means that people who volunteer to participate in research studies are assured that the highest standards of professionalism are maintained,” William M. Pierce Jr., Ph.D., executive vice president for research and innovation, said.

“We are proud of our staff in each of our research programs who work diligently to protect participants in research studies and maintain compliance with all regulations that govern research involving human subjects.”

An independent, non-profit accrediting body, the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection programs (AAHRPP) uses a voluntary, peer-driven, educational model to ensure that facilities conducting research with human participants meet rigorous standards for quality and protection. To earn accreditation, organizations must provide tangible evidence—through policies, procedures, and practices—of their commitment to scientifically and ethically sound research and to continuous improvement.

More than 60 percent of U.S. research-intensive universities and 65 percent of U.S. medical schools are either AAHRPP accredited or have begun the accreditation process. Sponsors and other funders recognize that AAHRPP-accredited organizations have more efficient operations, provide more comprehensive protections and produce high-quality data.

At UofL, the Human Subjects Protection Program Office helps to ensure that research involving human participants is conducted in accordance with federal and state regulations and university and sponsoring agency policies and procedures instituted to protect the rights and welfare of human research participants.

HSPPO upholds this commitment to the protection of human participants involved in research regardless of the funding source and regardless of the location of the research. HSPPO supports two established and independent Institutional Review Boards (IRB), which review and approve protocols for all research involving human participants, the Social/Behavioral/Educational IRB on UofL’s Belknap campus and the Biomedical IRB on the Health Sciences Center campus.

New immunotherapy treatment may clear cancer-causing HPV infections faster

Women with HPV 16, 18 infections needed for trial of therapeutic vaccine

Cervical cancer is the fourth most frequently occurring cancer in women. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is present in 99 percent of cervical cancers and is considered to be their cause. While most HPV infections will clear naturally within a few years, there has been no treatment available to hasten or improve the chance of natural eradication.

A new therapeutic vaccine, GTL001, developed by Genticel to clear HPV strains 16 and 18 – the types most likely to cause cancer – is being evaluated for safety in a Phase I clinical trial at the University of Louisville. Unlike prophylactic vaccines, which prevent diseases, therapeutic vaccines fight diseases after an individual is infected in a process known as immunotherapy. Physicians at UofL are seeking women with these infections to participate.Although HPV infections are detected in a Pap smear, there has been no standard treatment to eradicate an infection other than hoping it will clear naturally and monitoring for the development of precancerous lesions. Thus, finding a treatment for HPV will be an important step in preventing cancer. Prophylactic vaccines can prevent some HPV infections, but they are not effective against existing infections.

“While prophylactic vaccines such as Gardasil® are available for those who choose to use them, many women are not choosing to be vaccinated. In addition, most of the women in our population are older than the vaccine movement, so they may not have had the vaccine and may have acquired HPV infections,” said Diane Harper, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., chair of the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine at UofL and a professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

Women age 25-65 who have been diagnosed with HPV 16 or HPV 18are needed to participate in a small Phase I tolerability clinical trial of GTL001 with only a three-month follow-up period. Participants must not have high-grade lesions (HSIL) as determined by Pap smear. In addition, participants must not have received an HPV vaccine and must not be pregnant or breastfeeding.

Participants in the study will receive two injections at six-week intervals, as well as various tests and assessments. All study-related visits, tests and medications will be provided at no cost. In addition, participants may be reimbursed for travel expenses.

Participants will be enrolled through early 2016. Current trial locations include Louisville, Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio.

Women who would like to participate in the trial may contact Angela Siegwald at or 502-852-2043.


October 28, 2015

University Writing Center ready to help in new HSC location

University Writing Center ready to help in new HSC location


No matter what kind of writing project you may have this year, the University Writing Center can help you make your writing stronger. The University Writing Center’s Health Sciences Center campus office is now in K-Wing, Room 2028 and is open for appointments on Tuesdays from 10-4 and Thursdays from 9-1.

The University Writing Center works with all members of the UofL community – students, faculty, and staff – to improve their writing. Writing Center consultants provide one-on-one consultations that help writers address concerns about their drafts and provide strategies for improving writing skills. Consultants work with writers at any point in the writing process, from planning and organization to revision. At the HSC office, consultants work with writers on science and technical writing, including research articles, grant proposals and dissertation chapters and proposals, as well as IRB applications and other professional and scholarly work. Consultants can help writers with personal statements, job letters, CVs and other genres of writing. The Writing Center is not an editing service, but works with writers to offer responses to their drafts and suggestions for revision.

To make an appointment through the online scheduling system, log in to the University Writing Center website using your UofL user name and password, and click on “Appointments.” To make an appointment in our HSC location, select that schedule in the drop-down menu at the top of the schedule page. You also are welcome to make appointments at our Ekstrom Library location.

In addition to consultations, the University Writing Center offers workshops on writing through courses, campus organizations and online. You also will find handouts and videos about common student writing issues and answers to common writing questions.

If you have questions or want to know more, visit the website, email, or call 852-2173.


Image by Pete O'Shea.

August 30, 2017

Solving the puzzles of refugee health care

UofL medical students introduced to complexities of treating refugees resettled in Louisville
Solving the puzzles of refugee health care

MeNore Lake and Rahel Bosson, M.D.

For refugees who have fled their home countries, resettling in a completely new culture can be overwhelming. Not only are they often unable to speak the language, they face bewildering systems of health care, money, transportation and more. Some have never even used electricity.

“One of the common things is how a microwave works because microwaves are freaky,” said Bethany Hodge, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor and director of the Global Education Office of the University of Louisville School of Medicine. “If you are coming from a place where you didn’t have electricity, let alone microwaves where you put something in a box and push a button and it’s flaming hot and you burn yourself because you don’t see it coming, it can be frightening.”

Students in the School of Medicine were introduced to the struggles of resettling refugees and the agencies that assist them in Kentucky at “Refugees and Our Competencies,” a Compassion Rounds presentation hosted by the UofL chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) on Nov. 30. Hodge and Rahel Bosson, M.D., assistant professor in the UofL School of Medicine and director of the Refugee Health Program, familiarized the students with some of the health concerns of these individuals and issues confounding their introduction to the U.S. health-care system.

Refugees may have health problems related to trauma or injury experienced in their home countries, as well as health conditions that have been neglected during their transition from a life in peril to resettlement in the United States. Hodge coached the students on how to navigate these issues sensitively in conducting a health history and physical. To complicate matters further, the patients may have different naming or date customs, and missing or fragmented medical records.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the international body governing refugee status, refugees are individuals who have been forced to flee their home country because of persecution, war or violence. Typically, they leave their home countries for refugee camps in neighboring nations. Fewer than 1 percent of refugees who apply to UNHCR are resettled in a third country such as the United States, Canada or a European country. Most of the approximately 2,500 refugees arriving in Kentucky annually in recent years have come from Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Iraq. Refugee resettlement in Kentucky is coordinated by Catholic Charities’ Kentucky Office for Refugees.

Through the UofL Refugee Health Program, part of the UofL Global Health Initiative of the Department of Medicine, individuals are provided health assessments, immunizations, school physicals and other services. Bosson said the program addresses health and other needs to enable refugees to become self-sufficient as quickly as possible.

“Refugee health is complex, and health is really more than just the absence of disease. We address the varied components of a person’s health through partnerships in community health, education, social services and economic empowerment,” Bosson said. “The idea is to help these refugees move from a mode of survival to a platform where they can thrive and succeed.”

MeNore Lake, a fourth-year medical student and co-chair of the UofL GHHS chapter, also founded the Kentucky Refugee Outreach Program in which medical students are collaborating with the Refugee Health Program, UofL School of Nursing and Kentucky Office for Refugees to reach the newly arrived refugees in Louisville. The group is designing a standardized orientation plan for familiarizing newly arrived refugees with the U.S. health-care system.

“We are working on a process for telling them:  What can you expect the first time you go to see the doctor here in the U.S.? What are the levels of care that we have? What happens if you call 911? What are other options?” Lake said. “These are things we may take for granted because we have grown up in this country, but something that helps them transition to life here in Louisville and America.”

The refugees’ acclimation to life in Kentucky is supported by Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Inc.,Migration and Refugee Services of Catholic Charities and the International Center in Bowling Green. These organizations help with setting up apartments for the new residents, language instruction and help in finding employment and transportation. The agencies try to help the refugees become self-sufficient within eight months of their arrival.

The Gold Humanism Honor Society recognizes students, residents and faculty who are exemplars of compassionate patient care and who serve as role models, mentors and leaders in medicine. GHHS members are nominated by their peers. The society is a nationwide program of the Gold Foundation.


December 21, 2016

GEMS: Ushering homegrown talent into medicine for 30 years

Guaranteed Entrance to Medical School (GEMS) smooths the path for talented Kentucky students into a medical career
GEMS:  Ushering homegrown talent into medicine for 30 years

Sunshine Smoot, M.D.

When she was in 8th grade, Breathitt County native Sunshine Smoot decided she wanted to be a pediatrician. As a Governor’s Scholar after her junior year in high school, she happened to overhear one of the instructors talking with another student about GEMS, a program that provides gifted high school students with Guaranteed Entrance to Medical School (GEMS) at the University of Louisville even before they start college.

“I remember her explaining what a one-of-a-kind program GEMS was, how those selected had unique opportunities in undergrad that others would not have until much later in their medical careers and how the GEMS were a close-knit group seen around campus together,” Smoot said. “Overhearing that one conversation affected my whole life.”

For 30 years, GEMS has provided mentoring and support for nearly 300 academically talented youth from across Kentucky interested in becoming physicians by providing a clear path to complete college and enter medical school. Each academic year, about 10 students are admitted to the program as freshmen entering UofL.

Established in 1988, GEMS paves the way for the students selected for the program as they enter UofL as undergraduates knowing they will have automatic admission to the UofL School of Medicine as long as they maintain certain academic standards. In addition, GEMS students have the opportunity to shadow practicing physicians and faculty, participate in seminars, serve the Louisville community and build relationships with other students who have the goal of becoming a physician.

The students retain their automatic admission to the UofL School of Medicine as long as they have maintained a 3.4 cumulative and science grade point average in undergraduate work, scored at or above the national mean on each section of the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), and participated fully in program activities.

Kevin Trice, M.D., M.B.A., now a director of sleep medicine at Baptist Hospital in Madisonville, Ky., said GEMS gave him the confidence and freedom to pursue medicine.

“It completely changed my trajectory. I was interested in medicine, but planned to pursue engineering since it was easier and I had a better chance,” Trice said. “Once I was accepted, it relieved me of the anxiety and stress common in undergraduate pre-med students.”

James Frazier, M.D., was a member of the 1990 GEMS class and graduated from the UofL School of Medicine in 1998. Now the vice president of medical affairs at Norton Healthcare, Frazier said the GEMS program was life changing.

“I owe everything to GEMS. They took a chance on me right out of high school. It took a lot of pressure off that I saw my future classmates going through,” Frazier said. “You would see those who were trying to get in, how stressed they were about MCAT and maintaining their GPA. It definitely gave me an advantage not having to worry about maintaining perfect grades.”

Frazier said the freedom from stress allowed him to broaden his undergraduate education.

“Because of that reduced stress, I got to take more well-rounded classes – history, economics, finance – than if I had to maintain a 4.0 GPA. It helped me when I started private practice to have a little knowledge about the business world and how to run practice,” Frazier said.

Scott Sullivan, M.D., a member of the 1989 GEMS class and 1996 alumnus of the UofL School of Medicine, credits the program with providing resources he needed to enter medicine.

“I doubt I would be in medicine without the program. Living in a rural area and never having much exposure to medicine, I lacked mentors and direction. The program provided both, which proved to be invaluable,” said Sullivan, who is from Ballardsville, Ky.

Now an ob/gyn and specialist in maternal-fetal medicine, Sullivan is a professor at Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C.

“Having access to dedicated and experienced mentors at the age of 18 was incredibly helpful,” Sullivan said. “They got me on the right track very quickly. They gave mentorship not only about how to become a physician, but how to be interested in public health, education and community involvement.”

Another advantage for students who have participated in the program is the relationships they built with colleagues and mentors that enrich their college and medical school experience, including physicians, researchers and faculty in the School of Medicine.

“The most valuable part is the people you meet and you are with for four years in undergrad and medical school. For those eight years you are extremely tight. I am still in close contact with all the people in GEMS with fair regularity,” Frazier said. “We have a 20th reunion coming up and I am looking forward to seeing them. Having that network of people here in town is invaluable.”

“The program was very forward thinking at the time as a way to keep Kentucky physicians in the state, and I believe they have done a pretty good job,” Frazier said. “It was a very progressive thing for UofL to have done 30 years ago, and I’m happy the school has supported it for so long.”

Smoot was admitted to the GEMS program in 1997 and graduated from UofL School of Medicine in 2006. She now is a pediatrician at Juniper Health in Campton, Ky.

“I often wonder if I had not happened to overhear a chance conversation, being from Eastern Ky., would I have gone to UofL for my undergraduate years, and then on to UofL medical school?” Smoot said. “Looking back now, I can’t imagine a different past, and I certainly would regret missing out on the friendships I made at UofL 20 years ago that still mean the world to me.”



Number of students participating in GEMS 1988-2018:     290

Number of GEMS students who have graduated from UofL School of Medicine:   148

Number of GEMS students currently enrolled in UofL School of Medicine:  27

Number of GEMS students enrolled or graduated from another school of medicine:  19

Number of GEMS students currently enrolled in UofL as undergraduates:  39

Number of GEMS students who were Kentucky Derby Festival princesses:  5 (1 Queen)

Number of Kentucky counties represented by GEMS students:  49

Number of GEMS students who have completed or are enrolled in MD/PhD programs:  6



September 20, 2018

UofL Hospital continues innovation for best stroke care with patient follow-up pilot

UofL Hospital continues innovation for best stroke care with patient follow-up pilot

ULH AHA/ASA Get with the Guidelines Award 2018

The University of Louisville Hospital – Comprehensive Stroke Center is piloting a new effort to provide follow-up care for stroke patients after they leave the hospital. UofL Hospital’s U Care is designed to support continued recovery for patients following their inpatient stay.

“We want to ensure that patients have all they need when they leave the hospital to successfully continue their recovery at home – education, medications and a phone number to call if there are any problems,” said Paula Gisler, administrative director of the UofL Hospital Stroke Center.

U Care was developed in partnership with Lacuna Health, a subsidiary of Kindred Healthcare, to follow up with patients after they leave the hospital. Registered nurses with U Care reach out to patients by phone on a regular schedule to monitor the patients’ recovery progress, check their medications, ensure they have made appropriate follow-up appointments and answer any questions or health concerns that arise. The nurses have access to the patients’ health records and can escalate any concerns to hospital staff or physicians if a patient requires further clarification or intervention. The program pilot, which began in June, will follow 250 stroke patients for 45 days after discharge, whether they went home or to a rehab facility for recovery.

Patients and their families also may call the nurses at U Care if they have questions or concerns related to their stroke. In addition, the program will record levels of patient satisfaction at the rehab centers.

“At UofL Hospital, we continually strive for excellence in the acute treatment of stroke patients,” said Kerri Remmel, M.D., Ph.D., medical director of the UofL Hospital Stroke Center and chair of the UofL Department of Neurology. “U Care adds the vital step of thoroughly programmed follow-up with stroke patients to ensure they continue recovery, avoid unnecessary readmission to the hospital and prevent a second stroke.”

Lacuna Health administers U Care for the hospital, and is monitoring its success to make further improvements and to adapt the program to other patient populations.

“We are thrilled to support the University of Louisville Hospital – Comprehensive Stroke Center’s U Care program with our RN-led clinical AfterCare model. Patients and their caregivers need more resources and ongoing support when managing the transition from a hospitalization to another setting or home. We look forward to implementing this model and future programs to help UofL Hospital provide a differentiated patient experience for the communities it serves,” said Brian Holzer, M.D., M.B.A., C.E.O. of Lacuna Health.

U Care is yet another innovation in quality stroke care by the staff at the UofL Hospital, the first hospital designated as a comprehensive stroke center in Kentucky by the Joint Commission. In addition, UofL Hospital once again has been awarded the top level of distinction by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association with the Get With The Guidelines® Target:  Stroke Elite Plus, Gold Plus award. The award recognizes the hospital’s success in providing the most appropriate stroke treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence. Hospitals must achieve 85 percent or higher adherence to all Get With The Guidelines-Stroke achievement indicators for two or more consecutive 12-month periods and achieve 75 percent or higher compliance with five of eight Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Quality measures to receive the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

UofL Hospital has achieved the highest recognitions for stroke care for 12 years.

About stroke

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the United States suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, someone dies of a stroke every four minutes, and nearly 800,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

When someone is having symptoms of a stroke – slurred speech, sudden leg or arm weakness, facial drooping, loss of balance or visual changes – getting them to the hospital quickly can mean the difference between recovery and permanent disability. One of the best treatments for ischemic stroke is treatment with the clot-busting drug, intravenous tissue plasminogen activator, or IV tPA. If given in the first three hours after the start of stroke symptoms, IV tPA has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of stroke and lessen the chance of permanent disability. UofL Hospital Stroke Center staff strive to deliver IV tPA to appropriate patients within 45 minutes to one hour from the time they arrive at the hospital.

The UofL Hospital Stroke Center also offers clot removal procedures that can limit or reverse stroke symptoms in patients whose symptoms began up to 24 hours prior to arrival at UofL Hospital. For both clot removal and IV tPA, “time is brain.”  The more quickly a patient can receive either treatment, the better the patient outcome.



August 23, 2018

Three neurosurgeons add expertise to UofL

Andaluz, Ding and Sieg will provide specialized surgical care, education and research at UofL School of Medicine and UofL Physicians
Three neurosurgeons add expertise to UofL

Andaluz, Ding and Sieg

Three new surgeons have joined the University of Louisville Department of Neurological Surgery this summer. Each of these physicians brings highly specialized clinical skills that will benefit patients in Louisville and throughout the region through University of Louisville Physicians – Neurosurgery, as well as provide advanced training and conduct research at the UofL School of Medicine. They will perform surgeries at UofL Hospital and Jewish Hospital, a part of Kentucky One Health.

“I am excited to have these three highly skilled neurosurgeons join our already exceptional group in the Department of Neurological Surgery and at UofL Physicians. The added expertise they bring with them will benefit our patients greatly as well as our community here in Louisville,” said Joseph S. Neimat, M.D., chair of the UofL Department of Neurological Surgery.

Norberto Andaluz, M.D., is director of skull base surgery and professor of neurosurgery in the UofL Department of Neurological Surgery. His areas of clinical interest include pituitary tumors, aneurysms, brain tumors, arteriovenous malformations, intracerebral hemorrhage, carotid artery disease, Moyamoya disease, skull base surgery, endoscopic brain surgery and minimally invasive crania and spinal surgery.

Andaluz completed his medical education and residency at the Universidad Nacional de Rosario and at Instituto de Neurología y Neurocirugía, Sanatorio Parque, in Rosario, Argentina. He completed fellowships in neurosurgery at Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center and in cerebrovascular surgery at the University of Cincinnati Department of Neurosurgery.

Dale Ding, M.D., assistant professor in the UofL Department of Neurological Surgery, cares for patients with cerebrovascular disorders, including all causes of hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke, using both neurosurgical and endovascular approaches. He has clinical expertise in surgically treating brain aneurysms, brain and spinal vascular malformations, intracranial and extracranial atherosclerosis, carotid stenosis, acute ischemic stroke, Moyamoya disease and idiopathic intracranial hypertension.

Ding graduated from the Duke University School of Medicine, completed residency at the University of Virginia, and completed fellowships in cerebrovascular and skull base surgery at Auckland City Hospital, New Zealand, and endovascular surgical neuroradiology at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. His research interests include the role of inflammation in stroke, computational modeling of blood flow in cerebrovascular disorders, clinical outcomes of patients with cerebrovascular disease and exploring the roles of new endovascular devices and surgical technologies.

Emily Payne Sieg, M.D., is assistant professor and director of neurotrauma in the UofL Department of Neurological Surgery. She will provide neurosurgical care for traumatic cranial and spinal cord injuries, neurocritical care and advanced neuromonitoring, and minimally invasive and complex spine surgery.

Sieg earned her medical degree at Penn State College of Medicine and completed her residency at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. She also completed fellowships in neurocritical care and complex spine surgery at Penn State. Her research interests include clinical and translational research in neurotrauma and critical care, including spinal cord injury, brain trauma and peripheral nerve injury.

These and other physician faculty members in the UofL School of Medicine provide patient care through the multispecialty group practice, UofL Physicians.



August 15, 2018

UofL neurosurgeons find spine surgery patients less likely to be opioid dependent after surgery

UofL neurosurgeons find spine surgery patients less likely to be opioid dependent after surgery

Mayur Sharma, M.D., M.Sc.

Spine surgeons and researchers at the University of Louisville, concerned about potential opioid misuse resulting from pain management related to surgery, have discovered positive news in a study of back surgery patients. The study, conducted by researchers in the UofL Department of Neurological Surgery, concludes that patients undergoing surgery for degenerative spondylolisthesis are less likely to be dependent on opioids after than before the surgery.

The national opioid epidemic affects millions of Americans. Overdoses claimed more than 42,000 lives in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up from 33,000 in 2015, and Kentucky has the fifth highest rate of overdose deaths of any state, at 33.5 per 100,000 population. Unfortunately, many people who abuse opioids were introduced to the drugs through a physician’s prescription to control pain.

Spine surgery patients deal with an immense amount of pain both before and after surgery. Opioids are used to manage that pain,” said Mayur Sharma, M.D., M.Ch., a resident in the UofL Department of Neurological Surgery who led the study. “Patients have been abusively using opioids for pain resulting in the recently declared national opioid crisis. Our work indicates that surgery for degenerative spondylolisthesis is associated with a reduced risk of opioid dependence.”

In the research, published last week in Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, the authors analyzed records for 10,708 patients who had surgery between 2000 and 2012 for degenerative spondylolisthesis, a condition in which one vertebra slips over another one, compressing the nerves in the spinal column, most often occurring in the lower back. The researchers found that 14.85 percent of the patients were opioid dependent within one year prior to the surgery, and 9.9 percent were opioid dependent 3 to 15 months after the surgery. Most of the patients received decompression and fusion surgery for the condition. The authors concluded that overall, opioid dependence was reduced by nearly 5 percent following surgery for degenerative spondylolisthesis.

In addition to the reduction in dependency, analysis of the records showed that younger age and prior opioid dependence were associated with a higher risk for post-surgery opioid dependence. This information may guide physicians in predicting which patients are at higher risk for opioid dependence following surgery.

“It is important to note that 10 percent of patients who come for surgery for degenerative spondylolisthesis will be opioid dependent after surgery. These patients require special attention. Our paper discusses some of the predictive factors to consider,” Sharma said.

Factors predicting opioid dependence in patients undergoing surgery for degenerative spondylolisthesis: analysis from the MarketScan databases,” was coauthored by Sharma, Maxwell Boakye, M.D., chief of spinal neurosurgery, Beatrice Ugiliweneza, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., assistant professor, and Zaid Aljuboori, M.D., of UofL, and colleagues at University of California, Davis and Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. 


June 26, 2018

Answering the call for LGBTQ health equity

Health professionals can improve practices and join provider database at UofL LGBTQ Health Summit Sept. 12
Answering the call for LGBTQ health equity

Jennifer Potter, M.D.

At least once a day, the University of Louisville LGBT Center receives a call from a person asking for the name of an LGBTQ-friendly physician. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals often report that they avoid the health care system because they experienced discrimination in a medical setting. This can lead to poorer health outcomes for these individuals.

“The community needs more health care providers who fully understand what it means to be affirming to members of the LGBTQ community, and we need a way to let the community know how to find them,” said Stacie Steinbock, director of the Health Sciences Center satellite office of the UofL LGBT Center.

Physicians and other health care providers will learn specific skills for the care of LGBTQ patients at the LGBTQ Health Summit, Monday, Sept. 12 at the UofL School of Medicine. They also will have the opportunity to join a web-based network of LGBTQ-friendly providers to give potential patients a resource for finding affirming care.

Jennifer Potter, M.D., advisory dean and director of the Castle Society at Harvard Medical School and an international expert on LGBTQ and women’s health, will facilitate workshops on how to take a sexual history appropriate for persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and how to identify personal biases and develop skills for responding productively to witnessed micro-aggressions in the health care environment.

In addition, physicians and other practitioners will participate in a community forum and small group discussions with LGBTQ community members to enhance providers’ understanding of this patient base. The day-long symposium also will address hormone protocols for transgender patients and converting medical educational materials to scholarship.

“Historically, LGBTQ health has not been part of any health care or medical school curriculum,” said Suzanne Kingery, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at UofL. “It is only recently that a handful of medical schools, with UofL at the forefront, have started to do this kind of training. This health summit is a wonderful opportunity for health care providers to learn about LGBTQ care so they can provide affirming care for their patients and follow best practices.”

The event is part of the eQuality project at UofL, which works to improve health care and health equity for LGBTQ individuals, those who are gender non-conforming (GNC) and persons who experience differences in sexual development (DSD). The project began in 2014 with the mission to develop and implement a comprehensive curriculum for the UofL School of Medicine that requires students to learn, practice and demonstrate knowledge and attitudes required for excellent care of these patients.

The LGBTQ Health Summit begins at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 12 at the UofL School of Medicine. The event is sponsored by the UofL School of Medicine Office of Undergraduate Medical Education, Office for Community Engagement and Diversity, and LGBT Center. All workshops offer continuing education credit for physicians and nurses. Register for the workshops individually at

UofL president honored for leadership in employee health management

Ramsey given Jerry Noyce Executive Health Champion Award by Health Enhancement Research Organization
UofL president honored for leadership in employee health management

UofL President James Ramsey, center, accepts the Jerry Noyce Executive Health Champion Award.

University of Louisville President James Ramsey has won a national award for his dedication to improving health and corporate performance.

Ramsey received the award Sept. 30 at the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) forum and meeting in San Diego. The HERO Jerry Noyce Executive Health Champion Award was given to Ramsey because his “personal and professional dedication to health exemplifies what this award seeks to honor” according to Noyce, president and CEO of HERO.

The Executive Health Champion Award recognizes a person of senior leadership status who has made outstanding contributions toward the advancement of employee health management within their company. According to HERO, the award was developed to acknowledge the significant role leadership plays in establishing and maintaining a culture of health in the workplace.

Ramsey is credited with driving year-over-year success for the University’s employee wellness program, “Get Healthy Now,” which has more than 4,000 participants and has been used as a model for a statewide strategic wellness initiative called “Get Healthy Kentucky.”

“Our job as leaders is to do what is right for our employees,” Ramsey said in his acceptance speech. “This is fundamental to effective leadership. Regardless of what our financial statements say, our employees are our most valuable assets.”

Under Ramsey’s leadership, “Get Healthy Now” has helped the university reduce health care claims by $4.3 million, with program participants realizing an average claims savings of $1,300 per person (in 2012). Four years into the program, the University achieved a benefit-to-cost ratio, or return on investment, of 7.16:1.

Ramsey has also used his leadership and influence to drive improvements and growth across campus. For example, the university graduates nearly 1,000 more students each year (a 60 percent increase in its graduation rate), and has become one of America’s fastest-growing research universities, as measured by National Institutes of Health funding.

In addition to driving positive health and academic results for the University of Louisville, Ramsey’s leadership has helped UofL secure several awards and recognitions, including the Business First’s Healthiest Employer of Louisville Award, the American Heart Association Platinum Start! “Fit-Friendly employer,” and the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Worksite Wellness Award.

Ramsey was nominated for the award by Patricia Benson, director of UofL’s Get Healthy Now program. Benson credits Ramsey for the success and growth of UofL’s health and fitness initiatives for its employees—more than two thirds of the school’s employees are enrolled in the Get Healthy Now program.  “The campus community is very familiar with President Ramsey’s healthy, competitive spirit and the ripple effect it has on his closest advisors and every member of the Cardinal family,” wrote Benson is her nomination letter.


James Graham Brown Cancer Center becomes first site in Kentucky providing Keytruda, newly FDA-approved for advanced melanoma

James Graham Brown Cancer Center becomes first site in Kentucky providing Keytruda, newly FDA-approved for advanced melanoma

Jason A. Chesney, M.D., Ph.D.

A newly FDA-approved treatment for patients with advanced or inoperable melanoma who are no longer responding to other drugs is now available to patients at the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health. As a site for Keytruda’s research clinical trial, the cancer center is the first in Kentucky to offer the drug now that it is approved.

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) was given accelerated approval by the FDA Sept. 4 and is the first approved drug in the United States that blocks a cellular pathway known as PD-1, which restricts the body’s immune system from attacking melanoma cells. It is approved for use following other treatments if those treatments fail.

Melanoma accounts for approximately 5 percent of all new cancers in the United States and occurs when cancer cells form in skin cells that make the pigment responsible for color in the skin. According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 76,100 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma and 9,710 will die from the disease this year.

Keytruda represents a new breed of cancer treatment, Jason Chesney, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director of the Brown Cancer Center, said. “Keytruda is designed to galvanize an immune system attack on tumors by blocking the PD-1 pathway,” he said. “Left unchecked, this pathway allows cancerous cells to pass undetected.

“The drug shows greatest promise as a combination therapy, and this approval, handed down almost two months ahead of schedule, clears the drug for use on patients with advanced skin cancers who have already taken Yervoy (ipilimumab).”

“Adding to the body of research on new, advanced treatments exemplifies the James Graham Brown Cancer Center’s leadership on a regional, and even national, level,” said Mark Milburn, vice president, oncology services, KentuckyOne Health.  “The expertise from University of Louisville partnered with the statewide reach of KentuckyOne Health helps citizens all over the Commonwealth and beyond with increased access and new hope to fight cancer.”

The FDA granted Keytruda breakthrough therapy designation because preliminary clinical evidence showed that the drug may offer a substantial improvement over available therapies. It also received priority review and orphan product designation. Priority review is granted to drugs that have the potential to be a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness in the treatment of a serious condition. Orphan product designation is given to drugs intended to treat rare diseases.

The FDA action was taken under the agency’s accelerated approval program, which allows approval of a drug to treat a serious or life-threatening disease based on clinical data showing the drug has an effect on a surrogate endpoint reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit to patients. This program provides earlier patient access to promising new drugs while the company conducts confirmatory clinical trials. An improvement in survival or disease-related symptoms has not yet been established.

Keytruda is manufactured by Merck and Yervoy is from Bristol-Myers Squibb. For information on Keytruda and its use, contact the James Graham Brown Cancer Center toll free at 1-800-333-2230 or at 502-587-4011.


About the University of Louisville

The University of Louisville Health Sciences Center is the city’s only academic health center with approximately 1,000 faculty members involved in education, research and clinical care.  The UofL HSC is home to more than 650 medical and dental residents, 3,000 students pursuing degrees in health-related fields within the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Public Health and Information Sciences, as well as 16 interdisciplinary centers and institutes.  Approximately $140 million in extramural funding enables researchers to uncover the causes of disease and better ways to prevent, treat and cure illness and injury. That research is translated into the clinical setting, where evidence-based medical care for patients is provided by UofL faculty through University of Louisville Physicians, our partnership with KentuckyOne Health, and in affiliations with other health systems and clinics throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana.

About KentuckyOne Health

KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in early 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. In late 2012, the organization formed a partnership with the University of Louisville Hospital | James Graham Brown Cancer Center.  The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana.

UofL geriatrics to help co-host free long-term care meeting

UofL geriatrics to help co-host free long-term care meeting

The University of Louisville Division of Geriatrics, a part of the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, will help host a town hall meeting on long-term care.

The AMDA Foundation, in partnership with the City of Louisville, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau and UofL, will host the “AMDA Foundation Town Hall: Learning About Quality Long-Term Care for You & Your Loved Ones,” 12:30-2 p.m., Saturday, March 21, at the Kentucky International Convention Center, 221 S. Fourth St.

Admission is free but RSVPs are required at

Individuals interested in learning about taking care of loved ones in long-term care, long-term care for themselves, or caring for elders in general are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to interact with leading health care experts.

A panel of long-term care experts who not only treat patients in long-term care, but have made tough decisions related to long-term care and their families will give brief presentations on their experiences in the roles of both professionals and family members. The panel comprises long-term care medical directors, physicians and nurses from UofL’s Division of Geriatric Medicine and other long-term care providers along with a representative from Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s office. Following brief presentations, the audience will be encouraged to engage panel members and ask questions.

“The key to providing quality long-term care is not solely educated and experienced medical professionals,” said AMDA Foundation President Paul Katz, M.D. “It’s open communication and engagement between those professionals and proactive patients and families. We invite residents of Louisville and the surrounding area to the town hall not only to learn, but to begin the conversations vital to providing our loved ones with the highest quality of care.”

This event is being held in conjunction with AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine’s Annual Conference 2015. The AMDA Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to advance the quality of life for persons in post-acute and long-term care.  For more information, visit the AMDA website.



UofL scientists uncover how grapefruits provide a secret weapon in medical drug delivery

University of Louisville researchers have uncovered how to create nanoparticles using natural lipids derived from grapefruit, and have discovered how to use them as drug delivery vehicles. UofL scientists Huang-Ge Zhang, D.V.M., Ph.D., Qilong Wang, Ph.D., and their team today (May 21, 2013), published their findings in Nature Communications.
UofL scientists uncover how grapefruits provide a secret weapon in medical drug delivery

Lipids (right panel first three tubes) derived from grapefruit. GNVs can efficiently deliver a variety of therapeutic agents, including DNA, RNA (DIR-GNVs), proteins and anti-cancer drugs (GNVs-Drugs) as demonstrated in this study.

Grapefruits have long been known for their health benefits, and the subtropical fruit may revolutionize how medical therapies like anti-cancer drugs are delivered to specific tumor cells.

University of Louisville researchers have uncovered how to create nanoparticles using natural lipids derived from grapefruit, and have discovered how to use them as drug delivery vehicles. UofL scientists Huang-Ge Zhang, D.V.M., Ph.D., Qilong Wang, Ph.D., and their team today (May 21, 2013), published their findings in Nature Communications.

“These nanoparticles, which we’ve named grapefruit-derived nanovectors (GNVs), are derived from an edible plant, and we believe they are less toxic for patients, result in less biohazardous waste for the environment, and are much cheaper to produce at large scale than nanoparticles made from synthetic materials,” Zhang said.

The researchers demonstrated that GNVs can transport various therapeutic agents, including anti-cancer drugs, DNA/RNA and proteins such as antibodies. Treatment of animals with GNVs seemed to cause less adverse effects than treatment with drugs encapsulated in synthetic lipids.

“Our GNVs can be modified to target specific cells – we can use them like missiles to carry a variety of therapeutic agents for the purpose of destroying diseased cells,” he said. “Furthermore, we can do this at an affordable price.”

The therapeutic potential of grapefruit derived nanoparticles was further validated through a Phase 1 clinical trial for treatment of colon cancer patients. So far, researchers have observed no toxicity in the patients who orally took the anti-inflammatory agent curcumin encapsulated in grapefruit nanoparticles.

The UofL scientists also plan to test whether this technology can be applied in the treatment of inflammation related autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

A Common Sense Approach
Zhang said he began this research by considering how our ancestors selected food to eat.

“The fruits and vegetables we buy from the grocery today were passed down from generation to generation as favorable and nutritious for the human body. On the flip side, outcomes were not favorable for our ancestors who ate poisonous mushrooms, for example,” he said. “It made sense for us to consider eatable plants as a mechanism to create medical nanoparticles as a potential non-toxic therapeutic delivery vehicle.”

In addition to grapefruit, Zhang and his team analyzed the nanoparticles from tomatoes and grapes. Grapefruits were chosen for further exploration because a larger quantity of lipids can be derived from this fruit.

Match Day 2013 sets future physicians on their professional journey

Event that matches medical students to residencies scheduled for March 15

Fourth-year medical students at the University of Louisville will find out the next step in their professional journey March 15 as they participate in Match Day 2013, the national event that matches graduating medical students to residency programs at academic medical centers, hospitals and other health care providers throughout the United States.

The National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) provides a uniform, impartial process for matching medical school applicants’ preferences for residency positions with residency programs’ preferences for applicants.Following interviews with their choices of residency programs, fourth-year medical students submit those preferences to the NRMP. The residency programs do likewise, submitting their preferences for applicants to the NRMP. A matching algorithm then uses those preferences to place individuals into positions, and all matches throughout the United States are announced at the same time on the same day.

Match Day is a joyous and exciting event for medical students, as each receives an envelope, opens it and finds out where his or her professional journey as a medical doctor will take place after graduation.

Approximately 150 fourth-year students at UofL’s School of Medicine will take part in the program. Match Day 2013 organizers at UofL are students Tama S. The and Andrea "Annie" Nagengast, who will be among the group finding out where they will go for residency training at Match Day 2013.

The event takes place at the Greater Louisville Medical Society Building (also known as the Old Medical School Building), 101 W. Chestnut St.

The complete schedule is as follows:

  • 10 a.m.: Doors open; students arrive
  • 11:20 a.m.: Announcements
  • 11:45 a.m.: Envelopes distributed
  • Noon: Open envelopes
  • 12:20 p.m.: Door prize drawings
  • 12:45 p.m.: The event ends

To see how Match Day works, check out coverage of the 2012 event at

Andrew Bankston, Ph.D., elected to National Postdoctoral Association board

Andrew Bankston, Ph.D., elected to National Postdoctoral Association board

Andrew N. Bankston, Ph.D.

Andrew N. Bankston, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Louisville, has been elected to the board of directors for the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA). His three-year term of service begins Jan. 1, 2017.

The NPA is a national educational association created to advance research and serve as a national voice for postdoctoral scholars. Founded in 2003, the NPA serves more than 3,400 individual members and 200 institutional members of the postdoctoral community. A “postdoc” is an individual who has received a doctoral (Ph.D.) degree and is employed in a temporary research position for the purpose of gaining additional experience that will lead to an independent academic research or faculty position.

Bankston is a postdoctoral research fellow in the lab of Scott Whittemore, Ph.D., scientific director of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at UofL. Bankston’s research at UofL focuses on the role of autophagy, or selective degradation of cell components, in developmental myelination and myelin repair after injury. Myelin is the insulating material surrounding nerve fibers. Bankston earned his doctorate in biochemistry, cell and developmental biology from Emory University in 2013.

Bankston, one of four newly elected board members for NPA, served as chair of the NPA Outreach Committee beginning in February 2015. At UofL, he is a member of the postdoctoral advisory board and a member of the planning committee for the Career Research Advancement Focused Training (CRAFT) seminar series, which hosts speakers to provide information on potential career options for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. In addition, Bankston is a volunteer leader and member of event planning committees within the local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


October 31, 2016

What's in a name?

Named lectures fulfill important role in life of university
What's in a name?

Left to right, Laman A. Gray, Jr., M.D.; Malcolm DeCamp, M.D.; and Mark Slaughter, M.D.

As ubiquitous in university life as textbooks, laboratories and parking complaints, the named lectureship is an important component of the education, research, patient care and service provided by the University of Louisville.

“The value of such lectures comes from both the person in whose name the lecture is delivered and the content of the lecture itself,” said Malcolm DeCamp, M.D., chief of thoracic surgery at Northwestern University. DeCamp delivered the fifth annual Laman A. Gray Jr., M.D., Lecture in December, organized by UofL’s Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. The lecture is named to honor the long-time UofL cardiovascular surgeon who pioneered mechanical hearts and devices and now serves as executive and medical director of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute.

“A lecture such as the Laman Gray Lecture provides an opportunity to invite a thought leader in a specific field to provide enrichment to a community of providers they may not have access to,” DeCamp said. “Invited lecturers provide a different perspective, new knowledge and a cross-pollination of thought and ideas. They broaden the horizons of practitioners, trainees and students and give them a glimpse of things coming down the road.”

A former Louisvillian who earned his medical degree at UofL in 1983, DeCamp said he was honored to give a lecture named for Gray. “I grew up there (in Louisville) and know him. He represents the surgeon-scientist-engineer and is known for trying to think of engineering ways to reverse the problems caused by disease,” DeCamp said. “The Cardiovascular Innovation Institute is a bricks-and-mortar testament to the promise he created.

“We physicians all like doctoring and taking care of patients, but he adds the dimension of scientist to it.”

DeCamp’s lecture, “Interventions for Emphysema: Beyond Best Medical Care,” examined the current state of treatments for the disease. While lung volume reduction surgery has been shown to help patients live longer and have a better quality of life, the procedure isn’t as well known among practitioners and therefore isn’t recommended as much as perhaps it should be, he said.

“A 1,200-patient study found that significant patient improvement was durable five years after surgery,” DeCamp said. “Several non-surgical procedures currently show promise but they are as yet unproven. Why don’t we support procedures of excellent efficacy?”

It is a message that Mark Slaughter, M.D., chair of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, believes is important to hear.  “Staying abreast of the latest data and research is imperative in the field of cardiovascular surgery,” Slaughter said.

“Events such as the Laman Gray Lecture and speakers who have the credentials of a Malcolm Decamp constitute one important way in which we can help educate our students, residents, faculty and referring physicians on the latest advances and can then translate that knowledge into best practices for our patients.”

The Laman A. Gray Lecture is supported by a generous gift from Hank and Donna Wagner.