People and Programs On the Move at University of Arizona Health Sciences

July 19, 2016

UA and Banner Welcome Neonatologist Dr. Shalin Patel

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Department of Pediatrics and Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center welcome new faculty member Shalin Patel, MBBS, MPH, MD, assistant professor, to the Division of Neonatology.

As a neonatologist, Dr. Patel will provide care for high-risk newborns with critical clinical conditions, prematurity and birth defects, and provide care for other newborns in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Diamond Children’s.

Dr. Patel received his medical degree from C.U. Shah Medical College (Surendranagar, India). He completed his pediatrics residency at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker MD School of Medicine (Kalamazoo, Mich.). He then went on to complete a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center (Memphis). Additionally, Dr. Patel completed an MPH in health care administration from Benedictine University (Lisle, Ill.).

Dr. Patel conducts quality-improvement projects and clinical research. His areas of interest include growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes in very low birth weight infants, antibiotic management and quality improvement in reducing perioperative complications. Dr. Patel is board certified in general pediatrics and board eligible in neonatal-perinatal medicine.

UA Pharmacy Professor Receives 2 NIH Grants of More than $3 Million to Study Arsenic

Donna Zhang, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, is the principal investigator on two new R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health that will provide more than $3 million for her research.

The first project, “Nrf2, Autophagy and Arsenic Carcinogenesis,” will investigate the detailed mechanism by which arsenic causes lung cancer. In turn, this will allow investigators to identify markers of exposure to identify populations at risk of developing arsenic-induced lung cancer, as well as to develop tailored therapies for the individuals who already have developed the disease. This project is funded by grant number 1R01 ES0268745, NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, for $1.7 million over five years.

The second project, "Arsenic, Nrf2 and Autophagy Dysfunction in Type II Diabetes," will investigate the molecular mechanisms by which arsenic alters the proteotoxic and oxidative stress responses to determine if these alterations aid the onset and progression of diabetes. This project is funded by grant number 1R01 DK109555, NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, for $1.9 million over five years.

Dr. Zhang also is a member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center's Cancer Prevention and Control unit and of the UA BIO5 Institute.

Medical Technology Business with Ties to UAHS Wins Arizona Innovation Challenge

Tucson-based medical device startup Salutaris Medical Devices Inc. (SalutarisMD®) has been awarded the 2016 Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC) grant, sponsored by the Arizona Commerce Authority.

SalutarisMD®, a medical device company that treats vision loss, was the only Southern Arizona company recognized with the award. The company has developed a novel, minimally invasive instrument and procedure for delivering radiation to the eye to treat wet age-related macular degeneration. This technology was invented by Russell Hamilton, PhD, DABMP, professor of radiation oncology and head of the physics section of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, and a member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Also, several SalutarisMD scientific advisers have appointments at the UA Cancer Center, the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and its Department of Radiation Oncology and Department of Ophthalmology.

A panel of expert judges evaluates applications and assesses each on a set of criteria, including technology potential, marketing strategy, quality of management team and economic impact. This business plan competition awards capital to talented, innovative start-up and early-stage companies to develop their business.

SalutarisMD plans to use the award to support manufacturing and export distribution. “It is immensely gratifying to see this technology on the cusp of commercialization,” said Dr. Hamilton. “This has the potential to be a transformative intervention and I’m looking forward to our continued progress.”

UAHS BioCommunications Photographer Receives 2016 Fellowship Award

John “Jeb” Zirato, chief medical photographer at the University of Arizona Health Sciences BioCommunications, received a 2016 BCA Fellowship Award and emeritus membership from the BioCommunications Association (BCA) at its annual meeting in New Orleans in June. Fellowship in BCA is granted "for distinguished craftsmanship and meritorious contribution to the advancement of media in the life sciences." Zirato was honored for his ambition, intelligence and accomplishments spanning a career that began in 1981. He also was honored with emeritus membership for his contributions toward advancing knowledge through his work in medicine and the life sciences.

Zirato has been instrumental in establishing and maintaining comprehensive and professional photographic services for the health professionals, faculty and researchers at UAHS. In 2002, he was recognized by his peers with the UA staff service award. He has worn many hats during his 35-plus years of service at UAHS BioCommunications, working his way to his current role as chief medical photographer. He is a mentor within UAHS BioCommunications and at the BCA association, working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure quality and success. In 2005, Zirato received certification in Total Body Photography, a certification standard for the photography of the dermatological condition of living human patients, and has since directed two TBP Certification workshops, as well as taken on numerous other roles supporting the annual BCA meetings. A member of the BCA for more than 30 years, he has served two terms on the BCA Board of Governors, two terms as Certification Committee Chair, BioImages Salon Chair, and served on the Endowed Fund for Education (EFFE) committee, where he has been both committee member and chair. Although Zirato retired from UAHS BioCommunications in 2014, he still works part time in the role of chief medical photographer, managing the photography section.