Cookies and Milk!

Students from the Biomedical Sciences Program and School of Medicine came together for an afternoon cookie break.Mixer_john,-travis,-monty

It was a welcome diversion from studying on a rainy afternoon for most who attended.




Mixer_mdphd,-som,-taha  Mixer_Caroline,-Kristeena

Mixer coordinator, Kelly Carothers, said, “It’s great to provide a relaxed event so that participants from both the research and clinical sides of medicine can network and become more comfortable. Many of these students will share some classes or collaborate in the future.”

Celebrate Marshall with these events

With all of the hard work and study, it’s important that students, faculty and staff make time to stay healthy. The Exercise is Medicine on Campus (EIC-OC) Program will offer a week of great activities. ACSM-Exercize

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Another way to enjoy all that Marshall has to offer is to celebrate with the Unity Walk.Unity-Walk-2015

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BMS alumnus research published

Nandini Manne, Ph.D., is first author on “Therapeutic Potential of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles for the Treatment of Peritonitis Induced by Polymicrobial Insult in Sprague-Dawley RatsNandini-Manne_Alumni” to be published in Critical Care Medicine. Please see the full article below.

Manne earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences in 2014 under the mentorship of Eric Blough, Ph.D. He currently teaches courses for Marshall’s Master of Science in Public Health (MPH) program, and also conducts post-doctorate research in treating disease with nanoparticles.





From Marshall University Communications News:

Research into treatment for sepsis, one of the world’s major health problems, is underway at Marshall University.

An article on the study, “Therapeutic Potential of Cerium Oxide Nanoparticles for the Treatment of Peritonitis Induced by Polymicrobial Insult in Sprague-Dawley Rats,” will appear in a future issue of Critical Care Medicine.

It is available online now at

Peritonitis, an infection of the abdominal cavity, sometimes leads to sepsis, also known as blood poisoning.  Sepsis kills more people on an annual basis than prostate cancer, breast cancer, and AIDS combined and is the number one of killer of critically ill patients and infants.

The research studies at Marshall have demonstrated that nanoparticles of cerium oxide, widely used as a polishing agent and as an additive to increase fuel efficiency, may be useful for the treatment of sepsis. The data in the study by Eric R. Blough, Ph.D., Nandini D.P.K. Manne, Ph.D. and colleagues at Marshall’s Center for Diagnostic Nanosystems indicate that cerium oxide nanoparticles improve animal survivability following a severe polymicrobial episode in the laboratory rat.

Some studies have found that cerium oxide nanoparticles may also be capable of acting as antioxidants and as anti-inflammatory agents, leading researchers to investigate the potential applications of these nanoparticles for biomedical purposes.

Blough, a professor at Marshall’s School of Pharmacy, said the study could potentially lead to development of novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of sepsis.

Lead author Manne, who is the senior postdoctoral scientist on the project, says the particles may have widespread application for use in the third world or for military use because of their stability in diverse environments.

“The particles are likely to be quite stable at a wide range of temperatures and do not require any special handling or storage,” Manne said.  “Because they appear to function by decreasing the release of cytokines and chemokines from the liver, we are hoping that they could be used to prevent the shock and organ injury seen with several types of infectious agents, severe trauma, burns, radiation and spinal injury. Our next step is to determine the precise mechanism of action to see if this approach could ever be a viable treatment for use in human patients.”

The research was supported with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, grant DE-PS02-09ER09-01.  For more information, contact Eric Blough at or 304-696-2708.

Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Candidate, Kristeena Wright, offered words of encouragement at Convocation

Kristeena Wright, Ph.D. candidate, was selected to be a presenter at this year’s President’s Freshman Convocation. She began with a description of her own Convocation as an undergraduate at Duke University with presenter Maya Angelou just ten years ago.


Wright spoke of three areas that she felt would assist the Class of 2019 to be successful at Marshall University:

  1. Don’t be afraid to stand out.
  2. Don’t doubt your potential.
  3. Step out of your comfort zone.

These points were illustrated with examples of the challenges and successes that Mrs. Wright has experienced during her years at Marshall University.


Another focus of the presentation was the wonderful support system and mentors that Kristeena has found in the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Program, as well as Marshall University as a whole. Mrs. Diana Maue, Graduate Recruiter and Communication Coordinator, has been a particularly valuable supporter.

As Kristeena has been motivated by many here at Marshall, she has surely inspired a great many others. She is a “phenomenal woman.”

See the full Convocation Ceremony.

Welcome new med. sci. students!

Twelve Biomedical Sciences (BMS) M.S., Medical Sciences emphasis (med. sci.) students recently attended orientation. Uma Sundaram, M.D., Vice Dean Biomedical Sciences Research and Education, Todd Green, Ph.D., Co-Director Biomedical Sciences, and Richard Egleton, Ph.D., Co-Director Biomedical Sciences offered a welcome and program overview. After course introductions and a Q&A with Cynthia Warren, Assistant Dean of Admissions, MU School of Medicine, there was a picnic at Ritter Park sponsored by the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) for all new and returning students.


These awesome students received their undergraduate degrees from as close as Marshall University and as far away as University of California–Riverside. Among the group, there is a classically trained pianist, a competitive swimmer and competitive baseball player, and fans of soccer, volleyball, and martial arts. Don’t forget the published poet, and the one who may be related to the original Colonel Sanders!

Be sure to welcome our new med. sci. and research students, and see if you can learn their “secret identities” as writers, athletes, and more.

Santanam receives federal grant

Nalini Santanam, Ph.D., M.P.H., F.A.H.A., has received funding from the National Institute on Aging to further her investigations into heart disease related to obesity and aging. Congratulations Dr. S.! Nalini Santanam, Ph.D., M.P.H.

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Nalini Santanam, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor in the department of pharmacology, physiology and toxicology at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, has been awarded a federal grant to continue her work on obesity and aging with regard to heart disease.

The $356,946 grant was announced last week by the U. S. Health and Human Services’ National Institute on Aging.

“Dr. Santanam is working very hard to address medical issues that are relevant to West Virginians and others in central Appalachia,” said Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., dean of the school of medicine. “This federal award is very important to her research program as well as our entire university.”

In congratulating Santanam on her work, Marshall University Interim President Gary White described her as one of Marshall’s finest researchers.

“Her work is indicative of the quality of faculty we have at Marshall,” White said. “Dr. Santanam’s investigations into these common health issues could very well have a significant impact on human health—both right here in our communities and around the world.”

The risk of developing obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (cardiometabolic risk) increases with age. And, according to Santanam, though the mechanisms are still unclear, these diseases are directly linked to adipose (fat) tissue dysfunction which increases with age.

“This study will investigate the role of epigenetic regulators and RNA regulatory mechanisms in adipose dysfunction with aging,” Santanam said. “Our findings will shed light on the mechanisms that lead to age-related diseases and identify targets to treat them.”

Santanam joined the school of medicine in 2006.

In addition to her appointment in the department of pharmacology, physiology and toxicology, she also is an adjunct professor in the department of cardiology.

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