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UofL geriatrician named finalist for national award

Murphy recognized for leadership in long-term care
UofL geriatrician named finalist for national award

Patrick J. Murphy, MD, FAAFP, CMD

Patrick J. Murphy Jr., M.D., director of the University of Louisville Home Call Program and professor of geriatrics in the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, has been named one of six finalists for a national award recognizing leadership in long-term care.

Murphy has been nominated for the 2014 Medical Director of the Year award, presented by AMDA-Dedicated to Long Term Care. Formerly called the American Medical Directors Association, AMDA is a professional association of medical directors, attending physicians and other professionals practicing in long-term care and provides education, advocacy, information and professional development to promote the delivery of quality long-term care medicine.

The award will be presented Feb. 28 at the AMDA annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

Murphy is the only award nominee who is board-certified as a fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice and the only nominee on the faculty of an academic health center. He also has earned certification from AMDA as a medical director.

Murphy founded the UofL Home Care Program, which allows elderly patients to have better accessibility to and coordination of their health care. He also instituted the Palliative Care Committee and the Behavioral Committee at area nursing homes to improve coordination of palliative care, behavioral management and overall quality of care.

As a member of the Greater Louisville Medical Society’s Transitions of Care Committee, Murphy worked with local emergency department physicians to improve the documentation of patient transfers and led an effort to implement a standardized form for nursing home care transfers.

He has instituted changes in medical student and resident training as well to better prepare future physicians in caring for geriatric patients. He regularly brings medical students with him on home care visits to augment their learning. He also began a program at UofL where medical residents follow three nursing home patients for two years and conduct monthly rounds with him.

Murphy practices with University of Louisville Physicians-Geriatrics.

The remaining five nominees for the award are David Barthold, M.D., Bessemer, Ala.; Gregory James, D.O., Oldsmar, Fla.; David LeVine, M.D., St. Petersburg, Fla.; S. Liliana Oakes, M.D., San Antonio; and Neelofer Sohall, M.D., Lancaster, Penn.

3D model of child’s heart helps surgeons save life

See video interviews with the faculty who made it happen here.

A 14-month-old boy in need of life-saving heart surgery is the beneficiary of a collaboration among University of Louisville engineers, physicians and Kosair Children’s Hospital.

Roland Lian Cung Bawi of Owensboro was born with four congenital heart defects and his doctors were looking for greater insights into his condition prior to a Feb. 10 operation.

Dr. Philip Dydynski, chief of radiology at Kosair Children’s Hospital, recently had toured the Rapid Prototyping Center at the University of Louisville’s J.B. Speed School of Engineering and became impressed with the 3D printing capabilities available there.

He asked the center’s operations manager, Tim Gornet, if a 3D model of the child’s heart could be constructed using a template created by images from a CT scan to allow doctors to better plan and prepare for his surgery. No problem, Gornet said.

The result of the Rapid Prototyping Center’s work was a model heart 1.5 times the size of the child’s. It was built in three pieces using a flexible filament and required about 20 machine hours – and only about $600 -- to make, Gornet said.

Once the model was built, Dr. Erle Austin III, cardiothoracic surgeon with University of Louisville Physicians, was able to develop a surgical plan and complete the heart repair with only one operation.

“I found the model to be a game changer in planning to do surgery on a complex congenital heart defect,” he said.

Roland was released from Kosair Children’s Hospital Feb. 14 and returned Feb. 21 for checkups with his doctors. His prognosis is good.

That’s good news for Gornet, whose work at the Rapid Prototyping Center routinely benefits manufacturers and heavy industry. Helping surgeons save a life was new territory for him.

“Knowing we can make somebody’s life better is exciting,” he said.

Kenneth Palmer, Ph.D.

Kenneth Palmer, Ph.D.
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Nobuyuki Matoba, Ph.D.

Nobuyuki Matoba, Ph.D.
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Kelly McMasters

Kelly McMasters
Kelly McMasters
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Kelly McMasters

Kelly McMasters
Kelly McMasters
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Petrino to walk the red carpet at The Julep Ball

Petrino to walk the red carpet at The Julep Ball

UofL Football Coach Bobby Petrino

Most often seen walking the sidelines, University of Louisville Head Football Coach Bobby Petrino will be walking the red carpet instead on May 2.

Petrino and wife Becky will be celebrity guests at The Julep Ball, the premier Derby Eve Party with a Purpose. Held annually on the evening before the Kentucky Derby, The Julep Ball supports the work of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. The event on May 2 at the KFC Yum! Center kicks off with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a live auction at 8 p.m.

An Official Event of the 140th Kentucky Derby®, The Julep Ball provides a celebrity-studded night to remember with a multi-course seated dinner, a knock-your-socks-off auction, multiple open specialty bars, complimentary valet parking, and dancing until the wee hours of Derby morning. Tickets to The Julep Ball sell out in advance each year. The full evening’s entertainment is $600 per person, $5,000 for a table of 10, and $100 per person for dance-only tickets. For further information and to buy tickets, go to The Julep Ball website, julepball.org.

About Bobby Petrino

One of the nation's best offensive minds returned home to Louisville in January when UofL Vice President/Director of Athletics Tom Jurich announced Petrino as the Cardinals' football coach. The Cardinals’ head coach from 2003-06, Petrino led UofL to an unprecedented 41-9 record in four seasons on the sidelines and currently boasts an 83-30 record at the collegiate level.

During his time at Louisville, Petrino directed the program to a bowl game each year, but more significantly, guided the school to its first BCS victory – a 24-13 win over Wake Forest in the FedEx Orange Bowl. The 41 wins over that four-year span are the most in school history and featured an average margin of victory of 26.0.

He also showed the ability to develop players, as Petrino had 14 selected in the NFL Draft, including Amobi Okoye, who was the 10th overall selection in 2007 by the Houston Texans. Eric Wood, who was recruited by Petrino, was the 28th selection by the Buffalo Bills in 2009. Michael Bush, a fourth-round pick by the Oakland Raiders, amassed 2,514 rushing yards in three-plus seasons with the Cardinals.

Coupling his success at Louisville and Arkansas, Petrino has led his teams to seven bowl games in nine years, including both Louisville’s and Arkansas’ first BCS bowl games. His programs have achieved four 10-win seasons along with top-10 finishes nationally three times. His 2006 Louisville squad and 2011 Arkansas team concluded with No. 5 rankings in the Associated Press polls.

During Petrino’s time at Louisville, he coached the Bronko Nagurski and Ted Hendricks Award winner Elvis Dumervil, who led the nation in sacks (20) and forced fumbles (10) on his way to earning All-America honors in 2006. During that same season, Bush scored 24 touchdowns and became the school's first 1,000-yard rusher since 1999.

While the head coach of three different programs, Petrino’s offenses have compiled a 100-yard rusher on 99 occasions and a 300-yard passer 66 times over the last 15 seasons.

Prior to returning to Louisville, Petrino spent one season as head coach at Western Kentucky, where he helped WKU finish the regular season with an FBS school record eight wins while closing the season on a four-game winning streak. The team also set a new school record for total offense (5,502 yards) and passing first downs (141) in a season.

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About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

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

The Julep Ball is sponsored in part by Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, Ashton Advertising, Bob Montgomery Dixie Honda, Boutique Serendipity, The Dahlem Company, Dillards, Enterprise, Headz Salon, Heaven Hill, Hubbuch & Co., InGrid Design, Jaust Consulting Partners, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, KentuckyOne Health, Kroger, Louisville Magazine, Maker’s Mark, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Morgan Stanley, MPI Printing, Nfocus, Old 502 Winery, Power Creative, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, WAKY and WHAS11.

 

 

 

Emcees, red carpet interviewer announced by The Julep Ball

Accomplished actress joins the ‘Voice of the Cards’ and WHAS11 anchor for May 2 gala

Movie and television actress Josie Davis joins “Voice of the Cards” Sean Moth and WHAS11 morning anchor Brooke Katz in emceeing The Julep Ball.

Katz will interview celebrities as they make their red carpet entrances, while Davis and Moth will keep the evening moving as emcees.

The premier Derby Eve Party with a Purpose, The Julep Ball is held annually on the evening before the Kentucky Derby and supports the work of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. The event on May 2 at the KFC Yum! Center kicks off with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a live auction at 8 p.m.

An Official Event of the 140th Kentucky Derby®, The Julep Ball provides a celebrity-studded night to remember with a multi-course seated dinner, a knock-your-socks-off auction, multiple open specialty bars, complimentary valet parking, and dancing until the wee hours of Derby morning. Tickets to The Julep Ball sell out early each year. The full evening’s entertainment is $600 per person, $5,000 for a table of 10, and $100 per person for dance-only tickets. For further information and to buy tickets, go to The Julep Ball website, julepball.org.

About Josie Davis

Josie Davis is best remembered as a series regular on the hit television series Charles in Charge opposite Scott Baio, which she began when she was 12 years old. After the show wrapped, Josie transitioned into series regular roles on Beverly Hills 90210 and then the television series Titans with Victoria Principal.

Davis’ feature film credits include a lead role in Nicholas Cage’s directorial debut Sonny, opposite James Franco and Scott Caan. She also starred in Carolina Moon, opposite Claire Forlani and Oliver Hudson, The Perfect Assistant, Seduced by Lies, and The Perfect Student, Blind Injustice, Past Obsessions, and Dirty Teacher, all for Lifetime.

Davis next can be seen in the indie film Mantervention, coming to theatres in Summer 2014, and also in Stealing Roses opposite John Heard and Wizardream opposite Malcolm McDowell.

Her television credits include a recurring role on CSI: NY and guest starring roles on Two and a Half Men, The Mentalist, Chuck, Bones, Rules of Engagement, Navy NCIS, Burn Notice,Breakout Kings and many more. Josie is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio being run by Martin Landau and Mark Rydell. For more information, visit: www.JosieDavis.com.

About Brooke Katz

Brooke Katz came to WHAS11 and Louisville from her hometown of Charleston, S.C. She anchors the 4:30 a.m. edition of Good Morning Kentuckiana as well as the noon newscast. She also does traffic reports for the 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. shows.

Brooke started her career in journalism at Charleston’s WCBD-TV in 2008, working as a reporter and a producer. On the streets, she covered a wide range of stories from hard news to special health and fitness segments. Since coming to Louisville, Brooke has worked as a multimedia journalist, a general assignments reporter and a feature reporter.

In her spare time, Brooke is an exercise enthusiast. She’s been teaching aerobics classes since her senior year in high school. Brooke received her degree in journalism and media studies and a certificate in criminology from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

About Sean Moth

Enjoying his 15th season at the University of Louisville, Moth has been the “Voice of the Cardinals Athletic Department” during that span as the arena and stadium announcer for the football, volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball teams. In addition, he has been the radio voice of the Louisville Cardinals baseball team for the past 12 seasons.

As associate director of creative services, he works with video and social media and has emceed banquets and events at UofL and around the City of Louisville. The teams he works with have carried him on their coattails to 12 bowl games, five Final Fours and two College World Series.

Moth lives in Louisville with his wife of 20 years, Angie and their 16-year-old son Erik who attends Youth Performing Arts School. When Moth “used to have spare time,” as he phrases it, he enjoyed cooking, good music, fly-fishing and photography.

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About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

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

The Julep Ball is sponsored in part by Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, Ashton Advertising, Bob Montgomery Dixie Honda, Boutique Serendipity, The Dahlem Company, Dillards, Enterprise, Headz Salon, Heaven Hill, Hubbuch & Co., InGrid Design, Jaust Consulting Partners, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, KentuckyOne Health, Kroger, Louisville Magazine, Maker’s Mark, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Morgan Stanley, MPI Printing, Nfocus, Old 502 Winery, Power Creative, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, WAKY and WHAS11.

Sean Moth

Sean Moth
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Josie Davis

Josie Davis
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Brook Katz2

Brook Katz2
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Brook Katz3

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Gregory Barnes named director of UofL Autism Center

Gregory Barnes named director of UofL Autism Center

Gregory Barnes, M.D., Ph.D.

Gregory Barnes, M.D., Ph.D., is the inaugural permanent director of the University of Louisville Autism Center. Barnes comes to UofL from Vanderbilt University. Barnes also will hold the Spafford Ackerly Chair for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and faculty positions in the departments of Neurology and Pediatrics.

“Dr. Barnes is a national leader in providing care for people who are affected by autism,” said David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for health affairs at UofL. “His emphasis on evidence-based treatment, teamed with his research into potential genetic influences into the development of the disorder, as well as the potential influence in epilepsy, make him a perfect fit for our program.”

In 2008, Barnes was appointed national neurology co-leader for the Autism Treatment Network. In 2012 he was appointed to the external scientific advisory committee for the Preclinical Autism Consortium for Therapeutics (PACT). He also has served as a reviewer for the Autism Speaks special grant program for preclinical translational research and the Autism Speaks translational postdoctoral fellowship grant program.

Barnes, who will hold the academic title of associate professor of neurology and pediatrics, has held academic appointments at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Harvard Medical School, Duke University Medical School, the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

He earned his bachelor of science degree in molecular biology from Vanderbilt University before earning his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Kentucky. He also earned his medical degree from UK. He served his pediatric residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in affiliation with Washington University School of Medicine. He served as a clinical fellow in pediatrics, neurology and epilepsy at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He completed an epilepsy research fellowship from the Duke University Center for the Advanced Study of Epilepsy.

The UofL Autism Center at Kosair Charities, located at 1405 Burnett Ave., offers children, parents and community partners a single source for expert treatment, referral and information. It is a joint effort by the UofL departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics and the College of Education and Human Development that will eventually incorporate resources from other university programs. The university-based partnership serves as the focus for collaboration with other community-based autism services and advocacy groups.

Julep Ball announces entertainment celebrity guests

Julep Ball announces entertainment celebrity guests

Some of America’s most popular reality stars will join bright talents from the world of music, television and film at the 2014 Julep Ball.

The premier Derby Eve Party with a Purpose, The Julep Ball is held annually on the evening before the Kentucky Derby and supports the work of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. The event on May 2 at the KFC Yum! Center kicks off with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a live auction at 8 p.m.

An Official Event of the 140th Kentucky Derby®, The Julep Ball provides a celebrity-studded night to remember with a multi-course seated dinner, a knock-your-socks-off auction, multiple open specialty bars, complimentary valet parking, and dancing until the wee hours of Derby morning. Tickets to The Julep Ball sell out early each year. The full evening’s entertainment is $600 per person, $5,000 for a table of 10, and $100 per person for dance-only tickets. For further information and to buy tickets, go to The Julep Ball website, julepball.org.

This year’s celebrity guests from the world of entertainment include:

DANIELLE GREGORIO: STAR OF 'THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ORANGE COUNTY’

Danielle Gregorio is a wife and mother to three beautiful children, residing in Villa Park, Calif. She is the co-owner and principal designer of Danielle Kaye Design Studio, a boutique interior design firm located in Orange County, California. Interior design has always been a passion for Gregorio, so she is now able to re-create her visions in both residential and commercial design projects, living her dream of owning her own business and doing what she loves.  Gregorio also has always had a special talent and vision for planning and hosting the most amazing events. When partnering with Jimmy Choo in May 2012 to support and raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® Man of the Year, the event was such a success that she was asked to host a yearly event. When she accepted this task, she knew it was a perfect fit to become a founding member of Heels2Heal Orange County. Most recently, Gregorio joined the seasoned cast of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County. Though new to the reality TV world, she was excited to show the world that a full-time mom, businesswoman and philanthropist can have it all.

MARK AND MATTHEW HARRIS: TASTEMAKERS ON ‘STORAGE WARS’

Mark and Matthew Harris are nationally known as starring in A&E’s hit series Storage Wars, where they are the newest bidders on the show viewed by 5 million viewers weekly.  In addition to being radio personalities in Los Angeles hosting their weekly radio show, The Tastemakers, the Harris brothers are regular judges at Miss USA pageants, including Miss California USA, Miss Illinois USA, Miss Nevada USA, Miss New Jersey USA and Miss Maryland USA. The Harris brothers are also known as “The Kings of Swag” as they own and operate the biggest celebrity marketing agency in Hollywood, WOW! CREATIONS, providing celebrity gift bags and hosting celebrity gift lounges around the world from the Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and many more events. The Harris brothers are also luxury life style consultants who have a daily blog and can be seen in upcoming Independent feature films playing wealthy investors and are currently shopping their new reality show, The Kings of Swag.

KYM JOHNSON: WINNING ‘DANCING WITH THE STARS’ FANS FROM AUSTRALIA TO THE U.S.

Aussie native Kym Johnson has made the transition from ballroom to judging panel and is currently one of four judges on Dancing with the Stars, Australia. Johnson holds three mirror-ball trophies (two in the United States and one in Australia) and she is the only professional dancer in the world to hold trophies on two different continents. In 2006, she arrived in the United States when she was asked to join the U.S. version of DWTS. Her first partner was talk show host Jerry Springer during season three, where she won the hearts of Americans. Her other partners have included some of the most popular celebrities on the show: David Hasselhoff, Joey Fatone, Jaleel White, Mark Cuban, Penn Jillette, Warren Sapp, Ingo Radamacher and David Arquette.  Johnson has been runner-up twice on the American syndicated DWTS. In November 2009, Johnson won the prestigious mirror-ball trophy with entertainer Donny Osmond, and followed up the win with another first place in 2011 with Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward. Johnson has been involved in 13 seasons of DWTS U.S.A.

CARSON KRESSLEY: EMMY WINNER, STYLE MAKER, FAN FAVORITE

Carson Kressley was most recently a “fan-favorite” on ABC’s world-wide hit, Dancing With The Stars and recently headlined as the host of Dancing With The Stars Live in Las Vegas. In 2011, Kressley starred in Carson-Nation, a one-hour reality show that premiered on OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network. In Carson-Nation, he travelled to small towns throughout the United States, transforming lives one person at a time with his signature heart, humor and style. Previously, Kressley helmed Lifetime's critically acclaimed show How To Look Good Naked and earned a primetime Emmy for his role on Bravo's breakout hit series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He was a frequent style contributor on The Oprah Winfrey Show where millions of viewers accessed his expertise, style, and wit. He can also be seen as a style contributor on ABC’s Good Morning America,Live With Kelly and Michael!, The Queen Latifah Show, Bethenny and The Wendy Williams Show. Kressley recently debuted his signature line of women’s sportswear and accessories, "Love, Carson," which is known for its easy, instant, affordable glamour and is available exclusively at ShopHQ.

KEITH ROBINSON: KENTUCKY BRED, OSCAR NOMINATED

Before he made his way to Tinseltown, the Kentucky native set his sights on music and attended the University of Georgia. Shortly after traveling to Los Angeles and upon a chance meeting with a film and television manager, Robinson jump-started his career performing in more than 50 television and film projects and still counting while still pursuing his music career. Robinson is best known for his role as C.C. White in the Academy Award-winning film Dreamgirls, which earned him an Oscar nomination for best song that he performed at the Academy Awards. He can also be seen in such films as Dear John, Fat Albert, 35 & Ticking, This Christmas, CRU (August 2014) and the soon-to-be released James Brown biopic, Get on Up due out Aug. 1. `Robinson also is slated to release brand-new music later this year.

ELIZABETH (LIZZIE) ROVSEK: KENTUCKIAN STAR OF ‘REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ORANGE COUNTY’

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Rovsek is a swimsuit designer and stay-at-home mother of two. Lizzie is the newest Housewife on Bravo's The Real Housewives of Orange County and joined the cast in its ninth season. Elizabeth hails from the Bluegrass state, is a former Miss Kentucky USA, and is now owner and designer of her own swimsuit company, Sun Kitten Swimwear. She’s married to Christian, CEO of Service First Restoration, an emergency service construction company handling properties damaged by flood, fire, mold and more, and they have two children, 3-year-old Preston and 2-year-old Kingston. They live in Orange County, California, and plan on growing their family in 2015.

JON SEDA: CURRENTLY HEATING UP  ‘CHICAGO PD’

His television credits include series regular roles on Kevin Hill and Close to Home and recurring roles in Ghost Whisperer and Oz. Seda also guest starred on Hawaii Five-0, The Closer, Burn Notice, House, M.D, CSI: Miami, NYPD Blue, Las Vegas and Law and Order, among many others. In 2010, Seda was seen in the award-winning HBO World War II miniseries The Pacific, playing the starring role of legendary marine Jon Basilone, and joined the cast of the acclaimed HBO series Treme as a series regular. Seda can currently be seen starring as Detective Antonio Dawson on Chicago PD. The show, created by Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf, is a spin-off of Chicago Fire and airs on NBC.

MISS AMERICA 2014 NINA DAVULURI: WORKING FOR SCIENCE, MEDICINE, ENGINEERING, TECHNOLOGY

In 2013, Nina Davuluri became the first contestant of Indian descent to win the Miss America competition. The Syracuse, N.Y., native was educated at the University of Michigan and plans to attend medical school. During her year as Miss America, Davuluri will serve as spokesperson for increasing enrollment in the STEM fields – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – working with the U.S. Department of Education. Along with the coveted title of Miss America 2014, the 24-year-old won a $50,000 scholarship provided in part by Joseph Ribkoff Inc. and the Miss America Organization to continue her education. For the talent portion of the competition, Davuluri returned to her roots and performed a Classical Bollywood Fusion dance.

2014 JULEP BALL ENTERTAINMENT

BOB HARDWICK: BRINGING HIS SOUND HOME TO LOUISVILLE

Growing up in a banking family in Louisville, Hardwick started to play the piano and compose at age four with the gift of perfect pitch. He went on to win numerous national talent competitions including the Coca-Cola Talent Contest and was accepted for private study by the University of Louisville School of Music at age 12. After earning a BA in business from Centre College and completing graduate music studies at the University of North Texas (classical and jazz), he studied composition with Hall Overton at the Juilliard School of Music. He also received a DownBeat magazine award scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston. "The Bob Hardwick Sound" is now one of the leading dance orchestras in the country, with an average of over 200 engagements per year in the United States, in addition to England, France, Italy, Ireland and Bermuda and the Caribbean. With Bob's dazzling piano artistry, the orchestra's irresistible beat, and a repertoire that delights all ages, Hardwick's music makes every party a success, including Presidential inaugurals, private parties, benefit galas, corporate events, debutante balls and weddings of all sizes. Recently, Hardwick played for his fifth Inaugural Ball and seventh U.S. president by performing at the prestigious Illinois Presidential Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C., for President Barack Obama.

J.D. SHELBURNE: KENTUCKY NATIVE WITH HITS ‘FARMBOY’ AND ‘GRANDMA & GARTH’

Country artist J.D. Shelburne grew up on a tobacco farm in Taylorsville, Ky., a tiny town southeast of the Ohio River near Louisville. At age 19, he found a guitar after the death of his grandmother and began learning to play and sing on his own. By his sophomore year of college, he had found a few gigs at some local bars in the Louisville and Lexington areas and developed a fan base that eventually landed him on some of the biggest stages in the business, opening for some of the nation's hottest stars. Eventually, Shelburne was adding original songs into the set mix, in addition to producing songs of his own material. Twelve years later he is soaking up country music, touring cities, building a fan base and celebrating a decade of success playing venues all across the southeast trying to get his big break. Today he’s among the most hardworking and relevant country singers in the business, with the hits “Farmboy” and “Grandma & Garth.” They say Nashville doesn’t work that way anymore – that talented musicians with very few connections don’t stand a chance, but J.D. Shelburne proved that Music City’s engine still runs off talent and persistence. Critics find him credible. Fans pack his shows. Venues strive to book him. There are very few new artists recording songs today about whom that can be said.

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About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

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

The Julep Ball is sponsored in part by Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, Ashton Advertising, Bob Montgomery Dixie Honda, Boutique Serendipity, The Dahlem Company, Dillards, Enterprise, Headz Salon, Heaven Hill, Hubbuch & Co., InGrid Design, Jaust Consulting Partners, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, KentuckyOne Health, Kroger, Louisville Magazine, Maker’s Mark, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Morgan Stanley, MPI Printing, Nfocus, Old 502 Winery, Power Creative, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, WAKY and WHAS11.

Keith Robinson

Keith Robinson
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Carson Kressley

Carson Kressley
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Chrishell Stause

Chrishell Stause
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Danielle Gregorio

Danielle Gregorio
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JD Shelburne

JD Shelburne
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Jon Seda

Jon Seda
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Justin Hartley

Justin Hartley
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Kym Johnson

Kym Johnson
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Laura Bell Bundy

Laura Bell Bundy
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Elizabeth Rovsek

Elizabeth Rovsek
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Mark Harris

Mark Harris
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Matthew Harris

Matthew Harris
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Bob Hardwick

Bob Hardwick
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Eric Wood

Eric Wood
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EJ Manuel

EJ Manuel
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Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson
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Bobby Petrino

Bobby Petrino
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Kyle Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph
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NFL stars will walk The Julep Ball red carpet

NFL stars will walk The Julep Ball red carpet

Four of the NFL’s finest will join University of Louisville Head Football Coach Bobby Petrinoon the red carpet at The Julep Ball.

The premier Derby Eve Party with a Purpose, The Julep Ball is held annually on the evening before the Kentucky Derby and supports the work of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. The event on May 2 at the KFC Yum! Center kicks off with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a live auction at 8 p.m.

An Official Event of the 140th Kentucky Derby®, The Julep Ball provides a celebrity-studded night to remember with a multi-course seated dinner, a knock-your-socks-off auction, multiple open specialty bars, complimentary valet parking, and dancing until the wee hours of Derby morning. Tickets to The Julep Ball sell out early each year. The full evening’s entertainment is $600 per person, $5,000 for a table of 10, and $100 per person for dance-only tickets. For further information and to buy tickets, go to The Julep Ball website, julepball.org.

Two former UofL Cardinals now in the NFL – Eric Wood and Joe Johnson – will join EJ Manuel and Kyle Rudolph at The Julep Ball:

Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson attended the University of Louisville for four years where he was a full time starter for three years and was honored as a first team “All American” in his last year as a Cardinal.  He chose to forgo his senior year in college and was drafted 13th overall in the 1994 NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints. Joe received a number of honors during his 10-year NFL career, including: Pro Bowl (1998 and 2000), All Madden Team (1998 and 2000), Comeback Player of the Year (2000) and All Rookie Team (1994). He was named to the New Orleans Saints Hall Of Fame in 2007.

 

EJ Manuel

EJ Manuel is the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. He was the 16th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft out of Florida State University, where he led the Seminoles to their first 12-win season since the 1990’s.  He was named the MVP of the Gator Bowl in 2009 and the MVP of the Senior Bowl in 2013. Off the field, EJ is National Ambassador for Camp Kesem, an organization dedicated to helping children whose parents suffer from cancer and is an advocate for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research in honor of his mother who is a breast cancer survivor

 

Kyle Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph is a tight end in his fourth season with the Minnesota Vikings. A graduate of Notre Dame and the first tight end to start every game as a freshman, Kyle was the first tight end drafted in the 2011 rookie class. After his breakout year in 2012, earning Pro Bowl MVP honors, he is now regarded as one of the league’s best. Kyle joined his teammates in community outreach activities as a rookie, planting trees as part of Planet Purple Week and visiting University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital when the Vikings were part of the Adopt-A-Room program.

 

Eric Wood

Eric Wood is a University of Louisville alumnus who played for Coach Bobby Petrino at UofL and is the starting center and team captain for the Buffalo Bills. He was the team's second pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft (28th overall). As a Cardinal, he earned Freshman All-American honors, All-Big East honors and Academic All-Big East accolades. Eric finished his collegiate career with 49 consecutive starts at center, the second-longest streak in school history behind Travis Leffew. Today, he is one of the five highest-paid centers in the NFL.

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About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

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

The Julep Ball is sponsored in part by Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, Ashton Advertising, Bob Montgomery Dixie Honda, Boutique Serendipity, The Dahlem Company, Dillards, Enterprise, Headz Salon, Heaven Hill, Hubbuch & Co., InGrid Design, Jaust Consulting Partners, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, KentuckyOne Health, Kroger, Louisville Magazine, Maker’s Mark, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Morgan Stanley, MPI Printing, Nfocus, Old 502 Winery, Power Creative, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, WAKY and WHAS11.

 

 

Joe Johnson2

Joe Johnson2
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Final Four coach Walz will walk The Julep Ball red carpet

Final Four coach Walz will walk The Julep Ball red carpet

University of Louisville Women’s Basketball Coach Jeff Walz led his team to the Final Four this year. Walz will walk the red carpet at The Julep Ball on May 2.

Jeff Walz, head coach of the University of Louisville women’s basketball team, will walk the red carpet at The Julep Ball.

The premier Derby Eve Party with a Purpose, The Julep Ball is held annually on the evening before the Kentucky Derby and supports the work of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. The event on May 2 at the KFC Yum! Center kicks off with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a live auction at 8 p.m.

An Official Event of the 140th Kentucky Derby®, The Julep Ball provides a celebrity-studded night to remember with a multi-course seated dinner, a knock-your-socks-off auction, multiple open specialty bars, complimentary valet parking, and dancing until the wee hours of Derby morning. Tickets to The Julep Ball sell out early each year. The full evening’s entertainment is $600 per person, $5,000 for a table of 10, and $100 per person for dance-only tickets. For further information and to buy tickets, go to The Julep Ball website, julepball.org.

About Jeff Walz

Considered by many to be the best young coach in women's basketball, Jeff Walz has made a career out of building successful programs. Walz has lived up to that reputation since taking over the helm at Louisville, taking the program to new heights. In his first six seasons, he has guided the Cardinals to two Final Four appearances and National Runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2013 along with four Sweet 16 appearances.

Walz's success can be traced back to recruiting. He is known as a tireless recruiter and has not let up since becoming a head coach. In just his first season, Walz and his staff brought in the highest ranked recruiting class in Cardinal history. He has since followed it up with three consecutive Top 10 classes, with the 2010 class ranked fifth in the nation. The 2011 class made school history with two McDonald's All-Americans.

He was named the sixth head coach at the University Louisville on March 27, 2007. Walz, a Kentucky native, returned to the bluegrass state after serving as an associate head coach at Maryland.

In the 2012-2013 season, Walz led the Cardinals to the biggest upset in women's basketball history by defeating the No. 1 overall seed Baylor in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals went on to defeat the No. 2 seeded Tennessee Lady Vols in the Elite Eight to reach their second Final Four appearance in four years.

Louisville went on to defeat No. 2 seed California in the national semifinal, advancing to the National Championship for the second time in Walz's career as a head coach. Entering the NCAA Tournament the Cardinals were ranked No. 16 but finished the year ranked third with a 29-9 overall record and another miraculous run in the NCAA Tournament.

During the 2012 season Walz had his most talented team in four seasons but lost two of his top three scorers early in the season. Despite the adversity, Walz led the team to a 23-10 record. The Cardinals advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and ended the season with a final ranking of 16th in the nation.

Walz began his coaching career at the middle and high school levels in 1992 and was an AAU coach in 1995-96. During his career, he has guided such players as 1996 National High School Player of the Year Jaime Walz, his sister, who now coaches the girls' high school team at their alma mater, Highlands High School. He also coached 1999 NCAA champion and WNBA standout Ukari Figgs, the University of Tennessee's Kyra Elzy, and Ohio State standout Louisville native, Marita Porter.

He attended Northern Kentucky University on a basketball scholarship, graduating with a bachelor of science in secondary education in May 1995. Walz earned his master's in education in August of 1997 from Western Kentucky.

Walz has three children, daughter Kaeley, son Jacob, and daughter Lola. He married to the former Lauren Lueders and the couple reside in Louisville.

###

About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

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

The Julep Ball is sponsored in part by Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, Ashton Advertising, Bob Montgomery Dixie Honda, Boutique Serendipity, The Dahlem Company, Dillards, Enterprise, Headz Salon, Heaven Hill, Hubbuch & Co., InGrid Design, Jaust Consulting Partners, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, KentuckyOne Health, Kroger, Louisville Magazine, Maker’s Mark, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Morgan Stanley, MPI Printing, Nfocus, Old 502 Winery, Power Creative, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, WAKY and WHAS11.

Rising country duo Brothers Osborne added to Julep Ball lineup

'Hart of Dixie,' 'Anger Management' star Laura Bell Bundy also scheduled to perform

Two of the hottest acts making names for themselves in country music have just been added to the lineup of performers at The Julep Ball.

The duo Brothers Osborne, who recently dropped their latest single “Rum,”and Hart of Dixie and Anger Management star Laura Bell Bundy, whose country single “Giddy On Up” garnered over 4 million streams, will join J.D. Shelburne and the Bob Hardwick Sound on The Julep Ball stage.

The premier Derby Eve Party with a Purpose, The Julep Ball is held annually on the evening before the Kentucky Derby and supports the work of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. The event on May 2 at the KFC Yum! Center kicks off with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a live auction at 8 p.m.

An Official Event of the 140th Kentucky Derby®, The Julep Ball provides a celebrity-studded night to remember with a multi-course seated dinner, a knock-your-socks-off auction, multiple open specialty bars, complimentary valet parking, and dancing until the wee hours of Derby morning. A limited number of tickets to The Julep Ball are still available. The full evening’s entertainment is $600 per person, $5,000 for a table of 10, and $100 per person for dance-only tickets. For further information and to buy tickets, go to The Julep Ball website, julepball.org.

About Brothers Osborne:

One of 15 acts chosen by Country Weeklyas “Ones to Watch in 2014,” Brothers Osborne were chosen this month to open for Eric Church in his upcoming tour that includes a stop in Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center on Sept. 25.

The current Rolling Stone(April 24) hails the duo’s current single “Rum”: “There are plenty of drinking songs coming out of Nashville these days, but this twangy party anthem by a rising sibling duo from Maryland takes the genre to a whole new level of catchy fun. Sounds like a hit to us!”

For John and TJ Osborne, getting into music was unavoidable. Growing up in the water town of Deale, Md., their close-knit-family of seven spent most nights not in front of the television, but writing and playing songs.

John (guitar) moved to Nashville first to play in other bands before TJ (vocals/guitar) joined him. It was then they formed Brothers Osborne and began playing as many writer rounds as they could. In April 2011, Warner Chappell/King Pen Music offered them a publishing deal. A year later, Capitol Records offered them a record deal. The Brothers Osborne are currently in the studio finishing their debut album, an album they describe as “aggressive, bold and fragile at times.” For more information, visit www.brothersosborne.com.

About Laura Bell Bundy:

A Kentucky native, Laura Bell Bundy is a performer who has done it all: from appearing on the Broadway stage as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde – a role that garnered her a Tony Award nomination – Glinda in Wicked, and Amber Von Tussle in the original cast of Hairspray, to the launch of her country music career with a captivating performance on the nationally televised Academy of Country Music Awards, to acting in various film and TV roles including Dreamgirls, Jumanji, The Adventures of Huck Finn, MTV’s smash telecast of Legally Blonde, Guiding Light, CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, Malibu Country, Home Improvement and Cold Case. Bundy’s screen success has followed her to the web, where she has attracted a worldwide audience with her hit comedic web series, Cooter County, which she created, produced and directed.

Bundy released her debut country music album, Achin’ and Shakin’, in 2010, featuring her hit single “Giddy On Up,” which has since garnered over 4 million streams and has been certified gold in Norway. Her most recent singles, “Two Step” and “Kentucky Dirty,” push music boundaries and answer the question of what happens when you combine hot country, dance tracks and hip-hop beats.

Bundy currently can be seen on the CW’s hit television program Hart of Dixie and FX’s Anger Management, both of which are aired throughout the world. Her latest song release, “Kentucky Dirty” hit iTunes in November of 2013. The track references the singer’s good ole Kentucky roots. For more information, visit www.laurabellbundy.com.

About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

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

The Julep Ball is sponsored in part by Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, Ashton Advertising, Bob Montgomery Dixie Honda, Boutique Serendipity, The Dahlem Company, Dillards, Enterprise, Headz Salon, Heaven Hill, Hubbuch & Co., InGrid Design, Jaust Consulting Partners, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, KentuckyOne Health, Kroger, Louisville Magazine, Maker’s Mark, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Morgan Stanley, MPI Printing, Nfocus, Old 502 Winery, Power Creative, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, WAKY and WHAS11.

Brothers Osborne

Brothers Osborne
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David Padgett

David Padgett
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Mike Balado

Mike Balado
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Kenny Johnson

Kenny Johnson
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Wyking Jones

Wyking Jones
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Kevin Keatts

Kevin Keatts
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UofL basketball coaching staff to walk The Julep Ball red carpet

UofL basketball coaching staff to walk The Julep Ball red carpet

Five of University of Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino’s key assistants will walk the red carpet at The Julep Ball.

Mike Balado, Kenny Johnson, Wyking Jones,Kevin Keatts and David Padgett will be among the stars from the sports and entertainment worlds at the May 2 gala.

The premier Derby Eve Party with a Purpose, The Julep Ball is held annually on the evening before the Kentucky Derby and supports the work of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. The event on May 2 at the KFC Yum! Center kicks off with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a live auction at 8 p.m.

An Official Event of the 140th Kentucky Derby®, The Julep Ball provides a celebrity-studded night to remember with a multi-course seated dinner, a knock-your-socks-off auction, multiple open specialty bars, complimentary valet parking, and dancing until the wee hours of Derby morning. A limited number of tickets to The Julep Ball are still available. The full evening’s entertainment is $600 per person, $5,000 for a table of 10, and $100 per person for dance-only tickets. For further information and to buy tickets, go to The Julep Ball website, julepball.org.

About Balado, Johnson, Jones, Keatts and Padgett:

Mike Balado (pronounced bah-LAW-doe) joined the University of Louisville men's basketball staff as an assistant coach in April 2013 after serving in a similar capacity at Florida International from 2012-13.

Balado helped FIU to quickly achieve success when the 18-14 Panthers produced their first winning season in 13 years, the fourth-highest win total in school history and the most Sun Belt Conference victories (11) since joining the league in 1998-99. He was an assistant under Richard Pitino, the son of UofL head coach Rick Pitino, who is now the head coach at Minnesota.

"Mike brings a wealth of experience in both the recruiting world and in coaching," said Pitino. "An important factor in adding him to our staff was his knowledge of what we do defensively and in scouting, after working with Richard (Pitino) for a year. It should not take a great deal of time in acclimating him to our program. He's a tireless worker and he should fit like a glove. He also brings another facet to our recruiting efforts, as he speaks fluent Spanish and has connections throughout Latin America."

Prior to his year at FIU, Balado worked three seasons at High Point University (2009-12), where he assisted in all areas of the Panther basketball program with a heavy concentration on recruiting. He spent the 2008-09 season on the Miami (Fla.) basketball staff where he helped the Hurricanes compile a 19-13 record and a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) while working on player development, scouting and game preparation.

Balado played collegiate basketball at St. Thomas University in Miami, where he was a two-year starter and captain while helping his team win the regular season conference title in 1997. Recipient of a student-athlete leadership award as a senior, he earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from St. Thomas in 1998 and a master's of education in exercise and sport science from Augusta State in 2000. A native of Miami, Fla.,

Balado is married to the former Alicia Nigro and the couple had twins, Aiden and Addy, in June 2009.

Kenny Johnson, assistant men's basketball coach and recruiting coordinator at Indiana for the past two years, joined the Louisville men's basketball staff as an assistant coach under head coach Rick Pitino in April 2014.

"We're very excited to have Kenny in our program," said Pitino. "The first thing I did when Kevin Keatts left to become the head coach at UNC Wilmington was to ask my son Richard (Pitino, head coach at Minnesota) to find the best rising assistant coach in the business. He spoke to a lot of people and they led directly to Kenny Johnson and others think he is outstanding as well. He is extremely bright, having studied cell, molecular biology and genetics in college."

While at Indiana, Johnson helped the Hoosiers assemble top 20 recruiting classes each of the past two seasons. On the court, Indiana produced a combined 46-22 record in his two seasons there, winning the Big Ten Championship, earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2013.

ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman, after surveying more than 200 collegiate coaches, named Johnson as the nation's 11th most respected/feared assistant coach in a July 2013 listing after just two seasons as a collegiate assistant.

Johnson was an assistant coach at Towson in 2011-12, helping assemble a top five mid-major recruiting class. He began his coaching career in 2002 as the associate head coach at Eleanor Roosevelt High School before moving to Dr. Henry Wise High School in 2006 for one year. He was associate head coach at Paul IV High school for four years (2007-11) before advancing to the collegiate ranks.

As a senior at Oxon Hill (Md.) High School in 1994, he was named Science and Technology Student of the Year. He earned his bachelor's degree in cell, molecular biology and genetics in 1999 at the University of Maryland, where he was a Benjamin Banneker Scholarship recipient. He worked as a protein chemist/molecular biologist at Human Genome Sciences in Rockville, Md. after graduation.

A native of Oxon Hill, Johnson and his wife, Doreen, have two sons, Amare (11) and Mekai (8).

Wyking Jones (pronounced WHY-king) is in his third season as an assistant basketball coach for the University of Louisville after serving in a similar capacity two seasons at the University of New Mexico. He joined the Cardinals in April 2011.

"Wyking has the experience necessary to help us recruit top-notch student-athletes from all 50 states," said Pitino. "He is highly regarded in all circles as a tireless worker and an outstanding communicator with young people. I had asked Richard (Pitino) to provide me the top five assistant coaching candidates in the country and I would interview them. Immediately he had Wyking at the top of the list. After considerable research, it was apparent that he had all of the characteristics necessary to bring to Cardinal Basketball."

In Jones' two seasons, the Cardinals reached the NCAA Final Four twice - including winning the 2013 NCAA Championship -- and have a combined 65-15 record. He has helped the Cardinals assemble two straight top 10 recruiting classes.

During Jones' two years at New Mexico under head coach Steve Alford, the Lobos produced a combined 52-18 record. The 2009-10 New Mexico team won a school-record 30 games (30-5 record), won the Mountain West Conference Championship and was ranked eighth in the final AP poll.

Before joining the New Mexico staff, Jones spent two years as a basketball travel team manager with Nike Elite Youth Basketball. There he managed all 45 travel teams and the tournaments that Nike sponsored in its grassroots youth program while he built key relationships across the nation.

Jones lettered four years at Loyola Marymount for head coach John Olive (1991-95). He emerged as a junior through a staunch work ethic and unassuming manner to earn all-West Coast Conference honors and the Lions’ Student Athlete of the Year in 1993-94.

Jones earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount in 1995. He served as a Lions' assistant coach during the 1996-97 season. He and his wife, Estrella, have a son, Jameel, and a daughter, Zoe.

Kevin Keatts, who won two national prep championships and was runner-up on three occasions as head coach at Hargrave Military Academy over eight seasons, just wrapped up his final year on the University of Louisville men's basketball staff.

In March, Keatts was named head coach at University of North Carolina-Wilmington, joining 10 other former assistants under Pitino now serving as college head coaches.

"Kevin has been one of the best assistant coaches with which I have had the good fortune to work, and I've had a lot of them," Pitino said. "He is a terrific person, coach, scout, family man and recruiter. He possesses all of the variables to build a successful program. We are really going to miss his upbeat personality … ."

Keatts was promoted to associate head coach in January 2014 after serving as an assistant coach under head coach Rick Pitino since joining the Cardinals in April 2011 and helped the Cardinals assemble two straight top ten recruiting classes. In his two seasons at UofL, the Cardinals reached the NCAA Final Four twice -- including winning the 2013 NCAA Championship -- won two Big East Conference championships, and have a combined 65-15 record.

ESPN.com's Jeff Goodman, after surveying more than 200 collegiate coaches, named Keatts as the nation's third most respected/feared assistant coach in a July 2013 listing.

Keatts' success as a prep coach is staggering. In 10 seasons in two separate stints as the head coach at Hargrave (1999-2001, 2003-2011), he compiled an incredible 263-17 record with two national prep titles (2004, 2008), three runner-up finishes (2005, 2006, 2009) and two additional appearances among the final four prep teams (2007, 2010).

Keatts coached nine players at the prep level that reached the NBA: Joe Alexander, Jordan Crawford, Josh Howard, Vernon Macklin, Mike Scott, Marreese Speights, Sam Young, David West and Korleone Young.

Keatts was a two sport standout in basketball and football at Heritage High School in Lynchburg, Va., and also excelled in basketball at Ferrum College. He and his wife Georgette have two sons, Kevin (9) and Kaden (5).

David Padgett, a former three-year starting center for the Cardinals, is in his first year on the UofL men’s basketball staff as assistant video coordinator.

Padgett spent three years as an assistant basketball coach at IUPUI (2011-14) after a year with UofL as an assistant strength coach (2010-11). He played professional basketball for UB LaPalma in the Canary Islands for two years following his graduation from UofL. He had reached the final preseason cut of the Miami Heat before his playing career in Spain.

A three-year starter and captain at center for the Cards (2005-08), Padgett was a unanimous first-team All-BIG EAST Conference selection as a senior and also earned USBWA All-District IV honors.  He averaged a team-leading 11.2 points and grabbed 4.8 rebounds his senior year in 2007-08 when the Cardinals reached the NCAA Elite Eight.

Padgett ranks second in career field goal percentage at UofL, hitting 61.3 percent of his shots (332-542). His .667 field goal percentage as a senior was the second best ever at UofL. He set a BIG EAST Conference field goal percentage record for league games as a senior, hitting 68.3 percent of his shots in 18 games (86-of-126). He was a second team All-BIG EAST pick as a junior.

Padgett’s basketball bloodlines run deep as his father played at the University of Nevada and his uncle played at New Mexico. His grandfather Jim played for Oregon State and his sister played for the University of San Diego.

Padgett and his wife, Megan, welcomed their first child Nolan in August 2013.

###

About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

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

The Julep Ball is sponsored in part by Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, Ashton Advertising, Bob Montgomery Dixie Honda, Boutique Serendipity, The Dahlem Company, Dillards, Enterprise, Headz Salon, Heaven Hill, Hubbuch & Co., InGrid Design, Jaust Consulting Partners, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, KentuckyOne Health, Kroger, Louisville Magazine, Maker’s Mark, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Morgan Stanley, MPI Printing, Nfocus, Old 502 Winery, Power Creative, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, WAKY and WHAS11.

Chuck Wicks

Chuck Wicks
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Nashville star Chuck Wicks will attend The Julep Ball May 2

Nashville star Chuck Wicks will attend The Julep Ball May 2

The singer-songwriter of 2007’s country hit “Stealing Cinderella” and the currently-rising-up-the-charts “Us Again,” Chuck Wicks, will walk the red carpet at The Julep Ball.

The premier Derby Eve Party with a Purpose, The Julep Ball is held annually on the evening before the Kentucky Derby and supports the work of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. The event on May 2 at the KFC Yum! Center kicks off with a 6:30 p.m. cocktail reception, followed by dinner and a live auction at 8 p.m.

An Official Event of the 140th Kentucky Derby®, The Julep Ball provides a celebrity-studded night to remember with a multi-course seated dinner, a knock-your-socks-off auction, multiple open specialty bars, complimentary valet parking, and dancing until the wee hours of Derby morning. Tickets for the full evening of entertainment are sold out but a limited number of dance-only tickets at $100 per person are still available. For further information and to buy tickets, go to The Julep Ball website, julepball.org.

About Chuck Wicks:

On his new single that is rising the charts, “Us Again,” Chuck Wicks is clearly in the zone. The story of a couple who long to return to a time when loving each other was easy, the song also marks the return to the country charts for the Delaware farm boy.

“It’s a unique love song,” says Wicks, who co-wrote the hit with Andy Dodd and Tiffany Vartanyan. “It’s one of those things we all go through. When you first meet that someone who is really special, the first three to four months are flawless. Every day is a honeymoon. But as time goes on and life starts to happen, you can forget what it’s like and lose that spark.”

Now signed to Blaster Records, Wicks, who moonlights as a morning personality on NASH-FM’s popular America’s Morning Show (“I love speaking the language of country music and this gives me the chance to do that every day,” he says), has discovered his own creative fire.

After the breakout success of his 2007 debut single “Stealing Cinderella,” which hit the Top 5 on the Billboard country chart and marked the biggest single for any new country artist in 2007, the pristine-voiced singer actively took a step back and committed himself to songwriting. Freshly inspired, he’s readying his latest album, the follow-up to 2008’s Starting Now, which peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard country albums chart.

“I’m a lot more comfortable with who I am,” he says. “I feel like I’ve figured out who I am as a songwriter, as a singer, as an artist. I know where my pocket is.”

The upcoming album, co-produced by Chuck, will include all of the tracks from his EP Rough, a recent collection of songs that showcased Chuck’s lived-in sound.

“From Starting Now to today, I’ve grown so much as a writer and a performer,” says Wicks, who has performed in every state in the continental United States. “Releasing your first single on a major label is a lot to navigate, especially if you’ve never done it. I got thrown out on a huge tour with Brad Paisley and went from playing conference rooms with two guitar players to playing Denver, Colorado, my first big show in an arena.

“Grow up, have a family and work 9 to 5: That’s what most everybody sees in their future,” Wicks says. “I feel so lucky to do something different and special.”

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About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

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

The Julep Ball is sponsored in part by Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, Ashton Advertising, Bob Montgomery Dixie Honda, Boutique Serendipity, The Dahlem Company, Dillards, Enterprise, Headz Salon, Heaven Hill, Hubbuch & Co., InGrid Design, Jaust Consulting Partners, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, KentuckyOne Health, Kroger, Louisville Magazine, Maker’s Mark, Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company, Morgan Stanley, MPI Printing, Nfocus, Old 502 Winery, Power Creative, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, WAKY and WHAS11.

Darrell A. Griffith named associate vice president for health affairs at UofL

Darrell A. Griffith named associate vice president for health affairs at UofL

Darrell A. Griffith has been named the new associate vice president for health affairs/finance and administration for the University of Louisville Health Sciences Center. He also will assume the position of vice president/CFO for University of Louisville Physicians. Griffith comes from the University of Kentucky/UK Healthcare, where he was the executive director for the faculty practice organization.

David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., UofL executive vice president for health affairs, highlighted Griffith’s extensive financial experience within academic medicine and physician practices.

“I am very pleased to welcome Darrell to the UofL Health Sciences Center,” Dunn said. “He understands the complexity of an academic health center and the role of the faculty practice plan. His experience is critical as we begin the next steps in the transformation of the health sciences center.”

Griffith has spent the past 11 years at the University of Kentucky, initially as a senior manager of business development and decision support. He served two years as the interim associate dean for administration and finance for the College of Medicine before taking his current role in 2006. He was instrumental in developing the UK Healthcare strategic plan that saw unprecedented growth in revenues and outpatient care.

Prior to joining UK, Griffith was a senior consultant with Avalon Management Consulting LLC, in Knoxville, Tenn. He also has been with Promina-Dekalb Regional Healthcare System in Atlanta, Erlanger Health System in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Healthcare Resources Inc. in Somerset, Ky.

Griffith earned his bachelor of science in business administration and his master of public health/health care administration from the University of Tennessee. He is a certified medical practice executive from the American College of Medical Practice Executives. He is a member of the Academic Practice Plan Directors under the University Health Consortium.

UofL launches study in quest to decrease hospital readmission of heart failure patients

UofL launches study in quest to decrease hospital readmission of heart failure patients

Saeed Jortani, Ph.D.

Researchers at the University of Louisville are launching a clinical research study to develop an objective approach to discharge patients with heart failure from the hospital with the goal of decreasing their possible readmission.

Saeed A. Jortani, Ph.D., clinical associate professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, will lead a team of investigators including cardiologists, emergency medicine physicians, nurses and clinical coordinators in the “Congestive Heart Failure Readmission (CHFR) Trial.” It is now open for enrollment.

The team’s goal is to enroll 600 patients with symptoms of congestive heart failure who are admitted to the emergency departments at two KentuckyOne Health hospitals, University of Louisville Hospital and Jewish Hospital. Blood samples will be collected from patients at the time they are admitted and again when they are discharged. These samples will be analyzed for a variety of cardiac and kidney biomarkers.

The patients then will be surveyed twice, at 30 days and 6 months after discharge, to learn if their condition required readmission to the hospital.

The team will use the data obtained from the blood samples to develop an evidence-based approach that could be used in determining the optimal timing for discharging patients with heart failure and ultimately prevent readmission.

“We believe that using an objective, clinically verified approach to discharging heart failure patients initially could reduce the need for future readmission,” Jortani said. “Our thinking is that patients’ biomarkers will indicate when they are ready for discharge from the hospital with hopefully less chance of being readmitted later on.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart failure affects about 5 million people in the United States, with 550,000 new patients diagnosed each year. Patients with heart failure also have a high incidence of other life-threatening diseases and conditions, such as renal failure, hypertension, diabetes and others.

Each year, more than 1 million people are admitted to an inpatient facility for heart failure, and 27 percent of patients with heart failure who are on Medicare are readmitted within 30 days.

New guidelines established by the Affordable Care Act limits put limits on readmitting patients within a 30-day time period for the same diagnosis.

“Finding the right ‘formula’ for discharge and reducing readmission rates will help us improve the ultimate health outcome for the patient as well as realize significant cost savings in the long run,” Jortani said.

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About the CHFR Trial:

Principal investigator of the CHFR Trial is Saeed Jortani. The research team includes cardiologists Andrew DeFilippis, Shahab Ghafghazi and Jesse Adams; emergency medicine physicians George Bosse, Salvator Vicario and Tadd Roberts; nurses Ashlee Melendez, Kristen Young and Cynthia Lawrence; clinical coordinators Stanislava Prather, Anna Mains, Keivan Hosseinnegad and Louise Isaacs; and biostatistician Richard Baumgartner. Blood sample analysis will be conducted at the Kentucky Clinical Trials Laboratory. The study is funded in part by Roche Diagnostics USA. For information about the trial, contact 502-852-8835 or sjortani@louisville.edu.

Conference to focus on heart disease in women

The 2014 Louisville Symposium on Heart Disease in Women, the first of what is planned to be an annual event, will be held Saturday, June 28.
Conference to focus on heart disease in women

Kendra Grubb, M.D.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women, striking one in three. About every 60 seconds, a woman dies from heart disease.

With this as a backdrop, the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Department of Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery, in conjunction with KentuckyOne Health and University of Louisville Physicians, is hosting a one-day conference in Louisville to help educate patients and health care professionals about the prevention, recognition and treatment of the disease in women.

Heart disease is more deadly for women than all forms of cancer combined, according to the American Heart Association, and 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors, and more than one in three have some form of cardiovascular disease. Yet, women don’t recognize that heart disease is their biggest health threat.

“Although heart disease is a multi-factored, complex disorder, it is preventable, but education about the disease in women is essential,” said Kendra Grubb, M.D., assistant professor of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at UofL.

To help in this educational effort, Grubb has organized the 2014 Louisville Symposium on Heart Disease in Women, the first of what is planned to be an annual event.

The conference will be held Saturday, June 28, at the Jewish Hospital Rudd Heart & Lung Center, 16th Floor Conference Center, 201 Abraham Flexner Way in Louisville. It is designed to provide physicians, nurses, allied health professional and the community with up-to-date information pertaining to the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease in women.

Two dozen doctors and health professionals are scheduled to speak including Toni Ganzel, M.D., dean of the UofL School of Medicine, and Ruth Brinkley, CEO of KentuckyOne Health.

The conference begins at 7 a.m. with registration and a continental breakfast, with the program starting at 8 a.m. The event ends at 5 p.m., with a reception to follow.

Continuing medical education (CME) credit is available. For more information on CME credit, click http://www.louisvilleheartdiseasewomen.com/about.html.

To see the agenda, click http://www.louisvilleheartdiseasewomen.com/agenda.html.

All are welcome at the conference, but registration is required. Costs are:

  • Physicians: $100
  • Allied health professionals/nurses: $50
  • Community: $25
  • Students/residents/fellows: Free with registration before June 2

To register, click http://www.louisvilleheartdiseasewomen.com/registration-contact.html.

For more about the conference, go to http://www.louisvilleheartdiseasewomen.com/home.html or call 502-561-2180.

UofL institute, physician win MediStar Awards

Institute of Molecular Cardiology and James Graham Brown Cancer Center director honored
UofL institute, physician win MediStar Awards

Roberto Bolli, M.D., center front, leads about 100 faculty and staff at the Institute of Molecular Cardiology.

An institute at the University of Louisville and the physician-director of UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center won two MediStar awards presented Tuesday (May 13) at the Hyatt Regency Louisville.

The Institute of Molecular Cardiology, under the leadership of Director Roberto Bolli, M.D., received the Healthcare Innovation Award and Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D., director of the cancer center, a part of KentuckyOne Health, was named the XLerateHealth Physician of the Year.

The Healthcare Innovation Award is presented to an organization that has developed a new procedure, device, service program or treatment that improves the delivery of medical care. Under Bolli’s leadership, the Institute of Molecular Cardiology (IMC) has become recognized worldwide as a leading cardiovascular research program for its contributions in ischemic heart disease, heart failure, diabetes and obesity and adult stem cell therapy for cardiac repair and regeneration. Established in 2001, the IMC consistently brings more than $13 million annually in federal funding to the Louisville Metro region in developing novel treatments and future cures for the nation’s No. 1 killer, cardiovascular disease.

The XLerateHealth Physician of the Year Award is conferred upon a physician who has shown outstanding leadership and vision and has contributed to his or her workplace, leaving a lasting legacy. Named director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center (JGBCC) in 1999, Miller also is the James Graham Brown Foundation Chair and Professor of Oncology and Associate Vice President for Health Affairs at UofL. Under his leadership, the JGBCC developed a nationally recognized leadership program in cancer drug development with more than two dozen novel treatments being studied and three entering early phase clinical trials. Miller’s own laboratory is currently studying short DNA sequences which are believed to cause cancer cell death; it is expected that treatments from his lab will enter clinical trials within the next two years.

Since 2007 IGE Media, publisher of Medical News and Medical News For You, has recognized excellence at the annual MediStar Awards, honoring professionals, volunteers and programs for their impact on health care. Also named finalists for MediStar Awards from UofL were:

  • BOK Financial Aging Care Award: UofL Physicians-Geriatrics
  • Facility Design Award: Nucleus Innovation Park Downtown and School of Dentistry and Department of Pediatrics at the Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre
  • Hall Render Leadership in Healthcare Award: Gerard Rabalais, M.D., Chair, Department of Pediatrics
  • Middleton Reutlinger Nurse of the Year Award: Stephanie Jensen, R.N., Diabetes Nurse Educator, UofL Physicians-Pediatric Endocrinology
  • Seven Counties Services Healthcare Advocacy Award: Stephen Wright, M.D., Professor, Department of Pediatrics
  • A.O. Sullivan Award for Excellence in Education: Department of Pediatrics Medical Education Program
  • XLerateHealth Physician of the Year Award: Toni Ganzel, M.D., Dean, School of Medicine

Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D.

Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D.
Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D.
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UofL receives $5.5 million grant from Helmsley Charitable Trust to support innovative cancer research

UofL receives $5.5 million grant from Helmsley Charitable Trust to support innovative cancer research

John Codey (right) of the Helmsley Charitable Trust talks with Dr. Nobuyuki Matoba about his work into finding a vaccine to prevent cholera, which in turn would prevent some cases of colon cancer.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Noting the significant progress in drug and vaccine development over the past three years, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, has provided a three-year, $5.5 million grant to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville to develop new treatments and vaccines for various forms of cancer.

“Seven years ago, we partnered with Owensboro Health to explore the novel idea of plant-based pharmaceuticals and vaccines in the treatment and prevention of cancer,” said Dr. James R. Ramsey, president of the University of Louisville. “Our team showed enough promise that the Helmsley Charitable Trust provided more than $3 million in research support in 2010. Today’s grant, with Dr. Donald Miller, director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, as the principal investigator, demonstrates the confidence the leaders of the trust have in the work that is being accomplished. We are extremely grateful to the trust for its support and we look forward to further opportunities to partner.”

The new funding will help UofL researchers move into clinical trials vaccines for cervical and colon cancer. Additionally, researchers will further develop plant-based drug delivery systems to allow for higher concentrations of anticancer drugs to be transported directly to human tumors, as well as to increase a tumor’s sensitivity to anticancer treatment. The plants involved in the research range from tobacco to soybeans to colored berries.

“The work of Dr. Miller and his team has the potential to significantly impact health around the world,” said John Codey, a trustee with the Helmsley Charitable Trust. “They are focusing on finding much less expensive methods for delivering vaccines and medications so that these treatments are accessible to even the poorest of countries. We are pleased to continue to support efforts that have the potential to relieve suffering for a significant segment of people around the world.”

The Helmsley Charitable Trust also has funded research at UofL focused on helping people with spinal cord injuries regain function. To date, the Helmsley Charitable Trust has provided UofL with nearly $15 million in research funding.

“Federal funding for research continues to be more and more competitive, with fewer researchers receiving funds each year,” said Dr. David L. Dunn, executive vice president for health affairs at UofL. “The resources the Helmsley Charitable Trust provides enables our internationally renowned researchers to continue with their groundbreaking work that has the potential to transform the lives of people worldwide. It is through these significant partnerships that innovative health care approaches are possible.”

“Owensboro Health’s cancer research partnership with the University of Louisville has allowed us to help lead the charge with groundbreaking projects in the fight against cancer. This grant has been key in allowing us to work toward taking solutions from the laboratory bench to the patient bedside,” said Philip Patterson, president and CEO of Owensboro Health. “Since its creation in 2007, the team at the Owensboro Cancer Research Program at our Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center has made tremendous strides. We are grateful for the renewed support from the Helmsley Charitable Trust.”

Under Miller’s leadership, researchers will move an oral cervical cancer vaccine from preclinical trials into pre-investigational new drug studies. These studies reduce the amount of time it takes to move a vaccine from the laboratory to use in people. The vaccine uses a specific protein (L2 minor capsid) to create a broad response to attack HPV, the virus responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancer, and should be ready to enter clinical trials by early 2015. This project is being led by Dr. Kenneth Palmer.

A second cervical cancer vaccine is being developed by two researchers who were part of the team that created the world’s first cervical cancer vaccine. Drs. Bennett Jenson and Shin-Je Ghim are working on a vaccine that is biosimilar to the original vaccine, but produced in tobacco plants. This effort also will enter into the pre-IND phase over the next two years.

Drs. Nobuyuki Matoba and Palmer are developing an oral cholera vaccine that may prove to be a way to prevent colon cancer. The gastrointestinal issues associated with cholera create a favorable environment for the development of colon cancer, thus, preventing cholera can also prevent colon cancer. The goal is for this vaccine to enter clinical trials in late 2014.

For several years, Dr. Huang-Ge Zhang has been exploring the anticancer properties of tiny particles called plant exosomes. Animal studies suggest that exosomes may be able to play a role in the treatment or prevention of colon, breast and lung cancer. Zhang was the first to demonstrate that exosomes existed in plants and plans to demonstrate that they could be used to deliver higher concentrations of anticancer drugs directly to human tumors.

Dr. Ramesh Gupta has uncovered that certain compounds within colored berries increase the anticancer effect of chemotherapy drugs. This has the potential to enable smaller amounts of the drugs to be used, but with the same or more beneficial effects.

“Our goal is to cure cancer in people, not in mice,” Miller said. “The Owensboro Cancer Research Program is a tremendous tool for reaching that goal, not just locally or regionally, but worldwide. Through plant-based pharmaceuticals, we will be able to provide low-cost vaccines and anticancer medications that make them accessible to even the poorest of nations. To have an organization like the Helmsley Charitable Trust partner with us will enable us to move toward our goal at a much quicker pace.”

UofL’s comprehensive campaign is scheduled to wrap up June 30 after already surpassing its $1 billion goal. Charting our Course formally launched in 2010 with the funds raised designated for academic support, scholarships and programs for students; faculty recruitment, research and professional development; infrastructure enhancements and upkeep of athletic facilities; and support of the university's academic units and libraries. More than 75,000 donors throughout the world have invested in the future of the University of Louisville. 

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting effective nonprofits in health, place-based initiatives, and education and human services.Since 2008, when the Trust began its active grantmaking, it has committed more than $1 billion to a wide range of charitable organizations.For more information on the Trust and its programs, visit www.helmsleytrust.org.

 

Preclinical research shows promise in eliminating cataract surgery after vitrectomy

Preclinical research shows promise in eliminating cataract surgery after vitrectomy

Promising early preclinical research currently underway at the University of Louisville could lead to the elimination of a second surgery now commonly needed after retinal surgery.

Shlomit Schaal, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, and director of Retina, the Retina Fellowship Program in Vitreo-Retinal Diseases and Surgery and the Diabetic Retinopathy Service, Kentucky Lions Eye Center, is working with Martin O’Toole, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Bioengineering, on the project which is funded by the Coulter Translational Research Partnership at UofL.

The two are studying a new way for patients undergoing retinal surgery – known as “vitrectomy” – to avoid the need to have subsequent surgery to remove cataracts that develop. During vitrectomy surgery, vitreous gel is removed from the eye; it is this gel that protects the natural crystalline lens from damage caused by free radicals of oxygen.

With the gel loss during surgery, free radicals are diffused onto the lens and cause cataracts, and almost all patients undergoing vitrectomy surgery then are forced to undergo a second surgery to remove the cataracts.

Schaal and O’Toole have developed an artificial gel that is biocompatible to the vitreous gel present in the eye. Using animal models, Schaal has successfully used the biocompatible gel to create an oxygen barrier next to the lens during retinal vitrectomy surgery.

“The biocompatible gel appears to be working as well as the eye’s natural vitreous gel in blocking oxygen damage to the natural lens,” Schaal said.

The team hopes to be able to move the research into clinical trials within the next year. “The funding we’ve received from the UofL-Coulter Partnership has been invaluable in enabling us to prove our concept thus far,” Schaal said. “We are excited at the prospect of one day being able to help patients avoid the burden of cataract surgery after retinal surgery.”

The five-year, $5 million Coulter Translational Research Partnership in Bioengineering grant awarded in 2011 to UofL fosters the translation of research through successful collaboration between engineers and clinicians, supporting promising technologies.  The partnership funds promising projects in order to move innovative technologies to clinical application with the ultimate goal of accelerating the introduction of new technologies to improve the treatment and diagnosis of disease or reduce health care costs.

‘Spike It to Cancer’ sand volleyball event benefits cancer center at UofL, June 7

‘Spike It to Cancer’ sand volleyball event benefits cancer center at UofL, June 7

Benefactors of a fund to support patients at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville are sponsoring their second annual sand volleyball event to raise money for the fund.

In 2013, Alex and Tommy Gift established the Mary Jane Gift Quality of Life Fund at the cancer center in honor of their late mother. The fund helps patients and their families enjoy life while facing a cancer diagnosis.

To benefit the fund, the Gifts are sponsoring The Second Annual Spike It to Cancer Sand Volleyball Tournament at Baxter Jack’s sand volleyball complex, 427 Baxter Ave. on Saturday, June 7. Registration will be held from 1-2:30 p.m., and games will begin at 3 p.m.

Admission is $20 per person. Payment by cash or check will be accepted at the door, or participants can pay by credit card at the cancer center’s secure online link.

“All proceeds from this event go to the Mary Jane Gift Quality of Life Fund that pays for extras provided to our patients and caregivers,” Michael Neumann, executive director of development, said. “Additionally, The Brewery on Baxter Avenue directly across the street from Baxter Jack’s has agreed to donate a portion of all food and beverage sales to us during the event.

“These gifts go a long way in bringing cheer to our patients and their families. For example, the fund provided Thanksgiving turkeys to many of our patients and their families last November. Also, one of our physicians, Dr. Cesar Rodriguez, used funds raised by the 2013 Spike It to Cancer to give picnic baskets to 26 patients on Easter morning.”

For additional details, contact Neumann at 502-562-4642.

 

Save the date now for 14th annual geriatrics symposium

Sept. 19 event features national experts in medications, immunizations, acute care of hospitalized elders

Experts in the use of comprehensive geriatric assessment for hospitalized elders and immunizations in older adults, and the author of the 2012 Beers Criteria – a guide to medication use in elders – will be featured at the 14th Annual University of Louisville Geriatrics Healthcare Symposium.

The conference will be held Friday, Sept. 19, at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel, 500 S. Fourth St. in Downtown Louisville.

The conference is sponsored by the Division of Geriatrics in the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville and provides information on the latest research and best practices in care for people age 65 and older. Plenary speakers include:

  • Michael Malone, M.D., Center for Senior Health & Longevity, Aurora Sinai Medical Center, Milwaukee, addressing the acute care of elderly hospitalized patients.
  • Kenneth Schmader, M.D., Geriatrics Division Chief, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C., providing information on immunizations for elders
  • Todd Semla, Pharm.D., Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, speaking on polypharmacy, the overuse or misuse of medications in older adults

Other sessions will be held on POLST: Physician’s Orders for Life, disease screening and prevention, caregiver burnout, injury prevention, exercise, elder abuse, dementia and enhancing independence in the older adult.

The conference is open to health care professionals and students and the public alike. CE credit will be available for physicians, nurses, social workers and other professionals working in the field of geriatrics.

For details, contact the UofL Division of Geriatrics, 502-852-3480 or awburk02@louisville.edu.

 

 

 

 

July 15 deadline set for optimal aging award nominations

UofL recognizes maintaining active engagement with life at age 85 and above

UofL Geriatrics in the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville is calling for nominations for the fourth annual Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging.

The deadline to submit nominations is 5 p.m., July 15. The award will be presented Sept. 25 at the Annual UofL Geriatrics Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging Luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 830 Phillips Lane.

The Gold Standard Award for Optimal Aging is presented to someone 85 years old or older as of Oct. 1 who is an outstanding model for optimal aging in all areas of life.

“We are seeking people 85-plus who are making the most of whatever their later years bring and who continue to demonstrate great zest for life,” said Christian Davis Furman, M.D., vice chair for geriatric medicine. “The award is presented for optimal aging across the full spectrum of physical health, mental health, social health and spiritual health.”

The nomination process includes submitting information on the nomination form that describes why the nominee qualifies for the award. Nomination forms and information about the luncheon can be found online or obtained by calling (502) 588-4260 or emailing UofLGeriatrics@louisville.edu.

Advanced Cancer Therapeutics enters Phase 1 human clinical trials with first-in-class anti-cancer drug candidate

Trial sites now enrolling patients at University of Louisville, Georgetown University
Advanced Cancer Therapeutics enters Phase 1 human clinical trials with first-in-class anti-cancer drug candidate

Jason A. Chesney, M.D., Ph.D.

Advanced Cancer Therapeutics (ACT), a privately held company dedicated to bringing new anti-cancer therapies to market, announced June 4 that it has begun clinical trials of PFK-158, a small molecule therapeutic candidate that inactivates a novel cancer metabolism target never before examined in human clinical trials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Phase 1 dose escalation study is evaluating the safety, tolerability and anti-tumor activity of PFK-158 in cancer patients with solid tumors such as melanoma, lung, colon, breast and pancreatic cancer.

PFK-158 is the first 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3) inhibitor to undergo clinical trial testing in cancer patients. The target, PFKFB3, is activated by oncogenes and the low oxygen state in cancers, stimulates glucose metabolism and is required for the growth of cancer cells as tumors in mice. PFK-158, which has been licensed by ACT from the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville, inhibits the substrate binding domain of PFKFB3 causing a marked reduction in the glucose uptake and growth of multiple cancer types in mice.

PFK-158 human clinical trials began recruiting patients in May with the first clinical trial site located at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health. Within weeks of opening the first clinical trial site, ACT was able to open the second clinical trial site at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, also in May.

According to Jason A. Chesney, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director of the Brown Cancer Center and a global thought leader and researcher in cancer metabolism, “PFK-158 is not only a first-in-class cancer drug but also the first to target glucose metabolism by inhibiting PFKFB3. This unique mechanism of action has resulted in efficacy against a broad spectrum of human cancers caused by common mutations as well as synergy with targeted agents that are FDA approved for several cancer types.

“As a researcher, it is incredibly rewarding to witness your group's studies move into clinical trials and potentially save the lives of cancer patients,” Chesney said.

“This is a significant milestone for ACT and it supports our dedication to develop significant treatment advancements for cancer patients with first-in-class, potential breakthrough therapeutics like PFK-158,” said Randall B. Riggs, president & CEO of ACT.

About Advanced Cancer Therapeutics (ACT):

ACT is a privately held company dedicated to advancing novel therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of cancer. ACT has successfully established a unique and innovative business model with the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center whereby ACT is able to obtain exclusive worldwide licenses to novel cancer therapeutics discovered at Brown Cancer Center under preset business terms. ACT then fast-tracks these discoveries, including the selection process for partnership, commercialization and manufacture, to the pharmaceutical industry, and ultimately to the patients who need them. Led by Donald M. Miller, M.D., Ph.D., the Brown Cancer Center employs more than 50 scientists focused on the discovery and advancement of breakthrough cancer therapeutics for patients suffering from cancer. For more information, please visit www.advancedcancertherapeutics.com.

About the James Graham Brown Cancer Center:

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

Here’s your chance to be the first to shop The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass

New outlet center hosts VIP preview July 30 to benefit James Graham Brown Cancer Center
Here’s your chance to be the first to shop The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass

Attention, shopaholics: Here’s your chance to be among the very first to shop The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass.

The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass is teaming with the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center for an Opening Night VIP Preview from 6-9 p.m., Wednesday, July 30, the evening before the facility opens to the general public.

Patrons will be able to get the jump on the rest of Kentuckiana in shopping at choice retail outlets such as Coach, Brook Brothers, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Michael Kors, J Crew, Banana Republic, Nike, Talbots, Under Armour and more. They also will receive a free coupon book with over $300 in savings at many of the 80-plus retailers that make up The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass.

Cost is $50 per person with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, the only cancer center in the region to use a unified approach to cancer care, with multidisciplinary teams of physicians working together to guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

“We are thrilled to partner with The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass,” Michael Neumann, executive director of development for the cancer center, said. “The pairing of Kentucky’s new premier shopping center with the region’s premier cancer research and treatment center is a great fit.”

Only 3,000 tickets to the event are available and are expected to go fast, Neumann said. Tickets are sold online only at www.shoppingforacure.org. Up to 10 tickets may be purchased per transaction.

The Veritas Curat Foundation is handling ticket sales on behalf of the cancer center, and receipts will be provided via email. The email receipt serves as the ticket to the event, and to be admitted, ticket buyers must bring both a printout of the email receipt and identification that matches the name on the ticket.

A silent auction of packages donated by Shoppes retailers also will be held the night of the VIP Preview, Neumann said. Items up for auction will be posted in advance on the website starting July 28, and online bidding will be available until July 30. On-site bidding on the night of the event will be conducted via smartphone only, he added.

The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass is located at Exit 28 on Interstate 64. For additional information on the Opening Night VIP Preview or the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, contact Neumann at 502-562-4642.

 

 

University of Louisville team closer to helping millions battling lung cancer

Researchers have identified a new group of molecules that help cause apoptosis in lung cancer cells

Researchers at the University of Louisville have uncovered a cadre of small molecules that tell certain proteins to kill lung cancer cells. The team, led by Chi Li, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine, published its finding in the April 2014 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology.

One of the characteristics of lung cancer is the dysregulation of apoptosis, or regulated cell death. Cancer cells are able to survive in the unnatural state.

Proteins from the Bcl-2 family are major regulators of apoptosis. One of them, Bax, sometimes becomes erratic and loses its ability to maintain its killer function, which leads to lung tumor development. The researchers realized that this meant Bax potentially could be part of the cure as well.

The researchers used virtual screening in their study, a process where they ran through a computer program all the possible combinations of molecules that could bind with the Bax proteins to find the best combination. After trying more than 10 million molecules, they found the right one. This Bax-activating small molecule compound kills lung cancer cells as well as inhibits the growth of lung tumors transplanted into mice.

The scientific finding of Li and his team showed it is possible to identify small molecules capable of binding and activating Bax proteins that in turn induce apoptosis in cancerous cells. In the study, published in Molecular and Cellular Biology in April of 2014, Li and his team were able to specifically induce tumor cell death while avoiding normal cell death.

The compound also shows synergy with the widely used chemotherapeutic drug carboplatin. This means that the potential application for this compound in cancer treatment is very broad.

The scientific discovery could form the basis for advanced therapeutic agents for cancer in patients, specifically lung cancer, which is especially prevalent in Kentucky.

The high mortality rate of lung cancer is partially attributed to ineffective therapeutic treatments. This makes it very important for scientists to develop new chemotherapeutic drugs for lung cancer.

Li says it could pave the way for new treatment for other types of cancer as well. “Lung cancer is a really big issue for us. We have a large mortality rate, and that’s one of the reasons we wanted to go after lung cancer,” he said. “We are in the process of trying to expand the application of our discovery onto different types of cancer.”

Li and his team will have the opportunity for that expansion very soon. The National Institutes of Health recently awarded them a grant of $1.5 million to continue their groundbreaking research.

Ratajczak wins Landsteiner Prize

Ratajczak wins Landsteiner Prize

Mariusz Ratajczak, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci.

Mariusz Ratajczak, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sci., has been selected to receive the prestigious Karl Landsteiner Prize from the German Society for Transfusion Medicine and Immunohematology. Ratajczak holds the Henry M. and Stella M. Hoenig Endowed Chair at the University of Louisville.

The Landsteiner Prize is given by the society to a doctor for outstanding achievements and research in the fields of transfusion and/or immunology. The prize is named after Karl Landsteiner, an Austrian biologist and physician. In addition to distinguishing the main blood groups, Landsteiner also discovered polio along with several other researchers and received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1930. Landsteiner is recognized as the father of transfusion medicine. Previous recipients of the Karl Landsteiner Prize include Nobel Prize laureate Rolf Zinkernagel (Basel), Karl Blume (Seattle) and Stephanie Dimmeler (Frankfurt).

Ratajczak was honored for his outstanding achievements in the characterization of mechanisms involved in the mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells and the discovery of very small embryonic like stem cells in the adult tissue.

An internationally known specialist in the field of adult stem cell biology, his 2005 discovery of embryonic-like stem cells in adult bone marrow has potential to revolutionize the field of regenerative medicine. The discovery may lead to new treatments for heart disease, eye disease, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders, as well as provide insight into the development of many forms of leukemia.

In addition to his endowed position, Ratajczak is a professor in the Department of Medicine and the director of the Developmental Biology Research Program and of the Research Flow and Sorting Core Facility at the University of Louisville's James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

In addition to receiving the Karl Landsteiner Prize, Ratajczak has also been invited to deliver an opening lecture on Sept. 9 during the society’s annual meeting in Dresden, Germany.

UofL spinal cord injury researcher delivers national physical therapy group lecture

UofL spinal cord injury researcher delivers national physical therapy group lecture

Andrea Behrman, Ph.D., P.T., FAPTA

Andrea L. Behrman, Ph.D., was selected to give the Maley Lecture at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in Charlotte, N.C., on June 13. The lecture honors a physical therapist that has made distinguished contributions to the profession of physical therapy in clinical practice.

Behrman is a professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery and Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville and is currently examining neuromuscular recovery in children with spinal cord injuries via both research and clinical practice. She also is a licensed physical therapist and is a Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Behrman’s lecture was titled, “I never thought that I would need to child-proof my home!” and focused on a paradigm shift for rehabilitation from the traditional view that “paralysis cannot be resolved” to an evidence-based physiological perspective that, with training, “paralysis can be resolved” and recovery is possible – to what degree has yet to be determined. As the mother whose comments inspired the lecture’s title said, “after locomotor training, my child became so mobile that I needed to child-proof my home” – something she never thought she would need to be concerned about.

Researchers have demonstrated that the spinal cord is in fact smart and that it can learn, Behrman said. By providing specific sensory input via intense training, therapists can activate the spinal circuitry and the neuromuscular system below and across the level of the injury.

Using a method known as “activity-based locomotor training,” therapists provide specific sensory information while patients are standing and walking on a treadmill with partial body weight support. Trainers also provide manual cues to promote muscle activation. Behrman demonstrated the benefits of locomotor training for developing trunk control and stepping in children who suffered a spinal cord injury when they were as young as 5 months and were paralyzed for nearly three years.

As director of the University of Louisville Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric Neurorecovery, Behrman and her fellow researchers and clinical partners work to change outcomes for children recovering from paralysis while undergoing locomotor training.

More information about Behrman’s lecture and work at UofL is available on the American Physical Therapy Association website.

 

 

 

 

Telemedicine catches blinding disease in premature babies

UofL part of NIH-funded study showing obstacles to care for at-risk babies could be reduced

Telemedicine is an effective strategy to screen for the potentially blinding disease known as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), according to a study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI). The investigators say that the approach, if adopted broadly, could help ease the strain on hospitals with limited access to ophthalmologists and lead to better care for infants in underserved areas of the country. NEI is a part of the National Institutes of Health.

The telemedicine strategy consisted of electronically sending photos of babies’ eyes to a distant image reading center for evaluation. Staff at the image reading center, who were trained to recognize signs of severe ROP, identified whether infants should be referred to an ophthalmologist for evaluation and potential treatment. The study tested how accurately the telemedicine approach reproduced the conclusions of ophthalmologists who examined the babies onsite.

“This study provides validation for a telemedicine approach to ROP screening and could help save thousands of infants from going blind,” said Graham E. Quinn, M.D., professor of ophthalmology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the lead investigator for the study, which is reported today in JAMA Ophthalmology.

The study was conducted by the e-ROP Cooperative Group, a collaboration that includes 12 facilities in the United States and one in Canada. The University of Louisville was the only site in Kentucky among the collaborative group. In addition to UofL, study sites were Johns Hopkins University, Boston Children’s Hospital, Vanderbilt University, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Nationwide Children’s Hospital/Ohio State University Hospital, Duke University, University of Minnesota, University of Oklahoma, University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, University of Utah and Hospital of the Foothills Medical Center (Calgary, Canada).

Some degree of ROP appears in more than half of all infants born at 30 weeks pregnancy or younger—a full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks—but only about 5 to 8 percent of cases become severe enough to require treatment. In ROP, blood vessels in the tissue in the back of the eye called the retina begin to grow abnormally, which can lead to scarring and detachment of the retina. Treatment involves destroying the abnormal blood vessels with lasers or freezing them using a technique called cryoablation. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment is the best prevention for vision loss from ROP, which is why the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends routine screening for all babies who are born at gestational age 30 weeks or younger or who weigh less than 3.3 pounds at birth.

The study evaluated telemedicine for ROP screening during the usual care of 1,257 premature infants who were born, on average, 13 weeks early. About every nine days, each infant underwent screening by an ophthalmologist, who assessed whether referral for treatment was warranted. Those who were referred were designated as having referral-warranted ROP (RW-ROP). Either immediately before or after the exam, a non-physician staff member in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) took images of the infant’s retinas and uploaded them to a secure server at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City. Trained non-physician image readers at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, then downloaded the photos, independently evaluated them following a standard protocol, and reported the presence or absence of RW-ROP.

Through the telemedicine approach, non-physician image readers correctly identified 90 percent of the infants deemed to have RW-ROP based on examination by an ophthalmologist. And they were correct 87 percent of the time when presented with images from infants who lacked RW-ROP. The examining ophthalmologists documented 244 infants with RW-ROP on exam. After referral, 162 infants were treated. Of these, non-physician image readers identified RW-ROP in all but three infants (98 percent).

“This is the first large clinical investigation of telemedicine to test the ability of non-physicians to recognize ROP at high risk of causing vision loss,” said Eleanor Schron, Ph.D., group leader of NEI Clinical Applications. “The results suggest that telemedicine could improve detection and treatment of ROP for millions of at-risk babies worldwide who lack immediate in-person access to an ophthalmologist,” she said.

About 450,000, or 12 percent,  of the 3.9 million babies born each year in the United States are premature. The number of preterm infants who survive has surged in middle income countries in Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe. In these parts of the world, rates of childhood blindness from ROP are estimated at 15 to 30 percent—compared to 13 percent in the United States.

One advantage of telemedicine ROP screening is that it can be done more frequently than screening by an ophthalmologist. “It’s much easier to examine the retina when not dealing with a wiggling baby,” said Quinn said. “If a baby is too fussy or otherwise unavailable when the ophthalmologist visits the NICU, the exam may be delayed until the ophthalmologist returns—sometimes up to a week later.”

Weekly ROP screening—or even more frequently for high-risk babies—is a realistic goal for telemedicine and could help catch all cases needing treatment, according to the report. In the study, imaging was restricted to occasions when an ophthalmologist examined the baby. In practice, hospital staff could implement an imaging schedule based on the baby’s weight, age at birth and other risk factors. “With telemedicine, NICU staff can take photos at the convenience of the baby,” Quinn said.

Telemedicine for evaluating ROP offers several other advantages:

  • Telemedicine may help detect RW-ROP earlier. In the study, about 43 percent of advanced ROP cases were identified by telemedicine before they were detected by an ophthalmologist—on average, about 15 days earlier.
  • Telemedicine could save babies and their families the hardship and hazards of being unnecessarily transferred to larger nurseries with greater resources and more on-site ophthalmologists. “Telemedicine potentially gives every hospital access to excellent ROP screening,” Dr. Quinn said.
  • Telemedicine might also bring down the costs of routine ROP screening by reducing the demands on ophthalmologists, whose time is better allocated to babies who need their attention and expertise. In a separate analysis, the study found that non-physicians and physicians had similar success in assessing photos for RW-ROP. Three physicians evaluated image sets from a random sample of 200 babies (100 with RW-ROP based on the eye exam findings; 100 without) using the standard grading protocol. On average, the physicians correctly identified about 86 percent of RW-ROP cases; the non-physicians were correct 91 percent of the time. The physicians correctly identified about 57 percent of babies without RW-ROP; non-physicians were correct 73 percent of the time.

The cost of establishing a telemedicine ROP screening program includes acquisition of a special camera for taking pictures of the retina, training of NICU personnel to take and transmit quality photos, and establishment and maintenance of an image reading center. “As we move along this road, advances in imaging and grading of images may streamline the process even more,” Dr. Quinn said.

For more information about ROP, visit http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/rop/.

To view a video about e-ROP, visit the NEI YouTube channel at http://youtu.be/7l_CqjV3NMA.

UofL makes list of top physician-executive programs

A national publication for health care executives and managers has ranked the University of Louisville’s College of Business as one of the top business graduate schools for physician-executives.

UofL appears on a list Modern Healthcare compiled in May of the top graduate schools awarding advanced degrees in health care business administration in 2013-14. The ranking is based on how many full-time students are pursuing the degree at each school.

UofL placed at the 20th spot with 45 students, just under Yale School of Management’s 48 students. Rice University’s graduate business school topped the list with 231 students.

UofL’s business school has offered an MBA degree with a health care focus since 2011. Students in the 20-month program take weekend courses preparing them for executive positions in hospital administration, senior care, health insurance, biomedicine and related areas.

For more details, see http://business.louisville.edu/wptest/images/Ranked20.pdf

Horses and Hope ambassador uses world cup qualifying events to spread breast cancer awareness

Horses and Hope ambassador uses world cup qualifying events to spread breast cancer awareness

Horses and Hope Pink Stable Member Misdee Wrigley Miller

Kentucky’s Horses and Hope is going international. Champion equestrian and Horses and Hope Pink Stable member Misdee Wrigley Miller will spread the message of breast cancer awareness as she competes next week in two European Equestrian World Cup qualifying events.

In 2008, the office of Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear partnered with the Kentucky Cancer Program to create Horses and Hope. The program’s mission is to increase breast cancer awareness, education, screening and treatment referral among Kentucky’s horse industry workers and their families.

 

The University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky operate the Kentucky Cancer Program and staff Horses and Hope programs and events. UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health, manages the Kentucky Cancer Program for the western half of the Commonwealth.

On Thursday, July 3, Miller will compete in CAI3* horse driving competitions in Lähden and Riesenbeck, Germany, in the four-in-hand combined driving competition. Both competitions are FEI World Equestrian Game qualifying events. While there, she will spread awareness about the importance of breast cancer screening, early detection and education through the Horses and Hope program—sharing the program’s best practices and encouraging international participation.

 

Since 2009, she has served as a member of the Pink Stable, a committee of Kentucky horse owners, riders, trainers, farm owners and jockeys that support the Horses and Hope initiative.

“I have been grateful to serve as member of First Lady Jane Beshear's Horses and Hope Pink Stable committee, and even more honored to serve as an ambassador for this important initiative as I compete in Europe,” Miller said. “Women are traditionally care givers, especially so in the horse business; often they take care of their horses before they think of themselves. I have friends and family who have been touched by breast cancer, so I am aware of the importance of early detection. If I accomplish anything here, I want every woman, especially those with high risk, who hear my message to practice self-examination and get screened.”

 

Miller is a fourth-generation horsewoman and has been involved in the horse business her entire life. She is an accomplished rider and has competed as a United States team member twice in the FEI Pair Horse World Championships, was the 2013 USEF National Champion in Pairs and the 2014 USEF Reserve National Champion in 4-In Hands.

 

Horses and Hopehas hosted several breast cancer race days at Kentucky racetracks in the past six years, reaching nearly 1 million race track and horse show fans and educating nearly 16,000 equine employees. The program has screened close to 700 workers and detected breast cancer in two individuals, both of whom have received treatment.

The next Horses and Hope Race Day will be at Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., on Aug. 2. For more information about Horses and Hope and all upcoming events, please visit www.horsesandhope.org.

For more information on breast cancer, please contact the Kentucky Cancer Program at UofL at http://kycancerprogram.org/kcp-west/.

 

UofL pediatricians make changes to improve care for community’s children

The University of Louisville Department of Pediatrics is reorganizing its general pediatrics division, positioning itself to respond better to the needs of the community’s children and to the changing health care enrivonment.

The division provides primary care services to children in Louisville and Campbellsville, Ky., and helps train students and residents in medicine, nursing, dentistry, psychology and social work.. In 2013, its 22 pediatricians were responsible for more than 22,000 patients. Approximately 12 percent of the children in metro Louisville sees a UofL pediatrician as their primary care provider.

“Health care reform has placed a greater emphasis on primary care, where providers can promote health and safety,” said Gerard Rabalais, M.D., MHA, chair of the UofL Department of Pediatrics. “Pediatric programs like ours may be the best place to achieve success with health care reform since we have the ‘longest runway’ to influence attitudes about prevention and healthy lifestyle.”

A number of changes are planned for the coming months.

Consolidating offices, redeploying physicians

The department created a single, expanded practice site in Downtown Louisville, moving the office formerly located on Broadway at Floyd Street a few blocks north  of the Children & Youth Project (C&Y) at 555 S. Floyd St.

C&Y will offer all of the services previously offered at the Broadway office, and the expanded downtown clinic will serve as a medical home with a wider array of on-site ancillary services: social work, psychology, dental care, home health, speech therapy, WIC nutrition services and legal counseling.

“This practice demonstrates the power of a university to bring multiple disciplines together to provide comprehensive health care for children,” Rabalais said.

Patients may see a UofL pediatrician at C&Y or one of the department’s other general pediatrics practices: the Stonestreet location at 9702 Stonestreet Road; or the Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre at 982 Eastern Parkway.

Families who want a Spanish-speaking provider will have three office locations to choose from in Downtown Louisville, Germantown and South Louisville.

“Consolidating these two offices and deploying our physicians to different locations lays the groundwork for increasing access and building partnerships in the communities we serve,” said Gil Liu, M.D., chief of the UofL general pediatrics division. “Increasingly, we want to be able to say, ‘Our pediatricians are coming to a neighborhood near you.’”

Adding pediatric practices

This summer, the UofL Department of Pediatrics will partner with an East Louisville pediatric practice, bringing the number of general pediatricians and nurse practitioners in the department to 36.

The department will also expand its Campbellsville, Ky., practice – located at 73 Kingswood Dr. – later this summer, partnering with Taylor Regional Hospital to open a satellite office in Columbia, Ky.

Plans also are underway to provide general pediatric care in the West End of Louisville.

“We see these additions as opportunities to expand availability to patients and support community practitioners, who don’t have the resources to support multiple disciplines or the buying power and advantage in contract negotiations that we do,” Rabalais said.

Creating a network

All of the Louisville pediatric practices will soon operate as a network. That means patients will have a medical home for routine visits as well as access to urgent care at any of the other Louisville general pediatric practices. The network also will enable families to access ancillary services headquartered at C&Y and specialty care by UofL pediatric specialists.

“We think an arrangement that offers ‘one-stop shopping’ for multiple health care providers will be good for all our patients,” Dr. Liu said.

Creating additional learning opportunities for trainees

The department’s reorganization also ensures that residents, medical students and trainees from other programs will have places to learn primary care pediatrics. Historically, trainees have spent time in community pediatric practices but these practices may struggle to continue hosting students because of changes in the health care landscape.

“It is part of our educational mission to expand primary care opportunities,” Rabalais said.

 

Remembering Asia Ludlow

James Graham Brown Cancer Center patient, spokesperson loses fight with cancer
Remembering Asia Ludlow

Asia Ludlow address the audience at The Julep Ball, a benefit for the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, on May 2, 2014.

University of Louisville President James R. Ramsey, Ph.D., and Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D., director of UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, issue the following statements on the death July 2 from cancer of Asia Ludlow of Louisville:

“Asia Ludlow possessed great courage and an attitude that was so uplifting to all who came in contact with her. Her zest for life was an inspiration to all of us.

“Asia will always remain a driving force for everyone at UofL who work in the field of cancer to find the cures and preventions so that one day, no more lives are lost to this terrible disease.

“Cancer can be an all-encompassing experience, affecting every aspect of a person’s life. Asia dealt with cancer head-on with hope and optimism. The disease was in her body, never in her spirit.

“To her daughters and other loved ones, we express our deepest sympathies. As we grieve for her loss, we hope that memories of Asia will provide some comfort to all who knew and loved her.

James R. Ramsey, President

 

“It is with great sadness that all of us at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, KentuckyOne Health and the University of Louisville mourn the loss of Asia Ludlow.

“Asia was a 2013 Survivor Ambassador at the Julep Ball, and the true champion that she was, she joined us again at the 2014 Julep Ball to share her story. We were honored again when she began volunteering at our M. Krista Loyd Cancer Resource Center, helping other patients with her unmatched spirit of hope and compassion.

Asia first fought breast cancer and kept fighting as it spread throughout her body. She was strong and committed, keeping faithfully to the treatment regimen prescribed for her – but her experience reminds us again that cancer is still a formidable enemy despite all we have at our disposal to combat it.

“Her odyssey as a patient with cancer began in 2008 and ended all too soon this week in mid-2014. Her life, however, serves as a legacy to show how one person’s grace, courage and caring heart can and does make a difference for others.”

Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D., Director, James Graham Brown Cancer Center

To see and hear Asia’s message of hope in her own words, visit the James Graham Brown Cancer Center video here, her profile on Jean West’s Medical Digest here and her interview with Urban Lifestylez here.

Aging – and why no ‘cure’ for it has been found – to be discussed July 16

Monthly Beer with a Scientist program features UofL researcher
Aging – and why no ‘cure’ for it has been found – to be discussed July 16

Leah Siskind, Ph.D.

The next Beer with a Scientist program will shed light on the “incurable” condition of aging.

Leah Siskind, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Louisville, will present “Everyone is Aging: So Why Haven’t We Found a Scientific Cure?” from 8-9 p.m., Wednesday, July 16, at Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St.

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

The Beer with a Scientist program is now in its third month and is the brainchild of University of Louisville cancer researcher Levi Beverly, Ph.D. Once a month, the public is invited to Louisville’s Against the Grain brewpub for exactly what the title promises: beer and science.

Beverly created the monthly series as a way to connect with people who don’t have scientific backgrounds but want to know about scientific topics. “We lose sight of the fact that most people have never even met a Ph.D., never talked to one,” he said. “(However) whenever I go someplace, if I strike up a conversation at a bar and I tell someone what I do for a living, they always have questions. It leads to a whole conversation.”

Against the Grain’s Sam Cruz believes Beer with a Scientist bridges what he sees as a disconnect between scientists and the general public. “If you don’t know about something, it’s hard to care,” he said. “I think that’s why this works; what we’re doing with these talks is letting people take the time to think about these things.”

Organizers add that they 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.

Lite 106.9 giving away Outlet Shoppes VIP Preview tickets

July 30 event benefits James Graham Brown Cancer Center at UofL

The University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center is teaming up with Lite 106.9 to give away tickets to the Opening Night VIP Preview Shopping Event at The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass.

Five pairs of tickets to the preview event are being given away this week by the radio station. To win, listen to Lite 106.9 with Vicki Rogers during the noon hour for the call for entries, and then phone 502-571-1069 for a chance to win.

The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass is holding the event to benefit the cancer center from 6-9 p.m., Wednesday, July 30, the evening before the facility opens to the general public.

Patrons will be able to get the jump on the rest of Kentuckiana in shopping at choice retail outlets such as Coach, Brooks Brothers, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Michael Kors, J Crew, Banana Republic, Nike, Talbots, Under Armour and more. They also will receive a goody bag of items that includes a free coupon book with over $300 in savings good for an entire year at many of the 80-plus retailers that make up The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass. VIP preview event guests will also enjoy live music, light passed hors d’oeuvres, and the opportunity to bid on silent auction packages valued at $50 to $500 donated by Shoppes merchants.

Tickets are valued at $50 each, and for those not lucky enough to win, tickets can be purchased at www.shoppingforacure.org. Only patrons with tickets will be able to enter The Outlet Shoppes on opening night.

All proceeds from the VIP Preview go to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health and the only cancer center in the region to use a unified approach to cancer care, with multidisciplinary teams of physicians working together to guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass is located at Exit 28 on Interstate 64. For additional information on the Opening Night VIP Preview or the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, contact 502-562-4642.

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McClain to lead UofL health sciences center research efforts

McClain to lead UofL health sciences center research efforts

Craig McClain, M.D.

Craig McClain, M.D., has been named the Associate Vice President for Health Affairs/Research at the University of Louisville. McClain also serves as Distinguished University Scholar, UofL Associate Vice President for Translational Research, Director of the UofL Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Director of Research Affairs, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and Director of Gastroenterology at the Louisville VAMC.

“Dr. McClain brings a wealth of research experience to this position. I am confident that in this new position, which bridges research activities across the university and acts as a liaison between the Offices of the EVPHA and the Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation, he will continue to provide outstanding research leadership on behalf of the Health Sciences Center,” said David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for health affairs.

McClain is a widely recognized expert in alcohol abuse, nutrition, and cytokine research, as well as hepatic drug metabolism. In 1980, he described the deleterious interactions in the liver between alcohol and acetaminophen, and he was the first to describe dysregulated cytokines in alcoholic hepatitis.

His laboratory currently focuses on nutrition and the gut: liver axis, especially as it relates to alcoholic liver disease. He has published more than 340 peer-reviewed articles and 100 book chapters/reviews, and he has mentored more than 100 medical students, residents, GI fellows, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

He has received multiple awards, such as the American Gastroenterology Association Foundation Research Mentoring Award, the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman award for mentoring,  the Grace A Goldsmith Award in Nutrition, the University of Louisville Distinguished Faculty Award in Research for Basic and Applied Sciences, and teaching awards such as Outstanding Gastroenterology Education at UofL.

McClain also has been prominent nationally, serving as president of the American College of Nutrition. He also has served on several NIH and VA Study Sections. He was the first physician member of the NIH Peer Review Advisory Committee (PRAC) and currently serves on the NIAAA National External Advisory Council and on the NIH Council of Councils.

Save the date: IOM president to present Leonard Leight Lecture at UofL Dec. 10

Save the date: IOM president to present Leonard Leight Lecture at UofL Dec. 10

Victor J. Dzau, M.D.

The president of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies will present the 2014 Leonard Leight Lecture at the University of Louisville.

Victor J. Dzau, M.D., will speak at noon, Wednesday, Dec. 10, at Kornhauser Library Auditorium on the UofL Health Sciences Campus. Admission is free.

Dzau assumed the presidency of the IOM July 1 after having served as chancellor for health affairs at Duke University, president and CEO for Duke University Health System, and James B. Duke Professor, Duke University School of Medicine. He was elected to the IOM in 1988 and served on several leadership committees prior to being named president.

He has made a significant impact on medicine through his seminal research in cardiovascular medicine and genetics, his pioneering work in the discipline of vascular medicine, and recently his leadership in health care innovation. His work on the renin angiotensin system (RAS) – a hormonal system that regulates blood pressure and fluid balance – paved the way for the contemporary understanding of RAS in cardiovascular disease and the development of RAS inhibitors as therapeutics. Dzau also helped pioneer gene therapy for vascular disease. His most recent work provides novel insight into stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.

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.

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Auction items announced for Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass VIP Preview

Bidding begins July 25 at 5 p.m., continues through July 30 event

More than a dozen silent auction items valued at $50 to $500 from The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass will be available for bidding online beginning Friday, July 25, at 5 p.m. at www.shoppingforacure.org. Bidding online continues until 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, during the Opening Night VIP Preview Shopping Event.

The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass is holding the event from 6-9 p.m. to benefit the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville. The by-ticket-only VIP Preview is being held on the evening before the facility opens to the general public.

Patrons are encouraged to bring smart phones or tablets to the event to continue bidding until the silent auction closes. Among the merchants and items available are:

  • Saks Fifth Avenue OFF FIFTH: $100 gift card
  • Polo Ralph Lauren: 5 $100 gift cards
  • Columbia: $500 gift card
  • J Crew: $200 gift card
  • Wilson’s Leather: ladies handbag
  • Crabtree & Evelyn: $50 gift card and 2 gift sets
  • Converse All Star: $100 gift card
  • Auntie Anne’s: $150 in VISA gift cards and 3 At-Home Pretzel Kits
  • Gold Toe, Hanes & Jockey: $250 in gift cards to Hanes Brands, $100 in gift cards to Jockey and a tote bag filled with Gold Toe socks

Patrons also will be able to beat the huge crowds expected for opening weekend and get the jump on the rest of Kentuckiana in shopping at the facility. Other retail outlets that will be open on the night of the VIP Preview include Coach, Brooks Brothers, Michael Kors, Banana Republic, Nike, Talbots, Under Armour and more. Patrons also will receive an exclusive goody bag of items that includes a free coupon book with over $300 in savings good for an entire year at many of the 80-plus retailers that make up The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass.

Tickets to the event are $50 each and also can be purchased at www.shoppingforacure.org. Only patrons with tickets will be able to enter The Outlet Shoppes on VIP Preview night.

Proceeds from the VIP Preview go to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health and the only cancer center in the region to use a unified approach to cancer care, with multidisciplinary teams of physicians working together to guide patients through diagnosis, treatment and recovery.

The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass is located at 1155 Buck Creek Road, Exit 28 on Interstate 64. For additional information on the Opening Night VIP Preview or the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, contact 502-562-4642.

University of Louisville researchers launch international project in HIV prevention

University of Louisville researchers launch international project in HIV prevention

Kenneth Palmer, Ph.D.

Researchers from the University of Louisville will lead an international effort to utilize tobacco plants to develop a gel containing a specific protein that will prevent the transmission of HIV. The project is being funded by a five-year, $14.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

“Our researchers are looking to solve problems that affect the world,” said James R. Ramsey, Ph.D., president of the University of Louisville. “Globally, more than 34 million people are HIV positive. The development of a low-cost method to prevent transmission of HIV certainly is something that is desperately needed and the use of tobacco plants as a method of carrying the vaccine appears to be key in the process.”

“Approximately seven years ago, UofL and Owensboro Health created a joint venture to develop a world-class plant pharmaceutical program that would have an impact globally,” said David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., executive vice president for health affairs at UofL. “Today’s announcement, coupled with the announcement we made in May about the Helmsley Charitable Trust providing funding to our research into two other cancer vaccines utilizing tobacco plants, demonstrates that the vision is becoming a reality.”

Kenneth Palmer, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and toxicology and director of the Owensboro Cancer Research Program of UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, is leading a team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, the Magee-Women’s Research Institute in Pittsburgh, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, the University of Maryland, Baltimore and Kentucky Bioprocessing Inc. and Intrucept Biomedicine LLC in Owensboro.

The team is working with the carbohydrate combining protein Griffithsin (GRFT), which is found in red algae. In laboratory work, the protein has shown to have broad-spectrum activity against HIV. GRFT binds to the dense shield of sugars that surrounds HIV cells and prevents these cells from entering other non-HIV cells. The team plans to develop a gel containing the protein for use during sexual intercourse by people at risk for HIV transmission.

To develop the microbicide, Palmer’s team takes a synthetic copy of the protein and injects it into a tobacco mosaic virus, which carries the protein into the tobacco leaves. After 12 days, the researchers harvest the leaves and extract the mass-produced protein for development into the vaccine.

“Our goal is to optimize the delivery system of the protective agent, which in this case is a gel, and determine its safety and estimates of its efficacy, leading to a first-in-humans clinical trial,” Palmer said.

“People may question why a cancer program is conducting research into HIV prevention,” said Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D., director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health. “In fact, cancer can be a result of every major disease that we know about, and HIV infection is no exception.”

Overall, the grant contains three significant projects – The Critical Path Project; Preclinical Testing Project; and Clinical Trial Project.

The critical path project involves manufacturing the microbicide active ingredient, ensuring quality of the microbicide and the formulated gel product and production for actual use. This process is in collaboration with two Owensboro-based biotechnology companies (Kentucky Bioprocessing Inc. and Intrucept Biomedicine LLC), and Lisa Rohan, Ph.D., at the University of Pittsburgh and Magee-Women’s Research Institute. Rohan has significant experience developing delivery systems for similar medications.

The preclinical testing project is a collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to use an animal model to ensure that the vaccine is safe and to determine that it actually provides protection from infection.

The clinical trial project involves developing the application to conduct a clinical trial for the Food and Drug Administration, as well as conducting the first-in-humans testing.

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Editor’s note: Palmer is one of the founders and principal partners in Intrucept Biomedicine LLC.

UofL neurosurgeon performs unique surgery: Extended endoscopic skull-based surgery of the brain

UofL neurosurgeon performs unique surgery: Extended endoscopic skull-based surgery of the brain

Mary Koutourousiou, M.D.

A surgeon at University of Louisville Hospital, part of KentuckyOne Health, recently performed an extended endoscopic skull-based surgery of the brain, a unique surgery of its kind in Kentucky.

Performed by Dr. Mary Koutourousiou, assistant professor of neurosurgery and director of the skull base program, the minimally invasive surgery was done to help restore the eyesight of a 34-year-old man who suffered from a malignant brain tumor located at the base of the skull.

Extended endoscopic skull-based surgery is performed through the nose and enables surgeons to remove brain tumors and lesions – some as large as softballs. During the procedure, which takes an average of six hours, surgeons use a specially designed endoscope to view the tumor and additional instruments to dissect it piece-by-piece through the nasal cavity.

This approach reduces risks and recovery times for the patient who would otherwise need a craniotomy, which requires temporary removal of a bone flap from the skull to access the brain and brain retraction to reach the tumor.

“The base of the skull is one of the most challenging regions of the body to access,” Koutourousiou said. “Using an endoscopic endonasal approach provides a panoramic view of the base of the skull and the patient’s tumor.”

The minimally invasive nature of the procedure leaves no visible scarring, shortens a patient’s hospital stay, reduces overall recovery times and involves less trauma to the brain and critical nerves. Hospital stays following a craniotomy could be up to 30 days, compared to three to four days following an extended endoscopic skull-based procedure.

“This approach is the future of brain surgery,” said Ken Marshall, president, University of Louisville Hospital. “There are only a handful of surgeons with fellowship training on this procedure in the country. We are proud to have one of those surgeons on our team and to be able to offer this new option for patients in the Commonwealth.”

Koutourousiou completed a clinical fellowship in endoscopic skull base surgery and open skull base surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She has published extensively on the endonasal approach to brain surgery.

 

Accelerated rural medical education program graduates first physician

Ashley Flanary Jessup, 24, intends to return to practice in hometown Benton, Ky.
Accelerated rural medical education program graduates first physician

Ashley Jessup, M.D.

Ashley Flanary Jessup always wanted to be a doctor when she grew up. She just never imagined that along the way she would blaze a new trail for medical education in Kentucky. Growing up in the small rural town of Benton, Ky., Jessup didn’t fit the typical demographic for a medical school candidate. But she held on to her dream and now, at age 24, that determination has paid off.

When Jessup received her medical degree in June, the University of Louisville celebrated not only her success, but a historic first when Jessup became the first person to graduate the School of Medicine’s Rural Medical Accelerated Track program, or RMAT. This new program enables students to finish medical school in three years, reducing cost and time commitments for rural students who plan to open practices in small towns in Kentucky.

Rural doctors are desperately needed in the United States. Nationwide, 20 percent of the U.S. population is living in small towns or far away from big cities, but only 9 percent of physicians practice in those rural areas. Family doctors are distributed more evenly, with 22 percent practicing outside large cities, but the need is still greater. Proponents of the RMAT hope that more successes like Jessup’s will pave the way for more doctors to go where they are needed.

William Crump, M.D., associate dean of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, says that outcome is likely, considering Kentucky’s numbers. He stressed that “most of the counties in Kentucky that are underserved are only underserved by an average of 1.5 full-time equivalent positions. This means that placing one more physician permanently in a county may move it from being an underserved to an adequately served county.”

The idea for an accelerated medical track gained national attention in 2006 with an essay by the editor of Academic Medicine, an internationally renowned medical journal. The essay made the case that financial barriers may keep many students coming from families with more modest incomes—the ones most likely to choose a rural medical path—from considering medical school. At the same time, a strategic planning process by Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians supported a proposal for a three-year track to rural practice. The University of Louisville began the planning process in 2009.

Crump says the RMAT program will definitely help Kentucky’s shortage of doctors and healthcare providers in rural areas. In his opinion, “The best way to get a doctor to a rural area is to get a medical student from a rural area.” The program channels students from small towns that truly want to study family medicine, and then keeps them in that channel.

Students in RMAT have the same required curriculum as traditional four-year medical students, but the lens in which they filter the material is focused on a rural practice, and undertaken in a condensed amount of time.  It begins with a four-week experience in a rural community practice, and students must complete their capstone, a family medicine clerkship at the end of their final year.

Jessup says the program was fast-paced, but manageable. “At first glance, it sounds overwhelming, but if you take things one step at a time, it isn’t.” In fact, Jessup was able to find the time to get married during her time in the RMAT program. She says the biggest advantage of the program was the financial aspect. “One less year of school means one less year of tuition, and I was finished one year sooner,” she said.

Denying the label of a trailblazer, Jessup gives the credit to others. “I would consider all of the faculty and staff who envisioned the program as the trailblazers,” she said. “They laid the plans for me and made it all possible.”  She simply says she worked hard and did what every other medical student does—just in a smaller amount of time. She views herself as just another kid who dreamed of becoming a doctor, and hopes that more will follow in her footsteps at UofL.

Crump says students who have chosen to take the accelerated path have done very well with the course load despite initial fears to the contrary. “Even though the program is stressful and does not leave much wiggle room, students who are focused and efficient will succeed,” he says.

Two second-year medical students are currently taking part in the RMAT program and Crump says several first-year students have expressed an interest in the program.

In Crump’s view, the RMAT program has had an amazing start. “I tend to think of it as my ‘baby’,” he says. “When we started in 2006, we had a vision, and we have seen that vision come true. We have overcome the doubters and the skeptics.”

Jessup says she is proof of the RMAT program’s success. With her successful graduation from UofL’s program, Jessup hopes to return to her hometown of Benton to begin her practice after her residency in Madisonville. She says she is very excited to have the chance to make a difference in her community, and is optimistic about the program’s future. “We wanted to make the RMAT successful, and we all worked together to make it happen.”

UofL ophthalmology researcher named chair of NIH study section

Group reviews research grant applications for scientific merit
UofL ophthalmology researcher named chair of NIH study section

Maureen McCall, Ph.D.

A professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the University of Louisville School of Medicine has been named chair of a panel that reviews research grant applications, helping determine which are worthy for support from the National Institutes of Health.

Maureen McCall, Ph.D., has been named chair of the 20-member Neurotransporters, Receptors and Calcium Signaling Study Section of the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review. She is the only Kentuckian on the panel, which has representatives from universities in 14 states. Her term begins this month (August 2014) and will conclude in 2016.

The Center for Scientific Review is the gateway for NIH grant applications and their review for scientific merit. It recruits and organizes scientists into 174 study sections to review applications for funding made to the NIH.

Each study section has a precise focus so that applications receive expert reviews to help the NIH identify the most promising research. The Neurotransporters, Receptors and Calcium Signaling Study Section reviews studies that investigate signal transduction pathways in neurons, muscles and other excitable cells – those that can be stimulated to create an electric current.

McCall holds joint appointments as professor in the Departments of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology and Psychological and Brain Sciences. She came to UofL in 1997.

The author of approximately 60 journal articles, McCall uses electrophysiological techniques in her research to evaluate normal retinal function, dysfunction caused by blinding retinal diseases, and the restoration of function using a variety of therapeutic strategies. Particular areas of emphasis are in the study of retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma and congenital stationary night blindness.

Bhatnagar leads group developing first policy statement on e-cigarettes

Bhatnagar leads group developing first policy statement on e-cigarettes

Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D.

A University of Louisville professor chaired a 10-member American Heart Association panel of experts in formulating the association’s first-ever policy statement on e-cigarettes.

Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., the Smith and Lucille Gibson Chair in Medicine and director of the UofL Diabetes and Obesity Center, is lead author of the statement as published in the journal CirculationAug. 24.

While much is still unknown about the rapidly growing electronic cigarette industry, e-cigarettes are dangerous because they target young people, can keep people hooked on nicotine, and threaten to “re-normalize” tobacco use, according to the policy statement.

The battery-powered e-cigarettes that contain nicotine are tobacco products and should be subject to all laws that apply to these products, according to recommendations in the policy statement. The association also calls for strong new regulations to prevent access, sales and marketing of e-cigarettes to youth, and for more research into the product’s health impact.

“People need to know that e-cigarettes are unregulated and there are many variables that we don’t know about them,” Bhatnagar said. “Recent studies raise concerns that e-cigarettes may be a gateway to traditional tobacco products for the nation’s youth, and could re-normalize smoking in our society.”

Manufacturers present e-cigarettes as “cool and sexy and acceptable, which is a problem because you’re increasing addiction,” Bhatnagar said. Companies also use terms like “vaping” rather than smoking to gain public acceptance and try to break the connection between e-cigarettes and traditional, “combustible” cigarettes, he added.

In April the Food and Drug Administration proposed rules banning the sale of e-cigarettes to people under the age of 18 and subjecting the $2 billion industry to federal regulation for the first time. Such rules had been long sought by the AHA and other organizations.

The FDA’s proposal fell short of what was hoped for by the AHA and other public health advocates, however, because it did not go far enough in limiting online sales, advertising and flavored products, all tactics used to make e-cigarettes appealing to young people.

Liquid nicotine used by e-cigarettes comes in many flavors like bubble gum, caramel, chocolate, fruit and mint, all attractive to young people, and many brands use colorful, candy-like packaging.

“That’s an unfortunate trend, to make them palatable and attractive to children,” Bhatnagar said.

Breast radiation trial provides more convenience, better compliance, lowered cost and patient outcomes on par with current treatment

UofL researcher finds once-weekly regimen successful with no adverse effects
Breast radiation trial provides more convenience, better compliance, lowered cost and patient outcomes on par with current treatment

Anthony E. Dragun, M.D.

An experimental regimen of once-weekly breast irradiation following lumpectomy provides more convenience to patients at a lower cost, results in better completion rates of prescribed radiation treatment, and produces cosmetic outcomes comparable to the current standard of daily radiation.

These interim results of the 5-year Phase II clinical trial using the experimental regimen were presented Sept. 4 at the Breast Cancer Symposium 2014 in San Francisco by Anthony E. Dragun, M.D., vice chair and associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Louisville.

Dragun, a radiation oncologist with University of Louisville Physicians, launched the trial three years ago at UofL’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health and the only site offering the experimental regimen in the United States. A second KentuckyOne Health site is being planned, he said, and is expected to begin enrolling patients this autumn.

Reviewing data from Europe – the United Kingdom in particular – Dragun found an alternative to the currently standard daily radiation treatments prescribed to patients after a lumpectomy. Physicians in the U.K. and other European countries were reporting excellent results with a regimen of radiation administered once-weekly.

“Instead of daily treatments for 25-30 days, five to six treatments administered once each week were being used,” he said. “I thought this regimen would give our patients here in Kentucky a great deal of access and choice, so we developed the trial and launched it in 2011.”

Approximately 150 female patients have been enrolled in the trial thus far, he said. Patients undergoing a lumpectomy following diagnosis of breast cancer are given a choice of the current standard of daily radiation treatments or the option to enroll in the trial and receive treatment one time per week.

The radiation dosing has been calibrated to compensate for the change in how the treatments are administered, but no adverse effects have been seen, Dragun said. “The outcomes with once-weekly treatments are absolutely in line with what we see in daily breast irradiation,” he said. “The standard of care is maintained.”

Giving women the choice of how their treatment is administered means more women complete their treatment, he said. “Finding time for daily treatments for 6 weeks or more just isn’t possible for many women,” Dragun said. “Scheduling once-weekly treatments is much easier to fit into the busy lives our patients lead.

“We also see many patients who depend on public transportation or live in rural areas that are 30 miles or more from our center, and they have told us that they would not have been able to complete a traditional course of daily radiation treatment.  Their only alternative would be a mastectomy,” he said.

Because radiation treatment is reimbursed on a per-treatment basis, Dragun said the overall cost is lowered. “We have reduced the number of treatments to about one-fourth to one-third of what the current daily treatment regimen is,” he said. “Medicare reimburses radiation costs on a per-treatment basis, and most private insurers do likewise.

“This means we’ve been able to reduce the cost by 50 to 60 percent without jeopardizing the quality of care.”

Dragun plans to enroll another 50 patients at the Louisville site and 30 at the future trial site. After the completion of this trial, he intends to expand into a multi-center Phase III trial at facilities in other states.

“We believe the once-weekly regimen such as this will become a standard option in the next decade,” he said.

 

 

 

 

UofL pediatric spinal cord injury research program garners significant support

The Helmsley Charitable Trust provides $1.5 million grant
UofL pediatric spinal cord injury research program garners significant support

Andrea Behrman, Ph.D.

At three months of age, Emmalie Smith suffered a spinal cord injury leaving her paralyzed. Her parents, Amy and Bryce, took her to traditional physical and occupational therapy three times a week with the hope that their little girl would regain her ability to move.

Amy says the results were underwhelming, with Emmalie using her forehead to activate a motorized wheelchair.

Unsatisfied with that as an option, Amy contacted the University of Louisville and Andrea Behrman, Ph.D., who had brought to UofL her research into the use of Locomotor Training to provide better rehabilitation to children with paralysis from spinal cord injuries.

Nine months after the intense physical therapy at the Frazier Rehab Institute, a part of KentuckyOne Health, Emmalie was able to better move her arms, roll over and come to sit in bed, and use a manual wheelchair. After her most recent work with Behrman and the pediatric team, the now 4-year-old from Brighton, Mich., is beginning to stand. With an injury at such a very young age, these are new experiences in Emmalie’s growth and development.

“This has made a tremendous difference in Emmalie’s life,” Amy said. “Her core strength is to where she is able to sit on her own and doesn’t need a chest belt. She’s able to get herself around and is much more independent. Working with Dr. Behrman and her team has had a huge impact on Emmalie and our entire family.”

More children like Emmalie will be able to benefit from Behrman’s groundbreaking efforts, thanks to a three-year, $1.5 million grant provided by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

“The work of Dr. Behrman and her team is a perfect example of the goal of every researcher at the UofL Health Sciences Center -- transforming peoples’ lives through creating and translating into actions new knowledge about how to prevent, treat and cure medical issues,” said James R. Ramsey, Ph.D., president of the University of Louisville, in announcing the grant at a news conference today (Sept. 4). “We are very excited and grateful that the Helmsley Charitable Trust shares our vision and is providing significant support to help us achieve this ambitious objective.”

To date, the Helmsley Charitable Trust has provided nearly $16.5 million to support UofL researchers investigating both cancer prevention and cures and rehabilitation efforts for adults and children who are paralyzed.

“Dr. Behrman’s work has the potential to be truly transformative for adults and children who are affected by paralysis -- not just in Louisville and Kentucky, but around the world.” said John Codey, a trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust.  “With this latest grant that is focused on treating pediatric spinal cord injuries, the Trust is thrilled to build upon our relationship with UofL’s world-class team of researchers, who continue to break new ground in the quest to understand and solve some of the most critical medical challenges that we face today.”

“The importance of support from our partners cannot be over-emphasized,” said David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D., UofL executive vice president for health affairs. “The current research funding environment does not guarantee that projects like Dr. Behrman’s will receive support from the typical funding agencies. We are extremely grateful that the Helmsley Charitable Trust recognizes that the work taking place at the University of Louisville has the significant potential to change the lives of children throughout the world.”

Behrman, professor of neurosurgery and director of the UofL Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric Neurorecovery, is a pioneer in the use of Locomotor Training in children. The intense physical therapy regime was developed by Behrman and fellow UofL faculty member Susan J. Harkema, Ph.D., professor of neurological surgery and the Owsley B. Frazier Chair in Neurological Rehabilitation at UofL and the Rehabilitation Research Director of the UofL Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center.

Locomotor Training allows individuals with certain kinds of spinal cord injuries to repetitively practice standing and stepping using body weight support and a treadmill with manual facilitation from therapists and technicians. The ultimate goal is to re-train patients with spinal cord injuries to sit independently, stand and walk again. Further benefits including improved respiration, bladder control, and sensation have made a significant impact on the quality of life for children. Behrman’s goal is to help children who not only have spinal cord injuries, but also conditions such as head trauma and tumors.

“The generous support we are receiving from the Helmsley Charitable Trust will enable our team to develop equipment that better fits children as they participate in Locomotor Training,” Behrman said. “Also, we now will be able to develop a systematic database for immediate and long-term outcomes for the children who are participating in our program. We also will gain a better understanding of the value of sensory cues such as surface texture, heat/cold or vibrations and their potential impact on the child’s rehabilitation effort.”

Emmalie Smith, 4, patient of Andrea Behrman (2014)

Emmalie Smith, 4
Emmalie Smith, 4, patient of Andrea Behrman (2014)
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UofL's James Graham Brown Cancer Center earns 3-year accreditation from American College of Radiology

UofL's James Graham Brown Cancer Center earns 3-year accreditation from American College of Radiology

The radiation oncology department at the University of Louisville's James Graham Brown Cancer Center, part of KentuckyOne Health, has been awarded another three-year term of accreditation in radiation oncology by the American College of Radiology (ACR).

The ACR is the nation’s oldest and most widely accepted radiation oncology accrediting body, with more than 600 accredited sites and 27 years of accreditation history. The accreditation is awarded only to facilities that meet the ACR's specific practice guidelines and technical standards following a peer-review evaluation by board-certified radiation oncologists and medical physicists who are experts in the field. Patient care and treatment, patient safety, personnel qualifications, adequacy of facility equipment, quality control procedures and quality assurance programs also are assessed by the ACR prior to accreditation.

The radiation oncology department has six board-certified physicians working with board-certified radiation therapists, a team of oncology nurses and a dosimetrist - the professional who determines how to deliver prescribed radiation treatment to a patient - among others.

“Our hospital, doctors and staff work extremely hard to make sure that we are doing everything we can to provide the best outcomes for our patients,” said Donald Miller, M.D., cancer center director. “Continued recognition from the American College of Radiology is an important confirmation that we continue to lead the way in cancer care in the region.”

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center opened on the UofL health sciences campus in 1981 with a $12 million gift from the James Graham Brown Foundation and the citizens of Louisville with a mission of relieving the pain and suffering caused by cancer in Kentucky. The center is a partnership between UofL and KentuckyOne Health and offers robust clinical and basic science research programs. Combining these research elements in a treatment environment provides the best opportunity for discovery of new techniques and therapies for the benefit of patients. It has been ranked as one of the best cancer care hospitals in Kentucky for 2014-15 by U.S. News & World Report, which recognizes hospitals that excel in treating the most challenging patients.

UofL's James Graham Brown Cancer Center is located at 529 S. Jackson St. For information, call 502-562-4158 or toll-free at 1-866-530-5516.

Research!Louisville focuses on research at Louisville Medical Center, Sept. 16-19

Research!America president to speak on federal funding for research
Research!Louisville focuses on research at Louisville Medical Center, Sept. 16-19

Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America

Research in cancer biology, spinal cord injury, birth defects, circulatory support devices and more will highlight Research!Louisville 2014, Sept. 16-19 at various locations in the Louisville Medical Center.

Now in its 19th year, Research!Louisville annually features reports on the latest research underway at the institutions and organizations in the medical center and is sponsored by the University of Louisville; University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s Foundation, all part of KentuckyOne Health; and Norton Healthcare.

Also included will be addresses from two internationally known leaders in medical research:

  • Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America, Alexandria, Va., will address “Your Role in Changing Hearts and Minds for Science” at 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18, in Room 101/102 of the Kosair Charities Clinical and Translational Research (KCCTR) building, 505 S. Hancock St. Woolley will discuss the impact of a polarized Congress on federal health research agency budgets, share public opinion poll data and provide insights on how to effectively communicate with policy makers, the public and the media about research during an election year.
  • Stefano Bonassi, Ph.D., head of the Clinical and Molecular Epidemiology Area of Systems Approaches and Non-Communicable Diseases of the Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Rome, will speak on “From Exposure Assessment to P4 Medicine” at 1:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19, in Room 101/102 of the KCCTR. “P4 Medicine” is a term coined by biologist Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D., and is short for "Predictive, Preventive, Personalized and Participatory Medicine." The premise of P4 medicine is that, over the next 20 years, medical practice will be revolutionized by biotechnology, to manage a person's health instead of a person’s disease. Bonassi will discuss the scientific and clinical features of several systems medicine platforms.

Featured reports on ongoing research in Louisville include:

  • Cancer Biology and Therapeutics Symposium: 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 16, 101/102 KCCTR – Translational research results on the discovery of novel cancer targets and the development of cancer therapeutics. Chief presenter: Jason Chesney, M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Director, University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health
  • Recovery and Repair After Spinal Cord Injury: 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 16, 101/102 KCCTR – Issues critical to rehabilitation after spinal cord injury and strategies employed by the UofL Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Kosair Charities Center for Pediatric Neurorecovery, Frazier Rehab Institute and Robley Rex VA Medical Center. Presenters: David S.K. Magnuson, Ph.D.; Dena Howland, Ph.D.; and Andrea Behrman, Ph.D., all of the UofL Department of Neurosurgery
  • Molecular Determinants of Birth Defects: 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 101/102 KCCTR – Research supported by the UofL Center of Biomedical Research Excellence with the goal of illuminating the molecular etiologies of developmental defects and disabilities. Presenters: Jun Cai, Ph.D., UofL School of Medicine; Lisa Sandell, Ph.D., UofL School of Dentistry; and Rachel Neal, Ph.D., UofL School of Public Health and Information Sciences
  • Symposium: Intravital Imaging and Diseased States: 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 18, 101/102 KCCTR – Use of state-of-the-art imaging techniques to track biological process in normal, diseased and damaged tissue. Presenters: Bart Borghuis, Ph.D, UofL Department of Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology, and Lacey McNally, Ph.D., UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health
  • Community Engagement and Engaged Scholarship: 3 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18, 101/102 KCCTR – Four 15-20 minute presentations by faculty from the UofL Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health and Information Sciences and UofL’s Kent School of Social Work followed by a panel discussion moderated by Erica R.H. Sutton, M.D., UofL Department of Surgery. Presenters: Vicki P. Hines-Martin, Ph.D., R.N., School of Nursing; Monica L. Wendel, Dr.P.H., School of Public Health and Information Sciences; and Riaan van Zyl, Ph.D., and Cheri Langley, Ph.D., both of Kent School of Social Work
  • Clinical Translation of Mechanical Circulatory Support Devices for Treatment of Advanced Heart Failure: 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 19, 101/102 KCCTR – Novel experimental models and innovative approaches for treating advanced heart failure. Presenters: Steven Koenig, Ph.D., UofL Speed School of Engineering; Guruprasad Giridharan, Ph.D., Cardiovascular Innovation Institute (CII), a joint initiative of UofL and Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s HealthCare; Yu Wang, Ph.D., UofL Speed School of Engineering; Leslie Sherwood, D.V.M., CII and UofL Research Resource Facilities; Gretel Monreal, Ph.D., UofL Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery; Kevin Soucy, Ph.D., UofL Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery; and Mike Sobieski, R.N., CII

Other reports focused on research practice will be:

  • Are We There Yet? Personal Reflection on Community-Based Participatory/Translational Research: 1 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 17, 101/102 KCCTR – Perspectives from Ida Johnson-Spruill, Ph.D., R.N., of the Medical University of South Carolina whose research interests include chronic disease management, genetic literacy and reducing health disparities among vulnerable populations
  • Auditing of Clinical Trials – GCP and Billing, a GEAR (Gaining Essentials About Research) symposium presented by Norton University and Norton Healthcare Office of Research Administration: 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 18, Cranmer Auditorium, Norton Healthcare Pavilion, 315 E. Broadway – The combined auditing of clinical trials for both good clinical practice (GCP) and billing compliance leading to capitalization of revenue and ensuring principal investigators and research teams are following GCP guidelines. Presenters: Kelly M. Willenberg, principal of Research Compliance Advocates LLC, Chesnee, S.C., and Kathleen Hurtado, president and CEO of Health Research Association, Los Angeles
  • Super Hero Evidence: Does Your Literature Have the Strength to Support Your Practice Change? Offered twice from 7:30 a.m.-noon and again from 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19, Rudd Heart and Lung Conference Center, Jewish Hospital, 201 Abraham Flexner Way – An overview of evidence-based practice with a focus on establishing the worth of a study through the critical appraisal process. Organizer: Reeta Stikes, KentuckyOne Health

Also on tap will be scientific poster presentations by summer interns of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and UofL graduate students, postgraduates, fellows and faculty. Poster presentation awards will be announced at 1 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19, in 101/102 KCCTR.

Admission to Research!Louisville is free. For information, contact Bonnie Dean, 502-852-2647 or bonnie.dean@louisville.edu.

 

Bone marrow registration drive scheduled Sept. 16-18 at UofL

Set for Sept. 16-17 at the HSC, Sept. 18 on the Belknap campus
Bone marrow registration drive scheduled Sept. 16-18 at UofL

Owen is second from left in this portrait of the McMasters family.

The University of Louisville will host a bone marrow drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday (Sept. 16 and 17) on the Health Sciences Center campus in the courtyard between Kornhauser Library and Medical School Instructional Building B, and Thursday (Sept. 18) in the Swain Student Activities Center on the Belknap campus.

The drive is being held to highlight the ever-present need for bone marrow donations for patients such as Owen McMasters, the 15-year-old son of Kelly McMasters, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the UofL Department of Surgery. Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) three years ago, Owen now needs a bone marrow transplant to fight the disease, requiring a donor with similar genetic composition.

The McMasters family has teamed up with Sharing America’s Marrow to host the donor registration events at UofL.  All it takes to sign up to the national marrow donor registry is completion of a short consent form and a cheek swab, which determines donor/recipient matches. Registrants must be between the ages of 18 and 55 and meet other requirements.

The entire registration process takes about 5 minutes and those who sign up could be the cure for Owen or for the thousands of patients like him who are fighting blood cancers.

For more information on the bone marrow donation process, visit https://www.deletebloodcancer.org/en/faq or contact sam@sharemarrow.com.

For information about Owen and his fight against ALL, “like” the Owen’s Wish page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OwensWish.

UofL medical student earns national award

UofL medical student earns national award

Mickey Ising

Mickey Ising, a student at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and a two-time graduate of the UofL J.B. Speed School of Engineering, is one of 21 fourth-year medical students throughout the nation to earn an American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation Physicians of Tomorrow Award.

Ising was selected to receive this $10,000 national scholarship recognizing academic achievement. After graduating from Elizabethtown (Ky.) High School in 2005, he earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in bioengineering at UofL. He works at the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute at the UofL Health Sciences Center developing and evaluating medical devices and novel therapeutic techniques. Ising has authored eight manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals and is vice president of the UofL School of Medicine Class of 2015.

Recipients were nominated by their medical schools and chosen based upon academic achievement and financial need.  The AMA Foundation has awarded over $61 million in scholarships to deserving medical students since 1950.

The AMA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt foundation, is dedicated to improving public health by raising funds and providing philanthropic support to high-impact health and medical scholarship programs. Visit www.amafoundation.orgto join the AMA Foundation in improving the health of Americans.

UofL Physicians ALS Clinic named Recognized Treatment Clinic

UofL to launch ALS research program
UofL Physicians ALS Clinic named Recognized Treatment Clinic

UofL President James Ramsey has kicked off the new UofL ALS research fund with a personal donation of $10,000.

The University of Louisville Physicians ALS Clinic, located at Frazier Rehab Institute, part of KentuckyOne Health, was named a Recognized Treatment Clinic by The ALS Association on Tuesday, Sept. 16. The clinic is one of 50 in the United States to earn such a designation.

The designation follows a rigorous clinical and administrative review by the association and a vote of its board. Earning the recognition means the clinic meets a national standard of quality and implements best-practice care for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

In addition to celebrating the designation, the University of Louisville announced the establishment of a research fund to further the activities of the clinic as it pursues its goal of becoming a Certified Center for Excellence. Dr. James Ramsey, president of the University of Louisville, kicked off the new UofL ALS research fund with a personal donation of $10,000, which he announced at the news conference Tuesday.

“For me, ALS is personal,” Ramsey said. “My mother-in-law passed away from ALS, and developing this clinic and an ALS research program at UofL has been a goal of mine for a long time. I hope others will choose to donate to UofL’s ALS research program as well so we might help find the cause and a cure for this devastating disease.”

Ramsey made his donation as part of the “ice bucket challenge” that has swept the nation since July and greatly raised awareness of ALS and contributions to ALS research. He participated in the challenge on Aug. 28 on the UofL Health Sciences Campus. (Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3im8sWo1R3g&feature=youtu.be)

On Tuesday, The ALS Association’s Kentucky Chapter also presented the UofL Physicians ALS Clinic with a $10,000 check.

“We are proud to present this one-time donation to the UofL Physicians ALS Clinic, which is made possible by a gift from Heaven Hill Distilleries through the sale of Parker’s Heritage bourbon to help us continue to fulfill our three mission priorities, one of which is to expand our care services,” said Mari Bacon, executive director of the chapter.

Parker’s Heritage Collection bourbon is named for Parker Beam, a sixth-generation master distiller for Heaven Hill who has ALS. As a way to help The ALS Association raise funds to find a cure, Heaven Hill donates a portion from the sale of every bottle to The ALS Association.

Recognition process

The ALS Association’s Certified Center Program – which includes Recognized Treatment Clinics and Certified Centers of Excellence – selects, recognizes and supports distinguished institutions recognized as the best in the field when it comes to knowledge, skill and experience with ALS; access to care; and neurological diagnostics and imaging. Recognized Treatment Clinics must also have an on-site designated multidisciplinary team.

Other requirements to become a Recognized Treatment Clinic are serving a number of patients living with ALS, and an ongoing relationship with the local chapter to provide programs to assist those with ALS and their families. The primary goal of the ALS recognition process is to ensure each patient receives the best evidence-based care closely linked to positive outcomes.

The designation confirms to patients and families, as well as government institutions and other key stakeholders, the validity and comprehensiveness of the UofL Physicians program.

“We are honored to recognize the University of Louisville Physicians ALS Clinic for the staff’s expertise, and for all they have done and are continuing to do for patients living with the disease,” said Shawn Mullennex, president of the board for The ALS Association’s Kentucky Chapter. “Becoming a Recognized Treatment Clinic is not easy to achieve, and patients who come to the UofL Physicians clinic can feel confident that they are receiving the best care possible, in a compassionate and caring environment.”

Mullennex presented clinic director Dr. Martin Brown with a plaque designating the UofL Physicians ALS Clinic as an ALS Recognized Treatment Clinic, a goal that was years in the making. Brown was joined by Dr. Kerri Remmel, chief of vascular neurology at University of Louisville Physicians, and Randy Napier, president of Frazier Rehab Institute, in receiving the plaque.

Lisa Shannon, chief operating officer of KentuckyOne Health, said the UofL Physicians ALS Clinic at Frazier Rehab “is indeed yet another example of the partnership between UofL, Frazier Rehab and KentuckyOne Health to advance medical care and research in the Commonwealth.”

“It is our mission to bring wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved. The ALS clinic and the research that will be done here is part of that mission, and I want to emphasize the word ‘hope,’” Shannon said. “ALS is a devastating disease. But through research, there is hope. Hope for better care and advancements in treatment that can improve quality of life for these patients, and maybe one day find a cure.”

Napier added “We are honored to be the home of the ALS Clinic and the physicians, staff and researchers that will work with us every day to make a difference in the lives of the patients and their families who entrust us for care. The Frazier Rehab team that cares for ALS patients is an incredibly dedicated group of professionals – from physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy to psychology, pulmonary rehab and case management.”

UofL ALS research

Brown said the new UofL research program will have two components: clinical research, which includes trials of possible treatments for existing patients; and basic science research of ALS to try to determine how the disease starts and why it progresses.

“We don’t know what causes ALS, why it starts or how it spreads from one limb to another,” Brown said. “It’s hard to come up with a treatment if we don’t know the underlying cause. Our goal is to try to answer some of those questions, and give patients more hope through clinical trials that might make a difference. Research is the key to fighting ALS.”

For more on the University of Louisville Physicians ALS Clinic and the new UofL ALS research fund, visit www.uoflphysicians.com/als or email fightALS@louisville.edu.

History of the UofL Physicians ALS Clinic

UofL’s quest to serve patients with ALS started with a conversation nearly 10 years ago between Dr. Kerri Remmel, chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and UofL President Dr. James Ramsey. It was an important cause for both – for Remmel as a neurologist, and for Ramsey for his family.

Dr. Martin Brown was then hired in 2007 to help develop the clinic, and in 2011, he met with The ALS Association’s national chief of care services, Kim Maginnis, and the Kentucky Chapter’s executive director, Mari Bacon, to discuss becoming a Recognized Treatment Clinic. He had already begun seeing patients, and he and clinic coordinator Johanna Harris had started working with the association’s Kentucky care services manager, Patricia Peak.

In June 2013, the clinic became a reality, seeing patients on the sixth floor at Frazier Rehab Institute, 220 Abraham Flexner Way. On Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, the clinic became a Recognized Treatment Clinic by the ALS Association.

NIH awards grant to take aim at legal barriers that hinder genetic research

Rothstein awarded $612,000 over two years

University of Louisville law and medicine professor Mark A. Rothstein, J.D., has received a two- year $612,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to foster international collaboration on genetic research while maintaining human rights and privacy.

Rothstein is an expert on the legal and ethical issues raised by genetic research—including compiling large collections of biological specimens.

“International collaboration in genetic research is extremely valuable in advancing understanding and developing new therapies,” Rothstein said. “We need to make sure that essential privacy laws don't unnecessarily interfere with research."

Rothstein has a joint appointment at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law and the School of Medicine. He holds the Herbert F. Boehl Chair of Law and Medicine and is the founding director of the university’s Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy and Law. He frequently writes and comments on issues of bioethics, genetics and health privacy.

Rothstein will conduct the research with co-investigator Bartha Maria Knoppers, a medicine professor and director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Legal experts from 26 countries will take part in the research effort.

Their findings and recommendations will take aim at removing legal impediments to international collaboration on health research and be published in the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics in 2016.

Mark Rothstein

Mark Rothstein
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James Graham Brown Cancer Center becomes first site in Kentucky providing Keytruda, newly FDA-approved for advanced melanoma

James Graham Brown Cancer Center becomes first site in Kentucky providing Keytruda, newly FDA-approved for advanced melanoma

Jason A. Chesney, M.D., Ph.D.

A newly FDA-approved treatment for patients with advanced or inoperable melanoma who are no longer responding to other drugs is now available to patients at the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health. As a site for Keytruda’s research clinical trial, the cancer center is the first in Kentucky to offer the drug now that it is approved.

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) was given accelerated approval by the FDA Sept. 4 and is the first approved drug in the United States that blocks a cellular pathway known as PD-1, which restricts the body’s immune system from attacking melanoma cells. It is approved for use following other treatments if those treatments fail.

Melanoma accounts for approximately 5 percent of all new cancers in the United States and occurs when cancer cells form in skin cells that make the pigment responsible for color in the skin. According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 76,100 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma and 9,710 will die from the disease this year.

Keytruda represents a new breed of cancer treatment, Jason Chesney, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director of the Brown Cancer Center, said. “Keytruda is designed to galvanize an immune system attack on tumors by blocking the PD-1 pathway,” he said. “Left unchecked, this pathway allows cancerous cells to pass undetected.

“The drug shows greatest promise as a combination therapy, and this approval, handed down almost two months ahead of schedule, clears the drug for use on patients with advanced skin cancers who have already taken Yervoy (ipilimumab).”

“Adding to the body of research on new, advanced treatments exemplifies the James Graham Brown Cancer Center’s leadership on a regional, and even national, level,” said Mark Milburn, vice president, oncology services, KentuckyOne Health.  “The expertise from University of Louisville partnered with the statewide reach of KentuckyOne Health helps citizens all over the Commonwealth and beyond with increased access and new hope to fight cancer.”

The FDA granted Keytruda breakthrough therapy designation because preliminary clinical evidence showed that the drug may offer a substantial improvement over available therapies. It also received priority review and orphan product designation. Priority review is granted to drugs that have the potential to be a significant improvement in safety or effectiveness in the treatment of a serious condition. Orphan product designation is given to drugs intended to treat rare diseases.

The FDA action was taken under the agency’s accelerated approval program, which allows approval of a drug to treat a serious or life-threatening disease based on clinical data showing the drug has an effect on a surrogate endpoint reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit to patients. This program provides earlier patient access to promising new drugs while the company conducts confirmatory clinical trials. An improvement in survival or disease-related symptoms has not yet been established.

Keytruda is manufactured by Merck and Yervoy is from Bristol-Myers Squibb. For information on Keytruda and its use, contact the James Graham Brown Cancer Center toll free at 1-800-333-2230 or at 502-587-4011.

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About the University of Louisville

The University of Louisville Health Sciences Center is the city’s only academic health center with approximately 1,000 faculty members 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 16 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 illness and injury. That research is translated into the clinical setting, where evidence-based medical care for patients is provided by UofL faculty through University of Louisville Physicians, our partnership with KentuckyOne Health, and in affiliations with other health systems and clinics throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana.

About KentuckyOne Health

KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in early 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. In late 2012, the organization formed a partnership with the University of Louisville Hospital | James Graham Brown Cancer Center.  The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana.

UofL ribbon-cutting ceremony official opens renovated medical school instructional building

Ushering in a new era in medical education, officials with the University of Louisville School of Medicine formally celebrated the completion of a $9 million renovation of the school’s 40-year-old instructional building.

“How we educate our future physicians today barely resembles the methods we used four decades ago,” said David L. Dunn, M.D., Ph.D, UofL executive vice president for health affairs. “Instruction now is much more interactive, peer-to-peer and technologically driven. While we have made ad hoc changes through the years, today we celebrate an intensive transformation of a facility that affords each of our students the opportunity to be successful in earning the privilege of providing health care to the people of Kentucky and beyond.”

“The improvements in how we educate our students demanded a significant change in our instructional spaces,” said Toni Ganzel, M.D., dean of the UofL School of Medicine. “While needing new state-of-the-art lecture halls that support active learning, we also needed smaller study spaces the that allow for small-group learning and interaction.”

In addition to creating teaching environments to support the changing instructional techniques of the program that is focused on student-led dialogue, the renovated facility makes uses of an integrated audio-visual infrastructure that allows for the seamless sharing of information from instructor to student and also from student to instructor. The smaller group study rooms have been configured to support the School of Medicine’s six internal mentoring colleges to foster the support of a community for the students as they move through their years within the school’s programs.

The technology enhancements are among the key and fundamental changes undertaken. The first-floor lecture hall houses 30 tables, seating six students each who have the ability to collaborate using their tablets or laptops to share content locally on a table-mounted monitor. The technology provides the ability to switch to any of the six student’s devices at the touch of a button on the display cable, while reviewing information sent at the selection of the facilitator on a second table mounted monitor.

All the tables have a push-to-talk microphone to facilitate student group reporting to the entire class or for asking questions. Each table has a seventh space for the faculty facilitator to “drop in” and participate in the discussion. Faculty can route student laptop or tablet presentations from their table to all of the other tables, and/or on the six high-resolution, ultra bright, large projected displays that circle the room.

Technology enhancements also have created the ability to route audio, video and presentations to 12 small group break-out rooms per floor, where students have control of a large flat-panel monitor for collaboration, and the faculty facilitator controls a second display. For offline study, students can use both displays for local presentation from their devices.

“My colleagues have shown great excitement and enthusiasm in these new spaces,” said Travis Spaulding, president of the class of 2017. “The technological capabilities of the both the classrooms and study areas allow us to collaborate and share ideas like never before. Our administration has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to providing students with the resources necessary to succeed in an era of medical education that is constantly evolving. The University of Louisville School of Medicine is certainly ahead of the curve.”

Messer Construction served as the general contractor and EOP Architects, the architects for the project.

Tse named director of bone marrow transplantation division at University of Louisville

Tse named director of bone marrow transplantation division at University of Louisville

Williams Tse, M.D.

William Tse, M.D., associate professor of medicine and eminent scholar in hematologic malignancies research at the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center at West Virginia University, has been named the new director of Bone Marrow Transplantation at the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health. Tse will join UofL Nov. 1.

Tse will hold the Marion F. Beard Endowed Chair in Hematology Research and become a member of the cancer center’s Developmental Biology Program.

“Dr. Tse is emerging as one of the thought leaders in bone marrow transplantation,” said Donald Miller, M.D., Ph.D., director of the JGBCC. “He has trained and worked at several of the leading blood cancer programs in the nation. We look forward to his leading our program at UofL.”

Tse has been at West Virginia since 2009, where he also is the co-leader the Osborn Hematologic Malignancies Program. Prior to joining West Virginia, 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.

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 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 the academic editor of PLoS One.

A graduate of the Sun Yat-Sen University School of Medicine in Guangzhou, Guangdong, in China, he did a thoracic surgical oncology residency at Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center in Guangzhou 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.

Bone marrow drive nets more than 1,100 registrants

Vote online through Sept. 29 to help group compete for $50,000 grant

More than 1,100 University of Louisville students, faculty, staff and friends turned out last week to register as bone marrow donors, and both participants and non-participants in the drive can continue to support the effort.

Sharing America’s Marrow (SAM) conducted the event earlier this month on both the Health Sciences Campus and the Belknap campus, and 1,153 donors were registered as potential bone marrow donors.

“This is by far the biggest number SAM has seen in a three-day event,” said Kelli Bullard Dunn, M.D., senior associate dean, statewide initiatives and outreach, School of Medicine. “We are sure many patients fighting blood cancer will have a second chance at life thanks to this effort.”

The event was held to highlight the ever-present need for bone marrow donations for patients such as Owen McMasters, the 15-year-old son of Kelly McMasters, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the UofL Department of Surgery. Diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) three years ago, Owen now needs a bone marrow transplant to fight the disease, requiring a donor with similar genetic composition.

“I know our success was very special and inspiring to the McMasters family while Owen continues his search for a match,” Dunn said.

She added that SAM has been named one of the Top 10 finalists to compete for a $50,000 grant from National Geographic. The magazine’s “Expedition+Granted” contest highlights deserving nonprofit efforts. The public is invited to vote for the effort they believe is the most deserving, with the winner receiving the grant.

“A grant such as this would give SAM the support to produce more drives like the one at UofL across the country, and save even more lives,” Dunn said.

One vote per person per day through Sept. 29 is allowed at http://expeditiongranted.nationalgeographic.com/project/sharing-americas-marrow-sam/.

For more information on the bone marrow donation process, visit https://www.deletebloodcancer.org/en/faq or contact sam@sharemarrow.com.

For information about Owen and his fight against ALL, “like” the Owen’s Wish page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OwensWish.