Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine hosts 27th annual Research Day – Winners Announced

Congratulations to two Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. students for winning best oral and best poster presentations at the recent Marshall University JCE School of Medicine 27th Annual Research Day!

Winner of Basic Science Poster Presentation
Fischer, AdamAdam Fischer, Ph.D. student
, works in Dr. Sarah Miles’ laboratory and presented a poster titled “Normoxic accumulation and activity of HIF-1 is associated with ascorbic acid transporter expression and localization in human melanoma”. The other author is Sarah L. Miles.

 

 

 

 

Winner of Basic Science Oral Presentation
Kristeena Ray_web
Kristeena Wright, Ph.D. candidate, works in Dr. Nalini Santanam’s laboratory and gave an oral presentation titled “Polycomb group and associated proteins as potential therapeutic targets for endometriosis”. Other authors include Brenda Mitchell and Nalini Santanam. 

 

 

Winners of clinical categories are as follows:

Clinical Science Oral Presentation, Student CategoryBrandon J. Smith
“Impact of influenza vaccination on clinical outcomes of patients admitted in a university affiliated large medical center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania”

Clinical Science Oral Presentation, Resident CategoryA. Allison Roy
“Evaluating Buprenorphine Metabolism in Cord Blood from Neonates Born to Opiate Addicted Mothers as a Predictor of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in Rural Appalachia”

Clinical Case Poster Presentation, Student CategoryPaul Viscuse
“Fatigue, bruising, and weight loss in a teenage female with previously diagnosed thrombocytopenia”

Clinical Case Poster Presentation, Post-Graduate CategoryZain Qazi
“Atypical Growth of an Osteochondroma in a 31 year old female”

Clinical Science Poster Presentation, Student CategoryMaria Espiridion
The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit: Barriers and Patient Perceptions”

Clinical Science Poster Presentation, Post-Graduate CategoryJared Brownfield
“Placental ADRB1 mRNA as a Potential Predictor of Outcome and Possible Therapeutic Target in High Risk Pregnancies”

Earlier Press Release:

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Nearly 100 research projects and a keynote presentation focused on one of the region’s most pressing health problems, obesity, will mark the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine’s Health Sciences Center 27th Annual Research Day at Marshall University.

The two-day research event begins at 5:30 p.m. Monday, March 23, with a community seminar on obesity, co-sponsored by Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) and its Senior Services Program.

Richard J. Johnson, M.D., chief of the division of renal disease and hypertension at the University of Colorado, will serve as special guest speaker for both the community event and Marshall’s academic event.

Johnson graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School and then completed a residency in internal medicine and fellowships in nephrology and infectious diseases at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Johnson’s community presentation, “Obesity,” is focused on the causes of weight gain and overall energy balance and concerns about the intake of added sugars containing fructose in the Western diet.  The lecture, which is free and open to the public, begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Harless Auditorium of the Marshall University Medical Center on the campus of Cabell Huntington Hospital.  The following day, Tuesday, March 24, Johnson also will deliver a lecture to medical students, residents and other medical personnel in the Harless Auditorium. The lecture, which begins at 11:30 a.m., is titled, “The Role of Sugar (Fructose) in the Great Epidemics of Diabetes and Obesity.”

Research Day showcases research conducted by medical students, graduate students, residents and postdoctoral fellows.   This year’s entries include a variety of projects that focus on various areas in medical and biomedical research. “The topic of our research day, obesity, is very important since most of the serious health care disparities affecting West Virginians result from obesity,” said Uma Sundaram, M.D., vice dean for research at the School of Medicine. “The presentations by Dr. Johnson and the cutting-edge research that will be presented during the research day illustrate our commitment to education, prevention and treatment of obesity and its many complications in West Virginia.”

For more information about Research Day contact the Office of Continuing Medical Education at 304-691-1770.

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Recent Biomedical Sciences graduate, Miranda Carper, PhD, publishes in prestigious journal

Miranda Carper, Ph.D., a December 2014 graduate of Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program, had her manuscript published in Genes and Cancer, a leading journal in the field. Dr. Carper worked in the lab of Pier Paolo Claudio, M.D./Ph.D.

RGS16, a novel p53 and pRb cross-talk candidate inhibits migration and invasion of pancreatic cancer cells focuses on the identification of a protein that is able to inhibit Carper, Miranda_12.14.14pancreatic cancer cell invasion and migration. The research provides information on why this protein is down-regulated in metastatic pancreatic cancer and makes the case for continued investigation. Read the entire article here (November Issue): http://www.impactjournals.com/Genes&Cancer/files/papers/1/43/43.pdf.

Congratulations on your publication and recent graduation, Dr. Miranda B. Carper!

Multi-million dollar federal grant renewed for Marshall researchers and statewide collaborators

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. Gary Rankin with the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and co-investigators at institutions around West Virginia, including West Virginia University, have received a five-year renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling more than $17 million for the West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE).

Rankin, who is chairman of the department of pharmacology, physiology and toxicology, serves as the grant’s principal investigator.

Gary O. Rankin, Ph.D.“We are really happy to be able to continue the work of the WV-INBRE program across our state,” Rankin said. “These funds will provide much-needed support for investigators at West Virginia colleges and universities to develop biomedical research programs and receive critical new equipment for their research activities.”

Rankin explained that researchers with the WV-INBRE research network are already studying many important health issues germane to West Virginia including cancer and cardiovascular disease, and the grant allows for expansion in those areas.

“The grant will also allow us to continue providing biomedical research opportunities for undergraduate students and faculty in all parts of West Virginia and help us train the state’s future workforce in science and technology,” Rankin said.

WV-INBRE is part of NIH’s Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program housed in the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at NIH. The goals of the IDeA programs are to enhance biomedical research capacity, expand and strengthen the research capabilities of biomedical faculty, and, for INBREs, provide access to biomedical resources for promising undergraduate students throughout the 23 eligible states and Puerto Rico in the IDeA program.

“Our INBRE puts the IDeA approach into action by enhancing the state’s research infrastructure through support of a statewide system of institutions with a multidisciplinary, thematic scientific focus,” Rankin said. “For WV-INBRE this focus is cellular and molecular biology, with a particular emphasis on chronic diseases. We have also started an initiative to support natural products research in the areas of cancer and infectious disease research.”

Rankin said the research goals are accomplished through mentoring and administrative support provided by both Marshall University and West Virginia University.

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Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Pier Paolo Claudio, M.D., Ph.D. shares ChemoID results with prominent scientists

Pier Paolo Claudio, M.D., Ph.D. (Marshall University Graduate Faculty, Cancer Biology research cluster), was an invited speaker at the prestigious Cancer Stem Cell Conference at Case Western University in August. Claudio traveled to Cleveland, OH to provide the ChemoID clinical trial data for the Central Nervous System (CNS) tumor series in a presentation titled: Chemosensitivity Assay for Targeting Cancer Stem-Like Cells in Malignant Brain Tumors. His work was well-received by the 500 world-renowned, national, and international cancer scientists who attended the conference. The opportunity to present his results was “extremely rewarding,” said Claudio.

ChemoID is the result of Claudio’s focus on translational research which is aimed at taking laboratory discoveries to a patient’s bedside. He and his collaborators have developed a method of forecasting the efficacy of particular chemotherapy drugs on specific individuals diagnosed with certain types of cancers. This tool for choosing the best personalized therapy for cancers such as brain, lung, or breast, in addition to others, has shown very positive results in the clinical trials leading to hospital use of the technology.

ClaudioOn October 15, the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center will implement ChemoID. Additionally, transportation stability studies have shown that national and international samples can be safely sent to Claudio’s lab paving the way for broad use of this method.

Claudio noted that, “among all the talks presented at the meeting, we were one of the few institutions presenting an actual completed clinical trial with promising results. This certainly increased our national exposure and the number of collaborations with other leading institutions in the field.”

Philippe Georgel, Ph.D. shares research expertise internationally

Philippe Georgel, Ph.D., a member of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program faculty in the Cancer Biology and Neuroscience and Developmental Biology research clusters, and the Biochemistry and Microbiology Department of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, was recently invited to share his research on prostate cancer and diet. The first Indo-Global Health Care Summit and Expo in Hyderabad, India, hosted his presentation to over 4000 international health care professionals on June 20-23.

Philippe Georgel, Ph.D.Dr. Georgel’s work focuses on the role of the biomolecule sulforaphane (abundant in broccoli, cauliflower and several other cruciferous plants) on prostate cancer cells. The videos of his appearance are available through the Indus Foundation web sites: http://indus.org/healthcare/Secientific_Sessions.html and http://indus.org/healthcare/gallery.html .

After the summit, Dr. Georgel met with students and faculty from universities in the Hyderabad area as an ambassador for INTO Marshall University. This program offers international students learning experiences and services that promote academic, professional and personal success at Marshall University’s Huntington campus. Often, these students then matriculate into Marshall’s undergraduate or graduate degree courses. Dr. Georgel discussed some potential benefits of studying at Marshall University such as the supportive local community, small campus setting, friendly people, and travel highlights of living in the Tri-State region. He also provided detailed information about the curricula offered by the College of Science.

Thank you, Dr. Georgel, for spreading the word internationally about the outstanding research and opportunities at Marshall.

Biomedical Sciences research graduate has work on fatty acids published

Recent MU Biomedical Sciences Research M.S. graduate, William L. Patterson III, “Billy”, has authored a review on the relationship between omega-3 Fatty Acids (FA), inflammation and cancer with his graduate advisor, Dr. Philippe Georgel (Biomedical Science Graduate Program faculty in the Cancer Biology research cluster.)

Billy Patterson_news2014Mr. Patterson submitted a manuscript which reviewed the various pathways affected by omega-3 Fatty Acids related to cancer. The international journal, Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BCB), accepted this article for publication in May, and it appeared in a special edition of the BCB in July. This topic is highly relevant to the public interest regarding diet and health. It includes details of the biochemical processes that can be affected by the daily consumption of omega-3 Fatty Acids in the form of canola oil or fish products.

Dr. Georgel indicated that Mr. Patterson had performed the research for this analysis as a part of his thesis, and expressed the excitement that he always feels when a student’s work is recognized.

Since graduation, Billy continues to conduct research, but with Dr. Michael Norton (Biomedical Sciences Graduate Faculty, Neuroscience and Developmental Biology research cluster) on Marshall’s Huntington Campus.

For further information, please view the abstract for Patterson’s article.

What is Canalization?

The following was taken from WV Public Broadcasting
by Clark Davis

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Marshall University professor Vincent Sollars recently received a $432,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute for his unique cancer research. It involves something called canalization.

Click this picture to hear Clark Davis interview Dr. Vincent Sollars about his research.

Dr. Sollars is an associate professor in the Marshall University School of Medicine. He’s taking an unusual approach to find better treatments for cancer.

“In the end what we’re looking at is making life better for people that have this deadly disease, that’s the main reason I became a scientist,” Sollars said.

The idea of canalization is that as cells develop and mature they become different things.

“As they develop they start as very immature cells that look like each other, and then they mature,” Sollars said. “That process is structured and they’re pushed a long a certain direction like a canal pushes water.”

And he said when that canalization does not work appropriately that is when cancer cells develop. Sollars is examining why some of those cells do not follow the path and end up becoming cancerous. Sollars said that some of the cells will stop listening and cooperating with neighboring cells. That communication with the other cells is necessary for the complex mix that becomes the different cells in our body. When the cells do not listen, bad things happen.

“The loss of this canalization is a force that will allow those cells that are normal to become cancerous, if we understand how that occurs we can develop new chemotherapies,” Sollars said. “If it is truly a force that helps a cancer cell progress we can put breaks on that force.”

Sollars and a team of student researchers will the test the role of canalization in the maturing process of cells and cancer development in mice. They will target leukemia specifically with this grant, but the results can apply to all cancer types. Sollars said most often with cancer research, the examination is of the genes that mutate and become cancerous. His work differs because it looks at the process those individual cells are taking in becoming a normal part of the body or cancer down the road.

“What I’m doing is understanding not a particular gene, but a process,” Sollars said. “So how do cells bring about the changes in these genes, not the specific genes themselves, but the process and so this is a fundamental process is my theory that most cancers use to progress.”

Sollars says ultimately the hope is that if his hypothesis can be proved true, a certain type of chemotherapy could be used in conjunction with the already occurring treatment of leukemia. He says often times the initial treatment of leukemia will seem successful, putting the cancer into remission. But often he said cancer cells will be hiding and growing without the knowledge of the doctor until it’s too late.

Sollars hopes to hire 8 undergraduate and graduate students along with a full-time technician.