Medical School Monthly Newsletter

May Intro Letter

Jakub Tolar

Last Scope we asked you to guess the average number of Medical School-related emails received by faculty weekly. The answer is 52 (guesses ranged from 12-450).

The conversation about the number of emails, newsletters, and other communications we send is one we need to have throughout the Medical School. In the next Scope, I will share some of the strategies Medical School Communications are pursuing to help.

Thank you to the 961 people (10% of recipients) who completed the Dean’s Message survey! Responses:

  • Answers came from staff (43%), faculty (40%), learners (16%), and others (1%)
  • People read the message: sometimes (56%), always (35%), and never (9%).
    • Those who sometimes read the messages mainly do when information is “something I am interested in” (58%).
    • The majority of people who always read the messages think they are “good” (55%).
    • The people who never read the messages are evenly divided between “doesn’t interest me” and “not enough time” (21%).
  • People overwhelmingly want to read about “future directions of the Medical School” (80%). 

                                                                                             The survey information will help shape future monthly Dean’s messages. Thanks!



  • Essentia Health Endows Professorship in Duluth

    The University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus recently received a $1M gift from Essentia Health to create and fund the Essentia Health Professorship in Medical Education.  The gift is intended to support a professorship with the aim of becoming the next leader of the regional campus. Endowed professorships are also impactful in the successful recruitment of candidates with expertise in regional medical education. READ MORE>>

  • Celebrating our Graduates: John Cahir

    On May 6, our Medical School Class of 2022 will graduate as MDs! To celebrate this milestone, we talked with John Cahir about his non-traditional journey to practice medicine. While reflecting on his time at the U of M Medical School, Cahir says proudly: “The thing that the U of M does potentially better than any other medical school in the country is that they care about making great doctors,” noting, “Dr. Bob Englander, Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education, is incredible.” READ MORE>>

  • Lift as you Climb

    Better patient outcomes start with better healthcare equity. Dr. Lonzale Ramsey Jr., assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, cites The Ladder program at M Physicians Broadway Family Medicine Center as part of his reason for choosing the U of M for residency and subsequently choosing to stay on as a faculty member and vice-chair for the Ladder's Board of Directors. READ MORE>>

  • Who Heals the Healers?

    The much-anticipated TPT + CFAM collaboration, "Art + Medicine: Speaking of Race" has finally aired and is sure to broaden perspectives and spark important conversations. This powerful piece features many faculty faces you will be sure to recognize as physicians from across departments and systems share their learned and lived experiences on race in healthcare. WATCH NOW>>

  • Beyond Recovery with Dr. Cole Pueringer

    We love hearing the inspiring stories of how our faculty and learners chose the path of medicine. Dr. Cole Pueringer shares his journey to becoming an addiction fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Pueringer's lived experience with alcohol addiction and depression, as well as his subsequent journey to wellness, is why he's choosing to specialize in addiction medicine. LEARN MORE>>

  • The Science of Sleep with Dr. Michael Howell

    "That's not who I am." Allan and his wife Barbara were distressed and alarmed when Allan began hitting out in his sleep. They were happy to get help from Dr. Michael Howell, who diagnosed Allan with REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), which was identified by U of M researchers in the 1980s. People with RBD lose the switch in their brainstem that keeps them immobile during active dreaming. Learn more about this story here.

Pursuing Excellence

  • Dr. Kris Hogquist

    Dr. Kris Hogquist (associate director of the Center for Immunology) was just elected to the National Academy of Sciences for her brilliant research on T-cell development in the thymus. Congratulations!

  • Ajibola Opakunle

    Ajibola Opakunle, a first year student in the Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics PhD program, received the 2022 Minnesota TRIO Achiever award! This award recognizes TRIO alumni throughout MN who have gone on to make significant contributions to their career field, area of study, and community. Aji is an alum of the St. Olaf TRIO Upward Bound, SSS and McNair programs.

  • Dr. Alexandra Zachwieja

    Dr. Alexandra Zachwieja (Biomedical Sciences) was recently awarded a $4.01M grant from the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Broad Agency for a project titled "Defense Resiliency Platform Against Extreme Cold Weather (DRP)". The project will model future climate change scenarios for at-risk Alaskan coastal communities. 

  • Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

    The Department of Family Medicine and Community Health has been having one heck of a year! After being ranked #2 in the nation for NIH funding and #4 for US News and World Report rankings, they've also been recognized as the Spring 2022 Outstanding Unit Award for Equity and Diversity by the Office of Equity and Diversity. 

  • Dr. Michael Lipscomb
    Dr. Michael Lipscomb, a new faculty member in the Dept of Pharmacology brings his expertise and an R35 MIRA award to his research into mechanistically describing the immunoregulatory network(s) that govern the differentiation and function of antigen-presenting myeloid cells. His goal is to translate this work into better patient therapies.
  • Dr. Allison Holt

    Congratulations to Dr. Allison Holt (Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences) Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, Physician Chief of the Behavioral Health Service Line, who received the 2019-2022 Presidential Service Award from the Minnesota Psychiatric Association.


  • Creative Collaborations + Alumni

    Creative collaborations take us to the next level. Two PhD graduates of the U of M program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Joe Martin and Jacob Steere-Williams, published an opinion piece in the Washington Post about new ways to think about COVID modeling. They combined the history of physics (Martin) and of epidemiology (Steere-Williams) to write "Models predicting COVID’s end are uncertain. But they’re still useful." READ MORE>>

  • MS All School Forum

    Did you miss the session on "Cultivating Mindfulness" led by Mariann Johnson of the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing at our last All-Medical School Forum? If so, make sure to watch it on our MediaSpace page. Also, make sure to join our next forum on Wednesday, June 1 at 9:30 a.m. RSVP HERE>>

Funding Opportunities


Upcoming Events

  • Upcoming Events- May 2022

    Open to MS faculty/staff/students. Check out our TC Events Calendar page for more!


    Expand all

    Dr. William Krivit Lectureship in Pediatrics May 11 7:30-8:30 A.M.

    The 21st Dr. William Krivit Lectureship in Pediatrics is pleased to announce that Dr. Paul Harmatz, Pediatric Gastroenterologist from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital will be this year's guest speaker at Grand Rounds.  This special lectureship series has the goal of promoting ongoing education around genetic and metabolic diseases. 

    Global Surgery Benefit at Surly Brewing May 14 6-9 P.M.

    The Global Surgery and Disparities Program (UMGSD) invites you to attend their Global Surgery Benefit at Surly Brewing! Come listen to live music, play games, participate in the silent auction, and eat great food- all while benefiting the great work that UMGSD does for patients and learners.


    Najarian Symposium, May 20 7:30 AM-3:00 PM

    Come celebrate the larger-than-life legacy of Dr. John Najarian for CME credits with an evening gala. 

    Learn more and register for this event here!

    Boots on the Ground Conference May 13 8:30 A.M.- 4:00 P.M.

    Boots on the Ground Conference, a virtual event sponsored by the Medical Discovery Team on Addiction and the Twin Cities Recovery Project, will feature White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and Former US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, and other experts as they discuss effective ways to address the disparities in substance use disorder faced by African Americans.


    Faculty Assembly State of the Medical School June 14 12:00-1:00 P.M.

    The Faculty Assembly State of the Medical School is an annual, integral event for the Medical School. Faculty and staff are invited to hear about the future of the University and Medical School from Provost Croson, Dean Tolar, and vice deans from across Twin Cities and Duluth campuses.


    Honoring the Memory of George Floyd May 25 12:25-1:00 P.M.

    Two years have passed since the death of George Floyd, and our Medical School community plans to commemorate the anniversary with a moment of silence in addition to student, faculty and leader remarks on how we will advance the critical work enacted over the past two years.

    In the case of inclement weather, the event will take place in the Mayo Auditorium. The event will also be livestreamed on U of MN Medical School Facebook page.


    SciPride and SciPride Social 2022 June 8 3:30-5 P.M.

    3:30 - 5 p.m. | The Bell Museum
    In honor of Pride Month, the Bell Museum and schools and centers across the U of M will celebrate the scientific contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community to the University. Starting Wednesday, June 8, we will celebrate Pride and showcase the work of LGBTQIA+ scientists and engineers online. Also on June 8, we will host the SciPride Social, an in-person event to support networking and build community among LGBTQIA+ researchers and allies, from 3:30-5 p.m., at the Bell Museum. Light refreshments will be served. More details and RSVP info coming soon!