January 2020: From the Desk of the President

By Marc B. Hahn, DO, FAOCA, President and CEO Jan 29, 2020
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Dear KCU Community,

As we begin 2020, KCU looks forward to another outstanding decade of innovation in educating the health sciences professionals of the future. Two major initiatives highlight the kinds of curricular innovation that keep KCU at the forefront in preparing students for meeting workforce demands while supporting key strategic goals for the University.

Our soon-to-be completed Center for Medical Education Innovation was brought front and center by reporters from The Kansas City Business Journal, who were recently treated to a hard-hat tour of the facility. We're also very pleased to have begun our new course in Bioinformatics last month, which brings together biology, statistics and computer science, and is a first step toward building a new master of science program in our College of Biosciences. See the items below for additional details on these two exciting KCU initiatives.

On Tour: KC Business Journal Gets Sneak Peek of Center for Medical Education Innovation

Late last year, Darrin D’Agostino, DO, executive dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine and vice president for Health Affairs, and Tim Saxe, director of Capital Projects, joined me in providing a hard-hat tour of the Center for Medical Education Innovation (CMEI) for Kansas City Business Journal reporters. The CMEI, which will be completed in the next couple of months, will house advanced classroom design and cutting-edge simulation technology that KCU will use to educate students and clinical partners throughout the region. KCU's CMEI will be unique among centers across the country in its sophistication and capabilities. Read the Business Journal article.

KCU Enters World of Bioinformatics With New Course Offering

This semester, KCU launched its first course in Bioinformatics — an interdisciplinary field that develops methods and software tools for understanding biological data. Bioinformatics leverages the power of big data within the realm of medical data management to improve medical decision-making and ultimately improve health outcomes. The course is our College of Biosicences' first step toward the development of a master of science degree program with an emphasis on informatics. Learn more. KCU's venture into Bioinformatics will be showcased in April when the University hosts the Midwest Bioinformatics Conference on our Kansas City campus.

Important Dates

KCU Board of Trustees Meeting - Feb. 9 - 10

Annual Research Symposium - March 20

ACOFP Annual Convention - March 19-22

Read additional news about your university in the briefs below. Follow me @KCUMBpresident to learn more about the latest KCU initiatives and updates in the osteopathic profession.

Faculty Research Focuses on Aging and Cancer in Boomers

By 2030 the baby boomer generation will all be of retirement age – one out of five Americans. KCU’s Ehab Sarsour, PhD, assistant professor of Cellular and Molecular Biology/Biochemistry, recently presented a study based on the role of aging on cancer behavior, progression and its response to therapy. Most cancer research is focused on the cellular and molecular biology of cancer cells. Sarsour has provided a medical rationale for repurposing already approved drugs for patients in cancer clinical trials. Read more.

Students Learn First-Hand in Kenya and Guatemala

Three times a year, Gautam Desai, DO, KCU professor of Primary Care, leads groups of two to three dozen medical students to clinics in Kenya and Guatemala. The third- and fourth-year students take histories, do physical exams, then check patients out to an attending physician. They may order labs, perform osteopathic manipulation, administer joint injections and conduct research. Patients come from miles around, mostly on foot or by motorcycle taxi. They most often suffer from malaria, typhoid, osteoarthritis, GERD, malnutrition and HIV/AIDS. Read more and see photos from the recent trip to Kenya.

COB Graduate Earns Recognition for Pediatric Diabetes Research

The Diabetes Technology Society recently recognized Jordan Christie (COB '19) with its Bronze Award for his study that used data gathered from pediatric insulin pumps. The goal of the research was to understand kids’ actual behavior (e.g., taking insulin and hemoglobin A1C). The project resulted from a research partnership between KCU and Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. Christie’s informatics research was a collaborative effort with his mentor, Mark Clements, MD, PhD. Read more.

KCU Medical Librarians Publish in Notable Journal

KCU’s expert team at the D’Angelo Library cares for our rich resources and makes a vast range of information accessible to students, educators, practicing physicians and other users — even beyond KCU. Two of their articles were published in the January 2020 edition of the Journal of the Medical Library Association. Lori Ann Fitterling, university library director, and Robyn Oro, access services/special collections coordinator, described their preservation activities. "Decades ago, osteopathic information was circulated by way of pamphlets and postcards. Artifacts from our collection were researched and digitized, preserving them for their historical significance."  Medical Librarian Sara Motsinger’s article covered Complete Anatomy, a 3D anatomy platform created by 3D4Medical. Read “Preserving osteopathic antiquity through historical pamphlets and postcards” by Lori Ann Fitterling and Robyn Oro. Read “Complete Anatomy” by Sara Motsinger. 

Read Additional Stories and the Latest Updates

We have more exciting news than ever before at KCU! In addition to the important updates included in this month's e-newsletter, be sure to visit KCU News for other stories, such as:

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