Inside IM
News from the Department of Internal Medicine
Message from the Chair

Dr. Dan Anderson has been appointed as the Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine effective September 1st. After a national search, Dr. Anderson emerged as the ideal candidate to lead the division forward. He has an excellent vision and much enthusiasm for guiding the division’s clinical, educational and research growth and has gained valuable experience as the interim Chief. I am grateful he has chosen to accept this position.

Read more great Department news here .
 Associate Vice Chairs of Research Announced

The Department of Internal Medicine Research Administration team is pleased to announce Dr. Kristina Bailey and Dr. Matthew Lunning have accepted new roles as Associate Vice Chairs of Research, in addition to their current roles, effective September 1st, 2019. Read more
Daniel Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., named
Chief of Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
After a national search and serving more than a year as interim, Daniel Anderson, M.D., Ph.D. , has been named chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the University of Nebraska Medical Center Department of Internal Medicine. He also is a member of the physician leadership team for Nebraska Medicine's Heart and Vascular Center clinical program.

"It is a privilege to be chief for the division and co-physician leader for the heart and vascular team," Dr. Anderson said. "I am excited about the commitment and support at UNMC and Nebraska Medicine for continued development of the division and the center. Read More
The Departmental Mentoring Recognition Luncheon was held on Friday, August 30 th . This event honors those who have participated in the mentoring program over the past year, and those who contribute to departmental faculty development efforts. Dr. Cliff Miles was honored with the Clinical & Educational Mentoring award for 2019 – our congratulations and thanks to him for his dedication in faculty mentoring!
Mentoring Luncheon
Fungus Presenting Serious Global Health Threat
The Centers for Disease Control has called Candida auris an emerging fungus that presents a serious global health threat. It has been detected on six continents since it was first identified a decade ago, and there have been 715 confirmed cases in the U.S. alone. The main concern with Candida auris is in hospitals where it can spread all too easily.
National news program CBS This Morning recently visited Nebraska Medical Center and spoke with Mark Rupp, M.D . , professor in the UNMC Division of Infectious Diseases and medical director of infection control and epidemiology at Nebraska Medicine, about what can be done to stop it from spreading. Watch the CBS feature story.
Promising Oral Drug for Type 2 Diabetes Kidney Failure
An international clinical research study involving a UNMC physician/researcher showed an oral drug, semaglutide, was safe and effective in managing patients with type 2 diabetes and kidney disease.
Cyrus Desouza, M.B.B.S. , an endocrinologist and professor in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine's Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, was senior author of the study published in the journal Lancet Diabetes Endocrinology. Read More
Grant Received to Address Shortage of Geriatricians
One way to solve a looming estimated shortage of 27,000 geriatricians -- physicians who specialize in care of older adults -- is to expand the access of primary care professionals to resources that assist them in addressing the unique and complex health issues of older adults.

Thanks to a five-year, $3.7 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), UNMC is poised to address this problem. Read More
New Research Center Created - from Nebraska Medicine NOW
The University of Nebraska Board of Regents voted Friday to create an interdisciplinary cardiac and vascular research center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) that will enhance basic, clinical and population research.
“Our goal is to become a national and international leader in heart and vascular disease research,” says Merry Lindsey, PhD, chair of UNMC’s Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology and founding director of the virtual center.

“With the recruitment of Dr. Lindsey working closely with the leadership of cardiovascular medicine, vascular surgery and cardiothoracic surgery in the College of Medicine, the College of Nursing at UNMC and researchers in other University of Nebraska campuses, we fully expect our funded research in heart and vascular disease to continue to grow,” says Jennifer Larsen, MD , vice chancellor for research. “This center will be the umbrella for many of those programs, and signals our desire to expand this area of research going forward.” Read More
Improving Survival of Older Patients with Leukemia
The survival statistics of older adults over age 60 with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) are not good due to age factors and the nature of the disease. Now, a research study being done at the University of Nebraska Medical Center is trying to improve survival.

"This is a tough disease," said Vijaya Raj Bhatt, M.D., UNMC associate professor and medical director of the leukemia program for Nebraska Medicine, UNMC's clinical partner. “In the past, the question was which patient should get more aggressive chemotherapy versus less aggressive chemo. We have not known very well how to choose one treatment over another.” Read More
International TB Prevention Trial
Susan Swindells, M.B.B.S. , professor of internal medicine-infectious diseases at UNMC, is one of four internationally recognized scientists to lead a large international clinical research study. The study will compare two drugs in an effort to prevent multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the home setting.

The study is comparing the safety and effectiveness of delamanid, a new drug to treat TB, with isoniazid to prevent MDR-TB in children, adolescents and adults who are exposed to adult household members with MDR-TB. Globally, TB is the most common illness in people living with HIV, and it is the major cause of HIV-related deaths. Read More
Vitamin D and Type 2 Diabetes
Over the past decade, a low level of vitamin D in the blood has emerged as a possible risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and vitamin D supplementation has been proposed as a potential intervention to lower diabetes risk.
But if you have pre-diabetes - meaning you have factors that put you at risk for developing diabetes - taking excessive amounts of vitamin D to prevent diabetes won’t help, says a recent major study published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine. Cyrus Desouza, M.B.B.S. , professor in the University of Nebraska Medical Center Department of Internal Medicine’s Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, co-authored an article about the five-year clinical research study. Read More
Research Updates
The Central Society for Clinical and Translational Research (CSCTR) has made two exciting opportunities available to researchers. One is the Early Career Development Award (ECDA) and the second is the Midwest Clinical and Translational Research Meeting Abstract Award. To find out more information on these awards please visit

Thuy Koll, MD , has received notice of a Grants for Early Medical/Surgical Specialists' Transition to Aging Research (GEMSSTAR) award from NIH. The goal of these awards is to support the investigator’s training in techniques and skills specific to aging research and/or clinical care of older adults, to help launch a research career in an aging- or geriatrics-focused area of the investigator’s specialty. The direct cost budget is $75,000 per year for two years.
Apar Ganti, MD , received a $710,000 VA Merit grant for 4 years for the project titled “Role of Muc5AC in promoting CNS metastasis in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer”.
Carol Casey, PhD, received a $710,000 VA Merit grant for 4 years for the project titled "Downregulation of Rab3D: Critical Role in Golgi Disorganization and the Pathogenesis of Alcoholic Liver Disease”.
Through a federal grant, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is putting investigators from UNMC and the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) on the front lines of COPD research.The VA Office of Research and Development granted a Small Projects in Rehabilitation Research (SPiRE) award to Debra Romberger, M.D. , Henry J. Lehnhoff Professor of Internal Medicine and chair of the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine and physician at Nebraska Medicine and the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care system (NWIHCS); and Jenna Yentes, Ph.D., assistant professor within UNO's Department of Biomechanics. The VA awards SPiRE funding to relatively shorter timeline research projects that show potential for translating to care in a clinical rehabilitation setting. Read More
UNMC Today & Other News
Congratulations to Andjela Drincic, MD and her team for completing the Joint Commission recertification for the Advanced Inpatient Diabetes program. The surveyor was extremely complementary of the the program and the dedication of the team after visiting for two days. There were no dificiences or requirements for improvement identified during the survey.

The Nebraska Health Network (NHN) presented their first round of Network awards to recognize high performing clinics and providers related to Medicare Annual Wellness Visit completion rates. These individuals have stepped forward to be champions of the transition to value: Andy Vasey, MD , and Dan Jeffrey, MD were both recognized for the Most Improved: High Attribution Category. Lydia Kang, MD was recognized for the Most Improved: Low Attribution Category.
A film crew arrived in Omaha the week of July 29th and filmed a short video highlighting the work of Jasmine Marcelin, M.D ., assistant professor, internal medicine-infectious diseases. Dr. Marcelin is one of three members of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) who will be showcased on the 3-5 minute video that will air at the IDSA Breakfast during ID Week (Oct. 2-6) in Washington, D.C. The main focus of Dr. Marcelin's segment will be her commitment to IDSA's new Diversity Task Force, her participation in the Faces of ID Campaign, and her passion for antimicrobial stewardship.

Jasmine Marceline, MD, shared that the following abstracts were accepted for presentation at the national Infectious Diseases conference, IDWeek. Mackenzie Keintz, MD , will be presenting an oral abstract, and received the Kass award, which is a travel award given to residents with outstanding abstracts. Casey Zelus, MD and Joe Wang, MD will be presenting posters.

James O’Dell, MD, was quoted in the following story that originated in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel " Biologic drug makers pay doctors to prescribe risky, pricey medications ."
TIME wrote a story " An Ebola Drug Trial Ended Early Because It Was So Successful. That Could Change How Doctors Handle Future Outbreaks " where James Lawler, MD is quoted as an infectious disease expert.
Ioannis Chatzizisis, MD , and the AMI team were written about in the Omaha World Herald about the great job they did for a very appreciative journalist Matthew Hansen. Read the story here. quoted Bryant England, MD, in their story " 10 Methotrexate Myths Rheumatologists Want to Clear Up, Once and for All ": Click here to read more.
The Omaha Public Radio station, KVNO, picked up the NEJM article with Brian Lowes, MD, and John Um, MD, about the Heartmate 3 recently. Read the article here.

Sarah Holstein, MD , PhD, and Saraswathi Viswanathan, PhD , are two Internal Medicine researchers that received funding as part of the $650,000 for research in cancer, smoking diseases. Read more.

Amy Cannella, MD, will speak at the 'Healthy for a Lifetime' conference on Oct. 19th. Read more .

A team of educators at the University of Nebraska Medical Center developed an interprofessional educational (IPE) course in which senior diagnostic medical sonography (DMS) students from the College of Allied Health served as near-peer teachers for first-year internal medicine (IM) residents learning to perform abdominal POCUS. Read more . Contact Christopher Smith, MD via email for more information.
Resident & Fellow News
Each quarter the junior (M3) students get an opportunity to choose which of the residents were the best teachers and mentors during that quarter. The following were chosen by the April - June students as:
Best Intern Teacher and Mentor - Dr. Nicole Gruner
Best Supervisory Resident Teacher and Mentor - Drs. Brent Luedders, April Lauer, and Ian Cormier
New Faces or Committee Involvement
As we thank our previous New Faculty Mentoring Program participants, we recognize that a new academic year brings the start of mentoring relationships for our newest colleagues. My sincerest thanks to those who share their time, effort, and expertise with one another.
I would like to offer all faculty, particularly those who are new, this short (10 minute) e-module that briefly outlines important information – click here for information on research, our faculty evaluation process, benefits, and much more. Please access the Faculty Development section of our Departmental website to find this e-module along with many other practical resources for your career development. If you have ideas for additional information and/or resources you would like to see on this website, I welcome input and comments anytime to

Shannon Boerner, MD, FACP
Director of Faculty Mentoring and Development
Welcome to Anupum Kotwal, MD, in the Diabetes, Endocrine, and Metabolism division. Dr. Kotwal completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He then completed his Fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Medicine.

Congratulations to Stephen Mohring, MD , on his new role as medical director, Population Health for the Nebraska Health Network. Also, congratulations to Brent Crouse, MD, on his new role with the Nebraska Health Network as physician champion.

UNMC Today did several nice Lookin at U pieces on Mark Law (Rheumatology Division Administrator) and Tina Hovorka (Cardiothoracic Surgery, Office Associate II).
Division Events
JDRF One Walk for Omaha/Council Bluffs
On Saturday, August 24 th UNMC and Nebraska Medicine teams (pictured) walked in the JDRF One Walk for Omaha/Council Bluffs at TD Ameritrade Park. The goal was to create a world without type 1 diabetes (T1D) with a successful fundraiser.
HVCRO Team Bonding - Rendezvous at the Lake
The HVCRO Team Bonding/Rendezvous at the Lake event was held on Sunday, August 25th. It was a great day to welcome new HVCRO employees and participate in teamwork challenges such as water balloon volleyball, Big Foot races, human ring toss and co-worker family feud. Pizza and an ice cream sundae bar topped off the fun. Pictured above are Tamara Bernard , RN (Research Coordinator) Rica McLaren is the HVCRO clinical trials accountant and Kyle McLaren (Rica's spouse) and Jaret ( Jessica Odvody , clinical coordiantor's, significant other)
Taco 'bout Nacho Average Staff
The Division of Geriatrics, Gerontology, and Palliative Medicine hosted an employee appreciation/celebration lunch to recognize the accomplishments and “points of pride” in their division in FY19. The theme included tacos, burritos, and other spicy Mexican food. A points of pride poster was displayed to high light important data, awards, and new staff.
UNMC Department of Internal Medicine
983332 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-3332
402-559-6315 (phone)