Internationally recognized kidney specialist and sodium pump researcher visits Marshall University

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Dr. Anita Aperia, professor of pediatrics at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and former member of the Nobel Assembly, who is widely recognized for her groundbreaking research to medicine’s understanding of how the ‪‎kidneys function in health and disease, visited Marshall University and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine this week.

The visit was part of a series of public lectures hosted by the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research where work is focused on Na+/K+-ATPase—a protein often referred to as the “sodium potassium pump” because it directs many cellular processes in the heart, kidney and other tissues. By studying how this cellular signaling occurs, the institute’s researchers are working to develop new treatments for cancer, heart and kidney disease.

Aperia also served as a guest speaker at Marshall’s Department of Pediatrics grand rounds.

aperia photoA native of Sweden, Aperia graduated from the Karolinska Institutet medical school and received her Ph.D. training at Yale University. She has been at the Karolinska Institutet since 1976, and as chairman of the department of pediatrics from 1987 to 1999, was the founder and project leader for Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, the largest children’s hospital in Northern Europe.

In 1987, she was appointed to the Nobel Assembly for Physiology or Medicine in Stockholm, where she served as a member until 2003. From 1991 to 1996, she was a member of the Nobel Committee and in 2001 she was the first woman to chair the Nobel Assembly.

Cutline:
Dr. Anita Aperia speaks Thursday at the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center during a visit to Marshall University.

Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University

Internationally recognized kidney specialist and sodium pump researcher to speak as part of MIIR lecture series

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – One of the world’s leading kidney authorities and researchers will be speaking next week at Marshall University.

Dr. Anita Aperia, professor of pediatrics at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and a former member of the Nobel Assembly, is widely recognized for her groundbreaking research contributions to medicine’s understanding of how the kidneys function in health and disease.

Her talk titled “The Physiological Function of Na+/K+-ATPase” will begin at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12, in Room 101 of the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center on Marshall University’s Huntington campus.

The free event is part of a series of public lectures hosted by the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research.Dr. Anita Aperia

Research at MIIR is focused on Na+/K+-ATPase—a protein often referred to as the “sodium potassium pump” because it directs many cellular processes in the heart, kidney and other tissues. By studying how this cellular signaling occurs, the institute’s researchers are working to develop new treatments for cancer, heart and kidney disease.

A native of Sweden, Aperia graduated from the Karolinska Institutet medical school and received her Ph.D. training at Yale University. She has been at the Karolinska Institutet since 1976, and as chairman of the department of pediatrics from 1987-99, was the founder and project leader for Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, the largest children’s hospital in Northern Europe.

In 1987, she was appointed to the Nobel Assembly for Physiology or Medicine in Stockholm, where she served as a member until 2003. From 1991-96, she was a member of the Nobel Committee and in 2001 she was the first woman to chair the Nobel Assembly.

She has served as a council member of the International Society of Nephrology, the International Pediatric Society of Nephrology and the European Society of Nephrology.

Aperia was the 2001 recipient of the Jean Hamburger Award from the International Society of Nephrology—the first pediatrician to receive the prestigious international award. In 2011, she received the Homer W. Smith Award from the American Society of Nephrology and in 2013 was the presenter of the Robert Berliner lecture at Yale. She also has received the Torsten and Ragnar Soderberg Prize in Medicine from the Swedish Society of Medicine, and another Swedish honor, His Majesty the King’s Medal.

A dedicated teacher, Aperia has trained numerous undergraduate students and pediatric residents, and has supervised nearly 50 Ph.D. students and 30 postdoctoral fellows. She also has published approximately 300 original papers, 40 review articles and 10 textbook chapters.

In addition to the public lecture, Aperia will present Grand Rounds in the Department of Pediatrics at Cabell Huntington Hospital at 8 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 13. Her topic will be “How being a pediatric nephrologist has influenced my scientific work and vice versa.”

For more information about the programs, contact Hollie Bailey at bailey134@marshall.edu or 304-696-3549.

MIIR is Marshall’s key vehicle to advancing regional economic development through entrepreneurship and commercialization of scientific discoveries. Scientists at the institute are developing an intensive program of biotechnology research dedicated to producing patentable scientific breakthroughs and creating new businesses based on those discoveries.

For more information, visit www.marshall.edu/miir.

Marshall SOM Biomedical Sciences’ professors awarded American Heart Association research grants for students

Congratulations to Nalini Santanam, Ph.D. and her team (Elsa Mangiarua, Ph.D. and Monica Valentovic, Ph.D.) on receiving the Great Rivers Affiliate Undergraduate Student
Research Program Award from the American Heart Association for Marshall University. The grant encourages promising Marshall University students from all disciplines, including women and members of minority groups underrepresented in the sciences, to consider research careers while supporting the highest quality scientific investigation broadly related to cardiovascular disease and stroke.

American Heart Association logo 1.8.15

Because of this grant, Marshall University undergraduate students have an opportunity to conduct graduate-level research this summer for nine-weeks with outstanding school of medicine faculty and in amazing research facilities. Interns will receive a $4,000 stipend. Applications are due by February 20th. Click the logo above to see the application.

The peer-reviewed process focuses on evaluation of program organization, training opportunities, science and academic qualifications
of faculty, resources and funding available to students and history of student research training.

Students will learn and utilize a variety of genetic, epigenetic, molecular, morphological and physiological experimental techniques and apply them to models at the animal, tissue, cell and molecular levels. The students will also have an opportunity to work on translational research projects with leading scientists and clinical faculty. The results of each student’s research would contribute directly to a greater understanding of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes, their interrelationships and the development of improved treatments.

The Research Program is scheduled for summer 2015, and the application deadline is February 20th.

Interns will receive a $4,000 stipend for the nine-week research experience.

Learn More

Apply Now

Marshall University student researcher presents at national conference

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—Mohit Harsh,a research student at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and an entering first-year medical student, presented his team’s findings last month during a poster session at the 16th International Congress of Endocrinology in Chicago.

The research was done in the laboratory of Dr. Nader G. Abraham, one of the foremost researchers on the topic of obesity and metabolic syndrome in the world, as well as the Vice Dean for Research for the School of Medicine.  The study focused on fructose and a metabolic by-product of fructose metabolism called uric acid and their effects on bone marrow-derived stem cell development.  The use of fructose is becoming increasingly popular as a sweetener in western society and has been linked to worsening obesity and obesity-related complications like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Mohit Harsh - Former Biomedical Sciences, M.S. Medical Sciences Student

“This was significant study because it’s the first study to demonstrate that fructose treatments on stem cells increase the development of fat cells and actually decrease the secretion of adiponectin, a hormone known to have cardio-protective properties,” Harsh said.“Our results may provide an avenue for our better understanding of diet-induced obesity and obesity-related cardiovascular complications.”

Harsh worked with fellow students Jordan P. Hilgefort, a second- year medical student, and George E. Banks V, also a second-year medical student.  Faculty members on the team include Zeid J. Khitan, M.D.; Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine;  Komal Sodhi, M.D.;  Luca Vanella, Ph.D.; and Abraham.

“Obesity is preventable and can be achieved by controlling calorie intake and physical activity,” Abraham said. “Our goal is to empower our community with science-based information about what can be done to prevent child and adult obesity and how an increase in fructose intake can be detrimental on body weight gain and heart disease.”

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Brickstreet Foundation.

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

 

Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine releases the spring edition of its Professional Enhancement Newsletter (PEN)

Link to PENMarshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine has released the spring edition of its Professional Enhancement Newsletter (PEN). It is extremely informative about happenings in the fields of both clinical medicine and basic science research at Marshall University.

Twenty-five (25) Marshall University School of Medicine basic science faculty and biomedical sciences graduate students (and a few of our former faculty and students) are highlighted in this edition. They are recognized for numerous reasons ranging from winning teaching and/or service awards to receiving grant funding to publishing their research.

As you read the newsletter, look specifically for our BMS faculty and students; they are listed below in order of appearance in the newsletter:

Lora Beth Fetty, M.D. – former Medical Sciences’ student
Aaron Dom – former Medical Sciences’ student
Beverly Delidow, Ph.D. – BMS faculty
W. Elaine Hardman, Ph.D. – BMS faculty
Jung Han Kim, Ph.D. – BMS faculty
Miranda Carper – Ph.D. candidate
Sarah Sexton – former Medical Sciences’ student
Richard M. Niles, Ph.D. – Vice Dean for Biomedical Sciences Research
Elsa I. Mangiarua, Ph.D. – BMS faculty
Maria A. Serrat, Ph.D. – BMS faculty
Uma Sundaram, M.D. – BMS faculty
Matt Christiansen, M.D. – former Medical Sciences’ student
Todd L. Green, Ph.D. – Director of Graduate Studies, BMS
Sasha N. Zill, Ph.D. – BMS faculty
Mitchell Berk, Ph.D. – retired Anatomy professor
Susan Jackman, Ph.D. – BMS faculty
Monica A. Valentovic, Ph.D. – BMS faculty
Pier Paolo Claudio, M.D., Ph.D. – BMS faculty
Hongwei D. Yu, Ph.D. – BMS faculty
Wei-ping Zeng, Ph.D. – BMS faculty
Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., F.A.H.A., F.A.C.P., F.A.S.N. – School of Medicine Dean
Piyali Dasgupta, Ph.D. – BMS faculty
Travis Salisbury, Ph.D. – BMS faculty
Jiang Liu, M.D., Ph.D. – BMS faculty
Nader G. Abraham, Ph.D., Dr. H.C., F.A.H.A. – Vice Dean for Research

WV Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol 2014

Image for WVURD14

Following the poster presentations, a luncheon was held to honor the student researchers, their mentors, and to formally recognize the winners of grants awarded by The Higher Education Policy Commission’s (HEPC) Division of Science and Research.

The luncheon was sponsored by the WV HEPC Division of Science and Research; Expansion of STEM Doctoral Education Program, Marshall University; Marshall Health; and WVU’s Office of Graduate Education and Life.

Norton_WVURD_grant'14One of the award recipients is one of Marshall’s own, Dr. Michael Norton. Norton received a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Grant for $210,000.

Congratulations!

 

 

MU biomedical students showcase research

BILL ROSENBERGER
The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON — Medical research that has an opportunity to affect the health and well-being of the general population should be celebrated, which is one of the reasons for the showcase at Pullman Plaza Hotel.

More than a dozen projects by Marshall University biomedical science graduate students and faculty members showcased their work as part of the ninth annual Biomedical Sciences Retreat. The event gives graduate students in the university’s biomedical sciences program an opportunity to share their research, including projects to study the effects of drugs on the kidney, obesity and type 2 diabetes, and how neurons respond to different patterns of neural activity.

Elsa Mangiarua, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology, said Ph.D. students get to share their work with each other, while newly admitted Ph.D. students get to see some of the research they will be getting into.

“There are a lot of good projects with positive results in translational research,” said Rachel Murphy, who is a first-year student from Kansas. “It sets the bar high to help medical science advance to the next step. It’s definitely inspiring.”

Marcus_Terneus2013That was also the observation from Marcus Terneus, senior manager of global EH&S occupational toxicology at Mylan Pharmaceuticals. He is a 2006 graduate of the Marshall Ph.D. program and served as the afternoon’s keynote speaker.

“I’m very proud. It’s exciting to see the growth and what projects are going on,” Terneus said. “I keep close eyes on what students are doing.”

He also told the group that the education and research opportunities he received prepared him for what he’s seen during the past seven years.

“It’s given me what I needed to succeed,” he said.

The research also was noted as impressive because of how groundbreaking the results could be. Second-year student Justin Tomblin’s project centered on the link between obesity and breast cancer and how to block the growth of abnormal tissue.

In West Virginia, which has high obesity rates, that kind of research could help quite a few folks, he said.

“It definitely feels like you are doing something that may help friends or relatives,” Tomblin said.

John Maher, the vice president for research at Marshall and executive director of the Marshall University Research Corporation, said after hearing some presentations that Marshall has a very strong biomedical sciences program. He also noted that they are working on relevant and important problems pertaining to regional health care.