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.

Afaf and facultySessions 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.

WIM- Davies 2013

2018 - 2019 Current Seminar Series

| sep | oct | nov | dec | jan | feb | mar | apr | may | jun |

*Note: FOCUS is in the process of planning additional presentations for the Seminar Series so please check here for updates.

SEPTEMBER 13, 2018 (Thursday)
, 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Smilow Center for Translational Research Building, 12th Floor, Seminar Room --SCTR 12-146AB (3400 Civic Center Blvd.)

Michael S. Parmacek, MD
Frank Wister Thomas Professor of Medicine
Chair, Department of Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

DOM Faculty Wellness Initiative

Dr. Parmacek will discuss the departmental SWOT analysis that led to a focus on faculty wellness. He will describe the findings of the DOM Wellness Steering Committee that includes faculty members, administrators, faculty from the Penn School of Design, leaders of the Penn Medicine Innovation Center and the Penn Medicine Academy. He will describe how equitable models of practice support were generated and departmental efforts to deconstruct our practices with the goal of returning 2 hours of time per day back to our faculty without reducing overall productivity. He will also discuss principles of human centered design which are guiding this project. Finally, he will encourage ideas and questions from the audience.


BIO: Michael S. Parmacek, MD is the Frank Wister Thomas Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He also serves as the Founding Director of the University of Pennsylvania Cardiovascular Institute. Dr. Parmacek graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and obtained his M.D. from Northwestern University Medical School. He performed residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan and Cardiovascular Disease fellowship training at Northwestern University. Following his clinical training, Dr. Parmacek performed a postdoctoral research fellowship in molecular cardiology at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Michigan. He was appointed to the faculty of the University of Michigan from 1987-1992 and the University of Chicago from 1992-1998, serving as Co-Director of the Cardiology fellowship training program. In 1998, Dr. Parmacek was recruited to the University of Pennsylvania as Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. During his tenure (1998-2014), Penn’s Cardiovascular Medicine division ascended to the top tier of national programs. In 2005, Dr. Parmacek was appointed as the Director of the newly established University of Pennsylvania Cardiovascular Institute. In 2014, Dr. Parmacek was appointed as the 25th Chair of the University of Pennsylvania Department of Medicine; the nation’s first Department of Medicine. Dr. Parmacek is internationally recognized for his pioneering research studies in cardiovascular cell and molecular biology. Over the course of his career, he has made multiple seminal discoveries which have impacted directly on understanding the molecular and genetic basis of congenital heart disease, aortic disease and atherosclerosis. He has published over ninety manuscripts in high-impact journals including Science, Cell and the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Parmacek was chosen as an Established Investigator by the American Heart Association and he was elected Fellow of the AHA, American College of Cardiology and American College of Physicians. He also served as President of the Association of Professors of Cardiology. Dr. Parmacek has been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the American Association of Physicians. In 2009, Dr. Parmacek was appointed by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services to the Advisory Council of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the NIH.

OCTOBER 25, 2018 (Thursday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Smilow Center for Translational Research Building, 12th Floor, Seminar Room - SCTR 12-146AB (3400 Civic Center Blvd.)

Douglas Wiebe, PhD
Professor of Epidemiology
Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Impact of the experimental kickoff run on concussion in Ivy League football

The kickoff return in football has been associated with a substantial number of concussions. In 2015 in the Ivy League, kickoffs accounted for only 6% of all plays but 21% of concussions. In response, Ivy League football coaches recommended a rule change that moved the kickoff line from the 35- to the 40-yard line and the touchback line from the 25- to the 20-yard line. The intention was to have more kickoffs land in the end zone thereby reducing the likelihood the receiving player will decide to advance the ball. However, moving the touchback line to the 20-yard line could cause receivers to try to advance the ball, thus possibly increasing the number of balls in play. We investigated whether the experimental rule change was associated with a change in concussion rates during kickoffs in Ivy League football.


BIO: Dr. Wiebe leads studies of how places, policies and the locations where people spend time have implications for injury risks and health. He is Director of the Penn Injury Science Center, one of 10 injury research centers funded by the CDC, and is director of a program funded by the Fogarty International Center at the NIH to build capacity for injury and trauma epidemiology in Botswana. His research on a range of injury epidemiology topics has been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Institute of Justice, and by an Independent Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Wiebe’s research includes focus on the management and prevention of concussion. He developed the “ReCoUPS” protocol, described in JAMA Pediatrics, which is being used to monitor pediatric and adult concussion patients in real time after sustaining a concussion to monitor daily symptoms, physician activity, and connectivity. Doing so is enabling investigations into whether physical rest and cognitive rest following concussion are helpful or harmful. This protocol also provides a way to give physicians daily reports on their patients, enabling treatment modifications to be made without requiring a follow-up visit in person. Dr. Wiebe also directs the Ivy League – Big Ten Epidemiology of Concussion. Seventeen universities participate in this multi-institution study, and deploy a surveillance system to monitor concussion in student athletes in 33 different sports. The study provides valuable opportunities to explore and assess the causes and consequences of concussions in sport, and findings are used to inform their management and opportunities for prevention. Dr. Wiebe teaches courses on epidemiologic methods and on the study of geography and health. He has received teaching awards including the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Basic Science Teaching. In 2017, Dr. Wiebe received the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics. He was awarded the 2017 Kenneth Rothman Prize for his recent study of daily activities and assault risks published in Epidemiology.

NOVEMBER 27, 2018 (Tuesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Smilow Center for Translational Research Building, 8th Floor, Seminar Room - SCTR 08-146AB (3400 Civic Center Blvd.)

Diane Jorkasky, MD, FACP
Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, Head of Development
Complexa Therapeutics

Title: to be announced


BIO: Diane Jorkasky, MD, serves as the Chief Medical Officer. She brings over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry across all phases of clinical research and development for a broad range of therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Complexa, Diane served as Head of Development and Chief Medical Officer at both Endo Pharmaceuticals and Aileron Therapeutics, Inc. She held Vice President level positions at Pfizer and SmithKline Beeham where she directed clinical translational development of early phase drugs. She was Chief of the Renal Division at Presbyterian Medical Center (Philadelphia, PA). Diane currently serves on the Board of Directors for OSE Immunotherapeutics (Paris, France), the Scientific Advisory Board of Sigilon (Cambridge, MA) and Alzheon (Framingham, MA) and the Strategic Advisory Board of BioMotiv. Previously, Diane was on the Board of Directors of Tengion Inc. and Q Therapeutics. She is also a member of the faculty at the University of California at San Francisco and Uniformed Service of Health Sciences Medical Schools. She serves on the executive committee of the American Course on Drug Development and Regulatory Science. Diane has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles and teaches internationally on drug development. She received her MD from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also completed her nephrology fellowship. In 2016, she was awarded the Elizabeth Kirk Rose Woman in Medicine Award by the University of Pennsylvania. She holds board certifications in clinical pharmacology, nephrology and internal medicine. Diane obtained her BA in Chemistry from the College of Wooster, where she was honored with the Distinguished Graduate award in 2013.

DECEMBER 11, 2018 (Tuesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: Smilow Center for Translational Research Building, 9th Floor, Seminar Room - SCTR 09-146AB (3400 Civic Center Blvd.)

Matthew Press, MD, MSc

Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine
Associate Medical Director, Primary Care Service Line
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Health Care Payment Reform: Stories from the Frontlines

Through a set of stories from his experience on both the delivery system and payer sides of health care, Dr. Press will examine new payment programs—such as ACOs, bundled payments, and medical homes—and their impact on health care in America.


BIO: Matthew Press, MD, MSc is the Associate Medical Director of the Penn Medicine Primary Care Service Line. In this role, he helps lead practice transformation and population health management across a network of 80 primary care practices in the University of Pennsylvania Health System. He is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at Penn, where he practices general internal medicine and is engaged in research in the areas of population health and payment reform. Prior to his current position, Dr. Press was a member of the senior leadership team at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation at CMS, where he helped develop and implement several new payment and care delivery models including ACOs, bundled payments, integrated mental health, and medical homes, as well as the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network, a national public-private partnership dedicated to health care payment reform. His work has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and Health Affairs and has been covered by the New York Times and the Associated Press. He received his MD from Brown University and completed his residency and the RWJF Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

JANUARY 28, 2019 (Monday)
, 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: To Be Determined

J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD
Executive Vice President, University of Pennsylvania for the Health System
Dean of the Perelman School of Medicine

Title: to be announced


BIO: J. Larry Jameson, M.D., Ph.D., became Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System and Dean of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine on July 1, 2011. Together, the two entities make up Penn Medicine, exceeding a $6.5 billion enterprise dedicated to excellence in the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and patient care. Founded in 1765 as the Colonies’ first medical school, the Perelman School of Medicine is now home to over 2,000 full-time faculty members and more than 3,500 students, trainees, residents, and fellows. The School receives nearly $750 million in sponsored program research. The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes multiple nationally ranked hospitals, a clinical network that includes primary care, a faculty practice plan, home care, hospice, nursing homes, and three multispecialty satellite facilities. Before coming to Penn Medicine, Dr. Jameson was Dean of the Feinberg School of Medicine and Vice President of Medical Affairs at Northwestern University, positions he held since 2007. He joined Northwestern University Medical School in 1993 as chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Molecular Medicine, a position he held for seven years. In 2000, he was named Irving S. Cutter Professor of Medicine and chair of the Department of Medicine. Dr. Jameson received his medical degree with honors and a doctoral degree in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina in 1981. He completed clinical training in internal medicine and endocrinology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Before leaving for Northwestern University, he rose through the ranks at Harvard Medical School to become an associate professor of medicine and chief of the Thyroid Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. A prolific physician-scientist and writer, Dr. Jameson has been a pioneer in molecular medicine in the field of endocrinology. His research has focused on the genetic basis of hormonal disorders and he is the author of more than 350 scientific articles and chapters. His work has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Genetics, Science, and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He is an editor of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, the most widely used medical text worldwide, and co-editor of Jameson and DeGroot’s Endocrinology, now in its 7th edition. Among his many professional distinctions and honors, Dr. Jameson was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest learned societies in academia, and the National Academy of Medicine, established to recognize professional achievement in the health sciences. He has been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, and as a Master of the American College of Physicians. He has served as president of the Endocrine Society and the Association of American Physicians. He has served as a member of the medical advisory board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and as a Director of the American Board of Internal Medicine. He currently serves on the Board of the Association of Academic Health Centers and is the incoming Chair of the Council of Deans at the Association of American Medical Colleges. Dr. Jameson has received many distinguished awards, including the Van Meter Award from the American Thyroid Association and the Sheen Award from the American College of Surgeons. The Endocrine Society has honored him twice: with the Ernst Oppenheimer Award, presented to a young investigator in recognition of meritorious accomplishments in basic or clinical endocrinology, and the Fred Conrad Koch Award, considered the highest honor bestowed by the Society in recognition of exceptional contributions to the field. From the American College of Physicians, Dr. Jameson received the Award for Outstanding Science and John Phillips Award for outstanding work in clinical medicine. As a visiting lecturer, he has been invited to present at leading institutions around the world.

FEBRUARY 25, 2019 (Monday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: To be determined

Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA, MS

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine
Assistant Professor of Health Care Management, The Wharton School

Nudge Units to Improve the Delivery of Health Care

Key information and important choices are constantly being presented in health care. Yet often the frames or default options used are selected without attention to strategic goals. Creating a nudge unit in a health care system can lead to consistently better decisions. This talk will review lessons learned from the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit, the world's first behavioral design team embedded within the operations of a health system.


BIO: Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA, MS is Director of the Penn Medicine Nudge Unit, the world’s first behavioral design team embedded within a health system. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Health Care Management at the Perelman School of Medicine and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Patel is on faculty at the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation and the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, and is a Staff Physician at the Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia. His research focuses on combining insights from behavioral economics with scalable technology platforms to improve health and health care. He has led more than 20 clinical trials in partnership with health systems, insurers, employers, and community organizations that tested ways to design nudges, incentives, and gamification to change clinician and patient behavior. This work includes digital health interventions using wearable devices and smartphones, and health system interventions using the electronic health record. Dr. Patel is Co-Director of the Wharton MBA Course on E-Health and the Perelman School of Medicine Course on Health Care Systems. He has received a Career Development Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs and a Clinical Scientist Development Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Dr. Patel’s work has been published in leading medical journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Health Affairs. His work has been featured in numerous media outlets including the New York Times, NBC Today Show, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Forbes, Bloomberg, Time, NPR and CNN.

APRIL 2, 2019
(Tuesday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: To Be Determined

Eugenia C. South, MD, MS
Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
and Presbyterian Medical Center

Your Neighborhood, Your Life

Your zip code may impact your health as much as your genetic code. In this talk, Dr. South will make the case for why place matters. She will present evidence for the beneficial health and safety impacts of place-based interventions, including vacant lot greening and abandoned house remediation.


BIO: Eugenia C. South, MD MS is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. South’s research focuses on how neighborhood context impacts health and safety in urban environments. She is interested in understanding the ways in which the physical attributes of where people live, work, and play influence chronic stress, cardiovascular and mental health, and violent crime. She has done a series of studies around vacant lot greening and health and safety outcomes, partnering with the Pennsylvania Horticulture Society to perform the first prospective experimental analysis of a community greening intervention. Her current work includes studying an abandoned house remediation strategy on chronic stress outcomes, evaluating a city of Philadelphia housing repair program on health and crime, and developing strategies to increase time spent outside in green space in low resource communities. Dr. South's work has been featured in national media outlets including NPR, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Washington Post, as well as multiple international media outlets. Dr. South is a board certified Emergency Physician, practicing at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Presbyterian Medical Center.

MAY 6, 2019
(Monday), 12:00 - 1:00 PM, Location: To Be Determined

Rinad Beidas, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Director, Implementation Research, Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, Perelman School of Medicine
Director, Implementation Science Working Group, University of Pennsylvania

Why should you care about implementation science? Applying principles of implementation science to your work across the continuum of research to practice

Implementation science, or the study of methods to improve the adoption, implementation, and sustainment of evidence-based practices, is relevant from bench to bedside. This presentation will review the basic principles of implementation science, including definitions, methods, design, and outcomes. I will also delineate how the principles of implementation science can be applied to treatment development, outcome research, and routine practices. I will conclude with a discussion on how implementation science can inform practical implementation efforts which endeavor to implement evidence-based practice in the service of improving patient, clinic, and system outcomes. The presentation will include information on resources both internal and external to Penn to engage in implementation science related work.


BIO: Dr. Beidas’s research group has two primary foci: (1) improving behavioral health and the quality of behavioral health services for traditionally underserved patients; and (2) advancing the study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practices into routine practice to improve the quality and effectiveness of health services (i.e., implementation science). Dr. Beidas is an established expert in implementation science; a recent social network analysis conducted by Norton and colleagues identified her as among the top 10 implementation science experts nationally. Dr. Beidas has published approximately 100 articles and is the co-editor of the only book published on EBPs in youth, Dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices in child and adolescent mental health. Dr. Beidas’s work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health continuously since 2012. Dr. Beidas is deeply committed to partnering with community stakeholders to understand the best way to implement evidence-based practices and improve behavioral health and health services across a variety of settings including community mental health, pediatric primary care, and schools. Further, Dr. Beidas and her group are invested in building capacity in implementation science and growing the next generation of implementation science investigators.Dr. Beidas holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from Colgate University and a doctorate of philosophy in psychology from Temple University. She is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of Pennsylvania. Dr. Beidas is a senior fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute and directs the Leonard Davis Institute’s Implementation Science Working Group. She is also an alumnus fellow of the NIH funded Training Institute in Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (TIDIRH), Implementation Research Institute (IRI), and the Child Intervention and Prevention Services (CHIPS) Fellowship. She is the recipient of a number of awards, including the ABCT President’s New Researcher Award in 2015; the American Psychological Foundation Diane J. Willis Early Career Award; and the Perelman School of Medicine Marjorie Bowman New Investigator Research Award in 2017.