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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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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.
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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!

 

 

 

Research in Progress Conference Series

Shrikant Anant, PhD, will be the next guest speaker for this conference series, presenting Stem, the root cause of Cancer: Tales from the Crypt. Anant,-Shrikant Dr. Anant, a pioneering biologist, joined The University of Kansas Cancer Center in July 2010. He is the associate director of Cancer Prevention and Control.

Prior to coming to The University of Kansas Cancer Center, Dr. Anant led the gastrointestinal cancers program at the University of Oklahoma Cancer Institute. A professor of cell biology, medicine/gastroenterology and nutrition, he was also director of gastroenterology research at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Dr. Anant led a team of researchers who discovered a new gene, RBM3, which can cause normal cells to turn into cancer cells; also, stopping RBM3’s expression in cancer cells causes the cancer cells to die. Earlier, while on the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis, he discovered the first tumor-suppressing RNA-binding protein.

“Dr. Anant comes to us with an outstanding national reputation in gastrointestinal cancer research, particularly as it relates to cancer prevention,” says Roy A. Jensen, MD, director of The University of Kansas Cancer Center. “His research spans a wide range of activities – from understanding molecular biology questions to determining the mechanisms of action for certain natural products and their role in cancer prevention.”

“There’s a lot of excitement here,” Dr. Anant says of The University of Kansas Cancer Center. “The university is putting in the resources to develop high-powered teams of researchers to identify methods to stop cancer development and treat cancers. They are also interested in preventing cancers. My task is partly to lead a team of scientists in this effort.”

He will also serve as Associate Dean for Research at the University of Kansas Medical Center and as Kansas Mason Professor of Cancer Research in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, with a secondary appointment to the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology. He is also a KBA Eminent Scholar.

See more at: http://www.kucancercenter.org/careers/our-stories/shrikant-anant/#sthash.HwgtvFK3.dpuf

 

Cookies and Milk!

Students from the Biomedical Sciences Program and School of Medicine came together for an afternoon cookie break.Mixer_john,-travis,-monty

It was a welcome diversion from studying on a rainy afternoon for most who attended.

 

 

 

Mixer_mdphd,-som,-taha  Mixer_Caroline,-Kristeena

Mixer coordinator, Kelly Carothers, said, “It’s great to provide a relaxed event so that participants from both the research and clinical sides of medicine can network and become more comfortable. Many of these students will share some classes or collaborate in the future.”

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/.

Five recent biomedical students received white coats

Amos, Michael_whitecoat2015The Biomedical Sciences M.S., Medical Sciences program had another successful year with several students admitted to the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

White-Coat-Ceremony2015_Krauss,-AAmanda Krauss, Michael Amos, and Trevor Roston began the Med. Sci. program in 2014. Ms. Krauss noted that, “[she is] super excited to start medical school and thankful for the support and confidence the [biomedical sciences] BMS program gave me.”

John Hurley and Cathryn Stevenson matriculated into the Med. Sci. program in 2013 and received their M.S. degrees this spring.

As an inspiring start to their medical school careers, all of the first year students receive white coats.

School of Medicine marks annual White Coat Ceremony

 

Multi-million dollar federal grant renewed for Marshall researchers and statewide collaborators

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. Gary Rankin with the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and co-investigators at institutions around West Virginia, including West Virginia University, have received a five-year renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling more than $17 million for the West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (WV-INBRE).

Rankin, who is chairman of the department of pharmacology, physiology and toxicology, serves as the grant’s principal investigator.

Gary O. Rankin, Ph.D.“We are really happy to be able to continue the work of the WV-INBRE program across our state,” Rankin said. “These funds will provide much-needed support for investigators at West Virginia colleges and universities to develop biomedical research programs and receive critical new equipment for their research activities.”

Rankin explained that researchers with the WV-INBRE research network are already studying many important health issues germane to West Virginia including cancer and cardiovascular disease, and the grant allows for expansion in those areas.

“The grant will also allow us to continue providing biomedical research opportunities for undergraduate students and faculty in all parts of West Virginia and help us train the state’s future workforce in science and technology,” Rankin said.

WV-INBRE is part of NIH’s Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program housed in the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at NIH. The goals of the IDeA programs are to enhance biomedical research capacity, expand and strengthen the research capabilities of biomedical faculty, and, for INBREs, provide access to biomedical resources for promising undergraduate students throughout the 23 eligible states and Puerto Rico in the IDeA program.

“Our INBRE puts the IDeA approach into action by enhancing the state’s research infrastructure through support of a statewide system of institutions with a multidisciplinary, thematic scientific focus,” Rankin said. “For WV-INBRE this focus is cellular and molecular biology, with a particular emphasis on chronic diseases. We have also started an initiative to support natural products research in the areas of cancer and infectious disease research.”

Rankin said the research goals are accomplished through mentoring and administrative support provided by both Marshall University and West Virginia University.

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Contact: Leah C. Payne, Director of Public Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713

Biomedical sciences researcher to present results of clinical trials on personalized chemotherapy

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. Pier Paolo Claudio, a researcher at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, is traveling to Paphos, Cyprus, next month to present his work to personalize chemotherapy for cancer treatment.

Claudio was invited to give the talk at the 5th International Conference on Recent Advances in Health and Medical Sciences, which will be held July 6-12.

He will be discussing the results of clinical trials conducted at the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center. The studies tested ChemoID, a cell culture method he developed with colleague Dr. Jagan Valluri to measure the sensitivity of patients’ tumors to chemotherapy treatment for lung, brain/spine and breast cancer.

He says more evaluation of the technology is needed, but preliminary tests on a small number of patients found ChemoID 100 percent accurate in predicting which drug is more effective in treating patients affected by brain cancer if the tumor-initiating cancer stem cells were evaluated.

Claudio“Oncologists every day face many challenges in determining the best course of therapy for an individual cancer patient,” says Claudio. “The basic problem is that patients with similar diagnoses don’t always respond to the same chemotherapy. This technology we have developed could help physicians select the appropriate chemotherapy for an individual patient—giving them an edge in the fight against cancer.”

He says the good news for cancer patients is that ChemoID may make possible personalized treatment by predicting the most effective drug combination to successfully target that specific patient’s cancer—increasing the chance the drugs will work and perhaps reducing side effects by helping the patient avoid unnecessary drugs.

In addition to presenting his own research at the conference, Claudio will be moderating a session, “Advances in Oncology and Anticancer Research. Cancer Pathology.”

Summaries of the research presented at the meeting will be published in the journal Frontiers in Bioscience.

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Contact:  Ginny Painter, Communications Director, Marshall University Research Corporation, 304-746-1964 (o) www.marshall.edu/murc