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EHSC Faculty Attend 2019 Center Directors Meeting in Iowa City

Friday, June 21, 2019

EHSC photo

attended the EHSC Center Directors Meeting in Iowa City on June 20, 21, 2019, including Dr. Irfan Rahman, CEC Director Katrina Korfmacher, IHSFC Co-Director Dr. Steve Georas, Center Director Dr. Paige Lawrence, and new Center member Dr. Daniel Croft (left to right), as well as Center Administrator Pat Noonan Sullivan (not pictured).  Dr. Rahman spoke on Human health studies of E-cigarette use at the meeting.  Discussants included Dana Haina from UNC and Dr. Judith Zelikoff from NYU, moderated by Dr. Alejandro Comellas.

Katrina Korfmacher facilitated sessions on policy engagement by CECs and report back of research results to participants and communities. At a break out session on translational research in environmental health sciences, Dr. Georas shared our experience with the highly successful IHSFC Translational Mini-Pilot Program.  Dr. Croft presented a poster on his research showing an association between air pollution exposure and hospital admissions for respiratory viral infections.



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.

Congratulations Janelle!

Dr. Georas joins the NIH Precision Interventions for Severe and Exacerbation Prone Asthma (PrecISE) Network

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Dr. Georas has joined the NIH Precision Interventions for Severe and Exacerbation Prone Asthma (PrecISE) Network. This new NIH initiative will establish a network of 10 Clinical Centers in the U.S. conducting innovative research using adaptive clinical trials. Dr. Georas serves as Steering Committee chair, with co-chair Dr. Rosalind Wright.

Smyth wins Best Poster award

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Smyth Photo

Tim Smyth

Congratulations to second year Toxicology graduate student Tim Smyth for winning an award for his poster and presentation at the annual Toxicology Retreat. Tim’s poster was entitled “Diesel exhaust particles disrupt epithelial barrier function by altering tricellin expression”.

Steve N. Georas Named to New Parkes Professorship

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Physician-scientist Steve N. Georas, M.D., professor of Medicine, Environmental Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, was installed as the inaugural Parkes Family Professor June 5.

Walter and the late Carmina Parkes, and their children Susan, Tom and Linda, were driven to open the first asthma center in the region. They have been a steady force in the growth of the UR Medicine’s Mary M. Parkes Center for Asthma, Allergy and Pulmonary Care, working closely with center leaders, educators and scientists. The center is located on Red Creek Drive in Henrietta and serves as the leader for the diagnosis, treatment and research of acute asthma, allergies and other pulmonary diseases.

“It was our family’s dream to honor the memory of our daughter with the center. Now, establishing a professorship allows us to make it everlasting,” said Walter Parkes, chairman of O’Connell Electric Co. The family has committed $1.5 million to the University.

Mary Parkes was diagnosed with acute asthma as a young girl and went on to study nursing. She was an intensive care unit nurse before the lung disease progressed. She was hospitalized more than 50 times in the decades before her death in 1991. The center was established in 1995.

“We are so happy to be working with UR Medicine because it is always moving forward and we are proud to be a part of that energy,” said Susan Parkes McNally, executive vice president and treasurer of O’Connell Electric and member of the University of Rochester Medical Center Board as well as its Advancement, Facilities and Quality of Care subcommittees. “We look forward to what we can continue to do and achieve in providing care for people with chronic pulmonary issues.”

McNally is a steadfast supporter and has collaborated with the Junior Builders Exchange to organize an annual golf tournament for the past 21 years to support the Parkes Center. This year’s tournament will be held Sept. 7.

“URMC’s partnership with the Parkes family is essential to the success of clinical, research and education programs designed to improve asthma care,” said Mark Taubman, M.D., CEO of URMC and UR Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “Their support will serve as a lasting tribute and will further enable the innovative work being done in pulmonary diseases.”

“The establishment of this professorship by the Parkes family will be critical to advancing the Pulmonary Division’s clinical, educational and scientific efforts,” said Paul Levy, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Medicine and the Charles Ayrault Dewey Professor of Medicine. “The mantra that long-term relationships define so many aspects of our lives could not be more true than when I think of working closely with the Parkes family for nearly three decades. The early years of planning the Parkes Center, followed by renovations and the expansion of patient services were critical to the success of the center. Now the family has ‘raised the bar’ even higher with the establishment of an endowed professorship.”

Georas is a busy clinician-scientist who balances the patient care with leadership of a National Institutes of Health-funded laboratory at URMC.

He is part of the collaborative teams caring for patients in the Medical Intensive Care Units at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals, as well at Mary M. Parkes Center for Asthma, Allergy and Pulmonary Care.

“Steve Georas’ clinical and scientific contributions are integral to the advancement of our programs and benefit our patients on a daily basis,” said Patricia Sime, M.D., Chief of Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care and the C. Jane Davis and C. Robert Davis Distinguished Professor in Pulmonary Medicine. “Dr. Georas is an internationally recognized physician-scientist who has focused his career on advancing our understanding of the fundamental causes of asthma and translating his research to improve the care of patients with asthma.”

Georas is studying how the lung’s immune system responds to inhaled particles, allergens and viruses, and how this process breaks down in asthma leading to potentially dangerous immune responses that can cause allergic airway inflammation and difficulty breathing. He is also working to develop techniques to identify people who are at greater risk of developing life-threatening asthma and need intensive therapies.

“The support we’ve received from the Parkes family for our asthma research is invaluable and has allowed us to make steady progress toward new pathways for asthma treatment,” Georas said. He is an internationally recognized thought leader in asthma research, and has served on advisory committees to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health and numerous professional societies. Later this year he will chair the NIH panel review for the PrecISE Asthma Network, which will establish the next generation of asthma centers developing personalized treatments for severe asthmatics.

A graduate of Brown University and its medical school, he completed an Internal Medicine internship and residency at Duke University Medical Center. After a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, he joined its faculty and conducted research into asthma and allergies. In 2006, Georas joined URMC and served as chief of the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine until 2010. Georas has been honored for his teaching and mentorship of students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty.

He has published more than 85 research articles and chapters on asthma immunology and the care of patients with pulmonary diseases.

Veazey wins Travel Award and meets NIH Director

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ms. Veazey won a travel award from the Graduate Women in Science to attend the 2017 American Thoracic Society Meeting. She will present her work entitled “Epithelial PKD3 is a novel regulatory of anti-viral innate immunity”. In 2016, she was one of a handful of graduate students selected to have lunch with NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins during his visit to the University.

Chapman receives Lung Biology Pilot and Technology Development Fund Award

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Dr. Chapman received a Lung Biology Pilot Project Award to explore how electric field stimulation impacts mucosal immunity using asthma models. Together with Dr. Georas and Dr. David Dean (Neonatology), the team also received a Technology Development Fund award from UR Ventures to develop the therapeutic potential of this exciting new technology.

Georas rotates off the Pulmonary and Allergy Drug Advisory Committee of the FDA

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Dr. Georas concluded a four-year stint as a member of the PADAC, advising the Food and Drug Administration on new drug applications for asthma and other diseases. During this time, new drugs for asthma were approved including mepolizumab, reslizumab, and Breo Ellipta.

Georas named Section Editor of Journal of Immunology

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

After serving two years as Associate Editor, Dr. Georas accepted a term as Section Editor of the Journal of Immunology, the flagship journal of the American Association of Immunologists. He is responsible for reviewing submitted manuscripts related to asthma and allergic airway inflammation.

Georas chairs committee for NIH Asthma Research Strategic Plan

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Dr. Georas chaired the Disease Modification committee of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Asthma Research Strategic Plan. This group established research priorities for the next generation of asthma research, emphasizing interactions between structural airway cells and the immune system as an area of interest for basic biologists.

Fariba Rezaee Receives Mentored Scientist Award from NIAID

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pediatrics Assistant Professor, Fariba Rezaee, MD, has received an NIH K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). The primary purpose of the NIH Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Awards (K08) program is to prepare qualified individuals for careers that have a significant impact on the health-related research needs of the Nation. This program represents the continuation of a long-standing NIH program that provides support and “protected time” to individuals with a clinical doctoral degree for an intensive, supervised research career development experience in the fields of biomedical and behavioral research, including translational research.

Congrats Fariba!

Sara Knowlden Receives Best Grad Student Poster at Lung Research Day

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sara Knowlden, a graduate student in the Georas Lab, has been awarded Best Graduate Student Poster at the URMC 6th annual Lung Research and Training Day for her poster entitled, Global inhibition of autotaxin alters the inflammatory response to house dust mite in mice. Congrats Sara!

Georas Awarded Grant from NHLBI

Friday, September 5, 2014

Professor of Medicine, Steve Georas, has been awarded and NIH R01 grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The grant is entitled Epithelial barrier dysfunction and mucosal immunity in asthma.

NHLBI provides science-based, plain-language information related to heart, lung, and blood diseases and conditions and sleep disorders and funds a wide range of NHLBI programs and research projects.