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 CVMD News 2009

Dec 11, 2009:  Garrett Heinrich successfully defends his dissertation

Congratulations to Garrett Heinrich who successfully defended his dissertation December 11.  The title of his dissertation is A Role for CEACAM Proteins in Energy Balance and Peripheral Insulin Action and his major advisor was Dr. Sonia Najjar, Professor and Director of the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research (CeDER).  Using mice with null deletion of Ceacam genes, Garrett found that while CEACAM1 regulates insulin action by promoting insulin clearance in liver, CEACAM2, which is mostly expressed in the CNS, exerts a central control of insulin action in skeletal muscle by regulating the balance between feeding (or energy intake) and energy expenditure.  Garrett’s studies included the finding that female mice lacking the CEACAM2 gene not only eat more but also use less energy with the consequence that they gain weight.  Garrett’s advisory committee shown below after the exam included Silvana Obici, M.D. from the Dept. of Internal Medicine-Endocrinology at the University of Cincinnati, who during her visit gave a stimulating seminar on the Role of CB1 receptors in the control of energy metabolism.  Garrett will be carrying out his post-doctoral work in the laboratory of Domenico Accili, M.D., in the Dept. of Medicine at Columbia University in New York City.  We wish Garrett the best in his future scientific endeavors.


From left: Drs. Edwin Sanchez, Silvana Obici, Garrett Heinrich, Sonia Najjar, David Giovannucci, Guillermo Vazquez


Dec 10, 2009:  Gargi Roy successfully defends her dissertation


Congratulations to Gargi Roy who successfully defended her dissertation December 10.  The title of her dissertation was Sorting Signals, Domain Conformation and Interdomain Interactions in CFTR Misprocessing and Rescue and her major adviser was Dr. Robert Wang.  CFTR is the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, a chloride channel that when defective causes cystic fibrosis.  The most common cause of the disease is a mutation which leads to the insertion of an insufficient number of CFTR channels in the cell membrane.  In her project, Gargi has been studying the mechanism by which this mutation prevents normal trafficking of the protein to the plasma membrane.  Since the mutated protein itself is functional, understanding the cause of the trafficking problem is an important step in finding a treatment for this common disease.  Gargi gave an excellent presentation of her very interesting project.  Gargi will be doing her post-doctoral work at the University of Michigan with Dr. James Douglas Engel, Ph.D., who is the G. Carl Huber Professor of Developmental Biology, Chair, Cell & Developmental Biology, and Co-Director of the Center for Organogenesis.  As icing on the cake after her defense Gargi learned that her first paper entitled Interplay between ER Exit Code and Domain Conformation in CFTR Misprocessing and Rescue was accepted for publication in Molecular Biology of the Cell (authors Gargi Roy, Elaine Chalfin, Anita Saxena and Xiaodong (Robert) Wang).  The picture below shows Gargi with some members of her advisory committee following her defense.




From left: Drs. Edith Mensah-Osman (Grad School Rep), Bina Joe, Andrew Beavis, Gargi Roy, Ron Mellgren and Robert Wang



Oct 30, 2009: Annual Ohio Physiological Society Meeting

Sima Rahman and Ed Toland attended the 24th Annual Meeting of the Ohio Physiological Society held this year at the Blackwell Hotel on the campus of the Ohio State University hosted by the Dept of Physiology and Cell Biology.  Sima who works in the laboratory of Dr. Beata Lecka-Czernik presented a talk entitled B-Catenin Sequesters PPARg2 Pro-Adipocyte Activity.


Ed who works in the laboratory of Dr. Bina Joe presented two posters one entitled Analysis of Blood Pressure Effects of Overexpressing RESP18 in a Transgenic-Congenic Rat and the second, shown on the right, entitled Mapping Determinants of Blood Pressure that are Different Between Dahl Salt-Sensitive and Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats.


Dr. Richard Klabunde (right) from Ohio University  discusses his work with Dr. Peter Lauf the founding President of the Ohio Physiological Society from Wright State University.




The Annual OPS meeting brings together faculty, post-docs, graduate students as well as undergraduate researchers from many of the colleges and universities in Ohio.  This year the Ohio Physiological Society's Peter K. Lauf American Physiological Society Travel Award went to Jamie Wagner (right) for her talk (and poster) entitled Calcineurin homologous protein is required for a proton-activated muscle contraction that occurs during defecation in C. elegans.  This is a $1000 travel grant to attend the 2010 Experimental Biology conference of the American Physiological Society in Anaheim, CA.  Above: Lab-mate Connie Chin congratulates Jamie on her award.  Jamie is an undergraduate researcher in the lab of Dr. Maureen Peters at Oberlin College.


October 15, 2009:  Rudel Saunders successfully defends his dissertation


Congratulations to Rudel Saunders who successfully defended his dissertation October 15.  The title of his dissertation is Characterization of the Anti-obesity and Anti-adipogenic Effects of the Limonoid Prieurianin his major advisor was Dr. Khew-Voon Chin, Associate Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry and Cancer Biology and Director of Genomic Medicine. The picture on the right shows Rudel with his mother after the Graduation Ceremony on June 4, 2010. R Saunders


Sept 3, 2009: Sima Rahman to present talk at Bone Research Meeting

Sima Rahman, a student in Dr. Beata Lecka-Czernik's lab, has been selected to give an oral presentation at the 31st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research the premier society for bone research to be held in Denver, CO, Sept. 11-14, 2009.  The title of her presentation is: "beta-catenin Sequesters PPARg2 Pro-adipocytic Activity".  The authors are S. Rahman, P. Czernik, and B. Lecka-Czernik.


August, 2009:  New CVMD track faculty Jennifer W. Hill, Ph.D.


We welcome Jennifer Hill to the CVMD track.  Jennifer joined the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology in June and is also a member of CeDER.  After obtaining BA in Biology from Williams College and a Ph.D. at Northwestern University in 2003, she did post-doctoral work at the Beth Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School and in the Division of Hypothalamic Research, in the Dept. of Internal Medicine at the UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.  


Her research interests are in the hypothalamic homeostatic mechanisms controlling body weight and fertility and the interactions between them.  Her current hypothesis is that the suppression of reproductive cyclicity during states of negative energy balance results from the action of circulating metabolic factors (such as leptin, insulin, ghrelin, glucose, LC-FAs or PYY3-36), in the hypothalamus. Her experimantal approach includes use of timed, targeted genetic manipulation, such as tissue-specific gene deletion.


 June 19, 2009: The 36th Annual Pharmacology Colloquium in Detroit

Twenty-seven students and post-doctoral fellows and 6 faculty members of the Physiology and Pharmacology Department and CVMD graduate track attended the 36th Annual Pharmacology Research Colloquium held this year in Scott Hall at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.  This colloquium brings together graduate students and faculty from the “pharmacology” departments of the Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and the University of Toledo, College of Medicine for a day long scientific program.  Each of the schools takes turns in hosting this annual event. The colloquium primarily provides a forum for doctoral students to present their research in both oral and poster presentations and an opportunity for all participants to exchange ideas.  These colloquia were initiated 36 years ago by Dr. Theodore M. Brody of Michigan State University and Dr. Benedict Lucchesi of the University of Michigan.  


The welcome address was delivered by Dr. Daniel A. Walz, Associate Dean of Research at the Wayne State University, School of Medicine in the Jaffar Auditorium of Scott Hall.

The program included 13 oral presentations, including those by UT students Gargi Roy, Terry Hinds and Damien Earl, 48 poster presentations and a keynote lecture by Heidi Hamm, Earl W. Sutherland, Jr. Professor and Chair of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University.  


Gargi Roy, (UT) presented a talk entitled:  Global conformation reversion underlies the rescue of ΔF508 CFTR misprocessing.  pc2



Heidi Hamm, Ph.D.  The keynote speaker was Heidi Hamm, Earl W. Sutherland, Jr. Professor and Chair of Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University.  Her presentation was entitled: Structural Basis of G protein Signaling. 


Terry Hinds, (UT) presented a talk entitled:  The discovery of glucocorticoid receptor beta in mice.



pc5 Damien Earl, (UT) presented a talk entitled:  Direct, concentration-dependent inhibition of recombinant neural L-type voltage-gated calcium channel currents by GABA-A receptor modulators


Dinner was held at the Majestic Cafe.


During dinner winners of the oral and poster presentations were announced and presented by Dr. Nick Davis the faculty organizer of this year's colloquium.   The prize for best oral presentation went to Sarah Schumacher (UM).  Second place went to Daniel Foster, (UM).  The prize for best poster went to Margaret Prior (WSU) and second place went to Laurie Svoboda (UM).  



Eric Morgan, Nick Davis and Ed Toland



Gargi Roy and Anita Saxena at the Majestic Cafe

Next year, the 37th Annual Colloquium will be hosted by Michigan State University.
For full report and many more pictures from the 36th Colloquium go to CVMD Activities and Events



March 6, 2009: Yiliang Chen Receives Award for Best Poster Presentation at Graduate Research Forum

Congratulations to Yiliang Chen - selected as the 1st place winner at the 2009 Graduate Research Forum on the Health Science Campus.  Yiliang, a CVMD PhD student working in the laboratory of Dr. Zi-Jian Xie, will receive $500. His poster was entitled Regulation of Intracellular Distribution of Cholesterol by the Na+/K+ ATPase



The annual Graduate Research Forum was held on March 5 and 6, 2009.  This event is organized by the Council of Graduate Students of the UT College of Medicine and provides an opportunity for students to present their work to fellow students and faculty.  Eight students in the CVMD track presented posters.  Second and third places went to Mithun Khattar and Andy (Yutein) Chun respectively both from the IIT track.  Runners-up were Miao Chen, Cynthia Kenmuir and Sara Campbell.  The judges of the final six were Dr. Akira Takashima, Chair of MMI, Dr. Johnnie Early, Dean of the College of Pharmacy, and Dr. Jeremy Rich, Chair of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Cleveland Clinic.  Dr. Rich also presented the keynote address entitled  "When the Few Rule the Many: Tumor Stem Cells in Cancer Biology".


The event was held in the atrium of the Center for Creative Education

See Activities and Events for pictures of the 2009 Research Forum

  From the top: Yiliang Chen with judge Dr. Pat Hogue and students Junbo Mai and Jason French.











Last Updated: 6/26/15