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UofL scientists identify a critical pathway to improve muscle repair

TRAF6 ensures health of stem cells and may lead to improved stem cell therapies for DMD and other muscle wasting diseases
UofL scientists identify a critical pathway to improve muscle repair

Ashok Kumar, Ph.D. and Sajedah Hindi, Ph.D.

Researchers at the University of Louisville have discovered a mechanism involved in skeletal muscle repair that may enable clinicians to boost the effectiveness of adult stem cell therapies for diseases such as muscular dystrophy. The research, published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, describes the role of TNF receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), an adaptor protein and E3 ubiquitin ligase, in ensuring the vitality of stem cells that regenerate muscle tissue.

Specialized stem cells known as satellite cells reside in skeletal muscle in an inactive state. When muscle injury occurs, a complex chain of signals prompts the satellite cells to awaken and generate new muscle cells to repair the injury. Previous research had shown that Pax7 (a paired-box transcription factor) is essential to this regeneration. When Pax7 is missing or reduced, the satellite cells undergo premature differentiation, or lose their stem properties and their ability to regenerate injured muscles.

In their research, authors Sajedah M. Hindi, Ph.D., and Ashok Kumar, Ph.D., discovered that removing TRAF6 depletes Pax7, resulting in reduced muscle regeneration in both normal and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) mouse models. Hindi, a post-doctoral fellow, and Kumar, professor and distinguished university scholar in UofL’s Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, believe this is because TRAF6 is upstream from Pax7 in the signaling process involved in muscle repair and orchestrates multiple signals controlling the muscle regeneration process.

“We have discovered a pathway by which the Pax7 and myogenic potential of satellite cells is regulated. The protein TRAF6 is a very important adaptor protein that is involved in multiple signaling pathways and its functions are important to maintain the stemness of satellite cells in adults,” Kumar said.

“In normal conditions, skeletal muscle is a self-healing tissue and can recover promptly from most trauma because of the satellite cells. But in disease conditions like muscular dystrophies, satellite cells can’t keep up with repeated cycles of injury and are ultimately exhausted or functionally impaired,” Hindi said. “Our next step is to see if this functional impairment is partially due to lack of TRAF6 signaling in satellite cells. If so, we are thinking we can take a patient’s stem cells, restore the TRAF6 activity, put them back and boost their regenerative potential.”

Kumar and Hindi believe their research ultimately will lead to improved treatments for muscle wasting diseases such as muscular dystrophy, ALS, cancer cachexia, diabetes, heart disease and others.

“Right now the problem in donor stem cell therapy is that we inject the stem cells into the patient but most of the stem cells don’t proliferate very well, so they repair very little part of the muscle,” Kumar said. “But if you have stem cells that are over expressing this protein TRAF6, they may proliferate longer and they may repair the muscle much more effectively.”

Research reported in this press release was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers R01AR059810, R01AR068313, R01AG029623 and F31AG046950.

IMAGES: TRAF6 fl/fl (top) are control injured muscle whereas TRAF6scko (bottom) are from satellite cell-specific TRAF6- knockout mice which show drastic deficit in muscle regeneration due to lack of TRAF6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 30, 2015

TRAF6 fl/fl showing control injured muscle

TRAF6 fl/fl showing control injured muscle
TRAF6 fl/fl showing control injured muscle
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TRAF6 scko showing reduced muscle regeneration due to lack of TRAF6

TRAF6scko showing reduced muscle regeneration due to lack of TRAF6
TRAF6 scko showing reduced muscle regeneration due to lack of TRAF6
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Youth justice system should be viewed through public health lens

Annual UofL pediatrics lecture to examine ‘Juvenile Justice Reform’ on Dec. 11
Youth justice system should be viewed through public health lens

Matthew Aalsma, Ph.D.

More than 65 percent of youth in the juvenile justice system in the United States meet the criteria for a disability, a rate three times higher than that of the general population. Research also shows that the more serious and prolonged a youth's interaction with the justice system becomes, the more likely he or she is to die prematurely.

Juvenile justice reform, therefore, is not only a law enforcement concern, it is a public health concern, said Matthew C. Aalsma, Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics and psychology and director of the Juvenile Forensic Psychology Clinic at Indiana University.

Aalsma will deliver the 15th Annual Doctor Elliott Podoll Adolescent Medicine Lecture, sponsored by the University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics. The lecture will be at 8 a.m., Friday, Dec. 11, at Wade Mountz Auditorium, second floor of Norton Hospital, 200 E. Chestnut St. Admission is free.

Youth involved in the justice system “are a vulnerable population due to their high rates of mental illness, physical health problems and early mortality,” Aalsma said. “Juvenile justice reform that decreases the reliance on incarceration and improves behavioral health and medical services are very important public health initiatives.”

Trained as a pediatric psychologist, Aalsma focuses on research with vulnerable populations, including youth in the mental health and juvenile justice systems. His current research agenda includes exploring system-wide and individual efforts to improve the utilization of mental and physical health care for children and adolescents.

As director of the Juvenile Forensic Psychology Clinic, Aalsma oversees the provision of comprehensive psychologic assessments for court-involved youth. “The clinic provides thorough and fair assessments for vulnerable populations and trains psychology Ph.D. students in conducting juvenile forensic assessments,” he said.

The Podoll lectureship was established by the family of the late Elliott Podoll, M.D., a longtime Louisville pediatrician and clinical faculty member at the University of Louisville and a local pioneer in the provision of appropriate health care services for adolescents. The yearly lectureship brings an expert in the field of adolescent medicine to UofL in the spirit of what Podoll cared about: an increased awareness and development of the skills necessary to improve the lives of young people in the region.

For additional information, contact the UofL Department of Pediatrics at 502-852-8600.

 

UofL scientists enhance understanding of muscle repair process with second publication in 10 days

UofL scientists enhance understanding of muscle repair process with second publication in 10 days

Ashok Kumar, Ph.D. and Yuji Ogura, Ph.D.

In today’s issue of Nature Communications, University of Louisville scientists reveal research that increases the understanding of the mechanisms regulating adult stem cells required for skeletal muscle regeneration. Sajedah M. Hindi, Ph.D., of UofL’s Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, and Yuji Ogura, Ph.D., now of Japan, and other researchers show that the protein kinase TAK1 (transforming growth factor-ß-activated kinase 1) is vital in regulating the survival and proliferation of satellite stem cells. These cells are responsible for regenerating adult skeletal muscles in response to damage from disease or injury.

Specialized stem cells known as satellite cells reside in the skeletal muscles of adults in an inactive or quiescent state. When muscle injury occurs, a chain of signals prompts the satellite cells to awaken and generate new muscle cells to repair the injury. As part of this process, the satellite cells self-renew in order to replenish the pool of satellite cells for future muscle repair.

In the article, the authors reveal that when the protein TAK1 is reduced, satellite stem cells do not vigorously self-renew and many eventually die. Alternately, when TAK1 is increased, the satellite cells prosper. These results lead the authors to conclude that TAK1 is required for satellite cell proliferation and survival for regeneration of adult skeletal muscle.

This publication complements research published just last week in the Journal of Clinical Investigation by Hindi and Ashok Kumar, Ph.D., a professor and distinguished university scholar in UofL’s Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, that describes the role of another protein, TRAF6 (TNF receptor-associated factor 6), in ensuring the vitality of the satellite stem cells. TAK1 and TRAF6 support distinct functions that regulate satellite cell survival and functionality. In the JCI article, Hindi and Kumar show that TRAF6 is critical for the satellite cells to retain their stem properties and prevents them from undergoing premature differentiation.

Kumar, also the corresponding author on the Nature Communications publication, believes the research in both of these publications may lead to multifaceted therapies for muscular dystrophy, cancer cachexia and other muscle-wasting conditions, including aging.

“In one disease state the muscle stem cells are undergoing premature differentiation. In that situation, TRAF6 is very important in preventing premature differentiation so the satellite cells maintain their stemness,” Kumar said. “But in some disease conditions, the overall cell population is reduced. If the cells are dying, we need to look at the protein TAK1 and if we put this protein back, determine whether it improves satellite cell survival.”

Hindi, a post-doctoral fellow at UofL, and Ogura are the primary authors of the Nature Communications publication. Ogura was a post-doctoral fellow in UofL’s Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology from 2012-2014 and now is an assistant professor at St. Marianna University School of Medicine in Japan. Co-authors include Kumar, Guangyan Xiong, Ph.D., of UofL, Shuichi Sato, Ph.D., now an assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Shizuo Akira of Japan.

Research reported in this press release was supported by the National Institute of Health grants R01AR059810, R01AR068313, and R01AG029623 to Ashok Kumar.

 

December 9, 2015

Yuji Ogura, Ph.D.

Yuji Ogura, Ph.D.
Yuji Ogura, Ph.D.
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Yuji Ogura, Ph.D.

Yuji Ogura, Ph.D.
Yuji Ogura, Ph.D.
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Ignore the politics: Refugee health care benefits patients, providers

Dec. 10th presentation will highlight UofL Global Health Initiative’s refugee services

Refugee resettlement may be a hotly debated issue on the presidential campaign trail but the health care of refugees is both a service provided by and a benefit provided to the University of Louisville Global Health Initiative.

Ruth Carrico, Ph.D., and Rahel Bosson, M.D. will address the “The State of Refugee Health in Kentucky: From Flight to Resettlement” at noon, Thursday, Dec. 10, in room 103 of UofL’s School of Public Health and Information Sciences, 485 E. Gray St. Admission is free.

Carrico, a registered nurse and family nurse practitioner, and Bosson are among the staff who practice in UofL’s refugee health care and vaccine clinics that see approximately 3,000 refugees annually. These services are provided through a partnership with the Kentucky Office for Refugees, Catholic Charities Inc. and Kentucky Refugee Ministries.

While Syrian refugees are currently most discussed in news reports, the UofL clinic is the medical home for people seeking resettlement in Louisville from approximately 30 countries and who speak more than 20 languages.

Perhaps not surprisingly, most of the refugees come from a country with which the United States has recently relaxed sanctions and resumed diplomatic relations: Cuba.

“Most of our refugee patients today come from Cuba,” Carrico said. “The next largest groups are Iraqis, the Butanese and Somalis.”

The wide variety of nationalities is illustrated by the most prevalent condition seen in each group, Bosson said. “Women from Cuba most often have reproductive health concerns,” she said, “while PTSD is prevalent among people from the Middle East. In the Somali population, non-active tuberculosis is most often what we see.

“But we also  provide and facilitate care in  virtually every other health specialty – dentistry, vision, oncology, cardiovascular care, mental health services and vaccines – we arrange it all.”

The health care providers focus on exactly that – health care – not politics. The refugee patients need the services provided by the clinic, and in turn, the care provided is integrated in the health sciences schools’ education and training process. The care is interprofessional with medicine, nursing, dentistry and public health faculty and students partnering with faculty and students from engineering, business, arts and sciences and law.

“Before they can come to the United States, refugees are required to have an overseas medical exam,” Carrico said. “When they arrive, there is an eight-month window for them to make major strides toward self-sufficiency.

“Health is part of that self-sufficiency; how can you work and support yourself if you are sick? We can wait for health issues to occur and see them present in the emergency room,” Carrico said, “or we can care for them upfront. Preventive care is always less expensive and produces the best outcomes.”

The providers work with staff at the two resettlement agencies in Louisville to coordinate care for the newly arriving refugees, allowing a global health experience for faculty, staff and students.

“The care we provide in turn gives our resident physicians and medical, nursing and public health students important education and training in conditions not always seen in Louisville,” Bosson said. “Combined with interactions from students across the entire university, these experiences are unique to education and training at UofL and can be found in few other places across the United States.”

Added Carrico, “Many of our residents and students want a global health experience as part of their training; we provide it right here in Louisville.”

For information about the refugee clinic at UofL, call 502-852-3324.

Ruth Carrico

Ruth Carrico
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Rahel Bosson, M.D.

Rahel Bosson, M.D.
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Sajedah Hindi Ph.D.

Sajedah Hindi Ph.D.
Sajedah Hindi Ph.D.
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Improving “code blue” hospital team response

UofL physician creating more efficient staff procedures for cardiac arrest at UofL Hospital
Improving “code blue” hospital team response

Lorrel Brown, M.D.

Lorrel Brown, M.D., assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, is working to improve the way staff respond when a hospital patient experiences cardiac arrest. Brown has received a grant to develop and evaluate a new protocol to improve communication and fine tune the staff team that responds to these patient emergencies at University of Louisville Hospital (ULH), a part of KentuckyOne Health.

When a patient suffers a cardiac arrest in the hospital, staff members call a “code blue” to summon necessary medical personnel to attend to the patient. Existing procedures for code blue events at ULH may bring 30 to 40 people to the patient’s room, which can create an inefficient situation for responders. Brown’s plan would train a streamlined group of about 15 people who have the most appropriate skill sets for the event to respond to a code blue announcement.

“This will lead to an appropriate use of resources. When 40 people are in the room, it is too crowded and people are not functioning at the height of their effectiveness,” said Brown, a cardiology and critical care specialist with UofL Physicians. “We want people who are highly trained and responding often so they know what they are doing.”

To determine the best team of responders, Brown has collaborated with an inter-professional group that includes physicians in neurology, internal medicine, intensive care, surgery, anesthesia and cardiology, along with respiratory therapists, nurses and pharmacists. She is collecting data on the current system and will evaluate the process before and after the new procedures are implemented.

Brown will introduce the new procedures by conducting unannounced code blue simulations in the hospital and familiarize all hospital personnel in the new system for several months before it is implemented. Under the new procedure, a UofL Hospital Code Team Leader will wear a special lanyard to visually identify the team leader for all staff members. Attached to the lanyard will be a card that lists the individuals who should be involved in the response.

“This will require a culture change,” Brown said. “Whoever is the leader wears the lanyard so everyone can see who’s in charge. It is not a novel approach, but what is novel is that we are studying the impact of this change by collecting data and evaluating the process before and after the new plan is implemented.”

Instructing medical staff on procedures for cardiac arrest is familiar territory for Brown, UofL’s associate director of cardiovascular medicine fellowships. For the past year, she has been training medical residents and other staff members to work together during code blue events by conducting drills in which teams of resident physicians, pharmacists, nurses and respiratory therapists engage in simulated cardiac arrest events. This allows each of the personnel to focus on their specialized training and to reinforce teamwork. [Click for photo gallery of code blue simulation drills]

“When we train people to respond to cardiac arrest, it is usually in silos – nurses train with nurses, residents train with residents, and so on,” Brown said. “In the real world, various people with distinct skills respond to a cardiac arrest who haven’t worked together before. It can be stressful, especially if they don’t know one another. Team training utilizes the skill sets of each individual to the best advantage of the patient.”

Brown received a two-year medical education and research grant from the Southern Group of Educational Affairs, a regional division of the Association of American Medical Colleges, to define, implement and evaluate the new procedures for the hospital staff. The grant extends through August of 2017.

“The goal of this project is to improve communication in the delivery of high-quality care in a low-frequency, high-stakes situation, and to clearly identify the code blue team leader,” Brown said. “This streamlined group of responders will facilitate clear communication, rapid delivery of life-saving care and inter-disciplinary cooperation.”

 

December 15, 2015

Nominations open for Gold Standard for Optimal Aging Award through Feb. 1, 2016

Nominations open for Gold Standard for Optimal Aging Award through Feb. 1, 2016

Dawne Gee, WAVE3

The Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging at the University of Louisville is seeking nominations for the 2016 Gold Standard for Optimal Aging Award. Nominations for this annual award are open now through Feb. 1, 2016.

The Gold Standard for Optimal Aging Award celebrates and honors older adults who embody the Institute’s vision for a world where all older adults lead engaged and flourishing lives. This award recognizes older adults who are 85 years or older and who are outstanding models of optimal aging in the following four categories: physical, social, spiritual and creative. There is no geographical limitation for nominations.

The award will be presented at a luncheon on May 10, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza, 830 Phillips Lane. WAVE3 News Anchor Dawne Gee will be the keynote speaker for this year’s award luncheon.

Lunch reservations are $35 per person and $350 for a table of 10. Sponsorships in a variety of opportunities also are currently being accepted by the Institute at (502) 852-5629.

Registration and nomination available at: louisville.edu/medicine/departments/familymedicine/geriatrics. For information, call 502-852-5629 or email OptimalAging@louisville.edu.

 

UofL professor to receive education award from Society of Toxicology

John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D., recognized for efforts to educate students and professionals
UofL professor to receive education award from Society of Toxicology

John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D.

University of Louisville professor of pharmacology and toxicology John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D., will be honored by the Society of Toxicology with a 2016 Education Award in March, 2016.

Wise is being recognized for teaching and training the next generation of toxicologists on a variety of educational levels both in the classroom and in the field. He has taught high school students and their teachers, undergraduate students, graduate students and junior faculty members. Wise has participated in K–12 outreach and lifelong learning programs attended by older students. Wise and his wife, Sandra Wise, Ph.D., joined the faculty at the UofL School of Medicine earlier this year.

“The Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology was thrilled to recruit Dr. John Wise Sr., his wife and research collaborator Dr. Sandra Wise, and other members of his research team to the University of Louisville,” said David W. Hein, Ph.D., chair of UofL’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. “Professor Wise's research program transforms the excitement of a world class research laboratory experience to graduate, professional, post-graduate and undergraduate students. The very prestigious Education Award from the Society of Toxicology reflects the international impact of his research program and training accomplishments.”

In addition to on-campus instruction and lab work, Wise spends a good deal of time working in the field, testing wildlife for toxic exposures. He, his wife and their adult children spent three summers working aboard a sailboat in the Gulf of Mexico, obtaining tissue samples from whales to test for toxins resulting from the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil well. Most recently, he has been collecting tissue samples from alligators around the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and investigating sea turtle populations on Puerto Rico’s Vieques Island. Prior to his arrival at UofL, Wise was a professor of toxicology at the University of Southern Maine in Portland.

“Whether it is our work in the tiny, microscopic world of a cell or out in the wild with some of the most amazing creatures on earth, being a scientist is always a thrill and a privilege, and the most important part of being a scientist is to share all of these discoveries with others and to be an educator,” Wise said. “We all thirst to know more, to understand more. We seek to be amazed and inspired by the world. For me, engaging others in my scientific quests, teaching them and learning from them, is a central part of being a scientist.”

The Society of Toxicology (SOT) is a professional and scholarly organization of more than 7,800 scientists from academic institutions, government and industry. The SOT Education Award recognizes an individual who teaches and trains toxicologists and who has made significant contributions to education in the field of toxicology. The award will be presented to Wise at the 2016 SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo in New Orleans, March 13–17, in the form of a plaque and stipend. Wise is one of more than two dozen scientists from across the United States and abroad who will be honored at the event.

 

December 15, 2015

Since there is water on Mars, could humans live there?

UofL professor to explain why the discovery of water on Mars is a big deal at next Beer with a Scientist event, Jan. 13
Since there is water on Mars, could humans live there?

Timothy Dowling, Ph.D.

For the January 2016 edition of Beer with a Scientist, Timothy Dowling, Ph.D., will explain how the discovery of water on Mars sheds light on our own environment.

“In 2015, NASA announced the discovery of liquid water on present-day Mars. We’ll take a look at what the many rovers and orbiters have turned up about the past, present and future of the Red Planet, and why liquid water is so important,” Dowling said. “The discoveries on Mars are revealing how essentially every detail of the Earth’s system is beneficial to life, and we will discuss habitability and the future of space exploration.”

Plus, Dowling will separate fact from fiction in the recent movie, “The Martian.”

Dowling is a professor of atmospheric science in UofL’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. He studies planetary atmospheres and specializes in atmospheric dynamics and thermodynamics.

The program begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13 at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

The Beer with a Scientist program began in 2014 and is the brainchild of UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D. Once a month, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.

Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged.

Organizers add that they also encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

For more information and to suggest future Beer with a Scientist topics, follow Louisville Underground Science on Facebook.

 

January 5, 2015

UofL School of Medicine collects 570 toys for Toys for Tots

UofL School of Medicine collects 570 toys for Toys for Tots

Residents with 500 toys collected for Toys for Tots

The resident physicians at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, along with the school’s faculty, staff and medical students, are making the holidays a little brighter for underprivileged children in the Louisville community. In just one week, they collected 570 toys for Toys for Tots.

UofL’s House Staff Council, the representative body for resident and fellow physicians, issued a request on December 10 for new, unwrapped toys for its annual holiday service project. The group was inspired by Mayor Greg Fischer’s call to set a world record for the most toys collected in a 12-hour period during Holiday in the City.

As of December 16, the residents, fellows and program faculty had collected 500 toys.

“The initiative took hold more than we had even imagined,” said Matthew Bertke, M.D., president of the House Staff Council. “The response shows the kind of charitable spirit and sense of community we have in the house staff. Although young physicians are busy with patient care, we also are invested in our community.”

John Roberts, M.D., UofL’s vice dean for graduate medical education and continuing medical education, supported the request by offering a luncheon for the departments with the highest percentage of residents participating. Four programs earned the luncheon, having greater than 150 percent participation:  Psychiatry (430 percent), Neurology/Child Neurology (246 percent), Pediatrics (193 percent - the largest number of gifts at 166) and Emergency Medicine (161 percent).

The school’s faculty, staff and medical students then joined in the project, adding an additional 70 toys for a total of 570 from the UofL School of Medicine.

“Among the qualities of a good physician are empathy and compassion. It is inspiring to see how generously our young physicians, faculty, staff and students responded in order to brighten the holidays for our community’s children,” said Toni Ganzel, M.D., dean of the UofL School of Medicine.

The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program collects new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

 

December 21, 2015

Norton Healthcare, UofL reach agreements, end litigation

Long term deal ensures stability and growth for Children’s Hospital

Norton Healthcare and the University of Louisville today announced they have reached agreements which end more than five years of negotiations and more than two years of litigation. The University of Louisville Physicians group and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are also parties to the agreements.

“This is great news for the Louisville community and the Commonwealth,” said Donald H. Robinson, chair of the Norton Healthcare board of trustees. “The agreements clear up critical land lease and ownership issues as well as bringing operational security to Norton while assuring stable financial support to the UofL School of Medicine in pediatrics. The real winners here are the families who depend on our children’s hospital for their child’s care.”

“We reached fair and mutually beneficial agreements that extend our long-time relationship for providing the highest level of pediatric care to the children of the Commonwealth and beyond,” said Larry Benz, chair of the UofL board of trustees. “Both organizations are passionate about fulfilling their missions in this regard. We are now focused on how our organizations will combine our strengths to make Kosair Children’s Hospital a top tier pediatric hospital in the United States.”

The agreements include an amendment to the 1981 land lease between Norton and the Commonwealth for the children’s hospital property which results in a permanent solution, one that secures Norton’s ownership and control of the hospital, confirmed by the Commonwealth and UofL. It also makes it possible for Norton to continue plans for more than $35 million in additional capital improvements to its children’s hospital over the next five years. Those plans had been held up due to the litigation.

An amendment to the 2008 academic affiliation agreement currently in place between Norton and UofL sets an initial eight-year term with automatic annual renewals thereafter. UofL will be Norton’s primary academic partner for pediatrics with at least 90 percent of the Norton’s residency positions at the children’s hospital being made available to UofL.

UofL guarantees that its pediatric residents will utilize the children’s hospital as UofL’s primary hospital training site and that the majority of its pediatric hospital admissions will be made to the children’s hospital.  Both Norton and UofL will appoint three representatives each to a new Pediatric Academic Medical Center Committee (PAMCC), charged with overseeing and making recommendations for the affiliation relationship. Norton can still pursue other third party relationships and programs, such as the previously announced intent to collaborate with UK Children’s Hospital, as long as its commitments to UofL are fulfilled. UofL agrees to participate in collaborative pediatric care joint programs with Norton and UK and/or others.

Under the terms of the agreement, UofL will receive $272 million over eight years. Norton has extended its current total of $30 million in annual funding (through separate individual contracts as is currently done) for UofL academic support and physician services over the next eight years, with an additional $3 million annually for additional pediatric care investments. Those investments are to be recommended by the PAMCC and approved by Norton. UofL will participate in independent audits to facilitate full transparency regarding how Norton’s financial support is used. UofL also will receive a one-time payment of $8 million to resolve any and all financial disputes from the past.

“We thank the administration of Gov. Bevin for its leadership in finalizing the land lease amendments and assuring we can move forward with our planned $35 million additional investments by Norton in our Children’s Hospital,” said Stephen A. Williams, CEO, Norton Healthcare. “We also sincerely thank UofL Board Chairman Larry Benz for his great leadership in helping accomplish these agreements. The combined agreements stabilize the relationship between Norton and UofL in pediatrics and facilitate additional investments in pediatric care, while also allowing for appropriate collaboration with UK and other providers across the state to advance pediatric care in Kentucky.”

“This agreement allows both organizations to continue fulfilling their missions of caring for the children of the Commonwealth; UofL through the education and training of future health care providers and conducting cutting-edge research and Norton as the primary site for the provision of the highest levels of health care possible,” said Dr. James Ramsey, president of the University of Louisville. “The Bevin administration’s quick attention and assistance is a demonstration of his desire for ensuring the future of the Commonwealth.”

All three of the agreements were effective immediately upon ratification over the last few days by the boards of Norton, University of Louisville, University of Louisville Physicians, and the Commonwealth.

‘Memory, Aging and Alzheimer’s Q&A’ offered Jan. 12

‘Memory, Aging and Alzheimer’s Q&A’ offered Jan. 12

Ben Schoenbachler, M.D.

Most of us have experienced it, or have a loved one who has: You enter a room, intending to retrieve something – and cannot remember what it was you wanted. Or you exit the shopping mall, only to discover you have forgotten exactly where you parked your car.

Annoying? Yes. Signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? Maybe. Or maybe not.

Ben Schoenbachler, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Louisville, will help sort out the differences between temporary forgetfulness and symptoms of age-related memory disorders at a “Building Hope” lecture and question-and-answer session sponsored by the UofL Depression Center.

Schoenbachler’s “Memory, Aging and Alzheimer’s Q&A” will begin at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, in Room 251 of Second Presbyterian Church, 3701 Old Brownsboro Rd. Admission is free.

Results from a 2015 survey conducted by Trinity College Dublin found that more than 75 percent of people can’t distinguish between signs of Alzheimer’s and the usual forgetfulness that comes with aging. Schoenbachler’s presentation will help participants learn more about those differences.

Schoenbachler is a native of Louisville who earned his bachelor’s degree in zoology and his medical degree from the University of Kentucky and completed combined residency training in neurology and psychiatry at Tulane University. His clinical focus is primarily on cognitive and behavioral complications of brain injury and neurodegenerative disorders.

The University of Louisville Depression Center is Kentuckiana’s leading resource for depression and bipolar disorder treatment, research and education. It is a charter member of the National Network of Depression Centers, a consortium of leading depression centers that develops and fosters connections among members to advance scientific discovery and provide stigma-free, evidence-based care to patients with depressive and bipolar illnesses.

For more information, contact the Depression Center at 502-588-4450.

Francis named chair of UofL obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health

Francis named chair of UofL obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health

Sean Francis, M.D.

Jan. 15, 2016

Sean L. Francis, currently the interim chair of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health at the University of Louisville, has been named to the post permanently. The appointment was approved by the UofL Board of Trustees at its Jan. 14 meeting.

“Dr. Francis brings a patient-centered approach to care that enables him to partner with our patients to identify the best treatment options and infuses that approach in his work leading the department, its residents and students,” said Toni M. Ganzel, M.D., dean of the UofL School of Medcine.

Francis was named interim chair in February 2015. He came to UofL in 2012 as associate professor and chief of the divisions of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMR) and Minimally Invasive and Gynecologic Surgery. He also is FPMR fellowship director and practices with University of Louisville Physicians-Urogynecology. Prior to his tenure at UofL, he was on the faculty of the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

Francis is board-certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and FBMR and completed a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale’s Department of Gynecology, Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery.

He has been named to “Top Doctors in America,” “Best Doctors in America,” “Top Doctors in Louisville” and “Top Surgeons in Louisville.” The author or co-author of chapters in two reference manuals and 20 journal articles, Francis has made 47 oral, video and poster presentations at professional meetings in the United States, Canada and Wales.

He is a past winner of the Faculty Award for Excellence in Resident Education by the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology; the Association of Professors of Obstetrics and Gynecology Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching; and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists’ Special Excellence in Endoscopic Procedures Award.

Francis earned a bachelor’s of science degree, cum laude, in biology from Morehouse College, Atlanta, Ga., and his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Case Western’s Mount Sinai Hospital and another in obstetrics and gynecology at the Medical College of Georgia.

Vanderbilt neurosurgeon named UofL department chair

Vanderbilt neurosurgeon named UofL department chair

Joseph Neimat, M.D.

Jan. 15, 2016

An accomplished medical researcher, clinician and educator has joined the University of Louisville as chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery.

The appointment of Joseph S. Neimat, M.D., was approved by the UofL Board of Trustees at its Jan. 14 meeting.

“In Joseph Neimat, the UofL School of Medicine is getting a chair with an excellent balance of expertise in research, clinical care and medical education,” Dean Toni M. Ganzel, M.D., said. “His knowledge and skills will greatly benefit our students, residents, patients and community.”

Neimat comes to UofL from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., where he has held a variety of positions: associate professor and the director of human neurophysiological research, neurotrauma, epilepsy surgery and the functional neurosurgery fellowship in the Department of Neurosurgery; and a founding member of the Vanderbilt Initiative in Surgery and Engineering. He was medical director of inpatient neurosurgery and neurosurgery operating rooms at Vanderbilt, and served on the curriculum planning committee of Vanderbilt University Medical School.

He also was chief of neurosurgery for Tennessee Valley Health Care of the Veterans Administration and held joint appointments with Vanderbilt’s Center for Integrative & Cognitive Neuroscience, Psychiatric Neuroimaging Program and Department of Psychology.

Neimat’s current research interests include investigation of the affective and cognitive properties of the basal ganglia – structures located deep in the brain that are responsible for normal movement. His research also examines the clinical application of neural stimulation in the treatment of refractory medical disease, or disease that is resistant to current therapies. He has received funding from the National Institutes of Health as well as from industry to support his research.

He serves as an ad-hoc reviewer for the NIH Study Section on Clinical Neuroscience and Neurodegeneration. He also serves on the Boards of Directors of American Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery and the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. He is the lead or co-author of approximately 90 peer-reviewed articles, published abstracts and textbook chapters.

Neimat earned a bachelor’s degree at Dartmouth, double majoring in music and biochemistry, and then earned a master’s in neurobiology and a medical degree from Duke University. He completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a fellowship in functional neurosurgery at the University of Toronto. He is board certified in neurological surgery.

UofL Autism Center patients create Asian-inspired art

Program created by Kentucky Autism Training Center engages students on the autism spectrum
UofL Autism Center patients create Asian-inspired art

Evan Green with his Asian-inspired scroll

Eleven-year-old Evan Green discovered a whole new world at Asia Institute Crane House (AICH) thanks to a new art program for patients at the University of Louisville Autism Center at Kosair Charities.

“It was great! I learned how there are a lot of patterns in the artwork,” said Green, a patient at the UofL Autism Center.

In its first six-week session last fall, the New Perspectives Art Program introduced Green and 13 other students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to the patterns, shapes and themes of Asian art. Students explored the exhibit “Peacocks and Paisleys” at AICH, learning about the artistic themes and textiles of China, India, Japan and Korea. They also learned how those cultures used scrolls for communication and art. The students then created their own art using natural materials, stencils and block printing.

“It lit him up. It was a day of excitement,” said Evan’s mother, Linda.

The program, funded by a grant from The Norton Foundation, Inc., was created to encourage social interaction, positive behaviors and individual self-confidence in children on the autism spectrum. It was developed by Mike Miller, field training coordinator in the UofL College of Education and Human Development working at the Kentucky Autism Training Center, and Delaire Rowe of VSA Kentucky, an organization dedicated to providing arts education for individuals with disabilities.

“At first I wondered if it would work. A lot of the kids didn’t know each other and they had to build relationships and to share materials,” Miller said. “However, after they got in the art process they stayed so engaged. Most of the time at the clinic, they need a break after about 15 minutes. In the classes, they would work the entire hour. We asked if they needed to go walk, but they stayed right there.”

Art instructor Pat Sturtzel and Asia Institute Crane House staff members Ruchi Malhotra and Matt Nichols conducted the hour-long classes with the students, age 6 through 21. Linda Green said Evan was enthusiastic about the Saturday classes since he loves to draw, and he quickly became engaged in the activities.

“He talked to other kids and he would make sure they had things they needed. If they came in late, he would sit down next to them and try to give them instructions that he had just been given,” Linda Green said. “As soon as we got home he wanted to do the activities again. He did not ever want the class to end.”

Following the weekly sessions, the students’ scrolls were placed on exhibit in the Crane House gallery and an opening reception held Dec. 10, at which the students showed off their work for visitors. The students’ artwork will remain on display at Asia Institute Crane House, 1244 S. Third St., through Mar. 18.

Miller and Rowe are planning additional programs for students in the spring.

 

About the organizations:

UofL Autism Center at Kosair Charities, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, offers families and primary care providers a single source for treatment, evaluation, intervention, training and research in autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Kentucky Autism Training Center (KATC) has a mission is to strengthen our state's systems of support for persons affected by autism by bridging research to practice and by providing training and resources to families and professionals. KATC is affiliated with the UofL College of Education and Human Development and has a legislative mandate to enhance outcomes for all Kentuckians with ASD. KATC bridges the research to practice gap by leveraging resources, building sustainable collaborative relationships, and uses evidence-based practices in all regions of Kentucky.

VSA Kentucky is a non-profit organization dedicated to inclusive arts education for children and adults with disabilities. In addition, VSA Kentucky works to train art instructors throughout the state. VSA Kentucky is a member of the VSA Affiliate Network, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Asia Institute Crane House provides educational and cultural programs and services to the public and works to increase the capacity of our local Asian communities to share and preserve their heritage.

The Norton Foundation, Inc.Since 1958, the Norton Foundation has granted millions of dollars to the Louisville community in an effort to support the educational, emotional and physical development of our community’s children.

 

Jan. 13, 2016

Two of the students' scrolls on display

Two of the students' scrolls on display
Two of the students' scrolls on display
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Anna Faul, ISHOA

Anna Faul
Anna Faul, ISHOA
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Joe D'Ambrosio, ISHOA

Joe D'Ambrosio, ISHOA
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Joe D'Ambrosio, ISHOA

Joe D'Ambrosio
Joe D'Ambrosio, ISHOA
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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, find out ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It?’

UofL Optimal Aging Lecture Series begins spring slate of programs Feb. 10

The Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging at the University of Louisville begins its spring 2016 Optimal Aging Lecture Series with “What’s Love Got to Do With It?,” Wednesday, Feb. 10. The lecture will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University Club, 200 E. Brandeis Ave.

The Institute’s Drs. Anna Faul, executive director, and Joseph D’Ambrosio, director of health innovation and sustainability, will deliver a timely discussion about the ways to infuse love into caregiving and everyday life as you age.

Infusing love into caregiving and long-term care for older adults is a daunting experience when you are exchausted, and there are minimal resources available to support you as a caregiver. This lecture will combine Faul’s and D’Ambrosio’s expertise in the areas of love, compassion and gerontology to empower caregivers and older adults to maintain love throughout the life span.

Faul and D’Ambrosio are recognized as academic experts in compassionate love; click here to learn about their 2014 study on compassionate love in long-term relationships.

Admission is $17 per person and includes lunch. Reservations are required; for information, call 502-852-8953 or email natalie.pope@louisville.edu.

UofL medical students welcome refugees with donation drive

Group encourages community to donate household items and winter clothing for new arrivals in Louisville

University of Louisville medical students in the Distinction in Global Health (DIGH) track are putting their passion to work for refugees resettling in Kentucky and they are inviting the community to join their effort.

Third-year UofL medical students Allison Lyle and MeNore Lake are spearheading the My New Kentucky Home: Donation Drive to collect clothing and household items for refugees arriving in Kentucky. The donations will be distributed directly to individuals in need by Migration & Refugee Services, a department of Catholic Charities of Louisville, Inc., which assists refugees in the Louisville area. The Kentucky Office for Refugees, also a department of Catholic Charities, reports that about 1,250 refugees arrived in Louisville in 2015 from 23 countries, and expects that many or more in 2016.

It all started late last fall when Lyle and her husband were cleaning out their apartment. Lyle decided she would like to get the unneeded clothing and household items to someone who could use them.

“This was around the same time as the attacks in Paris and the unfortunate discourse around Syrian refugees not being wanted,” Lyle said. “I thought we could do a med-school wide outreach program to show this demographic some extra kindness.”

As a member of the Distinction in Global Health track in the UofL School of Medicine, Lyle is particularly concerned with the needs of refugees. She brainstormed with Lake, a medical school classmate and fellow DIGH track member, and they began collecting clothing and household items for donation.

“We both recognize and respect the role of Louisville as a new home to refugees. I see the My New Kentucky Home: Donation Driveas an excellent initiative for our school to recognize and show a sense of community to refugees in Louisville,” Lake said.

The Distinction in Global Health track teaches medical students with interests in global health how to approach the literature and conduct scholarly projects in this field.

“This project, which was totally student-initiated, is in addition to all the work they are doing in school and in the track. It has now turned into a project to help stock up the warehouses around Louisville so that we are more prepared, as a city, to meet the needs of the refugees we are expecting,” said Bethany Hodge, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Global Education Office of the UofL School of medicine and the DIGH program.

The group is collecting new or gently-used items including:

  • Men's, women's and children's clothing
    (greatest need is for winter clothes, shoes, socks, undergarments)
  • Kitchen utensils, pots, pans, dish sets
  • Bedding (blankets, comforters, fleece throws and sheets) and pillows
  • Bath towels, hand towels and rags

Donations may be taken to Michael Keibler in the UofL Office of Student Affairs, “A” Building, 319 Abraham Flexner Way, Suite 210 through Friday, Jan. 29.

Items also may be dropped off at Migration Refugee Services, 2220 W. Market St. from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

To have furniture or other large items picked up, contact Chris Clements, Catholic Charities Assistant Community Resource Developer at 502-636-9263, ext 125

 

Jan. 15, 2016

UofL institute awarded $2.55 million to create Kentucky Rural & Underserved Interprofessional Education Program

UofL institute awarded $2.55 million to create Kentucky Rural & Underserved Interprofessional Education Program

Anna Faul, D.Litt.

The Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging at the University of Louisville, now in just its 15th month of operation, has garnered a major grant to further efforts to bring health care to rural and medically underserved Kentuckians.

The Health Resources and Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $2.55 million to institute researchers to create the Kentucky Rural & Underserved Geriatric Interprofessional Education Program (KRUGIEP).

This three-year initiative will be headed by Dr. Anna Faul, executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging at UofL, and will include a group of transdisciplinary faculty at UofL along with partnering organizations from six rural counties in Kentucky: Hart, Metcalfe, Barren, Bullitt, Henry and Shelby.

In the six counties, KRUGIEP addresses the following needs:

  1. The shortage of the geriatric and primary care work force
  2. The need to train health care providers that can deliver culturally appropriate services to Kentucky’s growing Hispanic population
  3. The need to decrease the chronic disease burden in rural Kentucky
  4. The lack of supportive environments to promote health, specifically for older rural populations
  5. The need for supportive education and resources in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD)

With the grant funding, KRUGIEP will develop an interprofessional education center for geriatric education at UofL for students and professionals in medicine, nursing, social work, dentistry, pharmacy, community health and law; help primary care sites deliver integrated patient-centered geriatric primary care; and provide training and community engagement resources to create ADRD-friendly communities in the six-county region.

“This project is unique in its integration of community health teams and mental health specialists within geriatric primary care delivery systems,” said Institute Executive Director Anna Faul, D.Litt., who is principal investigator on the grant. “We are going to use a systemic approach of collaborative care and develop an inter-agency consortium that strengthen the links among related services for older adults.”

Within UofL, the grant will initially draw upon resources and faculty from the Brandeis School of Law, Kent School of Social Work, School of Dentistry, School of Medicine and School of Nursing. Partner sites in the first year of the grant will be Glasgow Family Medicine Clinic serving Barren, Hart and Metcalfe counties; Shelby Family Medicine and Mercy Medical in Shelby County; Kentucky River Medical Partners in Henry County and UofL Geriatrics Home Care Practice in Bullitt County. Additionally, partnering organizations are KIPDA in Louisville and the Barren River Area Agencies on Aging and Independent Living.

Although three of the six counties – Henry, Shelby and Bullitt – are classified within the Louisville Metro region, large percentages of the population are seen as rural, based on population density, count and size thresholds. The total population of the six counties is just 202,726, with 13 percent age 65 and older.

Crucially, the projected population growth of those 65 and older in the six counties is projected to be 149 percent by the year 2050 – 35 percent greater than both the projected growth rates of 114 percent for the same group in Kentucky and the United States.

Growth in the Hispanic population in the six counties also is above the state and national average. From 2000 to 2010, the Hispanic population change was 144 percent as compared to 122 percent in Kentucky and 43 percent in the United States during the same time frame.

“This grant represents exactly why the Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging was created,” said Terry Singer, Ph.D., dean of the Kent School who is involved with work funded by the grant. “The need for transdisciplinary approaches to examine issues that our aging population faces is significant because no issue stands on its own; all are inter-related from a health, social science, legal and policy perspective.”

The University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging seeks to transform the aging process at the local, national and international levels. In partnership with the university and community partners, the institute works to empower older adults to flourish by engaging in biopsychosocial transdisciplinary research, innovation leading to age-friendly product commercialization, evidence-based practice models of care and creative didactic and experiential education. For more information, visit www.OptimalAgingInstitute.org or on Facebook, Facebook/OptimalAgingInstitute.

 

Inaugural UofL Optimal Aging Conference set for June 12-14

Event brings together seniors, caregivers, academics and professionals
Inaugural UofL Optimal Aging Conference set for June 12-14

The Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging at the University of Louisville will host its inaugural Optimal Aging Conference June 12-14 in Louisville. The conference will be held at the Brown Hotel, 335 W. Broadway.

The Optimal Aging Conference brings together academics, professionals and older adults across a variety of disciplines who are united by a view that aging is an opportunity, not a disease, said Institute Executive Director Anna Faul, D.Litt. “This conference supports the dissemination of biopsychosocial aging research, age-friendly product innovation, and evidence-based practice and education models, with participation and input from older adults,” Faul said.

The conference will feature presentations on the latest in aging research, community based programs and services, evidence-based interventions, innovative opportunities, and community engagement for older adults.The deadline for abstract submissions is March 18.

Registration will open April 1. The registration fee for students, residents, and senior citizens age 65 and older is $100; $240 for KAG Members; and $260 for all other academics and professionals.

The conference also will feature exhibits from a variety of businesses and organizations involved in the aging profession. Deadline for exhibitors and sponsorships is April 30.

The conference is sponsored jointly by the UofL Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging and the Kentucky Association for Gerontology. For information about the conference, visit www.OptimalAgingInstitute.org or call 502-852-5629.

James Graham Brown Cancer Center first in Kentucky to offer one-day treatment for early-stage breast cancer

Intraoperative radiation therapy targets cancer cells, spares healthy tissue
James Graham Brown Cancer Center first in Kentucky to offer one-day treatment for early-stage breast cancer

Early-stage breast cancer patients now have a new one-day breast cancer treatment option at the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health. The cancer center is the first in Kentucky to offer this new technology.

Patients who meet specific selection criteria are able to be treated with intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), a one-day breast cancer treatment option that offers multiple patient benefits, including added convenience, fewer treatments and reduced costs.

IORT allows radiation oncologists and breast cancer surgeons to work together to deliver a full, concentrated dose of radiation in one day at the time of lumpectomy, targeting cancer cells and sparing healthy tissue, such as the heart, lungs and ribs. This compares to traditional breast cancer treatment, which involves daily radiation five days per week, for six to eight weeks. With IORT, radiation is delivered from inside the breast rather than externally, as is done during external beam radiation therapy (EBRT).

“As one of America’s finest cancer treatment and research institutions, our goal is not just to fight cancer, but to win,” said Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D., director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. “The more advanced technology and research available to our multidisciplinary care teams, the more tools we have at our disposal to save lives. IORT is an exciting advancement in breast cancer care.”

“Two major studies have shown IORT is effective, but with fewer side effects than traditional radiation, making it a viable treatment option for appropriate patients,” said Anthony Dragan, M.D., radiation oncologist with UofL Physicians and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. “In addition to fewer side effects, IORT can also help improve access to care. Some women, such as those who live in more rural areas, women who are in the workforce and women who are caretakers for their families, find it difficult to finish a course of traditional treatment that requires multiple visits.

“Since IORT requires only one dose of radiation, patients are able to return to their normal life within days rather than weeks, a huge improvement over traditional radiation treatment.”

The technology used is the Xoft® Axxent® Electronic Brachytherapy (eBx®) System®, which is FDA cleared for the treatment of cancer anywhere in the body, including early-stage breast cancer, gynecological cancers and non-melanoma skin cancer.

The Xoft System uses a proprietary miniaturized x-ray source, which is inserted into a flexible balloon-shaped applicator, then temporarily placed inside the lumpectomy cavity. A full course of radiation is then administered in a single dose, lasting as little as eight minutes, which directly targets cancer cells.

“IORT gives patients with early stage breast cancer an integrated surgical and radiotherapy option, in just one treatment, with the hope for the same outcomes (resulting from treatments currently in use),” said Nicolas Ajkay, M.D., surgical oncologist with UofL Physicians and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. “Our multidisciplinary team approach leads to constant collaboration among physicians to find the right treatment plan for each patient. IORT furthers our ability to do so in new and exciting ways.”

A growing body of favorable clinical data supports the use of IORT in candidates meeting specific selection criteria. iCAD, the maker of Xoft, is currently conducting one of the largest IORT clinical studies to date using the Xoft System, which compares Xoft IORT to traditional external beam radiation therapy. To date, more than 2,000 patients have been treated with Xoft IORT.

For more information about IORT at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, visit http://www.kentuckyonehealth.org/IORT or call 502-562-HOPE(4673).

UofL cancer researcher honored by president of Poland

Faculty member who discovered embryonic-like stem cells in adult bone marrow receives Gold Cross of Merit
UofL cancer researcher honored by president of Poland

Mariusz Z. Ratajczak, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci., received the Gold Cross of Merit from the president of Poland on January 22, 2016 in Warsaw.

Mariusz Z. Ratajczak, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci., was presented with a Gold Cross of Merit by the president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, on January 22 in Warsaw. Ratajczak, a professor in the University of Louisville Department of Medicine, was recognized for his work in stem cell research and transplantation.

Ratajczak, a native of Poland, received the award at a ceremony marking the opening of National Transplantation Congress in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first kidney transplant in Poland and the 30th anniversary of the country’s first bone marrow transplant. The Cross of Merit is a civil state award presented by the government of Poland to citizens who have gone beyond the call of duty in their work for the country and society as a whole. The award was established in 1923 to recognize services to the state and has three grades:  gold, silver and bronze.

Ratajczak is an internationally known specialist in the field of adult stem cell biology and is director of the Stem Cell Program at UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health. His 2005 discovery of embryonic-like stem cells in adult bone marrow tissues has the potential to revolutionize the field of regenerative medicine. These very small embryonic-like cells (VSELs) may lead to new treatments for cancer, heart disease, eye disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders.

“My work would not be possible without the longstanding support of Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Brown Cancer Center, to my program,” Ratajczak said. “I also consider the award as recognition to my team of collaborators:  Magda Kucia, Ph.D., D.Sci., Janina Ratajczak, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci., Malwina Suszynska, Ph.D., and Gabriela Schneider, Ph.D., who are working with me to employ VSELs in regenerative medicine.”

Recently, Ratajczak’s research team has developed a promising strategy to expand VSELs, opening a door for using the cells in regenerative medicine as a promising alternative to other stem cells.

Ratajczak also is known for his work on novel mechanisms of mobilization and homing of stem cells, the biological role of extracellular microvesicles and molecular mechanisms of cancer metastasis. His work is supported by two R01 grants. He holds the Stella and Henry Hoenig Endowed Chair in Cancer Biology.

 

Jan. 28, 2016

UofL medical school dean recognized for Army Medical Department support

Lt. Col. J. Patrick Staley, right, presents a U.S. Army Medical Recruiting Brigade certificate of Appreciation to Toni Ganzel, M.D., dean of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Thursday (Jan. 28) at the University Club on the UofL campus. The recognition was granted for the support shown by Ganzel and the medical school across a variety of activities, including partnership with UofL’s Paris Simulation Center with the brigade for education and training; the provision by UofL of discounted training supplies and training to uniformed personnel; access to medical school grounds for Brigade-sponsored Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter or “DRASH” exercises showing field medical operations; interaction between Brigade personnel and UofL students and residents; and more. Ganzel also received a battalion coin in recognition of the relationship that continues through the UofL Office of Military Initiatives and Partnerships and the Patriot Partnership Program. “We thank Dean Ganzel and the School of Medicine for their support of the Army Medical Recruiting Brigade and seek to further our partnership in the future,” Staley said.

Latest developments in the artificial heart to be discussed at Beer with a Scientist Feb. 10

UofL researchers will review technology that helps restore the lives of patients suffering from advanced heart failure and describe the process for obtaining FDA approval for medical devices
Latest developments in the artificial heart to be discussed at Beer with a Scientist Feb. 10

Steven Koenig, Ph.D. and Mark Slaughter, M.D.

At the next edition of Beer with a Scientist, Steven Koenig, Ph.D., a professor and endowed chair in the Departments of Bioengineering and Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the University of Louisville, and Mark Slaughter, M.D., chair of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, will share the latest developments in artificial heart technology.

Over the past 20 years, Koenig and Slaughter have been instrumental in partnering with industry to develop medical devices that have restored the lives of patients suffering from advanced heart failure. At the next Beer with a Scientist event on Feb. 10, they will discuss the latest developments in medical devices used in patients suffering from heart failure and describe the engineering, research, testing and implementation that goes into getting FDA approval for the use of medical devices.

The program begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

The Beer with a Scientist program began in 2014 and is the brainchild of UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D. Once a month, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.

Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged.

Organizers add that they also encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

For more information and to suggest future Beer with a Scientist topics, follow Louisville Underground Science on Facebook.

 

Feb. 3, 2016

UofL family and geriatric medicine chair named to U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Diane Harper joins panel charged with making national recommendations on clinical preventive services
UofL family and geriatric medicine chair named to U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Diane Harper, M.D.

University of Louisville’s Rowntree Professor and Endowed Chair of Family and Geriatric Medicine, Diane Medved Harper, M.D., has beenappointed to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an appointed panel that issues evidence-based recommendations about clinical preventive services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications.

Harper is one of four new members to the 16-member task force. Other new members are: John W. Epling, Jr., M.D., State University of New York Upstate Medical University.; C. Seth. Landefeld, M.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham; and Carol M. Mangione, M.D., University of California, Los Angeles.

The task force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. Members come from throughout health-related fields, including internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health, obstetrics/gynecology and nursing. Members are appointed to serve four-year terms by the director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The University of Louisville is proud to congratulate Dr. Harper on this prestigious new appointment,” Toni Ganzel, M.D., dean of the UofL School of Medicine, said. “We are confident that her experience in family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology and her dedication to prevention and evidence-based medicine will serve the task force, health care professionals, patients and the nation well.”

In addition to holding an endowed professorship and chair, Harper also serves as a professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health; a professor of bioengineering at the Speed School of Engineering; and a professor of epidemiology and population health and of health promotion and behavioral health sciences in the School of Public Health and Information Sciences. Her expertise and primary research focus is prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases related to human papillomavirus.

“On behalf of my fellow Task Force members, I am pleased to welcome Dr. Harper to the Task Force,” said Task Force Chair Albert Siu, M.D., of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. “Her expertise in the areas of medical education, preventive medicine and obstetrics and gynecology will be an important addition to the Task Force.”

“We congratulate Dr. Harper on her appointment to the Task Force,” said Ruth W. Brinkley, president and CEO of KentuckyOne Health, the largest health system in Kentucky and partner in care with the UofL School of Medicine. “It’s an honor for the Commonwealth of Kentucky to be represented on the national level by Dr. Harper. We know her experience will bring significant value to shape health and wellness across the United States.”

Gut environment could reduce severity of malaria

UofL and Tennessee researchers find that gut microbes influence disease
Gut environment could reduce severity of malaria

Nathan Schmidt, Ph.D.

Posted Feb. 8, 2016

Microorganisms in the gut could play a role in reducing the severity of malaria, according to a new study co-authored by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Louisville.

Steven Wilhelm, the Kenneth and Blaire Mossman Professor in UT's Department of Microbiology, and Shawn Campagna, associate professor of chemistry at UT, partnered with Nathan Schmidt, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at U of L, to examine the gut microbiomes of mice. They discovered that the severity of malaria is not only a function of the parasite or the host but also is influenced by the microbes in the infected organism.

The research could one day help scientists develop new treatments for malaria in humans.

The findings will be published Feb. 8, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Unfortunately, we are still years away from an effective and easily administered malaria vaccine, and drug resistance is a growing concern," Schmidt said.

Wilhelm added, "The research provides a potential new avenue to investigate factors that control the severity of malaria. With 1 million people dying each year, many of whom are young children, any approach that may save even a few lives is worth following up on."

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease, and those with the illness often experience fever, chills and flu-like symptoms. It may be fatal if left untreated. Malaria transmissions typically occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

During the study, the research team found that genetically similar mice acquired from different vendors showed significant differences in pathology after infection with malaria. The researchers measured the mice gut microbiomes—via DNA sequencing of the bacteria in the digestive tract—and noted significant differences within the different populations. Schmidt directly transferred the gut microbiomes to other mice and was able to show that the differences in disease severity were transferred.

The researchers observed an increased abundance of bacteria common in yogurt in the mice that exhibited reduced malaria pathology. When mice were fed a yogurt containing these bacteria the researchers discovered that the severity of malaria decreased.

"These results demonstrate the possibility of modifying the gut microbiome to prevent severe malaria," Schmidt said.

Wilhelm noted that while the research interventions lessened the severity of malaria in mice, it did not prevent or cure it.

The researchers are a long way from perfecting similar treatments in humans but are working on understanding the mechanism.

"A way to help people who are infected—and especially a simple and cheap way, as much of the infection occurs in the developing world—would be a great service to society," Wilhelm said.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society and Wilhelm's Mossman Professorship.

UofL adds cardiothoracic surgeon from Boston

Frank A. Pigula, M.D., joins UofL and Kosair Children’s Hospital staff
UofL adds cardiothoracic surgeon from Boston

Frank A. Pigula, M.D.

A nationally and internationally recognized expert in complex congenital heart disease has joined the faculty of the University of Louisville School of Medicine Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. Frank A. Pigula, M.D., comes to Louisville from Boston where he was the clinical director of the pediatric cardiac surgery program at the Children’s Hospital of Boston, rated number one in cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report. Pigula also was an associate professor of surgery at Harvard University School of Medicine.

Pigula will perform both clinical and laboratory research at UofL. He has ongoing clinical studies to document neurodevelopmental outcomes in neonates using a technique he developed in Boston to reduce circulatory arrest times in an effort to reduce bypass-related neurologic injury. He also is conducting laboratory research on protecting the brain from bypass‑related brain injury during surgery.

“We are extremely pleased to bring a world-class clinician and researcher such as Dr. Pigula to UofL. He will be a tremendous asset in training the next generation of physicians in cutting edge cardiovascular and thoracic surgery,” said Mark S. Slaughter, M.D., chair of UofL’s Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.

Pigula also will practice with University of Louisville Physicians and will serve as chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Kosair Children’s Hospital. He is expected to begin seeing patients next month. He joins Erle H. Austin, III, M.D., who has been chief of cardiovascular surgery at the hospital for 26 years and will now focus on direct patient care, and Deborah J. Kozik, D.O.; both practice with ULP-Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. Pigula and Christopher Johnsrude, M.D., chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at UofL, will serve as co-directors of the Kosair Children’s Hospital Heart Center.

“Kosair Children’s Hospital is dedicated to ensuring children needing complex care for heart issues do not need to leave Kentucky,” said Thomas D. Kmetz, Norton Healthcare division president, Women’s and Children’s Services and Kosair Children’s Hospital. “With Dr. Pigula’s leadership, we expect to see the care we can provide to children with heart issues continue to grow.”

Pigula earned his medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine and completed his residency in general surgery and surgery research fellowship at Medical Center Hospital, College of Vermont and UVM College of Medicine. He completed a residency in cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh and a fellowship in congenital cardiovascular surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Boston.

At the Children’s Hospital of Boston, Pigula served as the clinical director of the pediatric cardiac surgery program since 2004, the director of the neonatal surgical program since 2010, and surgical director of the pediatric cardiac neurodevelopmental program since 2007 before moving to Louisville. He is a member of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery Scholarship Committee and Education Committee.

Pigula is widely published and is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in complex congenital heart disease. He is on the editorial board of Pediatric Cardiology, Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, and Case Reports in Medicine, and is an ad hoc reviewer of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Pediatrics, The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, Circulation and Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

University of Louisville Physicians, Kosair Children’s Hospital program offers specialized care for adult congenital heart disease

Nearly one in every 100 babies is born with some type of heart defect, making congenital heart disease the most common birth defect. But thanks to advances in medical care, more than 90 percent of these children now survive well into adulthood.

Because of this, there are now more adults living with adult congenital heart disease than there are children, according to the Adult Congenital Heart Association. In all, there are more than 2 million people of all ages with congenital heart disease in the United States alone. Hundreds are in Kentucky, not knowing they may need specialized care. But a new program of University of Louisville Physicians and Kosair Children’s Hospital fills the gap in care with a statewide network of specialized services.

Congenital heart disease is a lifelong problem - even if a defect is successfully repaired during childhood. Those who have the condition may experience long-term problems, such as difficulty with exercise, disturbances in heart rhythm, infections and heart failure, and will benefit from lifelong medical management. There is also the potential need for additional surgery

Patients can be at high risk for sudden cardiac arrest, stroke and premature death, and their rates of emergency room visits and hospitalizations are higher than the general population. Many have cardiac issues that arise during pregnancy. All of these require monitoring by a specialist who understands the unique needs of an adult with congenital heart disease.

“This is a new and growing population of adult patients, and there have historically been few physicians in the U.S. specializing in congenital heart disease in adults,” said Dr. Craig Alexander, an adult congenital heart specialist for University of Louisville Physicians and Kosair Children’s Hospital who is the first physician in Kentucky and among the first in the nation to be fellowship-trained in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD).

“These patients often have a hard time finding doctors who understand their conditions and can care for their unique medical needs.”

With Alexander and a team of dedicated specialists, UofL Physicians and Kosair Children’s Hospital provide the care and resources in Kentucky and Southern Indiana for adult congenital heart care, helping patients live longer, healthier lives. The team works with the patient’s regular cardiologist to provide both clinical and procedural care for adults, including advanced diagnostic testing and cardiac imaging, interventional catheterizations, including advanced device implantation and complex arrhythmia therapies, as well as complex surgical procedures.

For patients, the program can mean living healthier, longer lives.

“I was diagnosed as having a bicuspid aortic valve stenosis when I was 5,” Hannah Reed said. “After I turned 16 and everything was fine; I stopped seeing a cardiologist.”

Bicuspid aortic valve stenosis means the aortic valve of the heart only has 2 leaflets instead of 3. The aortic valve regulates blood flow from the heart into the aorta, the major blood vessel that brings blood to the body. With only 2 leaflets, the abnormal valve can leak or become narrow, causing the heart to pump harder requiring medications, cardiac catheterization and/or other minimally invasive or surgical procedures.

Reed is an example of the kinds of patients now finding their way to Dr. Alexander.

“When I became pregnant, several referrals brought me to Dr. Alexander, who has helped me through my baby’s birth. If I want to have more children, I’ll need closer monitoring and possibly even a procedure to open the valve.”

The UofL Physicians adult congenital heart program is co-directed by Alexander and Dr. Walter Sobczyk, who has been treating ACHD patients for more than 25 years. Alexander recently joined the UofL Physicians staff from Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

In addition to Louisville, pediatric cardiologists with UofL Physicians travel to eight rotating sites across the state to see patients who cannot easily make the trip.

To refer a patient to the UofL Physicians adult congenital heart program, call 502-585-4802. To connect with the Kosair Children’s Hospital Heart Center, call 502-629-6000.

For more information on the program and adult congenital heart disease, visit the UofL Physicians web page at www.uoflphysicians.com/adult-congenital-heart-disease. For more information on the Kosair Children’s Hospital Heart Center, visit https://kosairchildrenshospital.com/Pages/congenitalheartservicesforadultpatients.aspx.

About University of Louisville Physicians

University of Louisville Physiciansisthe largest multispecialty physician practice in the Louisville region, with nearly 600 primary care and specialty physicians in more than 78 specialties and subspecialties. Our doctors are the professors and researchers of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, teaching tomorrow’s physicians and leading research into medical advancements.

About Kosair Children’s Hospital

As Kentucky and Southern Indiana’s only full-service, free-standing pediatric hospital, Kosair Children’s Hospital, along with its predecessor hospitals, have cared for children for more than a century without regard to their families’ ability to pay. The hospital also is an advocate for the health and well-being of all children. The 267-bed hospital is the region’s only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center and serves as the primary pediatric teaching facility for the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Specialists offer comprehensive pediatric care including a full range of services for congenital and acquired heart disease, cancer care, neurosciences, spine and orthopaedic care, and neonatal care. In 2007 and 2012, Kosair Children’s Hospital received the prestigious Magnet designation recognizing excellence in nursing from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. More information is available at KosairChildrensHospital.com.

More evidence found on potential harmful effects of e-cigarettes

UofL researcher will present findings at AAAS meeting Friday
More evidence found on potential harmful effects of e-cigarettes

Daniel J. Conklin, Ph.D.

While e-cigarette use is increasing worldwide, little is known about the health effects e-cigarettes pose for users. A University of Louisville researcher is working to change that status.

Daniel J. Conklin, Ph.D., professor of medicine in UofL’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, will discuss his early research identifying potentially harmful effects of e-cigarettes at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting.

Conklin will be among a three-member panel discussing “New and Emerging Tobacco Products: Biomarkers of Exposure and Injury,” Friday, Feb. 12, from 8-9:30 a.m. at the Marshall Ballroom East of the Marriott Wardman Park, 2660 Woodley Rd. Northwest, Washington.

Conklin will share new data showing that e-cigarettes have been shown to speed up atherosclerosis – the plaque-causing disease that leads to heart attack, stroke and peripheral arterial disease. When atherosclerosis affects the arteries of the heart, it is known as coronary artery disease, a condition that affects more than 15 million Americans and causes 500,000 deaths annually.

“Currently, we do not know whether e-cigarettes are harmful,” Conklin said. “They do not generate smoke as do conventional cigarettes but they do generate an aerosol – the vapor – that alters indoor air quality and contains toxic aldehydes. We investigated the direct effects of these toxins on cardiovascular disease in the laboratory.”

Conklin and his team exposed one set of mice to varying levels of e-cigarette aerosol, tobacco smoke, smokeless tobacco or to an aldehyde produced by tobacco, acrolein, which is thought to pose 80-85 percent of the non-cancer health risk of tobacco smoke. Another set of mice was exposed to nicotine alone to understand whether nicotine by itself had any effect.

Not surprisingly and consistent with previous studies, exposure to tobacco smoke increased the amount of atherosclerosis in mice. At the same time, the research team found that either e-cigarette aerosol or smokeless tobacco exposure alone also increased atherosclerosis.

Conklin was particularly intrigued by the results seen with exposure to acrolein or nicotine alone. “Somewhat surprising was the finding that either nicotine alone or acrolein alone at levels equivalent to those present in smokeless tobacco or mainstream smoke also increased atherosclerosis in mice.

“These findings indicate that multiple tobacco-derived constituents have cardiovascular disease-causing potential."

Interferon not beneficial for most stage III melanoma

Final results of trial begun in 1997 show improved diagnostics make aggressive treatment unnecessary for many patients with metastasized skin cancer
Interferon not beneficial for most stage III melanoma

Kelly M. McMasters, M.D., Ph.D.

Final results for the Sunbelt Melanoma Trial, published online this month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, show that thanks to current diagnostic techniques, most stage III melanoma patients do not benefit from treatment with interferon. Kelly McMasters, M.D., Ph.D., the Ben A. Reid, Sr., M.D. Professor and Chair of the Hiram C. Polk, Jr., M.D. Department of Surgery at the University of Louisville, was the principal investigator and initiated the trial.

The first of more than 3600 trial participants were enrolled in 1997. Patients with small amounts of melanoma detected in a single lymph node were either treated with high-dose interferon therapy or simply observed. The patients, representing 79 institutions across North America, were followed for up to 10 years to determine long-term outcomes in terms of disease-free survival and overall survival.

Interferon was approved by the FDA in 1995 as a therapy for melanoma based on a study of patients with multiple large, palpable lymph nodes involved with cancer. However, the development of sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy in the 1990s made it possible for physicians to detect microscopic amounts of cancer in lymph nodes that could not be detected by hand.

Patients in the Sunbelt Trial were those with melanoma detected in a single lymph node by SLN biopsy. They were considered stage III because of the presence of melanoma in the lymph nodes, but the smaller amounts of cancer detected meant they had lower risk of cancer recurrence than previous stage III patients. McMasters, director of the Multidisciplinary Melanoma Clinic and associate director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at UofL, said the trial also studied patients with an even smaller amount of cancer in the lymph nodes, detected only at the molecular level using polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

“We started the Sunbelt Melanoma Trial to determine whether interferon therapy was warranted in this relatively lower risk group of stage III patients,” McMasters said. “What we found was that there was no evidence that interferon was necessary or helpful for this substantial group of melanoma patients. That saves many patients the toxicity and expense of interferon therapy, which is like having the flu, only worse, for a whole year. While the study did not quite meet its accrual goals and was underpowered to detect very small differences in survival, there was not even a trend for improvement in survival with interferon. Based on these findings, it would be hard to recommend interferon therapy for patients with minimal cancer in just one lymph node.”

McMasters said that in practice today, most patients have the smaller level of cancer detected in the lymph nodes.

While interferon is still one of the two FDA-approved drugs for adjuvant therapy for high-risk melanoma, McMasters believes options now in the pipeline and further research into the molecular behavior of cancer cells will reveal more advantageous treatments for those with limited lymph node metastases.

“Newer studies of melanoma adjuvant therapy using immune checkpoint agents, such as PD-1 inhibitors, show much promise,” McMasters said. “I think more work needs to be performed to understand the significance of molecular detection of melanoma cells in the lymph nodes and in the circulating bloodstream. We now suspect that melanoma, as with other cancers, routinely sheds cancer cells into the lymphatic system and bloodstream, and that a small minority of these cells that have the ability to evade the immune system, attach, invade, develop their own blood supply and grow, will become metastatic tumors.”

 

The Sunbelt Melanoma Trial was funded by Schering Oncology Biotech. The sponsor had no involvement in the design, conduct, analysis or publication of the work


February 15, 2016

Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke

UofL brain researcher and Japanese collaborators demonstrate the importance of oral health in stroke
Oral bacteria linked to risk of stroke

Robert P. Friedland, M.D.

In a study of patients entering the hospital for acute stroke, researchers have increased their understanding of an association between certain types of stroke and the presence of the oral bacteria (cnm-positive Streptococcus mutans). Robert P. Friedland, M.D., the Mason C. and Mary D. Rudd Endowed Chair and Professor in Neurology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, was a co-author of the study, published online this month in Scientific Reports, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group.

In the single hospital study, researchers at the National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan, observed stroke patients to gain a better understanding of the relationship between hemorrhagic stroke and oral bacteria. Among the patients who experienced intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), 26 percent were found to have a specific bacterium in their saliva, cnm-positive S. mutans. Among patients with other types of stroke, only 6 percent tested positive for the bacterium.

Strokes are characterized as either ischemic strokes, which involve a blockage of one or more blood vessels supplying the brain, or hemorrhagic strokes, in which blood vessels in the brain rupture, causing bleeding.

The researchers also evaluated MRIs of study subjects for the presence of cerebral microbleeds (CMB), small brain hemorrhages which may cause dementia and also often underlie ICH. They found that the number of CMBs was significantly higher in subjects with cnm-positive S. mutans than in those without.

The authors hypothesize that the S. mutans bacteria may bind to blood vessels weakened by age and high blood pressure, causing arterial ruptures in the brain, leading to small or large hemorrhages.

“This study shows that oral health is important for brain health. People need to take care of their teeth because it is good for their brain and their heart as well as their teeth,” Friedland said. “The study and related work in our labs have shown that oral bacteria are involved in several kinds of stroke, including brain hemorrhages and strokes that lead to dementia.”

Multiple research studies have shown a close association between the presence of gum disease and heart disease, and a 2013 publication by Jan Potempa, Ph.D., D.Sc., of the UofL School of Dentistry, revealed how the bacterium responsible for gum disease worsens rheumatoid arthritis.

The cnm-negative S. mutans bacteria is found in approximately 10 percent of the general population, Friedland says, and is known to cause dental cavities (tooth decay). Friedland also is researching the role of oral bacteria in other diseases affecting the brain.

“We are investigating the role of oral and gut bacteria in the initiation of pathology in the neurodegenerative disorders Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s with collaborators in the United Kingdom and Japan.”

 

Feburary 16, 2016

Joseph Benitez, Ph.D.

Joseph Benitez, Ph.D.
Joseph Benitez, Ph.D.
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Liza Creel, Ph.D.

Liza Creel, Ph.D.
Liza Creel, Ph.D.
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J'Aime Jennings, Ph.D.

J'Aime Jennings, Ph.D.
J'Aime Jennings, Ph.D.
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Number of low-income Kentuckians without health insurance declined by 68 percent under Affordable Care Act

UofL study shows more of Kentucky’s low-income adults enrolled in health coverage

A University of Louisville study published Feb. 17 in Health Affairs found low-income Kentuckians without health insurance declined by 68 percent - from 35 percent uninsured at the end of 2013 to 11 percent in late 2014. Completed prior to Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s announcement to dismantle the state’s health exchange, kynect, the data supports trends of similar studies published nationally showing a drop in the number of uninsured Americans. Study findings also revealed declines in the number of people lacking a regular source of health care and those with unmet medical needs.

At the time of the study, Kentucky was one of two southern states to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The expansion raised Medicaid eligibility up to 138 percent of the poverty level as a means to make coverage more accessible and affordable for those likely to experience financial barriers to medical care.

The study was conducted by University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences Department of Health Management and Systems Sciences faculty Joseph Benitez, Ph.D., Liza Creel, Ph.D., M.P.H., and J’Aime Jennings, Ph.D. – all affiliates of the school’s Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky, a transdisciplinary collaborative for population health improvement and health policy analysis.

Using data from the 2006-14 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, an annual survey of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they focused on adults between the ages of 25 and 64 who reported an annual household income below $25,000, allowing them to capture a large segment of the population that could benefit from the expansion. Data from residents of Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia - three neighboring states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility - served as study controls.

“We found that low-income Kentuckians largely benefitted from the state’s decision to expand Medicaid relative to its neighbors in three measurable areas of access to health care,” Benitez said.  “Our findings may shed light on advantages other states may realize under the ACA-related expansions in public insurance coverage eligibility and decisions to expand Medicaid.”

Mixing the arts with hearts: The heART Show

Mixing the arts with hearts: The heART Show

This digital print by Nicholas Cook will be among the featured works at The heART Show, Feb. 24 at the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute. Cook is a student in UofL's Department of Fine Arts/Hite Art Institute.

As American Heart Month 2016 begins its final week, the arts will meet hearts as two University of Louisville institutes team up to highlight the work of both.

The Cardiovascular Innovation Institute (CII) and the Department of Fine Arts/Hite Art Institute will host “The heART Show,” featuring displays on research from the CII and art from the Hite institute. The event will be held 5:30-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 24, at the CII, 302 E. Muhammad Ali Blvd. Admission and valet parking are free.

Featured art will be provided by UofL faculty and students who are enrolled in the Department of Fine Arts. Associate Professor of Art Scott Massey, head of both the Studio Programs and Sculpture Programs, organized the art display

“Both the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute and the Hite Institute want to engage people outside of our usual audiences to encourage awareness of our respective programs,” Massey said.

Among the artists displaying their work are Nicholas Cook, showing a digital color print; Jackson Taylor with a silkscreen print; and Jenee Sue Rastry, showing a black and white photo superimposed with a digital design.

The heART Show is supported by Lenihan-Sotheby’s International Reality. For additional information, contact Danielle Jostes, 502-852-7448.

About the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute

Since opening its doors in 2007, the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute has focused on the discovery, development and implementation of innovative treatments for cardiovascular disease. The CII’s main goal is to foster a world-class collaborative, integrated, multi-disciplinary enterprise encompassing basic, translational, clinical and population research in cardiovascular disease, affecting individuals throughout their entire lifespan, from prenatal life to death. The CII is a partnership effort of the University of Louisville and the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence.

About the Hite Art Institute, Department of Fine Arts

Established in 1937 at the University of Louisville Department of Fine Arts and endowed as the Hite Art Institute in 1946, the institute is the most comprehensive fine arts program in Kentucky. Twenty-four full-time faculty members guide 400 undergraduate and graduate majors in the combined studio, art history and critical and curatorial studies areas. The institute offers a wide array of study specialty areas, including art history, ceramics, drawing, fiber, glass, graphic design, interior design, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and critical and curatorial studies. The institute was endowed in recognition of the bequest of Allen R. and Marcia S. Hite of Louisville.

Stem cells derived from fat tissue offer potential regenerative therapies for multiple diseases

Stuart Williams, Ph.D., of the UofL Bioficial Organs Program, delivers conference keynote address in Saudi Arabia
Stem cells derived from fat tissue offer potential regenerative therapies for multiple diseases

Stuart Williams, Ph.D.

Stem cells and other regenerative cells that have been isolated from a patient’s own fat tissue are being tested in the treatment of peripheral arterial disease, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, neurological disorders, erectile dysfunction and, most recently, Crohn’s Disease. Stuart Williams, Ph.D., director of the Bioficial Heart Program at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, pioneered the use of these cells and discussed advances in his research in a keynote address to open The 2nd Saudi International Biotechnology Conference this morning in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Fat-derived cells also are being tested at UofL for the ability to reduce the need for anti-rejection drugs in patients receiving transplanted organs, and pre-clinical studies are evaluating the use of the cells to improve the outcome of islet cell transplantation. UofL physicians are already performing pancreatic islet transplantation for the treatment of pancreatitis.

In today’s address, Williams also discussed the emerging use of additive manufacturing (3D printing) for the manufacture of medical devices and tissue implants. The program has made strides toward its 10-year goal of bioprinting a human heart from a patient’s own cells.

The conference, held in the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, is designed to build bridges of communication between scientists and specialists in Saudi Arabia and research and technical pioneers from institutions around the world.

“The Saudi Arabian government has made a major commitment to research, development and translation of regenerative medicine,” Williams said. “We have begun discussions regarding how investigators at UofL and in Saudi Arabia can create a strategic alliance to foster joint research and education in regenerative medicine.”

Williams’ research is supported in part by the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence and conducted at the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, a collaboration between the University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Health Care.

 

February 23, 2016

DeFilippis receives grant to test biomarker that may predict heart disease in women

Heart to Heart Grant from Alpha Phi Foundation to fund research that could reduce heart disease deaths
DeFilippis receives grant to test biomarker that may predict heart disease in women

Andrew DeFilippis M.D., M.Sc.

Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in women worldwide, including in the United States. Although deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in men have declined since the 1970s, the rates of death for women have not followed.

University of Louisville cardiologist Andrew DeFilippis, M.D., M.Sc., may be on the verge of a breakthrough in detecting cardiovascular disease before a heart attack occurs. Thanks to a $100,000 Heart to Heart Grant from Alpha Phi Foundation, DeFilippis will study archived blood samples from thousands of patients to determine whether the presence of certain lipids in a person’s bloodstream can be used to pinpoint women at risk for having a heart attack.

“This new test holds great promise for more accurately identifying women at risk for having a heart attack before any permanent heart damage occurs,” DeFilippis said. “It may allow for more targeted therapy for those at greatest risk of having a heart attack.”

The buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on the artery walls, known as atherosclerosis, is the underlying cause of heart attack and stroke. Atherosclerotic plaques contain large amounts of oxidized phospholipids (OxPL). DeFilippis believes that the release of OxPL from plaque out into the bloodstream may allow doctors to identify women at increased risk for cardiovascular disease events.

To test this theory, DeFilippis and his research team in UofL’s Institute of Molecular Cardiology will evaluate blood samples and data collected in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) trial, a multi-center prospective study of cardiovascular disease involving 6,814 men and women in six cities in the United States. Beginning in 2000, blood samples were taken and stored for MESA subjects, and their health was followed for up to a decade. DeFilippis plans to evaluate the blood samples and data to determine whether OxPL can be used as a biomarker in predicting cardiovascular disease.

“If our project confirms OxPL as a biomarker of atherosclerotic CVD, it opens the possibility of the development of a totally new class of medications for the treatment of CVD years before the onset of an acute event,” DeFilippis said.

Existing risk assessment tools focus on risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol and smoking. While these factors can predict whether a person is pre-disposed to the formation of plaques, it cannot confirm whether high-risk plaques actually exist. As a component of the plaque itself, OxPL has the potential to allow doctors to identify patients who actually have the dangerous plaques which may cause an acute cardiac event in the foreseeable future.

“The efforts associated with understanding a novel biomarker can cost millions and take decades to introduce to clinical practice. With this grant from Alpha Phi Foundation, we can take advantage of the wealth of data in the MESA study and test this promising biomarker with much less expenditure of funds and time.”

Alpha Phi Foundation is the philanthropic and educational partner of Alpha Phi International Fraternity. The foundation’s mission is to advance women’s lives through the power of philanthropy. Awarded annually, the Heart to Heart Grant funds research and educational programs that help medical professionals better understand heart disease in women – specifically its symptoms, treatment and prevention.

“The potential for the research Dr. DeFilippis is conducting is awe-inspiring,” said Susan Zabriskie, interim executive director of Alpha Phi Foundation. “We are proud to invest in this innovative study that can change the way women are diagnosed with and treated for heart disease. Together we can lessen the impact of heart disease in women for generations to come.”

 

February 28, 2016

UofL cancer program goes blue to help save lives

Texas Roadhouse will host ‘Go Blue for Colon Cancer Awareness,’ March 11

Once a year, the University of Louisville replaces its red with blue to drive home the need for colon cancer screening.

The Kentucky Cancer Program at UofL will team up with Texas Roadhouse, 6460 Dutchmans Parkway, and former Louisville First Lady Madeline Abramson for “Go Blue for Colon Cancer Awareness,” 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday, March 11, as part of the observance of March as Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

Attendees are invited to wear blue and visit the new Horses and Hope Screening Van, managed by KentuckyOne Health, that will be on site to provide colon cancer information and colon cancer “FIT” kits for patrons to self-screen in the privacy of their own homes. The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) kit tests for hidden blood in the stool which can be an early sign of cancer. FIT kits only detect human blood from the lower intestine. Medicines and food do not interfere with the test, so it tends to be more accurate and have fewer false positive results than other tests.

Giveaways will be provided to attendees who wear blue and visit the screening van. Anyone bringing a “Go Blue for Colon Cancer Awareness” flyer during the event will get a free appetizer with purchase of a meal at Texas Roadhouse. To obtain a flyer, visit the Kentucky Cancer Program website at kycancerprogram.org or Facebook page.

The Kentucky Cancer Program also is sponsoring a Facebook photo contest with the theme, “How Will YOU Do Blue?” Participants can post their dress-in-blue photos for the chance to win $250. For information, visit the contest website. Photos must be received by March 28 and the winner will be announced April 5.

Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that this year 136,830 people will be diagnosed and 50,310 will die from this disease.

With regular screening, however, colon cancer can be found early, when treatment is most effective. In many cases, screening can prevent colon cancer by finding and removing polyps before they become cancer. If cancer is present, earlier detection means a chance at a longer life.

For more details, contact the Kentucky Cancer Program at 502-852-6318.

Posted March 3, 2016

Cancer Awareness Show features something for everyone

Hillview event on May 21 benefits UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center
Cancer Awareness Show features something for everyone

Something of interest for the entire family – and the chance to help the fight against cancer – will be on tap at the “Cancer Awareness Show,” Saturday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hillview Community Center, 298 Prairie Drive.

Proceeds from the day’s activities will benefit research, community outreach and patient support programs of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville.

The event is comprised of three shows-within-the-show: a model train show including 9X9, 4X16 and 3X6 layouts; an arts and crafts show; and “Cruizin’ for Cancer,” a car, truck and motorcycle show and a model car show. Also included are a fire safety house sponsored by the Zoneton Fire Protection District; food and other vendor booths and prize and cash raffles. Representatives from Be The Match will be on hand to provide information about bone marrow donation. The James Graham Brown Cancer Center also will disseminate information on cancer prevention and treatment.

Admission is a cash donation to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center or canned goods to be donated to local food pantries.

“My vision is simple,” said show organizer Richard Luce Jr. “I want to get more information distributed about the multiple types of cancer and how we can prevent and treat it. I also want to support groups who help people dealing with cancer.”

The Hillview location on the southern side of Metro Louisville is by design, Luce said. “With the Hillview, Southern Jefferson County and Bullitt County areas growing, we need these types of events so people don’t always have to go to Downtown Louisville. The more we can help others with this disease (from throughout the region), the better we are.”

Like virtually every American, Luce has a personal connection to cancer. His father died from the disease in June 2013.

“Since my father’s passing, I have striven to improve cancer awareness,” Luce said. “We hear a lot about different types of cancers but how well informed are people about their personal risk and the importance of testing? Perhaps even more importantly, how can we help generate the necessary funding for cancer research and financial aid to those families affected by cancer?

“I am motivated to honor the memory of my father and to hopefully prevent others from enduring the pain of losing a loved one to cancer. In honor of my father’s memory, I have established the Cancer Awareness Show.”

Vendor spaces are still available, Luce said. A vendor space is $20 if paid by 5 p.m., March 31. The cost is $25 if paid from April 1 to the day of the show.

Sponsorships for the show also are available: Platinum, $1,000; Gold, $500; Silver, $300; and Bronze, $100.

For information on vendors, sponsorships or the show, contact Luce at Bigscoby4@yahoo.com, CancerAwareness15@yahoo.com or 502-802-8308.

About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center is a key component of the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center. As part of the region's leading academic, research and teaching health center, the cancer center provides the latest medical advances to patients, often long before they become available in non-teaching settings. The JGBCC is a part of KentuckyOne Health and is affiliated with the Kentucky Cancer Program. It is the only cancer center in the region to use a unified approach to cancer care, with multidisciplinary teams of physicians working together to guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery. For more information, visit our web site, www.browncancercenter.org.

Posted March 9, 2016

UofL medical students earn award for plan to improve physician wellbeing

Students’ model to reduce physician burnout earns $1,000 award from the American Medical Association
UofL medical students earn award for plan to improve physician wellbeing

Med Ed Innovation Challenge authors Ruberg, Neal, Yared and Deshmukh

Staying mentally and physically well in medical school and throughout their careers is a top concern for medical students.

“I think physician burnout is a looming fear that lingers over all medical students,” said Melinda Ruberg, a second-year student at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. “We are looking for solutions early on as opposed to waiting until we are physicians and have a higher risk of burnout.”

Ruberg and classmates Matthew Neal, Anish Deshmukh and Katherine Yared have developed a model for medical schools to educate physicians in a way that improves their own health, enabling them to better treat their patients. The program, “Happy Healers, Healthy Humans: A wellness curricular model as a means of effecting cultural change, reducing burnout and improving patient outcomes,” received third place in the American Medical Association’s inaugural Medical Education Innovation Challenge. The award, announced earlier this week at the AMA Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium in Hershey, Pa., comes with a $1,000 prize.

The competition challenged medical student-led teams to develop a program to solve a problem in medical education. Entries consisted of a five-page paper and 90-second video, which were judged based on the proposed solution to the problem and the plan’s potential to improve medical practice and patient care.

Several aspects of the team’s plan to support a more compassionate approach to medical education already are in place at UofL, such as a student wellness committee, patient interview sessions for preclinical students, and faculty members who champion an environment of compassion as part of the school’s Compassion and Mindfulness Work Team. In addition, the student team suggested elements such as mutual accountability, health monitoring technology and the creation of wellness-oriented spaces in medical schools.

“A big part of our project was making wellness not something you do on the side, but institutionalizing it so it is more of a cultural shift and is fostered within the system,” Ruberg said.

The students’ plan expanded on programs they experienced at UofL and incorporated ideas based on each team member's previous experiences, observations and research.

“We played to our strengths. We each contributed ideas we wanted to see in the paper,” Yared said. “A lot of the ideas stemmed from just brainstorming and how we see other people do things well.”

“We each contributed different things, but it was a beautifully collaborative thing,” Ruberg said.

To further their commitment to physician wellbeing, the students are working to bring an international compassion conference to Louisville. On a personal level, the project has inspired them to improve aspects of their own health. Neal has recommitted to daily meditation. Deshmukh has analyzed his study habits and begun to take a multivitamin. In addition, they would like to work with other UofL medical students to develop activities that encourage physicians to model healthy lives for their patients.

The AMA’s innovation challenge drew nearly 150 entries. A team from Vanderbilt University placed first for their plan to create an open national exchange for curricular content. A Sidney Kimmel Medical College team placed second, and a group from Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine tied with UofL for third.

 

March 10, 2016

Seminar offers care guidance for couples after cancer treatment

Seminar offers care guidance for couples after cancer treatment

Daniela Wittmann, Ph.D.

A March 28 workshop is designed to help cancer care providers support and provide resources for patients and families coping with sexual dysfunction related to chronic illness and treatment.

Daniela Wittmann, Ph.D., University of Michigan clinical assistant professor of urology, will present “Assessing and Treating Sexual Dysfunction After Cancer Treatment: The Role of the Oncology Social Worker.”

The University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work, Baptist Health Cancer Care and Hosparus co-sponsor the 12:30-4 p.m. event in the Cancer Resource Center Conference Room of the Charles and Mimi Osborn Cancer Center, Baptist Health Louisville, 4003 Kresge Way.

The seminar is intended for the social workers, oncology nurses, doctors and caregivers who help cancer patients through the grief process, treatment and recovery.

The workshop and lunch are free but registration is required by March 21 at http://uofl.me/1PkxEYu. Three continuing education units are available for social workers for $30 during the National Social Work Month event.

Wittmann will discuss a biopsychosocial approach to understanding sexual dysfunction after cancer treatment and providing treatment geared to improving recovery of sexual function and relationships.

She is co-author of the American Cancer Society guideline for prostate cancer survivorship care and has led the development of psychosocial interventions in the University of Michigan’s program. She has more than 30 years of clinical experience focusing on adjustment to chronic illness.

For more information, contact Karen Kayser at 502-852-1946 or karen.kayser@louisville.edu.

Posted March 11, 2016

UofL medical school dean appointed to national accrediting committee

UofL medical school dean appointed to national accrediting committee

Toni Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A.

Toni Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, has been appointed to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the governing body that accredits medical education programs throughout the United States and Canada. Her three-year term begins July 1.

Ganzel will be one of 19 voting members of the LCME – 15 medical educators/administrators/ practicing physicians, two public members and two medical students. Each year, the LCME reviews annual survey data and written reports on all accredited U.S. and Canadian medical schools, and conducts survey visits to 20-30 institutions.

LCME accreditation is a peer-reviewed process of quality assurance that determines whether a medical education program meets established standards. This process also fosters institutional and programmatic improvement.

To achieve and maintain accreditation, a medical education program leading to the M.D. degree in the United States and Canada must meet the LCME’s accreditation standards. Programs are required to demonstrate that their graduates exhibit general professional competencies that are appropriate for entry to the next stage of their training and serve as the foundation for lifelong learning and proficient medical care.

For medical education programs located in the United States, accreditation by the LCME establishes eligibility for selected federal grants and programs. Most state boards of licensure also require that U.S. medical schools granting the M.D. degree be accredited by the LCME as a condition for licensure of their graduates.

Eligibility of students in M.D.-granting schools to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination requires LCME accreditation of their school. Graduates of LCME-accredited schools are eligible for residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Ganzel’s appointment follows the UofL School of Medicine’s success in revising its program and seeing the probationary status of the school fully lifted in 2015.

“I am honored that the LCME has selected me for the important task of surveying medical schools that are scheduled for accreditation review, and I view this appointment as one of the highlights of my career,” Ganzel said. “At UofL, we learned a great deal during our own accreditation review, and developed strong systems that modernized our program of education and training for physicians of the 21st Century. I look forward to bringing that perspective to the LCME and working with colleagues to help shape the future of medical education.”

About Toni Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A.

Toni Ganzel was named dean in 2013 and joined UofL in 1983 as an assistant professor in otolaryngology. She served as director of the division of otolaryngology at UofL from 1993 to 2001, when she was named associate dean of student affairs for the School of Medicine. A native of New Mexico, Ganzel earned her bachelor of science and medical degrees from the University of Nebraska. She earned a master’s degree in business administration/medical group management from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. She completed her residency in otolaryngology at the University of Nebraska before joining the faculty at the Creighton University School of Medicine. She is a Harvard Macy Fellow and a fellow of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program, the nation’s only in-depth program for women leaders in academic health care.

Beer with a Scientist: Up close and personal with personalized precision medicine, Mar. 23

Learn how a patient’s DNA can be used to improve medical treatments at the next Beer with a Scientist
Beer with a Scientist:  Up close and personal with personalized precision medicine, Mar. 23

Roland Valdes Jr., Ph.D.

Roland Valdes Jr., Ph.D., will explain how personalized precision medicine uses an individual patient’s genetic material (DNA) to improve drug treatments for that patient at the next Beer with a Scientist on March 23.

Valdes, a Distinguished University Scholar and professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Louisville, has researched and patented biological markers that can be used to personalize a patient’s treatment for a specific disease. By analyzing a patient’s DNA, pathologists can pinpoint whether that individual may be susceptible to adverse events, respond well to a specific medication, or experience drug sensitivities or interactions.

The program begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Mar. 23 at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

The Beer with a Scientist program began in 2014 and is the brainchild of UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D. Once a month, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.

Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged.

Organizers add that they also encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

For more information and to suggest future Beer with a Scientist topics, follow Louisville Underground Science on Facebook.

 

March 16, 2016

Free legal clinic for people with cancer set for April 13

Three area organizations are teaming up to sponsor a free legal clinic for people facing cancer and their families and caregivers on April 13.

The Kentucky Cancer Program at the University of Louisville, Louisville Bar Association and Louisville Pro Bono Consortium are sponsoring the clinic, which will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 13 at Gilda’s Club of Louisville, 633 Baxter Ave. Free parking is available behind the building and across the street from the club.

At the clinic, attorneys will be available to offer help with life-planning documents under Medicare Part D, including wills, powers of attorney, health care surrogacy and living wills. They also will provide guidance on employee benefits during illness and government assistance that is available such as Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security disability insurance.

Although admission is free, RSVPs in advance are needed at 502-852-6318. For additional information, contact the Kentucky Cancer Program at jlcaud02@louisville.edu or 502-852-6318.

UofL pediatrician joins line-up for ‘Rally to End Child Abuse’ on March 30

Kentucky Governor and First Lady lead program to draw attention to issue
UofL pediatrician joins line-up for ‘Rally to End Child Abuse’ on March 30

Melissa Currie, M.D.

Melissa Currie, M.D., will be among the speakers who “Rally to End Child Abuse,” beginning at 11 a.m., Wednesday, March 30, at the Big Four Bridge Lawn on River Road.

Sponsored by the Family & Children’s Place, Kosair Charities’ Face It® Movement, and other Metro Louisville children’s organizations, the Rally to End Child Abuse kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

Currie will join a slate of speakers including Gov. and First Lady Matt and Glenna Bevin, Family & Children’s Place President and CEO Pam Darnall, Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Steve Conrad, Kosair Charities Board Chair Jerry Ward and Kentucky Youth Advocates Executive Director Terry Brooks.

Currie is medical director and chief of the Kosair Charities Division of Pediatric Forensic Medicine and program director of the Child Abuse Pediatrics Fellowship in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Louisville. The division provides a standardized approach to the assessment of child abuse and neglect issues, providing medical expertise on the diagnosis, documentation and follow-up of suspected cases of child physical abuse and neglect. The first board certified child-abuse pediatrician in Kentucky, Currie practices with University of Louisville Physicians.

The pediatric forensic medicine team serves as liaison between the hospital team and community partners such as law enforcement, Child Protective Services and the Department of Justice. The UofL Department of Pediatrics serves with Kosair Children's Hospital as the only statewide medical referral resource for child maltreatment assessments.

The “Rally to End Child Abuse” highlights progress being made in stopping and preventing abuse and healing child survivors and families. According to 2014 data, nearly 23,000 children suffered physical or sexual abuse or neglect in Kentucky. In Jefferson County, that number totaled more than 3,016 children. Abuse creates a lifelong impact in emotional and physical health, in relationships and in every facet of a child’s life through adulthood.

For more information, visit faceitabuse.org.

 

Lecture on sex after 60 concludes spring optimal aging lecture series, April 13

Lecture on sex after 60 concludes spring  optimal aging lecture series, April 13

The Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging at the University of Louisville concludes its spring Optimal Aging Lecture Series with the conversation “Sexy After 60,” Wednesday, April 13. The lecture will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University Club, 200 E. Brandeis Ave.

Admission is $20 per person and includes lunch. Reservations are required online. Click here to register. Registration deadline is April 8.

Terry Singer, Ph.D., dean of the Kent School of Social Work at UofL, will present an engaging conversation on the often taboo topic of older adult sexuality and relationships.

Most people believe that after a certain age, attractiveness and sexual appeal are lost. This presentation will show how this belief is false. Singer will share his lifelong professional expertise in adult relationships and older adult sexuality, providing listeners with techniques they can use to keep intimacy alive in their relationships as they age.

The Institute’s Optimal Aging Lecture Series will resume in September for the fall season. For information, call 502-852-8953 or email natalie.pope@louisville.edu.

UofL honors late leader in hematologic malignancies, bone marrow transplantation with newly established symposium, April 8-9

UofL honors late leader in hematologic malignancies, bone marrow transplantation with newly established symposium, April 8-9

Geoffrey Herzig, M.D.

Advancing early knowledge in treating leukemias, myelomas and other blood-borne cancers was the hallmark of the late University of Louisville physician-researcher Geoffrey Peter Herzig’s life, so it is a fitting tribute to him that a new symposium in the same field has been established by UofL.

The inaugural Geoffrey P. Herzig, M.D., Memorial Symposium for Hematologic Malignancies and Bone Marrow Transplantation will be held April 8-9 at the Jewish Hospital Rudd Heart & Lung Conference Center, 201 Abraham Flexner Way. Thanks to support from presenting sponsor Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation, along with others, there is no cost to attend but registration in advance is required at rebecca.thurman@louisville.edu or 502-562-3367. Continuing education credit is available for physicians and nurses attending the symposium.

Designed for health care professionals, the symposium will cover the latest advances in hematologic malignancies and bone marrow transplantation with speakers from the United States, Canada and England. William Tse, M.D., the Marion F. Beard Chair of Hematology and chief, Division of Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation at UofL, is symposium chair. Roger Herzig, M.D., who held co-division chief positions prior to Tse with his brother Geoffrey, is honorary co-chair of the symposium.

“Geoffrey Herzig developed or participated in advancing many of the cancer therapies and interventions we take for granted now,” Tse said. “This memorial symposium is an opportunity to honor both the person he was and the innovative spirit that drove his work.”

Herzig died in 2013 after a career that spanned the National Cancer Institute and cancer centers in the states of Missouri, New York and Kentucky. The hematopoietic stem cell dose used in transplantation today was determined by Herzig while he was at the NCI. He also was the founding director of the adult bone marrow transplant program at Barnes Hospital, Washington University at St. Louis. In 1990, Herzig joined the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y., to focus on research in acute myeloid leukemia, his area of special interest. In 2000, the Herzig brothers came to UofL to co-direct the bone marrow transplant program at UofL and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, now a partnership of UofL and KentuckyOne Health.

“If you’re a young physician who does bone marrow transplants or treats people with leukemia, you may not realize how much you and your patients owe to Geoff Herzig,” said noted physician-scientist and editor-in-chief of Leukemia, Robert Peter Gale, M.D., Ph.D., of Imperial College London and one of the symposium speakers.

For more details about the symposium, visit the conference website.

 

UofL School of Medicine supports the Obama Administration’s new actions to address prescription opioid abuse, heroin epidemic

UofL School of Medicine supports the Obama Administration’s new actions to address prescription opioid abuse, heroin epidemic

On March 29, the University of Louisville School of Medicine joined with 60 other schools and colleges of medicine from throughout the United States in support of new actions to address prescription opioid abuse and the national heroin epidemic.

President Barack Obama joined individuals in recovery, family members, medical professionals, law enforcement officials and other leaders at the National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. The annual summit is organized by Operation UNITE, which was launched by Kentucky Rep. Hal Rogers.  As part of the event, the President announced these additional public and private sector actions to escalate the fight against the prescription opioid abuse and heroin epidemic, which is claiming the lives of tens of thousands of Americans each year.

The President has made clear that addressing this epidemic is a priority for his Administration, and today’s actions represent further steps to expand access to treatment, prevent overdose deaths and increase community prevention strategies.  These actions build on the President’s proposal for $1.1 billion in new funding to help every American with an opioid use disorder who wants treatment get the help they need.

As part of the March 29 event, the President announced the following Administration actions:

    Expanding Access to Treatment:

      The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing a proposed rule to increase the current patient limit for qualified physicians who prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid use disorders from 100 to 200 patients with the goal of expanding access to this evidence-based treatment while preventing diversion.  The proposed rule aims to increase access to medication-assisted treatment and behavioral health supports for tens of thousands of people with opioid use disorders.

      HHS released $94 million in new funding to 271 Community Health Centers across the country earlier this month to increase substance use disorder treatment services, with a specific focus on expanding medication-assisted treatment of opioid use disorders in underserved communities.  This funding is expected to help health centers treat nearly 124,000 new patients with substance use disorders.

      The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is releasing a new $11 million funding opportunity for up to 11 states to expand their medication-assisted treatment services.  SAMHSA also is distributing 10,000 pocket guides for clinicians that include a checklist for prescribing medication for opioid use disorder treatment and integrating non-pharmacologic therapies into treatment.  SAMHSA also will coordinate trainings to increase the number of doctors qualified to prescribe buprenorphine, which will be held in targeted states in greatest need.

        Establishing a Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force: The President signed a memorandum on March 29 directing the creation of an interagency Task Force, to be chaired by the Domestic Policy Council, to advance access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment; promote compliance with best practices for mental health and substance use disorder parity implementation; and develop additional agency guidance as needed.  Federal parity protections are intended to ensure that health plans’ coverage of mental health and substance use disorder benefits is comparable to their coverage of medical and surgical benefits.  The Task Force will work quickly, with an Oct. 31 deadline, across Federal Departments and with diverse stakeholders to ensure implementation of these important parity protections.

            Implementing Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity in Medicaid:  HHS is finalizing a rule to strengthen access to mental health and substance use services for people enrolled in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) plans by requiring that these benefits be offered at parity, meaning  that they be comparable to medical and surgical benefits.  These protections are expected to benefit more than 23 million people in Medicaid and CHIP.

                Preventing Opioid Overdose Deaths: SAMHSA is releasing a new $11 million funding opportunity to states to purchase and distribute the opioid overdose reversal drug, naloxone, and to train first responders and others on its use along with other overdose prevention strategies.

                    Expanding Public Health-Public Safety Partnerships to Combat the Spread of Heroin:  The Office of National Drug Control Policy is expanding its heroin initiative among regional High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) by adding Ohio and Michigan to the effort.  These states will join the Appalachia, New England, Philadelphia/Camden, New York/New Jersey, and Washington/Baltimore HIDTAs in accelerating local partnerships between law enforcement and their counterparts in public health to combat heroin use and overdose.

                        Investing in Community Policing to Address Heroin:  The Department of Justice’s COPS program is announcing a $7 million funding opportunity called the COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force Program to advance public safety and to investigate the distribution of heroin, unlawful distribution of prescription opioids and unlawful heroin and prescription opioid traffickers.  These grants will provide funds directly to law enforcement agencies in states with high rates of primary treatment admissions for heroin and other opioids.

                          Tackling Substance Use Disorders in Rural Communities: On March 28, the Department of Agriculture announced that its $1.4 million Rural Health and Safety Education Grant Program to enhance the quality of life in rural areas through health and safety education projects has been expanded to include a focus on addressing the critical challenges related to substance use disorders in rural communities across the country.
                          Implementing Syringe Services Programs: HHS is issuing guidance for HHS-funded programs regarding the use of Federal funds to implement or expand syringe services programs for people who inject drugs.  Syringe services programs are an effective component of a comprehensive approach to preventing HIV and viral hepatitis among people who inject drugs.  The bipartisan budget agreement signed by the President last year revised a longstanding ban on these programs and allows communities with a demonstrated need to use Federal funds for the operational components of syringe services programs.

                            New Private Sector Commitments to Address the Epidemic

                            In connection with the March 29th Federal announcements, more than 60 medical schools announced that, beginning in fall 2016, they will require their students to take some form of prescriber education, in line with the newly released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, in order to graduate. Schools include:

                            • University of Louisville School of Medicine
                            • A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
                            • Baylor College of Medicine
                            • Boston University School of Medicine
                            • Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine at New Mexico State University
                            • Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University
                            • David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California – Los Angeles
                            • Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin
                            • East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine
                            • Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Auburn Campus
                            • Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas Campus
                            • Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Virginia Campus
                            • Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • Hébert School of Medicine Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
                            • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
                            • Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine
                            • Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine
                            • Mercer University School of Medicine
                            • NYU School of Medicine
                            • Ohio State University College of Medicine
                            • Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine
                            • Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
                            • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
                            • Saint Louis University School of Medicine
                            • State University of New York Upstate Medical University
                            • The Commonwealth Medical College
                            • The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo
                            • Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - New York
                            • Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine - California
                            • Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine – Nevada
                            • Tufts University School of Medicine
                            • Tulane University School of Medicine
                            • University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson
                            • University of California – Davis School of Medicine
                            • University of Central Florida College of Medicine
                            • University of Colorado School of Medicine
                            • University of Kansas Medical Center
                            • University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • University of North Carolina School of Medicine
                            • University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • University of Oklahoma College of Medicine
                            • University of Pikeville - Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
                            • University of Tennessee College of Medicine
                            • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
                            • University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
                            • Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
                            • West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
                            • West Virginia University School of Medicine
                            • Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
                            • Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest
                            • William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine

                            Rite Aid has trained over 8,400 pharmacists on naloxone and is dispensing naloxone to patients without needing an individual prescription in 10 states with plans to expand to additional states.  Kroger currently dispenses naloxone without an individual prescription at its pharmacies in seven states with plans to expand to at least 12 more by the end of the year.  AmerisourceBergen/ Good Neighbor Pharmacy will provide educational materials to encourage their 4,000 independently owned and operated retail pharmacy locations to provide naloxone without an individual prescription.

                            Updates on Federal Actions and Private Sector Commitments

                            In October 2015, as part of his visit to West Virginia to discuss the prescription opioid abuse and heroin epidemic, the President announced a number of new public and private sector actions, including a Presidential Memorandum requiring Federal Departments to provide training on appropriate opioid prescribing to Federal health care professionals and requiring Departments to develop plans to address barriers to opioid use disorder treatment in Federal programs.  Departments are ahead of schedule in fulfilling the President’s directive that Federal agencies ensure that all employees who prescribe these drugs are trained in appropriate opioid prescribing practices by 2017.  Approximately 75 percent of federal prescribers have been trained to date.  In addition, since the President’s Memorandum was released, Departments have taken numerous steps to expand access to opioid use disorder treatment, including medication-assisted treatment, such as:

                            • TRICARE: The Department of Defense issued a proposed rule to implement parity protections in TRICARE, including expanding mental health and substance use disorder treatment to include coverage of intensive outpatient programs and treatment of opioid use disorders with medication-assisted treatment.  TRICARE currently has an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 beneficiaries with opioid use disorder who, under the current benefit, cannot access medication-assisted treatment.
                            • FEHBP: The Office of Personnel Management released a 2017 Call Letter to health plans participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) making opioid use disorder treatment a priority and calling on health plans to review and improve access to medication-assisted treatment.
                            • Medicare: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a 2017 Call Letter to plans participating in the Medicare Prescription Drug Program reiterating that reducing the unsafe use of opioids is a priority and making clear that Part D formulary and plan benefit designs that hinder access to medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder will not be approved.
                            • Medicaid:  CMS released a guidance document to states identifying “Best Practices for Addressing Prescription Opioid Overdoses, Misuse and Addiction” including effective Medicaid pharmacy benefit management strategies, steps to increase the use of naloxone to reverse opioid overdose, and options for expanding Medicaid coverage of and access to opioid use disorder treatment.  This builds on Medicaid’s work with states over the past year to increase access to Medicaid substance use disorder treatment services.
                            • Health Insurance Marketplace: In the last month, CMS finalized a 2017 Marketplace payment notice that clarified that both essential health benefits requirements and Federal mental health and substance use disorder parity requirements apply to qualified health plan coverage of medications to treat opioid use disorder, and additional guidance is forthcoming.

                            Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain – the Agency’s first-ever recommendations for primary care clinicians on prescribing opioids.  The Guideline provides recommendations for clinicians on appropriate prescribing, including determining if and when to start prescription opioids for chronic pain treatment; guidance on medication selection, dose, and duration, including when to discontinue medication, if needed; and guidance to help assess the benefits and risks and address the harms of prescription opioid use.

                            The Food and Drug Administration recently announced safety labeling changes for all immediate-release opioid pain medications, including requiring a new boxed warning about the serious risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death associated with these drugs.  The Agency also issued a draft guidance intended to support the development of generic versions of abuse-deterrent opioids.  Abuse-deterrent drug formulations are designed to make the drug more difficult to abuse, including making it harder to crush a tablet in order to snort the contents or more difficult to dissolve the product in order to inject it.

                            The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently announced it will hold its 11thNational Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 30, providing a safe, convenient, and responsible way of disposing of unneeded prescription drugs.  More than 5.5 million pounds of medication have been collected over the last ten Take Back Days.  Local communities are also establishing ongoing drug take-back programs.

                            Examples of private sector actions taken to date include the following:

                            In conjunction with the October event, more than 40 health care provider groups announced a commitment to ensure that more than 540,000 health care providers will complete training on appropriate opioid prescribing in the next two years.  In the first five months of this initiative, the provider coalition reports that more than 75,000 providers have completed prescriber training.  In addition, more than 2,200 additional physicians have committed to completing training to prescribe buprenorphine as part of the coalition’s effort to double the number of buprenorphine prescribers in the next three years.

                            As part of their commitment announced at the October 2015 event, the National Association of Counties, National Governors Association, National League of Cities and United states Conference of Mayors, with the U.S. Communities Purchasing Alliance and Premier, Inc., announced in January they had secured discounts on naloxone and medication-assisted treatment drugs through their purchasing program for State and local agencies.

                            In February, Walgreens announced it will install safe medication disposal kiosks in more than 500 drugstores across the country, primarily at locations open 24 hours. The program will make the disposal of medications — including opioids and other controlled substances — easier and more convenient while helping to reduce the misuse of medications.  Walgreens also will make naloxone available without needing an individual prescription at its pharmacies in 35 states and Washington, D.C. throughout this year.

                            CVS Health has worked to increase access to naloxone by establishing standing orders or collaborative practice agreements.  By the end of March 2016, CVS Pharmacy locations in 23 states will be able to dispense naloxone to patients without needing an individual prescription, increasing to 35 states by the end of 2016 as part of its program expansion announced at the October 2015 event.  CVS Health has also launched a drug abuse prevention program called Pharmacists Teach, which brings CVS Pharmacists into schools across the country to educate students about the dangers of drug abuse.  To date, more than 30,000 students have participated in the program.

                            Dr. Anthony Dragun discusses new options in radiation treatment for women after breast cancer

                            Radiation oncologist Anthony Dragun tells "UofL Today with Mark Hebert" about his innovative treatment option for women who need radiation following breast cancer surgery. UofL's James Graham Brown Cancer Center is the only site in Kentucky offering the treatment.

                            The link address is:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8VFLh_bUW4

                            Final call for abstracts for inaugural UofL Optimal Aging Conference, June 12-14

                            Final call for abstracts for inaugural UofL Optimal Aging Conference, June 12-14

                            Abstracts are due midnight of Thursday, March 31, for the Inaugural Optimal Aging Conference. Abstracts can be submitted here. More conference information can be found at www.OptimalAgingInstitute.org.

                            The Optimal Aging Conference will be held June 12-14 in Louisville at the Brown Hotel, 335 W. Broadway. This conference is jointly presented by the Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging at the University of Louisville and the Kentucy Association for Gerontology (KAG).

                            The Optimal Aging Conference focuses on aging as an opportunity for indiduals and socieities, and not a disease. This conference is transdisciplinary and as such, individuals across a wide variety of perspectives and backgrounds are welcome to submit abstracts, including academics, health care professionals, social service professionals, business professionals working in health care, age care disrupters and older adults.

                            The conference features a variety  conference tracks, including:

                            • Aging in Community
                            • Healthcare & Aging
                            • Building Coordinated Care Networks
                            • LGBTQ Aging
                            • Business & Aging
                            • Mental Health & Aging
                            • Caregiving
                            • Multicultural Aging
                            • Creativity & Lifelong Learning
                            • Spirituality & Religion
                            • Health & Wellness
                            • Legal & Ethical Issues

                            The 2016 Optimal Aging additionally features several pre-conference opportunities:

                            • June 11-12: Chief Resident Immersion Traing (CRIT), a leadership training for Chief Residents, Program Directors and geriatrics faculty
                            • June 12: Continuing education for Social Work professionals

                            For information about the conference and abstract submission, visit www.OptimalAgingInstitute.org or call 502-852-5629.

                             

                             

                            Advances in operating room ultrasound discussed at daylong workshop

                            Advances in operating room ultrasound discussed at daylong workshop

                            The latest advances in the use of ultrasound in the operating theater will be shared in a daylong workshop on May 14 sponsored by the University of Louisville.

                            The latest advances in the use of bedside ultrasound in the operating theater will be shared at a daylong conference for health care professionals.

                            The Perioperative Ultrasound and Echocardiology Workshop will be held Saturday, May 14, in the Paris Simulation Center in the University of Louisville School of Medicine Instructional Building, 500 S. Preston St. Registration opens at 7 a.m. and the workshop will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

                            The workshop is designed for anesthesia providers, anesthesiologists, intensivists, residents and nurses in the perioperative environment, said Jiapeng Huang, M.D., Ph.D., clinical professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at UofL, an attending cardiac anesthesiologist at Jewish Hospital, a part of KentuckyOne Health, and president of medical staff for Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Healthcare.

                            Perioperative ultrasound, also known as point-of-care or bedside ultrasound, enables the anesthesiology staff to have real-time ultrasound images in the operating room environment that are equal in accuracy to x-ray or CT scan without exposing patients to potentially harmful radiation. Echocardiography is a diagnostic test that uses ultrasound waves to create an image of the heart. Ultrasound of the nerves and blood vessels also enables health care professionals see these structures in real time to guide nerve blocks and central line placement. Ultrasound makes these invasive procedures much safer and more efficient.

                            “This course will provide anesthesiologists and others involved in perioperative care the most up-to-date and practical ultrasound skills required for safe and the highest quality anesthesia care,” Huang said.

                            The workshop has sliding registration fees based on profession and hospital affiliation. Continuing education credit also is available. Breakfast and lunch are provided.

                            For details and to register, go to the workshop website.

                            Beer with a Scientist: Will GMO crops doom the planet or save it?

                            Learn exactly what genetically modified plants are and why they are modified at the next Beer with a Scientist, April 13
                            Beer with a Scientist:  Will GMO crops doom the planet or save it?

                            Paul Vincelli, Ph.D., University of Kentucky

                            You may have heard about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) along with predictions of dire consequences for the planet or claims the technology is necessary to feed the Earth’s growing population. At the April edition of Beer with a Scientist, Paul Vincelli, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, will set the record straight with peer-reviewed science.

                            Vincelli will make the trip across I64 to share his expertise on the scientific understanding of GMOs based on the substantial body of scientific literature. He will explain exactly what constitutes a genetically engineered crop, whether eating recombinant DNA is safe, and why scientists would want to change a plant’s genes in the first place.

                            At UK, Vincelli serves as coordinator for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. He provides science-based outreach on risks and benefits of genetically engineered crops in Kentucky, the nation and internationally.

                            The program begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Apr. 13 at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

                            The Beer with a Scientist program began in 2014 and is the brainchild of UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D. Once a month, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.

                            Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged.

                            Organizers add that they also encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

                            For more information and to suggest future Beer with a Scientist topics, follow Louisville Underground Science on Facebook.

                            Health professional students called to address social justice

                            Health and Social Justice Scholars will learn methods for improving health equity in disadvantaged communities
                            Health professional students called to address social justice

                            UofL Health Sciences Center students performing community service

                            Health-care professionals often are aware of larger social issues facing their patients in disadvantaged communities but feel powerless as individual practitioners to change these health disparities. The University of Louisville’s new Health and Social Justice Scholars Program is accepting applicants who will be trained to work with other professionals in communities to bring about changes to benefit underserved and disadvantaged populations.

                            Students in the UofL schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Public Health and Information Sciences who are dedicated to social justice are encouraged to apply for the program, where they will learn techniques for working interprofessionally and with community members to improve the overall health of the populations through community engagement and scholarly activities. The students will work with faculty mentors to combat issues such as youth violence, public water safety and depression in adolescents in West Louisville and other disadvantaged communities.

                            “As a pediatrician, I know that a physician can’t do it alone,” said V. Faye Jones, M.D., Ph.D., M.S.P.H., assistant vice president for health affairs – diversity initiatives at UofL. “You have to have different perspectives and different skills to move that needle. We cannot work in silos; we have to work as a team to accomplish the goal of health equity.”

                            One second-year student from each of the four schools in the UofL Health Sciences Center will be selected for the first cohort of scholars for the 2016-2017 academic year. The Health and Social Justice Scholars will conduct interprofessional, community-based research along with a faculty mentor, participate in community service projects and attend monthly discussions. In addition, the scholars will receive annual financial support of $10,000 toward their education programs. Scholars are expected to continue in the program for three years.

                            “We want students who are dedicated to community engagement and who are passionate about making a difference,” said Jones, who oversees the program. “Eventually, these professionals will be leaders in advocating for policy changes to improve the overall health of the community.”

                            Applicants for the program must be entering their second year of a doctoral program in the school of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing or Public Health and Information Sciences (Au.D., D.M.D., D.N.P., M.D. or Ph.D). They will be required to submit an essay describing a health concern in the community with a proposed path for improvement, a summary of their research experience, letters of recommendation and transcripts.

                            Applications will be accepted through May 31. For additional information and to apply, visit the Health and Social Justice Scholars web page, or contact the UofL Health Sciences Center Office of Diversity and Inclusion at 502-852-7159 or hscodi@louisville.edu.

                             

                            About the UofL HSC Office of Diversity and Inclusion

                            The UofL Health Sciences Center Office of Diversity and Inclusion welcomes and embraces the community of students, faculty and staff. The office seeks to encourage and foster all constituents’ growth and development to allow for everyone to be successful at UofL. By augmenting a culture and climate that demonstrate a belief that diversity and inclusion add value to intellectual development, academic enrichment, patient care, research and community engagement, the office intends to place HSC at the forefront of opportunity and innovation. Its mission is to conceptualize, cultivate and coordinate partnerships across the schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health and Information Sciences by building organizational capacity and expanding leadership competency for HSC diversity and inclusion efforts. The office aspires to be a model for innovation for health equity driven by excellence in education, community outreach and research.

                            Horses and Hope, UofL Kentucky Cancer Program host Breast Cancer Awareness Day at Keeneland

                            Horses and Hope, UofL Kentucky Cancer Program host Breast Cancer Awareness Day at Keeneland

                            Former Kentucky First Lady and longtime cancer awareness activist Jane Beshear will join with the Kentucky Cancer Program at the University of Louisville to host Horses and Hope: A Breast Cancer Awareness Day at the Races, Wednesday, April 13, at Keeneland  race track in Lexington.

                            Doors open at 10:30 a.m. with lunch served at 11:30 a.m. at the Keene Barn and Entertainment Center. First post time for the day’s racing card will be 1:05 p.m.

                            Breast cancer survivors and guests are invited to enjoy lunch and a Derby Fashion Style Show sponsored by Talbots, The Spa at Griffin Gate, Kroger, Keeneland and WKYT-TV and emceed by WKYT anchor Amber Philpott. Following the program, participants will be escorted to reserved seating in Keeneland’s Grandstand where the day’s racing will feature a Horses and Hope race honoring breast cancer survivors.

                            Horses andHope™ is a project of Beshear and the Kentucky Cancer Program. The mission is to increase cancer awareness, education, screening and treatment referral among Kentucky’s horse industry workers and other special populations. Screenings and events are held across the state in collaboration with the new Horses and Hope Cancer Screening Van launched earlier this year with KentuckyOne Health.

                            Ticket packages are $30 per person and include reserved parking, track admission, lunch, covered grandstand seating, racing program and a special Horses and Hope souvenir. Participants are encouraged to wear pink for breast cancer awareness.

                            Seating is limited so registration by April 11 is advised. To make reservations, call 859-254-3412. For additional information, call toll-free, 877-326-1134.

                            Home IV antibiotics unnecessary for children with complicated pneumonia

                            UofL study shows bacterial pneumonia with empyema in children successfully treated with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and early transition to oral antibiotics
                            Home IV antibiotics unnecessary for children with complicated pneumonia

                            Claudia Espinosa, M.D., M.Sc.

                            Treating children with pneumonia complicated by infected fluid in the chest (called empyema) can take longer than other infectious diseases, and typically requires surgical intervention and intravenous (IV) antibiotics. A study published in the April issue of The American Surgeon by University of Louisville assistant professor of pediatrics Claudia Espinosa, M.D., M.Sc., and colleagues, shows that the disease can successfully be treated with a course of broad-spectrum oral antibiotics once the children are released from the hospital, thus making administration of IV antibiotics at home unnecessary.

                            Espinosa and several colleagues at the UofL School of Medicine conducted a retrospective study of 61 patients treated using a standardized approach of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) and IV antibiotics administered in the hospital, with transition to broad-spectrum oral antibiotics about five days after surgery or when the patients were discharged. The study showed a 92 percent rate of recovery without complications using this approach, which is comparable to that achieved with prolonged courses of IV antibiotics continued at home, but avoids potential complications associated with home IVs.

                            “Given the adverse effects of IV antibiotics and the potential possible complications of PICC lines, transitioning to oral antibiotics and providing a shorter course than previously advised is a good strategy,” Espinosa said. “The outcomes appear to be good even when cultures are negative and the choice of antibiotic is an empiric one.”

                            The children in the study, all previously healthy children with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia and empyema, were admitted to Kosair Children’s Hospital from 2008 to 2012. All of the children were treated with prompt VATS and early transition to oral antibiotics, which continued for an average of two weeks after discharge.

                            “Many physicians believe that placing a chest tube and giving fibrinolytics is better than VATS for treatment of empyema,” Espinosa said. “In this study, we show good outcomes, short length of stay, minimal complications and short course of antibiotics for pediatric patients with empyema who underwent VATS.”

                            Herzig symposium 2016

                            William Tse, Roger Herzig, Nathan Berger and Hillard Lazarus
                            Herzig symposium 2016
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                            In the lineup

                            Symposium draws all-star list of speakers

                            Nathan Berger, M.D., the Hanna-Payne Professor of Experimental Medicine and director of the Center for Science, Health and Diversity at Case Western Reserve University, holds the Louisville Slugger bat he was given as a speaker at the first symposium honoring the late co-division chief of the Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation Program at UofL. The Geoffrey P. Herzig, M.D., Memorial Symposium for Hematologic Malignancies and Bone Marrow Transplantation drew a stellar cast of presenters April 8-9 at the Jewish Hospital Rudd Heart & Lung Conference Center. Herzig came to UofL in 2000 as co-division chief with his brother, Roger Herzig, M.D., shown second from left. The symposium was created by current division chief William Tse, M.D., at far left, with another presenter, Hillard Lazarus, M.D., the George & Edith Richman Professor and Distinguished Scientist in Cancer Research at Case Western Reserve, at far right. Twenty-six physicians and other scientists from the United States, Canada and England presented the symposium, covering the latest advances in treating leukemias, myelomas and other blood-borne cancers. (Robert Burge Photography)

                            UofL Physicians’ Movement Disorders Clinic named national Huntington’s disease Center of Excellence

                            UofL Physicians’ Movement Disorders Clinic named national Huntington’s disease Center of Excellence

                            Kathrin LaFaver, M.D.

                            University of Louisville Physicians’ Movement Disorders Clinic has been named a national Center of Excellence in treating Huntington’s disease and received a $10,000 grant from the Huntington’s Disease Society of America.

                            The designation recognizes work at UofL Physicians to help improve the lives of people affected by the disease. HDSA Centers of Excellence provide an elite multidisciplinary approach to care and research. There are currently 39 across the United States, including UofL Physicians.

                            “We are proud to be the first center in Kentucky to be recognized as a HD Center of Excellence,” said Dr. Kathrin LaFaver, a neurologist who leads the Huntington’s disease program at UofL Physicians. “We are planning to expand our involvement with the HD community and offer participation in future research studies.”

                            Patients at the Centers of Excellence benefit from expert neurologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counselors and other professionals who have deep experience working with patients and families affected by Huntington’s disease, and who work collaboratively to help them plan the best program of care throughout the disease’s course.

                            Debbie Holloway, who is affected by Huntington’s disease, is currently enrolled in a clinical trial at UofL Physicians. She had in the past regularly traveled four hours round trip to a center in Indiana for treatment because of its designation as a Center of Excellence.

                            “We feel so thankful and blessed to now have a Center of Excellence here in Louisville,” she said.  “My family is affected and we definitely want to do anything we can to help find a cure. Now when a new research program comes in, someone in my family may be able to participate. And it is wonderful to have my doctor here.”

                            Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal genetic disorder that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It deteriorates a person’s physical and mental abilities during their prime working years and to date has no cure. Patients affected by the disease develop chorea (involuntary movements), difficulties with cognition and often psychiatric manifestations such as depression and irritability.

                            HD is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, meaning every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 chance of carrying the disease mutation. Today, there are approximately 30,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at risk of inheriting the disease.

                            Many describe the symptoms of HD as though they have ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s simultaneously.

                            As part of the efforts to help patients with the disease, patients are being recruited for the ENROLL-HD worldwide observational study for HD families. The goal is to track HD progression and create a database that doctors can learn from and use for treatment studies as they emerge.

                            Patients who are interested in enrolling can find more information at www.enroll-hd.org.

                            For more information on Huntington’s disease Centers of Excellence, visit the Huntington’s Disease Society of America’s web page at www.hdsa.org/about-hdsa/centers-of-excellence.

                             

                             

                            Researchers discover previously unknown method by which allostery occurs

                            Findings have implications for improved focus in drug research, development
                            Researchers discover previously unknown method by which allostery occurs

                            Donghan Lee, Ph.D.

                            Posted April 13, 2016

                            Two scientists at the University of Louisville, together with German researchers, have discovered a method unknown up to this time by which the biological process of allostery occurs, a finding that has implications for better focused therapeutic treatments with fewer side effects.

                            Donghan Lee, Ph.D. and David Ban, Ph.D., both with the Department of Medicine and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at UofL, joined with researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen, Germany, in looking at allostery, the process in which biological macromolecules such as proteins transmit the effect of binding at one site to another, often distant, functional site.

                            “This important study documents the significance of very basic cancer research and will likely lead to the identification and development of novel targeted treatments which otherwise would not have been discovered,” said Donald M. Miller, M.D., Ph.D., director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health.

                            At the atomic level, the UofL and German research group found a previously unidentified way for allostery to occur through the collective motion of an entire protein structure.

                            “Much drug development focuses on targeting a protein,” Lee said. “The thinking is that if you block a certain action of a certain protein, then you can cure or at least, delay progression of a disease.

                            “However, in order to understand what to block, you must understand the function of the protein structure. That is the direction we took.”

                            The group used ubiquitin, a small protein that is highly abundant in cells of higher organisms. With newly developed computational algorithms, the research team was able to determine atomic structures representing what was the previously invisible allosteric motion within ubiquitin.

                            That motion was fast, said the researchers. “There have been limitations in the ability to observe fast protein motions,” Ban said. “However, we developed a technique that overcame the previous experimental limitations. Having a better, more precise and more accurate ability to measure the movement, we can now build an atomic model that enables us to visualize what the motion actually looks like.”

                            Lee likens the process to stopping a wide receiver on the football field. The wide receiver has to catch the ball with his arms and hands while also running with his legs and feet. The speed of his legs is affected by the action of catching the ball with his arms.

                            “So if we just block one leg, his ability to run and actually catch the ball will be impaired,” Lee said.  “That’s what we did in the lab: We saw we could block one thing to affect others.”

                            A single peptide bond was key, Ban said. “In looking at the functional aspect of this protein, it all boiled down to a single peptide bond that flipped in or out. That is amazing: we could affect a distant region by manipulating a single peptide bond.

                            “We were able to make mutants of this certain protein that would lock it in one state or another.”

                            The potential therapeutic benefit of the findings could result in more focused treatments with fewer side effects.

                            “Chemotherapy, for example, attacks multiple, different proteins and there are a lot of side effects,” Lee said. “But conceivably, we need only one protein blocked – just like we only need to block one leg of the wide receiver to stop him. Our study begins to help us target that one correct protein without impairing others.”

                            “Our findings give us, for the first time, the tools to look at many different systems,” Ban said. “We can apply this to other medically and biologically relevant systems.”

                            Other members of the research team are Colin A. Smith, Supriya Pratihar, Karin Giller, Maria Paulat, Stefan Becker, Christian Griesinger and Bert L. de Groot. The group’s study, “Allosteric switch regulates protein-protein binding through collective motion,” was published in March in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

                            A new player revealed in nerve growth process

                            Role of adaptor protein CD2AP in neuron sprouting discovered by UofL researchers could lead to therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, stroke recovery and spinal cord injury
                            A new player revealed in nerve growth process

                            Benjamin Harrison, Ph.D., Jeffrey Petruska, Ph.D. and Kristofer Rau, Ph.D.

                            University of Louisville researchers have discovered that a protein previously known for its role in kidney function also plays a significant role in the nervous system. In an article featured in the April 13 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, they show that the adaptor protein CD2AP is a key player in a type of neural growth known as collateral sprouting.

                            In the first research to be published on this protein’s role in the nervous system, Benjamin Harrison, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology and lead author of the article, and his colleagues show that CD2AP, an adaptor protein, orchestrates a complex arrangement of other proteins that controls the branching of nerve axons, the tendrils reaching out from the nerve cell to connect to other nerve cells, skin and organs. This nerve growth occurs in uninjured nerve cells as they extend their reach and create new connections.

                            “CD2AP brings in all the correct players, forms a multi-protein complex and coordinates that multi-protein complex to achieve growth of the neurons,” Harrison said. “There are a whole bunch of proteins that it could bring together, but it only brings together the correct proteins to create the correct response. In this case, it changes the structure of the axons through sprouting and elongation.”

                            This axon sprouting may be helpful, but too much of it can be harmful. In normal adult cells, this growth creates new connections and can lead to improved functionality after an injury or stroke. However, if the axons sprout uncontrollably, the result can be exacerbated epilepsy, blood pressure spikes or neuropathic pain. The researchers hope this new understanding of the nerve growth process will lead to therapies that can improve healing and recovery of function following nerve damage while minimizing excessive growth.

                            “Through targeting this molecule, we could help the body’s natural healing process to coordinate the appropriate growth,” Harrison said.

                            The research team, based in the lab of Jeffrey Petruska, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology and the Department of Neurological Surgery and the article’s corresponding author, identified CD2AP as a player in the neurological system via a screen to detect genes associated with neuron growth. Their research examined how CD2AP interacts with various molecules in controlling the neural sprouting process, in particular they studied its relationship with nerve growth factor (NGF).

                            “People have been studying nerve growth factor and the responses it induces for a while, but this protein (CD2AP) forms a nice link between NGF and the response in the cell,” Harrison said.

                            Previous research also has associated CD2AP with genetic changes among individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and it may be helpful in understanding the mechanisms involved in Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease and spinal cord injuries.

                            Petruska says this work relates closely to other research being conducted at UofL’s Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center (KSCIRC). He says that understanding these molecular processes could one day be used to amplify the activity-based therapies such as locomotor training now being done with spinal cord injury patients by UofL faculty at Frazier Rehab Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health. Locomotor training helps spinal cord injury patients achieve functional recovery through standing and stepping activity.

                            “We are starting to discover that there are different modes of nerve growth and different sets of genes that control different kinds of growth,” Petruska said. “This is particularly important as it relates to locomotor training. When you train, you enhance the growth factor environment of the injured spinal cord, and those growth factors are involved in the axon plasticity. This mode that we study is dependent on the growth factors.”

                            Harrison, who also is part of the Kentucky Biomedical Research Infrastructure Network (KBRIN), plans to pursue research aimed at developing a drug to provide appropriate nerve growth for spinal cord injury patients.

                            “My dream,” Harrison said, “is to one day do a clinical trial with a drug that targets this protein and can enhance the ability of the patients to respond to the activity-based rehabilitation (locomotor training) that they are doing at Frazier Rehab Center.”

                            High school student Cassa Drury earned co-authorship on publication of original research

                            One member of the research team and a co-author on the publication that first described the role of CD2AP in the nervous system is Cassa Drury, a junior at Louisville’s duPont Manual High School. Drury has worked in the lab of Jeffrey Petruska, Ph.D., associate professor in UofL’s Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, since he mentored her during middle school science fair competitions. As a middle schooler, Drury competed in science fairs at the national and international level with her research on the neurological systems of planaria worms under Petruska’s guidance.

                            In the team’s research into CD2AP, Drury recorded and analyzed changes in the nerve cells for the publication’s primary author, Ben Harrison, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology and the article’s lead author. Drury, a high school sophomore at the time, was working in the lab as part of a self-directed learning program offered by her high school.

                            Drury recorded the length and number of branches in images of neural cells that had been treated with different amounts of CD2AP and those that were not treated to determine the protein’s effect on nerve growth.

                            “I put them into a program and I was able to trace them. The tracing allowed us to see whether they were growing more than they would normally,” Drury said.

                            “Cassie was the one who did measurements in the cultured neurons to determine that the protein was a positive regulator of growth,” Harrison said.

                            That work earned Drury a listing as fifth author on the publication, released in the April 13 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience. A total of 14 authors are credited on the article.

                            “It was not a gift,” Petruska said. “She did important work for this research and she understands what the work is about.”

                            Drury is eager to follow the research to which she has contributed.

                            “I am really interested to see where this research goes,” Drury said. “This connection is a really strong one and I am excited to see what comes out of it and what Ben ends up doing. I hope he can hand them a drug. That would be wonderful.”

                            This summer, Drury will be attending a science ethics leadership seminar at the University of Notre Dame on the ethical considerations of scientific research. After high school, she plans to study science in college, perhaps along with communications.

                            “One of the things that allowed Cassie to have such success in the science fair is that she is very good at communicating her results and her experiment design. She is good at answering questions,” Petruska said.

                             

                            This work was supported by the CDRF International Consortium on Spinal Cord Injury Research, Kentucky Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research Trust Grant 09-12A, Paralyzed Veterans of America Fellowship, National Institutes of Health Grants P20RR016481, 3P20RR016481-09S1, P20GM103436, P30GM103507, R21NS080091, R21NS071299 and R01NS094741.

                            More activities added to Cancer Awareness Show

                            Hillview event on May 21 benefits UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center
                            More activities added to Cancer Awareness Show

                            The Horses and Hope pink Mustang will be on display May 21 at the Cancer Awareness Show at the Hillview Community Center, 298 Prairie Drive.

                            More activities have been added to the lineup of the Cancer Awareness Show, set for Saturday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hillview Community Center, 298 Prairie Drive. Proceeds from the day’s activities will benefit research, community outreach and patient support programs of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville.

                            The Zoneton Fire Department will have its Fire Safety House for participants to walk through, and the Kentucky Cancer Program at UofL will display the pink Horses and Hope Mustang for breast cancer awareness.

                            Hobbies Café food truck also will be on hand, joining a variety of other vendors at the show, which has sold out its indoor booth spaces, said organizer Richard Luce Jr. Outdoor booth spaces remain available at $20 each.

                            The Cancer Awareness Show has something for the entire family with three shows-within-the-show: a model train show including 9X9, 4X16 and 3X6 layouts; an arts and crafts show; and “Cruizin’ for Cancer,” a car, truck and motorcycle show and a model car show.

                            The Zoneton Fire Department’s Fire Safety House is a walk-through model that helps teach children how to best respond to a house fire situation. The house is designed to provide a realistic environment for teaching basic fire prevention and survival skills. Kids learn about smoke detectors, how to determine escape routes from a fire in advance, and the importance of not hiding during a fire.

                            Former Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear and the organization she founded, Horses and Hope, commissioned the pink Mustang from Paul Miller Ford for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Kentucky Speedway. Since then, the Mustang tours the state to share life-saving breast cancer information. Horses and Hope works with the state’s equine industry to provide breast cancer education, screening and treatment referral.

                            Also included are prize and cash raffles. Representatives from Be The Match will be on hand to provide information about bone marrow donation. The James Graham Brown Cancer Center also will disseminate information on cancer prevention and treatment.

                            Admission is a cash donation to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

                            Liberty Tire and Recycling is a sponsor of the Cancer Awareness Show. The car, truck and motorcycle show is sponsored by the South Louisville Antique and Toy Mall and the model car show is sponsored by Dan’s Chips and Toys. Additional sponsorships for the show also are available: Platinum, $1,000; Gold, $500; Silver, $300; and Bronze, $100.

                            For information on vendors, sponsorships or the show, contact Luce at Bigscoby4@yahoo.com, CancerAwareness15@yahoo.com or 502-802-8308.

                             

                            CPR training at the state fair wins top award for UofL cardiologist

                            CPR training at the state fair wins top award for UofL cardiologist

                            Lorrel Brown, M.D.

                            It stands to reason: If you want to educate large numbers of people, go where large numbers of people go.

                            In Dr. Lorrel E. Brown’s case, that place was the Kentucky State Fair – and the nation’s premier cardiology association has presented her an award for her innovative thinking.

                            Brown, assistant professor of medicine in UofL’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, won first place in the category of “Young Investigator Awards in Cardiovascular Health Outcomes and Population Genetics” from the American College of Cardiology earlier this month. The award was presented at the organization’s 65th Annual Scientific Session in Chicago. It also was published in the April 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

                            Brown headed a group of researchers that included Dr. Glenn Hirsch, associate professor of medicine, cardiology fellows Dr. Wendy Bottinor and Dr. Avnish Tripathi, medical student Travis Carroll, Dr. Bill Dillon who founded the organization Start the Heart Foundation and Chris Lokits  of Louisville Metro Emergency Medical Services, Office of Medical Direction and Oversight. They tackled the problem of surviving cardiac arrest – the sudden stopping of the heart – by increasing the number of people trained in hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

                            Titled “CPR at the State Fair: A 10-minute Training Session is Effective in Teaching Bystander CPR to Members of At-risk Communities,” the research effort brought CPR training to the Kentucky State Fair’s Health Pavilion in August 2015.

                            Nearly 400,000 people in the United States have out-of-hospital cardiac arrest each year, she said, or nearly 40 people every hour. Only one in 10 survives.

                            “The vast majority of people who suffer cardiac arrest don’t experience it in a well-equipped hospital with highly trained medical staff,” Brown said. “They experience it as they go about their daily lives, and just 30 percent of cardiac arrest victims receive CPR, usually from bystanders. Yet we know that bystander CPR dramatically improves chances for survival.”

                            The group created a 10-minute training module that uses a short video and hands-on coaching to teach people the basics of hands-only CPR. To further determine their mastery of CPR, participants completed a post-training survey and were asked to return to the training site at the fair one hour after training to re-test their CPR ability.

                            The state fair location also provided an additional benefit: the ability to reach people from communities and counties throughout Kentucky with low rates of bystander CPR.

                            “In Jefferson County alone, bystander CPR rates vary dramatically according to zip code, ranging from 0 percent to 100 percent,” Brown said. “We know there is the same variation throughout the state, and 77 percent of the Jefferson County residents we trained at the fair were from zip code areas with bystander CPR rates under the national average of 31 percent.”

                            Since the 2015 fair, Brown has led efforts to conduct bystander CPR training at other locations. “Through the Take It to the Heart tour with KentuckyOne Health, we provided this training in hospital lobbies throughout the state, at UofL women's and men's basketball games and even at the Capitol in Frankfort with the Kentucky Senate,” she said. “Through these efforts, we have trained more than 1,000 individuals in CPR and educated another 43,000. We hope that these efforts not only raise the rates of bystander CPR and survival from cardiac arrest in our own communities, but also serve as a model for other communities.”

                            Brown will bring the training back to the Kentucky State Fair again this year. “These results suggest that by providing brief trainings in public venues, such as the state fair, we can effectively train people and potentially improve the rate of bystander CPR in this country,” she said.

                            Organizations or businesses also can schedule their own bystander CPR training session via the Start The Heart Foundation, for which Brown serves as a board member, by calling 502-852-1837.

                            ###

                            About the Young Investigator Awards

                            The American College of Cardiology’s Young Investigator Awards encourages and recognizes young scientific investigators of promise. To be considered for a Young Investigator Award, candidates submitted an abstract summarizing any problem relating to cardiovascular disease. Five finalists were selected in each of four award categories and invited to attend the Scientific Session to present their work during the Young Investigator Awards Competition.

                            About the American College of Cardiology

                            The American College of Cardiologyis a 52,000-member medical society that is the professional home for cardiovascular care physicians. The mission of the college is to transform cardiovascular care and to improve heart health. The college operates national registries to measure and improve care, offers cardiovascular accreditation to hospitals and institutions, provides professional medical education, disseminates cardiovascular research and bestows credentials upon cardiovascular specialists who meet stringent qualifications.

                             

                            UofL pediatrician elected chair of national committee

                            UofL pediatrician elected chair of national committee

                            Charles Woods Jr., M.D.

                            Charles R. Woods Jr., M.D., has been elected the incoming chair of the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Section on Epidemiology, Public Health and Evidence (SOEPHE). His one-year term begins Nov. 1.

                            The AAP is a professional membership organization of 64,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical sub-specialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.

                            The SOEPHE supports development high quality practice guidelines for children’s health care and fosters informed use of data to improve the health of children.  It is composed of AAP members who practice or have interests in the fields of public health and epidemiology.

                            Woods is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric infectious diseases. He is Associate Chair of the UofL Department of Pediatrics and director of the department’s Child & Adolescent Health Research Design & Support Unit. He has been at UofL since 2006.

                            In addition to the AAP, his professional affiliations include the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and HIV Medicine Association. He also has been elected to membership in the American Pediatric Society and Society for Pediatric Research.

                            He earned his bachelor’s degree from Samford University and his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. He completed a pediatric residency followed by a pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at Texas Children’s Hospital. He later earned a master’s degree in epidemiology from Wake Forest University.

                            Woods practices with University of Louisville Physicians-Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

                             

                             

                            Fireworks-related burns requiring hospital stays skyrocket among kids

                            New research from UofL shows loosening U.S. laws that let people buy pyrotechnics at younger ages is tied to increased incidence and severity of fireworks-related burns in children

                            April 30, 2016

                            As states relaxed laws related to fireworks sales during the past decade, emergency doctors saw an increase in both the number of fireworks-related injuries among children and the severity of those injuries, according to new research being presented by faculty from the University of Louisville at the Pediatrics Academic Societies 2016 Meeting.

                            An abstract of the study, “Effect of Fireworks Laws on Pediatric Fireworks Related Burn Injuries," will be presented at the PAS meeting in Baltimore on May 3.

                            Researchers looked at federal and state data from the National Inpatient Sample, with data on 8 million hospital stays each year, and the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, which annually compiles information on 30 million discharges from emergency medicine facilities.

                            They determined the number of patients under age 21 treated and released by emergency departments between 2006 and 2012 rose modestly. Significantly larger increases were seen in injuries requiring inpatient hospital admission, which skyrocketed from 29 percent of cases in 2006 to 50 percent in 2012.

                            “The increase in fireworks-related injuries and the severity of these injuries in children since 2006 are very concerning,” said Charles Woods Jr., M.D., one of the study’s authors and associate chair of pediatrics at the University of Louisville. “Although our findings do not prove a direct link to relaxations in state laws governing fireworks sales, it may be time for lawmakers to reassess this issue. Parents and caregivers of children also should be aware of these increasingly serious injuries and the potential dangers involved in allowing young children to handle and play with fireworks.”

                            Lead author John Myers, Ph.D., a researcher in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Louisville, will present the abstract, “Effect of Fireworks Laws on Pediatric Fireworks Related Burn Injuries," at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3 in Exhibit Hall F at the Baltimore Convention Center. To view the abstract, visit http://www.abstracts2view.com/pas/view.php?nu=PAS16L1_4135.266.

                            “Pediatric fireworks-related burn injuries have increased in incidence, apparent severity of injury, the proportion requiring hospitalization and length-of-stay in the hospital in a time period of relaxed fireworks laws in the United States,” Myers said. “These findings suggest that policy-makers should revisit current fireworks laws for the safety of children.”

                            # # #


                            About the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting:

                            The Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting brings together thousands of individuals united by a common mission: to improve child health and wellbeing worldwide. This international gathering includes pediatric researchers, leaders in academic pediatrics, experts in child health, and practitioners. The PAS Meeting is produced through a partnership of four organizations leading the advancement of pediatric research and child advocacy: the Academic Pediatric Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, and Society for Pediatric Research. For more information, visit the PAS Meeting online at www.pas-meeting.org, follow us on Twitter @PASMeeting and #PASMeeting, or like us on Facebook.

                             

                             

                            PAS Meeting 2016

                            PAS Meeting 2016
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                            Certified nurse midwife to discuss hormones’ role in labor, childbirth

                            Certified nurse midwife to discuss hormones’ role in labor, childbirth

                            Damara Jenkins, CNM, APRN

                            A pregnant woman’s body undergoes a complex set of interconnected, mutually beneficial phases that prepare her and her baby for childbirth. The hormonal actions occurring in one phase anticipate and usher in subsequent phases.

                            These phases are known collectively as the hormonal cascade of childbirth, and a Certified Nurse Midwife at the University of Louisville Center for Women & Infants will present a continuing education session on the topic for nurses, midwives, lactation consultants and other professionals involved in childbirth.

                            “Normal Physiologic Birth and Supporting the Hormonal Cascade of Childbirth” will be presented by Damara Jenkins Tuesday, May 3, at Babyology, 3934 Dutchman’s Lane, beginning at 6 p.m. The presentation is sponsored by Kentuckiana Lactation Improvement Coalition, a chapter of the United States Lactation Consultant Association that provides support and education on breastfeeding in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

                            Jenkins will discuss practices that encourage normal physiologic birth, the role of certified nurse midwifery in supporting normal childbirth and the phases of hormonal childbirth:

                            • Late pregnancy and early labor: There is an increase of hormones and receptor systems in the woman’s body that prepares her for an efficient labor and birth; efficient lactation that leads to bonding and attachment with the baby; and the well-being of the fetus during labor and the transition to a newborn.
                            • Active labor: Hormonal processes during active labor prepare the body for effective postpartum contractions and hemorrhage prevention; the health transition of the newborn; and breastfeeding and bonding.
                            • Birth and the hours that follow: The process of giving birth and skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby immediately after birth promote a hormone release that is thought to further reduce hemorrhage risk, initiate mother-baby bonding and help establish success in breastfeeding.

                            “The hormonal cascade of childbirth shows us how the body perfectly times the release of hormones in each phase and ensures that labor, birth and breastfeeding all happen according to the body’s design,” Jenkins said.

                            Jenkins, who also is an Advanced Practice Nurse, is one of three Certified Nurse Midwives who practice with UofL Physicians-Certified Nurse Midwife Program in tandem with the UofL Physicians-OB/GYN & Women’s Health practice. While pregnancy and childbirth care is her primary practice, she provides care to women across the entire lifespan, partnering with them to enable them to live their healthiest life.

                            Jenkins received her undergraduate degrees from the University of Louisville in 1999 and Bellarmine University in 2000 and received her MSN degree from Frontier Nursing University in 2009. She is president of the Kentucky Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives and received the Frontier Nursing University 75th Anniversary Pioneer Award in 2014. She is on the board of the Friends of the Louisville Birthing Center and a member of the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives.

                            Continuing education credit will be provided for some disciplines, and pre-registration is requested but not required for the presentation. For more information, contact Kentuckiana Lactation Improvement Coalition member Peggy Rinehart at rinehart.peggy@gmail.com.

                            Science, politics and the giant moose

                            Learn how Thomas Jefferson used an oversized moose to influence Europeans’ views of America at the next Beer with a Scientist, May 11
                            Science, politics and the giant moose

                            Lee Dugatkin, Ph.D.

                            Lee Dugatkin, Ph.D., professor of biology at the University of Louisville, will regale guests at the next Beer with a Scientist with the story of how a Revolutionary War-era dispute over natural history took on important political overtones in European-American relations.

                            The story involves three individuals:  Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence; George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, a French count and world-renowned naturalist who claimed that all life in America was "degenerate," weak and feeble; and a very large, dead moose. Jefferson believed the moose could help quash early French arrogance toward the fledgling United States and demonstrate that America was every bit the equal of a well-established Europe.

                            Despite Jefferson's passionate refutation, the theory of degeneracy far outlived both him and Buffon and continued to have scientific, economic and political implications for 100 years.

                            Dugatkin has written a book, Mr. Jefferson and the Giant Moose, on the impact of the disputeand has spoken on the topic at the Smithsonian Institution and Jefferson’s Monticello estate.

                            The program begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11 at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

                            The Beer with a Scientist program began in 2014 and is the brainchild of UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D. Once a month, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.

                            Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged.

                            Organizers add that they also encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

                            For more information and to suggest future Beer with a Scientist topics, follow Louisville Underground Science on Facebook.

                             

                            May 4, 2016

                            UofL Dept of Neurology hosts 8th Annual Advances in Neurology May 21 at Churchill Downs

                            Update in Movement Disorders and Multiple Sclerosis course provides CME for physicians, nurses and allied health practitioners
                            UofL Dept of Neurology hosts 8th Annual Advances in Neurology May 21 at Churchill Downs

                            Neurology

                            The University of Louisville Department of Neurology will host the 8th annual Advances in Neurology course in conjunction with the annual spring meeting of the Commonwealth Neurological Society. This year’s focus will be on Movement Disorders and Multiple Sclerosis, two of the more challenging therapeutic areas in neurology. The conference will present the latest update in the evaluation and management of multiple sclerosis, including the newer options in disease-modifying therapy. Neuroophthalmologic evaluation of the patient with movement disorders or multiple sclerosis will be discussed. The latest available treatment options, both medical and surgical, for the patient with movement disorders will be discussed.

                            Visiting faculty include David Charles, M.D., professor of neurology in the Division of Movement Disorders at Vanderbilt University and Aaron Miller, M.D., professor of neurology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and medical director of The Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis.

                            The event begins at 7:00 a.m., May 21, 2016, in the Derby and Oaks rooms at Churchill Downs, 700 Central Avenue. Program concludes at 2:30 p.m.

                            The seminar is free for UofL faculty, staff, residents and students, UofL Physicians nurses, and members of the Commonwealth Neurological Society.  Cost is $40 for all others. For a copy of the full agenda, CME credit information and a registration link, go to:  http://louisville.edu/medicine/cme/events/neurology16/#Brochure

                            Health professionals can expand primary care skills through UofL dentistry continuing education courses

                            Health professionals can expand primary care skills through UofL dentistry continuing education courses

                            UofL School of Dentistry faculty member performs an oral health screening on a child.

                            As health care providers seek to better meet the needs of their patients, interdisciplinary practice has become increasingly crucial.

                            This summer, health professionals from several disciplines can expand their skillset with new courses offered through the University of Louisville School of Dentistry’s Office of Continuing Education.

                            The first course, “Local Anesthesia for Advanced Nursing: Acute Dental Pain Management in a Primary Care Setting,” set for June 18 from 8a.m. – 3:30p.m., will teach nurses how to address acute dental pain when patients can’t immediately visit a dentist. The course, which costs $150, will focus on how to administer block and infiltration oral anesthesia.

                            “If a patient shows up in a primary care office with tooth pain late on a Friday afternoon or in a hospital emergency room over the weekend, a trained health professional could inject a long-acting local anesthetic to help manage the pain until the patient could get to a dentist the following week,” said Dedra Hayden, M.S.N., A.P.R.N.-B.C., School of Nursing assistant professor.

                            The School of Dentistry also will offer the course, “Integrating Oral Health into the Primary Care Setting Through Allowable Reimbursement Techniques” on July 9 from 8a.m. – 12:30p.m. The course, geared toward physicians, physicians’ assistants, registered nurses, advanced practice registered nurses and dental hygienists, informs these health care providers about their allowed role in conducting state required oral health screenings for Kentucky children entering Kindergarten, and understand that it is a billable service. The screening involves looking into a child’s mouth for signs of decay and reporting it on a required form.

                            The course will focus on optimizing oral health for evidence-based, patient-centered care and will include recent federal recommendations on prevention of tooth decay in children ages 5 and younger in the primary care setting. The class is $75 through advance online registration and $110 for on-site registration.

                            Both continuing education courses are part of the interdisciplinary collaboration between the UofL schools of dentistry and nursing, established through a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration to integrate nursing and dental students in practice.

                            Since 2013, the schools’ collaboration has focused on the connection between oral and systemic health.

                            “Over the past several decades, there has been a tremendous amount of research directed at discovering the links between oral health and overall body health,” Hayden said. “The primary care provider can perform an oral exam and identify lesions in the mouth to indicate a systemic disease and the dental provider can identify when to consult primary care, therefore developing a reciprocal referral process.”

                            UofL nursing and dental students have engaged in joint seminars, standardized patient learning and clinical experiences to better identify and manage systemic diseases sometimes linked to oral health, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

                            “Our interprofessional collaboration has focused on the continued improvement of oral health across the lifespan and has contributed to the development of cutting edge providers in our community,” said Daniel Fadel, D.M.D., director of the School of Dentistry Office of Continuing Education.

                            For more information on the courses and to register, click here.

                             

                            May 11, 2016

                            UofL’s public car-share program expands to Health Sciences Center, serves downtown

                            UofL’s public car-share program expands to Health Sciences Center, serves downtown

                            May 18, 2016

                            The University of Louisville car-share program is expanding to the Health Sciences Center to serve the downtown area with a new fuel-efficient vehicle available to the public for hourly, overnight and daily rentals.

                            Reservations have increased 30 percent since 2014 when UofL’s Enterprise CarShare program, which has been operating on the main Belknap campus since 2012, was opened to the public.

                            “UofL and the city of Louisville are committed to reducing pollution and the number of cars on the road,” said Justin Mog, UofL’s assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives. “Having cars available to share allows people to commute via bus, carpool, bike or foot, knowing that a vehicle is accessible if needed for an appointment or errand. It also allows residents on or near campus to avoid the expense and hassle of owning a car. Millennials are totally into that.”

                            The new UofL CarShare vehicle will be parked outside UofL’s Kornhauser Library at 500 S. Preston St. Four other CarShare vehicles are located on Belknap Campus. All cars are cleaned, maintained, insured and fueled by Enterprise CarShare as part of the hourly rental charge.

                            Anyone over 18 with a valid driver’s license can use the cars, which are available year-round, 24 hours a day. Once users purchase a low-cost annual membership, they can access the vehicles whenever needed for $8 per hour or $56 per day. Details can be found at enterprisecarshare.com.

                            For more information, email Mog or call 502-852-8575.

                            School yard becomes latest urban laboratory in Louisville

                            St. Margaret Mary School will be the site of a new green installation by UofL
                            School yard becomes latest urban laboratory in Louisville

                            These current and projected site photos of the Louisville Green for Good project show how new plantings will provide a green buffer for St. Margaret Mary.

                            May 19, 2016

                            A local school has joined a landmark health research project headed by the University of Louisville designed to use nature to tackle the health impact of busy city streets.

                            St. Margaret Mary School, 7813 Shelbyville Road, is the new site of an experiment designed to use trees and shrubs to create a living filter for roadway air pollution. The project will be a model for metro-wide "greening" projects that use our environment to improve health.

                            The Louisville Green for Good project is a collaboration among the Diabetes and Obesity Center at the University of Louisville, The Institute for Healthy Air Water and Soil and the City of Louisville’s Office of Sustainability.

                            The current levels of air pollution at the school will be measured and then half of the school’s front yard will be filled with a green buffer of shrubs, deciduous trees and pines. Then the team will measure air pollution levels a second time. The goal is to test the idea that a greener neighborhood is a healthier neighborhood.

                            “This project has the potential to improve the health of nearby students and residents for years to come by improving local air quality," said Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., the Smith and Lucille Gibson Chair in Medicine and director of the University of Louisville Diabetes and Obesity Center. “St. Margaret Mary was chosen due to its location which is close to a high traffic roadway. The school also includes a spacious lawn that allows for the addition of foliage, which will act as an air-cleansing barrier between the school and the street.”

                            Mayor Greg Fischer said, “I am committed to helping Louisville become a greener and healthier place to live – and, I’m a data guy. So I’m excited that this project will provide the data we need to move forward on our sustainability goals for the city.”

                            St. Margaret Mary Principal Wendy Sims said she isexcited about this project for the parish, school and community.

                            “In his encyclical letter ‘Laudato Si’,’ Our Holy Father Pope Francis reminds us that ‘we must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and for the world, and that being good and decent are worth it...social love moves us to devise larger strategies to halt environmental degradation and to encourage a “culture of care” which permeates all of society’,” Sims said. “This project is a wonderful lesson for our students, faculty, and parents about how to foster such a culture of care, now and for future generations.”

                            Air monitoring will start this summer. The trees and shrubs will arrive in October with a second round of air monitoring taking place later this year. Students will participate in the monitoring work.

                            In addition to tracking certain pollutants, the project team will collect data on traffic and weather.

                            The project includes ecology experts from around the country with deep understanding of air pollution and the power of plants.

                            Funding comes from the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.

                            The research effort is a project of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. The grant was matched with $50,000 from the Owsley Brown Charitable Foundation and $25,000 from an anonymous donor in Louisville. The Institute for Healthy Air, Water, and Soil received the funds and will be managing the project.

                            Top brain cancer specialists to speak on primary gliomas July 8

                            Second annual James Graham Brown Cancer Center Neuro-oncology Symposium
                            Top brain cancer specialists to speak on primary gliomas July 8

                            Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building

                            Some of North America’s most respected physician researchers in neuro-oncology will share their expertise with physicians and the public at the second annual James Graham Brown Cancer Center Neuro-oncology Symposium on July 8 at the University of Louisville.

                            “Management of Primary Glioma in Adults,” co-hosted by the UofL Department of Neurology and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health, will be Friday, July 8 from 7:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building, 505 South Hancock Street on the University of Louisville Health Sciences Campus.

                            Conference director Eric Burton, M.D., assistant professor in the UofL Department of Neurology and director of neuro-oncology at JGBCC, will provide an overview of adult glioma, a tumor that develops in the supportive tissue of the brain. Presenters from MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco, Toronto General Hospital and the University of Louisville will then address best current practices and future treatment directions for patients with primary gliomas using surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, as well as a discussion of molecular markers in adult glioma.

                            “These are some of the most influential and highly respected physician researchers in neuro-oncology and neuropathology,” Burton said. “This is an excellent opportunity for physicians across the region, as well as patients and their families, to learn about the latest developments in the pathology and treatment of brain tumors.”

                            In addition to Burton, presenters include:

                            Kenneth Aldape, M.D., senior scientist and director of MacFeeters-Hamilton Brain Tumor Centre at Toronto General Hospital and professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. Aldape is a neuropathologist with a research interest in primary brain tumors. His work includes the identification of biomarkers in gliomas, characterizing glioma subtypes and identifying clinically relevant molecular alterations in these tumors. In 2014, Aldape received the Guha Award for Excellence in Neuro-Oncology Research from the Society for Neuro-Oncology.

                            Michael Prados, M.D., Charles B Wilson Chair in Neurosurgery and professor emeritus at the University of California San Francisco. Prados led the North America Brain Tumor Consortium for 15 years and was co-project leader of the Adult Brain Tumor Consortium until 2014. He formed and is co-project leader of the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium, a consortium of 15 major academic centers across the United States, and is co-project leader of a pediatric brain tumor SPORE project at UCSF. Prados has been NIH/NCI funded continuously since 1994 and is a member of the NCI/CTEP Brain Malignancies Steering Committee. In 2014, he was awarded the Victor Levin Award for lifetime clinical research excellence from the Society of Neuro-Oncology.

                            Raymond Sawaya, M.D., chair and professor of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He is director of the Brain Tumor Center at MD Anderson and served as professor and chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine from 2005-2014. His awards include the Joseph P. Evans Award in Neurosurgery at the University of Cincinnati and the Charles Wilson Award from the National Brain Tumor Society. He is past chairman of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons Section on Tumors. Sawaya has particular expertise in primary and metastatic brain tumors and is renowned for his strides in enhancing the accessibility and safety of brain tumor surgery.

                            Shiao Woo, M.D., chair and professor in the UofL Department of Radiation Oncology, professor in the UofL Department of Pediatrics and the Kosair Children’s Hospital/Norton Healthcare Chair in Pediatric Oncology. His clinical focus and research is on brain and spine tumors, pediatric cancer and lung cancer. Woo has received Clinical Fellowship Awards from the American Cancer Society, Teacher of the Year Award from the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology and the Patient Golden Apple Award from the MD Anderson Cancer Center. He also served as president of the MD Anderson Radiation Oncology Gilbert H. Fletcher Society.

                            “We have invited speakers with varied areas of expertise with the intention of creating a collaborative environment that will improve the regional standard of care,” Burton said.

                            Continuing education credit is available for health care providers. The event is free for UofL-affiliated providers, $15 for nurses and $20 for all others. For additional information, visit the conference website or contact Emily Rollins at emily.rollins@louisvilleneuroscience.com.

                            Amy Holthouser, M.D., selected for executive leadership program in medical education

                            Amy Holthouser, M.D., selected for executive leadership program in medical education

                            Amy Holthouser, M.D.

                            University of Louisville associate dean for medical education and associate professor of medicine and pediatrics Amy Holthouser, M.D., has been selected as a member of the 2016-2017 class of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (ELAM). Holthouser is one of only 54 women in the nation selected for the program, and is the 18th UofL faculty member to participate.

                            ELAM is a year-long fellowship for women faculty in schools of medicine, dentistry and public health in which they develop professional and personal skills required for leadership and management in health care. More than 900 ELAM alumnae hold leadership positions in institutions around the world.

                            Holthouser oversees the design and implementation of the MD program curriculum. She also leads the steering committee for the eQuality Project at UofL, a national pilot initiative to integrate competencies published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) related to provision of care for LGBT and DSD individuals into the school of medicine curriculum. Holthouser was a primary investigator on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to develop a required palliative care educational experience for medical students, and co-investigator on iCOPE, a five-year NIH grant funding the development of an interdisciplinary palliative care curriculum to improve the care of cancer patients.

                            Among her 24 teaching awards at the university and school of medicine level, Holthouser has received the American College of Physicians Outstanding Faculty Award and twice won the American Medical Women’s Association Gender Equity Award. The Louisville native is an alumna of the UofL School of Medicine where she also completed her residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics. In addition to her academic duties, Holthouser practices as a pediatric hospitalist at Kosair Children’s Hospital.

                            In ELAM’s 21-year history, 17 faculty members from UofL have completed the fellowship. Toni Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the UofL School of Medicine, is among UofL’s ELAM alumnae, and Diane Harper, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., chair of the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, was part of the 2015-2016 class. A complete list of UofL’s ELAM alumnae is included below.

                            Cancer Awareness Show 2016

                            Cancer Awareness Show 2016

                            Spirits were buoyant despite gloomy skies at the Cancer Awareness Show, held May 21 at Hillview Community Center to benefit the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center. Volunteer Richard Luce Jr. organized the event that featured a car and truck show, a model car show, a model train show and an arts and crafts show along with a silent auction, music, food, games and more. Proceeds are still being compiled and will be formally presented at an upcoming meeting of the Hillview City Council. To see all the fun from the event, visit our photo gallery.

                            Two UofL medical students receive Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships for research in sub-Saharan Africa

                            UofL is first medical school with two awardees in the same year
                            Two UofL medical students receive Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships for research in sub-Saharan Africa

                            Mackenzie Flynn and Jessica Eaton

                            Jessica Eaton and Mackenzie Flynn, students in the University of Louisville School of Medicine, will delay their fourth year of medical school to spend nine months conducting medical research in Malawi and Kenya. Thanks to Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships in Public Health for 2016-2017, Eaton plans to research the causes and assess the outcomes of brain and spinal cord injuries in Lilongwe, Malawi, and Flynn will work with pregnant HIV-positive women in Nairobi, Kenya to determine whether text messaging can increase compliance with treatments to prevent HIV transmission to their infants.

                            Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships are offered for students enrolled in medical school or a graduate program in public health through a partnership between the U.S. government’s Fulbright international study program and the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health. This is the first time two students in the same medical school have received Fulbright-Fogarty fellowships in a single year.

                            Eaton and Flynn have cultivated their interest in global health through participation in the Distinction in Global Health track (DIGH) at UofL, a supplemental curriculum for students in the school of medicine that introduces students to aspects of global health through clinical, social, political and epidemiological study.

                            “The Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowship is a great opportunity to participate in real-world experience in global health research,” said Bethany Hodge, M.D., M.P.H., director of the DIGH track and the UofL School of Medicine’s Global Education Office. “These experiences will take their academic skills to a higher level and prepare them for careers in global health.”

                            As part of her research, Eaton will conduct a retrospective review of trauma records to determine the causes of traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries (TBI/SCI) as well as their treatment outcomes. In addition, she will conduct research to identify the best predictors of surgical outcomes in TBI/SCI patients using the patient’s signs and symptoms to determine a surgical plan since the hospital lacks advanced imaging facilities such as CT or MRI. Eaton will conduct her research at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe, Malawi under the guidance of Anthony Charles, M.D., M.P.H., and other faculty with the UNC Malawi Surgical Initiative. She will use the surgical initiative’s trauma and surgical registry, one of the largest such registries in sub-Saharan Africa.

                            “As a medical student planning to pursue neurosurgery and dreaming of practicing overseas in the places where I am most needed, I couldn't have crafted a better learning opportunity for myself,” Eaton said.

                            As an undergraduate at UofL, Eaton was one of the inaugural James Graham Brown Fellows. That fellowship provided her with opportunities to travel, which sparked her interest in global health. She plans to enter neurosurgery and incorporate global health into her practice. [Hear Jessica Eaton's interview on UofL Today with Mark Hebert]

                            Flynn’s research will focus on preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission. Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) helps increase lifespan and delay progression to AIDS in patients with HIV and is considered key to the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Flynn’s project will investigate whether text messages sent to pregnant HIV-positive women will increase ART adherence and prenatal health care visits. She will conduct her research under primary investigator Alison Drake, Ph.D., M.P.H., in collaboration with the Kenya Medical Research Institute in Nairobi and the Kenya Research Program at the University of Washington.

                            “This is an excellent opportunity to really understand how medical research can differ from benchwork,” Flynn said. “Epidemiology, clinical trials conducted in an international setting, IRB approval and ethical considerations are all things I want to incorporate into my career in academia and in global health.”

                            This year’s fellowship will be the second Fulbright experience for Flynn. After receiving her bachelor’s degree at UofL in 2012, Flynn received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Sivas, Turkey, where she taught university-level English-speaking courses to college freshmen at Cumhuriet University. Flynn’s work in Kenya will build on experience she had during a medical service trip to Tanzania where she worked in an area with a high prevalence of HIV infections. She hopes to pursue a career in academic medicine and work in international health and research as an ob/gyn. [Hear Mackenzie Flynn's interview on UofL Today with Mark Hebert]

                            Hodge said the experience and research training Eaton and Flynn will receive will benefit not only their academic careers, but the other students in the DIGH track once they return to UofL to complete their M.D. program in August of 2017.

                            “We talk about global health as an academic discipline and think critically about the gaps in knowledge in this field. We spend a lot of time looking at the literature and thinking about the roles of physicians as researchers, policy-makers and social advocates in global health, in addition to being clinicians,” Hodge said. “I look forward to these students returning after their fellowships because their boots-on-the-ground experience will enrich the discussions we have as a group. Hopefully they will inspire other students to pursue academic work in global health.”

                            ###

                            About the Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowship in Public Health

                            The Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, has partnered with Fogarty International Center of the U.S. National Institutes of Health to offer Fulbright-Fogarty Fellowships in Public Health. These fellowships grant medical students and graduate students interested in global health the opportunity to conduct research in public health and clinical research in resource-limited settings. Fellows spend nine months in one of nine countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia or South America. The Fulbright-Fogarty program began in 2011.

                            Four with ties to UofL named MOSAIC Award winners

                            Jewish Family & Career Services annual honor recognizes immigrant success

                            Two current University of Louisville faculty members, the daughter of a faculty member and a former faculty member are among the 2016 recipients of an annual award that honors the contributions made by immigrants to the Louisville community.

                            The MOSAIC Awards, presented by Jewish Family & Cultural Services, will be presented Thursday, May 26, at the Marriott Louisville Downtown Hotel, 280 W. Jefferson St. The event kicks off at 5 p.m. with a reception showcasing local entrepreneurial talent followed by dinner and presentation of the awards.

                            The “MOSAIC” name represents “Multicultural Opportunities for Success & Achievement In our Community,” and the annual awards dinner is a fundraising event to benefit JFCS. Every year since 2006, JFCS has honored new or first-generation immigrants and refugees who are making a significant contribution in their professions and in the community.

                            This year’s honorees are Dr. Emma Birks and Dr. Riaan van Zyl, both current University of Louisville faculty; Oksana Masters, the daughter of UofL faculty member Dr. Gay Masters; former faculty member Thangam “Sam” Rangaswamy;  and Dr. Manuel Grimaldi,

                            “JFCS was founded to assist newcomers to Louisville, and this event honors its original mission,” Judy Freundlich Tiell, JFCS executive director, said. “To date, the event has recognized 52 international Americans who make our community a richer and more interesting city, creating a mosaic of many colors and perspectives.”

                            Tickets to the event are $125 per person, and table sponsorships begin at $1,500. For reservations, contact Beverly Bromley, JFCS director of development, at 502-452-6341, ext. 223, or bbromley@jfcslouisville.org.

                            About the honorees
                            Emma Birks, M.D., Ph.D., is from Great Britain and is a professor of medicine and director of the Heart Failure, Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support program in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Louisville. She practices with University of Louisville Physicians-Cardiovascular Medicine and is affiliated with Jewish Hospital, a part of Kentucky OneHealth.

                            Birks developed a myocardial recovery program and the burgeoning Ventricular Assist Devices and Transplant programs in Louisville. She currently teaches cardiology fellows and residents and started a heart failure fellowship program.

                            Birks works closely with cardiothoracic surgery and biomedical engineering and is involved in translational research studies. Her research focuses on inducing myocardial recovery and on the underling molecular mechanisms in recovery with the goal of reversing heart failure.

                            Originally from South Africa, Riaan van Zyl, Ph.D., is professor and associate dean for research in the Kent School of Social Work at UofL. His leadership and involvement in progressive social matters led to solutions that work, such as the first alcohol safety program in South Africa’s criminal justice system and programs for those with epilepsy.

                            He founded the South African Association of Mediators, facilitated the national aging policy for the National Department of Welfare and united all of South Africa’s schools of social work in a transformation process that developed high educational standards, and helped to reform the prison systems.

                            Van Zyl continues work in the area of prevention of HIV/AIDS in Africa. After joining the UofL faculty in 2000, he set about creating a new environment for research, building relationships with the community and creating a collaborative environment where faculty work with each other to solve community problems. He also has positioned the school to be one of the fastest growing in the country in terms of federal research dollars.

                            Oksana Masters from Ukraine was born with several radiation-induced birth defects. She was abandoned and lived in orphanages until she was seven. She endured surgeries, amputations, hunger and physical abuse, something no child should have to endure; yet she survived. She was adopted by M. Gay Masters, Ph.D., who is an assistant professor in the UofL Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders and practices with UofL Physicians-Speech-Language Pathology

                            Oksana Masters and her partner, Rob Jones, earned a bronze medal in trunk & arms rowing at the 2012 Paralympics. This was the first medal for the USA in this category. She was then named US Rowing Female Athlete of the Year in 2012, first time ever for a para-rower.

                            In 2014, after one full season on sit-skis, Oksana earned silver and bronze medals in Nordic Cross Country at the 2014 Paralympics. In 2015, during her next season on snow, she earned cross country World Championship medals and was World Cup Leader. She also earned a bronze medal at the Paracycling World Championships in 2015 as well as numerous medals in World Cup competitions in cross country, biathlon and handcycling. She is currently working to qualify for her third Paralympic.

                            Thangam “Sam” Rangaswamy, Ph.D., is from India and is the president and principal engineer of Rangaswany & Associates Inc., which he founded. He has taught concrete courses at the UofL Speed School of Engineering.

                            He is the founder of the Structural Engineering Association of Kentucky and served as its president, director and secretary. He has also served as Kentucky Minority Business Development Council treasurer, secretary and board member.

                            Rangaswany was given the U.S. Small Business Administration Person of the Year Award in 1985. He is a registered engineer in nine states and has received many national structural engineering and concrete masonry design awards.

                            He is currently serving on the Parking Authority of River City Board (PARC) and the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. Rangaswamy was a founding trustee involved in the building and opening of the Hindu Temple of Kentucky and organized the India Community Foundation of Louisville.

                            The only honoree not associated with UofL, Manuel Grimaldi, M.D., came from Spain to the United States in order to be certified in internal medicine (1976) and medical oncology (1977). He joined the practice of Drs. Beard, Fuller and Dobbs currently known as CBC in 1977.

                            He has won numerous accolades, including the American Cancer Society Physician of the Year Award in 2010 and The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Award. Upon retirement, he became a volunteer through the Greater Louisville Medical Society, donating his time, knowledge and service in medical missionary trips to Nicaragua and Belize.

                            Grimaldi has traveled to Nicaragua numerous times with Hand to Hand Ministries, visiting hospitals and clinics where he provided families, women and children with routine health care that would otherwise be unavailable to them. He raised funds to build homes in Belize and also served as a medical missionary for homebound families living with HIV.

                             

                             

                            National AARP, Area Agencies on Aging leaders featured at optimal aging conference, June 12-14

                            Keynote speakers announced; CEUs, free lecture series offered
                            National AARP, Area Agencies on Aging leaders featured at optimal aging conference, June 12-14

                            A national vice president of AARP, the CEO of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and a University of Louisville Emeritus Geriatrician have been tapped as keynote speakers for The Optimal Aging Conference. The event, hosted by UofL’s Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging and the Kentucky Association for Gerontology (KAG), will be held June 12-14 at the historic Brown Hotel, 335 W. Broadway.

                            Speakers and their addresses are:

                            • Barbara Shipley, Senior Vice President of Brand Integration, AARP
                              Disrupt Aging: Unlocking the Age Disruptor in All of Us
                            • Sandy Markwood, CEO, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging
                              Valuing and Supporting People as They Age: The Aging Networks’ Role in Supporting Optimal Aging
                            • James O’Brien, M.D., Emeritus Geriatrician, University of Louisville
                              Caring for Older Adults: Lessons Learned

                            The conference has a variety of options for people interested in revolutionizing the way aging is constructed in our community, said Anna Faul, Ph.D., executive director of the institute. “The Optimal Aging Conference is an exciting opportunity for all individuals dedicated to the belief that aging is an opportunity,” Faul said. “This conference is unique in that we have a variety of professional and academic perspectives present. It is through this sharing of all our perspectives that we will be moving together towards an aging revolution.”

                            This is the inaugural conference to be co-hosted by the institute and KAG. “This inaugural year of the Optimal Aging Conference will premiere the power of merging resources to create something even greater than what existed before,” Barbara Gordon, KAG president, said. “Stemming from our long-standing annual conference and the institute’s symposium, the partnership of these two organizations results in an exceptional event that promises to be a coveted learning opportunity for persons in the field of aging the world over.”

                            The conference will conclude the afternoon of June 14 with the Smock Lecture Series, featuring five 1-hour presentations. This concluding lecture series is free and open to all conference participants as well as the general public.

                            CEU credits are available for physicians, social workers, nurses and other health care professionals. There also are several pre-conference CEU offerings including Social Work Ethics (social work), Domestic Violence (social work) and Assessing and Managing Suicide Risk, a required CEU for social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists and certified alcohol and drug counselors. Information about CEU offerings is found on the conference website.

                            Cost to attend is $110 person for students, medical residents and senior citizens age 65 and older; $250 for KAG members; and $270 for other academic and other professional staff. To register, go to the conference website.

                            About Barbara Shipley

                            Barbara Shipley brings more than 25 years of experience in branding, marketing and strategic communications to her role as senior vice president of brand integration for AARP.  She joined AARP in 2006 to help build and develop the revitalized AARP brand platform and now leads the brand integration efforts for AARP, from the Foundation and AARP Services to the association and its 53 state offices. Prior to joining AARP, she managed the Washington office of public relations firm Ruder Finn and spent more than a decade in various leadership roles with Fleishman Hillard Inc, one of the world’s largest strategic communications firms.  A native New Yorker, Shipley is a graduate of American University and lives in McLean, Va., with her husband and two children.

                            About Sandy Markwood

                            Chief Executive Officer Sandy Markwood of the National Association for Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) has more than 30 years’ experience in developing aging, health, human services, housing and transportation programs in counties and cities across the nation. Prior to coming to n4A in January 2002, Sandy served as the deputy director of county services at the National Association of Counties. As CEO, Sandy is responsible for n4a’s overall management, setting strategic direction and overseeing the implementation of all policy, grassroots advocacy, membership and program initiatives. She also leads n4a’s fundraising efforts and engages corporate sponsors to support initiatives, including an aging awards/best practices program and the Leadership Institute for Area Agency on Aging. Sandy holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Virginia.

                            About James O’Brien, M.D.

                            James O’Brien received his medical degrees at University College, Dublin, and completed a residency in family medicine at Saginaw Cooperative Hospitals in affiliation with Michigan State University and a fellowship in geriatrics at Duke University Medical Center. He spent 19 years on the faculty at MSU where he initiated the first geriatric fellowship. He assumed the Margaret Dorward Smock Endowed Chair in Geriatrics at UofL in 1996.  He became acting chair of Family Medicine in 2002 and chair of the renamed Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine in 2003, a position he held until 2015 when he was named Emeritus Geriatrician. He has been named a “Best Doctor in Louisville” by Louisville Magazine and is a past recipient of ElderServe’s Champion of Aging Award.

                            Barbara Shipley, National AARP

                            Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging
                            Barbara Shipley, National AARP
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                            Sandy Markwood, National Association for Area Agencies on Aging

                            Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging
                            Sandy Markwood, National Association for Area Agencies on Aging
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                            Susan Galandiuk, M.D., named editor-in-chief of prestigious scientific journal

                            UofL professor of surgery will lead "Diseases of the Colon & Rectum" and move the journal to Louisville
                            Susan Galandiuk, M.D., named editor-in-chief of prestigious scientific journal

                            Susan Galandiuk, M.D.

                            Susan Galandiuk, M.D., professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Louisville, has been named editor-in-chief of Diseases of the Colon & Rectum, the scientific journal of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS).

                            Galandiuk, director of the Price Institute of Surgical Research at UofL and program director for the Section of Colon and Rectal Surgery, will replace editor-in-chief Robert Madoff, effective January 1, 2017. She will serve a five-year term with a five-year renewal option.

                            “It is particularly appropriate that Dr. Galandiuk has been appointed as editor-in-chief of the world’s premier journal in the specialty of colorectal surgery – Diseases of the Colon & Rectum – since her predecessor at the University of Louisville, Dr. Joseph McDowell Mathews, founded this specialty in the United States over a century ago. It is a great honor and we are very proud of Dr. Galandiuk’s achievements,” said Kelly McMasters, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the UofL Department of Surgery.

                            Diseases of the Colon & Rectum ranks in the top 14 percent of all peer-reviewed surgery journals. It is mailed to the 3,300 members of ASCRS and also is available online. Editors-in-chief must show a record of significant scholarly achievement, editorial skills and an understanding of the international community of scholars and practitioners.

                            Galandiuk has published 150 peer-reviewed articles, 47 book chapters and three books (two at press). Previously, she was associate editor and section editor of Digestive Surgery and has served on editorial boards of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Annals of Surgery, British Journal of Surgery and others. Galandiuk has served in numerous leadership, review and advisory positions at the local, state, national and international levels, as well as for the United States Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health. She is an alumna of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (ELAM), and is recognized among America’s Top Doctors, America’s Top Cancer Doctors and America’s Most Compassionate Doctors.

                            In preparation for assuming the duties as editor of Diseases of the Colon & Rectum, Galandiuk is serving as co-editor of the journal. Once she assumes her role as editor, the publication’s editorial office will move from Minnesota to Louisville.

                             

                            May 31, 2016

                            Barbara Shipley, National AARP

                            Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging
                            Barbara Shipley, National AARP
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                            James O'Brien, M.D.

                            Emeritus Geriatrician, eff. 2015
                            James O'Brien, M.D.
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                            Lung cancer breath ‘signature’ presents promise for earlier diagnosis

                            UofL researchers’ analysis of breath samples could lead way to increased survival
                            Lung cancer breath ‘signature’ presents promise for earlier diagnosis

                            The balloon device and microchip used by the researchers are shown.

                            A single breath may be all it takes to identify the return of lung cancer after surgery, according to a study authored by University of Louisville Researchers and posted online today by The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

                            Exhaled breath contains thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that vary in composition and pattern depending on a person’s health status. A subset of four VOCs—called carbonyl compounds because of their carbon base—have been discovered in the exhaled breath of lung cancer patients. Being able to identify this lung cancer “signature” through a simple breath test has emerged as one of the most promising ways to diagnose the disease. Now the test is being used to monitor for disease recurrence.

                            Erin M. Schumer, M.D., of the Department of Surgery, Victor van Berkel, M.D., Ph.D., of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery and colleagues from the University of Louisville analyzed breath samples collected before and after surgery from 31 lung cancer patients and compared their carbonyl VOCs levels with samples from 187 healthy patients.

                            The researchers found a significant decrease in overall carbonyl VOC levels following surgery; in fact, three of the four carbonyl VOCs normalized after surgery, matching levels in the control group.

                            “The rapid normalization of almost all of the four compounds after surgery provides strong evidence that they are directly produced by the tumor environment,” Schumer said. “This study confirms that the technology is accurate.”

                            Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 224,000 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, and more than 158,000 lung cancer patients will die—that translates to 433 lung cancer deaths per day in the United States.

                            Schumer said those grim statistics underscore the need for early detection, “We hope that breath analysis will allow us to diagnose patients with primary or recurrent lung cancer long before they suffer from symptoms, when we have more options for treating them, giving them the best chance for cure.”

                            Currently, lung cancer patients are followed after surgery with chest computed tomography (CT) scans, which can be inconvenient, expensive, and expose the patient to radiation. “We hope that the breath analysis can serve as the primary screening tool for cancer recurrence and a CT scan ordered only if the breath test suggests that there has been a change,” van Berkel said.

                            How the breath test works

                            The process of breath analysis is relatively simple. The patient blows a single breath into a specialized balloon. The balloon is then connected to a pump that pulls the breath over a small microchip that is smaller in size than a quarter, trapping the chemicals. The microchip is sent to the lab, where the chemicals are analyzed within hours. Breath collection can be performed in the doctor’s office.

                            The pump is reusable; the balloon, microchip and lab test together cost around $20, all supporting the increasing acceptance of breath tests as a cost-effective, easy-to-perform, non-invasive and rapid option for the diagnosis of lung cancer.

                            “The great potential with breath analysis is detecting lung cancer at any point, both as a primary screening tool and to follow patients after disease has been treated,” van Berkel said. “The technology is pretty robust. Our next step is getting approval from the FDA.”

                             

                            Whale of a tale: How marine mammal research informs us about global pollution at Beer with a Scientist, June 15

                            Whale of a tale:  How marine mammal research informs us about global pollution at Beer with a Scientist, June 15

                            John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D.

                            Obtaining and studying tissue samples from hundreds of whales around the world has been a mission and a passion for John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D. for the past 18 years.

                            A professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Louisville, Wise is a leading authority on metal-induced cancer development. He studies the mechanisms of cancer and investigates the health impacts of chemicals and toxic metals in the environment, comparing their effects in humans with whales, sea turtles, alligators and other wildlife. Wise has conducted more than two dozen marine research expeditions, including three in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil well. In April, his team collected tissue samples from free-ranging whales in the Sea of Cortez. Read more about this trip, including a video of his first encounter with a majestic blue whale, at http://uoflnews.com/section/science-and-tech/encounter-of-a-lifetime-uofl-researcher-finally-meets-a-blue-whale/.

                            At this month’s Beer with a Scientist, Wise will share his experiences on the water and explain how his research, funded by the U.S. Army, NIH, NASA, NOAA and other sources, is improving our understanding of the effects of environmental pollutants in marine life and in humans.

                            The program begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15 at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

                            The Beer with a Scientist program began in 2014 and is the brainchild of UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D. Once a month, the public is invited to enjoy exactly what the title promises:  beer and science.

                            Admission is free. Purchase of beer, other beverages or menu items is not required but is encouraged.

                            Organizers add that they also encourage Beer with a Scientist patrons to drink responsibly.

                            For more information and to suggest future Beer with a Scientist topics, follow Louisville Underground Science on Facebook.

                            Encounter of a lifetime: John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D., met a blue whale for the first time in 18 years of marine mammal research

                            He shares the experience and video of the event. >>NOTE: Wise will be the featured speaker at Beer with a Scientist, June 15, 8 p.m. at Against the Grain Brewery<<
                            Encounter of a lifetime:  John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D., met a blue whale for the first time in 18 years of marine mammal research

                            John P. Wise. and research team in the Sea of Cortez

                            In April, John Pierce Wise Sr., Ph.D., spent two weeks on a lab-equipped sailboat in the Sea of Cortez collecting tissue samples from free-ranging whales to be tested for chromium, mercury, silver and other toxic metals. He began this research in 1998, and since that time, has embarked on more than two dozen marine research expeditions. This spring’s trip included an experience Wise had hoped for since before he began his research:  His team encountered a blue whale.

                             

                            When I started, and back even further, the whale I most wanted to see and study was the blue whale. Yet, try as I might, blue whales always seemed just out of my reach. … each time I went near the sea, be it on boat or land, I hoped I would see one of these magnificent creatures.

                            Today was finally the day.

                            -- John Pierce Wise Sr., Blog post, April 6, 2016

                             

                            A professor in the UofL School of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Wise is a leading authority on metal-induced cancer development. He studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cancer and investigates the health impacts of chemicals in the environment, comparing their effects in humans with wildlife such as whales, sea turtles and alligators. Through this research, he hopes to better understand whether these pollutants cause DNA damage and cancer in marine life and in humans.

                            During this trip, Wise and his team of researchers obtained skin and blubber samples from 29 whales of seven different species in the Sea of Cortez, which lies between the Baja peninsula and the mainland of Mexico, emptying into the Pacific Ocean. On this project, Wise is collaborating with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Jorge Urbán Ramírez, PhD, at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur in Mexico. Wise’s son, John Jr., (Johnny) a graduate student in toxicology at Purdue University, and other team members used a crossbow to shoot a small dart into the whales’ skin from the vessel to obtain thimble-sized tissue biopsies without disrupting the animals’ activity. These crossbow handlers are known as biopsiers.

                            Following is Wise’s blog describing the encounter with the blue whale –

                             

                            Wednesday, April 6, 2016 – Day 5 at Sea

                            I started developing my whale research in 1998. Hard to believe 18 years have passed as those first days seem like yesterday. I’ve worked on many species from whales to sea lions to sea otters to polar bears. Shoot even humans are considered marine mammals for that matter and we work on them too. But going back to when I started, and then back even further, the whale I most wanted to see and study was the blue whale. Yet, try as I might – blue whales always seemed just out of my reach. We worked on blue whale cells when a colleague gave me a sample. Still, each time I went near the sea, be it on boat or land, I hoped I would see one of these magnificent creatures.

                            Today was finally the day.

                            The day started with a couple of pods of short finned pilot whales – very cute whales travelling in a small group. We managed three biopsies of them and it seemed liked it was going to be an exciting day. But as sea research days often go, the day quickly settled into a quiet routine of changing watch shifts and the hum of the engine churning away. There was nothing to see and all was quiet. A bird flew by – it was a masked booby – but not much was going on. The team carried out its duties with focus and efficiency, but a sense of no further sampling for the day started to set in.

                            Late in the afternoon as the light was fading, several of us were talking in the pilot house. Suddenly, Johnny bolted up and yelled, “whale blow, 9 o’clock.” He ran to the bow and we yelled up to Mark on the mast. Soon Johnny spotted a tail fluke. That left three possibilities – sperm whale, humpback or blue whale. Each has a distinctive shape to their tail. Johnny came into the pilot house and described the fluke. It was not something he had seen before. He has biopsied hundreds of sperm whales and dozens of humpbacks – so I knew then this whale had to be a blue whale. The question was could we get near it and biopsy it?

                            To be clear, all whales have a tail fluke. It’s just that not all whales lift their tail flukes out of the water when they dive. Thus, with other whales you simply cannot see their tail flukes in the air. But sperm whales, humpback whales and blue whales frequently raise their tail flukes, almost in a gesture of waving ‘goodbye’ as they dive down deep.

                            The team took a collective breath and renewed efforts to find this whale. Everyone wanted to see this magnificent whale that grows to be the biggest animal alive on earth.

                            With Oona at the helm, Mark in the crow’s nest, Mike on the rigging and Johnny, Rick, Carlos and me in the foredeck, we pressed on with our search. Closer we crept forward. Closer. Closer. We would have these anxious periods between the whale’s dives, wondering where it might surface. Yet, it stayed just ahead of us. Finally, it was in sight. Carlos pointed out that we should look for the blue water – something about the whale’s coloration creates a bluish glow of a reflection in the water. The glow is why the blue whale is called a “blue” whale.

                            Watch a video of the encounter.

                            Mark called in the position from above. We all scanned the water for the blue glow. There it was, quite close!!! But just a tad too far for a biopsy. The whale dove and we all marveled at the sight. We kept search, only now it was harder, for the whale had been right next to us. Before, it was in front in the distance. Where did it go? Where would it surface? We slowed our speed and looked.

                            Generally, I stay out of the foredeck in the pilot house and let the team work, but this whale was a blue whale and I had waited a long time to see a blue whale. This time, I moved right into the bowsprit with the biopsiers to see the whale up close. Everyone understood. Now, we just had to find the whale.

                            Suddenly, the whale surfaced right behind the boat! Oona turned us around as the whale dove. We searched for the blue glow. Carlos starting yelling, “It’s right there! Right there!”

                            When someone yells like that, the whale is so close they cannot express in words exactly where it is. We all looked down and sure enough, there was the whale in all its fantastic blue glow – right under us in the bow. What a breathtaking and awesome sight!

                            Only problem was the whale was close in and perpendicular to the boat. The biopsiers were at the wrong angle. A sample would be exceptionally difficult. But, there was an odd wrinkle to the biopsiers’ positions. Normally, they are next to each other, but now I was in the bowsprit between them, which created more space. Johnny was the furthest in the bowsprit and he had no angle for a shot. Rick, however, leaned way over the rail and released his arrow!  It hit! He had just enough of an angle to take a perfect biopsy! We recovered the arrow and we had done it! Our first blue whale biopsy. The team was abuzz with excitement.

                            The light was low as the sun was setting and it was overcast. We called it a day and shared our stories of our individual thrill from this magnificent whale. We are up to 16 whales biopsied. It’s been a success so far.

                            John