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the force driving
breakthroughs in health care
Discovery to Treatment
power of collaboration is evident in the consortium of scientists
led by University researchers Alan F. "Rick" Horwitz, professor
of cell biology, and J. Thomas Parsons, chair of the Department
of Microbiology, who were awarded a $38 million grant from
Cell migration studies directed by Alan F. "Rick"
Horwitz and J. Thomas Parsons could lead to new therapies
for cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses.
National Institutes of Health to study cell migration. They are
leading a group of twenty-five top scientists in eight disciplines
from fourteen of the world's leading academic medical centers to
pursue breakthroughs in cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis,
and other illnesses.
groundbreaking collaborations are also producing
Robin Felder, director of the University's Medical Automation Research
Center, and colleagues at Georgetown University published findings
that set the stage for developing a medical test-believed to be
the first of its kind-to predict whether a person will develop high
blood pressure. The test is based on three variants in a kidney
gene associated with the most common type of hypertension.
Felder, left, with team member David Mack, has developed a promising
test for predicting high blood pressure.
Collaborative work in the School of Medicine and the Department
of Chemistry is paving the way to improved therapies for heart disease,
spinal cord injury, kidney transplants, and other conditions. Adenosine
analog compounds designed by Joel Linden, professor of medicine,
and synthesized by Timothy Macdonald, chair of the Chemistry Department,
have been shown to suppress damaging inflammation triggered by the
immune response. In February, University researchers received a
$1.5 million grant from the Dr. Ralph and Marian Falk Medical Research
Trust to expand their investigations of clinical uses for these
Macdonald in chemistry and Joel Linden in medicine collaborated
on developing experimental anti-inflammatory drugs.
success of these and other collaborations rests on the quality of
individual researchers whose work bridges numerous disciplines.
This year, we were fortunate in attracting outstanding new faculty
such as Barry Gumbiner, one of the nation's leading cell biologists,
who now chairs the Department of Cell Biology and is working with
colleagues across the Grounds to organize the new Morphogenesis
and Regenerative Medicine Institute.
Mario Geysen, the new Alfred Burger Professor of Biological and
Medicinal Chemistry, has come to the University from GlaxoSmithKline
and holds joint appointments in the School of Medicine and the College
of Arts and Sciences.
the father of combinatorial chemistry, he has revolutionized the
pharmaceutical industry with an approach to identifying and synthesizing
chemical agents that involves not only chemistry, but also robotics,
instrumentation, computer science, and engineering.
using automated systems, combinatorial techniques enable chemists
to address multiple problems in parallel rather than in sequence.
As a result, numerous drug candidates can be screened simultaneously,
vastly accelerating the pace of drug testing and discovery. To advance
this work, Glaxo has provided Mr. Geysen with some $10 million in
equipment and technology, which has been installed in four renovated
laboratories in the Chemistry Building.
collaborative partnerships include generous benefactors, who are
fueling medical advances with remarkable support. This past year,
Alice Goodwin and William H. Goodwin, Jr. (Darden '66), a member
of the Board of Visitors, provided $3.9 million to hasten clinical
trials of a promising vaccine for melanoma and to support the development
of new vaccines for lung, ovarian, breast, and colon cancer. In
May, the couple made an additional $6 million commitment to the
University's Cancer Center to accelerate trials of promising new
therapies for cancers of the pancreas, head and neck, brain, and
the Best Medical Care
the challenges of an increasingly rigorous health care environment,
the Medical Center has taken a number of steps to control costs,
increase revenues, and improve management while upholding the quality
of care. R. Edward Howell, the new vice president and chief executive
officer of the University Medical Center, has provided invaluable
leadership over these developments. Formerly with the University
of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, he joined the University Health System
instituting administrative changes, the Medical Center also has
moved forward with innovative patient care. Among the new diagnostic
procedures and therapies introduced this year:
The Digestive Health Center of Excellence began offering a DNA test
to identify patients with increased risk for colorectal cancer.
Orthopedic surgeons now offer a wider range of graft choices for
knee surgery patients.
Using a portable ventricular assist device, patients awaiting heart
transplantation can remain at home until a heart is available.
Edward Howell is the new vice president and CEO of the Medical
Cancer patients will benefit from a new intensity-modulated radiation
therapy, which adjusts radiation beams to the size, shape, and location
of a tumor, reducing side effects by minimizing the impact on surrounding
A new therapy that kills cancer cells by freezing them is now available
for prostate cancer patients.
commitment to serving the people of the Commonwealth was demonstrated
by the eighty doctors, nurses, and medical students who volunteered
at a free medical clinic in southwest Virginia this year. The University
Health System also has taken the lead in establishing the Center
for Clinical Toxicology, the only one in Virginia. The center offers
twenty-four-hour physician coverage to communities where toxicological
emergency care is not available.
quality of care in our hospitals and clinics continues to be confirmed
in national surveys and rankings. Among the results this year:
Ten of the University's medical specialties were listed in U.S.
News & World Report's 2002 edition of "America's Best Hospitals."
Clinical departments specializing in hormonal disorders, neurology
and neurosurgery, urology, orthopedics, cancer, gynecology, and
otolaryngology were ranked in the top twenty-five.
Forty-three physicians from the Health System were included in the
2002 edition of America's Top Doctors. More than 250,000
doctors were surveyed to create this roster.
Drs. Maria Kelly, Maureen Ross, and Peyton Taylor, Jr., were named
among the top oncologists in the ten-state Southeast region of the
United States in a Ladies Home Journal list of "The Best
Doctors for Women-Coast to Coast."
with medical research, private support is critical to maintaining
such standards in our Medical Center. This year, the Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit received a $1 million gift from Food Lion, the Salisbury,
N.C.-based grocery store chain. To go toward a $3.1 million renovation
of the NICU facilities, the gift was announced during the annual
Children's Miracle Network telethon, which raised an additional
$1.58 million for the Children's Medical Center.
hospitals and clinics will benefit in perpetuity from an extraordinary
endowment created by the late Ward Buchanan, a 1914 graduate of
the University's law school. A retired Procter & Gamble executive
who died in 1942, Mr. Buchanan stipulated in his will that a trust
be created to provide income for his close and extended family and,
after the death of his last surviving heir, to establish the Ward
Buchanan Fund for "hospital purposes" at the University. By the
time this fund reached the University this past year, it had grown
to $52.6 million, making it one of the largest gifts in the University's
history. Initially it will produce approximately $2.5 million a
year for the Medical Center.
the Next Generation of Health Care Providers
Arthur "Tim" Garson, Jr., now leads the School of
year, Dr. Arthur "Tim" Garson, Jr., was named vice president and
dean of the School of Medicine. Formerly senior vice president and
academic dean for operations at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston,
he sees challenges and opportunities in a number of areas of medical
education and is particularly interested in exposing medical students
to new ways of caring for patients. Building on the extraordinary
achievements of Dean Robert M. Carey, M.D., Dr. Garson takes the
helm of a school ranked twenty-seventh in research and in primary
care in U.S. News & World Report's annual graduate school
we prepare nurses and doctors for twenty-first-century practice,
we must blend clinical training with education in the basic sciences,
mastery of new information technologies, and understanding of the
human dimension of health care. Recent gifts and grants will help
sustain these efforts. The School of Medicine was one of only seven
medical schools in the nation to receive an educational grant from
Pfizer, Inc., to develop and implement an innovative, multidisciplinary
curriculum in sexual health medicine. The school also benefited
from an estate gift from David A. Harrison III to fund new professorships
and to recognize excellence in teaching. In the School of Nursing,
a new graduate curriculum for geriatric nurse practitioners will
be established with a grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation
Geriatric Nursing Project of the American Association of Colleges
arrival of Dr. Garson and Mr. Howell marks the beginning of a new
partnership. Working in coordination with Leonard W. Sandridge,
the University's executive vice president and chief operating officer,
and Jeanette Lancaster, dean of the School of Nursing, they are
creating an organizational and planning structure aimed at maximizing
resources and improving education and care even in these difficult
his sixteen-year tenure as dean of the School of Medicine,
Dr. Robert M. Carey created five new medical departments and
Robert M. Carey
centers, built four research buildings, and substantially
raised the quality of the medical faculty through strategic
recruitment and collaboration with other schools at the University.
Basic research programs climbed into the top echelon, and
NIH support quintupled, elevating the school to the top thirty
in NIH funding last year. Three departments were in the top
internationally recognized endocrinologist and recipient of
the American Heart Association's Irving Page Award for Hypertension
Research, Dr. Carey will return to full-time teaching and
research on the Medical School faculty. In the meantime, he
is taking a year's sabbatical to develop a proposal for a
groundbreaking new center to advance his ongoing study of
hormonal control of blood pressure.