Moving Ahead With the Leadership of Interim Chair Wolfgang H. Dillmann, M.D.

Wolfgang Dillmann, MDWolfgang H. Dillmann, MD, a respected division chief and internationally recognized physician-scientist, assumes leadership of the Department of Medicine this week as Dr. Ken Kaushansky departs for his new position as Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in New York.

“Wolf has made major contributions to the Department of Medicine for decades, in the realms of science, teaching and clinical care,” said Dr. Kaushansky.

“Now, by taking on the challenging role as interim Chair, he will make even greater contributions to the students, residents, fellows and faculty who call the department home.”

Dr. Dillmann, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, has served the Department for many years in positions on the Finance Committee and the Space Committee.

Dr. Joe Witztum, Professor of Medicine and Dr Dillmann’s longtime colleague in the division, described him as a dedicated and thoughtful leader, a superb clinician, and a true physician-scientist. “I’m not surprised that he was asked to be Interim Chair,” he said.

Dr. Tom Savides Named Executive Vice Chair

New positions in the Department of Medicine leadership team will support Dr. Dillmann in his interim role. Dr. Tom Savides, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Interim Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, will serve as Executive Vice Chair.

Dr. Savides also holds the positions of Clinical Service Chief for Gastroenterology, Director of the Gastroenterology Fellowship Program, and Director of Advanced GI Endoscopy.

Dr. Richard Gallo, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and Chief of the Division of Dermatology, will serve as Vice Chair for Laboratory Research and co-chair, with Dr. Robert Schooley, of the department’s Space Committee.

Dr. Schooley, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, will continue as Vice Chair for Academic Affairs.

As before, Drs. Elaine Muchmore, Dan Bouland, Francis Gabbai and Ravi Mehta will serve as the vice chairs for Education, Clinical Operations, VASDHS Affairs, and Clinical Research, respectively. Maureen O’Connor is Vice Chair for Administration.

About Dr. Dillmann

“Wolf is an old-fashioned physician-scientist,” said Dr. Witztum, who joined the faculty within months of Dr. Dillmann in 1979. “In the old days, we used to talk about the ‘triple threat’ – physician, scientist, and teacher. It’s hard to do all three, particularly these days, and Wolf still really does it well.”

In his clinical activities, Dr. Dillmann specializes in endocrine diseases, especially thyroid disease. His research activities are directed at endocrine and metabolic influence on cardiovascular function.

Over the years, he has maintained a deep involvement in clinical work despite the expansion in his other roles. “He’s a superb endocrinologist and internal medicine doctor,” Dr. Witztum said.

“He’s dedicated to providing good clinical services,” he said. “He works very hard to develop clinical programs, particularly for the care of diabetic and metabolic syndrome patients.”

In recent months, Dr. Dillmann has led the division through a successful recertification of the Endocrine Fellowship Training Program. He is an active teacher in the Department of Medicine’s core courses in the School of Medicine and he serves as mentor for postdoctoral fellows and medical students.

Dr. Dillmann’s research focused initially on thyroid disease and its effects on heart function. His work has expanded in recent years to examine the biochemical and cellular properties of heart cells and the ways in which they are affected by thyroid hormone and glucose metabolism.

“He has become an international expert on cardiac metabolism in general,” Dr. Witztum said. “His studies are of interest not only to endocrinologists but also to cardiologists who are interested in the basic mechanisms by which the heart works.”

Dr. Dillmann is a member of the Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center (DERC), the Institute of Engineering in Medicine, and the Cardiac Mechanics Research Group at UCSD.

He serves as reviewer for a number of major scientific journals including the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Endocrinology, American Journal of Physiology, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Circulation, and Circulation Research.

View Dr. Dillmann’s list of publications (PubMed)

Dr. Dillmann was born in Germany. After he received his MD degree from the University of Munich in 1970, he came to the United States to do his medical internship at City Hospital Center, Elmhurst, Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.

He completed his residency training in 1972 and his endocrinology and metabolism fellowship training in 1975 at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York. After a year as Assistant Professor of Medicine there, he moved to the University of Minnesota, where he held the position of Assistant Professor of Medicine from 1976 through 1978.

In 1979, Dr. Dillmann joined the UC San Diego School of Medicine faculty as Assistant Professor in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1981 and to Professor in 1987. In 2005, he became chief of the division.

He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.

Appreciation and a Fond Farewell to Dr. Ken Kaushansky

Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACPOn July 19, Dr. Ken Kaushansky officially begins his work as Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in New York.

When he announced his departure to the faculty and staff of the UCSD Department of Medicine on June 7, he described his new position as an opportunity to implement, on a larger scale, the successful programs that the Department of Medicine has instituted under his leadership here.

He called his years at UCSD a time of “incredible transition in our faculty, our leaders, our teaching programs, and our clinical impact.”

During Dr. Kaushansky’s tenure as Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair, the Department of Medicine expanded from 253 to over 420 faculty members, added four divisions, and recruited 11 division chiefs. Its annual budget grew from $86 million to nearly $150 million.

Dr. Robert Schooley“Dr. Kaushansky has been an outstanding Chair for this department,” said Dr. Robert “Chip” Schooley, Professor and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Medicine.“

During his eight years as Chair, the medical house staff program became one of the most highly regarded programs in the country. New divisions in Hospital Medicine, Biomedical Informatics, Geriatrics, and Global Public Health were developed and research programs thrived throughout the Department,” Dr. Schooley said.

“In response to increasing interest in international medicine among the medical house staff, Dr. Kaushansky launched the Department’s Global Medicine Residency Program in 2009,” he said.“Dr. Kaushansky worked with his counterpart at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane to establish a model program in international cooperation that has revitalized postgraduate medical training in the Republic of Mozambique.”

Dr. Kaushansky with Drs. Marisa Magaña, Emilia Noormahomed, and Robert Schooley in Mozambique Dr. Kaushansky on a global medicine planning trip to China.Dr. Kaushansky with Drs. Marisa Magaña, Emilia Noormahomed, and Robert Schooley in Mozambique (left); on global medicine program planning trip to China (right).

Since 2002, the Department’s NIH research funding has grown from $60 million to $113.6 million. It has more than twice as many complex multi-investigator program-project grants and career development awards granted to the junior faculty and fellows.

The Department has also boosted its showing in the “America’s Best Hospitals” rankings from U.S.News & World Report. In 2002, two subspecialty clinical programs ranked in the nation’s top 50: respiratory at 9th and cancer at 41st. In the most recent rankings, five subspecialties ranked in the top 50, including one (HIV/AIDS) in the top 10.

Dr. Greg Maynard“Ken was directly responsible for building up the strength of clinical care at UCSD,” said Dr. Greg Maynard (right), Health Sciences Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine.

“He recruited me here about 7-1/2 years ago, and in that time, the Hospital Medicine program has grown from 4 hospitalists to nearly 30, as just one example of that.”

“Dr Kaushansky nurtured my career here at UCSD,” said Dr. Pradipta Ghosh (below left), physician-scientist and Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology.

Dr. Pradipta Ghosh“As a product of the Physician-Scientist Training Program,” she said, “I am one of those few who enjoyed special access to this busy department chair. His doors were always open. I recall having multiple consultations with him at various stages of my career as it grew here at UCSD.

“When the time came for me to choose where to spend the first decade of my young career as an independent investigator, it was his support and a match in our visions which tilted my decision in favor of UCSD,” she said.

“His tireless efforts at instilling the physician-scientist culture here in the Department of Medicine, both from top-down and bottom-up, have paved the path for many young folks like me to craft a career for themselves as physician-scientists,” Dr. Ghosh said.

Dr. John Carethers“Ken was the reason why I eventually accepted the GI Chief job at UCSD,” said Dr. John M. Carethers (right), now John G. Searle Professor and Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan.

When Dr. Kaushansky joined the UCSD faculty, Dr. Carethers was an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology. Dr. Carethers became division chief in 2004

“Ken … gave me enough autonomy to help grow the GI Division, gain a GI Center grant, coordinate well with the Cancer Center and other divisions, and allowed me to grow personally,” Dr. Carethers said. “The GI Division flourished under that mantra.

“We went to a clinical service chief structure, developed a new hierarchy for our administrative staff, started a robust web site, grew our fellowship, and survived many challenges over that time because of his support,” he said.

“Ken provided invaluable advice on my career,” Dr. Carethers said. “He was a great sounding board, not pretentious; encouraging, but never overprotective. I think he understood the value of growth and opportunity, something that is hard to come by these days.”

Dr. Patricia FinnDr. Patricia Finn (left), Professor and Chief of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, described Dr. Kaushansky as “a tireless advocate for his faculty.”

“He is accessible 24/7 to offer support and guidance, which is huge to a new faculty member just moving cross country,” she said.

“On a personal note, when I had barely arrived here he was already nominating me for positions and committees to help me advance my career.”

Dr. Kirk Knowlton“His integrity, fairness, and open-mindedness built an environment of trust that allowed the substantial growth of the Department of Medicine during his tenure as Chair,” said Dr. Kirk U. Knowlton (right), Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Cardiology.

“I am struck by how he has been able to hold the respect of so many people with widely disparate interests,” Dr. Knowlton said.

“This included people who were fully engaged in basic science and those who were busy taking excellent care of their patients; medical students and residents and post-graduate research fellows; administrators and faculty; and others over whom he might have had influence or who crossed his path.

“The people he has worked with knew that they could count on him to represent their interests in the context of the institution’s goals in a considered and reasonable manner while at the same time maintaining his vision of the future of the Department of Medicine.”

“He is a rare breed,” Dr. Maynard said. “I guess I’d call him a quadruple threat. An outstanding scientist, a superb clinician, a great educator, and an incredible leader and administrator to boot.

“While he is not really replaceable,” he said, “he has left an enduring legacy that stresses clinical and operational excellence, as well as research contributions.”

Dr. Finn said, “In addition to [his] world-class scientific reputation, Dr. Kaushansky is most respected for his character and vision.”

“He makes his department and faculty a priority, while striving to always do the right thing for the patients,” she said. “He will be most remembered for his infectious enthusiasm, upbeat attitude, and steady, insightful guidance of students and faculty.”

“He leaves an 8-year legacy that advanced the Department of Medicine in many ways,” said Dr. Carethers, “including growing faculty, changing the way residents learn, obtaining key recruitments for division chiefs and faculty, enhancing VA relations, and being an all out cheerleader for the Department.”

On June 21, Dr. Kaushansky was honored at a farewell reception hosted by David Brenner, M.D., Dean of the UCSD School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences. In his remarks there, Dr. Kaushansky expressed his appreciation for “eight and a half years of good friends, challenges, and teamwork.”

Observing that he had been involved in recruiting many of the faculty members in the room, he said, “Everything at UCSD works toward recruiting great people.”

“It’s easy, at UCSD, to build things and to make a difference,” he said. “Everybody makes everyone else stronger.”

Dr. Kaushansky praised UCSD’s “incredible richness” of people, science, teaching, and clinical programs. “I’ve never seen more devotion to the three missions,” he said.

And now he looks ahead.

“In academic medicine, you get to re-craft yourself every ten years,” he said. “I’m looking forward to my newly-found steep learning curve.”

Dr. Kaushansky was honored at a tribute from the senior leaders of the Department of Medicine on July 11. There will be a tribute from all departmental staff, faculty, and house staff on a date to be selected.

“Although one could cite metric after metric by which his unceasing efforts strengthened the Department,” said Dr. Schooley, “what many of us think distinguished his tenure most was the way in which his ‘bottom up’ style of leadership brought out the best in all of us.

“The Department will benefit for many years to come from things he set in motion – as will each of its members from what we learned from his multifaceted demonstration of scholarship, integrity, imagination and dedication to his Department.”

Drs. Ken Kaushansky and Wolfgang Dillmann   Drs. Ken Kaushansky and Wolfgang DillmannDr. Kaushansky with newly designated Interim Chair Wolfgang Dillmann, M.D.

A Transition for the Department of Medicine

June 7, 2010

From Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair

Dear Friends,

I write today to let you know of an upcoming change in the Department, effective July 19th. It has been my greatest privilege and pleasure to serve as Chair of the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego for the past 8 plus years, witnessing an incredible transition in our faculty, our leaders, our teaching programs and our clinical impact.

Since the beginning of 2002, the Department has grown from 253 to over 430 faculty, excelling in all aspects of academic medicine. Our grant portfolio has nearly doubled, including a greater than doubling of the number of career development awards to junior faculty and fellows and of complex multi-investigator program-project type awards. We have grown our residency program, in size and, I believe, in the qualities of our new recruits, and its impact. We have created four new divisions, and recruited 11 new division chiefs. And our clinical programs have grown in both impact and quality. Our patient care volume has nearly doubled, we have made major impacts on general internal medicine, both inpatient and outpatient, as well as our subspecialty services. We have created multi-disciplinary clinics within our department and with our colleagues in other departments. And we have seen numerous accolades come from all of the publicly reported assessments of hospital and medical quality. All in all, a fine 8 years of progress.

As for me, I am looking forward to the next step in my career, serving as Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, and Dean of the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University in New York. I have always admired Stony Brook, as a young medical school with incredible potential to make a huge impact on research, teaching and clinical care. Serving as Dean will afford me the opportunity to put a broader thumbprint on undergraduate medical education. For example, many of you have heard me lament that medical training is characterized by the insufficient juxtaposition of basic science and clinical care; this will change! My role as Dean will also allow sharing the successful programs we have instituted together, to a broader stage, the 25 basic science and clinical departments within the School of Medicine at Stony Brook. My serving as Vice President for Health Sciences will facilitate the institution of truly revolutionary, cross-disciplinary programs between the Schools of Dentistry, Health Technology and Management, Nursing, Social Welfare and Medicine. And I look forward to helping to guide the Stony Brook University Hospital and Clinics, further advancing the quality of healthcare delivered by our faculty and learners.

I would be remiss if I did not express my heart-felt thanks to all the wonderful people of the Department of Medicine. The faculty members here are simply incredible, and the sky is the limit for their accomplishments. Likewise, I fully anticipate equally rewarding careers for the residents, fellows and students who call our Department home. A special thanks to the 36 chief medical residents with whom I have worked, all of whom have made UCSD a very special place for me. A huge thanks also to the incredibly devoted staff of the Department, who have made it all look easy, even when it wasn’t, and have made the lives of all the members of the Department productive. And the Department wouldn’t be our Department without our Vice Chairs over the years, Drs. Roger Spragg, Chip Schooley, Jason Yuan, Elaine Muchmore, Ravi Mehta, Francis Gabbai and Dan Bouland.

In closing, it has been my great honor to serve as the Helen M. Ranney Chair of the Department of Medicine. With Helen’s recent passing, her qualities of intellectual curiosity, innovation, incredible wit and leadership epitomize all the individuals who comprise our Department. Like Helen, I will miss you all, immensely.



Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor
Chair, Department of Medicine
University of California, San Diego

Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado Elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation

Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado

Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado

Dr. Lucila Ohno-Machado, Professor of Medicine and founding chief of the Division of Biomedical Informatics, has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).

Membership in the ASCI is a distinction that recognizes the nation’s most outstanding physician-scientists.

The honorees for 2010 were introduced April 24 at a joint meeting of the ASCI and the Association of American Physicians in Chicago.

Lucila Ohno-Machado, M.D., Ph.D., is a groundbreaking researcher and a respected director of advanced training programs in biomedical informatics. She joined the Department of Medicine faculty from Harvard Medical School in 2009.

“Lucila has always been a leader, and she will continue to lead UCSD in new directions in biomedical informatics, developing critical new tools that will help both basic researchers and clinicians in moving their programs forward,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P., Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine.

“Her election to ASCI highlights both her accomplishments and the increasing recognition of her field as a critical component of the academic medical center,” he said.

Dr. Ohno-Machado’s primary research interest is prognostic modeling, the development of statistical models to predict clinical outcomes. She is principal investigator of an NIH-funded grant to develop methods for improving the calibration of prognostic models and of another research project funded by the Komen Foundation to validate breast cancer biomarkers using computational techniques.

Dr. Ohno-Machado received her M.D. degree from the University of São Paulo and her Ph.D. in Medical Information Sciences and Computer Science from Stanford University.

She is an elected fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She serves as associate editor for both the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association and the Journal of Biomedical Informatics.

Since 2004, during her tenure at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Ohno-Machado has directed the Biomedical Research Informatics for Global Health Training (BRIGHT) Program, an educational consortium funded by the Fogarty International Center of the NIH.

The aim of the program is to unite U.S. researchers and institutions in a collaborative effort to conduct research and to develop informatics research training programs in low- and middle-income countries.

In its first five years, the program concentrated its efforts in Brazil, where it developed a certificate program in clinical informatics and supported a new doctoral program in bioinformatics at the University of São Paulo.

With a new 5-year, $1.23-million grant awarded last fall, the BRIGHT program is expanding its efforts to include Maputo, Mozambique, as well as additional areas of Brazil.

Top-10 Ranking for HIV/AIDS Program in “Best Medical Schools” Report

Dr. Douglas Richman

Douglas D. Richman, M.D.

The HIV/AIDS training program in the UC San Diego School of Medicine holds a top-10 position once again in the “America’s Best Medical Schools” rankings from U.S.News & World Report.

U.S. News evaluates the nation’s medical schools every year for the quality of their training programs in research, primary care, and selected internal medicine specialties including HIV/AIDS.

The new rankings, released April 15, place the UC San Diego School of Medicine 10th in the nation in HIV/AIDS specialty training, 16th in research training, and 28th in primary care. A total of 122 medical schools are included in the rankings.

“The department’s clinical and research programs in HIV/AIDS have been a model for how the concerted efforts of faculty, fellows and support staff can make a major difference in the lives of patients with the devastating disease,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P., Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine.

In the HIV/AIDS specialty, the Department of Medicine offers research and clinical training via the teaching activities of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Division of Infectious Diseases.

Those divisions operate a variety of clinical and research entities including the Owen Clinic, the Antiviral Research Center, the AIDS Research Institute, and the Center for AIDS Research.

“Over the years at UCSD, we have been fortunate in accumulating and retaining a remarkable group of outstanding clinicians, basic, translational and clinical investigators involved in the care and study of HIV/AIDS,” said Douglas D. Richman, M.D., Professor of Pathology and Medicine and the Florence Seeley Riford Chair in AIDS Research.

Dr. Richman, Director of the UCSD Center for AIDS Research, has served as principal investigator of UCSD’s AIDS training grant for many years.

“UCSD investigators have made remarkable contributions in the areas of treatment and pathogenesis,” he said. “In recent years, we have enhanced our strength with outstanding programs in epidemiology and global health.

“What is special about UCSD,” Dr. Richman said, “is the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of HIV/AIDS research which has been fostered by our Center for AIDS Research.”

The UC San Diego School of Medicine has 1,035 full-time faculty members, of whom over 420 are in the Department of Medicine.

The Department’s 2009 research funding amounted to more than $113 million, not including grants received through the Moores UCSD Cancer Center, the San Diego VA Healthcare System, and the Veterans Medical Research Foundation.

The U.S. News rankings of medical specialties, including HIV/AIDS, are based on the opinions of medical school deans and senior faculty members who are asked to name the schools that offer the best training programs in each specialty.

In HIV/AIDS specialty training, two University of California medical schools are ranked higher than UC San Diego’s: UC San Francisco at first and UCLA at 6th.

Two UC medical schools are placed higher than UC San Diego’s in the research rankings: UC San Francisco at 4th and UCLA at 11th.

In primary care, three UC medical schools are ranked above UC San Diego: UC San Francisco at 5th, UCLA at 14th and UC Davis at 20th.

In the nation overall, Harvard Medical School is ranked first in research and the University of Washington School of Medicine is first in primary care.

Behind the Rankings

For the annual “Best Medical Schools” rankings, U.S. News invites all fully accredited medical schools and schools of osteopathic medicine in the nation to provide information about their own programs and to assess the quality of other schools’ programs.

In this year’s survey, 122 of 146 schools responded.

The primary care and research rankings are based on two indicators of medical school quality: descriptive data for faculty, research, and students; and peer opinions about program quality.

The research rankings depend most heavily on peer assessments from other schools and research activity as reflected in NIH funding data. UC San Diego’s School of Medicine consistently ranks as one of the top in the nation in NIH funding.

For academic years 2007-2009, 42% of the UC San Diego School of Medicine graduates entered a primary-care residency program. Nationally, that percentage ranged from 80.5% (Michigan State University) to 19.3% (University of Nevada – Reno).

That percentage was one of seven factors taken into account in the primary care rankings.

Details of the medical school ranking methodology are presented here.

U.S. News published the medical school rankings as part of “America’s Best Graduate Schools, 2011 Edition.” Patient care rankings are published in a separate edition, “America’s Best Hospitals,” to be released in July.

Read the full story
from UC San Diego News

In Memoriam: Helen M. Ranney, M.D.

From Kenneth Kaushansky, MD
Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine

Dear Friends,

Helen M. Ranney, M.D.It is with a very heavy heart that I write to report the Department of Medicine, the School of Medicine, the University and the entire San Diego community have lost a great friend and leader. Dr. Helen Ranney, research and clinical hematologist extraordinaire, pioneering Chair of Medicine and professional society president, and soaring intellect has passed away last night, just a week before her 90th birthday.

Helen was born and raised on a dairy farm in upstate New York, to parents who stimulated her to seek a professional career. While setting out on pre-law studies at Barnard College, she soon found she liked “working with people” and “fixing what you studied,” redirecting her efforts towards pre-medical studies. While initially declined admission to medical school, Helen sought out research training, and was then admitted to Columbia School of Medicine, eventually studying hematology under the direction of Dr. Irving London.

In 1953, Helen determined a method to separate normal from abnormal hemoglobin and used this to identify mixed hemoglobins in the relatives of children with sickle cell anemia, laying the foundation for the genetic basis of this and other “hemoglobinopathies.” For this and other work, Helen was awarded the Martin Luther King Medical Achievement Award soon after the great civil rights leader’s death.

Helen’s work next took her to the faculty of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and then the State University of New York in Buffalo. 1973 was a good year for San Diego, and a good year for Helen; in that year Helen was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and was recruited to UC San Diego, to serve as the first female Chair of a University Department of Medicine.

During her tenure at UC San Diego, Helen led the Department to scientific and clinical excellence. She also played an important role on the national academic stage, serving as President of the American Society of Hematology, and as the first female president of the prestigious Association of American Physicians.

Helen then served as the first female “Distinguished Physician” of the Veterans Affairs medical centers, and upon her retirement, the Helen M. Ranney Chair was established, the first Endowed Chair at UC San Diego named after a female professor.

Helen’s career was marked by her intelligent approach to both clinical and research issues, her ability to achieve and inspire greatness, and her incredible wit. It is my great honor and privilege to serve as the Helen M. Ranney Professor, arguably the very best “perk” available to the Chair of our Department!

Everyone has a favorite Helen story, and I am no exception. It occurred soon after my arrival as the fourth Chair of the Department. Then Dean Dr. Edward Holmes held a reception, thanking Dr. Roger Spragg for his recent service as Interim Chair, and welcoming me to my new post. Soon after arriving in San Diego, while moving into our new house, I fell from a ladder and broke my arm, the cast drying just in time for Ed’s reception. Needless to say, a fresh coat of plaster on the new Chair called for an explanation.

By now I was surrounded by Deans, Vice Deans, Vice and Associate Chancellors, Chairs, a plethora of other leaders, and Helen, telling my story: “…as soon as I fell, the arm was clearly misshapen, but for some reason, it didn’t seem to hurt…. then Lauren brought me to the Hillcrest Hospital emergency room, and by holding the arm, it didn’t hurt…..then the orthopedic surgeon came down to the emergency room, and gave me Brevitol to reduce the fracture, and it didn’t hurt…” whereupon Helen declared, “Oh, it must be Tabes Dorsalis (a neurological deterioration that blocks painful stimuli, due to advanced syphilis)!”

Thanks, Helen!

Helen M. Ranney has served as a role model for countless women and men of medicine and science, all attempting to emulate her warmth, teaching style, inquisitiveness and impact on her field. She inspired many to take on the great responsibility of leadership and to carry on the tradition of innovation in medicine that is the UC San Diego Department of Medicine. I’ll always remember her as an intelligent and inventive mover and shaker in American academic medicine. Truly, thank you, Helen!

Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP
Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine

Photo of Dr. Ranney, above, from the National Library of Medicine.

Early Successes: Global Medicine Update from Mozambique

Since it began last summer, the Global Medicine Program at UC San Diego has sent 11 internal medicine residents to Mozambique, sparked several new research projects, and stimulated learning on both sides of this unique international partnership.

The Republic of Mozambique. Map from CIA: The World Factbook.

The Republic of Mozambique.
Map from CIA: The World Factbook.

The Global Medicine Program is a two-way exchange of faculty and residents between UCSD and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique. It is part of the Department of Medicine’s efforts to expand its involvement in global health.

“I think the program has made absolutely incredible progress,” said Dr. Constance Benson, Professor of Medicine and Director of UCSD’s Fellowship Training Program in Infectious Diseases.

Dr. Benson is a faculty director of the program.

During their 3-week stay, the UCSD internal medicine residents rotate through four different wards at Maputo General Hospital. Dr. Michael Preziosi, Clinical Director of the program, serves as faculty attending physician on site in Maputo.

Mozambican internal medicine residents

Mozambican internal medicine residents (left to right) Drs. Clotilde Tilwene, Neusa Jessen, Marilia Vida. Photo by Mike Preziosi, MD

Working together with the Mozambican doctors, the UCSD residents are encountering diseases they have never seen before and far more advanced stages of diseases frequently seen in San Diego; schistosomiasis, for example, and full-blown tuberculosis.

In one 24-hour period, Dr. Preziosi said, his patients included one who had tetanus with lockjaw, one with a liver cancer caused by a fungus that grows on peanuts, and one who had an advanced case of pellagra.

Broadening UCSD’s Internal Medicine Residency Training Program is one of the goals of the Global Medicine Program. Promoting collaborative global health research is another.

Mozambican residents at a presentation

U.S. and Mozambican residents at a presentation. Photo by Mike Preziosi, MD.

In the past six months, UCSD residents, fellows, and faculty members have begun to partner with Maputo researchers in new studies of tuberculosis and other endemic diseases.

UCSD is also introducing tools and practices that will strengthen the medical education program at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane.

A weekly journal club, instituted by UCSD residents, has been very well received.

“On the wards with the Mozambican residents, what’s going on has been really inspiring,” said Dr. Preziosi. “We’re seeing them get excited about medicine again.”This, in turn, refreshes the American residents, he said.

“I think they are getting a renewed sense of the purpose and value of the educational activities they are helping to introduce,” Dr. Preziosi said, “and are participating in them with renewed energy.”

Mozambican and American residents

Mozambican resident Marilia Vida (left) with Dr. Sarah Fox, second-year UCSD resident. Photo by Mike Preziosi, MD.

Mozambican residents will begin rotations at UCSD later this year.

“What makes our program unique,” said Dr. Robert “Chip” Schooley, “is that the transfer of capacity is being done in a peer-to-peer fashion by people who are transferring knowledge about jobs they do all the time.“The Mozambican residents see our residents as counterparts who are sharing their own experiences.”

Dr. Schooley, a Faculty Director of the program, is Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases. “I think this program will break a lot of ground,” he said.

UCSD faculty appointments have been granted to Drs. Emilia Noormahomed and Sam Patel, the faculty leaders on the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane side of the Global Medicine Program.

UCSD is assisting with material needs in Maputo as well.

Last summer, a UCSD team brought a supply of modern tuberculosis protective masks for the Mozambican residents’ workroom at the hospital. There is a great shortage of other basic clinical supplies.

To help meet such needs and to sustain the Global Medicine Program, Dr. Schooley and colleagues are stepping up their fundraising efforts.

“We can make a real impact on the health of this country with a very modest investment,” said Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky. Dr. Kaushansky, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine, is Director of the Global Medicine Program.

As the U.S. and Mozambican residents care for patients and pursue their studies together, they lay groundwork for stronger healthcare systems in both nations. In the face of overwhelming need in Maputo, they press forward with the resources available.

Drs. Benson and Schooley are veterans of many successful efforts to improve healthcare delivery in Africa.

“You overcome,” said Dr. Benson. “One day at a time, one patient at a time.”

* * *

The Global Medicine elective rotation is open to second- and third-year residents and to Department of Medicine faculty members from all specialties.

For more information on the Global Medicine Program,

Read our news story about the launch of the Global Medicine Program here.

Give to our Global Medicine Program.

Med Into Grad Program Wins More Funding

With a new $700,000 grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UCSD’s innovative Med Into Grad education program will expand over the next four years.  |  Read the full story from UC San Diego News

Launched in 2006, the UCSD Med Into Grad program offers biomedical graduate students the opportunity to receive 10-12 weeks of clinical instruction during their doctoral training.

Under the guidance of physician mentors, the graduate students immerse in patient care settings that relate directly to their thesis work.  |  Read our profile of a Med Into Grad student

With this stint of medical training, the Med into Grad program aims to inspire the new basic researchers with a passion for developing the treatments and diagnostic tools that patients most urgently need.

The program founders and co-directors of Med Into Grad are Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine, and Mark P. Kamps, PhD, Professor of Pathology.

Visit the UCSD Med Into Grad website for a program description and students’ personal accounts of their Med Into Grad experiences.

2009 “San Diego’s Top Doctors” List Includes 36 Department of Medicine Physicians

For their excellence in the opinion of their fellow physicians in San Diego County, 36 doctors from the Department of Medicine have been named to the “San Diego’s Top Doctors” list for 2009.

This year’s list includes a total of 475 doctors in 46 specialties. Eighty of the doctors are from UC San Diego.  |  Read the full story from UC San Diego News

“We can be very proud of the fact that UC San Diego Medical Center has more doctors on the list than any other medical center or medical group in the region,” said Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine.

In 2008, the “Top Doctors” list included 449 physicians, 61 from UC San Diego and 25 from the Department of Medicine.Of the 36 Department of Medicine physicians honored this year, 24 have been named to the list at least once before. Four are being recognized for the sixth straight year:

A place on the “Top Doctors” list is a particular honor for those who are chosen because it reflects the confidence of their peers.

In the “Top Doctors” survey, the members of the San Diego County Medical Society are asked to name the board-certified physicians they would select when they refer their own family members or patients to a specialist. They are permitted to vote across medical specialties.  |  Read more about how Top Doctors are chosen

The list is published each year in the October issue of San Diego Magazine.The magazine and the San Diego County Medical Society have collaborated to produce the “Top Doctors” list since 2004. San Diego Magazine first published a “Top Doctors” list in 2002.

Here are the names of this year’s Department of Medicine awardees, listed by subspecialty division and followed by the number of years each has been named to the “Top Doctors” list:

Division of Cardiology

Division of Emergency Medicine

Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism


General Internal Medicine


  • Kwi Young Bulow, MD, voted a Top Doctor in both Geriatric Medicine and Internal Medicine (3 years)
    Health Sciences Clinical Professor

Division of Hematology-Oncology

Division of Hospital Medicine

Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine

New Global Medicine Program at Work in Mozambique

UCSD internal medicine resident Seth Goldman, M.D., with Dr. Sam Patel of UEM on the wards at Maputo Central Hospital.

UCSD internal medicine resident Seth Goldman, M.D., with Dr. Sam Patel of UEM on the wards at Maputo Central Hospital. Photo by Mike Preziosi, MD.

At Maputo Central Hospital in Mozambique, the patients suffer from diseases that a doctor might never see in the U.S.: malaria, cholera, or drug resistant tuberculosis, for example. Important research takes place despite limited resources. Internal medicine residents divide their time between their clinical duties and the moonlighting jobs that finance their medical education.

Beginning this month, UCSD internal medicine doctors are working side by side with their counterparts in Maputo. The new Global Medicine elective rotation in the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Training Program is underway.

It’s a bilateral exchange of faculty and residents between UCSD and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) School of Medicine in Maputo. The purpose is to enrich the training programs and the research efforts at both institutions.

Dr. Seth Goldman, a third-year resident in internal medicine, is the first UCSD trainee to take part. He’ll spend almost 4 weeks in Maputo, departing as the next resident arrives from UCSD to take his place.

Dr. Preziosi with Mozambican residents

Global Medicine Program Clinical Director Mike Preziosi, MD (center), with Mozambican internal medicine residents Lucia Chambal (left) and Manuel Tomas (right).

Supervising the residents in Maputo is Michael Preziosi, MD, who graduated from the Internal Medicine Residency Program in June. He’ll spend a full year in Maputo as Assistant Professor of Medicine, and clinical director for the UCSD residents.

“Our research and education presence in Maputo will equip us to prepare our next generation of internal medicine specialists and researchers,” says Ken Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine. Dr. Kaushansky directs the Global Medicine program for UCSD.

Drs. Marisa Magaña and Emilia Noormahomed

Dr. Marisa Magaña, former UCSD internal medicine resident, with Dr. Emilia Noormahomed of UEM.

UCSD’s Global Medicine faculty leaders include Robert (Chip) Schooley, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases, and colleague Professor Constance Benson, MD, who directs the Fellowship Training Program in Infectious Diseases.

This is an exciting opportunity for UCSD and for UEM,” says Dr. Schooley.

He and Dr. Benson have collaborated with researchers in Mozambique and other African nations since the mid-1990s.

It was their interest in doing research work with Dr. Emilia Noormahomed that brought UEM to the foreground when the UCSD Department of Medicine began its search for potential Global Medicine rotation sites.

Emilia Noormahomed, MD, PhD, a gifted parasitology researcher, is a former dean of the UEM School of Medicine.

She and Sam Patel, MD, Professor of Medicine and, until recently, Chair of the Department of Medicine, are UEM’s participating faculty who have worked closely with Dr. Kaushansky to design this unique partnership.

Both have accepted faculty appointments in UCSD’s Department of Medicine.

“Our long-term goal is to play a critical role in developing sustainable local capacity to lead programs in HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in southeast Africa.”
— Dr. Schooley

City of Maputo

The city of Maputo is a major port on the Indian Ocean.
Photo by Robert Schooley, MD.

For UCSD, the Global Medicine program reflects the Department of Medicine’s commitment to enlarge its efforts in the field of global medicine. The new elective will broaden the program offered to internal medicine residency trainees.

“Our faculty, residents, and fellows will have the opportunity to see diseases such as TB and malaria that we see much less often here in the U.S.,” Dr. Schooley says, “and actually to take part in revitalizing postgraduate medical education in Moçambique.”

A generation after a civil war that drove all but a few doctors from the country, the government of Moçambique is striving to build a sustainable healthcare system that can meet the nation’s urgent need for physicians and medical leaders.

Children in cane village outside Maputo.

Children in cane village outside Maputo. Photo by Kenneth Kaushansky, MD.

UCSD’s involvement at UEM is part of this effort, as is funding for the UEM departments of parasitology and medicine by the Gilead Foundation, a nonprofit organization of the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, LLC.

The Gilead Foundation contributed along with the UCSD Center for AIDS Research to the refurbishing of Dr. Noormahomed’s laboratory at UEM. It’s also a key sponsor of the UCSD Global Medicine rotation.

It’s hoped that additional philanthropic gifts from other sources will continue to support the Global Medicine exchange and other collaborative projects between UCSD and UEM.

UCSD’s presence at UEM will nourish medical research programs and promote the use of evidence-based medicine and epidemiological methods in patient care.

Maputo Central Hospital

Maputo Central Hospital, the primary teaching hospital for UEM.
Photo by Mike Preziosi, MD.

During the early months of this inaugural year, Dr. Preziosi is focusing on establishing relationships, learning the language, and determining the needs of the UEM medical trainees and researchers.

“I’m really excited,” he says. “It’s clear to me how important my job is as a continuous presence in Maputo.”

He and his UCSD colleagues will work with UEM to establish a more academic day in the medical training program. They’ll also develop a number of research studies.

“We’ll work with their residents and investigators,” he says, “to do the projects that really matter.”

Dr. Preziosi hopes to have launched the first group of new research projects by the end of the year. In June 2010, he will return to UCSD to begin his fellowship training in infectious diseases.

Mozambique shown on map of Africa.

The republic of Mozambique.
Map from CIA: The World Factbook.

The Global Medicine elective rotation is open to second- and third-year residents. During the 2009-2010 academic year, over 20 UCSD internal medicine trainees will complete the Global Medicine rotation in Maputo.

Additional UCSD Department of Medicine faculty will rotate through Maputo for 3-4 week periods over the course of the year, working alongside their Mozambican colleagues to augment the Internal Medicine training program at Maputo Central Hospital. Dr. Randy Taplitz, Clinical Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, will join Dr. Preziosi in early August.

Department of Medicine faculty rotating through Maputo live in an apartment, located several blocks from the medical school complex, with Dr. Preziosi and the UCSD residents.

Starting later this year, UEM residents will travel to UCSD to spend 2-3-month periods in research and clinical work here.

“Our long-term goal,” says Dr. Schooley, “is to play a critical role in developing sustainable local capacity to lead programs in HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria in southeast Africa.”

Join With Us

We’re building practical, sustainable programs here at home and in our partner nations.

Your gift in any amount will go directly to help train a doctor, continue a key research project, or equip a community with the knowledge it needs to fight the spread of a preventable disease.

For more information about philanthropy and the Department of Medicine’s international programs, please contact Dan Otto, Senior Executive Director of Development, at 858-246-1563.

Give Now

UCSD Faculty Volunteers Welcomed

UCSD Department of Medicine faculty volunteers of all specialties are welcome to participate in the Global Medicine program in Maputo.

To make your interests known or to find out more, please contact:

Jesus Vera
Global Medicine Program Coordinator
Telephone 619-543-2896

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