College of Graduate Studies

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Graduate Nursing Information Session on February 28, 2017

What nursing degree do you need to advance your career? MSN/DNP/Graduate Certificate? Learn more at the Graduate Nursing Information Session, Tuesday, February 28th 5:00 -6:30 pm, UT Health Science Campus, Collier Building, Room 1200. Click on the flyer for more information.

Call for abstracts for posters for the 4th Annual Symposium on Research in Psychiatry, Psychology and Behavioral Science

$300 prize for the Best Student Submission! Call for abstracts for posters for the 4th Annual Symposium on Research in Psychiatry, Psychology and Behavioral Science. Click on the flyer for more information.

Researchers aim to stop progression of kidney disease by Jeffrey Xie, M.D./​PhD student in the Department of Medicine UT

Scientists at UT look at one specific molecule that can detect problems early

Published on
It is estimated that 14 percent of the U.S. population has chronic kidney disease, which is an umbrella term for many conditions that can cause ongoing injury to the kidneys.

Both high blood pressure and diabetes can cause damage to the kidneys, which over time, can result in chronic kidney disease. One reason this disease is so widespread is that it is often silent, meaning that many people with chronic kidney disease do not have enough symptoms to diagnose until it is very advanced.


Jeffrey Xie is a student at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences Biomedical Science.

Scientists from around the world, including several of us at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, formerly the Medical College of Ohio, are working hard to find ways to prevent patients diagnosed with chronic kidney disease from ever progressing to the most severe stage of the disease.

The kidney’s primary job is to filter the blood to remove waste products. Doctors can determine how effective a person’s kidneys are by measuring something called his glomerular filtration rate. Doctors use glomerular filtration rates to determine the progression of chronic kidney disease in their patients. When a patient’s glomerular filtration rate drops to 15 percent of a healthy person’s, that patient has reached end-stage kidney failure.

Despite all of the advances in modern medicine, the only two treatment options for end-stage kidney failure are repeated dialysis, which often lead to a number of bad side effects, or a kidney transplant, where the estimated wait time for a kidney can be three to five years.

Changes to a patient’s kidney that have occurred by the time he has reached end-stage kidney failure are not reversible. Because of such extensive kidney damage, it is unlikely that a drug will be found to treat end-stage kidney failure for the foreseeable future.

At UT, we are focused on finding better ways to identify chronic kidney disease at earlier stages to give doctors a better chance to slow down or even stop chronic kidney disease in its tracks. Under the direction of professors Steven Haller and Jiang Tian, I research one specific molecule called Cluster of Differentiation 40, or CD40, which we believe could be useful in detecting chronic kidney disease at earlier stages.

Interestingly, scientists have actually known about CD40 for years. It plays a central role in activating an immune response and helping the body fight infection.

However, CD40 has recently been identified as also having an important role in chronic kidney disease.

Through a collaborative effort with other scientists from UT, we have recently shown that blocking CD40 can be helpful in treating chronic kidney disease in the laboratory. We demonstrated that animal models without CD40 were more resistant to chronic kidney disease.

We are working to convert these research findings into real-world benefits for patients with chronic kidney disease. There is still a lot that remains unknown about the function of CD40 in the kidneys, and I have worked hard to unravel these mysteries. However, much more work needs to be done before doctors can apply our research findings in the hospital.

As a result of working alongside a large, multidisciplinary research team that includes statisticians, mathematicians and doctors who specialize in treating patients with kidney disorders, we have made and will continue to strive to make important contributions in our fight against chronic kidney disease.

Jeffrey Xie is an M.D./​PhD student in the department of medicine in the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences Biomedical Science Program. Mr. Xie is doing his research in the laboratory of Drs. Jiang Tian and Steven Haller. For more information, contact or go to​med/​grad/​biomedical.

UT Leadership Conference – Saturday Feb 11, 2017


UT Leadership Conference

  • Saturday, February 11, 2017
  • 9:00am-3:30pm
  • Memorial Field House
  • Free to all UT Students!

Registration open until Feb. 3rd:

Do you want to develop your leadership ability with the help of experts from campus and the community? The 2017 Leadership Conference will embrace The University of Toledo’s next generation of leaders with its theme of “Next Generation Leadership.” College students today are comprised of a mixture of generation groups. What do the unique characteristics of your generation mean for your leadership style and experience? Campus and community experts will help you discover the importance of being a leader who utilizes technology to showcase your leadership, learns from the advice of experienced leaders, and acquires fundamental leadership skills.

The 2017 Leadership Conference keynote speaker is Frank Kitchen, “The Life and Leadership Connoisseur.” Kitchen will share his FRESH recipes on life and leadership to educate, elevate, and empower students. Other conference speakers include UT faculty and staff as well as community professionals employed in a variety of fields such as marketing, business, and healthcare. Session topics include “Why Cultural Competency Matters for 21st Century Leadership” and “Leverage Leadership on LinkedIn.”

The conference will take place on Saturday, February 11, 2017 (9:00am-3:30pm). Registration is open until February 3rd and can be accessed on OrgSync at

Space is limited, so please register as soon as possible!

Conference t-shirts are available for purchase until January 27th at

For more information, please call the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership at 419.530.4944 or email


January/February 2017 – MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN


Welcome to 2017! The New Year always provides an impetus to start fresh! As the new semester begins think of it as your opportunity to freshen your view and sow new seeds to make your path greener and plant new flowers to add the joy and variety you desire in your present and your future.

In our effort to freshen our garden in the College of Graduate Studies, we will announce several changes over the next month. We will see personnel changes, a request for proposals for new graduate programs and new professional and personal development options for our students and mentors. As the university strives to develop its new strategic directions, it is important that graduate education remain actual, relevant and the highest of quality. That is what you demand and that is what we strive to deliver. If you have a graduate program in mind that you would like to see the University of Toledo offer, please respond to the request for proposals that will be announced within the next few weeks. This proposal will be accessible to graduate students as well as faculty and we encourage collaborative proposals between all constituents.

As for professional and personal development, we want to offer what you need. A survey will arrive in your email box soon requesting your input on the areas that you would like to see offered in this domain. If you would like to send me a personal communication instead, please feel free to contact me at
I wish you all the best in the new semester and in the new year.  We will strive TOGETHER to create the future that we desire for our university, community, nation and world, one step at a time!

Most Sincerely,

Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, Dr. rer. Nat
Dean, College of Graduate Studies
Associate Professor of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry

College of Graduate Studies Current Students
MyUT Portal Graduate Tab
419.530.GRAD (4723)

Student Affairs Graduate Assistant Recruitment Day


Do You Know Someone Looking for a Graduate Assistantship?

Student Affairs Graduate Assistant Recruitment Day
February 10, 2017
Student Union,  Room 2592
9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Are you applying to graduate school for the 2017-2018 academic school year? Do you have an interest in working in the Division of Student Affairs? Do you have a passion and desire to inspire the lives of others?  If so, consider applying for a graduate assistantship within the Division of Student Affairs at The University of Toledo!

To learn more about available graduate assistantships, please visit and register by February 1, 2017.  All applicants are required to register for the recruitment day.

What is a Graduate Assistant (GA)?
A Graduate Assistant is a graduate student holding regular admission to a degree program who maintains a 3.0 GPA and works as a Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, Administrative Assistant or Intern for an Academic or Administrative department within the University.  Graduate Assistants work a specified number of hours per week (typically 20 hours), maintain a minimum course load (typically 12 hours/semester), and fulfill specific job requirements as set forth in their GA contract and by their supervisor. As a GA, most students receive a tuition remission/waiver (typically full-time tuition), a stipend or paycheck and an amazing work experience.

What types of graduate assistantship positions are typically available?
Within the Division of Student Affairs, there are a wide array of assistantships available to graduate students.  Graduate assistantships vary from year to year.  Please visit the website for a complete list of anticipated openings for the 2017-2018 academic year.

If I have a question, who should I contact?

If you have questions regarding the Student Affairs Graduate Assistant Recruitment Day, please contact co-chairs Daniel Boyle at or Evita Parks at

We look forward to receiving your application!

A Presentation on Life as a Minority Graduate Student

Date and Time: Sunday Jan 29th, 2017 1-3 PM
Venue: Student Union Room 3018

See the flier here for more information


Last call for registration and abstracts for Council of Biomedical Graduate Students Research Forum 2017

Registration closes at 5pm tomorrow, January 20th.  

Abstract submission deadline at 5pm, January 27th.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to present your work to your colleagues and faculty on the Health Science Campus, and to meet Dr. Andras Nagy, one of the top stem cell researchers in the world!  Make sure to deliver a signed copy of your abstract to your track representative if you are presenting.

Tentative schedule Poster Set-Up: Tuesday, March 21st Poster Presentation Preliminary Rounds: Wednesday, March 22nd, Morning, IISC Oral Presentation Preliminary Rounds: Wednesday, March 22nd, Afternoon, IISC Oral/Poster Presentations Final Round: Thursday, March 23rd, Morning, IISC Keynote Lecture, Dr. Andras Nagy: Thursday, March 23rd, Afternoon, HEB 110 Lunch will be provided to all participants on Wednesday.

Abstract submission link:

CBGS Graduate Research Forum 2016 abstract submission form for both oral and poster presentation participants. ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE: January 27, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Abstract limit: 250 words Please review your abstract carefully before submitting. Once your abstract is submitted, it cannot be changed. Reminder: You must submit a hard copy of your abstract signed by your advisor to your track representative by January 27th at 5:00 p.m.

 Please contact or your track representative with any questions.

Clinical Informatics Analyst Position – Blanchard Valley Health System

Blanchard Valley Health System
Clinical Informatics Analyst
January 17, 2017

This position extracts, manages, analyzes and interprets data for various stakeholders, including local employers, payers and health care providers.  The position is responsible for overall management of the Medical Home Registry database and associated reporting and analytics.  The position is also responsible for preparing analyses of health care quality, processes, outcomes and costs for presentation to medical committees, medical home providers, employers and other audiences.

Job Duties/Responsibilities

Duty 1: Oversees and operates the Patient Centered Medical Home electronic registry software application for the Patient Centered Medical Home. This includes expanding and optimizing registry functionality to support Medical Home operations, enrollment, projects and organizational structure now and as Medical Home program evolves. Ensure and monitor the integrity and accuracy of the data in the registry. Design and generate customized registry reports and alerts. Provide input to software vendor for software development to meet expanding medical home needs.

Duty 2: Produces analyses and reports from health data software system, the registry, electronic medical record data repository and other data sources.  This involves combining data sets from different sources. Prepare analyses of healthcare quality, processes, outcomes and costs for presentation to medical committees, medical home providers, employers and other audiences for Medical Home Program and other programs and projects related to quality and cost.

Duty 3: Develops and produces individual physician and group practice profiles and bonus reports on quality and utilization performance for the Medical Home program and Employer Data Project (“EDOC”).  This includes conceptualizing the analytical framework, evaluating, extracting, synthesizing and processing data and identifying appropriate reporting formats in order to transform data into actionable information. Verifies and ensures the accuracy, validity and integrity of data and of analyses.

Duty 4: Provides extensive data mining and report development support for clinical projects using  SQL Server Management Tools and electronic medical record databases. Creates SQL reports by developing and using complex algorithms. This includes data extraction, data definitions, data alignment and integration across data sets, defining metrics and designing reports, as well as complex modeling. Verifies and ensures the accuracy of data mining.

Duty 5: Manages relationships with multiple data partners (payers, software vendor, third party health claims data administrators, pharmacy and vision plan administrators, and other parties) to define and facilitate data production for existing and new projects and to maintain data security. Oversees system definition, set up and maintenance with electronic registry and other software vendors. Identifies and directly pursues resolution of problems and opportunities for improvement of the software application with the vendor.

Duty 6: Trains others in registry use and reporting in group and individual settings. Acts as resource to and consults with the physician office sites, including problem solving and report writing, responding to requests in a timely and accurate manner. Conducts site visits to physician offices to evaluate and improve use of registry, monitors data integrity, and identifies opportunities for improving medical home processes.

Duty 7: Provides operational and administrative support to the Medical Home and care navigation programs including maintaining physician payment and medical home enrollment files; care navigation patient rosters and indicators; data downloads, scrubbing and uploads; reporting to third party administrators for benefits administration for education/participation benefits; preparation of physician bonus and educational mailings, etc.

Duty 8:  Participates in the writing of analysis plans and reports for EDOC, Medical Home Program and other projects and programs. Documents analytical steps and processes used. Prepares the results of projects, programs and research for presentation and publication. Gathers and integrates a wide variety of healthcare-related information by telephone, Internet searches, and other means.


·         Master’s Degree in information management, clinical informatics, healthcare administration, economics, statistics or epidemiology preferred. Bachelor’s degree in information management, health informatics, healthcare administration, economics or related field required.

·         Excellent data management skills applied in health care or other similar data analysis projects, including experience producing data analyses for presentation.

·         Excellent critical thinking and analytical skills. Ability to analyze and integrate multiple disparate data sets and develop analytical framework for using the data to address study questions and topics in healthcare quality and cost areas.

·         Experience with healthcare registry software or database applications preferred.

·         Experience with healthcare and pharmacy claims data, diagnosis and billing codes, and experience identifying and resolving data integrity issues preferred.

·         Ability to use independent judgment and discretion about matters of significance.

·         Expert level of expertise and proficiency with spreadsheet and database management software (SQL, Microsoft Excel and Access) for extensive manipulation and analysis of data, including graphic presentation of data, and writing functional reports that support daily operations in patient case management and other areas.

·         Strong organizational skills and consistent attention to detail.

·         Exercise of judgment and discretion in matters of confidentiality, including in relation to physician performance analysis.

·         Coursework or experience in statistics preferred.

·         Strong written and oral communication skills.

·         Ability to work well independently and with others.

·         High level of initiative; tolerance for long periods of data manipulation and analysis and multiple concurrent projects.


This position requires a full range of body motion with intermittent activities including typing and use of computer for extended periods, walking, sitting, climbing stairs, and standing. The associate must have corrected vision and hearing in the normal range. The individual must have excellent verbal communication skills to perform daily tasks.

Better matches of kidney donors, recipients studied


Imagine having to sit still for four hours, three times a week, week in and week out, year after year. And you know each time you start another dialysis session, your chance of going back to normal gets chipped away a little more.

These dialysis treatments are the mildest downside of living with failed kidneys.

Personally, I feel tremendously thankful for having received my kidney transplant after only a few months and without having to endure these therapy sessions. I returned to normal, but 100,000 Americans on the kidney transplant waiting list are not as fortunate.


Dulat Bekbolsynov, a kidney transplant recipient, is a PhD candidate at the University of Toledo College of Medicine studying how to better match donors with organ recipients.

During the last 30 years, the transplant waiting list has grown relentlessly while the number of transplants has changed very little. People wait for years, and many never get one. On average, 20 patients die every day because a donor was not found for them.

Kidneys are organs that let us eat a banana without suffering a heart attack from potassium spike. The incredibly complex network of tiny blood vessels inside kidney tissue filters many different toxins from our blood. But when these vessels fail to do their job, they can never be fixed, only replaced. Kidney transplantation is the best treatment option for kidney failure.

However, finding a donor for kidney transplantation is difficult. The biggest problem is compatibility; the donated kidney must match the patient closely enough to avoid rejection after transplantation. For example, my brother could not donate to me, because his blood type was different, and my mom had health issues that made it unsafe for her to donate. This happens often and means that a nonrelative matching donor must be found, which can be much more difficult.

Our research lab participates in the Alliance for Paired Donation program hosted at UT Medical Center, which helps patients who need a kidney transplant find a good match. This program works by finding matches with other patients and willing, but incompatible donors, and starting a donation chain. This approach, used creatively, has worked wonders to make more complicated multi-way exchanges possible. In addition, we also use deceased donors to increase compatible matches.

But finding a match and undergoing transplant surgery does not end potential problems. The human body has evolved to have protection against anything foreign. This protection system, or immunity, is helpful when it comes to dealing with infections.

Your immune system detects foreign objects by inspecting specific molecular markers on the foreign object called antigens. Human Leukocyte Antigen, or HLA, is responsible for recognition and rejection of transplanted organs. Once the immune system sees the foreign HLA, it produces antibodies — molecules that will attack and kill the transplant. But the more similar the HLA between donor and recipient, the less visible it is to the immune system and thus, the lower your chances of rejection of the new kidney.

One of our main goals is to better match donors and recipients, so that transplants will last much longer without rejection. We also are working to prevent other post-transplant complications. The ultimate goal of our research is to increase successful transplants and decrease waiting lists and kidney rejections.

How do we do this? We look at antigen matching in a new and different way.

We know that the patient’s immune system detects foreign antigens by examining both physical and chemical differences between antigens of the donor and patient. Therefore, we wanted to look at both donor and patient HLA antigens in a more complete way in our lab by carefully studying both clinical histories and blood samples from different patients.

Using this approach, we can see exactly how much antibody against donor HLA was produced by the patient’s immune system after receiving a transplant. We use this knowledge to confirm that a better match is associated with less antibodies produced by the patient’s immune system against the transplant.

Our results show that a better physical and chemical match is associated with longer survival of transplanted kidneys and patients. We are continuing to investigate this new method of donor matching to increase our knowledge and improve this method for clinical use in the future.

Overall, our initial results are promising. As our research progresses, we hope to see more transplants, fewer people die on waiting list and a reduction in rejections after transplantation.

Dulat Bekbolsynov is a PhD student in the department of medical microbiology and immunology in the Biomedical Science Program at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, formerly the Medical College of Ohio. Mr. Bekbolsynov is doing his research in the laboratory of Dr. Stanislaw Stepkowski. For more information, contact or go to