March 24, 2017

Although the ongoing budget issues obviously are of enormous importance to the entire UND SMHS family, I can’t wait until the day when I can begin one of my weekly E-News columns without a budget update! But that day won’t be here for another month or so. The word around Bismarck is that the legislators are trying to finish this year’s legislative session by Good Friday, April 14. We’ll see if that is possible, but it would be nice to know exactly where we stand budget-wise as soon as possible.

There are three big unknowns that significantly influence our financial planning for the coming biennium—and an additional concern at the federal level. The obvious and biggest unknown at present is the level of funding that we will receive from the state this coming biennium. The second is the degree of tuition increase that we will be allowed to levy and by how much we’ll have to increase tuition to balance the budget. You know that we’ve made a point of trying to keep tuition increases as low as possible to shield students from acquiring even more debt. And the final unknown is just how many faculty and staff who signed up for one of the voluntary separation programs actually will follow through and leave. Employees have a 45-day period to reconsider their options before the separation agreement becomes final. So until we know the answers to these three unknowns—which probably won’t be until early May—we won’t know for sure what our budget will look like.

But our budget planning continues. Yesterday the Faculty Academic Council (FAC) reviewed the 90 percent budgets that have been submitted by all departments and units. The budget options prepared by the departments and units achieved the desired goal of identifying nearly $5 million in budget cuts or revenue increases that cumulatively constitute about 10 percent of our appropriated budget. I appreciate the feedback that we got from FAC, and we will continue to refine the menu of budget options as we get ready to make more decisions in May.

Thus, by May we should have a good grasp of where we’ll stand over the next two years with the 2017–19 biennial budget. But a new area of concern relates to the federal level. President Trump’s preliminary budget envisions about a 20 percent cut in the budget of the National Institutes of Health, as well as funding cuts for other agencies that support some of the other activities of the School such as public service. Since funding for research and related service and educational activities constitute about a quarter of our total budget, any significant cuts to that funding would be problematic. We’ve already engaged President Kennedy and the UND research community to highlight this concern, and you’ll be hearing and seeing more about this important issue in the near future.

Finally, here’s a brief update on a matter that is of great importance to our graduating medical students—where they are going to complete their residency training after graduation this May. Resident Match Day took place last Friday, and our students matched very well. Because we have no specialized residencies in North Dakota, the more than a third of our graduating students who are going into such residencies need to go out of state to get training. And they matched at some great programs, including the Universities of Washington, Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. Others matched at the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins University. Our own residencies in North Dakota did well too, with students going to our family medicine residencies in Grand Forks and Fargo, and to our surgical, psychiatry, internal medicine, and transitional residencies based in Fargo. Best wishes to all of our graduating medical school seniors—and the upcoming graduates from our health sciences and biomedical sciences programs as well. I’ll have more about our graduates in a future E-News column as we get closer to commencement.

Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH
UND Vice President for Health Affairs
Dean UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences


Recent Educational Policies to Review

Cultural Diversity Tuition Waiver (for all SMHS students)

View all of the School's Policies and Procedures.

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Delphine Banjong

     Research Specialist

Delphine Banjong will begin employment as a research specialist in the Center for Rural Health on March 24. Her supervisor is Mandi-Leigh Peterson.

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Dr. Terry Dwelle and Kirby Kruger present next Dean's Hour on March 30

Dr. Terry Dwelle and Kirby Kruger are the next Dean's Hour speakers at noon on Thursday, March 30, in the Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium (E101), at the SMHS in Grand Forks. The title of their presentation is “Public Health Aspects of the Zika Virus.” Dwelle is the retired North Dakota state health officer and former administrative head of the North Dakota Department of Health, and Kruger is the director of the department's Division of Disease Control.

Lunch will be provided on the Grand Forks Campus. If you plan to attend on the Grand Forks Campus, please let us know by responding at the following link:

This presentation will be broadcast to the following UND SMHS campus sites:

  • Bismarck, Southwest Campus, Room 2108.
  • Fargo, Southeast Campus, Room 219.
  • Minot, Northwest Campus Office–Trinity Location.

Also available at your desktop at the following link:

For additional information, contact the Office of the Dean at (701) 777-2514.

Lori L. Sannes
Administrative Officer
Office of the Dean

Zen in 10

Zen in 10 focuses on stretching, breathing, and having fun with coworkers. Go back to work with less stress, more energy, and better body functioning.

Sessions are from 10:40 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays through May 18 in Room E222 at the SMHS in Grand Forks.

Please note:

  • Zen in 10 will not be held on April 18 and 20.
  • The session on May 2 will be held in Room W201.

Services provided by Kay Williams, Certified Yoga and Relax and Renew Instructor®.

Join Java with Josh in Bismarck, Minot, or Fargo

All SMHS faculty, staff, and students are invited to have an informal, complimentary cup of coffee, juice, or tea with Dean Wynne.

  • Bismarck—8:30 to 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 5, in Classroom A.
  • Minot—8:30 to 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 19, in the Conference Room.
  • Fargo—8:30 to 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 26, in Room 219.

Dr. Wynne will discuss what’s new at the School and take any questions you may have.

To ensure adequate seating, we ask that you RSVP to Kristen Peterson by Friday, March 31, for the Bismarck event, Friday, April 14, for the Minot event, or Friday, April 21, for the Fargo event. In your RSVP, please specify which event you will be attending.

Hope to see you there.

Community Showcases to be held April 5 and April 6

In a collaborative effort, the Center for Rural Health, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, and the North Dakota Area Health Education Center (AHEC) are hosting a series of events this spring called Community Showcases. The first event was held in Minot in early March, while the remaining upcoming events will be held in Fargo, Grand Forks, and Bismarck.

Event dates are as follows:

  • Wednesday, April 5, 5:30–8:30 p.m.—Altru Health System in Grand Forks
  • Thursday, April 6, 5:30–8:30 p.m.—Sanford Auditorium, 4th floor of Center for Family Medicine in Bismarck

These events are designed to allow North Dakota hospitals and healthcare facilities a chance to meet and talk with current third- and fourth-year medical students as well as residents in an effort to recruit and retain them here in our state after the completion of medical training.

North Dakota healthcare facilities will have a practicing provider and an administrative team member in attendance to give a brief presentation about what it’s like to live and practice in their particular community. Medical students and residents will supply information about themselves, such as specialty area they are considering, hometown, and special interests in order to be able to connect with facilities who might be able to meet their personal and professional needs.

Spouses and significant others are invited to attend the events with the medical students and residents; it is important for families to be involved in the job-seeking process.

Light appetizers will be served.

To RSVP as a medical student or resident, click here.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Michelle Montgomery, MSW, LCSW
Wellness Advocate
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science

Stacy Kusler
Workforce Specialist
Center for Rural Health

Daniel Tuvin presents Surgery Grand Rounds on March 31

Daniel Tuvin, MD, instructor of surgery, will be presenting his talk titled "Current State of Diagnosis & Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer” from Clinic B2 at Sanford Health in Fargo on Friday, March 31, from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m.

The objectives of his talk are the following:

  1. Describe epidemiology of pancreatic cancer.
  2. Understand basic principles of staging algorithm of pancreatic cancer.
  3. Apply evidence-based research to select stage-appropriate therapy.

This Surgery Grand Rounds Conference, sponsored by the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences Department of Surgery, is broadcasted via videoconference to many sites in North Dakota and Minnesota.

All are welcome to attend.

Geralyn Lunski, AAS
Administrative Assistant
Conference & Faculty Coordinator
Department of Surgery

Faculty needed to judge for Frank Low Research Day on April 6

Faculty at the SMHS from the clinical sciences, health sciences, and biomedical sciences are needed to be judges for Frank Low Research Day on Thursday, April  6. Poster judging will be in the morning; two sessions are set up. You will be provided with a judging packet and instructions. Additional information with a schedule will be posted at a later date. Contact Joann Johnson at (701) 777-6269.

Frank Low Research Day is Thursday, April 6, at the SMHS in Grand Forks.

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The Match for UND med students


















(Shown at Match Day in Bismarck are, from left, Anna (Bury) Stecher, Emily (Woods) Schwartz, Kara Prussing, and Shelby Dvorak.)

Match Day for 66 senior medical students is one of the most important milestones of their careers. Members of the Doctor of Medicine Class of 2017 at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences opened envelopes to discover where in the United States they will hone their skills as resident physicians. On Match Day, March 17, medical school seniors across the country found out where they will complete their residencies, a period of advanced intensive training in their chosen medical specialty before independent practice as a physician. Depending on the medical specialty, medical school graduates complete anywhere from three to seven years of residency training after medical school.

Match Day is the culmination of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), a private, not-for-profit corporation founded in 1952 at the request of medical students to standardize the residency selection process and establish a uniform date of appointment to positions in graduate medical education (GME) training programs. It is governed by a Board of Directors that includes representatives from national medical and medical education organizations as well as medical students, resident physicians, and GME program directors. This year, more than 18,539 U.S. medical school seniors participated in the residency match, and 17,480 matched to first-year positions, for an overall match rate of 94.3 percent, according to the NRMP.

Early in their final year of medical school, U.S. senior students apply to the residency programs at which they would like to train. Directors of those programs review applications and invite candidates for interviews, typically in the fall and early winter. Once the interview period is over, applicants and program directors submit rank-order lists to the NRMP. Program directors rank applicants in order of preference, and applicants compile their lists based on their preferred medical specialty and the location of the training programs. The NRMP then feeds the rank-ordered choices of the students and directors into a computer, which provides an impartial match between the two groups. Research on the NRMP algorithm was a basis for the work that won the 2012 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Every year in the third week of March and at the same time across the country, students open envelopes to find the results of the match.

“This is such an exciting time for our fourth-year students,” said Joycelyn Dorscher, MD, associate dean for Student Affairs and Admissions at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “This single day is the culmination of four years of hard work. You can imagine that it produces a range of emotions for the participants. But this year’s class should feel very satisfied that their hard work has paid off. They matched into some extremely competitive programs and specialties.”

UND medical students successfully matched in the traditional primary care specialties of internal medicine (11), family medicine (7), pediatrics (4), and obstetrics/gynecology (1) for a total of 23 or 34.8 percent of the class. Other specialties chosen by this year’s class include radiology-diagnostic, general surgery, dermatology, neurology, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, psychiatry, orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, pediatrics-anesthesiology, and radiation oncology.   

For the complete UND Residency Match List, please visit

NE Regional Science and Engineering Fair awards

Award winners have been announced for the 59th annual Northeast Regional Science and Engineering Fair that was held on March 14 at the University of North Dakota. The fair had 64 third- through twelfth-grade students presenting their research projects in biology, chemistry, engineering, behavioral sciences, and mathematics, among others. Regional schools participating were Cavalier, Lakota, and St. Thomas. Grand Forks students are from Central High School, Schroeder Middle School, and Winship, Lewis and Clark, and Discovery Elementary Schools.

The students were divided into elementary, junior high, and senior high divisions. There were special category awards and division awards. These division awards determine who will progress to the North Dakota State Science and Engineering Fair (March 31 at UND) and ultimately to the International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, Calif. 

To increase student participation, fees for the regional fair were paid by the North Dakota IDeA (Institutional Development Award) Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), which is administered by the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The immediate goal is to stimulate the development of science, technology, engineering, and math education by supporting the ability of all fifth- through twelfth-grade students who wish to participate and compete in their regional fairs and the ND State Science and Engineering Fair. This will ultimately increase the number of North Dakota students entering the technical, educational, and health professional workforce pipeline in the state.

A complete list of winners is available at

Judges needed for 2017 ND State Science and Engineering Fair on March 31

Hi Everyone,

This year, UND will again be hosting the North Dakota State Science and Engineering Fair, and once more we need about 100 judges for that event.

Last year, many UND SMHS faculty, graduate students, and senior undergraduate students committed time and effort as judges to provide valuable feedback to these young students as burgeoning scientists. Thanks for that!! I know some of you may have already been contacted about participating again this year.

The date of the fair is Friday, March 31, and the judging this year will be done at the UND Memorial Union Ballroom. There will be judging both in the morning and the afternoon. This year’s schedule will be orientation at 8:00 a.m. with judging from 8:30 a.m. to noon (judging for discipline-specific special awards) and 12:45 p.m.–4:00 p.m. (judging for general regional and state awards).

If you are interested in participating this year, please register as a judge for the event by clicking on the following link:

Feel free to share this e-mail with any of your faculty associates, colleagues, or students, including graduate students or senior undergraduates with research experience, and let them know to register on the website.

More detailed information will be forthcoming via e-mail. Contact either Landon Bladow or Peter Sykora at if you have questions about this form or the fair in general. We look forward to seeing you on March 31!  Thanks for considering this!

Kenneth G. Ruit, PhD
Associate Dean for Educational Administration and Faculty Affairs

Social Media—Match Day photos

On our Flickr page, view photos of Match Day, March 17.

Also on our Facebook page, Dean Wynne answers questions about open-heart surgery for a young child and about the War on Cancer in his latest Health Matters column, which can be found in the Grand Forks Herald every other Monday. Please submit any general health-related questions to

You can also get the latest SMHS news by following the School on Twitter

UND Today—"Brands of confusion"

UND embraces Fighting Hawks while replacing interlocking ND symbols in push for common vision.

More information about this and other UND news can be found in UND Today, UND's official news source.

"Emerging Tickborne Diseases"—CDC Grand Rounds

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Public Health Grand Rounds is a monthly webcast created to foster discussion on major public health issues. Each session focuses on key challenges related to a specific health topic, and explores the latest scientific evidence and the potential effect of different interventions. The Grand Rounds sessions also highlight how the CDC and its partners are already addressing these challenges and discuss the recommendations for future research and practice. March's presentation is "Emerging Tickborne Diseases." All of the webcasts are archived for later viewing.

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Great Plains IDeA-CTR Membership

The Great Plains (GP) Institutional Development Award (IDeA)–Clinical and Translational Research (CTR) network is designed to develop infrastructure, resources  and partnerships for CTR across the Great Plains. It only takes a minute to join.

Eligibility: Researchers, non-researchers, and community members are all encouraged to join the Great Plains IDeA-CTR.

Membership Benefits:

  1. Learn how to access clinical research resources (clinical research design, epidemiology, and biostatistics consulting; community engagement consulting; etc.) across all GP IDeA-CTR partner sites.
  2. Receive information on funding opportunities.
  3. Apply for funding.
  4. Belong to a network of colleagues and collaborators with shared research interests.
  5. Gain access to educational and training opportunities.

Register to Become a Member of the GP IDeA-CTR:

Jonathan Geiger, PhD
Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor
Department of Biomedical Sciences

Request for Applications for the Host-Pathogen Interactions Pilot Project Program

In anticipation of next year’s funding, we are requesting second-round Seed Grant Applications. The Center for Host-Pathogen Interactions at UND supported by NIH COBRE grant P20GM113123 seeks applications for pilot research studies in the field of host-pathogen interactions. This request for applications is open to all tenured, tenure-track, research-track, and clinical-track faculty at UND. The goal of this Pilot Project Program is to promote new research in the field of host-pathogen interactions and extend the current research into novel directions with high potential for acquiring R01-level extramural funding support. It is expected that this program will attract investigators into the research area of infectious diseases, foster new collaborations among new and existing investigators, and promote the utilization of flow cytometry and histopathology core facilities supported by this host-pathogen interactions COBRE.

The Pilot Project Program will include two types of awards:

  1. Mentored investigator award. The mentored investigator award is intended for the expansion of the existing infectious disease group and is targeted toward junior investigators. The purpose of this award is to increase the competitiveness of new and early-stage investigators conducting research that is directly related to the theme of the host-pathogen COBRE. The application should include a support letter from the proposed mentor agreeing to participate and support the applicant and project. The applicants for this award are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the mentoring program offered by this COBRE to identify a suitable mentor. We anticipate funding up to two proposals with a maximum budget of $25,000 for one year, renewable for additional years depending on the progress of the project and the availability of funds.
  2. Discovery award. The discovery award is focused on providing strategic support to the projects that will not only expand the infectious disease group but will have a high likelihood of leading to an R01 or program project grants. This award is mainly targeted toward senior investigators, but junior investigators with demonstrated capability are also allowed to apply. We expect to fund up to four proposals for up to $30,000 for one year, renewable for additional years depending on the progress of the project and the availability of funds.

Each proposal should include the following sections:

  1. NIH face page
  2. NIH Pages Two and Three: Summary, Relevance, Project/Performance Sites, Senior/Key Personnel
  3. Budget using NIH forms
  4. Budget justification
  5. Biographical Sketch(es) of PI and Key Personnel
  6. Proposal (three-page limit including specific aims, significance, innovation, and research strategy. Bibliography is not included in the three-page limit.)
  7. History or Success from Prior Awards (one page maximum outlining the progress on that prior work, including publications and extramural funding)
  8. NIH Human subjects, if applicable
  9. Vertebrate animals justification and protection, if applicable
  10. Letters of support


Investigators funded through this mechanism will be strongly encouraged to participate in the mentoring program offered by this COBRE. The use of core facilities supported by the host-pathogen interactions COBRE is strongly encouraged for the proposed studies. The awardees will be required to submit a progress report including publications as well as proof of an R/P level (R01, or R21 or P01) grant for extramural support. Awardees are required to cite the COBRE grant (NIH P20GM113123) on all publications.


Proposals should be submitted by e-mail to Angie Olson by 5 p.m. April 15, 2017. Awards are scheduled to begin May 1, 2017.


Allowable costs include salary support for graduate students or staff and supplies. Funds cannot be used for PI’s salary, travel, and equipment purchase greater than $5,000.


Each COBRE Pilot Project will be evaluated in two steps. In the first step, proposals will be evaluated based on scientific merit using the NIH scoring system. Proposals will be scored on a scale of 1 (best) through 9 (worst) based on significance, investigators, innovation, approach, environment (pertaining to research being proposed and the use of core labs), and an overall impact score (based on the high likelihood of success as a fully developed NIH proposal and the scope of work corresponding to the priorities of the COBRE program). In the second step, the COBRE Internal Advisory Committee will determine which grants to recommend for funding based on the priority scores and the COBRE mission. Final approval for funding will be made by the External Advisory Committee, with approval from the NIH.


For additional information contact Dr. Brij B. Singh, COBRE PI, (701) 777-0834.

Mandatory PHS Financial Conflict of Interest Education sessions

The Public Health Service (PHS) has recently revised its policy for requiring all PHS grantees or those considering submitting to PHS complete a mandatory education class. According to the new policy, all grantees must be trained in Conflict of Interest every four years. The Division of Research & Economic Development will be conducting sessions on the following dates:

  • Monday, March 27, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union Presidents Room
  • Thursday, April 13, from 11:00 a.m. to noon in the Memorial Union Presidents Room

You only need to attend one of the sessions if you have not already done so. Training is necessary every four years. 

The sessions will be presented by Barry Milavetz, PhD, associate vice president for Research and Economic Development.

PHS agencies include

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Indian Health Service (IHS)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

If you have questions, please contact Barry Milavetz, PhD, (701) 777-4151.  

Diane Hillebrand, CRA
Grants Manager

USDA GF Human Nutrition Research Center seeks study participants

The United States Department of Agriculture Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center is seeking participants for two research studies.

  • Fish for HEALTH! 
    Are you interested in cardiovascular health? Would you like to eat more fish? The USDA Human Nutrition Research Center is seeking men and women, ages 20–70, to determine whether eating rainbow trout with different omega-3 levels reduces heart disease risk markers. Receive up to $500 for completing the study.
  • Acute Effects of Fats on Satiety & Energy Needs
    Women on contraception: are you satisfied when you eat? The USDA is looking for female participants, ages 18–50, to join our study to assess how dietary fat affects energy metabolism and feelings of fullness after eating. Receive up to $530, or a 13-month individual membership, or a 9-month family membership at Choice Health & Fitness, to be paid at the conclusion of the study.

For more information, and to see if you qualify, check out our website, or contact Vanessa Thyne, Biological Laboratory Technician, Dietary Prevention of Disease Research Unit, Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center, (701) 795-8493.

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New EBSCO ebooks

The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences Library Resources and Information Resources departments are pleased to be able to provide UND students, staff, and faculty with full-text access to 60 new electronic books (ebooks).  

Funding to purchase the ebooks was supplied by Information Resources, while Library Resources was responsible for title selection and providing online access. 

All of the titles are part of the EBSCOhost eBook Collection and were published between 2015 and 2017. The majority of the titles pertain to allied health with emphasis in the areas of medical laboratory science, public health, occupational therapy, and sports medicine. An Excel spreadsheet containing the complete list of titles along with their URLs is available here.

The titles have also been added to ODIN, the Library Resources' online catalog, and Library Resources' website.

Questions or comments about the new ebooks should be directed to the library.

Kelly Thormodson MLIS
Interim Director
Library Resources

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