Wake Forest Baptist September Awards and Recognitions

September 30, 2013

Wake Forest Baptist Professor Named Graduate Program Director for Biomed Program

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – September 30, 2013 – Emmanuel Opara, Ph.D., professor at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, has received a two-year appointment as graduate program director for the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences at the Winston-Salem campus. In addition, Opara will serve on the school’s dean’s committee.

Opara will work with the school’s leadership to administer program activities including managing student support, recruiting, increasing diversity, and developing new models of scholarship and curriculum delivery. Opara is a member of the Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering (MTE) study section of the National Institutes of Health. He designed and was founding co-director of a program linking the biomedical engineering program at Illinois Institute of Technology with the University of Chicago Medical School.

Opara’s research focuses on the bioartificial pancreas and ovary. He is a graduate of the University of Surrey, England, and earned his doctoral degree at the University of London.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Student Wins Travel Fellowship in Tropical Medicine

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – September 30, 2013 – Wake Forest School of Medicine student Chelsea Canon has won a 2013 Benjamin H. Kean Travel Fellowship given by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Awarded annually, the fellowship supports medical students involved in clinical or research electives in tropical areas, and provides airfare and as much as $1,000 in living expenses for fellowship projects that take place in areas where tropical diseases are endemic. The award is named after the late Benjamin H. Kean, MD, founder of the tropical medicine program and professor of clinical tropical diseases and public health at Cornell University.

For her fellowship project, Canon surveyed physicians about the human papillomavirus and the potential for a vaccination program in Mangalore, India.

“After my experience in India this summer, I believe that global health is not only needed in small, rural areas in need of basic health care, but that there are also opportunities to help train local physicians to provide sustainable health care,’’ Canon said. “The Kean Fellowship has inspired me to continue on toward my goal of working in global health.’’

Wake Forest Baptist Professor Chosen as Physician Assistant of the Year

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – September 30, 2013 – L. Gail Curtis, P.A.-C., MPAS, associate professor and vice chair of physician assistant (PA) studies at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, is the recipient of the 2013 PA of the Year award from the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA).

The PA of the Year award honors a physician assistant who has demonstrated exemplary service to the profession and the community, providing significant contributions to the health of the citizens of North Carolina.

Curtis joined the Medical Center in 1985 and also serves as director of pre-clinical education. Her clinical practice is in family and community medicine.

Honored with the NCAPA’s Outstanding Service Award in 2010, Curtis has been an active member of the organization since 1986. On the national level, Curtis has served for more than 20 years in the House of Delegates of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). For the past three years she has been a house officer, and this summer was elected as vice president/speaker. The AAPA named her as a Distinguished Fellow in 2008.

Media Relations

Shannon Putnam: news@wakehealth.edu, 336-713-4587

Mac Ingraham: mingraha@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-3487