Thursday, March 12, 2015

March 19 DSS to Feature Dr. Michael Kotlikoff

Next week's Distinguished Scientist Seminar at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine will feature Dr. Michael Kotlikoff, Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.

The lecture will take place March 19, 2015, at 4 p.m. in the first floor auditorium of the Medical Sciences Building on USA’s main campus.

Dr. Kotlikoff's laboratory uses mouse genetics, molecular biology, and molecular imaging to advance the understanding of cardiovascular disease. His lab works primarily on heart repair and vasculogenesis, using gene and cell based therapies and investigating the role and capacity of endogenous cardiac precursors. 

Dr. Kotlikoff received his V.M.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981 and Ph.D. in physiology from the University of California, Davis, in 1984. Before becoming dean, he served as chair of biomedical sciences from 2000 to 2007. Prior to Cornell, he was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania for 15 years, chairing the department of animal biology from 1995 to 2000.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Kotlikoff.

The lecture series is comprised of distinguished scientists from other academic institutions who are invited by the USA College of Medicine basic science departments to present a seminar showcasing their latest research findings. Faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to attend.

Med School Café - Expert Advice for the Community

Dr. Derek Samuels, assistant professor of radiology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and an interventional radiologist with USA Physicians Group, presented the February Med School Café lecture, “An Overview of Minimally Invasive Treatments.”

During the talk, Dr. Samuels discussed interventional radiology and what it means for patients. Interventional radiology is a medical specialty that uses minimally invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat diseases.

Watch the video below to view the lecture in its entirety.

Medschool Cafe 2-20-15 from USA Health System on Vimeo.

The March Med School Cafe lecture, "Surgical Treatment of Epilepsy," will feature Dr. W. George Rusyniak, associate professor of neurosurgery at the USA College of Medicine. The lecture will take place March 13, 2015, at the USA Faculty Club, located at 6348 Old Shell Road, on USA’s main campus. Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., and the presentation begins at noon. For more information or to make reservations, call Kim Partridge at (251) 460-7770 or e-mail

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Karen Simon Recognized for Customer Service

Karen Simon, a medical assistant in the USA department of neurology, was recently presented an Employee Recognition Award for her outstanding customer service skills.

“Karen Simon is the anchor of the patient care support staff in the USA Neurology clinic. She has a calm and caring demeanor that is almost infectious, which in a hectic and unpredictable clinic environment is invaluable. Karen always has a smile for her coworkers, a kind word, and nothing but comfort and gentle assistance for every patient with whom she comes in contact."

-Excerpt taken from a patient nomination form

To learn more about the USA Physicians Group Customer Service Recognition Program and to print a nomination form, click here

Dr. Sarah Sayner Awarded NIH Grant

Dr. Sarah Sayner, assistant professor of physiology and cell biology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently was awarded a five-year $1.5 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Sayner’s research project focuses on understanding why endothelial cells that line the blood vessels of the pulmonary circulation act abnormally during acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), an important cause of respiratory failure.

“When blood bicarbonate becomes elevated – as it can in respiratory disorders – it not only alters pH, but it can also activate an enzyme called soluble adenylyl cyclase,” Dr. Sayner said. “When this enzyme is activated in microvascular endothelial cells, it makes the blood vessels leaky, allowing fluid to get into the airspaces and restrict gas exchange.”

This project examines the transporters that deliver bicarbonate from the blood into the endothelial cells and will determine how these transporters are regulated during sepsis, a common cause of ARDS. Dr. Sayner's research team is also investigating the cellular mechanisms that promote the bicarbonate-induced barrier disruption.

“While much has been learned about ARDS, there are no pharmacological therapies that improve patient outcomes and the current standard of care is supportive therapy,” Dr. Sayner said. “Understanding how bicarbonate signaling regulates the integrity of the pulmonary endothelial barrier will help guide clinicians in the therapeutic management of blood bicarbonate levels and could also provide novel pharmacological targets to better treat ARDS.”