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Sept. 9, 2022

The latest news and updates from Dean Amy P. Murtha, MD!
September Is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) and RWJBarnabas Health (RWJBH) are jointly planning special events in September, in recognition of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. There will be various activities throughout RBHS and RWJBH, including virtual presentations and workshops as well as live events, to encourage well-being, support each other, and increase our awareness of suicide in healthcare environments.
Please visit the RBHS Professional Well-Being website for a complete calendar of events, and read the complete message from RBHS leadership and the Suicide Awareness Steering Committee here.
Welcome Reception for Dean Murtha

An impressive showing of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School faculty, staff, residents and students and hospital leadership, came out to meet and welcome Dean Amy P. Murtha, MD, during an afternoon reception this week.

Keith Lewis, RPh, MD, interim executive vice dean of the medical school, welcomed guests and shared warm remarks, followed by Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH, chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences; John Doll, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer, RWJBarnabas Health; and Bill Arnold, president and CEO of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and president of the Southern Region for RWJBarnabas Health.

Students Educating the Community about Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
While a 2020 report showed access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) is slowly increasing in New Jersey, not enough people know that these medications exist; therefore, they are not being requested.

Students in the Rutgers Interdisciplinary Opioid Trainers (RIOT) program seek to rectify this widespread issue. These students comprise volunteers from seven schools of health sciences at Rutgers, including Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Jill Williams, MD, professor of psychiatry and director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry, oversees the program, which provides free one-hour presentations about MOUD to the community in settings ranging from schools to VA health centers.

“Even if the students couldn’t do community presentations, the time is worthwhile because they are going into their professions with a good understanding of substance use disorders that they wouldn’t have had otherwise,” Dr. Williams shared with Psychiatric News.

Learn more here.
Study Shows the Need for Fertility Preservation Counseling for Transgender Men
According to a new Rutgers Study, there are no standards on comprehensive counseling for transgender men on how to preserve their fertility while undergoing gender-affirming medical procedures.

Juana Hutchinson-Colas, MD, associate professor and co-author of the study, told Rutgers Today, “Fertility preservation is important to discuss with patients prior to beginning gender-affirming interventions like hysterectomy and removal of ovaries, which result in irreversible infertility.”

The study, published in the journal F&S Reports, lists guidelines that health care providers can follow to effectively counsel transgender men on fertility preservation to help them make informed decisions regarding pelvic surgery and future family-building plans.

Read more here.
"Expressions of Me"
The Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Office of Faculty and Staff Affairs has been awarded a grant to create a multicultural event series, “Expressions of Me,” to highlight and celebrate different groups and cultures represented in the faculty and staff at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS). The goal of this program is to increase the sense of community at the medical school and RBHS through cultural fairs filled with varying artwork that represents the region, culture or personality; spoken word; food tastings of regional cuisine; question-and-answer sessions; and discussions with a focus on enhancing and understanding diverse groups. 

“Expressions of Me” will feature six sessions held on the New Brunswick campus. Each session will focus on one region of the world and allow the different groups represented to share aspects and experiences of their culture.   
Here is the schedule of events: 
Latin/South America: Dec. 7, 2022 
South Asia:                Dec. 13, 2022 
Far East Asia:            Jan. 10, 2023 
Europe:              Feb. 21, 2023 
Africa:                    April 25, 2023 
North America:      June 6, 2023 
The Office of Faculty and Staff Affairs is requesting volunteers to help plan and implement these events. If you are interested in joining the group, please complete this short survey
HIPHOP's 23rd Annual 5K Walk/Run -- A Hybrid Event!
Join us in person at Johnson Park in New Brunswick,
or participate at your convenience in the environment of your choice -- your treadmill, neighborhood track, or another favorite walking/running spot!

Sunday, Nov. 6
9:30 a.m.

Entry fee is $35 and the first 100 registrants will receive a free T-shirt. Additional registrants will receive finisher medals. Optional shipping rate: $15 (T-shirt and/or medal)
Dr. Kenneth S. Gould and Audrey S. Gould Lecture Series in
Molecular and Cellular Medicine
Hosted by the Child Health Institute of New Jersey

Join us in person for the Annual Gould Lecture Series:
"Epigenetic Pathways as Targets in Human Disease"

Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 11 a.m.

Conference Room 3101
Child Health Institute of New Jersey
89 French Street
New Brunswick

*Masks are Mandatory*
Shelley L. Berger, PhD
Daniel S. Och University Professor
Departments of Cell & Developmental Biology; Biology; Genetics
Director, Epigenetics Institute
Co-leader, Tumor Biology Program, Abramson Cancer Center
University of Pennsylvania
Apply Now for NJ ACTS Translational Scientist Junior Faculty Award Program
The New Jersey Alliance for Clinical and Translational Science (NJ ACTS), NJ's CTSA, is accepting applications for its Institutional Career Development (KL2) program. The third class of KL2 Scholars will be appointed starting July 1, 2023. This is an important opportunity for early-stage faculty to be able to devote 80% effort* to their projects, receive research funding and have the support of the community. [*Applicable to Institution]

Application components can be found at:
RFA for Translational Scientists description and eligibility information
·     Letters of Intent are due Oct. 3, by 5 p.m. to
·     Complete applications, due Nov. 1 by 5 p.m., must be submitted as a single electronic PDF package to:

For more information, visit or contact
In Memoriam: Donald Theodore Dubin, MD
Donald Theodore Dubin, MD, professor emeritus of biochemistry and molecular biology, died earlier this year after succumbing to pneumonia.

Dr. Dubin joined the medical school in 1967 as one of the founding members of the Department of Microbiology. Dr. Dubin leveraged his time at Harvard and Colombia into a research career that reached through five decades, making significant contributions to the field of antimicrobial resistance and RNA modification. 

He moved to California in 2010 with his wife so that he could live with and provide full-time care for her until her death. Donald is survived by his three daughters, Margaret, Louise and Ruth, and three grandchildren.

Read more about Dr. Dubin's life and legacy, along with a heartfelt tribute by Paul Copeland, PhD, professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and associate dean for research, and Smita Thakker-Varia, PhD, associate professor, Neuroscience and Cell Biology.
Upcoming CME
Throughout RBHS this month, there are a multitude of events supporting Suicide Prevention. As a result, I particularly highlight:

Rutgers Health GME Grand Rounds, on Thursday, Sept. 15 from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m., will feature “Mental Health as a Vital Sign" by Christine Yu Moutier, MD, chief medical officer, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It can be accessed virtually here. For further details, please contact Jaclyn Manzo.

Also coming next week at the medical school:

The Department of Medicine's Division of Cardiovascular Disease and Hypertension will hold its next Grand Rounds, titled “Cardiac Amyloidosis - A Hidden Disease With A Bright Future,” on Monday, Sept. 12 from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. This session will be delivered by Sabahat Bokhari, MD, director of advanced cardiac imaging, program director of the advanced cardiac imaging fellowship program, and director of the Cardiac Amyloidosis and Cardiomyopathy CenterFor further virtual access and more details, please contact Andrea Bernard or Purvi Patel.

The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health's Grand Rounds titled 
"Social Determinants of Health: Identifying Needs, Resources, and Enhancing Education" is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 13 from 8 - 9 a.m.  It will be delivered by Betsy Mathew, MD, and Joyce Afran, MD, assistant professors and directors of predoctoral courses, and Shilpa Pai, MD, health equity thread director, Department of Pediatrics. This hybrid session will be held concurrently in person at 303 George Street, sixth floor, and via Zoom. Please contact Dorna Edwards for further details.

Again, please note for your convenience and flexibility the increasing number of hybrid and in-person options for Grand Rounds in this academic year to complement virtual platforms.

Feel free also to send me programs that you would like featured with as much notice as possible.

Best wishes,

Paul F. Weber, MD, RPh, MBA, associate dean, Continuing Medical Education
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In the News

What to Know About Botox Injections for Migraine Treatment -- Barbara Jo McGarry, MD -- Prevention

Should NJ Schools Have Later Start Times -- Sari Bentsianov, MD -- NJ Family

Washington DC News and Hindustan Times

Early-term births associated with ADHD symptoms-- Nancy Reichman, PhD, MBA --

Fertility preservation counseling needed for transgender menJuana Hutchinson-Colas, MDMedicalXpress

ADHD-Related Symptoms Common in Children Born Before 39 WeeksGeethanjali Lingasubramanian, MDPsychiatry & Behavioral Health Learning Network

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