Friday, November 8, 2019

Pathology to host Research Seminar Series Nov. 14

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine and the Department of Pathology will host a Research Seminar Series at noon Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Strada Patient Care Center conference room.

Manoj K. Bhasin, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine and director of the Genomics, Proteomics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology Center at Emory University School of Medicine, will present “Single Cell Multiomics to Study Cellular Heterogeneity and Therapeutic Responses.”

Lunch will be served. All are welcome, and no reservations are required.

Med School Café lecture on men's health issues now online

Christopher Keel, D.O., a urologist with University Urology and adjunct assistant professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, presented at the October Med School Café.

In his talk, Keel discussed men's health issues including hypogonadism, testosterone levels and prostate cancer.

Watch the full lecture on YouTube or below.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Mark Your Calendar: Arts in Medicine event set for Nov. 15

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine’s Wellness Council invites you to attend and showcase your talents and creative sides at Arts in Medicine, an event aspiring to cultivate a culture of vulnerability and inspiration.

Arts In Medicine is set for 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at Chaleur Coffee, located at 1714 Dauphin St. in downtown Mobile. Complimentary appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided.

Zachary Lazzari, a second-year medical student and member of the Wellness Council, is organizing the event. Consisting of medical students and faculty advisers, the Wellness Council at the USA College of Medicine advocates for student wellness by creating initiatives and events for students.

"I recently read an essay by Abraham Verghese – a physician-writer idol of mine – titled 'The Importance of Being' that discusses art’s ability to reshape the world around us," Lazzari said. "Works of art, by their beauty, can broaden our minds, hone our eyes, and expand our hearts. This is the goal and hope of the project."

Creative contributions are welcome from students and faculty. For those contributing:
  • Music: This event will be unplugged, so if you plan to share musical talents just note that it will be acoustic only (keyboards are welcome). 
  • Visual Art: Since there will be limited space, contact if you plan to contribute a visual piece. 
  • Poetry/Comedy/Other: All other contributions simply need to prepare to read/recite loudly to make sure everyone can hear you.
For questions about the event or to contribute, contact Zachary Lazzari at

Simulation lab: the only place in the hospital with a reset button

Medical student Joseph Stahl performs a lumbar puncture on a manikin in the simulation lab at USA Health University Hospital.
USA Health University Hospital recently renovated two simulation labs – a partial-task training room and a multimedia conference room – proving beneficial for medical students.

Students from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine recently attended a simulation lab on neuro lumbar punctures. When the students entered, a mid-section of a manikin was on the examination table. Jose Sanchez, M.D., a second-year neurology resident with USA Health, quizzed the students about the procedure as they entered.

After the questions, Sanchez demonstrated and explained the procedure step by step for the students. One by one, the students approached the table and performed the procedure on the manikin successfully.

Neurology resident Jose Sanchez, M.D., leads a demonstration 
in the simulation lab at USA Health University Hospital.
The renovation of the simulation lab at University Hospital better accommodates the busy schedules of students and clinicians. It allows them to practice on manikins during their down time without having to go far from their real patients.

“Simulation supports learning by immersing learners in the experience. From lumbar punctures to life-saving interventions such as CPR, simulations is a safe environment in which clinicians can practice and hone their skills,” said Alison Rudd, Ed.D, FNP-C, assistant professor and assistant director of the USA Simulation Program. “It provides a safe learning environment in which to practice. If a mistake is made, we simply press the ‘reset’ button.”

In the simulation lab, the students are able to witness scenarios like cardiac and pulmonary resuscitation, emergency childbirth and trauma assessment. They also get to practice procedures such as suturing, lumbar punctures, intubation and IV insertion.

“Medical decision making and interventions are skills that should be practiced," Rudd said. "There is no better place to start than a sim lab."

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Video now online: “Gene Therapy: The Promise of a Cure for Sickle Cell Disease”

Felicia Wilson, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a pediatric hematologist/oncologist with USA Health, presented at the September Med School Café.

In her talk, “Gene Therapy: The Promise of a Cure for Sickle Cell Disease,” Wilson discussed a new approach to helping sickle cell patients – a new gene therapy that appears to offer the same benefits as a bone marrow transplant, without the risk of rejection.

Watch the full lecture on YouTube or below.

Medical students combine Halloween bags, health messages for children

Second-year students at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine came together to give back to the community in a unique way. Members of the Class of 2022 created Halloween goodie bags for sick children, incorporating positive health messages for distribution to the families of patients at USA Health Children’s & Women’s Hospital.

“Our state’s childhood obesity rate is one of the highest in the country,” said Anna Wright, one of the medical students. “We wanted to spread awareness to children and their families about how to enjoy themselves throughout Halloween and the following holiday season while still prioritizing their health.”

The students hand-wrote notes with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics on portion control, limiting sugar, exercise recommendations, safety tips and more, packaging them with student-donated items such as adhesive bandages, toothbrushes, toys and masks. The bags were distributed through the hospital’s Mapp Child and Family Life Program.

“We wanted to encourage families to make small changes that will leave a lasting difference on their health,” Wright said.

Reception honors USA College of Medicine's newest chairs

John Marymont, M.D., dean of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs, hosted a welcome reception to honor the four most recent chairs appointed in the USA College of Medicine. The reception was held Oct. 29 at the Strada Patient Care Center.

This year's event recognized (pictured, from left): Kevin Macaluso, Ph.D., professor and chair of microbiology and immunology; Richard Honkanen, Ph.D., professor and chair of biochemistry and molecular biology; Mimi Munn, M.D., professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology; and Guillermo Herrera, M.D., professor and chair of pathology.

View more photos from the reception on Flickr.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Neurologist to speak on traumatic brain injuries in children

Elias Chalhub, M.D., professor of neurology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and neurologist at USA Health, will present on the pathophysiology and long-term effects of traumatic brain injury.

As part of the Pediatric Neurology Lecture Series, Chalhub will present “Traumatic Brain Injury – Why Do I need to be Worried?” on Monday, Nov. 18, at the USA Health Strada Patient Care Center. Lunch is at 11:30 a.m. with the lecture beginning at noon.

Chalhub earned his medical degree from Emory University in Atlanta. He completed his internship at the University of North Carolina at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C. He then completed a National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) special fellow in pediatrics, clinical neurology and child neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.

The event is free to the community, but please RSVP to or by calling (251) 445-8262.

Please join us for the following lectures in the series:
• “First Time Seizure” on Dec. 16 at 11:30 a.m.

Pediatric bone marrow transplant subject of pediatric grand rounds

Amr Qudeimat, M.D., assistant member of the bone marrow department faculty at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, will present at the next pediatric grand rounds. His presentation, “An Update of Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant,” is set for 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at the Strada Patient Care Center first-floor conference room.

In his talk, Qudeimat will discuss the major milestones of stem cell transplant to date, the main complications of stem cell transplant, and the main challenges facing stem cell transplant for bone marrow failure patients.

Pediatric grand rounds take place every third Friday of the month and are open to USA faculty, staff and students. A light breakfast, coffee and beverages are provided.

For more information, contact Nicole Laden at (251) 415-8688 or

Med School Café to address chronic constipation in children

The November Med School Café will feature Ananthasekar Ponnambalam, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and a pediatric gastroenterologist with USA Health. He will discuss chronic constipation in children.

The lecture will be held Friday, Nov. 22, on the first floor at the Strada Patient Care Center. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation will begin at noon.

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

Med School Café is a free community lecture series sponsored by USA Health. Each month, faculty and physicians share their expertise on a specific medical condition, providing insight on the latest treatment available.