Winter 2019
Letter from the Dean

synapse: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

Dean Thomas Schwenk at UNR

Photo: Theresa Danna-Douglas

If you’ve received your copy of the winter 2019 issue of Synapse, you’ve no doubt guessed that our fold-out front cover celebrates 50 years of UNR Med. We selected each element of this curated collection with this historic milestone in mind.


Our back cover introduces you to our 50 for FIFTY Giving Campaign, commemorating 50 years over 50 days. I invite you to join us as we raise funds in support of better health and better health care for our state, for northern Nevada and for each of us.


While this issue is bookended by our unrivaled history and unlimited future, this issue also celebrates the present.


You’ll learn about melioidosis, a deadly global disease found in certain tropical climates. The research teams of Drs. Brett and Burtnick are working toward a vaccine, which would protect the billions who live in affected areas, including U.S. military stationed there.


Filling health care gaps in wide-open spaces” provides insight into the health care disparities faced by Nevadans in rural and frontier communities and the programs we’re implementing to help.


While many of us have Nevada Basketball on the brain, one former Wolf Pack forward has brains on the brain. Catch up with UNR Med alumna Shavon Moore, as she prepares for a psychiatry fellowship.


In fact, our pages are filled with dedicated learners—from Ph.D. candidate Suzann Duan pursuing answers to breast cancer metastasis to first generation college students finding a path to medicine.


Talk about an unlimited future.

Tom Schwenk Signature

Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D.
Professor of Family and Community Medicine
Dean, School of Medicine
Vice President, Health Sciences