Thursday, August 11, 2011

38th Annual Medical Student Research Day Features Dr. Talmadge King

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine’s 38th annual Medical Student Research Day took place Aug. 5 in the Medical Sciences Building.

The event featured Dr. Talmadge King, the Julius R. Krevans Distinguished Professor in Internal Medicine and chair of the department of medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. His lecture was titled “Physician-Scientist: Pursuit of a Career in Patient-Oriented Research.”

The USA Summer Research Program is a 10-week program that allows medical students to gain a better appreciation for biomedical research and the contribution it makes to the applied science that is needed to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Both oral presentations and poster presentations were given by the students.

Stephen Cheek, a freshman medical student, gives a presentation during the 38th Annual Medical Student Research Day

Tiara Murphy (left), a sophomore medical student, with Dr. Talmadge King, guest lecturer

Tom Garth (left), a sophomore medical student, with Dr. Thomas Lincoln, Student Research Day moderator and chair of the department of physiology

Dr. Errol Crook (left), chair of the department of internal medicine, with T'Keyan Peoples

USA College of Medicine Welcomes Dr. R. Brian Bettencourt

Dr. R. Brian Bettencourt was recently appointed assistant professor of family medicine at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

Prior to his appointment to USA, Dr. Bettencourt completed his fellowship in sports medicine in the USA Department of Family Medicine.

Dr. Bettencourt earned his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pa. He completed residency training in family medicine with USA.

Dr. Bettencourt is a team physician for South Athletics and a member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine.

Dr. Bettencourt is a member of the American Association of Family Practice and the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. He is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

He is now accepting new patients. For appointments, call (251) 434-3475.

USA Alum, Former Faculty Member Chosen as President of Liberal Arts College

Dr. Joseph N. Benoit, an alum and former faculty member at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, was recently chosen as the new president of Mount Marty College, a liberal arts college in Yankton, S.D.

Prior to being named president of Mount Marty College, Dr. Benoit served as professor of pharmacology and dean of the graduate school at the University of North Dakota, where he presided over significant growth in the university’s graduate programs.

Dr. Benoit also served as director of graduate studies at the USA College of Medicine from 2000 to 2001 and associate professor and professor of physiology at the USA College of Medicine from 1995 to 2001.

Dr. Benoit said his background in health sciences, as well as his commitment to higher education, has led him to his current work at Mount Marty College, which is sponsored by the Benedictine Community of the Sacred Heart Monastery who also sponsors Avera Health System.

“Working with Avera Health is something that fit in with my background in health sciences,” Dr. Benoit said. “We have the opportunity to expand and look to the future, coupling liberal arts traditions into the education of health care professionals.”

Dr. Benoit completed his Ph.D. and undergraduate degree in basic medical sciences at USA, and a B.S. degree in biology/chemistry at the University of Southwestern Louisiana.

“The tools I acquired while being trained as a scientist have helped me in other areas,” he said. “I stay in touch with the discipline and use those tools to help me accomplish my current duties. It’s a data-driven approach to administration.”

Dr. Benoit said choosing the USA College of Medicine’s multidisciplinary graduate program was one of the wisest decisions he’s made. “Students should embrace the multidisciplinary approach instead of focusing on one thing,” he said. “The ability to adapt is important, and being broadly educated really opened doors for me.”

“I had the opportunity to work with a great group of faculty when I was a student at USA,” Dr. Benoit added. “It was great to have those role models, and working with them has really helped me throughout the years. They taught me the importance of being involved at a national level with organizations that are in line with the mission of the institution you are serving.”

Dr. Benoit said the thing he is most proud of is having the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of individuals that are seeking to continue their education. “That has been and always will be my goal.”

In 2006, Dr. Benoit received the Distinguished Alumni and Service Award from USA, which recognizes outstanding achievement and leadership in his chosen field of interest.

Mount Marty College is a Catholic Benedictine center of higher education founded in 1936 in Yankton, S.D., by the Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery, who continue to sponsor the institution today. In addition to its Yankton campus, the college includes a campus in Watertown, S.D. and a Sioux Falls campus housing the college’s Nurse Anesthesia program.

Mark Your Calendar: Webinar

The University of South Alabama Health Systems Grants Administration and Development Office, in collaboration with Dr. Russ Lea, vice president for research, is hosting a live webinar titled "The NIH Application Review: Understanding This Process."

The webinar is scheduled for Aug. 16, 2011, at 12 p.m. in the auditorium on the first floor of the main library.

A 2010 NIH review of 45,000 applications identified the most common blunders and troublesome areas in its applications. This pragmatic webinar will present strategies for breaking your final grant application review into four specific areas. These tactics will improve your chances of funding by submitting the best possible application, especially if you presented it a few days before the deadline. And although the focus will be on NIH, these approaches apply to other agencies' applications as well.

Key Webinar Take-Aways:

* Top 10 most common errors on NIH applications
* Awareness of your application's most error-prone sections
* Four-part strategy for reviewing your proposal before final submission
* Prioritized checklist of what is most important/necessary to review
* Window for corrections on applications submitted days before the deadline

Dr. Marjorie Piechowski, director of research support in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will be the speaker during the webinar. Dr. Piechowski has more than 25 years of experience in faculty grant development, research administration and technical writing at three Midwestern universities.

Widely recognized for her expertise in these areas, she has made over 80 presentations at regional, national and international meetings. Dr. Piechowski is a member of the National Council of University Research Administrators and a past president of the International Society of Research Administrators, which also honored her with its Excellence Award. She has written more than $13 million in successful grants for these organizations and reviewed grants for both the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute on Aging.

There will be a question and answer session after the webinar. To RSVP to the webinar, email Ashley Turbeville at

USA College of Medicine Welcomes Dr. Jon Simmons

Dr. Jon D. Simmons was recently appointed assistant professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. He will serve as a trauma surgeon in the division of trauma/critical care at USA.

Prior to his appointment to USA, Dr. Simmons completed a fellowship in surgical critical care at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md. Previously, he was assistant professor in the division of trauma and critical care surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss.

Dr. Simmons earned his medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine. He completed residency training in general surgery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Dr. Simmons is a member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. He is a fellow of the Southeastern Surgical Congress.