School of Pharmacy professor tapped for leadership institute
The Weekly NEWSMAKERS
A June 21
article quoted chiefof the division of cardiovas-cular medicine
about new, implantable deﬁ-brillators that monitor heartinformation and transmit itto doctors and hospitals.A June 21
article quoted profes-sor of preventive medicine
about the linkbetween breast density andcancer risk.A June 18
Wall Street Journal
article quoted as-sociate professor of clinicalmedicine and director ofcardiac electrophysiology
about a newmedical device that freezestiny portions of heart tissueto correct a condition involv-ing faulty heartbeats.A June 15
Wall Street Journal
article quoted as-sistant professor of clinicalmedicine
about why men don’t goto the doctor as often aswomen.A June 7
New York Times
article featured research byUSC Norris breast surgeon
andUniversity College Londoncolleagues which found thata single dose of radiation,delivered directly to the siteof a tumor right after breastcancer patients have lumpec-tomies, was as effective asthe roughly six weeks of dailyradiation that most womennow endure.
and United PressInternational also quotedHolmes about the research.A June 6
article highlightedresearch by associate profes-sor of medicine and medicaldirector of the USC NorrisCancer Hospital
and colleagues at theUSC Norris ComprehensiveCancer Center. In a trial of40 patients with advancedbladder cancer, the teamfound that 42 percent hadsigniﬁcant tumor shrink-age in response to a newexperimental drug derivedfrom sea sponges.A June 2
article cited an edito-rial written by chief of thedivision of endocrinologyand program director of theGeneral Clinical ResearchCenter
that accompanied a newstudy in the journal
.The new research suggeststhat a combination of lowdoses of the diabetes drugsAvandia and metformin canreduce the progression toType 2 diabetes by two-thirdsin people who are at highrisk of developing the dis-ease. Reuters and BloombergNews also cited the editorial.On June 1, NBC’s “TheToday Show” interviewed as-sociate professor of medicineand chief, division of geri-atric, hospital and generalinternal medicine
about a nun whowas excommunicated forsupporting a life-saving abor-tion at an Arizona hospital.
Sarah Hamm-Alvarez hasben chosen to attend thisyear’s Higher EducationResearch Services (HERS) In-stitute for Advancing WomenLeaders in Higher EducationAdministration at WellesleyCollege in Massachusetts.At the School of Pharmacy,Hamm-Alvarez is the Gavin S.Herbert Professor of Pharma-ceutical Sciences, associatedean for research affairs andchair of the Pharmacologyand Pharmaceutical SciencesDepartment.She will attend four sessionsin the academic year begin-ning in October.The institute aims topromote a better understand-ing of the higher educationenvironment through acurriculum that focuses onplanning and leading changein the academic world, manag-ing and investing resourcesstrategically, and developingas leaders.Hamm-Alvarez was selectedto attend the institute by acommittee who evaluated herbased on an application, in-terviews and interest in senioradministration.She is one of three womenfrom USC who will beparticipating in the Institute,and the only one from theHealth Sciences Campus.Others selected for participa-tion include Kathleen Speer,associate dean of faculty andresearch at the College of Let-ters, Arts and Sciences, andAllyson Hill, assistant dean of admissions at the AnnenbergSchool for Communicationand Journalism.“The objective is to furthereducate and expand themindset of these alreadyaccomplished women,” saidCarol Gray, vice president of USC Women in Management,which coordinated the USCinterview process.HERS is a non-proﬁtorganization that focuseson educating womeninvolved in higher educationadministration throughinstitutes and other activities.Their curricula aim to provideleadership and managementdevelopment to participatingwomen,Hamm-Alvarez joined thePharmacy faculty in 1993 andhas had continuous fundingfrom the National Institutes of Health since 1994.
Keck student wins AMA Foundation 2010 Minority Scholars Award
The American MedicalAssociation (AMA)Foundation announced thatKeck School of Medicinestudent Cianna Leatherwoodhas been named a 2010Minority Scholars Awardrecipient. As one of only13 awardees in the country,she will receive a $10,000scholarship in recognition of her scholastic achievementand commitment to improvingminority health.Leatherwood, who justﬁnished her second yearof medical school, wasselected for the award basedon her extensive historyof community service inmedically underservedand minority communities,including service as a medicat the Berkeley Free Clinicand a research assistant atLos Angeles County+USCMedical Center.“On behalf of the KeckSchool, I am extremely proudof Cianna for her incredibleachievements and herunwavering commitment toserving the community,” saidHenri Ford, vice dean formedical education at the KeckSchool. “Cianna is a wonderfulexample of the extremelyaccomplished and passionatemedical students here at theKeck School. Cianna is trulyan inspiration and a role modelfor aspiring physicians.”The Minority ScholarsAward, given in collaborationwith the AMA Minority Af-fairs Consortium, is designedto promote diversity in themedical profession and helpswith the rapidly rising costof medical education. Theaward recognizes scholasticachievement, ﬁnancial needand commitment to improvingminority health among ﬁrst orsecond-year medical studentsin groups deﬁned as histori-cally underrepresented in themedical profession.While Leatherwood isundecided on her ﬁnal medi-cal specialty, she feels likeher past volunteer experiencewill inﬂuence her decision. “Ido know that whatever I do,it will be focused on workingwith underrepresented minori-ties and helping to decreasegaps in health status,” shesaid. “I have always been re-ally interested in working withunderserved populations, sowhatever I end up doing willhave that aspect to it.”The AMA Foundationhas made it a priority to helpmedical students handle therising cost of their education.Leatherwood is grateful thatthis award will make a differ-ence in her student debt load.“This morning I was look-ing at my ﬁnancial aid awardfor next year, which consists of loans, loans, and more loans,”said Leatherwood. “I’m prettysure I’m not the only medstudent who is kept awakesome nights thinking aboutthe tremendous amount of debt that awaits them, and thisaward has deﬁnitely resultedin more restful, less nightmareﬁlled nights!”
Cianna LeatherwoodSarah Hamm-Alvarez
Two grants totaling $175,000 will fundthe research of Mark Shiroishi, assistantprofessor in neuroradiology at the KeckSchool of Medicine, who is studying out-comes of imaging of brain cancer tumors.Shiroishi has won $150,000 from theRadiological Society of North America(RSNA) and a $25,000 USC Zumberge In-dividual Research grant to study outcomesof perfusion and permeability imaging of high-grade gliomas.Currently, contrast magnetic resonanceimaging (MRI) is used to determinewhether a glioma is being affected by thetypical three-pronged treatment of surgery,chemotherapy and radiation therapy.However, this method does not provideconclusive evidence for clinicians that atumor is growing or has changed because ithas been affected by treatment.“The main method of tracking thera-peutic response is to use contrast MRI, butit really doesn’t tell the clinician if treat-ment is working,” said Shiroishi. “Highgrade glioma is a horrible prognosis andis highly resistant to therapy. If we couldﬁgure out sooner whether a patient isresponding to therapy, it may impact howwe view and treat these patients.”The RSNA grant will be awarded overa two-year period and the Zumberge grantover a one-year period. Shiroishi is beingmentored by Meng Law, director of neu-roradiology and professor of radiology andneurological surgery at the Keck School of Medicine.
Two new grants support research to improve brain cancer treatment