New STAR fellows named, grant winners announced at conference
More than 300 people attended last week’s 3rd annual Texas Conference on Health Disparities hosted by the HSC to debate and discuss how to combat health inequities and improve health care. Keynote speaker Dr. Freeman Hrabowski III spoke directly to students on Thursday evening stating, "We in math, science and engineering are more focused on the work than the people. We have to focus on the people." Following the address, Dr. Robert Kaman, associate professor of Health Management and Policy, introduced the 2008 STAR Fellows, taking time to remember Dr. Martin Farias, a 2008 STAR Fellow and one of our alumni who passed away this spring. Dr. Kaman also announced the winners of the $25,000 STAR Fellows grants this year – Dr. Gregory Buck, assistant professor at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, and Elissa Purnell, assistant professor at Savannah State University.
The STAR (Steps Toward Academic Research) Fellowship Program offers emerging faculty a year of collaborative training and interaction with our faculty and faculty from other institutions, directed toward fostering Health Disparities Research Initiatives.
New STAR Fellows for 2008-2009 are:
L. Kevin Chapman, assistant professor at the University of Louisville
Noushin Firouzbakht, assistant professor at UNTHSC
Fesseha Gebremikael, assistant professor at the Alabama Agricultural/Mechanical University
Raquel Qualls-Hampton, assistant professor at UNTHSC
Wanda Lawrence, assistant professor at Winston-Salem University
Diana Beckmann-Mendez, assistant professor at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio
Richard Palmer, assistant professor at Florida International University
Sabita Persaud, assistant professor at Bowie State University
Edilberto Raynes, assistant professor at Tennessee State University
Grant Wangila, assistant professor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Atrium Gallery features art by local women
From June 9 through July 30, UNTHSC’s Atrium Gallery will exhibit “Women of Worth,” a selection of the area’s finest women artists. The show is sponsored by the Health Science Center and the National League of American Pen Women, Inc. For more information about the exhibit or the UNTHSC Atrium Gallery, contact Shea Patterson-Young at ext. 0301.
Dr. Simpkins co-authors report on Alzheimer’s prevention therapies
Dr. James Simpkins, professor and chair of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, is co-author of “A roadmap for the prevention of dementia: The inaugural Leon Thal Symposium,” published last month in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. This new landmark study urges changes in the standard therapy of Alzheimer’s disease and dementias to focus on prevention tactics.
These new therapies call for increased focus on early detection of dementia and prevention treatments before symptoms emerge – a significant change from current therapies which address only symptoms of dementia, and not the underlying cause or prevention.
The paper is the result of the first Leon Thal Symposium in December 2007 – a gathering of 40 of the world’s most renowned experts in dementia research to develop a plan for public policy that would radically change current standards of therapy for dementia.
The assembled researchers began formulating new national strategies to discover, develop and validate new drug treatments through clinical trials. The group will reassemble in December 2008 to finalize their recommendations and form a policy that can be included in future Congressional healthcare reform.