Former BMS Medical Sciences’ student honored by state senate

Matthew Q. Christiansen “Matt” joined Marshall’s School of Medicine Biomedical Sciences, M.S. Medical Sciences Program as a student in 2008 with the determination to become more competitive to enter medical school. This goal was quickly accomplished as he was accepted into and entered Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in fall 2009.

The story below is being shared to help further recognize one of our most successful former students, Dr. Matthew Q. Christiansen. We are not surprised at his continued success, and note that great contributions to society will continue to come from Dr. Christiansen. _________________________________________________________________________

Health policy fellows honored by state senate

Matthew Q. Christiansen, M.D.Calling their service commendable, the West Virginia State Senate on March 6 adopted a resolution honoring School of Medicine resident physicians for their work at the Legislature providing physician resources through the Paul Ambrose Health Policy Fellowship Program. Dr. Kimberly R. Becher, a third-year resident from Sissonville, W.Va., Dr. Matthew Q. Christiansen, a first-year resident from Spencer, W.Va., and Dr. Kane A. Maiers, a third-year resident from Short Gap, W.Va., were honored by the resolution authored by Sen. Robert H. Plymale of Wayne County.The resolution also names Dr. Tracy Hendershot, MUSOM class of 2008, who served as the first Ambrose fellow. “Our physicians have worked diligently to help our lawmakers explore and vet dozens of issues that affect the health and well-being of the citizens of West Virginia,” said Dr. Stephen M. Petrany, co-director of the health policy track at Marshall and chairman of the department of family and community health.  “One of the goals of this program is to help young physicians fine-tune their leadership skills so they can effectively contribute to the health policy process. They have committed many hours to the process and we are very proud of their efforts.” Both Becher and Maiers have served in the program for three years and tackled such topics as this year’s catastrophic water crisis in central West Virginia and the Methamphetamine Lab Eradication Act. The Ambrose Health Policy Program was started at Marshall University in 2010 and is believed to be the only such program of its type in the country. It is a partnership of Marshall’s department of family and community health, Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health, and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.    It was inspired by namesake Paul Wesley Ambrose, a Marshall medical alumnus whose life and dynamic health policy career were cut short on September 11, 2001. ———————- Photo: Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Ambrose Health Policy Fellows are, from left, Dr. Kimberly Becher,  Dr. Kane Maiers and Dr. Matthew Christiansen. Photo by Martin Valent, West Virginia Legislative Photography, 2014. 

Brain Expo returns Friday

More than 630 elementary school children from around the Tri-state region will visit the Memorial Student Center Friday to participate in activities designed to help them learn about the brain and nervous system.

The sixth Brain Expo at Marshall will feature more than 25 interactive stations where children will explore how the various parts of their nervous system are responsible for how their bodies function and learn how healthy lifestyle choices lead to better brain health. brain expo picture of brainActivities will include testing their reflexes, playing memory games, coloring their own “brain hats” and building brain cell-shaped key chains.

More than 200 Marshall students and faculty from the  College of Science and Psychology Department, as well as the Department of Neuroscience at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, will oversee the activities. The St. Mary’s Medical Center also will be on hand with a station about brain and spinal cord safety.

The event is part of Brain Awareness Week, an annual global effort founded in 1996 by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. The Brain Expo at Marshall was founded by Dr. Nadja Spitzer and Dr. Brian Antonsen, both of whom are neuroscientists and assistant professors in the Department of Biological Sciences.

“Events like the Brain Expo are an excellent way to increase public awareness of brain research at Marshall and gain the interest of students who may choose a career path in science, technology, engineering or mathematics,” said Spitzer, the program director. “People are fascinated by the brain and there are many fun hands-on activities, like optical illusions, that show how the nervous system works. Our goal is to interest children in science and research at a young age by using games and activities that demonstrate the relevance of neuroscience in everyday life.”

Spitzer said registration for this year’s event is full, but anyone interested in next year’s program can e-mail brainawareness@marshall.edu.

For more information about the Brain Expo and Marshall’s Brain Awareness Program, visitwww.marshall.edu/baw.

The Brain Expo is supported by the National Science Foundation (Cooperative Agreement Award number EPS-1003907) and the College of Science, Department of Biological Sciences, Cell Differentiation and Development Center, and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine’s Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program.

This story was taken directly from: http://www.marshall.edu/wamnewsletter/2014/02/25/brain-expo-returns-friday/.

Marshall BMS Program is accepting applications for its Summer Research Internship for Minority Students (SRIMS)

Marshall University’s Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program is accepting applications for its sixth annual Summer Research Internship for Minority Students (SRIMS)!

Application deadline is February 15th! Apply Now!

The SRIMS program includes nine weeks of graduate-level research in the field of biomedical sciences. Participants receive formal research training while expanding their learning experience through workshops, seminars on current topics, mentoring and use of state-of-the-art core facilities.

Annesha_King and Dr. Koc

2013 SRIMS Intern Annesha King with her mentor, Dr. Emine Koc

Each year, applications from undergraduate and underrepresented minority students who have not graduated by August of the program year are considered. Also, students are required to present their research at the WV Summer Research Symposium the last week of the program and should note this as they commit to the program.

A stipend of $3,000 will be provided to each participant for the nine-week experience. Participants will receive free room and board, as well as assistance with travel.

 

Visit the SRIMS webpage for more specifics!

WV Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol 2014

Image for WVURD14

Following the poster presentations, a luncheon was held to honor the student researchers, their mentors, and to formally recognize the winners of grants awarded by The Higher Education Policy Commission’s (HEPC) Division of Science and Research.

The luncheon was sponsored by the WV HEPC Division of Science and Research; Expansion of STEM Doctoral Education Program, Marshall University; Marshall Health; and WVU’s Office of Graduate Education and Life.

Norton_WVURD_grant'14One of the award recipients is one of Marshall’s own, Dr. Michael Norton. Norton received a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Grant for $210,000.

Congratulations!

 

 

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Wins Best Poster Award at Regional Society of Toxicology Meeting

Christopher Racine, a fourth year Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. Candidate, won the Ohio Valley Regional Chapter/Charles River Laboratories Best Ph.D. Student Poster Presentation Award at the Ohio Valley Regional Society of Toxicology meeting held at the University of Louisville, Louisville Kentucky.

Racine_Chris_2013

Mr. Racine’s poster was entitled, “Role of renal biotransformation in 1,2,3-trichloro-4-nitrobenzene induced nephrotoxicity in vitro,” and co-authored by Travis Ferguson, Deborah Preston, Dianne K. Anestis and Dr. Gary O. Rankin. The project was designed to begin to determine how 1,2,3-trichloro-4-nitrobenzene, a commonly used chemical intermediate, causes damage to the kidney. Racine’s work explored if the kidney could directly change the chemical to a toxic form and whether oxidative damage might play a role in how the nitrobenzene compound damaged kidneys. His work documented that several different metabolizing enzyme systems could change the nitrobenzene compound to new toxic compounds called metabolites that harmed the kidney cells. He also found that chemical-induced oxidative damage was contributing to the mechanism by which the nitrobenzene was causing kidney toxicity.

Future work will explore which toxic metabolites are formed from 1,2,3-trichloro-4-nitrobenzene and what parts of the kidney cells these metabolites attack. Mr. Racine is currently conducting his research in the laboratory of Dr. Gary O. Rankin, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology, Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

Congratulations, Chris!

MU biomedical students showcase research

BILL ROSENBERGER
The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON — Medical research that has an opportunity to affect the health and well-being of the general population should be celebrated, which is one of the reasons for the showcase at Pullman Plaza Hotel.

More than a dozen projects by Marshall University biomedical science graduate students and faculty members showcased their work as part of the ninth annual Biomedical Sciences Retreat. The event gives graduate students in the university’s biomedical sciences program an opportunity to share their research, including projects to study the effects of drugs on the kidney, obesity and type 2 diabetes, and how neurons respond to different patterns of neural activity.

Elsa Mangiarua, a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology and Toxicology, said Ph.D. students get to share their work with each other, while newly admitted Ph.D. students get to see some of the research they will be getting into.

“There are a lot of good projects with positive results in translational research,” said Rachel Murphy, who is a first-year student from Kansas. “It sets the bar high to help medical science advance to the next step. It’s definitely inspiring.”

Marcus_Terneus2013That was also the observation from Marcus Terneus, senior manager of global EH&S occupational toxicology at Mylan Pharmaceuticals. He is a 2006 graduate of the Marshall Ph.D. program and served as the afternoon’s keynote speaker.

“I’m very proud. It’s exciting to see the growth and what projects are going on,” Terneus said. “I keep close eyes on what students are doing.”

He also told the group that the education and research opportunities he received prepared him for what he’s seen during the past seven years.

“It’s given me what I needed to succeed,” he said.

The research also was noted as impressive because of how groundbreaking the results could be. Second-year student Justin Tomblin’s project centered on the link between obesity and breast cancer and how to block the growth of abnormal tissue.

In West Virginia, which has high obesity rates, that kind of research could help quite a few folks, he said.

“It definitely feels like you are doing something that may help friends or relatives,” Tomblin said.

John Maher, the vice president for research at Marshall and executive director of the Marshall University Research Corporation, said after hearing some presentations that Marshall has a very strong biomedical sciences program. He also noted that they are working on relevant and important problems pertaining to regional health care.