AHSC Convocations 2015: Meet Some of the Graduates

UA College of Medicine – Phoenix:

(MEDIA CONTACT: Al Bravo, 602-827-2022)

Nina Lara (orthopaedics)

Nina Lara has been on campus for years. She began in 2010 as a counselor for high school students taking part in the summer program introducing health professions to teen-agers. Since then, Lara has taken on an active role in outreach while going through medical school.

She has been part of a number of initiatives, including the project at Verde Park to teach kids in the downtown community about college and health. As the first in her family to graduate from a university, Nina knows the importance of education. She is receiving her medical degree and a masters’ in public health. In addition to her medical degree, Lara has been pursuing a masters of public health degree with the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and will complete the requirements for her MPH in the fall. This summer, she embarks on her next challenge: residency in orthopaedics at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.

“Although I had a rewarding career in banking for almost nine years, I had long...

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UA College of Medicine – Tucson and UA Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy and Public Health Celebrate 2015 Convocations


6 p.m., Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs and College of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Convocation


2 p.m., UA College of Nursing Convocation 6 p.m., UA College of Medicine – Tucson Convocation: Doctors of Medicine


9 a.m., UA College of Pharmacy Convocation Noon, UA College of Medicine – Tucson Convocation (undergraduates): Department of Physiology, Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree with a major in physiology


9 a.m., UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health Convocation



Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs and College of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Convocation 6 p.m. (reception follows at about 7:30 p.m. on the plaza outside the hospital) Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson

This 10th annual ceremony honors 2014-2015 graduates receiving doctoral and master’s degrees from graduate programs in the biological and biomedical sciences offered by the UA...

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UA Researchers Seek to find if Better Hearing may Halt or Reverse the Slide into Senility

A University of Arizona collaborative study among the Departments of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, and Psychology received approval in early May to begin accepting human subjects in an effort to determine if older adults suffering from prolonged hearing loss get a cognitive boost after cochlear implant surgery.

The study’s underlying hypothesis is that seniors suffering prolonged hearing loss also may suffer cognitive loss due to auditory deprivation, and not only will improved hearing with cochlear implants halt that cognitive decline, but potentially reverse it and improve their quality of life in the process.

The study is led by otologist/neurotologist , director of the UA Ear Institute, associate professor, and vice chair of otolaryngology, who is working closely with Betty Glisky, PhD, professor and department head, psychology, and Nicole Marrone, PhD, speech, language and hearing sciences assistant professor and...

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UA College of Pharmacy, Diamond Children’s Pharmacist Hanna Phan Receives National Honor

Hanna Phan, PharmD, assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and a Banner – University Medical Center Tucson pediatric pharmacist, was presented with the Presidential Citation Award from the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG) at the Pediatric Pharmacy Association Conference held April 29-May 3 in Minneapolis. Dr. Phan was recognized for her contributions to PPAG and the clinical profession.

“Thank you for your continued support of my pediatric pharmacy career and support of the profession of pediatric pharmacy as a whole at Banner – UMC Tucson and the University of Arizona Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine,” Dr. Phan said.

At BUMCT since 2008, Dr. Phan is also an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. She established the UA College of Pharmacy’s Post-Graduate Year 2 Pediatric Pharmacy Residency Program at Banner Children’s Diamond Children’s Medical Center and currently serves as its director. A University of Michigan graduate, she completed her fellowship in pediatric pharmacotherapy at Ohio State University. She is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist...

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Banner – University Medical Center Involved in Study that Finds Most Effective Blood Transfusion Combination for Severe Trauma

A national multicenter clinical trial, which included Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, reported that a blood transfusion containing equal parts red blood cells, plasma and platelets is more effective in the treatment of trauma patients suffering from severe blood loss compared to a higher-ratio combination, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The trial, PROPPR – Pragmatic, Randomized Optimal Platelet and Plasma Ratios, evaluated the effectiveness of the two most common ratios of blood products used to transfuse trauma patients suffering from massive blood loss: 1:1:1 (1 unit of red blood cells, 1 unit of plasma and 1 unit of platelets) and 1:1:2 ratio (2 units of red blood cells, 1 unit of plasma and 1 unit of platelets). Both combinations are in widespread use across the United States.

Researchers found that a balanced ratio of plasma, platelets and red blood cells 1:1:1 was more likely to stop bleeding and decrease the likelihood of death from blood loss within the first 3 hours, although there was no difference by 24 hours, compared to patients who received a...

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Poster Presentation WGEA

UA Shares Expertise in Medical Education at WGEA Regional Conference

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson was well represented during the Western Group on Educational Affairs (WGEA) Annual Regional Meeting held on April 23 – 26.

Both UA Colleges of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix were featured on the agenda serving on panels, hosting workshops, small group discussions, presenting oral abstracts and posters at the annual meeting.

The theme of this year's conference was "Borders and Boundaries."

Overall, the two colleges held six small group discussions on topics ranging from Teaching Clinical Skills and Faculty Development in Learning Communities to Collaborative Integrated Model for Medical Student Competency Assessment Affecting Professionalism and Career Development Through Out the Medical School Curriculum; 15 Poster presentations on topics such as The Right Stuff- How Personality Traits Inform Surgical Subspecialty Choice to Breaking Down the Barriers of Stigma: Understanding and Fostering Help Seeking Behaviors in Medical Student Culture; hosted three workshops, two panel discussions and each presented an oral abstract...

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12 UA, Banner Nurses Honored as 2015 Tucson Fab 50 Nurses

A dozen nurses from the University of Arizona College of Nursing and Banner – University Medical Center Tucson will be among those honored at the 2015 Tucson Fabulous 50 Nurses gala on Saturday, May 9, at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort.

The 20th annual event is the city's capstone celebration to National Nursing Week and is sponsored by the Tucson Nurses Week Foundation. The Fabulous 50 nurses were chosen from throughout the Tucson area by their peers for their role modeling and mentoring of others, concern for humanity and their contributions to the Tucson community and the profession of nursing.

Nurses from the UA College of Nursing to be honored are:

• Ruth E. Taylor-Piliae, PhD, RN, FAHA, associate professor

• Laura McRee, DNP, ACNP-BC, RNFA, clinical assistant professor and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner specialty coordinator

• Janice D. Crist, PhD, RN, FNGNA, FAAN, associate professor

• Nita M. Slater, MSN, RN, clinical instructor

• Sheri M. Carson, MSN, RN, CPNP, clinical instructor

• Ted S. Rigney...

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Dr. Gregory Rogers Awarded 5-year, $1.4 million Grant to Study Tumor Formation

University of Arizona Cancer Center research-scientist Gregory C. Rogers, PhD, recently was awarded a five-year, $1.4 million R01 National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant that will support his efforts to reveal new insights into genomic instability, which could lead to new drug targets to combat tumor formation.

His project, “Identifying molecular mechanisms that suppress centriole amplification,” will receive funding on May 1 and will last through 2020.

For the past seven years, Dr. Rogers’ lab has established itself at the forefront of the study of centrosome duplication and the role of the Polo-like kinase 4 (Plk4) pathway in chromosomal instability. When this particular protein is over-expressed, that instability often leads to tumor formation.

“This grant funds a project focused on basic science, where we explore how normal cells work to maintain the integrity of their genomes,” Dr. Rogers said. “Without a fundamental understanding of how normal cells grow, divide and build and organize their organelles, then it is impossible to understand the changes that occur during disease and treat them.”


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Multi-center Study Shows No Significant Benefit to Therapeutic Hypothermia in Children who Suffered Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

Diamond Children’s Medical Center at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson was one of 38 children’s hospitals in the United States and Canada to participate in a large-scale study that has shown no significant difference in outcomes for children who received therapeutic hypothermia and children who maintained a normal body temperature after suffering cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest in children can often be a catastrophic event, resulting in brain injury, other long-term neurological disabilities or even death.

Therapeutic hypothermia can improve survival and health outcomes for adults after cardiac arrest and also for newborns with brain injury due to a lack of oxygen at birth. But, until now, this treatment has not been studied in infants or children admitted to hospitals with cardiac arrest.

The results were published in the April 25, 2015, edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

At Diamond Children’s, the study was led by University of...

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The UA Department of Emergency Medicine Seeks Community Input on a Study to Determine Most Effective Treatment for People Having Seizures

The University of Arizona Department of Emergency Medicine is seeking community input on a clinical trial that requires giving a drug for seizures without patient consent.

The Established Status Epilepticus Treatment Trial (ESETT) will determine which of three drugs, fosphenytoin, valproic acid or levetiracetam, is safer and more effective at stopping prolonged seizures. The trial, which is set to begin this spring  at Banner – University Medical Center South and  Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, will be performed on seizing patients who are unable to provide informed consent.

An Institutional Review Board responsible for human subject research at the University of Arizona reviewed this research project and found it to be acceptable, according to applicable state and federal regulations and university policies designed to protect the rights and welfare of participants in research.

A seizure lasting longer than five minutes that does not stop after receiving a full dose of medicine to make it stop is commonly referred to as established status epilepticus (ESE) and can happen...

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