January 14, 2016
News from the Annual Report by KU Medical Center Research Institute and the Department Chair
The Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology has had a highly successful year marked by several group and individual accomplishments. Despite the dismal funding levels at the NIH, our department has maintained much of its funding. The Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology received the highest NIH funding among the Basic Science Departments in University of Kansas Medical Center in fiscal years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015. (From the Annual Report by KU medical Center Research Institute)
Nationally, we rank 17th out of 137 medical schools in NIH funding, and 7th out of 83 public medical schools. We've maintained this approximate ranking for about the last 10 years or more. These numbers do not reflect the new, 5 year R01 grant awarded to Pam Tran last spring, the new 5 year R01 awarded to Hiroshi Nishimune this summer, the competitive renewal of a 5 year R01 to Doug Wright this summer, or a new R03 awarded to Irfan Saadi also this summer. Bill Kinsey received a 7th percentile score on the competitive renewal of his long-standing R01.
September 29, 2015
Olivia Eller, graduate research assistant in anatomy, is the 2015 recipient of the KUMC Chancellor's Doctoral Fellowship. The fellowships were created to help recruit and support doctoral students at KU, a key goal of KU's Bold Aspirations strategic plan.
Hailing from Topeka, KS, Olivia began her pursuit by receiving her Bachelors of Science in Biology from Kansas State University. When deciding where to take the next step and further her education, she chose KUMC because of the translational biomedical research taking place here. "My goal for my research is to make a difference in people's lives and I think the doctoral training opportunities that KUMC offers will be the best way to make this happen" she said. "I am very excited to receive the a Chancellor's Fellowship because it will assist me in reaching my goal." In Dr. Julie Christianson's laboratory in Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Olivia's research will investigate if there is behavioral and molecular evidence indicative of comorbidity of urogenital sensitivity and migraine in a mouse model of early life stress. Additionally, she will be examining the effects of exercise on chronic pain sensitivity as exercise appears to have a positive impact on neuro-development and could therefore serve as a potential therapeutic for treatment of pain disorders.
June 30, 2015
Department researchers received funding for their projects
News source: Research Institute Newsletter - June 2015
April 3, 2015
Congratulations, department researchers received externally funding for their projects
The following KU Medical Center projects have received external funding for projects scheduled to start Jan. 1, 2015 or later, listed alphabetically by principal investigator. This list includes funding for new projects and competing renewals.
March 30, 2015
Student Research Forum
The Anatomy and Cell Biology department had 14 students present at this year's Student Research Forum, all of whom did a tremendous job.
Congratulations to all of our students who were recognized at the SRF banquet including:
The best overall oral presentation, the best graduate studies presentation, and the Paul B. Freeburg award.
First place session winners:
Second place session winners:
People's choice award for 3 minute thesis:
March 4, 2015
Researchers seek to unlock details on developmental defects
Researchers at the University of Kansas have partnered on a project to better understand developmental biology and how an embryo evolves during its earliest stages. The goal is to eventually learn more about developmental defects. The project, which recently received a $1.2 million, four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health, is led at KU Medical Center by Andras Czirok, associate professor of anatomy and cell biology at the School of Medicine, along with Charles Little, professor of anatomy and cell biology, Brenda Rongish, associate professor of anatomy and cell biology, and Prajna Dhar, assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, University of Kansas School of Engineering. more>>
Robert M. Klein. Ph.D. Named Fellow of the American Association of Anatomists
Klein, vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies, has been named a Fellow of the American Association of Anatomists and will be inducted at a ceremony at the end of March. The rank of Fellow is designed to honor distinguished members who have demonstrated excellence in science and in their overall contributions to the anatomical sciences. During Klein's long academic career, he has been honored with numerous honors, including the Chancellor's Club Distinguished Teaching Professorship, the AAMC AOA Robert J. Glaser Teaching Award, American Council on Education Fellowship, two W.T. Kemper Fellowships for Excellence in Teaching, and more than 20 Student Voice Awards. He has dedicated much of his career to teaching and mentoring graduate students, medical students and junior faculty.
January 28, 2015
Everett Hall, graduate student in anatomy and cell biology
K-INBRE symposium: Twenty undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students were honored for their scientific research presentations at the 13th annual Kansas Institutional Development Award Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) symposium Jan. 17-18 in Topeka, Kan. Among those honored was KU Medical Center’s Everett Hall, graduate student in anatomy and cell biology, oral presentation on "Compound mouse mutants of Specc1l hypomorphic alleles model human palate neural tube closure defects". more>>
December 17, 2014
When Egg And Sperm Hook Up, You Can Actually See 'Sparks' Fly
Francesca Duncan is co-author on a paper published in Nature Chemistry that is receiving widespread play in the media. From Huff Post Science, "When a sperm cell fuses with an egg, it triggers the sudden release of zinc atoms from the egg's surface. That's been known since 2011. Now, for the first time ever, scientists have observed these "sparks" in action and figured out where they come from." more>>
June 4, 2014
Student goes to Washington to advocate for increased neuroscience funding
Ms. Angela Pierce, a Ph.D. candidate in Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, University of Kansas Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellow, goes to Washington to advocate for increased neuroscience funding. Ms. Pierce participated in Capitol Hill Day on March 28, when more than 45 neuroscientists from across the country met with staffers at more than 75 congressional offices. They discussed advances in the field of neuroscience, shared the economic and public health benefits of investment in biomedical research, and made the case for strong national investment in scientific research through the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation. more>>
June 3, 2014
KU Medical Center receives $19 million National Institutes of Health grant to support multi-university bioscience program
The Kansas Institutional Development Award Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (K-INBRE) has received a $19 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue the 13 year long program, which is directed by Doug Wright, a professor of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. more >>
May 6, 2014
Michael J. Werle, PhD selected to participate in the prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows Program
Werle, an associate professor of anatomy and cell biology, associate dean for graduate studies, and director of the interdisciplinary graduate program in biomedical sciences, is one of 31 applicants selected to participate in the prestigious American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows Program for 2014-2015. ACE fellowships prepare emerging leaders for senior positions in university administration through attendance at retreats, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience into a single year. He is particularly interested in nationally recognized graduate and postdoctoral programs in the biomedical sciences.
April 9, 2014
Student Research Forum Winners
Congratulations to ALL of our Student Research Forum winners! As usual, our graduate students have made the Anatomy and Cell Biology Department proud with their high quality presentations and research. To boot, this is the second year in a row that one of our students has taken the Overall Medal for the School of Medicine. Please help us in congratulating all of our students!
Nathan Wilson (Irfan Saadi, Mentor)
Overall Medal for best presentation in the School of Medicine
First Place in the Cell & Molecular Biology division
Paul Freeburg Cell Biology Award
Naomi Butler-Tjaden (Paul Trainor, Mentor)
First Place in Poster Session II
Bailey Allard (Pam Tran, Mentor)
Honorable Mention in Disease Systems Session
Eric Young (Tatiana PIotrowski, Mentor)
Honorable Mention in Poster Session II
Dale Abrahamson, Ph.D., University Ditinguished Professor, and Chair, Anatomy & Cell Biology
March 5, 2014
KU names 2014 Men of Merit
Robert M. Klein, PhD has been selected as one of the University of Kansas Men of Merit, recognized for positively defining masculinity through challenging norms, taking action and leading by example while making contributions to the university and/or the community. Read more.
January 29, 2014
Developmental biologists Charles Little, Ph.D., and Brenda Rongish, Ph.D., are working with biological physicist András Czirók, Ph.D., to produce time-lapse movies to track early cardiovascular development. Their work is featured on the front page of the KUMC website. Read more.
November 19, 2013
Dr. Doug Wright and his colleagues at the University of Kansas Medical Center used a Frontiers pilot grant to spark innovative ideas that are truly translational, advancing both basic and clinical research projects. Read more.
November 12, 2013
Researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center have shown that a compound frequently found in plastics, Bisphenol A (BPA), can worsen migraine headache-related symptoms. The findings suggest that migraine sufferers might be able to reduce the frequency and severity of their headaches by changing their diets. Read more.
September 24, 2013
Charles Little has taught at KU Medical Center since 2000. He has trained 12 post-doctoral fellows, 11 doctoral students and served on dissertation committees of an additional 35 doctoral students. He has served on dozens of peer review panels and committees, including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association and other national and international funding agencies. Read more.
September 24, 2013
Quote from the The Scientist website, "Image of the Day: Baby Anemone. The embryo of a sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis, with tubulin visualized in green, F-actin in red, and nuclei in blue". View the image on the-scientist.com.
July 23, 2013
KCUR website, "Where In The Brain Does An Itch And A Migraine Come From?", By Suzanne Hogan and Matthew Long-Middleton.
July 23, 2013
Excerpt from The Scientist, "Crowd Control: Molecules, cells, or vertebrates-when individuals move and act as a single unit, surprisingly complex behaviors arise that hint at the origins of multicellularity."
Even after large blood vessels, such as the aorta, have formed, the endothelial cells remain highly motile. "We thought that once the blood vessels form, the cells are kind of static, like the bricks of a house," Czirók says. Instead, the walls of the newly formed aortas of bird embryos revealed a turbulent mosaic of cells, with visible streams and vortices. Although at first this movement is random, once blood starts pumping through the vessels, the streams of moving cells making up the vessel walls eventually become directed toward completing the still-forming heart. Only a small percentage of the cells-around 5 to 10 percent-are needed to initiate this mass migration of cells into the nascent organ. Rather than heart formation relying on cell division alone, the streaming vascular endothelial cells provide "a fast and easy way to transport new cells into the growing heart," Czirók says." full article >>
June 27, 2013
It is our pleasure to announce the appointment of Dr. Robert Klein as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of Graduate Studies for the University of Kansas Medical Center.Dr. Klein assumes his position on July 15, 2013, and will report to the Senior Vice Chancellor and the Executive Vice Chancellor of KUMC. He succeeds Dr. Allen Rawitch who begins phased retirement this summer with a part-time faculty appointment as professor in the Department of Biochemistry of the KU School of Medicine. Dr. Rawitch will also serve as Special Assistant to the Executive Vice Chancellor as needed. We are planning a formal campus-wide celebration for Dr. Rawitch in September to which everyone will be invited.
In his new role, Dr. Klein will oversee KUMC activities related to academic affairs, graduate studies, international programs, faculty professional development, faculty governance and institutional reporting of faculty information to the Kansas Board of Regents and other external constituencies. As Vice Chancellor, Dr. Klein will be the administrative liaison to KUMC Faculty Assembly Steering Committee and the Kansas Board of Regents, including the Council of Chief Academic Officers.
Dr. Klein is a Chancellors Club Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology and received his PhD from New York University. He completed postdoctoral work at Marquette University. Dr. Klein has been a faculty member at KUMC since 1975 and became full professor in 1987. During Dr. Klein’s long academic career, he was honored with an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship and has been Associate Dean for Professional Development and Faculty Affairs in the School of Medicine since 2002. Dr. Klein is the winner of numerous teaching awards, including the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award, Association of American Medical Colleges Teaching Award, and was twice honored with the Kemper Teaching Excellence Award.
In keeping with our commitment to evaluate campus resources to support our strategic plan, we have carefully reviewed KUMC current and future needs as this transition occurs for the Office of Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies. KUMC academic affairs will expand to include specified professional development activities for faculty of all schools, in addition to faculty handbook and faculty governance liaison activities and institutional reporting of faculty data. Graduate studies activities will include interaction with the KU Edwards campus, as well as postdoctoral support and support of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences.
International programs oversight will focus on international faculty affairs for inbound and outbound faculty, and visa and documentation requirements. Student international programs will be managed by KUMC Student Services, with a new Director of International Programs to be hired in the near future. The new Director of International Programs will report to both Dr. Klein and to Dr. Vince Loffredo, Vice Chancellor for Student Services.
Transitions in our organization allow us the opportunity to enhance our structure to support KUMC missions and evolving priorities. Dr. Robert Klein is an experienced administrator and academician whose leadership will extend the many successes of the Office of Academic Affairs and Graduate Programs on our campus. In the short term, Dr. Klein will continue to support the Faculty Affairs office in the School of Medicine while an internal search for a replacement is conducted. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Robert Klein on this well-deserved promotion.
Douglas A. Girod, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor
Karen L. Miller, PhD, RN, FAAN
Senior Vice Chancellor
May 29, 2013
Meet Rosetta Barkley, HT/ASCP, a histotechnologist in the Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center. Rosetta is smart, sassy, and fun-loving. She refers to some of her coworkers as her "babies" and has a smile and hello for everyone who passes her way. She is also the most senior employee at KU Medical Center, having just celebrated her 50th anniversary with us.
Rosetta came to KUMC in 1963 to support the new School of Medicine program which had previously been located at the KU campus in Lawrence. She eventually moved into research and earned her histotechnology certification by completing the first medical technology program offered at KUMC.
As a histotechnologist, Rosetta prepares and processes tissue for use in diagnosing diseases or conducting research.
"I'm really interested in this work," Rosetta explained. "I've seen a lot of changes throughout my career, but the one thing that remains constant are the people who care and are invested in what we do here. I enjoy working with those people."
And these people enjoy working with Rosetta. She retired in 2009, but was recruited back only two months later to work part-time.
When she's not making a difference at KUMC, Rosetta enjoys traveling and shopping.
Congratulations, Rosetta, on this milestone, and thank you for your dedication to our university!
May 20, 2013
Dr. Anastasiia Aleksandrova was honored with the Argersinger Award for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation on May 18th, 2013, at the University of Kansas Doctoral Hooding and Commencement Ceremony. Ana defended her dissertation research with the distinction of Honors in November, 2013 under the mentorship of Brenda Rongish, PhD and her collaborator, Dr. Andras Czirok. Ana’s research focused on the tissue-level mechanisms responsible for driving cardiac progenitor and extracellular matrix movements during early vertebrate heart development. Ana utilized time-lapse imaging and computational analyses to determine the mechanisms underlying the movements of cardiac progenitor cells to the embryonic midline, and confirmed her experimental findings with mathematical models and computer simulations. The Argersinger Dissertation Award is endowed by William and Marnie Argersinger through the KU Endowment Association. William J. Argersinger was the first Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Kansas.
May 10, 2013
Congratulations Dr. Lydia Vermeer for 2nd Place Oral Presentations in 2013 Resident, Postdoc and Fellow Research Day. The Vice Chancellor of Research and the Offices of Academic and Postdoctoral Affairs, and Graduate Medical Education (GME) are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Resident, Postdoc and Fellow Research Day. Please congratulate them on their hard work. View award winners from the 2013 Residents, Postdocs and Fellows Research Day.
May 2, 2013
Dr. Swenson-Fields' paper, "Macrophages promote polycystic kidney disease progression" (http://www.nature.com/ki/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ki2012446a.html) was selected for F1000 Prime as being of special significance in its field (http://f1000.com/prime/717980903?subscriptioncode=f37b88f8-3747-4609-b47e-710ada9f6ba8.
F1000Prime is an in-depth directory of top articles in biology and medicine, as recommended by the Faculty of over 5,000 expert scientists and clinical researchers, assisted by 5,000 associates (a quote from the F1000Prime website).
April 5, 2013
Congratulations to all of the Anatomy and Cell Biology students who did an outstanding job presenting platform talks and posters at the Student Research Forum on April 4th, 2013. We have a number of students who received prizes for their performance:
March 23, 2013
The Frederick Naftolin Award for Mentorship was established in 2003 to recognize the contributions of a member of the Society for Gynecological Investigation to training and career development of investigators in the field of reproductive and women's health. The award is named in honor of Dr. Naftolin, a former President of the society and past recipient of the President's Distinguished Scientist Award. Dr. Naftolin a staunch advocate for creating a mechanism for the society to celebrate outstanding service to our scientific community through excellence in mentoring. The award was endowed by generous contributions from members or the society. Dr. Naftolin's colleagues and trainees. The awardee is selected by Council in consultation with the Past President's and members of the society.
November 16, 2012
Congratulations to Barbara Fegley for marking 35 years of service to KUMC. Barbara was recently recognized as one of the longtime employees who have devoted more than 35 years to KUMC, along with other honorees at the Employee Recognition Ceremony. A heartfelt thanks to Barbara for all of her years of hard work and dedication.
November 6, 2012
The Annual Faculty Research Investigator Awards recognize and honor significant research accomplishments by the faculty of the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Salina and Wichita. The awards are made in conjunction with Faculty Research Day, which is held each year at KUMC Kansas City. These awards are given to investigators who display evidence of significant research accomplishments and a high potential for sustained productive research in the future. Dr. Doug Wright was presented with the award on October 26th, 2012.
August 3, 2012
KU Medical Center researchers have created a genetic model to show how zinc is crucial for absorbing nutrients in the intestine. Glen Andrews, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, along with senior research associate Jim Geiser, Robert De Lisle, associate professor of anatomy and cell biology, and Koen Venken, a postdoctoral fellow at Baylor College of Medicine, recently published their findings in PLoS Genetics. read the complete article >>
May 4, 2011
Please join me in congratulating Joan Hunt, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology (and University Distinguished Professor), on the recipient of the inaugural Senior Award in Placentology. She will receive the award at a meeting in Japan this September from the International Federation of Placenta Associations. Obviously, this reflects highly on Joan's long and distinguished career, but also on the many other researchers here who have made KU a foremost institution for reproductive sciences. Wonderful news, Joan!
August 4, 2011
Dr. Nancy Berman's migraine research is highlighted as part of the efforts by the Women's Pain Division at the medical center's Institute for Neurological Disorders (IND). See the full article in the Spring Summer 2011 edition of Kansas Medicine+Science (page 7).
July 20, 2011
Read the full article, "Why Do Women Get More Migraines Than Men?" by Brian Palmer on the Slate.com site.
June 10, 2011
It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Dr. Michael Werle, Associate Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology as the new Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. Dr. Werle will continue his role in Directing the IGPBS program for the School of Medicine Basic Science Graduate Programs. His new responsibilities in Graduate Studies will include the oversight and coordination of the student research forum, the resident and postdoctoral research day and the School of Medicine's medical student summer research program. Dr. Werle succeeds Dr. Joe Bast who carried out these responsibilities for many years and has moved to phased retirement while assisting in the development of an MSTP grant application.
Dr. Werle obtained his undergraduate degree in 1982 from the University of Notre Dame, and his PhD in 1987 from The University of Southern California. After postdoctoral research at the Stanford University School of Medicine, he joined the faculty in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at KUMC in 1993. His principal research interest is activity dependent remodeling of neuronal synapses.
I hope you will join me in congratulating Dr. Werle and wishing him success in his new endeavors.
Allen B. Rawitch, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Dean of Graduate Studies
Professor, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology