Marshall University Biomedical Sciences (BMS) again hosted the Appalachian Regional Cell Conference (ARCC) attended by students and faculty from four area institutions: Marshall University, West Virginia University, University of Kentucky and Ohio University. This year, 60 participants presented 30 posters and four oral presentations on a variety of biomedical sciences research topics.
Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado, PhD, from Stower’s Institute in Kansas City was the Keynote Speaker. His research and presentation focusing on the molecular mechanisms of tissue regeneration in invertebrates were fascinating for the attendees.
Learn more about his work at: http://www.stowers.org/faculty/s%C3%A1nchez-lab
The Marshall Representative for ARCC, Kristeena Wright, BMS PhD Candidate,
noted, “As always, the conference allowed for sharing of great scientific findings, interesting conversation, and networking by students and faculty alike. We look forward to another successful conference next year!”
Two Marshall students each won Second Place for their poster presentations. Alexandra Nichols has worked for a year in the lab of Komal Sodhi, MD, following the completion of her undergraduate degree in December 2013. Their presentation of Role of Serum Biomarkers in Early Detection of Diabetic Cardiomyopathy in West Virginia Population highlighted the laboratory’s focus on translational medicine. This research can give medical practitioners additional diagnostic tools to determine a diabetic patient’s risk in developing diabetic-related problems in the future. Since this information could be gleaned from the blood panel that doctors would have already ordered, it is cost effective, and it is not as intimidating to a patient as another test might be. Nichol’s study looked for certain identifiers on the serum test that can predict a patient’s
proclivity for developing fibrosis, diastolic dysfunction and inflammation in the tissues (tissue disease). This investigation used samples from current patients at Cabell Huntington Hospital under the care of Dr. Ellen Thompson. Nichols was excited by this project since it was the first study design that she has been able to bring to completion. “It is very special to be able to do research that is clinical and represents an actual person in our community. This can have a real impact on more effective patient care.”
Sean Piwarski, BMS PhD Candidate, was also awarded Second Place for his poster, Exploring the Mechanism by which TCDD Regulates Jagged-1 via the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor. Piwarski is mentored by Travis Salisbury, PhD, whose lab researches environmental links to breast cancer.
“Agent Orange from the Vietnam War is known to induce multiple types of cancers, but if you expose cancer cells to Agent Orange the metastasis will stop. My research involves understanding the mechanism by which TCDD stops metastasis and to see if it can be used as a chemotherapy target for triple negative breast cancer,” explained Piwarski.
Conference Presentation Awards:
1st- Sarah Metro, Ohio University
2nd- Alexandra Nichols, Marshall University
1st- Reetobrata Basu, Ohio University
2nd- Amrita Basu, Ohio University
Cancer and Other Disease
1st- Aaron Snoberger, West Virginia University
2nd- Sean Piwarski, Marshall University
2nd- Aric Logsdon, West Virginia University
Regeneration, Development and Disease 1
1st- Danielle Shepherd, West Virginia University
2nd- Kimberly Alonge, West Virginia University
Regeneration, Development and Disease 2
1st- Mark Slayton, Ohio University
2nd- Skye Hickling, West Virginia University
1st- Maria Muccioli, Ohio State University
Congratulations and thanks go to the organizers, participants and winners in this important regional research conference.