Dean's Update

July 22, 2022 - Aron Sousa, MD


The college’s strategic planning work is picking up speed as a series of workgroups are meeting to create and prioritize goals and strategies. The topics of these work groups include diversity, equity, and inclusion; finance; organizational culture; reputation; the college’s identity; whether the college should take on a grand challenge; advancing discovery; clinical care; community partnerships; education; and faculty, student, and staff success. The team working on the strategic plan has grown as we have moved into working group phase, and I appreciate everyone’s effort and wisdom as we take these next steps.

I am delighted to announce that Irving Vega, PhD, will become a Red Cedar Distinguished Faculty next month. Dr. Vega’s research is on the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s Disease and how societal factors influence the disease and patients receive diagnoses and treatment for Alzheimer’s. I have been continually impressed by Dr. Vega’s ability to include community engaged research with his bench science. Specifically, he has long standing collaborations in his work with Latinx communities in West Michigan. Dr. Vega has also been an important mentor for students and postdocs, as well as helping the college be more inclusive and support sponsorship of minoritized faculty.

As you may have seen in the news, Stacey Missmer, ScD, and her team have just published fascinating new work demonstrating a link between endometriosis and risk of stroke. The absolute risk of stroke for women is low, so an increase in relative risk does not increase the absolute chance that a woman will have a stroke very much. That said, it does raise many interesting questions about the relationship between endometriosis and the processes that cause strokes. The work also finds that hysterectomy (removing the uterus) and oophorectomy (removing the ovaries) is related to an increased risk in stroke in people with endometriosis. This is fascinating and important work.

We are about a month out from the White Coat Ceremony, where we welcome our new class. This year we are doing an extra White Coat Ceremony for the rising MS3s, who did not get a White Coat Ceremony due to the pandemic.

In early August, we open our eighth clinical campus in Detroit, based out of Henry Ford Hospital. Which is to say, the summer calendar is vanishing before our eyes, although the summer heat seems likely to be with us for a while. I finished up my ward service earlier in the week, and I plan to get a weekend. And, I hope you get to have a weekend as well.

Serving the people with you, but not this weekend,


Aron Sousa, MD


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