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Buzz Archive

December 17, 2012: The President’s Message

Laurels

University researchers led by J. Marc Simard, MD, PhD, professor, have discovered a new ion channel, the NC(Ca-ATP) channel, on certain cells in the central nervous system. A newly issued Japanese patent is directed toward a method of treating spinal cord injury by administering a drug that inhibits the NC(Ca-ATP) channels.

Inventors at the University, including Paul Welling, MD, professor, have been issued a U.S. patent for their discovery of a novel potassium channel (ROMK) internalization sequence and its corresponding binding partner—the autosomal recessive hypercholesterolemia (ARH) gene—which removes ROMK from the membrane, leading to decreased potassium loss. The invention could be used in the treatment of heart disease or Addison’s disease, or for patients receiving diuretics, ACE inhibitors, or chemotherapy for cancer. Also, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) issued Welling a four-year, $1,062,608 research grant—part of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) multi-PI grant with collaborator Eric Delpire, PhD, of Vanderbilt University—for “Kinase Modulation of Na+-Dependent Cl-Coupled Transporters in Mouse Kidney.” Welling also received a five-year, $1,669,315 NIH competing-renewal grant from the NIDDK for “Molecular Basis of Potassium Channels in the Kidney.”

December 2012

Events, Lectures & Workshops

Curt Civin, MD, professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Physiology, associate dean for research at the School of Medicine and director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, served as a panelist for the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Bio Conference held in September in Bethesda, MD.

Alan Shuldiner, MD, the John L. Whitehurst Endowed Professor, Department of Medicine, and director of the Program in Personalized and Genomic Medicine, gave the Jack Mulholland Memorial Lecture, entitled “Knitting Needles, Lancaster Haystacks and the Search for Genes for Common Diseases and Their Treatment and Prevention” at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, MD, on September 6.

The faculty of the Department of Physiology held a Mini-Med School at the Edenwald Retirement Community in Towson earlier this year. Led by Ted Carski, ’56, the faculty gave monthly lectures to the residents highlighting on-going research in the department, with emphasis on the health concerns of the elderly. It obviously had an impact—in the weeks following the lecture by Scott Thompson, PhD, professor and interim chair of the department, regarding depression in the elderly and the beneficial effects of physical exercise, Dr. Carski said use of the Edenwald Fitness Center increased by more than 50 percent.  

Grants & Contracts

Maureen Shanks, PhD, former research associate, along with Joseph Mauban, PhD, academic fellow, both from the Department of Physiology, and Linda Lund, PhD, research associate, Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, were among the co-authors on “Chromodomain Helicase Binding Protein 8 (Chd8) Is a Novel A-Kinase Anchoring Protein Expressed during Rat Cardiac Development” in PLoS ONE, 2012;7(10): e46316.

Loren Thompson, PhD, associate professor, and Yazan Al-Hasan, PhD, former postdoctoral fellow, both from the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences were among the co-authors on “Impact of Oxidative Stress in Fetal Programming” in the Journal of Pregnancy, 2012 July [Epub ahead of print].  

November 2012

Appointments

Alan Shuldiner, MD, the John Whitehurst Professor in the Department of Medicine, associate dean for Personalized Medicine, and director of the Program in Personalized & Genomic Medicine, has been appointed as Chair of the Observational Monitoring Board for the NHLBI Life After Linkage Consortium.

Grants & Contracts

Joseph Roche, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Physiology, received a one-year, $56,511 grant from the Jain Foundation for his research “Targeting Mitochondrial Mediated Apoptosis for Effectively Treating Dysferlinopathies.”

William Stanley, MD, professor, Department of Medicine, received a two-year, $351,000 R21 grant for “Mitochondrial Proteome Dynamics in Heart Failure Assessed with Heavy Water.” It started on August 1.

Paul Welling, MD, professor, Department of Physiology, received a four-year, $1,062,608 research grant (as part of an NIH, Multi-PI grant with collaborator Dr. Eric J. Delpire and Vanderbilt University) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases (NIDKD) for “Kinase Modulation of Na+-Dependent Cl-Coupled Transporters in Mouse Kidney.” He also received a five-year, $1,669,315 NIH competing-renewal grant from the NIDKD for “Molecular Basis of Potassium Channels in the Kidney.”

Publications

Charles Chaffin, PhD, associate professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, was a co-author on “Of the Many Secrets of Steroidogenesis” in Biology of Reproduction, 2012;86(1):1-2.

Alan Shuldiner, MD, the John Whitehurst Professor in the Department of Medicine, associate dean for Personalized Medicine, and director of the Program in Personalized & Genomic Medicine, was a co-author on “A Genome-Wide Approach Accounting for Body Mass Index Identifies Genetic Variants Influencing Fasting Glycemic Traits and Insulin Resistance” in Nature Genetics, 2012, May 13;44(6):659-69; a co-author on “Clopidogrel: A Case for Indication-Specific Pharmacogenetics” in the Journal of Clinical and Pharmacologic Therapeutics, 2012 May;91(5):774-6; a co-author on “Genome-Wide Association for Abdominal Subcutaneous and Visceral Adipose Reveals a Novel Locus for Visceral Fat in Women” in PLoS Genetics, 2012;8(5):e1002695 [Epub ahead of print]; a co-author on “Impact of Common Variation in Bone-Related Genes on Type 2 Diabetes and Related Traits” in Diabetes, 2012 Aug;61(8):2176-86; and a co-author on “The C Allele of ATM rs11212617 Does Not Associate With Metformin Response in the Diabetes Prevention Program” in Diabetes Care, 2012 Sep;35(9):1864-1867.

 Loren Thompson, PhD, associate professor, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, was among the co-authors on “Chronic Hypoxia Increases Peroxynitrite, MMP9 Expression, and Collagen Accumulation in Fetal Guinea Pig Hearts” in Pediatric Research, 2012;71(1):25-31.

October 2012

Publications

William Stanley, PhD, professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, published an article with postdoctoral fellow Tatiana Galvao, MD, PhD, entitled “High Saturated Fat Intake Improves Survival in Heart Failure Compared to a High Polyunsaturated Fat or Low Fat Diet Despite Persistent Mitochondrial Defects” in Cardiovascular Research, 93:24-32, 2012.

Grants & Contracts

Robert Bloch, PhD, professor, Department of Physiology, received a one-year subcontract renewal for $43,890 from the Boston Biomedical Research Institute for contract work entitled “Developing and Testing Mouse Models of FSHD.”

Joseph Stains, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Orthopaedics, has received a two-year, $200,000 grant from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund.

September 2012

Publications

Curt Civin, MD, professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Physiology; associate dean for research, University of Maryland School of Medicine; and director, Center for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, co-authored “Late-Stage Erythroid Precursor Production is Impaired in Mice with Chronic Inflammation” in the journal Haematologica, 2012 May 11 [Epub ahead of print].

Events, Lectures & Workshops

Curt Civin, MD, professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Physiology; associate dean for research, University of Maryland School of Medicine; and director, Center for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, lectured on April 23 at Grand Rounds for the Department of Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His topic was “CD34 Stem Cell Stories and Lessons from the CD34 Wars.” On May 3, he presented “Toward Clinical Therapies Using Stem Cells: Lessons from Hematopoietic Stem Cells” at the STEP Forum at the NIH Center for Scientific Review in Bethesda, MD. And on May 9 he served as a panelist on The A. Alfred Taubman Forum on Public Policy: Innovation in Health Care, in the session on “Bringing Health Care Into the 21st Century,” at the Brookings Institute, Washington, DC.

Grants & Contracts

Tami Kingsbury, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Physiology and Center for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine (PI), and Curt Civin, MD, professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Physiology; associate dean for research, University of Maryland School of Medicine; and director, Center for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, were awarded a two-year, $230,000 grant for their research entitled “MicroRNA and Control of Quiescence and Pluripotency” from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund. Dr. Civin, along with Kara Scheibner, PhD, assistant professor, Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, and Feyruz Rassool, PhD, associate professor, Department of Radiation Oncology and interim director of Radiobiology, were awarded a two-year, $230,000 grant for their research entitled “Regulation of DNA Double Strand Break Repair in Human Hematopoietic Stem Cells by MicroRNAs” from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund. Dr. Civin; Steven Zhan, PhD, professor, Department of Pathology and the Center for Vascular and Inflammatory Diseases; and Srujana Cherukuri, PhD, research associate, Department of Pediatrics and the Center for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, were awarded a two-year, $230,000 grant entitled “Modulation of Homing and Engraftment of Hematopoietic Stem Cells by I-BAR Proteins” from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund as well.

May 2012

Publications

Mordecai Blaustein, MD, professor, Joseph Kao, PhD, professor, and Donald Matteson, PhD, associate professor, all from the Department of Physiology, recently published the textbook Cellular Physiology and Neurophysiology, 2nd Edition (2012) as part of the Mosby Physiology Monograph Series, Elsevier Mosby, Philadelphia, 337 pages.

Cristina Linde, PhD, postdoctoral fellow; Eiji Karashima, MD, PhD, former postdoctoral fellow; Hema Raina, MD, PhD, postdoctoral fellow; Alessandra Zulian, PhD, former postdoctoral fellow; W. Gil Wier, PhD, professor; John Hamlyn, PhD, professor; Mordecai Blaustein, MD, professor; and Vera Golovina, PhD, associate professor, all from the Department of Physiology, co-authored “Increased Arterial Smooth Muscle Ca2+ Signaling, Vasoconstriction, and Myogenic Reactivity in Milan Hypertensive Rats” in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 2012 Feb;302(3):H611-20. Drs. Golvina and Hamlyn, along with Brandiese Jacobs, BS, doctoral student; Yong Liu, PhD, postdoctoral fellow; and Maria Pulina, PhD, former postdoctoral fellow in the department, also published “Normal Pregnancy: A Ouabain Resistant State with Elevated Endogenous Ouabain, Suppressed Arterial Sodium Calcium Exchange and Low Blood Pressure” in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 2012 Jan 13 [Epub ahead of print].

In the News

Mordecai Blaustein, MD, professor, Departments of Physiology and Medicine and director, Maryland Center for Heart, Hypertension & Kidney Disease, was interviewed for an invited podcast entitled “Molecular Mechanisms Linking Salt to Hypertension,” which was broadcast by AJP-Heart and Circulatory Physiology. This podcast interview was related to his American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology review “How NaCl Raises Blood Pressure: A New Paradigm for the Pathogenesis of Salt-Dependent Hypertension.” 

Andrea Meredith, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Physiology, was quoted in a March 8, 2012, Baltimore Sun article “Making Up for Lost Daylight Savings Time,” regarding the negative impact of the “spring forward” time change.

Grants and Contracts

Mordecai Blaustein, MD, professor, Departments of Physiology and Medicine, and director, Maryland Center for Heart, Hypertension & Kidney Disease, received a four-year, $383,750 grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for “Alpha-2 Na+ Pumps, Ca2+, Arterial Contraction & Hypertension,” which focuses on acute and chronic ouabain-Na+ pump interactions and the specific role of Na+ pumps in the Ca2+ signaling pathway in the pathogenesis of salt-dependent hypertension.

Robert Bloch, PhD, professor, Department of Physiology, received a one-year, $350,000 research grant from the Jain Foundation for his work “Analyzing the Role of Dysferlin in Skeletal Muscle In Vitro and In Vivo.”

Elizabeth Powell, PhD, associate professor, Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology, and Bruce Krueger, PhD, professor, Department of Physiology, received a five-year, $1,592,565 Dual-PI grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for their work entitled “Mechanisms of Valproic Acid-Induced Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Defects.”

April 2012

Publications

Matthew Trudeau, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Physiology, published "hERG1a N-terminal Eag Domain-Containing Polypeptides Regulate Homomeric hERG1b and Heteromeric hERG1a/hERG1b Channels: A Possible Mechanism for Long QT Syndrome” in the Journal of General Physiology, 2011 Dec;138(6):581-92. He, along with graduate student Elena Gianulis, also from the Department of Physiology, published "Rescue of Aberrant Gating by a Genetically Encoded PAS (Per-Arnt-Sim) Domain in Several Long QT Syndrome Mutant Human Ether-á-Go-Go-Related Gene Potassium Channels” in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011 Jun 24;286(25):22160-9.

February 2012

Events, Lectures and Workshops

Mordecai Blaustein, MD, professor, Departments of Physiology and Medicine and director, Maryland Center for Heart, Hypertension & Kidney Disease, presented an invited conference banquet lecture entitled “Livin with NCX—and Lovin’ It: A 45-Year Romance” at the 6th International Conference on Sodium Calcium Exchanger in Ischia, Naples, Italy on October 4, 2011. At the same conference, Vera Golovina, PhD, associate professor, Department of Physiology, presented an invited talk entitled “Cross-Talk Between Plasma Membrane Na+/Ca2+ Exchanger-1 and TRPC/Orai-Containing Channels: Key Players in Arterial Hypertension” and Jin Zhang, MD, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Physiology, presented an invited talk entitled “NCX: A Key Player in the Regulation of Arterial Contraction and Blood Pressure.”

Honors and Awards

Ben Prosser, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, Department of Physiology and Center for Biomedical Engineering & Technology (BioMET), was named the GPILS Outstanding Postdoctoral Scholar for 2011. The formal award was given to Dr. Prosser at the GPILS Award Ceremony held on November 7, 2011.