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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day service set

The UMMC community is invited to a lunchtime service, "Celebration of Diversity and Inclusion: An Observance of the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." on Wednesday, Jan. 18 on the second floor of the Norman C. Nelson Student Union.

The program begins at noon. Lunches will be provided on a first-come-first-served basis.

This year's service will include a performance by the UMMC Choir and a performance by The Detectives Mystery Dinner Theatre of an original 10-minute play by local playwright Katrina Byrd.

The event is organized and sponsored by Pastoral Services and the Division of Multicultural Affairs. For more information, contact UMMC Chaplain Jeffrey Murphy at

Panel discussion of medical ethics to center on "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"

A group and panel discussion is planned Friday, Jan. 20 of the national bestseller, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," the focus of UMMC's Common Reading Project.

The non-fiction book chronicles the life of a poor, African-American woman who died of cancer in 1951. Her cells - taken without her knowledge - became the first human cells in culture to sustainably reproduce.

Those cells, known as HeLa, were vital for developing the polio vaccine. They uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses and the atom bomb's effects. They helped lead to important advances like in-vitro fertilization, cloning and gene mapping. And they have been bought and sold by the billions.

The book, by Rebecca Skloot, traces much of the modern history of research and medical ethics. As well, it delves into social, cultural and race issues that, while taking place in Baltimore, are familiar to Mississippi.

Members of the Medical Center community, particularly those who have read the book, are invited. The discussion begins at noon in R153 amphitheatre. Lunch will be provided on a first-come-first-served basis.

Dr. Rick Boyte, professor of pediatrics, will moderate the event with panelists Dr. Bill Cleland, professor of obstetrics and gynecology; Dr. Ralph Didlake, director of the UMMC Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities; Institutional Review Board Director Nancy Olson; Dr. Ian Paul, professor of psychiatry and human behavior; and Dr. Herman Taylor, professor of cardiology and principal investigator of the Jackson Heart Study.

The common reading project is an academic exercise that brings together people from across campus for a rich exchange of thoughts and ideas. The book is required reading for incoming medical and graduate school students.

For more information contact Student Affairs at 4-5012 or Multicultural Affairs at 4-1340

Pediatrics spotlights visiting professor

Dr. Jayant K. Deshpande, M.D., M.P.H., special visiting professor in quality improvement in the Department of Pediatrics, will present pediatric grand rounds Friday, Jan. 13. The title of his talk is "Quality Improvement and the Morbidity & Mortality Conference in the Academic Environment: Beyond the ABCs (Accuse, Blame and Criticize)." Deshpande is senior vice president, chief quality officer and associate medical director of Arkansas Children's Hospital and professor of pediatrics and anesthesiology at the University of Arkansas Medical Center. The grand rounds will be from noon to 1 p.m. in R354.

University Heart earns accreditation

University Heart has earned accreditation from the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Nuclear Medicine Laboratories for its nuclear cardiology testing.

This three-year designation recognizes the nuclear medicine program as providing quality patient care, in compliance with national standards through a comprehensive application process, including detailed case study review. This "seal of approval" indicates the facility has been carefully critiqued on all aspects of its operations considered relevant by medical experts in the field of nuclear medicine, according to the ICANL.

Life-threatening heart disorders can be discovered early through procedures such as nuclear cardiology testing, which depends on the quality of the services provided. The ICANL said the skill of the nuclear medicine technologist, the type of equipment used, the background and knowledge of the interpreting physician and quality care are all measures critical to quality patient testing.

Lehman to join UMMC as anatomy chair

Dr. Michael Lehman, a neuroscientist with research interests in reproductive neuroendocrinology, has accepted a position at UMMC as chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences.

Lehman will start on a part-time basis this spring and begin full time in July. He comes to UMMC from the University of Michigan, where he serves as professor in both the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

A New Jersey native, Lehman earned his undergraduate degree in biology at Wesleyan University in 1975 and received his Ph.D. in neurosciences from the University of Michigan in 1982.

Following postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Michigan and Columbia University, he accepted a faculty position in 1986 at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, as an assistant professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. He rose to become professor and the vice chairman for research of the Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, and held secondary appointments in the departments of Psychiatry and Neurology.

In 2003, he was appointed associate dean for the Neuroscience Center at the University of Cincinnati, and led the interdepartmental faculty recruitments in diverse areas of basic, translational and clinical neuroscience.

Lehman moved to the University of Western Ontario in 2005 as professor and chair of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. In 2010, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Michigan, and was appointed co-director and research professor of the reproductive sciences research program.

Lehman is an internationally recognized neuroscientist in the areas of reproductive neuroendocrinology and circadian rhythms. He has published more than 125 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters and reviews, including publications in Science, Nature, Nature Neuroscience, The Journal of Neuroscience, and Endocrinology.

He has been continuously funded for more than 20 years by various agencies including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada. He has served on numerous grant-review panels at NIH and NSF. He has organized and chaired scientific symposia at annual meetings of the Society for the Study of Reproduction, the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, and the Society for Neuroscience.

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