College of Graduate Studies
Archive for the ‘ News’ Category
On the lake Phoenix Golnick, a graduate student, left, and Joe Turner, an undergraduate student researcher, are aboard the Lake Erie Center’s new research vessel, which will be dedicated Thursday, July 16, at the National Museum of the Great Lakes. The students work with Dr. Tom Bridgeman, associate professor of ecology in the Department of Environmental Sciences.
The University of Toledo’s new research vessel with state-of-the-art technology will advance the Lake Erie Center’s environmental research into water quality, harmful algal blooms, invasive species and other issues impacting the Great Lakes region.
The dedication ceremony for the new 28-foot research vessel will be Thursday, July 16, at 10:30 a.m. at the National Museum of the Great Lakes, 1701 Front St. UT President Sharon Gaber and Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor John Carey will join faculty and students from the Lake Erie Center at the event.
“The UT Lake Erie Center is a national leader in water quality research. The addition of this research vessel will afford our dedicated faculty members the opportunity to advance their work to address issues such as the harmful algae that impact regions like ours that depend on the health of the Great Lakes,” Gaber said. “Given our location on the shores of Lake Erie and the depth of our expertise, it is vital for the University to make this investment to further our knowledge and provide sustainable solutions for our community.”
The new vessel was custom-made by North River Boats/Almar Boats in Roseburg, Ore., to meet the research needs of the Lake Erie Center faculty and staff. The new boat is constructed of aluminum and is larger and sturdier than the existing 25-foot fiberglass boat the center named the Mayflier, which had been UT’s primary research vessel for more than 15 years and will continue to be used on the Maumee River and Lake Erie.
“We are excited to add this wonderful new boat as an instrumental tool in the research efforts of our Lake Erie Center faculty and students,” said Dr. Carol Stepien, director of the Lake Erie Center and Distinguished University Professor of Ecology. “As the community has become more aware of the water quality issues that impact the Maumee Bay region, it is increasingly important for their public university to be able to maintain and build upon its leadership in addressing those issues. The new research vessel will help us do that.”
With this vessel, the researchers will no longer be restricted to field research only on calm waters, allowing them to collect data in differing kinds of weather conditions for a more comprehensive understanding of the ecology of the lake, said Dr. Tom Bridgeman, associate professor of ecology in the Department of Environmental Sciences.
The research vessel also is equipped with more advanced equipment and instrumentation that will allow the researchers to deploy buoys, bottom dredges, and fish trawling gear to expand the kinds of studies they can conduct, he said.
“We’ve used the new boat to launch a buoy in Maumee Bay about seven miles from Toledo’s water intake to monitor the blue-green algae in western Lake Erie, which we wouldn’t have been able to do with the Mayflier,” Bridgeman said. “We are already using that technology to track the harmful algal blooms this summer and to collect water samples so that we can provide some of the first data on the blooms as they grow and expand eastward.”
UT is working with the city of Toledo, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and others to monitor the health of Lake Erie and provide timely communications to residents who rely on the lake for their drinking water.
Real-time data from The University of Toledo’s buoy and other instruments monitoring western Lake Erie are available at habs.glos.us with additional information on the UT buoy at wqdatalive.com/public/515. The city has an online Toledo water quality dashboard to communicate the quality of the drinking water at toledo.oh.gov/services/public-utilities/water-treatment/water-quality.
The UT Lake Erie Center’s new vessel also has an enclosed cabin to protect the crew from the elements and additional enhanced safety gear that includes radar and a spotlight and power anchor windlass, all of which will allow for a longer research season and evening sampling if needed.
For more information on the UT Lake Erie Center, visit utoledo.edu/nsm/lec.
The UT College of Business and Innovation has received a five-year extension of its business accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), an elite distinction achieved by less than 5 percent of all the business schools in the world.
The accreditation, which is voluntary, follows an on-site evaluation in March by administrators of other AACSB-accredited institutions. The accreditation recognizes the college’s bachelor of business administration, bachelor of science in information technology, master of business administration/executive MBA, master of science in accounting and PhD degree programs.
Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the longest serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in business and accounting. It is an association of educational institutions, businesses and other organizations devoted to the advancement of higher education in management education, and is the premier accrediting agency of collegiate business schools and accounting programs worldwide.
“It takes a great deal of commitment and determination to earn and maintain AACSB accreditation,” said Robert Reid, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International. “Business schools must not only meet specific standards of excellence, but their deans, faculty and professional staff must make a commitment to ongoing continuous improvement to ensure that the institution will continue to deliver the highest quality of education to students.”
“UT and the College of Business and Innovation are very excited at this continuing recognition by the AACSB,” noted Dr. Gary S. Insch, dean of the college. “This validates the high quality of our faculty and students, as well as the significance of our curriculum at all levels.
“This is also great news following the fantastic news we received this spring, namely, that the College of Business and Innovation received — in its first attempt — an Accounting Department accreditation from the AACSB. This is a voluntary accreditation obtained by only 1.3 percent (182 institutions) of accounting programs in the 13,670 business schools around the world.
“Our inclusion in this select group is a seal of quality for our degree programs,” Insch said. “It elevates the value of degrees received, leads to increased enrollment of high quality students, and enhances the qualifications of alumni.”
This is one in a series of articles written by research students in the University of Toledo College of Medicine (the former Medical College of Ohio) Biomedical graduate program exploring basic issues of human health.
Heart failure is the end point for many different diseases of the heart and the number one cause of death in the western world.
Every year, about one in four deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease, with the total economic impact in the billions of dollars.
Your heart is an amazing structure that pumps 5 liters of blood per minute throughout the body for your entire life. This continuous pumping activity requires both electrical and biochemical signaling within the heart cells.
Picture your heart as containing four separate rooms that include the right and left atria (upstairs) and the right and left ventricles (downstairs).
Your blood is pumped through each of these chambers at different times as it moves through your body. The downstairs room to the left (left ventricle) is often considered most important, as blood is pumped from here into the “tree trunk” artery called the aorta, that branches to carry blood full of oxygen and nutrients to every part of your body.
Your heart can sense when extra pressure is placed onto it and can channel extra energy to overcome this stress and protect itself from damage. This extra stress is usually the hardest on your left ventricle, as it must pump blood to the entire body, and results in Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH). LVH simply means that the heart muscle is purposely enlarging to do more work to reduce the extra stress.
Heart muscle cells are specialized cells that stop dividing shortly after birth — unlike blood, hair, or skin cells that can divide and produce new cells throughout your life. Because heart cells cannot renew themselves, they respond to stress by increasing the work force inside each cell. This increased work force produces more proteins and causes each heart cell to enlarge. The larger size of each heart cell is what causes the hypertrophy, or enlargement, of your heart under stress.
This stress-induced heart enlargement is protective, but only for a short time. If the stress continues, the heart ultimately gives up. is is because persistent stress will kill heart cells that cannot grow any larger.
Eventually scar tissue that cannot conduct electrical or biochemical signaling replaces these heart cells and heart failure results.
Imagine driving a car with the engine starting to die. It probably won’t go much further unless the problem is fixed. The same principle applies to our body, with our heart as the engine.
Prolonged hypertrophy or enlargement of the heart is a strong signal of heart cell damage and if this process is not stopped, it will eventually stop the heart from working. Hypertrophy is a very complicated process that can be activated by many different conditions. The treatment options available now can only slow down hypertrophy without actually curing it.
Our scientific team at the University of Toledo, College of Medicine and Life Sciences, seeks better treatment strategy to overcome this major dilemma. We have shown that the production of two specific proteins are needed for the increased cell size observed in hypertrophy, by using animal and heart cell models.
One such protein, Microphthalmia associated transcription factor (MITF), is required to increase the levels of GATA4, a critical protein involved in the development of hypertrophy. MITF activates the gene that codes for GATA4 inside the heart cell. All of the genes that require activation are part of the chromatin, a tightly condensed form of DNA. This condensed DNA inhibits increased protein levels within each cell.
For MITF to signal increased levels of other proteins and make the heart cell larger, the chromatin first needs to be in a relaxed form. This relaxation is brought about by a large chromatin remodeling complex containing Brahma Related Gene 1 (BRG1), the primary protein that provides energy for chromatin relaxation. Our work suggests that MITF and BRG1 act as partners in crime by working together to develop cardiac hypertrophy.
We believe that these discoveries hold potential for the development of a therapy to treat hypertrophy. However, more research will be needed to fully determine the roles of these proteins in normal and disease processes within your heart cells. Effective therapy will affect only the disease causing activities of a protein, without affecting normal functioning in the cell.
Gaurav Mehta is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biochemistry & Cancer Biology at The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences biomedical science program. Gaurav is doing his research project in the laboratory of Dr. Ivana de la Serna and in collaboration with Dr. Lijun Liu and Dr. Bina Joe. Gaurav has recently accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania to continue his investigations in this area of research. For more information, contact Gaurav.Mehta2@rockets.utoledo.edu or go to utoledo.edu/med/grad/biomedical.