Alumni lead nation in Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars

Three Medical School alumni have been selected for the distinguished and highly competitive Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars (RWJF) program. The scholars include Nicole Gergen, M.D., Tyler Winkelman, M.D., and Manik Chhabra, M.D. -- all 2014 graduates of our Medical School. This number marks the highest from any medical school, among the 31 selected for the program.

Pui-Ying Iroh Tam, M.D., awarded Ralph D. Feigin apprenticeship

Photo courtesy of Pui-Ying Iroh Tam

Faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics' Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Pui-Ying Iroh Tam, M.D., has received the highly prestigious Ralph D. Feigin apprenticeship from the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (JPIDS).

The Ralph D. Feigin apprenticeship award celebrates contributions in the pediatrics field.

Beloved mentor and early Chair of Urology, Elwin E. Fraley, has died

It is with great sadness that I write to inform the Medical School community of the passing of Dr. Elwin E. Fraley on July 31, 2014. Dr. Fraley was the second Chairman of the Department of Urology at the University of Minnesota and served from 1969-1993

Dr. Fraley was an alumnus of Princeton University and Harvard Medical School and completed his residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He was recruited to Minnesota after completing a fellowship at the NIH as one of the youngest chairmen of urology in the country at that time.

During his tenure, he took over the reins of a fledgling Department of Urologic Surgery and nurtured it to international prominence. The department is credited with great accomplishments during the time of Dr. Fraley. Several advances in testicular, prostate and bladder cancer care – including facilitating the establishment of PSA as a marker for prostate cancer – were accomplished.

Center for Magnetic Resonance Research director receives Richard R. Ernst Medal

Kamil Ugurbil (left) receives award, photo courtesy of Kamil Ugurbil

Kamil Ugurbil, Ph.D., director of the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research and faculty member in the Department of Radiology, has been awarded the renowned Richard R. Ernst Medal by the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry.

Awarded annually at the Richard R. Ernst Lecture, in Zurich, Switzerland, this honor commemorates Swiss chemist Richard R. Ernst, Ph.D., who received a Nobel Prize in 1991 for his contributions to nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) research.

Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research awarded grant

A 1.54 million dollar grant has been awarded to the Department of Psychiatry’s Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CASAR) by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Department of Psychiatry faculty member and CASAR director Ken Winters, Ph.D., will lead the upcoming study as principal investigator.

Profile: Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D.

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Seaquist

Time spent on these 'Profiles' features is often used making minor edits to the conversational transcript. Tightening grammar, clarifying sentences, and adding proper punctuation is required when converting a spoken interview into one that can be read smoothly from a page. Luckily for me, Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., is practiced in giving succinct, eloquent responses to questions. Maybe this is due to her prominent leadership roles in the field of diabetes research, both locally at the University of Minnesota, and nationally with the American Diabetes Association. Adapting her answers to article-form was as easy as it gets.

Dr. Seaquist grew up in Minnesota and went to Vassar College in New York for her undergraduate education. She returned to the University of Minnesota for medical school and has been here ever since. During her time here she has grown from a promising medical student to a world-class physician-scientist. She is the Pennock Family Chair in Diabetes Research in the Department of Medicine, the President of Medicine & Science for the American Diabetes Association, and has been included on the Mpls/St. Paul Magazine’s list of best doctors eight times.

Three Minute Thesis competition engages biomedical graduate students

First Place winner Courtney Coombes

Hours of research, analyzing and re-analyzing, all condensed down to one slide, presented in under three minutes.

11 biomedical sciences graduate students participated in the first Three Minute Thesis competition at the University of Minnesota this past spring.

Designed to hone communication skills, the program was developed at the University of Queensland, Australia, and has spread worldwide - including national and international competitions.

Profile: Tucker LeBien, Ph.D.

Photo by Nate Juergens

On a beautiful sunny afternoon in early June I found myself excited to be inside. I was meeting with Tucker LeBien, Ph.D., the University of Minnesota’s Vice Dean for Research of the Medical School and the Associate Vice President for Research of the Academic Health Center. A native of our northern plains, Dr. LeBien is an approachable, friendly gentleman, which isn’t always the case when someone has had as much success as he has.

It is easy to forget that our institution’s enormous buildings and even larger legacy of innovation were built by real people, many of whom are still on staff. Talking with Dr. LeBien forcefully reminded me of this. He began at the University in 1977 in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and has been involved in biomedical research here ever since. He was the first at the University of Minnesota to work with Hybridoma technology, the inventors of which went on to win the 1984 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology. He was an integral player in establishing the University’s Cancer Center and in achieving its designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, one of only 41 such institutions in the United States. He ran the Medical Scientist Training Program, mentoring the next generation of leaders in biomedical research. Et cetera.