News

McClain named recipient of Beckman Award

Honor recognizes top mentors in medical education.
McClain named recipient of Beckman Award

Dr. Craig J. McClain, Chief of Research Affairs for the University of Louisville Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, was recognized as a top mentor with the Beckman Award.

A vital cornerstone of medical education is mentoring, and a member of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine is being recognized as one of the best.

Craig J. McClain, M.D., has been named a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award, given by  the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust to recognize educators who have inspired their former students to "create an organization which has demonstrably conferred a benefit on the community at large" or "establish on a lasting basis a concept, procedure, or movement of comparable benefit to the community at large."

Dr. McClain, Chief of Research Affairs for the U of L Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and Associate Vice President for Translational Research, will receive the award on November 9, 2013 at the The Carter Center in Atlanta.

"This is a unexpected honor," McClain said. "A major reward of mentoring is watching your students achieve success."

In addition, Dr. McClain will also receive a check for $25,000 as part of the award.

Matthew Cave, M.D., nominated Dr. McClain for the award. Dr. Cave is currently an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and a former student of Dr. McClain.

"I am pleased to see that Dr. McClain's mentorship was recognized with the Beckman Award," Cave said. "His mentorship enabled me to establish a research laboratory of my own at U of L and train students in liver disease/toxicology. Dr. McClain continues to be an outstanding role model for all young aspiring physician-scientists."

McClain added, "I think Matt Cave's contributions to medicine will be exceptional. I am pleased that so many of my students are contributing to medicine and science all across the country."

The Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust was established in 2008 under the Will of Gail McKnight Beckman. Wells Fargo Bank, N. A. serves as the trustee.

Gail McKnight Beckman created the award in memory of her mother, Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman. Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman was an educator, a renowned author, and a pioneer in the field of Psychology.

She was one of the first female Psychology professors at Columbia University and she taught at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Beckman authored nine books and textbooks about child and adolescent Psychology. Dr. Beckman was a champion of gender equality and an advocate for the advancement of women in academia.

McClain named recipient of Beckman Award

Honor recognizes top mentors in medical education.
McClain named recipient of Beckman Award

Dr. Craig J. McClain, Chief of Research Affairs for the University of Louisville Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, was recognized as a top mentor with the Beckman Award.

A vital cornerstone of medical education is mentoring, and a member of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine is being recognized as one of the best.

Craig J. McClain, M.D., has been named a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award, given by  the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust to recognize educators who have inspired their former students to "create an organization which has demonstrably conferred a benefit on the community at large" or "establish on a lasting basis a concept, procedure, or movement of comparable benefit to the community at large."

Dr. McClain, Chief of Research Affairs for the U of L Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and Associate Vice President for Translational Research, will receive the award on November 9, 2013 at the The Carter Center in Atlanta.

"This is a unexpected honor," McClain said. "A major reward of mentoring is watching your students achieve success."

In addition, Dr. McClain will also receive a check for $25,000 as part of the award.

Matthew Cave, M.D., nominated Dr. McClain for the award. Dr. Cave is currently an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and a former student of Dr. McClain.

"I am pleased to see that Dr. McClain's mentorship was recognized with the Beckman Award," Cave said. "His mentorship enabled me to establish a research laboratory of my own at U of L and train students in liver disease/toxicology. Dr. McClain continues to be an outstanding role model for all young aspiring physician-scientists."

McClain added, "I think Matt Cave's contributions to medicine will be exceptional. I am pleased that so many of my students are contributing to medicine and science all across the country."

The Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award Trust was established in 2008 under the Will of Gail McKnight Beckman. Wells Fargo Bank, N. A. serves as the trustee.

Gail McKnight Beckman created the award in memory of her mother, Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman. Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman was an educator, a renowned author, and a pioneer in the field of Psychology.

She was one of the first female Psychology professors at Columbia University and she taught at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Beckman authored nine books and textbooks about child and adolescent Psychology. Dr. Beckman was a champion of gender equality and an advocate for the advancement of women in academia.

U of L accepting patients in study of vaccine designed to prevent bacterial infection

Hospitalized, health care facility patients taking antibiotics at greatest risk for Clostridium difficile.
U of L accepting patients in study of vaccine designed to prevent bacterial infection

Clostridium difficile, called "C. diff," causes gastrointestinal disease, with symptoms ranging from mild diarrhea to life-threatening colitis, often including dehydration and abdominal pain.

The University of Louisville has been selected as a study site for a clinical trial researching a vaccine to prevent infection from a bacterium that primarily affects older patients in hospitals or long-term care facilities who also have taken broad-spectrum antibiotics.

The Phase III Cdiffense trial at U of L is led by Julio Ramirez, M.D., FACP, and Ruth Carrico, Ph.D. R.N., the medical and clinical directors of the Vaccine and International Travel Center in the Department of Medicine's Division of Infectious Diseases. Ramirez is also chief of the infectious diseases division.

U of L is one of 200 trial sites in the United States and 16 other countries participating in the randomized, observer-blind, placebo-controlled study.

Clostridium difficile, called "C. diff," is a spore-forming bacterium that is emerging as a leading cause of potentially deadly health care-associated infections. Toxins from C. diff cause gastrointestinal disease, with symptoms ranging from mild diarrhea to life-threatening colitis, often including dehydration and abdominal pain.

"New strains of C. diff are emerging that are difficult to manage, and infection from C. diff has become more frequent, severe and difficult to treat in recent years," Ramirez said. "Vaccination could be an efficacious, cost-effective and welcome public health measure to protect people from this terrible infection."

In the United States, 350,000 people are hospitalized every year due to C. diff infection, and 77% of the cases occur in people age 50 or older.

Volunteers eligible for the study should be age 50 or older and are either:

  • Planning an upcoming surgical procedure that will likely keep them in the hospital for at least 72 hours; or,

  • Have had at least two hospital stays, each lasting more than 72 hours, and have received systemic antibiotics in the past year.

"While most health care-associated infections are declining, C. diff continues to cause life-threatening infections seen in hospitals and long-term facilities worldwide, raising concerns about how to control it and prevent transmission," Carrico said.

For additional information about the study and enrolling in the trial, call 502-562-2822 or visit the National Institutes of Health clinical trials website at ClinicalTrials.gov, using the trial identifier number, NCT01887912.

The trial is sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi (NYSE: SNY). In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted fast-track designation to the investigational C. diff vaccine being developed by Sanofi Pasteur.

The fast-track program of the FDA facilitates development and expedites review of new drugs and vaccines that are intended to treat or prevent serious or life-threatening conditions and demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs.

Bhatnagar, DOC earn second COBRE grant

Five-year, $11.25 million funding continues support of diabetes and obesity research at U of L
Bhatnagar, DOC earn second COBRE grant

Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., leads the University of Louisville Diabetes and Obesity Center, a part of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Department of Medicine.

A center created at the University of Louisville in 2008 with a five-year National Institutes of Health grant has won its second five-year grant.

The NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences has awarded an $11.25 million Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant to U of L's Diabetes and Obesity Center.

Led by Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., the Smith and Lucille Gibson Chair in Medicine, the Diabetes and Obesity Center is a part of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Louisville, and was created as a way to address the profound effect that diabetes and obesity have had on our nation’s health and general quality of life.

"We approach diabetes and obesity, not only as individual disease states, but as pieces of a larger, more comprehensive puzzle," Bhatnagar said. "Thus, our researchers are working to develop a better understanding of diabetes and obesity not simply as individual disease states, but as the outcomes of a more comprehensive dysfunction – a dysfunction that profoundly affects all major organs and increases our risk of developing heart disease and cancer."

PHOTO GALLERY

Louisville Magazine recognizes six 'Top Docs'

Six members of the U of L Department of Medicine were recognized as "Top Docs" by Louisville Magazine.
Louisville Magazine recognizes six 'Top Docs'

Six members of the U of L Department of Medicine were recognized as "Top Docs" by Louisville Magazine

In the August 2013 edition of Louisville Magazine, six members of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine were recognized as "Top Docs" as voted on by their peers in the Louisville medical community.

Questionnaires were mailed to 2,300 members of the Greater Louisville Medical Society asking the question, "If you or a member of your family were in need of medical care or treatment, who among the Louisville-area doctors would you choose to provide medical care in the following specialties?"

From the Department of Medicine, those recognized include (categories as listed in Louisville Magazine):

Jeffrey Callen - Dermatology

Julio Ramirez - Infectious Diseases

Sohail Ikram - Interventional Cardiology

George Aronoff - Nephrology

Eleanor Lederer - Nephrology

Rodney Folz - Pulmonary Diseases

Dryden team earns CTP funding

Program supports research teams to address unmet clinical needs, make improvements in health care and introduce commercial products.
Dryden team earns CTP funding

Dr. Gerald Dryden (above) along with Dr. William Hnat are one of four University of Louisville research teams to receive new funding through the Coulter Translational Partnership.

Gerald W. Dryden, M.D., MSPH, M.Sc., is part of a University of Louisville research team to receive new funding through the university's Coulter Translational Partnership to develop devices to diagnose and treat cancer and close laparoscopic surgery sites.

A total of four research groups received new funding while the program continued funding to three others.

Dryden, an associate professor of medicine in the U of L Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, is teaming with William Hnat, Ph.D., of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering's Department of Mechanical Engineering on the project titled "Preclinical Validation of a Novel Multiple Sample Biopsy Device."

"The Coulter Foundation funding is providing a critical resource for our development team to move our innovative endoscopic device designs from the drawing board to the endoscopy suite," Dryden said. "Without this resource, we would have difficulty getting it out of the concept stage. We now have a real chance of getting this device into the hands of clinicians within a fairly short period of time."

The five-year CTP program started in 2011 with $3.3 million in funding from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and $1.67 million from U of L with a goal to support research teams of bioengineers and clinicians to address unmet clinical needs, make improvements in health care and introduce commercial products.

Desirable outcomes include inventions, patents, improved diagnosis and treatment of disease, commercial products, licenses, partnerships and start-up companies.

Funding proposals are evaluated on the basis of scientific merit, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, the potential for commercialization and the likelihood of successfully obtaining continued funding.

Dryden team earns CTP funding

Program supports research teams to address unmet clinical needs, make improvements in health care and introduce commercial products.
Dryden team earns CTP funding

Dr. Gerald Dryden (above) along with Dr. William Hnat are one of four University of Louisville research teams to receive new funding through the Coulter Translational Partnership.

Gerald W. Dryden, M.D., MSPH, M.Sc., is part of a University of Louisville research team to receive new funding through the university's Coulter Translational Partnership to develop devices to diagnose and treat cancer and close laparoscopic surgery sites.

A total of four research groups received new funding while the program continued funding to three others.

Dryden, an associate professor of medicine in the U of L Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, is teaming with William Hnat, Ph.D., of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering's Department of Mechanical Engineering on the project titled "Preclinical Validation of a Novel Multiple Sample Biopsy Device."

"The Coulter Foundation funding is providing a critical resource for our development team to move our innovative endoscopic device designs from the drawing board to the endoscopy suite," Dryden said. "Without this resource, we would have difficulty getting it out of the concept stage. We now have a real chance of getting this device into the hands of clinicians within a fairly short period of time."

The five-year CTP program started in 2011 with $3.3 million in funding from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and $1.67 million from U of L with a goal to support research teams of bioengineers and clinicians to address unmet clinical needs, make improvements in health care and introduce commercial products.

Desirable outcomes include inventions, patents, improved diagnosis and treatment of disease, commercial products, licenses, partnerships and start-up companies.

Funding proposals are evaluated on the basis of scientific merit, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, the potential for commercialization and the likelihood of successfully obtaining continued funding.

Chesney: New cancer recommendations need further review

Others also voice concerns over new policies
Chesney: New cancer recommendations need further review

Dr. Jason Chesney of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center

New guidelines recommended by a National Cancer Institute working group are a call for additional study and should not cause physicians to radically change how they diagnose, treat and communicate with patients, say two experienced cancer doctors at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville.

The working group's report, "Overdiagnosis and Overtreatment: An Opportunity for Improvement," was published Monday in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

Jason A. Chesney, M.D., Ph.D., a member of the University of Louisville Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology, deputy director of the cancer center and medical director of its clinical research trials office, and Anthony E. Dragun, M.D., Associate Professor and vice chair of the U of L Department of Radiation Oncology, both say the NCI working group report requires additional study before being implemented because it does not take into account all factors leading to a definition and diagnosis of cancer.

The report recommends changing the definition of cancer and even removing the word from some common diagnoses because it creates fear in patients, causing them to seek what may be potentially harmful or unneeded treatments such as surgery.

"The problem with reclassifying pre-cancerous lesions as non-cancer is that we are confident that a certain percentage will, in fact, develop into full-blown cancer even with definitive therapy," Chesney said. "For example, 19 percent of DCIS treated with surgery and radiation will nevertheless recur. We do not yet have the technology to determine which of these pre-cancerous lesions will develop into cancers and which will stay small and not cause health problems."

Study explores adult stem cells for angina relief

U of L now enrolling patients in trial's only national site located in Kentucky.
Study explores adult stem cells for angina relief

The RENEW trial is directed by University of Louisville cardiologists Drs. Roberto Bolli (above) and Michael Flaherty.

The University of Louisville is now enrolling qualifying patients in a new nationwide Phase III clinical trial to study whether a patient's own stem cells could help lessen the debilitating effects of angina.

Roberto Bolli, M.D., FAHA, Chief of the U of L Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and director of the Institute for Molecular Cardiology, and Michael Flaherty, M.D., Ph.D., director of Adult Cardiac Structural Disease, lead the trial at the University of Louisville, which is the only site in Kentucky among approximately 50 trial sites in North America participating in the research.

The trial is not being conducted at any site in Indiana.

Eligible study participants are male or female patients, 21 to 80 years of age, who have chronic, refractory angina that has not responded to conventional therapies or surgical interventions.

There are some exclusion criteria, such as a cardiac-related hospitalization in the past 60 days, a coronary artery bypass graft procedure within the past six months, and others.

Full criteria for participation can be found in the trial protocol synopsis listed at http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01508910.

Participants also can call Tina Collins, clinical research coordinator, at 502-587-4106 for information and to make arrangements to be screened for possible participation.

UofL wins grant to extend services of mobile mammography unit

National Breast Cancer Foundation funding will provide free mammograms.
UofL wins grant to extend services of mobile mammography unit

James Graham Brown Cancer Center Mobile Mammography Unit


The University of Louisville has won a $25,000 grant from the National Breast Cancer Foundation to provide free mammograms to medically underserved women.

UofL will use the funding to extend the services of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center's Mobile Mammography Unit.

"We are pleased that this grant will bring mammography screening to more women in Metro Louisville and the surrounding region," Donald M. Miller, M.D., Ph.D., chief of UofL's Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology and UofL Brown Cancer Center director said. "Along with our partners KentuckyOne Health and the Kentucky Cancer Program, UofL is committed to making it possible for all women to have the benefit of the earliest possible screening and detection of breast cancer via our Mobile Mammography Unit."

For more than 20 years, the Mobile Mammography Unit has reached women at their place of business, church, school and community, providing screening mammograms – the common way to detect early stage breast cancer. When breast cancer is caught early, treatment is less invasive and survival rates are greater.

The Mobile Mammography Unit uses digital computer-aided detection to enhance the mammography image and flag abnormalities in the breast, assisting radiologists in detecting early breast cancer. This is the same advanced technology offered at the Brown Cancer Center’s Breast Care Center, the first center in Kentucky to receive accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.

The unit's services have been provided by the Brown Cancer Center, a partner of KentuckyOne Health, and the Kentucky Cancer Program at the University of Louisville, a state-funded initiative that promotes education, research and service programs to reduce the heavy burden of cancer in Kentucky.

To schedule screenings at the Mobile Mammography Unit, contact Vera Hobbs at 502-562-3567.

Bolli, U of L to lead multi-center cardioprotective study

Group garners nearly $10 million NIH grant to evaluate new therapies
Bolli, U of L to lead multi-center cardioprotective study

Dr. Roberto Bolli of the University of Louisville Division of Cardiovascular Medicine will lead a multi-center research consortium to study cardioprotective therapies at a preclinical level.

Click HERE  to see a photo gallery from the grant announcement

Once again, when the world needs the best in cardiovascular research, it turns its eyes to the University of Louisville.

A multi-institutional consortium, led by Roberto Bolli, M.D., chief of the University of Louisville Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and director of the Institute for Molecular Cardiology, recently earned a nearly $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health'sNational Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to evaluate cardioprotective therapies at a preclinical level.

The $9.56 million, five-year grant, titled "Preclinical Consortium to Facilitate Translation of Cardioprotective Therapies (CAESAR)," will include four independent laboratories and cores at the University of Louisville, Emory University, Johns Hopkins University and Virginia Commonwealth University; the U of L team will lead this multi-center program.

Together, these institutions will work to test potential cardioprotective therapies in a blinded, randomized manner using rigorous statistical methods and analyses.

"CAESAR will be my most important contribution to the field of cardioprotection," Bolli said. "We hope that CAESAR will facilitate translation of basic research into therapies that will help victims of heart attacks."

According to Bolli, it will mark the first time the NIH has funded a network of laboratories to test cardioprotective therapies and to serve as a public resource.

"Approximately eight years ago, I began talking with NIH representatives about the need to change how we are conducting cardioprotective preclinical studies," Bolli said. "Those conversations have led to this grant."

The network's research will be available to all investigators in both the academic and biomedical research fields; NIH-funded investigators will have access to the network's facilities and expertise at no cost.

"The development of a network of leading laboratories, funded by the NIH and available to the entire community of investigators, represents a veritable paradigm shift that will radically transform the way we approach cardioprotection," Bolli said.

A key advantage in how these studies will be conducted is the addition of a statistician in developing the research study design. Another is ensuring reproducibility; each study will be performed in two centers using identical protocols, with each center unaware of the other’s results.

In addition, expanding the multi-faceted approach to this level of research will bring these new therapies to patients much sooner.

"Multi-center research programs accelerate the translation of research to the clinic," Jesse Roman, M.D., Chairman of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine said. "CAESAR is such an effort. By joining strong cardiovascular research programs at Emory, Johns Hopkins, and VCU, the U of L team, lead by Dr. Roberto Bolli, brings attention to the important topic of cardioprotection.

"This approach represents what should be the natural evolution of sophisticated scientific programs that seek to advance discovery. I am extremely proud of the stellar contributions this team has made to our understanding of cardiovascular disease."

Joining Bolli in the research at U of L are Xian-Liang Tang, M.D., associate professor of medicine, Yiru Guo, M.D., associate professor of medicine, Qianhong Li, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine, and Steven Jones, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine, all with the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Department of Medicine; and Dr. Maiying Kong, Ph.D., associate professor of bioinformatics and biostatistics in the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences.

Leading the efforts at the other university centers are Dr. Charles Steenbergen at Johns Hopkins; Dr. David Lefer and Dr. Jacob Vinten-Johansen at Emory; and Dr. Rakesh Kukreja at Virginia Commonwealth.

U of L's SSCI membership continues record growth

Addition of six new members makes U of L the group's fastest-growing contingent.

Six more members of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine have been accepted for membership in the prestigious Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, a regional academic society dedicated to the advancement of medical research.

That brings the total membership from the University of Louisville to 24, making the U of L contingent the fastest growing group in the SSCI.

The SSCI and the Southern Region-American Federation for Medical Research are committed to supporting the development of young investigators and students.

In addition, the group is also committed to encouraging students, residents and fellows to enter academic medicine and to support junior faculty success in clinical investigation.

"The SSCI is an honorary society that promotes scholarship, research, education, and mentorship," Dr. Jesse Roman, Chair of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine said. "The fact that our department houses 24 SSCI members speaks loudly about the quality of our faculty and about their leadership role in academic medicine."

The latest group of new members includes:

This most recent group of newly elected members will be announced in February at the SSCI annual meeting in New Orleans.

U of L doctors talk sleep disorders on WFPL's 'State of Affairs'

U of L doctors talk sleep disorders on WFPL's 'State of Affairs'

Fidaa Shaib, M.D. of the University of Louisville discussed sleep disorders on a recent edition of WFPL's "State of Affairs" radio program.

When there are questions about heart health, who better to ask than doctors from the University of Louisville?

U of L Drs. Fidaa Shaib and Sarah Honaker joined WFPL-89.3 radio host Julie Kredens for the December 13, 2010 edition of the "State of Affairs" program and discussed sleep disorders and their effects on other areas of personal health.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW [MP3]

Schapmire to receive ACS C.A.R.E. Award

Schapmire to receive ACS C.A.R.E. Award

The University of Louisville's Dr. Tara Schapmire will be honored with the 2013 ACS C.A.R.E. Award.

Tara J. Schapmire, Ph.D., MSSW, CSW, CCM, OSW-C, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the University of Louisville Division of General Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine & Medical Education, was recently named the recipient of the 2013 C.A.R.E. Award given by the American Cancer Society.

The award recognizes an allied healthcare professional for their compassionate, affirming, respectful and empathetic service to the needs of cancer survivors and their families.

"I have been blessed to work with and learn from so many amazing people affected by cancer, AND so many brilliant and caring health care professionals through the years," Schapmire said. "I am humbled to accept the American Cancer Society's C.A.R.E award in honor of all of them!"

Schapmire is a member of the Interdisciplinary Program for Palliative Care & Chronic Illness program and also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at U of L's Kent School of Social Work.

She will receive the award at the 2013 Evening of Hope Gala to be held August 17, 2013 in the Galt House Hotel Grand Ballroom.

Herzig featured in C-J article on stem cell donation

Herzig featured in C-J article on stem cell donation

Roger Herzig, M.D., Chief of the University of Louisville Division of Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation.

When three Sigma Chi fraternity brothers at the University of Louisville signed up for a stem cell donor registry in 2009, they didn’t think it was a big deal.

Only one in 540 people who register are ever matched with a recipient, according to Be the Match, the organization that ran the drive on the U of L campus.

All three turned out to be perfect matches for patients in need of stem cells, and all three made donations. The chance of such a coincidence is exceedingly low, according to officials at Be the Match.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Study: Grapes help protect against colitis

Study: Grapes help protect against colitis

Scientists isolated the grape's exosome-like nanoparticles or GELNs, which are tiny vesicles that only can be seen under an electron microscope.

A team of researchers including a pair of doctors from the University of Louisville Department of Medicine has shown red table grapes produce substances that enable intestinal stem cells in mice to continue functioning even as colitis is introduced into their intestinal tract.

The study, led by Dr. Huang-ge Zhang of the U of L Department of Microbiology and Immunology, also included Drs. Donald Miller and Jun Yan of the DOM's Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology.

The substances are the first exosome-like nanoparticles identified from an edible plant; until now, exosome nanoparticles have only been seen in mammals.

The research is published online in the Nature Publishing Group’s journal Molecular Therapy.

READ THE ABSTRACT

Ramirez garners international award

Ramirez garners international award

Dr. Julio Ramirez, Chief of the University of Louisville Division of Infectious Diseases.

A doctor from the University of Louisville Department of Medicine is garnering international acclaim.

Julio Ramirez, M.D., FACP, Chief of the U of L Division of Infectious Diseases, has been named the recipient of the 2013 ERS Presidential Award.

"I am very honored to have been chosen to receive this award," Ramirez said. "This award is the result of the years of hard work of our University Clinical and Translational Research team in the area of pneumonia."

Given by the European Respiratory Society, the award is "in recognition of (Ramirez') outstanding contribution to research in respiratory infections and clinical management of pneumonia," ERS president Dr. Francesco Blasi said.

"Receiving a Presidential Award from one of the top respiratory societies in the world is a wonderful accomplishment," Dr. Jesse Roman, Chairman of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine said. "Dr. Ramirez has distinguished himself as a world-class clinician, educator and researcher, and we are very proud."

Ramirez will receive the award at the ERS Annual Congress 2013 held in Barcelona, Spain in September.

Casper, Smith go to Washington

U of L medical education faculty share concerns with Congressional leaders.
Casper, Smith go to Washington

U of L Drs. Clayton Smith and Barbara Casper were at the U.S. Capitol representing the Kentucky Chapter of the American College of Physicians.

Two members of the University of Louisville Division of General Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine and Medical Education traveled to Washington, D.C. May 21-22 to represent the Kentucky Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) at the organization's annual Leadership Day program.

Barbara Casper, M.D., FACP, division chief and director of the U of L Internal Medicine Residency Program was joined by Chief Medical Resident Clayton Smith, M.D., on the trip to the nation's capital.

“Clay Smith and I were privileged to represent the ACP and AAIM in Washington," Casper said. "We had the opportunity to meet with several members of Congress and their assistants to discuss issues surrounding the delivery of health care as well as residency training. We are hopeful that there may be some bipartisan movement on several of the issues that we presented."

The ACP had four key "asks" of the 113th Congress:

  • Eliminating Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and transitioning to new value-based payment models.

  • Replacing sequestration cuts and preventing future disruptions in funding for critical health care.

  • Enacting fiscally- and socially- responsible alternatives to reduce unnecessary health care spending.

  • Enacting meaningful medical liability reforms, including piloting testing of health courts.

"I appreciated the chance to tell our elected officials about how their decisions affect what we do at the University," Smith said. "I would encourage others who are interested in changing the system to take the time to learn about and participate in this advocacy program."

With 133,000 members, ACP is the largest medical specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States with a mission to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the science and practice of medicine.

Kloecker collects MediStar Award

U of L oncologist recognized for efforts in healthcare advocacy.
Kloecker collects MediStar Award

Dr. Goetz Kloecker of the U of L Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, was the recipient of The Seven Counties Services "Healthcare Advocacy" Award at the 2013 MediStar Awards.

Goetz Kloecker, M.D., MBA, MSPH, FACP, of the University of Louisville Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology, along with patient Nancy Alvey, were awarded The Seven Counties Services "Healthcare Advocacy" Award at the 2013 MediStar Awards held Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Louisville.

The award is presented annually to an individual or organization that is an effective advocate at the local, state or national level concerning issues such as, but not limited to, access to care initiatives that support healthy lifestyles.

A physician at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Kloecker specializes in caring for lung cancer patients. He was instrumental in establishing the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Clinic and serves as its director.

Kloecker also directs the Medical Oncology/Hematology Fellowship Program.

Created in 2007 by IGE Media, publishers of Medical News and Medical News For You, The MediStar Awards honor eight healthcare professionals for their achievements in advocacy, innovation, education, leadership, design, humanity and meeting consumer needs, as well as the Physician of the Year award.

Study: Grapefruit a 'secret weapon'

Study finds GNVs can efficiently deliver a variety of therapeutic agents, including DNA, RNA (DIR-GNVs), proteins and anti-cancer drugs (GNVs-Drugs).
Study: Grapefruit a 'secret weapon'

U of L scientists discovered how GNVs can efficiently deliver a variety of therapeutic agents, including DNA, RNA (DIR-GNVs), proteins (PKH26-GNVs) and anti-cancer drugs (GNVs-Drugs).

Grapefruits have long been known for their health benefits, and the subtropical fruit may revolutionize how medical therapies like anti-cancer drugs are delivered to specific tumor cells.

University of Louisville researchers have uncovered how to create nanoparticles using natural lipids derived from grapefruit, and have discovered how to use them as drug delivery vehicles.

Drs. Zhong-Bin Deng, Donald Miller and Jun Yan of the U of L Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology were  part of the team that published their findings in the May 2013 edition of Nature Communications.

READ THE ABSTRACT