Department of Medicine Newsletter

UNC Department of Medicine
June 29, 2010
UNC Department of Medicine


Cynthia Gay, M.D., (ID) was quoted in a HealthDay News story about the persistence of harmful delays between HIV diagnosis and the beginning of treatment.

Nortin Hadler, M.D., (Rheum.) was quoted in the online health magazine in an article about the effect of dietary choices on rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Mark Socinski, M.D., (Hem-Onc) was consulted by regarding lung cancer research he recently presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago.


Dr. Runge


From the Chair’s Office

This will be the last issue of the DOM Newsletter for the academic year – we’ll resume in the fall. After writing about many of the same topics over the years, we decided to try an experiment. My column in this issue focuses on highlighting the career of one of our distinguished faculty members. Dr. Stan Lemon agreed to be the subject of this initial attempt. What I am thinking is that we will do something like this once or twice a week if this is something you would like to see. So please give me your feedback either directly or through Sarah Perry in my office.
            Another bit of news to pass on to you is that Sarah Perry, whom many of you know and who has done a great deal to keep the newsletter going over the past several years, will be leaving this summer. Sarah will be starting a Masters in Fine Arts Program at Columbia University in New York City. We all wish her a fond farewell. Replacing her will be no small task. Indeed, if we have a few hiccups with the newsletter in the fall, please bear with us.
            So on with the first of our faculty profiles. This week, Dr. Stan Lemon, a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, is our featured faculty member. Stan is not really new to UNC or the Department of Medicine. He first came to UNC for his internship and residency in Internal Medicine from 1972 to 1975, and his fellowship in Infectious Diseases from 1975-1977, when he studied Epstein-Barr virus under Dr. Joseph Pagano. Stan then served in the Army as an Assistant Professor in the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and as a staff physician in the Infectious Diseases Section at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 1977-1983. During that period, he directed a laboratory at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research that was charged with developing better methods for control of viral hepatitis, benefiting substantially from the Army’s long tradition of infectious diseases research. He then returned to the faculty at UNC, replacing Dr. Fred Sparling as Chief of Infectious Diseases. Following his stint as Chief of ID, Stan became Associate Chairman for Research in 1991.
            In 1997, Stan left UNC to become Chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston. In 1999, he became Dean of the School of Medicine at UTMB, a position he served in for 5 years before becoming the John Sealy Distinguished University Chair and Director of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunology in 2004, two positions he held until earlier this year. During his tenure in Galveston, he led UTMB’s efforts to develop the Galveston National Laboratory, a maximum containment BSL4 infectious disease laboratory constructed under a $115 million grant from NIH. I worked with Stan when we were both at UTMB and, as he was and is here, Stan was a revered part of that institution.
            Stan returned to the UNC Department of Medicine on May 1st of this year. He cites several reasons for his return, chief among them being the ability to collaborate with outstanding researchers who are working in areas relevant to his field. Dr. Lemon’s chief research interest is in hepatitis C viruses, how they evade the human immune response, and how they contribute to cirrhosis of the liver and the development of liver cancer. His return to UNC, made possible in large part by the University Cancer Research Fund, presents wonderful opportunities for collaborative research in these areas, particularly with Dr. Jenny Ting’s laboratory and with other members of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center who are interested in the innate immune response to viruses and virally-caused cancers. He also looks forward to developing translational research programs with Dr. Mike Fried in the Division of Gastroenterology, whose work focuses on the clinical treatment of hepatitis C, and with other faculty in the ID Division and Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) led by Dr. Ron Swanstrom. Importantly, hepatitis C has become a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients living with HIV infection. Hepatitis C is also a rapidly emerging problem in China, and Stan will be working with Mike Cohen to identify opportunities to enhance UNC’s current international efforts in this area.

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Grand Rounds will resume Thursday, September 2, 2010.




  • News from the Center for Aging and Health is now posted on the UNC School of Medicine Employee News Web site. Click here to read.
  • News from the Thurston Arthritis Research Center can be found here.
  • Two Department of Medicine residents, Jennifer McEntee, M.D., (Med-Peds) and Madeline Dillon, M.D., (Rheum.) were among the six recently honored with Robert C. Cefalo House Officer Awards. Read more here.
  • UNC has been awarded $1.7 million from the CDC for a large study to detect and manage acute HIV infection. Cynthia Gay, M.D., Lisa Hightow-Weidman, M.D., M.P.H., and Peter Leone, M.D., M.P.H., (all ID) are co-PI's on the grant. For more, click here.
  • James Evans, M.D., Ph.D., (Hem-Onc) discusses the recent US District Court gene patenting ruling in a video interview on the UNC Lineberger/NC Cancer Hospital Web site.
  • Charles M. van der Horst, M.D., (ID) is co-author on two notable articles published in the past week. The first, "Maternal or Infant Antiretroviral Drugs to Reduce HIV-1 Transmission," was published on June 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The lead author is Dr. Charles Chasela, a former UNC trainee. Other DOM faculty on that grant are Mina Hosseinipour, M.D., Francis Martinson, M.D., Irving Hoffman, M.D., and Peter Kazembe, M.D. (all ID). The second publication, "Nurse versus doctor management of HIV-infected patients receiving antiretroviral therapy (CIPRA-SA): a randomised non-inferiority trial," was published in The Lancet on June 16.
  • Hyman Muss, M.D., (Hem-Onc) is co-author of the case study, "Case 15-2010 — An 85-Year-Old Woman with Mammographically Detected Early Breast Cancer," published May 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
  • Leslie Scheunemann, M.D. and Michael LaMantia, M.D., M.P.H., who are both fellows in the Division of Geriatric Medicine/Center for Aging and Health, received Presidential Poster Awards at the American Geriatrics Society 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting on May 14 for their outstanding academic presentations.

  • Amy Weil, M.D., F.A.C.P., (GIM) received the Clinical Preceptor Award for Excellence in Teaching from the UNC Academy of Educators. For more information about Dr. Weil and the other award winners, click here.
  • NC TraCS Institute Pilot Grant Program monthly information sessions will be held on the second Thursday of each month from 1 – 2 p.m. in Brinkhous-Bullitt Room 219. Read more here.
  • NC TraCS Responsible Conduct of Research: This one-week course organized and run by David Weber, M.D., M.P.H., (ID) Director of the NC TraCS Institute Regulatory Core, covers all the NIH-required topics for the first phase of responsible conduct of research training. It will take place Monday, July 12- Friday, 16. More information here.

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