Wishing our graduates well at the 2018 Commencement Dinner
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
The 2018 Ph.D.Commencement Dinner was held at the Daisy Flour Mill. Following introductions from Edith Lord, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Jennifer Stripay, representing the University of Rochester Alumni Council, Awards were presented to three graduating PhD students:
Vincent du Vigneaud Award: Anthony DiPiazza, Microbiology and Immunology, “Insights into CD4 T Cell-Mediated Immunity to Influenza Viruses.” The award is conferred by the Office of Graduate Education to a graduating student whose thesis is judged superior and unique in potential for stimulating and extending research in the field.
Wallace O. Fenn Award: Benjamin Plog, Pathology, “Novel Insight into Regulation of Glymphatic Flow with Implications for Traumatic Brain Injury.” The award is given annually to a graduating student judged to have performed especially meritorious research and who presented a Ph.D. thesis suitable to honor the name of Wallace Fenn, former professor and chair of physiology.
Marvel-Dare F. Nutting Award (recognizing an outstanding Biochemistry PhD): Amber Cutter, whose PhD dissertation was on “Molecular Characterization of Nucleosome Recognition by Linker Histone H1.0.”
Commencement Dinner Photos
Latest Issue of Opportunities to Explore - May 21-25, 2018
Friday, May 18, 2018
This week holds professional development day, a URBEST Career Story from Sarah Goodwin, PhD and the CIRTL@UR Research Day along with workshops on Strategies for Effective Clinical Teaching and Learning and The Bottom Line: What You Need To Know About Interviewing.
There are many events, opportunities and resources in the latest issue, check it out!
Latest Issue of Opportunities to Explore - May 21-25, 2018
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
By Susanne Pritchard Pallo
The MSTP 2017 incoming class, with former UR CTSI Academic Research Track participants Samuel Weisenthal and Ian De Andrea-Lazarus (far right).
Over the past several decades, concerns have risen about the declining population of physician-scientists, with reports pointing to early career training and support as a possible solution. The UR CTSI Academic Research Track, which allows medical students to try their hands at research, has helped two University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry students take the next step toward a research career: joining an MD-PhD program.
The pair, Ian De Andrea-Lazarus and Samuel Weisenthal, joined the University of Rochester Medical Scientist Training Program after finishing their Academic Research Track projects. This is a move that a new study from the Association of American Medical Colleges suggests will help them stay in science. The study tracked MD-PhD program graduates over 50 years and showed that most stuck with their research careers.
Ian and Sam explain what drove them to pursue a career as physician-scientists.
Why did you join the UR CTSI’s Academic Research Track?
Ian: I’ve always craved knowledge and enjoy the challenge of pushing the boundaries of existing human knowledge. I had several years of research experience before applying for medical school - as an undergraduate research assistant in the Linguistics Department at Gallaudet University and as a post-baccalaureate fellow at the National Cancer Institute. For two years, I worked in the Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Genetics at NCI, studying a non-selective cation channel found mainly in the peripheral nervous system that is involved in the transmission and modulation of pain.
Sam: Like Ian, I was inspired by my time as a post-baccalaureate trainee at the NIH, where I worked for a year in a computational radiology lab. I also had a great time doing a summer research project in health informatics at Rochester. I joined the Academic Research Track because I wanted to study the vast amount of data being collected through the electronic health record. In a single year, the University of Rochester Medical Center alone accrues more than two terabytes of non-image data (a lot). I was particularly interested in how this data could be used to predict – and hopefully help prevent – adverse health events in patients.
How did your experience in the Academic Research Track drive you to join the University of Rochester Medical Scientist Training Program?
Ian: I had originally wanted to apply for the University of Rochester Medical Scientist Training Program but I was afraid that my application would not be competitive enough. The Academic Research Track was the bridge that allowed me to pursue my goal of becoming a physician-scientist and reinvigorated my interest in research. The program allowed me to obtain a master’s degree in Public Health along with the tools and drive I needed to apply for the MD-PhD program.
Sam: I had also previously considered an MD-PhD program, but did not have a cohesive story to tell in an application. The Academic Research Track year allowed me to obtain a master’s degree in Data Science from the Goergen Institute for Data Science at the University of Rochester, which provided a foundation for more advanced study. It also helped me discover the UR CTSI’s Translational Biomedical Science PhD Program, which was a good fit, and to fully engage in a research project in a great lab.
What did you study during the Academic Research Track program?
Sam: We were initially interested in predicting readmission to the intensive care unit, which is a quality metric used by some hospitals. Ultimately, however, we decided to focus on predicting acute kidney injury, which is common, deadly, and sometimes completely preventable with simple interventions like fluid administration or medication review. Insights from our studies could be used to hopefully develop a better predictive tool that could help prevent acute kidney injury in the future.
Ian: We explored the association between low levels of lead in the serum of 3- to 5-year-old children and their mental capacity to focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks. We used a well-characterized tool for assessing these mental executive functions in children, called the Stroop day-night task, but found that the tool may not be sensitive enough to detect lead’s effects on neurodevelopment.
What are you studying now?
Sam: I am pursuing a joint degree between the Translational Biomedical Science PhD Program and Computer Science Department, with Computer Science as a minor. This includes select coursework in computer science, biostatistics, and medicine. My research focus is a continuation of my Academic Research Track project with Martin Zand, Ph.D., co-director of the UR CTSI and professor of Nephrology and Public Health Sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Our goal is to improve acute kidney injury prediction by reformulating the standard approach and performing more rigorous error analysis. Ultimately, we hope to squeeze maximal predictive value out of electronic health record data to assist physicians in making the best decisions for at-risk patients.
Ian: I am pursuing a doctoral degree in the UR CTSI’s Translational Biomedical Science PhD Program and working with John Foxe, Ph.D., Killian J. and Caroline F. Schmitt chair of Neuroscience, and Edward Freedman, Ph.D., associate professor of Neuroscience, on a mobile brain/body imaging (MoBI) study. We are interested in understanding how the brains of people with decreased cognitive function, like those with Alzheimer’s disease, handle the cognitive demands of multitasking while walking, which requires continuous processing of information about the environment and body position.
Read More: Catching Research Fever: UR CTSI’s Academic Research Track Turns Medical Students into Medical Researchers
Friday, May 11, 2018
Jennifer Mathews, PhD has been named the Associate Dean for the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences - Vermont Campus.
Dr. Mathews earned her doctorate in Pharmacology from the University of Rochester in 2007, her field(s) of interest as a student were Neuropharmacology, Opioid receptors, Pain, Tolerance, Antinociception
Her responsibilities will include execution of the pharmacy program; supervision of faculty; campus operations; and coordination of the development, implementation, and assessment of initiatives that support the programs on the Vermont Campus, which also include a Master’s program in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Congratulations to Dr. Mathews!Read More: Pharmacology Alumni Named Associate Dean
New Issue of Opportunities to Explore - May 14-18, 2018
Thursday, May 10, 2018
This week features a webinar on renting in New York City, the Graduate Student Society (GSS) Coffee Hour, a CV/Resume workshop and the 5th Annual Alumni Networking Event, the work week ends with the Pre-doctoral Organization for the Neurosciences (PONS) Luncheon Roundtable Series and the weekend brings commencement for Doctoral and Master Degree Students. Congratulations to all of our graduates!
Opportunities to Explore has Events and Grant, Travel Award, and Conference Information into June and beyond!
New Issue of Opportunities to Explore - May 14-18, 2018
Monday, May 7, 2018
As a faculty member at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, Deborah Cory-Slechta holds professorship positions in the departments of Environmental Medicine, Pediatrics, and Public Health Sciences. A former chair of the Department of Environmental Medicine and principal investigator of the department’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Center, Cory-Slechta has been nationally and internationally recognized for her scientific contributions.
Considered one of the medical school’s most distinguished faculty members, Cory-Slechta served in leadership roles for several Ph.D. programs, where she also teaches key graduate courses. As the recipient of a Women’s Health and the Environment over the Entire Lifespan grant, she oversees a career development and mentoring initiative for junior faculty members.
Widely regarded for her research on the consequences of developmental exposures to environmental chemicals on brain development and behavior, she has examined the effects of exposures to metals, pesticides and air pollutants. That work—particularly her groundbreaking research on the biological effects of exposure to lead—has had important regulatory and policy implications.
After earning her undergraduate and master’s degree at Western Michigan University, she received her PhD at the University of Minnesota. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Rochester, she joined the University in 1982.
Read More: Deborah Cory-Slechta Receives Lifetime Achievement Award in Graduate Education
Students Present 'Groundbreaking and Transformative' Research at Expo
Friday, May 4, 2018
At the annual Undergraduate Research Exposition, students presented projects on topics ranging from fluid dynamics, deforestation in Bolivia, and nomad cultures in Morocco, to prenatal depression, meteorites, and software that affects education. President’s Award winners Lauren Oey ’18 (left), Harrah Newman ’18, Yiyun Huang ’18, and Perry DeMarche ’18 were among the students honored at the event.
Pathology Graduate, Ben Plog, Ph.D., Receives 2018 Fenn Award
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Ben Plog, Ph.D. has been named the recipient of the distinguished Wallace O. Fenn Award. Named after the late University Physiology professor and chair, the award is given to a graduating student whose Ph.D. research and thesis honor the name and work of Dr. Fenn.
Plog was a medical science training program (MSTP) student who entered the Pathology graduate program in 2012 to work in the lab of Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc. in the Center for Translational Neuromedicine and Neurosurgery. Having defended his thesis (titled Novel Insight into Regulation of Glymphatic Flow with Implications for Traumatic Brain Injury), Plog has returned to Medical School to continue his Medical School training and will be part of 2018 Ph.D. degree conferral.
Friday, April 27, 2018
Neuroscience Graduate student Allison Murphy co-authored a paper with the Briggs lab while in a rotation with the lab. Allison contributed an extensive amount of work toward the paper during her fall rotation, and the paper was accepted shortly after her joining the lab.
Postdoctoral fellow, Mike Hasse was the first author on the paper, "Morphological heterogeneity among corticogeniculate neurons in ferrets: quantification and comparison with a previous report in macaque monkeys."
Nice work Allison and Mike!!Read More: Neuroscience Graduate Student publishes paper with the Briggs lab
The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) Events
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
One of the many sponsored programs within the Center for Professional Development in the School of Medicine & Dentistry is The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL). CIRTL is an NSF-funded consortium of 42 PhD granting institutions around the country, whose aim it is to advance the teaching of STEM disciplines in higher education by preparing future faculty. CIRTL uses graduate and postdoc level research trainees as the leverage point to develop national Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse student audiences as part of successful professional careers. The goal of CIRTL is to improve the STEM learning of all students at every college and university, and thereby to increase the diversity in STEM fields and the STEM literacy of the nation.
CIRTL provides a number of online workshops, courses, and educational experiences throughout the year. Graduate students and postdocs interested in teaching are encouraged to participate in CIRTL events. For more information about CIRTL, please visit rochester.edu/college/cetl/cirtl/.
Upcoming CIRTL Events Include…
Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) @ UR Research Day
Wednesday, May 23 | 9:00 am-5:00 pm | River Campus
Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL) @ UR will be hosting its annual Research Day and all trainees interested in participating are invited to attend. Kevin Kelly’s LinkedIn profile provides an overview of his work in eLearning. The day’s agenda will include examining teaching through a research lens, optimizing course design, using technology to assess learning in the classroom, using technology to engage diverse learners, and using technology to share course content. Register for this event. Trainees with an interest in teaching are highly encouraged to attend. For a full overview of the days agenda and workshop descriptions, please contact Dr. Jenny Hadingham at email@example.com or (585) 276-5998.
The Bugs in Your Gut Could Make You Weak in the Knees
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
A Prebiotic May Alter the Obese Microbiome and Protect Against Osteoarthritis
The obese microbiome may be a
key driver of osteoarthritis and a
prebiotic supplement may turn
Bacteria in the gut, known as the gut microbiome, could be the culprit behind arthritis and joint pain that plagues people who are obese, according to a new study published today in JCI Insight.
Osteoarthritis, a common side effect of obesity, is the greatest cause of disability in the US, affecting 31 million people. Sometimes called “wear and tear” arthritis, osteoarthritis in people who are obese was long assumed to simply be a consequence of undue stress on joints. But researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center provide the first evidence that bacteria in the gut – governed by diet – could be the key driving force behind osteoarthritis.
The scientists found that obese mice had more harmful bacteria in their guts compared to lean mice, which caused inflammation throughout their bodies, leading to very rapid joint deterioration. While a common prebiotic supplement did not help the mice shed weight, it completely reversed the other symptoms, making the guts and joints of obese mice indistinguishable from lean mice.
Read Full Article
Brandon Berry Recipient of a two-year American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship & Professional Member of the AHA July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2020
Monday, April 23, 2018
Brandon Berry, graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Andrew P. Wojtovich was awarded a two-year American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship entitled, “Optogenetic Control of Mitochondrial Function to Protect Against Ischemia Reperfusion Injury”.
Mitochondria are central mediators of cell death following the pathologic stress of ischemia reperfusion (IR) injury during heart attack or stroke. However, mitochondria can be targeted with specific interventions that inhibit cell death following IR. The mitochondrial protonmotive force (PMF) is coupled to ATP synthesis, and controls ion gradients and oxidative stress. Dissipation of the PMF in IR injury results in cellular damage and death. Interestingly, mild uncoupling of the PMF from ATP synthesis using low-dose protonophores protects against IR injury. It is unclear whether uncoupling triggers protective signaling, or if uncoupling itself is the effector of protection. Further, pharmacologic tools lack temporal and spatial control, obscuring when and where uncoupling is sufficient to protect against IR injury. Uncoupling mitochondria using optogenetics addresses the spatiotemporal challenge of using protonophores. Spatiotemporal control can determine if the mechanism of uncoupling confers protection before ischemia (preconditioning), during ischemia, during reperfusion, or after reperfusion (postconditioning). Overall, using our novel optogenetic tools, this project aims to test how precise, selective, reversible uncoupling is sufficient to elicit cellular responses that protect against IR injury.
Neuroscience Graduate Student Receives American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
Monday, April 23, 2018
Kathleen Gates has been awarded an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship. This fellowship is meant to enhance the integrated research and clinical training of promising students who are matriculated in pre-doctoral or clinical health professional degree training programs and who intend careers as scientists, physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists, or related careers aimed at improving global cardiovascular health.
April 23rd - Genetics Day 30th Annual Scientific Symposium
Friday, April 20, 2018
Mark your calendars for the 30th annual Genetics Day! The 16th annual Fred Sherman Lecture will be delivered by Michael Eisen, PhD, from Berkeley University. You and your colleagues are invited to submit your posters for the Genetics Day poster session to be held 12:00 – 2:00pm on Monday, April 23, 2018. Cash prizes will be awarded to select graduate student and postdoc posters.
New Fellowship Opportunity: TRIUMPH Post-doctoral Fellowship - MD Anderson Center
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
TRIUMPH (Translational Research In Multidisciplinary Program) Post-doctoral Fellowship
The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) TRIUMPH Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is a post-doctoral program providing unique training in clinical and translational research. The immediate goal of our program is to recruit talented, productive, well-trained PhDs and train them through didactic course work as well as clinical rotations and a unique mentorship to pursue clinical and/or translational research. A long-term goal of this program is to produce scientists who can be paired with suitable physician scientists to co-PI a research laboratory.
This is a three-year training program. First year postdoctoral fellows participate in a series of didactic clinical course work offered at the MD Anderson UTHealth Graduate School (GSBS), MD Anderson Cancer Center, or the UTHealth McGovern School of Medicine and strategically matched clinical rotations, while pursuing research in a basic or translational research laboratory. Second and third year fellows are co-mentored by a basic science/translational scientist mentor and a physician/clinical scientist mentor on clinical/translational research projects. The TRIUMPH postdoc will obtain a certificate upon successful completion of the program. The expectation for our post-docs is that by the end of their 3-year training, they will have first authored at least 2 papers in high impact journals. Our multidisciplinary training program will award a certificate upon completion.
Please visit the TRIUMPH website for additional information
Thesis competition winner describes protein translation in 3 minutes or less
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Jillian Ramos showed exactly how to capture an audience’s attention – and hold it – at the University of Rochester’s third annual Three Minute Thesis Competition finals.
As a result, the PhD student in assistant professor Dragony Fu’s biology lab walked away with not only the $750 first place prize awarded by a panel of faculty judges, but the $250 people’s choice prize awarded by an audience that filled all but a few seats in the Class of ’62 Auditorium.
Read The Full Article
Opportunities to Explore - April 16-20, 2018
Monday, April 16, 2018
New Issue of OTE is out!
This Wednesday sees a webinar for Genomic Research and the Million Veteran Program on Wednesday, along with the Graduate Student Society Coffee Hour and a All-Network Teaching-as-Research Presentations workshop.
Thursday sees the Graduate Women In Science (GWIS) Monthly Meeting: Science Co-Parenting: Raising a Family and a Lab at the Same Time.
A campus wide Undergraduate Research Exposition arrives on Friday along with the UP-STAT 2018 Conference which is a two day event going into the weekend.
The New Issue has opportunities and events going till the end of May!
New Issue Of Opportunities to Explore - April 16-20, 2018
Friday, April 6, 2018
Communicating research with three minutes and a slide
At a time when it is more important than ever for scientists to communicate clearly with the public, eight University PhD students and postdocs will do their best to summarize their research with just three minutes and a slide.
They are finalists in the University’s annual Three Minute Thesis competition, which will be held at 4 p.m., next Thursday, April 12, in the Class of ’62 Auditorium at the Medical Center.
A total of 44 students initially entered the competition, which was founded at University of Queensland, and is now in its third year at Rochester. The eight finalists are:
The winner will receive a $750 research travel award. There are also $500 and $200 research travel awards, respectively, for the runner-up and the people’s choice winner.Read More: Eight Finalists Confirmed for Three Minute Thesis Competition
Latest Issue of Opportunities To Explore - April 9-13, 2018
Friday, April 6, 2018
It's an event-filled week at the University of Rochester!
The Transgender Health and Wellness 2018 Conference is on Monday along with the online workshop: I Completed My IDP…Now What?
Wednesday brings a workshop on Online Learning at The School of Medicine and Dentistry and the Monthly Postdoctoral Association meeting.
Thursday sees the Online Teaching workshop move to LeChase Hall on River Campus, there is also an online program covering Inclusive Teaching in Science. The Three Minute Thesis final rounds out Thursday in the Class of '62 Auditorium.
Friday brings the 2018 Diversity Conference and workshops on Open Education and making the most of your post-graduate experience.
So much to do just next week, for even more events see the current issue of Opportunities to Explore
Latest Issue of Opportunities to Explore
New Issue of Opportunities to Explore - April 2-6, 2018
Friday, March 30, 2018
This week URBEST Official opens enrollment, running from April 1 to April 15, in addition URBEST hosts Kavita Berger in telling her career story and finishes the week with the Grand Gesture
Other events this week include a free online estimated tax workshop, the Gwen M. Green Center offers workshops on obtaining security clearance and renting in NYC. Finally there is a PFCC workshop "The C.A.R.E Effect Movement: The Naked Truth about Compassion is Revealed".
That is just this week. The OTE provides information, resources and events throughout the month of April.
Read The Latest Issue Of Opportunities to Explore
McMurray Named Associate Director of Pathology Graduate Program
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Helene McMurray, Ph.D., has been named the new associate director of the Cell Biology of Disease (Pathology) Graduate Program at the University of Rochester, which became effective in March.
Dr. McMurray is a clinical assistant professor with a primary appointment in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. She currently serves as the Director-in-Training in the Tissue Typing/Histocompatibility Laboratory at Strong Memorial Hospital.
Her research collaborations with scientists in the Department of Biomedical Genetics focus on identification of vulnerabilities in cancer cells, and utilize approaches in genomics, bioinformatics, biostatistics, and genetics. As an educator, Dr. McMurray works to introduce students to these modern techniques in biomedicine.
Dr. McMurray will join Dr. Richard Libby (Opthalmology) who directs the program.
“Mentors and advisors have helped me imagine new possibilities in my science and in my career," said McMurray. "I wouldn’t be who or where I am today without guidance from others. I am excited to take on this new role in the Cell Biology of Disease Graduate Program to try to share what I have learned with the next generation of scientists.”
Monday, March 26, 2018
Dana Olzenak McGuire, who graduated with a PhD in Epidemiology from the 2015 class was recently appointed to the role of public health director in St. Lawrence County. As public health director, Dr. Olzenak McGuire supervises about 30 employees including nurses, the county coroners and administrative staff.
Dr. Olzenak McGuire brings a wide range of disciplines into the new role with degrees in Physical therapy, an MBA and the PhD in Epidemiology.
Visit our Epidemiology PhD Program to learn more. Congratulations Dana!
"Epidemiology just sounded really interesting to me, It covers all diseases from environmental to infectious to chronic." - Dana Olzenak McGuireRead More: Alumni Spotlight on Dana Olzenak, PhD ‘15
New Issue of Opportunities to Explore - March 26-30, 2018
Saturday, March 24, 2018
This week Opportunities to Explore shares news about the Meliora Collective, which will serve as a student and alumni network for collaboration. There is a virtual career fair, The Graduate Student Society coffee hour, a workshop on Connecting with Learners in Digital Classrooms and Meeting Spaces, a free webinar on Making the Most of Your Ph.D. or Postdoc and a workshop on startups.
The week is rounded out by the three minute thesis sub heats and a PONS luncheon roundtable.
That's just this week, OTE has events and opportunities heading into April/May. Check out the latest issue!
Opportunities to Explore - March 12-16, 2018
Monday, March 12, 2018
The latest issue of Opportunities is out now.
This week, Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition Registration opens, Graduate Women in Science and the Postdoctoral Association hold their monthly meetings and the week is rounded out with an F-Series and Grant Writing Workshop.
For all this weeks events and events heading into April/May 2018, read the latest issue!
Opportunities to Explore - March 12-16, 2018
Cindy Wang Wins America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent Competition
Monday, March 5, 2018
Xiaowen (Cindy) Wang, M.S., a graduate student in the Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology PhD Program placed first in the 5th annual "America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent" competition for her proposal “Dr. Data: An Integrated Drug Repurposing Database for Identifying New Indications of FDA Approved Drugs”
To read more about Cindy’s proposal and the competition, please visit the CTSI Stories website.
New Issue of Opportunities to Explore - March 5-9, 2018
Friday, March 2, 2018
A new issue of Opportunities to Explore is out!
This week a workshop on encouraging learner interaction starts the week along with a Pre-Application webinar for T32 grants. Tuesday sees a career story with Michael Brady, PhD and a China Career Expo.There are tax related events rounding out the week for students and postdocs.
And that's just this week, we have events heading into the end of April.
Opportunities to Explore - March 5-9, 2018
New Issue of Opportunities to Explore - February 26-March 2, 2018
Friday, February 23, 2018
This week CIRTL hosts an online learning in blackboard: Understanding Diversity and Inclusive Teaching in the Community College Environment, The Graduate Student Society holds its coffee hour. There is a webinar on how to ace interviews. The first Graduate Student, Trainee, & Alumni Networking Night is on Wednesday. The work week ends with the URBEST Grand Gesture event, a conflict management workshop and Acro-yoga & Stress Relief w/ Joanne Wu, MD
That's just this week! This issue provides you with things to attend well into April.
Latest Issue of Opportunities to Explore - February 26-March 2, 2018
Janelle Veazey Receives F31 National Research Service Award From NIH
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Immunology graduate student Janelle Veazey, has received an F31 National Research Service Award from the NIH. This pre-doctoral fellowship will support her research investigating a new role for airway epithelial protein kinase D in anti-viral immunity.
New Issue of Opportunities to Explore - February 12-16, 2018
Friday, February 9, 2018
This week there is a workshop on Navigating a career fair/expo, the PDA monthly meeting, a career expo on river campus and workshops from Future Faculty, CIRTL and GWIS. The week ends with a PONS luncheon and a Thinkers and Drinkers meeting
Looking further ahead, Stephen Tajc provides a look at his career in URBEST's series. Workshops on job descriptions and handling difficult conversations are available and CIRTL provides several events throughout the month. All this and more in the latest issue of OTE!
Latest Issue of Opportunities to Explore - February 12-16, 2018
New Edition of Opportunities to Explore - February 5-9, 2018
Monday, February 5, 2018
This weeks events in opportunities to explore there is a career event for postdocs, a faculty development workshop about teaching and learning in a digital age, a career story by Teresa Long and information on leveraging linked in. The week is rounded out by the second interview weekend at SMD and the PDA winter social.
Take a look at the weeks events and even more events further out in the latest issue
Opportunities to Explore, February 5-9, 2018
E-Cigarette Flavors Are Toxic to White Blood Cells, Warn Scientists
Thursday, February 1, 2018
A new study led by the Rahman lab and first author, Toxicology post-doctoral researcher, Dr. Thivanka Muthumalage, adds to growing evidence on the harmful health effects of e-cigarettes. Currently, the article has been viewed over 16,500 times (in just one day) and several news sources have written articles and reported about it across the globe.
The paper has been so well received that it is currently ranked in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
The study has revealed another potential health risk of e-cigarettes, finding that the chemicals used to flavour e-cigarette liquids are toxic to white blood cells. The study wanted to test the assumption that nicotine-free flavoured e-liquids are safer than smoking tobacco cigarettes, looking at what effect e-cigs might have on the immune system.
To do this the researchers directly exposed a type of white blood cell called monocytes, which help the body fight infection, to e-liquids. They found that e-cigarette flavoring chemicals and liquids can cause significant inflammation to monocytes, with many of the flavouring chemicals also causing significant cell death. Some flavours were found to be more harmful than others, with cinnamon, vanilla, and buttery flavours among the worst.
The researchers also found that mixing e-cigarette flavours has a much worse effect than exposure to just one flavour and caused the most toxicity to white blood cells.
The study's first author, Dr. Thivanka Muthumalage, commented on the findings, saying that although these flavouring compounds may be safe for ingestion, the results show they are not safe for inhalation and add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that e-cigarettes are harmful to health. Previous research has also found that the flavors used in e-cigarettes cause inflammatory and oxidative stress responses in lung cells.
Senior author Dr. Irfan Rahman expressed concern: “Our scientific findings show that e-liquid flavors can, and should, be regulated and that e-juice bottles must have a descriptive listing of all ingredients. We urge regulatory agencies to act to protect public health,” he said, also warning that, “alluring flavour names, such as candy, cake, cinnamon roll and mystery mix, attract young vapers.”
The team are now planning further research and are calling for further long-term human studies to understand better the harmful effects of e-cigarettes. The findings can be found published online in the journal Frontiers in Physiology.
To learn more please read the following articles:
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
By Mark Michaud
The harm caused by a stroke can be exacerbated when immune cells rush to the brain an inadvertently make the situation worse. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) are studying new ways to head off this second wave of brain damage by using the lungs to moderate the immune system’s response.
“It has become increasingly clear that lungs serve as an important regulator of the body’s immune system and could serve as a target for therapies that can mitigate the secondary damage that occurs in stroke,” said URMC neurologist Marc Halterman, M.D., Ph.D. “We are exploring a number of drugs that could help suppress the immune response during these non-infection events and provide protection to the brain and other organs.”
Halterman’s lab, which is part of the Center for NeuroTherapeutics Discovery, has been investigating domino effect that occurs after cardiac arrest. When blood circulation is interrupted, the integrity of our intestines becomes compromised, releasing bacteria that reside in the gut into the blood stream. This prompts a massive immune response which can cause systemic inflammation, making a bad situation worse.
While looking at mouse models of stroke, his lab observed that a similar phenomenon occurs. During a stroke blood vessels in the brain leak and the proteins that comprise the wreckage of damaged neurons and glia cells in the brain make their way into blood stream. The immune system, which is not used to seeing these proteins in circulation, responds to these damage-associated molecular patterns and ramps up to respond. Mobilized immune cells make their way into the brain and, finding no infection, nevertheless trigger inflammation and attack healthy tissue, compounding the damage.
The culprit in this system-wide immune response is neutrophils, a white cell in the blood system that serves as the shock troops of the body’s immune system. Because our entire blood supply constantly circulates through the lungs, the organ serves as an important way station for neutrophils. It is here that the cells are often primed and instructed to go search for new infections. The activated neutrophils can also cause inflammation in the lungs, which Halterman suspects may be mistakenly identified as post-stroke pneumonia. The damage caused by activated neutrophils can also spread to other organs including the kidneys, and liver.Read More: Lungs Mays Hold Key to Thwarting Brain Damage after a Stroke