New Faculty in JCCTR Newsletter
Two new faculty in the Dept. of Biochemistry & Cancer Biology have articles in the
Jacobson Center for Clinical and Translational Research monthly newsletter. Dr. Dayanidhi Raman, Assistant Professor, "How do chemotactic cytokines regulate breast cancer metastasis?
Role of the CXCL12-CXCR4-LASP1 axis" in the April 2016 edition and Dr. Saori Furuta, Assistant Professor, "Normal epithelial cells have defense mechanisms against cancer"
in the June 2016 edition.
|2015 Graduate Student Research Forum
The 2016 Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Research Forum was held on the University of
Toledo Health Science Campus on March 17-18, 2016. The event is organized annually
by the Council of Biomedical Graduate Students of the UT Health Science Campus where
the students are given the opportunity to present and discuss their work with fellow students
and faculty. The keynote address entitled "Bioengineered Technologies for Rapid Disease
Diagnosis and Stem Cell Therapy" was presented by Weian Zhao, Ph.D., Assistant Professor,
Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center, Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center,
Edwards Life Sciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology, Department of
Biomedical Engineering, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California,
Kudos to Biochemistry & Cancer Biology students for placing at the 2016 Graduate Student
| Kaitlyn Dvorak, PhD candidate Eisenmann lab - 1st place oral presentation
"The tumor microenvironment drives tumor progression through an mDia2-mediated
| Zehui Li, PhD candidate Maltese lab - 3rd place oral presentation
"MOPIPP and Vacuolin-1 induce vacuolization and enhance the release
of exosomes from GBM cells"
| Nicholas Cairl, MSBS Smas lab - 4th place poster presentation
"Revealing the structural basis for RIFL's effects on Angpt1 proteins
in lipid metabolism"
Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann Recognized by Toledo City Council
Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann was recognized for her achievements in medical research at the March
1, 2016, Toledo City Council meeting.
Resolution of Toledo City Council Recognizing Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann for her "efforts in finding ways to reduce the spread of cancer and make cancer treatment
WHEREAS, after being personally impacted upon the diagnosis of those close to her
of glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive and deadly forms of cancer, she set out
to find ways to fight this horrific illness; and
WHEREAS, she had spent countless hours researching better ways to treat the brain
cancer glioblastoma as well as epithelial ovarian cancer; and
WHEREAS, her dedication to identifying more effective treatment have lead to findings
that show potential for a drug that will aid in the reduction of cancer progression;
WHEREAS, through her efforts, she has been able to gain the support of those around
her and raise funds to further the research being completed by her team; and
WHEREAS, the outcome of her previous research and surely her future research will
have a positive impact on those effected by cancer for years to
WHEREAS, Toledo City Council recognizes the positive impact that Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann
has had on the City of Toledo, and the scientific community throughout the world;
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Council of the City of Toledo that Dr. Kathryn
Eisenmann is hereby recognized and commended for her tireless research to combat the
spread of deadly cancer and Toledo City Council gives sincere wishes for continued
success with her future research projects.
Sponsored by: Larry Sykes, Councilman
(Toledo City Council Facebook page)
|Congratulations to Dr. William Maltese and Dr. Ivana de la Serna on receiving 2015
Dean's Awards for Research Excellence
(from the College of Medicine & Life Sciences webpage - Faculty Recognition 2015)
William Maltese, Ph.D. - Research Leadership Award
Introduction by Kathryn Eisenmann, Ph.D.
This award had two main criteria – excellence in research productivity and finding, in
addition leadership in mentoring of faculty, postdocs, and grad students. Towards
research productivity and funding, Dr. Maltese has been awarded 23 R01 grants from
NIH, including one R01 that was funded for 23 years straight, and amazing accomplishment in
the current funding environment. He has 78 peer-reviewed publications in high profile journals,
with more than 2000+ citations accumulated, indicating the strength of his work amongst
his peers. Dr. Maltese was asked to serve as a standing member of study section (NIH
Molecular Cancer Pathobiology), indicating clearly his strong standing and respect
for his work within the field.
Towards Leadership in Mentoring, this is truly where Dr. Maltese shines. There is an
inherent sense of stability for Jr. Faculty in having Dr. Maltese a chairman as his
tenure at UT is one of the longest. He is well respected as being fair and easily
approachable, especially in guiding Jr. Faculty through the moments in mentoring that they
never teach you in grad school or in postdoc – such as managing the interpersonal relationships
within your lab culture. Dr. Maltese was instrumental in guiding 3 Jr. Faculty in
1 year to their first successful R01 awards, including Drs. De la Serna and Eisenmann.
Dr. Maltese serves on every Cancer Biology track graduate student’s committee and
has a earned reputation of being tough, yet exceptionally fair. Dr. Maltese serves
on dozens of institutional committees including search committees for the Dean of
COM, Provost, Chairs of Surgery, Phys Pharm, Med Micro, Medicine, and is the current
chair of RAC. Collectively, it is clear that there is tremendous value placed by our
students, faculty and staff, as well as the institutional leadership and administration
upon Dr. Maltese’s experience and leadership at UT. He is truly invested in the success
of the department and UT institution as a whole.
|Ivana de la Serna, Ph.D. – Dean’s Award for Mentoring
Introduction by William Maltese, Ph.D.
It gives me great pleasure to introduce Ivana de la Serna, as this year’s winner of the
Dean’s Award for Mentoring. Dr. de la Serna de la Serna joined the Dept. of Biochemistry
and Cancer Biology in 2005. Since then she has maintained an NIH-funded research program
focused on melanoma, one of the most intractable forms of cancer.
Dr. de la Serna has been a magnet for graduate students in our Biomedical Sciences program.
To date, she has served as a mentor for eight Ph.D. students, seven of whom have graduated
and one who is currently active in her lab. She has also served on thesis committees
for 23 additional students and has hosted a number of students in our summer undergraduate
program. As a testament to the high quality of mentorship they have received, all
of Dr. de la Serna’s Ph.D. students have gone on to secure impressive postdoctoral
positions at institutions like: Harvard, Mass General, Yale, St. Jude’s, the University
of Pennsylvania and The Fel’s Institute at Temple. Students who wrote letters in
support of her nomination were highly enthusiastic about Dr. de la Serna’s qualities
as a mentor. To cite just a few examples:
- One student wrote: “She has been the best mentor I could have ever asked for. She is
a true leader who inspires immensely with her work ethic.”
- Another wrote: “Dr. de la Serna has been the most accessible and considerate person I
have met professionally, and she provides for an excellent research environment.”
- And finally a third noted: “Seeing Dr. de la Serna work so passionately in the lab inspired
me to develop a similar attitude, which I now use every day to be successful in my
I believe that these comments illustrate why Dr. de la Serna is most deserving of this
Department of Biochemistry & Cancer Biology Welcomes New Faculty
The Department of Biochemistry & Cancer Biology wishes to welcome Saori Furuta, Ph.D.,
and Dayanidhi Raman, Ph.D.
Dr. Furuta joined the department in November 2015 as an Assistant Professor. She was previously
a Project Scientist in the Life Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab,
Berkeley, CA. Dr. Furuta investigates how mechanical and biochemical signals from
extracellular matrix (ECM) are transmitted for the establishment of mammary epithelial
architecture and to study how these mechanisms go awry during breast cancer carcinogenesis
and whether their restoration in malignant cells could elicit anti-tumor effects.
Dr. Raman joined the department in February 2016 as an Assistant Professor. He worked as a
Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt University
Medical Center in Nashville, TN. His research is centered on cancer cell biology
and biochemistry through chemokine receptors that mainly focus on cell signaling and
migration mediated by chemokine receptors CXCR2 and CXCR4.
Manning Article Most Highly Cited
Dr. Maurice Manning received notification from the Journal of Neuroendocrinology that his paper is the most highly cited paper overall and the most highly cited review
in JNE in 2014:
Manning, M., Misicka A., Olma, A., ,Bankowski, K., Stoev, S., Chini, B., Durroux,
T., Mouillac, B., Corbani, M., Guillon, G. (2012) Oxytocin and Vasopressin agonists and antagonists as research tools and potential
therapeutics. J. Neuroendocrinol 24:609-629.
|State Representative Honors UT Researcher
An assistant professor of biochemistry and cancer biology in the College of Medicine
and Life Sciences has received a commendation from the Ohio House of Representatives
for receiving a grant from The University of Toledo Medical Research Society.
State Rep. Michael Ashford (D-Toledo) has honored Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann for her efforts in researching the development of cancer-fighting treatments, including
ways to prevent cancer cells from spreading through the body.
“I have never received anything like that from any politician or anyone who could
have a vote in local or national science budgets,” Eisenmann said. “It was a proactive
move by Congressman Ashford to support the sciences.”
Last June, Eisenmann received $50,000 from the UT Medical Research Society to support
her research to develop a drug that will allow cancer-fighting treatments to more
effectively penetrate tumor cells.
This research is vital because ovarian cancer is the fifth-leading cause of cancer
deaths in American women. About 200,000 women in the United States live with this
cancer, and 55 percent of women diagnosed succumb to the disease within five years.
“It was a nice surprise to get the commendation in the mail,” Eisenmann said. “It
was very encouraging because we scientists receive a lot of criticisms on a day-to-day
basis — from reviewers, from scientific journals and from granting agencies. It is
part of the job, but nonetheless, it is wonderful to get this kind of positive feedback.
I am excited to see that our Ohio House of Representatives is pulling for the sciences.”
Ashford wrote on the award: “Throughout your career in the field of medicine, you
have supported countless peers in their research endeavors and have helped to nurture
within them a desire for excellence. Willingly giving of your time, energy and abilities
far beyond what was required or expected, you have earned the respect and gratitude
of your colleagues, your university and your community, and you are certainly deserving
of high praise.”
By Brandi Barhite, UT News, January 15th, 2016
UT Researcher Discovers New Way to Treat Brain Cancer
A scientist at The University of Toledo has discovered a potential way to stop the
spreading of the most lethal brain cancer glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann, UT assistant professor of biochemistry and cancer biology, worked with Van Andel
Research Institute on this study, which was published online Sept. 9 by the American
Society of Cell Biology in the journal Molecular Biology of the Cell.
Eisenmann’s team, led by first author and UT MD/PhD graduate student Jessica Arden,
found that cancer cells that cause GBM can potentially be stopped with a drug developed
by Van Andel Research Institute Professor Arthur Alberts.
“The most lethal part about GBM is that the cells move so rapidly,” Eisenmann said.
“We want to keep the cells in one place so they don’t spread to vital parts of the
In previous research, Alberts discovered a bioactive peptide called DAD and small
molecules called intramimics. Both DAD and intramimics activate a family of proteins
called DIAPHs or mDIA, which are known to play vital roles in GBM spread. He had been
exploring the use of the drug for colon cancer treatment.
Eisenmann decided to see if his research could be applied to GBM, which is the most
common brain tumor in adults. In 2010, there were 22,000 cases in the United States.
People with GBM often live fewer than 15 months following diagnosis because, despite
surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, individual cancer cells escape and invade healthy
surrounding tissue, making additional treatment attempts increasingly difficult.
Eisenmann was inspired to study treatments for GBM because she has had friends and
colleagues diagnosed with or die from the disease.
“It is one of the most lethal cancers and there are very few, if any, effective and
durable treatments,” she said. “The prognosis is usually poor.”
The next step, with the help of a $75,000 grant from UT’s Interdisciplinary Research
Initiation Award, is to evaluate the effectiveness of this new strategy in preclinical
models, a crucial move in translating this discovery to the clinic and patients.
“GBM is lethal because it so effectively escapes and evades therapy,” Eisenmann said.
“Our hope is this discovery will prove to be an anti-tumor strategy and one that will
be safe and effective for patients.
“New therapies for GBM are desperately needed,” she said. “We hope our latest finding
will lead to a novel and effective treatment for this extremely aggressive cancer.”
For more information on how to support this research, contact Allie Berns, assistant
director of annual giving, at 419.530.5414 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or contribute online at https://give2ut.utoledo.edu/gbm.asp.
By Brandi Barhite, UT News, November 2, 2015
Watch Dr. Eisenmann's interviews on WTOL 11 News on November 3, 2015 and on November 5, 2015
|Dr. Kathryn Eisenmann Receives First Medical Research Society Award
Dr. Kate Eisenmann has received the very first grant awarded from the University of Toledo Medical Research
Society. The $50K grant will support her research for drug development that will
allow cancer-fighting treatments to more effectively penetrate tumor cells.
UTNews, June 29, 2015
Congratulations to CAB Alumni Michael Robinson, PhD
Mike will be awarded the Doctor of Medicine/Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Sciences
Program Outstanding Student award at The Class of 2015 Graduation Awards Ceremony
on May 28, 2015. He completed his PhD training in June 2013 in the labs of Dr. William Maltese and Dr. Paul Erhardt.