Thursday, May 3, 2012

College of Medicine Welcomes Dr. David Gremse

Dr. David Gremse was recently appointed professor and chair of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. Dr. Gremse is the first USA College of Medicine alum to be appointed chair of an academic department at the medical school.

“We are excited to have Dr. Gremse return to his alma mater to lead our pediatrics department. He brings with him leadership experiences in other academic institutions along with a true understanding of our institution and the positive impact we have in our region,” said Dr. Samuel J. Strada, dean of the USA College of Medicine.  “Dr. Gremse is uniquely qualified to build on our strengths and to support our mission. He will have the distinction of being the first alumnus of the College of Medicine to chair one of our academic departments.”

Prior to his appointment to USA, Dr. Gremse served as professor and chair of pediatrics at the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas since 2004.

Dr. Gremse received a bachelor’s of chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and earned his medical degree from the USA College of Medicine in 1983. He completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at USA Medical Center and his fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati. In addition, he was a research fellow in the division of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation.

Dr. Gremse returned to USA in 1990 to serve as assistant professor and director of the division of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. He was the first board certified pediatric gastroenterologist in Mobile.  In 1995 he was promoted to associate professor of pediatrics. During this time, he also held a joint appointment in pharmacology at the USA College of Medicine and as medical director of the USA Pediatric Pharmacology Research Unit.

From 1993 to 2003, Dr. Gremse served as chief of gastroenterology at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital. He was also the first president of the medical staff at USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital when it changed its name from USA Doctors Hospital in 1997.

Dr. Gremse was appointed vice-chair of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the USA College of Medicine in 1998. From 1999 to 2003 he served as professor of pediatrics and associate professor of pharmacology at USA. In 2002, he served as interim chair of the department of pediatrics and adolescent medicine until he became chair of pediatrics at the University of Nevada School of Medicine in 2004.

While at USA, Dr. Gremse served as professor of physician assistant studies for the USA College of Allied Health. He was also a member of the USA Faculty Senate and the USA Executive Council, chair of the USA College of Medicine admissions committee, president of the USA Medical Alumni Association, chair of the USA College of Medicine student research committee, AOA Medical Honor Society Councilor, and a member of the USA Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center’s internal advisory committee. In addition, he served as chair of the residency training committee for the department of pediatrics.

Dr. Gremse has received numerous academic and teaching awards and clinical honors, including being named to America’s Top Pediatricians, Best Doctors in America, and Top Doctors in Southern Nevada.

Dr. Gremse is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and the American Pediatric Society. He has served on the editorial board for Pediatric Drugs since 2001.

In addition, Dr. Gremse is currently a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Gastroenterology and Nutrition Executive Committee, and was president of the Nevada Chapter of the AAP. In addition, he is a member of the American Board of Pediatrics Maintenance of Certification Examination Committee and the Pediatric Gastroenterology Sub-board, where he also chaired the Credentials Committee. Dr. Gremse recently completed a term as secretary-treasurer of the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition.

USA Children's & Women's Hospital Participates in March of Dimes March for Babies Walk

The March of Dimes March for Babies walk was held last Saturday, April 28, on the University of South Alabama’s main campus. Teams met in front of the USA Mitchell Center for the two-mile walk. A team from the USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital participated in the event.

“The USA Children’s and Women’s team of 70 included hospital employees and their families,” said Laurey Byrd, who is a supervisor in the neonatal intensive care unit at the USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital and co-captain of the USA Children’s and Women’s walk team. "Close to $23,000 was raised by the hospital and their employees."

Several teams throughout the community participated in the event that raised money to support the March of Dimes.

“We raised more than $60,000 from the event,” said Jennifer Bitner, the Southwest division director for the March of Dimes. “More than 15 teams were involved, totaling about 300 people.”

March of Dimes is a non-profit organization that provides education materials, community outreach, and research grants to help raise awareness and bring an end to premature birth.

“We work closely with USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital because of the intensive care they provide for infants in our community,” Bitner said.

Faculty and Students to be Honored at Annual Honors Convocation

2011 Honors Convocation

Each spring, the University of South Alabama College of Medicine recognizes students for their academic achievements at the annual Honors Convocation.

This year's College of Medicine Honors Convocation for the Class of 2012 will be held May 11, 2012, at 7 p.m. at the USA Mitchell Center.

Doctoral hoods, along with the student honors, will be awarded to the medical students at Honors Convocation. Faculty will be honored by the students as well. The seniors selected those members of the faculty who had the most meaningful impact on their medical education, and for their positive influence, the faculty selected will wear a red sash over their academic regalia.

Below is a list of faculty honored with red sashes:

Dr. Bayani Alberto Abordo
Dr. Jorge Alonso
Dr. Ghulam Awan
Dr. Ronald Balczon
Dr. John Bass
Dr. Bassam Bassam
Dr. Carole Boudreaux
Dr. Sidney Brevard
Dr. Eduardo Calderon
Dr. Carlo Contreras
Dr. Errol Crook
Dr. Mike Culpepper
Dr. Haidee Custodio
Dr. Jack DiPalma
Dr. Benjamin Estrada
Dr. Karen Fagan
Dr. Michael Finan
Dr. Roy Gandy
Dr. Anthony Gard
Dr. Mark Gillespie
Dr. Richard Gonzalez
Dr. Juvonda Hodge
Dr. Grace Hundley
Dr. T. J. Hundley
Dr. Druhan Howell
Dr. Ihab Jubran
Dr. Jessica Kirk
Dr. John LaFleur
Dr. Roger Lane
Dr. Eric Leonhardt
Dr. Susan LeDoux
Dr. Arnold Luterman
Dr. Paul Maertens
Dr. Jose Martinez
Dr. Clara Massey
Dr. Samuel McQuiston
Dr. Frederick Meyer
Dr. Ehab Molokhia
Dr. Tom Montgomery
Dr. Carol Motley
Dr. M. Margaret O’Brien
Dr. Allen Perkins
Dr. Frank Pettyjohn
Dr. Daniel Preud’Homme
Dr. Eddie Reed
Dr. William Richards
Dr. Paul Rider
Dr. Terry Rivers
Dr. Petra Rocic
Dr. Charles Rodning
Dr. Reynaldo Rodriguez
Dr. W. George Rusyniak, Jr.
Dr. Gregory Rutecki
Dr. Katherine Savells
Dr. John Schultz
Dr. Frederick Silver
Dr. Jon Simmons
Dr. Jeffrey Sosnowski
Dr. Brad Steffler
Dr. Hanes Swingle
Dr. Allan Tucker
Dr. John Vande Waa
Dr. Steve Varner
Dr. Barry Warner
Dr. Robert Watson
Dr. Felicia Wilson

College of Medicine Welcomes Dr. Mike T. Lin

Dr. Mike Lin was recently appointed assistant professor in the department of physiology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. His main research interest focuses on blood circulation and blood pressure regulation.

According to Dr. Lin, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Menopause, aging, and hypertension are all major risk factors of cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality.

“Potassium ion channels exist in all living cells and I am interested in finding out how a specific type of potassium ion channel modulates our vascular function and blood pressure; how circulating hormones affect these potassium channels; and how the same type of ion channels affect learning and memory and our quality of life,” Dr. Lin said.

Prior to his appointment to USA, Dr. Lin completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Vollum Institute of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore.

Dr. Lin earned his master of science degree and his doctorate degree in physiology from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, Calif. He also completed research as a graduate student while studying at Loma Linda University.

Dr. Lin received research funding from the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from NIMH in 2008 and Pathway to Independence Award from NHLBI in 2010. He is a member of the American Physiological Society and the Society of Neuroscience.

May Med School Café - A Mother's Heart

The May Med School Café lecture, titled “A Mother’s Heart,” will feature two physicians at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

This is a lecture exclusively for USA faculty, staff, and their dependents.

Dr. Clara Massey, professor of internal medicine and director of the division of cardiology, and Dr. Steve Cordina, assistant professor of neurology and medical director of the USA Stroke Center, will provide information on heart disease and stroke.

The lecture will take place May 11, 2012, at the USA Faculty Club on USA’s main campus. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease claims the life of almost one woman every minute. During the talk, Dr. Massey will lecture on the latest research involving cardiovascular care and the latest news on heart disease prevention.

In addition, Dr. Cordina will discuss new treatments and interventions available for stroke victims, as well as prevention strategies. He will also explain how to recognize signs of an impending stroke.

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability. On average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds.

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.

Mark Your Calendar: Training Session

The Office of Faculty Affairs will host an in-service training session on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, at 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Mastin Building, Room 218. Departmental administrative staff in the College of Medicine and practice directors are welcome.

The in-service training will focus on the following topics:

Updates on faculty action forms
Materials needed for academic appointments
Credentialing vs. academic appointment
Start dates and impact on benefits
Appointments for visa holders
Affirmative action reports
Q & A regarding any appointment issues

For more information and to RSVP, contact Dr. Mary Townsley at

Next Week's DSS - Dr. Roger Colbran

The next Distinguished Scientist Seminar at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine will be presented by Dr. Roger J. Colbran, professor of molecular physiology and biophysics at Vanderbilt University.

The lecture, titled "Biodirectional CaMKII Synaptic Signaling Mechanisms," will take place May 10, 2012, at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium on USA's main campus.

Dr. Colbran’s research interest focuses on the molecular determinants for synaptic targeting of protein kinases and protein phosphatases in the central nervous system.

Dr. Colbran earned a B.S. degree in biochemistry at the University of Bristol and a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry at the University of Newcastle.

For more information on Dr. Colbran’s research, click here.