Dec. 14, 2018
The latest news and updates from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Two Compounds in Coffee May Team Up to Fight Parkinson’s
M. Maral Mouradian, MD , William Dow Lovett Professor of Neurology and director of the Institute for Neurological Therapeutics, published a study that found a compound in coffee that may team up with caffeine to fight Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. The discovery, recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , suggests these two compounds combined may become a therapeutic option to slow brain degeneration.  

The study focused on a fatty acid derivative of the neurotransmitter serotonin, called EHT (Eicosanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamide), found in the coffee bean's waxy coating. The researchers found that EHT protects the brains of mice against abnormal protein accumulation associated with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. Dr. Mouradian’s team gave mice small doses of caffeine or EHT separately as well as together. Each compound alone was not effective, but when given together they boosted the activity of a catalyst that helps prevent the accumulation of harmful proteins in the brain.

This suggests the combination of EHT and caffeine may be able to slow or stop the progression of these diseases. Current treatments address only the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease but do not protect against brain degeneration. Read more at Rutgers Today, Neuroscience News and R & D Ma g.
Farewell Reception for Dean Gabriel
Faculty, staff, students and community partners recognized and thanked Sherine E. Gabriel, MD, MSc, for her service as dean of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School during a luncheon on Dec. 12 .

Dean Gabriel accepted a position as president of Rush University in Chicago. She joined the medical school in July 2015 from Mayo Medical School and has been instrumental in leading us through the continued integration with Rutgers and our clinical partners at RWJBarnabas Health. We wish Dean Gabriel the best in her new role!
Commissioner of Health to Discuss Opioid Crisis on Tuesday, Dec. 18
The Department of Neurosurgery is hosting an "Update on New Jersey Cannabis Legislation and Opioid Crisis" discussion on Tuesday, Dec. 18, from 5 - 8 p.m. at the Clinical Academic Building, Room 1302. The keynote address will be given by Shereef M. Elnahal, MD, MBA , N.J. Commissioner of Health. To register, click here . Dinner will be served.

Other speakers include:

James C. Salwitz, MD , President, Medical Staff
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick RWJBarnabas Health

 Vicente H. Gracias, MD, FACS, FCCP, FCCM , President and Chair of the Board, Rutgers Health Group
Senior Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs, Rutgers University

Anil Nanda, MD, MPH , Peter W. Carmel MD Chair of Neurological Surgery, Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and New Jersey Medical School
Senior VP for Neurosurgical Services, RWJBarnabas Health

Frank Ghinassi, PhD, ABPP , President and CEO, Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care

Alex Y. Bekker, MD, PhD , Chair, NJ Medical Marijuana Review Panel
Professor and Chair, Department of Anesthesiology, New Jersey Medical School

Keith Lewis, MD, Chair, Department of Anesthesiology and Preoperative Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Nancy J. Pinkin, NJ Assemblywoman, Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore

Michael Bronstein , Co-Founder and Lead Consultant, American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) 

And panelists Iain Page , FOX 29 News Anchor; Mohd Zuber, MD ; and Sharif Street , PA State Senate
AMWA Hosts Women, White Coats and War
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School’s chapter of the American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) hosted  Women, White Coats and War: Exploring the Role of Women Physicians in WWI  on Dec. 5. Cosponsored by the Library of Science and Medicine, the event featured an exhibition, film viewing, food and beverages, as well as an opportunity to network with faculty and staff, students and alumni.

Launched in commemoration of the First World War Centenary, AMWA’s exhibition highlights the trailblazing work of American female physicians during the war effort. Read more about the exhibition from the AMWA  here .

During the event, Janice Cato Varlack, MD , assistant dean for student and multicultural affairs, discussed her career as a woman in medicine, the struggles women have overcome and the exciting new representation of more women than ever in the field of medicine. 
Thank You Luncheons Hosted by Dean Sherine E. Gabriel
Dean Sherine E. Gabriel, MD, MSc , hosted faculty and staff for a celebratory luncheon in appreciation of their hard work and dedication in 2018. The luncheon in New Brunswick took place on Nov. 29 and the Piscataway luncheon (photo below) was on Tuesday .
Faculty Named New Jersey’s Favorite Kids’ Docs 
Four full-time faculty members at the medical school were named New Jersey’s Favorite Kids’ Docs in 2018 by New Jersey Family .

Vikram V. Bhise, MD
Abdolreza Esfahanizadeh, MD
Ian Marshall, MD
Barbie Zimmerman Bier, MD

Read the full list here. Congratulations, Drs. Bhise, Esfahanizadeh, Marshall and Zimmerman Bier !
Fall Magazine Hot off the Press
The latest issue of  Robert Wood Johnson Medicine , the medical school's semi-annual magazine for alumni and friends, is hot off the press!

The magazine also profiles four alumni.

Do you have an interesting story that you would like featured in an upcoming magazine? Email Jillian Prior, MPA , manager of alumni affairs.
Research at the PCRC for Stroke Prevention in Sickle Cell Patients
The Pedia tric Clinical Research Center (PCRC) is evaluating the implementation of preventative measures to mitigate the risk of stroke in pediatric patients with sickle cell anemia. This multi-center study is called DISPLACE (Dissemination and Implementation of Stroke Prevention: Looking At the Care Environment). One complication of sickle cell anemia is an increased tendency of blood cells to clot and result in ischemic stroke.
Using transcranial Doppler (TCD) measuring the cerebral blood vessel velocity, stroke risk is assessed in children ages 2-16 with sickle cell anemia. Based on the STOP (Stroke Prevention Trial in Sickle Cell Anemia) protocol, children identified as high risk of stroke by TCD are initiated on chronic red cell transfusion therapy for stroke prevention.
Led by principal investigator Richard Drachtman, MD , professor of pediatrics and clinical section chief of pediatric hematology/oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, DISPLACE looks to compare the current rate of TCD screening over the last five years with guideline-recommended practices and identify barriers and enablers of TCD screening. Patients with abnormal TCD should be started on chronic red cell transfusion therapy with a goal of increasing institutional initiation of the therapy in at least 95 percent of patients with abnormal TCD. Identifying and evaluating issues that affect access to screening and adherence to guidelines can improve outcomes for all children with sickle cell anemia.
“Bridging the Gap” Dinner Connects Student and Faculty Mentors
The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) hosted a faculty-student dinner, “Bridging the Gap,” on Dec. 4. The event gave medical students and pre-medical students a chance to engage and network with physicians in different specialties. In particular, students who are underrepresented in medicine were able to establish mentorship relationships with faculty. 
Social Media Post of the Week
rwjms The annual RWJMS Art Gala showcases students’ artistic talents, from paintings and sculptures to photography. Check out these pieces around the medical school!

Follow us on Instagram ,   Facebook  and  Twitter   for more.
Student Invited to Participate on Diversity Panel after Poster Presentation
As a result of the poster presentation during the 7th Annual New Jersey Statewide Network for Culture Competence Conference, student presenter Anna Levitt was invited to be on a diversity panel at an Immigration and Mental Health Conference on Dec. 10. The poster featured a program in which HIPHOP Promise Clinic established one of the first mood disorder self-help support groups exclusively tailored to Spanish speakers.

During the NJ SNCC conference, Shellyann Dacres, MA , training and consultation specialist at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, participated in an interactive plenary panel moderated by Robert Like, MD , p rofessor and director, Center for Healthy Families and Cultural Diversity, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.
If you have not yet attended "Memento Mori: History, Neurosurgery, and Public Health," by Anil Nanda, MD, MPH , chair of neurosurgery, I highly recommend that you consider hearing this next one on  Jan. 2, 2019  from 8 - 9 a.m. in CAB 1302.

Click  here   to view all upcoming CME activities.

-- Paul F. Weber, MD, RPh, MBA , associate dean, Continuing Medical Education
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