Dentistry—wrote the accompanying editorial. Legro is a professor of obstetrics and gynecol- ogy at Pennsylvania State University in Hershey, Pa.
Sherwood grabs his jump kit and disappears down
Levi Downs (MD ’94), assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecol- ogy, and women’s health at the University of Minnesota, is glad there is now a vaccine to pre-
accept elk steaks or other services as payment.
Anita Courcoulas (General Surgery Intern ’89, Surgery Resident ’95, Pediatric Surgery Fellow ’96, Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellow ’00) leads Pitt’s Division of Minimally Invasive Bariatric and General Surgery. Courcoulas studies the outcomes of bariatric surgery through several National Institutes of Health grants. Because of several common side effects— including nausea, dehydration, mood change, hair loss, and excess skin—she says it’s important that research- ers continue to delve into these areas. She serves as principal investigator on a longitudinal study of bariat- ric surgery in children. The methodology paper on the study came out in April.
During his residency at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, Richard Legro was inspired by David Guzick, Magee’s director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at the time, who shared his love of medical research. When Legro (Obstetrics and Gynecology Resident ’91) published a paper in The New England Journal of Medicine this year examining the common treatments for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), he was pleased to see that Guzick—now dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and
vent women from contracting human papilloma- virus (HPV), which causes most cervical cancers. But he notes the vaccine won’t help women who already have the virus and are susceptible to cervical cancer. He is investigating ways to shut down the proteins in HPV that cause the growth of new blood vessels that feed tumors. He experiments with RNA interference to stop the mechanism.
Doug Schuerer (MD ’95), an assistant professor of surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, researches a number of common problems that trauma surgeons see there, such as ATV and hunting accidents and blood infec- tions. He has been named medical director of trauma at Barnes–Jewish Hospital and says he enjoys trauma surgery because it allows him to operate on the whole body. In January, he advocated for a Missouri bill proposing fines for drivers who don’t wear seat belts. He and his wife, Nickie Kolovos (MD ’96)—spotlighted in our Fall 2006 “The Way We Are”— expect their first child in July.
Meghan Holohan & Chuck Staresinic
all over the world, including typhoid, trypanosomiasis, schistosomiasis, malaria, dengue fever, visceral leishman- iasis, and Japanese encephalitis, to name a slew. Playtime was also an adventure. “I was lucky enough to be able to visit many of the remote parts of Nepal, kayak its rivers, and spend time with well-known members of the climbing and adventur- ing community,” he writes. Today, Springer is chair of the emergency department in a rapidly growing private-venture hospital in Beijing. His outdoor pursuits now take him to remote Mongolia, where, “Instead of Nepali tea and coconut biscuit, it is alcoholic fermented mare’s milk and dried, rock-hard cheese.” Where will Springer be in a few years’ time? Good question. He is looking forward to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. But his son plans to begin college this year in Colorado. Better note Springer’s location in pencil, not ink. —Chuck Staresinic & Katie Hammer A Brahman offers blessings to Springer (in blue) before the doctor kayaks down the Kali River along the western border of Nepal.
THE WAY WE ARE
CLASS OF ’97
S herri-Ann Burnett Bowie (MD ’97) is an instructor of medicine in Harvard Medical School. During her work on her MPH at Harvard, which she earned in 2005, Burnett Bowie noticed that often people with vitamin D deficiencies couldn’t process insulin as well as other people. So she is pursuing a study that will explore the connec- tion between the two disorders. In 2005, she won the Massachusetts General Hospital Physician-Scientist Award and in 2006 she was a Chester Pierce Research Society Speaker at the hospital. Burnett Bowie says the problem-based learning sessions in medical school were great preparation for her work in endocrinology.
Pitt also prepared Devin Brown (MD ’97) for her career at the University of Michigan as a physician- scientist. As medical students, Brown and classmate Teresa Smith (née Jacobs, MD ’97) investigated the prevalence of primitive reflexes in healthy young adults to aid clinical evaluations of neurological dis- ease. These infantile reflexes do not typically persist into adulthood, unlike, sa , the sneeze reflex. But they are common in patients with frontal lobe lesions, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease. In 1998, the duo published their paper in Neurology with the help of former Pitt neurologist Laurie Knepper (MD ’85). Today as an assistant professor of neurolog , Brown studies sleep apnea in stroke patients.
As the training director of the Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response and assistant pro- fessor of emergency medicine at Johns Hopkins Universit , Ed Hsu (MD ’97) travels throughout the world evaluating medicine and public health problems in disaster-prone areas.
Hsu has worked with physicians and healthcare professionals in many nations, training doctors to handle medical situations following emergencies.
One month after classmate Brian Klatt (MD ’97) completed his tour as an attending orthopaedic surgeon in the U.S. Air Force, he visited Nepal and met some of Hsu’s colleagues who were helping the Nepalese plan for emergency care during earthquakes. Klatt served for five months in a field hospital at Camp Anaconda in Balad, Iraq, north of Baghdad, where he stabilized U.S. soldiers for transport to Germany and performed surgeries for Iraqis. During that time, though there were only three orthopaedists at the camp, more than half of the 1,200 surgeries the doc- tors performed were orthopaedic.
Klatt now works as a fellow in adult reconstruction at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. When we spoke with him, he was organizing his class’s events for Medical Alumni Weekend. —MH