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Winter 2014

A Biannual Publication of Georgia Regents University Research Community

I S S U E Winter 2014


Extramural Grants

Lab Animal Services Update

Recent High Impact Publications


Clinical and Translational Research

Innovation Commercialization

Anacapa Conference

CURS Summer Scholar Program

Sickle Cell Center

Pilot Study Research Program

I S S U E Winter 2014

Contact information: RESEARCH Impact is published biannually for the GRU research community by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research.


Mark Hamrick, PhD Senior Vice President for Research and Professor, Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Institute of Molecular Medicine, and Genetics (


Publications Director — Christine Hurley Deriso (


Editor/Designer — Patricia Johnson (


Photographers — Phil Jones, Patricia Johnson, and contributing photographers.

¤ ¤

Cover — Innovation Summit 2013

Generic lab photos — From the lab of Dr. Graydon Gonsalvez.

H Links:

Submissions: Please send news and updates for future editions to Dr. Mark Hamrick, (

Distinction: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Lara Stepleman, Professor of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and Co-Director of the Educational Innovation Institute, chaired the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s specialemphasis panels that reviewed applications for PS14-1403, “Capacity Building Assistance for High-Impact HIV Prevention.” These  

panels will review applications related to Community High-Impact Prevention, a new initiative to maximize

prevention impact to reduce HIV

infections and related morbidity, mortality, and health disparities. Over

$200 million is expected from this initial funding opportunity announcement.


Lab Animal Services Update

LAS THREE CLINICIANS   The Lab Animal Services veterinary team is now staffed with three clinicians:

¤ Dr. Victor Monterroso ¤ Dr. Daniel Moralejo ¤ Dr. Andrea Saucedo TRANINING:   The veterinary team provides

clinical coverage and will assist with animal handling, surgery training, colony management, and other duties. A training program is underway for the department staff. This training meets the highest standards and includes up-to-date practices in animal care research facilities at other academic institutions and the biomedical industry

Lab Animal Services Update Pathogen Prevention Measures Pathogen Prevention Measures   Autoclave sterilization is underway for cages in rodent housing areas. Irradiated food is served in all colonies to prevent contamination and disease. Standards have been improved for animal transfer/relocation, use of personal protective equipment, and use of disinfectants in all animal facilities. The new quarterly rodent health monitoring program includes Polymerase Chain Reaction Rodent Infectious Agents, serology, histopathology, and additional in-house testing. Each test will provide appropriate epidemiological assessment of the microbiological status of the colony.

SERVICES TO IMPROVE FACULTY SATISFACTION Communications with investigative groups have been  

improved with signage and personal communication with the vivarium. The quarantine procedure has been revised based on investigator feedback, with eight additional isolators enabling accommodation of 32 mice imports in a 10-week period. The new quarantine program uses the latest testing technologies, and preventive treatment has decreased the quarantine period from

an average of 10 weeks to five. These practices reduce the cost of importing animals from other institutions and increase the research readiness of imported mice.   Other improvements in cost-effective animal care include using individually ventilated racks at 60 air changes per hour to increase cage change interval. Also, an in-house rederivation laboratory is being developed, which will be more accessible and less expensive than using commercial laboratories.

Clinical and Translational Research Renewed and Progress Renewed Commitment and Commitment Progress


  Dr. Michael Diamond joined GRU last year as the inaugural Vice

to oversee clinical and translation research and to inspire interdisciplinary research fostering the next generation of preventive and therapeutic strategies. Many questions have arisen about how social, behavioral, economic, business, and educational research, which traditionally unfold on the Summerville Campus, fit into GRU’s plan for developing clinical and translational research.


President of Clinical and Translational Sciences

Clinical and Translational Research Translational Research Translational Research


Translational research

  is the translation of basic science research findings into practical application and medical practice. The four-

step process begins in a lab (T0), is trialled in humans

(T1), is adapted through evidence for broader human application (T2), is used to develop guidelines for application and practice in the population (T3), then is adapted into health practice or policy (T4).

Clinical and Translational Research Translational research is not only clinical research.

Highlights from this past year:


Formation of GRU’s Transinstitutional Division of Clinical and Translational Sciences   Clinical and Translational Science was formally recognized as a division in September 2013, demonstrating GRU’s commitment to clinical and translational research.


GRU joined the National Research Network through the WIRB-Copernicus Group   GRU has partnered with the Western Institutional Review Board-Copernicus Group, the world’s largest provider of regulatory and ethical review services for human research. Group members include the Western Institutional Review Board, Institutional Review Board, and IRBNet. The partnership will provide access to eight individual Human Research Protection Programs accredited panels, over 100 experienced board members, and over 60 years of combined experience in protocol-and study-related review. Additionally, GRU will connect with the world’s leading sponsors and contract research organizations to expand its repertoire of industry-sponsored clinical trials.

Clinical and Translational Research Highlights Continued ...


GRU joined the National Research Network through the WIRB-Copernicus Group, Continued ...   New IRB technology will also benefit the partnership. Technology has improved significantly since the implementation of the electronic institutional research board system in 2010. A new version, IRBNET, will soon replace the existing eIRB. The system will provide a single IRB portal for investigators to submit all of their human subject research, both industry-sponsored and investigator-initiated clinical trials. Additionally, this system will allow integration with CITI training, and users will no longer need to update training with each IRB submission.


Improved Research Training

  Multiple GRU disciplines participated in the inaugural session of Human Research Academy in November. The course provided the information and tools necessary to ensure success for employees conducting various aspects of human subject research at GRU, Georgia Regents Medical Center, and the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center. Topics included the IRB, Legal Services, Sponsored Program Administration, Environmental Health and Safety, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and Hospital Services. The next session will be held in May.

Engaging Research   In 2013, several new committees were established to assess, address, and expand CTS research. Several of these committees were formed by volunteers, and others were formed via the recommendations of deans, chairs, or members of the research community. Following is a snapshot of the committees:

1. The Translational Research Facilitation Committee advises the Vice President for Clinical

and Translational Sciences. This committee is composed of management from Sponsored Programs Administration, IRB, Hospital Services, Information Technology, Cancer Center Clinical Trials, GRU Clinical Trials, and GRU faculty. The committee meets weekly to identify and improve operational and strategic issues.

2. The GRU Clinical Translational Advisory Committee meets monthly and

includes representatives from each GRU college. This committee fosters intercollege, interdisciplinary research, addressing common research issues among faculty and trainees and exchanging research planning, information, updates, and research dialogue across colleges.

3. The Medical College of Georgia Clinical Translational Advisory Committee represents each MCG department. Its members provide updates on the research focus and new developments for each MCG department; identify the research needs of students, trainees, and faculty; explore ways to enhance research development; and discuss methods of developing translational research at MCG.

Clinical and Translational Research Engaging Research Continued ... 4. The Experienced Investigators Committee recommends new and improved

6. The IRB Leadership Committee evaluates policies, provides educational opportunities, and addresses IRB issues.

approaches to facilitate clinical and translational research. Committee members provide perspective as address specific experienced investigators and provide suggestions research issues and provide recommendations to imfor improving GRU infrastructure for clinical and prove clinical and translational sciences issues. translational researchers. This committee also reviews existing and proposed policies and procedures, helps develop multidisciplinary collaborative research teams, and identifies potential clinical and translational science mentors. Recent Recruits: variations in policies, guidelines, and standard operating procedures

Three working groups Topics include: 1.

5. The Clinical Coordinators Committee

is an open committee composed of leading research staff. Monthly meetings and coordinators’ listservs look to identify research trends experienced by study coordinators, share research information, and provide training opportunities. For more information or to join, contact

Other News

2. Differentiating IRB revisions: amendments versus new submissions

3. Coordination of multicenter clinical trials   To join a committee or working group or to contribute to Clinical and Translational Sciences in other ways, contact

The GRU Office of Human Research Protection has been renamed the Institutional Review Board Office to  eliminate confusion with the federal Office of Human Research Protection. The renaming also better reflects the ’office's responsibilities, which include three IRBs (IRB A, IRB B, and IRB C) as well as compliance, auditing, and education functions.

Streamlining the Research Process  

Roadblocks and hurdles associated with

A fast-track approval process for

commencing a research study are being identified as a more streamlined process is developed. lifesaving treatments is now available. The process allowed a pediatric clinical trial to be opened in a day, providing potentially lifesaving treatment to an infant.

Innovation Commercialization Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development

INNOVATION SUMMIT 2013   GRU’s Office of Innovation Commercialization, the Hull College of Business, and the Savannah River National Laboratory co-sponsored the first annual Innovation Summit at the Kroc Center last fall. Guest speakers Amy Cortese, journalist and author: UrgentRx. com Founder/CEO Jordan Eisenberg, and Philips Healthcare Representative Diego Olego discussed “Creating the Future.” Other highlights included panels, exhibits, and a Shark Tank event.   The second summit will be held at the Kroc Center Oct. 7, 2014. For more information, visit

Follow this link to view photos from event,

Innovation Commercialization Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development Camellix Graduates from Bio-Business Incubator

Working Across the GRU Community   The Office of Innovation Commercialization is actively engaged with GRU’s nine colleges, including working with the Hull College of Business on entrepreneurial opportunities, exploring literacy initiatives with the College of Education, and partnering with the growing Cancer Center, among many other initiatives. These collaborations add new dimensions to commercialization opportunities, benefiting the GRU community, the Augusta region, and the entire state.

Follow this link to view product from Camellix,   The Office of Innovation Commercialization is honored to recognize Camellix as a recent graduate of the Life Sciences Business Development Center. Camellix has produced a steady flow of green tea-related products and has grown at a rapid pace. Camellix remains a close partner with GRU in its new Evans, Ga., location. Camellix markets MighTeaFlow® chewing gum and lozenges for dry mouth, ReviTeaLize® hair care products, AverTeaX® therapeutic products to treat cold sores and fever blisters, and SnooTeas® pet shampoo. These products are available at,,, and local pharmacies.

Olajide Agunloye teaching in Nigeria. Learn more,

Innovation Commercialization Office of Academic & Research Technology A Message from Associate Vice President of Academic and Research Technology Michael Casdorph

DEDICATED RESEARCH TEAM   A step in the right direction: a newly formed dedicated Research IT team will soon serve the research community at Georgia Regents University. The bottom line is that they have put together a solid team to move forward with efforts such as IRBNet, Cayuse, and OnCore Clinical Trials Management. The Research IT team is part of the Enterprise Application’s team led by Colleen Cain.   At the fulcrum of the newly formed team is Mia Jolly in the newly minted Research Business Analyst role. Jolly will lead the newly formed Research IT team, be the technical lead for the OnCore Clinical Trials Management System and will coordinate other Research IT needs.

Newly formed IT team of three to support our research IT needs

¤Heather Yatsko

is a seasoned Business Analyst expert with the IRB system and has experience with other research administration systems. She will oversee the technical implementation of the IRBNet migration and other research initiatives.

¤Michael Chandler

is a new Business Analyst at GRU and comes to us with broad industry IT experience. As the third person on the Research IT team, he will provide backup support and coverage for both Yatsko and Jolly for all of the research administration systems.


Anacapa Conference Dr. Trinanjan Datta

The 2013 Anacapa Society Conference.   The Department of Chemistry and Physics hosted the third Annual Anacapa Society Conference Dec. 13-15.

  The keynote speaker, Dr. Charles Hanna, Chairman and Professor of Physics at Boise State University, discussed Adventures in Growing a Physics Department. Lecture topics included quantum information, string theory, mathematical physics, condensed matter physics, biophysics, geophysics, and atomic and molecular systems. For more information about the conference, visit   The Anacapa Society ( promotes research in all areas of theoretical and computational physics primarily at undergraduate institutions and departments nationwide.   The society was founded at a 2007 Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics meeting organized by Herb Bernstein and Don Spector. This was a follow-up to a meeting five years earlier co-organized by Bill Hilborn, Arjendu Pattanayak, and Don Spector. Separately, at a 1999 Newton Institute Workshop in Cambridge, England, Herb Bernstein, Ben Schumacher, Don Spector, and Bill Wootters discussed creating this kind of organization. Schumacher, who also coined the term, “qubit” (quantum bit) in quantum information theory, suggested the name, “Anacapa.”   The society supports interdisciplinary, philosophical, historical, and social awareness for members. For more information, contact Dr. Trinanjan Datta at

Center for Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Summer Scholars Program

Summer Scholars Program

2013 CURS Summer Scholars Program. Click here for more images:

20 students 11 faculty More than 20 undergraduates and 11 faculty mentors participated in  

the inaugural CURS Summer Scholars Program last summer. For eight weeks, undergraduates representing eight academic departments from four GRU colleges worked side by side with faculty researchers. Thanks to support from the Office of the Provost and the Vice President for Research, these students were able to devote their entire summer to these projects.   In addition to their research, the student scholars attended weekly professional development seminars where speakers discussed creativity, research ethics, publishing, social media, and how to apply to graduate schools and professional programs.   A group of current graduate students provided realistic advice about life beyond the undergraduate years during a special panel discussion.

  The students also met as a group each week and gave frequent updates on their research projects to one another and to the faculty mentors. This exercise increased their confidence while providing a venue to clearly explain their research projects. These weekly sessions taught them how scholars in other subject areas address research questions using the tools of those disciplines.   The program ended with a gala celebration during which the research students presented posters summarizing their findings.

Program Committee 1¤ Maria Darley 2¤ Dr. Quentin Hartmann 3¤ Dr. Joseph Andy Hauger 4¤ Jennifer Hunter 5¤ Dr. Jessica Reichmuth 6¤ Dr. Chad Stephens

Center for Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Summer Scholars Program Summer Scholars Program Faculty advisor: Dr.

Rhonda Armstrong

Department of English & Foreign Languages CURS students: Leah Smith and James Mitchell Research: “Digital Critical Edition of Joel Chandler Harris” Faculty advisor: Dr.

Stacy Bennetts

Department of Biological Sciences CURS students: Jessica Padgett and Jordan Ramos Research: “Investigation of a Rare Plant Species Discovered only on Serpentine in Columbia County, Ga.” Faculty advisor: Dr.

Trinanjan Datta

Department of Chemistry and Physics CURS student: Alexander Price Research: “Optical and X-Ray Spectroscopy of Metals and Metal Ligands” Faculty advisor: Dr.

John Hayes

Department of History, Anthropology, and Philosophy CURS students: Alyssa Lloyd and Kaylee Key Research: “Southern Transformations 1940-1970: The Local Face of Regional Change” Faculty advisor: Dr.

Christina Heckman

Department of English & Foreign Languages CURS students: Kayla Wirtz, Jacob Baggett, and Wesley Milam Research: “Epic Heroism in the 21st Century: An Integrative Multimedia Web Resource”

Center for Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Summer Scholars Program Faculty advisor: Dr.

Gregory Passmore

Department of Medical Laboratory, Imaging, and Radiologic Sciences CURS student: Thomas Lynam Research: “Measurement of the Interactions of Low Energy Gamma Rays with Dense Metals for Applications in Gamma Camera Collimators” Faculty advisor: Dr.

Christian Poppeliers

Department of Chemistry and Physics CURS student: Alexander Hughes

Research: “The Evaluation and Analysis of Array-Derived Seismic Displacement Gradients to Determine Wavefield Attributes” Faculty advisor: Dr.

Perzavia Praylow

Department of History, Anthropology, and Philosophy CURS students: Lee Hicks, Patrick Joiner, and Patricia Haynes Research: “Living Free: The History of Black Augusta Since Reconstruction” Faculty advisor: Dr.

Kathleen Searles

Department of Political Science CURS students: Fady Tawadrous and Joy Zimmerman Research: “Fact Check This: This Rise of Media Fact-Checking & Implications for Democracy” Faculty advisor: Professor

Sea Stachura

Department of Communications CURS students: Lydia Aaron and Arthur Chapman Research: “Recovering History: Oral Histories of Augusta’s Forgotten 1970 Riot” Faculty advisor: Dr.

Lara Stepleman

Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior CURS student: Danielle Crethers Research: “Illness Identity Integration in a Multiple Sclerosis Population”

Sickle Cell Center

Open House Held Dec. 13, 2013

On Dec. 13, 2013, the Sickle Cell

Center celebrated the opening of a new home.   In attendance was Dr. Peter F. Buckley, Dean of the Medical College of Georgia, who addressed the crowd with encouraging words on the opening of the new space. In the new home, the Sickle Cell Center will continue research and serve the local population of those with Sickle Cell Disease.   The National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities, a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recognized the disparity of patients living with sickle cell disease and awarded the center $6 million for research. In addition, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, also a branch of the NIH, awarded an additional $8.7 million.

National Institute for

Minority Health and Health Disparities

$6 Million

National Heart, Lung,

and Blood Institute

$8.7 Million

Extramural Grants Satyanarayana Ande, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, “Role of Id1 in Adiposity, Energy Balance, and Obesity Associated Liver Tumorigenes” David Blake, PhD, Assistant Professor, Neurology, “Molecular and Coding Principles of Perceptual Learning” Michael Brands, PhD, Professor, Physiology, “Mechanisms for Cardiovascular Control Early in Diabetes” Darren Browning, PhD, Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, “Colon Cancer Chemoprevention with Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors” Graydon Gonsalvez, PhD, Assistant Professor, Cellular Biology and Anatomy, “A Molecular Examination of mRNA Localization and Cell Polarization” Jay Hegde, PhD, Associate Professor, Ophthalmology, “Role of Temporal Congruity in Visual-Haptic CrossModal Object Recognition and Learning: A Human Behavioral Study” Shuang Huang, PhD, Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, “Potential of Targeting PDE1C/2A for Suppressing Metastatic Ovarian Cancers” Edward Inscho, PhD, Professor, Physiology, “Advances in Cardiovascular, Diabetes, and Obesity Research” (Fellow: Ben Mazer)” Sergei A. Kirov, PhD, Associate Professor, Neurosurgery, “Brain Injury Depolarizations Impact on the Integrity of Synaptic Circuitry” Santhakumar Manicassamy, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medicine, “Programming Dendritic Cells to Induce Tolerogenic Responses and Suppress Brain Inflammation” Vaughn McCall, MD, Department Chairman and Professor, Psychiatry and Health Behavior, “SHE PREVAILS: Supporting Health Engagement Through Prevention, Recovery and Empowerment, Via Access, Intervention and Linkage Services” Tracy McGaha, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medicine, “Mechanisms of Marginal Zone Macrophage Mediated Tolerance Towards Apoptotic Cell Antigens”

Extramural Grants Tracy McGaha, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medicine, “The Role of GCN2-Kinase in Antigen Presenting Cell Function and Tolerance to Self” Richard McIndoe, PhD, Associate Director, Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine, “Coordinating and Bioinformatics Unit for the DCC/MMPC” Andrew Mellor, PhD, Director, Immunotherapy Center, “Engineering DNA Nanoparticles to Create Immune Tolerance” Norris (Stanley) Nahman Jr., MD, Professor, Medicine, “Role of Inducible Indoleamine 2, 3-Dioxygenase in Mediating Kidney Transplant Rejection” Ganesan Ramesh, PhD, Associate Professor, Medicine, “Regulation of Inflammation by Netrin-1 in Diabetic Nephropathy” (Fellow: Fnu Riyaz Mohamed) Ganesan Ramesh, PhD, Associate Professor, Medicine, “Guidance Cue, Netrin-1 and Kidney Inflammation (Fellow: Punithavathi Vilapakkamranganathan)” Jin-Xiong She, PhD, Director, Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine, Professor, Pathology, “The TEDDY Study: Georgia/Florida Clinical Center” Alexis Stranahan, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physiology, “Adipose Inflammation Mediates Obesity-Induced Deficits in Hippocampal Plasticity” Jennifer Sullivan, PhD, Associate Professor, Experimental Medicine, “The Impact of Blood Pressure and TGF-beta on the Renal T Cell Profile in Females and Males” (Fellow: Ashlee Tipton) Almira Vazdarjanova, PhD, Assistant Professor, Neurology, “Molecular and Coding Principles of Perceptual Learning” Pamela M. Martin, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, “Molecular basis of inflammation in Retina, and Novel Strategies for Limiting It”

Recent High Impact Publications “Interaction of ganglioside GD3 with an EGF receptor sustains the self-renewal ability of mouse neural stem cells in vitro.” Wang J, Yu, RK. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2013 Nov. 6. Impact Factor=9.7. “Adolescent dopamine slows spine maturation.” Yin DM, Xiong WC, Mei L. Nat Neurosci. 2013 Nov;16(11):1514-6. Impact Factor=15.2. “GLEE-ful for sickle cell pain?” Kutlar A. Blood. 2013 Sep 12;122(11):1846-7. Impact Factor=9.0. “Images in clinical medicine: Congenital melanocytic nevus.” Gangireddy VG, Coleman T. N Engl J Med. 2013 July 18;369(3):264. Impact Factor=51.6. “Delayed puberty and estrogen resistance in a woman with estrogen receptor α variant.” Quaynor SD, Stradtman EW Jr, Kim HG, Shen Y, Chorich LP, Schreihofer DA, Layman LC. N Engl J Med. 2013 July 11;369(2):164-71. Impact Factor=51.6. “Dendritic peptide release mediates interpopulation crosstalk between neurosecretory and preautonomic networks.” Son SJ, Filosa JA, Potapenko ES, Biancardi VC, Zheng H, Patel KP, Tobin VA, Ludwig M, Stern JE. Neuron. 2013 June 19;78(6):1036-49. Impact Factor=15.7. “β-Arrestin1-Biased β1-Adrenergic Receptor Signaling Regulates MicroRNA Processing.” Kim IM, Wang Y, Park KM, Tang Y, Teoh JP, Vinson J, Traynham CJ, Pironti G, Mao L, Su H, Johnson JA, Koch WJ, Rockman HA. Circ Res. 2013 Dec 13. [Epub ahead of print]. Impact Factor=11.8.

Pilot Study Research Program Dr. Anthony O. Ahmed, Research Psychologist, “The Remediation of Cognitive Deficits in People with Schizophrenia” Dr. Lori Bolgla, Physical Therapy Professor, “Patellofemoral Pain and Osteoarthritis: Identification of “At-Risk” Individuals Through the Assessment of Patella Alignment, Cartilage Biomarkers, Pain, and Function” Dr. Christopher Cutler, Department of Periodontics Chairman, “Immunoregulatory Dendritic Cells, Periodontitis, and Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma” Dr. Graydon Gonsalvez, Assistant Professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, “Exploring the Functional Links Between Endocytosis, Cell Polarity, and Cell Migration” Dr. Ellen LeMosy, Associate Professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, “Early Craniofacial Defects Associated with Reduced zTINAGL1, the Zebrafish Ortholog of a Secreted Wnt-binding Protein” Dr. Kavita Natrajan, Associate Professor of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology, “The Role of Plasma Exchange in Multiorgan Failure in Sickle Cell Disease” Dr. Duchwan Ryu, Assistant Professor of Bio Statistics, “Sample Clustering and Genomic Region Identification with Bayesian Functional Data Analysis” Dr. Xing-Ming Shi, Associate Professor of Pathology, “Crucial Role of Osteoblast Shp2 in Skeletal Malformation” Dr. Jennifer Sullivan, Associate Professor of Physiology “Effect of Sex on Vascular T cells and Adhesion Molecular Expression in Hypertension”

H Winter 2014

Research Impact  

Winter 2014 RESEARCH Impact is published bi- annually for the GRU research community by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Researc...

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