People and Programs ‘On The Move’ at UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson

Jul 24, 2020
Recent notices include appointments for curricular affairs, licensing, sleep medicine, research and student mental health, plus national awards for mentorship, diversity and pancreatic cancer studies.

TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson has announced significant new appointments, promotions, honors, awards and other notable items in recent weeks, including:

Dr. Janet Corral Joins College as Associate Dean for Curricular Affairs

Janet Corral, PhD, has joined the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson as the new associate dean for curricular affairs and associate professor of medicine. She reports to Vice Dean for Curricular Affairs Kevin Moynahan, MD.

Dr. Corral arrived in April from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where she served as co-director of curriculum reform for undergraduate medical education and senior director of digital education innovation across two campuses. She also served as director of the Teaching Scholars Program.

Author of more than 100 peer-reviewed presentations and publications, Dr. Corral has received numerous awards for her contributions to academic medicine, including the 2017 ASPIRE award from the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) and the 2009 Young Leader in Medicine Award from the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada. She is an executive board member of Best Evidence Medical Education, an international collaboration of AMEE.

Prior to her position in Colorado, Dr. Corral served at the University of Calgary, where she led one of Canada’s earliest medical school eLearning teams and was a key organizer in many related Canadian national curricular and assessment initiatives. Learn more here.

GI Chief Wins Mentorship Award from Gastroenterology Group

UArizona’s Juanita Merchant, MD, PhD, received the 2020 Distinguished Mentor Award from the American Gastroenterological Association. A professor and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Dr. Merchant is a cancer biology program researcher at the UArizona Cancer Center, an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and a renowned physician-scientist who has advanced the understanding of gastric response to chronic inflammation and colon cancer.

“I would like to thank the AGA for selecting me as this year’s recipient,” Dr. Merchant said. “I am most humbled by the Distinguished Mentor Award because it means I have been recognized by individuals I have trained and whose careers I have significantly impacted. I also am most grateful to those who opened doors for me, several of whom have received this same prestigious award.”

Established in 2004, this mentorship award honors individuals for achievements as outstanding mentors over a lifelong career. In addition to her own role as mentor, many of Dr. Merchant’s trainees are faculty members in institutions throughout the world who also have stimulated young learners to pursue careers in science.

College Recognized for Diversity and Inclusion

A faculty advisory committee assembled by the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion was recognized by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine with its Inspiring Affinity Group Award. The Faculty Diversity Advisory Committee (FDAC) received the award in recognition of its accomplishments in creating an attractive work culture for higher education professionals by expanding access to employee resources, such as mentoring, collaboration and social networking opportunities. Learn more here.

Pulmonary Chief Named to Prestigious Sleep Research Board

UArizona Professor of Medicine Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, has been named to the 2020-21 board of directors for the Sleep Research Society. Founded in 1961, the Chicago-based society promotes the science of sleep and related disorders, is dedicated to the training and education of future sleep researchers and publishes the journals, Sleep and Sleep Advances. Dr. Parthasarathy is chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, director of the UArizona Health Sciences Center for Sleep and Circadian Sciences and medical director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.

Dr. Ghishan Appointed Medical Director for CATS Research Center

Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, has been appointed medical director for the Clinical and Translational Sciences Research Center at the UArizona Health Sciences. Dr. Ghishan, who joined UArizona in 1995, is chair of the Department of Pediatrics, director of the Steele Children’s Research Center and the physician-in-chief at Banner Diamond Children’s Medical Center. He is an accomplished physician-scientist, researcher and educator recognized internationally for his contributions to pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition. He also has won two MERIT awards from the National Institutes of Health for Consistent and Excellent Contributions to Scientific Knowledge. Learn more here.

Tech Launch Arizona Appoints Senior Licensing Manager for College

Mitch Graffeo is the new senior licensing manager for Tech Launch Arizona at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson. Tech Launch is the university’s commercialization arm, helping transform innovations and discoveries into intellectual property (IP), inventions and technology through licensing agreements with private industry. A registered patent attorney and member of the New York State Bar and American Intellectual Property Law Association, Graffeo served most recently as a private consultant, working with startup businesses and smaller specialty firms to build their IP portfolios. He began his licensing career at Merck & Co., coordinating license agreements and other transactions. He earned his undergraduate degree from SUNY Binghamton and his law degree at Brooklyn Law School. Graffeo reports to Rakhi Gibbons, TLA licensing director.

Dr. Demetree Appointed to Student Mental Health Services Program

Julie Demetree, MD, a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, has joined the college’s mental health services program for students.

Dr. Demetree practices telepsychiatry and is a recipient of multiple teaching awards. She provides psychiatric diagnostic assessments, medication management and psychotherapy (primarily cognitive behavioral therapy and supportive psychotherapy).

Dr. Demetree earned her medical degree and completed her psychiatry residency at the University of Florida, where she practiced for several years before moving to Tucson in 2013. She serves as medical director of the consult/liaison psychiatry service at Banner – UMC Tucson and director of the UArizona psychiatry residency program.

Internists Drs. Varma and Partha Awarded Grant for Internal Medicine

Malvika Varma, MD, and Indu Partha, MD, assistant professors in the UArizona Division of Geriatrics, General Internal Medicine and Palliative Medicine at the College of Medicine – Tucson, received a grant from the Society of General Internal Medicine to promote “reasons to choose a career in internal medicine.” Among activities supported by the grant were a social media campaign for @UAZMedicineEdu and supporting events during #ProudToBeGIM week in February.

Reaumond Foundation Funds UArizona Pancreatic Cancer Research

Aaron Scott, MD, assistant professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson and a member of the GI Medical Oncology group at the UArizona Cancer Center, won a Reaumond Foundation Innovation Grant for his research on pancreatic cancer. The Cancer Center will receive $150,000 over three years to support Dr. Scott’s work, establishing a program to facilitate tissue collection and support clinical trials involving immunotherapy for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. The award was presented at the foundation’s Second Annual Bob’s Encore Gala in Chicago.

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About the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson is shaping the future of medicine through state-of-the-art medical education programs, groundbreaking research and advancements in patient care in Arizona and beyond. Founded in 1967, the college boasts more than 50 years of innovation, ranking among the top medical schools in the nation for research and primary care. Through the university's partnership with Banner Health, one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the college is leading the way in academic medicine. For more information, visit (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn).

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. UArizona Health Sciences includes the Colleges of Medicine (Tucson and Phoenix), Nursing, Pharmacy, and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona, the greater Southwest and around the world to provide next-generation education, research and outreach. A major economic engine, Health Sciences employs nearly 5,000 people, has approximately 4,000 students and 900 faculty members, and garners $200 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Instagram).

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