Current Editors: Renat Ahatov, Michael Phan, and Andrea Francis

(Please email editors if there is blog-worthy news that you would like to see shared)

Past Editors: Elise Weisert, Michael Ryan, Keith Wagner, Tim Allen, Kristyna Gleghorn, Dung Mac, Alex Acosta, William Tausend, Sheila Jalalat, Rebecca Philips, Chelsea Altinger, Lindsey Hunter, Alison Wiesenthal, Leslie Scroggins, Mara Dacso, Ashley Group, Fadi Constantine, Emily Fridlington, Joslyn Witherspoon, Tasneem Poonawalla.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dr. Wagner Quoted in The New York Times!

Congratulations to UTMB DIG's Faculty Advisor, Dr. Richard Wagner, for being quoted in The New York Times on Monday, June 21st, which was also mentioned in yesterday's UTMB News Highlights.

"Summer means more time and tissue exposed to the single biggest cause of skin damage and cancer: ultraviolet radiation. And despite sunscreen and a dermatologists’ campaign going back to 1983, millions of Americans continue to abuse the rays that in small doses help maintain health but in larger doses can destroy it. For some, sun worship is a year-round activity. Dr. Richard F. Wagner Jr., a UTMB dermatologist, reported five years ago that as many as half of local beachgoers met the psychiatric definition of a substance abuse disorder. This year, 3.5 million new cases of superficial but often disfiguring skin cancers, and an estimated 68,720 melanomas, will be diagnosed among Americans. “As we age, the number of mutations increase and our immunity wanes,” Dr. Wagner explained — a double whammy that greatly increases the likelihood of skin cancer. "

To read The New York Times article, "When Tanning Turns Into an Addiction," click on the following link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/22/health/22brod.html

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mike Rains, MD, UTMB SOM Class of 2010 Featured in New Book about Hurricane Ike

Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope and Resurrection in the Face of One of America’s Largest Hurricanes (2010) by Leigh Jones and Rhiannon Meyers focused on Mike Rains’ experience with Hurricane Ike as a UTMB MS3. Mike evacuated from Galveston in 2008 as the hurricane approached Galveston, and its aftermath had a great impact on the education of UTMB medical students (Chapter 9, pages 166-168). Mike was also prominently featured in a recent article published by Texas Medicine about his lobbying efforts as a medical student to rebuild UTMB following Hurricane Ike’s damage to the Galveston campus. He received the 2010 Thomas B. Freese Award at graduation for his overall excellence in dermatology as a UTMB medical student and he will be starting dermatology residency in Austin at the UT Southwestern program in 2011.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Check Out the New UTMB Alumni Link!

The UTMB DIG is excited to announce its new UTMB Alumni feature! Here you can find information about UTMB Dermatology and Dermatopathology alumni, including current location, positions, publications, and more. This information can be accessed by clicking on the link under the "DIG@UTMB" section on the sidebar labeled "UTMB Alumni."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dr. Wagner's Research Mentioned in Ladies' Home Journal

Research on sun addiction conducted by UTMB DIG's faculty advisor, Dr. Richard Wagner, was mentioned in the July 2010 Ladies' Home Journal article, "Addicted to the Sun," and today's UTMB News Highlights.

"Research conducted at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston also appears to support the addiction theory. When dermatologist Richard Wagner, Jr., MD, and his colleagues surveyed beachgoers about their tanning habits using two substance-dependence screening tools (asking questions such as "Do you think you need to spend more and more time in the sun to maintain your tan?" and "Does your belief that tanning can cause skin cancer keep you from spending time in the sun or going to tanning beds?"), they found that anywhere from 26 to 53 percent of people met the criteria for tanning dependence."

Congratulations, Dr. Wagner!

To read more, Click Here.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

UTMB Dermatology Faculty Recognize Best Chief Resident Research

Each year the UTMB Dermatology Faculty recognizes one of its PGY4 dermatology residents for the best dermatology scholarly activity performed during residency. The awardee for the 2009-2010 academic year was Dr. Ryan Matherne. Congratulations for your great academic work at UTMB! Dr. Matherne will be one of the UTMB Dermatopathology Fellows during the next academic year, so fortunately we will all have an opportunity to learn from him in the dermatology clinic and at the microscope!

UTMB Dermatology Residents Recognize Excellent Faculty Teaching

At the end of each academic year, the UTMB dermatology residents recognize a UTMB faculty dermatologist and a community dermatologist for their contributions to our teaching program. This year Drs. Cris Berlingeri (faculty) and Dr. Moise Levy (community) were recognized for their outstanding resident teaching. Congratulations to you both for this well-deserved recognition!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Important: Update your e-mail address with UTMB DIG

It's time to update our e-mail list! Have you recently graduated or have a new e-mail address? If so, don't forget to send us your updated e-mail address so that you can continue to receive the UTMB DIG e-mails.

Please e-mail your name and new e-mail address to UTMBDIG@gmail.com.

UTMB DIG Officers

UTMB BSHS Selective “Narratives of Skin Diseases” (DERU-4012) Increases Class Size

Last year, Dr. Richard Wagner offered “Narratives of Skin Diseases” to UTMB MS4s for the first time during Period 13. Student response was so positive about this class that this year the maximum student enrollment was recently increased from 5 to 10 medical students during Period 13. As of today, there are already 5 students preregistered for this class according to the UTMB registrar. In this course, students read books and short stories that were written by people who personally experienced nonmelanoma skin cancers, leprosy, vitiligo, and psoriasis. Since it the class is approved as a BSHS Selective, only UTMB MS4s are permitted to enroll. However, UTMB permits MS4s to take more than one BSHS Selective during the senior year, so all UTMB MS4s are able to enroll in this class if they are interested in the topic. Up to the maximum enrollment of 10, anyway!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

UTMB Dermatology Film Class Sets New Enrollment Record

Two film classes, DERU-4051 (BSHS Selective) and DERU-4007 (Elective) broke their previous medical student enrollment records for the current academic year. During the 2009-10 academic year that finishes on June 25th, 114 UTMB and visiting medical students took Dr. Richard Wagner’s film course, “Skin Diseases Depicted in Cinema.” During the prior year, 58 UTMB medical students enrolled in the class.

Why is this class so popular with UTMB medical students? The subject matter is very interesting and exciting, and the class is unlike many other electives and selectives offered at UTMB because of the creative aspects that film allows in studying a wide array of skin diseases and related topics. Students in the class are able to develop a greater understanding about how media portrays disease through modern analytic deconstruction methods taught in the class to develop a critical understanding about film and other media. Dr. Wagner constantly updates reading assignments so that they stay current, and for the upcoming 2010-2011 academic year, he added a 14th required film for the class, “Good Hair: Sit Back And Relax,” a 2009 documentary that is narrated by comedian Chris Rock.

The film class is also popular because students are able to take the class even when they are away from Galveston by phoning in to class meetings where the films are discussed, and Dr. Wagner provides a method to make-up for missed classes when students are not able to attend or phone in. This “telephone option” is advantageous to UTMB medical students who were assigned to Austin or Houston clinical rotations during the MS3 year, or MS4s who must travel away from campus due to numerous residency interviews. DERU-4051 and DERU-4007 are available all 13 Periods for UTMB MS4 and MS3 medical students, and visiting medical students are also welcome to enroll. There are 30 spots available for each Period that these classes are offered.

Friday, June 04, 2010

UTMB Seniors Receive Graduation Awards

UTMB MS4s Audra Clos, Mike Rains and Marisol Albuerne (pictured left to right) received their dermatology graduation awards at the weekly dermatology journal club one day before graduation from medical school. Paul Houghtaling was also awarded but was unable to attend the dermatology departmental awards ceremony.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

UTMB SOM Class of 2010 Breaks Medical Student Dermatology Research Record

Four UTMB MS4s from the Class of 2010 completed their Dermatology Honors Research Projects this academic year, according to Dr. Simon Lewis, the head of this unique UTMB academic program that is available to non-MD-PhD UTMB medical students who are interested in a substantive dermatology research experience. The success of this program typically requires significant institutional and Departmental support and resources including the Institutional Honors Committee and IRB review efforts, faculty supervision time and departmental funding for materials, statistical design and analysis, if needed. The four UTMB MS4s completing the research program this year were Audra Clos (Summa Cum Laude), Doug Heiner (Magna Cum Laude), Jarad Levin (Magna Cum Laude), and Mike Rains (Magna Cum Laude). Congratulations to all for your record-breaking accomplishments this academic year!

Jarad Levin to Graduate with Magna Cum Laude Dermatology Research Honors on Saturday

UTMB MS4, Jarad Levin, successfully defended his Dermatology Honors Thesis entitled, “Presentation of Skin Cancers in Latin Americans as Related to Their Access to Healthcare” and was awarded Magna Cum Laude graduation honors. His dermatology faculty advisor on this research project was Dr. B. Kelly. Jarad’s ad hoc honors thesis committee members were Drs. Simon Lewis, Brent Kelly, Sharon Raimer and Richard Wagner. Congratulations to Jarad for a job well done!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Last UTMB Dermatology Honors Thesis of the 2009-10 Academic Year

All are invited to attend the 4th Dermatology Honors Thesis Research Presentation of the current academic year. MS4 Jarad Levin will discuss his original research entitled “Presentation of Skin Cancers in Latin Americans as Related to Their Access to Healthcare” in the Dermatology Conference Room at noon on Thursday, June 3rd. This is the first time at UTMB there have been more than three of these medical student Honors Research presentations from the same class in our Dermatology Department since the program was initiated in 2001 by Renee Solis Snyder, MD (currently in private dermatology practice, Austin, Texas). Please come join us to learn more about this interesting topic!