The University of Arizona Health Sciences


UA College of Medicine – Phoenix Granted Provisional Accreditation

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix has been granted provisional accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, or LCME. The approval is the next step in the process for full accreditation.

"I am very pleased that the LCME has approved provisional accreditation for the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix," said UA President Ann Weaver Hart. "This is an important step toward full accreditation and we were confident that the measures the college and University took to address the questions from the LCME were more than sufficient. I am extremely proud that the UA remains on track to be the only land-grant university with two fully accredited medical schools."

The LCME met Feb. 9 and 10 to review the status report submitted by the UA on Dec. 1. The decision to grant provisional accreditation puts the college on pace for full accreditation in early 2018.

The LCME is the nationally recognized accrediting authority for medical education programs leading to M.D. degrees in the United States and Canada. It is sponsored by the American Association of Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association.

"The University of Arizona...

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UA Health Sciences Appoints Noted Health Leader Dr. Akinlolu O. Ojo as Associate Vice President for Clinical Research and Global Health Initiatives

Akinlolu O. Ojo, MD, MPH, PhD, MBA, an international leader in chronic kidney disease and kidney transplantation research and clinical care with a focus on health disparities and an expert in global health research, has been appointed associate vice president for clinical research and global health initiatives at the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

Dr. Ojo, who joined UAHS Jan. 18, also will serve as professor of medicine in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson with a joint appointment as professor of health promotion sciences in the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

“I am extremely pleased to have Dr. Ojo, who brings extensive experience in the development and management of multicenter clinical trials, join the UA Health Sciences,” says Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences and the Dr. Merlin K. DuVal Professor of Medicine. “He will lead our efforts to further develop clinical research programs focused on health outcomes, mechanisms of human disease, therapeutic interventions and the development of new...

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Stereotypes about Native Americans and Alcohol Debunked by UA Study

In contrast to enduring stories about extraordinarily high rates of alcohol misuse among Native Americans, University of Arizona researchers have found that Native Americans’ binge and heavy drinking rates actually match those of whites. The groups differed regarding abstinence: Native Americans were more likely to abstain from alcohol use.

The UA study, published online Feb. 8 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, was conducted by James K. Cunningham, PhD, lead author, a U.S. Fulbright scholar and social epidemiologist with the UA Department of Family and Community Medicine and the UA Native American Research and Training Center; Teshia A. Solomon, PhD, (Choctaw), director of the Native American Research and Training Center; and Myra Muramoto, MD, MPH, head of Family and Community Medicine.

The researchers analyzed data from a survey of more than 4,000 Native Americans and 170,000 whites between 2009 and 2013. Called the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the survey was administered by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services...

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UA Sarver Heart Center Presents Update on Options for Treating Atrial Fibrillation, Feb. 17

LECTURE:    Update on Options for Treating Atrial Fibrillation

Peter Ott, MD, from the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, will discuss atrial fibrillation and stroke therapies, anti-coagulation medicine and new options for patients who can’t tolerate anti-coagulants

(Presentation is a part of the Green Valley Lecture Series, featuring experts from the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, in cooperation with Green Valley Recreation, Inc.) 

WHEN:          Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 10 a.m.

WHERE:        West Center, 1111 S. Via Arcoiris, Green Valley


Peter Ott, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, The Peter Ott, MD Endowed Chair of Electrophysiology at the UA Sarver Heart Center, and director of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory...

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UA College of Pharmacy Faculty Member Dr. Heidi Mansour Develops Inhalers to Treat Lung Diseases

Please also see the linked video interview with Dr. Mansour (available for download).

Heidi M. Mansour, PhD, assistant professor in the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, is working to develop advanced dry powder inhalers to treat and prevent pulmonary diseases.

Dr. Mansour investigates pulmonary states and diseases that have unmet medical needs, including lung transplants, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary infections and pulmonary hypertension. Her goal is to design treatments for these pulmonary conditions by researching and developing new drugs and by developing the delivery mechanisms for these drugs. Her specialty is dry powder inhalation aerosols – that is, inhalers.

She recently published a paper in the journal Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery titled “Dry Powder Inhalers in COPD, Lung Inflammation and Pulmonary Infections” detailing this research. The paper discusses currently available dry powder inhalers for...

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The Evolution of a ‘Med School Mom’

When the youngest of Mary Smith’s five daughters was approaching school age and her husband was finishing his dissertation, she began thinking seriously about a career of her own.

“My secret fantasy was to start a grocery store. I thought that would be the funnest thing,” she said. “But then I started thinking about teaching or social work, something to contribute directly to people. And then I was torn between that and something in the hard sciences, which I really, really love.”

Medical school was not on her list.

But when her husband was invited to a job interview in Salt Lake City, where there happens to be a medical school, she thought, “Of course. Why didn’t I think of this before?

“It was the perfect combination of service and science and academic rigor that was so appealing to me. And I would still be helping people.”

This evolution, as Smith calls it, was followed by another. “I thought, wherever my husband gets a job, that’s where we’ll go, and I’ll see if there’s a medical school there. But if there isn’t, I’ll do something else. I literally said that.”

But she and husband, Konden, and their five daughters...

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UA Awarded $1.5 Million Grant to Improve Arizona’s Rural Hospitals

The Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has been awarded a three-year $1.5 million grant by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support the Arizona Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (AzFlex) which provides quality, operational and performance improvement in Arizona’s rural hospitals and affiliated outpatient services.

Arizona’s 14 Critical Access Hospitals and 21 Rural Health Clinics play crucial roles in assuring access to quality health care, improving population health outcomes and contributing to a community’s overall economic health and development. The AzFlex program provides technical assistance, training and information resources for Arizona’s Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and a statewide network of rural primary care, trauma and emergency medical services (EMS) providers.

The AzFlex work plan for the next three years has four program areas: quality improvement; financial and operational improvement; population...

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Dr. Charles Cairns

Virus or bacteria? Host gene expression test can identify origin of acute respiratory infection

Doctors may soon be able to tell whether an acute respiratory infection (ARI) is viral or bacterial, and whether it is contagious.

Charles B. Cairns, MD, interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, is one of a team of researchers who have developed “host gene expression classifiers” that reveal the etiology of ARI with an overall accuracy rate of 87 percent. This technology could reduce over-prescribing of antibiotics, which can ultimately lead to antibiotic resistance and the creation of “super bugs.” The research was conducted at Duke University, where Dr. Cairns previously served as a consulting faculty member to the Duke Clinical Research Institute, while professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Learn more from this article in Science

UA Department of Pediatrics and Banner Children’s Welcome 3 New Faculty Members

The University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics and Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center welcome new faculty members Rajesh Dudani, MD, Timothy Johanson, MD, and Lauren Nicholls, MD.

Rajesh Dudani, MD, assistant professor, Division of Neonatology
Dr. Dudani received his medical degree from B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (Dharan, Nepal). He then completed his residency in pediatrics from John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County (Chicago) and a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine from University of Chicago Medical Center Comer Children’s Hospital. As a pediatric neonatologist, Dr. Dudani will take care of infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Diamond Children’s.His research area of interest is in global health, investigating ways to improve newborn care in middle- and low-income countries and among underserved populations in United States.


Timothy David Johanson, MD, clinical associate professor, Division of General Pediatrics
Dr. Johanson received his MD from...

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UA Researchers Identify Food Additive that May Help Prevent Skin Cancer

Researchers at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy have discovered that a compound found in the natural food additive annatto prevents the formation of cancer cells and skin damage from UV radiation in mice. In the future, the compound, bixin, may be valuable in the prevention and treatment of human skin cancers.

Georg Wondrak, PhD, associate professor, and Donna Zhang, PhD, professor, both members of the University of Arizona Cancer Center, recently published a study in Free Radical Biology and Medicine titled, “System Administration of the Apocarotenoid Bixin Protects Skin against Solar UV-Induced Damage through Activation of Nrf2.”

Bixin is a bright reddish orange compound found in annatto, a natural condiment and food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote fruit. Annatto, also known as achiote, has been a common ingredient in Latin American cooking since the pre...

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