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Center for Oral Biology Lands Third Training Grant from NIDCR

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Center for Oral Biology within UR Medicine’s Eastman Institute for Oral Health has been awarded $2.9 million to expand its renowned training program for oral biologists and dentist-scientists. This award includes Research Training and Research Education grants from the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Awarded to COB for the third time, the latest five-year grant stems from a successful collaboration between the Center for Oral Biology, and the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s departments of Pharmacology and Physiology, Microbiology & Immunology, Biomedical Genetics, Dentistry, Medicine and Dermatology.

Dr. Quivey with studentRobert Quivey, PhD, director, Center for Oral Biology, credits the renewal to the overwhelming success of the last 10 years.

“During that time, we supported nearly 90 trainees. Those included pre-docs --those who were pursuing their PhD’s, and post-docs, who were receiving additional training beyond their PhD or dental degree,” he explained. “Those trainees published 167 papers as first author, and 188 papers were published that included two or more trainees as co-authors.”

In addition, nearly all of them are still in science or science-related jobs, which supports one of NIDCR’s major goals: to ensure a highly qualified workforce is available to address the nation’s basic and clinical biomedical and behavioral or social sciences research agenda. As part of this goal, NIDCR seeks to support an ample and diverse pipeline of well-trained and highly competent investigators through a variety of flexible and innovative research training and career development programs. These programs are intended to recruit and retain experts with the appropriate skills to conduct oral health research in an increasingly complex environment. 

Dr. Hsu with traineeThe grant supports students in a wide range of biomedical specialties, including biochemical mechanisms of disease, the origins of bacterial pathogenesis, the search for new medicines and other therapeutic approaches to treat disease, and new, fundamental knowledge in human immunology, and work in the etiology and progression of cancers.  

At a time when NIH funding has been restricted to research and training, this renewal is especially meaningful.

“Thanks to Dr. Quivey’s leadership, we’ve demonstrated our capability to train people to an advanced level through didactic and research work, by developing students’ critical thinking, and building strong presentation and writing skills,” said Eli Eliav, DMD, PhD, director, Eastman Institute for Oral Health and vice dean for Oral Health at the School of Medicine and Dentistry. “We’re delighted NIDCR recognizes that we value team science, transformative approaches and diversity at all levels.”

Read More: Center for Oral Biology Lands Third Training Grant from NIDCR

New Issue of Opportunities to Explore - October 9-13, 2017

Friday, October 6, 2017

The latest Opportunities to Explore are available! Feel free to browse the numerous events we have coming up for Graduate Students and Postdocs...

October 2-6 Issue of Opportunities To Explore

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New Issue of Opportunities to Explore - September 25-29, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

The newest issue of Opportunities to explore is out!

As we head into Fall, we have the following items in this issue(and these events are just THIS Week!)

  • New UR BEST Career Story and Workshop
  • New Career events on entrepreneurship and recruitment
  • 7th Annual Bioethics lecture

...and so much more!

Read About The Latest Opportunities To Explore

Edward Ayoub Awarded Scholarship to ESH International Conference

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Edward AyoubEdward Ayoub, a 4th year student in the Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology Program in the lab of Archibald Perkins has been awarded a scholarship to attend the ESH International Conference on AML "Molecular and Translational": Advances in Biology and Treatment.

For more information on the conference, please visit the European School of Hematology Website

Perkins / Zhang Lab

New Patent Issued for Ultrasound Technology

Monday, August 28, 2017

The patent titled “Ultrasound Technology to Control the Spatial Organization of Cells and Proteins in Engineered Tissues” (US 9,688,962) has recently been assigned to the University of Rochester with inventors Diane Dalecki, Ph.D., Denise C. Hocking, Ph.D., and Kelley Garvin, Ph.D. The patent describes novel technology that uses acoustic forces within ultrasound standing wave fields to pattern cells volumetrically and engineer three-dimensional blood vessel networks within hydrogels. Primary applications of this technology include engineering vascularized tissue models for drug testing, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. The technology is a result of a multidisciplinary collaboration between faculty members of the Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound, Diane Dalecki (BME) and Denise Hocking (Pharmacology and Physiology) and their former doctoral student Kelley Garvin.

Pharmacology Graduate Student Nick Nobiletti Explains CRISPR Gene Editing on YouTube

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

It’s no secret: URMC is home to extraordinary scientific innovations and research.

Our UR Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (URBEST) program and our Public Relations and Communications office teamed up to offer our students and trainees the chance to highlight our research through original visuals and videos. Four videos earned prizes for their unique science storytelling and will be featured on our intranet site and the UR Medicine Facebook page throughout the month in an ongoing series called "UR Science ROCs."

What is CRISPR?

Fourth-year graduate students Chris Goodwin and Sierra Fox, and third-year graduate student Nick Nobiletti, talk about CRISPR and how it’s helping scientists edit DNA.

Goodwin is a student in the lab of Joshua Munger, Ph.D.(Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics); Fox is a student in the lab of Michael Bulger, Ph.D.(Departments of Biochemistry and Biophysics and Pediatrics); and Nobiletti is a student in the lab of Angela Glading, Ph.D. (Department of Pharmacology and Physiology).

Houhui Xia appointed Paul Stark Professor in Pharmacology

Friday, July 7, 2017

Houhui Xia, associate professor of pharmacology and physiology and neuroscience, was jointly appointed the Paul Stark Professor in Pharmacology for the period from October 21, 2016 through June 30, 2021.

Xia’s research focuses on molecular and signaling mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in memory formation and mental health. He has received grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation, and has published in the Journal of Cell Biology, the Journal of Neuroscience, and the Journal of Neurochemistry.

After receiving a BS in physics from Peking University and an MS in physics from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Xia earned a PhD in molecular biology and cell biology from the University of California, San Francisco.

Read More: Houhui Xia appointed Paul Stark Professor in Pharmacology

Si Chen, Awarded Two-year American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Si Chen, graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Chen Yan was awarded a two-year American Heart Association predoctoral fellowship entitled, “The Role of PDE10A in Pathological Cardiac Remodeling and Dysfunction” beginning July 1, 2017.

Project Summary

Heart failure is a leading cause of death in the United States, and is associated with significant myocardial deterioration, including hypertrophy, fibrosis and cell death, as well as contractile dysfunction and ventricular arrhythmia. There is a high demand to identify novel therapeutic targets involved in pathological cardiac remodeling and dysfunction. The objective of this project is to investigate the regulation and function of the cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10A) isoform in the progression of cardiac remodeling and heart failure. PDE10A primarily hydrolyzes cAMP, and under normal conditions, displays enriched expression in the striatum of the brain. Our preliminary data demonstrate that PDE10A expression is upregulated in failing mouse and human hearts. Global deficiency of PDE10A attenuates global cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis induced by chronic Ang II infusion. In vitro studies also indicate that PDE10A inhibitor treatment reduces cardiac myocyte hypertrophy and fibroblast activation. In the brain, PDE10A primarily regulates dopamine receptor (DR)-derived cAMP. Based on these facts, we hypothesize that PDE10A plays an essential role in cardiac hypertrophy, fibrosis, and dysfunction by antagonizing cAMP/cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) signaling in myocytes and cAMP/exchange factor directly activated by cAMP (Epac) signaling in fibroblasts. To test our hypothesis we propose the following two aims:

  • Aim1: Evaluate the role of PDE10A on pathological cardiac remodeling and dysfunction in vivo using genetic and pharmacological approaches.
  • Aim2: Determine the roles and underlying mechanisms of PDE10A in the regulation of cardiac myocyte and fibroblast function in vitro.

Video of 3 Minute Thesis Event

Thursday, June 8, 2017

We have the video of the full event with all presentations fully captions and with the slides running in time with the videos.

3MT Presenters, Programs & Topics

Thesis presentations in order

  • Stephanie Carpenter (Chemistry) - Solving the Mystery of Iron Chemistry
  • Sarah Catheline (Pathways of Human Disease) - Inhibiting Inflammaging to Treat Osteoarthritis(OA)
  • Scott Friedland (Genetics, Development & Stem Cells) - Pancreatic Cancer and the Tale of the Broken Librarian
  • Claire McCarthy (Toxicology) - Investigating the Toxicological Effects of Dung Biomass Smoke Exposure
  • Taylor Moon (Immunology, Microbiology and Virology) - The New Epidemic
  • Thuy-Vy Nguyen (Social-Personality Psychology) - Solitude *Winner*
  • Manisha Taya (Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology) - Understanding Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM): The “Other” Steroid-Dependent Cancer From Bed-Side to Bench and Back Again
  • Janelle Veazey (Immunology, Microbiology and Virology) - Role of Protein Kinase D in Epithelial Cells During Respiratory Infection

Full 3MT 2017 Event Video (CC)

Papasergi-Scott, Taya, and Wang Win Awards at the GSS Annual Poster Session Competition

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Congratulations to the following students who won awards at the Graduate Student Society Annual Poster Session Competition held on May 6, 2016.

Makaía M. Papasergi-Scott, working in the laboratories of Dr. Gregory G. Tall and Dr. Robert Freeman, was awarded 1st Place and received a $500 travel reward for her poster titled “Phosphorylation of Ga Chaperone Ric-8A Regulates its Function”.

Manisha Taya working in the laboratory of Dr. Stephen R. Hammes, and Xiaowen Wang working in the laboratory of Dr. Mark D. Noble, tied for 3rd place and received $100 travel grants for their posters titled “The Role of Estrogen and Glycoprotein-NMB in Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) Progression” and “Identifying c-Cbl as a Critical Point of Intervention in Acquired Tamoxifen Resistant Breast Cancer”, respectively. 

Stoveken Receives Wallace O. Fenn Award at Commencement 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Hannah Stoveken With Gregory TallHannah Stoveken, a graduate from the Laboratory of Dr. Gregory G. Tall, received the Wallace O. Fenn Award at Commencement 2017 for her thesis titled “Activation of Adhesion G Protein-coupled Receptors by a Tethered Agonist: Mechanism of Action and Pharmacological Modulation”.

The Wallace O. Fenn 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 Dr. Fenn, a Professor of Physiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry from 1924 to 1961.

Taya wins Knockout Rounds at ENDO 2017 and Finalist in UofR Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Manisha Taya, graduate student in the Hammes Lab, won the People's Choice First Place Award in the Knockout Rounds competition at the annual ENDO 2017 conference, held April 1-4, for her presentation of her research on lymphangioleiomyomatosis. View a video featuring interviews with the winners.

Taya was also a finalist in The University of Rochester Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition held on Thursday May 11, 2017. 3MT is an academic competition that challenges PhD students and postdoctoral appointees to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience.

Science, Technology, and Culture – a multidisciplinary reading group

Friday, May 12, 2017

How is science shaped by the culture that surrounds it? How do technological innovations change society? A new group would like to bring together people from all parts of the University community to reflect on these questions through shared reading and group discussion.

The group’s first selection is When Breath Becomes Air, the memoir of Paul Kalanithi — a neurosurgeon whose diagnosis with terminal lung cancer at the end of his residency drives him to examine the brain, the mind, and what makes us human.

The group will meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 14 in the new Humanities Center (located in Rush Rhees Library) for snacks, conversation, and to choose the next read.

(If you are unable to attend, but are interested or would like to participate in future meetings, email Emma Grygotis)

Hocking and Roy Receive Patent

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The patent titled “Chimeric Fibronectin Matrix Mimetics and Uses Thereof” (U.S. Patent No. 9,572,869; awarded February 21, 2017) has recently been assigned to the UR with inventors Denise Hocking, Ph.D. and Daniel Roy, Ph.D. (BME B.S.‘06, Ph.D.‘12). The patent relates to the use of recombinant fibronectin-based peptides for wound healing and tissue regeneration applications. The technology falls under a new and exciting class of therapies known as wound biologics. The primary commercial application for this technology is to promote healing of hard-to-heal or chronic wounds, including diabetic, venous, and pressure ulcers, which impose a significant health care burden worldwide. Topical application of fibronectin matrix mimetic peptides to full-thickness excisional wounds in diabetic mice accelerates wound closure and promotes granulation tissue deposition, remodeling, and re-vascularization.

Denise Hocking is a Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology and of Biomedical Engineering. Daniel Roy is a Scientist at KeraNetics, LLC, a biotechnology company located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina that develops keratin-based biomaterials for wound healing applications.