Photo of Patrice Patrick Delafontaine.
Patrice “Patrick” Delafontaine, MD

 

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back! I hope each of you had a wonderful break with family and friends and that you are recharged for the new semester. The year already has started with the promise of great accomplishments for our school.

We’ve welcomed Peter Tonellato, PhD, as director of the newly created Center for Biomedical Informatics Research. Dr. Tonellato brings more than 30 years of experience and mathematics expertise to the role, and he has initiated similar multidisciplinary centers at other academic medical institutions. We’re pleased to have him join our faculty.

Our researchers continue to receive grants to further their research. Most recently, Dongsheng Duan, PhD, the Margaret Proctor Mulligan Professor in medical research, and his team received a private donation for their research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The donation follows an announcement that technology Duan developed now is being used in clinical trials in patients with DMD.

I’d also like to call attention to Lesa Beamer, PhD, and Mirna Becevic, PhD, for recently securing funding. Beamer, a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, received a $50,000 Institute for Clinical and Translational Science pilot funding award to research the three-dimensional structure of proteins, including PGM1, which helps determine whether glucose is stored in the body or burned as fuel. Becevic, an assistant research professor in the Department of Dermatology, received a $47,499 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health to support early detection and screening for melanoma in primary care settings. I am immensely proud of all of our researchers who continue to uphold the values and importance of research at the School of Medicine.

As we enter the New Year – and as many of us continue our health resolutions – it is important to note the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology’s new guidelines that lowered the threshold for the diagnosis of hypertension. As a cardiologist, I agree with the new standards. I was pleased to welcome my former colleague, Keith Ferdinand, MD, to our school for a seminar to discuss the new guidelines.

I am extremely proud of our faculty and staff who work hard to provide programs and resources to help our students like Chris Tipton achieve their goals. Chris is a shining example of our MedPrep Program and the role it plays in setting medical students on pathways to success.

In the year ahead, we are well aware of the state funding challenges facing our school and our efforts to train more physicians for Missouri. In this time of increased advocacy for our school, I am pleased to share a story that aired nationally about our rural residency program and its role in keeping physicians in high-need areas of our state.

Thank you for all that you do to make the MU School of Medicine such a thriving community. I wish you all a healthy and productive 2018.

Sincerely,

Patrick Delafontaine, MD
Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean
University of Missouri School of Medicine

 

 

Sincerely,

Patrick Delafontaine, MD
Hugh E. and Sarah D. Stephenson Dean
University of Missouri School of Medicine