April 13, 2018
The latest news and updates from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Record-Breaking Scholarship Gala On Track to Raise More than $300K
The 8th Annual Scholarship Gala on April 7 raised approximately $200,000 in sponsorships, donations, ticket sales and raffle revenue of which more than $100,000 was matched as part of the Chancellor's Challenge, bringing the anticipated total raised for student scholarships to a record-breaking $300,000!

The 250 gala guests celebrated three members of the medical school community who were honored that evening: Meritorious Service Awardee Gloria A. Bachmann, MMS ’72, MD , professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, associate dean for women’s health and director, Women’s Health Institute; Distinguished Alumni Awardee James M. Metz, MD ’95, Henry K. Pancoast Professor and chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania; and Honorary Alumni Awardee and former medical school dean Norman H. Edelman, MD, professor, Departments of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases Division, Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

Serving as a reunion for alumni, this year’s gala celebrated a special milestone—the 50th reunion of the first graduating class, the Class of 1968. Three members of the class and their guests attended the event and were presented with commemorative medals. Other reunion classes were celebrated with 42 alumni attendees, the largest group of alumni to attend a gala.

Congratulations to Drs. Bachmann, Metz and Edelman and our alumni, and many thanks to the faculty, staff, alumni, sponsors and students who supported the event. Click here to view a slideshow of the evening.
Faculty and Staff Meet with Congressman Pallone About Maternal Health Awareness
Mark V. Sauer, MD, chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and senior associate dean for Women's Health, welcomed Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. to the medical school on March 27. The congressman met with Dr. Sauer as well as medical school faculty and staff, Robyn D'Oria, MA, RNC, APN, from Central Jersey Family Health Consortium, Joseph J. Apuzzio, MD, professor and vice chair of obstetrics, gynecology and women's health, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and Ryan Hansen from the Tara Hansen Foundation, to discuss maternal health in New Jersey.

With legislative support, the medical school lead the nation's first Maternal Health Awareness Day on Jan. 23. Through this statewide campaign, New Jersey families are moving one step closer to having increased maternal health awareness, helping to ensure that fewer women will lose their lives or experience catastrophic illness as a result of pregnancy or childbirth. 

During the meeting, the Congressman listened intently as the group discussed many different areas of improvement for women's health and fielded questions regarding best practices and next steps.
Photos of the Week
Elaine Fuchs, PhD, Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor and investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University ( center), discussed "Stem Cells in Silence, Action and Cancer" at the Gould Lecture on March 26, hosted by the Child Health Institute of New Jersey (CHINJ). Dr. Fuchs is photographed with Arnold Rabson, MD, director of CHINJ, and Audrey Gould.
Hosted by the Department of Pharmacology, Cynthia Kenyon, PhD, v ice president of aging research at Calico Life Sciences, LLC, and American Cancer Society Professor, University of California, San Francisco, discussed "Aging (or not) in  C. elegan" during the Morris Lecture on April 2. Photographed from left to right are Dr. Kenyon; Monica Driscoll, PhD; Nancy Walworth, PhD; Marc Gartenberg, PhD; and Ron Morris, MD.
Grateful Patient Establishes Neurology Scholarship
In September 2016, Shabbar Danish, MD , associate professor of surgery and director, stereotactic and functional neurosurgery, drilled two small holes in Anne Hruza’s skull. Through those holes, Dr. Danish inserted electrodes into Hruza’s brain that provide deep brain stimulation (DBS), which has been found to alleviate Parkinson’s disease symptoms in some patients. Before the surgery, Hruza suffered from balance problems and uncontrollable body movements, or dyskinesia. Falls were a common problem, and she relied on a walker to help her get around. Thanks to DBS, her uncontrollable movements and unsteadiness have all but disappeared and she’s even walking a mile every day without the walker. 

Hruza and her husband, Denis, were so grateful to Dr. Danish and his team that they made a bequest intention to establish an endowed scholarship in neurology and an endowed Parkinson’s research fund at the medical school.

“I hope others can be helped as I have been and that more students will be trained to perform the surgery so other people don’t have to suffer,” Hruza says. Dr. Danish adds, “The Hruzas’ support will help Robert Wood Johnson Medical School attract students who will become tomorrow’s most talented neurologists and will fuel research in Parkinson’s and other movement disorders.” 
Upcoming Spring Events

Medical/Legal Symposium

Friday, April 20, 9:30 a.m.
Hosted by the  RWJ AIDS Program
Topic: How access to legal services can improve health outcomes for people living with
HIV/AIDS and other chronic health conditions

Location: Child Health Institute of New Jersey, Room 3101
Bring Your Child to Work Day

Thursday, April 26
Taking place in Piscataway and New Brunswick, the event enables faculty and staff to bring their children, ages 7-17, to work in conjunction with this national celebration.  Click here for more information and to register.
Stahl Memorial Lecture in Bioethics
Tuesday, May 1, 4 p.m.
Joseph F. Fennelly, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Sidney Kimmel Medical College
Thomas Jefferson University
Topic: Caring for Patients with Life-threatening Illness: Past, Present and Future
Location: CAB, Room 1302
Study Suggests High-Fiber Diet Leads to Better Diabetes Management
The fight against type 2 diabetes may soon improve thanks to a high-fiber diet study led by Liping Zhao, PhD , adjunct professor of medicine and the Eveleigh-Fenton Chair of Applied Microbiology. Featured in Rutgers Today , t he six-year study describes how the promotion of a select group of gut bacteria by a diet high in diverse fibers led to better blood glucose control, greater weight loss and better lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes. The study was published in Science and gives evidence that eating more of the right dietary fibers may rebalance the gut microbiota, or the ecosystem of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract that help digest food and are important for overall human health.

In research based in China, Dr. Zhao and scientists from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Yan Lam, PhD, a research assistant professor in Dr. Zhao’s lab at Rutgers, randomized patients with type 2 diabetes into two groups. The control group received standard patient education and dietary recommendations. The treatment group was given a large amount of many types of dietary fibers while ingesting a similar diet for energy and major nutrients. Both groups took the drug acarbose to help control blood glucose. After 12 weeks, patients on the high-fiber diet had greater reduction in a three-month average of blood glucose levels. Their fasting blood glucose levels also dropped faster and they lost more weight.

The study supports establishing a healthy gut microbiota as a new nutritional approach for preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. To read more about the study in Rutgers Today , click here .
Dr. Peter Cole Named Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
With an aim to propel precision medicine and other cutting-edge research to better inform treatment decisions for the youngest of patients, nationally distinguished pediatric hematology/oncology leader Peter D. Cole, MD , has been named the Embrace Kids Foundation Chair in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and chief of pediatric hematology/oncology at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Cole also recently was named professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the medical school. He is currently an associate professor of pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York.

Long supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute and other philanthropic entities, Dr. Cole is an active clinical researcher, having developed pediatric cancer clinical trial protocols in conjunction with the national cooperative organization Children's Oncology Group and other collaborators.

Read the release  here.
As a reminder, the 24th Annual Symposium from the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology of the Department of Medicine, led by Vinod Rustgi, MD, MBA , on the "Update on the Management of Common GI, Pancreas and Liver Disorders," is scheduled for May 5 at the APA Hotel Woodbridge in Iselin. There also will be a "Confocal Microscopy Reader Three-Day Intensive Course" (May 4-6) led by Babar Rao, MD , in the Department of Dermatology at the Rutgers Continuing Education Center at the Atrium in Somerset.

Click here to view all upcoming CME activities.

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