It is not in the stars…

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.William Shakespeare

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Come Hear a National Medical Education Leader… Talk About the Future

A common thread throughout our diverse, remarkable medical school is a solid commitment to our school and to the future of medical education. This week, we are pleased to share that an individual with an absolute handle on the future of medical education will be with us next week. Dr. Maryellen E. Gusic, Chief Medical Education Officer for the Association of American Medical Colleges, will lead a brunch and learn on medical education’s future next Friday, Feb. 6, from 10:30-11:45 a.m. in classroom GB 1120 of the wonderful J. Harold Harrison M.D. Education Commons. There will be plenty of food for thought and a terrific brunch to boot so please RSVP to Rebecca Mueller today if you want to be there, or 706-721-7839. Our boundless thanks to Dr. Gusic, see, for coming to see us and to Academic Affairs for being her host.

And Hear Us Talk About Ours… Both Next Friday, Feb. 6

Directly following Dr. Gusic’s talk, we will be so pleased to officially roll out our medical school’s plan for the future. You can hear all about the five-year strategic plan, Our 186-Year Legacy and Future: People Make the Place, at the Faculty Senate meeting at noon in the Lee Auditorium. No document was ever better named. As with our school itself, so many amazing people were invaluable to this process at our home base and across our state. We simply must mention a few, including planning Co-Chairs Drs. Jack Yu and Barbara Robinson Henley, and our Chief of Staff, Jeanette Balotin. Please find a full listing of those who contributed here This has been a truly historic process that will help Georgia’s public medical school soar toward the next 200 years!

Learn More About One… Of Our Longtime Leaders Feb. 19

Dr. Joseph P. Bailey Jr., a 1955 graduate of our medical school, has a front row seat for the folks who have played a big part in our past and continue to do so to this day. Dr. Bailey, our longtime Chief of Rheumatology, is the Leon Henri Charbonnier Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Associate Dean for Clinical Sciences Emeritus of our school. Thursday, Feb. 19 at noon he’ll tell us all more about another renowned faculty member, the late Dr. Virgil P. Sydenstricker, who was Chair of Medicine for 35 years! Dr. Sydenstricker was renowned in the fields of hematology and nutrition, publishing the first case report of sickle cell anemia with autopsy findings in 1923, and earning a nomination for the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1939 for his work in pellagra. This forefather also helped rehabilitate malnourished victims of the Nazi Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Join in hearing one truly great man talk about another at the History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series at Greenblatt Library, see

And About a Neat New Study… To Help Children with Sickle Cell Disease… Right Now

Talk of Dr. Sydenstricker reminds us all of our school’s significant contributions to better understanding and treating sickle cell disease over many, many years. This work absolutely continues. In fact, this very week our Dr. Cindy Neunert started a clinical study in children trying to figure out why the only FDA-approved drug for the disease, hydroxyurea, which showed high promise for essentially any child with sickle cell disease, appears to be producing mixed results. As with so many of you, her goal is to contribute to the knowledge that will enable even better care of these children. She’s partnering with some current MCG giants in sickle cell, such as Dr. Abdulla Kutlar, on this federally funded study. She enrolled her first two patients in this innovative endeavor this week and is using our brand-new Children’s Research Unit to help ensure it’s a great experience for all. Check out

One of Our Scientists… Is Honored

Speaking of stars, our Dr. Zheng Dong has been appointed to the Editorial Board of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the top journal of nephrology and kidney research. The journal also honored this cell biologist as its Star Reviewer at the society’s recent annual meeting. No doubt he’s a steadfast player in the effort to learn more about how our kidney cells are injured and die, and just what can be done about it. Our congratulations and best wishes to him on all counts.

Our Gross Anatomy Lab… Continues to Get Rave Reviews

Our Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy also has a facility star that continues to draw rave reviews. Early March of last year our students began using the super new gross anatomy lab and some of its first visitors equated it to a new operating room suite! No doubt it is a terrific educational facility that has the feel of a first-class clinical one. Well, a discerning community leader had the same kind of thumbs up assessment of the facility this very week, and of our anatomy faculty and amazing students as well.  In fact, students, such as Emily Peng, immediately turned educator/host as well, sharing what they were learning with our terrific guest as well as a few rave reviews of their own about the education they are receiving. Great job all.

And the Medical Partnership Campus… Has a Great New Associate Dean

Finally today, we welcome a new member to our terrific team. Dr. John S. Francis has joined us as Campus Associate Dean for Student and Multicultural Affairs at the Medical Partnership campus in Athens.  This MD/PhD is an experienced academician and infectious disease physician who served as Medical Student Academic Advisor in the Yale University School of Medicine Office of Academic Affairs before coming to our Athens campus. Dr. Francis also worked in Yale’s Section of Infectious Diseases and as Chief of Infection Control at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System. He’ll be helping recruit and retain great students, and help build upon the already impressive student involvement with the Athens community. He’s a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Medicine, completed his internal medicine residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Infectious Disease Fellowship at Johns Hopkins. His PhD is from Loma Linda University School of Medicine. It’s great to have another such accomplished individual with us.

Upcoming Events

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.

Feb. 28 – Igniting the Dream of Medicine Conference, all-day event for local high school students on campus, sponsored by the Office of Student and Multicultural Affairs.

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

March 12 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium.

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

April 17 – MCG Faculty Senate, noon, Lee Auditorium

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

April 23-26 – Alumni Weekend.

April 28 – Town Hall meeting with students, noon-1 p.m., Harrison Commons, GB 1220A.

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, 2-4 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.

May 14 – MCG Faculty Senate Awards Ceremony, 5 p.m., location to be determined.

June 25 – MCG Investiture Ceremony, 5:30 p.m., location to be determined.

July 14 – Town Hall meeting with students, noon-1 p.m., Harrison Commons, GB 1220A.

Oct. 27 – Town Hall meeting with students, noon-1 p.m., Harrison Commons, GB 1220A.

Jan. 12 – Town Hall meeting with students, noon-1 p.m., Harrison Commons, GB 1220A.

Have a terrific weekend.