Fall 2012
News and Notes

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

David Lupan

The School of Medicine lost longtime faculty member David Lupan, Ph.D., senior associate dean of basic science and re-search, who passed away June 23, 2012 following a brief illness. Photo by Laura Levin.

Remembering a legacy

The School of Medicine lost longtime faculty member David Lupan, Ph.D., above, senior associate dean of basic science and research, who passed away June 23, 2012 following a brief illness. At Lupan's memorial service on July 1, Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., dean of the medical school, said that early after his arrival in 2011, he learned to trust Lupan's wisdom and judgment on a number of complex issues.

"His background knowledge about many complex problems was astonishing. History is an important place to start in understanding the complexities of the medical school, and Dr. Lupan was an authoritative source for both the critical and the mundane aspects of such history," Schwenk said.

Microbiologist Thomas Kozel, Ph.D., remembered his colleague as having uncommon wisdom and grace when dealing with his administrative duties. Kozel went on to eulogize his friend in words from Lupan's students over the years who cited their professor as being "utterly cool," giving him "two thumbs up" and praising his ability to "relate" the course material instead of "feeding" it to them.

Ken Maehara, Ph.D., associate pathology professor, said it was a pleasure to work with Lupan and that he came away from their friendship as a better teacher and scholar.

"He was respected by faculty, staff, students and the public and was the face of the medical school for years," said Maehara.

Born in Ohio and raised in Arizona, Lupan attended graduate school at the University of Iowa, earning his doctorate in microbiology in 1973. He joined the School of Medicine as an assistant professor immediately after graduating, and was promoted to professor in 1989, where he earned the reputation as an expert in bacteriology and mycology and mechanisms of resistance to antimicrobials.

During his early career he was responsible for several major courses and sequences in microbiology for medical students, and received the University of Nevada, Reno's Outstanding Teacher of the Year award in 1988 and 1997. During the early phase of his scientific career, he published or presented 49 posters, peer-reviewed manuscripts and abstracts, and was the recipient or co-recipient of 10 externally-funded grant awards.

For the past 10 years, Lupan served as senior associate dean for basic science and research at the School of Medicine, and for five years before that was assistant dean and interim senior associate dean. A strong supporter of expanded research opportunities for students, Lupan loved lecturing and teaching and was a mentor to many during his nearly 40 years on faculty.

Luci Young, his assistant during his years as senior associate dean, said Lupan was always willing to counsel students on their research projects and guide them in whatever aspect they needed to succeed. She added that Lupan was particularly proud of the annual George Bierkamper Student Research Convocation held in January.

"It is good experience for students to develop their abstracts and then present them before faculty judges," she said.

Lupan's contributions to the University and the School of Medicine's governance and leadership cannot be fully measured. He served on 12 major University committees, 21 major medical school committees, and was a member of, or chaired, 18 additional committees or task forces in his role as senior associate dean.

This service contributed to faculty searches, student admissions, animal care, equipment and lab design, building design and construction, student health, biosafety, information technology, personnel and budget issues, indirect cost distribution, the Office of Sponsored Program Administration, faculty by-laws, space allocation and research network administration.

Lupan is survived by Joyce, his wife of 44 years, daughter Nicole Naylor (Dave), son Michael (Dawn), four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.

Memorial Fund

Donations may be made to a memorial fund that has been established in David's name: University of Nevada, Reno Foundation, David Lupan/School of Medicine Fund, Mail Stop 0530, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, Nevada 89557-0530.

Faculty honored as Healthcare Heroes

Five faculty members were honored this summer by the Nevada Business magazine as 2012 Healthcare Heroes.

In Reno, David Lupan, Ph.D., earned the lifetime achievement honor posthumously; Carl Sievert, Ph.D., second from right, was recognized in the educator category and Kent Sanders, Ph.D., right, received the research and technology honor.

In Las Vegas, John Fildes, M.D., second from left, was honored in the research and technology category and Ann Diggins, left, was recognized as the community partner.

New associate deans named

James Kenyon, Ph.D., was named senior associate for research on Sept. 7.

Evan Klass, M.D., was named to the new position of senior associate dean for statewide initiatives. He will be responsible for, among other projects, the continued development of Project ECHO, the telehealth program and coordination of rural health and Area Health Education Center activities.

Internal medicine chair appointed in Reno

Dan Shapiro, M.D., joins the School of Medicine as the new H. Edward Manville, Jr. Endowed Chair for the Department of Internal Medicine in Reno.

He is an infectious disease specialist with expertise in emerging pathogens, including bioterrorism, and joins the faculty from Boston, where he served as associate professor at Tufts University and director of the clinical microbiology laboratories at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass.

Ulrich one of three in US to receive award

Craig Ulrich, a graduate student studying in Iain Buxton's pharmacology lab, was recognized as one of three students nationwide to receive a prestigious three-year award from the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association. Ulrich's proposal entitled, "The Uterine Smooth Muscle Nitrosylproteome," probes the mechanistic basis of preterm labor by examining the post-translational modification of proteins by nitrosylation.

Ceremony recognizes faculty

Several faculty members and a student from the School of Medicine were recognized for their contributions at the University of Nevada, Reno Honor the Best ceremony held on May 16.

John Fildes, M.D., professor of surgery, was honored as one of three Foundation Professors for his pioneering efforts in the field of trauma surgery;

Thomas Kozel, Ph.D., professor of microbiology, was recognized as the Outstanding Researcher of the Year, for his research into infectious diseases;

Chris McDonnell, M.D. '12, received the Cavanaugh Community Volunteer Service Award for his work with the Student Outreach Clinic and as member of various student committees.

First medical oncology fellows graduate

The School of Medicine graduated its inaugural class of medical oncology fellows in May through its collaborative partnership with the UC San Diego Health System Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI). The fellows are Randy Calegari, M.D., who will remain on staff at NVCI; Georgia Gonsalves-Shapiro, M.D., who accepted a medical oncology position near Orlando, Fla.; Deepa Mocherla, M.D., who is exploring employment options in Las Vegas; and Behrooz K. Shamloo, M.D., who is reviewing offers.