Oakland University Center for Biomedical Research

Oakland University Center for Biomedical Research The mission of the Center for Biomedical Research is to vigorously promote and support biomedical research and education at Oakland University

CBR member Evgeniy Khain, of the Department of Physics, recently published an article about Two-Level Modeling of Quaran...
09/23/2020
Two-level modeling of quarantine

CBR member Evgeniy Khain, of the Department of Physics, recently published an article about Two-Level Modeling of Quarantine in Physical Review E (Volume 102, Article Number 022313). The paper is relevant to our experiences during the quarantine caused by Covid-19. The abstract is given below.

Continuum models of epidemics do not take into account the underlying microscopic network structure of social connections. This drawback becomes extreme during quarantine when most people dramatically decrease their number of social interactions, while others (like cashiers in grocery stores) continue maintaining hundreds of contacts per day. We formulate a two-level model of quarantine. On a microscopic level, we model a single neighborhood assuming a star-network structure. On a mesoscopic level, the neighborhoods are placed on a twodimensional lattice with nearest-neighbors interactions. The modeling results are compared with the COVID-19 data for several counties in Michigan (USA) and the phase diagram of parameters is identified.

https://journals.aps.org/pre/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevE.102.022313

Continuum models of epidemics do not take into account the underlying microscopic network structure of social connections. This drawback becomes extreme during quarantine when most people dramatically decrease their number of social interactions, while others (like cashiers in grocery stores) contin...

Thanks to all OU reviewers. Peer review is at the heart of science. Every time you review a paper or grant proposal, you...
09/23/2020
Peer Review Week

Thanks to all OU reviewers. Peer review is at the heart of science. Every time you review a paper or grant proposal, you make a contribution.

Peer Review Week is a global event celebrating the essential role that peer review plays in maintaining scientific quality.

Dear Sigma Xi members,The Oakland University Chapter of Sigma Xi will support some OU undergraduate and graduate student...
08/26/2020
Abstract Tips

Dear Sigma Xi members,

The Oakland University Chapter of Sigma Xi will support some OU undergraduate and graduate students to present a poster on their research at the 2020 Sigma Xi's Annual Meeting and Student Research Conference. This year the conference will be held virtually November 5 - 8, 2020. To apply for potential sponsorship, fill out this form:
https://forms.gle/Hhw4GdyYmidekZVT6. To encourage participation from students, especially those who never attended a scientific meeting, in early October we will hold a virtual seminar on how to prepare a poster or oral presentation and make the most of a conference experience. Given the many events cancelled this year, we hope that the Sigma Xi annual conference will provide an alternative opportunity for students to interact with the scientific community and engage with outreach and public speaking (even if virtually).

To apply for potential sponsorship from the OU chapter, complete an abstract of your research (max 250 words, in the format specified on the meeting website: https://www.sigmaxi.org/meetings-events/annual-meeting-and-student-research-conference/student-research-conference/abstract-tips) and upload a letter of support from your faculty research mentor (or ask your faculty research mentor to send the letter to [email protected]).

Deadline to submit these materials electronically is 11:59 pm on Sept. 13, 2020.

We look forward to receiving your applications.
Best regards,
Sigma Xi - OU chapter

An abstract is a concise, independent summary of your research. By reading the abstract, a reader should learn the research question, the approach used to answer that question, and relevant findings.

OU professor awarded $550,178 grant by National Science Foundation - College of Arts and Sciences - 2020 - News - OU Mag...
08/19/2020
OU professor awarded $550,178 grant by National Science Foundation - College of Arts and Sciences - 2020 - News - OU Magazine - Oakland University

OU professor awarded $550,178 grant by National Science Foundation - College of Arts and Sciences - 2020 - News - OU Magazine - Oakland University

Oakland University Professor Luis Villa-Diaz has been awarded a $550,178 grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his research on stem cell biology and the potential use of stem cells in regenerative medicine.“Stem cells are cells with the unique ability to divide into identical daughter...

Women in STEM
08/04/2020
Women in STEM

Women in STEM

“Choosing this field was good for me,” says Alyssa Lalko, Oakland University mechanical engineering major. “It means I can make an impact in multiple ways. All engineering students are empowered, in one sense, to impact the world with their skills. But as a woman in STEM, I canalso be a role m...

07/27/2020
nsfgrfp.org

I got this email today, about NSF graduate fellowships:

Dear Colleagues,

We hope you will take the opportunity to announce the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). Interested students should begin at the applicant information page http://www.nsfgrfp.org . The GRFP supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. The program provides up to three years of graduate education support, including an annual $34,000 stipend. Applications for Mathematical Sciences topics are due October 22, 2020.

US citizens and permanent residents who are planning to enter graduate school in fall 2021 are eligible (as are those in the first two years of such a graduate program, or who are returning to graduate school after being out for two or more years). The program solicitation NSF 20-587 (http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=6201 ) contains full details.

The GRFP awards more than 1,500 new fellowships each year. In the years 2013 through 2020, GRFP awards in the mathematical sciences have been given to more than 660 students who earned baccalaureate degrees from approximately 200 colleges and universities throughout the US. The number of baccalaureate institutions has been growing through the years.

The GRFP also needs qualified faculty reviewers. Review panels are conducted by videoconference. Please see the reviewer information page (https://www.nsfgrfp.org/reviewers ) and consider volunteering to serve as a panelist by registering at https://nsfgrfp.org/reviewer_system .

Juan C. Meza
Division Director
Division of Mathematical Sciences
National Science Foundation

Do you want to contribute to defeating covid-19? Volunteer for a project at OU to evaluate finger-tip blood testing for ...
07/22/2020

Do you want to contribute to defeating covid-19? Volunteer for a project at OU to evaluate finger-tip blood testing for the covid-19 antibody.

Thanks to CBR member Ken Mitton for his research on COVID-19, and special thanks to his collaborator and OU alum Nahrain...
07/22/2020
Interactive Graphs: COVID19 Cases, Deaths. (updated daily)

Thanks to CBR member Ken Mitton for his research on COVID-19, and special thanks to his collaborator and OU alum Nahrain Putris, former Eye Research Institute SUPER student. We are so proud to see our OU alum now making a difference in this world. We need your contributions desperately.

Covid19 testing, Covid19 deaths, Covid19 cases

I am proud of Sigma Xi for signing the letter in support of scientists everywhere, and Dr. Fauci in particular.
07/16/2020
Sigma Xi Signs Letter in Support of Evidence-Based Public Health Guidance

I am proud of Sigma Xi for signing the letter in support of scientists everywhere, and Dr. Fauci in particular.

News Archive Sigma Xi Signs Letter in Support of Evidence-Based Public Health Guidance July 16, 2020 A letter signed by Sigma Xi specifically names support for Anthony S. Fauci, MD, shown above, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease...

07/14/2020
Oakland University International Students and Scholars

Good news! We love our international students and scholars!

Update: ICE F-1 ONLINE GUIDANCE RESCINDED!

Today the US government has rescinded the guidance published on 6 July that forbade F-1 students from being 100% on line in Fall 2020 if present in the US.

We believe that the guidance from winter 2020 will be extended, but we are awaiting further clarification.

We welcome this development and ask you to please stay tuned we will reach out to you as soon as we have these details.

Oakland University Undergraduate Admissions
07/11/2020

Oakland University Undergraduate Admissions

The College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering just launched the new Department of Bioengineering. This is the first co-governed academic department in OU’s history! Read more at: http://ow.ly/qQp050Aul5y.

New federal guidance issued for international students
07/09/2020
New federal guidance issued for international students

New federal guidance issued for international students

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has implemented a temporary exemption that prohibits nonimmigrant F-1 students from remaining in the United States if enrolled entirely in online classes.

The Center for Biomedical Research values our international students. They are critical to our research efforts. We shou...
07/08/2020
APS Condemns Recent Rule Change by ICE

The Center for Biomedical Research values our international students. They are critical to our research efforts. We should treat them as a valued asset.

The APS leadership expresses its outrage at the recent rule change by ICE to cancel F-1 and M-1 visas for students studying off-campus because of the pandemic emergency.

A team of faculty from OU’s Department of Chemistry—including Anil Kumar, Michael Sevilla, Roman Dembinski, and Amitava ...
06/24/2020

A team of faculty from OU’s Department of Chemistry—including Anil Kumar, Michael Sevilla, Roman Dembinski, and Amitava Adhikary—published an article titled “One Way Traffic: Base-to-Backbone Hole Transfer in Nucleoside Phosphorodithioate” in Chemistry A European Journal. Coauthors include graduate student Samuel Ward, undergraduates Taisiya Jacobs and Alexander Stark, high school student Dipra Debnath, and researchers from Poland and France. The paper was featured on the cover of journal.

The most significant result of the study is that radiation‐mediated charge transfer processes are key steps that cause lethal radiation damage to cells. Radicals that form on the sugar‐phosphate backbone of DNA are important precursors to cellular damage. The rate and extent of hole (site of electron loss caused by the radiation) transfer from the backbone to the nucleotide bases, and from the bases to the backbone, are critical processes. This article shows that replacement of oxygen atoms by sulfur in the phosphate group of the backbone changes the direction of the hole transfer process. Without oxygen replacement the typical hole transfer is from backbone to base. This process reduces the type and extent of backbone damage that eventually leads to cells death. However, the direction of this process reverses if the hole transfer occurs when two oxygen atoms in the phosphate group are substituted by two sulfur atoms (phosphorodithioate). This could be the key step in phosphorodithioate‐induced toxicity in humans.

This research was supported by several sources, including Sevilla’s grant from the National Institutes of Health (R01CA045424) as well as a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation (1920110) for an electron paramagnetic resonance spectrometer. The attached photo shows Prof. Amitava Adhikary, one of the article’s corresponding authors, with the spectrometer.

https://chemistry-europe-onlinelibrary-wiley-com.huaryu.kl.oakland.edu/doi/10.1002/chem.202002715

Amanda Bryant-Friedrich named dean of the Graduate School SHARE
06/05/2020
Amanda Bryant-Friedrich named dean of the Graduate School SHARE

Amanda Bryant-Friedrich named dean of the Graduate School SHARE

Amanda Bryant-Friedrich has been selected to serve as the next dean of the Wayne State University Graduate School. She will begin on Aug. 1, 2020. Bryant-Friedrich comes to Wayne State from the University of Toledo, where she’s served as dean of the College of Graduate Studies since 2016 and in th...

OU alum Christina McKee (Biological and Biomedical Sciences PhD, 2019) is the lead author on an article about Mesenchyma...
06/04/2020

OU alum Christina McKee (Biological and Biomedical Sciences PhD, 2019) is the lead author on an article about Mesenchymal Stem Cells Transplanted With Self-Assembling Scaffolds Differentiated to Regenerate Nucleus Pulposus in an Ex Vivo Model of Degenerative Disc Disease, published in the March 2020 issue of Applied Materials Today (Volume 18, Article Number UNSP 100474). McKee did her PhD research in the laboratory of CBR member Rasul Chaudhry, in the Department of Biological Sciences. Coauthors on the study were alum Naimisha Beeravolu (Biological and Biomedical Sciences PhD, 2017) and current graduate student Christina Brown. The work was done in collaboration with Dr. Perez-Cruet of Beaumont Hospital.

The research was supported by the OUWB Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Oakland University, and the Michigan Head and Spine Institute. McKee received a Provost Graduate Research Award from Oakland University for this project. The article was published open access, and anyone can read it free of charge at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apmt.2019.100474. The abstract is given below.

Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is one of the major causes of chronic severe low back pain (LBP). IVD degeneration is characterized by changes in cell populations, and the subsequent loss of extracellular matrix (ECM) of the nucleus pulposus (NP) causing degenerative disc disease (DDD). Current treatments only address symptomatic pain rather than repairing the damaged IVDs. Therefore, there is a need for regenerative therapies that restore native tissue structure, cellularity and mechanical function to treat DDD. However, the development of cell therapeutic approaches is hindered due to the lack of availability of high quality and quantity of cells. Other problems include poor growth and differentiation of transplanted cells, and cell leakage from the site of injection in the damaged IVD. In this study, we investigated a novel strategy by combining biocompatible biomaterials and cell therapy to regenerate NP through in situ differentiation of transplanted cells using an ex vivo rabbit disc model of DDD. Results indicated that hydrogel scaffolds composed of self-assembling polyethylene glycol (PEG) functionalized with acrylate and thiol end groups promoted differentiation of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into NP-like cells (NPCs) in vitro. Upon transplantation into degenerated IVDs, PEG scaffolds limited leakage and retained the cells in the NP region of IVD transplants. Both the scaffold and the ex vivo disc environment promoted differentiation of MSCs into cell types capable of producing ECM including sulfated glycoaminoglycans at levels higher than when MSCs were injected into IVD explants alone. Transplanted cells using self-assembling scaffolds also expressed chondrogenic markers, SOX9, COL2, and ACAN, as well as putative NP markers, FOXF1, K19, and VIMENTIN both at transcriptional and translational levels as determined by quantitative real-time PCR and immunostaining. Overall, this study demonstrates the potential of MSCs for regeneration of the NP using a combined strategy of biomaterials and cell therapy.

Congratulations Linzi Hobbs!
06/04/2020
OU graduate student Linzi Hobbs awarded ASH HONORS fellowship for hematology research

Congratulations Linzi Hobbs!

Oakland University graduate student Linzi Hobbs was recently awarded the prestigious ASH HONORS fellowship by the American Society of Hematology. The award contributes to the development of the next generation of hematologists by providing research funding for first-, second-, and third-year medical...

Medical Physics PhD student Jasleen Kaur is the lead author on a review article titled "Magnetic Resonance Imaging and M...
05/31/2020
Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Modeling of the Glymphatic System

Medical Physics PhD student Jasleen Kaur is the lead author on a review article titled "Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Modeling of the Glymphatic System" published in the June 2020 issue of the journal Diagnostics (Volume 10, Article Number 344). Kaur works in the laboratory of adjunct Professor Quan Jiang at Henry Ford Hospital. CBR member and OU Distinguished Professor Michael Chopp, of the Department of Physics, is a coauthor.

This open access article is part of a special issue of the journal.

“This Special Issue on ‘Brain Imaging/Neuroimaging’ invites scholars involved in brain research to share peer papers with the latest research findings on (ab)normal brain function, arteries and veins, structural connectivity, metabolism, development, degeneration, and regeneration. In this Special Issue, we will compile recent progress in these aspects, covering topics ranging from cell engineering methods to imaging acquisitions and data analysis. We will select clinical and preclinical neuroimaging (MRI, PET, and CT) original research from leading institutions and world experts.”

The abstract of the article states

The glymphatic system is a newly discovered waste drainage pathway in the brain; it plays an important role in many neurological diseases. Ongoing research utilizing various cerebrospinal fluid tracer infusions, either directly or indirectly into the brain parenchyma, is investigating clearance pathways by using distinct imaging techniques. In the present review, we discuss the role of the glymphatic system in various neurological diseases and efflux pathways of brain waste clearance based on current evidence and controversies. We mainly focus on new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) modeling techniques, along with traditional computational modeling, for a better understanding of the glymphatic system function. Future sophisticated modeling techniques hold the potential to generate quantitative maps for glymphatic system parameters that could contribute to the diagnosis, monitoring, and prognosis of neurological diseases. The non-invasive nature of MRI may provide a safe and effective way to translate glymphatic system measurements from bench-to-bedside.

https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4418/10/6/344

The glymphatic system is a newly discovered waste drainage pathway in the brain; it plays an important role in many neurological diseases. Ongoing research utilizing various cerebrospinal fluid tracer infusions, either directly or indirectly into the brain parenchyma, is investigating clearance path...

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Hello Oakland University! We are hiring medical scribes and medical assistants! No experience required. Must be pursuing pre-medicine or have completed pre-medical coursework. Email us your resume at [email protected]
Down in Puerto Rico at the International Mammalian Genome Conference. Thanks to the world-class faculty, attendees, and organizers for making the conference such a great event. We are making great advances in the field of mouse genetics, which has ultimately led to discovering innovative ways to treat human disease. I was fortunate enough to win the Outstanding Nomenclature Award on my poster, which would not have been possible without the help and mentorship of Dr. Amy Siebert-McKenzie and Dr. Randal Westrick. Dr. Siebert has been an instrumental part of the Westrick lab, and the platelet PAI-1 project. #scientists #genomics #genetics #mouse #nomenclature #mammalian #award
Our Life is Why! Join Our Team! On Saturday, May 12th, 2018 we're not just walking. We're Heart walking. Our participation in the Heart Walk will help raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases as well as help raise funds to support innovative research!
Could not be more proud to have spent this past summer as a fellow in the University of Michigan Life Sciences Perrigo Fellowship! However, this would not have been possible without the opportunity to get involved with research during my freshman year at Oakland University in the lab of Dr. Randy Westrick. Below is a feature story about the Perrigo program. I was fortunate enough to be chosen as one of three fellows to be interviewed. It truly is an honor to have been part of such a historic program.