March 1, 2018

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National radiology organization accredits SHRP department; med students shining MSTARs

Rad onc earns national radiology accreditation

acr.pngThe Department of Radiation Oncology has been granted accreditation by the American College of Radiology.

The ACR Radiation Oncology Practice Accreditation Committee reviewed staffing, data collection (including patient treatment) and medical physicists data collection and quality control before granting accreditation.

“The most important thing about radiation oncology is safety and quality because radiation can be quite damaging,” said Dr. Srinivasan Vijayakumar, department chair. “Accreditation means we are very good at what we do. It’s an assurance of quality and safety.”

ACR awards accreditation to departments that voluntarily seek review and meet ACR standards for image quality and safety and requirements for equipment, medical personnel and quality assurance. The Department of Radiation Oncology, part of the UMMC Cancer Institute, joins two other Mississippi centers that received accreditation: the G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center and North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo.

Med students shine with MSTAR scholarships


Kirby Parker and Sara Bolen Parker, first-year medical students, have been selected for the 2018 Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program.

Sponsored by the National Institute on Aging, MSTAR is a competitive program that pairs medical students with mentors to study aging-related topics through a paid summer research experience.


Both students will pursue projects based on data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, a 30-year study of aging led in Jackson by Dr. Tom Mosely, professor of medicine.

Sara Parker will examine the relationships between cardiorespiratory fitness and cognitive function and dementia in older adults. Kirby Parker will examine relationships of mid- to late-life inflammation levels with physical function measured in late life and whether these relationships are influenced by brain structure and function.


Dr. Gwen Windham, professor of medicine, and Dr. Michael Griswold, professor of data science, will serve as mentors.

“We are excited to have such outstanding students share our interest in important aging-related outcomes,” Windham said.

MSTAR accepts approximately 100 medical students from across the country to participate at one of seven National Training Centers. UMMC partners with Harvard Medical School to train the students.