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 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) MS, Medical Sciences emphasis (med. sci.) students recently attended orientation. Uma Sundaram, MD, Vice Dean Biomedical Sciences Research and Education, Todd Green, PhD, Co-Director Biomedical Sciences, and Richard Egleton, PhD, 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.

Full story:

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.

Link to original story: http://www.marshall.edu/ucomm/2015/08/25/4006/.

Senator Capito and Marshall Officials meet at WVU to draw attention to biomedical research

Recently, Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., Dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and Gary O. Rankin, Ph.D., Chair of the Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology Department, were ableShapiro_fullsize to participate in a visit with Senator Shelly Moore Capito, and John R. Lorsch, Director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Rankin noted, “This visit  by Senator Capito, her staff and the National Institute of Health (NIH) officials was an opportunity for the IDeA programs in West Virginia  (INBRE, COBREs and CTR) to highlight the cooperativity that has developed among our programs and the progress the programs are making in building basic and clinical research programs and infrastructure. It was great to be able to showcase what we are do across the state through providing research opportunities for students and faculty and making health-related discoveries that will ultimately have a positive impact on the health of all West Virginians. The IDeA programs are clearly making a difference in West Virginia”

Capito-and-Rankin,-G_at-WVUThe IDeA program was started in 1993 to help increase the biomedical research competitiveness in states that receive only small amounts of research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) was designed to create centers with a biomedical research focus at larger research schools.  To build the biomedical research infrastructure at smaller colleges and universities, and to provoide biomedical research training to undergraduate students, the IDeA Network for Biomedcial Research Excellence (INBRE) was developed.  Clinical and Translational Research (CTR) was intended to expand our infrastructure for, and practice of, clinical and translational research to a competitive level.

Please see below for the full article about this important visit.

Capito Hosts NIH Officials, University Leaders to Highlight Biomedical Research at West Virginia Universities

“From cancer detection and treatment, to the cause and effects of stroke, West Virginia’s Universities are making significant contributions to biomedical research.” – Senator Capito

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) hosted Director Jon R. Lorsch from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences at West Virginia University (WVU).

Senator Capito and Director Lorsch were joined by leaders from WVU and Marshall University for a discussion highlighting the groundbreaking biomedical research occurring in West Virginia with the help of investments from NIH’s Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program. The group toured the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, the Neuroscience Center and the Center for Basic and Translational Stroke Research at WVU.

“From cancer detection and treatment, to the cause and effects of stroke, West Virginia’s Universities are making significant contributions to biomedical research,” said Senator Capito. “Funding from NIH’s IDeA program has enabled our state to build its capacity, and I am grateful that leaders from NIH, WVU and Marshall University came together today for an important discussion about continued investment in our state’s biomedical research programs.”

“I have been extremely impressed by what I have seen in West Virginia, particularly the cooperation among its institutions. Their ability to work together to leverage taxpayer funds for biomedical research will increase the chances for medical breakthroughs. This kind of cooperation should serve as a model for research happening across the country,” said Director Lorsch.

Great academic centers like WVU, Marshall University and others should be solving the problems of real people so that we can improve their health. The programs that have been funded by NIH and supported by Senator Capito have helped provide a network of health centers across West Virginia that can address health disparities to how we can best deliver care to the people of this state,” said Clay Marsh, MD, Executive Dean and Vice President, WVU Health Sciences Center.

West Virginia is one of several small states that receive health-related research funding to serve rural and medically underserved communities through NIH’s IDeA program. Currently, West Virginia receives four IDeA grants totaling $11.3 million in funding.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Capito advocated for increased funding for the IDeA program. As a result, the committee passed a budget of $300 million for the IDeA program for Fiscal Year 2016, an increase over last year’s enacted level and the president’s budget request.

Participants in today’s visit hosted by Senator Capito included Jon R. Lorsch, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at NIH; W. Fred Taylor, Ph.D., acting director for the National Institute of General Medicine Sciences Center for Research Capacity Building; West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee; John Maher, Ph.D., Vice President for Research, Marshall University; Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University; Clay Marsh, M.D., Executive Dean and Vice President, West Virginia University Health Sciences Center; and Dr. Gary Rankin, Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology at Marshall University and Principal Investigator of West Virginia’s Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE).