Also featured: Dates for Reunion and an op to meet the new dean
School of Medicine

School of Medicine eNews - Winter 2017 - Vol. 16 - No. 1

The latest from the MCV Campus

Truckloads of Toiletries

Welcome Class of 2020
Never ones to let an opportunity pass them by, the Class of 2017 left for residency interviews and returned with 40 pounds of toiletries for the homeless. Class Treasurer Sarah Berg (left) and President Yeri Park delivered the goods to Commonwealth Catholic Charities Grace Street Homeless Point of Entry in February.


An ending and a beginning
In January, Jerry Strauss, M.D., Ph.D., stepped down from his post as dean of medicine to devote himself to his research program. That same month, Peter Buckley, M.D., arrived on the MCV Campus as the 24th dean of the medical school. A pair of stories will give you a look back at Strauss’ accomplishments and a look ahead as Buckley’s tenure begins.
A three-generation connection
A three-generation connection
The Class of 2017’s Andrew Percy (left in above photo) was honored with a scholarship that carries the name of beloved surgeon Jim Brooks, M.D. The scholarship funded Percy’s attendance at the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association annual meeting, where he met Steve Yang, M’84, H’94, who helped establish the scholarship in Brooks’ memory.
Just say ‘yes’ – to a nontraditional career path
“Most physicians practice medicine,” says David Lorber, M’72. “But it doesn’t mean you can’t do other things.” Lorber returned to the MCV Campus in November to talk with students about alternative careers in medicine, giving them examples from his own career that jumped from academia to a busy practice to industry … and almost to the South Pole.
AHA honor for longtime faculty member
Emergency Medicine Chair Joe Ornato, M.D., has been awarded the American Heart Association's Clinical Research Prize. AHA President Steven Houser says his more than 350 manuscripts combined with "his leadership in clinical research initiatives ... have been essential in constructing the scientific underpinnings of today’s greatly improved emergency cardiac care.”
Trio of stories spotlight innovation
VCU’s annual report features three stories out of the medical school that exemplify how the university faces some of the nation’s pressing issues. You can read more about a safety net collaborative for mental health, addressing the adult obesity rate in a nearby community and a canine vaccine for Lyme disease.

Top stories

School chosen for health equity systems cohort
This winter the medical school was named one of eight institutions to participate in the newly established Health Equity Systems Cohort. The Association of American Medical Colleges convened teams from medical schools across the country, along with their community partners, to improve community health and reduce health inequities for patients.
30-year milestone for international exchange program
30-year milestone for exchange program
Every year since 1987 we’ve welcomed biomedical sciences students from the University of the West of England to the MCV Campus to provide the hands-on research experience they need to graduate as highly capable scientists. Associate Dean Jan Chlebowski, Ph.D., has long led the program, in part because he remembers his own life-transforming exchange program more than 45 years ago.
A national hot topic: handoffs
About 4,000 patient handoffs occur each day in a typical teaching hospital, making it a hot topic for many physicians. Ryan Vega, H’14, who's now on internal medicine faculty, talked with the American Association of Medical Colleges about our health system's approach to training residents in this essential communication.
Alumni host basic science students in RTP
Jean Kim, PhD’10 (MICR), welcomed basic science students to RTI International where she works in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. Students also got to meet Jennifer Mietla, PhD’14 (BIOC), who is quality control editor with Research Square. They were hosts for the VCU Career Services Rams’ Roadtrip program that broadens students’ perspective on careers beyond the scope of academia.
Bridge between scientists and engineers
Newly opened, the VCU Institute for Engineering Medicine is designed to foster collaborative programs for discovery and translational science to address unmet needs in health care. Labs include the Medicines for All Lab, where the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting work to develop a more cost-effective way to manufacture a new HIV/AIDS therapy.
Reunion Weekend 2017: April 7-9
We're looking forward to welcoming back M.D. alumni whose graduation year ends in a '2 or '7. From Friday evening's class parties to Mini Medical School, campus tours and a CME course, there are many opportunities to reconnect with classmates. If you have questions, please contact the Alumni and Development Office’s Jodi T. Smith at or (804) 628-2248.
Attention alumni in Richmond!
The School of Medicine will host a reception to introduce Dean of Medicine Peter Buckley to medical school alumni who live in the Richmond area Sunday, April 9. Held in conjunction with Reunion Weekend, Reunion registrants are also welcome to attend. Look for your invitation later in March.

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Mark your calendar
Alumni Events

Meet Medicine’s Dean
Peter Buckley, M.D.

3 p.m. April 9
 Country Club of Virginia Richmond, Va.
CME Opportunities

For additional info and to register, visit or call
(804) 828-3640 or
(800) 413-2872, or email

5th Annual Clinical Challenges in Pediatric Primary Care
March 18
Richmond, Va.

21st Annual Virginia Liver Symposium
April 1
Richmond, Va.

15th Annual Alumni Update Course
April 7
MCV Campus

2nd Annual Quality in Clinical Research Conference
April 28
MCV Campus

2017 Advances in Pulmonary Disease Symposium
April 29
Richmond, Va.

45th Annual Hans Berger Clinical Neurophysiology Symposium
May 22-23
MCV Campus

Kendig Pediatric Pulmonary Update Conference
May 25
MCV Campus

39th Annual Pediatric Primary Care Conference - Pediatrics at the Beach
July 21-23
Virginia Beach, Va.

9th International Conference on Pediatric Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy
Aug. 31-Sept. 2
Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando

Best Practices in Pain Management - Primary Care and Specialty Collaboration
Sept. 16-17
Williamsburg, Va.

Stepping Stones to Excellence in Wound Care
Sept. 28-29
Richmond, Va.
Reunion Weekends

2017: April 7-9
For class years
ending in a '7 or '2

2018: April 20-22
For class years
ending in a '8 or '3

2019: April 5-7
For class years
ending in a ‘9 or ‘4

2020: April 17-19
For class years
ending in a ‘0 or ‘5
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