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ABE Board of Directors Election 2023

Voting for Member-at-Large seats on the ABE Board of Directors starts today!  The ballot of candidates is available below through March 15, 2023. 

We are electing 6 new members to serve for terms of four years.  We appreciate each of the eleven candidates for their willingness to dedicate their time to our organization.  Please review the ballot and cast your votes for our new leaders!

The elected ABE Board Members-at-Large will be notified by March 19 and results will be announced to the membership by April 1.


2023 Slate of Nominees


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I am an assistant professor at the College of Medicine, Central Michigan University. I have been actively involved in the teaching and development of the college’s biochemistry curriculum for about 5 years. We are using a mixture of modalities, including large group, problem-based learning, and team-based learning to engage and educate medical students in topics ranging from cell/molecular biology, biochemistry, and nutrition.

I have three main goals for serving on the ABE board. The first goal is to to foster the integration of new members into the ABE community. I was kindly welcomed in a few years ago and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know other members. If elected, I would like to see that continue. The second goal would be to use my position on the board (if elected) to promote the integration of biochemistry into a systems approach curriculum. Many medical schools are utilizing a systems approach curriculum and as biochemistry educators it is important to continue to be integrated in these system courses. And the last goal is to push for more nutrition education within the medical school curriculum. Biochemistry and nutrition are largely related, and I view nutrition as the application of biochemistry to our food, lifestyle, and environmental health. I strongly believe future physicians need more nutrition education to combat misinformation, adequately assess basic nutrition research, and to become more comfortable working alongside nutrition experts.-

Martha Faner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a focus on teaching in the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Michigan State University (MSUCOM). Faner completed her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Wayne State University, Department of Chemistry under the direction of Andrew Feig and her undergraduate studies at Northern Michigan University.

Her primary role is to create and deliver content in biochemistry, genetics, and physiology to pre-clerkship medical students as part of a teaching team. Additionally, she has an administrative appointment as the Director of Curriculum Integration. This position involves overseeing the integration of scientific knowledge with clinical medicine throughout the curriculum. She is based at the Detroit Medical Center, one of three sites of MSUCOM.  At Michigan State University she serves on committees at the departmental, college, and university level. Nationally, she serves as the Biochemistry Division Chair at the NBOME and as a member of the Professional Development Committee of the Association of Biochemistry Educators (ABE).

She also engages in pedagogical development and research. Her interests lie in developing and evaluating student centered learning sessions in a large class, multi-site learning environment. Her work was recently presented at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine and the ABE conferences and published in Medical Science Educator and BMC Medical Education.

I have been a member of ABE since 2014, right after I started at MSUCOM as a Biochemistry Instructor. As a new medical educator, I began seeking out resources to help me thrive in the field. ABE was one of the sources I identified to fill that need and it has proved to be invaluable to me in my professional development. The meetings in particular have served as a way to stay updated in the field of medical education and connect with colleagues from around the country. I have attended in-person meetings in Clearwater and Tucson, and attended virtually during the COVID pandemic. In each case I left the meeting feeling inspired in my work and having tangible ideas to bring to my home institution. I would like to serve on the Board of the ABE to represent and advocate for the needs of the membership. I look forward to furthering my involvement in the organization. I see this as a valuable opportunity to serve and I would appreciate the experience.

My name is Sheri Fong and I am the Co-Associate Director and Associate Professor in the Office of Medical Education at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii. I have a B.S. Biology (1990), M.S. Genetics (1994), M.D. (1996), internship in Internal Medicine (1997) and Ph.D. Cell and Molecular Biology (2003), all from the University of Hawaii. Besides serving as a problem-based-learning (PBL) facilitator for first year medical students and the main biochemistry lecturer for pre-clerkship students (18 yrs), co-course director for the cardiovascular and pulmonary curricular unit (AY 2008-2016, 2022-current) and renal and heme curricular unit (AY 2017-2022), I also serve as the Biochemistry Discipline Representative (18 yrs), current Chair of the Curriculum Committee (3 years), former Co-Chair of the Pre-clerkship Education Committee (11 yrs), and am a member of the Foundational Science Education Committee (13 yrs). In addition, I am the co-conference chair of the 2023 Western Group Collaborative Spring Conference, and was the conference chair for the 2014 Western Group on Educational Affairs (WGEA) meeting, and our annual local Health Professions Education Conference since its inception in 2016.

For ABE, I currently serve as a member of the board and the Professional Development Committee (PDC), and am involved in a working group formed by the Education Resource Development Committee (ERDC). I am greatly appreciative of the opportunity these experiences have provided me in working with and learning from my wonderful colleagues. I would love to continue to contribute to the ABE’s mission by sharing my experiences in medical education and conference planning, networking with dedicated faculty who are passionate about teaching biochemistry, and learning from others about the challenges they face and their unique solutions.

As an educator, I am the Course Director for Scientific Foundations of Medicine, the first learning encounter of medical students at Chicago Medical School. A large component of the first half of the course is Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. It is an integrated case based, disease oriented, 10 week immersive educational encounter. I created and co-authored for Step I USMLE Board Review books for Biochemistry (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Genetics, 4th and 5th editions, Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins). This has been translated into Spanish. I have also created a clinical case review book (Underground Clinical Vignettes, Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins).

As Director of a new research center and as Chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, I am committed to mentoring faculty and to developing career opportunities. I advocate for appointments and promotions for faculty who primarily dedicate time and effort for medical and graduate student education. I have also served on the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science Board of Trustees and local Boards of Education. In these roles, I have been imbued with fiduciary responsibility, accountability and board stewardship on behalf of constituent members.

Based on my experience and passions, my goals as a Board Member (at large) are:

  • To advocate for faculty development and leadership roles for teachers in institutions that may classically regard research as a necessary requirement for appointment and promotion.
  • To pledge Board accountability, fiscal responsibility and stewardship for the ABE membership.
  • To leverage being a Board Member to represent our collective interests to the Association of Medical and Graduate Departments of Biochemistry (AMGDB). I would use my longstanding membership in AMGDB, comprised of Chairs of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at graduate and medical schools in North America to advance our agenda.
  • To commit resources to bolstering a more robust, secure database of modern, case based, vignette styled questions (NBME-like) to be shared as an educational resource for all members.  

Thank you and I would be honored to serve ABE in this significant role! 

I nominate myself, Dr. Vasudeva Kamath, Ph.D., Assistant professor of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Middletown, New York, USA, for the Association of Biochemistry Educators (ABE) board membership. I have been serving as a medical educator, facilitating the students learning, and promoting the foundational role of biochemistry and Medical care for nearly a decade.

In addition, I have been a member and a Chair of the Professional Development Committee (PDC) of ABE for over two years. As a chair and a member of PDC, we have successfully rolled out three virtual lecture series, and a fourth series is currently being planned for the spring of 2023. These series have been designed to foster innovative biochemistry education and develop ABE members as effective biochemistry educators. We have also been instrumental in forming the Mentor and mentee network among the ABE members.

As a board member, I would work towards setting ABE members’ pursuit for becoming effective Biochemistry facilitators and communicators and aid in members’ collaboration with other Biochemistry and medical educators.

Thank you for considering my application for the ABE board membership. I attended my first ABE/ APHMG meeting in 2021 virtually, where I got introduced to various faculty members and learned about various important initiatives of ABE. Subsequently, I got an opportunity to be actively involved in two multi-institutional collaborative projects initiated by the ABE and work with other ABE members.  In these two years, I have learned a lot about ABE and would love further to contribute to ABE’s efforts.  

  • First project: ABE biochemistry learning objectives are being revisited and aligned clinical objectives made available by Aquifer Sciences.
  • Second project: Establishing a clinical biochemistry thread map in the medical curriculum, which is essential for integrating basic medical knowledge with clinical training.

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Medical Education at the UTHSC, College of Medicine. As the course director and primary instructor of the Molecular Basis of Normal Body Function course, I teach foundational sciences namely biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, cell biology, and nutrition in the preclinical MD curriculum. My background and experience as an ECFMG-certified physician and a basic science researcher help me bring clinical insights and applications into preclinical foundational science education. As the course director, I lead a team of 14-16 faculty members. I oversee all aspects of the course including the syllabus, organization, scheduling, communication (with faculty and students), student assessments, and grades. Recently, I was also appointed as the director of the Self- directed learning curriculum. Additionally, I serve on multiple educational committees and am the chair of the seminar committee of the Medical Education department.

Apart from the ABE projects, my other scholarly activities include creating educational resources for medical students, physicians, and faculty members. I recently published a CME activity on Nutritional assessment for physicians, nurses, and dieticians (PMID: 35593821). As a part of the scholarship of teaching and learning, I am also working on a project to identify challenges faced by a faculty member while conducting flipped lectures. A part of this work was presented at APHMG in 2022.

I look forward to supporting ABE’s effort to promote the importance of foundational sciences in medical education. I hope to bring my clinical experience to the table, which can help in identifying opportunities for foundational and clinical science integration. I also look forward to collaborative work to promote innovative projects and resources that can help students as well as faculty members at large.

My hat is in the ring for an open ABE Board position.  Following is what I would bring to the table.  

I hold a PhD (1990) from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School.  I have been on faculty at several institutions, including Baylor College of Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, and the Oregon Health & Science University (School of Dentistry).  I served on the National Board of Dental Examiners (analogous NBME) test writing committee for the subject areas of biochemistry and physiology.  I have directed courses in several disciplines, including biochemistry, physiology, and pharmacology.  Currently I direct a large (6 unit x 3 term) interdisciplinary series that includes didactic instruction in biochemistry, systems physiology, systems neuroscience, and nutrition. Since I have these traditional silos under a single umbrella, each instructional block can more easily be approached from molecular, cellular, and systemic perspectives.  The above background and current pursuit allows me to commiserate with the anti-silo crowd, and to irritate others who find cross-disciplinary education less compelling.

In closing, you should know that although I served on the ABE Board more than a decade ago, I  have been on a hiatus from biochemistry, teaching mainly physiology and pharmacology in the interim.  I am back, and directly involved once again in biochemical education. I would be pleased to serve as an ABE Board member.  Thank you for the nomination and support.

My name is Dr. Amanda Parker and I serve as an Associate Professor of Preclinical Sciences at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine.  Membership in the Association of Biochemistry Educators has provided an important networking opportunity and access to knowledge I find very valuable in my position.  I wish to serve on the Finance Committee to provide my support to the ABE, and I am running for Member-at-Large for the ABE Board. 

Prior to serving at WCUCOM as a professor, I served another institution as an administrator.  In this role I spent a large part of my time managing finances and working with others to plan events for the college.  With my background, the finance committee provides a nice platform for me to give back to the organization.  As a member of the finance committee, I would like to assist in the management of funds to provide for the needs of the organization.

My name is Steve Sharkady and I have been an educator in higher education for 15 years at various institutions. As a current member of the Educational Resource and Development Committee at ABE, I have helped in creating tools for fellow educators to use and adapt for their programs. Although the roots of ABE are in medical education, I see a need to expand the number of members in the ABE to include other biochemistry educators who could benefit from the society. I am interested in finding ways to reach and recruit biochemistry faculty from undergraduate programs as well as increase the number of ABE members from both pharmacy and science graduate programs. The resources such as the test bank and collaboration networking within the ABE could be leveraged as a great selling point to new prospective members. Thank you.

ABE nomination of Cristine Smoczer by Janet Lindsley

I would like to nominate Cristine Smoczer to serve on both the Education Resource Development Committee (ERDC) and the Professional Development Committee (PDC) and to be considered for the position of Member-at-Large for the ABE Board. 

I have served as Dr. Smoczer’s mentor for over a year, and I think that she has lots or insights, creativity and energy to contribute to ABE. I’m confident that she will be a wonderful collaborator who will fulfill her duties efficiently and effectively, while also learning through formal interactions with other ABE members. Thank you for providing her with this opportunity.

Hello!  My name is Jaya Yodh, and I am Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Translation Sciences at Carle Illinois College of Medicine (CI MED), an engineering-integrated medical school at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  I have 25 years of professional experience spanning medical education and interdisciplinary teaching and research including prior positions on the Biochemistry Faculty at Midwestern University, AZCOM and the Biological Physics Faculty at University of Illinois. I joined CI MED as Inaugural Faculty in 2017, and I currently serve in multiple instructional andcurricular leadership roles such as PBL Facilitator, Biochemistry Discipline Lead, Co-Director for our Foundations and Step 1 Review courses, and Lifespan Health Longitudinal Curricular Thread Co-Director.  I have cultivated related educational scholarship, borne out of my teaching/curricular activities, for which I was recognized as therecipient of the 2022 International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE) Early Career Award for Excellence in Teaching and Innovation.

I am especially invested in the future of basic science education in the health professions and am pursuing ways to promote education and innovation in this arena via engagement within the greater medical education community.  I’m currently involved in three organizations – as Co-Convener for AAMC Central Group on Educational Affairs (CGEA) Special Interest Group on Basic Science Education; as a member of the IAMSE 2023 Program Committee; and as a member of the ABE Educational Resource Development committee (ERDC) and Secretary of the ABE Justice, Education, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) committee.  I joined ABE in 2019, and I have found this organization to be extremely welcoming and helpful during my re-entry into ‘Med-Ed’.  I have grown tremendously as an educator and scholar through ABE programming and interactions with ABE colleagues.  Our membership is diverse with respect to our institutional degree programs, curricular structures, and the research frameworks we work in.  Being in ABE allows us to find a common bond as educators who collaborate to find solutions to challenges that are continually evolving in basic science education such as navigating the complexities of curricular integration, changing professional identities, and becoming inclusive educators.  I have found my ‘home’ in the ABE community and want to ensure that our organization continues to provide an environment where basic science health professional educators can thrive.  I would welcome the opportunity to serve on the ABE Board of Directors and demonstrate my commitment to helping ABE fulfill its organizational mission.

Association of Biochemistry Educators (ABE) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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