Dr. Myra Muramoto Named Head of UA Department of Family and Community Medicine

Myra Muramoto, MD, MPH, FAAFP, a nationally regarded scholar and educator, has been appointed head of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, effective March 30.  She has served as professor and interim head of the department since Oct. 1, 2014. 

A National Institutes of Health-funded researcher, passionate advocate for improving care for the medically underserved and role model for women trainees in medicine, Dr. Muramoto becomes the department’s ninth chair, succeeding Tamsen L. Bassford, MD, who was named interim department head in April 2002 and permanent department head in January 2003.

“It is truly an honor to become the chair of the UA Department of Family and Community Medicine,” Dr. Muramoto said. “It is a privilege to work with and lead the outstanding people in our department, who bring such passion, dedication and excellence to their teaching, research, clinical service and community engagement. I am excited for the opportunity to continue the growth and development of a department that is...

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AHSC Diversity and Inclusion Champions Honored

The annual Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Awards recognize individuals or groups who work to create a supportive environment, build a more academically robust and diverse student body and recruit and retain diverse employees at the University of Arizona.
This year, the following three outstanding faculty and staff members at the Arizona Health Sciences Center will be recognized for their contributions in developing an inclusive and diverse campus community:

Francisco Moreno, MD, is being honored with the inaugural Richard Ruiz Diversity Leadership Faculty Award. Dr. Moreno is assistant vice president for diversity and inclusion at the Arizona Health Sciences Center, a professor of psychiatry and deputy dean for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. The Richard Ruiz Diversity Leadership Faculty Award honors Ruiz's many contributions to making the UA a better campus (Read more about Ruiz in this... [read more]

AHSC Research Matters: Unexpected Discovery Leads to Insight for Dry Eye Disease

Researchers at the Arizona Health Sciences Center have discovered a potential cause of dry eye disease—a disease that afflicts millions of people in the United States.

Researchers at the UA Steele Children’s Research Center made an unexpected discovery into the role of NHE8, a sodium/hydrogen exchanger protein.

The research was led by UA Steele Center Director Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, professor and head, Department of Pediatrics, and Steele Center researcher Hua Xu, PhD, associate professor, UA Department of Pediatrics. They collaborated with Mingwu Wang, MD, PhD, associate professor, UA Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science.

NHEs are a group of membrane proteins that function to exchange extracellular sodium (Na+) for intracellular hydrogen (H+). NHE proteins contribute to many physiological functions, such as intracellular (within cells) acidic (pH) regulation, cell volume regulation and sodium absorption. They play an important role by transporting sodium and electrolytes through...

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Dr. Rick Silva Appointed Executive Director, Biomedical Corporate Alliances, at Arizona Health Sciences Center

 Dr. Silva, who joined AHSC March 30, is responsible for developing and managing UA-industry partnerships in biomedical research. 

“I am extremely pleased and excited that Rick has joined the UA in this important leadership position, said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences. “His record of program development and management of biomedical technology portfolios, coupled with more than a decade of scientific research and development management experience, will be valuable in advancing AHSC’s clinical trials program and biomedical research to the next level. As a business development executive, Rick has built many productive and sustained academic-industry collaborations in both clinical and preclinical biomedical development enterprises.”

Dr. Silva will work closely with Tech Launch Arizona, the UA unit dedicated to commercializing the inventions emanating from university research, as well as with the UA Foundation, the UA Alumni Association, public and private entities and other stakeholders, to develop AHSC industry-sponsored clinical trials and expand shared research...

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Kids of Steele Host ‘Team Up With UA Football Coach Rich Rodriguez’

WHAT:  Kids of Steele Host ‘Team Up With UA Football Coach Rich Rodriguez’


WHERE:  Arizona Stadium, 1 National Championship Drive, University of Arizona

Kids of Steele will host a “Team Up” event with UA football Coach Rich Rodriguez on Thursday, April 9, from 5 to 6 p.m.

The event is for children 5 years through 8th grade. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in practice drills and other football activities with Coach Rodriguez and his staff.

“Kids of Steele is so grateful to Rich Rodriguez, his staff and players for giving these kids an experience they will never forget,” said Cecie Davenport, Kids of Steele board member.

This year, a balloon release will honor the memory of Dana Morgan, an ardent UA Football fan who passed away from complications due to leukemia in January at the age of 10.  Dana and her family were one of the first Kids of Steele member families. “We miss Dana’s infectious smile and...

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Third Annual Interprofessional Rural Health Professions Conference, April 17

EVENT: Third Annual Interprofessional Rural Health Professions Conference, April 17

The conference is free and open to the public and will feature international cultural wisdom authority, Roberto Dansie, PhD, who will share insights on cultural competency, rural health and interprofessional education and practice. Participants will complete workshop activities on cultural self-awareness and the practice of culturally competent care.

Registration is open until April 9. To register, please view the preliminary agenda, and learn about the poster session, at:

KEYNOTE:  Roberto Dansie, PhD, a clinical psychologist and a member of the Toltec tribe of Mexico, who is recognized internationally as a contemporary authority on cultural wisdom

DATE/TIME: Friday, April 17, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

LOCATION:  DuVal Auditorium, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson
1501 N. Campbell Ave.

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Third Annual Interprofessional Rural Health...

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UA Researchers Release ‘See Me Smoke-Free,’ First Mobile App Designed to Help Women Quit Smoking, Eat Well and Get Moving

See Me Smoke-Free, the first multi-behavioral mobile health (mHealth) app designed to help women quit smoking, eat well and get moving, now is available for free on the Google Play Store. 

The Android phone app, officially released March 30, uses guided imagery to help women resist the urge to smoke, while encouraging them to make healthful food choices and increase their physical activity. The app can be downloaded at 

See Me Smoke Free was developed by a multi-disciplinary research team, headed by Judith S. Gordon, PhD, associate professor and associate head for research with the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson

The goal of See Me Smoke-Free is to provide an overall sense of well-being and self-efficacy, said Dr. Gordon. “We want women to recognize that they are strong, they are beautiful, they are powerful and they’re in control of their lives,” she said. “And...

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After Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery, Tucson Mom with Parkinson’s Finds Joy in Simple Things

The tremors and stiffness that prevented Maureen Raine from doing so much of what she loved have all but disappeared after she underwent deep brain stimulation surgery – or DBS – in July.

The surgery was performed by Willard S. Kasoff, MD, MPH, a University of Arizona neurosurgeon and director of the Neuromodulation Program in the UA Department of Surgery.

Raine, who suffers from a young-onset form of Parkinson’s disease, first began having difficulty using her right side due to tremors and stiffness. Diagnosed at age 37, her disease was progressing quickly, and she relied on high doses of medication in an attempt to control symptoms. The frequent dosing and side effects of her medication, called Levodopa, interrupted her days and began to take over her life.

Now, on most days, Raine forgets she has Parkinson’s disease.

“What is amazing is all of the joyful things I got back,” said this 40-year-old Tucson personal trainer, who keeps a growing list of “Things I Can Do After My Surgery.” (See box.)

On the list is cooking, petting her dogs, washing her hair with both hands,...

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Longtime ADHS Director Will Humble Joins AHSC’s Center for Population Science and Discovery

Will Humble, MPH, longtime director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, has been appointed division director for health policy and evaluation at the Center for Population Science and Discovery at the Arizona Health Sciences Center.

A Tucson native, Humble is scheduled to join the UA April 13 and will report to Elizabeth Calhoun, PhD, MEd, associate vice president for population health sciences and executive director of the Center for Population Science and Discovery.

“The Center for Population Science and Discovery Center is well-positioned to bring the kind of analytical depth needed to catalyze improvements in population health in Arizona,” said Dr. Calhoun. “Will brings unique skills and strong relationships to the center – a perfect fit for our strategic goal to create linkages among researchers, public health organizations, health providers, health systems and payers to improve population health and reduce health-care costs,” she added.


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UA Scientist in Phoenix Helping Develop Test for Monitoring Biological Effects of Radiation, Could Save Lives

Imagine a simple blood test that could confirm just how much radiation was reaching your cancerous tumor. Or just how much radiation exposure an astronaut is receiving on a mission to Mars.

A University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix faculty member is part of team that is developing cutting-edge tests that eventually could be used in just that fashion.

“We are that much closer to having a test that could be used to measure the amount of radiation being focused on a particular body area, which could save lives in the event of a radiological accident, or for better assessing the radiation dose delivered to a specific tissue providing more precise treatment of cancer,” said Frederic Zenhausern, PhD, MBA. “But this could also help in better understanding the biological mechanisms of tissue resistance to radiation and other effects.”

The research is part of the university’s overall effort to advance initiatives in precision health, which aims to improve delivery of specific treatments and preventative measures in relation to the unique aspects of each patient and their...

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