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Angels returning to High Street on Thursday

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University School of Public Health will hold its annual Angels on High Street alcohol awareness event from 9:30 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26 at High and Wall streets in downtown Morgantown. Student volunteers will provide blood alcohol strips and coasters that check drinks for the presence of GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) and ketamine. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2011, more than 9,800 deaths occurred in which alcohol was a factor. Also that year, 91 alcohol-related fatalities were reported in West Virginia, according to the Century Council, a national, independent, non-profit organization founded in 1991 and funded by distillers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that a driver arrested for drunk driving has driven 80 times under the influence of alcohol before being cited. “Our goal is to create awareness about drinking and driving and to encourage students to make smart choices. While many students state they do not drink and drive, the fact is that there are some who ride with someone who is intoxicated,” Ruth Kershner, Ed.D., R.N., interim assistant dean for student affairs in the WVU School of Public Health and professor in the WVU Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, said. “The School of Public Health works diligently to improve the health and well-being of our students and citizens.”   [...]

WVU School of Dentistry students receive white coats

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Sixty-four bright white coats were handed out to [...]

WVU School of Medicine chooses Dr. David Jones as 2013 Distinguished Alumnus

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – David R. Jones, M.D., a graduate of the West Virginia University School of Medicine Class of 1989, will be recognized as the School’s 2013 Distinguished Alumnus during Alumni Weekend, Sept. 27 and 28. Dr. Jones is an internationally known clinician and researcher with specialty interests in lung and esophageal cancer, minimally invasive surgery, video-assisted thoracic surgery, diseases of the thymus and other surgical diseases of the chest. His research laboratory focuses on lung and esophageal cancer and is funded by the National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense, American Cancer Society and the American Association for Cancer Research, among others. Jones has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on more than 24 funded grants, and he has published more than165 papers in scientific and professional journals on topics related to his research and specialty interests. These include publications such as The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Oncogene, Cancer Research, Journal of Biologic Chemistry and Molecular Cell. He has made more than 250 presentations on thoracic surgery in the U.S. and internationally. After graduating from the WVU School of Medicine, Jones completed his surgical internship and general surgery residency at WVU and a thoracic surgery residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998. Since that time, he has been on the faculty of UNC Chapel Hill and the University of Virginia. He is currently chief of thoracic surgery and co-director of the thoracic oncology program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Comprehensive Cancer Center in New York, N.Y. Jones is board certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery. He is the recipient of many honors and awards, including America’s Top Doctor Award and America’s Top Cancer Doctors Award (2005-2012). He holds office on numerous local, state and national committees, including, but not limited to, American Association for Thoracic Surgery, Society of Thoracic Surgeons; American College of Surgeons; Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education; Southern Thoracic Surgical Association; American College of Surgeons; and the Halsted Society. He currently is a director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and is a permanent member of the National Cancer Institute Tumor, Progression and Metastasis study section. The School of Medicine’s Alumni Weekend will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 27 with a reception at Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa in Morgantown. Jones will be presented with the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the Alumni Banquet, which begins at 7:30. On Sept. 28, Jones will be one of two speakers featured at the Pat A. Tuckwiller Memorial Seminar, which will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. at Lakeview. He will present “Update on Lung Cancer: Screening, Surgery, and Targeted Therapy.” Jennifer Cheng, D.O., assistant professor in the WVU Department of Medicine Section of Endocrinology, will present “Diabetes: Screening, Diagnosis and Management.” Alumni Weekend will conclude with a reunion dinner for graduates of WVU’s two-year medical school. It will begin at 6 p.m. at Lakeview. [...]

Jon Michael Moore Trauma Center provides specialized care for more than two decades

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A coal miner is crushed by collapsed mine shaft. A teenager is pinned underneath an ATV. A tractor-trailer collides with a family’s minivan on the interstate. In an instant, these terrifying events forever change the lives of the people who sustain them. And fortunately, for the people of West Virginia and the surrounding region, the [...]

WVU School of Medicine team examines the dangers and potential of nanomaterials

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After a decade of rapidly growing industrial use, unimaginably tiny particles surround us everywhere, every day, in everything we do. Used in the manufacturing of cosmetics, clothing, paints, food, drug delivery systems and many other familiar products we all use daily, little is known about the effects these materials have on health. A research team led by Timothy R. Nurkiewicz, Ph.D., associate professor in the WVU School of Medicine Department of Physiology  and Pharmacology and researcher in the Center for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences, is finding inhalation of engineered nanomaterials negatively impacts gestational development in animal models. Dr. Nurkiewicz is internationally recognized as a leader and pioneer in this growing area of toxicology, and the WVU studies are the first formal investigations of their kind. “We already know microvascular function is negatively impacted by breathing nanomaterials,” Nurkiewicz said, summarizing his research program’s discoveries over the previous years. “Microscopic blood vessels cannot dilate after nanomaterial inhalation, so crucial blood flow to our various organs is impaired.” “We considered the greater ramifications of this risk on various human health outcomes, and came to the alarming realization that the impact of these exposures on maternal and fetal health is essentially unknown,” he continued. “If fresh, oxygenated blood isn’t reaching a mother’s uterus, how is fetal development affected? Our initial studies revealed maternal nanomaterial exposures during gestation results in fewer and smaller offspring.” Research showed that litters of animals exposed to nanoparticle aerosols were smaller in size and in the weight of each individual offspring. This indicates that offspring were lost during development, and those that remained had less than ideal conditions to develop. As Nurkiewicz and his team go forward, they will identify safe nanomaterials, the underlying mechanisms contributing to their initial observations, the genetic impacts and what the maternal exposure limits are. These groundbreaking observations are unique to the work of the team members. They have already published their initial findings in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, one of the premier obstetrics and gynecology journals in the country. “To our knowledge, we are the first to report that maternal inhalation of manmade nanomaterials creates a hostile gestational environment capable of impacting fetal health,” Nurkiewicz said. “The hope is that with more study, this can be avoided by determining exactly what a safe level of exposure is. Nanotechnology has so many potential benefits to offer our future collective public health, but as any toxicologist will tell you, it’s frequently a thin line between a therapeutic dose and a toxic one.” Widespread industrial use of nanomaterials is a relatively new innovation, only becoming common in manufacturing over the past decade. In addition to the dangers posed to fetal development, unregulated amounts of nanoparticles in the environment are now known to affect us at the cellular level, and the genetic consequences could be at the root of the greatest public health crises, including heart disease, hypertension, obesity and diabetes. “We’re starting to notice that some of these things we can’t see around us may have a contributing effect to diseases and conditions genetically passed down in families,” Nurkiewicz said. “We have always considered many of these controllable by behavior modification, but we’re getting some insight into why this could be an uphill battle and more difficult for each successive generation.” Collaborating with Nurkiewicz on this project are Vince Castranova, Ph.D., at the National Institute for Occupational Health; Diandra Leslie-Pelecky, Ph.D., in the WVU Department of Physics and Astronomy; and John Hollander, Ph.D., in the WVU Department of Exercise Physiology. The team’s ongoing research is supported by a four year, $1.2 million competitive grant renewal from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, grant number ES015022.   [...]

Second annual poker ride to benefit Bonnie’s Bus

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Motorcyclists will have an opportunity to help fight breast cancer during the second annual Bonnie’s Bus Benefit Poker Ride in Pine Grove on Saturday, Sept. 21. The 120-mile poker ride will benefit Bonnie’s Bus, a digital mammography center on wheels that offers digital mammograms and breast care education to women in West Virginia. “This year’s ride is called ‘Moving for Mammograms,’ so that people will understand what Bonnie’s Bus is used for,” said Tammy Workman, who spearheaded the first poker ride in appreciation of the mammogram she received on Bonnie’s Bus last year when it visited her community.   Registration is $10 per person and will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at The Grove Good Time Grille restaurant in Pine Grove, which will serve a buffet breakfast for $5.99.    Workman, a dual member of the American Legion Auxiliary and the American Legion Riders (ALR), worked with her ALR chapter to map the bike route, which will begin at the restaurant with stops at the American Legion posts in Moundsville, Powhatan Point and Hannibal in Ohio, and New Martinsville, before ending at Shooter’s Saloon in Pine Grove around 5 p.m. There will be a 50-50 drawing and raffles at each of the stops. A silent auction will be held at Shooter’s all day with bidding ending at 6 p.m. Workman and her friend Tina Rush, who owns Shooter’s and The Grove Good Time Grille, came up with a new idea to benefit this year’s auction.   “The Grille will host a vendor and craft show called Shop for a Cause Day on Nov. 2, and anyone who wants to set up a table will be asked to donate an item that we can raffle at the auction,” Workman said. “We’re also asking those vendors to donate a smaller item for our ‘Build a Basket for Bonnie’s Bus’ that we will raffle before Christmas.” Last year’s poker ride to benefit Bonnie’s Bus raised more than $2,000 in spite of it being a cold and rainy day.   “This year’s event will happen, come rain or shine,” said Workman. “Cancer doesn’t quit, and neither do we.” Thanks to Workman’s advocacy of Bonnie’s Bus, Debbie Fox, president of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of West Virginia, and her husband Rocky Fox, commander of the Sons of the American Legion Detachment of West Virginia, have decided to support Bonnie’s Bus as their special project for July 2013 to July 2014. Everyone is welcome to join in the event whether they ride a motorcycle or not. For more information on the ride and how to support the event, call 304-815-2308 or 304-266-8905. The Bonnie Wells Wilson Mobile Mammography Program is a service of WVU Healthcare and the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center.   [...]

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