Faculty Notes

Recognizing the honors, achievements and service of University of Kansas Medical Center faculty members

October 2014

Brantley Thrasher, M.D.

ThrasherThrasher, professor and William L. Valk Chair, Department of Urology, has received the prestigious title of President of the American Urological Association, which will take effect from 2017-2018. In this role, Thrasher will lead the activities for the Board of Directors and its Executive Committee and represent the association as an official ambassador to approximately 18 associate organizations. His basic science research interest is in the area of prostate cancer and he is currently a consultant in NIH, Center for Disease Control, and Department of Defense funded research.

Won Choi, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Won ChoiChoi, professor preventive medicine and public health, was honored with the Samuel J. Crumbine Medal, the Kansas Public Health Association's highest award. The executive director of KU's Master of Public Health program, Choi's current NIH research grants include creating a culturally tailored smoking cessation intervention for American Indians and developing a web-based smoking cessation program for tribal college students. Crumbine, a pioneer in public health, was dean of the School of Medicine from 1911 to 1919.

September 2014

Paige Geiger, Ph.D.

Paige GeigerGeiger, associate professor of molecular and integrative physiology, received the Rising Trendsetter Award at the inaugural Stemmy Awards and Gala celebration hosted by Central Exchange. The award recognizes women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine in the Kansas City area who have demonstrated significant achievements early in their career. A member of the Center for Reproductive Sciences, Geiger's research focus includes the role of estrogen receptors in glucose regulation.

August 2014

Ann Davis, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Ann DavisDavis, professor of pediatrics, has been appointed the sole director of the Center for Children's Healthy Lifestyles and Nutrition, a joint center established in 2001 by Children's Mercy and KU Medical Center. She is responsible for all functions under the center’s umbrella: research, patient care, obesity prevention programs and community programs. Davis previously was co-director with Greg Kearns, Pharm.D., Ph.D., associate chair for research at Children's Mercy, who will remain involved at the center.

July 2014

Douglas Girod, M.D.

Doug GirodGirod, executive vice chancellor of KU Medical Center, received the presidential citation at the annaul meeting of the American Head & Neck Society. Terry Day, M.D., the president of the society, presented the award, which recognizes contributions to the society and the field of head and neck oncology. President-elect at the time of the honor, Girod will lead the society until his term as president ends in 2015. 

Natabhona Mabachi, Ph.D, M.P.H.

Natty MabachiMabachi, assistant professor of family medicine, made a presentation recognized as the Best Research & Scientific Oral Presentation at the North American Primary Care Research Group's Practice-Based Research Network Conference. Mabachi's presentation was titled "Findings From the Demonstration of the Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit." 

April 2014

Michael J. Werle, Ph.D.

Michael J. WerleWerle, an associate professor of anatomy and cell biology, associate dean for graduate studies, and director of the interdisciplinary graduate program in biomedical sciences, is one of 31 applicants selected to participate in the prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows Program for 2014-2015. ACE fellowships prepare emerging leaders for senior positions in university administration through attendance at retreats, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience into a single year. He is particularly interested in nationally recognized graduate and postdoctoral programs in the biomedical sciences.

Kimberly Templeton, M.D.

Templeton

Templeton, professor of orthopedic surgery, has been selected to be inducted into the University of Kansas Women's Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame winners are exemplary KU alumnae, faculty and staff women, who through their significant contributions and achievements, overall impact and outstanding character serve as role models for students. Templeton is immediate past president of the United States Bone and Joint Initiative and the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts and is a member of the National Board of Medical Examiners. She was recently named co-chair of the National Quality Forum Musculoskeletal Standing Committee.

Prateek Sharma, M.D.

Prateek

Sharma, professor of gastroenterology and hepatology and fellowship program director, will receive the 2014 American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) Distinguished Endoscopic Research Mentoring Award. Sharma was chosen to receive the award for his stewardship and development of trainees in endoscopic research. GI trainees have maintained a 100 percent board pass rate, published more than 20 first-authored peer-reviewed papers, and become prominent in the field of endoscopic research. The award will be presented at the ASGE’s 10th annual Crystal Awards ceremony in May.

February 2014

Indranil Biswas, Ph.D.

Indranil BiswasBiswas, professor of microbiology, molecular genetics and immunology, has been named a U.S. fellow in the Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Program. His main research interests are bacterial pathogenesis and bacterial antibiotic resistance. His Fulbright research will focus on understanding the molecular mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens acquire the New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 gene and steps that might be taken to halt the spread of this antibiotic resistance marker. He will spend four months at Christian Medical College–Vellore and other universities in India.

Carl Weiner, M.D., M.B.A.

Carl WeinerWeiner, the K.E. Krantz Professor and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, presented an award-winning abstract at the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine meeting in New Orleans on Feb. 6. Winning in the Clinical Obstetrics category was his presentation “5-year experience with PROMPT (PRactical Obstetric Multidisciplinary Training) reveals sustained and progressive improvements in obstetric outcomes at a US hospital.” The study demonstrated successful outcomes over a five-year period using PROMPT simulation training and initiating mandatory, annual training of all OB personnel. Collaborating on the study were Linda Samuelson, clinical research coordinator; Leigh Collins, nurse manager; and Catherine Satterwhite, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine and public health. The study was also published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

January 2014

Elizabeth Ablah, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Liz AblahAblah, associate professor of preventive medicine and public health at the KU School of Medicine–Wichita, has been appointed to the Kansas Governor's Council on Fitness. Her focus is health promotion, chronic disease prevention, access to health care, and nutrition and physical activity. The council promotes healthy lifestyles to business, schools and families by sharing information about nutrition, physical activity and tobacco prevention and cessation.

Hinrich Staecker, M.D., Ph.D.

Hinrich StaeckerStaecker, professor of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery, will receive the Edmund Prince Fowler Award for a thesis submitted to the Triological Society, the most prestigious society in otolaryngology. His research focuses on developing gene therapy treatments to cure hearing loss and balance disorders. The study he submitted described the development of advanced generation adenovectors for treating loss of vestibular function. He will be inducted as a fellow into the society at a ceremony in May.

Donna Sweet, M.D.

Donna SweetSweet, professor of medicine at the School of Medicine–Wichita, is the president of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County for 2014. The society represents physicians on issues related to the private practice of medicine and is considered one of the most active county medical societies in the country. Sweet succeeds Bart Grelinger, M.D., clinical assistant professor at the School of Medicine–Wichita.

November–December 2013

Randolph J. Nudo, Ph.D.

Randolph NudoNudo, director of the Landon Center on Aging and professor of molecular and integrative physiology, has been named editor-in-chief of the highly rated clinical journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair. Sponsored by the American Society of Neurorehabilitation and the World Federation of NeuroRehabilitation, the journal is focused on the management and fundamental mechanisms of functional recovery from conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, brain and spinal cord injuries, and peripheral nerve injuries. Nudo assumes his duties on Jan. 1.

Russell Swerdlow, M.D.

Russell SwerdlowSwerdlow, director of the University of Kansas Alzheimer's Disease Center, has been named the Gene and Marge Sweeney Professor of Neurology. Swerdlow studies brain energy metabolism and the role it plays in neurodegenerative diseases. His main area of clinical expertise includes the neurodegenerative diseases that affect cognition, especially Alzheimer's disease. The professorship was established through an estate gift created by Mr. and Mrs. Sweeney, who owned and operated the College Motel in Lawrence for 40 years.

October 2013

Faculty Research Day

Faculty Research Day provides researchers with an opportunity to share their work with their colleagues. During the event, individuals are recognized for their excellence in research and contributions to research administration. Charles Little, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and cell biology, received the Chancellors Club Research Award. Robert De Lisle, associate professor of anatomy and cell biology, received the Thomas L. Noffsinger Investigator Award. Patricia Kluding, Ph.D., associate professor of physical therapy and rehabilitation; Warren Nothnick, Ph.D., professor of molecular and integrative physiology; and Sheldon Preskorn, M.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences in Wichita, received Faculty Investigator Research Awards. Susan Harp, assistant director for education and research resources at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, and Shari Standiferd, operations manager in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, received Research Grant Administrator Awards.

Richard Barohn, M.D.

Richard BarohnBarohn, chair and Gertrude and Dewey Ziegler Professor of Neurology, has been appointed a University Distinguished Professor. He serves as the principal investigator on the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award and the NeuroNEXT grant at KU Medical Center, and serves as the director of Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. His present research focuses on myopathies, motor neuron disease (including ALS), peripheral neuropathies and myasthenia gravis. He has authored more than 200 journal publications and more than 50 book chapters on various aspects of neuromuscular disease.

Judy Bielby, M.B.A.

Judy BielbyBielby, clinical assistant professor of health information management, has been elected a fellow of the American Health Information Management Association. The fellowship program recognizes association members who made significant and sustained contributions to the profession. Her clinical interests include health care classification and terminology systems; accurate and consistent application of coding rules, conventions, and guidelines; and semantic interoperability.

Janet Pierce, D.S.N., ARNP, CCRN

Janet PiercePierce has been named the next Christine A. Hartley Centennial Professor in Nursing. The Christine A. Hartley Centennial Professorship was funded with a gift from alumna Christine Hartley and her husband, Ross Hartley, to celebrate the School's 100th Anniversary in 2006. The endowed professorship recognizes Pierce's service to the School of Nursing, her record of research accomplishments and funding, and her demonstrated key role in student research mentoring and advising.

John Sutphin, M.D.

John SutphinSutphin, the Luther and Ardis Fry Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology, has been elected vice chair of the American Board of Ophthalmology. A member of the board of directors since 2008, he begins his term in January, with promotion to board chair in January 2015. The American Board of Ophthalmology was founded in 1916 and awards the only medical specialty certificate in ophthalmology recognized by both the American Board of Medical Specialties and the American Medical Association.

September 2013

Stewart Babbott, M.D., and Tracie Collins, M.D., M.P.H.

Tracie CollinsStewart BabbottCollins, chair and professor of preventive medicine and public health at the School of Medicine–Wichita, is now president-elect of the Association of Chiefs and Leaders in General Internal Medicine. Babbott, professor of medicine at the School of Medicine's Kansas City campus, is the association's current president. A creation of the Society of General Internal Medicine, the Association of Chiefs and Leaders in General Internal Medicine addresses the increasing complexity faced by primary care physicians, educators, hospitalists and researchers as they take on additional responsibility within their organizations. Collins has recently rotated off another leadership role as president of the Midwest region of the Society of General Internal Medicine.

Charles Little, Ph.D., and John Wood, Ph.D.

John WoodCharles LittleLittle, professor of anatomy and cell biology, has been named a recepient of the Chancellors Club Research Award, and Wood, associate professor of molecular and integrative physiology, has been named a named a Chancellors Club Teaching Professor. Little studies complex biological processes involving the simultaneous interaction of multicellular assemblies during embryogenesis. He has presented nearly 150 seminars worldwide, and he has received numerous national and international academic honors. Wood's research focuses on the mechanisms responsible for microvascular inflammation in various clinical settings. He has received teaching awards from medical students, as well as the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, the Ruth Bohan Teaching Award, and the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award. Little and Wood will be honored at the Oct. 4 Chancellors Club celebration in Lawrence.

Donald Milligan, M.D.

Donald MilliganMilligan, assistant professor of family medicine, has received the 2013 Exemplary Teaching Award from the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians. An expert in pharmaceuticals and pain management, he is director of the department's in-patient service. He is a former winner of Mentor of the Year and Teacher of the Year awards from family medicine residents.

Ruth Wetta, RN, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Ruth WettaWetta, associate professor of preventive medicine and public health at the KU School of Medicine–Wichita, was honored at the Kansas Public Health Association's fall conference with the Dorothy Woodin Award. The award is given each year to a public health nurse in recognition of outstanding public health nursing services.

August 2013

School of Medicine Annual Faculty Retreat

Eight individuals received awards at the School of Medicine Annual Faculty Retreat. Tomas Griebling, M.D., M.P.H., the John P. Wolf 33° Masonic Distinguished Professor of Urology, and Michael Werle, Ph.D., associate professor anatomy and cell biology, received the Ruth Bohan Teaching Professorship. Sheldon Preskon, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavorial sciences (Wichita), received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Mentoring ("The Jawyhawk"). Randolph Nudo, Ph.D., professor of molecular and integrative physiology, received the Excellence in Mentoring Award. Nancy Berman, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and cell biology, received the Achievement in Mentoring Post-Doctoral Fellows Award. John Calkins, M.D., professor obstetrics and gynecology, and Richard Dubinksy, M.D., M.P.H., professor of neurology, received the Achievement in Mentoring Residents Award. Steven Stites, M.D., the Peter T. Bohan Professor and Chair of Internal Medicine, received the Glendon G. Cox ING Leadership Award.

Ubolrat Piamjariyakul, Ph.D., RN

Ubolrat PiamjariyakulPiamjariyakul, associate professor of nursing, has been selected by the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing to receive the 2013 Arteriosclerosis/Heart Failure Translational Research Prize. The award, which will be presented at the council’s annual dinner in November, recognizes outstanding research by nurse investigators in the area of arteriosclerosis, heart failure or both.

July 2013

Kathy Davis, Ph.D.; Diane Ebbert, Ph.D., APRN, FNP-B; and Edward Ellerbeck, M.D., M.P.H.

Ed EllerbeckDiane EbbertKathy Davis

Davis, Ebbert and Ellerbeck have been selected to receive the 2013 Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award, which recognizes outstanding classroom teaching. Davis, assistant professor of pediatrics, specializes in teaching health care professionals about the educational and psychosocial needs of children with chronic and frequently life-threatening illnesses. Ebbert, assistant professor of family medicine and assistant professor of nursing, sees patients in a collaborative clinic that is a model for family medicine residents and medical students, while also teaching multiple courses in the School of Nursing. Ellerbeck, professor and chair of preventive medicine and public health, developed and leads the Health of the Public course, a four-week clerkship for fourth-year medical students.

Buddhadeb Dawn, M.D.

B. DawnDawn, the Maureen & Marvin Dunn professor of cardiovascular diseases and director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, has been appointed executive director for the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center. His research interests include the biology of adult stem cells, and he is engaged in promising research involving the use of adult stem cell therapy for cardiac repair. Created by the Kansas Legislature in 2013, the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center will focus on activities that advance adult, cord blood and related stem cell and nonembryonic stem cell research and therapies for patient treatment.

Gretchen Dickson, M.D., M.B.A.

Gretchen DixonDickson, assistant professor of family and community medicine at the Wichita campus, has been named director of Wichita's family medicine residency program at Wesley Medical Center. The position was previously held by Paul Callaway, M.D., who was recently named an associate dean. For the past three years, Dickson has directed the family medicine clerkship program in Wichita..

Robert Klein, Ph.D.

Robert KleinKlein, Chancellors Club teaching professor of anatomy and cell biology and associate dean for professional development and faculty affairs, has been named vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies. In his new role, he will oversee activities related to academic affairs, graduate studies, international programs, faculty professional development, faculty governance and institutional reporting of faculty information. He succeeds Allen Rawitch, who begins phased retirement this summer. Klein assumes his position on July 15.

Lou Wetzel, M.D.

Lou WetzelWetzel, professor and vice chair of radiology, has been elected chief of the medical staff at The University of Kansas Hospital. He has extensive experience in the use of radiology on bone and soft tissue cancers and in polycystic kidney disease. He has served in many leadership roles in the School of Medicine and he has received numerous teaching awards.

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Last modified: Oct 31, 2014

Faculty Notes marks the achievements of faculty members across the schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions. Updated regularly, the page lists select appointments, elections and awards of faculty members in the course of their teaching, research and community engagement. Contact David Martin in the Office of Communications with potential items. 

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