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Mar. 17 - Mar. 23  

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Medical pioneer gives AOA keynote address

Dr. PonJola Coney (front row, center), a pioneer in academic medicine, returned to her alma mater on March 13 to deliver the keynote address during the induction ceremony of the School of Medicine’s chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

Click here for a list of the new initiates, and read what Dr. Coney had to say to them. 

Blood drive to help UMMC family give life's gift

Blood giveMedical Center faculty, staff and students this week have the opportunity to provide life's greatest gift to their fellow Mississippians when Mississippi Blood Services personnel visit the Medical Center March 17-21 for the quarterly UMMC Blood Drive.

The theme for the drive is "Give the Gift of Life." All donors will receive an MBS T-shirt. Identification is required to donate blood.

Times, dates and places for the drive include:

•  7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, March 17, between the Guyton Research Center and the School of Medicine;
•  7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, between the Guyton Research Center and the School of Medicine;
•  10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, at the Bailey Avenue entrance to the Jackson Medical Mall Thad Cochran Center;
•  7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, March 20, at Batson Children's Hospital;
•  11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, March 20, in the Norman C. Nelson Student Union gymnasium; and
•  10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, March 21, at the University Hospital entrance.

Be sure to look for the MBS donor coach when making a donation. For more information about the blood drive, call Renee Howard at 4-2884 or send her an email at

32nd Annual Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade Saturday

Walking the parade route at the 32nd Annual Mal’s St. Paddy’s Parade on March 15, a team of volunteers exchanges beads for donations to Batson Children’s Hospital during the City Sweep. (Enlarge image)

Pathology faculty welcome new assistant prof.

McNeil_JanisDr. Janis P. McNeil, a staff pathologist at Ameripath Mississippi, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an assistant professor of pathology.

After attending Auburn (Ala.) University in 1978, McNeil earned the D.V.M. at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1982 and the M.D. at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, in 1996. From 1996-2001, she had pathology residency training in combined anatomic and clinical pathology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, where she was chief resident in 2000.

McNeil served as a staff veterinarian at Beltway Animal Hospital, Jacksonville, Fla., from 1982-83 before establishing Perdido Bay Animal Hospital, Lillian, Ala., in 1984 and operating it until 1990. From 1990-94, she served as a staff veterinarian at Mobile (Ala.) Veterinary Medical and Surgical Services, Inc., and attended medical school beginning in 1992. Since 2001, she has been a staff pathologist at Ameripath Mississippi, and has served as medical director of the laboratory at River Oaks Women's Hospital since 2010.

She is an active member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Pathology and the American College of Pathologists.

Medical Center alum joins pathology faculty

Neill_JamesDr. James Simeon Adams Neill, a UMMC alum and practicing pathologist with Quest Diagnostics, has rejoined the Medical Center faculty as an associate professor of pathology.

After attending the University of Mississippi from 1971-74, Neill earned the M.D. at UMMC in 1978. He completed an internship in family practice from 1978-79 and residency training in family practice from 1979-81 at Eugene Talmadge Memorial Hospital, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta. He subsequently finished residency training in pathology at UMMC from 1984-87.

Neill entered family practice in 1981 at the Cleveland (Miss.) Clinic and served as an emergency room physician at Spectrum Emergency Care, St. Louis, from 1983-84 and at Mississippi Emergency Association, Jackson, from 1984-86. He initially joined the UMMC faculty in 1987 as an instructor in pathology. From 1988-92, he served as an assistant professor of pathology and director of the Electron Microscopy Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, N.C. In 1992, he joined the staff as attending pathologist and director of Electron Microscopy in the Department of Anatomic Pathology at William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich. He returned to his home state as a staff pathologist with Ameripath of Mississippi in 2005.

An active member of several professional organizations, including the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, the American College of Pathologists and the Mississippi State Medical Association, Neill is the author or coauthor of 27 articles in peer-reviewed professional publications.

Neill's research interests include animal models of focal segmental glomerular sclerosis, morphometric analysis of diabetic glomeruli, application of electron microscopy to fine needle aspiration cytology specimens and the study of the ultrastructural features of neuroblastomas with correlation to classification and prognosis. Most recently, he has reviewed the wound-healing characteristics of bovine fetal collagen in full thickness skin wounds.          

Pediatrics faculty welcome sickle cell expert

Rhodes_MelissaDr. Melissa M. Rhodes, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and director of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, has joined the Medical Center faculty as an associate professor of pediatrics.

After receiving her B.S. in biology and B.A. in religion from Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Va., in 1995, Rhodes earned her M.D. at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, in 1999. She did a pediatrics residency from 1999-2002 at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, Norfolk, Va., a pediatric hematology/oncology/BMT fellowship from 2002-05, and a research fellowship from 2005-06 at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.

Rhodes joined the Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty in 2005 as an instructor in pediatrics and became an assistant professor of pediatrics there in 2007. In 2008, she moved to Ohio State University as an assistant professor of pediatrics.

A journal reviewer for several publications, including Blood, Pediatric Blood and Cancer, the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and the BMT, Rhodes is the author or coauthor of 16 articles in peer-reviewed professional publications, two book chapters and 16 abstracts.

Her research interest includes lung function and bronchial responsiveness in infants and toddlers with sickle cell disease, health literacy and readiness for transition in adolescents with sickle cell disease, patent foramen ovale and stroke in sickle cell anemia and the potential role of Losartan to reverse sickle cell nephropathy.

Medical Center staff receive service recognition

The Medical Center is proud to acknowledge those employees who will celebrate service anniversaries this week:

35 Years

* Osie Singleton, supervisor, Respiratory Therapy

20 Years

* Sterling Younger, biomedical surgery equipment specialist, Clinical Engineering

* Donald Wilkins, technical supervisor, Clinical Lab Administration

15 Years

* Scott Birdwell, controls specialist, Building Maintenance-Electric Shop

* Ray Burt, boiler operator, Power Plant

10 Years

* Terese Lindsey, ambassador, Ambassadors

* Gerry Mosley, machinery mechanic, Building Maintenance-Machinist Shop

* April O'Banner, buyer, Purchasing

* Paige Self, physical therapist, Physical Therapy

* Barbara Sloan, ambulatory nurse, School of Medicine (Oncology)

* Mary Smith, University Hospital human resources chief, Executive Leadership

* Beverly Van Buren, inpatient nurse, 5 North

5 Years

* Brandon Berry, respiratory therapist, Holmes County Hospital

* Dr. Erick Blaudeau, associate professor of radiology

* Lorraine Henry, physician scheduler, University Physicians Scheduling

* Tamoria Ratliff, physician scheduler, University Physicians Scheduling

* Patricia Welch, unit secretary, 4 North

Journal club to meet about population health

The Office of Population Health will host its next journal club session from noon-1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, in room N 521 (5A) in the North Wing.

The club provides a forum to discuss current research literature on interventions and best practices in population health.

Dr. Patricia Frye, director of the Mississippi STD/HIV Prevention Training Center (MSPTC), will lead the discussion.

All Medical Center faculty, staff and students are invited to bring their lunch to the event.

The journal article to be discussed can be found at Derose, K., Bogart, L. M., Kanouse, D. E., Felton, A., Collins, D., Mata, M. A., & ... Williams, M. V. (2014). An Intervention to Reduce HIV-Related Stigma in Partnership With African American and Latino Churches. AIDS Education & Prevention, 26(1), 28-42. doi:10.1521/aeap.2014.26.1.28.

For more information or to make a reservation to attend, email Felicia Bowens at

NIH investigator to tackle caloric calculus

Hall_KevinDr. Kevin Hall, senior investigator in the Integrative Physiology Section of the Laboratory of Biological Modeling, Diabetes, Endocrinology and Obesity Branch, at the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, will present "The Calculus of Calories: Quantitative Physiology of Human Metabolism and Body Weight Dynamics" from noon-1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19, in room CW308 of the Classroom Wing.

All Medical Center faculty, staff and students are invited. Refreshments will be available on a first-come basis.

The seminar is presented by the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. For more information, call Courtney Graham at 4-1820.

Mayo surgeon to present two Hendrix lectures

Jacobson_StevenDr. Steven R. Jacobson, assistant professor of plastic surgery at the Mayo College of Medicine, Rochester, Minn., will give two James Harvey Hendrix Jr. Lectures in Surgery.

The first, "Overcoming Obstacles in the Pursuit of Excellence - The Road to Red Rocks," is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 20, in room CW308 of the Classroom Wing. The second, "Putting the Pieces Together: Implant-based Breast Reconstruction," is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Friday, March 21, at the Fairview Inn in Jackson.

The James Harvey Hendrix Jr. Lectureship in Surgery is sponsored by the Department of Surgery-Division of Plastic Surgery. For more information, call Theressa White at 4-5084.

Qiao to describe aluminum’s neurotoxicity

QiaoDr. Niu Qiao, professor of occupational health and toxicology, director of the Occupational Health Department, dean of the Public Health School and assistant president of Shanxi Medical University, will present "Neurotoxicity of Aluminum" from noon-1 p.m. on Thursday, March 27, in room N633 in the School of Medicine.

The seminar is presented by the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences and co-sponsored by the Division of Neurobiology and Behavior Research.

All Medical Center faculty, staff and students are invited. For more information, call Lisa Boyd at 4-1640. 

Heart expert to explain oxidative stress In HTN

LokhandwalaDr. Mustafa F. Lokhandwala, professor of pharmacology, director of the Heart and Kidney Institute and executive vice dean for research at the University of Houston (Texas) School of Pharmacy, will present "Oxidative Stress and Renal Dopamine Receptor Function in Hypertension" at noon on Monday, March 31, in classroom 6A.

For more information, call Pamela Banks at 4-1690.    

Hearin Lecturer to discuss CV disease risks

Muntner_PaulDr. Paul Muntner, professor of epidemiology, adjunct professor of nephrology and co-director of the Pharmacoepidemiology and Economics Research Unit at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will give the Robert M. Hearin Distinguished Lecture, "Visit-to-Visit Variability of Blood Pressure: A Novel Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease," from noon-1 p.m. on Thursday, April 3, in classroom R354 (upper amphitheatre).

All Medical Center faculty, staff and students are invited. Lunch will be available on a first-come basis by the Hearin Foundation.

For more information, call Margie West at 5-5000.

Mayo professor to keynote research event

Nath_KArlDr. Karl A. Nath, professor of medicine in the Department of Nephrology and Hypertension at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, director of the Clinician Investigator Training Program and professor of physiology at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, will give the keynote presentation, "Maladaptive and Adaptive Responses to Heme Proteins in the Kidney," during the Office of Research and Scholarship's annual Research Day event at noon on Thursday, April 8, in Suite B on the second floor of the Norman C. Nelson Student Union.

For more information, call Janice Swinton at 5-9716.

For more news and information of interest to the Medical Center family, visit Medical Center News online

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