In the Know: SMPH Updates for November 25, 2020

Top news:

  • Our SMPH family is more than 8,000 people strong: staff, learners, and faculty who are pursuing our shared vision of healthy people and healthy communities. A word cloud of SMPH Shout-outs submitted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic paints a picture of thanksgiving, in our own words. See the image, and a message from Dean Golden, here. 
  • Patricia Kiley, PhD, professor and chair of biomolecular chemistry, has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is one of six fellows elected from the University of Wisconsin–Madison this year. Kiley was recognized for distinguished contributions to the field of microbial gene regulation, particularly for understanding the role of iron-sulfur and iron proteins in oxygen-dependent gene regulation. Read more 
  • Alan Bridges, MD, professor of medicine and chief of staff at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, has won the prestigious Veterans Health Administration (VHA) John D. Chase Award for Executive Excellence in Health Care. This award recognizes sustained executive leadership by an individual from any health care discipline. Read more 
  • Final reminder: MATRIX 2021 is accepting applications — with a deadline of December 1 — from SMPH faculty who have never been Principal Investigators in a R01-type grant or equivalent. Mentoring to Achieve Research Independence (MATRIX) is a mentoring program designed to help faculty members successfully land their first NIH R01 or equivalent grant. They are taking applications for both mentees and coaches. Read more 
  • Research update: In the spring of 2020, Miriam Shelef, MD, associate professor of medicine, began pivoting her studies to address the SARS-CoV-2 virus. With funding support from the Wisconsin Partnership Program, she established the COVID-19 Convalescent Biobank, a biorepository for blood samples from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19. This resource is being used by scientists throughout campus and beyond. Read more
  • Dean Golden issued a statement today about a controversial article published in Nature Communications by authors at New York University Abu Dhabi on the influence of gender in mentoring relationships in scientific fields. In response to the authors’ conclusion that informal mentorship by women is detrimental to the careers of both mentors and mentees, he said, “In SMPH, we affirm and promote the equity of all genders, including women. We will continue to engage in and improve practices, policies and programs that foster the inclusion and success of women in all of our missions.” Read more

Building an Anti-Racist SMPH 

  • On Monday, November 30, a panel of a moderated panel of local activists, scholars, and community members discuss the importance of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) movement and ways to grow your capacity to engage in activism and advocacy to center to needs and voices of Indigenous women. This online event begins at 6:00 p.m. Register


Please send kudos about your colleagues. Honor someone at and we’ll share the stories. Submit your thoughts and we’ll share them in a future issue.

“A huge shout-out to Vera Tsenkova, PhD, Director of Health Professional Student Research, for her outstanding leadership of the Shapiro Summer Research Program for medical students. The largely summer research program culminated in an exciting virtual half day research forum on November 23 where 161 students presented their research. The forum was attended by over 400 members of our SMPH community and ran smoothly thanks to her leadership and support from the school’s superb IT staff! Over the past year, Vera did an incredible job recruiting mentors and students and helping students match with faculty and staff mentors navigating restrictions caused by the pandemic to do robust remote research over the summer. With her team, including Dr. Pamela Kling and Kithy Elliott, and hundreds of mentors, medical students were resilient and tenacious as they gained new knowledge, driving projects and initiatives forward. They did some incredible research spanning many areas of investigation and discovery across diverse disciplines and focus areas. Hats off to Vera and all members of our school community who support outstanding student research!” ­­­– Elizabeth Petty, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs 

“The 19th Annual Medical Student Research Forum was held on Monday, Nov 23, and converting it to a virtual format was a challenge due to the large number of student presentations and participants. Instructional Technology Consultant Alexa Dorman was a key part of the success of the event, from the planning stages all the way to closing the last Blackboard presentation room. She answered my numerous questions and helped our students, faculty, and staff have a smooth experience with Blackboard Collaborate. I am very thankful for her patience and wisdom!” ­­­– Vera Tsenkova, PhD, Director, Office of Health Professional Student Research 

Wednesday Well-being Tip:

Using a “personal highlight reel” during hard times: This Harvard Business Review article discusses a method of giving and receiving positive highlights to lean on when going through a challenging time. This “Positive Method” helps remind you of times you were at your best.