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2011 - 2012 Seminar Series (Archived)

Sports Related Concussion: New Rapid Sideline Tests

While our knowledge of symptoms associated with sports-related concussion has evolved immensely in recent years, the tools for objectively measuring and reporting the signs and symptoms remain insufficient. As such, there is an unmet need for a test or composite of tests that can quickly and accurately diagnose concussion in sports. In recent studies of collegiate athletes, boxers and MMA fighters, the King-Devick (K-D) test, a simple test of rapid number naming, was shown to be a reliable and accurate method for identifying athletes with concussion. The K-D test is based on the detection of impaired eye movements and saccades, a finding that indicates suboptimal brain function. Investigations are ongoing to further examine the K-D test and other rapid sideline measures as tools to complement current diagnostic assessments for sports-related concussion.

Laura J. Balcer, MD, MSCE
Professor of Neurology, Ophthalmology, and Epidemiology
Senior Scholar, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Steven L. Galetta, MD
Ruth Wagner Van Meter and J. Ray Van Meter Professor of Neurology
Vice Chair, Neurology and Director, Neuro-Ophthalmology
Associate Dean for Admissions
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Date: September 23, 2011 (Friday)
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Location: Penn Tower Conference Room, Bridge level

Laura J. Balcer, MD, MSCE is a Professor of Neurology, Ophthalmology and Epidemiology. She received her medical degree in 1991 from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Following a residency in neurology at Penn, Dr. Balcer’s postgraduate training included a clinical fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology in 1996 and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Epidemiology in 2000, also at U. Penn. During the past 10 years, Dr. Balcer’s research has focused on the development of effective clinical visual function tests for clinical trials in multiple sclerosis (MS) and their relation to structural markers of axonal and neuronal loss in the anterior visual pathway using optical coherence tomography (OCT).  Dr. Balcer’s work has identified low-contrast letter acuity (light gray letters on a white background) as a simple yet sensitive visual outcome.  As a result of Dr. Balcer’s work, two pivotal phase 3 MS trials included this test as a tertiary endpoint (Balcer L.J., et al.  Neurology 2007; 68:1299-1304) and showed, for the first time, that low-contrast letter acuity can capture treatment effects and clinically meaningful changes.  Most if not all recent and ongoing MS trials now include low-contrast letter acuity.  Dr. Balcer leads a three-center collaboration with MS experts at Penn, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas.  Data from these collaborative studies support a potential role for ocular imaging as a complement to low-contrast acuity testing in demonstrating axonal loss over time in MS clinical trials.  OCT measures the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer, a unique structure within the central nervous system that consists of unmyelinated axons.  Dr. Balcer’s research has taught us that retinal nerve fiber layer thinning, a marker for axonal degeneration, is a strong correlate of visual loss in MS and emphasizes that axonal loss is a major contributor to visual impairment in MS.  Dr. Balcer and her collaborators have taken on leadership roles in the design of ongoing clinical trials in MS and acute optic neuritis that have incorporated low-contrast acuity and OCT imaging.  As a result of Dr. Balcer’s investigations, the next generation of therapies for MS will likely use the anterior visual pathway as a model for determining efficacy. Dr. Balcer’s team’s expertise has been recently sought by groups of investigators to test new potential diagnostic and management tools for sports-related concussion.  A recent study of the King-Devick test, a measure of rapid number naming, was published in Neurology.

Steven Galetta, MD is currently the Van Meter Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, Director, Neuro-Ophthalmology Services; Residency Director, Department of Neurology. Dr. Galetta received his MD from Cornell University Medical College. He then completed his neurology residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and his neuro-ophthalmology fellowship at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami. Dr. Galetta has served on the editorial board for the journals Neurology, Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology, and the American Journal of Neuro-Radiology. He is co-author of the textbook, Neuro-ophthalmology: Diagnosis and Management. In 2004, he was named the American Neurological Association’s distinguished teacher of the year. He was also named the Robert J. Glaser Alpha Omega Alpha distinguished teacher of the year by the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2004. In 2008, he received the Parker Palmer award from the ACGME. Dr. Galetta has been involved in various capacities in a large number of clinical trials and has over 200 original publications concerning clinical, radiologic and research aspects of multiple sclerosis and neuro-ophthalmology.

Special PENN Event Reserved Penn Women Faculty*

The Influence of Women on Science

Come celebrate the life and achievements of Madame Marie Sklodowska-Curie. In honor of the 100th Anniversary of Marie Curie's Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Penn is hosting an exhibit which highlights her lifetime achievements and her remarkable impact on science and women in science.

Join your colleagues for a special viewing of the exhibit, cocktail reception and discussion.

(Special Keynote Speaker)

M. Celeste Simon, PhD

Scientific Director and Investigator
Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology

Date: December 6, 2011 (Tuesday)
Time: 6:00 - 7:30 PM
Location: PCAM Atrium (Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, 3400 Civic Center Boulevard)

Please RSVP for this special event at the following link.
Questions about this event can be directed to: Regina McDermott

* This event is being jointly sponsored by the following:

Hosted by:
Lynn M. Schuchter MD, Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology
Steve Hahn MD, Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology
Nick Bryan, MD, Chair, Department of Radiology

In partnership with:
FOCUS on Health & Leadership for Women
The Penn Forum for Women Faculty

See pdf invite

Special Event Reserved for Penn Women Faculty*


Time Management in the Electronic Age

Marjorie A. Bowman, MD, MPA
Professor and Founding Chair, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health
Director, Center for Public Health Initiatives
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Date: December 16, 2011 (Friday)
Time: 12:00 - 1:30 PM
Location: The Hourglass Room, 2nd Floor, The Inn at Penn (3611 Walnut St)

Please RSVP directly for this event to:

* This event is being jointly sponsored by:

The Penn Forum for Women Faculty
FOCUS on Health & Leadership for Women

Reproductive Risks and Fertility Preservation Options for Young Women with Cancer

This presentation will review the reproductive risks associated with cancer therapies and options for having a family after cancer therapy. The risks and success of techniques including embryo cryopreservation, oocyte cryopreservation and ovarian tissue cryopreservation will be discussed. In addition, important findings from ongoing Oncofertility research at Penn will be highlighted.

Clarisa R. Gracia, MD, MSCE
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Division
University of Pennsylvania Perelman SOM

Date: February 15, 2012 (Wednesday)
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Location: Seminar Room 252, BRB II/III (Biomedical Research Building, 421 Curie Blvd.)

BIO: Clarisa Gracia, MD, MSCE, is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist at the University of Pennsylvania Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She has been a member of the ASRM Fertility Preservation Special interest Group (FPSIG) and a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine since 2004. Dr. Gracia has practiced as a reproductive endocrinologist at Penn Fertility Care since 2004 and has a particular interest in reproductive aging and Oncofertility. She received her medical degree from State University of New York at Buffalo and completed her residency and fellowship and received a Master of Science Degree in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Gracia is the director of the Fertility Preservation program and has clinical hours dedicated to caring for newly diagnosed cancer patients and cancer survivors for counseling regarding fertility preservation and for the treatment of the long term reproductive and endocrine complications associated with cancer treatments. Dr. Gracia is the principal investigator on experimental protocols at Penn for oocyte and ovarian tissue cryopreservation, in addition to conducting 2 ongoing prospective cohort studies studying the acute and long-term reproductive effects of cancer therapies. She has been a recipient of NIH funding, including: an individual K01 award as part of the Oncofertility consortium roadmap grant (Oncofertility Consortium NIH RR024926), an R03, and an RO1 in the area of Oncofertility. In addition and complementing the studies in cancer patients, Dr. Gracia has been involved in studies assessing ovarian function in otherwise healthy women approaching the menopausal transition. Dr. Gracia is a co-investigator in the Penn Ovarian Aging Study: a longitudinal study that has been ongoing for 12 years assessing symptomatic and hormonal changes during the menopausal transition. She hopes to better understand the process of reproductive aging to expand the reproductive options for women.

Tweeting 140 Characters or Less to Improve Health and Health Care in the Digital Age

  • A broad overview of social media and mobile media tools
  • Who are social media users? How are they using these tools and why is it so popular?
  • Cool examples of integration of social media tools in public health emergencies
  • Lessons from the field: social media projects at Penn
  • What's on the horizon? Far-out examples of how these tools may be used in the future

Raina Merchant, MD, MSHP
Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Date: February 22, 2012 (Wednesday)
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Location: Penn Tower Conference Room, Bridge level

BIO: Raina Merchant, MD, MSHP received her undergraduate degree from Yale University. She attended the University of Chicago for medical school and completed her residency in Emergency Medicine. As a resident, she served as chief and completed a resuscitation fellowship. Following residency, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania and concurrently earned a Masters of Science in Health Policy. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and a senior fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. She also has an appointment in the Office of Policy and Planning; in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response-Department of Health and Human Services.  Dr. Merchant currently serves on the American Heart Association (AHA) Emergency Cardiovascular Care, Research Working Group and the AHA Cardiopulmonary Critical Care, Periorperative and Resuscitation Council Leadership Committee as the early career representative. Her research is focused on resuscitation science and improving outcomes from cardiac arrest. Specifically she studies 1) diffusion of innovation and new media in resuscitation and 2) translation of research to policy. In the in-hospital setting, she is studying best practices for improving cardiac arrest care. In the pre-hospital setting, she is identifying communities at risk for cardiac arrest and evaluating unique strategies for optimizing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and automated external defibrillator AED availability. In this context, she is the Director of the MyHeartMap Challenge- a social media and crowdsourcing project aimed at improving AED access and awareness. She also runs a Twitter lab which analyzes thousands of tweets related to resuscitation, critical care, and public health/policy.

Transforming Pediatric Preventive Care: New Models

The Tailoring Pediatric Preventive Care Project aims to change the “one-size-fits-all” approach to pediatric health supervision to better meet individual child and family needs. Supported by the Commonwealth Fund, we developed an evidence-based family psychosocial risk instrument that uses 13 items easily available from parental report to sort children into different levels of risk. The instrument has discriminatory capacity comparable to the Framingham Heart Index and we are currently field-testing a computerized version of the instrument in the Suffolk County population as part of a community health worker home visit intervention. The next step is to conduct a multi-site demonstration project where this instrument will be used by clinicians to tailor pediatric preventive care to children at varying levels of risk.

Susmita Pati, MD, MPH
Chief, Division of Primary Care Pediatrics
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
State University of New York at Stony Brook & Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital

Date: March 30, 2012 (Friday)
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Location: Penn Tower Conference Room, Bridge level

BIO: Susmita Pati, MD, MPH is a pediatrician and health services researcher who joined Stony Brook Children's Services in November 2010 as Division Chief of Primary Care Pediatrics and Associate Professor of Pediatrics. Dr. Pati earned an AB cum laude in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard-Radcliffe College, a MD from the University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine, and a MPH in Epidemiology from Columbia University School of Public Health. She completed her pediatric residency, chief residency, and general academic fellowship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Prior to joining Stony Brook, Dr. Pati was Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Dr. Pati provided key leadership at CHOP as the Senior Co-Director of PolicyLab (a center to bridge research, practice, and policy) and at Penn as the Director of Research Programs for FOCUS, the Dean’s program to promote, recruit, and retain women faculty at the School of Medicine. Over the past decade, Dr. Pati has mentored nearly 30 trainees at the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels. In addition to her pediatric practice, Dr. Pati specializes in health services research, examining the impact of public policy on the health of underserved children and families. Supported by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Commonwealth Fund, Dr. Pati's research projects examine predictors of Medicaid retention, the relationship between maternal health literacy and child health outcomes, and methods to tailor pediatric health supervision to individual needs. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Medical Center Nursery School in northern Manhattan.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: No Rhetoric, Just the Facts

Wondering what is really in the Affordable Care Act? Get the facts. Learn what the health care law means for our patients, our families and our practices.

Valerie A. Arkoosh, MD, MPH

President of the National Physicians Alliance
Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Critical Care
Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

Date: April 20, 2012 (Friday)
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Location: Penn Tower Conference Room, Bridge level

BIO: Dr. Valerie Arkoosh is the President of the National Physicians Alliance, a multispecialty physician organization founded to promote health and foster active engagement of physicians with their communities to achieve high quality, affordable health care for all. She is a member of the Board’s Executive Committee and chairs the organization’s Secure Health Care For All Campaign. Dr. Arkoosh holds the Master of Public Health degree, with a concentration in Health Policy, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her policy work focuses on ways to provide access to health care for uninsured Americans with a particular emphasis on the impact and implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Dr. Arkoosh received the Doctor of Medicine from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and a B.A. in economics from Northwestern University. Dr. Arkoosh is Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Arkoosh’s medical practice has centered on the care of the high-risk obstetric patient during labor and delivery. Her research has focused on drugs and devices using the spinal route of administration to produce labor analgesia. Dr. Arkoosh is an examiner for the American Board of Anesthesiology and an elected member of the Association of University Anesthesiologists. She has won several resident teaching awards. Dr. Arkoosh has served as President of the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP), an organization focused on the provision of optimal care to women during labor and delivery. Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania, she was Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at Drexel University College of Medicine. Dr. Arkoosh also has an avid interest in improving maternal and infant health in developing countries. She has participated in three medical missions to Kenya with Operation Smile and facilitated the development of SOAP’s International Outreach Program.

Opportunities and Challenges for Women Faculty on the Academic Clinician Track: Multiple Perspectives*

(*Reserved for women only, please)

A panel discussion for women faculty about the Academic Clinician (AC) track including:
Avoiding clinical burnout, finding rewarding professional development and maintaining successful work-life balance on the AC track.

Date: May 7 , 2012 (Monday)
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Location: Seminar Room 251, BRB II/III (Biomedical Research Building, 421 Curie Blvd.)


Susan C. Day, MD, MPH
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
Department of Medicine
Division of General Internal Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

Aba Yvonne Barden-Maja, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
Department of Medicine
Division of General Internal Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

Tracey L. Evans, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
Department of Medicine
Division of Hematology-Oncology
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

Sara B. Kinsman, MD, PhD, MSCE
Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
Department of Pediatrics
Division of Adolescent Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

Laura M. Kosseim, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
Department of Medicine
Division of General Internal Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

A mini-series reserved for women in academic medicine to address personal and professional challenges and opportunities. Tap into a most valuable resource: the collective wisdom of your peers. Whether it be tips on cleaning services, day care, or on negotiating salary, come with ideas and questions to strategize with a group of your colleagues.