SleepTalker September 2019

Volume 32 Number 3 Stony Brook, NY  <       September 2019       > 
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New Faculty Members September Calendar Kudos Save the Dates
CA-3 Spotlight Farewell Instagram Alumni News
Journal Club Synaptic Communication New Publications Photography Corner
Where is That? Monthly Muscle Chillaxant
Welcome New Faculty Members
James P. Dilger, PhD

    Abhishek K. Gupta, DO joined our department in August. Dr. Gupta received his DO from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. After a Preliminary Intern Year in Internal Medicine at New York Presbyterian Queens, he did an anesthesiology residency at New York Medical College, finishing in 2018. He followed this with a Fellowship in Pain Management at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

    During his residency and fellowship, Dr. Gupta presented seven meeting abstracts at pain symposiums, the NYSSA-PGA, and the New York Academy of Medicine Anesthesiology Residents’ Night. At Westchester Medical Center, he served as a resident representative on the American Society of Anesthesiologists Political Action Committee, and Resident Recruitment Committee.

    Dr. Gupta will work both in the General and Pain Divisions of the department. Welcome to Stony Brook!

    Hoon B. Shim, MD, PhD also arrived at Stony Brook in August. Dr. Shim received his doctoral degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. He did his PhD research in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology on "The Role of R7 Regulators of G Protein Signaling in the Retina". He did his anesthesiology internship and residency at the Montefiore Medical Center, finishing in 2018. He then completed a one year Fellowship in Pain Management at the Department of Anesthesiology, Mt. Sinai West - St. Luke’s.

    In addition to his PhD research, Dr. Shim gained research experience as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, as a graduate student in biotechnology at Johns Hopkins, and as a biologist with the NIH's Laboratory of Neurogenetics. He has published nearly 20 peer-reviewed articles in such journals as the Journal of Neuroscience, the Journal of Physiology, and the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

    Dr. Shim will spend his clinical time working in the Pain Division, predominantly out of ELIH, Hampton Bays, and Southampton. Welcome to Stony Brook!

September Calendar

    Wed. Sept 4. Visiting Professor, Dr. Vivek K. Moitra, at 7:00 am in Lecture Hall 5, Level 3.

    Wed. Sept 11. Dr. TJ Gan will chair the Faculty Meeting at 7:00 am in Lecture Hall 5, Level 3.

    Wed. Sept 18. Senior Grand Rounds at 7:00 am in Lecture Hall 5, Level 3.

    Tue. Sept 24. Journal Club will be held at 6:00 pm in the MART Building.

    Wed. Sept 25. Dr. Rishi Adsumelli will chair the Quality Assurance Committee Meeting at 7:00 am in Lecture Hall 5, Level 3.


    Two research faculty members in our department are recipients of this year's Targeted Research Opportunities (TRO) grants.

    Dr. Srini Pentyala received a 2-year TRO Clinical Research Grant to develop a point-of-care gout detection kit. Gout is an inflammatory debilitating arthritis characterized by uric acid crystal buildup in the joints. Extracting synovial fluid from the affected joint and identifying uric acid crystals by a specialized polarizing microscopy technique is the common procedure for gout diagnosis. This microscopy technique is time consuming, expensive, and requires trained personnel. In addition, storage and transport of synovial fluid often leads to uric acid crystal dissolution and deterioration. Hence, the group has proposed a novel point-of-care device that can detect uric acid crystals instantaneously. A smart phone or an electronic tablet with a portable microscope attachment can photograph the crystals and save the images directly to electronic medical records, creating a database of readily accessible diagnostic and prognostic information. A low-cost bedside gout detection device will also be developed with this funding. This rapid gout detection device will facilitate the ability of the physicians to immediately provide quality care to the patients. This novel technology was filed as a patent by Stony Brook University. Drs. Lawrence Hurst and James Penna of orthopaedics department are the collaborators on this project.

    Dr. Grisha Enikolopov and Dr. Esther Speer from Pediatrics received a two-year TRO FUSION Award for their project Early and delayed neurological effects of newborn sepsis. The project concerns long term neurobiological and cognitive consequences of early-life problems – whether it is exposure to social stress, or to drugs, or, as in this case, to disease. Dr. Speer has established a mouse model of newborn sepsis (staph, E.coli) and can alleviate some of the severe consequences of this perinatal infection with anti-inflammatory drugs. They are already testing whether neurogenesis and related cognitive function is affected by the infection and whether the anti-inflammatories can mitigate the adverse effects. If they see clear-cut effects, they will immediately write an NIH application, focusing on neurogenesis and the global maps of neuronal activation and how they are affected by sepsis and therapies.

Save the Dates!
    On Saturday, December 14, 2019, PGA Saturday, the Annual Alumni Cocktail Reception will take place. This year, it will be held at the PGA Hotel itself (Marriott Marquis), so there will be no need to scramble for transportation to the Yale Club! The time will be 5:00 - 7:00, as usual.

    We will hold our annual Holiday Party on Friday, December 20, 2019 from 7:00 - 11:00 pm at Flowerfield.

CA-3 Resident Spotlight!
Meet Dr. Richard Tenure!
    Ramanjot S. Kang, MD

Can you tell us a little about your background?
   I was born on Long Island and lived here for most of my life. I studied Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After graduating college, I had trouble getting a job in the industry because of the economy so I joined the Fire Department. While working in the Fire Department I discovered my passion in caring for others and this drove me to apply to medical school. I applied to one medical school, Ross University, and got accepted. I spent medical school living in Dominica and clinical rotations in hospitals all over New York City. I originally considered General Surgery as a career, and matched at Stony Brook. However, after 2 years of surgery, I decided Anesthesia would be a better fit. Luckily, Dr. Gallagher had a spot in the program and accepted me. The rest is history!

What attracted you to anesthesiology?
   I really enjoy critical care. I had originally planned to do Trauma & Critical Care with General Surgery. However, I felt that general surgery was not training me as well for critical care. As a result, I changed my residency to anesthesia because there is much better critical care training.

How did you come to be a resident at Stony Brook (Why SB)?
   I originally matched in General Surgery at Stony Brook. I wanted to be at Stony Brook because it is the hospital I drove past all the time as a child, and I wanted to give back to the community in which I was raised.

What do you like most about being a resident?
   I enjoy learning from all the experienced attendings in our department.

What do you like least about being a resident?
   The lack of flexibility of schedule to go away for a long weekend.

What pearls of wisdom would you like to share with your fellow junior residents to help them succeed in their time here and future careers?
   Work hard, always accept challenges with an open mind. The harder residency is, then the more you learn and take away from it!

So what’s the next step (academic attending, private practice, research) you will be taking as you transition from the role of a resident to attending next summer?
   I will be moving to Philadelphia to complete my fellowship in Critical Care Medicine. Hopefully after that fellowship I will complete an Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesia fellowship as well.

As you're soon to enter the real world of anesthesiology, what do you find most daunting?
   I plan on being a resident and fellow forever.

If you could do it all over again (become a doctor), would you? Why or why not, and what would you have done differently?
   I probably would have become a doctor if I had to do it all over again. I really do enjoy what I do, and I enjoy having a positive impact on patients’ lives.

If you hadn't chosen to go into medicine, what career path might you have followed?
   I always wanted to move to the Caribbean and open up a Pirate Booze Cruise Adventure.

What has been your favorite residency memory of your 4 years here at Stony Brook?
   I have had so many great memories as a resident. One that stands out is watching Fireworks on Independence Day from the 18th Floor bridge with Demitri, Justina, and Dr. Beg.

When you aren't running around the hospital saving lives, how do you like to spend your free time?
   I like going to Disney World, watching New Jersey Devils hockey, playing golf, or hanging out with my dog

What do you like the most (and least) about living on Long Island?
   Long Island is the best place in the Universe. I love everything about it!

What is your favorite type of food?
   I love all kinds of food, but especially Japanese or Indian

What's your favorite restaurant in LI/NYC?
   Any hibachi restaurant.

Where would you love to travel to next and why?
   Germany for Oktoberfest to immerse myself in the culture and to explore my family heritage.

What's your favorite Tourist Activity in LI/NYC?
   I’m not a tourist. But, going to the top of One World Trade was awesome; especially the elevator ride!

Describe yourself in three words:
   Hardworking, loyal, curious.

If you could make one wish, what would it be?
   I would wish to be able to shoot par for a round on a golf course.

If you could eat lunch with one person (fictional/alive/dead/etc), who would it be?
   My mom.

What are you looking forward to doing once you start receiving "attending" salary?
   Buying a house.

Farewell Sabeen

We sadly said goodbye to Sabeen Rizwan and thanked her for her years of service as a Clinical Research Associate.
Stony Brook Anesthesiology Instagram
    Ramanjot S. Kang, MD

    We now have a residency Instagram page at @stonybrookanesthesia. Follow us to keep up with residency events both inside and outside of the hospital.

Alumni News
Robert I. Katz, MD

If a Tree Falls: Richard Kurtz thought that covering
for another surgeon in the West Virginia mountains
would be a pleasant way to spend a few weeks...
until 15 bodies are discovered in a shallow grave.

    The sixth book in my Kurtz and Barent mystery series, If a Tree Falls, was published as part of a collection of medical mysteries, entitled Do No Harm, on July 30, 2019 by Genius Media. The week following publication, Do No Harm reached number 55 on the USA Today Bestseller List, so I can now legitimately claim to be a USA Today Bestselling Author!

    If a Tree Falls will be released separately in early October. Now that I'm retired, I'm averaging 3 books a year!

Journal Club 2019-2020
Ursula Landman, DO, FAOCA

    The 2019-2020 season of Journal Club premiers this month! What's new? Well, it's on a new night: Tuesday. And, I have a new co-host: Dr. Eric Zabirowicz. Finally, to kick things off on Tuesday, September 24, we will be in a new location: Level 5 of the new MART Building.

    Mark your calendar now with the Journal Club schedule (6:00 pm for all dates). You can also find them on the Journal Club webpage.
  • Tuesday, September 24
  • Tuesday, October 29
  • Tuesday, February 25
  • Tuesday, March 17
  • Tuesday, May 5
    For September's opener, CA-2 Residents Drs. Ravi Shah, Adam Taft and Youngil Kim will review three recent papers that deal with airway issues. The Journal Club webpage has PubMed links to the articles. Hope to see you at the MART!
Synaptic Communication
James P. Dilger, PhD

    On August 12, Mohammed A. Shanawaz successfully defended his PhD thesis: The Effects of Hyperekplexia-causing Mutations on Desensitization and Oligomerization of Glycine Receptors. MASH did his undergraduate degree in Physiology in Saudi Arabia at Albaha University. He came to the US in 2010 to pursue a Master's Degree at Indiana State University. In 2013, he traveled to Stony Brook for a PhD degree. Soon after, he started a research rotation in my lab during which he learned the patch clamp technique to study ion channel currents. After several other rotations, MASH joined my lab.

    Mohammed's project concerned rare mutations in the glycine receptor ion channel protein, that produce hyperekplexia, aka Startle Disease. Others had shown that while most hyperekplexia mutations result in a loss-of-function for the glycine receptor, other mutations cause a gain of function. Mohammed set out to unravel this paradox for the mutation α1V280M. This mutation causes a gain-of-function by increasing the sensitivity of the receptor for activation by glycine. One finding from his investigation was that α1V280M also had an increased sensitivity to desensitization by glycine. Because CSF contains glycine, a high fraction of the mutant receptors would be desensitized and unavailable for activation by nerve-released glycine.

    Mohammed also used an optical technique (he learned this from Dr. Mario Rebecchi) to detect oligomerized and clustered proteins. Glycine receptors are localized at a synapse by an anchoring protein called gephyrin. MASH found that α1V280M interfered with the interaction between glycine receptors and gephyrin. Thus, there would be fewer receptors at the synapse and synaptic communication would be impaired.

    Mohammed A. Shanawaz, PhD is returning to Saudi Arabia to take a teaching position at a new university there. I'm looking forward to continue working with him as we write papers to tell the world how α1V280M glycine receptors turn a gain into a loss!

New Publication

Photography Corner
Jiaxin Liu, MD, PhD

Where on Campus is That?
James P. Dilger, PhD
Monthly Muscle Chillaxant
We celebrated the August birthdays of Christine Fogarty and John Rohan.

SleepTalker, the Stony Brook Anesthesiology Newsletter is published by the Department of Anesthesiology
Stony Brook Medicine, Stony Brook, NY
Tong Joo Gan, M.D., MHS, FRCA, MBA, Chairman
Editorial Board: James P. Dilger, Ph.D.; Stephen A. Vitkun, M.D., M.B.A., Ph.D.; Marisa Barone-Citrano, M.A.; Ramanjot S. Kang, M.D.