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News Briefs

For immediate use

April 24, 2006 -- No. 223


Grimes to receive lectureship, award
for preventive medicine, public health work

Dr. David Grimes is this year's recipient of the John Atkinson Ferrell Lectureship and Award for outstanding contributions in preventive medicine and public health.

The lectureship is sponsored by the Preventive Medicine Residency Program in the UNC School of Medicine's department of social medicine and honors an outstanding physician with ties to the university or the state. The program was established with a bequest from Dr. John Atkinson Ferrell to UNC to further the field of preventive medicine.

The lecture will take place at 4 p.m. May 10 in the Ibrahim Seminar Room, 1301 McGavran-Greenberg Hall.

Grimes is a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and a fellow at UNC's Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. He also is vice president for biomedical affairs at Family Health International in Research Triangle Park. His research interests include intrauterine devices (IUDs), emergency contraception, Cochrane reviews in family planning and research methods. He also is one of a small number of physicians nationwide who is board-certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and preventive medicine.


Roberts to deliver George Armstrong Lecture
at Ambulatory Pediatric Association meeting

Dr. Kenneth B. Roberts, a professor in UNC's School of Medicine, has been selected to deliver the George Armstrong Lecture at this year's annual meeting of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association in San Francisco.

Roberts will deliver his lecture on child health services in communities without university or children's hospitals on Sunday (April 30). He is a professor in the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program within the UNC School of Medicine's department of pediatrics. He also directs the pediatric teaching program for the Moses Cone Health System in Greensboro.

The lectureship is named in honor of Dr. George Armstrong, an 18th-century English physician who established the first dispensary for children in London in 1769. He is considered one of the fathers of modern pediatrics, and those who deliver this lecture also are honored as outstanding teachers and contributors to the knowledge and care of children.

Previous Armstrong lecturers have included four U.S. surgeons general, former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and several other major figures in medicine, including Dr. Benjamin Spock.


School of Medicine professor appointed
to National Commission on Digestive Diseases

Dr. Robert S. Sandler, professor and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at UNC's School of Medicine, has been appointed to the newly created National Commission on Digestive Diseases.

Sandler is one of 16 experts nationwide appointed to the commission by Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health. The commission is charged with conducting an overview of research in digestive diseases and developing a strategic plan for the next 10 years of NIH digestive diseases research. It will hold its first meeting June 12.

"The new members of the National Commission on Digestive Diseases bring a wealth of expertise in both basic and clinical digestive diseases research that will not only help NIH review the current state of its research, but ultimately lay the groundwork for research for the next decade and beyond," Zerhouni said.

The commission is made up of 16 members who are appointed by the NIH director. They have broad expertise as members of academic or medical research and practice communities that are involved in digestive diseases research and patient-oriented organizations or have close personal or family experience with digestive diseases.


Finkel to receive award honoring
accomplishments in headache medicine

Dr. Alan G. Finkel, director of the University Headache Clinic at UNC Hospitals, will receive the John R. Graham Senior Clinicians' Forum Award at the American Headache Society's annual scientific meeting in Los Angeles June 22 through 25.

Finkel is being honored for his commitment to establishing credentialing (accreditation of programs and certification of individuals) for the subspecialty of headache medicine.

Finkel is an associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine's department of neurology. He also is a member of the board of directors of the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties.

The John R. Graham Senior Clinicians' Forum was established in 1989 as a feature of the American Headache Society's annual meetings. The candidate is chosen by the society's president and executive committee for his or her international leadership in research and education in the field of headache.


Sartor, Shaheen elected to leadership positions
in American Gastroenterological Association

Two professors in UNC's School of Medicine have been elected to leadership positions in the American Gastroenterological Association.

Dr. Balfour Sartor, Margaret W. and Lorimer W. Midgette distinguished professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, has been elected vice chair of the Immunology, Microbiology and Inflammatory Bowel Disease Section of the AGA.

Dr. Nicholas Shaheen, associate professor, has been elected vice chair of the Clinical Practice Section, which is the largest of the sections within the AGA. Shaheen also is an adjunct professor of epidemiology in UNC's School of Public Health.

They will serve four-year terms, two years as vice chair and two years as chair. They also will serve as members of the AGA Council, which arranges and conducts the scientific program at the annual meeting, conducts scientific symposia and clinical education programs throughout the year, develops position statements for clinical practice, and provides input and recommendations to the governing board and other committees.

In addition, Dr. Robert Sandler, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, will become vice president of the AGA in May. He will be vice president for one year and then president-elect for a year, before becoming president of the association for a one-year term in 2008.

The American Gastroenterological Association is the largest and most prestigious professional organization in gastroenterology. Founded in 1897, the association is the oldest medical-specialty society nationwide, and its more than 14,500 members include physicians and scientists who research, diagnose and treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and liver.

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UNC School of Medicine contact: Stephanie Crayton, (919) 966-2860 or
UNC News Services contact: Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415 or