I’ve become very aware that every 24/7 week translates into 168 hours. I know there are faculty, staff, certainly our students and residents, who are working many of those 168 hours at a pandemic pace.

We do this with a sense of urgency as we engage with the coronavirus that has shut down much of our state and sent many home. Beyond our labs, in our clinics or hospitals, I know there also are many working tireless hours from dining room tables and desks ill-equipped for the volume of work taking place now.

So, take a minute out of the 168 hours of this week. Let’s reflect together on the following accomplishments:

  • This week, our Medical School graduates 196 new physicians who will provide care and comfort to this and the next generation. Of those, 48% will remain to do their residencies in Minnesota and 53% matched to primary care.
  • A number of our colleagues, including Vice Dean for Research Tim Schacker and Lisa Johnson in our Research Office, plus our Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, are deeply involved in the launch of Minnesota’s Testing Command Center that is ramping up diagnostic and antibody testing as part of the COVID-19 battle.
  • Marc Jenkins, PhD, whose lab already contributed mightily to the antibody testing our state will need to move through this pandemic, has been inducted into the National Academy of Sciences. This is the first time in 50 years that a Medical School faculty member has been added to this august body. We are planning a virtual celebration on May 8 to honor Dr. Jenkins. Please keep an eye out for more details on how to join next week.
  • We also should take a moment to recognize Ryan Langlois, PhD, who has been designated a McKnight Presidential Fellow, and Essa Yacoub, PhD, and David Masopust, PhD, who have received Distinguished McKnight University Professor awards.
  • We’ve been so impressed with the innovative creativity of faculty, staff, and students through our Rapid Response Grants that we’re launching a new round of these grants focused on clinical projects. These funds will support small-scale projects in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and are targeted to proposals that explore new ways to diagnose and treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Thank you for your patience, endurance, and daily effort.

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