Health Science Update

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November 21, 2019

Winship at Midtown Groundbreaking

On a blustery November 12, people from across Emory and the Atlanta community came together to celebrate a game-changer for our city—the groundbreaking for Emory Winship at Midtown. This innovative new facility will increase our capacity to meet the region’s need for outstanding, accessible cancer care.

Following a highly collaborative design process involving more than 150 stakeholders, including clinicians, frontline staff, and patient and family advisors, we’ve developed plans for a revolutionary 17-story, 450,000 square foot cancer research and inpatient and outpatient healing space.

The thoughtfully designed facility will feature one-of-a-kind, two-story disease-centered care communities. Services normally located throughout the facility will instead be centralized into one-stop spaces where patients can receive exams, consultations, infusions, and supportive services all in one convenient location. It will also offer a variety of amenities designed to address the mental and spiritual well-being and the comfort of our patients and their families.

What an extraordinary asset this facility will be to the people of Atlanta and the region!

We are all profoundly grateful to the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation for their transformational gift; to Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms and President Claire Sterk for taking part in the celebration; to the patient advisors and cancer care team who have driven the design process; to the planners who made the event so special; and to everyone who participated in the ceremony.

Please direct questions and comments to>

Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, FACR
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Emory University
Executive Director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center
CEO, President, and Chairman of the Board, Emory Healthcare

Emory Healthcare leases space at Northlake Mall

Emory Healthcare will lease 224,000 square feet in Northlake Mall, including the former Sears building, for corporate administrative offices. The move will take place in two phases—relocating employees and services from Decatur Plaza in late 2021 and relocating employees and services from Peachtree Center, Baltimore Block, and 270 Peachtree in late 2022.

The impetus for the move is the opportunity to consolidate shared support services in one central location. “As Emory Healthcare has expanded, we’ve outgrown our existing locations and had to expand where we could,” says Mike Mason, vice president of operations. “So now we are spread out in several locations. This move allows us consolidate in one location, facilitating collaborations.”

A perk for the relocated employees will be plenty of available parking and access to on-site restaurants and retail.

In addition to support services, an Emory Healthcare primary clinical practice will open within the former Sears space at the end of 2021. Three to five Emory physicians are slated to practice in that location.

The Northlake Mall development is being reimagined as a dynamic mixed-use space incorporating office, medical, retail and restaurants. Emory Healthcare will have the option to lease more space in the future.

Promoting innovative, affordable treatments

Emory University and The Morningside Foundation are joining forces to create the Morningside Center for Innovative and Affordable Medicine, which will promote research on scientifically promising, readily available, and cost-effective treatments for cancer and other diseases. The center’s focus will eventually expand beyond cancer and into diagnostics, devices, and health care delivery systems—all with a focus on affordability. Early goals of the center include:

  • Developing a database of opportunities searchable by disease, drug, or mechanism of action
  • Establishing a scientific framework for prioritizing ideas
  • Conducting critical preclinical studies to set the stage for clinical trials
  • Designing and conducting clinical trials to validate ideas
  • Developing novel approaches to clinical studies.

Vikas P. Sukhatme, dean of Emory’s School of Medicine, will serve as the founding director of the Morningside Center. “We are extremely grateful for The Morningside Foundation’s commitment to advance innovation in medicine and patient care,” Sukhatme says. “The investment the foundation has made will enable us to focus initially on drugs already approved by the Food and Drug Administration that could be repurposed for cancer and other conditions. Because many of these drugs are affordable, we anticipate that results from these studies will have rapid and global impact.”

In brief
Executive associate dean named at Grady

Carlos del Rio has been named executive associate dean for Emory School of Medicine at Grady Health System. He also will serve as board chair of the Emory Medical Care Foundation. Del Rio still serves as professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research, and co-PI of the Emory-CDC HIV Clinical Trials Unit. He is stepping down from his position as chair of the Hubert Department of Global Health at Rollins, where Usha Ramakrishnan will serve as interim chair.

Heart and vascular kudos

Emory Heart & Vascular Center’s cardiac surgery team achieved top performance compared with benchmarks in two key overall metrics in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Adult Cardiac Surgery Database (ACSD). The metrics were Coronary Artery Bypass Graft and Mitral Valve Repair and Replacement. Only 2% of cardiac programs in the STS ACSD achieved a three-star rating in both these metrics for the most recent measurement period (July 2018 – June 2019).

Two elected to National Academy of Medicine

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has elected Debra Houry and Sanjay Gupta to join its 2019 class. Houry is associate professor in emergency medicine and director of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Control and Prevention. NAM cited Houry for leading the nation’s largest public health institution focused on prevention of injuries including overdoses, suicide, and violence, and highlighting the multiple harms associated with the opioid epidemic. Gupta is associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital, associate professor of neurosurgery, and chief medical correspondent for CNN, Atlanta. NAM cited Gupta for helping the public understand the causes, impact, and management of myriad medical and public health challenges, and bridging the gap of health care knowledge by redefining our public discourse.

Latest Synergy Awards announced

The WHSC announced recipients of the seventh round of Synergy Awards, selecting 10 proposals out of 35 submitted for funding. These awards support collaborative projects among faculty across the health sciences. Since the Synergy Awards were initiated in 2016, more than $4.8 million in funds have been awarded to more than 130 researchers, supporting 48 proposals. Read more.

Rafi Ahmed (microbiology, immunology) received the AAMC 2019 Award for Distinguished Research in Biomedical Sciences.

Carlos del Rio, executive associate dean for Emory School of Medicine at Grady Health System, is the 2019 HIVMA Clinical Educator Award recipient. The annual award recognizes HIV Medicine Association members who have demonstrated significant achievement in the area of HIV clinical care and provider education.

Tracey L. Henry has been awarded the Walter J. McDonald Award for Early Career Physicians from the American College of Physicians. Henry is assistant health director in the Grady Primary Care Center and director of policy curriculum for Emory’s Internal Medicine Residency Primary Care Track.

Johanna Hinman has been promoted to director of education and global surgery for the Department of Surgery. This new appointment will allow Hinman to devote additional attention to the global health programs, including the training track of surgical residency in underserved areas.

Carmen J. Marsit has been selected as the associate dean for research at the Rollins School of Public Health. He will continue to hold his faculty appointment as professor in the Department of Environmental Health.

Eric J. Sundberg has been appointed chair of the Department of Biochemistry in the School of Medicine. Previously he served as professor of medicine and co-director of the Basic Science Division in the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

This year’s Emory University Department of Medicine Research Day awards drew the biggest crowd since the event began in 2008. Matthew Woodruff (rheumatology) won the Top Overall Presentation Award. For other winners, read here.


Nov. 26, 2019: William M. “Bill” McClellan Jr. MD Memorial Lecture. 5 – 6 pm. SOM Lecture Hall 120

Dec. 3, 2019: Child Health in a Changing Climate, Claudia Nance Rollins Building 2001

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