L E T T E R F R O M T H E D E A N Dear Colleague, his fall, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School welcomed its 50th entering class, 160 students strong. Like the students in our very first class and all who followed, these future physicians are already making their own mark in our missions in education, research, patient care, and community health. The articles in this issue of Robert Wood Johnson Medicine take you into several areas where our faculty have defined and undertaken new challenges, initiating and growing programs that are models of excellence. Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital are regional leaders in the development and use of the ventricular assist device. The two patient stories in “Breakthrough Mechanical Devices Are Helping People with Failing Hearts to Survive, and Thrive” demonstrate how these extraordinary devices save lives by supporting heart function and blood flow in patients with end-stage heart disease. “Targeting Parkinson’s Disease” discusses two patents secured this year by M. Maral Mouradian, MD, William Dow Lovett Professor of Neurology and director, Center for Neurodegenerative and Neuroimmunologic Diseases. The patents will accelerate the pace of Dr. Mouradian’s research and attract collaborations, bringing new promise to Parkinson’s patients awaiting effective treatment. “Developing a Blueprint to Fight HIV” describes the key role of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Rapid HIV Testing initiative. In its 12-year partnership with the State of New Jersey, the department has expanded the number of testing sites from one to more than 100, screening almost one million people, accelerating the turnaround of test results, improving links to care, and lowering the risk of disease transmission. “The Affirmation Journey: Support and Well-Being for Transgender Youth” describes a growing program in the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group. Here, in an academic setting, transgender adolescents and their families find empathy, clinical care, and multidisciplinary support. “‘Like Manna from Heaven’” explores the Veterans Total Care Initiative, a collaboration among our Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Through this pioneering program, New Brunswick–area veterans receive exceptional care and peer support at our Family Medicine practice at Monument Square. “New Antibiotic Effective against MRSA” shares the wonderful news that a team of Rutgers University scientists has developed a drug, TXA709, that successfully combats methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in animals when used in combination with the common antibiotic cefdinir. In “Leader on Blood Transfusion Standards Starts Clinical Trial to Help Heart Attack Patients,” we learn that a Rutgers University–led team has published high-quality evidence recommending new blood transfusion guidelines that propose a restrictive transfusion strategy for most patients. I hope that you will enjoy this issue of Robert Wood Johnson Medicine and the close look it provides at the work we do today and our vision for the future. JOHN EMERSON T Sincerely, Sherine E. Gabriel, MD, MSc Dean Robert Wood Johnson I MEDICINE 1