Thursday, November 13, 2014

Dr. Michael Welsh to Give Charles M. Baugh Lecture

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine’s Charles M. Baugh 2014 Endowed Lecture in Basic Medical Sciences will feature Dr. Michael Welsh, a Howard Hughes Investigator at the University of Iowa and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

His lecture, titled “The Origins of Cystic Fibrosis Lung Disease,” will take place Nov. 20, 2014, at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium on USA’s main campus.

Dr. Welsh is also Roy J. Carver Biomedical Research Chair in Internal Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, professor of neurosurgery, and director of the University of Iowa Cystic Fibrosis Research Center. In addition, he serves as director of the University of Iowa Institute for Biomedical Discovery at the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine of the University of Iowa.

Dr. Welsh’s laboratory focuses on understanding the biology of cystic fibrosis, a common lethal genetic disease. Cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations in a gene that encodes the CFTR chloride channel. Dr. Welsh and his colleagues are learning how the CFTR chloride channel is regulated, how it forms a chloride pore in the cell membrane, and how mutations disrupt its function. His lab also focuses on the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis lung disease, learning how the loss of CFTR causes bacterial airway infections and how bacteria interact with the airway. In addition, Dr. Welsh and his colleagues are developing gene transfer methods to treat cystic fibrosis and other genetic diseases.

Dr. Welsh earned his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine, where he completed his residency in internal medicine. He held clinical and research fellowships in pulmonary disease at the University of California, San Francisco, and did postgraduate research in physiology and cell biology at the University of Texas, Houston.

Dr. Welsh has served as president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and president of the Association of American Physicians. He has received numerous awards, including the Doris F. Tulcin Cystic Fibrosis Research Award, the Paul di Sant’Agnese Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Francis Blake Award from the Association of American Physicians, and the J. Burns Amberson Award from the American Thoracic Society.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Welsh.

The lecture is held in memory of Dr. Charles M. Baugh, who served twice as dean of the USA College of Medicine and as vice president for medical affairs. He began his career at USA in 1973 as a charter member of the medical school faculty and as professor and chair of biochemistry. In 1976, Dr. Baugh was named associate dean for basic medical sciences and served as dean from 1987-1992 and from 1999-2000. In addition, Dr. Baugh was involved in the creation of the USA Health Services Foundation, the South Alabama Medical Sciences Foundation, PrimeHealth, and in the development of USA's biomedical library which bears his name.

Past Baugh Lecturers Have Been:

Frank Maley, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research, Albany, N.Y.

Michael A. Marletta, Ph.D., Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and John G. Searle Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan

Stanley Cohen, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 1986, and Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University

Gail H.Cassell, Ph.D., Vice President, Scientific Affairs and Distinguished Lilly Research Scholar for Infectious Diseases, Eli Lilly and Company and Laboratories

Max D. Cooper, M.D., Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Microbiology and Pathology, University of Alabama College of Medicine at Birmingham

Sir Philip Cohen, Ph.D., Foreign Associate, National Academy of Sciences and Professor of Enzymology, Medical Research Council Protein Phosphorylation Unit, University of Dundee, Scotland

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

USA Health Disparities Research Group, Student-Run Free Clinic to Host 'Homelessness in Our Community'

In recognition of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the University of South Alabama Health Disparities Research Group (HDRG) and the student-run free clinic at 15 Place have paired up to create an event called “Homelessness in Our Community.” The event will be held on Nov. 21, 2014, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Health Sciences Building (Room 1020) on USA’s main campus.

This event is spearheaded by Dr. Kathy Bydalek, assistant professor in the USA College of Nursing. She is a member of the Health Disparities Research Group and a member of the board of directors at 15 Place. During the event, faculty and medical students will present information about their efforts to impact homelessness.

In addition to the event, the student-run free clinic at 15 Place is holding a donation drive through Nov. 21 to benefit the individuals who are guests of 15 Place. Supplies needed are:  hand sanitizer; all-purpose cleaner; disinfectant wipes; bleach; rubbing alcohol; hydrogen peroxide; antibiotic ointment; hydrocortisone cream; plastic squirt bottles; paper towels; q-tips; cotton balls; maxi pads/panti-liners/tampons; adult diapers; deodorant; toothbrush/toothpaste/dental floss; emory boards/nail clippers; cold weather accessories-scarves, gloves, hats, socks (new only); plastic bags; file folders; pens; sharpies; and legal pads.

Donations can be dropped off at the Biomedical Library, the USA College of Medicine student affairs office, the simulation office in the Health Sciences Building, and the Mastin Building Student Room Suite 202. If you have any questions, contact USA second-year medical student Emily Spurlin at

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

USA Welcomes Dr. Wito Richter

Dr. Wito Richter recently was appointed assistant professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

Dr. Richter earned his doctorate degree in biochemistry from Leipzig University in Leipzig, Germany, and subsequently joined the lab of Dr. Marco Conti in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University for a post-doctoral fellowship.

Before his appointment to USA, he served as assistant adjunct professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California San Francisco in San Francisco, Calif.

Dr. Richter’s primary research interest lies in understanding the role of cAMP-phosphodiesterases (PDEs), a large group of isoenzymes that hydrolyze and inactivate the second messenger cAMP, in the temporal and spatial control of cAMP signals. He is particularly interested in probing the physiological and pathophysiological functions of individual PDE subtypes and the therapeutic potential of their activation or inhibition.

USA Biomedical Library Hosts Traveling Exhibition

The University of South Alabama Biomedical Library will be hosting the traveling exhibition, Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health, during the month of November.

The exhibition highlights the role of communities in improving health at home and around the world. It also explores the shared basic needs required for a good quality of life, including nutritious food and clean water, a safe place to live, and affordable health care.

Using historical and contemporary photographs, the exhibit banners tell stories of collaboration between families, scientists, advocates, governments, and international organizations, all taking up the challenge to prevent disease and improve medical care.

This exhibition raises awareness of the sources and effects of health inequalities and invites each of us to join the global campaign for health and human rights. The experiences described constitute a legacy of success, often based on the simplest means. Working together, we can make a world of difference.

Click here for more information about the exhibit.

USA Physicians Group Participates in Benefits Fair

University of South Alabama employees visit the booths set up by USA Physicians Group providers during the USA Employee Benefits Fair Nov. 7, 2014, in the Ballroom at the USA Student Center.

University of South Alabama Health Services operations coordinator Tommie Carlisle (left) and USA Health System practice director Danny Rickert (center) talk with Bernice Robinson during the Employee Benefits Fair Nov. 7, 2014, in the Ballroom at the USA Student Center.

The University of South Alabama human resources office hosted the 2014 Employee Benefits Fair on Nov. 6-7, 2014.

The USA Physicians Group had a booth at the fair and health care providers - including the departments of internal medicine, orthopaedics, bariatric surgery, cardiology and neurology, as well as the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute - were on hand to answer health questions.

In addition, the Employee Benefits Fair allowed employees to learn more about employee benefits such as the USA Health & Dental Plan and SouthFlex. Open enrollment for both SouthFlex and the USA Health & Dental Plan is during the month of November.

As a reminder, for those covered by USA Health and Dental Plan insurance, co-pays are only $10 per visit with any provider in the USA Physicians Group. To make an appointment with any USA Physician, call (251) 434-3711.
University of South Alabama Medical Center inservice specialist Angela Morehead , RTN checks Ronnie Irby's blood sugar at the USA Employee Benefits Fair Friday, Nov. 7, 2014 in the Ballroom at the USA Student Center.