UofL researchers detail role of silica and lung cancer

UofL researchers detail role of silica and lung cancer

Haribabu Bodduluri, Ph.D.

Researchers at the University of Louisville have detailed a critical connection associated with a major environmental cause of silicosis and a form of lung cancer. Their study is reported in today’s Nature Communications.

Haribabu Bodduluri, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology and a researcher in the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, and his team made the crucial connection between exposure to inhaled silica and rapid progression of lung cancers. This study also outlines the critical role of the inflammatory mediator LTB4 and its receptor BLT1 in promoting silica mediated lung tumor growth.

“We believe this is a significant step in our understanding of how environmental exposure alters the way lung cancer progresses,” Bodduluri said. “It is our hope that this new information will allow for the more rapid development of treatments for this currently incurable disease.”

Exposure to crystalline silica (CS) is common to a variety of industrial operations including mining, quarrying, sandblasting, rock drilling, road construction, pottery making, stone masonry, and tunneling operations. Chronic silica exposure causes severe health complications eventually leading to the irreversible, debilitating disease silicosis.

Approximately 2 million U.S. workers potentially are exposed to breathable crystalline silica. Silicosis in the developing part of the world is of an even higher concern as it is spreading like an epidemic with more than 10 million people affected around the world as a result of rapid industrialization, massive expansion of construction industry and possibly less regulated working environments.

“Silicosis continues to be a growing worldwide health issue. Being from Kentucky, where overall lung cancer is a major health issue, it is exciting that we may be able to develop treatments that impact people in our backyards, in addition to around the world,” Bodduluri said.

Silicosis keeps progressing post-exposure because people are unable to cough up the tiny particles, and macrophages that ingest silica particles end up dying, resulting in persistent sterile inflammation and may eventually lead to lung cancer. Though CS has been designated as a human carcinogen it also has been difficult to discern silicosis associated lung cancer because of a number of confounding factors including the fact that cigarette smoking is a common factor with workers likely to be exposed to silica.

Bodduluri and his colleagues report that in mice that develop spontaneous lung tumors, CS exposure accelerates lung tumor progression. Moreover, this result also was replicated in an implantable lung cancer model.

Their results highlight the importance of silica induced leukotriene B4 mediated inflammation in lung tumor promotion. Leukotrienes are involved in regulating inflammation, especially in the lungs. Mice deficient in leukotriene B4 receptor BLT1 are significantly protected from silica induced tumor promotion, suggesting the possibility for novel treatment strategies for both silicosis and associated lung cancers.

Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D., director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center said, “This work reflects the strong commitment of the Brown Cancer Center to better understand the important role of environmental factors in causing lung cancer.  Dr. Bodduluri and his team are world leaders in this field and this work may lead to novel therapies for lung cancer.”

$3 million NIH grant to aid UofL in speeding technologies to market (w/ VIDEOS)

To be matched with another $3.1 million to commercialize research
$3 million NIH grant to aid UofL in speeding technologies to market (w/ VIDEOS)

Dr. Donald Miller (left) listens as Dr. Paula Bates, both of the University of Louisville Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology, discuss an NIH award of $3 million to create an ExCITE Hub at UofL.


The University of Louisville announced April 22 that a grant from the National Institutes of Health will combine with matching funds from the university to create a new $6.1 million initiative to commercialize discoveries made by UofL researchers.

UofL is one of just three institutions in the United States selected as a Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) by the NIH. The REACH award consists of $3 million over three years matched by an additional $3.1 million from UofL.

"The funding from the REACH grant significantly advances UofL's ability to bridge the gap between a great idea and the marketplace," UofL President Dr. James R. Ramsey said in announcing the award. "The university will continue to supply a robust pipeline of diverse technologies and other discoveries along with the infrastructure and expertise required for translational research. The REACH grant will provide additional resources needed to bring that research to market."

"This award illustrates the success UofL is witnessing in its mission to become a premiere metropolitan research university," Dr. William M. Pierce Jr., executive vice president for research and innovation said. "We know it is not enough only to make great discoveries; we must find ways to bring those discoveries to the marketplace where they will benefit the people of our city, state and beyond. This grant provides significant support to do so."

Executive Vice President for Health Affairs David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., said the work that the grant supports is a natural outgrowth of UofL's already demonstrated success in research.

"UofL's commitment to invest in talent and infrastructure already has paid dividends in translational research," Dunn said. "UofL research that has led to new discoveries includes a first-in-class anticancer drug, a method to prevent organ transplant rejection, a treatment that can reverse damage caused by heart attack and a protocol that allows people with spinal cord injury to regain voluntary movement of their once paralyzed limbs. The REACH funding will enable us to translate even more of these types of new discoveries to the market."

About the Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub grant

The REACH grant will create UofL's "ExCITE Hub" – reflecting its function to "Expedite Commercialization, Innovation, Translation and Entrepreneurship" to increase the success rate and speed at which biomedical research is translated into products that bring a positive impact on health.

The ExCITE Hub has three major aims:

  1. Identify the most promising technologies from UofL researchers and provide funding for product definition studies;
  2. Promote the commercialization of selected products; and,
  3. Expand education, experiential and networking opportunities for stakeholders such as researchers, other faculty, students and others within the university.

Paula J. Bates, Ph.D., is principal investigator on the grant and will direct the ExCITE Hub program. Bates is an associate professor in UofL's Department of Medicine and a researcher with the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

Eugene Krentsel, Ph.D., acting director of UofL's Office of Industry Engagement, and Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D., director of the cancer center, will serve as co-principal investigators for the program. A team of faculty entrepreneurs and technology transfer professionals also will support the mission of the hub.

"We have given the ExCITE Hub a structure that will overcome the obstacles that can impede translating research from the research bench to the marketplace," she said. "This structure comprises five innovative features, working in concert, that make the ExCITE Hub genuinely one-of-a-kind in the field of research commercialization."

Those features are:

  • The ExCITE Hub is a geographically focused program to expedite operations and maximize the impact on the local ecosystem.
  • An innovative governance structure has been developed to integrate achievement of the three aims of the program and "avoid the creation of silos," Bates said.
  • The program will proactively integrate education into the approach to continue to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in research.
  • A technology development grant program in the ExCITE Hub will provide mentored direction and provide for early and continued interaction among scientists, technology transfer staff and industry consultants.
  • Emphasis will be placed on consciously improving academia-industry relationships by increasing opportunities for mutual understanding, ensuring a robust technology pipeline and responding quickly to industry needs.

The NIH selected UofL along with the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and the Long Island (N.Y.) Bioscience Hub, a consortium of Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory, as the three recipients of REACH funding.

REACH is based on an initiative created by the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute called the NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovations. The program is a public-private partnership whose objective is to change how to identify and develop innovations with scientific and commercial potential. The effort utilizes industry-style project management to determine technologies that are poised to have the greatest potential to launch into the marketplace.


Health equity program sets stage for integration of LGBT competency in UofL medical school curriculum

LGBT Health and Wellness Competency certificates presented to 102 students, faculty and staff
Health equity program sets stage for integration of LGBT competency in UofL medical school curriculum

Recipients of 2015 LGBT Health and Wellness Competency certificates

Last year, the first year it was offered, the University of Louisville LGBT Center awarded 26 certificates in LGBT Health and Wellness Competency. This year, that number nearly quadrupled to 102 certificates awarded April 13 to students, faculty and staff members at the UofL Health Sciences Center campus. The year-long program educates health-care workers about treating individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

“It really speaks to the interest and the passion of all of those who have attended sessions for making sure they are doing their utmost in caring for a broad swathe of the population,” said Stacie Steinbock, director of the LGBT Center Satellite Office on the Health Sciences Center Campus, who organized the program.

The certificate program consists of monthly lunchtime sessions covering issues facing LGBT patients and their health-care providers. In all, more than 650 people attended this year’s sessions. Individuals who attended at least four of the sessions and completed a post-test were eligible to receive the certificate and lapel pin recognizing their completion of the LGBT Health and Wellness Competency program. Recipients included students in the schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry and public health, as well as faculty and staff members from all parts of the Health Sciences Center campus.

“The speakers were dynamic and I couldn’t ask for a better certificate series,” said Ron Welch, of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, who received a certificate.

“It was really about diversifying and providing a more inclusive environment for our students, for our faculty, for our staff. Beyond that, it was also about improving the health and the care of our LGBT patients,” Toni Ganzel, M.D., dean of the UofL School of Medicine, said of the program.

"This certificate training further fosters diversity and inclusivity as we work together in the future as interprofessional teams," said Marcia Hern, Ed.D., C.N.S., R.N., dean of the UofL School of Nursing.

The certificate program coincides with the UofL School of Medicine’s incorporation of LGBT training competencies identified by the Association of American Medical Colleges into the formal curriculum beginning with the 2015-2016 academic year. UofL is the national pilot site for this program.

“Having additional training in the equitable, just and affirmative care of LGBT patients is critical. We as a medical school are going to be one of the first in the country to systematically build it into our curriculum and the certificate program was really something that preceded our ability to change the medical curriculum,” said Amy Holthauser, M.D., a member of the UofL School of Medicine faculty and certificate recipient.

To increase the relevance of the program to students and staff in the individual schools, next year’s program will offer four general sessions, with two sessions designed to be specifically relevant to each of the medical, dental, nursing and public health programs.

Professor Emeritus Len Waite

We mourn the loss of Professor Emeritus Len Waite who passed away April 16, 2015  after an extended illness.  Dr. Waite provided exemplary leadership, teaching, and service to the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology for 40 years from 1970 until his retirement from the faculty in 2011.   During his tenure, he served as the Department Vice Chair and Director of the graduate program.  He mentored outstanding graduate students including our current Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation Bill Pierce, and served on the graduate committees of numerous other students. In addition to biomedical graduate students, Dr. Waite directed and largely taught many undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses and students in the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Waite was recognized for his excellence in teaching by the School of Dentistry and the President’s Award for Distinguished Service by the University.  His service towards such a large and broad array of our educational programs at the University of Louisville exhibited his talent, work ethic and dedication to teaching.  He was a dear friend and advisor to many of us and will be deeply missed.

Grant to aid UofL research into asthma in older adults (w/ VIDEO)

$2.3 million in funding from the National Institutes on Aging will assist in examining asthma triggers
Grant to aid UofL research into asthma in older adults (w/ VIDEO)

Bryan Beatty (far left) and Dr. Rodrigo Cavallazzi (far right) of the UofL Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Disorders Medicine join Barbara Polivka, Ph.D. in the announcement of a $2.3 million grant to study asthma in older adults.


Understanding the personal and environmental influences of asthma in older adults is the focus of a $2.3 million National Institute on Aging grant awarded to Barbara Polivka, Ph.D., the Shirley B. Powers Endowed Chair in Nursing in the University of Louisville School of Nursing, and her interdisciplinary team.

That team includes Rodrigo Cavallazzi, M.D., and Bryan Beatty, RRT, CPFT, of the UofL Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Disorders Medicine.

Although often considered a childhood health problem, asthma – a chronic inflammatory disease that causes recurrent cough, wheezing and chest tightness or shortness of breath - can cause serious illness for people age 60 and older, and little is known about the triggers of asthma specific to seniors.

"Asthma is a complicated health problem as it's considered a collection of various characteristics versus a single disease," Polivka said. "This study is novel because until now there has been no comprehensive measurement of the many biophysical factors, along with environmental exposures that impact asthma control and quality of life in older adults."

The researchers hope to recruit 190 asthma suffers age 60 and older who are non-smokers and have no other lung diseases. They’ll gather information related to patient demographics, health history, occupational exposures, age at asthma onset and duration, tobacco use, the presence of other diseases, medication profile and individual asthma-specific knowledge.

Blood-work, pulmonary function tests and a skin-allergy test will be a part of the data collection process for each participant.

During this five-year study, the team also will measure chemical emissions from outdoor and common indoor materials and allergens associated with higher risks of asthma. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in cleaning products, room fresheners, polishes, carpets, solvents, floor adhesives and paints are known to cause problems for children with asthma, but this is the first study to explore VOC exposure and asthma control in older adults.

Asthma sufferers often experience exacerbations following exposure to dust, smoke, fumes, fungi, animals and plants. Such allergen exposures will be measured in each participant home – ranging from single-family houses to retirement community-style arrangements.

"As the population ages and the number of older adults with asthma in the United States increases to an estimated 4 million by 2030, the information from this study can be used to develop and test patient-centered interventions to help seniors with asthma better manage their symptoms, reduce trips to the emergency room and improve their overall well-being," Polivka said.

Study participants can receive up to $200 in gift cards, asthma trigger control supplies and test results. For more information on qualifications for study inclusion, contact Susan Rames at 502-852-2273 or


UofL pulmonary group launches MICU Care

New initiative aims to standardize protocols and streamline patient care in local intensive care units.
UofL pulmonary group launches MICU Care

MICU Care will standarize care at UofL Hospital, Jewish Hospital and the Louisville VAMC

Standardizing protocols and providing more efficient management of medical intensive care units (MICU) across several locations is the focus of MICU Care, a new initiative of the University of Louisville Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Disorders Medicine.

Under the direction of Drs. Mohamed Saad, Rodrigo Cavallazzi and Juan Guardiola of the UofL pulmonary division, the new initiative was launched March 30, 2015, in the Medical Intensive Care Units of University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and the Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville.

Developed by critical care experts at the University of Louisville, the initiative is aimed at improving outcomes while at the same time decreasing costs in the critical care setting.

With the implementation of MICU Care, protocols defining the management of critical care disorders ranging from pneumonia and sepsis to pulmonary embolism, gastrointestinal bleeding, and acute lung injury will be used by critical care specialists at these Medical Intensive Care Units.

"Standardization is essential in critical care medicine," Dr. Jesse Roman, Chairman of the UofL Department of Medicine and chief of the pulmonary division said. "It ensures that patients are treated based on best practices, promotes health equality, improves outcomes, and decreases costs."

The primary objectives of MICU Care include:

  • Implementing clinical protocols for the management of multiple critical illnesses, thereby achieving the goal of standardizing Medical ICU care throughout a hospital network.
  • Developing a monitoring strategy that ensures that the protocols are used, while being updated as soon as new data are available to ensure that protocols are consistent with evidence-based practices and national standards.
  • Improving medical education for fellows, residents and students as trainees will be exposed to patients cared for in the same manner in Medical ICUs throughout the system.
  • Engaging in clinical translational research in Medical ICUs designed to identify best practices that lead to improved outcomes (e.g., decreased length of stay and less complications) while decreasing costs.

"MICU Care represents the foundation for standardized education, and the infrastructure for future multi-hospital clinical trials which is needed for advancing discovery," Roman said. "I am proud of this team of faculty and fellows who have worked to improve the quality of care we deliver in medical intensive care units."

- For more information regarding the MICU Care initiative, please contact Drs. Saad, Cavallazzi and Guardiola at 502-852-5841, or Dr. Roman at 502-852-5241.

Residency programs roll another perfect match (w/ VIDEO)

Internal Medicine, Med-Peds programs once again fill all available categorical and preliminary positions.
Residency programs roll another perfect match (w/ VIDEO)

UofL medical students open their envelopes from the NRMP to find out where they matched for their medical residencies.



Match Day for University of Louisville medical students, and others nationwide, was March 20 as they opened their envelopes from the National Residency Match Program to find where they had been matched for residency training.

Conducted annually by the NRMP, The Match uses a computerized algorithm designed to the best results by aligning the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs. The results are used to fill thousands of training positions available in the United States.

The UofL Internal Medicine Residency Program completed a perfect match yet again, filling 24 categorical and 12 preliminary positions.

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

"I am pleased to welcome a very talented group of new interns in internal medicine to the University of Louisville!" Jennifer Koch, M.D., FACP, Director of the UofL Internal Medicine Residency Program said. "We are very excited to have once again filled all available spots in the match with a wonderful group of young doctors. We very much look forward to welcoming them to Louisville and preparing them to begin their residency training!"

Jesse Roman, M.D., Chairman of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine, looks forward to bringing in the new class.

"We are excited to welcome our new residents into our program," Roman said. "They will quickly find that our stellar faculty are eager to usher them into this new stage of their careers."

Our incoming Class of 2018 includes:

Categorical Residents

  • Mohammed Ahmed - M.S. Ramaiah Medical College
  • Alok Bhatt - Kasturba Medical College
  • Gregory Bills - Marshall University
  • Nikhil Borkhetaria - University of Louisville
  • Taylor Burkhart - The Ohio University
  • Dhruv Chaudhary - St. George's University
  • Monika Darji - Chicago Medical School
  • Jugraj Dhanoa - Adesh Institute
  • Rahul Dhawan - Government Medical College Chandigarh
  • Brian Dong - University of Louisville
  • Idona Goode - University of Louisville
  • Farrah Harden - University of Louisville
  • Syed Hussaini - St. George's University
  • Natalie Kelsey - St. George's University
  • Ninad Maniar - Seth G.S. Medical College
  • Nsehniitooh Mbah - University of Louisville
  • Drew Murray - St. George's College
  • Nevin Murthy - Chicago Medical School
  • Sanjay Patel - University of Pikeville
  • Alexander Pontikos - Virgina Commonwealth University
  • Chetan Prasad - Bangalore Medical College
  • Srividya Srinivasamaharaj - Sri Ramachandra Medical College
  • Benadin Varajic - University of Louisville
  • Chandra Vethody - Kasturba Medical College


Preliminary Residents

  • Andrea Breaux - University of Louisville
  • Nicolas Burnett - University of Louisville
  • Vlad Codrea - University of Texas
  • David Duncan - University of Louisville
  • Megan Holtgrave - University of Louisville
  • Timothy Jan - Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Alden Klarer - University of Louisville
  • Mariko Kubinec - University of Texas-San Antonio
  • James Morris - University of Louisville
  • Paul Overdorf - Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Niloofar Piri - Tehran University of Medical Sciences
  • Charles Robinson - The Ohio State University


Combined Med-Peds Residents

  • Molly Maggard - University of Louisville
  • Christian Matar - University of Kentucky
  • Douglas McConnell - Florida Atlantic University
  • Michael Orangias - University of Louisville
  • Mary Rush - Indiana University



Department launches free open access internal medical education series

Louisville Lectures, website provide online medical lectures to anyone
Department launches free open access internal medical education series

The Louisville Lectures online archive can be found at

The University of Louisville Department of Medicine has launched what is believed to be the first open-access internal medicine education online community in the United States. provides free evidenced-based medical education lectures that are available to anyone.

The project was developed by resident physicians in internal medicine – physicians who have received their medical degrees but are still in training before practicing on their own.

The lectures are presented by faculty from the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

The project makes internal medicine didactic lectures, grand rounds and other special lectures easily accessible to UofL residents and for the education of medical students, physicians and other medical professionals everywhere.

Over 40 lectures are already online, attracting more than 1,400 subscribers from over 100 countries, with over 25,000 views.

The program was developed under the leadership of Jennifer Koch, M.D., program director of UofL's Internal Medicine Residency Program with support from Jesse Roman, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine.

Internal medicine resident physician Michael Burk, M.D. serves as the founder and managing director of the site along with a team of resident physicians including Laura Bishop, M.D., Brady Wright, M.D., Chris Migliore, M.D., Shanna Barton, M.D. and chief medical resident Ishan Mehta, M.D.

"We have faculty at the UofL School of Medicine who are extremely knowledgeable and amazing teachers," Koch said. "Why keep this knowledge to ourselves, when we can contribute to the international community of medical education? Our goal is to teach the world medicine."

The effort is part of the international #FOAMed movement whose advocates seek to accelerate medical knowledge sharing.

The hashtag refers to the concept of Free Open Access "Meducation" (medical education), first promoted at the 2012 International Conference on Emergency Medicine in a lecture by Mike Cadogan, an emergency medicine physician, educator and digital media enthusiast from Australia.

Frustrated by the resistance of many physicians and medical educators to the serious potential of social media, he decided to re-brand what he and others were doing online as a form of continuing education.

"We've actively managed to engage a large group of researchers and significant academics who are moving away from writing textbooks and journal articles to doing more in the online arena," Cadogan said. "That's lending a sense of credence to what we're doing."

"The journals are still an essential part of the culture we work in," he allowed, but medical education is starting to be influenced by the open source and open content trends on the Internet, where "you take all the simple stuff, all the basic knowledge, and make it free."

While never intended to replace traditional medical education, #FOAMed efforts such as will greatly augment the availability and access of quality medical education programs.

AAIM grant aids novel 'Code Blue' training program

Unique curriculum aims to educate medical trainees in an inter-professional setting to improve their response to cardiac arrest
AAIM grant aids novel 'Code Blue' training program

University of Louisville medical trainees run through a simulated Code Blue event in the Paris Simulation Center at the UofL School of Medicine.


Thanks to a $2,500 Innovation Grant from the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine, a new program at the University of Louisville aims to use simulation and a team approach to saving lives when seconds count.

Led by Lorrel Brown, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of the Cardiovascular Medicine Fellowship Program in the UofL Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, a multi-disciplinary group of educators in the UofL Department of Medicine have implemented a unique curriculum teaching teams of providers how to successfully function during a cardiac arrest in the hospital, known as "Code Blue."

In recognition of the novel nature of this curriculum, Brown was recently awarded the grant from the AAIM for her "Improving 'Code Blue' Resuscitation in the Medical ICU: An Inter-Professional Approach Utilizing Team-Based Simulation and Interactive Group Training" program.

The grant will support not only the curriculum, but scholarly research into its effectiveness at improving team performance during the low-frequency, high-stakes Code Blue events.

"Dr. Brown should be commended for her leadership in resident education and for spearheading this innovative approach to training Residents to manage cardiac arrest," Robert Bolli, M.D., FAHA, Chief the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine said. "Her energy, dedication, and vision have been invaluable to our educational mission. The program funded by this grant will definitely improve residents’ ability to handle a cardiac arrest, and is particularly important to those who are not exposed to a sufficiently large number of arrests."

Brown's team includes Drs. Jennifer Koch (Director, Internal Medicine Residency Program), Rodrigo Cavallazi (Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Disorders Medicine), Ishan Mehta (Chief Resident), Wendy Bottinor (Cardiology fellow), Nate Peyton (medical student) and Mandi Walker, RN (Director of ACLS training at University of Louisville Hospital).

This curriculum attempts to bridge the gap between knowledge and practical skill, by using simulation technology to simulate the uncertainty, stress, and practical considerations during a "Code Blue" situation.

Using a novel team-teaching approach instead of training providers in their individual silos - nurses with nurses, physicians with physicians - this curriculum brings together an inter-professional group of providers including Internal Medicine resident physicians, ICU nurses, respiratory therapists, and Pharmacy residents.

In addition, these teams are assembled based upon real-world working teams, i.e. all participants in the curriculum work together in the Medical ICU at University of Louisville Hospital.

Trainees have an opportunity to run through a simulated cardiac arrest, then review their own performance including video footage of the scenario, and finally reinforce their learning through a second simulation exercise.

UofL pulmonary division takes part in ALA Fight For Air Climb

Race to the top of one of Louisville's tallest building helps raise funds for lung disease research and outreach.
UofL pulmonary division takes part in ALA Fight For Air Climb

Garret Mulkins, Crissie DeSpirito, Dena Shofner, Karen Beatty, Bryan Beatty of the UofL pulmonary divsion served as medical staff for the 2015 ALA Fight For Air Climb.


On February 7, members of the University of Louisville Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Disorders Medicine played several key roles in the 2015 Fight For Air Climb presented by the American Lung Association.

Over 220 participants took part in the event at National City Tower in downtown Louisville where they climbed 38 flights of steps to raise the funds necessary to provide lifesaving education, research and advocacy in the battle against lung disease.

The Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Disorders Medicine has had a long association with the American Lung Association, having won the groups inaugural Fight For Air Award in 2011, and having Dr. Jesse Roman, Chair of the UofL Department of Medicine serve on the Board of Directors of the American Lung Association of the Midland States.

Clinical staff from the UofL pulmonary division volunteered to serve as the medical staff for the event, including Garret Mulkins, Crissie DeSpirito, Dena Shofner, Karen Beatty, Bryan Beatty, Brian Mattingly and Ken Mullins.

Also taking part as a climber was Dr. Tanya Wiese, assistant professor of medicine and director of UofL's Interventional Pulmonary Program.

Skill levels for the climbers ranged from beginner to elite, and also included a firefighters and first responders challenge.

The event raised approximately $38,000 for the ALA.

Roman, Hatter honored with UofL Oustanding Performance Awards

Duo recognized for contributions to university, medical communities.

Being recognized by your peers is quite an accomplishment, and an honor that two members of the Department of Medicine were recently garnered.

Jesse Roman, M.D., FACP, FACCP, and Lisa Hatter, RN, were recognized by University of Louisville President Dr. James Ramsey at the university's annual Outstanding Performance Awards held at the University Club.

Jesse Roman, MD

Jesse Roman, M.D.

Roman, Chairman of the UofL Department of Medicine, was awarded the first-ever Supervisor of the Year award given by the university.

"It is great that you have created this award because it gives me the opportunity to show my appreciation for people like Dr. Roman," Ramsey said."

Ramsey also noted that since arriving at UofL in 2009, Dr. Roman has established a thriving mentor program, advanced women and minorities and recruited faculty who have established new initiatives in lung health, congestive heart failure and gastrointestinal motility.

His department totals the largest amount of research dollars at UofL ($33 million) and his own laboratory is one of the most well-funded.

He frequently refers to the department as "family," and makes it a point to get to know everyone as an individual. His door is always open for students, visitors, faculty and others despite a chaotic schedule that includes overseeing 10 division chiefs and up to 30 direct reports.

He also makes time to provide health care to patients with lung disease at the Health Care Outpatient center and at the Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Dr. Roman encourages his employees to support their families first and work second. He never promises what he cannot deliver, said one nominator, who added, "I always feel that we are headed in the right direction."

Lisa Hatter

Lisa Hatter, RN

Hatter, a senior nurse coordinator for liver research, was honored with an Outstanding Performance Award.

In recognizing Hatter, Ramsey noted she has worked for more than 10 years in the office Liver Research Center/Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

She helps launch studies and performs the necessary follow-up with sponsors, contractors, regulatory personnel and the UofL institutional review board.

Hatter also founded an annual community event for the public on treatments for hepatitis C and other liver diseases.

Lisa's outstanding patient care has endeared her to patients, who inquire about her years after a trial has concluded.

“What Your Doctor Won’t Disclose” by Leana Wen, M.D.

It’s time for transparency and the federal government Sunshine Act and this thought-provoking TEDMED talk will rattle the medical establishment.  CLICK HERE to take a listen.

DIBL Student Presents at National Pediatrics Meeting

Using a portable or bedside ultrasound machine in the pediatric emergency room has been proven to lessen the length of stay in the ER and to provide images equal in accuracy to x-ray or CT scan without exposing children to potentially harmful radiation.
DIBL Student Presents at National Pediatrics Meeting

Alexander Thai at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference

UofL med student to present at national pediatrics meeting

by Jill Scoggins, HSC communications and marketing — last modified Oct 09, 2014 09:48 AM

A third-year medical student at the University of Louisville has led a group of researchers from five universities in determining that bedside ultrasound is cost-effective as well.

With colleagues from Columbia University, Northwestern University, George Washington University, Jefferson Medical College and UofL, Alexander Thai will present results from the study, “Cost Effectiveness of Implementation of Point-of-Care Ultrasound in a Pediatric Emergency Department,” at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in San Diego.

Thai will make his presentation at the pre-conference Section on Emergency Medicine on Friday, Oct. 10, at 3:45 p.m. PDT.

The clinical value of bedside ultrasound – known as “point-of-care ultrasound” or POCUS – has long been established. What Thai and his colleagues, including In K. Kim, M.D., of UofL’s Department of Pediatrics Emergency Medicine Division, found is that the high-tech equipment does not have to drain resources but can, in fact, generate positive operating revenue.

Analyzing Medicaid data from Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Thai and his colleagues found that annual average costs of obtaining and using POCUS in the emergency setting total $75,240. The annual average revenue realized from the use of POCUS is $115,969, resulting in a net annual operating revenue of $40,729.

The researchers found that this net revenue can be realized using POCUS for four common pediatric procedures for which the device is indicated: examination after trauma injury, known as Focused Assessment for Sonography in Trauma or “FAST” exam; evaluation of abscesses; use of ultrasound for guidance in draining abscesses; and use of ultrasound for guidance in performing a femoral nerve block as a local anesthetic prior to surgery.

The group based its analysis on the perspective of physician fees, not facility reimbursement fees. “Facility reimbursement rates are not always consistent,” Thai said. “This is another area of interest for our team, and we are already working on it in another multi-center study.”

“It's highly unusual for a medical student to be presenting a platform presentation,” Kim said. “Approximately 90 abstracts are submitted to the section of pediatric emergency medicine each year, and only 14 are accepted for platform presentation. It's a great honor for a faculty member or fellow to be accepted at the platform level. I can't remember seeing a medical student on the platform in the past 15 years, and I don't think a medical student has ever presented who is leading a multi-center collaboration.”

Thai – who also is a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force – is enrolled in the UofL School of Medicine’s Distinction Track in Business and Leadership. Directed by Kim and Brad Sutton, M.D., the Distinction Track in Business and Leadership prepares medical students with a vital set of economic and business skills along with their medical education, integrating business instruction with the medical curriculum throughout the four years of medical school.

“Health care is a complex and dynamic field with many stakeholders and much uncertainty. Now, more than ever, health systems and providers are realigning with a renewed focus on cost reduction and improved outcomes,” said Sutton, who is assistant professor of medicine and assistant dean for health strategy and innovation and holds an MBA degree from the Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University. “What’s more, health providers are increasingly held accountable for outcomes and processes that are only partly in their control.”

“Historically, formal business training at the medical student level was lacking, leaving new medical school graduates ill-equipped to address the economic challenges of practicing medicine today,” said Kim, who also holds an MBA degree from UofL. “The UofL Distinction Track in Business and Leadership answers this need by providing a fundamental knowledge base that explores the intersection of business and medicine, and arms trainees with a vital skill set to succeed in our health economy.”

Working with Thai in the study from UofL in addition to Sutton and Kim are Dave McLario, MD, Keith Cross, MD, Fred Warkentine, MD, and fellow medical student Nathan Wiedemann, all from the School of Medicine, and Benjamin Foster, Ph.D., professor of accounting from the College of Business.


Also part of the research team are David O. Kessler, MD, Columbia University; Russ Horowitz, MD, Northwestern University; Alyssa Abo, MD, and Joanna Cohen, MD, both of George Washington University; and Cheung Kim, MD, of Jefferson Medical College.

Fellowship match a success again for UofL residents

Continues trend of near perfection in fellowship matches.
Fellowship match a success again for UofL residents

Many members of the of the UofL Internal Medicine Residency Program seeking fellowship appointments were matched successfully.

Several members of the University of Louisville Internal Medicine Residency Program seeking fellowship appointments following their graduation in 2015 were recently matched successfully, including three at UofL.

"I couldn't be more proud of our residents!," Dr. Jennifer Koch, director of the UofL Internal Medicine Residency Program said. "They will be wonderful ambassadors for our residency program and for the University of Louisville as they move on to these challenging fellowship programs in July. They are truly an amazing group of doctors and I can't wait to see what they will continue to contribute to the field of medicine."

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

"The residents' great performance in the fellowship match is due to the high caliber of our faculty and the terrific training experiences provided at UofL," Dr. Jesse Roman, Chairman of the UofL Department of Medicine said. "But mostly, it is due to a wonderful team of residents who have worked very hard to reach their goals. We are extremely proud of our residents."

Those from The University of Louisville who matched for 2015-2016 include:


Geetika Bhatt

Udit Chaddha

LaTasha Henry

Anub John

Jon Mares

Melissa Makar

Vivek Master

Ishan Mehta

Olga Pinkston

Wasiq Rawasia

Amrik Ray

Erik Schneibel

Sanjeev Singh

Rahul Sinha

Blair Spence


Pulmonary/Critical Care






Pulmonary/Critical Care



Pulmonary/Critical Care




Infectious Diseases

The Ohio State University

University of Southern California

University of Louisville

University of Louisville

The Johns Hopkins University

Duke University

Virginia Commonwealth University


Mayo Clinic-Florida

University of Louisville

Yale University

University of Florida

University of Cincinnati

Allegheny College

Georgetown University

UofL Surgeon J. David Richardson is American College of Surgeons President-Elect

UofL Surgeon J. David Richardson is American College of Surgeons President-Elect

J. David Richardson, M.D.

J. David Richardson, M.D., FACS, professor and vice chair of surgery, Hiram C. Polk, Jr., M.D., Department of Surgery at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, was elected President-Elect of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) last month during the college’s Annual Business Meeting that was held during its 2014 Clinical Congress in San Francisco.

A general, thoracic and trauma surgeon, and surgical educator, Richardson became an ACS Fellow in 1980. Since then, he has served the ACS in various leadership capacities, most recently as chair of the Board of Regents (2011–2012). In that role, he also chaired the Regents’ Finance and Executive Committees.

Richardson was a member of the ACS Board of Regents from 2003 to 2010. He also played a leadership role on several other ACS committees. He was the ACS Governor from Kentucky (1989–1995) and served on the Governors’ Committee on Surgical Infections (1992–1995). He was chair of the Research and Optimal Patient Care Committee (2004–2011) and vice-chair of the Health Policy and Advocacy Group (2010–2011). He has been an active member of the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT), including serving as the chair of the Emergency Services-Prehospital Subcommittee (1992–1999) and as a member of the COT’s Executive Committee (1992), Membership Committee (1993), and Verification/Consultation Committee (1993).

In addition, Richardson has served on the ACS Advisory Council for General Surgery (1997–2002), the Advisory Council for Vascular Surgery as a Regent (2003–2006), and the Advisory Council for Rural Surgery as an ex officio member (2011–2012). He also has been a member of the ACS Committee on Video-Based Education (1991–1997). Currently, Richardson is chair of the ACS Transition to Practice Program in General Surgery Steering Committee.

At the state level, he has served ACS as chair (1985–1987) and vice-chair (1981–1985) of the Kentucky Committee on Trauma; secretary-treasurer (1983–1986) and president (1987) of the Kentucky Chapter;   and as a member of the Kentucky Committee on Applicants (1997–2002) as well.

A prolific author, Richardson has published more than 345 articles in peer-reviewed publications, 50 book chapters, and currently has 10 publications in press. In addition to his leadership roles within the ACS, he has served as former director and chair of the American Board of Surgery, director of the American Board of Emergency Medicine, president of the American Association for Surgery of Trauma, president of the Southeastern Surgical Congress, and secretary and president of the Western Surgical Association.

Richardson is a 1970 graduate of the University of Kentucky School of Medicine. He completed a surgery internship and worked as a junior assistant resident at the University of Kentucky before moving to the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio to complete a general surgery and a thoracic surgery residency.

After completing his surgical training in 1976, he returned to Kentucky to teach and practice at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He rose through the academic ranks at the institution, starting as an assistant professor of surgery and becoming associate professor of surgery in 1979. He has served in his current positions as professor and vice chair of surgery since 1983 and 1985, respectively. He has served as chief of surgery service and director of emergency surgical services at the University of Louisville Hospital since 2005.

Richardson will be installed as the 96th President of the American College of Surgeons in October 2015, during the Convocation ceremony that precedes the opening of the ACS 2015 Clinical Congress in Chicago.

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About the American College of Surgeons

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for all surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 79,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit

WELCOME Hayes Thomas Booth

Callie & Russell, and their daughter McKinley, welcomed new addition Hayes Thomas Booth.  He was born on November 3, 2014; he weighed 7lbs., 9oz and he was 19 inches long.

WELCOME Evan Fisher Pendleton

Drs. Amber & Eli, and their son Sam Pendleton, welcomed new addition Evan Fisher Pendleton.  Evan was born on October 30, 2014.  He weighed 7lbs., 8oz and he was 19.5 inches long.

Wagner honored with Outstanding Educator Award

Accolade recognizes excellence in educational leadership and scholarship, faculty development in teaching and learning and Interdisciplinary teaching.
Wagner honored with Outstanding Educator Award

Lori W. Wagner, M.D., M.A., FACP

The University of Louisville School of Medicine recently honored Lori W. Wagner, M.D., M.A., FACP, with the Outstanding Educator Award.

Dr. Wagner is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the UofL Division of General Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine & Medical Education.

She currently serves as Director of the Primary Care Education Program and is Section Chief of Outpatient General Internal Medicine at the Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

"I am thrilled to be recognized for my teaching accomplishments," Wagner said. "My experience in the Certificate for Health Professional Education program and the Masters of Arts in Higher Education program at the University of Louisville has been invaluable, and has been paramount to my success."

Recognizing innovative, short-term accomplishments in education, the Outstanding Educator Award promotes excellence in educational leadership and scholarship, faculty development in teaching and learning and Interdisciplinary teaching.

In addition, the award honors basic science teaching of medical students, clinical teaching of medical students, graduate teaching, and interdisciplinary or interdepartmental teaching.

"Dr. Wagner is an example of the stellar educators housed in the department," Dr. Jesse Roman, Chairman of the UofL Department of Medicine said. "We are proud of her accomplishments and pleased to have her serve as a role model for our trainees and faculty alike."

Wagner was recognized for a number of her attributes as an educator; additionally her incorporation of a Reflective Narrative exercise for the enhancement of interpersonal communication skills and emotional empathy is an example of a significant innovation in a previously well-established program.

This learning activity was also selected for presentation at the Gold Humanism Honor Society Biennial Conference in October in Atlanta, and as an innovation presentation at the AAMC Medical Education Meeting in November in Chicago.

Dr. Wagner was initially nominated for the award by her division chief, Dr. Barbara Casper, and received further support from Dr. Roman.

Her credentials were then reviewed by a selection committee, appointed by the Office of Medical Education. One educator was chosen out of the pool of candidates.