The Department of Biomedical Sciences (formerly Basic Medical Science) was established in 1998 in response to recommendations by the American Association of Medical College’s Liaison Committee on Medical Education following an accreditation inspection. The newly established department was initially charged with the responsibility of improving the quality and relevance of basic science education for medical students. As the department has matured, we have also focused on developing research programs in specific biomedically related disciplines.
Departmental Teaching Responsibilities
The School of Medicine’s Office of Research Administration announced nine students have been selected to receive the October 2013 Sarah Morrison Students Research Award. The research awards are presented twice a year.
Recipients of the October research awards and their faculty mentors include:
Comron Hassanzadeh, MS 3 / Xiangping Chu, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of basic medical science;
Stephanie Koch, MSB / Mary Gerkovich, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical and health informatics;
Stephanie Markey, MSB / Karen Williams, Ph.D., professor and chair of biomedical and health informatics;
Shreena K. Patel, MS 5 / Betty Herndon, Ph.D., research associate professor of medicine;
Christopher Schiavo, MS 5 / Carol Stanford, M.D., associate professor of medicine and Gold 5 docent;
Jasmine Singh, MS 4 / Geetha Raghuveer, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics;
Richa Sutaria, MS 4 / Salvatore Stella, Ph.D., assistant professor of basic medical science;
Merrill Thomas, MS 4 / Peter Koulen, Ph.D., professor of basic medical science and Felix and Carmen Sabates/Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research;
Kaitlin Vogt, MS 5 / Carol Stanford, M.D., associate professor of medicine and Gold 5 docent.
Researchers at the UMKC School of MedicineVision Research Center have received a $1.125 million grant from the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health to support the development of new drug therapies for protecting the retina and optic nerve in chronic degenerative eye disease.
The research will be led by Peter Koulen, Ph.D., Professor and Felix and Carmen Sabates Missouri Endowed Chair in Vision Research at the School of Medicine and Director of Basic Research at the Vision Research Center.
“Degeneration or damage of the retina and the optic nerve — the nerve that connects the eye to the brain and makes vision possible — is a leading cause of loss of quality of life and productivity in the United States and worldwide,” Koulen said. “The therapy approach we’re developing focuses on much-needed protection of nerve cells in the eye. The goal is to develop drug therapies that will be both preventative and therapeutic and complement existing treatment designs and rationales.”
Rear Adm. Patrick O’Carroll, M.D., M.P.H., visited the School of Medicine on June 5 to deliver his lecture titled “Public Health and Prevention in the Age of Healthcare Reform,” as part of the Health Care Policy Grand Rounds Lecture series presented by the Department of Biomedical and Health Informatics.
O’Carroll is an assistant surgeon general of the United States, the regional health administrator for U.S. Public Health Service Region X, and an affiliate professor at the University of Washington schools of Public Health and Medicine. He has also worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, giving him a unique perspective on issues of public health and ways to prevent disease, said Bill Lafferty, M.D., Merl & Muriel Hicklin/Missouri Endowed Chair in Medicine during his introduction of O’Carroll.
The lecture outlined the 10 most effective public health interventions of the 20th century. These included vaccines, motor-vehicle safety, safer work places, control of infectious disease – huge improvements in infant mortality, for example – a decline in heart disease and stroke mortality, safer and healthier foods, healthier mothers and babies, family planning, fluoridation of drinking water, and reduction in tobacco use – still the No. 1 cause of preventable mortality.
O’Carroll stressed the importance of prevention when it comes to public health outcomes. “Medicine can be thought of as a reaction if a system fails,” he said.
Preventative care is practiced on multiple levels. At the individual level, it includes wellness visits and new private plans. At the business level, there’s workplace health, for example, and at the state level, there are many initiatives regarding community health plans. More than 12 federal agencies have developed a National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy and a Prevention and Public Health Fund.
O’Carroll also discussed the Affordable Care Act, the Consumer Bill of Rights, and the CDC’s bioterrorism preparedness and response initiative.
Throughout his lecture, O’Carroll acknowledged the challenges of public health because its boundaries constantly change. “There are multiple disciplines and cultures, and sometimes an uncomfortable blend of science, action, research, policy, advocacy and government,” he said. Although, there is one aspect that O’Carroll emphasized as a top priority.
“The upstream causes of death are what we need to be working on,” O’Carroll said. “Because, A) It’s the right place to go; it prevents disease in the first place and prevents human suffering, and B) it prevents the visit to the doctor and keeps this incredible cost curve, that I mentioned being unsustainable, from breaking the bank.”
With the aid of a grant from the National Institutes of Health for nearly $188,000, Xiang-PingChu, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of basic medical science, will conduct a research project at the UMKC School of Medicine that could lead to improved treatment and prevention of cocaine addition.
The project will provide evidence and insights into a newly discovered molecular activity within the brain during the use of cocaine that leads to the addition. Data from the project could ultimately contribute to the development of novel pharmacotherapies to treat addiction. Researchers will use a multidisciplinary approach to conduct the study.
Chu joined the School of Medicine faculty in 2008 in the department of Basic Medical Science and has a secondary appointment in the Department of Anesthesiology. His research programs have also been supported by the American Heart Association and the University of Missouri Research Board.
Sarah Jennison, MS 4, Neeti Desai, MS 6, and Nikoo Cheraghi, MS 4, received the top awards from faculty and alumni judges for their oral and poster presentations at the School of Medicine’s annual Student Research Day on Friday, April 1.
The event provides a forum for students and their faculty mentors to present biomedical research that reflects the breadth and depth of faculty research interests at the School of Medicine. This year’s Student Research Day took on a new format that included both oral presentations in the morning in Theater C, followed by poster presentations in the afternoon on the third floor of the medical school.
Nineteen students participated, including six oral presentations and 13 poster presentations.
Jennison received the first prize from both the faculty and alumni judges for her poster presentation, “Cytokines in Lung Following Sterile Damage by Carbon Nanoparticles (CN).” Faculty judges awarded the first prize for an oral presentation to Desai for, “Novel mechanism of calcium dysregulation after oxidative stress,” and Cheraghi received the alumni judges’ first prize for the oral presentation, “Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 Concentrations and Cartoid Artery Intima-Media Thickness Among Children with Multiple Modifiable Atheroscleroris-Promoting Risk Factors.”
Other faculty awards include:
Poster-second place: Amy Patel, MS 6, “Imaging Findings in Human Bordetella Bronchiseptica Pneumonia.”
Poster-third place: Kathleen Doo, MS 5, “Mesothelioma Markers Expressed in Human Cell Line Exposed to Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes.”
Oral presentation-second place: Ashley Abraham, MS 5, “Evaluation of a Novel HIV and STD Prevention Program on Adolescent Knowledge and Risk Behaviors.”
Oral presentation-third place: Jessica Curry, MS 6, “Weight Loss in the Newborn Nursery.”
Chief scientific officer of AAMC visits School
as Student Research Day keynote speaker
Ann Bonham, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, stressed the importance, challenges and future of medical research during her keynote speech for the 2011 Student Research Day on April 1.
Bonham directs AAMC programs that support research and training, addresses policy issues through engagement with key public and private sector officials, works closely with constituents to address their research needs, and represents the association on a national stage regarding research policy and administration.
She especially focused on the social contract of research and made sure to remind her audience of UMKC SOM students, faculty, staff and alumni throughout her lecture to remember the big picture.
“We have to keep in mind the reason we do science,” Bonham said. “It’s the people across the nation, across the globe.”
A member of the University of California, Davis, faculty for nearly 20 years, Bonham played a major role in UC Davis’s expansion of basic biomedical sciences. She was also previously the executive associate dean for academic affairs and professor of pharmacology and internal medicine at the UC Davis School of Medicine. Bonham served as chair of the UC Davis NIH Clinical and Translational Science Center’s Executive Committee and previously served as chair of the department of pharmacology, as well as former vice chair of research for the department of internal medicine and associate chief of research for and acting chief of the division of cardiovascular medicine.
During her presentation, Bonham covered the political, economic and health care reform legislation realities affecting research, and the importance for physicians, researchers and students, “our future,” to consider the vitality of consistently improving and participating in medical research.
“Fundamentally, we need new models of how we think about research: new strategies, new focus, new partnerships,” she said. “And, I like to say, the research program for today and for tomorrow is not your father’s Oldsmobile, but rather something much more efficient, much more modern and that can move into a lot of spaces very quickly.”
Bonham also discussed the AAMC’s agenda to improve health and health care. The process begins with basic to clinical research, she said, then to community-engaged and comparative effectiveness research to care delivery transformation research all the way to implementation research. This progression leads to the need to build an evidence base for health care delivery through science, new institutional pathways to principled partnerships with industry and other entities, and new business models for 21st century investments and impact.
The School of Medicine Student Research Office has announced the January 2011 recipients of the Sarah Morrison Student Research Awards.
This quarter’s award winners, their abstract titles and faculty mentors include:
Chris Reams, MS 4, “Analysis of Health Care Professionals’ Keyboards, Pagers, and ID Badges as Potential Sources of Nosocomial Infection,” mentor, Gurmukh Singh, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology.
Adil Akthar, MS 4, “Elucidating the Mechanism of Thromboxane-Induced Calcium Entry in HL-1 Cardiac Myocytes,” mentor, Michael Wacker, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of basic medical science.
Julia Frisenda, MS 5, “Effects of Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes on p53 Tumor Suppressor Gene,” mentor, Betty Herndon, Ph.D., research associate professor.
Frank Xing, MS 4, “Effects of Amiloride on Behavioral Plasticity to Cocaine,” mentor, Xiangping Chu, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of basic medical science.
The application deadline for the next round of Sarah Morrison Student Research Awards is April 1, 2011. For application information, students should contact Agostino Molteni, M.D., Ph.D., director or student research at 235-5604 or email@example.com.