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Ambassador’s Top Docs list honors five WSU faculty physicians

May 21, 2015

Five of the 13 physicians named to Ambassador magazine’s 2015 Top Docs list published this month are Wayne State University School of Medicine faculty members. They include Associate Dean of Maternal, Perinatal and Child Health Sonia Hassan, M.D., Class of 1994, who is honored for her ongoing work to reduce preterm birth rates in Detroit, including her leadership role with the City of Detroit’s Make Your Date campaign, which provides free prenatal care and education to women across Detroit’s major health systems.

Dr. Hassan led a 2011 study that found the use of progesterone gel in mothers who were identified to be at risk for premature birth due to a short cervix – found by ultrasound – cut that risk by nearly half. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s Infant Mortality Reduction Plan promotes the adoption of universal cervical length screening by ultrasound and progesterone use for women identified as high risk.

“There are so many factors that will influence a person’s health while they’re in utero,” she told the magazine. “It’s a unique chance to affect someone’s life in the beginning, which is very rewarding.”

Dr. Hassan is director of the Center for Advanced Obstetrical Care and Research at the National Institutes of Health’ s Perinatology Research Branch, hosted by Wayne State University and housed at the Detroit Medical Center. She sees patients through the Wayne State University Physician Group Obstetrics and Gynecology clinic at Hutzel Women’s Hospital in Detroit.

Professor of Oncology Lawrence Lum, M.D., is recognized as a Top Doc for his research focused on complex treatments that enhance the body’s own immune system to attack and disarm cancerous cells. His passion for treating disease started in junior high school, when he learned about the work of physician and philosopher Albert Schweitzer, he tells the magazine. The Wayne State University Physician Group doctor sees patients at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit.

His Karmanos colleague, Professor of Oncology Elisabeth Heath, M.D., is also named a Top Doc by Ambassador. She directs prostate cancer research at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. She is also a member of the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Program, a 13-member top academic center consortium of research leaders working to further translational prostate cancer research and clinical trials.

Top Doc and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Dena Nazer, M.D., is chief of the child protection team at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, treating children who have been victims of mental, physical and sexual abuse or neglect. “I always think about how they should be treated, not how they’re mistreated,” she told Ambassador. “I remember them as children, not as victims.”

Dr. Nazer completed her residency in general pediatrics and a year of chief residency at Children’s with the School of Medicine. She is the first and only person in the state to complete a two-year fellowship in child abuse pediatrics, and was named to Gov. Rick Snyder’s new Human Trafficking Health Advisory Board earlier this year.

Professor of Surgery, Molecular Biology and Genetics Scott Dulchavsky, M.D., Ph.D., Class of 1983, was recognized by the magazine for his role in creating the Henry Ford Innovation Institute, which he now heads as its chief executive officer. The space, inside Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, is designed for creativity and inventive thinking, two of Dr. Dulchavsky’s career hallmarks. He works with NASA, serving as a principal investigator for the agency and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute in Houston to help provide medical care to astronauts via telemedicine.

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