Friday, September 17, 2010

Next Week's DSS - Dr. Thomas Rothstein

The next Distinguished Scientist Seminar at the USA College of Medicine will be presented by Dr. Thomas Rothstein, lab director for the Feinstein-Immunology Laboratory at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y.

His seminar, titled "Natural Antibody-Producing B1 Cells: From Mouse to Human and Back Again," will take place Sept. 23, 2010, at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium.

Dr. Rothstein’s laboratory research is directed toward elucidation of the function and role of B lymphocytes in health and disease. Over the years his research efforts have focused on a number of specific, interrelated areas. These areas currently include studies of B cell receptor signaling, B-1 cell function, B cell/T cell interactions, and apoptosis, and include a program project on molecular determinants of B-1 and B-2 cell responses.

Dr. Rothstein completed his internship and residency training in internal medicine at George Washington University Hospital and at Beth Israel Hospital/Harvard Medical School, respectively, interrupted by a research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute with Dr. Michael G. Mage.

Dr. Rothstein then completed a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Beth Israel Hospital/Harvard Medical School, the research portion of which was carried out at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Dr. Malcolm L. Gefter.

Subsequently, Dr. Rothstein joined the section of hematology in the department of medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine as an assistant professor. Over the next 24 years, Dr. Rothstein rose to the rank of professor of medicine and filled a number of roles including associate chief for research in the combined section of hematology/oncology, director of the research training in Blood Diseases and Resources Program, and director of the Immunobiology Unit.

In 2006, Dr. Rothstein was recruited to the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research as investigator and head of the Center for Oncology and Cell Biology. Over the years, Dr. Rothstein has served as chair of the cellular immunology study section of the Arthritis Foundation, as an ad hoc member of many NIH regular and special emphasis study sections, and as an associate editor of the Journal of Immunology. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Rothstein has mentored 17 graduate students and 24 postdoctoral fellows.

For more information on Dr. Rothstein's research, click here.

Tyler Gaston Receives Eran and N.Q. Adams Endowed Scholarship in Neurology

Dr. Dean Naritoku, chair of neurology at USA, presents Tyler Gaston with the Eran and N.Q. Adams Endowed Scholarship.

Tyler Elyse Gaston, a fourth-year medical student at the University of South Alabama, recently received the Eran and N.Q. Adams Endowed Scholarship in Neurology at the department’s second annual Eran and N.Q. Adams Endowed Lecture and Visiting Professorship in Neurology.
This year’s lecture, titled “The Autonomic Neuropathies: Management of Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension,” featured Dr. Phillip A. Low, Robert and Patricia Kern Distinguished Professor of Neurology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn.

Gaston received her bachelor of science degree in chemistry and psychology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville. She serves as the secretary/treasurer for the USA College of Medicine Class of 2011 and is a member of the USA College of Medicine Student Assembly.

She plans to pursue a career in neurology and will be participating in a dysautonomia research project at USA.

The Eran and N.Q. Adams Endowed Scholarship was established to support, in the early stages of their careers, young physicians engaged in neurology who wish to gain a better understanding of dysautonomia. Third and fourth year medical students at USA were invited to submit applications for the scholarship that included a unique research or learning opportunity.

For more information on the scholarship, contact Kathleen Ramige (251) 660-5108.

Summer Internship Opportunity -- COM Partners with Cleveland Clinic's Center for Reproductive Medicine

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine recently partnered with the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Reproductive Medicine in Ohio, a joint program of the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, to offer summer internships in reproductive medicine.

Dr. Peter Rizk, professor of obstetrics/gynecology and director of the division of reproductive endocrinology at USA, has a long-standing collaborative relationship with Drs. Ashok Agarwal and Edmund Sabanegh, both at the Cleveland clinic. Their collaborative work in research, clinical work and publications – including four medical text books – have led to this partnership.

The partnership will allow new candidates to register for the Center for Reproductive Medicine’s program via an independent graduate level research course titled “IDL 594 Interdisciplinary Directed Studies.”

The 8-week long summer internship course in reproductive medicine attracts top undergraduate and medical students from all over the United States. During 2010, the internship accepted 22 students from 12 different states and over 20 colleges and universities.

Completion of this internship can earn six credits of independent research, transferable to any major university or college in the United States. College students from any American university can apply for this course through USA.

The internship offers an opportunity for students interested in gaining research experience in human fertility and reproductive biology and gives students the opportunity to working with world-renowned scientists and researchers.

Prospective students should visit or e-mail the Center for Reproductive Medicine at

COM Welcomes Dr. Melanie Helene Clark

Dr. Melanie Clark was recently appointed as assistant professor of radiology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

Prior to her appointment at USA, Dr. Clark was a general radiologist with concentrations in musculoskeletal imaging and phlebology at Radiology Consultants of Lynchburg/Virginia Vein Specialists in Lynchburg, Va.

Dr. Clark earned her undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering with a Russian minor from Tulane University in New Orleans. She also earned her medical degree from Tulane Medical School, also in New Orleans. Dr. Clark completed her internship in general surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., and her radiology residency at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

In addition, she completed a musculoskeletal fellowship at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Dr. Clark is a current member of the American Association for Women Radiologists, American Board of Radiology, American College of Phlebology, American College of Radiology, American Medical Association, American Roentgen Ray Society and the Radiological Society of North America.

USA Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center Presents Sickle Cell Today Newsletter

The September 2010 issue of Sickle Cell Today covers a variety of topics concerning sickle cell and healthcare. The issue includes articles such as "Hematopoietic Stem-Cell Transplanation in Adults with Sickle Cell Disease: A Chance for Cure" and "Sickle Cell Trait in Athletes," as well as upcoming sickle cell events and up-to-date flu vaccination information.

Follow this link to view the entire newsletter:

COM Welcomes Surgical Oncologist to Faculty

Dr. Carlo Contreras was recently appointed as assistant professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

Dr. Contreras earned his undergraduate degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and his medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Dr. Contreras completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison.

In addition, he completed a clinical surgical oncology fellowship at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Dr. Contreras is board certified in general surgery from the American Board of Surgery. Though he has a particular interest in patients with liver, pancreatic, and biliary tract disease, he enjoys helping patients with a wide variety of soft tissue and gastrointestinal malignancies. His academic investigations examine surgical outcomes of cancer patients and address their access to specialty care.

Dr. Contreras will see patients at the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute. For more information or to make an appointment, please call (251) 665-8000.

Monday, September 13, 2010

This Week's DSS - Dr. Charles Roberts

The next Distinguished Scientist Seminar will be presented by Dr. Charles Roberts, associate director for translational research and development and senior scientist in the divisions of neuroscience and reproductive sciences at the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Portland.

His seminar, titled “Hormonal Control of Lipid Metabolism in Primate Adipose Tissue,” will take place Sept. 16, 2010, at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium on USA’s main campus.

Dr. Roberts serves as professor of medicine, pediatrics and cell and developmental biology at Oregon Health & Science University, where he has also served as associate chair for research.

Dr. Roberts’ research is aimed at various aspects of the insulin-like growth factor signaling system, which has crucial roles in mammalian growth and development, metabolic control and tumorigenesis.

Dr. Roberts completed his doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

He was an assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of California at Santa Barbara from 1978 to 1984. Later, he was recruited as a special expert for the diabetes branch at the National Institutes of Health.

In 1989, Dr. Roberts was appointed associate chief of the section of molecular physiology with tenure, and later promoted to senior investigator prior to assuming his current position in Oregon.

For more information on Dr. Roberts’ research, visit