In honor of exemplary teaching, Dr. Janet Purkey, Associate Professor of Medicine, was awarded the Bland W. Cannon Teaching Award. The Bland W. Cannon Teaching Award is awarded to faculty members of the UT College of Medicine who demonstrate and teach those traits which Bland W. Cannon, MD believed to be necessary in becoming a dedicated and accomplished physician. These traits, in addition to a high level of scientific and medical competency, include respect, empathy, compassion, and humanism for the patient on the part of the physician.
Dr. Purkey graciously thanked the Cannon family for such an honor:
Dear Cannon Family,
Please accept my sincere thanks for awarding me the Bland W Cannon Teaching Award. I am humbled by this recognition. I work alongside many dedicated physicians and surgeons who strive to pass along the traits Dr Cannon valued to “our” young student doctors. Dr Cannon was a master physician who accomplished much in his 64 years. I have no doubt his former patients remember him fondl - for the same reasons you set forth in this award - compassion, humanism, empathy, and respect for each person.
Being the recipient of this award is a huge honor bolstering my energy to share the marvelous world of medicine to the brightest, most hard-working young people. They are dedicated to becoming competent, accomplished physicians. Thank you.
Janet L Purkey MD
Paul J. Hauptman, MD, Dean of the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, honored Mark Rasnake, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, with Exemplary Service Recognition Award. This honor was bestowed in recognition of his outstanding service to the UTGSM and The University of Tennessee Medical Center community during the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic.
Dr. Rasnake was also featured on WATE 6 news in Knoxville as a community hero for being a hardworking physician on the frontlines at the University of Tennessee Medical Center during the COVID 19 pandemic. WATE 6 uploaded their news story that you can watch here:
Link to the WATE 6 article is available at:
Dr. Rajiv Dhand, Professor of Medicine and Chair of the department, was interviewed by Dr. Frank Adams, a pulmonary specialist at NYU Langone Health, as a guest expert on Doctor Radio for the weekly live radio Pulmonology Program, Channel 110 Sirius XM. They had a wide-ranging discussion about transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus and methods to prevent its spread as reviewed in Dr. Dhand's recent paper in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine entitled “Coughs and sneezes: Their role in the transmission of viral respiratory infections, including SARS-CoV-2.” The paper has been downloaded more than 3,000 times.
The American Thoracic Society issued a press release for in Dr. Dhand's recent paper in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine entitled “Coughs and sneezes: Their role in the transmission of viral respiratory infections, including SARS-CoV-2. A link to press release is below:
John Parkinson, The Senior Editor of Contagion Live - Infectious Diseases Today, interviewed Dr. Rajiv Dhand, regarding his recent paper in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine entitled “Coughs and sneezes: Their role in the transmission of viral respiratory infections, including SARS-CoV-2.” Both segments of the interview are available to watch here:
Daphne Norwood, MD MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, is named recipient of the 2020 GSM Spirit Award. The Spirit Award recognizes faculty who uphold the GSM mission and who advocate for the GSM throughout the campus and wider community. Dr. Norwood has been a stellar educator and advocate for the GSM and is recognized for her engagement, enthusiasm and commitment. She has participated in the faculty development seminar series, Capstone and intern orientation; she serves as the Transitional Year Program Director; and she has participated on multiple UHS and GSM committees. Most recently, she agreed to help develop and monitor an onboarding process for undergraduate students interested in clinical research and/or clinical shadowing at the GSM (albeit on hold during the current COVID situation). A winner of the ACP Physician Laureate Award (Tennessee Chapter), Dr. Norwood has also served on the TN ACP Governor's Council and an ACGME review committee. Her contributions are appreciated.
Steven Rider, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, volunteer faculty, is awarded the GSM Excellence in Teaching 2020. Dr. Rider practices at the University Neurology Cole Neuroscience Center. He is Division Director of Neurology and Director of the Neurology Clerkship for medical students at the GSM where he leads the majority of didactic teaching for residents and medical students and is consistently rated as an excellent teacher. He was awarded the Department's R.A. Obenour, Jr. Teaching Award based on resident reviews of their experiences on neurology rotations.
In his nomination, Rajiv Dhand, MD, Chair of Medicine wrote, "Dr. Rider is an excellent teacher and skilled clinician. He is a good role model and team player, and he has been a valuable asset for the program and enthusiastically participates in his teaching activities."
Dr. Joseph Peeden, the student clerkship director for pediatrics, was presented the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, James Etteldorf, MD Pediatric Alumni Award on May 10, 2019. This award is given annually to an alumni who has demonstrated excellence in the field of pediatrics. The recipient is selected by previous award winners.
Dr. Peeden attended medical school at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, Tennessee. He completed a residency in pediatrics at LeBonheur Children's Hospital at the University of Tennessee in Memphis, Tennessee and completed a fellowship in clinical genetics at the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis, Tennessee.
Dr. Rod Ramchandren, Professor of Medicine and the Division Chief of Hematology Oncology, recently published an article entitled, "Nivolumab for newly diagnosed advanced-stage classic Hodgkin lymphoma: Safety and efficacy in the phase II CheckMate 205 study" in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. This article is the first ever evaluation of immuno chemotherapy for newly diagnosed Hodgkin lymphoma to be presented worldwide. We are honored to have a progressive researcher and practitioner, such as Dr. Ramchandren, on our faculty.
Dr. Jonathan Wall has been named Director of Research for the Graduate School of Medicine effective June 1, 2019. He will be responsible for overseeing basic and translational science initiatives.
Dr. Wall, a tenured Professor at the GSM, graduated from the University of Essex (Colchester, UK) with a baccalaureate in biological sciences. He received a PhD in Biological Chemistry and Biophysics for studies of protein-membrane interactions. He joined the Human Immunology & Cancer Program at the University of Tennessee Medical Center as a post-doctoral fellow. He now directs the NIH-funded Amyloidosis and Cancer Theranostics Program where the focus is on the development and translation of biologicals for imaging and therapy of systemic amyloid diseases.
The National Board of Echocardiography administered the first exam for certification in advanced critical care echocardiography (ACCE) on January 15, 2019. Congratulations to Dr. Francisco Soto on persevering through this challenging process and obtaining this special competence.
Dr. Soto is an expert in pulmonary vascular disease and pulmonary hypertension. He is the Associate Director of UT Medical Center's Pulmonary Hypertension Program, the Director of Pulmonary Hypertension Research, and serves as an Associate Professor of Medicine. He is also board-certified in pulmonary and critical care medicine and sleep medicine. He has presented at numerous national and international conferences on the topic of pulmonary hypertension and its treatment. In 2018, the University of Tennessee Department of Medicine residents selected Dr. Soto for the London Award for excellence in teaching.
Dr. Rajiv Dhand has been named section editor of the Respiratory Medicine section of Advances in Therapy. Advances in Therapy is an international, peer reviewed journal devoted to publication of high-quality studies in clinical medicine, including research on existing drugs and drugs in development.
Several faculty awards were presented at the annual Faculty Recognition Dinner held in December, 2018
The Beasley Pylon Award for extraordinary leadership and service to the Department of Medicine was presented to Dr. Mark Rasnake.
The R. A. Obenour, MD, Distinguished Alumnus Award in Recognition of Outstanding Career Achievement in the Field of Medicine was presented to Dr. Tina Dudney.
Dr. Juli Williams received the R.A. Obenour, Jr. Excellence in Teaching Award for Steadfast Dedication and Excellence in Teaching.
Dr. Francisco Soto received the London Award, which is presented to a teacher who exhibits dedication to excellence.
We are delighted to recognize each of these individuals for their many contributions to the Department of Medicine.
Rajiv Dhand spoke at the New Horizons Symposium during the American Association for Respiratory Care's International Congress held in Las Vegas, Nevada in early December 2018. His lecture entitled, "Aerosolized Antibiotics - Now What?" presented the results of two recent, large randomized controlled trials that have failed to show any advantage of adjunctive aerosolized antibiotics in the treatment of ventilator - associated infections and discussed the future role for aerosolized antibiotics in ventilated patients.
Dr. Paul Terry chaired the FY18 Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) peer review process. The mission of this program is "to encourage, identify and select military health-related research of exceptional scientific merit." Dr. Terry was recognized for ensuring a smooth and effective review process and excellent discussion summaries.
On June 27th the FDA held a workshop at its campus in Silver Spring, Maryland. Discussions at this workshop entitled, “Development of inhaled antibacterial treatments for cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis” focused on landscape and important scientific challenges associated with cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis drug development as well as cross-cutting device-related challenges associated with both disease areas. Dr. Rajiv Dhand participated in this workshop as an expert panel member.
Dr. J. Francis Turner has been invited by the Interventional Pulmonary Disease Department and Endoscopy Center of AnHui Chest Hospital to be the keynote speaker of the Interventional Pulmonary Conference of East China. This conference will be held in the Anhui Province of the People's Republic of China from June 28 through 30, 2018.
Dr. J. Francis Turner was one of six practitioners recognized by Dr. Ko-Pen Wang for contributions to transbronchial needle aspiration. Dr. Ko-Pen Wang was the first in the United States to describe the transbronchial needle aspiration technique. We are honored to have a highly skilled practitioner, such as Dr. Turner, on our faculty.
The American Thoracic Society recently granted Dr. Rajiv Dhand and Dr. J. Francis Turner, Jr. fellow designation. This is a new designation offered by the ATS. The designation recognizes members for their accomplishments, demonstrated dedication to the Society and noteworthy contributions in the fields of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.
Dr. J. Francis Turner traveled to China to present two invited lectures. In Shanghai, he presented a lecture to the Shanghai Interventional Pulmonary Association entitled, “Bronchoscopic Management for Malignant Central Airway Obstruction." He then traveled to Suzhou where he presented, “Edge of Interventional Pulmonology and Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine: Training Program for China” to the Chinese Endoscopist Association.
Dr. Paul Terry will be in Herndon, Virginia, in mid-December to review prostate cancer-related grant applications as a member of the “Clinical Experimental Therapeutics” peer review panel for the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP). Several of these grant applications relate to novel “natural” or “herbal” agents that have shown promise as anti-cancer agents in vitro and in vivo. Although the CDMRP does not have “permanent” grant-review panel members, this will be Dr. Terry’s twelfth grant-reviewing assignment for the DOD since 2008.
Dr. Rajiv Dhand was invited to co-chair a NIH study section on Biomaterials, Delivery and Nanotechnology. The purpose of the study section is to assess the scientific merit of NIH grant applications and play an important role in determining the most promising basic or applied research funded by the NIH.
Dr. Charles Duffy presented the Department of Medicine Grand Rounds, “Cognitive care in primary care: A neurological perspective,” on Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Dr. Duffy is Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York.
Drs. Dhand, Terry, Martin, Rowe and Jennifer Ferris submitted a CORNET-Clinical Award proposal entitled, “Muscle weakness in hospital patients with medical illnesses: Micro-RNA biomarkers of prolonged weakness." The purpose of CORNET-Clinical Awards is to encourage innovative, interdisciplinary, team research creating opportunities for future external funding as well as promoting new lines of research.
Our Internal Medicine Residency Program continues to compete favorably with top training programs nationally with a strong performance on the IM In-service Training Exam. We view the IM-ITE as a valuable tool which assists our evaluation of curricular components and allows each resident to identify knowledge gaps on a yearly basis. Our recent graduates continued to demonstrate excellence with a 100% Pass Rate on the American Board of Internal Medicine certification exam. We take pride in continuing this rich tradition.
The Department of Medicine was well represented by Drs. Sehgal, Dewald, Pugh and Boulos at Chest 2017; the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians held in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Jonathan Dewald was award a blue ribbon for outstanding case report for "Progression of pulmonary fibrosis in a patient with telomere disease previously treated with danazol."
After months of tireless effort, the PCORI team, headed by Dr. Dhand, Jennifer Ferris and Dr. Paul Terry, recently submitted a grant proposal entitled, "Nebulizers vs inhalers as maintenance therapy to treat dyspnea in advanced COPD" to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. If accepted, this three-year project would be completed in phases and would involve approximately 600 patients. Each patient would visit our facility three times during a six-month period. One-half of the participants would use regular inhalers and one-half would use nebulizer delivery systems. If our proposal is accepted, this award would start a very valuable relationship with the PCORI group.
Dr. Rajiv Dhand spoke, on September 14, at the 21st Annual Thomas J. Godar Pulmonary/Critical Care Symposium sponsored by the Section of Pulmonary/Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut. His talk entitled, "Advancement and Understanding of Pathogenesis and Newer Modalities of Treatment for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - Bench to Bedside" was attended by pulmonary/critical care physicians and internists interested in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
Light chain amyloidosis (AL) is the most common form of systemic amyloid disease, with an estimated 4,500 new cases each year in the US. AL is a complex plasma cell-related disease characterized by the formation of insoluble protein fibrils composed of misfolded monoclonal immunoglobulin light chain components. Effective clinical management of patients with AL requires, in addition to chemotherapy, removal of destructive tissue amyloid so that organ function can be allowed to recover. To address this Dr. Wall’s team has developed a strategy that uses a novel bifunctional “peptope” - that combines a pan-amyloid-reactive peptide and a linear epitope sequence - to enhance the efficacy and extend the utility of current immunotherapeutic antibodies, such as the chimeric reagent, 11-1F4. AL amyloidosis remains a devastating and incurable disease. The goal of this work is to characterize innovative bifunctional peptides that simultaneously bind amyloid and the 11-1F4 monoclonal antibody to generate a novel immunotherapy for AL amyloidosis. This approach will complement current antibody-based therapies for amyloid removal, thereby restoring organ function and securing long-term survival and remission for patients with AL.
Publication of the Chinese translation of the 3rd Edition of Flexible Bronchoscopy was recently announced. Dr. J. Francis Turner is the editor of this exceptional training manual for interventional bronchoscopy that highlights complications, precautions and contraindications as well as addresses current techniques and future technologies in interventional bronchoscopy.
Dr. Jonathan Wall, Dr. Timothy Sparer and Dr. Stephen Kennel were granted US Patent #9683017, “Inhibitory peptides of viral infection” on June 20, 2017. The patent discloses methods of treating and/or inhibiting a viral infection in a subject.
Dr. Francisco Soto joined the faculty as an Associate Professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Soto attended medical school at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia.He completed residency in internal medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago, He completed a fellowship in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Soto also joined University Pulmonary and Critical Care.
The Donald C. Brockman Memorial Research Grant is awarded in memory of one of the co-founders of the Amyloidosis Foundation who passed away in 2004. Progression from multiple myeloma to amyloidosis can occur in at least 15% of patients; thus, Dr. Martin's research proposal focused on a technique that may identify which of these patients have a greater risk of developing amyloidosis and, in turn, assist in earlier detection of the disease and improved patient survival. She, an assistant professor in the Amyloidosis and Cancer Theranostics Program in the Department of Medicine, was awarded this junior research grant of $50,000 by the Amyloidosis Foundation to further develop the technology.
Dr. Rajiv Dhand was elected president of the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM). ISAM is an international, non-profit organization that stimulates and fosters interdisciplinary cooperation and exchange of information in all aspects of aerosol medicine including the health effects of inhaled aerosols and pulmonary drug delivery. We anticipate Dr. Dhand achieving many great things in his role as president of ISAM.
To enhance research activity in the Department of Medicine a Research Committee has been established. This committee will help streamline processes as well as to facilitate and promote research activities in the department. The charge for this committee is to provide broad oversight of research within the department and to promote new research ideas and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Members of this committee are as follows:
Emily Martin, PhD, Chair
Mark Rasnake, MD, Co-chair
Daphne Norwood, MD
Paul Terry, PhD
Jaime Morris, DO
Jon Angotti, MD
Blair Reynolds, MD
Kristi Gregg, BS
Daphne Norwood, MD, Assistant Professor and Transitional Year Residency Program Director, received the 2016 Laureate Award from the Tennessee Chapter of the American College of Physicians for her commitment to excellence in medical care, education, research and service. In the presentation of Dr. Norwood's award, she was said to embody the qualities of the classically-trained physician.
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