Inside IM
News from the Department of Internal Medicine - May 2022

Debra Romberger, MD, Chair of Internal Medicine, shares a department message with important updates for all faculty and staff.

UNMC eyes better outcomes for Black kidney patients
UNMC is serving as a key site in a national study that aims to improve outcomes for African American kidney-disease patients, as well as potentially increase the pool of available donor kidneys -- a chronic area of need.

African Americans are four times more likely than white Americans to develop end stage kidney disease (ESKD), or kidney failure. The reasons are complex, but recent research has identified that one critical factor for this risk is a gene variant, not race (which is a socio-political construct, not a biologic factor).

"Our nephrology transplant team is proud to be part of the APOL1 Long term Kidney Transplantation Outcomes (APOLLO) Network, a national study supported by the NIH that is working to address racial disparities in transplant outcomes," said Roslyn Mannon, MD, associate chief of research in the UNMC Division of Nephrology and a member of the steering committee for the APOLLO Network. Read more
Department of Internal Medicine Research Awards 2022
Congratulations to this year's Internal Medicine Research Award Winners. Nominations were received in February and reviewed by research faculty. All awardees will be recognized at the June 3rd Grand Rounds. Dr. Teply will be providing the lecture on his research at the June 3rd Grand Rounds. Dr. England will provide his on October 21st.

Clinical Research Award - Bryant England, MD, PhD
Clinical Research Award - Ben Teply, MD
Faculty Research Mentoring Award - Apar Ganti, MD
Fellowship Research Award - Laura Selby, DO
Fellowship Research Award - Tate Johnson, MD
Resident Research Award - Austin Wheeler, MD
Resident Research Award - Gulsen Ozen, MD
Medical Student Award - Hannah Tandon
Medical Student Award - Rebecca Brooks
Research News & Updates
Dr. Bryant England receives prestigious Gilmore award
Bryant England, MD, PhD, assistant professor of rheumatology, and Shannon Buckley, PhD, assistant professor of genetics, cell biology and anatomy were awarded this year’s Joseph P. and Harriet K. Gilmore Distinguished New Investigator Award.

"It’s an honor to receive this award with the many great researchers on campus and to be recognized among those who have received this award previously," he said. "This research is the product of the phenomenal mentors, dedicated team members and robust research resources that I’ve had the privilege to work with."
Department of Internal Medicine - Scientist Development Award
Congratulations to Lindsay Helget, MD, assistant professor in the division of rheumatology, for receiving the Scientist Development award! The Scientist Development Award is designed to support promising Department of Internal Medicine faculty candidates making the transition from fellowship/post-doctoral training or as early faculty into a career as an independent researcher.

In Dr. Helget's nomination it was noted that her work will utilize an existing VA gout cohort data set that will be updated to add five more years of data during the award period. Her proposal was thoughtfully written including the statistical analysis. Her career development plan utilizes a combination of coursework through the MSP-CTR MS program, meetings with mentors, and national meetings. The research focus is determining whether suboptimal gout control is a risk factor for chronic opioid use and whether the use of chronic opioids is connected with increased mortality.
Congratulations to Infectious Diseases' associate professor, Angela Hewlett, MD, for publishing the 100th paper which was a collaboration between the Regional Emerging Special Pathogen Treatment Centers (RESPTCs) on our collective contributions to the US COVID-19 Pandemic response. Read the article here
Great job goes to Jonathan Ryder, MD, infectious diseases' fellow, for presenting his research poster at the GME poster session on May 4th. Dr. Ryder received the Best Poster in Original Research.Dr. Ryder had Drs. Stohs and Van Schooneveld as mentors for this research. Dr. Ryder will be joining the Infectious Diseases family beginning July 1st!
Internal Medicine Notable Publications reported via ADIS and Scopus for the 1st Quarter of 2022. Publication of the Quarter has been awarded to James O'Dell, MD, for his article in NEJM Evidence titled "Comparative Effectiveness of Allopurinol and Febuxostat in Gout Management". The Honorable Mention is awarded to Dr. Cyrus Desouza for his report appearing in Obesity titled "The effect of nonpharmaceutical weight-loss interventions in rural patients with diabetes: RE-POWER Diabetes".

Please email Shannon Thomsen to request the list used from SCOPUS and ADIS.
View the latest Internal Medicine faculty publications (in descending order by publication year and title) on Research Nebraska [].
Research highlights from COM - Internal Medicine Spotlight
Congratulations to the following for receiving grant or funding awards:

Ruxana Sadikot, MD, internal medicine-pulmonary, received a grant of $163,991 from Emory University to study how HIV-related proteins increase the susceptibility to lung injury despite anti-retroviral therapy.

Laura Graff-Armas, MD, internal medicine-DEM, received a grant of $3,623 from Creighton University for a study of the skeletal effects of type 1 diabetes.

Derrick Samuelson, PhD, internal medicine-pulmonary, received a grant of $693,330 from DHHS/NIH/NIDDK to study gut bacterial metallophores in the development and severity of inflammatory bowel disease.

Geoffrey Thiele, PhD, internal medicine-rheumatology, received a grant of $60,000 from the Rheumatology Research Foundation to study how citrullinated and malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde modified proteins promote cellular and immune responses associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Industry-sponsored grants and contracts:

The following industry-sponsored contracts and foundation grants were received.

Ronald Zolty, MD, PhD, internal medicine-cardiovascular, received funding for a study to evaluate the effects of Sotatercept versus placebo for the treatment of combined postcapillary and precapillary pulmonary hypertension (Cpc-PH) due to heart failure.

Daniel Hershberger, MD, internal medicine-pulmonary, received funding for a study to evaluate long-term safety and efficacy of PRM-151 in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Sarah Holstein, MD, PhD, internal medicine-oncology/hematology, received funding for a study of iberdomide maintenance therapy following autologous stem cell transplant in patients with multiple myeloma.

Christopher D’Angelo, MD, internal medicine-oncology/hematology, received funding for a study of Bcl-2 inhibitor BGB-11417 in patients with mature B-cell malignancies.

Kelsey Klute, MD, internal medicine-oncology/hematology, received funding for a study of Onvansertib in combination with Nanoliposomal Irinotecan, Leucovorin, and Fluorouracil for second-line treatment of patients with metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

James Murphy, MD. internal medicine-pulmonary, received funding for a study evaluating the efficacy and safety of VX-121 combination therapy in subjects with cystic fibrosis who are heterozygous for F508del and a minimal function mutation.

Arif Albulushi, MD, internal medicine-cardiovascular, received funding for the registry of the natural history of recurrent pericarditis in pediatric and adult patients.
UNMC Today & Other News
College of Medicine faculty honored at annual meeting
Faculty were recognized for years of service at UNMC during the annual meeting in April, hosted by UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD.

Celebrating 30 years were Tom Porter, MD, a professor and the Theodore F. Hubbard Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine and Mark Rupp, MD, professor and chair of the UNMC Division of Infectious Diseases. You can read their summaries here.
Doctors work to keep memories of past faculty alive
Cardiologist. Scientist. Professor. Nun. Medical missionary. Patient advocate.

Helen Starke, MD, was a trailblazer, a woman in the male-dominated medical profession in the 1940s who capped her career at UNMC.

Two UNMC oncologists — Philip Bierman, MD, professor emeritus, and Elizabeth Reed, MD, professor — decided to document the extraordinary life that Dr. Starke led. Read more
UNMC faculty among new NSRI fellows
In April, the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska (NU) announced 49 new NSRI Fellows who aim to contribute their expertise to the strategic deterrence and countering weapons of mass destruction (CWMD) mission areas.

Congratulations to Angela Hewlett, MD, infectious diseases and Stephen Rennard, MD, pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine for becoming members.

These researchers join the more than 70 NSRI Fellows who launched with the program in May 2021, bringing the total to 122. Fellows hail from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, UNMC, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Congratulations to the Internal Medicine Point-of-care Ultrasound program! They were selected as recipients of the prestigious 2022 Innovative Scholarship Award from the CAHP Wellness and Recognition Committee. This award is peer nominated, which recognizes the innovative scholarship contributions to the clinical, scientific, and educational community.
COM - Fellow of the Month
Name: Kate Branick, MD
Medical school/year graduated: Sanford School of Medicine, Vermillion, South Dakota, 2017
Fellowship at UNMC: Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship
Program director: Craig Piquette, MD                   

Learn more about Dr. Branick
COM Featured Video
Andrew Vasey, MD, addresses the question:
Q: I've been experiencing brain fog ever since I had COVID-19. Will it ever go away?

As pollen season peaks, UNMC reporting pollen counts
Andrew Rorie, MD, has been counting pollen in the Omaha area since late 2020 when he installed a volumetric air sampler on the roof of the Durham Research Center II.

This fancy little green machine, sporting a tail fin and canister-like body, is designed to sample airborne particles continuously for seven days, at which point the samples are collected by Amy Nelson, lab manager for Jill Poole, MD, and Rhonda Walenz, a research coordinator in the division of allergy and immunology.

Check the pollen counts here. Read more ways to deal with those pesky allergies here.
Education News
Congratulations to Amy Cannella, MD, professor in the division of rheumatology, for receiving the Hirschmann Prize for Teaching Excellence. The Hirschmann prize is of great value because it provides an opportunity to not only recognize Dr. Cannella's skill in teaching but also her dedication to our medical students.
Congratulations to Jasmine Marcelin, MD, assistant professor in infectious diseases, for being selected as the speaker for the UNMC medical student convocation/hooding that occurred on May 6th — such a distinct honor!! Watch it here!
IAE starts new health sciences education journal
The UNMC Interprofessional Academy of Educators has launched a new journal called the Innovations in Health Sciences Education Journal.

The journal has published its first article (Volume 1: Issue 1 , Article 1), "Building a Robust E-Learning Module Scorecard: The Nebraska E-Learning Scorecard (NEscore)."

The publication is a free online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal. It is available through Digital Commons.

For the last year, the academy has worked with the McGoogan Health Sciences Library to plan the journal. The goal is to give educators a place to share their innovations in the field of medical and health professions education, then use journal publication as a springboard for their next study.

Jana Wardian, MD, assistant professor in the division of hospital medicine is on the editorial board.
Join an organization by educators for educators

Applications are open for the Interprofessional Academy of Educators.
Being a member of the Academy offers you the opportunity to collaborate with nearly 200 faculty, staff and learners from across UNMC's campuses and colleges, as well as partner institutions like Nebraska Medicine, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
While membership in the IAE is a distinct honor and provides access to exclusive opportunities, our members also give back to UNMC through an annual service requirement.
Applications for membership are now open through June 21 for member and affiliate levels. New members will be announced in August and officially welcomed into the Academy at the Induction Ceremony on Sept. 22, 2022, at 6 p.m.
If you’re interested in joining the Academy, complete the online application before the June 21 deadline. Be sure to email us with any questions. 
Don't forget to come to the Resident and Fellows poster session on May 26th from 5;30-7:00 in the Olson Atrium, Wigton Heritage Center- 4th Floor (YES, in-person!!). Come view the amazing work all of the amazing trainees have done. Awards for “Top Resident Poster” and “Top Fellow Poster” will be given in each of the following categories: 1) Original Research and 2) Case Vignettes, Quality Improvement, and Education Scholarship. Appetizers and beverages will be served.
Mustache Madness - Final
After many bracket battle busters, and wonderfully narrative commentary, the education group released the winner of the 2022 Mustache Madness.......Dr. Brandon Miller.

Name: Peter Mannon, MD
Medical school attended: Boston University Six Year Medical Program
Location of your residency/fellowship training: Duke for internal medicine; Johns Hopkins and Duke for GI fellowship
What residency/fellowship program at UNMC are you serving as program director for? Fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Several Department of Medicine members (Jasmine Marcelin, MD, Nada Fadul, MD, Precious Davis, EdD) who are members of the Omaha Mocha Docs group collaborated with Nebraska Medicine, Girls Inc, and many other community organizations, to coordinate the Minority Health Fair at Girls Inc on April 23, 2022. Community members had access to multiple health screenings, COVID-19 vaccines, health insurance navigation, and more.
DIVERSE Taskforce members Rees Adomako, HOII, and medical students Kalika Mahato and Ikponmwosa Igbinigie, represented the Internal Medicine residency program at the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) Annual Medical Education Conference. They were able to meet with medical students and pre-medical students from around the country and highlight the program and Omaha! Several students stopped by the booth to learn more, and the taskforce hopes to follow-up with interested future applicants.

On May 16 at 2 p.m., UNMC/Nebraska Medicine will host an AAPI Heritage Month Celebration, featuring UNO Chancellor Joanne Li, PhD and UNMC Yun Saksena, DMD, of the UNMC College of Dentistry. Additionally, the event will include information on the new AAPI Employee Resource Group (ERG) for UNMC and Nebraska Medicine faculty, staff, and house officers. The AAPI student Association is hosting several events throughout the month including a talk by Paw Bway Htoo. Paw Bway Htoo, originally from Thailand, will share her experiences as a refugee and her advocacy work for equitable housing for the Omaha refugee population. Join on May 25th via Zoom! Meeting ID: 964 6466 3934. Passcode: AAPISpeak
Faculty Education
Suppose you started a workshop to teach people how to change the oil in a car, but it starts by simply asking everyone to go remove the drain plug. This approach could be problematic for learners who lack baseline knowledge or experience with vehicle maintenance. Many learners will wonder: 
Where is this plug? How do I get to it? What tools do I need to use? Do I need gloves? Do I first need to turn off the car? Do I need to elevate the car? etc. 
This approach would be fine for seasoned mechanics but learners who are not familiar with the process can quickly become intimidated, frustrated, or discouraged. While finding knowledge gaps is an important part of learning, not understanding the learner's baseline of the content is a sure-fire way to lower engagement and hurt trust with them. 
In collaboration with Drs. Andrea Zimmer, Bill Lyons, Cory Rohlfsen, Kelly Caverzagie, and Trek Langenhan, our Instructional Designer, Zach Benton-Slocum, look at practical tips and strategies for tailoring your teaching to the level of the learner. 
Remember login information is simply your UNMC credentials
Link to the Strategies for Tailoring your Teaching to the Level of the Learner module:
Lastly, Check out the other modules and resources on our faculty intranet:   
New Faces, Promotions or
Committee Involvement
Congratulations to Andrew Goldsweig, MD, associate professor of interventional cardiology, for being appointed as the chair for the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) Structural Heard Disease council for 2022-24.
Welcome to the following new faculty
Bellamkonda Ramesh, PhD, Post Doc Research Associate, Gastroenterology
Mina Karimaghaei, PhD, Post Doc Research Associate, Cardiovascular Med
Ketemwabi Shamavu, PhD, Post Doc Research Associate, Cardiovascular Med
Merjulah Roby, PhD, Post Doc Research Associate, Cardiovascular Med
Sundararajan Mahalingam, PhD, Post Doc Research Associate, Gastroenterology
Vinoth Kumar Rajamanickam, PhD, Post Doc Research Associate, DEM
Congratulations on your new position!!
Aaron Schwab
Carrie Hurst
Claire Landgren
Jill Daley
Krista Patterson
Maria (Grace) Rodriguez Nicole Coltrain
Mallory Hays
Tammy O'Donnell
Jake Fowler
Stephanie Hooten
Michelle Waknitz
Vaishnavi Sundar
Tamara Luechinger
Yan Fei Wang
Valentina Orduna
David Grantham
Sarah Holcomb
Ryan Boyland
Adati Tarfa
Bianca Middlebrooks Heather Mittelstedt Michelle Martinez
Diana Brailita
Infectious Diseases
Infectious Diseases Education
Infectious Diseases
Infectious Diseases Infectious Diseases
Infectious Diseases
The Nebraska Medical Orchestra shared its first in-person performance in two years on May 11th, breaking an extended hiatus thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The event featured the previously postponed debut of the Nebraska Medical Choir and premiere of a new orchestral composition by UNMC resident Nick Yeutter, MD.

The musicians represent many areas of health care including physicians, pharmacists, nurses, scientists, therapists, nutritionists, academic faculty, lab technicians, researchers, medical office staff and students across all colleges and programs. For more, please go to this link.
We would like to thank to Dr. Merle McAlevy, assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine for his dedication and wonderful contributions to to UNMC. Dr. McAlevy has been with the division for 50 years and plans on retiring on June 30th, 2022. We wish Dr. McAlevy a well-deserved retirement and hope his plans include turning off that alarm clock!
Physician and Musician Dr. Bociek
Dr. Greg Bociek had some fun with several friends on vimeo. Dr. Bociek is on the keyboards....take a listen. Who knew he had lightening fingers?!
Dr. Lydia Kang held a reading from her book, 'Patient Zero' on April 28th.

Creative writing has given Lydia Kang, MD, something she never dreamed. 

"It changed my life in a lot of ways. It gave me a second career, which has been a fantastic counterpoint to the work that I do as a physician," said the assistant professor of internal medicine in the UNMC College of Medicine. 

Since joining the Seven Doctors Project — a writing workshop that pairs UNMC faculty members with local writers — in 2009, Dr. Kang’s creative endeavors have evolved from essays and poetry to young adult fiction and novels. Read more
Shannon Thomsen has accepted a job with Infectious Diseases and is handing off the newsletter (and other good things too!) to Toni Goeser beginning in June! Everyone send a warm welcome to Toni!

Toni is eager to join the Internal Medicine department, as the Research Program Associate, after working as a Glaucoma Research Technician here at UNMC since 2016. Prior to that, she was an instructor in Vatterott College’s Veterinary Technician program where she mainly taught courses in Anesthesia, Surgical Procedures, and Office Management. In March of 2020, Toni earned her BA in Graphic Design from Bellevue University. 
Toni is a mom of two boys, Brody and Parker, who are both active in school and baseball. She enjoys gardening, cooking (well…eating, really), and biking or walking her dogs on the Wabash trail. 
Congratulations on your new family addition
Congratulations to Dr. Scott Mawer and wife as they welcomed their second son, Harrison, on April 19th.
Congratulations on your wedding day on April 9th Dr. Brett Begley!!!
Furbaby of the newsletter

Rose Carnes...she's a monster animal according to her humans, Jill McIntosh-Carnes, medical student coordinator. Rose has a bit of a cat-i-tude (can you see it?). She has been a bit dramatic since her human brother left for college. Contact Jill for good chuckles about Rose

Send your furbaby pictures to if you would like yours to be considered for the next Newsletter's furbaby spotlight no later than June 30th.
UNMC Department of Internal Medicine
983332 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-3332
402-559-6315 (phone)