Another president for the Medical Sciences students












One of the great advantages of the Biomedical Sciences MS, Medical Sciences Emphasis program (Med. Sci.) is that students typically feel very well prepared for their courses if they continue on to medical school. This provides them with the confidence to take on leadership roles with their peers. This year, the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine (JCESOM) Class of 2020 elected Preeya Shah, MS, to the role of President, and Dakota T. May, MS, will be Vice President. Both are graduates of the Med. Sci. program.

May noted, “The Biomedical Sciences Program provided me with the assurance to know that I could tackle medical school curriculum while taking on the role of Vice President for the class of 2020. Exposure to the same material and a revolving relationship with the faculty allowed for me to be comfortable and confident in taking it upon myself to be a leader and a responsible student.”

“Our two year journey completing the Biomedical Sciences Master Program has played an invaluable role in our preparation as first year medical students. Along with course exposure, we were given the opportunity to adapt and expand our methods of studying within the integrated curriculum. Additionally, we were able to build strong networks amongst students, faculty, and other members within Marshall’s community to prepare us for this next chapter in our journey,” added Shah.

Previous Med. Sci. students who were recently elected to Class President: Arron Dom, MD, Class of 2015; Matt Snyder, MS, Class of 2016; Michelle Studeny, Class of 2017; and Brad Gillon, Class of 2018.

For more about these students, please see We Are…Bridging Medicine and Science V. 1, N.4, page 12 here:


Fall Mixer


Students in the Joan C. Edwdeverj-and-shah-p_fall-mixer_2016ards School of Medicine (JCESOM) Biomedical Sciences (BMS) graduate program and medical school enjoyed a get-together at the Robert C Byrd Biotechnology Science Center (BBSC).
The warm weather gave the group a good excuse to get away from their studies for an hour to enjoy some snacks and play a round of cornhole on the front “patio.” dever-j-and-nellhaus-e_fall-mixer_2016



Lila, the Golden Retriever puppy offered a lot of stress relief too!


“Students from the BMS and Clinical and Translational Science (CTS) programs will often share courses with the medical students so it’s great for them to make some connections outside of class as well. In the future, they may want to collaborate on a project; the time to network in a relaxed atmosphere can be very valuable,” noted coordinator, Kelly Carothers.





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.


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.

BMS faculty members receive grants

Congratulations to Biomedical Science Faculty Donald Primerano, PhD; Piyali Dasgupta, PhD; James Denvir, PhD.; Richard Egleton, PhD; and Elaine Hardman, PhD!

Donald Primerano, Ph.D.Egleton,-R_Retreat2015


They have all been awared project grants for translational research sponsored by Marshall and West Virginia University’s Health Grants Program.

W. Elaine Hardman, Ph.D.Jim-Denvir-2012-thumb


See the full story here

A special project supported by a special program

Prior to the holidays, the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) solicited donations of toys, games, and other kid-related items from the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) family.  This yearly event, “The Jared Box Project” is a nation-wide mission to improve the lives of hospitalized children by providing opportunities to play. Once the offerings were collected, the GSO wrapped and delivered the gifts to children, from newborn to 18 years old, at Cabell-Huntington Hospital.

Jared Box2015.murphyR, PanwarM, AhmedT, AmosD, WrightK    Jared-Box2015.WrightK,AmosD,MurphyR,AhmedT

This year’s delivery team included Rachel Murphy, PhD Candidate and GSO President; Rabia Ahmed (Taha’s sister); Taha Ahmed, PhD Candidate; Debbie Amos, PhD student and GSO Vice President; and Kristeena Wright, PhD Candidate.

Jared Box2015.AhmedT    Jared-Box2015.WrightK

It is hard to say who had a better time, those getting the gifts or those who were able to share them!

Ms. Murphy extended a “big THANK YOU” to everyone who donated toys or cash to this great project.”

Bluefield State College science students introduced to Biomedical Sciences program

Students from Bluefield State College (BSC) recently visited the Byrd Biotechnology Science Center (BBSC) to learn more about the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Program.


Seven bright and engaged students in the BSC Biomedical Club received an overview of the graduate degrees including the newly added Master of Science in Clinical and Translational Science (CTS), the Transforming Interdisciplinary Graduate Research and Education (TIGRE) program goals, and the Summer Research Internship for Minority Students (SRIMS) from Co-Director of Graduate Studies, Richard Egleton, PhD, and Diana Maue, Graduate Recruitment and Communication Coordinator.

The Bluefield group was also able to meet with BMS graduate students to hear “the inside scoop,” and tour the BBSC core facilities with special stops at the Genomic facility with Donald Primerano, PhD, and the Molecular and Biological Imaging Center to hear from David Neff, MS.

Headshot - PrimeranoDavid Neff, Imaging Specialists

James Walters, PhD, Assistant Professor at BSC, has brought his best students for this introduction to Marshall University for the past couple of years.  Walters is mentored by Nalini Santanam, PhD, MPH, FAHA, through West Virginia Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE).