Fall 2014
News and Notes

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

heathcare disparities

Brain storm

Some of the brightest minds at the School of Medicine and UNLV came together this spring and fall to address health disparities in Nevada. Photo by Edgar Antonio Nunez.

Myles rememberedRobert Myles

Long-time Reno physician Robert K. Myles, M.D., died at home on May 24, 2014. He and his wife, Jean, came to Reno in 1958 where he established a practice in internal medicine, with a focus on cardiology, diabetes and pulmonary medicine.

Myles mentored new pulmonary and internal medical specialists in Reno between 1960 and 1984. He worked in every aspect of health care including multiple terms as a member of the Washoe County Board of Health. He held offices on both Saint Mary's and Washoe Medical Center's medical staffs, and was elected to Washoe Medical Center's governing board when it was a county-wide electoral position. Myles also served as medical director for respiratory care at both hospitals. He was an active member of the Washoe County Medical Society.

He taught physical diagnosis as one of the first professors of medicine at the School of Medicine and also instructed students at Orvis School of Nursing. Together, Bob and Jean Myles have created a "living legacy" through their establishment of endowed scholarships at the Orvis School of Nursing and the School of Community Health Sciences.

Student takes first place at national conference

Josh Gabel, Class of 2015, presented his abstract entitled, "Hepatocellular Carcinoma in an HIV/HCV Co-infected Patient: A Call for Increased Surveillance in the Absence of Evident Cirrhosis" and took first place in the competition at the national American College of Physicians conference last spring. Gabel collaborated with Ranjit Makar, M.D., and Matthew Schreiber, M.D., in the internal medicine department in Las Vegas.

Discovery: Five microRNAs critical to development

A team of scientists led by Wei Yan, M.D., Ph.D., professor of physiology and cell biology at the School of Medicine, discovered that five microRNAs function as a group to control the proper formation of basal forebrain, ciliated epithelia in the trachea and the oviduct, and sperm in the testis. This work was published in the June 30 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Nearly 7,500 attend CME activities

The Office of Continuing Medical Education planned and produced a total of 75 continuing medical education activities in 2013. Nearly 7,500 health care professionals attended the school's accredited continuing medical education activities. Locations of these activities included seven events outside of Nevada (California, Oregon and Pennsylvania), 31 in southern Nevada, 29 in northern Nevada and eight in rural Nevada.

University police now patrol Las Vegas campus

University of Nevada, Reno Police Services, looking to enhance security for University of Nevada, Reno campuses in Las Vegas, including the School of Medicine's Charleston Boulevard campus, has set up a police services office located in the medical corridor on Charleston Boulevard under the leadership of Commander Tod Miller. Police Services Director Adam Garcia said the goal of increasing police presence at the University of Nevada's campuses in Las Vegas is to ensure all campuses within the University's jurisdiction are safe places to live, study and work.

Weight loss center wins gold

The Wellness and Weight Management Center's Health Management Resources Program, a weight-loss program located at the school's Reno campus, was recently awarded the 2013 HMR Gold Standard Certificate of Achievement. This award distinguishes the center's HMR nutritional program from more than 100 clinics nationwide using the program for weight loss.

Bennett is Nevada AETC director

The School of Medicine announces Jennifer Bennett as the new director of the Nevada AIDS Education and Training Center. She will oversee all center activities, ensuring that an ongoing series of educational programs, events, conferences, technical assistance and capacity building support regarding clinical care and services for people with HIV/AIDS, are available throughout Nevada.

Forums address health disparities

Experts and researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the School of Medicine met in April and October to discuss reasons why health disparities exist among certain population groups, share research and explore solutions. Panelists from both institutions addressed topics such as pedestrian injuries and deaths, gender differences in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease, the reliance on hospital emergency rooms to treat mentally ill patients, oral health in the elderly population and legal approaches to combating elder abuse. The event was sponsored by the Nevada IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, a National Institutes of Health program designed to help traditionally underfunded states build biomedical infrastructure.

Summer of Discovery program accepting applicants

High Sierra Area Health Education Center and the medical school are accepting applications for the Summer of Discovery program that gives eighth through tenth grade students the opportunity to conduct hands-on scientific experiments. Curriculum is specific for each grade. For example, eighth graders explore plant and animal cells, the cellular process responsible for life and death and tour research laboratories. Ninth graders have an opportunity to investigate a crime scene and process the evidence in the lab using forensic technology before taking a tour of the local courthouse. Sophomores use microscopes to investigate microbes, explore the role microbes play in human health and disease and tour the local hospital laboratory. Interested in sending your child? Eligible applicants include students in grades 8-10 during the 2014-15 school year with a minimum 2.5 overall grade point average. A non-refundable deposit of $150 will be required upon acceptance into the program. The fee covers meals, snacks, program materials, field trip expenses, dorm stay and a camper t-shirt.

Singer appointed associate dean

Cherie SingerCherie Singer, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology, was appointed associate dean for admissions and student affairs. She was interim associate dean since January. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno as a Presidential Scholar with a bachelor's in biology. She earned her doctorate in pharmacology at the University of Washington and has been a member of the school's pharmacology department. In addition to her role as associate dean, Singer will remain with the pharmacology department, continuing her research on the molecular mechanisms contributing to inflammatory lung disease.