Dean’s Message – Fall 2018

Dean’s Message – Fall 2018

Holiday greetings from Creighton University School of Medicine. It is my pleasure to share with you some highlights from fall 2018 at our school. 

This fall we welcomed our largest-ever M1 class of 167 students. The increased number is due to expansion of our opportunities in Phoenix. The quality of our students is exceptional, and we are not sacrificing quality for quantity.

In Phoenix news, Creighton announced the construction of a new health sciences campus in midtown Phoenix. The building is expected to be completed in spring 2021 and will include the nursing programs, a four-year medical school, occupational and physical therapy schools, pharmacy school, physician assistant school and emergency medical services program.

Additionally, it was announced that Jacqueline Chadwick, MD, would be the inaugural vice provost for the Creighton University Health Sciences Phoenix Regional Campus. Chadwick will continue in her role as executive director of the Creighton University Arizona Health Care Alliance.

While Phoenix continues to be a big story for us, it’s worth reiterating that we are not closing or otherwise compromising our medical school in Omaha. The Phoenix campus will complement what is currently offered in the health sciences here in Nebraska. This is a great opportunity for Creighton University and the School of Medicine.

In faculty news, we’ve recently welcomed several new department chairs and leadership team members: Mike Del Core, MD, associate dean for education; Michael Kim, MD, MMM, FACC, FAHA, FHRS, professor and chair, Department of Medicine; Randall Pritza, MD’87, associate dean for clinical affairs; Charles Youngblood, MD’02, MBA’15, chair, Department of Anesthesiology. We are grateful to have them with us.

Meanwhile our faculty scientists are doing outstanding work. I am proud to share some research highlights from the last few months of funding in what is a very competitive environment. As the dean of the School of Medicine, it is gratifying to see our faculty at the forefront of research.

  • The chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Jian Zuo, PhD, recently earned a Navy (ONR) grant for $698,400 that focuses on identifying novel factors that promote regeneration and maturation of new sensory hair cells in deaf animal models. 
  • A new NIH-funded project led by Laura Hansen, PhD, professor of biomedical sciences, is designed to test a new agent, Pro-NPTM, which delivers antioxidant enzymes into the skin, for its ability to prevent oxidative damage and skin cancer following sun exposure.
  • Shashank Dravid, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology, is the lead investigator on a new five-year, $1.88 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study brain cell communications. Read more.
  • David Zhi-Zhou He, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, recently received an R01 grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders to research the causes of age-related hearing loss. Read more.
  • Jason Bartz, PhD, professor in the medical school’s Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology earned a five-year, $2.44 million grant to look more closely at prion proteins’ link to infection. Read more.
  • Devendra Agrawal, PhD, professor and chair in the Department of Clinical and Translational Science, was awarded a $3.52 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the possible inflammatory role of fat around hearts.

Lastly, the holiday season is a time reflect on our lives with a renewed sense of gratitude. I am grateful for the gifts you share with our Creighton family. I wish you and your loved ones a joyous holiday season and new year filled with special memories.

Robert ‘Bo’ Dunlay, MD’81
Dean, School of Medicine


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