Annual Farness, Founders Lectures Focus on Fungal Diseases, Medical Imaging

Both the 21st Annual Farness Lecture, Nov. 16, and the Annual Founders Day Lecture, Nov. 17, were well attended and well spoken.

From left, Valley Fever Center researcher Lisa Shubitz, DVM; UA pulmonary transplant team member, Josh Malo, MD;  UA infectious diseases specialist Tirdad Zengeneh, MD; Janis Blair, MD; Valley Fever Center director John Galgiani, MD; and UA Pulmonary chief Ken Knox, MD. Drs. Galgiani and Knox are co-principal investigators for Arizona on a Valley Fever clinical trial affiliated with Duke University’s Human Vaccine Institute.

Farness Lecture

This year’s Farness lecturer was Janis E. Blair, MD, an infectious diseases specialist at the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale and one of 16 panelists—including three from the UA College of Medicine – Tucson—who authored updates for the “2016 Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Coccidioidomycosis,” (also known as Valley Fever) released this past summer.

The lecture was held in COM Room 5403 as part of the UA Department of Medicine Grand Rounds in conjunction with the UA Valley Fever Center for Excellence, which is led by John N. Galgiani, MD, who was the lead author on the new Cocci guidelines. Named for Orin J. Farness, MD, an Arizona physician who was the first to report a positive culture for Cocci in 1938, the lecture typically focuses on fungal diseases.

Folks were sitting in the aisles to hear Dr. Blair discuss “Coccidioidomycosis and Transplantation.” She cited case after case where Valley Fever infections resulted in negative outcomes for transplant patients, noting that, as a result of what Mayo learned since launching its transplant program, not only are all donors and patients screened for it, but patients ae required to be on fluconazole for at least a year to ensure any complications from the fungal disease are prevented or minimized.

This lecture was covered by the Arizona Daily Star as part of a Center for Health Journalism Collaborative with newspapers in California's Central Valley. Among resulting articles are: "Federal funding fuels new valley fever research" (Dec. 10, 2016), "Accurate valley fever counts elude health officials" (Dec. 9, 2016) and "Sonora Quest, UA, Arizona join for valley fever warning system" (Dec. 9, 2016).

      • Click here to view the archived video of Dr. Blair’s lecture.
     • To view a photo gallery of images from this year’s Farness Lecture, click here [PDF].

Founders Day

Meanwhile, Arthur F. Gmitro, PhD, professor and department head of Biomedical Engineering as well as professor of Medical Imaging and Optical Sciences, provided an excellent overview of the innovation and discovery he’s brought to numerous students and trainees who’ve worked with him. His research impacts disciplines within the colleges of Medicine, Optical Sciences and Engineering and the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Learn more about Art in this profile of him published last December.

     • Click here to view the archived video of Dr. Gmitro’s lecture.
     • To view a photo gallery of images from this year’s Founders Day lecture, click here [PDF].

“UA Valley Fever Center for Excellence Celebrates 20th Anniversary with New Website Launch” | Posted: Nov. 15, 2016
“Art Gmitro, PhD, selected as 2016 Founders Day speaker” | Posted: Nov. 1, 2016
“UA Researchers Closer Than Ever to Valley Fever Vaccine” | Posted: Oct. 27, 2016
“A Man of Vision: Interdisciplinary Researcher and Department Head Art Gmitro” | Posted: Dec. 21, 2015

Release Date: 
11/16/2016 - 4:15pm