Travel award winners!

Murphy, Rachel_august2015Amos, Debbie_2015_headshot


Rachel Murphy, PhD candidate, and Deborah Amos, PhD student have won Graduate Student Travel Awards offered by American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) to attend the Experimental Biology (EB) Meeting in San Diego, CA. Up to $1000.00 will be awarded to offset conference registration and travel. Ms. Murphy and Ms. Amos will receive their checks and certificates at the ASPET Business Meeting and Awards Presentation on the first day of the EB meeting that takes place from April 2-6.

The Travel Award Program is intended to encourage developing scientists by providing opportunities to network with peers and experts, access to the latest advances in pharmacology, and contribute their own work to the field.

Ms. Murphy works in the lab of Monica Valentovic, PhD, and her research focuses on Tenofovir, a drug used to treat HIV and Hepatitis B, and how it affects the kidney.  She will present her poster on April 3 entitled Anti-viral Agent Tenofovir Induces Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis in HK-2 Cells. Additional contributors to the research are: Reagan M. Stafford, Megann Boone, Brooke Petrasovits and Monica A. Valentovic, PhD.

Nalini Santanam, PhD, MPH, FAHA, mentors Ms. Amos who conducts research on the effect of exercise on metabolic diseases.  Her poster will be presented on April 2.

There will be further updates regarding this important conference and participants in the coming days.

Research Day Winners

Congratulations to the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) students who were winners at the 28th Annual Research Day 2016 at the Marshall University Health Science Center.

Taha Ahmad and Justin K. Tomblin were winners in Oral, Basic Science. ARCC2015_Ahmed,-T-and-Egelston,-RPhD candidate Ahmad presented The Significance of CYP2B6 Genetic Polymorphisms in Unexpected Fatalities of Methadone Users in Caucasians of WV and KY Appalachia Region, which detailed research that she has completed under the guidance of Gary Rankin, PhD. TomblinJ.Cabell-Research-DayTomblin, also a PhD Candidate, offered 2,3,7,8_tetrachlorodibenzo_p_dioxin (TCDD)/Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AHR) Regulation of Large Neutral Amino Acid Transporter 1 (LAT1) in Breast Cancer Cells. He conducts research in the lab of Travis Salisbury, PhD.

piwarskiS.Cabell-research-daySean Piwarski, PhD Candidate, won in the category for Poster, Basic Science. Piwarski is also mentored by Travis Salisbury, PhD with his work on Exploring the Mechanism by Which 2,3,7,8_tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD) Regulates Jagged_1 via the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor.

For the full list of winners, see

28th Annual Research Day

2016-syllabus-Health-Science-Research-Day-1Marshall University recently held the 28th Annual Health Science Research Day which showcased the research of MU faculty, residents and students through poster and oral presentations. A highlight of the day was the Richard. J. Stevens, MD Memorial Lecture featuring the Invited Speaker, Naji Abumrad, MD, Chairman Emeritus, Department of Surgery, John L. Sawyers Professor of Surgery at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Please see additional information: and



New publication for Shapiro’s lab

Yanling Yan, PhD, is the first author, along with the Dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Joseph I. Shapiro, MD, FAHA, FACP, FASN, on a recent publication in Current Opinion in Pharmacology. Their research focuses on the Na/K-ATPase enzyme.Yanling-Yan According to Yan, “The Na/K-ATPase enzyme is commonly referred to as the sodium pump because it pumps sodium out of cells. This pumping process is vital to controlling normal functions of most cells. Besides this pumping function, our group has discovered that the sodium pump also regulates signal transduction and oxidant amplification. This review focuses on the recently discovered oxidant amplification function of the Na/K-ATPase in cardiovascular diseases. Exploitation of this understanding could open up a new therapeutic target for the many clinical conditions characterized by oxidant stress.

Dr.Yan has worked with Dr. Shapiro while obtaining her PhD and then for post-doctoral work. She has been at Marshall for about eight years and was recently promoted to Assistant Professor.

See the full article: The physiological and clinical importance of sodium potassium ATPase in cardiovascular disease.

Game night fun!

Students from the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) graduate programs and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, recently gathered at the Erma Ora Byrd Clinical Center to enjoy an evening of appetizers and games.

Each semester, the two groups come together for a mixer to encourage networking and the development of a peer group across both clinical and research areas.

Several folks participated in a spirited game of Cranium.


Teams answered trivia questions and identified objects through drawing (sometimes with their eyes closed!) and sculpting with Play-doh. The BMS students congratulate,sadly (only kidding, of course), the winning team of medical students.

Research in Progress Conference Series

Shrikant Anant, PhD, will be the next guest speaker for this conference series, presenting Stem, the root cause of Cancer: Tales from the Crypt. Anant,-Shrikant Dr. Anant, a pioneering biologist, joined The University of Kansas Cancer Center in July 2010. He is the associate director of Cancer Prevention and Control.

Prior to coming to The University of Kansas Cancer Center, Dr. Anant led the gastrointestinal cancers program at the University of Oklahoma Cancer Institute. A professor of cell biology, medicine/gastroenterology and nutrition, he was also director of gastroenterology research at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Dr. Anant led a team of researchers who discovered a new gene, RBM3, which can cause normal cells to turn into cancer cells; also, stopping RBM3’s expression in cancer cells causes the cancer cells to die. Earlier, while on the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis, he discovered the first tumor-suppressing RNA-binding protein.

“Dr. Anant comes to us with an outstanding national reputation in gastrointestinal cancer research, particularly as it relates to cancer prevention,” says Roy A. Jensen, MD, director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center. “His research spans a wide range of activities – from understanding molecular biology questions to determining the mechanisms of action for certain natural products and their role in cancer prevention.”

“There’s a lot of excitement here,” Dr. Anant says of The University of Kansas Cancer Center. “The university is putting in the resources to develop high-powered teams of researchers to identify methods to stop cancer development and treat cancers. They are also interested in preventing cancers. My task is partly to lead a team of scientists in this effort.”

He will also serve as Associate Dean for Research at the University of Kansas Medical Center and as Kansas Mason Professor of Cancer Research in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, with a secondary appointment to the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology. He is also a KBA Eminent Scholar.

See more at:


BMS Medical Sciences student success

Preeya Shah is a recent graduate from the Biomedical Sciences MS with an emphasis in Medical Sciences program, and will be starting her first year at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in Fall, 2016. Her time since graduation has been well spent and has resulted in several publications.Shaw,-Preeya

Ms. Shah is first author on Dashing away hypertension: Evaluating the efficacy of the dietary approaches to stop hypertension diet in controlling
high blood pressure, published in the November 23, 2015 edition of the World Journal of Hypertention. See for the full article.

Most recently, Ms. Shah’s work has been featured in the Marshall Journal of Medicine.  View for Why Does Obesity Lead to Hypertension? Further Lessons from the Intersalt Study.

Congratulations on your success, Preeya!