College of

Dean's Update

December 1, 2015

After more than a decade of service to the College of Human Medicine as the director of the Office of Medical Education Research and Development, Brian Mavis has decided to step down from that position to focus on the college’s new Shared Discovery Curriculum, scholarship, and national service.  He has excelled as OMERAD’s director leading an expansion in medical education scholarship, and in many ways made the college’s educational expansion into new campuses and larger class size possible through his leadership.  His work has made the college a national leader in studying student mistreatment, student learning environment, and has helped the college demonstrate the quality of its educational programs publicly and for accreditation.  The college will begin a national search for a new director, but happily we will continue to benefit from Dr. Mavis’s talents.  As the leader of the CHM Academy, which houses the learning societies that organize faculty and students in the Shared Discovery Curriculum, the college and medical education will continue to benefit from Dr. Mavis’s intelligence, his leadership, and his incredible collaborative spirit.  My sincerest thanks to Dr. Mavis for his service to the college and OMERAD as director.

Aron Sousa, MD
Interim Dean


MSU 'tops off' downtown research center
Grand Rapids Business Journal | November 26
The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine recently held a “topping off” ceremony to celebrate a milestone in the construction of its six-story research center downtown and shared data on the project. Researchers and construction workers gathered last Thursday at the MSU College of Human Medicine Grand Rapids Research Center to watch as the last steel beam was raised, bearing an American flag to represent patriotism, an evergreen tree as a symbol of good luck and prosperity and an MSU Spartan flag.

Study counters long-time practice of prescribing more fertility hormones
MSUToday | November 23
A Michigan State University study has found that too much of a hormone commonly used during in vitro fertility, or IVF, treatments actually decreases a woman’s chances of having a baby. James Ireland conducted the research with co-author Valerie Baker, an infertility specialist from Stanford University. MSU College of Human Medicine researcher Barbara Luke, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and George Smith, a MSU professor in animal sciences, also contributed to the study, as well as Morton Brown, a University of Michigan biostatistics professor.

Construction milestone achieved for MSU Grand Rapids Research Center
MSUToday | November 19
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine celebrated a construction milestone today, with the “topping off” of the MSU Grand Rapids Research Center. More than a dozen MSU researchers and 35 construction trade workers watched as the last construction beam was hoisted. On the beam were an American flag representing patriotism, an evergreen tree symbolizing good luck and prosperity, and an MSU Spartan flag representing the university’s commitment to the Grand Rapids community.
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Consider size when choosing a medical school
US News & World Reports | November 19
Larger institutions can also offer more variety for where students learn. At Michigan State University, for example, the midsize College of Human Medicine has more than five​campuses. "Students have opportunities to train in a variety of different settings,"​ says Margaret Thompson, its interim associate dean for academic affairs​. MSU has about 190 first-year students start each year. 

MSU becomes first in US to offer for-credit learning in Cuban hospitals
MLive | November 18
Beginning in April 2016, 16 College of Human Medicine and College of Osteopathic Medicine students will take part in the new elective that will expose these future physicians to a health care system that has been a leader in identifying the social factors around disease and prevention when it comes to its public health.
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Down-syndrome screening: A one-parent test for a two-parent risk
The Atlantic | November 11
Research has shown that a father’s age can affect the risk of genetic abnormalities in a fetus, but current testing methods still don’t take it into account. While women who have children at age 35 or older are considered to be of “advanced maternal age,” the medical community has yet to define “advanced paternal age,” according to the geneticists Helga Toriello, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, and Jeanne Meck, who co-authored a guideline for genetic counseling for older fathers.

New hope for cardiac arrest patients
WLNS TV 6 | November 10
When your heart stops beating, your brain doesn’t get oxygen and that can lead to many serious problems. A Michigan State University professor is hoping to change that. He’s researching new technologies that could mark a shift in how we treat patients who suffer cardiac arrest. It’s called ECPR. “Every cardiac arrest patient suffers some form of brain injury. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of to what degree,” said Dr. Joshua Reynolds, assistant professor of emergency medicine, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

True grit: Pediatrician proves Michigan community's water was poisoning children
American Academy of Pediatricians | November 11
Although the residents of Flint, Mich., had been complaining for months about the color, smell and taste of the community’s water, state and local officials maintained the water supply was safe. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, assistant professor, MSU College of Human Medicine Department of Pediatrics and Human Development, however, was not convinced. A dinner party conversation with a water-quality expert stoked the Flint pediatrician’s curiosity and compelled her to seek evidence that would prove the water supply was toxic.

MSU research center leverages $1.6M grant for reconfigured I-196 ramps
MLive | November 10
A $1.6 million state grant will help reconfigure I-196 freeway ramps along the Medical Mile. The money from the Transportation Economic Development Fund also will rebuild Michigan Street and, north of downtown, Newberry Street. The work is planned in conjunction with Michigan State University's redevelopment of the former Grand Rapids Press headquarters at Michigan and Monroe Avenue NW.

Health science programs help spur development in West Michigan downtowns
MiBiz | November 8
Downtowns across West Michigan have transformed into destinations for some of the area’s leading life sciences and biomedical research institutions. For proof, one needn’t look beyond Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo where Michigan State University and Western Michigan University, respectively, have each made significant investments in medical learning and research facilities. Beyond the walls of the buildings, however, the projects have the potential to leverage both direct and indirect follow-on investment, according to development sources.

New GVSU health facility expected for 2018
GVSU Lanthorn | November 8
The building is yet another addition to GVSU’s presence on the “Medical Mile,” an area along Michigan Street that includes facilities such as the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences, the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Secchia Center and Spectrum Health’s Butterworth Hospital complex.

Panelists will discuss Alzheimer's disease at collaborative event
GVNow | November 5
Panelists will discuss research on early Alzheimer's disease as well as local resources during an event sponsored by Grand Valley, Spectrum Health and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

Study aims to reduce suicides after jail time
Macomb Legal News | November 2
Public health researchers in Michigan and Rhode Island are embarking on a study to seek ways to reduce suicides among recently released jail inmates. Michigan State University recently announced that Jennifer Johnson with the East Lansing school’s College of Human Medicine was awarded $6.8 million from the National Institute of Mental Health and National Institute of Justice to help examine the problem.

MSU medical student earns scholarship for commitment
Grand Rapids Press | November 1
During her rotation in obstetrics and gynecology, third-year College of Human Medicine student Kelly Ketchum, assisted in the delivery of a baby Tuesday. Over the weekend, she helped deliver five more. Those six deliveries were not Ketchum's first. On a medical mission the previous summer, she assisted in many deliveries in Uganda, where the facilities were less advanced than in the United States and the outcomes often less joyous.

Send your Michigan State University College of Human Medicine news to Geri Kelley, director of communications, and Amy Sawade, communications manager. For the latest news, visit the College of Human Medicine website, the news page and follow us on Facebookand Twitter @MSUMD.