College of Graduate Studies

November 2016 Reminders from the Graduate College

Message from the Dean

The University of Toledo is planning for the future.  The College of Graduate Studies is an integral part of this process.  As your college, it is vitally important that your voice be heard.  There have been many opportunities for students, faculty, staff and administrators to provide input as the Strategic Plan is being developed.  As your representative to the committee developing this plan, I am offering you the opportunity to share your comments with me. It is clear to me that as graduate students at this institution, you have insightful ideas as to what is going great and what may not be so great, what you see in your future and what you would like to see for the future of the institution.  Now it is time to let those know who can make your vision a reality.

Please provide your comments to me today!  Amanda.bryant-friedrich@utoledo.edu

A perfect opportunity for you to share your ideas with me in person is the upcoming Coffee with COGS to be held on November 14 (UHall 3300) and November 17 (Mulford Library 113).  This event is especially for those who are in our graduate programs as well as those who would like to know what graduate programs we offer.  I am asking all graduate students to drop by one of the two events and share a coffee, tea or hot chocolate with me, our staff and other members of the graduate community.   I hope to see you there!

Have a wonderful November, enjoy the beautiful fall weather and the celebration of Thanksgiving.  As members of the UT family we all have something to be thankful for!


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)


COFFEE WITH COGS

Join the Dean and her staff for an informative and fun conversation on degree programs and the support services that the College of Graduate Studies provides for prospective and current graduate students, faculty, and staff at the University of Toledo, including:

  • Professional Development
  • Graduation Services
  • Funding Opportunities
  • ETD Preparation, Submission, and Publishing
  • Graduate Student Association

Main Campus: Monday, November 14, 2016 in University Hall 3300 from 8:30 – 11:00 am
Health Science Campus: Thursday, November 17, 2016 in Mulford Library 113 from 8:30 – 11:00 am

JOIN OUR FACEBOOK EVENT! https://www.facebook.com/UTCOGS/events/


GRADUATION and COMMENCEMENT
Applicants for Fall Graduation

If you missed the deadline to apply for Fall 2016, please submit your application through the MyUT portal as soon as possible – it’s not too late! (Note: The Graduation Services fee is assessed the first time an application for graduation is submitted per graduate degree program.) Applications not accepted after the last day of the semester.

University Commencement

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Saturday, December 17, 2016 – Please review the detailed information available on the University’s Commencement webpage, including the commencement guide, tassel colors, cap & gown, directions & parking, and accessibility needs. This ceremony includes all doctoral candidates from all colleges, and graduate students from all colleges with the exception of Engineering and Law.
 
Spring 2017 Graduation
 
February 3, 2017 deadline – Apply now!

Questions & suggestions may be directed to Elissa Falcone at GCAcademicSvcs@utoledo.edu


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CALENDAR 2016 – 2017

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 may add a few more workshops in late November or early December, and if we do, we will send out an email bulletin to notify you.

Week of November 7 – 11

  • Library Research – Getting Started
  • Database Essentials
  • Last-minute Research Tips: Learn from a Seasoned PRO(crastinator)
  • Graduate Research in the Disciplines: Social Sciences & Business & Engineering

Week of November 14 – 18

  • Library Research – Getting Started
  • Student Textbook Options
  • Database Essentials
  • Endnote Citation Management System
  • Tips and Tricks with Engineering E-Books

Week of December 5 – 9

  • How to Craft the Perfect LinkedIn Profile in 30 Minutes
  • Copyright and Authoring 101: Vital Information for Graduate Students Creators and Consumers

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 GradCollegeProgramming@utoledo.edu


GRADUATE STUDENT ASSOCIATION (GSA)

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.

Events

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Friday, November 11th – You are cordially invited to the Graduate Student Fall Mixer hosted by the GSA. This event will be held at Table Forty4 Restaurant and Bar, conveniently located in downtown Toledo’s entertainment district. Appetizers will be provided and a cash bar will be available beginning at 8 pm in the upstairs banquet room. Entertainment will feature “DJ Scholar and 4.0 Entertainment” and there is no cover charge.

This event is a unique opportunity to network with fellow graduate students in a fun-filled atmosphere outside the classroom. If anyone has specific questions regarding the event, please feel free to email the Graduate Student Association. We look forward to seeing you!

LAST CALL: Annual GSA Graduate Research Award

The application for the annual GSA Graduate Research Award is now active. The purpose of the GSA Graduate Research Award is to provide financial support up to $2,000.00 per recipient for costs associated with approved research projects required for the degree that are not covered by other resources.

Deadline and Application

  • Friday, November 18, 2016 by 5:00 pmApplications are due
  • Complete application HERE and follow directions to submit supplemental material

Review additional important information regarding eligibility and other requirements HERE

Meetings

  • Tuesday, November 8 in Student Union Ingman Room from 6 – 8 pm on Main Campus
  • Wednesday, December 7 in HEB 105 from 6 – 8 pm on Health Science Campus

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


ELECTRONIC THESES AND DISSERTATIONS

For students completing a thesis or dissertation and who plan on graduating in the Fall 2016 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

Final ETD Upload Deadline
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Friday, December 9, 2016 by 11:59 pm to the OhioLINK ETD Center

ETD Open Labs: Formatting and Submission

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 . Bring your laptop or save your document to Dropbox (or similar program) or to a thumb drive for sessions on Main Campus (library computer classroom). There will be one or two facilitators circulating to provide assistance.

  • Tuesday, November 29  from 3 – 5 in MLB 129 (HSC)
  • Wednesday, November 30 from 3 – 5 in CL 1025 (MC)
  • Monday, December 5 from 3 – 5 in CL 1025 (MC)

Please CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for the session(s) you wish to attend.

Questions or suggestions may be directed to Teri Green at etdsvcs@utoledo.edu


ACADEMIC PLANNING

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.


GRADUATE STUDENT ORIENTATION

All new graduate students must fulfill the graduate orientation requirement. Fall 2016 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


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

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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.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/M9a31lLySP-9HfijmWq42eV5WS-dlmRSlQVluQJuSoVctDGk_7crDwpicbNpsKEvWwc=w1200-h630-p

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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:https://goo.gl/forms/cWbZz9ojT9hV2D2d2

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/X_v84LkJDmj1kJi2Nkhy2CM3ZN1pUkI6qQji_2UlkVUQ592wva_cYe0rGjKM8HyT0X4=w1200-h630-p

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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 CouncilGraduateStudents@utoledo.edu 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
PURPOSE OF THIS POSITION  

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.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS

·         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.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

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

By DULAT BEKBOLSYNOV  | SPECIAL TO THE BLADE

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.

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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 Dulat.Bekbolsynov@rockets.utoledo.edu or go to utoledo.edu/med/grad/biomedical.


COGS 2017 Annual Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards – Deadline: February 17, 2017

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Doctoral student Kevin Hardegree wins NASA fellowship

The James Webb Space Telescope, successor to the 26-year-old Hubble, will be the largest and most powerful ever sent into orbit when it blasts off in fall 2018.

To prepare for Webb’s decade in space in search of a planet that could support life, NASA selected a University of Toledo PhD student studying small stars and the exoplanets closely orbiting them to join the team.

UT doctoral student Kevin Hardegree-Ullman is part of a NASA team that will help select what planets the new James Webb Space Telescope will focus on when launched in 2018.

Kevin Hardegree-Ullman will contribute to choosing which planets the new space telescope will observe.

“There is going to be a lot of competition between astronomers for time on that telescope, which has an enormous gold-coated mirror and is much larger than Hubble,” Hardegree-Ullman said. “Before Webb launches, we will choose the best stretches of sky to look for another Earth-like planet. The best candidates are around low-mass stars that are less than half the size of the sun. Those are the stars that I have been focused on for years. This is an awesome opportunity.”

Because of his published work and experience collecting data about brown dwarfs using the Spitzer Space Telescope, Hardegree-Ullman won a NASA Graduate Fellowship that will pay for him to work with NASA scientists for six months.

In January, Hardegree-Ullman will head to the NASA Infrared Processing and Analysis Center for Infrared Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena to identify a handful of locations to target in our galaxy where it’s most possible to find planets with water.

“We’ve already identified a bunch of star systems with planet candidates,” Hardegree-Ullman said. “My job will be to make sure there is a planet there using the data from the Spitzer Telescope and then figure which of these planets are the best to look at in follow-up observations with the future telescope.”

Hardegree-Ullman is the second UT PhD student in astronomy to recently win one of these competitive awards. Aditya Togi won the same NASA Graduate Fellowship in 2014.

“Kevin will get to interact with some of the best scientists in the world in an entirely new academic environment — something graduate students very rarely get to do,” said Dr. Mike Cushing, associate professor of astronomy and director of UT’s Ritter Planetarium, who is Hardegree-Ullman’s faculty advisor.

Hardegree-Ullman worked as a NASA Space Grant intern in 2011 while an undergraduate at the University of Arizona. He studied a specific molecule in interstellar clouds where stars form.

The PhD student now hunts for exoplanets by identifying dimming patterns caused when a planet blocks out a portion of a star’s light.

“It’s easier to find a smaller planet around a smaller star,” Hardegree-Ullman said. “Low-mass stars have a lower temperature, and that means a habitable planet has to orbit a lot closer to the star. It’s beneficial to an astronomer because you might only have to wait a couple weeks to watch the transit and find an Earth-size planet that could potentially contain water. You can determine size and radius monitoring the star’s light output. With a star the size of the sun, you have to wait an entire year.”

“Winning this fellowship highlights the caliber of scientist that Kevin has become during his time at UT,” Cushing said.


Stephanie McGuire Wise presented with the Ohio Counseling Association’s Susan J. Sears-Counselor of the Year Award!

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The College of Graduate Studies joins the Counselor Education program and College of Health and Human Services in congratulating Ms. Stephanie McGuire Wise, a counselor and supervisor in the UT Counseling Center, who was presented with the Ohio Counseling Association’s Susan J. Sears-Counselor of the Year Award on November 3, 2016 at the All-Ohio Counselor’s Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Stephanie recently defended her counselor education dissertation and will graduate this December. Stephanie provides leadership and clinical services in the counseling center as well as serves as a supervisor for many of our masters-level counselor trainees. This award is posthumously named after Ohio’s first licensed counselor, Dr. Susan Sears, who was a full-time faculty member at Ohio State. We are sure that you are pleased to know of Stephanie’s good work.

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In addition to this award, Stephanie is the past recipient of the NWOCA Counselor of the Year Award (2005) and the past president of Ohio-Association of Counselor Education and Supervision. Additionally, she received the Ohio-ACES Outstanding Supervisor award in 2013 and the Chi Sigma Iota Outstanding Practitioner Supervisor Award in 2015.


UT students studying genetic link to hypertension

Have you been diagnosed with high blood pressure? If so, you represent one out of every three adults in the United States who has high blood pressure, also called hypertension.

Only about half of those with hypertension have their blood pressure under control because many don’t know that they have it, as there are no symptoms, especially at an early stage. Because of this, high blood pressure is known as the silent killer, contributing to more than 200,000 deaths every year.

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Xi Cheng is a PhD student at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

Hypertension is a complex disorder involving both your surrounding environment and your inherited genetic makeup. Hypertension can be improved by controlling known risk factors in your environment, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. But making these good lifestyle choices alone is usually not enough to control your blood pressure. You also may need to take medicines, which must be taken the rest of your life because they only help lower blood pressure, but cannot cure high blood pressure.

For most with hypertension, genetically inherited factors are an important contribution to this condition. Therefore, if your parents or your grandparents have high blood pressure, you should monitor your blood pressure as you get older, in addition to living a healthy lifestyle.

Despite our knowledge of the important role of genetics in hypertension, the precise genetic factors that control blood pressure still remain largely unknown because the genetic control of blood pressure is very complex involving many factors distributed throughout your entire genome within each cell of your body. Each genetic factor may function individually or interactively with other factors to control your blood pressure.

To better understand this issue, our lab at the University of Toledo has been working to identify the genetic factors of hypertension by using hypertensive rat models, developed to study human hypertension. We carefully track the genetic inheritance of hypertension to identify small genetic factors or pieces in the genome that are transmitted from generation to generation.

Once the genetic factors are identified, we replace each piece in its specific genomic location within the hypertensive rat with that same genetic piece from a rat with normal blood pressure. These new models are called congenic rat strains. The only difference between the new congenic strain and the original hypertensive model is the single genetic piece that has been replaced by the normal genetic piece. If the blood pressure is changed in this congenic strain, then we know this small genetic piece contributes to the control of blood pressure.

UT researchers have discovered many different genetic pieces of this complex puzzle important for controlling blood pressure using this step-by-step approach.

Each genetic piece of your entire genome contains a specific DNA sequence using variations of only four different DNA bases: G, A, T, and C. Your genome contains about three billion of these four bases. Similar to a song played by different artists in which some of the notes are changed slightly from one artist to another, sometimes the specific DNA sequence of the four bases within a genetic piece from one person will be changed slightly at that same location in another person. The entire song may be a genome long, with each small piece of it, or sequence, exactly the same or containing very small differences.

Sometimes, it is that slight change of the DNA sequence in a specific position that can cause diseases. For example, a healthy individual may have “A” in a specific genetic position, but a hypertensive patient may have “C” there or perhaps “A” is missing at that same location. In our lab, we look carefully for variations in DNA sequence within each genetic piece.

By using this approach, my recent study identified a 19-base sequence of DNA in a rat model with lower blood pressure is missing in another model with higher blood pressure. We use a new research technology called CRISPR/Cas9 to investigate whether these 19 bases are important for the differences in blood pressure between the two rat models.

With this new method of genome surgery, we deleted the 19 bases in our rat model with lower blood pressure and found that blood pressure was now higher. The next important step was to see whether the rat model with higher blood pressure could be treated successfully for hypertension by inserting back these 19 bases into the same location as the model with lower blood pressure. So we again used the CRISPR/Cas9 technology to perform genome surgery to precisely insert the 19 bases in the correct genetic location within the entire genome. We discovered that the blood pressure of this new model was decreased successfully.

This research is important because it revealed that genome surgery can be used to cure a genetically inherited cause of hypertension. This is not the traditional approach of taking medication for your entire life to control your blood pressure. Rather, our approach permanently corrected an inherited cause of hypertension in this model system.

Additional research will determine the possibility of this approach to cure hypertension in humans as we work to identify all the genetic pieces within the human genome that contribute to hypertension.

Xi Cheng is a PhD student in the Molecular Medicine track in the department of physiology and pharmacology at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences. He is doing his research in the laboratory of Dr. Bina Joe. For more information, contact Xi.Cheng@rockets.utoledo.edu or go to utoledo.edu/med/grad/biomedical.


OCTOBER 2016 REMINDERS FROM THE GRADUATE COLLEGE

October Reminders from the Graduate College

Message from the Dean

It is with great excitement that I greet you and welcome you to a new academic year. For those of you who are new to the University of Toledo, I hope you are finding your way around campus and the Toledo community and that you are making yourself at home. For our new students as well as those who are returning to campus, I hope this year is filled with the joy and excitement of new scholarly discoveries and the creation and acquisition of new knowledge, while you enjoy exploration and the development of the skills you need to move successfully to your goals.

For me, July 1st of 2016 represented a new beginning. On that day, I assumed the role of Dean of your College of Graduate Studies filling the very large shoes left by Dean Komuniecki. I have been in the professoriate for over seventeen years. I have trained many graduate students, undergraduates and other scholars over this time in the fields of Chemistry, and Medicinal and Biological Chemistry. With a love for all aspects of the job, I have always found mentoring of researchers, and particularly those at the graduate level, rewarding. It is this love for graduate students and their pursuit of new knowledge that I bring to this position. As it is with all things new, I am learning more now than ever before (believe it or not, even more than my first years of graduate school) and I am always thinking of how what I am learning can make your experience better, more fulfilling and how can I help each and every one of you succeed.

I welcome you to reach out to me at any time to let me know what we can do to help you. I will post articles and important information about being a graduate student and a professional on the Facebook Page of the University Of Toledo College Of Graduate Studies. If you wish to communicate with me about these interesting tidbits, please feel free to do so. We are planning events for the near future to bring you to the office of graduate studies to meet us and find out what our office has to offer. Keep a lookout for this announcement.

I do not take it for granted that you chose the University of Toledo for your graduate studies. I know that you had other options but you have entrusted this important part of your academic career to the faculty, staff, and administration of this institution. For this I say thank you and let me know how we can assist you on your journey!


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)

     


 

COFFEE WITH COGS


Join the Dean and her staff for an informative and fun conversation on degree programs and the support services that the College of Graduate Studies provides for prospective and current graduate students, faculty, and staff at the University of Toledo.  The first Coffee With COGS will be held in early November in the morning – date coming soon—so keep an eye out for more details. We can’t wait to meet you!


GRADUATE STUDENT ORIENTATION

All new graduate students must fulfill the graduate orientation requirement. Fall 2016 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


#TUESDAY tidbits
The College of Graduate Studies will be in the Student Union’s Trimble Lounge from 10 – noon on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 to offer you an opportunity to connect with some of our staff and discover resources that will help guide your path to graduation!


ACADEMIC PLANNING

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.


GRADUATION

Applicants for Fall Graduation

For students planning to graduate in the Fall 2016 term, the APPLICATION deadline was Friday, September 16th, but it’s not too late to submit! (Note: The Graduation Services fee is assessed the first time an application for graduation is submitted per graduate degree program.) Applying for graduation early is vital in order to provide a timely and accurate degree audit, as well as ensure you are included in the commencement program.  We are here to help you get organized and avoid obstacles to graduation!

Graduation–Your Questions, Answered!

An overview of the steps to preparing for graduation for certificate, masters and doctoral students. This session is designed to provide students with important information to keep you on track with plans for earning your degree and to help you navigate the graduation process.

·         Wednesday, October 19th from 12-1 pm in Building/Room TBA (Main Campus)

·         Wednesday, October 19th from 12-1 in Collier Building Room 1200 (Health Science Campus)

To register, please visit the current Professional Development Program Calendar

Questions & suggestions may be directed to Elissa Falcone at GCAcademicSvcs@utoledo.edu


ELECTRONIC THESES AND DISSERTATIONS

For students completing a thesis or dissertation and who plan on graduating in the Fall 2016 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 & Submission

ETD Process Overview

An overview of the preparation and submission process for graduate Electronic Theses or Dissertations (ETD) within the context of graduation requirements for the Graduate College. Also covered is the timeline for scheduling defenses, and addressing intellectual property issues such as copyright, publication agreements, patent applications, public defenses, and etc.  It is recommended that you attend this workshop the semester prior to the one in which you will graduate.

·         Tuesday, October 18th from 12-1 pm in Collier Building Room 1220 (Health Science Campus)

·         Wednesday, October 19th from 4-5 in Carlson Library Room 1025 (Main Campus)

Online registration will be available on the Professional Development Program Calendar

Questions or suggestions may be directed to Teri Green at etdsvcs@utoledo.edu


GRADUATE STUDENT ASSOCIATION (GSA)

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.

·         General  Meeting: Wednesday, October 12 in HEB 105 from 6 – 8 pm on Health Science Campus

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

Annual GSA Graduate Research Award

The application for the annual GSA Graduate Research Award is now active. The purpose of the GSA Graduate Research Award is to provide financial support up to $2,000.00 per recipient for costs associated with approved research projects required for the degree that are not covered by other resources.

Eligibility Criteria

1.       UT Masters and Doctoral Students in good academic standing

2.       Must be enrolled in a research course (Dissertation, Thesis, Scholarly Project, or Field Experience) that is part of an approved Plan of Study at UT for the Spring 2017 academic semester

3.       Research must be approved by Major advisor (Dissertation, Thesis, Scholarly Project, or Field Experience)

4.       Applicants may not submit more than one proposal

5.       Students may not receive more than one Graduate Research Award

Deadline and Application

·         Applications due by 5:00 pm on Friday, November 18, 2016

·         Complete application HERE and follow directions to submit supplemental material

·         Review additional important information regarding requirements HERE


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT CALENDAR 2016 – 2017

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 are in the process of adding additional programs in several areas over the next two weeks, as well as finalizing dates and locations. Online registrations will be added as soon as dates and locations are confirmed. Once the calendar is complete, a special email will go out containing the details and registration links! 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 GradCollegeProgramming@utoledo.edu

CAREER SERVICES (Sponsored by the Center for Experiential Learning and Career Services)


CAREER FAIR
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Student Union Auditorium
9 am – 1 pm
CAREER PREP SESSIONS
Wednesday, October 12
Thursday, October 13
Monday, October 17
12 – 1 pm in Student Union Room 2591