College of Graduate Studies

Election Results for GSA Officers 2017-2018

Click Here for Election Results for GSA Officers 2017-2018

Careers in Science Day on April 6, 2017

We have Dr. Gil Van Bokkelen, the CEO, Chairman, and Co-Founder of Athersys, coming to speak at 10am, with a Q&A session afterwards. He’ll be speaking about his work in Stem Cells, as well as on his career path. His seminar is titled, “Opportunities in the Field of Regenerative Medicine – Impact on Areas of Substantial Unmet Medical Need” In the afternoon, there are 15 min opportunities for students or faculty to meet with him in small groups (1-3 people) to discuss specific/personal questions. These meetings are available by reservation only.

In the afternoon there is a career fair, which includes 12 scientific companies (see the website for an exact list, including job postings). These companies are specifically interested in grad students in the sciences, but there are plenty of positions for undergrads too and for students of all majors.

UT researchers map genetic code to determine cancer risk, by Rose Zolondek, doctoral student in the Biomedical Science program

Published on April 3, 2017 | Updated 12:54 a. m.


Rose Zolondek is a student pursuing her doctorate in philosophy at the University of Toledo college of medicine and life sciences biomedical science program.

Do you know someone with cancer? If so, there is a strong chance that this person has lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States and is the most common cancer worldwide. About 160,000 Americans were expected to die from lung cancer in 2016, accounting for 27 percent of all cancer-related deaths.


Rose Zolondek is a student pursuing her doctorate in philosophy at the University of Toledo college of medicine and life sciences biomedical science program.

Identifying and then screening a person at high risk can reduce the likelihood of that person dying from lung cancer. Screening allows doctors to find tumors at an earlier stage when they are more responsive to treatment and potentially curable by surgical removal. About 9 million Americans are at high risk for lung cancer. Based on a large clinical trial, early screening of people at high risk reduced the risk of dying from lung cancer by 20 percent.

How do we identify who is at risk? The risk of lung cancer varies from person to person and depends on both a person’s inherited genetics and on environmental exposures such as smoking, radon, asbestos, and many other toxins that can get into your lungs.

At the University of Toledo college of medicine and life sciences, formerly the Medical College of Ohio, we are investigating the differences in our risk of lung cancer by studying differences in inherited genetic code. Most of the cells in the body, including lung cells, contain chromosomes you inherited from one’s parents. Each chromosome is composed of DNA building blocks in a sequence that defines an individual’s unique genetic code, just like sequences of letters define a word, sequences of musical notes define a song, or sequences of symbols define a computer program.

We now know specific DNA sequences of each human genome that produce different hair and eye color. We also see differences in DNA sequences at certain genetic locations that increase the risk for human diseases such as lung cancer. For example, certain inherited DNA sequence differences can change the way cells in the lung react to environmental exposures such as tobacco smoke.

Differences in DNA sequence are called single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs. Each SNP is a change in a single DNA building block, also called a nucleotide. SNPs are found every 300 nucleotides on average. This means that one’s entire genome contains about 10 million SNPs total. Most SNPs do not have any effect on one’s health. However, some SNPs are within DNA sequences that code for proteins and therefore can affect one’s risk for a specific disease such as lung cancer.

Our research lab studies SNPs in genetic sequences that are responsible for the repair of damaged DNA. This is a very important function within one’s cells. Damaged DNA, if not repaired properly, can result in a population of cells with a DNA mutation that may lead to cancer.

We now know that if certain SNPs occur in specific genetic sequences, they can inhibit DNA from being repaired properly, which increases the chance of lung cancer, especially if you smoke.

We now have machines that can rapidly sequence the entire human genome, which is 3 billion nucleotides long. Our research lab uses these machines to identify the nucleotide sequence of SNPs that are associated with increased risk for lung cancer. My  research focus is based on our recent results with genes that are responsible for protecting DNA in lung cells from damage and other genes that repair damage when it occurs.

For example, we are studying genes such as glutathione peroxidase, or GPX1, that protect lung cells from certain toxic effects of cigarette smoke. We are also studying genes called TTC38 and TRMU. Very little is known about the function of TTC38, which makes it exciting to study. We know that TRMU helps to modify letters in the DNA code and SNPs in this gene are associated with deafness, but also appear to have a role in lung cancer.

Identifying the function of SNPs in these genes help us better identify high risk individuals who may have the best benefit from regular screenings in the clinic. This would increase early detection of lung cancer and allow patients to be treated earlier. Earlier treatment often means better outcomes especially for lung cancer.

We continue to increase our understanding of lung cancer risk and to fight against this devastating disease by our ongoing collaborative work with other researchers and pulmonary doctors at the University of Toledo, the Toledo Hospital, the University of Michigan, and many other centers of excellence in lung cancer research. Our research is supported by the National Institutes of Health and the George Isaac Cancer Research Fund.

Rose Zolondek is a student pursuing her doctorate of philosophy in the University of Toledo college of medicine and life sciences biomedical science program. Ms. Zolondek is doing her research in the laboratory of Dr. James Willey. For information, contact or go to​med/​grad/​biomedical.

March Reminders from the Graduate College

March Reminders from the Graduate College

Special Professional Development Issue

Spring is right around the corner – in fact, we will all “spring ahead” with Daylight Saving Time this Sunday the 12th. The College of Graduate Studies is also springing ahead with the continuous planning and adding of new professional development opportunities. We have provided more interactive workshops, which have been very well-received, such as the Elevator Pitch  – Presenting Yourself in partnership with Career Services and Editing Your Perfect LinkedIn Profile with Mary Jo Borden of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. We have also cross-promoted with the Career Center, University Libraries, and the College of Medicine in an effort to bring awareness to other professional development opportunities and increase participation. We are working on a survey that will attempt to uncover what you want and need in professional and personal development, but you don’t have to wait for the survey to let us know. You can email suggestions to Teri Green at or a personal communication to Dean Amanda at .

In our communication last month, we shared some upcoming changes at the College of Graduate Studies, including a request for proposals for new graduate programs. As the university strives to develop its new strategic directions, it is important that graduate education remain actual, relevant and the highest of quality. 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 by going to the New or Modified Graduate Program Proposals website : This proposal will be accessible to graduate students as well as faculty and we encourage collaborative proposals between all constituents.   All proposals should be submitted by midnight, April 30, 2017.

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


The Graduate College is pleased to present, sponsor, and collaborate with other offices to bring you programming in Academic Planning, Academic Enhancements, Career Development, Thesis and Dissertation Services, and Graduate Writing. Please take a few minutes to review the program descriptions and make sure to “Save the Date” on any you are interested in. We have added workshops for the summer semester with more to follow. Questions and suggestions may be directed to Teri Green at

Week of March 13 – 17  


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of all jobs are found through networking. Networking is essential for career development and job search techniques, but even the most confident of us can get tongue-tied when starting conversations with potential employers. Learn the guidelines for communicating and networking with employers that will help you get your foot in the door! This program will teach you effective networking strategies, utilizing online resources to find employment, preparing employer presentations, and attending career fairs/recruitment events. This session is open to all graduate students CLICK HERE TO REGISTER – Please bring a laptop with you to work on searches!

  • Monday, March 13th from 2 – 3 pm in Student Union 2591 (Main Campus)
  • Tuesday, March 14th from 4 -5 pm in Collier Building 1030 (Health Science Campus)


Did you know that LinkedIn completely changed their desktop platform in February? If you have not returned to your LinkedIn profile since you created it, or you are needing to take your profile to the next level, then this is the workshop for you! Our facilitator, Mary Jo Borden, M.Ed., from the College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences will be focused on assisting individuals update their LinkedIn profile to best suit their needs, with the primary focus being the development and/or improvement of the Profile Summary. She will be assisted by Teri Green of the College of Graduate Studies. Please bring your own laptop to participate in this workshop. Special Bonus: Dress professionally if you wish to take a headshot photo to add to your LinkedIn account! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.

Prior to the workshop
Create your account at
Use this handout to review and edit your profile prior to the workshop: LinkedIn Tips and Profile Suggestions
Bring a laptop or tablet to work on your profile in the workshop

  • Thursday March 16, 2017 from NOON – 1:30 pm on Collier Building 2409 (Health Science Campus)
  • Thursday, March 16, 2017 from 5:00 – 6:30 pm on Field House Room 1220 (Main Campus)


Overview of library resources and services for graduate students in Engineering. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Learning Objectives: Access the library catalog, e-journal finder, and subject research databases / Construct an individual research profile that incorporates the use of folders, search histories, and alerts / Create an interlibrary loan account

  • Wednesday, March 15 at 1:00 pm in McMaster Engineering Library, Palmer 2600

INTERNET PRIVACY – Library Workshop

This workshop will teach you how to keep your personal information private online, helping you keep a Google search of your name positive! CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Learning Objectives: How to lock down your social media to the most private settings / What you agree to in a license agreement / How to see what potential employers will see on your social media accounts.
Best for: Undergraduates or those new to social media or anyone wanting to change their social media “footprint”

  • Thursday, March 16 at 3:00 pm in Carlson Library 1025

Week of March 20 – 24


Learn to use the EndNote software to collect citations, attach full text, annotate and organize, and ultimately create bibliographies for research papers and manuscripts. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Learning Objectives: How to acquire and organize literature citations in EndNote / How to use EndNote to give proper credit via citing literature in your work.

Useful Links/Guides: EndNote Library Management

  • Monday, March 20 at 4:00 pm in Carlson Library 1025

Week of March 27 – March 31


Overview of library resources and services for graduate students in Engineering. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Learning Objectives: Access the library catalog, e-journal finder, and subject research databases / Construct an individual research profile that incorporates the use of folders, search histories, and alerts / Create an interlibrary loan account

  • Tuesday, March 28 at 3:00 pm in McMaster Engineering Library, Palmer 2600

Week of April 3 – 7


Learn to use the EndNote software to collect citations, attach full text, annotate and organize, and ultimately create bibliographies for research papers and manuscripts. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Learning Objectives: How to acquire and organize literature citations in EndNote / How to use EndNote to give proper credit via citing literature in your work.

Useful Links/Guides: EndNote Library Management

  • Wednesday, April 5 at 4:00 pm in Carlson Library 1025


Going on a job interview? Want to write a targeted cover letter? Looking for companies in a particular location or industry? Learn how to use company research databases and company websites to assist your job hunt. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Learning Objectives: Use various research systems to retrieve information / Examine and compare information from various sources in order to evaluate reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias

Useful Links/Guides: Career & Job Information / Business Sources

  • Thursday, April 6 at 11:00 am in Carlson Library 1025

Week of April 10 – 14


This program is designed to improve your interviewing skills and equip you for the next steps in the interview process. We will focus on the preparedness components and interviewing strategies of a successful interview. Preparation for an interview includes punctuality, a padfolio, and professional attire. Interviewing strategy includes answering interview-style questions and format-specific approaches to the various types of interviews including telephone, Skype, panel, and one-on-one meetings. These sessions are open to all graduate students CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

  • Monday, April 10th from 2 – 3 pm in Student Union 2591 (Main Campus)
  • Thursday, April 13th from 4 – 5 pm in Collier Building 1030 (Health Science Campus)


This program will cover the basics of organizing and writing your literature review in order to maximize your research. Activities designed to enhance skills in synthesizing and summarizing will be conducted and handouts will include annotated sample literature reviews and lists of questions to ask and answer as you write, which will help provide focus and structure to your writing. REGISTRATION NOT YET AVAILABLE.

  • Thursday, April 13 from 5:30 – 7:00pm (Main Campus location TBA)
  • Tuesday, April 11 from 5:30 – 7:00pm (Health Science Campus location TBA)

Coming this Summer!


Sponsored by the College of Graduate Studies, University Libraries, and the Writing Center

Three-day (15 hours) workshop providing dedicated space and time to focus on writing, access to librarians, and daily quick-topic tutorials. Facilitators will be available for one-on-one assistance. Healthy snacks and guided stretching breaks included! More details coming soon. REGISTRATION NOT YET AVAILABLE.

  • July or August
  • Thursday 4 – 9pm, Friday 1 – 6pm, Saturday 10-3pm
  • Carlson Library

More workshops being added for the summer include social mixers from Career Services, Beginner and Advanced LinkedIn creation and use, and library topics. Stay tuned!

Remember, all professional development programs are open to all graduate students in all degree programs on all campuses.

Questions and suggestions may be directed to Teri Green at

Cross Promotion with College of Medicine

***Please note that while the College of Medicine workshops are open to any interested graduate student, they are developed and facilitated by the College of Medicine, and any questions regarding registration, content, date, or location should be directed to Michelle Arbogast at 419-383-6248

Improving body language. Improv sessions. No props talk. Facilitated by James Stover – Theater Dept.

  • Thursday, March 30 from 5:30 – 6:30pm in TBA

Facilitated by Jean Overmeyer and Nicole Northrop – MMS Holdings, Inc.

  • Thursday, April 6 from 5:30 – 6:30pm in TBA

Speaker: M. Kair ElZarrad, Senior Policy Analyst, National Institutes of Health

  • Thursday, April 13 from 5:30 – 6:30pm in Collier Building Room 1050 (HSC)

Faciliated by Joan Trempe, former Director of the Academic Enrichment Center.

  • Thursday, April 20 from 5:30 – 6:30 in TBA


Graduation Application
If you missed the deadline to apply for Spring 2017 graduation, it’s not too late! Please submit your application through the MyUT portal as soon as possible. As the deadline has passed, we are unable to guarantee that your name will appear in the Spring Commencement Program. All graduation applications for Spring must be processed no later than May 5th.
It’s not too early to apply if you are planning for a Summer 2017 graduation (Deadline: May 26th)! Please submit your application through the MyUT portal. Remember, you have to be registered for a minimum of one graduate credit hour in the semester in which you plan on graduating.

Planning Information

Check out our newly updated Graduation Overview webpage for all information regarding graduation, commencement, diplomas, transcripts, fees, and more.

Degree Audits

Our office is working on getting out the spring degree audits, which will be sent to your UTAD email account, but you can print off one of our newly revised Graduation Completion Checklists to keep yourself on track in the meantime.

Commencement Ceremony Information – university wide, except College of Medicine and Life Sciences

Questions and suggestions?

Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Nursing: Teri Green at
All other colleges: Elissa Falcone at


Please visit for Spring 2017 Recruitment Events and registration. Save the Date!

Events include: Paralegal Studies Career Fair, Peace Corps, Toledo Metroparks, College of Engineering Spring Career Expo, College of Nursing Career Fair, Toledo Zoo, College of Education UTEACH Job Fair, Family Service of NW Ohio, and more!


The GSA is an organization that represents the concerns of approximately 5,000 graduate students at the University of Toledo. The GSA sponsors many programs and provides funding to subsidize conference and symposium travel. Additionally, the GSA serves on numerous university-wide committees and organizes social events to help students develop contacts both on and off campus. Please visit the GSA website for updated information on meetings, events, programs, and funding.


“I can’t be a pessimist because I am alive”. Intersectional story-telling, educational agency, and mindful resistance under a U.S. autocracy. Join the GSA and the Judith herb College of Education and the College of Arts and Letters in welcoming Dra. Aurora Chang for a dynamic and interactive speaking engagement

March 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Health and Human Service building Room 1711 B & C.

Dra. Aurora Chang_Speaking Engagement_Revised1-page-001


  • Tuesday, March 14: Meeting at Main Campus in Student Union- Ingman Room, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday, April 12: Meeting at Health Science Campus in HEB 103, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

GSA Executive Officers / GSA College Representatives / Meeting Schedule / Contact & Calendar


For students completing a thesis or dissertation and who plan on graduating in the Spring 2017 term, please carefully review the deadlines associated with the entire process, from applying to graduate to submitting your ETD to OhioLINK.  Resources for formatting, intellectual property concerns, submission, publication, and more are found on our website.

Deadlines  /    Start Here! Three Simple Steps    /    Document Preparation  /  ETD Submission ETD Upload Deadline

Friday, April 28th by 11:59 pm to the OhioLINK ETD Center


This program provides one-on-one assistance with formatting issues and uploading your ETD to the OhioLINK ETD Center. This is not a lecture or presentation. Must bring own laptop for sessions on the Health Science Campus. Save your document to your laptop or H:drive or thumb drive. There will be one or two facilitators circulating to provide assistance. Please CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for the session(s) you wish to attend.

  • Tuesday, April 11 from 3 – 5 in MLB 129 (HSC)
  • Wednesday, April 12 from 3 – 5 in CL 1025 (MC)
  • Monday, April 17 from 3 – 5 in CL 1025 (MC)

Questions or suggestions may be directed to Teri Green at


New Students

To ensure an accurate degree audit and fulfillment of your graduation requirements, you need to submit a complete Plan of Study for your degree—Doctoral, Masters, and Certificate—to the Graduate College office by the end of your first term or completion of 12 graduate credit hours.

  • If you are not a new student and have not yet completed a Plan of Study, please consult your adviser and do so immediately

Students Completing a Dissertation, Thesis, Scholarly Project, or Field Experience

To monitor and record timely compliance with the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, we require the submission of the Graduate Research and Advisory Committee Approval & Assurances form prior to beginning any research and as soon as a committee has been formed. Known as the GRAD form, it addresses types of research and approvals obtained, timing of publication, and committee formation.

  • If you are already conducting research and have not completed and submitted the GRAD form, please consult with your PI or Committee Chair and do so immediately

GRAD Form Timelines

Dissertation: after the acceptance of the dissertation proposal and completion of didactic coursework
Thesis: at the end of the second semester or no later than the end of the third semester
Projects and Field Experiences: prior to conducting the actual research

Academic Program Forms

All forms required during the course of your degree journey are found on our Academic Program Forms page. These are the official forms produced by the College of Graduate Studies and also the most current. Please use the forms directly from our website. The forms are fillable PDFs and for accurate and timely processing, please type all information into the form before signing, and please obtain all required signatures before submitting to our office.


All new graduate students must fulfill the graduate orientation requirement. Spring 2017 orientation includes a self-directed online orientation and three supplemental modules. We ask that all new degree-seeking graduate students complete the requirements by the end of the fall semester. After completing the three modules, be sure to continue on and complete the remainder of the required online graduate orientation and submit the form at the end.

Resources for New Students   / Self-Directed Online Orientation and modules  / Questions? Email us

Voting Open for 2017-2018 GSA Officer Elections! Deadline April 3, 2017 at 12:00 noon

Deadline April 3, 2017 at 12:00 noon

Click here to Vote

UT researchers take new approach in cholera prevention by Cara Deangelis, PhD student in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology UT


    Cara DeAngelis is a PhD student of microbiology and immunology in the University of Toledo College of Medicine.

How often do you find yourself thinking about the safety of the water you drink?

Perhaps you thought about it during the summer of 2014 when the southwest region of Lake Erie had a toxic algae bloom. After that summer though, I am sure many of us returned to using our tap water, without any second thoughts.


Cholera is commonplace in countries where access to clean water is limited. As many as 143,000 deaths from the disease occur annually. UNIVERSITY OF TOLEDO

Unfortunately, many countries lack the basic resources that we take for granted every day, like clean drinking water. Those without water treatment plants and sewage systems are at risk for numerous diseases. One such disease is cholera, caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae.

Vibrio cholerae likes to live in warm, salty waters and can attach to shellfish. If you drink water or eat food contaminated with these bacteria, you can become infected and very sick within a few hours. The bacteria secrete a toxic substance, called cholera toxin, in the intestine of an infected person. The toxin causes a very rapid loss of water, leading to severe dehydration and death if not treated.

The best treatment for cholera is oral rehydration therapy, which replaces the water lost from the body. Such resources are not always available or easily accessible in countries affected by this disease, so other treatments are being investigated.

Luckily for us, cholera is not a problem in industrialized countries like the United States. However, Vibrio cholerae affects more than 50 countries worldwide, causing about 4 million cases of cholera a year and up to 143,000 deaths. Therefore, this disease is a global threat to public health and research is necessary to help save lives.

At the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, formerly the Medical College of Ohio, I am a part of Jyl Matson’s research group that studies Vibrio cholerae. The bacteria has an outer and an inner membrane, which protect them from their environment, whether that is water or the human intestine. For example, these bacteria have to be able to live through large changes in temperature, the acid in our stomachs, and attack from our immune systems.


Cara DeAngelis is a PhD student of microbiology and immunology in the University of Toledo College of Medicine.

Picture these bacteria as tiny castles surrounded by two outer walls for defense against outside enemies. If cannons are fired at either wall, soldiers are sent to shield the weak locations and keep out the enemy.

My project in Ms. Matson’s laboratory is focused on learning about a system that the bacteria deploy when their inner membrane is damaged. This response system is called the phage-shock-protein response and has never been studied in Vibrio cholerae. However, it has been studied in several other types of bacteria, which give us clues about what it could do in Vibrio cholerae. We know that in those bacteria, when the inner membrane is damaged, the bacteria turn on their phage-shock-protein response. The bacteria then make specific proteins that are sent to the inner membrane to keep it functioning correctly. This response system makes these other bacteria better at causing disease.

It is likely that the phage-shock-protein response in Vibrio cholerae operates in a similar manner as these other bacteria, but it is also possible that it works in a different way. My research is to figure out exactly what this phage-shock protein response is doing in Vibrio cholerae.

One way I have begun to study this response system is by deleting specific pieces of DNA, or genes, that create phage-shock proteins. The concept behind this is elegantly simple: If we remove a gene from the bacteria and they do not function as well without it in stressful situations, then we know that it was important for the bacteria to survive. So far, I have found that all of the phage-shock-protein genes I have deleted are important for the bacteria to survive in stressful environments.

The next step is to target the proteins made from these genes to cripple the bacterial response system. You would expect that the bacteria would be weaker and therefore more easily defeated without that protection system in place, would you not? This would be like removing the soldiers that help protect the castle wall.

By understanding the phage-shock-protein response in further detail, we hope to contribute to the development of more effective treatments for cholera. If we manage to target and knock down the phage-shock-protein response, other medications might be better able to kill the bacteria. With those two methods of attack combined, we may be able to decrease the number of lives lost to cholera.

Cara DeAngelis is a PhD student in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences Biomedical Science Program. Ms. DeAngelis is doing her research in the laboratory of Jyl Matson. For more information, contact or go to​med/​grad/​biomedical.

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