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Department of Medicine shares research highlights

Jennifer Kraschnewski, MD, MPH, vice chair for research for the Department of Medicine, recently shared updates on the department’s research efforts.

As part of the department’s December newsletter, Kraschnewski wrote:

I’m delighted to share that the Department of Medicine continues to lead the institution with new research funding. In October, we had 18 new grants funded, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the College’s new funding.

Excitedly, this is tripled from our funding last October and a tribute to our researchers’ outstanding efforts! Our scholarly productivity in the first quarter of the year has also been outstanding, averaging 0.4 publications per faculty over this time.

Thank you to those of you who have updated your Penn State Pure Profile. We seek to make this as easy as possible for you, so please reach out to Abbey Fisher, research project manager, at if you need help.

#WeAre always interested in your feedback so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have ideas on how we can better support our research mission!

New and Noteworthy

#WeAre so proud of Rhonda Shaffer, pre-award generalist, and Courtney Lester, research project manager, in Gastroenterology, who were both honored with the College of Medicine’s Outstanding Research Staff Award. Thank you for your outstanding work and congratulations on your well-deserved recognition!

A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Abigail Fisher

Abbey Fisher

Shining and Memorable Moments

I’m delighted to highlight the outstanding work of Abbey Fisher, research project manager, this month.

Abbey has done an incredible job assisting our departmental faculty in updating their Pure profiles as well as helping to pull together our Research Grand Rounds, research staff updates and research dashboards.

She has a wonderful, “can-do” attitude and is an invaluable member of our team.

Thanks for everything you do to support our research faculty and staff, Abbey!

On the Horizon

The following is a recap of Research Grand Rounds for October and November:

November 2020

Speaker: Ellen Beswick, PhD, Professor and Associate Director of GI Research, Associate Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, member of the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah

Topic: G-CSF – Compelling good cells to behave badly in the colorectal tumor microenvironment

October 2020

Speaker: George Golovko, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, The Institute for Translational Sciences, University of Texas Medical Branch

Topic: Redefining Multi-Omics+ for use in Translational and Clinical Research to Address Emerging Challenges

Recording: Watch on Mediasite (Penn State Health ePass login required)

Learning objectives:

  • Discussion of facts that can describe patient health and disease state in translational research and decision-making
  • Overview of the required architectural and analytical infrastructure to address modern health care challenges
  • Overview of necessary components of functional interdisciplinary teams (physicians, biostatisticians and basic scientists) and their roles

Missed a seminar? The Research Grand Rounds videos are posted on Mediasite. Check out the links here:

Spotlight on our People

A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Lauren J. Van Scoy

L.J. Van Scoy, MD

This month’s research faculty spotlight goes to Lauren “L.J.” Van Scoy, MD, associate professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine.

Dr. Van Scoy’s research uses qualitative and mixed methodology to evaluate innovative communication tools in a variety of areas, including advance care planning and engaging patients and their families in discussions about end-of-life issues. She is also a co-founder and co-director of the College of Medicine’s Qualitative and Mixed Methods Core, along with Heather Stuckey, MEd, DEd, associate professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine.

We are thrilled that Dr. Van Scoy’s R01 was recently funded, Engaging underserved communities in end of life conversations: a cluster, randomized controlled trial, by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (total funding: $3,398,440). Congratulations, Dr. Van Scoy! #WeAre grateful to have you in our department!

Odds and Ends

Reminder: Research Office Hours

Our research team will now hold Zoom office hours from 10 to 11 a.m. every Thursday. One pre-award and one post-award staff member will be available to answer research-related questions from any DOM faculty or staff member who would like to stop in.

Join office hours via Zoom here.

Participants may also join by calling 301-715-8592. If prompted, enter password 220166.

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