Bridging Science, Health and Community



White Coats Ceremony
August 7
Honors & Recognition

During the past few weeks, many students and faculty have been recognized for their work. With so many honors and recognition items, we invite to you to view them all here.
This & That


Construction Progress

Construction on our new building was started on February 13 and has a projected completion date of February 2016. Keep watching for updates as progress continues.



Calendar Whiz


To better communicate the myriad of events, lectures, programs and activities that are underway, we are creating a process to utilize the calendar on the COM Website. Information from each unit should be submitted no later than the 15th of the each month to be posted for the following month. If you already have your 2015-2016 calendar determined, please forward that information. Changes or edits can be submitted at any time. Please designate a member of your staff who provide this information for the upcoming academic year (4/15-6/16.) Please send all event dates and designated personnel name to Georgia Smith at Any questions may be directed to Georgia as well. Click here to access the calendar.



NIH News: Optimizing the Impact and Sustainability of Biomedical Research

An important, recurring discussion topic is ways in which to maximize the impact and sustainability of NIH-funded biomedical research. In 2011, a Rock Talk post on managing NIH's budget in fiscally challenging times solicited many comments and led, in part, to an NIH-wide policy on special council review for applications from principal investigators who have more than $1 million in NIH funding. We have also implemented new programs that provide more stable support for investigators over longer time periods. A more recent example of the "maximizing impact and sustainability" theme is an NIGMS Feedback Loop post that discussed ideas for how to optimize the biomedical research ecosystem. 



A New Grant Aims to Help Young Medical Researchers Jump-Start Their Careers


The average age at which American medical researchers receive their first major grant from the National Institutes of Health is frustratingly, persistently high. So three leading philanthropic groups are attempting to step in and support young medical researchers early in their careers.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Simons Foundation announced a $150 million grant program designed to counter tight NIH budgets. The new grant, to be known as the Faculty Scholars competition, will provide five-year nonrenewable awards ranging from $100,000 to $400,000 per year.



The Miami Winter Symposium

The Miami Winter Symposium (MWS) will take place on Jan. 24-27, 2016, at the downtown Miami Hyatt Regency Hotel. This year's topic will be "Inflammation."  The Miami Winter Symposium is truly an international event, with enthusiastic acceptances from five awardees as well as other renowned speakers in the field. We will provide updates on registration as soon as a web site is live.

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Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, Florida 33431
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Inaugural Class Graduates


On Friday, April 24, family, friends, faculty and dignitaries gathered as 53 members of the inaugural class received their Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degrees. "This is a landmark moment for Florida Atlantic University," said President John Kelly. "This first graduating class will excel in their careers in medicine and prove noble ambassadors for the university and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine."



"This is an exciting day for the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine," said keynote speaker Dr. Darrell Kirch, President and CEO of the Association of American Medical Colleges. "As the inaugural class, you have led the way for the students who will follow. You have developed student organizations, established relationships between the College of Medicine and your community, and were integral to the accreditation of this school. You should be so proud of everything you have accomplished."


"We are deeply indebted to the Schmidt Family Foundation and we can't think of anyone more deserving than Dick Schmidt to receive the President's Distinguished Service Medallion," said David J. Bjorkman, M.D., M.S.P.H., dean and executive director of medical affairs. "We are especially proud that he is receiving this well-deserved recognition during our medical school's finest hour."


HOSA Receives Two Awards

at the SOAR Banquet


Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) received FAU's Boca Raton campus New Student Organization of the Year award, and FAU's Boca Raton campus Student Organization Advisor of the Year award at the FAU Council of Student Organizations (COSO) Student Organization Awards and Recognition (SOAR) banquet on April 19.



Anthony Campbell, President of HOSA at FAU, congratulated members and supporters, "as we start the new academic year, we look forward to raising our standards, reevaluating our goals and surpassing this year's accomplishments. Additionally, none of the accomplishments in our short 10 months of existence would have been possible without the encouragement and guidance of our advisor, Dr. Ira Gelb," said Campbell.  In recognition of his integral role in the formation of HOSA and for his commitment and service to the organization, Dr. Gelb was awarded the "FAU Boca Raton campus Student Organization Advisor of the Year."

Honors & RecognitionHonorsRecognition




President John Kelly and Provost Gary W. Perry hosted the University's 46th annual Honors Convocation on April 15. The ceremony recognized the University's most outstanding students and faculty. Among the awardees were Andrew Oleinikov, Ph.D., Michael Dennis, M.D., student Camilla Silva Castro. "Honors Convocation is a long-standing and important tradition," said Perry. "This ceremony allows us to spotlight the academic excellence of our best faculty and students."


Alumni "Degree of Difference" Award

Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine- Dr. Andrew Oleinikov


FAU Board of Trustees Service Award

Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine - Dr. Michael Dennis


Undergraduate Researchers of the Year

Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine - Camilla Silva Castro









The Employee Service Awards took place on April 22. Congratulations to the following recipients for their outstanding support and continuous service at FAU.


5 Years

Dr. Michelle Lizotte-Waniewski

Dr. Joseph Ouslander

Dr. Ewa Wojcikiewicz


10 Years

Ms. Sandra Albrecht

Dr. Michael Friedland

Dr. Charles Hennekens

Dr. Peter Holland

Dr. Ceylan Isgor

Dr. Stuart Markowitz

Ms. Ashia Milligan

Dr. Gary Rose

Dr. Rui Tao


15 Years

Dr. Vijaya Iragavarapu




Thank you to the following participants for their participation in the blood drive on Tuesday, March 31.


Kenan Ashouri

Patrick Barrett

Mitchael Cheng

Taylor Dickson

Daniel Daroszewski

Anamaria Duvnjak

Nathaniel Forman

Tim Fitzgerald

Elsa Gonzales

Eithan Haim

Neha Hippalgaonkar

David Karpe

Ryan Klimar

Elaine Lin

Cole McCarty

Michael Migita

Shannon Morris

Ingrid Penate

Cara Reitz

Trevor Reitz

Robert Robinson

Mariselis Salazar

John Saydi

Lauren Shapiro

Deborah Soong

Alan Stein

Erica Vormittag


Autumn Wojack







Each year, Humana South Florida sponsors a paid preceptorship for four to six weeks for three medical

students who have declared an interest in primary care medicine during the summer between their first and second years of medical school. The program is funded through the Humana SFL Senior Product Health Services budget. This year's recipient is Danielle Klein, whose preceptorship will be located at Continucare in Broward County. Pictured is Danielle (R), along with Eduardo De Castro of FIU (L) and Anita Singh of Nova (C), at the Terry G. Smith Memorial Preceptorship awards ceremony on March 30.






Students donate on behalf of faculty member M2 students thank Mario Jacomino, M.D., M.P.H., for his dedication as the Foundations of Medicine course director for two years, and for preparing students for their clinical years.


"Since he spent two years teaching us to 'do for others' and to be compassionate and empathetic to our patients, we thought the most fitting gift was a donation to a charity in his honor," said M2 student, Janelle Nassim. The students donated more than $300 in honor of Dr. Jacomino to the UNICEF organization to provide de-wormer tablets, vaccines, micronutrient tablets, soccer balls, and anti-malarial drugs, to children in need.






Lisa Oliveri (MS4) and Lauren Spoo (MS3) (pictured) traveled to Tallahassee on March 12 under the auspices of the Florida Medical Association to meet with 

legislators at the Capital. During their visit, Lisa and Lauren toured the capital and met with several legislators including State Sen. Maria Sachs (pictured) and State Rep. Bill Hager, to discuss current legislative topics relating to the current and future practice of medicine. 




Saba Tamjidi, a master's degree student in Dr. Nouri-Shirazi's

laboratory, presented her research entitled "Selected TLR agonists improve the ability of nicotine-exposed dendritic cells to generate effector T cells," which was awarded "Outstanding Scientific Poster Presentations" at the Florida International University's 2015 Annual Biomedical and Comparative Immunology Symposium. The 17th annual symposium hosted more than 200 participants over the course of two days from institutions including the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Alberta, and the University of Rochester.





Palm Beach doctor and affiliate faculty, John Strasswimmer, M.D., Ph.D., was honored for charitable work in the Palm Beach Daily News as a recipient of the presidential citation from the American Academy of Dermatology.




M1 students recently visited the 7th graders at Carver Middle School in Delray Beach to host a nutrition session on April 16. "It went really well and everyone had a blast," said M1, Neha Hippalgaonkar.



Students were taught about GI anatomy and food groups and were provided with a brochure at the end of the session to take home to their families. Outreach activities such as these are a vital part of our student's medical education because they learn about the importance of giving back to the community in which they practice.