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UC Hosts 8th Annual Internal Medicine Research Symposium

Fri, April 12, 2019

The University of Cincinnati (UC) Department of Internal Medicine in the College of Medicine hosted its eighth annual research symposium Friday, April 5, 2019, in the CARE/Crawley Atrium. Trainees submitted 38 posters and each trainee had an identified mentor. The theme for the event was “Building and Fostering Research for Discovery, Innovation and Impact.” “This year’s symposium attracted overwhelming support from faculty and staff,” explains Gregory Rouan, MD, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. “Forty-five faculty volunteered to judge trainee research posters while staff submitted seven posters in the basic and clinical research categories. Our keynote speaker offered a thought-provoking address that was well attended.” Rouan also offered thanks to all symposium participants and attendees and to Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, associate chair for translational research, and Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD, associate chair for basic research, both in the Department of Internal Medicine, for their roles in organizing the event. The keynote speaker was Robert Siliciano, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at John Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Siliciano’s address was titled “Curing HIV Infection: Going Beyond N=1.” The Department of Internal Medicine has long served as an incubator for discovery and scientific advancement at the university and comprises nine divisions with more than 280 faculty as clinicians, scientists and investigators. The department is responsible for $86.9 million in research funding, including $10.3 million in new awards during the 2018 fiscal year. Winning presentations in the basic research, clinical research and clinical case report categories for the poster competition during the symposium are listed below: Trainee Basic Research Poster Awards: 1st place tie - $500 award given Name and Division: Hannah M Russell, Division of Cardiovascular Health and Disease Mentor: A. Phillip Owens, III, PhD Poster Title: Fibrinogen Depletion Attenuates Angiotensin II-induced Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm 1st place tie - $500 award given Name and Division: Mohit Kumar, PhD, Department of Pharmacology and System Physiology Mentor: Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD Poster Title: Cardiac myosin binding protein c phosphorylation regulates calcium homeostasis Honorable Mention Award - $150 award given Name and Division: Yiyang Lu, Department of Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine Mentor: Jane Yu, PhD Poster Title: Rapamycin associated pro-survival pathways that contribute to treatment refractory in Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) Trainee Clinical Research Poster Awards: 1st place - $500 award given Name and Division: Masaaki Yamada, MD, Division of Nephrology, Kidney C.A.R.E. Program Mentor: Charuhas V. Thakar, MD Poster Title: Incidence and Consequence of Hyperkalemia in Solid Organ Transplant: An analysis of over 14,000 organ transplant recipients 2nd place - $250 award given Name and Division: Nicole Wilson, PharmD, Division of Nephrology, Kidney C.A.R.E. Program Mentor: Rita Alloway, PharmD Poster Title: Early And Late Borderline Lesions Exhibit Differential Outcomes In Renal Transplant Recipients Honorable Mention Award - $150 award given Winner: Malik Khurram Khan, MD, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Mentor: Muhammad Ahsan Zafar, MD, MS-CTR Poster Title: Reducing Delirium in the Medical ICU - Implementation of a sleep hygiene bundle and standardizing sedation in the Medical ICU Trainee Clinical Case Report Poster Awards: 1st place - $500 award given Winner: Yufei Dai, MD, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Mentor: Robert Cohen, MD Poster Title: Prolonged glycosuria after Canagliflozin discontinuation in a patient with euglycemic diabetic ketoacidosis 2nd place - $250 award given Winner: Yazan Vwich, MD and Andrew Welch, DO, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Mentor: Abid Yaqub, MD Poster Title: Subclinical Cushing's Syndrome with Bilateral Adrenal Adenomas in MEN1 Honorable Mention Award - $150 award given Winner: Jillian Thompson, DO, Cardiovascular Health and Disease Mentor: Tehmina Naz, MD Poster Title: A Case of Isolated Cardiac Sarcoidosis 2019 Research Symposium Poster Competition Awardees: Staff Staff Awards: 1st place - $150 award given Winner: Caterina Bartolacci, PhD, Division of Hematology Oncology Mentor/PI: Pier Paolo Scaglioni, MD Poster Title: FASN as a novel Therapeutic Target in Mutant KRAS Lung Cancer 2nd place - $100 award given Winner: Begoña Campos-Naciff, PhD, Nephrology, Kidney C.A.R.E. Program Mentor/PI: Charuhas Thakar, MD Poster Title: Kidney injury under oxidative stress release CD36 and CD47 microparticles Honorable Mention Award - $50 award given Winner: Ameet Chimote, PhD, Division of Nephrology, Kidney C.A.R.E. Program Mentor/PI: Laura Conforti, PhD Poster Title: Failure to upregulate calmodulin underlies the suppressed KCa3.1 function and enhanced sensitivity to adenosine in CD8+ T cells of head and neck cancer patients 2019 Research Symposium Image Gallery Awardees Basic Research Images: 1st place - $100 award given Winner: Kristen Engevik, Department of Pharmacology and Systems Physiology Image Title: Mouse Gastric Glands 2nd place - $50 award given Winner: Andrew Dunn, PhD, Division of Digestive Diseases Image Title: A Hole New World Clinical Research Images: 1st place - $100 award given Winner: Humna Abid Memon, MD, Division of Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine Image Title: Piercing of the Aorta 2nd place - $50 award given Winner: Ameet Chimote, PhD, Division of Nephrology, Kidney CARE Program Image Title: The Soldiers of the Immune System Images in Medicine: 1st place - $100 award given Name and Department/Division: Ameet Chimote, PhD, Division of Nephrology, Kidney CARE Program Image Title: Reflections 2nd place - $50 award given Name and Department/Division: Eric P. Smith, MD, Academic Research Services Image Title: On top of old twister People’s Choice: Name and Department/Division: Ameet Chimote, PhD, Division of Nephrology, Kidney CARE Program Image Title: Fiery Sunset

Laptops bring joy, spark learning for area schoolchildren

Thu, April 11, 2019

KeyReia George was all smiles when she opened the brand new laptop. The fourth-grader at Douglas Elementary School mused about using the laptop to improve her math skills and become a champion on the Nitro Type Worldwide real-time typing competition. KeyReia’s mentors, Erin Glanker and Sabrina Rabin, are both first-year University of Cincinnati (UC) medical students, who have provided mentorship since October. The youngster was one of about 20 area schoolchildren to receive laptops from UC Med Mentors during an April 2, ceremony in CARE/Crawley Atrium. Med Mentors, a volunteer mentorship effort in the College of Medicine, connects 200 medical students with more than 100 school-age mentees. The organization works closely with the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative (CYC) to train mentors and link them to Cincinnati Public School children for mentorship. The generous gift of laptops for these schoolchildren is the result of $10,000 in funding from the Clare Family Foundation and medical staff at Cincinnati Children’s, says Charles Cavallo, MD, president of the advisory board for UC Med Mentors and volunteer assistant professor in the UC Department of Pediatrics. “A lot of our medical students have an interest in family medicine and Med Mentors offers a really great opportunity to see firsthand some of the challenging realities families in some of our communities face,” says Keith Stringer, MD, faculty advisor for Med Mentors. “This volunteer program is made possible in large part by thoughtful, caring parents on the lookout for opportunities for their children. When medical students help by volunteering their time, it becomes a double win by aiding the kids and helping society by preparing and training future physicians for the communities they will serve,” says Stringer, an assistant professor in the UC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and a Cincinnati Children’s pathologist. In order to grasp the mechanisms of disease, physicians often have to first examine the social determinants of health, which can play a role in the diverse ailments seen in patients, explains Stringer. Med Mentors has focused on preparing students for academic success, but mentors also expose students to cultural and extracurricular activities through visits to the museum, the Cincinnati Zoo, arts functions, field trips and sports functions. Sofia Chinchilla and Robert Toy, both second-year medical students, are co-presidents of Med Mentors. UC Med Mentors was founded in 2001 by Wan Lim, PhD, associate professor emeritus of medical education. Mentees come from various schools including several near the College of Medicine, such as North Avondale Montessori School, Clifton Fairview German School, South Avondale School and Rockdale Academy. The mentoring effort at UC targets students in grades three through six, though some students stay with Med Mentors for longer periods. Lim was on hand at the laptop ceremony to congratulate the mentees.

UC College of Nursing dean to serve on the Future of Nursing...

Tue, April 9, 2019

Greer Glazer, dean of the UC College of Nursing has been chosen to serve on the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 committee, operated under the auspices of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. It will build on the lessons learned from the Future of Nursing Campaign for Action as well as the current state of science and technology to help guide their assessment of the capacity of the profession to meet the anticipated health and social care demands over the next decade.

UC graduate student receives National Cancer Institute award

Tue, March 26, 2019

Madeline Niederkorn, a fifth-year graduate student in the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine, is hoping to further our knowledge of two related cancers: acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). A young investigator in the Department of Cancer and Cell Biology, Niederkorn has been studying these abnormalities since her time as an undergraduate biological sciences major in the laboratory of Daniel Starczynowski, PhD, professor in the Department of Pediatrics and researcher at Cincinnati Children’s. “We are focused on understanding the mechanisms of these diseases using a variety of cellular assays, protein assays and in vivo studies in mice,” says Niederkorn. “We are looking to identify novel and rational therapeutic targets for myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia,” says Niederkorn. “What I mean by that is are there proteins and specific pathways in these cells that are different from the healthy cells in the blood and bone marrow that make them uniquely targetable? Rather than giving patients chemotherapy, which can be broadly applied and has many side effects, we are trying to identify targeted therapeutics that have less toxic side effects for patients.” Niederkorn’s work has captured the attention of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which offered her a $75,910 Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award for the project “Regulators of Ubiquitin Signaling in Malignant Hematopoiesis.” The agency’s grant support is given to encourage and retain outstanding graduate students recognized by their institutions for their high potential and strong interest in pursuing careers as independent cancer researchers. One student per institution is permitted to apply and only 24-30 awards are made nationally per year. The award will facilitate the transition of talented graduate students into successful cancer research postdoctoral appointments, and provide opportunities for career development activities relevant to their long-term career goals of becoming independent cancer researchers. MDS are conditions that can occur when cells in bone marrow responsible for creating blood become abnormal and fail to produce effective mature peripheral blood cells, explains Niederkorn. In AML, the bone marrow accumulates immature white blood cells causing leukemia to spread through the blood stream and into other parts of the body, she says. AML is the second most common leukemia type in adults with doctors diagnosing an estimated 19,520 cases in the United States in 2018, according to NCI. An estimated 10,670 deaths occurred last year because of AML. Around 13,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with MDS annually. Niederkorn, 25, of Eastlake, Ohio, says she decided to pursue an advanced degree in the sciences after affirming near the end of her senior year at UC that she loved science and the critical thinking required in the discipline. “My last year of undergrad I was torn at how to best apply that and I started thinking about my experiences in the lab and what I liked about it,” says Niederkorn. “Then I became saddened by the idea of graduation and having to leave the lab. I had a lot of conversations with faculty and other students in the Cancer and Cell Biology program about the prospects of me completing a PhD. I really was motivated by the process of asking a scientific question and then taking steps to find the answer. “My plan is to pursue an academic postdoctoral position after my PhD,” says Niederkorn. “I would ultimately like to operate my own research program as an independent investigator.” A grateful Niederkorn says NCI’s backing offers her some needed flexibility in moving forward with a career in science. “I have the support and the necessary encouragement and motivation to pursue creatively what I want to study during a post-doctoral fellowship,” she says. “That will give me a little bit more intellectual freedom to carve my own path in science. The funding will follow me wherever I decide to accept a postdoctoral position. Those resources will allow me to do the science I want to do.” Starczynowski says Niederkorn will continue to make her mark in the scientific community. “Maddie is a rising star and exhibits an impressive curiosity and tenacity for tackling the difficult and critical questions in leukemia biology,” explains Starczynowski. “Although most trainees gravitate towards translational studies, Maddie also recognized early on the importance of understanding the fundamental biological processes underlying leukemia as a means to uncover novel therapeutics opportunities.” Photos by Colleen Kelley/AHC

Two UC Academic Health Center deans inducted into the National...

Tue, March 26, 2019

Tina Whalen, the dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences and Greer Glazer, dean of the College of Nursing were inducted into the National Academies of Practice at the organization's annual meeting and forum held March 7-9, 2019 in Pentagon City, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. They were nominated for induction by Neil MacKinnon, dean of the James L. WInkle College of Pharmacy, who was inducted into the National Academy of Practices in May 2018.

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