Friday, September 21, 2018

From The Dean

Friday, September 21, 2018

UND Homecoming 2018 is in full swing! There have been a variety of activities already this week, including the Sioux Awards banquet last night at the Alerus Center. Among the honorees was basketball great and Williston, N.D., native Phil Jackson, who was one of the recipients of this year’s Sioux Awards. As you might imagine, everyone wanted to say hello to Phil, and as a former basketball fanatic, I enjoyed the opportunity to be introduced to him. It was a fun evening—and the Alerus Center was jammed! DeAnna Carlson-Zink, the CEO of the UND Alumni Association and Foundation, told me earlier in the week that all of the major events at Homecoming 2018 were fully subscribed—there were more than 600 people at the Sioux Awards, and even though others wished to attend, the Alerus Center staff told DeAnna that they simply could not accommodate any more attendees! What a wonderful thing for UND!

As I’ve mentioned before, there are a variety of Homecoming activities at the SMHS today; here is a list. At the School’s banquet tonight, we have over 80 registrants, so it promises to be a fun evening. Perhaps the highlight will be the comments of former Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology Chair and retired Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor Ed Carlson. Ed has been associated with the SMHS for many years, and it will be fun to hear him reminisce and consider how far we’ve come since the “old days”—but it will also be good to remember and celebrate the roots from which we came. Ed was chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology when I first arrived at UND, and was one of the folks who interviewed me. So Ed and I go way back. That was in the days when we had four separate basic science departments at the School and before they merged into the current Department of Biomedical Sciences, chaired by Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor Colin Combs (who will follow Professor Carlson tonight with additional comments).

On another note, I bumped into Kathy Gershman, former professor in the UND College of Education & Human Development, on Wednesday. She was visiting our building to look at our student lounge, study, and relaxation spaces for ideas to be used when the former Oxford House—more recently the J. Lloyd Stone Alumni Center prior to the opening of the Gorecki Alumni Center—is renovated for use as a space for graduate and international students to gather. She and husband Hal just announced a marvelous $3 million gift to fund the renovation efforts. The building was built in 1903, and while it has many wonderful and quaint features, it clearly needed to be updated if it was going to be used in the future. Most of our students are graduate students, and some are international, so many of them likely will utilize the new and renovated Oxford House. So on behalf of UND, thanks so much to the Gershmans for their generosity and thoughtfulness.

Finally, I’ll end with a bit of shameless self-promotion. Please consider joining me and other UND colleagues at this year’s inaugural Faculty Lecture Series. I’ve been invited to give the kick-off lecture this coming Wednesday, September 26, 2018, in the UND Memorial Union Lecture Bowl. There will be a reception at 4 p.m. and the talk starts at 4:30 p.m. My talk is titled “From Throat Ache to Heartache – A Tale of Rheumatic Fever Through Time and Across Continents,” and it recounts the battle against rheumatic heart disease over the past century. Much progress has been made in the fight, but rheumatic heart disease remains endemic and a major cause of disability and death in too many developing countries. I’ll recount my team’s efforts to aid in the fight, and review our seminal studies of a less-invasive way of dealing with the ravages of rheumatic fever on the heart. We carried out these projects in India, and I’ll also discuss some of the challenges of bringing together two cardiac care teams from two different countries and cultures. I think you’ll enjoy the presentation and the discussion. I hope to see you there!

Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
UND Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean, UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences

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Welcome: Heather Gilbert

Heather Gilbert is the Educational Laboratory Manager for the Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) Department at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks. Heather works alongside faculty and staff to coordinate laboratory exercises for the undergraduate MLS students in the fields of Microbiology, Hematology, and Molecular Biology, just to name a few. She is originally from St. Croix Falls, Wis., and moved to Grand Forks in 2011. At UND she earned her bachelors of science in Medical Laboratory Science in 2016 and looks forward to graduating with her master's degree in Medical Laboratory Science in May 2019. Her supervisor is Brooke Solberg.

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Dean Wynne to present at UND's Faculty Lecture Series Wednesday, Sept. 26

Next week, SMHS Dean Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH, will present a talk titled “From Throat Ache to Heartache – A Tale of Rheumatic Fever Through Time and Across Continents” as part of UND's 2018-19 Faculty Lecture series.

Left untreated, the bacteria that causes strep throat can result in rheumatic fever—which can damage heart valves, leading to the need for heart surgery. Although antibiotics have all but eliminated rheumatic fever in developed countries, the condition remains widespread elsewhere in the world. But a study by Dr. Wynne and his colleagues demonstrated that a balloon device similar to one used in angioplasty is just as effective as surgery at opening narrow heart valves in patients with heart damage caused by rheumatic fever. Plus—it’s cheaper, offers a shorter recovery period, and is typically safer.

Learn more about Dr. Wynne's study, which also touches upon questions of justice, socioeconomics, and culture, in the Lecture Bowl of UND's Memorial Union on Wednesday, Sept. 26. A reception will be held outside the Ballroom at 4 p.m. with the presentation beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The Faculty Lecture Series seeks to cultivate a stronger academic atmosphere on the University of North Dakota campus by showcasing the scholarly research of faculty selected across the disciplines. The Lectures aim to present with some depth and rigor the scholarly questions and goals of the individual faculty members. In presenting their scholarship, the lecturers will share the enthusiasm and dedication that sustains their creative efforts.

Registration now open! NDMA/ACP combined annual meeting

The North Dakota Medical Association (NDMA) is collaborating with the North Dakota Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP) for a combined annual meeting on Friday, October 5, 2018, at the Bismarck Event Center. The combined effort allows both groups to share educational sessions and increase peer networking opportunities. Meeting details can be found in the NDMA or ACP brochures.

An annual poster competition associated with the meeting will be held at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo on October 3, 2018. All UND medical students and Internal Medicine residents are invited to participate.

Register today with the NDMA (or with ACP for members).

We look forward to seeing you in Bismarck!


16th Annual American Indian Health Research Conference at SMHS on Saturday, Oct. 20

The 16th Annual American Indian Health Research Conference (AIHRC) takes place Saturday, October 20, 2018, at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Grand Forks. The conference offers opportunities to discuss research directions, partnerships, and collaboration in health research focusing on American Indians.

Rodney Haring, PhD, MSW, assistant professor of oncology in the Department of Cancer Health Disparities Research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York, is the keynote speaker. Haring’s presentation will address Roswell Park’s Memorandum of Understanding with the Indian Health Service (IHS) and how Roswell’s cancer research intersects with IHS outreach, student development, and patient care. Haring is a member of the Beaver Clan and an enrolled citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians based in western New York.

The 2018 AIHRC will also feature speakers from the: American Indian Cancer Foundation, American Cancer Society, American Indian Public Health Resource Center at North Dakota State University, and Minnesota Department of Human Services. Register online here.

Connected to this conference, nominations are now being accepted for the Dr. Alan J. Allery Health Research Award. This award is presented to two American Indian students, one graduate and one undergraduate, in recognition of conducting research dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Native Americans. The deadline to submit nominations is October 5.

Zen in 10 in September

Zen in 10 focuses on stretching, breathing, and having fun with coworkers. Go back to work with less stress, more energy, and better body functioning.

Sessions will be held at the SMHS from 10:40 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout September (except Sept. 13) on the East Patio, weather permitting. In case of inclement weather, Zen in 10 will meet in the SMHS auditorium (E101).

Note: If we are indoors on Sept. 25, Zen in 10 will be held in the Tello-Skjerseth Atrium.

Services provided by Kay Williams, Certified Yoga and Relax and Renew Instructor®.

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Geiger presents at invitation-only workshop organized by National Institute of Mental Health

Dr. Jonathan Geiger, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at UND’s School of Medicine & Health Sciences, presented at a by-invitation-only workshop organized by the National Institute of Mental Health. This workshop, titled "ART-Mediated Mental Health Side Effects," was held on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Md., on September 12, 2018.

Anti-retroviral therapeutics (ART)-mediated neuropsychiatric events occur in some people living with HIV. These complications include depression, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbance, suicidal ideation, and anxiety. Because of these neuropsychiatric adverse events' impact on continued ART use and HIV-related health outcomes, it is important to better understand the clinical picture, the underlying biological mechanisms, and to potentially define strategies to predict the adverse events for the best treatment outcomes in people living with HIV.

The goal of the workshop was to review our current understanding of the science of ART-mediated neuropsychiatric adverse events and to identify key gaps in the research agenda to assure that funds are targeted appropriately. A very select group of 11 presenters was invited to give talks to and interact with 16 NIH program officials. Presenters included investigators from some of the most prestigious research-intensive universities in the nation, including Johns Hopkins, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of California-San Diego. Also presenting was the Chair of the Global Medical Directors of ViiV Healthcare, the division of GlaxoSmithKline that develops and markets their anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs). Dr. Geiger's presentation was titled "Understanding ART Actions and Reactions Requires a Better Understanding of Organelle Biology and Inter-Organellar Signaling."

Worldwide, about 35 million people are living with HIV-1. About one-half of these individuals are being treated with ARVs. "Because HIV-1 positive people taking ARVs are today living almost full life spans, it is becoming increasingly important to better understand co-morbidities, including neuropsychiatric side effects, substance abuse issues, and age-related disorders," Geiger explained.

SOTA sponsors its annual "Rent an OT" student fundraiser

Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) members at UND are seeking to raise funds for the St. Catherine Challenge. The St. Catherine Challenge is a national student-led initiative to build the profession of occupational therapy through raising funds for research in support of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation's mission.

Schools of occupational therapy across the nation take on the challenge, create their own fundraisers, engage their communities in the effort, and come together at the annual American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) conference to cheer the cause. Donations are used exclusively to fund and promote research in occupational therapy, and thus advance the science of everyday living.

As charter members of the St. Catherine Challenge, UND's Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) is eager to engage in fundraising for this challenge. As such, SOTA will hold a silent auction to "auction" off our fellow SOTA members to faculty, staff, or students within the SMHS who could use assistance with a task. Occupational therapy students interested in offering their time and skills will be “rented” by the winning bidders for up to four hours. Winning bidders will be allowed to utilize student volunteers on behalf of other individuals they know who may be in need of assistance (e.g., a friend needing help moving or a parent requiring cleaning help). Following the auction, the students will contact the highest bidders to establish details regarding the time and place of service.

Services that students may provide include cleaning, raking leaves, shoveling snow, babysitting, supervising children at a birthday party, painting, moving, designing, organizing, and much more. However, there are restrictions to the nature of services that can be provided: no transportation of people, no power tools, no activities involving fire or explosives, and no activities involving heights or tasks that place one in danger. Any SOTA participant can decline particular activities requested of him or her if he or she does not feel comfortable completing the task requested. OT students will complete the work in pairs.

The silent auction will be open for bids starting October 1.

Bids can be submitted to Sara Anderson via email to Bids must include your name, the task in question, and the amount of money you will donate for this service. We will take the highest bids and match student pairs to each bid (up to the number of students who have volunteered for this event). For example, if 20 students volunteer, they would be put into groups of two; therefore, we would accept and notify the 10 highest bidders. Work is to be completed between Oct. 15 and Nov. 11. Work must be completed within 15 miles of Grand Forks.

If you have any questions, please email Sara Anderson at or Cherie Graves at

Fall 2018 issue of North Dakota Medicine now available

As you may have noticed in your mailbox, or while perusing the displays in the SMHS, the fall 2018 issue of North Dakota Medicine out this week. Features this issue include stories on:

The full magazine can be read online here.


For Your Health is coming!

In the next few weeks, the E-News you are used to receiving each week will appear in your email inbox on Fridays with a new look and feel. This "new" publication, which we're calling For Your Health, will retain all the features of your E-News; the only major difference will be in the email's design, which is more in line with the new UND brand standards.

That said, the "submissions" process will be a bit different. Although there will likely be an option for readers to submit news items to the editors via the For Your Health website, as was the case with E-News, your best bet for submitting items for the newsletter will be via email--either in a "reply" to the For Your Health email you received, or directly to or

We look forward to your feedback on the new e-newsletter and website, which have been designed with UND's help to look similar to the university's UND Today publication.

As always, thanks for reading.

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Next Evidence-Based Teaching Group to meet Tuesday, Oct. 2

The Evidence-Based Teaching Group (EBTG) will meet on Tuesday, October 2 from 11 a.m. to noon in room W201 to discuss "Competency-Based Assessment: Using Behavioral Observation Forms to Measure the Development of Student Competency Over Time." You are invited to attend!

The medical curriculum at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UND SMHS) recently adopted new competency-based program goals, including some focused on lifelong self-directed learning skills, professionalism, and personal and professional development. Because competencies like these are attained incrementally over time and are reflected behavior choices rather than recall of factual information, they cannot be taught or assessed using traditional teaching (e.g., lecture) or testing (e.g., multiple-choice tests). One way the UND SMHS curriculum promotes these outcomes is through our patient-centered learning (PCL): a form of problem-based learning that occurs over the course of the first two years of the curriculum. We developed and piloted an observational form to measure these competencies. This session will provide an overview of the problem, solution, and results, and we’ll discuss how this approach can be extended to other programs, content, and competencies.

The session will be led by Richard Van Eck, PhD, our School's associate dean for teaching and learning.

The Evidence-Based Teaching Group (EBTG) hosts events based on topics determined by the expressed interests of its members. The EBTG meets the first Tuesday of every month in W201 or W202 and meetings are free and open to anyone—no RSVP needed! Past topics have included assessment, online learning, precepting, active learning, simulation, ADA compliance, educational scholarship, to name a few. Many of the past events can be streamed from our website. If you are interested in anything related to evidence-based teaching, join us! If you have any questions, would like more information, or would like to suggest (or lead!) a future meeting topic, please contact Adrienne Salentiny at

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UND Host-Pathogen Interactions CoBRE Symposium set for September 25

The Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) for Host-Pathogen Interactions is inviting UND faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students to attend the Annual Host-Pathogen CoBRE Symposium to be held at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences on Tuesday, September 25, 2018. The Symposium will bring together experts investigating both microbial infectious agents and host responses to those infectious agents.

Confirmed Speakers for the event are:

In addition, investigators from the University of North Dakota will present their research related to infection and immunity in both oral and a poster sessions.

This event aims to promote interaction and collaboration among researchers in the area and provide opportunities for learning about cutting-edge tools, approaches, and resources to advance their research in broad areas of infection and inflammation.

Prior on-line registration is appreciated.

The Symposium will be from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Complimentary continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences is located at 1301 North Columbia Road in Grand Forks, N.D.

North Dakota INBRE to hold annual Research Symposium at SMHS Oct. 13-14

The North Dakota IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) will hold its annual Research Symposium at the School of Medicine & Health Sciences Oct. 13-14. The event will be begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 and conclude at noon on Sunday, Oct. 14.

The Saturday morning session will be devoted to student research presentations and the afternoon will be dedicated to a poster session, networking, and the beginning of several workshops. Dinner will be provided along with a research presentation Saturday evening. Sunday morning will be dedicated to workshops.

The format will strive to provide a friendly atmosphere that promotes open discussions and an exchange of ideas on science and training. A new addition this year will be the presentation of posters from award winners in the North Dakota Science Fair program. This should provide a unique opportunity for recruitment of students into the ND INBRE undergraduate STEM programs.

For more information or to register, see INBRE online here.

ND INBRE focuses on health and the environment with research projects that include undergraduate students. We look forward to continued participation in this program that highlights the accomplishments of our undergraduate student researchers.

UND and NCURA sponsor one-day research workshop to be held Friday, Oct. 19

The University of North Dakota and the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) Region IV are sponsoring a one-day workshop entitled "Sponsored Programs Essentials: Pre-Award and Post-award" on Friday, October 19 at the UND Energy & Environmental Research Center, 15 N. 23rd St. in Grand Forks. The workshop, held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., provides concepts, strategies, and best practices for pre-award and post-award management of sponsored research. Receive expert instruction at an affordable registration fee and low travel cost!

This full-day workshop provides an introduction to the "lifecycle" of sponsored research administration. Learn concepts, strategies, and best practices from experts in your region. Research administrators from central and departmental offices will benefit from this workshop. Topics to be presented include:


  • Reviewing program announcements
  • Assembling proposals
  • Accepting awards


  • Award management
  • Financial reporting
  • Closeouts and audits

Throughout the Grant Lifecycle

  • The intersection of roles, responsibilities, and institutional policy
  • Uniform Guidance
  • Implications for financial risk

Instruction will be provided by experienced NCURA speakers, including Heather Offhaus, director or Grant Review & Analysis at the University of Michigan, and Shannon Sutton, director of the Office of Sponsored Programs at Western Illinois University.

Registration is $175 before October 12, 2018, and $200 after October 12. Registration fee includes lunch and refreshments. Register here.

For more information, visit the NCURA Region IV website or contact Patience Graybill, Chair of the NCURA Region IV Traveling Workshop Subcommittee at, or Michelle Schoenecker, Co-Chair, at

Request for Applications: Great Plains IDeA-CTR Superstar Competition

The Great Plains IDeA-CTR network is excited to announce a funding opportunity: the Great Plains IDeA-CTR Superstar Competition.

The GP IDeA-CTR group is requesting a brief research pitch (2 pages maximum) to include: project title, principle investigator(s), participating institution(s), study aims, hypotheses, methods (brief overview of design, study sample, measures, budget and statistical analysis plan), one year deliverables, a statement addressing how the project advances CTR, and a lay summary. In addition, we ask that applicants provide a biosketch for PI and all key personnel.

The grant will be awarded at the GP IDeA-CTR Annual Scientific Meeting on October 10, 2018. Funding will be awarded to an innovative research project based on criteria delineated in the full application. 

The goal of this opportunity is to raise awareness of CTR by promising scholars who are developing innovative tools and methods for medical research. The winning investigator/team will receive a pilot grant award to catalyze cutting-edge research that may translate to a sustainable product or a larger federal grant. 

The winner will receive up to $20,000 for one year, and access to resources of the GP IDeA-CTR to support these research efforts.

The application deadline is September 24, 2018 (5 p.m.). For more information or to find a full application, see the GP IDeA-CTR website.

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