People and Programs on the Move at the University of Arizona College of Medicine

n addition to internal distribution, this information also is forwarded to news media outlets and various UA Web sites. We will routinely recognize additional College of Medicine faculty achievements.

The UA College of Medicine: A 'Hot Topic' on iTunes

AHSC BioCommunications began posting lectures, Grand Rounds and other educational content from the UA College of Medicine to Apple, Inc.'s popular iTunes U service more than two years ago. Recently, eight UA College of Medicine podcasts, as well as podcasts from the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and the Arizona Cancer Center, were ranked in the top 100 Health & Medicine offerings on iTunes U, with the UA's Medicine Grand Rounds in the top 12. Explore all of the "What's Hot" podcasts and current rankings of the UA's Neurology Grand Rounds, Psychiatry Grand Rounds, Integrative Medicine Grand Rounds, Pediatric Grand Rounds, Surgery Grand Rounds, Arizona Telemedicine Program and College of Medicine Events.

The University of Arizona is one of 800-plus universities posting educational podcasts available to the public on iTunes U.

Note: The "What's Hot" link opens in iTunes. To download iTunes for Mac or Windows, visit

Dr. Porreca Honored at Johns Hopkins

Frank Porreca, PhD, professor of pharmacology and anesthesiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, recently gave two prestigious talks at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. On June 9, he delivered the Ninth Donald W. Benson Lecture on Pain Medicine, presenting his lecture, "Descending Control Mechanisms in Acute and Chronic Pain." The following day he delivered "Measurement and Mechanisms of Stimulus-Independent Pains" as part of the Blaustein Pain Lecture Series.

The Benson Lectureship is in honor of the comprehensive contributions made by Donald W. Benson, MD, PhD, during his career as an associate professor of anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins and anesthesiologist-in-charge at John Hopkins Hospital.

Dr. Porreca is widely regarded for his work as a principal investigator with the UA Pain Research Group, one of the world’s foremost pain research programs. His current research focuses on the mechanisms of chronic pain states including neuropathic, inflammatory, visceral, headache and cancer pain and mechanisms of opioid-induced hyperalgesia, a clinical phenomenon characterized by worsening pain despite increasing doses of opioids.

He is editor-in-chief of Life Sciences and Pharmacology Section, editor for Pain and has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed papers. He heads a number of societies and conferences and is the founder and scientific organizer of the Spring Pain Research Conference, a biennial conference that attracts world-renowned members of pain laboratories in both academia and industry.

Dr. Michael Kuhns Selected as 2011 Pew Scholar

Michael S. Kuhns, PhD, is one of 22 scientists named Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences for 2011 by The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Pew scholarship program provides selected scientists $240,000 over four years to pursue their research without restriction, encouraging early-career scientists to advance research that leads to important medical breakthroughs and treatments.

Dr. Kuhns is an assistant professor in the UA Department of Immunobiology. His research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that drive T cell activation to fight an infection. Using a variety of techniques, including live-cell imaging, he studies the protein interactions that occur at the interface between T cells and antigen-presenting cells in order to understand how they influence T cell responses to vaccines, pathogens and autoantigens. Ultimately, he hopes to apply the basic knowledge that results from these studies to the development of immunotherapeutic reagents - drugs to modulate immune system function either to mount a stronger immune response or prevent an auto-immune response or transplant rejection.

The Pew scholarship program is rigorously competitive. Applicants are nominated by an invited institution and must demonstrate both excellence and innovation in their research. This year, 136 eligible nominations were received from 175 invited institutions. Dr. Kuhns, nominated for the award by UA Vice President for Research Leslie Tolbert, PhD, joins a select community of Pew scholars that includes fellow faculty members Janko Nikolich-Zugich, MD, PhD, head of the immunobiology department, and Felicia Goodrum, PhD, assistant professor of immunobiology.

To date, the Pew scholarship program has invested more than $125 million to fund more than 500 scholars. This group now includes MacArthur Fellows, recipients of the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award and three Nobel Prize winners.