It’s the construction of the foundation…

“It’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.”   -David Allan Coe


A Distinguished History…
Our medical school’s long, distinguished history clearly sets the stage for the amazing work that each of you do each day. Did you know, for example, that our neurosurgery service is nearly 60 years old? Our first neurosurgeon and one of the first brain surgeons on the faculty of a medical school, Dr. Richard Franklin Slaughter, came to us in 1937, where he quickly established a national record for reducing deaths from brain injury. He also apparently performed one of the first craniofacial procedures to give a child’s brain the room it needed to grow. Much more about our Department of Neurosurgery’s proud history was featured recently in the journal Neurosurgery, see

A Dynamic Future…
Certainly, one of the most difficult brain maladies that can occur is a tumor and our Dr. Ted Johnson, a graduate of our medical school, is mounting a pioneering effort to help children who current therapies have failed. He’ll be using an immunotherapy approach discovered by our Drs. David Munn and Andrew Mellor, in combination with a chemotherapy agent, to give these children a fighting chance. The clinical trial will be funded by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which has its own amazing story. Learn more about these important initiatives here and here

Which has Always Included… A Commitment to Children
Speaking of amazing efforts on behalf of children, the 14th annual Cares for Kids Radiothon was absolutely one. So many children and families sharing their story, our local radio stations 104.3 WBBQ, 96.3 Kiss FM, and G 105.7 sharing their valuable air time, and our community overall caring so much for children, enabled nearly $170,000 to be raised for our Children’s Hospital of Georgia. Particularly in this season, where so much focuses on children, who could ask for better gifts?

To Putting Others First…
The fine folks at the Georgia Prevention Institute were trying to figure out what to do this year for their holiday party and decided to do for others instead of themselves. In this case, they bought a bunch of presents and invited Santa to visit with the three- and four-year-olds from our university’s Child Care Center. Of course, it ended up being a gift for themselves as well since the children were so excited about a chat with Saint Nick and their gifts. Our special thanks to Toni Smith, Deborah Stewart, Abir Abdulbaki, and Jacob Looney for their thoughtful planning and execution of holiday cheer.

To Leadership…
We also are pleased to share that our Dr. Feng-Ming “Spring” Kong is the new President of the American Association for Women Radiologists. She has been a member of the AAWR leadership group since 2007 and has chaired its Radiation Oncology and Membership Committees. Dr. Kong also has served as Editor-in-Chief of the association’s FOCUS Newsletter. We appreciate her leadership on the national front and here at home as she continues to build our year-and-a-half-old Department of Radiation Oncology. Check out one of her innovative clinical offerings in partnership with our Department of Neurosurgery here

And Sharing Knowledge…
Our Dr. Robert Yu is Co-Editor of the new comprehensive textbook, “Glycobiology of the Nervous System.” Pretty serious stuff here about how these carbohydrates/sugars impact us. This includes, of course, how they change with age and the role they play in neurological disease. You may remember a recent study from Dr. Yu and postdoc Dr. Jing Wang about their role in maintaining the endogenous stem cell supply in our brains. Definitely some food for thought.

That Is… the Medical College of Georgia
A short update on our beautiful new academic home in Augusta. Academic Affairs is settling into their new space on the third floor of the J. Harold Harrison M.D. Education Commons and students should be in class there right after we ring in the new year. Simply terrific.

Great People… Doing Great Things
And finally today, we share the passing of another truly great alum. Dr. John G. Etheridge lived his life in Macon, Ga., and lived it well. A graduate of our medical school and a pathology resident here, he went back to his home to help establish Ocmulgee Medical Pathology Associates, PA. He served his country in the U.S. Army, he served as President of the Bibb County Medical Society, and as a delegate to the Medical Association of Georgia. He was married to Anita Dawn Bruce for 59 years. Dr. Etheridge remained a supporter of his alma mater, including being a major contributor to the Walter Shepeard Chair in Pathology. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends, and colleagues.

Upcoming Events

Dec. 17 – Annual Medical Staff Meeting, 5:30 p.m., Children’s Hospital of Georgia, first-floor conference room, BT 1810.

Dec. 19 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

Jan. 13 – Town Hall meeting with students, noon- 1 p.m., GB1220A, Harrison Commons, Large Classroom.

Jan. 15 – MCG Faculty Senate, 5 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

Feb. 6 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

Feb. 24 – MCG Alumni Association Planning Committee, Nominating Committee, Board Meeting and Regional Event, starting at 2:30 p.m., Idle Hour Country Club, Macon.

March 5 – MCG Alumni Association Regional Reception, 6 p.m., Northeast History Museum, Gainesville.

March 12 – MCG Faculty Senate, 5 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

March 20 – Match Day, noon, location to be determined.

April 17 – Raft Debate, sponsored by the MCG Alumni Association, 6 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

April 23-26 – Alumni Weekend.

May 1 – State of the Medical College of Georgia address, noon, Lee Auditorium, lunch provided.

May 4 – MCG Graduation Dinner, 6:30 p.m., location to be determined.

May 7 – Hooding Ceremony, 2 p.m., Bell Auditorium, Dr. James L. Olds, Assistant Director for the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO), the National Science Foundation.

May 8 – Graduation, 2 p.m., James Brown Arena.


About Staff

Augusta University Staff is a collection of talented writers, photographers, students and professionals; all working together to promote and support the amazing impacts and every day wins of Augusta University and the people that make up JagNation.