Drs. Philipp Wiesner, Benjamin Hulley Honored with 2013 Internal Medicine Residency Program Awards

Each year, the Internal Medicine Residency Program recognizes residents who embody the ideals of two highly esteemed faculty members, former Department of Medicine chair Dr. Ken Kaushansky, now at Stony Brook University, and the late Dr. Lee Rickman, associate clinical professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, who died while training medical personnel in Lesotho in 2003.

Program director Elaine Muchmore, MD, presented the Kaushansky and Rickman awards on June 19 at the last session of Medicine Grand Rounds for academic year 2012-2013.

The awards followed Benjamin Hulley’s presentation, “Are Physicians Ethically Obligated to Utilize the Placebo Effect?”  |  Watch the video (UCSD only)

Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP

Dr. Ken Kaushansky

Philipp Wiesner Receives Ken Kaushansky Award

Ken Kaushansky, MD, MACP, an esteemed physician-scientist, was Helen M. Ranney Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego from 2002 until 2010. He is now dean of the School of Medicine and senior vice president of Health Sciences at Stony Brook University in New York.

Seeking to enhance the training of general internists at UC San Diego, Kaushansky established the residency program’s 2-month dedicated elective research block. On that rotation, a resident selects a faculty mentor, conducts a research project and presents the results.

The elective has steadily gained in popularity, with about half the residents now participating annually.

This year, the program directors chose four residents to present their research projects at Medicine Grand Rounds and selected one of them to receive the Kaushansky Award.

Kaushansky_2013

Dr. Philipp Wiesner

The winner was second-year resident Philipp Wiesner, MD, who presented his research project, “Oxidized Phospholipids in Inflammation and Atherosclerosis,” at the May 15 session of Grand Rounds.  |  More about Wiesner’s research  |  Watch the video (UCSD only)

Wiesner, who plans to be an academic physician-scientist, has pursued research in atherosclerosis since he was in medical school.

In accepting the award, he said, “A young scientist can never do well without a nurturing environment. I had great mentors, Joe Witztum, Yury Miller and Sam Tsimikas.

“I also want to thank the residency program for giving me the great opportunity both to do research here and also start my residency and do my clinical training here.”

Benjamin Hulley Receives the Lee Rickman Humanism in Medicine Award

The Lee Rickman Humanism in Medicine Award is given each year to a resident whose work recalls the energy and devotion of Lee Rickman, MD, a UC San Diego residency program graduate and Department of Medicine faculty member who practiced infectious disease medicine with singular passion until his death in 2003.

Rickman was acknowledged as the hands-down winner in the number of teaching awards given to a Department of Medicine faculty member.

In introducing the award, Muchmore said, “Lee didn’t just delve into topics — a wide variety of topics — but then, with passion, he taught them. It was not a joke that if we had a sudden cancellation of a Grand Rounds speaker or a noon conference speaker, somebody would turn to Lee and say, ‘Could you substitute tomorrow?’ And he would say, ‘Of course.'”

Drs. Elaine Muchmore and Ben Hulley

Drs. Elaine Muchmore and Ben Hulley

“The Rickman Award is a very high honor in the residency program,” she said. “It gives me great pleasure to award it to Ben Hulley.”

Hulley is one of the five incoming chief medical residents for 2013-2014. He received his undergraduate degree in biology and economics from UC San Diego and his MD degree from the UC San Diego School of Medicine.

In his remarks, Hulley credited his father, also a physician, who had come from northern California to be present in the audience.

“Thanks to my Dad for being a great role model and helping me get this far,” he said.

Stephen B. Hulley, MD, MPH, is professor in the Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at UC San Francisco.

The four resident research presentations and the presentations from the five incoming chief medical residents will be available via on-demand video (UCSD only) all summer.

Dr. Helen King and Dr. Philipp Wiesner Present Mentored Research Study Results at Grand Rounds

Dr. Helen King

Dr. Helen King.

Dr. Philipp Wiesner

Dr. Philipp Wiesner.

Helen King, MD, and Philipp Wiesner, MD, junior residents in the categorical track of the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program, presented results of their elective mentored research projects at Medicine Grand Rounds on May 15.

The Internal Medicine Residency Training program offers trainees two months of elective time during their second or third year to undertake a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Dr. Helen King

Helen King, MD, Mercer University

King’s research project was “HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis: Barriers to Access for Men Who Have Sex With Men.” |  Watch the video (UCSD only)

“I have been interested in HIV medicine for some time now,” King said, “and since being a resident at UCSD have had the opportunity to have more exposure.

“I went to Dr. Davey Smith knowing that he might have some interesting projects, and he helped me get involved with the PrEPARE Study.”

Davey Smith, MD, MAS

Davey M. Smith, MD, MAS

Smith (at right), a translational research virologist, directs the Translational Virology Core of the UC San Diego Center for AIDS Research and is medical director of the Antiviral Research Center’s Early Intervention Program.

He is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

The PrEPARE study evaluates preexposure prophylaxis for HIV in men who have sex with men, an approach in which an HIV-negative individual who is at high risk for HIV infection takes a daily HIV medication to lower his risk of infection.

“It has been proven effective in high-risk men who have sex with men,” King said. “Our study was aimed at identifying real-life barriers to accessing the medication, such as cost.”

The study pinpointed several barriers including cost and concern about side effects.

Of her research experience, King said, “I was lucky enough to work on a project that was interesting to me and to work with a great mentor.”

Dr. Philipp Wiesner

Philipp Wiesner
MD, Universität Regensburg

Philipp Wiesner presented the project “Oxidized Phospholipids in Inflammation and Atherosclerosis.” |  Watch the video (UCSD only)

“I started to work in the field of atherosclerosis in medical school,” Wiesner said. “I spent 2 years as a postdoctoral fellow and continued to work in this area during residency.

“My topic was a perfect fit, as I could continue to work in the same area in which I already had experience as well as continue to work with my previous mentors.”

Dr. Joseph Witztum

Joseph Witztum, MD

Wiesner’s primary mentor is Joseph Witztum, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism. Witztum leads the renowned atherosclerosis research laboratory that was established at UCSD by Dr. Daniel Steinberg.

Steinberg, emeritus professor of medicine and pioneering lipid researcher, was the founding head of the Division of Metabolic Diseases.

Dr. Yury Miller

Yury Miller, MD, PhD

Wiesner’s other mentors are lab members Yury Miller, MD, PhD, and Sotirios “Sam” Tsimikas, MD. Miller is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism and Tsimikas is professor of clinical medicine and director of vascular medicine in the Division of Cardiology.

Dr. Sotirios "Sam" Tsimikas

Sotirios “Sam” Tsimikas, MD

Some of Wiesner’s research work, not included in his Grand Rounds presentation, recently has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Lipid Research.

Said Wiesner, “I am really glad our program gives us the opportunity to take two months off to do research. Residency is busy as it is and without this, many residents would not have the chance to get exposed to clinical or laboratory based research.”

Wiesner said it has always been his plan to have a career as an academic physician-scientist.

Presenting Grand Rounds on May 15: Dr. Helen King and Dr. Philipp Wiesner

Dr. Helen King

Dr. Helen King
MD, Mercer University

Dr. Philipp Wiesner

Dr. Philipp Wiesner
MD, Universität Regensburg

Helen King, MD, and Philipp Wiesner, MD, junior residents in the categorical track of the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program, will present results of their elective mentored research projects at Medicine Grand Rounds on May 15.

King’s research project is “HIV Preexposure Prophylaxis: Barriers to Access for Men Who Have Sex With Men.”  Philipp Wiesner will present the project “Oxidized Phospholipids in Inflammation and Atherosclerosis.”

The Internal Medicine Residency Training program offers trainees two months of elective time during their second or third year to undertake a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Bringing Power of Prevention, Diagnosis to the People

“A Mercedes Benz isn’t designed to function in the Sahara Desert,” notes Dr. Eliah Aronoff-Spencer of the University of California, San Diego. “So why are we designing medical equipment for developing countries the same way we do for developed ones?”

It’s a question researchers at the new Distributed Health Laboratory in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) at UC San Diego aim to address, and eventually, to render moot. In collaboration with the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo, Mozambique, Calit2’s DH Lab is designing low-cost medical devices such as microscopes and wireless sensing devices that can be used by virtually anyone anywhere in the world to prevent and even diagnose illness. … Read the full story from the UCSD Newsroom


Co-directing the Distributed Health Laboratory is Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, MD, PhD, fellow in infectious diseases at UCSD and informatics coordinator for the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) between UC San Diego and Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) in Maputo, Mozambique.

Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, MD, PhD with Dr. Manuel TomasThe photo at left shows Dr. Aronoff-Spencer with UEM physician Dr. Manuel Tomás (at right) on a patient ward at Maputo Central Hospital.

Dr. Aronoff-Spencer is also an organizer of the Biomedical Research Informatics for Global Health Training (BRIGHT) program, an international collaboration devoted to training the next generation of informatics researchers in partner countries.

The BRIGHT program, a Division of Biomedical Informatics project, is funded by grant D43TW007015 from the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health.

A graduate of the UCSD Internal Medicine Residency Program and Physician-Scientist Training Pathway, Dr. Aronoff-Spencer has completed a fellowship in clinical infectious disease and is now a fellow in research in infectious disease, global health informatics and decision making at UCSD. He is also a staff physician in infectious disease at the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

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