Department members honored at Celebration of Faculty Excellence
Accolades include service awards, newly endowed chair.
Several members of the U of L Department of Medicine were among those honored at the annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence.
Hosted by U of L President Dr. James Ramsey and Provost Dr. Shirley Willihnganz, the ceremony took place Sept. 11, 2012 during State of the University Week.
"Our faculty continue to excel in the area of science and innovation," Dr. Jesse Roman, Chairman of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine said. "The most effective way to advance medicine is through scientific discovery. Congratulations to the honorees."
Those from the department who were honored include:
Distinguished Faculty Awards
(The president's office gives multiple Distinguished Faculty Award in three categories. Winners receive a medallion and a check for $1,000. They will also be featured on campus banners later this year.)
Service to the Profession
Kloecker is an associate professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology. As a physician he specializes in caring for lung cancer patients. He was instrumental in establishing the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Clinic and serves as its director.
The Lung Cancer Clinic allows patients to benefit from the expertise of a medical and surgical oncologist, a pathologist and a radiation oncologist with additional support from a pharmacist, dietician, social worker and a behavioral oncologist.
Newly Endowed Faculty
(A decade ago U of L had 54 endowed posts. The number has almost tripled since then. Today there are 150. Administration credits this growth to donors and the highly successful Research Challenge Trust Fund – otherwise known as "Bucks for Brains," which receives funding support from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.)
Chair in Translational Research
Yan is a faculty member in the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and a professor in the Department of Medicine. His research had determined that a novel immune cell — called a gamma deltaT cell — plays a critical role in the development of psoriasis by producing a large amount of the inflammation inducing factor IL-17.
Yan hopes to regulate these immune cells and determine how blocking their pathway decreases skin inflammation. This information could lead to a new strategy for treating psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
(A patent is a grant made by a government that confers upon the creator of an invention the sole right to make, use and sell that invention for a set period of time. It protects the "concept" or "idea" behind the invention.)
For minimally invasive biomarkers to predict the onset of kidney disease prior to detectable kidney damage.
For methods to inhibit cancer by targeting an enzyme that functions in the metabolism of sugar. Cancer increases metabolism by stimulating the growth and proliferation of cells. Inhibition of the enzymes involved in this process has emerged as a potential target for cancer therapy.
They identified compounds that inhibit this metabolic pathway, serving as new methods to treat cancer in patients.
For methods for treating tumors and cancer in a patient with a therapeutically effective amount of an antibody or similar inhibitor of the protein, nucleolin.
Nucleolin is a protein that is active in growing cells, making it a good target for cancer therapy.
For discovery and development of novel small molecule compounds with potent anti-cancer growth activities. These related compounds inhibit the growth of multiple types of cancer cells.
These compounds also reduce the growth of lung, colon and other cancers in animal models yet exhibit fewer side effects than standard chemotherapeutic agents.
Farrukh Aqil, Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology; Ramesh Gupta and Manicka Vadhanam, School of Medicine
For a novel approach to delivering anti-cancer agents to solid tumors involving the implant of small biodegradable cylindrical devices loaded with various anti-cancer agents into the tumors.
The implanted devices deliver sustained low doses of the anti-cancer therapy to the nearby tumor cells and in this way greatly reduce any drug side effects in the patient.
(A license is the agreement that allows the outside party to move forward to develop, distribute and sell an innovation in the commercial market)
An exclusive license with CharlestonPharma focused on developing innovative therapeutic products for cancer patients and health care providers.
The company has exclusively licensed technology from U of L related to the diagnosis and treatment of tumors through the detection and inhibition of the protein, Nucleolin.
A non-exclusive license with Wuhan KangMai Biotechnology Ltd. that focuses on developing antibodies to the epithelial mucin known as "MUC1." MUC1 is a large glycoprotein that is overexpressed in many types of cancer, including colon, breast, gastric and lung.
A biotechnology company in China, Wuhan Kangmai Biotechnology, has licensed Yan’s MUC1 antibody for its commercial development as a valuable research reagent.
A non-exclusive license with Hycult Biotech for a research assay for detecting a specific Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase isoform. The assay has applications for investigating inflammatory responses to various diseases.
(An option is an agreement whereby U of L allows another party (usually a business alliance) limited access to a technology for a limited time in exchange for compensation. The business uses this loan period to determine if it would like to enter into a full license for the intellectual property)
Their work has led to the development an innovative approach for breath analysis using microfabricated preconcentrators. These devices are capable of analyzing extremely low concentrations of airborne organic compounds both qualitatively and quantitatively. They are useful for analysis in such areas as the research and diagnosis of disease, routine air quality monitoring and the trace detection of harmful chemicals. One of the Entrepreneurship MBA student teams at the U of L School of Business will handle the technology’s initial commercial development.