Guest Speaker: Wei Li, MD, PhD

Li_W_Presentation-8.30.16Biomedical Science students and faculty had the opportunity to meet Wei Li, MD, PhD at his recent presentation: Thymidine Phosphorylase in the Development of Chronic Diseases. Dr. Li began his career as a medical student at China Medical University in Shenyang, China. He later received his PhD from Fukui Medical University in Japan.

Dr. Li is the recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 grant. He is co-investigator for “Platelet-inspired delivery system for targeted thrombolytic therapy” and “Regulation of thrombosis by platelet ubiquitin.”

 

 

2016 Research Retreat

BiomeCollins,-K-and-Bryant,-A_Research-Retreat_2016dical Sciences (BMS) students, faculty, staff and friends gathered to celebrate the year’s success in the 2016 Marshall University Health Sciences Research Retreat at the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall.

A poster session and luncheon were followed by remarks from Marshall President, Jerome Gilbert, PhD. Dr. President-Gilbert_Research-Retreat_2016Gilbert stressed the importance of considering research beyond current areas of interest.

 

 

Xie, Zijian_research retreat_2016Zijian Xie, PhD, detailed the various research directions at Marshall Institute of Interdisciplinary Research (MIIR) and introduced the faculty, staff and students who are involved in each area.

Bacon,N-and-Lin,-Zhucheng_Research-Retreat_2016

Damron, Heath_MarshallPhDalumnus_ResearchRetreat_2016Biomedical Sciences PhD alumnus, F. Heath Damron, spoke about his current research at West Virginia University. He discussed how his experiences at Marshall led him to his current work on the pertussis vaccine as well as the difficulties of developing an improved vaccine and the challenges of bringing it to the public.

 

 

 

 

 

Awards, one of the favorite parts of the retreat, were presented to highlight excellence in the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program:

Molly Butts, Graduate Student Organization (GSO) President, presented awards selected by the GSO.

Julia Schreiber, received Best Staff Member for her always smiling and helpful demeanor. The Best Faculty Member was awarded to Travis Salisbury, PhD.

Schreiber,-J-and-Butts,-M_Research-Retreat_2016Salisbury,-T-and-Butts,-M_Research-Retreat_2016

 

 

 

 

 

Murphy,-R-and-Butts,-M_Research-Retreat_2016Rachel Murphy, PhD Candidate and Tammie Tran, Biomedical Sciences MS Medical Sciences student, were selected to receive scholarship funds.Butts,-M-and-Tran,-T_Research-Retreat_2016 Ms. Tran said, “Winning this award is fantastic because the funds are needed for my continuing education. It is also great to be recognized for accomplishments that have been so meaningful to me like tutoring students with disabilities.”

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Todd Green, PhD, Co-Director of the Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program, presented the Goran Boskovic Best Academic Performance for a First Year Research Student to Sarah Stevens, PhD student.

 

Green,T-and-Theisenfeldt,S_Research-Retreat_2016He also awarded the Goran Boskovic Best Academic Performance for a First Year BMS MS Medical Sciences Student to Scott Thiesfeldt. “Winning this award is a huge honor and will keep me striving for excellence. I wouldn’t be able to do it without great professors and study partner, David Bartlett,” noted Mr. Thiesfeldt.

 

 

Green,T-and-Parkman,J_Research-Retreat_2016

 

 

The winner of Best Research Performance was Jackie Parkman, PhD Candidate. She will receive $2,000 to present at a national conference in her field.

 

 

 

Green,T-and-Murphy,R_Research-Retreat_2016

Best Overall Performance as a Graduate Student went to Rachel Murphy, PhD Candidate. Ms. Murphy intends to use the funds $3,500 to present at an international conference in London.  “I think these student awards are one of the best things about the program here at Marshall. They enable deserving students to do things that may have not been possible otherwise.  I’ve never been outside of the country before, and now I get to present my research in Europe-something I never imagined I’d be able to afford!,” observed Ms. Murphy.
Ward_Dakota B

The Dr. Frederick J. Lotspeich Award, given in honor of the first Chair of Biochemistry at Marshall, was announced by Donald Primerano, PhD. This $1000 scholarship, given to a West Virginia student for academic excellence, went to Dakota B. Ward.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

 

 

 

Orientation day

Medical-Sciences_2016_groupNew BMS students were officially welcomed to the family last week at Orientation Day.
CTS-MS-Group-Picture_Inaugural-2016diana

Research-MS_2016_group
There were many opportunities to meet faculty, staff and current students as the newbies received information about courses and toured the facility and campus.Butts, Molly

 

Cindy Warren, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs at Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine (JCESOM), was on hand to discuss medical school application with the Medical Sciences (Med. Sci.) and Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) students. All the new folks were able to hear about the important and fun activities of the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) from Molly Butts, GSO President.

To cap off the day, everyone was invited to the BMS and CTS Picnic in Rotary Park. It didn’t rain; hooray!  The feast included hot dogs and hamburgers with all the fixin’s along with rice, macaroni salad, green beans, baked beans and cookies.

BMS-Picnic_2016It wouldn’t be the annual picnic without a game of “Do you love your neighbor?” to break the ice! BMS-Picnic-frisbee_2016

Plus, there were some competitive games of Corn Hole, Frisbee, and what appeared to be skills camps in soccer and basketball.  A few students brought their dogs to add to the fun.BMS-Picnic2-_2016

PhD student Lexie Keding noted, “I really enjoy the BMS picnic because it’s a fun environment and it’s a great way to welcome the new students to the program. Since students and faculty work in laboratories at many different locations, the picnic is a great event that brings everyone together.”

It was a wonderful day to meet others and celebrate the camaraderie of the BMS program before everyone settles down for the academic year of work and study.

More Medical Sciences success

In our excitement to let everyone know about the great things happening with our students, we neglected to include a few people.Preston, Jordan_whitecoat_2013Lamyaithong, Benja_whitecoat_2016bPlease remember to congratulate Jordan Preston and Benja Lamyaithong who graduated from the Medical Sciences program in 2015, and Zak Robateau who completed the program in 2016. All three are a part of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Class of 2020.Robateau, Zak_whitecoat_2016b

We appologize for the mistake.  Please see the original story below.

BMS Medical Sciences —  success stories

The Biomedical Sciences, MS Medical Sciences program has again had several students accepted into the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Class of 2020. MayD_white-coat_2016Their entrance to medical school is celebrated with a white coat ceremony.

ShahP_white-coat_2016

Preeya Shah and Dakota May received their MS degrees in the spring of 2015 and 2016, respectively. Jamila Ranavaya, Monty Chowdhury, and Asad Khawaja matriculated into the Medical Sciences program in 2015.

Previous students who conducted research in the Biomedical Sciences labs were also admitted to the class of 2020. Jordan Tate and Seth Deskins were summer interns in the West Virginia-Idea Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE) program. The American Heart Association Undergraduate Summer Internship Research (AHA-USIR) grant sponsored Reagan Stafford.ChowdhuryM_white-coat-2016

We are also proud of former Medical Sciences students Dylan Saunders and Dustin Miller for their acceptance into WV School of Osteopathic Medicine! Dylan and Dustin entered the Medical Sciences program in fall 2015.

School of Medicine welcomes Class of 2020 with White Coat Ceremony

Previous Medical Sciences student’s current research

loudinSeanSean Loudin, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine (JCESOM), began as a Medical Sciences student in the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program. That successful foundation has led to a well-respected career in Pediatrics with a subspecialty in Neonatology. In addition to his research and clinical interests in prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, ventilator support of extremely low birth weight infants, and pain management, he has focused on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). His current research centers on the investigation of genetic markers for NAS.

For further information, please see the article from The Exponent Telegram below:

WVU Medicine is working on protocols for babies exposed to opioids
by Lisa Troshinsky, STAFF WRITER
Aug 21, 2016

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia leads the nation in neonatal abstinence syndrome, and personnel at Ruby Memorial Hospital, WVU Medicine and Chestnut Ridge Center are actively working to counter the problem.

Neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, is defined as a group of problems that affect newborns of mothers who use addictive drugs, including opioids, during pregnancy.

laura lander“In a report by the Centers for Disease Control put out last week, there were 33.4 cases of NAS per 1,000 hospital births in West Virginia in 2013,” said Laura Lander, a licensed social worker at Chestnut Ridge, which is part of WVU Medicine. “That’s up from .5 per 1,000 births in the state in 2000.”

“The media uses the term ‘addicted’ when describing these babies, which is misleading,” Lander said. “Babies don’t have the developmental capacity for compulsive behavior and obsessive thinking about drugs. They are born exposed to substances, develop a physical dependence and have withdrawal symptoms.”

WVU Medicine is in the process of developing a treatment protocol to identify babies at risk, which includes screening mothers during pregnancy and developing guidelines to treat babies without having to keep them in the hospital unnecessarily long, Lander said.

Courtney Sweet, a neonatal clinical pharmacy specialist at WVU Medicine, provided details on the treatment of NAS.

“We do a universal screening of moms who deliver at Ruby and a screening of babies born at Ruby,” Sweet said. “When the babies are at risk, we monitor them for five days, watch for symptoms and so we can send them home safely.

“If they are going through withdrawals, we do a non-pharmacologic treatment that involves putting them in an environment low in stimulus and teach their mothers coping mechanisms like swaddling. If that isn’t effective, we give them low doses of morphine and taper them off the drug before sending them home.”

Exposed babies experience withdrawal symptoms for as little as a few weeks to as long as eight to nine months in the most extreme cases, Sweet said.

“All hospitals do it differently, so we’re developing a standard protocol to diagnose, assess and treat babies with NAS,” Lander said. “To make the protocol standardized across the state.”

WVU Medicine also is involved in a research study with Marshall University to examine genetic markers for neonatal abstinence syndrome, Lander said.

“We’re looking at why certain babies go through withdrawal and some do not,” said Sean Loudin, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics in Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

Loudin is also medical director of the neonatal therapeutic unit at the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital, which is part of Cabell Huntington Hospital. And he’s medical director of Lily’s Place, a residential infant recovery center for babies born drug-exposed.

“Two women can be on the same dose of Subutex; their babies can be delivered at the same weight; and one baby will go through withdrawal; and the other won’t,” Loudin said. “Many factors can come into play, like how the mom metabolizes the drug, how the baby metabolizes the drug, and genetics may play a role.”

Loudin explained that if the research finds a genetic marker which pregnant women can be screened for, doctors will be able to know if a baby is more at risk and potentially come up with interventions before birth, or soon afterward, to try to prevent serious withdrawal.

http://www.theet.com/news/local/wvu-medicine-is-working-on-protocols-for-babies-exposed-to/article_73edbf80-0123-526f-80d4-42dc49221a6d.html

Sundaram secures nearly $2.4 million grant

Uma Sundaram, MD, vice dean for research and graduate education at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, has received a five-year $2.39 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study gastrointestinal absorption of amino acids, specifically glutamine, and its effects on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is particularly prevalent in West Virginia and the Appalachian region.

Uma-Sundaram_Marshall-Univ“I’m very excited that our team of researchers, led by Dr. Sundaram, has received this very important grant,” said Joseph I. Shapiro, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “It is an important boost to our existing research operation in that it provides new extramural funding, which is mission critical as we face declining state support.”

The project, “Regulation of amino acid absorption in the mammalian small intestine,” will look at the regulation of glutamine absorption in the intestine in relation to inflammatory bowel disease in hopes of developing better nutritional therapies.

The condition predisposes sufferers to a higher rate of colon cancer. According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, colon cancer is West Virginia’s second leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

“This project will tackle a very significant health issue in West Virginia,” said Sundaram, who is the Principal Investigator of the grant. “Our work will focus on immune-based nutritional treatment for IBD. It will also have a potential application for preventing the growth of colon cancers, which are more malignant and common in IBD, a condition that impacts our state and Appalachia.”

The team of investigators in Sundaram’s lab supported by this grant includes:

  • Subha Arthur, Ph.D., assistant professor
  • Balasubramanian Palaniappan, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow
  • Soudamani Singh, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow
  • Molly R. Butts, doctoral graduate student

Marshall University President Jerry Gilbert said the grant is an indication of the university’s growth in the area of externally funded research.

“Building a robust research platform is essential to our university’s growth and development,” Gilbert said. “The school of medicine and its leadership are to be commended for their hard work and dedication in fostering an environment conducive to garnering funding for substantial academic research.”

The RO1 grant is the original and historically oldest grant mechanism used by the NIH and is considered the most prestigious. This RO1 is the largest grant of its kind to date for the university.

Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine & Pharmacy, 304-634-5559, or Ginny Painter, Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing, 304-696-4621

http://www.marshall.edu/ucomm/2016/08/11/school-medicine-receives-nearly-2-4-million-grant-study-nutrition-treat-disease/

BMS Medical Sciences Program – success stories

MayD_white-coat_2016The Biomedical Sciences, MS Medical Sciences program has again had several students accepted into the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Class of 2020. Their entrance to medical school is celebrated with a white coat ceremony.

 

ShahP_white-coat_2016
Preeya Shah and Dakota May received their MS degrees in the spring of 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Jamila Ranavaya, Monty Chowdhury, and Asad Khawaja matriculated into the Medical Sciences program in 2015.

ChowdhuryM_white-coat-2016

Previous students who conducted research in the Biomedical Sciences labs were also admitted to the class of 2020. Jordan Tate and Seth Deskins were summer interns in the West Virginia-Idea Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE) program. The American Heart Association Undergraduate Summer Internship Research (AHA-USIR) grant sponsored Reagan Stafford.

We are also proud of former Medical Sciences students Dylan Saunders and Dustin Miller for their acceptance into WV School of Osteopathic Medicine! Dylan and Dustin entered the Medical Sciences program in fall 2015.

School of Medicine welcomes Class of 2020 with White Coat Ceremony