School of Medicine Research Day Winners

Congratulations to School of Medicine Research Day award recipients, Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. student Caroline Hunter and Ph.D. candidate Allison Wolf!

CarolineandKoc13

Caroline (on left) with her mentor, Emine Koc, Ph.D.

Best Poster Presentation in the Basic Science Category
BMS Ph.D. student Caroline A. Hunter – Mitochondrial Elongation Factor Tu:  Translational Regulation by Phosphorylation
Mentor: Emine Koc, Ph.D.

 

 

 

 

Allison_W_2014_OralWinner

Allison (on left) receiving award from Mr. Bailey

Best Oral Presentation in the Basic Science Category
BMS Ph.D. candidate M. Allison Wolf – - Benzyl Isothiocyanate Sensitizes Hnscc Cells To Cisplatin, And Inhibits Hnscc Cell Migration And Invasion
Mentor: Pier Paolo Claudio, M.D./Ph.D.

 

 

 

There were many clinical categories in addition to the two basic science categories. Those winners are listed below.

Research Day winners announced

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The 26th annual Research Day at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine wrapped up earlier this week with awards presented to eight students and medical residents.

The two-day event showcases the work of medical students, graduate students, residents and postdoctoral fellows, and includes both poster and oral presentation competitions. This year’s entries included projects that focused on heart disease, children and physical activity, lung and other cancers, drug abuse during pregnancy, and many other areas of biomedical and clinical research.

The winners were:

POSTER PRESENTATIONS

Basic Science Category
Caroline A. Hunter – Mitochondrial Elongation Factor Tu:  Translational Regulation by Phosphorylation
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology

Clinical Case Study Category (Student)
Jill Goodwin – Posterior Tibial Tendon Dislocation:  A Case Report
Department of Orthopaedics

Clinical Case Study Category (Resident)
M. Adeel Mahmood – An Atypical Presentation of Adrenal Insufficiency in Pregnancy as Recurrent Abdominal Pain
Department of Internal Medicine

Clinical Science Category (Student)
Laura G. Wilson – Withdrawing into Society: Characteristics of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome on Final Day of Admission
Department of Pediatrics

Clinical Science Category (Resident)
Heidi Michael – Retrospective analysis of patients entering the Maternal Addiction and Recovery Center (MARC) program evaluating pregnancy and neonatal outcomes
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

ORAL PRESENTATIONS

Basic Science Category
M. Allison Wolf – Benzyl Isothiocyanate Sensitizes Hnscc Cells To Cisplatin, And Inhibits Hnscc Cell Migration And Invasion
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology

Clinical Science Category (Student)
Rebecca M. Hayes – Development of Phone Application for Congestive Heart Failure Patients in a Rural Setting
Department of Internal Medicine

Clinical Science Category (Resident)
Jodi Pitsenbarger – Total Postnatal Opiate Exposure Using Two Different Weaning Methods in Infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Richard M. Niles, vice dean for biomedical sciences at the school of medicine, congratulated all the winners, saying, “We had more than 80 presentations this year and the competition was outstanding. It is quite exciting to see all the fascinating research being done at our medical school and to know these students will be making a real difference in the lives and health of those who live in our communities.”

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

Former BMS Medical Sciences’ student honored by state senate

Matthew Q. Christiansen “Matt” joined Marshall’s School of Medicine Biomedical Sciences, M.S. Medical Sciences Program as a student in 2008 with the determination to become more competitive to enter medical school. This goal was quickly accomplished as he was accepted into and entered Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in fall 2009.

The story below is being shared to help further recognize one of our most successful former students, Dr. Matthew Q. Christiansen. We are not surprised at his continued success, and note that great contributions to society will continue to come from Dr. Christiansen. _________________________________________________________________________

Health policy fellows honored by state senate

Matthew Q. Christiansen, M.D.Calling their service commendable, the West Virginia State Senate on March 6 adopted a resolution honoring School of Medicine resident physicians for their work at the Legislature providing physician resources through the Paul Ambrose Health Policy Fellowship Program. Dr. Kimberly R. Becher, a third-year resident from Sissonville, W.Va., Dr. Matthew Q. Christiansen, a first-year resident from Spencer, W.Va., and Dr. Kane A. Maiers, a third-year resident from Short Gap, W.Va., were honored by the resolution authored by Sen. Robert H. Plymale of Wayne County.The resolution also names Dr. Tracy Hendershot, MUSOM class of 2008, who served as the first Ambrose fellow. “Our physicians have worked diligently to help our lawmakers explore and vet dozens of issues that affect the health and well-being of the citizens of West Virginia,” said Dr. Stephen M. Petrany, co-director of the health policy track at Marshall and chairman of the department of family and community health.  “One of the goals of this program is to help young physicians fine-tune their leadership skills so they can effectively contribute to the health policy process. They have committed many hours to the process and we are very proud of their efforts.” Both Becher and Maiers have served in the program for three years and tackled such topics as this year’s catastrophic water crisis in central West Virginia and the Methamphetamine Lab Eradication Act. The Ambrose Health Policy Program was started at Marshall University in 2010 and is believed to be the only such program of its type in the country. It is a partnership of Marshall’s department of family and community health, Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health, and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.    It was inspired by namesake Paul Wesley Ambrose, a Marshall medical alumnus whose life and dynamic health policy career were cut short on September 11, 2001. ———————- Photo: Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Ambrose Health Policy Fellows are, from left, Dr. Kimberly Becher,  Dr. Kane Maiers and Dr. Matthew Christiansen. Photo by Martin Valent, West Virginia Legislative Photography, 2014. 

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.

WV-INBRE summer research program wraps up with annual symposium

Undergraduate college students, the majority from West Virginia, showcased their summer research projects at Marshall University in July as part of the 12th Annual West Virginia IDeA Network for Biomedical Research (WV-INBRE) Summer Research Symposium.  MU INBRE and SRIMS Group Photo 2013The projects, which were researched under the direction of faculty mentors during an intensive 9-week period, included studies on the treatment of chronic low back pain, treatment and prevention of obesity, the pathophysiology of infectious diseases, the harmful effects of diabetes on brain and cardiac function among others.

WV-INBRE, which is designed to support biomedical research in the state, is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to Marshall University, in cooperation with West Virginia University and eleven other colleges and universities in the state.  The program allows students at undergraduate institutions research opportunities in labs at both Marshall and WVU.  In addition to the formal research Brandon Kirby, WV-INBRE intern from Bluefield State Collegetraining they receive, students attended workshops and seminars aimed at helping them understand the research process and graduate education.

This year’s summer research symposium featured keynote speaker, Brad Goodner, Ph.D., professor of Biology at Hiram College in Ohio.

Students in this year’s WV-INBRE program at Marshall University included Jaya Ale, University of Charleston; Joshua Easterling, University of Charleston; Bishnu Kafley, Berea College; Rebecca Martin, Davis and Elkins College; Hajer Mazagri, University of Charleston; Noah Mitchell, Bluefield State College;  Rishi Reddy, West Virginia State University; Anthony Schnelle, Wheeling Jesuit University; and Linh Vu, University of Charleston.

Annesha_King and Dr. Koc_3Also participating in this year’s symposium where three students with the university’s Summer Research Internship for Minority Students (SRIMS) who worked closely with WV-INBRE interns.  They included Emmanuel “Manny” Rosas, University of Texas at Brownsville, Annesha King, University of the Virgin Islands and Ashlea Hendrickson, Oakwood University.

In addition to the participants listed above, students and faculty associated with WV-INBRE through other programs were selected to present their research findings in an oral presentation.  They are:

  • Jessica Allen, Concord University
  • Cara Halldin, Ph.D., an alumnus of the WV-INBRE program and currently an epidemiologist with the Centers for the Disease Control and PreventionMahavadi_2013
  • Kathy Loughman, John Marshall High School (WV-INBRE high school component)
  • Rebecca Martin, Davis & Elkins College
  • Sricharan Mahavadi, Shepherd University
  • Jennifer Franko, Ph.D., Biology Department, Bethany College

Applications for next year’s WV-INBRE internship will be available after January 1 at http://www.wv-inbre.net/.

Students interested in applying to the SRIMS program may find the application information at http://www.marshall.edu/wpmu/bms/future-students/summer-research-internship/.

Biomedical sciences student selected for Chancellor’s Scholar Program

Marshall University biomedical sciences graduate student Kristeena L. Ray has been selected for the university’s Chancellor’s Scholar Program, an initiative to help ensure the academic success of underrepresented minority doctoral students.

The program will provide Ray with a stipend of $10,000 per semester. In addition, she will receive mentoring and research opportunities through the university, networking opportunities through the Southern Regional Education Board doctoral scholars program, and financial support for her dissertation and thesis work.

A native of Glen Allen, Va., Ray received her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Duke University in 2009. She worked as a research assistant at Duke and as a process development engineer at Talecris Biotherapeutics in Clayton, N.C. She has been a graduate student at Marshall since 2011.

“Kristeena is a truly outstanding graduate student and we are thrilled to present her with our first award from the new Chancellor’s Scholar Program,” said Dr. Shari Clarke, vice president for multicultural affairs. “The ideal candidate, she is dedicated, well-rounded and committed to her research.”

Kristeena Ray_webRay said, “Being part of this program is such a gift and an honor. The stipend lightens the burden of locating funding and allows me to really focus on my research. I am also excited to take advantage of the additional benefits, including networking opportunities and membership in key organizations in my field.”

Ray works in the lab of Dr. Nalini Santanam, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology at Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Her research is focused on endometriosis and the pain caused by the disease, which is characterized by cells normally present in the uterus migrating outside the organ and attaching to other places in the pelvis. At least one in seven women suffers from the condition.

Specifically, Ray is investigating the epigenetics of pain in endometriosis—the changes caused to DNA and genes by environment and lifestyle.

She said, “We’re looking at epigenetic markers in patients with endometriosis. We believe that our continuing research in this area will help us better understand what leads to endometriosis in some women and find alternate treatment options for its symptoms.

“Long-term, I am interested in the research and development behind drugs and therapies, such as one that may benefit women with endometriosis.”

In April, she presented her research at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, which was held in conjunction with the Experimental Biology conference in Boston.

Ray serves as president of the Graduate Student Organization, is a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and volunteers with the March of Dimes and the Tri-State Literacy Council.

The Chancellor’s Scholar Program at Marshall is funded through the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

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Marshall Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program is well represented at Experimental Biology Meeting

Allison, Miranda, Kristeena

BMS Ph.D. students, Allison, Miranda, and Kristeena, take a time out from research to enjoy a Boston Red Sox game!

Marshall University’s Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Program was well represented at the Experimental Biology Meeting that recently took place in Boston, MA. The annual national meeting involves over 14,000 scientists and exhibitors representing fields of study ranging from anatomy, physiology, pathology, and biochemistry to epigenetics, nutrition, cancer biology, and pharmacology. Some Marshall School of Medicine faculty and students were invited to give oral presentations of their research, while others were able to present their research during the poster sessions. The list of attendees is given below.

Oral presentations by:

Piyali Dasgupta, Ph.D.

Piyali Dasgupta, Ph.D. -
Invited speaker for special session “Molecular Biology of Lung Malignancy” – Title: “Nicotine increases the expression of alpha7-nicotinic receptors (alpha7-nAChRs) in human squamous cell lung cancer cells via Sp1/GATA pathway”

 

 

W. Elaine Hardman, Ph.D.W. Elaine Hardman, Ph.D. – Invited speaker for special session “What Comes First: The Food or the Nutrient?” – Title: “Whole foods or their bioactive components? Potential of walnuts in cancer prevention and treatment.” 

 

 

Maria Serrat, Ph.D.

Maria Serrat, Ph.D. – Invited speaker for special session “Bone Physiology under Environmental Stress” – Title: “Temperature effects on the growth plate and its vasculature”

 

 

 

Allison Wolf, Ph.D. CandidateM. Allison Wolf, BMS Ph.D. Candidate – Invited speaker for special session – Title: “Benzyl isothiocyanate enhances chemosensitivity and inhibits migration and invasion of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma”

 

 

 

 

Katie_Brown_EB

Katie Brown, M.S. – Invited speaker for special session “Molecular Biology of Lung Malignancy” – Title: “Inhibition of cholinergic signaling causes apoptosis in human bronchioalveloar carcinoma”

 

 

Ron, Miranda, Allison, Johannes, Kristeena_EB

Poster presentations by:
Miranda Carper, BMS Ph.D. Candidate
Johannes Fahrmann, BMS Ph.D. Candidate Christopher McNees, MU student 
Rounake Nande, BMS Ph.D. Student
Chris Racine, BMS Ph.D. Student
Kristeena Ray, BMS Ph.D. Student
Cody Stover, MU student
Brent Thornhill, MU graduate
Monica Valentovic, Ph.D., Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences’ Research Cluster Coordinator
Gary Rankin, Ph.D., Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences’ 
Research Cluster

Dr. Maria Serrat, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Pathology and researcher within the Neuroscience and Developmental Biology Research Cluster, had the opportunity to give an oral presentation as well as participate in a focus group that evaluated anatomy education material for a publisher. 

Johannes at Poster

Serrat said she was happy to see Marshall well represented at the meeting and that “the large number of Marshall attendees says a lot about the expanding research emphasis of our institution.”

Kristeena at Poster

Carper at Poster

 

 

Marshall’s BMS students recognized at the national level

Marshall’s BMS students recognized on a NATIONAL level for their recent Young Adult Science Café! The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology posted a press release on their Public Outreach website. Check it out: www.asbmb.org/PublicOutreach/Templates/PubOutreachDefault.aspx?id=40020

Withers selected for an American Society for Microbiology (ASM) student travel award

 by M. Allison Wolf

Ryan-Withers

T. Ryan Withers, a Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Candidate working for Dr. Hongwei Yu, has been selected for an American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Student Travel Award to attend the 113th ASM General Meeting in Denver, Colorado.  At the conference Withers will be presenting a research project entitled “Truncation in type-IV pilin induces mucoidy in Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAO579.”  Part of this research was recently accepted for publication in the journal MicrobiologyOpen (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23533140).

When asked what the benefits are to attending a Microbiology-specific meeting Withers said, “The advantages are the ease in which you can communicate and advance your research. Typically, your fellow conference attendees are familiar with the existing research and nomenclature, so you spend little time reviewing background information and more time discussing your contributions and receiving in-depth criticism of your research. Additionally, it is a great opportunity to establish a relationship with other PIs, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and research associates specific to your field of interest.” 

OR:

To read the article published in MicrobiologyOpen: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23533140

Racine attends the Society of Toxicology General Meeting in San Antonio, Texas

by M. Allison Wolf

Chris Racine, Ph.D. student, on far leftBiomedical Sciences Ph.D. student Chris Racine recently presented his research at the Society of Toxicology (SOT) General Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. The study Chris presented at this meeting was entitled “Role of renal cytochrome p450 isozymes in the bioactivation of 3,5-dichloroaniline in vitro.” The long term goal of this project is “to determine the biotransformation of 3,5-dichloroaniline (3,5-DCA), mechanisms for bioactivation of 3,5-DCA to nephrotoxic species by the kidney, and if gender differences exist in the susceptibility of the kidney to the toxic effects of 3,5-DCA.”   

The SOT conference, which was held from March 10-14, is the largest toxicology meeting in the world and it brings together scientist in academia, government, and industry from various countries. Dr. Gary Rankin, Chris Racine’s Ph.D. advisor said that, “It is important for students to experience the scientific exchange that happens at a national research conference. There is no substitute for attending such a meeting in person. The meeting also gives the advisor the opportunity to introduce the students to other top scientists and students in their field, and the feedback received at a national presentation can be very helpful for the student’s research projects.”

Congratulations, Chris!

Teen Science Café to be held at Marshall on March 6, 2013

The BMS Graduate Student Organization (GSO), in collaboration with the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) and Cabell Midland High School, are hosting an outreach program, Teen Science Café, on March 6, 2013 at the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Center.

The purpose of this event is to stimulate scientific interest in younger students and to emphasize the exciting careers available in research and science. This Teen Science Café will highlight Marshall’s Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Program and Forensic Science Master’s Program. Diana Maue, will begin the Teen Science Café by giving an overview of the BMS Program and career opportunities available. A hands-on and interactive discussion will be hosted by Drs. Richard Egleton, Maria Serrat, and Wei-Ping Zeng from the BMS program and Dr. Graham Rankin and Ms. Nadine Borovicka from the Forensic Science program. GSO President and BMS Ph.D. candidate Allison Wolf and BMS Ph.D. student Kristeena Ray will give the attendees a student’s perspective on the BMS Program. And, the event will conclude with a tour of the Forensic Science program’s crime scene house.

Allison Wolf and Ph.D. candidate Johannes Fahrmann, BMS GSO Vice President, are co-organizers of this event. Fahrmann stated, “he hopes by organizing the Teen Science Café he will spark an early interest in science and research among the attendees, and events like this will continue in the future.” 

Marshall University receives $2.5 million BrickStreet Foundation gift for research

Brickstreet Marshall $2.5 M

Watch on HerdVideo

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University has received a $2.5 million gift from the BrickStreet Insurance Foundation Inc. to establish a research endowment.

The donation is expected to be matched through the state’s “Bucks for Brains” West Virginia Research Trust Fund, for a total benefit to Marshall of $5 million.

Proceeds from the endowment will be used to support research at the university’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, particularly projects related to occupational and environmental health.

Greg Burton, president and chief executive officer of BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company, presented the donation to university representatives today at the company’s headquarters in Charleston.

“Through the leadership and vision of our board, BrickStreet has set up a foundation focused on giving back to the community in which we live,” said Burton. “Through this partnership with Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, BrickStreet is proud to support their continued research efforts. Many of our employees are Marshall graduates, so our partnership with the university runs deep and I know this investment will be used to not only strengthen the university’s research efforts in occupational and environmental health, but also to continue to fulfill its mission to improve the health and wellness of our communities.

“As one of the largest workers’ compensation providers in the region, we understand that the graduates of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine will be our future partners in continuing to improve occupational health across West Virginia.”

Dr. Stephen J. Kopp, president of Marshall University, thanked BrickStreet for the contribution, saying, “We are very pleased and proud that BrickStreet has chosen to make this gift commitment in support of endowment-based biomedical research focused on some of the most pressing occupational and rural health problems confronting our state and region. The Marshall University School of Medicine is a leader in rural medicine and the support provided by BrickStreet will be amplified by matching support from the West Virginia Research Trust Fund. This research endowment fund offers great promise to help improve the health and wellness of our rural communities.”

Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of Marshall’s medical school, added, “I couldn’t be more pleased to receive this generous gift from BrickStreet. It will most certainly benefit thousands of West Virginians. With this gift, Marshall researchers will conduct work that will span the spectrum from basic molecular research to practical, workplace-based research, finding both laboratory and clinical answers to help improve the quality of life for those in our state and region. BrickStreet has provided us with the necessary funding to get these projects under way and we can’t wait to get started.”

Last year, BrickStreet donated $300,000 to Marshall to support athletics, academics and research. A portion of that gift was matched by the state’s trust fund.

The state legislature created the West Virginia Research Trust Fund in 2008 with an initial appropriation of $15 million for Marshall. The university can tap into this fund to double private gifts that support specific research initiatives linked to economic development, health care and job growth.


Photo:  From left, Marshall University President Stephen J. Kopp; Greg Burton, president and CEO of BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company; Dr. Ron Area, CEO of the Marshall University Foundation; and Dr. Joseph Shapiro, dean of the university’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, display an oversized check for $2.5 million presented by BrickStreet Foundation to the Marshall University Foundation today at the BrickStreet office in Charleston. The donation will be used to establish a research endowment at Marshall. Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University


Contact:  Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304.746.1964

Three Biomedical Graduate Students walk at Winter Commencement 2012

On Sunday, December 16th, Aileen Marcelo, Anne Silvis, and J. Michael Brown walked proudly across stage to be “hooded” by their mentors; a long-awaited and well-deserved honor.

Monica Valentovic, Ph.D. and Mike Brown, Ph.D.

Monica Valentovic, Ph.D. and Mike Brown, Ph.D.

J. Mike Brown, Ph.D. was mentored by Dr. Monica Valentovic, and researched in the Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences Research Cluster. Dr. Brown is a student at the University of Charleston’s School of Pharmacy. Dissertation title: “A Mechanistic Study of S-Adenosyl-L-methionine Protection Against Acetaminophen Hepatotoxicity”.

 

Richard Egleton, Ph.D. and Aileen Marcelo, Ph.D.

Richard Egleton, Ph.D. and Aileen Marcelo, Ph.D.

Aileen Marcelo, Ph.D. was mentored by Dr. Richard Egleton, and researched in the Cardiovascular Disease, Obesity, and Diabetes Research Cluster. Dr. Marcelo is now a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. Dissertation title: “The Role of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor at the Blood-Brain Barrier in Diabetes”.

W. Elaine Hardman, Ph.D. and Anne Silvis, Ph.D.

W. Elaine Hardman, Ph.D. and Anne Silvis, Ph.D.

Anne Silvis, Ph.D. was mentored by Dr. Kelley Kiningham and Dr. Elaine Hardman, and researched in the Toxicology and Environmental Health Sciences Research Cluster. Dr. Silvis is now Research Assistant Professor with Marshall University’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dissertation title: “Redox Regulation of Differentiation in Neuroblastoma”.

 

 

Graduates with Mentors

Left to right: Dr. Egleton, Aileen Marcelo, Ph.D., Dr. Valentovic, Mike Brown, Ph.D., Dr. Hardman, and Anne Silvis, Ph.D.

Congratulations to Marshall’s Best and Brightest…
Mike Brown, Ph.D., 
Aileen Marcelo, Ph.D. and
Anne Silvis, Ph.D.!

 

Dr. Silvis celebrating with her son

Dr. Silvis celebrating with her son

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BMS Graduate Student Organization participates in the Jared Box Project

by Saeed Keshavarzian, keshava1@live.marshall.edu

BMS students from left: Brad, Bill, Holly, Miranda, Allison, Johannes, and Saeed

As the holiday season approaches, we are reminded to think about others outside of our busy lives. This year, the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Student Organization (GSO) would like to share with you Jared’s story. He was a special five-year-old boy who, in 1999, was diagnosed with an incurable brainstem tumor; he unfortunately lost his battle with cancer in November 2000. In his short time on Earth, Jared went from doctor appointment to doctor appointment and always carried a backpack filled with his favorite toys and games. Those toys and games brought Jared such joy that, for a brief moment, he was not thinking about his illness, but was just being a child captivated in play.

This is the second year the BMS GSO has participated in the Jared Box Project, an endeavor to share the same joy and relief that toys brought to Jared with other children suffering similar childhood illnesses. Allison Wolf, GSO President and a BMS Ph.D. candidate, along with other BMS students organized the toy drive and a bake sale to contribute to filling Jared boxes.

Miranda and Allison, all smiles, with the toys for the children at Cabell Huntington Hospital

The GSO members delivered the toys to children at Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center on Friday, December 7th.  Allison said, “We have a wonderful group of students and faculty in our program who make events, such as the Jared Box Project, a success.” Miranda Carper, BMS Ph.D. candidate agreed, and also said that, “this is the second year I have participated and the experience left me feeling happy, humbled, and heart-broken all at the same time. Seeing the children’s faces light up when I handed them a gift warmed my heart, but also left me feeling amazed by their strength and determination.” 

Johannes organizing presents for the children

GSO Vice President, Johannes Fahrmann, who helped organize the Jared Box Project for the second time said that “being a part of this project is a great feeling and instills a sense of unity amongst the organization and the community. It also highlights the warmth that people have in their hearts and highlights one of the main goals, in my opinion, of the GSO which is to give back to those less fortunate.”

For more information on the Jared Box Project, please visit this website: http://www.thejaredbox.com/.

You are invited to enjoy the fall 2012 issue of “We Are…Bridging Medicine and Science”

Marshall University’s Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program invites you to enjoy reading the Fall 2012 | Issue 2 of We Are…Bridging Medicine and Science!

Click the publication’s front cover below to link to the magazine: 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marshall WV-INBRE summer research program intern receives ABRCMS travel award

Mardochee Isme, MU WV-INBRE InternMardochee Isme, a senior student at Bluefield State College in Bluefield, West Virginia, and a 2012 participant in West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence’s (WV-INBRE) Summer Research Program at Marshall University, is the winner of a Student Travel Award from the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). Isme will attend the 2012 ABRCMS conference located in San Jose, CA, November 7 – 10, 2012 to present her research. The travel award is worth $1,500 and can go toward any travel-related expenses to the conference and/or conference registration fees.

Isme, among other students, performed research at Marshall University with Dr. Nalini Santanam, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology at Marshall University’s School of Medicine and Coordinator of the Cardiovascular Disease, Obesity, and Diabetes Research Cluster. The abstract for her research is titled, “Epigenetics of endometriosis-associated pain.” Dr. Santanam’s laboratory is interested in the etiology of endometriosis and Mardochee’s research looked at the epigenetics of the disease, which as Dr. Santanam stated, “is a new area of research.”  

Kristeena Ray, a Marshall University Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Santanam’s laboratory, helped Mardochee with her research and will continue this work as the focus of her own Ph.D. research. Dr. Santanam’s laboratory also has submitted a request for an NIH grant for further research in this field. Dr. Santanam would like to thank Dr. Brenda Dawley from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine for providing samples for this research project.

Biomedical sciences doctoral students take top awards at regional conference


Contact: 
Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964, or  Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine & Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two biomedical sciences doctoral students from Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine captured first place in both categories of a research competition held earlier this month in conjunction with the first Appalachian Regional Cell Conference.

They were among more than 40 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from Marshall, West Virginia University, University of Kentucky and Ohio University competing at the conference, which was held Oct. 12 at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center at Charleston Area Medical Center.

Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine biomedical sciences Ph.D. students Johannes Fahrmann, standing, and Rounak Nande, seated, captured first place in their respective categories at a research competition held earlier this month in conjunction with the first Appalachian Regional Cell Conference. Fahrmann won the oral presentation category and Nande took first place in the poster category.

Marshall biomedical sciences Ph.D. candidate Johannes Fahrmann received first place in the oral presentation category of the competition for a presentation about his research to explore the effects of omega-3 fatty acids in late stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Rounak Nande, who is also a doctoral student in the university’s biomedical sciences program, was awarded first place in the poster category for a poster describing his project to help develop a delivery system for targeted gene therapy to improve the treatment of prostate cancer. 

Fahrmann said the conference was a valuable experience and he hopes to continue his involvement with the event in the future. 

“The conference was aimed at networking, collaborations and showcasing the research being conducted by students at the attending universities,” he added. “I was given the honor and privilege to represent Marshall University through an oral presentation describing my cancer research, and was very pleased to receive the overall award. Neither the award nor the conference itself could have come to fruition without the dedicated work of the organizing committee, which included our own graduate student Allison Wolf.”

He also expressed appreciation to his faculty mentor, Dr. Elaine Hardman, Marshall professor of biochemistry and microbiology. 

Hardman praised Fahrmann’s work, saying, “Johannes is an outstanding senior graduate student who will do well in research. The presentation he made was completely his own work—he developed the idea, wrote a grant, obtained the funding to do the work and has excellent results. His work has clear clinical relevance and, we hope, will apply to enhancing cancer therapy in the near future. He is a leader in the department and an outstanding role model for the younger graduate students. I am delighted with his success and to have him for a student.”

Nande said of the experience, “I, too, felt privileged to take part in the first-ever ARCC conference put together by the four universities. I would like to thank my mentor at Marshall, Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio, and my collaborators from the Tri-State Regional Cancer Center in Ashland, Ky., Dr. Michael Gossman and Dr. Jeffrey Lopez, for having confidence in me to present our research.”

Claudio, who is an associate professor of biochemistry and microbiology and director of the McKown Translational Genomics Research Institute, said he was pleased with Nande’s success at the conference and emphasized the potential importance of the student’s research.

“A major challenge for effective gene therapy is the ability to specifically deliver nucleic acids and potentially toxic gene products directly into diseased tissue. This system Ron helped develop in our lab allows for the specific delivery of smart biological drugs to diseased tissues using the blood stream. The advantage of this technique is that the therapeutic viruses are released in a concentrated manner in the diseased tissue, eliciting an enhanced therapeutic effect while minimizing complications,” added Claudio.

Two additional Marshall graduate students, Kristeena Ray and Sarah Mathis, were selected as winners in their categories of the poster competition—Ray for a poster showcasing her research into the role of epigenetics in endometriosis-associated pain and Mathis for a poster describing her work to help develop a test that could make possible individualized chemotherapy treatments. Ray works in the lab of Dr. Nalini Santanam, Marshall professor of pharmacology, physiology and toxicology. Claudio serves as Mathis’s faculty mentor.

The conference was organized and hosted by the four institutions with the goal of expanding the field of cell biology research and fostering interactions among scientists at the universities in the Ohio Valley/mid-Appalachian region. In addition to the oral and poster presentations, the program featured keynote speaker Dr. Vinay Pathak, a senior investigator in HIV drug resistance at the National Cancer Institute, and networking opportunities for more than 80 students and faculty members who participated in the program. The conference was funded through a grant from the American Society for Cell Biology.

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Photo by Rick Haye/Marshall University

BMS Graduate Program completes orientation week for incoming students

bms-picnic-2012-092The Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program recently welcomed a new group of incoming students. Each year, the program hosts an orientation for students entering the Ph.D., M.S. (Research Option), and M.S. (Medical Sciences) programs.

The program welcomed an impressive group from a wide variety of undergraduate institutions, including:

 

  • California Lutheran University
  • College of The Holy Cross
  • Glenville State College
  • Grambling State University
  • International (China)
  • Marshall University
  • Roanoke College
  • Seton Hill College
  • The Ohio State University
  • University of Kentucky
  • University of TN, Knoxville
  • University of South Florida
  • WV State University
  • West Virginia University

The first day of orientation included a campus tour, Biotechnology Science Center tour, posing for a class picture, lunch with faculty and fellow classmates, and learning about curricula and opportunities for growth. The Ph.D. and Research M.S. students also were introduced to the research within each cluster by respective faculty members, while the Medical Sciences’ students had the welcomed opportunity to meet with Cindy Warren from the medical school. 

bms-picnic-2012-107But, what would orientation be without the annual BMS Picnic! Later that day, incoming students gathered at Rotary Park for the fun and informal opportunity to meet their classmates, interact with current BMS students, and get to know faculty, staff and administrators. There were icebreaker games, as well as others, and great food. Check out the photo gallery to see the fun!

The program congratulates the new students on entering the program, and wishes them good luck in their first year!

To see all of the photos from the picnic, check out our Events Gallery.

First Annual Appalachian Regional Cell Conference to be held in October

Appalachian Regional Cell Conference Posterby Allison Wolf

A collaborative effort between students at Marshall University, WVU, UK and OU has led to the organization of the first annual Appalachian Regional Cell Conference (ARCC). The goal of this scientific symposium is to foster interaction and future collaboration among students. Miranda Carper, former President of the GSO, calls the event a “a dynamic and interactive opportunity for research students to present their work to their peers.” The conference will host poster and oral presentations.

The event will be held on October 12, 2012 at the Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston, WV. A grant received from the American Society for Cell Biology will provide the funding.

Dr. Vinay Pathak, who has worked with the National Cancer Institute since 1999 as a Senior Investigator, will deliver the keynote speech. Dr. Pathak’s lab focuses mostly on research projects relating to HIV drug resistance.

According to Graduate Student Organization (GSO) Vice President, Johannes Fahrmann, “one of the biggest advantages to a student run conference is the fact that it takes out some of the intimidation factor that may be involved with a larger scale meeting that is run by mostly established individuals.” GSO secretary Ben Owen adds that, “because this meeting is a smaller conference, as compared to national conferences sponsored by societies, students will have a better chance of networking with others in a more relaxed atmosphere.”

If you would like to receive an application, or have any questions about the ARCC conference, please contact Allison Wolf (teter6@marshall.edu).

Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine features dual-degree program with emphasis on research

Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., Dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall UniversityHUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, today announced revitalization of a research-focused dual-degree program at the School of Medicine.

The M.D./Ph.D. program has existed at Marshall since 1992, but operated on an ad hoc basis as students expressed interest.

The revised M.D./Ph.D. program is a seven-year commitment that allows students to graduate with both degrees, preparing them for careers in patient care and medical research.  

“The School of Medicine is positioned to offer students interested in medical research an enriching experience that combines traditional medical education with laboratory research in an effort to develop new treatments for their patients,” Shapiro said.   “The field of biomedical research is exploding with opportunity and we are thrilled to offer this degree option to our students.”

Dr. Richard Niles, senior associate dean for research and graduate education, says most of the students interested in the dual-degree program are interested in careers in academic medicine.

“Students exploring careers in research and medicine have historically found themselves having to choose one field or the other,” he said.  “This option allows them to pursue dual goals, combining their desire to help others through both clinical and research experiences.”

Niles says students interested in pursuing the combined degree will check off the corresponding box on their American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) application.  When Marshall receives the applications, they will be flagged for review by a subcommittee consisting of members of the medical school admission committee and the graduate studies committee which, in turn, will make admissions recommendations.

Additional application information is available at www.musom.marshall.edu/md-phd/

Free seminar to focus on intellectual property in health care and life sciences

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.– The Marshall University Technology Transfer Office will present a free program about intellectual property and patent protection in the health care and life sciences setting from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 10, in the Board Room of Cabell Huntington Hospital, 1340 Hal Greer Blvd., Huntington.

The program will begin with an overview of the main areas of intellectual property law (patent, trademark and copyright) and will continue with a focus specifically on patent protection in the health care and life sciences setting. The program will cover not only the requirements for obtaining a patent, but also will include discussions about ownership of inventions; the distinction between a patent application and publication of research; the differences between inventorship and authorship; preserving patent rights in health care and academic settings; and issues to consider when patenting surgical and diagnostic methods.

The seminar will be led by attorney Terry Wright of the firm Stites & Harbison PLLC in Louisville, Ky. He is one of 16 registered patent attorneys at the firm and is a member of the Intellectual Property and Technology Service Group. His practice focuses on patent‐related aspects of intellectual property, including patent drafting, patent prosecution, and counseling clients about infringement, validity and patentability.

Wright has a background in life sciences and experience with academic research in the areas of cardiovascular biology, molecular and cellular biology, pharmacology and biotechnology. He counsels companies and university technology transfer/licensing offices regarding strategies for protecting patent‐based intellectual property.

The program is free but reservations are requested. Send reservations totto@marshall.edu. For more information, contact Amy Melton at 304-696-4365.

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Ph.D. student to present diabetes research at conference next week

Aileen Marcello, Ph.D. candidateA Marshall University doctoral student will present her diabetes research next week at a conference focusing on the central nervous system.

Aileen Marcelo, a Ph.D. candidate in the university’s biomedical sciences program, will present a poster at the Barriers of the Central Nervous System Gordon Research Conference and will give a talk at the conference’s student seminar. The conference and seminar will be held June 16-22 at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H.

The conference will bring together clinical and basic scientists who are at the forefront of research into the system of regulatory interfaces between the blood and brain. This system is essential to brain function and has a major impact on the course and treatment of many neurological conditions, including stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy.

Although there is considerable scientific evidence implicating diabetes as a major risk factor for many central nervous system diseases, there have been few studies investigating the effects of diabetes on this blood-brain barrier. Marcelo’s research project, “The Role and Regulation of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) at the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) in a Rat Model of Diabetes,” explores this connection.

She works in the lab of Dr. Richard Egleton, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology at the university’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

Marcelo recently received one of eight Summer Thesis Research Grant Awards presented to outstanding graduate student researchers at Marshall. Each award provides $500 to cover the cost of expenses associated with thesis research. Award recipients were chosen on the basis of the quality and significance of their thesis research, the likelihood that the research will eventuate in a completed thesis and justification of the need for support. Funding for the awards was provided by the Marshall University Research Corporation.

Biomedical Sciences students recognized at international science meeting

M. Allison Wolf, Ph.D. candidateHUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Two Marshall University students received special recognition for their research at this year’s international Experimental Biology conference held April 21-25 in San Diego.

M. Allison Wolf, a biomedical sciences doctoral candidate from Parkersburg, received first place in her group in a poster competition held as part of the conference’s Diet and Cancer mini-symposium. The mini-symposium was funded by the American Society of Nutrition.

Wolf’s presentation focused on her research on the anticancer effects of isothiocyanates—a natural compound extracted from cruciferous vegetables—on head and neck cancer. Her work shows the compound both inhibits head and neck metastasis and greatly increases sensitivity to chemotherapy in therapy-resistant head and neck cancers. Wolf works in the lab of Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio, an associate professor in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program and the departments of Biochemistry and Microbiology and Surgery at the university’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

Wolfe said she gained a great deal from the experience of attending the program and presenting her work.

“I really enjoyed this conference, particularly the Nutrition and Cancer Research Interest group, because it allowed me to be surrounded by people in my field,” she said. “Discussing my research with others also interested in or working on isothiocyanates gave me some promising future directions to pursue.”

Aaron Dom, a first-year MUSOM student and graduate of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate ProgramIn addition, Aaron M. Dom, a first-year medical school student from Wellersburg, Pa., was invited to do a special oral “blitz” presentation about his research on how a synthetic drug called MG624 can prevent new blood vessel growth in small cell lung cancer and could potentially serve as a therapy for the disease. Dom was invited to present by the Blood Vessel Club of the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP). ASIP held its annual meeting in conjunction with the Experimental Biology conference. The club sponsors the short oral presentations to present exciting new vascular biology research and to give audience members an opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions about the research.

Dom, who is the president of the medical school’s Class of 2015, did the research in the lab of Dr. Piyali Dasgupta, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacol­ogy, Physiology and Toxicology.

He said of the experience, “Our lab is honored that I was selected to present at this special session, and we were excited to share some of the work that we are doing here at the medical school. Experiences like these—in both helping with this research and in presenting at and attending a conference of this size—have helped me gain a greater appreciation for research in medicine.”

Nearly 14,000 scientists and exhibitors representing academic institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations and private corporations attend the annual Experimental Biology meeting to share information about recent developments in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, nutrition and pharmacology.

5K Race to benefit medical mission trip to Honduras

Mission M-Possible 5K race advertismentMission “M” Possible, a 5K race, is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday, May 12, with proceeds to benefit a medical mission trip to Honduras.

The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine is teaming with Global Medical Brigades to send a group of physicians, nurses and medical students to Honduras in June. All proceeds from the race will go toward funding the trip and medications for patients in Honduras.

The race will begin at the center of Ritter Park, continue on North Boulevard to the Memorial Arch (7th Street West), then come back along the Ritter Park trail and finish in the center of the park. Pre-registration for the event is available at www.tristateracer.com. Race day registration is also available.

The medical mission trip to Honduras has become an annual event for Marshall School of Medicine students thanks to the generosity of Ken and Sharon Ambrose who have financially supported the project in honor of their late son Dr. Paul Ambrose, a 1995 graduate of MUSOM. Dr. Ambrose was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

For more information about the race contact Jacob Kilgore by phone at 304-634-2448 or Brent Kidd by phone at 304-544-4585. Kilgore and Kidd are third-year medical students serving as coordinators for this year’s trip.

Donations for the trip may also be directed to Linda Holmes, Director of Development and Alumni Affairs, who can be reached by phone at 304-691-1711.

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Ph.D. candidate Johannes Fahrmann helps raise over $18,000 to fight cancer

Johannes Fahrmann, GSO Vice PresidentHere at the BMS Graduate Program, it is not just professors who make the headlines. Last week it was announced that our own Johannes Fahrmann, a Ph.D. candidate and Vice-President of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Organization (GSO), organized an event that raised nearly $18,000 for the American Cancer Society.

The event, “GRΣΣKS AGAINST CANCER,” was a coordinated effort between Marshall’s Relay-For-Life, the GSO and the Marshall Greek Community. It was one of the biggest collaborative efforts ever to take place between Marshall University student organizations to raise money for a local charity. 

More than 600 Marshall students were involved, and Johannes hopes that the media exposure this event receives will help motivate others to join the fight against cancer.

The funds will be used at the local level to fund future research projects and to assist with patient care. The majority of the money will stay in Huntington and also benefit the surrounding counties.

In addition to serving as Vice-President of the GSO, Johannes is currently the Community Service and Philanthropy Alumni Advisor for Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity. He has been a member of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity since 2005 and held numerous positions in the organization. He has also served as president of Marshall University’s Relay-For-Life and still actively participates in the organization’s local functions.

The event is Johannes’s brainchild and something that he has wanted to do for a long time. He originally pitched the idea to the Greek advisors at Marshall and then brought the idea to the entire Greek Community. The competition kicked off February 8th and ran for two months. The winning fundraising team received a flat screen TV donated by the GSO.

At the culmination of the event, Johannes said, “When I originally presented this idea, I would have never imagined that it would have been so successful. Today we, the Greek Community, showed our loved ones and friends who have had or are currently battling cancer that we will fight by their side, that we will fight cancer and that we will win! I am forever grateful to the Greek Community and participating parties. This was truly a powerful statement on behalf of the Greek Community and Marshall University.”

Congratulations, Johannes!

Graduate student Ben Owen to present at the National Student Research Forum

Benjamin Michael OwenBen Owen, a second-year student in the Biomedical Sciences M.S. program, has been selected to present a poster at the National Student Research Forum. The forum seeks to provide an opportunity for graduate students, medical students, interns, and residents conducting research in the biomedical sciences to assemble and receive recognition and feedback from established scientists. This event takes place yearly at the University of Texas Medical Branch campus in Galveston, TX and is planned and managed by students.

Ben’s project is entitled “Short-Term Activity-Dependent Changes in Axonal Function in Hippocampal CA3 Pyramidal Neurons.” The hippocampus is a region of the brain that is essential for normal memory function. Ben’s study examines how pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus function when they are activated at high frequencies (between 30 and 100 Hertz). This type of high-frequency activity in the neurons is common to normal processes, such as encoding and retrieving memory, as well as pathological processes, including seizures. Although scientists thoroughly understand how neurons create action potentials (the spike in electrical potential that is responsible for communication between neurons), little experimental attention has been given to how high frequency activation affects generation of action potentials. Ben researches within Dr. Larry Grover’s lab in the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center.

Ben says that he is excited to have the chance to share his research with fellow students and scientists on the national level. Congratulations to Ben on being selected for this opportunity!

Clayton Crabtree featured on Channel 13 News

Clayton Crabtree was recently highlighted on Channel 13 News. Clayton is a Marshall University senior whose research mentor is Dr. Piyali Dasgupta, a Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program Professor within Marshall’s Toxicology and Environmental Health Science Research Cluster. The following story is taken from its website. To access the video story, use the following link: http://www.wowktv.com/video?clipId=6638047&autostart=true.


Clayton CrabtreeA West Virginia native is working to find a cure for two diseases prevalent in his home state.

Clay Crabtree, a Marshall University biology student, was awarded a grant to research diabetic retinopathy.  The common eye disease occurs when there is excessive growth of blood vessels causing damage to the retina.

According to Crabtree, smoking cigarettes is a risk factor for the eye disease.  The nicotine in cigarettes promotes the growth of blood vessels, and that is exactly what Crabtree wants to suppress in his research.

A $1,800 Grants-in-Aid of Research award is now in Crabtree’s name, helping with buying necessary research equipment and paying for travel expenses to and from the research lab.

BMS Graduate Program receives STEM Fellows Program funding for an 8th year

Diana R. Maue, SRIMS, Graduate Recruitment, and Communication Coordinator, completes a busy fall season of attending recruitment fairs throughout the region…

Graduate students and professors gather at the beginning of a new school year to share a meal and enjoy the outdoors…

A Ph.D. student who receives a stipend from the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program attends a national conference for the first time to disseminate her research to her peers…

Dr. Todd Green and Mrs. Diana Maue attend a graduate school fairAll of the above opportunities are made possible thanks to the STEM Fellows Program, awarded by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. According to Dr. Richard Niles, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, nearly every aspect of the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Program at Marshall University has been impacted by this grant. This year, the BMS Graduate Program has been approved to receive its eighth year of funding from the STEM Fellows Program.

According to Dr. Niles, “This funding is a huge help to our program. If it went away, it would make a big hole that would be difficult to recover from. We are excited about the continuation of the funding.”

Mrs. Maue’s ability to travel and spread the word about the BMS program is almost exclusively funded by this grant. Among the places she was able to visit this year were the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, Morehead State University, Wheeling Jesuit University, West Liberty University, Waynesburg University, Bethany College, and Franciscan University of Steubenville. Events such as the yearly BMS Graduate Program picnic honoring incoming students and the upcoming luncheon honoring WV Undergraduate Research Day participants are also made possible by this grant funding. Finally, many of the Ph.D. students who receive a stipend are funded by this grant. Without the funding, the BMS Graduate Program would be forced to admit fewer students.

According to Mrs. Maue, the program helps the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program to help build the quality of its offerings and the number of graduate students that it can fund. “It has dramatically increased our recruiting efforts,” she says. “We couldn’t serve our students in all the ways we currently do or develop the program in the ways that we are without this grant.” The BMS Graduate Program initially received STEM Fellows Program funding in 2004 after completing a competitive grant application process. In that year, the Division of Science and Research of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission began offering this competitively-funded award to Marshall University and West Virginia University to help them recruit and fund exceptional graduate students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines. The funding is granted for four years, with participants reporting each year on how they have applied the funding in order to ensure its continuation. While West Virginia University focuses this award on its post-doctoral students, Marshall University applies its funding to growing its graduate program offerings.

In 2008, Marshall completed a competitive reapplication for the funding, which was granted for an additional four years. In 2012, the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program has been approved to receive the final year of funding of this a2010 BMS incoming student picnicward. The reapplication process for the next competitively-funded grant will begin as soon as a new request for proposals is received, presumably this summer.

Dr. Niles and Mrs. Lisa Daniels, Grants Officer for the BMS Graduate Program, have been instrumental in ensuring the continuation of this funding, and the program thanks them for making participation in this program possible.

Kathleen Brown to present in special session at Experimental Biology 2012

 

Kathleen "Katie" Brown, Ph.D. studentKathleen “Katie” Brown has been selected to present a poster at the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP) Annual Meeting at the Experimental Biology 2012 in San Diego. She will present her research at a special session entitled Highlights: Graduate Student Research in Pathology. The session will be held Saturday, April 21st. The ASIP seeks to promote basic and translational research into experimental pathology, and this special session features pathology-focused graduate student research. Sessions such as this allow faculty and students to meet and experience a variety of research interests.

Katie researches in the laboratory of Marshall’s School of Medicine Biomedical Sciences professor and researcher, Dr. Piyali Dasgupta. Her poster is entitled “The alpha7-nicotinic receptor antagonist induces robust apoptosis in human SCLC.” The alpha-7 nicotinic receptor (a7 nAChR) is a subtype of this group of receptors. These receptors can block apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Activation of these nicotinic receptors, such as in exposure to cigarette smoke, in human small cell lung cancer (SCLC) can allow cancerous cells to survive and reproduce. Antagonizing these receptors may allow the body to more adequately eliminate such cancerous cells. These receptors also have been found to be the main type of nicotinic receptor in charge of angiogenesis, or growth of new blood cells. Cancer cannot thrive or spread without an adequate blood supply, making angiogenesis an important issue for cancer treatment.

Congratulations to Katie and Dr. Dagupta’s lab for receiving this honor!

Area high school students perform award-winning research with Dr. Collier

From left to right: David Neff, Dr. Simon Collier, Nathan Wang, and Jared GallowayTwo area high school students are receiving national recognition for their research working in the lab of Dr. Simon Collier, Chair of the BMS program’s Neuroscience and Developmental Biology research cluster.

The students, Nathan N. Wang and Jared M. Galloway, are seniors at Fairland High School in Proctorville, Ohio. They have been working in Collier’s lab since summer 2010 with Marshall graduate student David Neff on a project to explore the function of a rubber-like protein, resilin, in insect flight.

Research in Collier’s lab focuses on the genetic control of the basic developmental processes of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. According to Collier, Drosophila has been studied for more than 100 years because the organism has many genes and genetic pathways similar to humans. Collier is considered a pioneer in the field.

Neff, who is overseeing the students’ research, said, “This is an important project because not only has it increased our understanding of insect flight, it also has potential implications for the design of biotechnological devices and possibly tissue implants, which could employ molecularly engineered protein sheets.”

Wang and Galloway were nationally recognized for their research in October, when they were named semifinalists in the 2011 Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology. The highest science honor awarded to American high school students, the award is sponsored by the Siemens Foundation. Their project was one of only three from Ohio to reach the national semifinals.

Earlier this year, their project earned them superior ratings at the Fairland Schools Local Science Fair, the Ohio Academy of Science District 14 Science Day and the Ohio Academy of Science State Science Day, where they were recognized with the Sigma Xi Interdisciplinary Research Award presented by the Ohio State University chapter of the scientific research society.

Collier said, “Nathan and Jared are indeed outstanding young students with very bright futures ahead of them. They are doing exemplary research in our lab and I’m looking forward to watching where their academic careers take them.”

The research was supported with funding from the National Science Foundation and the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium.