“The most reliable way to predict the future is to create it.”

-Abraham Lincoln

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

Dr. Mark Ellison… Honored with our Community Advocacy Award
Our annual community advocacy award celebrates a partner in advancing the mission and development of MCG.  We have to say this is a tough choice each year because we have so many amazing individuals to choose from. This year it is Dr. Mark Ellison, a 1982 graduate of our medical school, who has kept his alma mater in his life and actions. Dr. Ellison, a urologist in Athens, is a past president of his Alumni Association and he and his wife Betsy have often opened their home to this group. Dr. Ellison also has been an amazing advocate for ensuring that our students are part of these important gatherings. We call him the grandfather of our partnership campus in Athens because of his terrific leadership in ensuring that the right individuals were involved in its development. He remains a terrific mentor and educator for our students up that way as a urology preceptor. Please join me in thanking him for his endless commitment to his medical school.

Dr. Robert Nesbit… Honored with our Professionalism Award
Our Professionalism Award is another tough one since this annual honor is for those among us whose commitment and character exemplifies what we all might aspire to. Well tough as it may be to choose, this year’s recipient, Dr. Robert R. Nesbit, is absolutely the definition of both commitment and character. As a Professor Emeritus of Surgery, this individual works as hard as those of us still on “active” duty. He came to us in 1974 and was chief of vascular surgery from 1994 until his “retirement” in 2000. He chaired our Student Promotions Committee – no doubt a tough job – for seven years, and became a core clinical educator in 2005. He has been a member of the Curriculum Oversight Committee even longer and on the Admissions Committee since 2001. He has served as director of the surgery clerkship since then as well, even helped found the Surgery Clerkship Directors Committee of the Association for Surgical Education because there wasn’t one and, as we speak, is working on a cutting-edge Web Initiative for Surgical Education. You get the idea and the reason for his selection.

Drs. Ellison and Nesbit represent the best… Of medicine and our medical school…
We thank both these amazing individuals for their commitment to MCG. They, like so very many of you, exemplify the very best of their chosen profession and the amazing legacy of our nearly 200-year-old medical school. We must note here, that while Dr. Nesbit is a 1965 graduate of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, we could not be more proud to also claim him as our own. In fact and again, we cannot help but smile when we see his energetic presence making a decided difference in medical education and the well-being of so, so many. As Dr. David Hardy – a graduate of our medical school who recently returned to us as an expert in vascular surgery following a fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic – so aptly noted in his video clip during today’s State of the College address: educating medical students and residents, has an amazing multiplier effect. Thank you all for the amazing math that you do every single day.

Dr. Vinata B. Lokeshwar… Selected for NIH Study Section
You all are such leaders and inspirations. We suspect it’s in your DNA, but it’s definitely in how you live your lives. Lives like that of Dr. Vinata B. Lokeshwar. She came to us about this time last year as Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and has since been a warm, committed presence in the pursuit of super science, the education and inspiration of the next generation, and further strengthening the legacy of our medical school. This dedicated, well-funded scientist whose focus is stopping cancer’s relentless desire to spread, was recently appointed to a term on the National Institutes of Health Drug Discovery and Molecular Pharmacology Study Section. She will help review grant applications that share her focus: discovery and design of better cancer therapies. She, like you, is helping change the world.

Postdoc Camilla Ferreira Wenceslau … Awarded NIH Pathway to Independence Award
Finally today, we again speak of changing the world. We are so pleased to share that another of our incredible postdocs has received a prestigious $1 million K99, or Pathway to Independence Award, from the NIH. The award will enable Dr. Camilla Ferreira Wenceslau and her great science to successfully transition from fellowship to faculty status. No doubt, the importance of her work and her enthusiasm for it will enable that as well. Dr. Wenceslau works with Dr. Clinton Webb, chair of our Department of Physiology. Long story short, she is looking at how the kidneys can be damaged or even destroyed in the aftermath of major trauma. She wants of course, to one day stop the damage, which, at least in part, appears to be caused by bits of foreign DNA debris released from cells injured in trauma. This links back to the fascinating reality that our cell powerhouses have DNA that is distinctive from ours. So, you get the idea, a lot of this gets released into the bloodstream following trauma and the inflammation can become rampant. More on this in The Augusta Chronicle, and more to come elsewhere. Our congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Wenceslau.


Upcoming Events

Aug. 15 – Career Development 101 for Early-Career Research Investigators, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Room 108 of the Greenblatt Library. The event will highlight research related resources, provide networking opportunities and career development skills. Contact Dr. Lisa Middleton by July 15 to attend. Sponsored by the Georgia Cancer Center, Educational Innovation Institute, Office of Leadership Development and Office of the Senior VP for Research.

Aug. 19 – Start a new fun Friday tradition by wearing Augusta blue and grey on the very first Spirit Friday for our university, check out more here, and share pictures of your first Spirit Friday using #jagswag.

Sept. 1 – MCG Alumni Association Athens Regional Reception, home of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Ellison, 6 p.m.

Sept. 8 – Augusta University 6th Annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit, Marriott Convention Center.

Sept. 14 – Career Development 101 for Clinical and Teaching Faculty, 1:15-4:30 p.m., Room GB 1120D in the beautiful Harrison Education Commons. Participants will learn more about teaching strategies to promote learning in clinical and other settings, identifying campus resources related to scholarship and research; and describing a timeline for promotion and expectations for tenure and non-tenure tracks. Cosponsored by the MCG Office of Faculty Development and the AU Educational Innovation Institute. RSVP to EDI@augusta.edu.

Sept. 17 – Alumni Association 125th Anniversary Celebration, Marriott Augusta, 6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. dinner.

Sept. 24 – Augusta University Day of Service

Sept. 26 – Medical Student Research Symposium, noon to 2 p.m., Harrison Commons

Sept. 26 – Student/Resident Research Symposium, 5-7 p.m., second floor of Russell Hall, Augusta University – University of Georgia Medical Partnership

Sept. 27 and 29 – Recognition of Dr. Hervey Cleckley, the famed former MCG psychiatrist and pioneer in the field of psychopathy. The showing of “The Three Faces of Eve,” 5:30 p.m., Sept. 27, Harrison Commons, GB-1110; Lecture, “Dr. Hervey Cleckley: The Medical College of Georgia’s Renaissance Man,” with Maj. Gen. Perry Smith, 5:30 p.m., Sept. 29, Harrison Commons, GB-1110, reception follows in the Harrison Commons lobby.

Oct. 1 – The 2nd annual Pink Pumpkin Party, a family and community event by the Georgia Cancer Center to raise breast cancer awareness and education and honor survivors. For more information visit the Pink Pumpkin Party 2016 registration page, and the Pink Pumpkin Party giving page.
Oct. 6 – Alumni Association, Albany Regional Reception, Doublegate Country Club, 6 p.m.

Oct. 13 – Alumni Association Savannah Regional Reception, Savannah Golf Club, 6 p.m.

Oct. 18 – Reception and plaque presentation honoring the family of Bowdre Phinizy and Meta Charbonnier Phinizy, who’s generous gift in honor of Meta’s father, Leon Henri Charbonnier, marked the inception of MCG’s very first endowment, 5:30 p.m., Harrison Commons

Oct. 25 – Alumni Association Rome Regional Reception. Coosa Country Club, 6 p.m.

Nov. 4 – Body Donation Memorial Service, 1 p.m., Lee Auditorium.

Nov. 5 – White Coat Ceremony, Bell Auditorium, 3 p.m.; reception to follow at the Old Medical College building.

Have a great weekend.

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