Archive for the ‘News’ Category
An international ranking for institutions of higher education that emphasizes research and a school’s dissemination of knowledge placed The University of Toledo in good standing among its Ohio peers and provides a benchmark against which UT can judge future improvements.
This is the first time the University has submitted data to the Times Higher Education World University rankings, which listed UT in the range between 501 and 600 of all institutions of higher education worldwide.
The Times Higher Education rankings provide a greater balance between undergraduate education and graduate education and research than rankings such as those in U.S. News and World Report that are heavily weighted toward undergraduate studies, said Dr. Ying Liu, UT director of institutional research.
“While no rankings method is perfect, all can be useful as long as you have a clear sense of what is being measured,” Liu said. “The Times Higher Education rankings provide a clearer measure of UT as a national research university and all that designation implies.”
Given the international nature of this evaluation of universities, institutions with greater levels of global diversity at the student and employee levels were rated higher. Universities whose faculty co-authored research papers with at least one researcher from another country also benefited.
“One of my primary goals is to elevate this University’s national and international standing,” said UT President Sharon L. Gaber. “And a big part of that is knowing where we stand today.
“These rankings show we are positioned fairly well among Ohio public universities. Our work in the years ahead will be to move that forward on a national level,” Gaber said.
Times Higher Education World University Rankings:
• 90 — Ohio State University – Main Campus
• 301-350 — University of Cincinnati – Main Campus
• 501-600 — The University of Toledo
• 501-600 — Kent State University at Kent
• 601-800 — Ohio University – Main Campus
• 601-800 — Miami University – Oxford
Committed, intelligent and extremely busy are just a few of the qualities professors used to describe Adam Blatt.
When he heard that his professors had spoken well of him, Blatt sipped his coffee, chuckled and joked, “They’re just keeping it professional.”
But his repertoire proves that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Blatt is the recipient of two prestigious honors: the Dr. Freimer Excellence in Microbiology and Immunology Award and the Dr. Freimer MD/PhD Scholarship. The first is awarded to the student who receives the highest marks in the Infection and Immunity block of the medical curriculum, a course every medical student is required to take. The second is a $1,500 endowed fund that has been established to help support MD/PhD students conducting research in the Infection, Immunity and Transplantation track — and it’s not even awarded on a yearly basis.
“I was shocked when I found out,” Blatt said. “There were three other candidates that were all very good, so I was just shocked and felt a little lucky because I know they all do exceptional work.”
Blatt’s research takes up the majority of his time. Focusing on a group of proteins in the immune system, he looks at their role in cardiovascular diseases. The primary goal of his research is to identify targets for therapeutics to treat or prevent diseases associated with increased thrombosis — the clotting of blood in the circulatory system — and inflammation. The dissertation project is co-funded by a National Institutes of Health R01 grant and his American Heart Association Pre-Doctoral Fellowship.
“I really like the work; it’s challenging but definitely worth it.”
He’s completed two years of medical school and is spending his third year researching in the lab. Depending on the current round of experiments, he hopes to transition back to his final two years of medical school next summer.
“Adam has the qualities of an ideal graduate student, and I feel privileged to have him in my lab,” said Dr. Viviana Ferreira, associate professor of medical microbiology and immunology. “I am consistently impressed by his intelligence, resilience, commitment, drive, team spirit, and ability to learn and apply this knowledge. He is highly creative, with an excellent ability to detect pitfalls and propose alternative approaches when difficulties arise.”
Blatt works in Ferreira’s lab on his dissertation project. She’s also his PhD adviser.
“Aside from excelling in his medical training during his first two years of medical school, he has won many graduate awards, which are testament to his exemplary work ethic. I have no doubt he will make highly significant contributions as a future independent physician-scientist,” she said.
In addition to being exemplary in the classroom and the lab, Blatt was a student representative on the MD/PhD Faculty Committee, serves as president on the Council for Biomedical Graduate Students, assists with the microbiology labs for medical school, and volunteered to arrange dinners for MD/PhD student applicants during their interviews.
Dr. Earl Freimer, who the awards were named for, a co-founder of the Medical College of Ohio in 1968. He also served both as the founding chairman of the Department of Microbiology and as founding chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine. Freimer passed away in 2011; these scholarships were created in his honor after his death. Gifts may be made to the Earl H. Freimer Endowed Scholarship Fund at the UT Foundation
College of Business and Innovation Graduate Programs Open House on Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 4 – 7 p.m. in Stranahan Hall, Room 1016.
Please RSVP if you plan on attending by going tocobigradprogramsopenhouse.rsvpify.com.
If you have any questions, Please feel free to contact our office by email at COBIGradPrgms@utoledo.edu or by phone at 419-530-5680.
Imagine a kitchen drain pipe becoming gradually clogged with grease and sludge. The water gets backed up. The development of rusty deposits might even cause the pipe to burst. The once-flexible pipe loses its pliability because of the thickened wall.
This clogged pipe is similar to what happens when arteries or blood vessels in our bodies become hardened and narrowed because of accumulation of fat or cholesterol. This slowly progressive condition is atherosclerosis and restricts the blood flow.
Depending on the severity and location, atherosclerosis can cause chest pain, a heart attack, or a stroke.
Researchers at the University of Toledo college of medicine & life sciences, the former Medical College of Ohio, are studying how atherosclerosis could be better managed and, hence, prevent complications like heart attacks and strokes.
In the United States, 1 in 6 deaths of men and women are because of coronary artery disease, a major result of atherosclerosis. Shockingly, this chronic disease results in an estimated annual health-care cost of about $200 billion.
The initial stages of atherosclerosis involve the delicate surface lining of the artery, composed of a single layer of endothelial cells called endothelium.
The endothelium is the first target of any harmful substance flowing through the blood. Imagine that the kitchen drainpipe is lined with a fine spongy material — the endothelium.
Persistent accumulation of gunk within this delicate lining eventually causes damage, including the passage of the accumulated gunk to the outside of the pipe. The result is chronic deterioration of the pipe walls.
In western societies, the endothelium in artery walls is similarly under attack because of high intake of fatty foods, smoking, and other unhealthy lifestyle choices.
High fat or cholesterol in the body also causes some fat or cholesterol to undergo chemical changes that become harmful substances flowing through the circulation. This harm can lead to damage and subsequent death of endothelial cells.
One important factor that can contribute to endothelium death is excessive calcium in these cells. Calcium is essential for all normal bodily functions. There are different kinds of calcium channels or gates within cell membranes that allow transfer of calcium in and out of cells.
UT researchers are studying a specific calcium gate located within endothelial cell membranes. The protein that forms these channels is called transient receptor potential canonical 3 or TRPC3.
Our goal, by studying this specific calcium gate, is to decrease, rather than completely stop, calcium entry or exit because calcium transfer in and out of cells is essential for various processes in the body.
We are using specific strategies and drugs to close TRPC3 channels in cell culture experiments, to determine if we can stop the death of endothelial cells exposed to harmful chemicals.
We have discovered that when the TRPC3 channel is closed by a drug called Pyrazole 10, fewer cells are dying.
We then investigated how these cells were saved from dying. From our previous investigations and the work of others in this field, we were able to focus on specific proteins in the cell.
Indeed, our experiments show that a specific protein inside the cell — calcium/?calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II or CAMKII — is turned off when the TRPC3 channel is closed. Therefore, we believe that when the TRPC3 gate is open, CAMKII is involved in the death of endothelial cells.
Our next goal is to discover if death of endothelial cells is increased in a mouse model that is genetically modified to have increased amounts of the TRPC3 calcium gate in their endothelial cells. This mouse model will also give us the opportunity to study the extent of atherosclerosis development in arteries, which cannot be done with cells in culture.
Our ongoing studies on the TRCP3 channel in endothelial cells have laid a promising platform for further studies to discover new and effective drugs in the management of atherosclerosis and prevention of complications such as heart attacks.
Prince Tuffour Ampem is a PhD student in the cardiovascular and metabolic disease track in the department of physiology and pharmacology at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and life sciences biomedical science program. He is doing his research in the laboratory of Dr. Guillermo Vazquez. For more information, contact Prince.Ampem@rockets.utoledo.edu or go to www.utoledo.edu/med/grad/biomedical/.
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Medical/2015/09/07/UT-discovering-new-ways-to-combat-clogged-arterie.html#JChLycIvfBpogvuB.99