Marshall University research team publishes study in prestigious Science Advances

Researchers with the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and the Marshall University Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (MIIR) have identified a mechanism for blocking the signal by which the cellular sodium-potassium pump amplifies oxidants (reactive oxygen species).  These oxidants lead to obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Their research, “pNaKtide Inhibits Na/K-ATPase Reactive Oxygen Species Amplification and Attenuates Adipogenesis,” was published Oct. 16 in the journal Science Advances.JosephShapiro

Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the school of medicine and the study’s senior author, says the study is a true collaborative effort.

“I am extremely proud of this work, as the studies were conceived of, performed and analyzed entirely at Marshall University,” Shapiro said. “This work was based on two important components. We employed a peptide, pNaKtide, which was derived from the novel hypothesis developed by Marshall’s MIIR director, Dr. Zijian Xie.

Zijian Xie, Ph.D.Specifically, Dr. Xie has shown that in addition to its well-described role as an ion transporter, the sodium pump also regulates signal transduction and oxidant amplification. We also exploited work from Marshall’s SOM vice-dean for research, Dr. Nader Abraham, who has demonstrated a key role for oxidant stress in adipocytes in the development of obesity. The studies, which address a critical problem in the Appalachian population we serve, were performed entirely by our research staff at Marshall University.”

First author Dr. Komal Sodhi, assistant professor of surgery and pharmacology  at Marshall, says the research examined a peptide (pNaKtide) designed to block the sodium potassium Na/K-ATPase signaling  cascade, which altered the phenotype oKSohdif adipocytes (fat cells) in a cell culture system.“We found this decreased the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome in mice subjected to a high-fat diet, “Sodhi said. “The studies performed strongly supported this idea and suggest that if this is confirmed in humans, the Na/K-ATPase might ultimately be a therapeutic target for clinical conditions like obesity and metabolic syndrome, which are particularly relevant to West Virginia where more than a third of the population is currently obese.”Shapiro said while there are years of work ahead for researchers to determine the impact on humans, they believe they have hit on a feasible strategy for treating obesity and metabolic syndrome.“The bottom line is that we’ve identified a novel mechanism by which to address oxidant stress and, through this mechanism, treat obesity,” Shapiro said. “Our work opens up a new target for intervention in this disease as well as possibly other diseases characterized by oxidant stress.”
In addition to Shapiro and Sodhi, Marshall’s team of researchers includes Kyle Maxwell; Yanling Yan, Ph.D.; Jiang Liu, M.D., Ph.D.; Muhammad A. Chaudhry, M.A.; Morghan Getty; Zijian Xie, Ph.D.; and Nader G. Abraham, Ph.D.Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health, BrickStreet Foundation, and the Huntington Foundation Inc.

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Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

The Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine is a community-based, Veterans Affairs-affiliated medical school dedicated to providing high-quality medical education and postgraduate training programs to foster a skilled physician workforce to meet the unique health care needs of West Virginia and Central Appalachia. The school seeks to develop centers of excellence in clinical care, including primary care in rural underserved areas, focused and responsive programs of biomedical science graduate study, biomedical and clinical science research, academic scholarship and public service outreach. For more information, visit www.musom.marshall.edu.

 

Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research

MIIR is Marshall University’s key vehicle for advancing regional economic development. The institute’s scientists are developing a focused program of biotechnology research dedicated to exploring new treatments for cancer and heart and kidney disease, producing patentable scientific breakthroughs and creating new businesses based on those discoveries. Learn more at http://www.marshall.edu/miir.

 

 

Speaker Series: Non-Academic Career Exploration

Todd Davies, PhD, was this semester’s Presenter for the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Transforming Interdisciplinary Graduate Research and Education (TIGRE) program. This Speaker Series features career exploration in non-academic settings.

Davies,-T-_TIGRE-Speaker-2015b

Davies’ lunchtime seminar entitled, “How to be completely unprepared for a non-academic career,” focused on his experiences working in government, industry start-ups, and now clinical trial development. He also detailed how each part of his career path has provided him with needed skills to be successful in subsequent endeavors.

Davies,T-TIGRE-Speaker-2015

“Use your scientific training skills in critical thinking and problem solving and apply them to any job,” Davies said. These will help in financial budgeting, people management, time management, regulatory system navigation, and other important work tasks.

Taha Ahmed, PhD Candidate, felt that Davies presented very useful information.  “He provided an honest look at finding your way along the career path and acknowledged both the good and bad parts of each type of work.

This helpeAhmad_Tahad me to understand that the post-graduation fears of PhD students are real but not something that should hold you back.”

Todd Davies, PhD, is the Director of Research Development & Translation at the Appalachian Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine where he manages the Marshall Clinical Research Center, a newly developed hub for clinical trial activity at Marshall. The Marshall Clinical Research Center is dedicated to bringing cutting edge clinical research and advanced care to Marshall and rural West Virginia.

Dr. Davies has a diverse background. He received his PhD in Medical Science from the University of Toledo Medical Center, his BS in Biology from Wesley College and his AAS in Aerospace Ground Equipment from the Community College of the Air Force. Dr. Davies also serves at the Commissioner of Economic Development for the City of Toledo and led the Bioscience activity of Rocket Ventures Pre-Seed Fund where he assisted in the creation and development of 22 medical technology start-up companies before joining another start-up, ADS Biotechnology as its CEO.

Dr. Rankin elected president

Gary O. Rankin, PhD, has been elected the President of the Division of Toxicology of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) for 2015-2016. The Division of Toxicology serves national and international members involved with neurotoxicology, teratology, molecular and cellular mechanisms of drug and chemical toxicity, immunotoxicology, organ toxicities, risk assessment, environmental toxicology, models of toxic injury, toxic intermediates, and mechanisms of chemical interactions.

Gary O. Rankin, Ph.D.

This leadership position is a great opportunity to showcase Marshall University, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and the excellent toxicology research conducted in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.

Racine Rankin

Dr. Rankin noted, “I will have the opportunity to influence programming in toxicology for the national American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics meeting within the Experimental Biology Meeting for 2017, oversee awards to deserving graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and toxicology researchers at various stages of their career, and promote toxicology as a discipline within the pharmacology community.”

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

See the full story: http://www.marshall.edu/exercise-science/eim/

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

Read more here: http://www.marshall.edu/wamnewsletter/2015/09/29/unity-walk-to-take-place-oct-20/

BMS alumnus research published

Nandini Manne, PhD, 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 PhD in Biomedical Sciences in 2014 under the mentorship of Eric Blough, PhD. 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 http://journals.lww.com/ccmjournal/Abstract/publishahead/Therapeutic_Potential_of_Cerium_Oxide.97161.aspx.

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 blough@marshall.edu or 304-696-2708.

Biomedical Sciences PhD Candidate, Kristeena Wright, offered words of encouragement at Convocation

Kristeena Wright, PhD 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,-K_Convocation2015

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.

Wright,-K-and-Maue,-D_convocation2015

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.