News

UofL leads first research team to identify AF1q protein associated with multiple myeloma, extramedullary disease

UofL leads first research team to identify AF1q protein associated with multiple myeloma, extramedullary disease

William Tse, M.D.

A group of researchers from the University of Louisville, Japan and Austria is the first to identify a protein, AF1q, associated with multiple myeloma and a condition that occurs in approximately one-fourth of very aggressive multiple myeloma, extramedullary disease or EMD.

The group will present their findings at the European Hematology Association’s 21st Congress, June 10-12, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Their presentation is entitled “High expression of AF1q is an adverse prognostic factor and a prediction marker of extramedullary disease in multiple myeloma.”

William Tse, M.D., the Marion F. Beard Endowed Chair in Hematology and chief of the Division of Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation at UofL, was senior investigator on the project, working with researchers in Tokyo and Vienna.

Multiple myeloma is one of four types of myeloma and the most prevalent. It is a form of blood cancer that develops in the bone marrow. In multiple myeloma, normal plasma cells transform into malignant myeloma cells and produce large quantities of toxic abnormal immunoglobulin called monoclonal protein that can damage multiple organs. The monoclonal protein produced by the myeloma cells interferes with normal blood cell production.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 30,330 new cases of multiple myeloma will occur in the United States in 2016 and about 12,600 people will die from it.

Approximately 25 percent of patients with multiple myeloma also simultaneously develop extramedullary disease. This disease occurs when the myeloma cells form tumors outside of the bone marrow in the soft tissues or organs of the body. The prognosis of myeloma patients with EMD behaves like other metastatic cancers and is extremely poor because its clinical course is veryaggressive, Tse said.

“We know that multiple myeloma with EMD involvement has an extremely poor outcome,” Tse said. “However, not much is known about the mechanism in which EMD progresses.”

The group looked at an oncogene, AF1q discovered in Tse’s lab, which is expressed in hematological cancer cells and is known to be related to multiple myeloma. Its presence indicates a poor prognosis for the patient.

Tse and the team analyzed the degree of expression of AF1q in 117 patients with multiple myeloma. They found that EMD was present in 25 percent of patients with a low AF1q expression and in 44.7 percent of patients with a high AF1q expression.

“We found that the incidence of EMD was significantly higher in patients with high expression of AF1q than those with low expression,” Tse said. “The significance of this finding gives us a tentative approach to target this marker and could lead to new therapies for this subtype of myeloma.”

Tse’s research team included Drs. Shotaro Hagiwara, the lead author and chief of hematology, and Sohtaro Mine of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo, Ana-Iris Schiefer of the Medical University of Vienna and Lukas Kenner of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research and Medical University of Vienna. The study patient cohort was organized by Hagiwara.

Tse practices with University of Louisville Physicians-Medical Oncology/Hematology and with UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health.

Hillview supports the James Graham Brown Cancer Center

Hillview supports the James Graham Brown Cancer Center

Richard Luce Jr. of Hillview presented a check for $1,800 to Dr. Donald Miller, director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville, at the Hillview City Council meeting held June 20. The donation resulted from the proceeds of the Hillview Cancer Awareness Show, organized by Luce and featuring a model train show, a car, truck and model car show and an arts and crafts show, held May 21 at the Hillview Community Center. Luce organized the event in memory of his father, Richard Luce Sr., a model train enthusiast who died from cancer in 2013. “Since my father’s passing, I have striven to improve cancer awareness,” Luce said. “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.” Plans are already underway for the 2017 show, he said. Photos from the check presentation can be viewed here.

Precision medicine for brain tumors to be discussed at UofL

July 8 symposium speakers include contributor to new tumor classifications and other world renowned researchers
Precision medicine for brain tumors to be discussed at UofL

Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building

A new classification system for tumors of the brain and spinal cord released this year by the World Health Organization will help physicians tailor treatments more precisely to a patient’s tumor. Kenneth Aldape, M.D., who helped develop the new classification system, will discuss its significance July 8 at the University of Louisville’s second annual James Graham Brown Cancer Center Neuro-oncology Symposium in his discussion, “Molecular Markers for Adult Glioma.” Gliomas are tumors that develop in the supportive tissue of the brain.

Aldape was part of an international team of medical researchers contributing to the 2016 World Health Organization Classification of Tumors of the Central Nervous System (2016 WHO CNS), which sets the international standard for describing and classifying tumors of the central nervous system. The 2016 edition provides universal terminology allowing physicians and researchers to define tumors based not only on their morphology (the form and structure of the tumors), but also on their molecular characteristics (genetic mutations or structural variants). These standards ultimately will facilitate more precise and effective treatments for patients.

“These new classifications position us on the path of delivering precision medicine,” said Eyas Hattab, M.D., M.B.A., chair of the UofL Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. “This will allow physicians to tailor treatments more specifically to the individual patient’s tumor.”

For example, prior to the 2016 CNS WHO, a tumor may have been identified as glioblastoma based on its location and cell structure. The revised classification now provides universal terminology to identify the tumor as either IDH-mutant or IDH-wildtype, based on molecular characteristics. This refinement will allow for more accurate prognosis for patients and the potential development of specific treatments for different tumors.

“If we know these are molecularly distinct entities, it gives us the opportunity to study their behaviors. We can come back in a few years and say that based on our studies, these behave better or worse or they can benefit from the following treatments,” Hattab said.

Also at the July 8 UofL symposium, Michael Prados, M.D., co-project leader of the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium, will discuss current research in the area of precision-based therapies for patients with recurrent glioblastomas.

JGBCC Neuro-oncology Symposium – “Management of Primary Glioma in Adults,” July 8, 2016

Introduction and overview of primary glioma – Eric Burton, M.D.,assistant professor in the UofL Department of Neurology and director of neuro-oncology at JGBCC.

Surgical intervention for primary gliomaRaymond Sawaya, M.D., chair and professor of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Sawaya’s presentation will cover the advantages of radical surgery for primary brain tumors and the technological advances that have allowed such surgeries with reduced morbidity.

Radiation oncology for primary gliomaShiao 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.

Chemotherapy and clinical trials for adult glioma –Michael Prados, M.D., Charles B Wilson Chair in Neurosurgery and professor emeritus at the University of California San Francisco. Prados will discuss research in the area of precision-based therapies for patients with recurrent glioblastomas.

Molecular markers for adult gliomaKenneth 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.

 

The symposium is co-hosted by the UofL Department of Neurology and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m. on Friday, July 8, at the Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building, 505 South Hancock Street on the University of Louisville Health Sciences Campus.

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.

Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc., grant supports UofL research for improved retinoblastoma treatment

Nanoparticle encapsulation for melphalan may reduce number of chemotherapy treatments in children with eye cancer
Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc., grant supports UofL research for improved retinoblastoma treatment

Knights Templar of Kentucky presentation to UofL researchers

UofL researchers Aparna Ramasubramanian, M.D., and Jill Steinbach-Rankins, Ph.D., have received a grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc., to support their work in developing an improved chemotherapy treatment for retinoblastoma. Ramasubramanian, a pediatric ophthalmologist and ocular oncologist, and Steinbach-Rankins, a professor of bioengineering at the UofL J.B. Speed School of Engineering, are developing nanoparticles that will encapsulate the drug melphalan for use in intravitreal injections in the treatment of retinoblastoma.

Retinoblastoma is the most common type of eye cancer in children. Each year, approximately 300 children, usually under the age of 5, are diagnosed with retinoblastoma in the United States. The cancer begins in the retina, the layer of nerve tissue lining the inside of the back of the eye.

Melphalan is the most commonly used chemotherapy drug for intraocular injection in retinoblastoma. It is delivered into the vitreous cavity of the eye with the patient under general anesthesia. Since the drug degrades quickly, four to 12 injections may be required to control the tumor. Injection into an eye with an active tumor poses the risk of allowing the cancer to spread to other areas of the body, and with repeated injections, toxicity in the retina and the rate of complications increases.

Ramasubramanian and Steinbach-Rankins are developing a method for encapsulating melphalan using nanoparticles that will allow the medication to remain viable longer, reducing the number of injections needed and thereby minimizing the side effects and need for anesthesia.

“Typically the treatment requires six to eight injections. If we can reduce that number by even half, it would greatly reduce the risks associated with the treatment,” said Ramasubramanian, who specializes in the treatment of eye cancers.

They hope to have a version of the medication available for clinical trials within two years.

"Blindness from ocular retinoblastoma is a tragic occurrence but new treatments can prevent loss of vision and loss of life. Unfortunately, treatment can sometimes have significant adverse effects throughout the body,” said Henry Kaplan, M.D., chair of the UofL Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. “The ability to deliver effective anti-tumor medications in small particles (nanoparticles) directly into the eye should avoid this problem and allow a much easier treatment course for patients."

The Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc., incorporated in 1956, is a charity sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar based in Flower Mound, Texas. Since 2010, the organization’s mission has been to improve vision through research, education, and supporting access to care.

“The Knights Templar Eye Foundation offers grants of $65,000 to researchers who are doing work in the field of eye research,” said Larry Carte, the deputy grand commander of the Knights Templar of Kentucky who presented the check on June 24. “The work Dr. Ramasubramanian is doing here is very important and they are pleased to offer her the grant to support her research.”

Ramasubramanian will have the option to apply for an additional grant next year if the project is not complete. The Knights Templar Eye Foundation has awarded research grants totaling more than $23 million to researchers working in the fields of pediatric ophthalmology and ophthalmic genetics.

UofL Human Subjects Protection Program earns reaccreditation

Participants in clinical trials are assured of professionalism, ethical standards
UofL Human Subjects Protection Program earns reaccreditation

Dr. Ken Lucas, right, checks Sam Rosebrock of Morganton, N.C., at UofL's Kosair Charities Pediatric Clinical Research Unit. The UofL office overseeing patients in research trials like Sam has earned reaccreditation for the next five years.

Research involving human subjects at the University of Louisville continues to follow the most stringent ethical and professional guidelines in existence, as evidenced by the UofL Human Subjects Protection Program earning reaccreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs.

The UofL Human Subjects Protection Program Office (HSPPO) was awarded full accreditation for the maximum period allowed, five years. The HSPPO was the first such program in Kentucky accredited by the association when it received its original accreditation in 2005.

“Accreditation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs means that people who volunteer to participate in research studies are assured that the highest standards of professionalism are maintained,” William M. Pierce Jr., Ph.D., executive vice president for research and innovation, said.

“We are proud of our staff in each of our research programs who work diligently to protect participants in research studies and maintain compliance with all regulations that govern research involving human subjects.”

An independent, non-profit accrediting body, the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection programs (AAHRPP) uses a voluntary, peer-driven, educational model to ensure that facilities conducting research with human participants meet rigorous standards for quality and protection. To earn accreditation, organizations must provide tangible evidence—through policies, procedures, and practices—of their commitment to scientifically and ethically sound research and to continuous improvement.

More than 60 percent of U.S. research-intensive universities and 65 percent of U.S. medical schools are either AAHRPP accredited or have begun the accreditation process. Sponsors and other funders recognize that AAHRPP-accredited organizations have more efficient operations, provide more comprehensive protections and produce high-quality data.

At UofL, the Human Subjects Protection Program Office helps to ensure that research involving human participants is conducted in accordance with federal and state regulations and university and sponsoring agency policies and procedures instituted to protect the rights and welfare of human research participants.

HSPPO upholds this commitment to the protection of human participants involved in research regardless of the funding source and regardless of the location of the research. HSPPO supports two established and independent Institutional Review Boards (IRB), which review and approve protocols for all research involving human participants, the Social/Behavioral/Educational IRB on UofL’s Belknap campus and the Biomedical IRB on the Health Sciences Center campus.

UofL neurosurgeon leads clinical trial to test therapy for brain hemorrhage

Robert F. James, M.D., leading national phase II trial investigating low-dose heparin treatment following ruptured brain aneurysm
UofL neurosurgeon leads clinical trial to test therapy for brain hemorrhage

Robert F. James, M.D.

A Louisville patient is the first to be enrolled in a national clinical trial to test a new treatment for patients who have suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. The trial, based at the University of Louisville under principal investigator Robert F. James, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at UofL, will include eight other medical centers in the United States.

James, chief of neurosurgery at University of Louisville Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health, and chief of the Division of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery at UofL, is leading the ASTROH study, a phase II, randomized clinical trial to determine whether a continuous 14-day, low-dose intravenous infusion of heparin is safe and effective in patients with ruptured brain aneurysms.

“We believe this treatment may help prevent the long-term delayed neurological deficits (DNDs) and cognitive dysfunction that often afflict patients who survive the initial aneurysm rupture,” James said.

A brain aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge that forms when a segment of a blood vessel in the brain weakens and swells. If the aneurysm bursts, blood is leaked into the area between the brain and the thin tissues covering the brain known as the subarachnoid space. This condition is known as subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). Patients who survive the initial hemorrhage are at high risk for delayed secondary brain injury, resulting in problems with localized neurological functions such as speech, vision, hearing or individual areas of the body, and long-term cognitive and psychosocial deficits. These problems are referred to as SAH-induced delayed neurological deficits (DNDs).

The ASTROH study will examine whether the use of intravenous heparin for 14 days following the repair of the ruptured aneurysm will control neuro-inflammation and improve clinical outcomes. Patients who enter University of Louisville Hospital or one of the other participating medical centers having experienced a ruptured brain aneurysm may be evaluated for participation in the trial.

ASTROH, which stands for “Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Trial RandOmizing Heparin,” will involve up to 88 patients at the nine medical centers over a period of two years. James is working with co-investigators at the University of Maryland, Yale University and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The trial is funded by the UofL Department of Neurosurgery through the UofL Research Foundation, Penumbra, Inc., MicroVention, Inc., and the Brain Aneurysm Foundation.

Daughter of UofL faculty member up for Espy Award

Cast your vote online through July 13
Daughter of UofL faculty member up for Espy Award

Oksana Masters on the medal stand at the Sochi Olympics in 2014

For the third year in a row, Oksana Masters is one of four nominees for ESPN’s Female Athlete With A Disability Award. The Louisvillian — daughter of UofL Assistant Professor M. Gay Masters, Ph.D., in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders — is nominated for her prowess in cross-country skiing.

Winners of the annual Espy Awards are selected through online fan balloting conducted from among candidates selected by the ESPY Select Nominating Committee. The public can vote online now until 5 p.m. EDT, July 13, on the ESPN website.

“I'm thrilled to see Oksana recognized for her talent and incredible hard work as an athlete. The ESPY nomination itself is already a win,” Gay Masters said. “We both appreciate your votes and support.”

Born in the Ukraine in 1989, Oksana Masters was brought to the United States by her adoptive mother when she was seven. She was born with several radiation-induced birth defects,including tibial hemimelia (resulting in different leg lengths), missing weight-bearing shinbones in her calves, webbed fingers with no thumbs, and six toes on each foot.

After moving to the United States in 1997, both of Oksana's legs were eventually amputated above the knee —her left leg at age eight and her right leg at age 13 — as they became increasingly painful and unable to support her weight. Oksana also had surgery to modify her innermost fingers on each hand so they could function as thumbs.

Oksana first made a name for herself as she won a bronze medal in rowing with partner Rob Jones at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the first-ever United States medal in trunk and arms mixed double sculls with a final time of 4:05.56. She then transitioned her talents to the snow and won silver and bronze at the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games in cross-country skiing.

When issues with her back prevented her return to the water for the 2016 Summer Games, Masters decided to give the sport of cycling a try. She has qualified for the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Sept. 7-18, in paracycling, her fourth competitive sport.

Espy winners will be announced in the Espy Awards telecast at 8 p.m. EDT, July 13, on ABC-TV hosted by WWE wrestler John Cena. For more information, go to the Espy Awards website.

UofL medical student earns top award for financial planning tool for young physicians

Michael Lovelace recognized by AAFP Foundation for leadership project
UofL medical student earns top award for financial planning tool for young physicians

Michael Lovelace, M.B.A., M.S. 4

A pivotal point for young physicians comes just after medical school as they begin residency. They are earning a paycheck for perhaps the first time, yet also may face significant educational debt and a host of decisions that have the potential to derail their financial situation for years to come. Michael Lovelace, M.B.A., a fourth-year student at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, has developed an award-winning digital tool to help these young physicians make sound financial decisions.

Lovelace, who studied finance and business prior to entering medical school, developed the tool as part of the Family Medicine Leads (FML) Emerging Leader Institute, sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Foundation. Lovelace, one of 30 participants selected for the first cohort of the year-long program, participated in the group’s leadership workshop last summer, then worked with a physician mentor to create a project in Personal and Practice Leadership, one of three leadership tracks available to the scholars. The other tracks were Policy and Public Health Leadership and Philanthropic and Mission-Driven Leadership. Judges selected Lovelace’s project as the best project in the Personal and Practice Leadership track.

Lovelace tapped into hisbusiness experience to create the detailed financial planning and budgeting tool. He explained that although physicians beginning residency may qualify to purchase expensive cars and higher priced homes based on future income potential, it’s dangerous to make these purchase decisions without careful analysis of the whole financial picture – including medical education debt that may exceed $175,000.

“Often people will buy a car and sign an apartment lease as independent decisions and not consider how much of their monthly income they are committing to those two items. Those are binding agreements, so you can make two relatively straightforward decisions and put yourself in a bind throughout residency,” Lovelace said.

Lovelace’s budget program uses answers to 35 questions related to the user’s financial obligations to calculate their financial trajectory, including a detailed analysis for multiple student loan repayment options and a retirement savings projection. It then generates a report revealing areas of budget concern (too high or too low) and whether the user is projected to reach a retirement goal. It even provides suggestions of how to correct an underfunded retirement plan.

As part of the project submission, Lovelace created a video description of the budgeting tool and a poster describing the problem and how the analysis can help individuals avoid common pitfalls.He said his project mentor, Marc Matthews, M.D., a family practitioner with the Mayo Clinic, encouraged him to increase the functionality of each module, adding value for the user, while keeping the project within the original scope.

Jason Marker, M.D., M.P.A., past president of the AAFP Foundation who chairs the foundation workgroup that launched the FML Emerging Leader Institute, said Lovelace’s project exemplifies the leadership potential of the students and residents participating in the institute.

“One of our hopes with the FML Emerging Leader Institute was that we would take a group of scholars, many of whom had little formal family medicine leadership training, and accelerate their capacity and motivation toward being physicians with the understanding to practice medicine in the context of social determinants of health, elimination of health disparities and avoiding future physician burnout,” Marker said. “In that latter category, Michael's project is a standout. As Michael is lecturing on this topic, I know he will help a lot of young physicians be successful.”

Stephen Wheeler, M.D., associate dean for admissions at the UofL School of Medicine and a senior faculty member in the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, has mentored Lovelace in family medicine and leadership at UofL.

I first met Michael during his path toward medicine as a non-traditional applicant. Then, I worked with him during the two-year introduction to clinical cases small group experience. I am ecstatic that he feels called in this direction. He will be an exceptional family doctor,” Wheeler said.

At last summer’s leadership workshop, Marker led a session on Personal and Practice Leadership with Lovelace and the other FML Emerging Leader Institute participants.

”We talked about financial realities of practice and how ill-prepared many medical students and residents are for life beyond residency. The way Michael addressed this topic is excellent. He has made the information accessible for the broadest possible audience,” Marker said, adding that he hopes the project will ultimately be adapted for use by medical schools and residency programs to help physicians avoid financial missteps.

As the creator of the top project in his track, Lovelace will give an oral presentation of the project at the American Academy of Family Physicians National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students on July 28 in Kansas City and attend Family Medicine Experience, the annual educational meeting of the AAFP to be held in Orlando in September.

 

About theAmerican Academy of Family Physicians Foundation

The AAFP Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Its mission is to advance the values of family medicine by promoting humanitarian, educational and scientific initiatives that improve the health of all people.

 

July 11, 2016

Physician, educate thyself (online)

UofL website now offers Continuing Medical Education credit
Physician, educate thyself (online)

This screenshot shows the opening of “Analyzing the Accuracy of Cardiac Risk Calculators with Dr. DeFilippis,” one of 17 new CME-accredited video lectures available on LouisvilleLectures.org.

A free, open access medical education website launched by the University of Louisville Department of Medicine last year has added Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit for some video lectures it offers. Annual CME is required for physicians to maintain their licensure.

LouisvilleLectures.org has launched 17 lectures that provide CME credit, said chief resident Michael Burk, M.D., founder and managing director of the site. The Office of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development at the UofL School of Medicine certifies the lectures so that they meet national and state requirements.

“We’ve worked with faculty from throughout the UofL School of Medicine to bring a variety of CME-accredited lectures online,” Burk said. “We will continue to add more CME-accredited lectures as time goes on.”

The 17 CME-accredited lectures are:

  • Acute and Chronic Diarrhea
  • Acute Kidney Injury
  • Acute Pancreatitis
  • Adrenal Disorders
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Anemia
  • Antibiotics Review I
  • Aortic Stenosis/Valvular Principles
  • Bradyarrhythmias
  • Calcium Homeostasis
  • Cardiovascular Risk Predictors
  • C. Difficile
  • Electrolyte Emergencies
  • Emergency Arrhythmias 101
  • Internist's Approach to Gastrointestinal Cancers
  • Pneumonia in Many Forms
  • Sodium, Potassium and Diuretics
  • The lectures are available in four formats: online at LouisvilleLectures.org; on YouTube; via iTunes podcast; and via Android podcast.

    As with the 100 lectures currently available from LouisvilleLectures.org, the 17 CME-accredited lectures are provided to the general public free of charge. After viewing a CME-accredited lecture, physicians can click the “claim your CME credit” link to register their completion and obtain the credit. Each CME-accredited lecture hour is $9.99, payable online.

    While never intended to replace traditional residency education, LouisvilleLectures.org augments the availability and accessibility of medical education, Burk said.

    “We want to give providers a reliable source of online CME-accredited programs that they can view at their convenience,” Burk said. “The online format also enables us to update content more rapidly than in a traditional didactic lecture presentation, helping providers stay abreast of the latest advances in medical care.”

    Behrman, Harkema to present latest developments in therapy at international conference

    Behrman, Harkema to present latest developments in therapy at international conference

    Andrea Behrman, Ph.D. and Susan Harkema, Ph.D.

    Researchers in the University of Louisville Department of Neurological Surgery will share their recent developments in therapies for children and adults with neurological conditions at IV STEP, an international conference intended to foster, guide and affect neurologic physical therapy practice over the next decade. Andrea Behrman, Ph.D., P.T., and Susan Harkema, Ph.D., professors at UofL, along with Elizabeth Ardolino, Ph.D., P.T., assistant professor at the University of St. Augustine, will present “Activity-dependent Plasticity for Neuromuscular Recovery:  Use of Classifications to Drive Therapies and Outcomes,” on Friday, July 15, at the IV STEP Conference in Columbus, Ohio.

    In their presentation, the researchers will discuss how therapies aimed at recovery and improved function after neurological injury or disease can be designed based on key scientific evidence of the ability of the central nervous system to change through physical activity, a process known as activity-dependent plasticity. They will discuss how evidence for this process can be used in the treatment of children with chronic spinal cord injury. The sensorimotor experience of typical childhood development, current rehabilitation after pediatric SCI, and activity-based therapies will be explored as a basis for different outcomes and expectations.

    To assist in the development of these novel therapies, the team will introduce the Neuromuscular Recovery Scale and the Pediatric Neuromuscular Recovery Scale, tools for assessing the neuromuscular capacity of adults and children to perform functional tasks without compensation from behavioral strategies, equipment or physical assistance. The scale can be used to classify capacity and track recovery in individuals with neurologic injury or disorders.

    “One aim of this assessment is to capture incremental gains in motor function. Assessing ‘how’ the movement is performed also addresses the quality of the movement, which distinguishes this measure from many other pediatric instruments typically in use,” Behrman said.

    With funding from the Department of Defense and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the group has established the validity, reliability, responsiveness and other properties of the scale, which will pave the way for it to be incorporated into clinical practice and research. Other aspects of the research are supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and Kosair Charities.

    The IV STEP conference, sponsored by the Pediatric and Neurology Sections of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), is designed to explore new theory and research evidence related to movement science and to translate this theory and evidence into physical therapy practice. The six-day program will include 33 invited speakers, 13 video case presentations and 100 peer reviewed poster presentations for approximately 700 clinicians, educators, and researchers from around the United States and abroad.

    It is only the fourth such conference to be held in 50 years. The first, NUSTEP, was held in 1966 and the second, II STEP, in 1990. At III STEP, held at the University of Utah in June 2005, Behrman presented information on her research in using locomotor therapy, “Locomotor recovery after SCI: From basic science to clinical practice.”

    In addition to the invited plenary presentation by Behrman and Harkema, five research teams from Frazier Rehabilitation Center, a part of Kentucky One Health, and the University of Louisville will be presenting posters.

    Behrman is a professor in the UofL Department of Neurological Surgery and director of the Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric NeuroRecovery. Her research focus is to develop and test therapeutic interventions promoting recovery after spinal cord injury in children and adults capitalizing on activity-dependent neuroplasticity and an understanding of the neurobiology of walking and motor control. Her research has demonstrated improvements in trunk control in children in particular.

    Harkema is a professor in the UofL Department of Neurological Surgery and associate scientific director of the UofL Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center. Harkema’s research in epidural stimulation in adults shows promise in helping individuals recover function following complete spinal cord injury.

    The University of Louisville is an academic sponsor of the IV STEP Conference.

    Is it better to be lucky or good? Paula Bates, Ph.D., talks about serendipity in scientific discovery at the next Beer with a Scientist, July 20

    Is it better to be lucky or good? Paula Bates, Ph.D., talks about serendipity in scientific discovery at the next Beer with a Scientist, July 20

    Paula Bates, Ph.D.

    Scientists have made some amazing discoveries by accident, including penicillin, the microwave oven and Viagra. Of course, the scientists needed to have specific knowledge in order to recognize their discoveries.

    At this month’s Beer with a Scientist, Paula Bates, Ph.D., will talk about the role serendipity has played in many scientific discoveries as well as her own career as a scientist. Bates, associate professor at the University of Louisville Department of Medicine and researcher at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, “accidentally” discovered a new cancer therapeutic that has been since used in patient clinical trials.

    In her research, Bates focuses on identifying and characterizing novel cancer therapeutics. Her work has led to the clinical trials of a ‘first in humans’ therapeutic called AS1411, a DNA aptamer, which was, in fact, a serendipitous discovery. AS1411 folds into a G-quadruplex structure that binds to nucleolin (a protein present at high levels on the surface of cancer cells) and can kill cancer cells without harming non-malignant cells. She and her colleagues are now also using AS1411 to guide various nanoparticles to cancer cells, which could lead to better methods for cancer detection and therapy.

    Bates also is principal investigator for University of Louisville ExCITE, an NIH Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub, created to facilitate the translation of biomedical innovations into commercial products that improve patient care and enhance health.

    The program begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20 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.

    COMING NEXT MONTH: On August 17, Kristofer Rau, Ph.D., researcher in the UofL Department of Anesthesiology, will discuss the neurobiology of why we hurt. He’ll explain why the “funny bone” hurts so often, the placebo effect, why amputees feel pain in a lost limb and other painful topics.

    UofL opens NIH-designated Alcohol Research Center

    Program receives nation’s best score to earn grant funding
    UofL opens NIH-designated Alcohol Research Center

    Craig McClain, M.D.

    Alcohol abuse exacts a major toll on health and health costs in the United States and is the 3rd leading preventable cause of death. Researchers at the University of Louisville have received a nearly $8 million grant from the NIH that designates them as an NIAAA Alcohol Research Center.

    The UofL Center is one of only 20 in the nation. It’s funding score for the grant was the best in the nation. It is the only center with a nutrition focus.

    “We are going to take a unique focus into organ injury associated with alcohol use,” said Dr. Gregory C. Postel, interim executive vice president for health affairs at UofL. “Our researchers are going to examine the interactive role of nutrition and alcohol in the deleterious, as well as beneficial, effects of alcohol on the human body.”

    Through four different projects, the research team led by Dr. Craig McClain, associate vice president for translational research and associate vice president for health affairs/research, has three specific aims:

    1. Facilitate interdisciplinary approaches and serve as a regional/national resource for the study of nutrition and alcohol-induced organ injury;
    2. Provide a robust pilot project program and comprehensive education and research training in order to develop the next generation of alcohol investigators; and
    3. Develop potential therapeutic targets/interventions for alcohol induced organ injury based on the mechanistic research of the center and translate knowledge/interventions to the community.

      “This funding will allow us to look at the problems that alcohol abuse causes, as well as the potential benefits of alcohol,” McClain said. “Our focus on dietary nutrition and abuse is unique. For example, only a small proportion of people who abuse alcohol will develop liver disease. We believe that the type of dietary fat intake is critical in the development of alcohol-induced organ injury.”

      To find answers, the center will initially focus on four projects.

      Project 1 will evaluate the role of dietary unsaturated fat in the development/progression of alcoholic liver disease.

      Project 2 will evaluate alcohol-induced alterations in the gut-liver axis. Researchers will examine the role of histone deacetylases (HDACs) in both the intestine and liver in alcohol-induced gut-barrier dysfunction and steatohepatitis and the role of probiotics and dietary HDAC inhibitors in preventing/treating experimental ALD.

      Project 3 will determine mechanisms by which maternal alcohol consumption causes mental retardation in the offspring. Researchers will evaluate epigenetic mechanisms by which alcohol induces apoptosis and teratogenesis, and by which the nutraceutical, sulforaphane, provides epigenetic protection.

      Project 4 will evaluate mechanisms by which alcohol causes increased susceptibility to acute lung injury. They postulate that chronic alcohol intake triggers extracellular matrix remodeling resulting in “repavement” of lung tissue with a proinflammatory extracelluar matrix and that this process can be modulated by dietary intervention.

      “Our studies are designed to look at a number of organ systems, not just the liver,” McClain said. Additionally, we are very interested in gaining a better understanding of the role alcohol may play during fetal development and the mechanisms associated with fetal alcohol syndrome.”

      The research team spans 13 departments at UofL in six schools/colleges.

      “One of the keys to developing the breadth of information we hope to achieve is bringing together people with expertise in areas that often are not combined,” McClain said. “It is important that we look at these issues from a broad perspective if we are to examine the overall impacts of alcohol.”

       

      Nominate an outstanding nurse for 3rd annual UofL Nightingale Awards in Nursing

      Nominate an outstanding nurse for 3rd annual UofL Nightingale Awards in Nursing

      University of Louisville School of Medicine faculty, staff, students, residents and alumni are invited to nominate outstanding nurses employed in Kentucky and Southern Indiana for the third-annual University of Louisville Florence Nightingale Awards in Nursing.

      The awards honor exceptional nurses who have followed in the footsteps of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

      Submit an essay of no more than 200 words about how a registered nurse meets at least one of the following categories:

      • Impacted patients through excellent and compassionate nursing care;
      • Improved health outcomes in a population or in the community;
      • Elevated the nursing profession through teaching, research and/or policy development;
      • Inspired others to consider nursing as a career.

      People may nominate a nurse online. The nomination deadline is Sept. 8.

      Winners will receive a cash prize and commemorative plaque at the Nightingale Awards dinner 5:30 to 8 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Mellwood Arts Center. Register to attend the dinner.

      For more information, contact Karen Rose at karen.rose@louisville.edu or 502-852-5825.

      Personal physician to the Dalai Lama speaks on compassion in medicine at UofL White Coat Ceremony

      Barry Kerzin, M.D., addresses School of Medicine class of 2020
      Personal physician to the Dalai Lama speaks on compassion in medicine at UofL White Coat Ceremony

      Barry Kerzin, M.D.

      Barry Kerzin, M.D., personal physician to the Dalai Lama and founder of the Altruism in Medicine Institute, addressed the 156 members of the incoming class of the University of Louisville School of Medicine and guests at the school’s White Coat Ceremony on Sunday, July 24. Kerzin, an American trained physician and Buddhist monk, spoke to the students about cultivating and preserving the desire to help others.

      “Compassion is the chief reason we all go into medicine,” Kerzin said prior to the event. “Research suggests at the third year of medical school, compassion in medical students decreases significantly. I'll address how to sustain our compassion through our training and out in the world practicing medicine.”

      The ceremony welcomeed the class of 2020 to the UofL School of Medicine. The students each received a white coat, a gift from the Greater Louisville Medical Society, and a stethoscope, provided by an alumnus of the school through Stethoscopes for Students. The white coat symbolizes cleanliness, as well as the sense of compassion that inspires students to become physicians. At the ceremony, the students recited the Declaration of Geneva, promising to serve humanity and honor the traditions of the medical profession.

      Kerzin, a California native, is a board-certified family medicine physician and an honorary professor at the University of Hong Kong School of Medicine. He is a former assistant professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. After traveling to India in the 1980s to help train Tibetan doctors in modern research methods, he studied Buddhism and meditation and ultimately was ordained as a Buddhist monk. Kerzin now provides medical care to the poor in India and serves as a personal physician to the Dalai Lama in addition to traveling around the world to teach about meditation and compassion. He founded the Altruism in Medicine Institute with the goal to bring more compassion into health care.

      UofL School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony

      Sunday, July 24, 3-5 p.m.
      Louisville Downtown Marriott
      280 W. Jefferson St., Louisville, Ky., 40202

       

       

      Originally published July 20, 2016. Updated August 5, 2016.

      Parkinson’s Disease Buddy Program seeking participants

      Program in its second year matching Parkinson’s patients with first-year medical students
      Parkinson’s Disease Buddy Program seeking participants

      Participants in the Parkinson’s Disease Buddy Program, 2015

      Individuals diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease are invited to participate in the Parkinson’s Disease Buddy Program, which matches them with first-year University of Louisville medical students for a series of one-on-one meetings designed to benefit both students and the patients. Buddies will be paired for one calendar year beginning in September, meeting two to three hours a month and at special group events.

      The PD Buddy program, the only one of its kind for Parkinson’s patients, was launched last summer as a partnership between UofL and the Parkinson Support Center of Kentuckiana. Twenty-five buddy pairs participated in the year-long program designed to give the patients social interaction and allow them to share their stories with the students, who in turn gained first-hand knowledge about living with a nervous system disorder. The program also serves to better educate students about Parkinson's, introduce students to research and career opportunities in neurology and movement disorders, and provide people with Parkinson's Disease the opportunity to interact more closely with the medical community.

      Kathrin LaFaver, M.D., the Raymond Lee Lebby Chair for Parkinson’s Disease Research in the Department of Neurology at UofL and director of the Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Clinic at UofL Physicians, said the exchanges give the students a deeper understanding of how patients cope with the disease. LaFaver also meets monthly with the students to provide additional medical information and inform the students about research and career opportunities in neurology and movement disorders.

      Since this program is unique for Parkinson’s patients, LaFaver, along with Erika Branch, executive director of the Parkinson Support Center, and Denise Cumberland, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UofL College of Education and Human Development, will present findings from the first year of the PD Buddy Program at the World Parkinson Congress in Portland, Ore., in September.

      The PD Buddy Program, also sponsored by KentuckyOne Health, is open to anyone diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease who has the time and interest to participate. In addition to one-on-one meetings with the students, several group activities will be planned over the course of the year. Patients must understand that this is an education program and that the medical students will not be able to give medical advice.

      Interested individuals may call the UofL Physicians Movement Disorders Clinic at 502-582-7654, the Parkinson Support Center of Kentucky at 502-254-3388, or email a completed application form to outreach@parkinsoncenter.org prior to August 15. Application forms may be downloaded at https://www.uoflphysicians.com/sites/default/files/pdf-files/PD-Buddy-Patient-Sign-up.pdf.

      1+1=U Summer Youth Enrichment Program

      1+1=U Summer Youth Enrichment Program students
      1+1=U Summer Youth Enrichment Program
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      Brittney Richardson, M.D.

      Brittney Richardson, M.D.
      Brittney Richardson, M.D.
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      UofL faculty and staff introduce at-risk youth to careers in health care

      UofL faculty and staff introduce at-risk youth to careers in health care

      1+1=U Summer Youth Enrichment Program

      Twenty-six students from the Shawnee neighborhood who are participating in the 1+1=U Summer Youth Enrichment Program visited the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center Wednesday, July 20, to learn about sports medicine, healthy habits and steps to a career in health care.

      Health-care professionals and faculty members from the School of Medicine and College of Education and Human Development talked with the students, from 12 to 17 years old, about the paths they took to careers as an athletic trainer, physical therapist, physician, teacher and exercise physiologist. In addition, they offered tips on recovering from sports injuries and healthy eating and activity. The visit was organized to introduce the students to opportunities for careers in health care.

      1+1=U is a year-round mentoring program that targets students who have had academic and behavioral challenges in and out of the classroom. The program assists young men and women get in position to further their education beyond high school by boosting academic and personal achievement, sports achievement and parental and family involvement. The summer program is a two-week-long extension of that effort based at the Shawnee Arts and Cultural Community Center.

      Brittney Richardson, M.D., a sports medicine fellow and board certified family physician at UofL and KentuckyOne Health, told the students about her journey to becoming a physician, a path she navigated despite the fact that no one in her family had been a health care professional.

      “I want to show them that there are opportunities out there for them to succeed,” Richardson said. “I was connected along my way with the right people, but that doesn’t happen all the time. I can be that person for them to be connected with and I don’t think I have reached my goal until I have helped someone get to where I am.”

      One of the students, Daihjae Tandy, said she was interested in the information about nutrition and concussions and definitely is planning to go to college. Although the high school junior is interested in art, she said she would consider a career in health care after hearing the presentation.

      “I think it would be great. I even thought about it after hearing everything they do. It’s actually very wonderful for anybody,” Tandy said.

      Margaret Dunbar-Demaree, founder and director of 1+1=U, began mentoring troubled students as a teacher at Central High School. Now retired from her teaching position, Demaree mentors and tutors students at the Shawnee Arts & Cultural Community Center and Bethel Baptist Church.

      This is the third year the 1+1=U Summer Youth Enrichment Program students have visited the UofL HSC Campus. For more photos from the visit, click here.

      Brittney Richardson M.D.

      UofL dermatology chief elected to national committee

      Callen tapped by Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education
      UofL dermatology chief elected to national committee

      Jeffrey Callen, M.D.

      Jeffrey P. Callen, M.D., chief of the Division of Dermatology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, has been elected to serve on the Accreditation Review Committee (ARC) of the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). His two-year term begins Dec. 1, 2016.

      The ACCME is a nonprofit organization based in Chicago that is responsible for accrediting institutions throughout the United States that offer continuing medical education (CME). Accreditation decisions are determined through a review by two ACCME committees: first, the Accreditation Review Committee, and second, the Decision Committee of the Board of Directors. All accreditation decisions are then ratified by the ACCME’s Board of Directors.

      All physicians are required to earn CME credit in order to maintain their license to practice. In Kentucky, all physicians who maintain an active Kentucky medical or osteopathic license are required to complete 60 hours of CME every three years.

      A Chicago native, Callen earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison before earning his medical degree from the University of Michigan, where he also performed residencies in internal medicine and dermatology.

      In 1977, Callen joined the faculty at the University of Louisville, attaining the rank of professor in 1988 and being appointed as chief of the Division of Dermatology the same year. He served on the Board of Directors of the Dermatology Foundation from 1983-88; the American Academy of Dermatology from 1994-98 and 2003-04 as vice president; and the Association of Professors of Dermatology Inc. since 2003. He was the chair of the Council on Education of the American Academy of Dermatology 2003-07. He has been a member of the board of the American Board of Dermatology and the American Dermatological Association. He is a past president of the Medical Dermatology Society and was awarded the society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. In 2009 Callen received the Thomas Pearson, Ph.D. Education Award from the American Academy of Dermatology. This September he will assume the Presidency of the Association of Professors of Dermatology.

      Callen is the author or co-author of 84 original articles, 181 case reports, 149 review articles, 50 editorials, 15 books, 276 book chapters and 165 abstracts. He has served as editor or deputy editor of the Archives of Dermatology, Journal Watch Dermatology and the Dermatology Section of UpToDate. He is currently the Associate editor of JAMA Dermatology. His book, Dermatologic Signs of Systemic Disease, now in its fifth edition, was just published.

      Locally, Callen has served on the boards of the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family and Vocational Services, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Kentucky Arts and Crafts Foundation and the Speed Art Museum.

       

       

      UofL medical school husband and wife alumni return to practice with ULP

      UofL medical school husband and wife alumni return to practice with ULP

      Nurse Practitioner Christine Kerr, left, confers with Drs. Chris and Connie Angellis in their clinic at the University of Louisville Physicians Outpatient Center. The Anggelises, both UofL School of Medicine alumni, recently returned to UofL to practice.

      Thirty-four years after they met as students at the UofL School of Medicine, cardiologists Drs. Chris and Connie Anggelis have joined University of Louisville Physicians and the school’s faculty.

      They started seeing patients in June at the UofL Physicians Health Care Outpatient Center.

      “I’m very excited about returning to the university,” said Connie Anggelis. “We went to medical school here, and we’ve been practicing in Louisville since. We toured the medical school during a class reunion, and it brought back great memories. We’ve been talking about doing this for a number of years.”

      Chris said their return to the university “allows us to maintain our focus on patient care while giving something back to the community."  He said he enjoys teaching young doctors, “and hopefully some of them will stay in this community.”

      For he and Connie, patient care is paramount.  “It’s more about quality rather than the number of patients you see,” said Connie. “I think doctors need to be able to spend adequate time with their patients. It allows us to educate them about cardiac issues. We also want to teach students to always put the patient first.”

      Chris said their  goal is to be available and responsive to  patients’ needs. “We’re going to have multiple offices in different areas to accommodate them,” he said.

      In addition to downtown at the UofL Physicians Health Care Outpatient Center, they will be seeing patients at offices in eastern Jefferson County (Jewish East and Jewish Northeast) and in Hillview in Bullitt County, where they have practiced in the past. They will also see patients at Jewish Hospital downtown.

      “If a patient needs to be seen, we will see them when the referring doctor wants them seen,” Chris said.

      Chris focuses on interventional cardiology and Connie on non-invasive cardiology, and both are passionate about preventive care, guiding patients on how to achieve health goals and do the little things to prevent big problems with their hearts later.

      “An ounce of prevention can go a long way,” Connie said. “You would much rather see me before an event occurs, rather than after. I do my best to educate my patients.”

      She said the combination of heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of death in Kentucky, and better education and prevention is needed.

      “We have a long way to go in respect to prevention in Kentucky,” she said. “It’s about getting people to want to change their lifestyle. Preventive care can improve the quantity and quality of life.”

      Medicine in the family

      After meeting as students at the UofL School of Medicine, Chris and Connie double-matched for their residencies in internal medicine at Wake Forest and for fellowships in cardiovascular disease at Emory.

      After their training was finished in 1990, they returned to Louisville. For them, it was returning home. But after 25 years in private practice together, they felt it was time to return to UofL.

      “We received our medical education from UofL, and raised our children in this community,” Chris said.

      All three of the Anggelis’ children are in health care: Their son, Nick, just finished dental school at UofL; one daughter, Lauren, is in the doctoral program for clinical neuropsychology at UofL; and another daughter, Emily, is in medical school at the University of Kentucky.

      “We love our state and it is so nice to be back at UofL, where it all began for us,” said Connie.

      Chris and Connie Anggelis 1

      Chris and Connie Anggelis 1
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      Chris and Connie Anggelis 2

      Chris and Connie Anggelis 2
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      Underrepresented undergraduate students gain medical research experience in summer program

      Students will present research at poster session Wednesday, August 3
      Underrepresented undergraduate students gain medical research experience in summer program

      Kayla Massey and Maura Fordham

      This summer, Kayla Massey is using an infrared spectrometer at the University of Louisville to determine how the structure of a lipid called meibum found in the eyelid affects tears in the eye. Massey, who will be a junior at Howard University this fall, is spending the summer in Louisville to gain experience working in a research lab that will help her when she applies to a post-graduate program.

      “I’ve done research in biology before, but this is centered around the lipids in the eye so it is a lot more about organic chemistry. It is good for me because I had never done any chemistry research before,” Massey said.

      Massey is one of 10 students participating in the Summer Undergraduate Experiences in Biomedical Research program, directed by Irving Joshua, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Physiology at UofL. The program, supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, allows students who are economically disadvantaged, the first in their family to attend college, underrepresented minorities or from underserved areas to spend 10 weeks working in research labs with faculty mentors in areas such as diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease.

      “Our goal is to get more underrepresented minority and disadvantaged students involved in research, doctoral programs and medicine. This experience will give them exposure to clinical research that can help them in their careers,” Joshua said.

      The Association of American Medical Colleges and the National Academy of Medicine support the idea that a diverse workforce in health care and biomedical research will serve to reduce health disparities in the United States.

      Massey, a biology major who hopes to attend medical school and become a surgeon, is being mentored at UofL by Douglas Borchman, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences. His research focuses on dry eye and cataracts related to diabetes.

      “I am interested in diabetes and high blood pressure. Dr. Borchman is doing work with the effects that glucose has on lenses,” Massey said. “I think it’s opened my eyes to more about science and medical research in general.”

      Borchman hopes to encourage Massey and other students in the program to pursue graduate study or medicine by engaging them in the research experience.

      “The program can lead to them going on to grad school, which is great,” Borchman said. “I enjoy seeing the spark in the students, showing them that research is fun and not tedious. I give them responsibility and a long leash but don’t let them stray too far. They are young and enthusiastic and it is fabulous.”

      One of Borchman’s former summer undergraduate mentees, Samiyyah Sledge, is now a Ph.D. student at UofL in physiology and biophysics with a concentration on the eye. Sledge said her experience as a summer undergraduate in 2014 piqued her interest in this area of research and introduced her to opportunities in graduate programs.

      “This lab fostered and developed my love for the eye and for research in general,” Sledge said. “The exposure and experiences I gained here influenced my decision to join the physiology Ph.D. program. In addition, Dr. Borchman himself has been a great and supportive mentor to me.”

      Maura Fordham, another program participant this summer, will attend UofL this fall as a biology major, after transferring from Jefferson Community and Technical College. Fordham is working in the lab of Utpal Sen, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Physiology, whose research focuses on kidney disease.

      “We are looking into diabetic nephropathy regulating Micro RNA 194 through the synthetic drug GYY 4137,” Fordham said. “It’s taught me technique and how you handle yourself in a lab. I've gained an incredible amount of knowledge this summer from everyone in Dr. Sen's lab. I know this experience will help me as I continue as an undergrad and eventually as a medical student.”

      Sen said the summer students he mentors often are successful in applying to post-graduate programs.

      “I want to get summer students in as undergraduates to get them interested in a research career that is both fun and challenging, yet rewarding,” Sen said. “Some go on to do a master’s or PhD program, and many of them are getting into medical school. It is a good basic research experience for them. They get used to the faculty and the programs our university offers and it helps them get into those programs. When these students are successful in their future careers, everyone benefits – the department, the university, the candidate and the mentor. We need more of these young minds to get involved in active biomedical research to advance the field for human well-being.”

      Joshua said students typically participate following their sophomore or junior year of college and are paired with investigators working in areas of interest to them. TheprogramatUofLhas been supported by a grant from the National Heart Blood and Lung Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, since 2006 and is open to students attending colleges in and outside of Kentucky. Student selection is based on their grades, an essay describing their interest in scientific and biomedical research, and how well their areas of interest mesh with available mentors at UofL.

      To conclude the program, the students will give a five to 10-minute presentation of their research and present posters along with other summer research program participants on Wednesday, August 3, from noon until 3 p.m. in the Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building, 505 S. Hancock St.

      Barry Kerzin, M.D., advocate for physician compassion, interviewed on "UofL Today with Mark Hebert"

      Barry Kerzin, M.D., advocate for physician compassion, interviewed on "UofL Today with Mark Hebert"

      Barry Kerzin, M.D., personal physician to the Dalai Lama, is featured on the "UofL Today with Mark Hebert" radio broadcast set for Monday, August 8, at 6 p.m. on 93.9 FM The Ville.

      Kerzin, who was the keynote speaker at this year's UofL White Coat Ceremony on July 24, talked with Hebert about his life, his visit to Louisville, and the importance of training doctors to avoid burnout and retain their sense of empathy.

      Hebert hosts two weekly 30-minute radio broadcasts focusing on research, programs, successful students and insights from UofL’s faculty experts which run on Monday and Tuesday during drive time on 93.9 FM. Listen to upcoming and past programs at https://soundcloud.com/uofl.

      In the Tuesday, August 9, program, Ruth Carrico, Ph.D., of UofL's Global Health Initiative, talks about the spread of Zika virus, and MD Anderson surgeon Raymond Sawaya, M.D., who was in Louisville for the neuro-oncology symposium July 8, discusses surgical treatment for primary glioma. That program will air August 9 at 6 p.m. on 93.9 FM The Ville. The programs are repeated on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

      Annual UofL lecture will examine genetic-based precision medicine

      Annual UofL lecture will examine genetic-based precision medicine

      Ali J. Marian, M.D.

      “Sir William Osler and Modern Genetic-Based Precision Medicine” will be the topic of the 2016 Leonard Leight Lecture at the University of Louisville.

      Ali J. Marian, M.D., will speak at noon, Wednesday, Oct. 5, at the 16th Floor Conference Center of the Rudd Heart and Lung Center, 201 Abraham Flexner Way. Admission is free. Marian is the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation Distinguished Professor in Cardiovascular Research and the director of the Center for Cardiovascular Genetic Research at The Brown Foundation Institute for Molecular Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

      The Leonard Leight Lecture is presented annually by the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. For 30 years until 1996, Leight was a practicing cardiologist in Louisville and played a major role in developing cardiology services and bringing innovative treatment modalities in heart disease to Louisville.

      The Leonard Leight Lecture series was established in 1994 and is made possible by gifts from Dr. and Mrs. Kurt Ackermann and Medical Center Cardiologists to the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation.

      Regarded as the “Father of Modern Medicine,” Sir William Osler was a Canadian physician and in 1889, became founding physician-in-chief of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He later was a founding professor of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, created the first residency program for specialty training of physicians and was the first to bring medical students out of the lecture hall for bedside clinical training.

      Osler was known to have recognized the differences in the way disease manifests itself in each patient. “Variability is the law of life,” he said, “and as no two faces are the same, so no two bodies are alike, and no two individuals react alike and behave alike under the abnormal conditions which we know as disease.”

      This recognition of the variability of patients’ reaction to disease is at the heart of today’s genetic-based precision medicine, and Marian will examine how Osler’s observations can provide insight in 21st Century medicine.

      About Ali J. Marian, M.D.

      Recognized internationally for his research achievements and expertise in genetics of cardiomyopathies, Marian earned his M.D in 1981 from Tehran University in Iran. He completed post-doctoral training at Cook County Hospital in Chicago in 1988 and at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston through the American Heart Association-Bugher Foundation Fellowship in 1991. He was appointed to the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine in 1992, and joined The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine in 2006.

      A past recipient of both the American Heart Association’s Established Investigator Award and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund’s Clinician-Scientist Award in Translational Research, Marian has served on the editorial boards of Circulation, Circulation Research, Journal of The American College of Cardiology and Genetics in Current Atherosclerosis Reports, among others, and has been lead or co-author of more than 100 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. He is actively involved with NIH grant reviews and has been a member of review committees on several panels and study sections.

       

       

      Kristofer Rau, Ph.D.

      Kristofer Rau, Ph.D.
      Kristofer Rau, Ph.D.
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      OUCH! Why does stuff hurt? Find out at Beer with a Scientist, August 17

      Kris Rau, Ph.D., explains why the “funny bone” hurts so often, why we get ice cream headaches and other painful topics
      OUCH!  Why does stuff hurt?  Find out at Beer with a Scientist, August 17

      OUCH! Why stuff hurts.

      At this month’s Beer with a Scientist, Kristofer Rau, Ph.D., researcher at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, will discuss the neurobiology of why we feel pain. He’ll give an introduction to the neuroanatomy involved in pain processing and explain why the “funny bone” hurts so often, why we get ice cream headaches, why amputees feel pain in a lost limb and other painful topics.

      Rau is a senior research scientist in the UofL Department of Anesthesiology and a member of the Louisville Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. His work focuses on the neurobiology of pain and the electrophysiological and molecular changes that occur following tissue injury and spinal cord trauma.

      The program begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17 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.

      Kristofer Rau, Ph.D.

      UPCOMING BEER WITH A SCIENTIST EVENTS: Andrea Behrman, Ph.D., UofL Department of Neurological Surgery, September 14.  
      Beer with a Scientist founder, Levi Beverly, Ph.D., will speak at the event during Research!Louisville, October 12.

      UofL a site for patients who might be candidates for new drug therapy for peripheral T-cell lymphoma

      CAR T-cells targeting CD4 protein granted orphan drug designation
      UofL a site for patients who might be candidates for new drug therapy for peripheral T-cell lymphoma

      William Tse, M.D.

      iCell Gene Therapeutics announced Aug. 11 that the Food and Drug Administration has granted Orphan Drug Designation for its chimeric antigen receptor engineered T-cells directed against the target protein CD4 (CD4CAR) for the treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL).

      William Tse, M.D., chief of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Division, Department of Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, said “We are very excited to have this opportunity to partner with iCell Gene Therapeutics to lead the efforts of preparing this cutting-edge immunotherapy into first-in-human clinical trial for patients suffering this extremely difficult-to-treat T-cell lymphoma.”

      The Orphan Drug Designation program provides orphan status and associated development incentives, to drugs and biologics intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases or disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.

      Yupo Ma, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology at Stony Brook University and chairman and chief scientific officer at iCell Gene Therapeutics, said, “CD4CAR could significantly enhance currently available treatment options for these patients. The Orphan Drug Designation is an important achievement as we advance our development plans for this promising treatment in T-cell hematologic cancers.”

      For information about CD4DAR treatment for T-cell lymphoma at UofL, contact CTOinfo@louisville.edu.

      About CAR T-cell Technology

      A "chimeric antigen receptor" (CAR) engineered T-cell is a patient's T-cell (a component of the immune system) that has been genetically modified to express a protein on its surface with the capability to bind to a target protein on another cell. Upon binding the target protein, the CAR protein will send a signal across the cell membrane to the interior of the T-cell to set in motion mechanisms to selectively kill the targeted cell.

      About PTCL

      Although there are clinical development programs ongoing with CAR T-cells for CD19+ cell hematological malignancies, CD4+ peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) have not been targeted by a CAR therapy in a human trial. PTCLs account for 10–15 percent of all non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHLs) and are more difficult to treat in comparison to B-cell NHLs.

      Furthermore, and with few exceptions, T-cell NHLs have poorer outcomes, lower response rates, shorter times to progression, and shorter median survival in comparison to B-cell NHLs. As a result, the standard of care for PTCLs is not well-established and the only potential curative regimen is bone marrow transplant (BMT).

      However, not only is BMT poorly tolerated, but is not an option for a significant subset of patients with resistant disease. This leaves many patients with no curative options.

      About CD4CAR

      CD4CAR is in development for CD4+ T-cell malignancies. The novel CD4-specific chimeric antigen receptor engineered T-cells are properly-matched allogeneic human T-cells engineered to express an anti-CD4scFV antibody domain. An initial Phase I clinical study is being planned through collaboration between iCell Gene Therapeutics, the National Institutes of Health, Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Stony Brook Hospital and the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Division and the Clinical Trial Research Unit at James Graham Brown Cancer Center at University of Louisville.

      About iCell Gene Therapeutics

      iCell Gene Therapeutics is focused on developing CAR T and NK cells that target and destroy multiple types of cancer. The primary focus is to treat and cure malignancies that have very poor prognoses and few available curative treatment options. The goal is to eradicate these devastating diseases, and to offer patients with resistant cancer a chance at a cure. Diseases covered by the company’s proprietary CAR technologies include B and T cell lymphoma and leukemia, myeloproliferative neoplasms, myeloid dysplastic syndrome (MDS), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), multiple myeloma (MM), non-hematological (non-blood) cancers and autoimmune disorders. For more information, visit www.icellgene.com.

       

      Congressman John Yarmuth to offer insight into federal funding for science at UofL

      Forum to discuss the importance of science advocacy and explain the federal budget process
      Congressman John Yarmuth to offer insight into federal funding for science at UofL

      Congressman John Yarmuth

      When the federal government reduces funding for scientific research, labs may close and researchers may lose their positions. However, researchers have a voice in the funding process, and legislators want to hear from them.

      “Scientists should be involved, stay informed and advocate for science funding,” said Naomi Charalambakis, a graduate student in the University of Louisville Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. “A lot of students and postdocs are completely unaware of how the budget begins and where scientists can intervene to help that process along. We have direct input and we can change the attitudes of policymakers.”

      To help students and faculty at UofL gain a better understanding of the budget process and how individual researchers can affect it, the Science and Policy Outreach Group (SPOG) will present, “Funding Your Future: A forum discussing the federal budget and the importance of science advocacy,” at 10:00 a.m. August 26 at HSC Auditorium.

      The event’s keynote speaker, Congressman John Yarmuth, will help clarify the federal budget process and provide an update on federal funding for the 2017 fiscal year, which begins October 1. Yarmuth, who represents Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, serves on the Committee on Budget and the Committee on Energy.

      Forum schedule:

      • 10 a.m. - Naomi Charalambakis, graduate student and Society for Neuroscience fellow, “The Federal Budget – How it works and why students should care.”
      • 10:45 a.m. - William Guido, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, “The Importance of Advocacy – a chairman’s perspective.”
      • 11:00 a.m. – Jon Klein, M.D., Ph.D., vice dean for research of the UofL School of Medicine, will introduce Congressman John Yarmuth. A Q&A session will follow.

      The event is hosted by the Science and Policy Outreach Group (SPOG) and the Career Research Advancement Focused Training (CRAFT) Seminar Series. SPOG is an organization of graduate students at UofL with the mission to create and facilitate a dialogue between students in the sciences and members of Congress and the community. The CRAFT Seminar Series offers monthly presentations on career development for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students at UofL.

      Answering the call for LGBTQ health equity

      Health professionals can improve practices and join provider database at UofL LGBTQ Health Summit Sept. 12
      Answering the call for LGBTQ health equity

      Jennifer Potter, M.D.

      At least once a day, the University of Louisville LGBT Center receives a call from a person asking for the name of an LGBTQ-friendly physician. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals often report that they avoid the health care system because they experienced discrimination in a medical setting. This can lead to poorer health outcomes for these individuals.

      “The community needs more health care providers who fully understand what it means to be affirming to members of the LGBTQ community, and we need a way to let the community know how to find them,” said Stacie Steinbock, director of the Health Sciences Center satellite office of the UofL LGBT Center.

      Physicians and other health care providers will learn specific skills for the care of LGBTQ patients at the LGBTQ Health Summit, Monday, Sept. 12 at the UofL School of Medicine. They also will have the opportunity to join a web-based network of LGBTQ-friendly providers to give potential patients a resource for finding affirming care.

      Jennifer Potter, M.D., advisory dean and director of the Castle Society at Harvard Medical School and an international expert on LGBTQ and women’s health, will facilitate workshops on how to take a sexual history appropriate for persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and how to identify personal biases and develop skills for responding productively to witnessed micro-aggressions in the health care environment.

      In addition, physicians and other practitioners will participate in a community forum and small group discussions with LGBTQ community members to enhance providers’ understanding of this patient base. The day-long symposium also will address hormone protocols for transgender patients and converting medical educational materials to scholarship.

      “Historically, LGBTQ health has not been part of any health care or medical school curriculum,” said Suzanne Kingery, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at UofL. “It is only recently that a handful of medical schools, with UofL at the forefront, have started to do this kind of training. This health summit is a wonderful opportunity for health care providers to learn about LGBTQ care so they can provide affirming care for their patients and follow best practices.”

      The event is part of the eQuality project at UofL, which works to improve health care and health equity for LGBTQ individuals, those who are gender non-conforming (GNC) and persons who experience differences in sexual development (DSD). The project began in 2014 with the mission to develop and implement a comprehensive curriculum for the UofL School of Medicine that requires students to learn, practice and demonstrate knowledge and attitudes required for excellent care of these patients.

      The LGBTQ Health Summit begins at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 12 at the UofL School of Medicine. The event is sponsored by the UofL School of Medicine Office of Undergraduate Medical Education, Office for Community Engagement and Diversity, and LGBT Center. All workshops offer continuing education credit for physicians and nurses. Register for the workshops individually at https://goo.gl/CqMdEl.

      School of Medicine faculty named editors-in-chief of two peer-reviewed journals

      The University of Louisville continues to demonstrate international leadership in medicine as two faculty members have been named editors-in-chief of two peer-reviewed journals.

      William Tse, M.D., director of Bone Marrow Transplantation at the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center, has been named editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Transplantation Research and Medicine (IJTRM).Heidi M. Koenig, M.D., professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, has been named editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Regulation (JMR).

      IJTRM is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal covering research in tissue and organ transplantation and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. It also publishes research articles in the field of transplant rejection, immunosuppressant drugs, matching techniques, human genetic variability, transplant infectious diseases, therapeutics for human diseases, device-oriented aspects of transplantation, genetically engineered cells for transplantation, transplant complications and applications, transplant ethics and policy and more.

      JMR is published by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), an organization representing the 70 state medical licensure boards in the United States and territories. State medical boards license and discipline allopathic and osteopathic (M.D. and D.O.) physicians and, in Kentucky and other jurisdictions, other health care professionals. The quarterly, peer-reviewed journal features research and articles of interest to members of medical boards and individuals interested in medical licensing and regulation.

      About William Tse, M.D.:

       Tse was named director of the bone marrow transplantation program and the Marion F. Beard Endowed Chair in Hematology Research in the UofL Department of Medicine in September 2014. Tse was on the faculty at the University of Colorado Denver, where he was the director of translational research program for bone marrow transplantation and hematologic malignancies. He also previously was with Case Western Reserve University and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington Medical Center.

      He was honored “the Top Cancer Doctors from United States of America in 2015” by Newsweek Magazine, Top Medical Oncologist in 2014; Leadership Development Program Award from American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2012; T. Franklin Williams Scholar Award from American Association of Specialty Professors in 2006, among other awards.

      Tse is active in national organizations, serving in several capacities with the American Society of Hematology, including section chair for the annual meeting’s Oncogene Section and bone marrow transplantation outcome section, as well as the American Society of Clinical Oncology as an annual meeting abstract reviewer and the section chair on geriatric oncology.

      Tse also serves leadership roles on several other journal editorial boards including as the senior editor of the American Journal of Blood Research, stem cell biomarkers section editor for Biomarker Research, senior editor of the American Journal of Stem Cells and academic editor of PLoS One.

      A graduate of the Sun Yat-Sen University School of Medicine in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, he did a thoracic surgical oncology residency at Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center before completing postdoctoral research fellowships in medical biophysics, immunology and cancer at the Princess Margaret Hospital/Ontario Cancer Institute and the Hospital for Sick Children in Ontario, Canada. He completed clinical pathology and internal medicine residencies at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Hospital before undertaking a senior medical fellowship in clinical research and medical oncology divisions at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center at the University of Washington Medical Center.

      About Heidi M. Koenig, M.D.:

       In 2015, Koenig joined the FSMB Editorial Committee, which provides editorial guidance for JMR. Upon the retirement of the previous editor earlier this year, Koenig was named editor-in-chief of JMR.

      “I hope to use my extensive knowledge of the various functions of the FSMB to the fullest by serving on the editorial committee,” Koenig said. “We are a small but growing journal and are working toward a greater online presence as well as becoming indexed.”

      A journal is indexed if its articles are listed in a database such as PubMed or MedLine.

      Koenig, who joined the UofL faculty in 2004, was named to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure in 2013 and has served on that board’s task forces on Standardized Minimum Sanctions and Telemedicine and as the board’s representative to the Kentucky Board of Nursing APRN Council. In addition to licensing and regulating physicians, the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure regulates the practice of physician assistants, surgical assistants, athletic trainers and acupuncturists.

      Koenig has been an active member of the Kentucky Society of Anesthesiology, serving as president from 2010-2014. She is author of more than 30 peer-reviewed publications in basic and clinical sciences. She gained editorial experience as an ad hoc editor for Metabolism, Anesthesia and Analgesia, Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology, British Journal of Anaesthesia and Journal of Clinical Anesthesiology.

       

      William Tse

      William Tse
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      Heidi Koenig

      Heidi Koenig
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      How smart is the spinal cord? Andrea Behrman will explain at Beer with a Scientist Sept. 14

      Discover how UofL researchers are training the spinal cord to help children recover from spinal cord injury
      How smart is the spinal cord? Andrea Behrman will explain at Beer with a Scientist Sept. 14

      Andrea Behrman, Ph.D.

      Andrea Behrman, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Louisville, will discuss research and progress in helping children recover from spinal cord injuries at the next Beer with a Scientist. Her research using locomotor training represents a paradigm shift in helping children with spinal cord injury regain mobility below the level of the lesion. She designs therapies based on scientific evidence that the central nervous system changes through training, a process known as activity-dependent plasticity.

      Behrman is director of the Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric NeuroRecovery and co-director of the Reeve Foundation NeuroRecovery Network.

      The program begins at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 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. Follow the link to see a video about a recent Beer with a Scientist event with UofL professor John Pierce Wise, Ph.D.

      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.

       

      NEXT BEER WITH A SCIENTIST, OCT. 12:   

      As part of Research!Louisville, Beer with a Scientist founder, Levi Beverly, Ph.D., will present:  "The cutting-edge ways that researchers and clinicians are diagnosing and curing cancer right here in Louisville." Beverly will give a series of short presentations on some of the research and clinical trials happening right here in our own backyard.

       

      September 6, 2016

      Toni Ganzel to participate in national deans' panel on medical education, live-streamed Sept. 8 at noon

      Toni Ganzel to participate in national deans' panel on medical education, live-streamed Sept. 8 at noon

      Toni Ganzel

      Dean Toni Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A., will discuss the future of American medical education in the National Deans’ Panel On Thursday, Sept. 8 from noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by the University of Florida College of Medicine. The event is part of its 60th anniversary celebration. Ganzel will be joined by fellow medical school deans Joseph Kerschner, M.D. of the Medical College of Wisconsin, E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. of the University of Maryland and Michael Good, M.D., of the University of Florida to discuss contemporary issues in medical education, biomedical science and American health care.

      Join the live stream of the event online at: http://bit.ly/DeansPanelUF

      Submit questions to the panel during the event via Twitter using the hashtag #UFMed60.

      Forging a new PATH to optimal aging

      Second year of Optimal Aging Lecture Series kicks off Sept. 14 with examination of new intervention for improved quality of life
      Forging a new PATH to optimal aging

      Valerie Lander McCarthy, Ph.D., R.N.

      Exploring a new intervention to help older adults age optimally is the focus of the Sept. 14 lecture to kick off the second year of the Optimal Aging Lecture Series, sponsored by the University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging and the UofL Alumni Association This lecture is part of the Insitute’s Optimal Aging Month observance.

      Valerie Lander McCarthy, Ph.D., R.N., associate professor at the UofL School of Nursing, will present a conversation entitled “Which PATH Will You Choose?” The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University Club, 200 E. Brandeis Ave.

      McCarthy will share a new intervention called the Psychoeducational Approach to Transcendence and Health (PATH) Program. Developed by McCarthy and her colleagues, the program fosters self-transcendence to help older adults improve well-being, life satisfaction and health-related quality of life. The program utilizes mindfulness experiences, group processes, creative activities and brief independent at-home practice.

      McCarthy teaches community health nursing and evidence-based research in the undergraduate program of the School of Nursing. Her research is focused on successful aging and increasing well-being, life satisfaction and health-related quality of life in older adults through promoting the late-life developmental process of transcendence.

      Admission is $30 per person and includes lunch. Reservations are required online. Click here to register. For information, call 502-852-5629 or email OptimalAging@louisville.edu.

       

       

       

      UofL researchers take lead role in exploring liver disease

      UofL researchers take lead role in exploring liver disease

      Craig McClain, M.D.

      Photos from the news conference announcing the grant are available here.

       

      Liver diseases are clinically important health problems and are generally underappreciated.  The University of Louisville has brought together a critical mass of investigators to study liver diseases in a comprehensive fashion.  These studies include a unique focus on environmental exposure and subsequent liver injury.  Craig McClain, M.D., associate vice president for health affairs/research, is the principal investigator and head of the team that has received a Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant from the National Institutes of Health to explore diseases of the liver—hepatobiology and toxicology.

      “Dr. McClain and his team are among not only that nation’s leaders, but the world’s leaders when it comes to researching liver diseases,” said Gregory C. Postel, M.D., UofL interim executive vice president for health affairs. “Receipt of this grant demonstrates the breadth of the program Dr. McClain has developed through the years and the importance of that work in our understanding the liver function, liver disease and how to combat it.”

      The grant, which totals more than $11.5 million over five years, bring together experienced senior mentors and promising junior investigators from across the university  in collaboration with scientists throughout the nation and world to perform cross-cutting research on the unique topics of hepatobiology and toxicology. The research will evaluate clinical barriers in the understanding of the development and progression of liver diseases. Additionally, they will define targets for prevention and treatment that may transform current medical practice.

      The researchers have four current areas of interest:

      • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a major cause of cirrhosis of the liver,

      • Alcoholic liver disease,

      • Environmental toxicology and liver disease, and

      • Liver cancer.

      Future areas of research include infectious and viral liver disease and drug induced liver injury.

      The liver is the largest internal organ. It plays a vital role in protein, carbohydrate, and fat, as well as micronutrient metabolism and it is the major site for drug and toxicant metabolism/detoxification.

      Liver diseases are some of the most common health programs afflicting Americans. Approximately one-third of American adults and 10-12 percent of children in the United States have fatty liver disease as a consequence of overweight/obesity.  This is by far the most common cause of abnormal liver tests in the nation. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) represents a spectrum of diseases involving hepatic fat accumulation, inflammation with the potential progression to scarring and cirrhosis over time. Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) remains a major cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States, and ALD and NAFLD can proceed through the same pathway from simple fatty liver to cirrhosis in some patients. Importantly, there is no FDA-approved therapy for NAFLD or ALD. Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide and is the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths in men in the United States.

      “This effort will help ensure a pipeline of new investigators into liver biology and disease, as well as stimulate research into the field,” McClain said. “We will build upon the broad body of knowledge already existing, take that information into novel areas to create new methods for the prevention and treatment of liver disease.”

       

      Diane Harper named ‘Thought Leader-Plus’ by MedPageToday.com

      Diane Harper named ‘Thought Leader-Plus’ by MedPageToday.com

      Diane Harper, M.D.

      Diane Harper, M.D., the Rowntree Professor and Endowed Chair of Family and Geriatric Medicine of the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, has been named a “Thought Leader-Plus” by MedPageToday.com.

      Considered a trusted and reliable source for clinical and policy news coverage that directly affects the lives and practices of health care professionals, MedPageToday.com has 1,076,142 unique visitors per month, according to its Cision media database profile.

      As a Thought Leader-Plus, Harper is called upon to provide expert commentary on topics in her field -- primarily health care for women -- as well as topics that do not have a strict medical focus. Most recently, Harper was asked to comment on physicians making diagnoses of famous people without seeing them face-to-face.

      “(Physicians) have trained powers of observation to aid us in diagnosing illnesses. But powers of observation alone can be inaccurate or inaccurately interpreted. Without having the person be a part of the shared person-doctor relationship, harmful misdiagnoses will occur. Speculation about someone's health, in the parlance of physicians, often causes more harm than benefit," she said in the article posted Sept. 13 in the wake of news reports about the pneumonia and dehydration diagnoses of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

      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. She joined the UofL faculty in 2013.

      Harper was one of the United States clinician scientists leading the global research effort for prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to control cervical cancer.  She has been a lead author in the multiple Lancet publications and co-author of more than 100 additional articles on cervical cancer prevention.  She has helped establish U.S. national guidelines for the nomenclature of cervical cytology and the screening and management strategies for women with abnormal cytology and histology. She also has consulted for and published with the World Health Organization on the use of prophylactic HPV vaccines. 

      She is currently a member of the NIH’s Population Sciences and Epidemiology Integrated Review Group of the Epidemiology of Cancer Study Section and an active grant reviewer for many national organizations. In February, she was appointed 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.

       

      Tierney joins University of Louisville

      Will lead facilities planning and management for health sciences center
      Tierney joins University of Louisville

      UofL Health Sciences Center

      Nancy Tierney has been named the interim associate vice president for facilities planning and management for the UofL Health Sciences Center. Most recently, Tierney was the director of facilities for the Cantor Center for Visual Arts and Anderson Collection at Stanford University. She has extensive experience in academic health care facilities planning and management, serving in leadership roles at the University of Arizona, Stanford University, the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago.

      “Nancy brings to UofL nearly 35 years’ experience meeting the challenges of the facility needs in an ever-changing environment associated with how we educate the next generation of health care providers, conduct the research that molds how we deliver clinical care and the physical environment for provision of the care,” said Gregory C. Postel, M.D., UofL interim executive vice president for health affairs. “We continue to face those challenges at UofL and will draw upon Nancy’s experience to meet the needs of our faculty, staff, students and patients.”

      Tierney will be responsible for developing and coordinating a process of facilities planning designed to determine the facility needs of the health sciences center, as well as to evaluate the condition of current space and make recommendations for any changes that may be necessary. She also will have responsibility for space planning and management for the health sciences center.

      In addition to her immediate past position at Stanford University, Tierney was the Associate Dean for Facilities and Planning at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Prior to that she was the associate director, then director of facilities planning and management at the Stanford School of Medicine.

      Tierney is a member and past president of the Society for College and University Planning, member and past chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Institutional Planning, and the American Planning Association. She is a certified planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners. She has received the Distinguished Service Award from both the Society for College and University Planning and the AAMC Group on Institutional Planning.

      She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky and her master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.

      Melvyn Koby, M.D., establishes award to encourage compassion among physicians

      Melvyn Koby, M.D., establishes award to encourage compassion among physicians

      Melvyn Koby, M.D., right, with Henry Kaplan, M.D., chair the UofL Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

      Melvyn Koby, M.D., a University of Louisville alumnus and innovator in ophthalmology in Louisville for more than 40 years, has established an award to promote compassion among the physicians training at UofL. The Dr. Melvyn Koby Educational Excellence Award will be presented annually to a resident physician in the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences in recognition of clinical and surgical expertise, as well as compassion for patients.

      Koby grew up in Louisville, where he attended Atherton High School and worked as a clerk in his father's drug store, Koby Drug Company. He earned a B.A. in chemistry from Vanderbilt University and attended the UofL School of Medicine. After training for two years in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Koby served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. He returned to Barnes Hospital to complete his ophthalmology residency in 1971 and opened his practice in Louisville the same year.

      Koby introduced radial keratotomy, the predecessor of LASIK, to the Louisville area in the early 1980s after spending time in Russia with the inventor of the technology, Svyatoslav Fyodorov. Koby also was the first ophthalmologist in Kentucky to insert an intraocular lens during cataract surgery.

      Since retiring from practice in 2013, Koby has volunteered his time at the UofL Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, teaching and mentoring the residents training to become tomorrow’s ophthalmologists.

      To encourage compassion among these young physicians, Koby has established an endowment to support the Dr. Melvyn Koby Educational Excellence Award. The award will be presented to the third-year ophthalmology resident at UofL who displays not only clinical and surgical excellence but shows the most compassion toward patients and families. The first award will be announced in June 2017.

      To honor Dr. Melvyn Koby by to making a donation to the fund, please contact:  Telly McGaha at telly.mcgaha@louisville.edu or 502-852-7448.

      Unique program for medical students and Parkinson’s disease patients to be presented at World Parkinson Congress

      Unique program for medical students and Parkinson’s disease patients to be presented at World Parkinson Congress

      Kathrin LaFaver, M.D.

      Students at the University of Louisville School of Medicine learn about Parkinson’s disease by spending personal time with patients who have the condition. Patients enjoy social engagement and the chance to help future physicians learn about their disease. The benefits resulted from the Parkinson’s Disease Buddy Program, a unique opportunity for UofL students and Louisville area Parkinson’s patients.

      Kathrin LaFaver, M.D., the Raymond Lee Lebby Chair for Parkinson’s Disease Research in the Department of Neurology at UofL, designed the program and will present results from its first year in three poster sessions, Sept. 21-23, at the 4th World Parkinson Congress (WPC 2016) in Portland, Ore. More than 4,000 health professionals, researchers and advocates from around the world are expected at WPC 2016. The four-day event is organized every three years by the World Parkinson Coalition to share information on the latest science, clinical research and health care related to Parkinson’s disease. Denise Cumberland, Ph.D., assistant professor of organizational leadership and learning at UofL, and Erika Branch, executive director of the Parkinson Support Center of Kentuckiana, also will be presenting the posters, which feature both the patients’ and students’ perspectives.

      The PD Buddy Program, the only one of its kind for patients with Parkinson’s disease, was launched in September 2015, a partnership between the UofL School of Medicine and the Parkinson Support Center. Twenty-five first-year students from the UofL School of Medicine were matched with patients served by the center. The students and patients met one-on-one monthly for nine months for activities and to allow the patients to share their experience in living with Parkinson’s with the students. The students kept a journal of their interactions with the patients and attended monthly lectures and mentoring sessions about Parkinson’s disease.

      Participating patients were surveyed following the program and indicated they enjoyed interacting with the students and appreciated the opportunity to help them learn about Parkinson’s disease. The students’ knowledge scores about Parkinson’s disease rose 20 percent following the program, compared with their scores before the program.

      “I got to learn about Parkinson’s and I got to take a break and spend some time with them. We mutually got something big out of it. It is a great program and a great setup,” said Megan Good, a second-year medical student who participated in the program’s first year.

      The PD Buddy Program kicked off its second year on August 30.

      At WPC 2016, LaFaver also will present a poster on unmet needs experienced by Parkinson’s disease patients based on research conducted at UofL. Surveys revealed that Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers find the most troublesome symptoms of PD are tremor, walking/balance problems and fatigue. These symptoms represent the greatest need for new therapy development.

      Robert Jacobs SPHIS

      Robert Jacobs SPHIS
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      Aruni Bhatnagar Ph.D.

      Aruni Bhatnagar Ph.D.
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      Mayor’s forum on possible e-cigarette, hookah ban features UofL researchers

      Mayor’s forum on possible e-cigarette, hookah ban features UofL researchers

      UofL researchers Aruni Bhatnagar and Robert Jacobs will participate in a public forum discussing a possible Metro Louisville ban on use of hookahs (shown at left) and e-cigarettes in public places.

      A community educational forum convened by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on the possibility of expanding activities covered by Metro Louisville’s smoke-free ordinance will feature two University of Louisville researchers who study the effects of environmental factors on health.

      The forum will be held at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Department of Public Health and Wellness, 400 E. Gray St. It will address the possible addition of bans on e-cigarette and hookah use in public places. Louisville enacted its smoke-free ordinance in 2008, prohibiting smoking tobacco products in indoor public places and worksites.

       Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., the Smith and Lucille Gibson Chair in Medicine and director of the American Heart Association Tobacco Research and Addiction Center (ATRAC) in the School of Medicine, and Robert Jacobs, professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences in the School of Public Health and Information Sciences, will participate in the forum.

      Bhatnagar won a grant of $20 million from the NIH and FDA in 2013 to establish the ATRAC. It conducts multidisciplinary research to help inform the manufacture, distribution and marketing of tobacco products as they are regulated by the FDA. In 2014, he chaired a 10-member panel of fellow national experts that developed the American Heart Association’s first-ever policy statement on e-cigarettes, citing the paucity of research that has been conducted on the effects of e-cigarettes on health and the need for continued rigorous research.

       Jacobs researches the health effects associated with indoor air and exposures to organic dust in agricultural and industrial environments, inhalation toxicology and international environmental and occupational health practices. He has published research on the health effects associated with specific components of inhaled organic dust and on the development of methods for exposure assessment of specific biological airborne contaminants in both the work and non-work environments.

      Also on the panel will be Paul Kiser, Ph.D., assistant professor at Bellarmine University; Carol Riker, M.S.N., R.N., associate professor emeritus, University of Kentucky; and Monica Mundy, M.P.H., community advisor, Kentucky Center for Smoke-Free Policy.

      More than 500 communities across the country, including 13 in Kentucky, already include e-cigarettes or hookah use in their smoke-free laws. Many local businesses, health care facilities and educational institutions in Louisville also include e-cigarettes or hookah in their own wellness policies.

      For additional information, visit the Mayor’s website.

       

       

       

      Abstract submissions open Sept. 30 for aging conference

      Second annual UofL/KAG Optimal Aging Conference to be held June 11-13, 2017
      Abstract submissions open Sept. 30 for aging conference

      The call for abstracts opens Friday, Sept. 30, for the second annual Optimal Aging Conference, hosted by the University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging in partnership with the Kentucky Association for Gerontology (KAG). The conference will be held June 11-13, 2017, at the Galt House Hotel, 140 N. Fourth St.

      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. Institute Executive Director Anna Faul, Ph.D. said, “This conference is unique in that it emphasizes the potential when diverse individuals come together united in a common commitment to transforming our current aging paradigm, including participation and input from older adults and caregivers.”

      Abstract submissions for the conference open Sept. 30 and close Friday, Dec. 16at 11:59 p.m. Practitioners and academicians in any field related to aging care can submit an abstract as the conference will examine service delivery complexities and burdens through both academic and professional workforce perspectives.

      Abstracts can be submitted here. More detailed information can be accessed here. The opening of the abstract submissions is the finale of the Institute’s Optimal Aging Month observance.

      The Optimal Aging Conference supports the dissemination of biopsychosocial aging research, age-friendly product innovation, and evidence-based practice and education models and social service delivery. Past President of KAG Barbara Gordon said, “We are excited to announce that our theme this year is ‘Approaching Aging as a Life-Long Journey.’ For optimal aging to be realized, we must infuse a lifespan approach into our work, practice, and research.”

      Early-bird registration for the conference will open Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. The early-bird registration fee for students, medical residents and senior citizens (age 65 and older) is $100; $240 for KAG Members; and $260 for all other academics and professionals. After Feb. 15, registration will be an additional $10 per category.

      For more information about the conference, visit www.optimalaginginstitute.org or call 502-852-5629.

      Instructors trained in Koru Mindfulness at UofL School of Medicine

      Meditation program proven to reduce stress among students
      Instructors trained in Koru Mindfulness at UofL School of Medicine

      Trainees in the Koru Mindfulness instructor workshop at UofL

      As young adults leave high school and become more independent, they may experience stress, difficulty sleeping and anxiety related to life choices, academics and new responsibilities. Koru Mindfulness is a meditation method specifically designed to help these emerging adults cope with these stresses.

      At the University of Louisville, Koru Mindfulness classes have been available to students, staff and faculty for more than a year through Health Promotion Wellbeing Central and Get Healthy Now. To expand the opportunities for students, as well as staff and faculty, 15 individuals from UofL and more than 30 around the nation received Koru Mindfulness instructor training at the UofL School of Medicine. Over three days, the trainees advanced their understanding of Koru and practiced teaching it to others.

      The course was led by Holly Rogers, M.D., founder of the Center for Koru Mindfulness and a psychiatrist at Counseling and Psychological Services at Duke University. Rogers and her colleague, Margaret Maytan, developed Koru Mindfulness to help the students she encountered in the counseling center at Duke. Rogers defines mindfulness as paying attention without judgment to the present experience, and she said it is a very important skill for emerging adults – anyone age 18-29.

      “Mindfulness helps them get in touch with what is authentically true and meaningful so they can make these decisions not based on what their peers say, what the media says or what their parents say, but they can figure out what is meaningful to them,” Rogers said. “They are at a time of life where self-knowledge is really useful and mindfulness is most important for self-knowledge. I’ve been teaching Koru for 10 or 11 years. I have so many stories of students who come back and say, ‘This really changed my life.’”

      Rogers and a researcher formerly at Duke, Jeffrey Greeson, Ph.D., conducted a randomized trial of 90 university students in 2012 and 2013 to determine Koru’s effectiveness in improving the students’ stress levels, sleep and self-compassion. Students who took the course reported less stress, better sleep, and improved self-compassion compared with those who had not yet attended the classes.

      Rogers believes Koru appeals to individuals in this age group thanks to a relatively short program of four weekly classes of just 75 minutes. Although meditation has its origins in Buddhism, Rogers said Koru is a secular approach to mindfulness, and does not include a spiritual component. However, she said many students incorporate the techniques into their own spiritual practice.

      The UofL School of Medicine hosted the training program in conjunction with “Being Well,” amultifaceted initiative for members of the UofL School of Medicine community that includes resources and programs to promote health, resiliency and compassion for oneself and others. Trainees included 15 faculty, staff and students from both campuses of UofL, as well as individuals from the University of Kentucky, Berea College and Bellarmine University in Kentucky, and from 13 other states and Canada.

      Susan Sawning, M.S.S.W., director of Undergraduate Medical Education Research at the UofL School of Medicine, attended the instructor training after she found mindfulness personally helpful for fostering resilience and decreasing stress.

      “Self-care is an essential part of leadership development and is important in each of our various roles. When we are not in tune with our wellbeing, it is very challenging to lead, to teach, to be fully present in our care for others,” Sawning said.

      She hopes to teach mindfulness courses for faculty and staff as well as students in the school of medicine to help them cope with the stresses of varied obligations and the demands of medicine.

      “A culture change is needed in medicine. We must cultivate an environment that promotes wellness and community. I am grateful to our leadership for making Being Well a top priority for our faculty, staff and students and am pleased to see Koru Mindfulness offered at our school of medicine,” Sawning said.

      Students register for Koru classes at http://louisville.edu/healthpromotion/services/mindfulness-meditation.

      Faculty and staff members register at https://louisville.edu/gethealthynow/documents/koru.

       

      October 4, 2016

      Craig Alexander

      Craig Alexander
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      Erle Austin III

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      Beating cancer with leading-edge research right here in Louisville

      Learn how UofL researchers and clinicians are diagnosing and curing cancer at the next Beer with a Scientist, Oct. 12
      Beating cancer with leading-edge research right here in Louisville

      Levi Beverly, Ph.D.

      Clinicians using a person’s breath to detect cancer. Computers helping identify the best cancer therapies. Researchers testing ways to activate a patient’s own immune cells to find and kill cancer cells. Scientists using tobacco plants to produce vaccines against cancer-causing viruses. These and other promising and interesting techniques for beating cancer will be discussed at the next Beer with a Scientist event. Levi Beverly, Ph.D., will present, “Cutting-edge ways that researchers and clinicians are diagnosing and curing cancer right here in Louisville,” at the free, public event, which also is part of Research!Louisville.

      Beverly is an assistant professor in the University of Louisville School of Medicine Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology and Toxicology, and is a researcher at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center. His research focuses on understanding the biology of lung cancer and leukemia. In addition, his group is trying to find new therapies for treating cancer and new drugs to protect patients from the detrimental side effects of common cancer treatments.

      The event begins at 8 p.m. onWednesday, Oct. 12, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. in Louisville. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session. This edition of Beer with a Scientist is part of Research!Louisville, an annual week-long festival of health-related research being conducted at the Louisville Medical Center.

      The Beer with a Scientist program began in 2014, the brainchild of Beverly, who hoped to make science accessible to the public in an informal setting. 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.

       

      More about Research!Louisville

      An annual conference highlighting health-related research in the Louisville Medical Center, Research!Louisville features four days of showcases and events sponsored by the University of Louisville, University of Louisville Hospital/KentuckyOne Health, Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation/KentuckyOne Health and Norton Healthcare. Find the full schedule for this year’s Research!Louisville at www.researchlouisville.org.

       

      October 5, 2016

      Study demonstrates role of gut bacteria in neurodegenerative diseases

      Research at UofL funded by The Michael J. Fox Foundation shows proteins produced by gut bacteria may cause misfolding of brain proteins and cerebral inflammation
      Study demonstrates role of gut bacteria in neurodegenerative diseases

      Robert P. Friedland, M.D.

      Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) are all characterized by clumped, misfolded proteins and inflammation in the brain. In more than 90 percent of cases, physicians and scientists do not know what causes these processes to occur.

      Robert P. Friedland, M.D., the Mason C. and Mary D. Rudd Endowed Chair and Professor of Neurology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and a team of researchers have discovered that these processes may be triggered by proteins made by our gut bacteria (the microbiota). Their research has revealed that exposure to bacterial proteins called amyloid that have structural similarity to brain proteins leads to an increase in clumping of the protein alpha-synuclein in the brain. Aggregates, or clumps, of misfolded alpha-synuclein and related amyloid proteins are seen in the brains of patients with the neurodegenerative diseases AD, PD and ALS.

      Alpha-synuclein (AS) is a protein normally produced by neurons in the brain. In both PD and AD, alpha-synuclein is aggregated in a clumped form called amyloid, causing damage to neurons. Friedland has hypothesized that similarly clumped proteins produced by bacteria in the gut cause brain proteins to misfold via a mechanism called cross-seeding, leading to the deposition of aggregated brain proteins. He also proposed that amyloid proteins produced by the microbiota cause priming of immune cells in the gut, resulting in enhanced inflammation in the brain.

      The research, which was supported by The Michael J. Fox Foundation, involved the administration of bacterial strains of E. coli that produce the bacterial amyloid protein curli to rats. Control animals were given identical bacteria that lacked the ability to make the bacterial amyloid protein. The rats fed the curli-producing organisms showed increased levels of AS in the intestines and the brain and increased cerebral AS aggregation, compared with rats who were exposed to E. coli that did not produce the bacterial amyloid protein. The curli-exposed rats also showed enhanced cerebral inflammation.

      Similar findings were noted in a related experiment in which nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans) that were fed curli-producing E. coli also showed increased levels of AS aggregates, compared with nematodes not exposed to the bacterial amyloid. A research group led by neuroscientist Shu G. Chen, Ph.D., of Case Western Reserve University, performed this collaborative study.

      This new understanding of the potential role of gut bacteria in neurodegeneration could bring researchers closer to uncovering the factors responsible for initiating these diseases and ultimately developing preventive and therapeutic measures.

      “These new studies in two different animals show that proteins made by bacteria harbored in the gut may be an initiating factor in the disease process of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and ALS,” Friedland said. “This is important because most cases of these diseases are not caused by genes, and the gut is our most important environmental exposure. In addition, we have many potential therapeutic options to influence the bacterial populations in the nose, mouth and gut.”

      Friedland is the corresponding author of the article, Exposure to the functional bacterial amyloid protein curli enhances alpha-synuclein aggregation in aged Fischer 344 rats and Caenorhabditis elegans, published online Oct. 6 in Scientific Reports, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group. UofL researchers involved in the publication in addition to Friedland include Vilius Stribinskis, Ph.D., Madhavi J. Rane, Ph.D., Donald Demuth, Ph.D., Evelyne Gozal, Ph.D., Andrew M. Roberts, Ph.D., Rekha Jagadapillai, Ruolan Liu, M.D., Ph.D., and Richard Kerber, Ph.D. Additional contributors on the publication include Eliezer Masliah, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of California San Diego.

      This work supports recent studies indicating that the microbiota may have a role in disease processes in age-related brain degenerations. It is part of Friedland’s ongoing research on the relationship between the microbiota and age-related brain disorders, which involves collaborations with researchers in Ireland and Japan.

      “We are pursuing studies in humans and animals to further evaluate the mechanisms of the effects we have observed and are exploring the potential for the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies,” Friedland said.

       

       

      October 6, 2016

      The intricate web of environment and health is keynote topic at Research!Louisville

      Director of National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to speak at Research!Louisville on the institute’s role in human health
      The intricate web of environment and health is keynote topic at Research!Louisville

      Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D.

      Research at the University of Louisville and throughout the nation continually improves our understanding of how exposures to metals and other substances in the environment affect people’s health across their lifespan. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) aims to enhance society’s ability to maintain healthy environments by ensuring that individuals and communities have access to the best scientific information. Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of the NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program, will discuss environmental research and the role of the NIEHS in human health at UofL on Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. as the keynote speaker of Research!Louisville.

      Research!Louisville is the annual exposition of health-related research in the Louisville Medical Center. The 2016 event, scheduled for Oct. 11-14, will include showcases of scientific research, lectures and activities for scientists of all ages.

      Investigators from high school through professional faculty will present their research in five poster sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Awards for top research presentations will be announced on Friday following the keynote address by Birnbaum.

      Other events during the week include:

      • Kentucky Science Center – S.T.E.M. careers – More than 200 high school students will be introduced to science careers through interactive sessions in which they will take a patient history, engage in patient-interaction role-play with standardized patients, and practice suturing in a workshopcourtesy of the UofL School of Medicine Standardized Patient Program and the Paris Simulation Center. Students also will have the opportunity to interact with the operating room at KentuckyOne Health in "Pulse in Surgery,” in which students observe a live-streamed open-heart surgery while asking questions of the operating room staff in real time. Sessions are Wednesday, Oct. 12, 9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m at the Kentucky Science Center.
      • Beer with a Scientist – The leading-edge ways researchers and clinicians are diagnosing and curing cancer right here in Louisville. Wednesday, Oct. 12, 8 p.m. at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St.
      • Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Children's Health – Health inequities among children result in poorer quality of life for individuals in our nation. Glenn Flores, M.D., Distinguished Chair of Health Policy Research at the Medica Research Institute, a Research Affiliate in the Department of Health Sciences Research at the Mayo Clinic, will speak on “Racial and ethnic disparities in children’s health and health care and their successful elimination.” Thursday, Oct. 13, noon-2 p.m. in room 101 of the Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research Building (KCCTRB).
      • InNet – The new online matchmaking tool to help UofL investigators match their skills with potential collaborators in industry and research will host a launch party on Tuesday, Oct. 11, from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. in room 101 of KCCTRB.
      • Science and Innovation in the Public Interest - Karen Kashmanian Oates, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry and dean of Arts & Sciences at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, will discuss science and innovation in the public interest. She will explore the role of educators in not only imparting knowledge to students, but helping them understand how to use that knowledge to benefit society. Thursday, Oct. 13, at 10:30 a.m. in room 124 of KCCTRB.
      • Clinical/Translational Research Summit – A dozen areas of clinical and translational research will be highlighted with 10-minute presentations. Areas include cancer, cardiology, cardio-thoracic surgery, biomarkers, personalized medicine, gastro-intestinal metabolism, dentistry, infectious diseases, public health, nursing, neurosciences/spinal cord injury and transplant. The event is sponsored by UofL, KentuckyOne Health, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and the Chi Institute for Research and Innovation (CIRI). Friday, Oct. 14, 8 a.m. – noon in room 101 of KCCTRB.

      For additional information, poster abstract booklet and a program of events for the 21st annual Research!Louisville, visit http://ResearchLouisville.org.

      Bullitt County invited to ‘Think Pink’ Oct. 18

      Bullitt County invited to ‘Think Pink’ Oct. 18

      Shepherdsville and Bullitt County, Ky., are invited to “Think Pink” for breast cancer awareness at an event featuring the stories of three breast cancer survivors and recognition of everyone who has battled the disease.

      “Think Pink: An Evening to Educate and Celebrate” will be held Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Paroquet Springs Conference Centre, 395 Paroquet Springs Drive, Shepherdsville. Admission is free.

      Emcee Bryan Shaw of WHAS11-TV will introduce three survivors who will share their individual journeys and accomplishments since being diagnosed: Lara McGregor, Mary Lee Edwards and Alana Auslander Price, all of Louisville.

      Both McGregor and Edwards became activists as a result of their experience with breast cancer. McGregor is founder of Hope Scarves, a non-profit organization based in Louisville that raises funds for research and provides scarves to patients with breast cancer as a way to show support. Edwards is an instructor of LIVESTRONG classes at the Louisville YMCA. LIVESTRONG is a non-profit organization, based in Austin, Texas, that provides services, raises funds and advocates for patients and families.

      Participants at “Think Pink” are invited to wear pink to show support for survivors and in recognition of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Only 200 seats are available for the event so reservations in advance are required by calling 502-955-5355.

      Breast cancer continues to plague the United States: One in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

      Great strides in fighting the disease have been made, however. In 1980, the five-year relative survival rate for women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer -- cancer confined to the breast -- was 74 percent. Today, that number is 99 percent.

      “Think Pink” is sponsored by the Kentucky Cancer Program at the University of Louisville, Bullitt County Health Department and Bullitt County Cooperative Extension Service.

      For information, contact Pam Temple-Jennings of the Kentucky Cancer Program, 502-852-6318, pam.templejennings@louisville.edu.

       

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      UofL neurosurgeons now providing robotic laser therapy for brain tumors, lesions

      Laser can help remove some lesions that were once considered inoperable
      UofL neurosurgeons now providing robotic laser therapy for brain tumors, lesions

      Neurosurgeons with UofL now provide minimally invasive, image-guided laser therapy with the NeuroBlate system.

      Two University of Louisville neurosurgeons are now providing image-guided laser technology to help patients with brain tumors and lesions. According to the National Brain Tumor Society, more than 688,000 Americans are living with a brain tumor. In the past, some tumors were considered too difficult to reach. However, the minimally invasive NeuroBlate laser is now allowing neurosurgeons to remove tumors and lesions that would traditionally be considered inoperable.

      NeuroBlate laser therapy can be precisely controlled to kill abnormal tissue while doing as little harm as possible to surrounding healthy tissue. It also can be used in patients who have lesions in areas of the brain that are difficult to access by traditional open surgery without harming essential functions like speech, vision and muscle control. The procedure is performed at Jewish Hospital, a part of KentuckyOne Health.

      The NeuroBlate® System from Monteris Medical® is a robotic laser technology that uses real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to precisely guide a laser probe. The laser applies heat to the growth, in controlled amounts, until the diseased tissue is destroyed. It can be used on tumors and lesions in many locations in the brain, near the surface or deep inside.

      Neurosurgeons performing the procedure are Joseph S. Neimat, M.D., chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, and Brian J. Williams, M.D., assistant professor and director of the Brain Tumor Program. Both practice with University of Louisville Physicians.

      “The procedure is performed while the patient is in an MRI machine, so physicians can see the lesion and surrounding healthy tissue to apply laser energy where it is needed. The temperature of nearby healthy tissue is monitored to help ensure that it is protected as much as possible,” Neimat said. “We are thrilled to have this technology at our fingertips, to be able to help more people suffering from brain tumors and lesions.”

      “Laser interstitial thermal therapy or ‘LITT’ offers patients suffering from difficult-to-access or recurrent brain tumors a minimally invasive option for local treatment of their disease,” Williams said. “Because the recovery is quite a bit quicker than with traditional open surgery, patients are able to expeditiously move on to radiation and chemotherapy.”

      Rather than making a large opening in the skull, the NeuroBlate laser technology requires just a small hole, about the diameter of a pencil. The procedure is considered minimally invasive surgery, a type of procedure that generally involves less pain, discomfort and scarring than traditional surgery, and allows patients to go home and resume normal activity sooner.

      The NeuroBlate System was cleared by the FDA in April 2013 and is in use at more than 20 of the nation's leading health care institutions. It also was licensed by Health Canada in September 2014 as the first and only minimally invasive robotic laser thermal therapy tool available in that country.

      Patients seeking appointments with Neimat and Williams should contact UofL Physicians-Neurosurgery at 502-588-6000.

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      Risk Statement about the NeuroBlate® System
      As with any surgical procedure, the NeuroBlate System involves some risks. The technology is not appropriate for every lesion type and location. For example, it may be difficult to use the technology on certain large or irregularly shaped tumors. Certain placements of the laser probe into the brain, or too much heat applied, may cause bleeding or permanent brain damage. Some patients have temporary swelling after the procedure that may cause short-term abnormal brain or nervous system function. Any medical situation, including NeuroBlate, which requires a patient to stay still for long periods can cause dangerous blood clots (deep venous thrombosis). Talk to your physician about the risks of the procedure.


      About Monteris Medical®
      Monteris Medical (Plymouth, Minn.) is a privately held company developing devices for minimally-invasive, MR-guided neurosurgery. Monteris markets the NeuroBlate® System for controlled, volumetric ablation of brain lesions. Monteris also offers the various Stereotactic anchoring devices for image-guided trajectory alignment, and the AtamA™ Stabilization System for MR-based procedures requiring versatile head fixation. For more information on Monteris Medical, visit www.Monteris.com or the company’s patient information site www.MyBrainSurgeryOptions.com.

      About KentuckyOne Health
      KentuckyOne Health, the largest and most comprehensive health system in the Commonwealth, has more than 200 locations including, hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies in Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to bringing wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved.  The system is made up of the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System, along with the University of Louisville Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center. KentuckyOne Health is proud of and strengthened by its Catholic, Jewish and academic heritages.


       

       

       

      Indiana woman undergoes double hand transplant

      Louella Aker, 69, becomes first female hand transplant recipient in Kentucky; video of the procedure can be found at https://youtu.be/5q329IX2Vcs.
      Indiana woman undergoes double hand transplant

      Louella Aker is seated with from left, Christine Kaufman, Ph.D., Stuart Williams, Ph.D., and Tuna Ozyurekoglu, M.D.

      A Jeffersonville, Ind., woman has become the first female hand transplant recipient in Kentucky and the 10th patient to receive a hand transplant from the Louisville Vascularized Composite Allograft (VCA) program, a partnership of physicians, researchers and health care providers from the University of Louisville, Jewish Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health, the Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery (CMKI) and the Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center.

      During a 17-hour procedure on Sept. 17, Louella Aker underwent a double hand transplant at Jewish Hospital. The 69-year-old acquired an infection while involved in the cleanup of Henryville, Ind., after an EF4 tornado hit the area on March 2, 2012. Aker was later diagnosed with septicemia and underwent a bilateral, below-the-knee amputation on her legs, left forearm amputation, and right partial hand amputation. Aker was added to the organ donor registry in September 2015.

      “There are so many things you cannot do without your hands. This will change my life and allow me to do the things I miss, like holding my granddaughter’s hand,” Aker said at a news conference on Oct. 19. “I spent many days praying for a donor, but also crying for the donor’s family for their loss. This is such a huge and exquisite gift they have given me and I thank and bless them for their sacrifice. I also want to thank the surgeons, my family and my church for their support.”

      Twenty surgeons from UofL, CMKI and Kleinert Kutz performed the procedure. Fourteen staff members and six anesthesiologists also assisted with the surgery.

      “Although a little slow, we are pleased with the progress that Louella has been making,” said Tuna Ozyurekoglu, M.D., lead surgeon on the procedure and assistant clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at UofL. “She is truly a fighter who has continued to grow stronger each day following this surgery. We look forward to watching her return to her normal activities, as she shows the world how successful transplantation can be.”

      “Operations such as this help demonstrate the enormous importance of organ and tissue donation,” said Christopher Jones, M.D., associate professor of surgery at UofL and director of abdominal transplantation at Jewish Hospital. “If it were not for the donor family graciously agreeing to limb donation, the efforts of Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates and neighboring organ procurement organizations, this certainly would not have been possible.”

      Aker was placed on immunosuppressive medications to prevent rejection of the new hand.

      “She is tolerating her medications, and to date, has no signs of clinical rejection,” said Jones, who is overseeing the patient’s immunosuppressive therapy by closely monitoring her for signs of rejection and adverse reaction to medications.

      “It is amazing to be part of an extraordinary team, performing procedures such as this double hand transplant,” said Stuart K. Williams, II, PhD, director, Bioficial Organs Program, Cardiovascular Innovation Institute. “New innovations developed by investigators at the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute are being translated to help patients recover more quickly from transplant surgery.”

      The Louisville team developed the pioneering hand transplant procedure and has performed hand transplants on 10 patients since 1999. The clinical trial is led by Ozyurekoglu with research at the CMKI and the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, a partnership of UofL and the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence.

      Funding for the surgical procedure was provided by the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation, part of KentuckyOne Health.

      The success of the Louisville VCA program has led to additional funding for ongoing transplantation and research. Early funding for research on composite tissue allotransplantation and immunotherapy from the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation helped bring about the nation’s first hand transplant. Other hand transplants were funded by the Department of Defense.

      In late 2012, the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation allocated $1.5 million for the Louisville VCA program to bring potential hand transplant recipients to Louisville for screening, hand transplantation surgery and patient therapy and rehabilitation after surgery.

      In 2013, the Louisville VCA program was awarded $850,000 to fund a clinical trial of a new treatment that will help prevent rejection of hand transplants as part of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM) research program. AFIRM II is a five-year, $75 million federally funded project that will focus on applying regenerative medicine to battlefield injuries. Results of this trial will be far-reaching and benefit not only military patients, but all hand transplant recipients.

      The AFIRM II funding enables Louisville VCA researchers to explore the potential for a cell-based therapy to help control the immune system’s response to a hand transplant, with a goal to lessen or eliminate the need for immune-suppressant drugs.
       

       

      New robotic device to boost balance in spinal cord injury patients at UofL

      $5 million grant awarded to UofL and Columbia University researchers to develop Tethered Pelvic Assist Device
      New robotic device to boost balance in spinal cord injury patients at UofL

      Tethered Pelvic Assist Device (TPAD)

      Spinal cord injury researchers at the University of Louisville pioneered activity-based interventions that have helped individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) improve mobility. The addition of epidural stimulation to the lumbosacral spinal cord has allowed individuals with SCI to stand without assistance. Susan Harkema, Ph.D., who leads this research at UofL, Claudia Angeli, Ph.D., Enrico Rejc, Ph.D., and Sunil Agrawal, Ph.D., an engineer at Columbia University, have won a $5 million grant to develop a robotic device that will aid individuals with SCI further by helping them regain balance. The Tethered Pelvic Assist Device (TPAD) will provide stimulation and feedback to aid in the recovery of balance, and will be integrated with activity-based training and epidural stimulation research at UofL.

      Harkema, Angeli and Rejc, faculty members in the Department of Neurological Surgery at UofL, are working with Agrawal, professor of mechanical engineering and of rehabilitation and regenerative medicine at Columbia Engineering, to develop TPAD. Agrawal specializes in the development of novel robotic devices and interfaces that help patients retrain their movements.

      The project has won a five-year, $5 million grant from the New York State Spinal Cord Injury Board. The project also includes Joel Stein, chair of the Department of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine, and Ferne Pomerantz, M.D., assistant professor in that department at Columbia University Medical Center.

      TPAD is a wearable, light-weight cable-driven device that can be programmed to provide motion cues to the pelvis and corrective forces to stabilize it. It consists of a pelvic belt with multiple cables connected to motors, a real-time motion capture system, and a real-time controller to regulate the tensions in the cables. The UofL researchers will incorporate the device into the training of SCI patients during standing.

      “Our stand and step training, combined with epidural stimulation, have shown success in enabling individuals with SCI regain the ability to stand. We hope the integration of the TPAD device will help these individuals with balance, further improving their functional ability and quality of life,” said Harkema, who also is Director of Research at Frazier Rehab Institute, part of KentuckyOne Health.

      In their work with the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center (KSCIRC), the UofL researchers have studied the effects of stand and step training along with epidural stimulation in adults with spinal cord injury. Epidural stimulation involves surgically implanting an electrode array over the lower spinal cord to activate the neural circuits.

       

      October 24, 2016

      Air pollution linked to blood vessel damage in healthy young adults

      UofL research team co-authors American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report
      Air pollution linked to blood vessel damage in healthy young adults

      Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D.

       Fine particulate matter air pollution may be associated with blood vessel damage and inflammation among young, healthy adults, according to new research in CirculationResearch, anAmerican Heart Association journal.

      “These results substantially expand our understanding about how air pollutioncontributes to cardiovascular disease by showing that exposure is associated with a cascade of adverse effects,” said C. Arden Pope, Ph.D., study lead author and Mary Lou Fulton Professor of Economics at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

      “These findings suggest that living in a polluted environment could promote the development of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke more pervasively and at an earlier stage than previously thought,” said Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., study co-author and the Smith and Lucille Gibson Chair in Medicine at the University of Louisville. “Although we have known for some time that air pollution can trigger heart attacks or strokes in susceptible, high-risk individuals, the finding that it could also affect even seemingly healthy individuals suggests that increased levels of air pollution are of concern to all of us, not just the sick or the elderly.”

      Air pollution is known to contribute to cardiovascular disease and related deaths. In 2004, the American Heart Association released a scientific statement, updated in 2010, warning of the risk and recommending that people talk to their doctor about avoiding exposure to air pollution specific to their area. What remained unclear, however, was how air pollution actually affects the blood vessels to increase the risk of disease.

      For this study, investigators analyzed the component of air pollution known as fine particulate matter (PM2.5) — the tiny pieces of solid or liquid pollution emitted from motor vehicles, factories, power plants, fires and smoking. They found that periodic exposure to fine particulate matter was associated with several abnormal changes in the blood that are markers for cardiovascular disease. As air pollution rose, they found:

      • small, micro-particles indicating cell injury and death significantly increased in number;

      • levels of proteins that inhibit blood vessel growth increased; and

      • proteins that signify blood-vessel inflammation also showed significant increases.

      Study participants included 72 healthy, nonsmoking, adults in Provo, Utah. Their average age was 23, most were white and more than half were male. During the winters of 2013, 2014 and 2015, participants provided blood samples, which researchers then tested for markers of cardiovascular disease. Due to the unique weather and geographical features of Provo, they were able to evaluate these informative blood markers with various levels of air pollution.

      However, researchers noted that the third study year, 2015, was relatively unpolluted, which could have affected the results.

      Other co-authors are James P. McCracken, Ph.D.; Wesley Abplanalp, Ph.D.; Daniel J. Conklin, Ph.D.; and Timothy O’Toole, Ph.D., all of UofL. The National Institutes of Health funded the study.

      Additional Resources:

      ### 

      Statements and conclusions of study authors published in American Heart Association scientific journals are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the association’s policy or position. The association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

       

      Second annual conference on caring for adults with IDD set for Nov. 12 at UofL

      Goal to improve health care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities
      Second annual conference on caring for adults with IDD set for Nov. 12 at UofL

      Steven Haburne

      Thanks to advances in medical science and a highly developed network of specialized pediatric health care services, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are much more likely to live into adulthood than they were several decades ago. However, once they reach age 18, they may find a limited number of providers available to address their unique and specialized health care needs.

      To improve access to quality health care for adults with IDD, the University of Louisville School of Medicine, UofL School of Dentistry and the Lee Specialty Clinic are sponsoring the Second Annual Caring for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Conference on Saturday, Nov. 12 at UofL. The conference will inform physical, occupational and speech therapists, physicians, dentists, social workers, patients and their caregivers about best current practices and future treatment directions for adults with IDD and address the multidisciplinary approach needed for their care.

      “These are individuals with neurologically based conditions who require interdisciplinary care from a variety of health care providers, including primary care, dentistry, cardiology, pulmonary, neurology, psychiatry and psychology, as well as physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy,” said Michael Sowell, M.D., professor in the Department of Neurology at UofL and co-director of the conference.

      One such individual is Steven Haburne, described by his mother as, “a 41-year-old man with a pleasant personality who was born with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and developmental disability.” He moves in a wheelchair, is non-verbal and has a seizure disorder. Haburne’s mother, Shirley Haburne, said they have met with physicians over the years who did not speak to Steven directly or who made assumptions about his condition without listening to Shirley’s description of his individual needs. When Haburne was very young, his family’s dentist told Shirley he was not comfortable treating Steven.

      “It did hurt my feelings, but I understand. He is not the same as other patients,” Shirley said. “It has taken a lifetime of finding doctors. It takes time to find a doctor who will listen to you and trust what you say.”

      Steven now receives dental care at Lee Specialty Clinic in Louisville, which offers medical, dental, psychiatric and general health care services for patients with IDD, and he receives medical care from several specialists at University of Louisville Physicians. Shirley hopes the conference will help make optimal health care available for her son and others with IDD.

      The conference will cover autism outreach, mobility and assistive technology, cognitive decline, advocacy for adults with IDD, and understanding the barriers in transitioning a child with neurodevelopmental disabilities into the adult provider network. Afternoon breakout sessions include topics in medicine, dentistry, developmental psychiatry and psychology, therapeutics and social work and are designed to stimulate discussions among health care providers, patients and their families that will lead to an improved standard of care in the region.

      The event also is designed to support the physician specialty of adult developmental medicine.

      “Developmental medicine as an emerging specialty pulls together a formal curriculum and training pathway to prepare physicians to provide the comprehensive care that these individuals need,” Sowell said. Learn more about this specialty at the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry.

      CONFERENCE DETAILS:  The Second Annual Caring for Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Conference is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the UofL School of Medicine, Instructional Building B - Room 115, 500 S. Preston St., Louisville, Ky. Continuing education credit is available. Register for the conference at http://louisville.edu/medicine/cme/events/IDD16 or call 502-852-5329.

      REMOTE ATTENDANCE: This conference also is available via a LIVE interactive video conference for all persons interested in caring for adult individuals with a diagnosis of an intellectual or a developmental disability. Register in advance of the conference at http://bit.ly/disabilities16.

       

       

      November 1, 2016

      Explore myths, realities of national health insurance Nov. 9

      Explore myths, realities of national health insurance Nov. 9

      From left, Syed Quadri, Kay Tillow and Edgar Lopez will tackle the myths and realities of a national health insurance program at a presentation on Nov. 9, sponsored by the Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging.

      For the final Optimal Aging Lecture for the fall semester, the Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging and the UofL Alumni Association present a panel discussion entitled “Expanded Medicare: A Single Payer Alternative.” This lecture will unpack the myths and realities of developing a national health insurance program. The lecture will be held on Nov. 9 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the University Club, 200 E. Brandeis Ave.

      The panel presenters for this exploration of available health care options are Syed Quadri, M.D., Kay Tillow and Edgar Lopez, M.D., all from the national organization Physicians for a National Health Program. The PNHP is a non-profit research and education organization consisting of 20,000 physicians, medial students and other health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance.

      The panelists will discuss their common belief that too many working individuals are unable to afford health care. In addition to their roles with PNHP, the speakers are Kentucky-based professionals with expertise and experience in the state’s health system. Quadri is the co-medical director of the Hardin County Free Clinic in Elizabethtown. Tillow is the coordinator of the All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care, a Kentucky advocacy organization. Lopez is a Louisville-based plastic and reconstructive surgeon. 

      Admission is $30 per person and includes lunch. Reservations are required online. Click here to register. For information, call 502-852-5629 or email OptimalAging@louisville.edu.

      Can nature thrive in the city? Beer with a Scientist, Nov. 16 with Margaret Carreiro

      Learn how you can help conservation and urban development co-exist
      Can nature thrive in the city? Beer with a Scientist, Nov. 16 with Margaret Carreiro

      Margaret Carreiro, Ph.D.

      From bees to birds to bats, species around the world are threatened at unprecedented rates. Many people feel powerless to help preserve local species because they think “real” nature can only be sustained in parks and reserves, but local urban park systems cannot do the job of maintaining native biodiversity alone.

      About 120 square miles of plantable land in Jefferson County is residential property. However, much of this green space is planted in lawn, which is a food desert for many species of wildlife.

      At the next Beer with a Scientist, Margaret Carreiro, Ph.D., will explain how residents in cities and suburbs can protect native species by weaving local nature into the very places where they live and work. She will describe Reconciliation Ecology, a concept in which habitats for wildlife are created within urban and suburban areas.

      “I want people to know they can make a large difference in conservation of local species through their plantings at home,” Carreiro said. “They can use native plants to create food webs and friendly habitat for desired species, especially pollinators and birds. It's about keeping our common species common.”

      Carreiro is associate professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Louisville. Her work focuses on understanding how urban environments interact with natural components of cities and suburbs. This includes studying the effects of atmospheric nitrogen from fossil fuel combustion and other sources, invasive species, habitat fragmentation, restoration management and socio-cultural legacies in affecting plant and soil communities and ecosystem processes.

      The event begins at 8 p.m. onWednesday, Nov. 16, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. in Louisville. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

      The Beer with a Scientist program began in 2014, the brainchild of UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D., who hoped to make science accessible to the public in an informal setting. 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.

       

       

      November 7, 2016

      Andrew Bankston, Ph.D., elected to National Postdoctoral Association board

      Andrew Bankston, Ph.D., elected to National Postdoctoral Association board

      Andrew N. Bankston, Ph.D.

      Andrew N. Bankston, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Louisville, has been elected to the board of directors for the National Postdoctoral Association (NPA). His three-year term of service begins Jan. 1, 2017.

      The NPA is a national educational association created to advance research and serve as a national voice for postdoctoral scholars. Founded in 2003, the NPA serves more than 3,400 individual members and 200 institutional members of the postdoctoral community. A “postdoc” is an individual who has received a doctoral (Ph.D.) degree and is employed in a temporary research position for the purpose of gaining additional experience that will lead to an independent academic research or faculty position.

      Bankston is a postdoctoral research fellow in the lab of Scott Whittemore, Ph.D., scientific director of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at UofL. Bankston’s research at UofL focuses on the role of autophagy, or selective degradation of cell components, in developmental myelination and myelin repair after injury. Myelin is the insulating material surrounding nerve fibers. Bankston earned his doctorate in biochemistry, cell and developmental biology from Emory University in 2013.

      Bankston, one of four newly elected board members for NPA, served as chair of the NPA Outreach Committee beginning in February 2015. At UofL, he is a member of the postdoctoral advisory board and a member of the planning committee for the Career Research Advancement Focused Training (CRAFT) seminar series, which hosts speakers to provide information on potential career options for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students. In addition, Bankston is a volunteer leader and member of event planning committees within the local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

       

      October 31, 2016

      Setting the bar for heart, lung and blood research - UofL hosts second NIH institute director in three weeks

      Setting the bar for heart, lung and blood research - UofL hosts second NIH institute director in three weeks

      Gary H. Gibbons, M.D.

      The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced a strategic vision of eight objectives that provide the framework for the institute’s research priorities for the coming decade.

      Gary H. Gibbons, M.D., director of the NHLBI, will discuss that vision in the 24th Leonard Leight Lecture at the University of Louisville on Friday, Nov. 4, at noon in the HSC Auditorium. In his talk, “Charting our future together:  Setting an agenda for the NHLBI,” Gibbons will outline the priorities set out in the vision, which support the NHLBI’s goals to understand and promote health, stimulate discoveries in the causes of disease, enable the translation of those discoveries into clinical practice and foster the next generation of scientists and physicians.

      “The convergence of innovations in areas such as computational biology, data science, bioengineering and high-throughput ‘omics’ technologies is paving the way for a new appreciation of human health and disease,” Gibbons said as the institute published the NHLBI’s Strategic Vision in August. “We now have unprecedented opportunities to better understand the complex interplay of environmental, behavioral and molecular factors that promote health; a clearer picture of the earliest point of disease development; and the ability to repair damaged tissues with stem cell and tissue engineering techniques.”

      The NHLBI provides global leadership for research, training and education programs to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung and blood diseases and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives.

      The 24th Leonard Leight Lecture is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, noon - 1 p.m. in the HSC Auditorium in Kornhauser Library on the UofL Health Sciences Center Campus.

      The Leonard Leight Lecture is presented by the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the UofL School of Medicine. For 30 years until 1996, Leight was a practicing cardiologist in Louisville and played a major role in developing cardiology services and bringing innovative treatment modalities in heart disease to Louisville. The Leonard Leight Lecture series was established in 1994 and is made possible by gifts from Dr. and Mrs. Kurt Ackermann and Medical Center Cardiologists to the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation.

      Gibbons is the second director of a National Institute to speak at UofL in three weeks. On Oct. 14, Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, discussed environmental research and the role of the NIEHS in human health at UofL as the keynote speaker of Research!Louisville.

      UofL provides funding for "End Alz" Alzheimer's awareness license plate effort

      UofL provides funding for "End Alz" Alzheimer's awareness license plate effort

      Thanks to a donation from the Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging at the University of Louisville, the $25 application fee for an “End Alz” license plate will be waived for the remaining applications needed to reach the required 900 for issuance of plates. This limited opportunity is available on a first-come, first-serve basis to constituents throughout Kentucky.

      “The Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging is honored to be able to support the Alzheimer’s Association and all Kentuckians who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease. We believe that this license is a powerful symbol of our enduring love for those affected by Alzheimer’s, our unwavering support for their family members, and our commitment to working with our communities and the Alzheimer’s Association to end Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Anna Faul, Executive Director of the Institute.  

      The Alzheimer’s Kentucky specialty license plate features a “forget-me-not” flower on a purple background with the words: “Honor. Remember. Care. End Alzheimer’s.” It is an eye-catching design and phrase capturing both the hope and devastation of this disease.  “The Alzheimer’s Association is grateful to the Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging for understanding the value of helping to finalize this stage of the initiative.  Getting the End Alz plate on the roads of Kentucky has been a labor of love for the Association.  This awareness will shine an even brighter light on the impact of this disease for affected individuals and families as well as the vital need to find effective prevention, treatment and cure,” said Bari Lewis, Director of Community Outreach for the Association. 

      Alzheimer’s affects 70,000 Kentuckians and over 5 million people nationwide.  There are over 270,000 Alzheimer’s family caregivers in Kentucky.  Every 67 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s and the number of people with Alzheimer’s is projected to triple by 2050.

      Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, the fifth for people over 65.  Research has not yet found a way to stop or reverse this disease. As many as half of people with dementia have never received a diagnosis, yet they could benefit from a variety of available medical and support services.

      It is a disease that touches virtually everyone – including Faul. Her own father, the Rev. Japie Vermeulen of Ceres, South Africa, recently died after a 16-year battle with the disease.

      “My education and training as a social worker specializing in older adults gave me knowledge about the hardship families endure when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s,” Faul said. “It was caring for my own father, however, that showed me the emotional burden this dreaded disease takes on both caregivers and the patients themselves.”

      In order to receive a plate, constituents should fill out the application form located on alz.org/kyin and return to Alzheimer’s Association, 6100 Dutchman’s Lane, Suite 401, Louisville, KY 40205 or email to infoky-in@alz.org. Applicants will be notified by their local county clerk when plates are ready to be picked up. Plates will be available approximately three months after the 900 commitments are secured.

      About the Alzheimer’s Association

      The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s research, care and support. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. For more information, visit www.alz.org/kyin.

       

      Research on bias and LGBT health at UofL to be presented at national medical education conference this week

      UofL faculty also assume leadership roles at AAMC conference in Seattle
      Research on bias and LGBT health at UofL to be presented at national medical education conference this week

      The eQuality Project at UofL

      University of Louisville School of Medicine faculty and staff will deliver four presentations at the annual meeting of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) beginning today in Seattle. At Learn Serve Lead 2016, UofL faculty and staff will share with other educators from medical schools around the nation their research conducted as part of developing medical education curricula.

      The 2016 conference, which runs Nov. 11-15, brings deans, faculty, researchers, administrators, residents and students from medical schools across the United States and Canada together to network and share insights on academic medicine.

      “Presentation of these scholarly educational works at the AAMC meeting affirms the knowledge and talent of our outstanding faculty and staff in developing curriculum,” said Toni Ganzel, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the UofL School of Medicine. “The innovations presented here will help advance medical education in institutions across the nation.”

      Three of the four research presentations selected for the conference stem from the eQuality Project at UofL, which is developing and incorporating curriculum related to health care for individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), gender nonconforming or born with differences of sex development (DSD). UofL is serving as the nation’s pilot for implementing competencies for LGBT-DSD care published by the AAMC in 2014.

      An oral presentation, “Baseline Bias:  Implicit Attitudes of First Year Medical Students Prior to a Health Equity Curriculum Intervention,” is co-authored by Katie Leslie, Ph.D., V. Faye Jones, M.D., Ph.D., Ryan Simpson, M.D.A., Susan Sawning, M.S.S.W., Leslee Martin, M.A., M. Ann Shaw, M.D., M.A., vice dean for undergraduate medical education, and Stacie Steinbock, M.Ed., director of the LGBT Center HSC Satellite Office. The presentation, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12 beginning at 10:30 a.m., assesses attitudes toward sexuality, race and weight among first and second-year medical students before and after debriefing sessions on mitigating implicit bias.

      A related poster presentation addresses undergraduate medical students’ attitudes and knowledge about LGBT patient care. The poster was selected for a special presentation session on Monday, Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. Sawning, Martin, Steinbock, Amy Holthouser, M.D., Emily Noonan, M.A., Jones, Leslie and Shaw will present the poster.

      A third poster presentation resulting from the eQuality Project describes initiatives to engage the transgender community to inform curriculum and prioritize initiatives via a community forum on transgender care. The work is presented by Noonan, Sawning, Ryan Combs, Ph.D., Steinbock, Holthouser, Martin and Shaw.

      The fourth presentation examines challenges and opportunities in developing and assessing emotional intelligence in medical education and training. The presenting team includes medical educators from Vanderbilt University, Withrop University in N.Y., Florida International University, along with Sawning, UofL’s director of undergraduate medical education research.

      The four presentations for this year’s conference double the number of presentations accepted in 2015. UofL faculty had two oral presentations accepted in 2015.

      In addition to the scholarly presentations, UofL faculty will assume leadership roles with the AAMC. Karen Hughes Miller, Ph.D., associate professor of graduate medical education, is incoming chair for the AAMC Research in Medical Education (RIME) Program Planning Committee. Miller also is chair elect for 2017 of the Southern Group on Educational Affairs (SGEA), a regional subgroup of the AAMC. Miller and Sara Petruska, M.D., assistant professor at UofL, will host roundtable luncheon discussions on Saturday, Nov. 12 on preparing residents for scholarly activity and interprofessional education in core clerkships.

      Lori Wagner, M.D., M.A., has been elected to the national steering committee for the AAMC Group on Women in Medicine and Science (G-WIMS). Wagner founded the Louisville Women in Medicine and Science (L-WIMS) Chapter in 2015.

       

      November 11, 2016

      UofL researcher to study methods to restore depth perception thanks to Disney award from RPB

      UofL researcher to study methods to restore depth perception thanks to Disney award from RPB

      Aaron McGee, Ph.D.

      Aaron W. McGee, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, has received the Disney Award for Amblyopia Research in the amount of $100,000 from Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB). McGee will use the award to investigate approaches for improving recovery from amblyopia, or “lazy eye.”

      Established in 2002, the RPB Walt and Lilly Disney Award for Amblyopia Research is intended to stimulate, strengthen and promote research to improve the diagnosis and treatment of amblyopia. The grant is offered to exceptional ophthalmic scientists – M.D.s or Ph.D.s – with research pursuits of potential significance and promise. McGee is one of two scientists to receive the award in 2016.

      “Dr. McGee’s funding from RPB addresses a major cause of blindness in children – namely, amblyopia. The potential to reverse ‘lazy eye’ through medical therapy would be a major advance in curing childhood visual disabilities and improve the quality of life for those affected. His research is exciting and has major potential translational clinical impact,” said Henry Kaplan, M.D., chair of the UofL Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences.

      Amblyopia occurs in 2-3 percent of children and presents with a number of impairments in spatial vision including stereopsis, or depth perception. Permanent visual deficits may result if amblyopia is not treated during a ‘critical period’ for development of the visual system that ends in early adolescence. The funded research builds on McGee’s previous work investigating how the timing and duration of critical periods in the visual system are determined. McGee will test methods for reversing the loss of depth perception resulting from amblyopia by ‘re-opening’ the critical period in adulthood to enhance the flexibility, or ‘plasticity,’ of brain circuitry.

      “Previously, we discovered that a gene encoding a neuronal receptor is essential for closing the critical period for visual plasticity,” McGee said. “This award from RPB will enable my lab to explore whether neutralizing this receptor will improve depth perception in the murine model of amblyopia.”

      McGee moved from the University of Southern California to join the UofL Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology in September 2016. The goals of his research program are to identify treatments for low vision and aberrant eye dominance by understanding critical periods for neural plasticity and how experience drives changes in brain function.

      The Disney Award for Amblyopia Research is a two-year award to help the awardee pursue promising scientific leads and take opportunities for which other funds are not readily available. RPB is the world’s leading voluntary organization supporting eye research. Since it was founded in 1960, RPB has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to support research into blinding eye diseases by medical institutions throughout the United States. For information on RPB, RPB-funded research, eye disorders and the RPB Grants Program, go to www.rpbusa.org.

       

      November 14, 2016

      UofL research shows severe heart failure patients recover function with drug therapy and LVAD

      Emma J. Birks, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., presented preliminary study findings at AHA Scientific Sessions
      UofL research shows severe heart failure patients recover function with drug therapy and LVAD

      Emma J. Birks, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.

      For patients with severe heart failure, a heart transplant or permanent artificial heart assist device have been considered the only permanent therapy as severe heart failure was not known to be reversible. However, a new study, led by Emma J. Birks, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, is showing that an artificial heart assist device along with medications may actually help heal the heart, avoiding the need for a heart transplant and allowing for the removal of the device.

      Birks presented preliminary results of the study at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions this weekend in New Orleans, showing more than 40 percent of advanced heart failure patients treated with a combination of an artificial heart assist device, called a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), and intensive drug therapy have recovered their heart function enough to allow removal of the LVAD device.

      The multicenter trial called RESTAGE, includes 40 patients at six different centers (including Jewish Hospital, a part of KentuckyOne Health) with very advanced or end stage heart failure implanted with an LVAD (HeartMate II) pump, 36 of whom were considered evaluable, and prescribed an aggressive combination of drugs (Lisinopril 40 mg, spironolactone 25 mg, digoxin 125 mic, losartan 150 mg daily and coreg 25 mg bid). All of the patients were so disabled from heart failure that the initial intent with the LVAD was to use it until they could receive a heart transplant or to leave the device in for the rest of their lives.

      “This suggests that even very advanced heart failure can be reversed using these heart pumps, particularly when combined with additional drug therapy, avoiding the need for heart transplantation for these patients and making the donor heart available for another needy individual,” Birks said.

      Researchers tested the 36 patients’ heart function to determine if their heart function had improved enough from the therapy to have the pumps removed, or if their heart function remained poor and needed a heart transplant or to remain on the pump. Sixteen patients receiving the combination therapy had recovered enough heart function (after an average of 330 days) to have the pump removed.

      “The fact that this could be done in several centers suggests that using the device with this drug combination to reverse heart failure is possible on a larger scale. It has previously been thought that these devices rarely recover heart function enough to allow them to be removed, but this study suggests that this can occur in a much bigger number than originally thought, particularly if combined with drug therapy,” Birks said.

      “The next step, we hope, is for more centers to start doing this and then to see if we can potentially add other drugs to further optimize recovery and create a good platform to recover heart function.”

      Community health screenings available Friday at Omni Medical Center

      Community health screenings available Friday at Omni Medical Center

      The Horses and Hope Screening Van will provide a variety of health screenings Friday, Nov. 18, at Omni Medical Center, 2746 Virginia Ave.

      The Kentucky Cancer Program at the University of Louisville has brought together several groups to provide free and low-cost medical screenings to the community Friday, Nov. 18, at the Omni Medical Center practice of Eugene Giles Sr., M.D., 2746 Virginia Ave.
       
      Kentucky African Americans Against Cancer, Horses and Hope, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, KentuckyOne Health and Partnership in Cancer Control have joined with the Kentucky Cancer Program to sponsor the screenings. The program is funded by the WellCare Community Foundation. The screenings will be provided by the Horses and Hope Cancer Screening Van.
       
      The following will be provided from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.:
       
      Mammograms for breast cancer screening
      • For women age 40 and over
      • No cost to women without insurance
      • Advance appointments required by calling 502-776-1177
       
      Colon cancer screenings
      • Take-home stool test (FIT Kits)
      • For all men and women age 50 and over
      • For African-American men and women age 45 and over
      • No appointment needed

      Blood pressure checks, health insurance information and free gifts

      For additional information, contact Janikaa Sherrod, Kentucky Cancer Program, 502-852-6318, janikaa.sherrod@louisville.edu.

       

      Culturally Effective Care Symposium empowers future health care providers

      UofL health sciences event renamed to address ongoing challenges in caring for patients across identities and professions
      Culturally Effective Care Symposium empowers future health care providers

      2016 Culturally Effective Care Symposium

      As they have every year for the past 11 years, future providers throughout health care disciplines dedicated a day to improving their ability to provide health care to all patients – especially those with perhaps different backgrounds and experiences than their own. At the 2016 Culturally Effective Care Symposium, nearly 550 students learned about working with colleagues from different disciplines to improve health equity for patients and populations and participated in discussions on LGBT health and barriers to health care faced by immigrants and refugees. The day-long event, “Health Equity through Interprofessional Practice,” was coordinated by the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

      Previously known as Cultural Competency Day, the event was renamed this year to more accurately reflect its mission.

      “Through one day events no one becomes ‘fully competent’ about any culture, including their own, so the name did not reflect the true purpose of the program,” said Ryan Simpson, assistant director of the UofL HSC Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “In these symposiums we are trying to provide participants foundational experiences in culturally effective care to equip future health professionals in achieving optimal patient care. Our planning committee renamed it the ‘Culturally Effective Care Symposium’ to better represent what we are there to achieve.”

      Students from all four UofL Health Sciences Center schools, as well as the Sullivan University College of Pharmacy, and UofL Kent School of Social Work participated in the symposium, held at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage (KCAAH) in Louisville. Participants included students and residents in nursing, dentistry, dental hygiene, speech pathology, pharmacy, social work, public health and medicine.

      UofL’s Patricia Allen Cultural Competency Day was first held in 2006, the result of efforts by V. Faye Jones, M.D., Ph.D., assistant vice president for health affairs – diversity initiatives, and Patricia Allen, administrative associate for the Area Health Education Center (AHEC) program office at UofL, to improve cultural understanding of UofL Health Sciences Center students. The event is named for Allen, who helped lay the groundwork and planning for the event.

       

      Nov. 17, 2016

      Brothers provide Thanksgiving turkeys to patients at James Graham Brown Cancer Center

      Brothers provide Thanksgiving turkeys to patients at James Graham Brown Cancer Center

      The sons of Mary Jane Gift, center, have established a fund in her memory to help patients at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

      Two brothers are working together to ensure that patients at the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center have a happy Thanksgiving.

      Alex and Tommy Gift lost their mother to a 20-plus year battle with cancer in 2010. In her memory, they established the Mary Jane Gift Quality of Life Fund at the cancer center in 2013.

      Cancer treatment can be costly and leave many families with little resources during the holidays. The fund helps patients and their families enjoy life while facing a cancer diagnosis.

      On Wednesday, Nov. 23, the brothers will distribute turkeys to more than 100 patients at the cancer center in memory of their mother. This will be the fourth annual turkey distribution sponsored by the Gift brothers.

      “We experienced how cancer treatment can impact a family throughout my mother’s illness,” said Alex Gift. “Establishing this fund in her memory is our way of giving back to those who supported us and helping improve the lives of others battling cancer.”

       

       

      Red and blue collaborate for a better Kentucky, nation, world

      UofL, UK joint research totals almost $11 million this year, covers diverse fields
      On the football field this Saturday, it will be Red versus Blue, the Cardinals battling the Wildcats, the Ville going against Big Blue Nation. The rivalry between the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky has been called the most heated in collegiate sports in the nation.
       
      But beyond the gridiron, there are numerous examples of the University of Louisville working with the University of Kentucky in research that holds promise to improve life not only for Kentuckians but for people throughout the United States and around the world.
       
      Currently, there are 20 projects funded at a total of almost $11 million in this year alone that involve collaboration between the two universities. Agencies funding these projects include the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, NASA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Transportation, the United States Geological Survey, several state agencies and more. Researchers in medicine, engineering, psychology, physics, education and the geosciences are working together to advance the body of knowledge in their fields and subfields.
       
      “On the playing field, we are fierce competitors, but in the laboratory, we work together to bring new solutions to questions that plague our state, nation and world,” UofL Acting President Neville Pinto, Ph.D., said. “As researchers and academicians, we put athletic rivalry aside and collaborate in research and development across a wide spectrum.”
       
      The scope of collaboration being carried out covers a wide range of fields, from providing primary health care services and training future physicians through Area Health Education Centers across the Commonwealth to development of a paradigm-shifting therapy for humans exposed to radiation.
       
      Other joint research is examining ways to power the Kentucky bioeconomy for a sustainable future; studying systems biochemistry with the goal of achieving a mechanistic understanding of non-small cell lung cancer; developing better ways to predict deterioration of asphalt and asphalt-overlaid concrete pavement roadways throughout the state; modeling urban watershed runoff in storm events; and more.
       
      One example of UofL-UK collaboration is the Kentucky Multi-scale Manufacture and Nano Integration Node (KY MMNIN), one of just16 academic sites across the United States that make up the prestigious National Nanotechnology Coordinate Infrastructure (NNCI) network funded by the National Science Foundation. This 10-year project funded at a total of $7 million leverages more than 25 years of expertise in the fields of micro- and nano-fabrication and three-dimensional additive manufacture, otherwise known as “3D printing.”
       
      The project’s principal investigator is Kevin Walsh, Ph.D., UofL Samuel T. Fife Endowed Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Associate Dean for Research in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. Walsh also is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.
       
      The goal of the MMNIN project is to bring 3D additive manufacturing and micro/nanotechnology to the invention and creative marketplace.
       
      “The next generation of revolutionary products and solutions will require the combination and effective integration of a diverse set of 3D manufacturing processes spanning various lengthscales ranging from nanotechnology to 3D printing” Walsh said. “Users want easy access to these resources and expertise to rapidly and efficiently fabricate their creative ideas.”
       
      With both standard fabrication and 3D additive processes, the KY MMNIN initiative provides users with unconventional and nationally unique tools to realize their inventions, Walsh said.
       
      One such user is Angelique Johnson, Ph.D., a part-time lecturer in the Speed School and President/CEO of MEMStim LLC. Johnson’s company is developing ways to improve and lower the cost of cochlear implants for people who are deaf.
       
      Johnson’s Louisville-based start-up uses advanced manufacturing to fabricate cochlear implants in the Cardinal cleanroom, a controlled manufacturing facility that is one of the eight facilities of the KY MMNIN.
       
      The complex circuitry in cochlear implants currently must be manufactured by hand, leading to higher costs. Johnson believes that if she can improve the manufacturing process, she could then lower the cost of cochlear implants and allow more people in need of implants to afford them.
       
      Johnson is using a machine-driven process to reduce the need for costly handmade manufacturing of implant circuitry. Using the diverse toolset of the KY MMNIN cleanroom, Johnson can design different features on the electrode arrays needed for cochlear implants. Her process has never been done before in the manufacture of these types of devices.
       
      Her circuitry for cochlear implants is still in the testing phase with the goal of one day achieving FDA approval for use in humans. “Being able to improve the technology is my motivation to improve the quality of life for patients” who use cochlear implants, she said.
       
      What collaborative research between UofL and UK shows is the shared recognition of the importance such research carries today. Currently, more than 40 percent of published studies in leading journals are collaborative in nature. Not surprisingly, research funding favors collaboration as well; both government agencies and private foundations have increasingly structured requests for proposals to favor collaboration.
       
      By taking a leading position on collaborative research, UofL and UK maintain their leadership positions in research within the national university community.
       
      ###

      Free legal clinic for people with cancer set for Dec. 5

      Free legal clinic for people with cancer set for Dec. 5

      Gilda's Club of Louisville, 633 Baxter Ave., will be the site of a free legal clinic for people with cancer and their families and caregivers on Dec. 5. The event is organized by the Kentucky Cancer Program at UofL.

      Three area organizations are teaming up to sponsor a free legal clinic for people facing cancer and their families and caregivers on Dec. 5.

      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 6-7:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 5, 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 pam.templejennings@louisville.edu or 502-852-6318.

       

      University of Louisville

      University of Louisville
      University of Louisville
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      University Medical Center, Inc.

      University Medical Center, Inc.
      University Medical Center, Inc.
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      KentuckyOne Health

      KentuckyOne Health
      KentuckyOne Health
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      University of Louisville/KentuckyOne Health relationship to enter next phase

      The University of Louisville (UofL), University Medical Center (UMC) and KentuckyOne Health today (Dec. 13) announced they have agreed to redesign their partnership with a vision to better support the future of health and wellness in Louisville and across Kentucky. UofL and KentuckyOne Health will continue their academic affiliation, which includes decades-long Academic Affiliation Agreements with Jewish Hospital and Frazier Rehab Institute. The Joint Operating Agreement established in 2012 will be revised, bringing management of University of Louisville Hospital (ULH) and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center (JGBCC) to UMC. This decision was agreed upon by all parties as the most effective way to collaborate in care for the community, moving direct operations of the academic medical center to UMC and ensuring continuation of innovative and high-quality patient care and clinical training via KentuckyOne Health facilities.

      University of Louisville“The dynamic nature of the health care landscape requires organizations to explore innovative approaches and relationships for the delivery of care,” said Gregory C. Postel, M.D., interim executive vice president of health affairs at UofL. “Today, we are presented with a very different environment than when we signed the joint operating agreement and revised the academic affiliation agreement in 2012. We are pleased with our shared accomplishments yet understand that changes were necessary to address ongoing challenges and ensure we are able to respond nimbly to the unique needs of our care facilities, particularly the academic medical center.”

      KentuckyOne Health“We are pleased to move into the next phase of our relationship with University of Louisville. Our longstanding partnership at Jewish Hospital dates back several decades prior to KentuckyOne Health. Since the formation of KentuckyOne Health, we have partnered in many areas and will continue to do so for many years to come, including working together on our innovations to meet the health needs of our community,” said Ruth W. Brinkley, president and CEO of KentuckyOne Health. “During the past four years of our partnership, we have implemented significant improvements to enhance the health of our patients and the communities we serve. This includes the installation of an electronic health record system, and many other updates and enhancements to the University of Louisville Hospital.”

      University Medical Center, Inc.“It is important to emphasize that the transition of care will be seamless for our patients, physicians, employees and community partners,” said Joan Coleman, interim CEO of University Medical Center. “We are committed to continuing the facility improvements and staffing initiatives that began during our partnership and look forward to seeing them through to completion. We will be active with focused transition teams working closely with current leaders, physicians and employees across the Downtown Louisville campus to ensure continued high-quality care, support our employees and shape the future of health and wellness.”

      The agreement, effective Dec. 14, 2016, establishes the framework for future partnerships between the organizations and resolves all disputes previously raised. Key aspects of the agreement include the following:  KentuckyOne Health, UMC, and UofL, working together, will continue to implement projects involving up to $44.8 million in capital investments at ULH by July 1, 2017; KentuckyOne Health has agreed to complete the funding of the joint investment proposals as set forth in the Academic Affiliation Agreement; The University of Louisville will release its rights to three seats on the KentuckyOne Health Board of Directors; and the University Medical Center is expected to take over the management of the University of Louisville Hospital on July 1, 2017.

      The University Medical Center, University of Louisville and KentuckyOne Health will work together over the next six months to facilitate a successful transition for both the management of ULH and JGBCC, and the Academic Affiliation Agreement between the organizations for programs at other locations. Ongoing information and details on the transition will be provided to patients, community partners, employees and physicians as the process evolves. Transition teams focused on key areas of patient care, employee engagement and infrastructure are being assembled, drawing from the shared expertise currently in place at ULH, JGBCC, KentuckyOne Health, UMC and UofL. These teams will guide the continuation of initiatives underway, including patient care quality and safety programs and recruitment and retention of top nursing talent, while also shaping the future operations and leadership structure.

      Partner Profiles:

      University Medical Center (UMC): Comprised of the University of Louisville Hospital (ULH), the James Graham Brown Cancer Center (JGBCC), and the Center for Women and Infants (CWI) is an integral part of the University of Louisville’s academic health center. Its first priority and concern is the welfare of patients and therefore provides, without regard to economic status, the highest quality patient and family centered inpatient and outpatient hospital-based services; supports the educational and research missions of the University of Louisville’s Health Sciences Center; and initiates outreach to meet community needs.

      The University of Louisville Health Sciences Center is the city’s only academic medical center. Approximately 1,000 faculty members are involved in education, research and clinical care. The UofL HSC is home to more than 650 medical and dental residents, 3,000 students pursuing degrees in health-related fields within the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Public Health and Information Sciences, as well as 14 interdisciplinary centers and institutes. Approximately $140 million in extramural funding enables researchers to uncover the causes of disease and better ways to prevent, treat and cure those diseases. Patients are seen at the Ambulatory Care Building, The James Graham Brown Cancer Center, the UofL Health Care Outpatient Center and University Hospital, which is the primary adult teaching hospital for the School of Medicine. University Hospital’s public mission is steeped in history and now is most clearly visible through its provision of nearly $90 million of health care to the uninsured annually.

      KentuckyOne Health,the largest and most comprehensive health system in the Commonwealth, has more than 200 locations, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies in Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to bringing wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved.  The system is made up of the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System, along with the University of Louisville Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center. KentuckyOne Health is proud of and strengthened by its Catholic, Jewish and academic heritages.

      Toys for Tots drive by UofL medical residents brings in nearly 1,000 toys for community children

      Toys for Tots drive by UofL medical residents brings in nearly 1,000 toys for community children

      Residents with the 886 toys collected for Toys for Tots in 2016

      Teddy bears, baby dolls, miniature cars and, of course, doctor play sets were among 886 toys collected by resident physicians at the University of Louisville School of Medicine this holiday season for underprivileged children in the Louisville area. For the second year, UofL’s House Staff Council, the representative body for resident and fellow physicians, led a collection for Toys for Tots, receiving donations from individual residents and fellows as well as School of Medicine faculty, staff and medical students.

      In 2015, the first year of the drive, the group collected 570 toys in just six days. This year’s collection began early in December.

      “It’s important to think about the kids in our community. They are our future,” said Mitesh Patel, M.D., a third-year resident in the Department of Psychiatry. “There is so much bad stuff in the world that it’s nice to see that kids can have a nice Christmas. It’s just a small thing that we can do as physicians to help support our community.”

      To inject some friendly competition into the effort, Stock Yards Bank & Trust offered a luncheon and plaque to the three residency programs bringing in the highest ratio of toys. The winning program, Psychiatry, collected more than 300 toys, or 8.5 toys for each resident physician in the program. Radiology residents collected 5.6 toys per resident for second place. The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Services was third with 3.8 toys per resident.

      Patel spearheaded the drive for the Department of Psychiatry, which also won the competition last year, and plans to ensure his department continues their winning streak.

      “We plan to win next year – if radiology lets us,” he said.

      Erin Priddy, M.D., a radiology resident, is community engagement chair for the House Staff Council and helped organize this year’s drive. She already has ideas about how to increase overall participation next year.

      “I hope that it will continue to grow. I think if we have an appointed delegate for each program that could help as far as communication,” Priddy said. “I would like to break a thousand.”

      Staff members of the Office of Graduate Medical Education counted and packed the toys in 11 large donation boxes, which were picked up by a Toys for Tots coordinator on Dec. 15.

      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 20, 2016

      Solving the puzzles of refugee health care

      UofL medical students introduced to complexities of treating refugees resettled in Louisville
      Solving the puzzles of refugee health care

      MeNore Lake and Rahel Bosson, M.D.

      For refugees who have fled their home countries, resettling in a completely new culture can be overwhelming. Not only are they often unable to speak the language, they face bewildering systems of health care, money, transportation and more. Some have never even used electricity.

      “One of the common things is how a microwave works because microwaves are freaky,” said Bethany Hodge, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor and director of the Global Education Office of the University of Louisville School of Medicine. “If you are coming from a place where you didn’t have electricity, let alone microwaves where you put something in a box and push a button and it’s flaming hot and you burn yourself because you don’t see it coming, it can be frightening.”

      Students in the School of Medicine were introduced to the struggles of resettling refugees and the agencies that assist them in Kentucky at “Refugees and Our Competencies,” a Compassion Rounds presentation hosted by the UofL chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) on Nov. 30. Hodge and Rahel Bosson, M.D., assistant professor in the UofL School of Medicine and director of the Refugee Health Program, familiarized the students with some of the health concerns of these individuals and issues confounding their introduction to the U.S. health-care system.

      Refugees may have health problems related to trauma or injury experienced in their home countries, as well as health conditions that have been neglected during their transition from a life in peril to resettlement in the United States. Hodge coached the students on how to navigate these issues sensitively in conducting a health history and physical. To complicate matters further, the patients may have different naming or date customs, and missing or fragmented medical records.

      According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the international body governing refugee status, refugees are individuals who have been forced to flee their home country because of persecution, war or violence. Typically, they leave their home countries for refugee camps in neighboring nations. Fewer than 1 percent of refugees who apply to UNHCR are resettled in a third country such as the United States, Canada or a European country. Most of the approximately 2,500 refugees arriving in Kentucky annually in recent years have come from Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Iraq. Refugee resettlement in Kentucky is coordinated by Catholic Charities’ Kentucky Office for Refugees.

      Through the UofL Refugee Health Program, part of the UofL Global Health Initiative of the Department of Medicine, individuals are provided health assessments, immunizations, school physicals and other services. Bosson said the program addresses health and other needs to enable refugees to become self-sufficient as quickly as possible.

      “Refugee health is complex, and health is really more than just the absence of disease. We address the varied components of a person’s health through partnerships in community health, education, social services and economic empowerment,” Bosson said. “The idea is to help these refugees move from a mode of survival to a platform where they can thrive and succeed.”

      MeNore Lake, a fourth-year medical student and co-chair of the UofL GHHS chapter, also founded the Kentucky Refugee Outreach Program in which medical students are collaborating with the Refugee Health Program, UofL School of Nursing and Kentucky Office for Refugees to reach the newly arrived refugees in Louisville. The group is designing a standardized orientation plan for familiarizing newly arrived refugees with the U.S. health-care system.

      “We are working on a process for telling them:  What can you expect the first time you go to see the doctor here in the U.S.? What are the levels of care that we have? What happens if you call 911? What are other options?” Lake said. “These are things we may take for granted because we have grown up in this country, but something that helps them transition to life here in Louisville and America.”

      The refugees’ acclimation to life in Kentucky is supported by Kentucky Refugee Ministries, Inc.,Migration and Refugee Services of Catholic Charities and the International Center in Bowling Green. These organizations help with setting up apartments for the new residents, language instruction and help in finding employment and transportation. The agencies try to help the refugees become self-sufficient within eight months of their arrival.

      The Gold Humanism Honor Society recognizes students, residents and faculty who are exemplars of compassionate patient care and who serve as role models, mentors and leaders in medicine. GHHS members are nominated by their peers. The society is a nationwide program of the Gold Foundation.

       

      December 21, 2016

      Supporting gender affirming surgery and creating a welcoming environment for LGBTQ patients

      Transwoman dentist and endodontist to share her experience as part of LGBT Certificate Series Jan. 17
      Supporting gender affirming surgery and creating a welcoming environment for LGBTQ patients

      Anne Koch, D.M.D.

      Anne Koch, D.M.D., a highly accomplished endodontist, underwent gender affirming surgery, transitioning from male to female at age 63. After a period of adjustment, she has renewed a career in dentistry that includes advocating for better health care for transgender individuals. Koch will share her experience Jan. 17 from 12-1 p.m. at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, HSC Auditorium in Kornhauser Library, as part of the LGBT Certificate Series.

      Koch will address gender affirming surgery, creating a welcoming office environment for LGBTQ patients, risks associated with prolonged cross-sex hormone therapy, and surgical options for both female-to-male (FtM) and male-to-female (MtF) patients. As a health-care professional as well as a transwoman, Koch is in a unique position to share her own medical and surgical transition experience and answer questions from health-care students and professionals.

      Koch is adjunct assistant professor of endodontics and a member of the Board of Overseers for the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. She received both her D.M.D. and Certificate in Endodontics from the University of Pennsylvania and is the founder and past director of the Postdoctoral Program in Endodontics at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Following her clinical and academic career, Koch formed her own successful technology and development company, Real World Endo. The author of more than 150 articles in the field of endodontics, Koch has presented more than 1,000 lectures worldwide.

      The program is offered in collaboration with the UofL American Student Dental Association Chapter (LASDA), the UofL American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA), UofL Dental Continuing Education, and the LGBT Center Satellite Office on HSC.

      The event is free and all are welcome whether or not they are participating in the LGBT Certificate Series. Attendees are asked to register, and lunch is provided with RSVP at https://goo.gl/S5Eayz.

      The program qualifies for dental continuing education credit. For dental CE visit https://goo.gl/vLZSdv.

      What's in a name?

      Named lectures fulfill important role in life of university
      What's in a name?

      Left to right, Laman A. Gray, Jr., M.D.; Malcolm DeCamp, M.D.; and Mark Slaughter, M.D.

      As ubiquitous in university life as textbooks, laboratories and parking complaints, the named lectureship is an important component of the education, research, patient care and service provided by the University of Louisville.

      “The value of such lectures comes from both the person in whose name the lecture is delivered and the content of the lecture itself,” said Malcolm DeCamp, M.D., chief of thoracic surgery at Northwestern University. DeCamp delivered the fifth annual Laman A. Gray Jr., M.D., Lecture in December, organized by UofL’s Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. The lecture is named to honor the long-time UofL cardiovascular surgeon who pioneered mechanical hearts and devices and now serves as executive and medical director of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute.

      “A lecture such as the Laman Gray Lecture provides an opportunity to invite a thought leader in a specific field to provide enrichment to a community of providers they may not have access to,” DeCamp said. “Invited lecturers provide a different perspective, new knowledge and a cross-pollination of thought and ideas. They broaden the horizons of practitioners, trainees and students and give them a glimpse of things coming down the road.”

      A former Louisvillian who earned his medical degree at UofL in 1983, DeCamp said he was honored to give a lecture named for Gray. “I grew up there (in Louisville) and know him. He represents the surgeon-scientist-engineer and is known for trying to think of engineering ways to reverse the problems caused by disease,” DeCamp said. “The Cardiovascular Innovation Institute is a bricks-and-mortar testament to the promise he created.

      “We physicians all like doctoring and taking care of patients, but he adds the dimension of scientist to it.”

      DeCamp’s lecture, “Interventions for Emphysema: Beyond Best Medical Care,” examined the current state of treatments for the disease. While lung volume reduction surgery has been shown to help patients live longer and have a better quality of life, the procedure isn’t as well known among practitioners and therefore isn’t recommended as much as perhaps it should be, he said.

      “A 1,200-patient study found that significant patient improvement was durable five years after surgery,” DeCamp said. “Several non-surgical procedures currently show promise but they are as yet unproven. Why don’t we support procedures of excellent efficacy?”

      It is a message that Mark Slaughter, M.D., chair of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, believes is important to hear.  “Staying abreast of the latest data and research is imperative in the field of cardiovascular surgery,” Slaughter said.

      “Events such as the Laman Gray Lecture and speakers who have the credentials of a Malcolm Decamp constitute one important way in which we can help educate our students, residents, faculty and referring physicians on the latest advances and can then translate that knowledge into best practices for our patients.”

      The Laman A. Gray Lecture is supported by a generous gift from Hank and Donna Wagner.

       

       

      Community-based services topic of first spring optimal aging lecture, Feb. 8

      Community-based services topic of first spring optimal aging lecture, Feb. 8

      Barbara Gordon

      Meeting the burgeoning need of older adults for community-based support is the focus of the Feb. 8 lecture of the Spring 2017 Optimal Aging Lecture Series, sponsored by the University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging and the UofL Alumni Association.

      Barbara Gordon, director of social services of the Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA), will present a discussion entitled “Access to Community-Based Services: Challenges and Opportunities.” The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University Club, 200 E. Brandeis Ave.

      Louisville is a health care hub and is proposing to be an age-friendly city, yet many older adults struggle to access the programs, services and support they need to maintain their quality of life. Funding and policy neglect can further exacerbate these challenges at both the local and state levels. If left unaddressed, Louisville and Kentucky will be incapable of meeting either the current needs or the future demands of an aging population. Gordon will address how creative collaboration can revive and strengthen this support for an uncertain future.

      Gordon has been with KIPDA for 14 years after workingwith the Cabinet for Health Services as a branch manager for  Elder Rights, Special Initiatives and Supports Branch in the Office of Aging Services. Her experience serving older adults includes working as a home care case manager serving older persons in Southwestern Kentucky, working with older adults with mental health issues at the Barren River Community Mental Health Center, and as a senior citizen center director in Franklin County. Gordon also is an instructor at the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work and is the current president of the Southeast Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

      Admission is $25 per person and includes lunch. Reservations are required online. Click here to register. For information, call 502-852-5629 or email OptimalAging@louisville.edu.

       

       

      Ashley Cowart, Ph.D.

      Ashley Cowart, Ph.D., Medical University of South Carolina
      Ashley Cowart, Ph.D.
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      What's the skinny on dietary fat? Find out at Beer with a Scientist, Jan. 18

      Ashley Cowart, Ph.D., of Medical University of South Carolina, will share the latest understanding of dietary fat, obesity and disease at the next Beer with a Scientist
      What's the skinny on dietary fat?  Find out at Beer with a Scientist, Jan. 18

      Ashley Cowart, Ph.D.

      We’ve heard the mantra for years:  Avoid obesity and the diseases that accompany it by eating less fat. But recent reports seem to contradict this advice. So what do we know about how the fats we eat affect our bodies?

      At the next Beer with a Scientist, L. Ashley Cowart, Ph.D., will explain what we know – and what we don’t know – about dietary fat and health.

      “Lots of information is presented in the media in a dogmatic way, but current science is revealing highly nuanced information on dietary fat and health, and recent studies have contradicted what we thought we knew,” Cowart said. “I will present current scientific data that challenge commonly held notions about dietary fat and health risks of obesity.”

      Cowart is associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Medical University of South Carolina. Her work focuses on understanding how dietary intake of fats alters cellular processes leading to diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. By understanding how different fats alter different cellular processes, her group hopes to find therapeutic targets to help treat various conditions. Cowart is the first out-of-state speaker at a Beer with a Scientist event and only the second speaker not affiliated with UofL.

      The event begins at 8 p.m. onWednesday, Jan. 18, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. in Louisville. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

      The Beer with a Scientist program began in 2014, the brainchild of University of Louisville cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D., who created the series with the idea of making science accessible to the public in an informal setting. 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. Upcoming dates for events:  February 15, March 15.

      UofL adds three faculty members to Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

      The UofL School of Medicine Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and University of Louisville Physicians Orthopedics have added three new faculty members:  Rodolfo Zamora, M.D., Lonnie Douglas, M.D., and Jon Carlson, M.D. 

      “We are very excited about the growth in our practice and  to be able to offer orthopedic specialty care in upper extremity, musculoskeletal oncology, sports medicine, hip and knee arthroplasty and foot and ankle,” said Craig Roberts, M.D., M.B.A., chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

      Zamora, a native of Chile, specializes in orthopedic oncology and serves as chief of musculoskeletal oncology for UofL Physicians. His areas are benign bone and soft tissue tumors, bone and soft tissue sarcomas, metastatic disease procedures, orthopedic limb-salvage procedures, infections and orthopedic trauma.

      “My professional philosophy is to be as close as possible to my patients. I love to have direct communication with them and referring physicians, medical oncologists and medical radiotherapists,” Zamora said.

      Zamora is actively involved in research, with interests including navigation systems in orthopedic oncological surgeries, surgical resections, pelvic and lower extremity, external fixation, osteosarcoma and cryosurgery/cryotherapy.

      Douglas is a former college football player who specializes in sports medicine, orthopedic trauma and general orthopedics. He completed a sports medicine fellowship with world-renowned sports surgeon James Andrews, M.D., and has served as an associate team physician for the Washington Redskins and Auburn Tigers, as well as a consultant for the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Rays. Douglas has been involved in research and presented nationally and internationally. He received the Brower-Harkess Research Award at the Kentucky Orthopaedic Society’s annual meeting in 2013.

      Carlson specializes in orthopedic trauma. He is a published researcher on a variety of orthopedic topics. His areas of expertise include complex fractures of the pelvis, hip, knee and extremities, as well as post-traumatic arthritis and degenerative arthritis of the hip and knee.

      “Many patients with fractures about the hip and knee joints go on to develop post-traumatic arthritis. Joint replacement surgeries are often an important option with a proven track record and continue to be among the most successful operations in all of medicine,” Carlson said.

      “The key to providing excellent care is communication among all members of the health-care team, both inside and outside the hospital, as well as with the patient, their family and loved ones. I look forward to serving my patients.”

      GSG III Foundation pledges more than $1 million for Lung Research Program at UofL

      Gibbs Lung Research Program will develop new research models, test therapies
      GSG III Foundation pledges more than $1 million for Lung Research Program at UofL

      Cardiovascular Innovation Institute

      A new research program at the University of Louisville will focus on developing better methods for studying lung inflammation and allow for new research into causes and potential therapies for lung diseases that affect millions of Americans. Thanks to a pledge of $1.05 million over five years from the GSG III Foundation, Inc., the UofL School of Medicine will create the Gibbs Lung Research Program at the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute (CII). The program will use established research and existing partnerships at CII to develop improved methods for studying diseased lungs and to explore new treatments for inflammatory lung disease.

      “Given the number of people in Louisville and Kentucky who suffer from lung diseases, from COPD to cystic fibrosis to asthma, we are happy to support the community by creating a program that can ultimately lead to life-changing therapies for the people of Louisville and across the United States,” said George Gibbs, chair of the GSG III Foundation, which is based in Louisville.

      Lung disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) alone affecting 13.5 million people. Inflammation of the lungs is often the first sign of more serious lung disease. However, scientists have limited methods for studying inflammation in lungs to better understand how and why it occurs and to develop treatments.

      “Other than lung cancer, most people do not understand the extent of the problem of lung disease,” said Laman Gray Jr., M.D., executive and medical director of the CII. “Inflammatory lung diseases are debilitating and affect millions of individuals. What is worse is the scientific world has limited capabilities for studying these diseases. This gift from the GSG III Foundation will allow us to develop expanded modeling opportunities with the goal of reducing human suffering from lung disease.”

      More than 70 percent of donor lungs are unusable for transplant. Support from University of Louisville Hospital and Jewish Hospital, both part of KentuckyOne Health, will enable the program’s investigators to obtain donated human lungs that cannot be used for transplant. Researchers in the new program plan to develop techniques to sustain these donor lungs over a longer period of time, allowing them to study the causes of inflammation as well as test potential therapies.

      The goals for the program are three-part:

      -Establish an ex vivo human lung model allowing lungs that are unsuitable for transplant to be brought to CII for research. The donated lungs will be enclosed in a sterile plastic dome, attached to a ventilator, pump and filters. The lungs will be maintained at normal body temperature and treated with a bloodless solution containing nutrients, proteins and oxygen.

      -Develop methods for long-term support of the ex vivo lungs. Current processes enable the lungs to be supported for up to 12 hours, which is long enough to transport them for transplant, but not long enough for meaningful study.

      -Once these techniques are in place, researchers in the program intend to use the research models explore areas of potential benefit, including:

      • Cell therapy – Explore the use of stem and regenerative cells isolated from a patient’s own fat tissue to treat lung inflammation.
      • Mechanics – Develop improved methods of respiratory support by studying the biomechanics of diseased lungs and the benefits of ex-vivo lung perfusion, a method of strengthening lungs outside the body.
      • Gene expression - Understand the course of dysfunction and dysregulation among the more than 40 different cell types within the lung and profile the functional changes that occur in diseased lungs and compare the gene expression to healthy lungs.

      The program’s investigators will include Gray, James B. Hoying, Ph.D., division chief, cardiovascular therapeutics, Stuart K. Williams, Ph.D., division chief, bioficial organs, George Pantalos, Ph.D., professor of surgery and bioengineering, Victor van Berkel, M.D., cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, and Shizuka Uchida, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine, all of UofL.

      UofL researchers hope the Gibbs Lung Research Program ultimately will become a comprehensive lung research program, leading to valuable treatments that will slow or reverse the course of lung disease, improving quality of life for millions of people.

       

      About the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute

      Since opening 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.

      UofL study examines the experiences of Muslim cancer survivors

      Results will guide religious and culturally sensitive interventions
      UofL study examines the experiences of Muslim cancer survivors

      Fawwaz Alaloul, Ph.D.

      A study at the University of Louisville will provide insight into cultural and religious influences on the experiences of Muslim cancer survivors living in the United States.

      The results will be used to develop culturally and religiously sensitive interventions, such as support groups for Muslim cancer survivors, to improve quality of life and health outcomes.

      Funded by more than $28,000 in grants from the Oncology Nursing Society Foundation and the American Nurses Foundation, the study is led by UofL School of Nursing Assistant Professor Fawwaz Alaloul, Ph.D., and focuses on Muslims of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian descent who reside in the United States.

      “Previous studies conducted in Islamic countries showed that the religion and culture of Muslims have a great influence on their experience and how they perceive their cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship after treatment,” Alaloul said. “This study will help us understand the influence of religion, faith and cultural practices on their cancer experience.”

      Studying Muslim cancer survivor experiences has become increasingly important as the Muslim population continues to grow in the United States. Lack of understanding by health care providers of Muslim cancer survivor experiences within the context of culture can create barriers that may interfere with health outcomes, Alaloul said.

      Prior research has shown that some Muslim cancer patients use herbs and other dietary supplements to treat disease or manage symptoms and they do not share this information with health care providers. The supplements might interact with prescribed medication, adversely impacting treatment outcomes. Patients might also refuse to take medications that contain swine-derived gelatin because Muslim law forbids the consumption of pork and they do not disclose this to their providers.

      “We need to make sure health care providers are aware of these differences when treating Muslim patients,” Alaloul said. “If providers are aware of these issues, they will better identify, understand and meet patients’ religious needs, which can reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes.”

      Muslims are less likely to disclose their cancer diagnosis to their community and even some relatives because they think the information is too personal. Withholding their health status means the patient forgoes emotional support from the community. Cancer support groups tailored for Muslims could improve quality of life, Alaloul said.

      To see if you qualify to participate in the study, contact Alaloul at fawwaz.alaloul@louisville.edu or 502-852-8396. Study participants should identify as Muslim, speak and read English, Arabic or Urdu, be at least 18 years old and be one to five years post-cancer diagnosis. Interviews can be done in person, over the phone or through video conference.

      Surplus medical equipment from UofL gets a second life in Ghana

      Improvements in eye care at UofL mean better care for 3 million Africans
      Surplus medical equipment from UofL gets a second life in Ghana

      Surplus ophthalmic equipment in use in Tamale, Ghana

      To provide the best care for patients and the best training for physicians, the University of Louisville Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and UofL Physicians Eye Specialists regularly upgrade diagnostic and other equipment. Several of these displaced items have been put to use more than 5,000 miles away to improve care for patients in Ghana.

      Until recently, Friends Eye Center in Tamale, Ghana, lacked basic ophthalmic equipment and the center’s surgical microscope was outdated and cumbersome. The center, directed by Seth Wanye, M.D., provides vision care for nearly 3 million residents of the West African nation and serves as a training site for future ophthalmologists.

      Henry J. Kaplan, M.D., chair of the UofL Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, visited Friends Eye Center during a medical mission trip several years ago.

      “Most of the equipment they had was non-functional. The equipment we gave them we no longer use because of the acquisition of more technologically advanced diagnostic devices,” Kaplan said. “Many of the people there have totally lost their eyesight and are dependent on their relatives and other support structures, which presents an enormous economic burden.”

      Wanye, who regularly visits UofL to enhance his surgical skills, was visiting Louisville in 2015 when Kaplan offered to donate the equipment to his center in Ghana.

      “It was like a dream come true,” Wanye said. “It helps me perform thorough examinations of the eye so I can identify other problems, not just the cataract that you can see. It also gives the patients comfort and they are fascinated.”

      Shipping large items to Africa is not a simple process, however, and it was nearly a year before the equipment reached the center. Thanks to multiple organizations that shared the expense and worked to transport the instruments, the Friends Eye Center now has a slit lamp, which allows Wanye to examine his patients’ eyes more precisely, a better surgical microscope, chairs for both the surgeon and the patient, and an auto refractor for determining eyeglass prescriptions.

      Wanye, who was the only ophthalmologist serving the Northern and Upper West regions of Ghana until a colleague joined him last year, also works with future physicians in the center to introduce them to the specialty of ophthalmology. Most Ghanaian medical students choose other specialties since ophthalmology is not a medical priority in Ghana.

      “You have so many other diseases that are killing people. They say eye diseases don’t kill so they are overlooked,” Wanye said. But he has seen that restoring vision allows individuals to regain their independence and enables children to go back to school.

      “When you go out into the villages, people are poor, they don’t have money but they are blind. So we will get the resources and do the surgery.”

      Wanye receives funding from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Unite for Sight and the Lions Clubs International to provide eye screenings and perform between 2,000 and 4,000 cataract surgeries each year. In addition to screenings and surgeries on location, Wanye provides care for patients in the Friends Eye Center.

      “To be one doctor that serves millions of people is not a trivial task. He does it because of a love and conviction for the good that he is doing. I really do admire what he’s doing and that’s why we are more than happy to assist him,” Kaplan said. This is the first time UofL’s ophthalmology department has donated equipment to a foreign health-care organization.

      Wanye hopes to establish a regular exchange between UofL ophthalmologists and the center, similar to a program in which residents and faculty members from the UofL Department of Pediatrics travel to the Tamale Teaching Hospital several times each year. Tamale is an official sister city to Louisville.

      “My dream is to have some continuous program, especially with the residents’ program here, so we would have residents coming to Friends Eye Center,” Wanye said. In the meantime, he is grateful to UofL for the donated equipment. “We know how valuable they are and how expensive they are. They will help us deliver more quality service to our people. Thank you to everyone at UofL,” Wanye said.

       

      February 6, 2017

      Photo courtesy Friends Eye Center, Ghana

      CWI logo

      Center for Women & Infants CWI logo
      CWI logo
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      UofL Center for Women & Infants earns Baby-Friendly Designation

      Award recognizes birthing centers for advocacy of breastfeeding for mother/baby health
      UofL Center for Women & Infants earns Baby-Friendly Designation

      The Center for Women & Infants has been recognized for its advocacy in breastfeeding for mother/baby bonding and health.

      Center for Women & Infants CWI logoThe University of Louisville Center for Women & Infants (CWI) at UofL Hospital has been named a Baby-Friendly Designated birthing facility by Baby-Friendly USA. The designation is awarded to birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.

      Baby-Friendly USA implements the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States. BFHI is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.

      The UofL Center for Women & Infants is the only Downtown Louisville facility and the fourth facility in Kentucky to earn the designation. Currently there are 405 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birthing centers in the United States and more than 20,000 worldwide.

      The designation is awarded to birthing centers that follow the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, offering breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. The Baby-Friendly designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed and is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps.

      “The process to earn Baby-Friendly Designation truly involved a team effort,” Libby Smith, R.N., nursing director of the CWI, said. “The staff, providers and leaders throughout the CWI work together for the common goal. Providers support breastfeeding from the beginning of the patient’s prenatal care through delivery, and then while mom and baby are in the hospital. The pediatric providers support mom and baby throughout their care, also.

      “The greatest congratulations are for the nurses and the lactation team who provide the support for the family. There is a lot of education that takes place in the CWI, and a lot of support when mom is tired and just wants to give up; everyone encourages her to keep going. The Baby-Friendly Designation has been awarded because our staff works hard to make mothers and babies their priority.”

      “This Baby-Friendly Designation is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work by leadership and staff at CWI. We knew in our hearts we were ‘baby friendly,’ but the designation is a very exciting confirmation for us,” said Therese Spurling, R.N., who is board certified in lactation consulting by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.

      The CWI is home to Labor & Delivery, High-risk Antepartum Units, Mother/Baby Unit and the Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Units. It was created by leaders in the field of maternal-fetal medicine and neonatology and high-risk obstetrics and gynecology to achieve the best results possible for newborns and their mothers. In addition to the highest quality physician-provided obstetrical, newborn and neonatal care for mother and baby, the CWI has implemented innovative services including care provided by Certified Nurse Midwives, family centered Cesarean sections, tub labor and centering pregnancy. The CWI also has been a long-time leader in the field of Kangaroo Care. For information, visit www.uoflcenterforwomenandinfants.org or call 502-562-3094.

       

      Louisville and Lexington Eye Banks merge to better serve Kentucky and beyond

      Single eye bank based in Louisville will serve entire state and portions of W. Va., aligns with area served by Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates
      Louisville and Lexington Eye Banks merge to better serve Kentucky and beyond

      Kentucky Lions Eye Center

      On January 1, 2017, the Kentucky Lions Eye Bank in Louisville and the Lexington Lions Eye Bank merged into a single Eye Bank serving the entire state of Kentucky and portions of West Virginia. The Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation, the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky are proud to announce the unification of all Eye Banking services, including procurement of donor tissue and distribution of corneas for transplant, into one organization serving the entire state of Kentucky.

      “This merger is the culmination of 25 years of negotiation and work behind the scenes to better serve the people of Kentucky,” said Tom Van Etten, of Louisville, past Lions Eye Foundation chair.

      Previously, the Louisville Lions Eye Bank, affiliated with the University of Louisville, served the western part of the state; the Eye Bank of Lexington, affiliated with the University of Kentucky, served the eastern part of Kentucky and parts of West Virginia. The new Kentucky Lions Eye Bank serves the same geographical area as Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) to effectively coordinate corneal donation with organ and tissue donation statewide. 

      Corneal transplantation is a separate procedure that replaces all or part of a diseased cornea, improving sight, stabilizing diseased eyes and improving comfort in patients with severe corneal pathology. In 2015, there were 79,000 corneal transplants performed in the United States, and there were 470 donors of ocular tissue from Kentucky. Cornea transplants have a 95 percent success rate, and the lifetime economic benefit of corneal transplants performed in 2013 in the United States was $5.5 billion. The leading indication for corneal transplantation in 2016 was keratoconus, followed by corneal edema, Fuchs dystrophy and corneal scars.

      The newly merged Kentucky Lions Eye Bank positions the state of Kentucky to efficiently coordinate with other eye banks in the United States to provide corneas for transplant in the state of Kentucky and assist with medical needs elsewhere when possible.

      For the immediate future, the laboratories at the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky will remain functional as operations will continue in both cities. They gradually will be centralized in Louisville over the next five years.

      “The merged Eye Bank will be an asset to the state of Kentucky and should provide the resources for the state to be a national provider of donor ocular tissue to restore sight and to assist in research of blinding diseases,” said Henry J. Kaplan, M.D., chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Louisville.

      For more information or to make charitable donations, contact the Louisville Lions Eye Bank (502) 852-5457 or the Kentucky Lions Eye Foundation at (502) 583-0564. The website of the new organization will be www.kylionseyebank.org.

      Do the bugs in our gut affect our brains?

      UofL neurologist Robert Friedland, M.D., shares latest research on microbiota along with a prescription for ‘gene therapy’ in the kitchen at Beer with a Scientist, Feb. 15
      Do the bugs in our gut affect our brains?

      Gut-brain connection

      We all are home to trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses and more, referred to as the microbiota. These organisms evolved along with us, inhabiting various ecological locations in and on our bodies, and are important to our health.

      Robert Friedland, M.D., professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Louisville, has conducted research showing that the microorganisms in the intestines can affect the brain, and may be responsible for causing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. He will discuss this research and other valuable insights on microbiota at the next Beer with a Scientist event.

      “These partner microbes have more than 100 times more genes than our own DNA. Since they are dependent upon our diet for their nutrition and sustenance, we can substantially alter the microbiota through alteration of food intake, performing a type of ‘gene therapy,’” Friedland said. “We will discuss the role of the microbiota in health and disease and review what people can do to lower their risk of cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's diseases.”

      Friedland is a clinical and research neurologist and has researched neurodegenerative diseases and other brain disorders associated with aging for more than 30 years. He is collaborating on research projects with investigators in Ireland, the United Kingdom and Japan.

      The event begins at 8 p.m. onWednesday, Feb. 15, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St. in Louisville. A 30-minute presentation will be followed by an informal Q&A session.

      UofL cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D., created the Beer with a Scientist program in 2014 as a way to bring science to the public in an informal setting. 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. Upcoming dates for events:  March 15. 

      UofL researcher receives $2.6 million from NIH to determine how gut microbiota protect against malaria

      UofL researcher receives $2.6 million from NIH to determine how gut microbiota protect against malaria

      Nathan Schmidt, Ph.D.

      LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The bugs in our gut can help fight bugs from outside our bodies.

      Nathan Schmidt, Ph.D., has published research showing that microbes in the gut of mice can affect the severity of illness suffered from infection with Plasmodium, the parasite that causes malaria. To pursue this research further, Schmidt, assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in the University of Louisville School of Medicine, has received a five-year research grant of $2.6 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of the National Institutes of Health. In his new research, Schmidt intends to determine which microbes are responsible for protecting against illness and to learn more about the mechanism behind that protection.

      “Now we are hoping to determine which bacteria or metabolites are interacting to determine the severity or lack of severity of illness in the individual,” Schmidt said. “If we can identify the bacteria, it raises hope that we can target those mechanisms to prevent severity of the disease, thereby reducing illness and death from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.”

      Globally, malaria afflicts more than 200 million people and causes more than 400,000 deaths each year, with 90 percent of cases occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. However, many more individuals are infected with the Plasmodium parasite but do not become seriously ill. Schmidt’s research aims to learn more about why some people become seriously ill while others do not.

      In 2016, Schmidt published research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) revealing that mice having one community of microbiota colonizing their gut were less susceptible to severe infection from Plasmodium than mice with a different community of microbiota. In this research, Schmidt showed that when the microbiota from the mice experiencing low or high levels of illness were transplanted to mice that previously had no microbiota (germ-free mice), the transplanted mice had similar levels of disease following infection as the low and high donor controls, respectively. These results demonstrate that it was the gut microbiota causing differences in disease severity. In another series of experiments, he treated mice with antibiotics followed by doses of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria in lab-cultured yogurt. The parasite burden in the susceptible mice decreased dramatically and symptoms of illness were reduced in the mice treated with the yogurt.

      Schmidt believes the antibiotic allowed the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria introduced in the yogurt to colonize the gut, thereby controlling the Plasmodium population.

      “Enteric bacteria provide a competitive environment for other bacteria to grow and survive in. Treatment of mice with antibiotics provided an opportunity for the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria to grow and provide protection against severe malaria. Alternatively, it is possiblethe Lactobacillus prevented recovery of bacteria that cause severe malaria,” Schmidt said.

      Schmidt hopes to further isolate which bacteria are responsible for protecting the host from illness and tease apart the mechanisms by which they influence Plasmodium populations and immune response. This should allow collaboration with other researchers to test those effects in humans.

      “Nathan’s current findings and the proposed studies will enhance our understanding of how microbiota may modulate host immunity to malaria, which could explain why some individuals develop severe disease while others suffer milder symptoms. This is an understudied area with many opportunities,” said Nejat Egilmez, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

      Schmidt is one of a growing number of researchers investigating links between gut microbiota and disease across the UofL Health Sciences Center campus.

      “The role of commensal microbiota in host physiology and health is a highly active, cutting-edge area of research amounting to a new paradigm in medicine,” Egilmez said. “In addition to Nathan, several of our faculty, including Drs. Michele Kosiewicz, Krishna Jala and Hari Bodduluri, have ongoing projects exploring the link between host microbiota and diseases such as autoimmune disorders, infectious disease and cancer. The new award will create opportunities for future collaborations not only amongst these individuals but also with others in the department who study the more basic processes underlying host immunity and microbial pathogenesis.”

       

      February 20, 2017

      Robert Friedland, M.D. co-organizer of conference to educate physicians and researchers in the Middle East about Alzheimer’s disease

      Robert Friedland, M.D. co-organizer of conference to educate physicians and researchers in the Middle East about Alzheimer’s disease

      Robert P. Friedland, M.D.

      To educate physicians, researchers, social workers and nurses in the Middle East on current research and treatments for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Robert Friedland, M.D., professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Louisville, has co-organized the Seventh International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders in the Middle East (ICAD-ME). The number of individuals with AD and related disorders in the region is rising due to the rapidly aging population and public health systems have not kept pace with recent developments in treatment.

      “There is little awareness of dementia in the region because of prevailing biases about the loss of function in healthy aging,” Friedland said. “People in the Middle East need to know that it is never normal for a person at any age to be demented.”

      Friedland, the Mason and Mary Rudd Endowed Chair in Neurology at UofL and an organizer for the previous six ICAD-ME meetings, will discuss his research into the relationship between gut microbiota and neurodegeneration, and provide information on potential preventative measures to delay the onset of AD. In addition, he hopes to learn about special features and needs of the region’s population.

      The conference will cover topics including the history of Alzheimer’s disease and its basic pathophysiology, pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies, ethical and legal issues, and aging as it is addressed in the Koran and the Bible. The event, sponsored by the United States National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging and Biogen, will take place Feb. 23-25, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Additional organizers are Changiz Geula, Ph.D., professor at Northwestern University, Marwan Sabbagh, M.D., professor at Barrow Neurological Institute of Phoenix, and Abdu Adem, Ph.D., professor at United Arab Emirates University.

      In a welcome statement, the organizers expressed a desire to continue educational events in the Middle East:  “We believe that we need to ensure a continuity of such meetings in the Middle East in order to demonstrate our common aim to conquer Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders as well as our solidarity as scientists and physicians across borders, ethnicity, religion and gender.”

       

       

      February 13, 2017

      Amy Holthouser, M.D., and Stacie Steinbock

      Amy Holthouser, M.D., and Stacie Steinbock
      Amy Holthouser, M.D., and Stacie Steinbock
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