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School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Grand Forks, ND

October 24, 2014

Earlier in the week, the Adopt-A-Student luncheon was held for first-year medical students. The School presented each student with a stethoscope that is used during the student’s subsequent medical education and beyond. In my opening comments, I pointed out that the stethoscope could be thought of as a bridge to connectivity, consisting of a physical connection with the patient (allowing one to hear heart, lung, and intestinal sounds), and an empathetic connection of student with patient to develop an emotional connectivity and caring.

The stethoscopes were provided by financial contributions from a variety of donors, many of whom are graduates of the School. And some of the donors sponsored multiple students. So there is a third kind of connectivity—donor and student. Each student was encouraged to write to the donor sponsoring their stethoscope and express thanks for the gift. We hope that in many cases the student and donor form a personal relationship that will be ongoing. We know that mentoring of students by senior clinicians is a most important aspect of career counseling and professional development of medical and other students, and thus we hope that the Adopt-A-Student program will help facilitate that mentoring process.

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

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Sarkar presents graduate student research seminar on October 29

Sanghita Sarkar, a graduate student in the Microbiology and Immunology Program in the Department of Basic Sciences, will present a research seminar titled “Role of YopJ in Yersinia pestis pathogenesis” on Wednesday, October 29, at noon in Room 5510 at the SMHS in Grand Forks.

All are welcome to attend.

Lisa Brown
Education Coordinator
Department of Basic Sciences

Today is last day to register for Premed Day on November 1

Anyone who is interested in learning about a career as a physician or in the process of applying to medical school is invited to attend the annual Premed Day on Saturday, November 1, from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences (UND SMHS) in Grand Forks.

Organized by the UND SMHS Student Council, this is a wonderful opportunity for college undergraduates and high school juniors and seniors who are thinking about becoming a physician. Individuals who have applied to medical school and who need more specific information on the admissions process may also attend.

The morning session consists of speakers who will introduce participants to the medical school and the UND premed and medical school curricula. Panels of medical students will discuss what medical school is like.

The afternoon session will provide an overview of the admissions process, and local physicians will talk about their lives as doctors. In addition, a mock interview session will give participants an opportunity to preview the UND medical school admissions process.

Students may attend any or all events during the day. Lunch will be provided.

Premed Day is free. However, space is limited, and reservations are required by October 24. Please e-mail Cindy Stromme or call the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions at (701) 777-4214. Sign-in on Premed Day begins at 9:15 a.m. outside the Reed Keller Auditorium (Room 1350) at the south end of the UND SMHS at 501 N. Columbia Road in Grand Forks.

Embrace Cancer Survivorship Program and SMHS collaborate with Theatre B for "Wit" on October 30

Theatre B joins forces with Sanford Health’s Embrace Cancer Survivorship Program and the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences for its 2014–2015 season opener Wit—a Pulitzer Prize–winning play by Margaret Edson. The play will have two special performances at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Grand Forks on Thursday, October 30, in the Reed Keller Auditorium at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 501 N. Columbia Road in Grand Forks.

The play’s main character Vivian Bearing, PhD, portrayed by Theatre B’s Executive Director Carrie Wintersteen, is a renowned professor of English who is diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Confident of her ability to stay in control of events, she brings to her illness the same intensely rational and painstakingly methodical approach that has guided her stellar academic career. However, as her disease and her stint as a prize patient in an experimental chemotherapy program inexorably progress, Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity, humor, and wit that are transformative.

The 3 p.m. performance is mandatory for first-year medical students and will be open to other health sciences students, residents, and faculty on a first-come, first-served basis. Following the performance, a panel discussion composed of physicians and Stage IV female cancer patients will be held. The goal of the performance and panel discussion is to foster empathy between medical providers and patients. 

At 7 p.m., there will be a free performance for the public and the university community at large also at the Reed Keller Auditorium.  

The UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences Interprofessional Education Program presents these performances as part of a medical humanities series. These performances are supported in part through a Community Innovation Grant from the Bush Foundation and special funding from the Dakota Medical Foundation.

For more information please read more. If you have any questions, please contact Eric Johnson.

Eric L. Johnson, MD
Associate Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine
Director, Interprofessional Education
Medical Director, Physician Assistant Program
Assistant Medical Director, Altru Diabetes Center
Assistant Medical Director, Valley Memorial Homes
President, Tobacco Free North Dakota

Support National Rural Health Day on November 20

The Center for Rural Health invites you to join us in promoting rural health in North Dakota during National Rural Health Day on November 20. There is no cost to support National Rural Health Day. We encourage your organization to be creative in your participation. The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) website has some ideas to get you started! Learn more by visiting the website at

For more information, contact Kylie Nissen, senior project coordinator, (701) 777-5380.

Save the Date! 2015 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health

2015 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health
June 3–5, 2015
Grand International Hotel, Minot, North Dakota

Reserve your room today!
Toll Free: 800.735.4493

Call for Presentations
Rural and public health professionals are encouraged to submit abstracts for the 2015 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health. Both oral and poster presentations should feature community or research projects that use creative strategies, facilitate the collaboration between rural and public health entities, can be replicated, and have an emphasis on education and developing partnerships. Abstract submissions must be received no later than noon CST on Tuesday, October, 28, 2014. Visit the Dakota Conference website for details on submitting an abstract.

The Dakota Conference is facilitated by the

  • Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences 

The conference is supported by

  • Altru Health System
  • College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines (UND)
  • Department of Family and Community Medicine (UND SMHS)
  • North Dakota Public Health Association
  • North Dakota Rural Health Association

Contact Kylie Nissen

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Hurry! Double your donation to tomorrow's Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes

Dr. Eric Johnson from the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences along with his wife Lisa will match up to $1,000 of funds raised for Team UND. This is open to staff, faculty, students, friends of UND, families, and alumni. A $10 donation is actually $20 through this match. You can double your donation!

The event is at the Alerus Center, 1200 42nd Street South, in Grand Forks tomorrow, October 25. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. The event is fun with a free breakfast, face painting, inflatables, and more. Thanks for your help in any awareness, sharing, fundraising, and advocacy to help those with diabetes!

TEAM UND shirts will go to the first 50 people to raise $25 and who stop by the TEAM UND table by 9 a.m. Donations can be collected by you and made through the Team UND webpage.

For more information, please visit 2014 Step Out: Grand Forks.

Scrubs Academy now taking applications for 2015

The Fourth Annual R-COOL-Health Scrubs Academy is taking place June 15–18, 2015, at the University of North Dakota campus in Grand Forks. It is open to students who have completed Grades 6-8. The academy encourages middle-school students from across North Dakota to pursue a career in healthcare by participating in hands-on activities related to a variety of healthcare professions.

Applications are due February 18, 2015. 

National Rural Health Day Photo Contest

November 20, 2014, is the 4th Annual National Rural Health Day. The Center for Rural Health is sponsoring a photo contest to celebrate. Share your creativity of what rural means to you with the Center for Rural Health by submitting a photo!

Prizes Are Awarded for the Top Two Entries

You could win

  • Admission to the 2015 Dakota Conference on Rural and Public Health, or a
  • $150 gift card to Cenex convenience stores.

Learn More

Learn more about the photo contest and how to submit your entry. Photos are due by Friday, November 14.

"How Pharmacists Can Improve Our Nation's Health"—CDC Grand Rounds

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Public Health Grand Rounds is a monthly webcast created to foster discussion on major public health issues. Each session focuses on key challenges related to a specific health topic, and explores the latest scientific evidence and the potential effect of different interventions. The Grand Rounds sessions also highlight how the CDC and its partners are already addressing these challenges and discuss the recommendations for future research and practice. October's presentation is "How Pharmacists Can Improve Our Nation's Health." All of the webcasts are archived for later viewing.

Social Media: Bradley to meet with Department of Defense about potential Ebola treatment

On our Facebook page, read the Grand Forks Herald article about David Bradley's meeting with the Department of Defense about a potential Ebola treatment. Bradley is executive director of the Center of Research Excellence for Avian Therapeutics for Infectious Diseases at the UND SMHS.

Also on our Facebook page, Dean Wynne discusses acupuncture reducing arthritis pain, and tissue versus mechanical heart valve replacement in his latest Health Matters column, which can be found in the Grand Forks Herald every other Monday. Please submit any general health-related questions to

You can also get the latest SMHS news by following the School on Twitter

University Letter: Tom Erickson named EERC director

Tom Erickson has been named director of the Energy & Environmental Research Center, UND Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo has announced. Erickson has been serving as interim director since July (acting director since May), and prior to that served as associate director for Business, Operations, and Intellectual Property at the EERC.

More information about this and other UND news can be found in the University Letter. Published on Tuesdays and Thursdays, it is distributed electronically to the University community and is always available online. For more information, contact editor Jan Orvik at (701) 777-3621.

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Gray publishes article in APA's Journal of Rural Mental Health

Jacque Gray, PhD, recently had an article published in the American Psychological Association's Journal of Rural Mental Health. The article focuses on suicide in Indian Country, and is coauthored with John A. McCullagh. 

UND NIH COBRE Neuroscience Commercialization Pilot Grant Program

Jonathan Geiger, PhD, principal investigator of the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) Center for Neurodegenerative Disorder Research grant, is pleased to announce the following Commercialization Pilot Grant Recipients for 2014–2015:

  • Colin Combs, PhD, Department of Basic Sciences, and
  • Julia Zhao, PhD, Department of Chemistry.

The goals of this neuroscience pilot grant program are to assist researchers so that they may achieve measures of success, including becoming first-time inventors; developing intellectual property; making invention disclosures based on research findings; filing and awarding patent applications; establishing R&D alliances with industry partners based on disclosed technologies; developing prototypes; and licensing patent rights for commercialization of products.

This is the second year that commercialization has been the focus of the COBRE Neuroscience Phase III pilot grant program. This early stage pre-venture-type capital program that targets biomedical sciences is unique to UND.

Bonnie Kee
Administrative Assistant
Department of Basic Sciences

Research ND grant applications due November 21

The Division of Research & Economic Development wishes to remind research faculty that the Research North Dakota (RND) program has a deadline of November 21, 2014, for its fifth cycle of applications. There are subsequent deadlines, for example, February 20, 2015.

Applicants are also reminded that they must have a binding agreement concerning the disposition of intellectual property that may be created or used in the project with their private sector partner before the application is submitted. The IP Commercialization & Economic Development (IPCED) office has a template agreement for such use. The North Dakota Department of Commerce has stated that, due to the availability of funds, it is likely that they will not be accepting Venture Grant applications for the 2013–2015 biennium.

Please contact Michael Moore, Associate Vice President, IPCED, at 701.777.6709 for further questions. Further information may also be obtained at

Michael F. Moore
Associate Vice President for Intellectual Property Commercialization & Economic Development

Mandatory PHS Financial Conflict of Interest Education Session

The Public Health Service (PHS) has recently revised its policy requiring that all PHS grantees or those considering submitting to PHS complete a mandatory education class. According to the new policy, all grantees must be trained in conflict of interest every four years. The Division of Research and Economic Development will be conducting a training session on Thursday, October 30, from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Memorial Room at the Memorial Union.

You need to attend the session only if you have not been trained in the last four years.

The session will be presented by Barry Milavetz, PhD, interim vice president for Research and Economic Development; and David Schmidt, assistant vice president for Research and Economic Development.

PHS agencies include the following:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Indian Health Service (IHS)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

If you have questions, please contact Barry Milavetz, PhD, (701) 777-4278.  

Diane Hillebrand, CRA
Grant and Contract Officer

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Grand Forks, ND 58202-9037
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