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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Medical school names Phoenix campus faculty

    Faculty positions within the UA College of Medicine’s new Phoenix campus are filling with top-notch talent as the college’s mission and curriculum take shape, according to a College of Medicine official.

    Mark Haussler, a regents’ professor and head of Phoenix’s basic medical sciences department, said he is excited about the faculty at the new medical school because they are enthusiastic educators.

    “”I have a very positive outlook on the success of this school, based on the interest we have received,”” Haussler said.

    The new team of 17 educators has experience teaching a multitude of medical disciplines and will allow Arizona’s second medical school to run at full speed when students begin classes in July 2007, said Haussler, who headed the search committee.

    “”We won’t have to begin with lots of faculty development,”” said Haussler. “”Most of (the staff) have trained med students two to 10 years.””

    Of 400 applicants, Hausler’s committee interviewed the top 32, basing their final decisions on candidates’ communication skills, academic experience and overall interests within the bioscience field.

    “”We’re starting from scratch, so we just selected the best,”” said Haussler.

    The new faculty will boast high-profile members from schools including Yale, Stanford, the Smithsonian Institution and the Nobel Prize-winning laboratories of University of California at San Francisco – along with members of UA and ASU faculty.

    Not only faculty members are moving to Phoenix: administrators are too.

    Alexis Hernandez, the associate dean of students at the UA, will take the position of assistant dean for admissions and student affairs in Phoenix.

    And although the new campus runs on a small budget of $7 million, splitting expenses with the City of Phoenix and ASU and using donated land and buildings have kept startup costs relatively minimal, said Haussler.

    “”It’s kind of like starting a new baseball team,”” said Haussler. “”We were able to draft some local talent and have a cost-sharing situation that works well.””

    On the first anniversary of her appointment as interim vice dean of administration, Beth Schermer said the past year yielded many successes for the new campus, but was “”enormously complicated.””

    Schermer said her 25 years of experience in health care law allowed her to merge the interests and functions of educational, clinical and research components of the college.

    “”You’re trying to find the intersection between those groups, which is what a medical school does,”” said Schermer.

    Schermer’s goals for the new campus include increasing the total number of medical school graduates in Arizona and having the entire College of Medicine contribute to global medical efforts through advances in telemedicine, diabetes research and personalized medicine.

    “”What I really like is that we’re reinventing the method of training doctors to practice in the 21st century,”” said Schermer. “”It’s important that our medical schools are invested together.””

    The Phoenix campus’ inaugural class will total 24 students. The number of students will reach 64 per year in 2009 and eventually cap out at 150 per year, said Susan Guthrie, associate director of public affairs for the new college.

    “”We’re looking at ways to accelerate that growth quicker,”” said Guthrie.

    The curriculum will be developed to have a local flavor based on the bioscience strengths of the Phoenix area, with Arizona students making up the majority of the student body, said Guthrie.

    “”Our objective is to train students that are going to stay in the state to practice,”” said Guthrie. “”I think it’s a really important benefit to Arizona residents.””

    The founding faculty of the UA College of Medicine at Phoenix

    Rebecca E. Fisher, Ph.D.
    Teaching human anatomy
    and vertebrate paleontology.
    Peter W. Jurutka, Ph.D.
    Teaching molecular genetics
    and pathobiological signaling.
    Paul E. Boehmer, Ph.D.
    Teaching molecular biology,
    biochemistry and genomics.
    Jeffery Alan Rawls, Ph.D.
    Teaching embryology, developmental
    biology and genetic diseases.
    Kenro Kusumi, Ph.D.
    Teaching human genetics,
    embryology and the musc-
    uloskeletal system.
    Douglas F. Lake, Ph.D.
    Teaching molecular and
    cellularimmunology and cancer biology.
    Sethuraman “”Panch”” Panchanathan,
    Ph.D. Teaching biomedical informatics.
    N. Jeanne Wilson-Rawls, Ph.D.
    Teaching developmental biology
    and molecular basis for disease.
    Karen Taraszka Hastings, MD, Ph.D.
    Teaching immunobiology, cancer immunology, skin dermatology
    and clinical science.
    David A. Young, Ph.D.
    Curriculum design and
    Ronald P. Hammer, Jr., Ph.D.
    Teaching neuroscience,
    pharmacology and anatomy.
    G. Kerr Whitfield, Ph.D.
    Teaching molecular biology
    and biochemistry.
    Mark R. Haussler, Ph.D.
    Teaching biochemistry, endocrinology
    and nutrition.
    Paul R. Standley, Ph.D.
    Teaching cardiovascular physiology.
    Kathleen S. Matt, Ph.D.
    Teaching reproductive neuroendocrinology and physiology.
    Suwon Kim, Ph.D.
    Teaching cancer biology.
    Stuart D. Flynn, MD
    Teaching general pathology.

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