April 8, 2016

Vanderbilt University


In the News:


Chancellor reviews a year of dialogue, change and renewed energy at Spring Faculty Assembly

In his Spring Faculty Assembly address, Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos provided an overview of a year in which the university’s Academic Strategic Plan began implementation, the university and Medical Center moved toward establishing separate financial and legal entities, researchers advanced knowledge in a wide variety of fields, and the university examined what community looks like at Vanderbilt.  The university and Medical Center will emerge from a restructuring period ready to launch the next fiscal year in a strong strategic and financial position, the chancellor told faculty…The transition into separate entities, expected to be completed this year, has provided more flexible, nimble corporate structure for VUMC, the freedom VUMC needs to access debt markets for growth, and the ability to secure predictable funding for basic biomedical research and education, Zeppos said. MORE

Pietenpol named to NCI Blue Ribbon Panel

Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., B.F. Byrd Jr. Professor of Oncology and director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC), has been selected to serve on a Blue Ribbon Panel that will inform the scientific direction and goals at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Pietenpol is among 28 scientific experts, cancer leaders and patient advocates on the Blue Ribbon Panel that will serve as a working group of the presidentially appointed National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) to provide scientific guidance from leaders in the cancer community. MORE

Wilson receives National Science Foundation CAREER Award

John T. Wilson, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development award. The five-year, $500,000 grant – Engineering Polymeric Nanomaterials for Programming Innate Immunity – will allow Wilson to develop new synthetic materials for “encoding” immunological messages and tightly regulating their delivery to the organs, cells, and pathways of the immune system. The Faculty Early Career Development awards are considered NSF’s most prestigious honor for junior faculty members. MORE

Charles represents VUMC at White House Rural Telehealth gathering

Last week, David Charles, M.D., chief medical officer of the Vanderbilt Neuroscience Institute, vice-chair of the Department of Neurology and medical director of Telemedicine, represented Vanderbilt University Medical Center at a White House Convening on Rural Telehealth. Charles was invited to lead off a panel entitled Spotlight on Innovation by presenting an overview of the future of telemedicine and the success of VUMC’s Telemedicine program. According to the White House, the event was held to build on the administration’s ongoing commitment to expand access to opportunity through quality, affordable health care. The event highlighted the essential role of telehealth in reaching high-need rural families and communities. MORE

Three students recognized by Goldwater Foundation

Three Vanderbilt University students have been recognized in this year’s Goldwater Scholars competition. Marie Armbruster and Jarrod Shilts have been selected as Goldwater Scholars, and Sirui Ma has been awarded an honorable mention. Each year Vanderbilt’s Office of Honor Scholarships has the opportunity to nominate up to four outstanding sophomore and junior students in the math, science and engineering fields for scholarships awarded by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. These one- and two-year scholarships contribute up to $7,500 per year toward educational expenses. This year, 252 scholars were selected…MORE

VIDEO: Ariel Helms: Searching for a diabetes discovery

Sometimes our ancestors can hold keys to our future. For Vanderbilt senior Ariel Helms from Oklahoma, twists and turns into her past, including a long-kept family secret, led to her passion for discovery in a Vanderbilt lab. MORE

Brazilian government losing respect of citizens quickly: LAPOP

Respect for political institutions in Brazil was low and trending downward even before a 2016 that so far includes a recession, the Zika virus, the collapse of a mining dam and a sweeping political crisis. In data collected in 2014, citizens of Brazil scored 48.2 degrees on a 100-degree scale in the Respect for Political Institutions category. Only Jamaica scored worse (44.1 degrees). In 2010, the respect level was 57.5 degrees. It fell to 53 degrees in 2012 and then 48.2 degrees in 2014. The Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) develops, implements and analyzes the AmericasBarometer public opinion surveys. LAPOP data and reports are available to interested researchers at the LAPOP website. LAPOP covers 28 nations including all of North, Central and South America as well as a significant number of countries in the Caribbean. [USAID has provided major support for LAPOP.] MORE

Charter school grads stay in college, earn more money: study

Students who attend charter high schools are more likely to graduate, go to college and stay in college than students who attend traditional public high schools. This is according to the first large-scale study of the effects of charter schools on earnings in adulthood, conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of education and human development, Georgia State University and Mathematica Policy Research. Most studies in this field have found little to suggest that charter schools promote positive test scores, on average, across an entire state, even though some charter schools produce substantial test-score gains. The new study suggests the possibility that charter high schools are endowing their students with skills that test scores do not capture, like those that promote success in college and career. MORE

Commodores hire Bryce Drew to lead basketball program

Vanderbilt University has hired Bryce Drew as head men's basketball coach, Athletic Director David Williams announced on Wednesday. Drew becomes the ninth Commodore basketball coach of the modern era and 27th all time.  Drew, a three-time Horizon League Coach of the Year and two-time NABC District 12 Coach of the Year, comes to the Commodores after a five-year stint at Valparaiso, where he averaged 25 wins a season, won four regular season championships, and made four postseason appearances, two in the NCAA Tournament and two in the NIT, with the Crusaders.  In his five seasons at Valparaiso, Drew compiled a 124-49 overall record and in 2016, led the Crusaders to a 30-7 overall record, the most wins in program history, and a berth in the NIT. Drew, the most decorated player in Valparaiso men's basketball history, spent the six seasons prior to his hiring as head coach in May of 2011 as a member of the Valparaiso coaching staff, helping the Crusaders win 102 games. MORE


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