As we end our academic year, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our faculty, trainees and staff.
We have consistently delivered world-class clinical care to our UCLA patients. UCLA Health is dedicated to healing humankind, one patient at a time, and our team has done an excellent job in achieving this goal. Their evaluation of specimens and performance and interpretation of diagnostic tests contribute greatly to the clinician’s ability to treat each patient successfully. We are very proud that Dr. Dawn Ward, Associate Medical Director of Transfusion Medicine, received the 2018 UCLA Exceptional Physician Award. It is very rare for a Pathologist to receive this award, which acknowledges Dr. Ward’s outstanding achievements in the field of medicine and patient care.
In addition to patient care, we are very proud of the education we provide to our medical students, pathology residents/fellows, residents/fellows from other UCLA Departments, residents/fellows from outside UCLA, CLS students, Cytotechnology students, PA students and others. This year Dr. Chandra Smart, Section Chief Dermatopathology, was one of two UCLA physician-educators to receive the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine Kaiser Permanente Excellence in Teaching Award for her outstanding teaching to medical students and residents/fellows both within and outside of our Department. This award was established to recognize outstanding dedication, innovation, and sustained excellence in clinical and classroom teaching. Dr. Smart has distinguished herself as an exceptional educator who is devoted to the education and training of future physicians, and we feel very fortunate to have her on faculty.
In addition to education, our Department conducts basic, translational and clinical research in an effort to advance science and clinical care. We are delighted that Dr. Peter Tontonoz recently received a $6 million, 5-year grant for his proposal “Cellular and Systemic Cholesterol Transport in Physiology and Disease” from the Fondation Leducq 2019 Transatlantic Networks of Excellence Program. Only 4 proposals were selected for funding in what the Fondation Leducq describes as “an extremely competitive field this year.”
I would also like to congratulate Dr. Wei Zheng, our Gastrointerology fellow and his mentor Dr. Hanlin Wang, Chief of the Gastrointestinal Pathology Service. He was awarded the 2019 Hans Popper Hepatopathology Society Best Abstract Award, First Place Overall Winner, at the 2019 Annual USCAP Meeting for his abstract titled “OATP1B3 Is A Novel Immunohistochemical Marker to Discriminate Well Differentiated Hepatocellular Carcinoma from Its Benign Hepatocellular Mimickers. He was one of 12 residents/fellows who presented at this year’s USCAP meeting, along with 16 faculty members. UCLA faculty, residents and fellows continue to be extremely well represented at this International Conference, and this is only one of many conferences where UCLA trainees present their research.
Other faculty and residents who received notable honors this year include:
Dr. Oliver Hankinson – 2019 Society of Toxicology (SOT) Education Award. SOT is the premier national society focusing on toxicology research and education
Dr. Wayne W. Grody – ASCP Mastership Award – Recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the field of pathology and laboratory medicine
Dr. Kenneth Dorshkind – 2018 Roy Walford Endowed lectureship Award for his outstanding scientific contributions to aging research
Dr. Curtis Chin - 2018 Neil and Carol Ruzic Award in cancer innovation
Dr. Alex Nobori - 2018-2019 Daljit S. and Elaine Sarkaria Fellowship Award
Finally, this year we are starting a process to recognize faculty years of service to the Department. At our Farewell Dinner June 12, all faculty with more than 5 years of service were recognized in the program, and all faculty with more than 25 years of service were individually recognized and presented with their choice of a plaque or personalized lab coat. This included:
25-30 years of service:
Ben J. Glasgow, MD
Sharon L. Hirschowitz, MD
Scott D. Nelson, MD
30+ years of service:
Linda Baum, MD, PhD
Sunita Bhuta, MD (4 years on recall)
David Bruckner, ScD (11 years on recall)
Alistair Cochran, MD (4 years on recall)
Tom Drake, MD
Rita Effros, PhD (5 years on recall)
Michael Fishbein, MD (4 years on recall)
Wayne W. Grody, MD, PhD
Oliver Hankinson, PhD (2 years on recall)
Nora Rozengurt, PhD (2 years on recall)
Harry V. Vinters, MD (2 years on recall)
This has been a year of great achievements for our faculty, trainees and staff in support of our missions to deliver outstanding clinical care to our patients, provide expert consultation to our clinicians, educate the next generation of health care professionals and conduct research that advances our basic scientific knowledge and clinical care. I’m proud that members of our Department for so many years have been following the pillars of the DGSOM Cultural North Star – make things better, do what’s right and be kind – and I eagerly anticipate seeing what all of you do in the upcoming year.