Friday, April 22, 2011

"Just Another Night For the USA Burn Center"

The University of South Alabama's Regional Burn Center at the USA Medical Center was featured in the April 20th Press-Register.

To read the complete story, click here.

USA Biomedical Library Director Renewed For Membership in Academy of Health Information Professionals

Judy Burnham, director of the University of South Alabama Biomedical Library, was recently renewed for membership in the Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP) at the Distinguished Member level.

AHIP is the Medical Library Association’s peer-reviewed professional development and career recognition credentialing program. The academy promotes lifelong learning and exemplary professional performance by recognizing achievements in continuing education, teaching, publishing and research.

Burnham, who has been a member of AHIP for 20 years, said the credential is recognized as a valuable membership. “It shows that we are active in our profession and that we stay up-to-date on what is happening,” she said. “As medical librarians, we must have the necessary expertise and knowledge in order to meet the needs of our users and to provide them with quality information.”

The AHIP credential denotes the highest standards of professional competency and achievement in the field of health care information and must be renewed every five years. Someone who has the AHIP designation must participate in continuing education courses and other professional development activities to maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully support the institution’s mission and goals.

April Med School Café - RSVP Today

The April Med School Café lecture will feature Dr. Anne-Marie Kaulfers, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

Her lecture, titled “Potential Cures for Type I Diabetes,” will take place April 28, 2011, at the Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center in Mobile. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon.

Dr. Kaulfers, who has training and experience in pediatric endocrinology, will discuss potential cures and future therapies for Type I diabetes, also known as juvenile onset diabetes.

Dr. Kaulfers earned her medical degree from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans. She conducted her pediatric residency at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Ky. In addition, she completed a pediatric endocrinology fellowship at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati.

The Via! Health, Fitness & Enrichment Center is located at 1717 Dauphin St. in Mobile. To view a map, visit

The Med School Café lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information or to make reservations, please call Kim Partridge at (251) 460-7770 or e-mail

Med School Café is a free community lecture series sponsored by the USA Physicians Group. Each month, faculty from the USA College of Medicine share their expertise on a specific medical condition, providing insight on the latest treatment available.

Renowned Surgeon's Upcoming Visit to USA Featured in Press-Register

Dr. Augustus A. White III, noted author and one of the foremost orthopaedic surgeons in the world, will visit the University of South Alabama College of Medicine on April 29-30, 2011.

Dr. White serves as professor of orthopaedic surgery and the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Professor of Medical Education at Harvard Medical School.

To read the entire article featured in the April 21 Press-Register, click here.

Next Week's DSS - Dr. Stephen D. Miller

The next Distinguished Scientist Seminar at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine will be presented by Dr. Stephen D. Miller, professor and director of the Interdepartmental Immunobiology Center at Northwestern University.

Dr. Miller's talk, titled "Combining Immunoregulatory and Myelin Repair Strategies for the Effective Therapy of the EAE Model of Multiple Sclerosis," will take place on April 28, 2011, at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium on USA's main campus.

Dr. Miller's laboratory investigates cellular and molecular mechanisms of the immunopathogenesis and specific immunoregulation of CD4+ T cell-mediated autoimmune responses employing two lab models of multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Miller received his B.S. degree in microbiology in 1969 and his Ph.D. in immunology in 1975 from Pennsylvania State University. He then conducted postdoctoral work at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. In addition, he served on the faculty at the University of Colorado from 1978 to 1981.

For more information on Dr. Miller's research, visit

To learn more about the lecture series, contact Natalie Kent at (251) 461-1548.

Retirement Reception Held For Former Pediatrics Practice Director

Bill Brainerd, former practice director for the department of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama, opens a gift during his retirement reception held on April 13, 2011. Brainerd retired this month after more than 16 years of service.

"Throughout my 16 years with USA, I have had the privilege of working with truly outstanding faculty, staff and administrators," Brainerd said. "Serving as practice director for the departments of OB/GYN, medical genetics and pediatrics enabled me to see, firsthand, the excellent care and compassion that our faculty and staff provide to patients and families who are dealing with very difficult healthcare issues."

"I will certainly miss working with the Health Services Foundation management team," he added. "Over the years, we often faced seemingly overwhelming obstacles, which were overcome only through the leadership, dedication, talent and unity of this group."

USA Research Team Awarded NIH Grant

A research team at the University of South Alabama was recently awarded a five-year, $1.4 million grant by The National Institutes of Health to study mechanisms that lead to abnormal cellular metabolism in cancer cells.

The team, led by Dr. Ming Tan, assistant professor of oncologic sciences and the Vincent F. Kilborn Jr. Cancer Research Scholar at the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, will also investigate effective strategies against breast cancer by targeting abnormal glucose metabolism in cancer cells.

Dr. Tan, who also holds a joint appointment in the department of cell biology and neuroscience at the USA College of Medicine, said normal cells mostly rely on a process that consumes oxygen and glucose to make energy. “In contrast, cancer cells consume far more glucose than normal cells to maintain sufficient energy supplies,” he said. “Recent studies found that this unique property is an ‘Achilles’ Heel’ for cancer cells.”

Tan said Trastuzumab, also known as Herceptin, shows remarkable efficacy in treatment of breast cancers when used alone or in combination with other traditional drugs. However, acquired resistance develops in most treated patients, necessitating alternate treatment strategies.

According to Dr. Tan, the researchers in this study will investigate the mechanisms that lead to abnormal glucose metabolism in cancer cells and will investigate the antitumor effects of trastuzumab in combination with glycolysis inhibitors in breast cancer. Results from these studies will show how shutting down cancer cell energy supplies can enhance the therapeutic efficacy of trastuzumab in certain breast cancers, which can be useful as a strategy to overcome drug resistance by cancer cells.

“Cancer metabolism has emerged as one of the most exciting areas of cancer research that may open a new therapeutic avenue and may bring new hope for cancer patients,” Dr. Tan said. “The pre-clinical studies of this project may lead to translation into clinical trial and may ultimately benefit many cancer patients in the future.”

To conduct these studies, Dr. Tan’s team will collaborate with other researchers from the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute and the USA College of Medicine. In addition, the research project will include input from scientists around the country, as well as international collaborators from China, Norway, and Switzerland.