- To support the advancement and leadership of women in academic medicine
- To promote education and research in women’s health
Lunchtime Seminar Series
FOCUS sponsors a Lunchtime Seminar Series that covers topics related to:
- women's health research
- professional development for academic physicians
- current medical issues ("hot topics" in health care)
This interactive one-hour format provides School of Medicine faculty with diverse perspectives on a variety of medical and career development topics; offers opportunities for faculty presentations to Penn colleagues from multiple departments and with various areas of academic expertise; and promotes networking within the School of Medicine, the Hospital, and across the University. The Seminar Series is popular and well-attended by men and women faculty.
Sessions on women's health research are presented by multidisciplinary speakers with expertise in a variety of women's health issues including, e.g., breast cancer, hormone replacement, osteoporosis, depression, obesity, lung cancer, and multiple sclerosis. The portion of the Series devoted to professional development includes such topics as time management, conflict resolution, negotiation, managing a laboratory, balancing work and family, presentation skills, financial planning, mentoring, writing for publication, and "promotion 101." Finally, a host of timely, controversial medical topics are presented in what is essentially a "Grand Rounds" for the Medical School. These sessions include such topics as concerns about the avian flu epidemic; the complexities of coping with medical malpractice; how to reduce the number of uninsured while balancing cost issues; the effects of sleep deficit; and autism spectrum disorder, to list a few.
Presenters generally include faculty from the School of Medicine as well as from other Schools across the University. Speakers may include anthropologists, bioethicists, economists, lawyers, medical historians, sociologists, psychologists, as well as physicians and researchers, all of whom offer fresh perspective to a broad range of medical and professional development topics.
2013 - 2014 Current Seminar Series
*Note: FOCUS is in the process of planning additional presentations for the Seminar Series so please check here for updates.
Kevin G.M. Volpp, MD, PhD
Staff Physician, Philadelphia VA Medical Center
Director, Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, Leonard Davis Institute
Co-Director, Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation
Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine
Professor of Health Care Management at Wharton School
Behavioral Economics and Health
Dr. Volpp will describe ways in which behavioral economics differs from standard economics in delineating ways in which people are predictably irrational and the implications for intervention design before talking about choice architecture and the use of defaults, health incentives and benefit design, and the use of wireless devices and behavioral economics engagement strategies through automated hovering.
BIO: Dr. Volpp’s work focuses on developing and testing innovative ways of applying insights from behavioral economics in improving patient health behavior and affecting provider performance. He has done work with a variety of employers, insurers, health systems, and consumer companies in testing the effectiveness of different behavioral economic strategies in addressing tobacco dependence, obesity, and medication non-adherence. These studies have been funded by the National Institutes of Aging as well as the National Heart Lung, Blood Institute; the National Cancer Institute; the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders; the CDC;VA Health Services Research and Development; the US Department of Agriculture; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the Hewlett Foundation; the Commonwealth Foundation; the Aetna Foundation; Mckinsey; CVS Caremark; Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield; Humana; Aramark; and Discovery (South Africa).
NOVEMBER 14, 2013 (Thursday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Smilow Center for Translational Research Building, 11th Floor South Tower Seminar Room --SCTR 11-146AB (3400 Civic Center Blvd.)
Amita Sehgal, PhD
John Herr Musser Professor of Neuroscience
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Fun Facts about Sleep and Other 24h Rhythms
The talk will describe, in very general and basic terms, how an internal timing system drives rhythms of behavior and physiology, how this system coordinates its timing to that of environmental cues (light and food), and what the consequences might be of disruption to this system. The talk will also discuss the regulation of the drive to sleep, and possible functions of sleep. The focus will be on prevailing ideas and models in the field, rather than on data from the Sehgal laboratory.
BIO: Dr. Sehgal is the John Herr Musser Professor of Neuroscience and co-Director of the Penn Medicine Neuroscience Center at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. She has also been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1997. Dr. Sehgal received her Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Cornell University, working with Dr. Moses Chao, and conducted her postdoctoral work with Dr. Michael Young at Rockefeller University. A major focus in her laboratory is the cellular and molecular basis of circadian rhythms, using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. Her laboratory also developed a Drosophila model for the study of sleep, which has been adopted by laboratories worldwide, and is rapidly providing insight into the regulation and function of sleep. Dr. Sehgal has received many awards and honors for her work, including the Michael Brown Junior Faculty and Stanley Cohen Senior Faculty Research Awards from Penn Medicine, and the Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the Sleep Research Society. In 2009, Dr. Sehgal was elected to the Institute of Medicine and in 2011 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
NOVEMBER 18, 2013 (Monday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Penn Tower Conference Room, Bridge level
(*Reserved for women only, please)
Lucy Wolf Tuton, PhD
Director of Professional Development, FOCUS
Adjunct Professor, Department of Medicine
Adjunct Professor, Prevention and Population Health Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
Associate Director, University of Pennsylvania Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program
Executive Director, Bridging the Gaps
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
The Work-Life Challenge -- Tapping into the Wisdom of Others
This interactive session offers participants an opportunity to share concrete strategies for addressing the challenge of what can sometimes feel like competing priorities.
*The FOCUS WIM SERIES
A mini-series reserved for women in academic medicine to address personal and professional challenges and opportunities.
BIO: Lucy Wolf Tuton, PhD serves as Executive Director of Bridging the Gaps, a program linking the training of health professionals with the provision of health related service for vulnerable populations. The program is jointly administered by eight academic health centers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey. Bridging the Gaps provides health related service in underserved communities while training community responsive health and social service professionals. The Philadelphia Bridging the Gaps Program has developed a Bridging the Gaps Clinical Scholars program which is made up of the Bridging the Gaps Community Health Internship Program, Bridging the Gaps Seminar Series and Bridging the Gaps Clinical Program. At the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Tuton is Adjunct Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Prevention and Population Health in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology. She is the Director of Professional Development for FOCUS on Health & Leadership for Women, a program which promotes both advocacy, education and research in women’s health and the advancement of women in academic medicine. Dr. Tuton is a co-investigator on the NIH RO1, “Achieving Success for Women & Academic Medicine: A Randomized Multi-level Trial,” one of only 14 grants awarded to examine causal factors and interventions that promote women's careers in science and medicine. She is also an Associate Director of the University of Pennsylvania Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and in this capacity, she is co-leader of both the community and leadership curricular components.
DECEMBER 16, 2013 (Monday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Penn Tower Conference Room, Bridge level
Angela Lee Duckworth, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology
School of Arts & Sciences
University of Pennsylvania
True Grit: Why Effort is as Important as Talent
In this presentation, Dr. Duckworth provides an overview of the importance of effort to human achievement. She reviews evidence that grit, defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals, is unrelated to talent yet predicts success outcomes. The presentation concludes with suggestions for cultivating grit in b oth children and adults.
BIO: Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Angela studies non-IQ competencies, including self-control and grit, which predict achievement. Prior to her career in research, Angela founded a summer school for low-income children which was profiled as a Harvard Kennedy School case study and, in 2012, celebrated its twentieth anniversary. Angela has also been a McKinsey management consultant and a math teacher in the public schools of San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New York City. Angela completed her undergraduate degree in Advanced Studies Neurobiology at Harvard. With the support of a Marshall Scholarship, she completed an MSc with Distinction in Neuroscience from Oxford University. She completed her PhD in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania under the supervision of Martin Seligman. Angela’s research has demonstrated that grit, defined as the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals, predicts success particularly well in challenging contexts. For instance, in prospective longitudinal studies, grit predicts surviving the arduous first summer of training at West Point and reaching the final rounds of the National Spelling Bee, retention in the U.S. Special Forces, retention and performance among novice teachers, and graduation from Chicago public high schools, over and beyond domain-relevant talent measures such as IQ, SAT or standardized achievement test scores, and physical fitness. Her current research on grit focuses on its cognitive and motivational antecedents (e.g., growth mindset, need for meaning and purpose). Angela’s research has also pointed to the importance of self-control, defined as the voluntary regulation of behavioral, emotional, and attentional impulses in the face of momentary temptations. For example, more self-controlled children earn higher report card grades, even controlling for baseline performance, relative to their more impulsive peers. Likewise, self-control predicts higher standardized achievement test scores, more reliable school attendance, better physical health, and fewer risky behaviors. In collaborative work with schools and other psychologists, Angela has demonstrated that simple metacognitive strategies can improve emotion regulation, classroom and studying behavior, and objective measures of academic performance (e.g., report card grades, attendance). In addition to field interventions, her current work on self-control focuses on situational influences on self-control in both children and adults. Angela’s publications have appeared in Psychological Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Developmental Psychology, the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, Social Psychology and Personality Science, among other peer-reviewed journals. Her research findings have reached a broader audience through popular press features in the New York Times Magazine, Psychology Today, Boston Globe, National Public Radio, Forbes, Education Week, the Chronicle of Higher Education, PARADE magazine, as well as several books including Paul Tough’s influential bestseller “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character.” Angela was awarded an early career award from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science (APS).
JANUARY 16, 2014 (Thursday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Penn Tower Conference Room, Bridge level
Rexford S. Ahima, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Director of Obesity Unit, Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Director of Diabetes Research Center Mouse Phenotyping Core
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Much Ado about Obesity
Obesity is characterized by excessive fatness associated with increased risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, fatty liver, sleep apnea, cancer and other diseases. Research aimed at improving the assessment of body fat, taking into account factors such as age, sex, physical fitness, blood markers and metabolic parameters, will help determine the true impact of obesity on disease susceptibility and death.
BIO: Dr. Ahima is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a BSc from the University of London, MD from the University of Ghana, and PhD (Neuroscience) from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. After an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Jacobi Medical Center, in New York, Dr. Ahima moved to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, for subspecialty training in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, and postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Flier. Dr. Ahima served as an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard prior to moving to Penn in 1999. He received an Owl Club Teaching Award at Tulane University School of Medicine, Leo Davidoff Award at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Pfizer Postdoctoral Award at Harvard Medical School, and the Albert Stunkard Founder's Award at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ahima is board certified in Internal Medicine, and Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians, and a fellow of the American College of Physicians, and The Obesity Society. Dr. Ahima serves on review committees of the National Institutes of Health, and is a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. He is a past associate editor of Gastroenterology, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and is currently a co-editor of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences Year in Diabetes and Obesity, and associate editor of Molecular Endocrinology. His research is focused on central and peripheral pathways involved in energy homeostasis, and glucose and lipid metabolism. Dr. Ahima is an attending endocrinologist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, director of the Obesity Unit of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, and director of the Penn Diabetes Research Center Mouse Phenotyping Core.