Research!Louisville Keynote Address with George Koob, Ph.D.
Research!Louisville Keynote Address with George Koob, Ph.D.

Research!Louisville (R!L) celebrated its 22nd annual event featuring health sciences research at the Louisville Medical Center September 12-15. 

R!L’s schedule featured seminars on a wide range of topics, including diversity in science from a global perspective, racial/ethnic health disparities, a comprehensive seven-topic translational research presentation, and showcased several scientific poster competitions and exhibits. UofL’s Translational Research Training Program presented a panel of women entrepreneurs and innovators who shared their expertise in the commercialization of university research. Three nursing symposiums featured expert speakers who covered evidenced-based research, insurance coverage and clinical trials and various aspects of lung cancer screening. The public was invited to a series of short presentations by several UofL faculty hosted by Levi Beverly, PhD, who leads the “Beer with a Scientist” monthly program at Against the Grain Brewery and Smokehouse.

UofL and Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation/KentuckyOne Health sponsored an in-depth program at the Kentucky Science Center (KSC) for 7th-12th grade students with the aim to provide a preview in health-care training for biomedical science-focused students. Louisville Women in Medicine and Science, Greater Louisville Medical Society, and the UofL School of Medicine’s faculty, staff and students contributed to the KSC event.   

R!L accepted 347 abstracts and showcased research by master’s, doctoral basic science and engineering students, bioengineering coop students, dental and medical students, post-doctoral associates/scholars, research associates, research staff, medical residents, clinical fellows, public health students, nursing graduates, NCI R25 undergraduates, and UofL faculty. Local middle and high school teachers place R!L on their field trip schedules. Students take advantage of opportunities to engage with scientists displaying their research at the UofL Health Sciences Center. 

R!L 2017 keynote speaker, George Koob, PhD, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, delivered the keynote lecture titled “The Neurobiology of Addiction: View from the Dark Side” to a standing-room-only crowd on Sept. 15.

Christopher States, PhD, co-chair of R!L and associate dean for research, conducted the closing program and introduced R!L sponsor representatives McClain, associate vice president for translational research/health affairs (UofL); Rhonda Hoffman, CCRP, systems director of research administration (Norton Healthcare); and Carol Wade, market director of annual giving (Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation/Kentucky One Health). David W. Hein, PhD, UofL endowed chair, professor and chair of the department of pharmacology and toxicology, presented certificates to R!L winners.

Research!Louisville 2017 winners

Master’s Basic Science Graduate Student Award

1st place: Joshua Royal, “Epicertin, A Cholera Toxin B Subunit Variant, Enhances Intestinal Wound Healing in a mouse acute colitis model and human ulcerative colitis colon explants.” Mentor: Nobuyuki Matoba

2nd place: Fengyuan Li, “CRAMP Deletion Exacerbates Alcohol-Induced Liver and Pancreas Injury via Regulation of Gut Microbiota and Systemic Inflammasome Activation.” Mentor: Wenke Feng

2nd place: Jamie Young, “Effects of Early Life Chronic Exposure to Arsenic and Cadmium on the Development of Adult Cardiometabolic Syndrome.” Mentor: Gavin Arteel

Doctoral Basic Science Graduate Student Award

1st place: John Caleb Greenwell, “Interplay between aging, lung remodeling, and fibronectin EDA in lung cancer progression.” Mentor: Jesse Roman

2nd place: Rumeysa Biyik-Sit, “Potential Role For A Phosphoserine Aminotransferase 1 And Pyruvate Kinase Muscle 2 (PSAT1:PKM2) Functional Interaction In Lung Cancer Cells.” Mentor: Brian Clem

2nd place: Xinyue Hu, “Protective Effect of Dimethyl Fumarate on T1D-induced Diabetic Cardiomyopathy Probably via Nrf2 pathway.” Mentor: Yang Zheng

2nd place: Cierra Sharp, “Worsened Renal Fibrosis in Kras4bG12D Lung Adenocarcinoma-Bearing Mice Treated with Repeated Dosing of Cisplatin may be EGFR-Mediated.” Mentor: Leah Siskind

2nd place: Marcus Stepp, “Acetylomic Analysis of Arylamine N-Acetyltransferase 1 Knockout in the MDA-MB-231 Triple Negative Breast Cancer Line.” Mentor: David Hein

Bioengineering Co-op Student Award

Winner: Morgan Sharp, “Skeletal Muscle as a Marker for the Effectiveness of Exercise after Spinal Cord Injury.” Mentor: David Magnuson

Masters Engineering Student Award

Winner: Brooke Barrow, “Development of a Flight-Ready Multi-Functional Surgical Wand for Space-Ba Doctoral Engineering Student Award

Winner: Ahmed Shaffie, “A Novel Framework for Integrating Imaging and Clinical Bio-markers Based Methods for Early Assessment of Lung Nodules.” Mentor: Ayman El-Baz

School of Dentistry Dental Student Award

1st place: Andrew Griebel, “Identification of Genes Involved in Branching Morphogenesis of Salivary.” Mentor: Lisa Sandell

2nd place: Muddasir Mohammed, “Influences of Porphyromonas gingivalis on the apoptosis and proliferation of Esophageal Carcinoma cells.” Mentor: Huizhi Wang

3rd place: Sonali Sapare, “BAR-Encapsulated Electrospun Fibers Inhibit Porphyromonas gingivalis Biofilm Formation.” Mentor: Jill Steinbacj-Rankins

Norton Healthcare Medical Student Award

1st place: Cecily Allen, “Understanding the Role of Hydralazine as an Epigenetic Cancer Therapy in Relation to N-Acetyltransferase Acetylator Phenotype.” Mentor: David Hein

2nd place: Evan Tracy, “3D Bioprinting The Cardiac Purkinje System Using Human Adipogenic Mesenchymal Stem Cell Derived Purkinje Cells.” Mentor: Stuart Williams

3rd place: Christopher Greb, “Emulsion Method Nanoparticle Synthesis Dasatinib Micro-encapsulation in Sub-micrometer PLGA Particles As Drug Delivery Platform For Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy.” Mentor: Martin O’Toole

Postdoctoral Fellow Award

1st place: Nazimuddin Khan, “Human Guanylate Kinase: NMR structure determination and functional investigation of a new biomolecular target for lung cancer.” Mentor: Thomas Sabo

2nd place: Hridgandh Donde, “Tributyrin Administration Targets Alcohol-induced Pathogenic Mechanisms in the Gut-liver Axis: Relevance to the Development of Therapeutic Strategies in Alcoholic Liver Disease.” Mentor: Shirish Barve

Research Associate Award

1st place: Anita Chhabra, “Mouse FCs may contain lymphoid progenitor cells that have the capacity to generate B and T cells in vivo.” Mentor: Suzanne Ildstad

2nd place: Ray Yeager, “Residential Proximity to Green Vegetation is Negatively Associated with Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds.” Mentor: Aruni Bhatnagar

Research Staff Award

Winner: Ernesto Pena Calderin, “Exercise-Enhanced Macrophage Phagocytosis And Resolvin Biosynthesis Are Abrogated By A Diet High In Fat.” Mentor: Jason Hellmann

Winner: Bryan Betty, “Current Practice of Bronchodilator Reversibility Measurement Underestimates Asthma in the Older Adult”

School of Medicine Medical Resident Award

Winner: Thomas Schlierf, “Does Robotic Assisted TKA Provide Early Improvement in Functional Outcome Compared to Conventional TKA?” Mentor: Arthur Malkani

School of Medicine Clinical Research Fellow Award

Winner: Penn Muluhngwi, “The miR-29 transcriptome in endocrine-sensitive and resistant breast cancer cells.” Mentor: Carolyn Klinge

Public Health & Information Sciences

Master’s Student Award: Thomas Chandler, “Using Time to Clinical Stability to Predict Long-Term Mortality in Adult Patients Hospitalized for Community-Acquired Pneumonia: Results from the University of Louisville Pneumonia Study.” Mentors: Paula Peyrani and Stephen Furmanek

Doctoral Student Award: Stacey Konkle, “The Association of Volatile Organic Compound Exposures with Serum Lipids.” Mentor: Aruni Bhatnagar

Basic Research in Public Health Award: Yiqun Mo, “The Effects of Nickel Nanoparticles on MMPs Production in Primary Monocytes: the Role of miR-21.” Mentor: Qunwei Zhang

Research & Practice in Public Health Award: Rishtya Kakar, “Every Child with Asthma Needs an Asthma Action Plan:” Developing a Community Campaign to Reduce Childhood Asthma Disparities in West Louisville.” Mentor: Ryan Combs

Nursing Graduate Student

Winner: Barbra Cave, “Changing Epidemiology of Hepatitis C Exposure in Kentucky”

NCI Cancer Education Program Norbert J. Burzynski Award Professional Student Category

1st place: Cecily Allen, “Understanding the Role of Hydralazine as an Epigenetic Cancer Therapy in Relation to N-Acetyltransferase Acetylator Phenotype.” Mentor: David Hein

2nd place: Emily Martin, “Laser-Irradiated “Binary Bomb” Nanoparticles with Encapsulated Gold Nanorods and Chemotherapeutics selectively mediate Hepatocellular Carcinoma Apoptosis.” Mentor: Robert CG Martin

3rd place: Taylor Q. Nguyen, “Development of novel diagnostic methodologies for diagnosis and monitoring in melanoma.” Mentor: Nichola Garbett

NCI Cancer Education Program Norbert J. Burzynski Award Undergraduate Student Category

1st place: Sarah McQuaide, “Genotypic Analysis of Mammary Carcinoma Susceptibility 3 Nominated Gene Expression Levels in Rat Mammary Glands.” Mentor: David Samuelson

2nd place: Roxana Gonzalez-Ramos, “Enhancement of Triple Negative Breast Cancer Virotherapy via Alkylating Agent-Induced Autophagy.” Mentor: Jorge Gomez-Guttierez

3rd place: Megan Peterson, “Evaluating the Potential of Two Copper-Containing Compounds to Selectively Target Cancer Cells.” Mentor: Paula Bates

Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation Faculty Award – Instructor

Winner: Ming Song, “Dietary Copper-Fructose Interactions Alter Gut Microbial Activity in Male Rats”

Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation Faculty Award – Assistant Professor

Winner: Leila Gobejishvili, “Correlation between the phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) family of enzymes and inflammatory and fibrotic markers in human livers”

Winner: Ryan Combs, “Using Boot Camp Translation to Improve HIV Literacy in West Louisville”

Ruth Greenberg Award for Excellence in Medical Education Research

1st place: Cynthia Metz, “Clinical Scenario Videos Improve DMD Students’ Perception of the Basic Sciences and Ability to Apply Content Knowledge”

2nd place: Michael Metz, “Using an Audience Response System to Calibrate Dental Faculty Assessing Student Clinical Competence”

3rd place: Tara McKinley, “Qualitative Evaluation of a Poverty & Social Justice Rotation”

Louisville Chapter-Women in Medicine and Science

1st place: Marianna Hutti, “The Perinatal Grief Intensity Scale: A Clinical Screening Instrument for Identifying and Predicting Intense Grief and Need for Follow-Up after Perinatal Loss”

2nd place: Andrea Merchak, “PD-L1/CD86 expression ratio as a possible biomarker for tolerance in chimeric kidney transplant recipients”

3rd place: Jennifer Koch, “Gender Differences in the Experience of Internal Medicine Residents”

Excellence in Health Disparities Research Award

1st place: Adam Neff, “Prevalence and Risk Factors for Anal Dysplasia in HIV-negative and HIV-positive Men Who Have Sex with Men: Results from the 550 Clinic Cohort Study.” Mentor: Paula Peyrani

2nd place: Rishtya Kakar, “Every Child with Asthma Needs an Asthma Action Plan”: Developing a Community Campaign to Reduce Childhood Asthma Disparities in West Louisville.” Mentor: Ryan Comb

3rd place: Ryan Combs, “Using Boot Camp Translation to Improve HIV Literacy in West Louisville”

Photos of the closing program and award winners are available online

R!L is sponsored by the University of Louisville, Norton Healthcare, and the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation/KentuckyOne Health.

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Betty Coffman

Betty Coffman is a Health Communications Specialist, working on the Health Sciences Campus with departments in the School of Medicine. A UofL alumna and Louisville native, she served as a writer and editor for local and national publications and as an account services coordinator and copywriter for marketing and design firms prior to joining UofL’s Office of Marketing and Communications.