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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Ruby Grand Hall Erickson Alumni Center


The WVU Office of Research and Economic Development, with support from the STEM and Business Deans, has launched an initiative to encourage innovation and commercialization through research. The initiative, titled LIINC (Linking Innovation, Industry and Commercialization), is designed to bring faculty expertise and talent to the attention of our industry partners through networking events. This particular event focuses on bioscience and biomedical research. To our industry partners, we greatly appreciate your attendance at this event and we hope you will take this opportunity to learn about the research taking place at WVU. To facilitate new partnerships and future collaboration, this booklet contains brief abstracts of our faculty’s research activities. We strongly encourage you to contact them to learn about and discuss their research in greater detail. On behalf of our faculty, we thank you for your participation and we hope you will see us as trusted partners for continued collaboration.

Dr. Fred King Vice President for Research

Name Badge Key: Blue: Industry Gold: WVU Blue/Gold: WVU Presenter


ATTENDING INDUSTRIES Agile5 Technologies Agile5 Technologies is a small, woman-owned systems architecture and software development firm that specializes in enterprise software systems for government agencies, as well as commercial interests.

Airgas Airgas, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hard goods, such as welding equipment and supplies. Airgas is also a leading U.S. producer of atmospheric gases, carbon dioxide, dry ice, and nitrous oxide, one of the largest U.S. distributors of safety products, and a leading U.S. distributor of refrigerants, ammonia products, and process chemicals.

All Clear Translations All Clear Translations is committed to expanding business globally. We offer language translation and localization in over 100 languages, including: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Punjabi, Tagalog, Malay, Arabic, Hebrew and many more. All Clear Translations is a SBA selfcertified EDWOSB. We partner with prime contractors to help them win and maintain their government procurement work.

AstraZeneca We are a global innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of prescription medicines that make a meaningful difference in healthcare. We focus primarily on cancer, cardiovascular / metabolic disease and respiratory / inflammation / autoimmunity. Alongside this, we remain active in infection and neuroscience with targeted investments in opportunities and collaborations.

BioWV The Bioscience Association of West Virginia (BioWV) works to promote the bioscience industry in West Virginia and assist in expanding the knowledge and expertise of those working in the life sciences. The Association works to do this in a variety of ways, such as the annual West Virginia Bioscience Summit, grant programs, technical assistance and legislative advocacy.


Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute The Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute is a unique, independent, non-profit institute dedicated to the study of both memory and memory disorders. BRNI is operated in alliance with West Virginia University in Morgantown, as well as in collaboration with other academic institutions.

BlueTree Allied Angels BlueTree Allied Angels is a group of accredited investors that invests in regional, early-stage companies. Our members-only organization operates as a network of private equity investors that meets monthly to evaluate and consider preinstitutional investments. Leveraging our members’ knowledge and experience helps to mitigate investment risk, thus, strengthening the probability of investment success.

CH2M Hill From major sewerage programs in London and Abu Dhabi to super cleanrooms in China, from nuclear cleanup in Scotland to major highways and airports in the United States, CH2M HILL's project experience is as diverse as the world itself. Our talented staff works hard to provide clean drinking water, efficient transportation, lean production facilities, environmental remediation and safe energy, offering communities sustainable economic and social benefits.

Chrysalis Ventures Chrysalis Ventures manages one of Mid-America’s largest funds for early-stage and growth investments with approximately $400 million under management. Since 1993, we have invested in over 65 companies, primarily in the Healthcare and Technology sectors. With headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky, Chrysalis has offices in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Ann Arbor. We seek to partner with entrepreneurs to build enduring businesses in industries undergoing significant transformation.

Expression Analysis Expression Analysis, Inc., recently acquired by Quintiles, is a leading provider of genomics services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, academic, government and nonprofit markets. We provide a full range of solutions in support of our clients’ clinical trial and research efforts, including experiment design, sample analysis, nucleic acid isolation, gene expression profiling, genotyping, next generation sequencing 4 and advanced bioinformatics.

Federal Bureau of Prisons The Federal Bureau of Prisons was established to provide more progressive and humane care for Federal inmates, to professionalize the prison service, and to ensure consistent and centralized administration of the 11 Federal prisons in operation at the time. Today, the Bureau consists of 119 institutions and is responsible for the custody and care of approximately 219,000 Federal offenders. The Bureau protects public safety by ensuring that Federal offenders serve their sentences of imprisonment in facilities that are safe, humane, cost-efficient, and appropriately secure.

Fish & Richardson Our attorneys – more than 76 of whom hold PhDs in a broad variety of technologies – have the knowledge and skills to assist our technology-driven clients in the areas important to their success. We offer more than just patent protection. In addition to traditional IP services, we provide regulatory, financing, and licensing advice to help our clients maximize the value of their IP. For more than a century, we have been inspired by the inventive fearlessness of our clients and have only one mission in mind: to help them become the technology legends of tomorrow.

I-79 Development Council The goal of the I-79 Development Council is to nurture and retain the traditional business base and to promote economic diversity through the development of dynamic new sectors of high technology, biotechnology, forensic science, biometrics and aerospace manufacturing.

Illumina At Illumina, we apply innovative technologies for studying genetic variation and function, making studies possible that were not even imaginable just a few years ago. These revolutionary tools for DNA, RNA, and protein analysis are enabling rapid advances in disease research, drug development, and the development of molecular tests in the clinic.

Liquid X Printed Metals Liquid X™ is a technology company headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA that manufactures functional metallic inks. Our well-known technology transforms various metals into ink form which is then deposited onto a wide variety of


substrates. When heated at low temperatures, the ink converts to the base metal and exhibits comparable features.

McMillion Leadership Associates McMillion Leadership Associates exists to help emerging leaders get better. We help them acquire those skills and abilities necessary to make their organizations better. We also help senior leaders clarify and communicate their strategic vision and/or shape their organizational culture.

Mylan Pharmaceuticals Mylan is one of the world’s leading generics and specialty pharmaceutical companies, providing products to customers in approximately 150 countries and territories. The company maintains one of the industry’s broadest and highest quality product portfolios, which is regularly bolstered by an innovative and robust product pipeline. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Mylan Inc. based in Morgantown, W.Va., is a market leader in researching, developing, manufacturing, marketing and distributing generic pharmaceutical products in a variety of sophisticated dosage forms. Today, Mylan Pharmaceuticals has one of the largest product portfolios in the U.S., consisting of more than 200 products. The company pioneered and continues to specialize in groundbreaking delivery technologies and difficult-to-manufacture and difficult-to -formulate pharmaceuticals that treat diseases ranging from angina to arthritis, depression to diabetes, pain to Parkinson's disease, and schizophrenia to sleep disorders.

NewCare Solutions NewCare Solutions is a spin out from its former parent company, medSage Technologies, a leading provider of patient management software solutions for the home healthcare industry founded in 2002. NewCare believes that, while emergency response is important, it is also important to prevent the crisis rather than just responding when the crisis occurs. That is why we have developed a product that monitors daily living behaviors that are indicative of an oncoming crisis.

NIOSH NIOSH provides national and world leadership to prevent work-related illness, injury, disability, and death by gathering information, conducting scientific research, and translating the knowledge gained into products and services, including scientific information products, training videos, and recommendations for improving safety and health in the workplace.


Northrop Grumman Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber security, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide that are critical to the defense of the nation and its allies. From working with the Navy to developing training systems for new weapons platforms to providing public health informatics support to the CDC to managing IT infrastructure and secure wireless communications networks in states and municipalities nationwide, Northrop Grumman is meeting the needs of programs and enterprises that touch the daily lives of people everywhere.

Office of United States Senator Joe Manchin U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was sworn into the United States Senate on November 15, 2010 to fill the seat left vacant by the late Senator Robert C. Byrd. As a Senator, Joe Manchin is committed to bringing this same spirit of bipartisanship to Washington. As he has done throughout his entire life, he remains committed to working with Republicans and Democrats to find commonsense solutions to the problems our country faces and is working hard to usher in a new bipartisan spirit in the Senate and Congress.

PrimeTime Life Sciences PrimeTime’s experts provide assistance at all phases of drug development to our partners in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device fields. With diverse and in-depth experience, our team of scientists and regulatory affairs specialists provides expert advice and services related to medicinal chemistry, nonclinical safety testing, manufacturing, clinical trial design, submission preparation and regulatory agency interactions to make a success. We provide cost-effective and quality outsourcing solutions with our experience in working with CROs in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Protea Biosciences Protea is a leader in the emerging field of Bioanalytics. The company develops new technology for the identification, characterization, and quantitation of biologically-important molecules for basic research, pharmaceutical development, and diagnostic applications. We develop new bioanalytical methods that enable the direct analysis of proteins and other biomolecules, and apply our capabilities to support your laboratory’s research objectives.


Red House Consulting Red House Consulting helps technology innovators tell compelling stories in business plans, proposals, and marketing collateral. We serve clients in the business, government, academic, and nonprofit sectors, and our projects typically focus on technology. Red House Consulting specializes in the design and delivery of: Business plans and proposals; Commercialization feasibility studies; Workshops, seminars, and coaching (technology commercialization, business pitches, online research); Market, industry, and policy studies; Strategic planning.

RJ Lee Group RJ Lee Group is committed to being recognized as the industry leader in providing innovative solutions to challenges in materials characterization, forensic engineering, and information management. We use our scientific expertise, instrumentation and technology together with a collaborative spirit to stimulate inquiry and solve complex problems. Our challenge is to continually advance science, to be the leader in our field, and to steadily strive for excellence in our contributions to our clients and to our community.

Shimadzu Corporation Shimadzu presently offers a multitude of products, encompassing analytical and measuring instruments, medical systems and equipment, aircraft equipment, and industrial equipment, across a wide range of fields, as well as meticulous, responsive service. In addition to these core businesses, we continue to explore new ventures that will positively impact society in the future. Looking forward, we will continue to cultivate new business opportunities in such fields as the global environment, energy, automotives, and IT, by promoting leading-edge seed technology development.

Steptoe & Johnson Steptoe & Johnson is a business-focused firm with particular strengths in energy, labor, employment, and litigation. For nearly a century, Steptoe & Johnson has demonstrated its commitment to quality, devoting personal attention, experience, skill, and resources to client-focused service.


TechConnectWV TechConnectWV is a coalition of professionals dedicated to growing and diversifying West Virginia’s economy by advancing technology-based economic development (TBED). We serve mainly as facilitators, enhancing awareness, increasing collaboration, and raising the discussion of important issues to spur technology development and commercialization in West Virginia.

TreMonti Consulting TreMonti Consulting, LLC has extensive experience in providing advice and assistance to universities, governments and companies, regarding intellectual asset management issues. We have fully dedicated professionals with broad experience and in-depth knowledge in all sectors and disciplines relating to intellectual asset management. We utilize state-of-the-art tools and methods in the management and commercialization of a wide spectrum of intellectual property.

Troy Group TROY Group, Inc. (“TROY”) is a leading provider of on-demand security printing solutions. With unprecedented fraud deterrence features, TROY solutions manage, secure and simplify end-to-end enterprise printing environments. TROY offers application software, security printing hardware and specialized consumables for securely printing checks, money orders, transcripts, prescriptions and other important documents. As an award-winning HP business partner, TROY is authorized to enhance HP printers and consumables. We sell and service our products to major corporations, banks, insurance companies, key government accounts, healthcare facilities and distributors worldwide. TROY manufactures all of our solutions in our ISO 9001:2008 certified facility under stringent standards and quality control processes.

Vandalia Research Vandalia Research is a biotechnology company located in Huntington, WV. Vandalia’s core technology is its Triathlon DNA production technology, which allows for the large -scale production of specific DNA sequences using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Vandalia Research is actively developing applications related to linear expression cassettes (LECs) produced by the Triathlon system.


WV Development Office The West Virginia Development Office’s role is to: support existing businesses in the expansion and retention of their operations; attract new businesses to locate in the state; generate new leads and prospects of potential investors; diversify West Virginia’s economy by marketing to targeted industries; provide comprehensive development assistance; provide research, planning and technical support; work with local governments and economic developers to improve the quality of life in communities; and market West Virginia at primary and secondary target industry trade shows.

WV Growth Investment Fund West Virginia Growth Investment, LLC (the “LLC”), is a new investment fund formed to pool and invest the capital resources of sophisticated and accredited investors in and around West Virginia (the "Region"). The LLC’s objective is to provide both favorable investment returns to Investors, and to promote small business and economic development in the Region.

WV High Technology Consortium Foundation The WVHTC Foundation, based in Fairmont, West Virginia, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization functioning as an engine of economic change for growing a statewide, regional and national hightech business sector. We have established a multi-faceted approach to maximize economic development, commercialization and workforce development. Our departments include Advanced Technologies Group, Mission Systems Group, Technology Transfer and Commercialization Group, INNOVA Commercialization Group, Affiliate Services Group, and I-79 Technology Park Development Group.

WV Jobs Investment Trust (JIT) The West Virginia Jobs Investment Trust is a leading venture capital firm made up of partners with extensive management, operations and technology experience and focused on turning the innovation of new ideas into successful world-class companies. Since 1992, the JIT has been an active investor and valued partner to exceptional entrepreneurs on the leading edge of industry.


WV Regional Technology Park The West Virginia Regional Technology Park (Tech Park) in South Charleston is the newest research, education and technology campus in West Virginia’s higher education system. The facility has a more than 60-year history of research and technological contributions, having been established by Dow Chemical-predecessor Union Carbide Corporation as the company’s primary research center in 1949. Now operated by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, the Tech Park adds significant capacity to the state’s academic, research and economic development missions.

WV Small Business Development Center The West Virginia Small Business Development Center (WVSBDC) is a division of the West Virginia Development Office and is funded by the State of West Virginia, the United States Small Business Administration, and our Community Colleges and Workforce Investment Board Partners. The WVSBDC promotes economic development through a program of practical, interrelated services, providing assistance to existing small businesses and the emerging entrepreneur. The WVSBDC provides many free services that assist you, the entrepreneur, in your business venture.

The following companies expressed interest, but regrettably were unable to attend: Abbott Pharmaceuticals; Allegheny Science & Technology; Alpern Rosenthal; Avanir Pharmaceuticals; BackRoads Consulting; Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney; CGR Holdings; Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation; Crimson Hill; Duff & Phelps; Edison Ventures; Eli Lilly; IBM; InnovationWorks; Kinexum; Merck; Mnemosyne Pharmaceuticals; New England BioLabs; Novartis; Performance Software; Pfizer; Pittsburgh Business Times; Precision Antibody; Reed Smith; Roche Holding; Saint-Gobain; Tetra Discovery Partners; TSI, Inc.; WesBanco; WV Angel Network; WV Division of Corrections; WV Higher Education Policy Commission.


FACULTY RESEARCH Inhibition of Arthritis-induced Bone Erosion Using Haloanilides Patients with rheumatoid arthritis experience an excess of osteoclast activity leading to joint deformity. Existing treatments either fail to address this problem or suffer from toxicity. We have established a new class of compound that appears to be effective in blocking bone erosion in vivo by inhibiting the differentiation of osteoclasts, the cells that degrade bone. Preliminary investigations have shown low toxicity associated with haloanilides, however, some of their metabolites are associated with some toxicity reducing their potential as therapeutic candidates. We have developed a series of analogues that cannot be degraded into these toxic metabolites. By testing these new analogues, we hope to develop an inhibitor with minimal toxicity that can be used to address this severe health problem. John Barnett Microbiology, Immunology & Cell Biology 304-293-4029

Genomic Biomarkers of Ischemic Stroke Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States affecting over 795,000 people each year. In Europe alone, averages for stroke deaths are high as 650,000 per year. Stroke is a worldwide health concern. At present, there are no rapid, accurate diagnostic procedures or methods that can be used to determine whether a patient has suffered an acute ischemic stroke (AIS). Diagnosis relies on clinical decision making and advanced neuroimaging. When available, imaging is often limited by speed and resources as well as inaccuracy and generally requires a high level of training to interpret the results. Thus, the need to identify alternative methods of diagnosing stroke is in demand. Using the powerful technology of whole genome expression profiling, we have identified a genomic profile in the peripheral blood that may serve as an unbiased diagnostic assessment of ischemic stroke. This invention may lead to the development of a rapid and accurate clinical 12

diagnostic point of care test that would require very little training for proper use and could be used in the emergency room setting or in the field to diagnose ischemic stroke. This information will be particularly useful in areas of geographic isolation and cities where stroke expertise is not available. We also have data suggesting this same set of markers may be useful for the determination of time of stroke symptom onset and prediction of stroke outcome. In an economic time when medical resources are limited, this information can be used to stratify treatment to those who will benefit the most. Our invention sets the stage for a clinical point of care diagnostic test based on RNA gene expression profiles in the setting of ischemic stroke. Given the number of persons affected yearly by stroke and the need for additional diagnostic certainty in the emergency room setting, the potential for commercialization is high. Taura Barr School of Nursing 304-293-0503

Altering the Expression of Oxidative Stress Regulatory Genes to Inhibit Tumorigenesis Our work involves investigating how gene expression changes in oxidative stress related genes affects tumorigenesis. We are interested in a variety of cancer models and we are also interested in developing novel therapies based on our basic science discoveries. Erik Bey Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences; Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center 304-293-0948

Segmentation and Tracking of Human Cells for Biomedical Applications The nature of certain cell structures is to dynamically and rapidly change over time. The investigation of the morphological features of such cells over time from time-lapse images is important in many biological applications. The Multi-spectral Imagery Lab (MILab) in collaboration with 13

other WVU groups is working toward developing image processing techniques to understand the nature and behavior of such cells. Thirimachos Bourlai LCSEE 832-713-9773

Boyd Research Group Research in the Boyd Group uses fundamental thermodynamic principles to investigate the response of living systems to changes in their local environment. In general, we are interested in understanding the mammalian response to both chemical and physical stressors, and specifically, we are working toward an understanding of how humans interpret (from cellular mechanisms to physiological integration) the milieu of mixed environmental signals (ranging from chemical exposures to mental/physical stress) received each day. Our research involves multiple hierarchal levels of biological samples, which include mammalian cell culture, small animal models and human subjects. The applications of our research are vast, and range from toxicity screening (e.g., in vitro predictions of mixtures) to medical diagnostics (e.g., guided debridement and wound care), and even include stress-related disease etiology. Jonathan Boyd Chemistry 304-615-9627

LessStress: A Smartphone App for Monitoring and Reducing Stress We have developed a Smartphone app (Android and iOS) that delivers stress-coping exercises on the go. Users/patients chose between audio files or videos of varying lengths to meet their needs and preferences. Exercises are followed up with a couple of stress related questions that can be used to monitor a patient’s progress. We are testing over several months to examine usage and changes in behavioral and physiological stress-related indicators in normal and cardiac subjects. Julie Brefczynski-Lewis Physiology & Pharmacology 304-293-4820


Occupational Choices of Individuals with Mental Health Diagnoses As occupational therapists (OT) we can encourage and guide individuals towards healthy occupational choices that can improve and maintain health and wellness. We will complete health and wellness questionnaires, quality of life measurements, and the occupational performance measures to determine the occupational balance/deprivation individuals with mental health may be experiencing. We will use this information to develop a health and wellness plan to enhance and support positive occupational choices for these individuals. Amy Burt Human Performance; Occupational Therapy 304-581-1972

Genetic Selection of Poplar for Biofuel Feedstock Production Soil acidity limits plant productivity on 50% of the world’s arable land due to phytotoxic aluminum (Al) concentrations and limited phosphorus (P) availability. Our research elucidates the genetics and underlying mechanisms of acid soil stress resistance in Populus trichocarpa with the goal to increase biofuel feedstock production by identifying traits conferring Al resistance and P efficiency in this species. Our approach combines extensive screening of clones for Al resistance and P efficiency, reliance on the genetic resources of Populus for the selection of genotypes for performance assessment, and integrated physiological and metabolic assessments of these genotypes under Al exposure and P limitation to elucidate mechanisms and pathways of stress resistance in Populus. Jonathan Cumming Biology 304-293-5260

Snapshot Hyperspectral Imagery for Medical Applications Hyperpsectral imaging techniques have traditionally seen use in satellite imagery and other geospatial and terrestrial monitoring applications. Hyperspectral cameras take advantage of the different absorption wave15

lengths of various materials to monitor the presence of desirable and/or undesirable substances (e.g., atmospheric water vapor, foliage, gas line leaks, etc.). Typical hyperspectral imaging can only be performed on stationary or very slowly moving objects, preventing the capture of fine details. New innovations in snapshot hyperspectral imaging allow rapid capture of high resolution images, enabling novel, non-invasive diagnostic applications in the fields of biology and medicine, such as automated white/red blood cell differentiation, burn depth determination, and even diagnosis of bacterial infections. Jeremy Dawson Computer Science & Electrical Engineering 304-293-4028

Bio-based Composites My research focus areas include bio-composites, biofuels, and nondestructive testing and evaluation. Bio-composite research includes creating sustainable bio-products, films, and composites from wood raw materials (e.g., solid wood, cellulose, lignin, biochar). Specifically, my students and I have been working on using bio-based carbon as electrical conducting material in touch, humidity, and temperature sensors. We have also been focusing on developing new bio-based film materials and biodegradable composites with enhanced environmental benefits. David DeVallance Forestry & Natural Resources 304-293-0029

Plant Genomics for Biofuels Development

My work centers on analyzing plant genomes to identify genes that affect traits that are important for biofuels production. This includes traits that affect conversion efficiency of wood to fuel, as well as traits that affect growth and survival in different environments. Current projects involve


development of trees that can be grown on marginal sites, including strip mines and low quality agricultural land. Stephen DiFazio Biology 304-293-5314

WVU Genomics Core Facility The WVU Genomics Core Facility provides high-throughput genomic analyses to the WVU research community and other regional institutions. Our services include small-scale DNA sequencing, genome sequencing, largescale polymorphism genotyping, transcriptional profiling, and microbial community analyses. We have a full-time laboratory manager and a fulltime bioinformatician to perform a full suite of analyses starting with nucleic acid template and finishing with data that are ready for downstream statistical analyses. Both are available for consultation on grant proposals and research projects as a free service to WVU faculty and staff. Stephen DiFazio Biology 304-293-5314

Image and Video Analysis, Medical Image Analysis, Computer Vision The WVU Vision Laboratory,, is focusing on core aspects of Image and Video analysis research. Those include: (a) analysis of motion capture and 3D data acquired at video rate; (b) data visualization and virtual environments; (c) object detection, classification and segmentation; (d) scene analysis and human behavior analysis; (e) social network analysis from video; and (f) multispectral analysis of video. The results of this research have led to the development of a portable system for the low-cost monitoring of a physical therapy rehabilitation regiment, and to another system for the visualization of neuronal tissue volumes from serial sections of electron microscopy images. Our research finds direct applications also in other typical bioscience and biomedical applications including computer aided detection (CADe/CADx) in medical 17

images (CT scans and MRI), tracking in ultrasound video sequences, and cell behavior analysis in electron microscopy. Gianfranco Doretto Computer Science & Electrical Engineering 304-293-9133

Theranostic Magnetic Nanoparticles Nanoparticles have proven to be an efficient means of delivery for drugs. Magnetic nanoparticles are currently used as a MRI contrast agent. By combining these two modes, multifunctional nanoparticles can be created that can be used for both detection and treatment of disease. Our current research is directed at optimizing the core material of the nanoparticle and adding disease (cancer) specific targeting elements to improve the imaging characteristics and selectivity of the nanoparticles. Peter Gannett Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences 304-293-1480

Computer Vision and Biometrics Dr. Guodong Guo’s research areas: Computer Vision, Image and Video Computing, and Biometrics. To be specific, his research includes: (1) Human identification and human description based on computational analysis of face and body images, using different modalities, for security, law enforcement, and surveillance; (2) Human age estimation via face images; (3) Human gender and ethnicity classification in face images; (4) Human facial expression or emotion analysis and recognition; (5) Facial makeup analysis and digital anti-aging; (6) Human action/behavior recognition from videos for intelligent video surveillance; (7) Body mass index (BMI) prediction from face images, which was reported by the New Scientist Magazine in June 05, 2013; and (8) Social computing and social network analysis using Computer Vision and Machine Learning techniques. Guodong Guo Computer Science & Electrical Engineering 304-293-9143 18

Genomic Biomarker Based Personalized Medicine and Risk Assessment Our research focuses on identifying genomic biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and prediction of chemoresponse in lung cancer and breast cancer treatment. We also have NIH-funded project on identifying genomic biomarkers for assessing risk of nanoparticles for occupational and environmental health protection, and for rapid in vitro cell-based screening for manufacturing safe nanoparticles. Nancy Guo Occupational Environment & Health Science 304-293-6455

Mathematical and Computational Methods for Bio-Molecular Processes Our ongoing research is in cell signaling, focused on signal initiation by membrane receptors such as VEGFR and ErbB2. This requires a spatially resolved, agent based, Monte Carlo simulation of molecular processes in a 2-dimensional setting. The main challenge is to connect to available experimental data and to higher level (more comprehensive, less detailed) models of signaling. We derive simplified models through spatial coarse graining (averaging), conversion to deterministic dynamics, and quasi steady state approximations. The resulting models are smaller dynamical systems and chemical reaction networks with deterministic and/or stochastic features. Possible applications outside biochemical processes include: disease propagation (SIR type) models in any combination of deterministic or stochastic (Monte Carlo) descriptions; design and control of automated systems (robots, software agents) involving moderate to large numbers of autonomous entities. We have an energetic group of Mathematics faculty and experienced graduate students. We want to provide students with mathematical modeling and computation skills with direct, real world applications. In this respect, we are seeking outside partners who have relevant research/ development topics that can be addressed by our team. Adam Halasz Mathematics 304-293-6305


Analysis and Portable Sensing of Biologicals   

Miniaturized separation techniques that shed light on human disease and improve human health. Multifunctional nanomaterials to both process and separate biomolecules. Enabling technology to support high-throughput profiling of biomarkers of endocrine disruption.

Lisa Holland Chemistry 304-293-0174

WVU-CPRC: A Contract Research Organization with Dual Vision & Mission WVU-CPRC (Clinical & Pharmacologic Research Center) is a Contract Research Organization (CRO) specialized in conducting Phase-I Clinical Trials for the pharmaceutical industry. The Center officially conducted its first Phase-I trial on April 8, 2013 and so far has concluded over 22 clinical studies. The Center prides itself in building a unique set of skills and clinical expertise that meet the needs of the pharmaceutical industry across a wide range of pharmaceutical drug development activities. The unique opportunity that WVU-CPRC brings to the University is its nimble and flexible operations and performance by meeting the industry needs while focusing on developing student and residency programs for those scientists interested in pursuing their careers in clinical trials. The Center currently functions as the Center of Excellence (COE) for Phase-I clinical trials for Mylan Pharmaceuticals. Allie Karshenas WVU-CPRC 304-581-1878

Model-based Inference of Causal Influence Networks in Uncertain Systems Biological systems exhibit intrinsic uncertainty; yet, understanding how the basic unit in these systems (i.e., cells) processes information and un20

derstanding how heterogeneous populations of cells collectively regulate tissue homeostasis are central questions in the medical and biotechnology fields. To address these questions, we use a combination of high content experimental and computational methods to infer how cells process information and to identify novel mechanisms of cellular cross-talk. Our particular emphasis is on how cancer cells manipulate host immunity; yet, the methods are generalizable to many different fields that exhibit intrinsic uncertainty. David Klinke Chemical Engineering 304-293-9346

Endodontic Research Dr. Komabayashi is well versed in the areas of nano-material and adhesive material for endodontics (root canal therapy) and pulp capping therapy. His research focuses on different materials used for these therapies, as well as ways to make such procedures cost effective and time efficient. Takashi Komabayashi Endodontics 304-293-3321

WVNano Bionanotechnology Our research focuses on developing the fundamental knowledge and engineering required to fabricate portable, sensitive, and rapid biosensing technologies for environmental and biomedical applications. David Lederman Physics & Astronomy 304-293-5136

Translational Orthopaedic Research: From Nanomedicine, to Animal Models, to Clinical Studies Our research focuses on infection prevention, wound healing, animal models, cellular and molecular responses of intra-cellular infection, and 21

nanomedicine. We originally proposed and proved that stimulating appropriate host immune responses using interleukin 12p70 could significantly reduce open fracture-associated infection. Within the last three years, we have been recognized three times internationally for our research in orthopaedic infection. Bingyun Li Orthopaedics 304-293-1075

Drug Delivery to Brain Metastases We are focused on the development and evaluation of novel drugs that can penetrate into the CNS for the treatment of brain tumors and or brain metastases. We also formulate novel nano-carriers to improve CNS penetration. Our lab evaluates CNS pharmacokinetics using autoradiography, tissue extraction, and radiolabeled drugs. Paul Lockman Pharmaceutical Sciences 304-293-0944

Assessment of Burkholderia Collagen-like Proteins, Bucl, as Novel Therapeutic Targets and Vaccine Candidates for B. pseudomallei and B. mallei I am actively involved in an NSF-funded research on “Bionanotechnology for public security and environmental safety.� My project is directed toward development of pathogen detection methods based on sequence polymorphisms in collagen-like genes. In the past, we evaluated sequence polymorphisms of the Bacillus collagen-like genes, bcl A-E, as a basis for B. anthracis detection and fingerprinting (Nonprovisional Patent Application No. 13/295,135). Currently, we investigate acl genes of environmental molds of Aspergillus spp. as biomarkers for environmental exposure and early diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis (Provisional Patent Application No. 61/626,380). Slawek Lukomski Microbiology, Immunology & Cell Biology 304-293-6405 22

Mobile PET Brian Imaging We are developing a potentially transformative high resolution and high sensitivity PET brain imager, Helmet_PET, that can record PET brain activity in upright humans or be placed as a PET insert in an MRI scanner to provide simultaneous PET/MRI images of the human brain. In addition, the imager uses less injected activity and therefore can be used in a repetitive manner (longitudinal studies) in diagnostic and therapeutic applications and/or on pediatric patients. Stan Majewski Radiology 304-293-1878

Metabolomic Approaches to Biomarker Discovery

Our recently established metabolite profiling lab at WVU utilizes mass spectrometry-based technologies to profile metabolites in lean, overweight, and obese humans, livestock, and companion animals. Using a metabolomics approach, our objective is to study the progression of insulin resistance in overweight individuals with the end goal of identifying biomarkers for the development of this disease. Our interests are targeted towards studying the relationship between fatty acid processing, inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin action. From a service perspective, we’re capable of analyzing amino acids, free fatty acids, sugars, eicosanoids, isoprostanes, and many other metabolites of intermediary metabolism. In the future, our goal is to expand our ability to profile complex lipids including fatty acylcarnitines, fatty acylglycerols, cholesterol esters, and sphingolipids. Maintaining and expanding our capabilities will support our initiative of developing a metabolite profiling core facility at WVU. Joseph McFadden Animal & Nutritional Sciences 304-293-1883


Sleep and Sleep Disorders The WVU Sleep and Sleep Disorders Research Team has two primary goals. First, we intend to prevent pediatric sleep-disordered breathing, a condition affecting 15% of children of all ages that prevents them from sleeping and breathing simultaneously. Second, we intend to reduce the impact of postpartum sleep disturbance on parents and their children. Hawley Montgomery-Downs Psychology ; Behavioral Neuroscience 304-293-1761

Discovery of Bioactive Molecules Using Medicinal Plants The long term goal of our research group is to discover bioactive molecules utilizing medicinal plants focusing on treatment of chronic, noncommunicable diseases including heart disease, cancers, type 2 diabetes and obesity. Specific aims are: (1) To screen more than 300 plant species in 14 families known for medicinal effects on those symptoms aforementioned; (2) To develop a high throughput screening technique to identify target molecules using various MS spectrometry and computer simulation; (3) To verify the efficacy of selected molecules using rodents and/or cell lines; and (4) To develop an effective propagation strategy and uniform cultivation in the controlled environments. Youyoun Moon Plant & Soil Sciences 304-293-2815

Development of Contraceptive Vaccine and a Modality which can Prevent both Conception and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

The population explosion, elective abortion due to contraceptive failure, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are major health issues faced by women. The goal of our research is to develop a non-steroidal, reversible contraceptive vaccine (CV) with long-term efficacy without any side effect which can be used in both sexes, using novel tissue-specific human sperm antigens which our lab has discovered. Besides, we are developing a mo24

dality which can prevent both conception and STIs. The tissue-specific proteins will also find clinical applications in specific diagnosis and treatment of infertile couples, and in development of prophylactic vaccines for cancer. These are exciting, innovative and novel projects with direct clinical applications. Rajesh Naz Obstetrics & Gynecology 304-293-2554

Microvascular Xenobiotic Toxicology Our research program has two well-developed areas that focus on the microvascular ramifications of xenobiotic particle exposures. Environmental toxicology focuses on the health effects of pulmonary exposure to airborne pollutants such as particulate matter. Nanotoxicology focuses on the health effects of exposure to engineered nanomaterials. Unique experimental approaches used to explore these toxicities include wholebody inhalation exposures, telemetry, intravital microscopy and isolated, pressurized and perfused arterioles. The purpose of the environmental toxicology research is to identify safe exposure limits to various environmental toxicants, and also to characterize the targeted physiological mechanisms in order to prevent and/or ameliorate the untoward health consequences of airborne pollutants. The purpose of the nanotoxicology research is to identify safe nanomaterials and their dose-ranges for use in diverse human applications. This is most commonly explored in the context of drug-delivery devices and implantable devices. Microvascular health or dysfunction is critical to study because it is at this level of the cardiovascular system that growth/development begins, and essentially all major diseases originate and/or their complications target. Timothy Nurkiewicz Physiology & Pharmacology 304-293-7328


Using Bacteria as Biological Probes to Monitor Tumor Progression and Metastasis Most cancer deaths result from tumor metastasis, making the ability to predict if pre-malignant lesions are likely to progress to metastatic disease a long-sought-after diagnostic test in clinical medicine. Our laboratory is approaching this problem by exploring the ability of a bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which preferentially infects and reacts to changes that occur during metastasis, to be used in the development of novel diagnostic tools that identify human tumors with metastatic potential. Joan Olson Microbiology, Immunology & Cell Biology 304-293-5843

Biosynthesis of Pharmaceutically Relevant and Novel Ergot Alkaloids in Fungi Ergot alkaloids are a diverse family of fungal secondary metabolites that are important clinically, where they have been prescribed to treat migraines, dementia, and Parkinson’s, and agriculturally, where they adversely affect grazing animals. My students and I have cloned and characterized numerous genes in the ergot alkaloid pathways of different fungi. By combining pathway genes from different ergot alkaloid producers, we have produced strains of an industrially relevant fungus that accumulate an important natural precursor to pharmaceutical ergot alkaloids. We also have used this combinatorial approach to engineer fungal strains that produce novel ergot alkaloids. Daniel Panaccione Plant & Soil Sciences 304-293-8819

Developing a Method to Separate Normal and Abnormal Gait in Young Children Based on Foot Pressure Data: Towards Remote Monitoring of Medical Interventions Background and Aims: During the implementation of a rehabilitation regi26

men it is crucial to use validated measurements in order to evaluate treatment effectiveness. The goal of this project was to demonstrate that it is feasible to identify normal/pathological gait in young children by developing a classification algorithm based on specific foot pressure features. Methods: We collected and classified normative data on 95 healthy children aged 2-4, and from six subjects of the same age group with abnormal gait (toe-walking). From this data, a model of normal gait was developed based on 22 classification features. Results: Preliminary results on toe walkers demonstrate even with this small sample size, in case of mild-to-moderate toe-walking the model is able to correctly classify abnormal gait in 80% of cases. Discussion: We have developed a model of automatic classification of normal versus pathologic gait based on peak pressure data in different areas of children’s footstep. We expect to optimize this model and proceed further to develop a classification algorithm to determine multiple degrees of abnormalities. Future directions will involve developing a wearable prototype for remote acquisition of foot pressure data. Paola Pergami Pediatrics 304-293-7331

Finding an Optimal Non-linear Interpretable Regression Smoother with Application to Epidemiological, Biomarker Clinical and Translational Research Fractional polynomials are excellent candidates for outcome prediction and understanding complex, non-linear relationships. These models represent a class of supervised learning prediction models for which model selection and covariate transformations happen in tandem. Beyond prediction, the associative effect derived from coefficient estimates can be directly interpreted, as in epidemiological studies, or graphically visualized to yield dose-response information. A shortcoming of FP models is their inherent instability with respect to the minor changes in the underlying data set. My research focuses on: (1) The development of stable 27

model selection processes, for non-nested models, that ensures generalizability of the model interpretation; (2) Model interpretation (e.g., effect size interpretation, dose-response threshold identification); and (3) The dissemination of these methods to non-academics (e.g., statistical consultants and MS level analysts). Michael Regier Biostatistics 304-293-0299

Kruppel-like Factors as Prognostic or Predictive Factors in HER2+ Breast Cancer The HER2 subtype (HER2+) of breast cancer represents approximately 20% of breast tumors and these tumors are intrinsically aggressive. Within this subtype of breast cancer, molecular assays such as Mammaprint or Oncotype are not as widely used for clinical decision making, and therefore new assays are needed. We have identified two Kruppel-like factors that are positively correlated in HER2+ breast cancer, and interact genetically to promote malignant properties in animal cancer models. Compared to HER2+ human tumors that were low for both factors, HER2+ tumors that were high for both factors were more clinically aggressive, with a hazard ratio of 2.4 (endpoint, metastasis-free survival). The human clinical outcome and correlation results were objectively and impartially obtained using public microarray data (outcome studies) and the human TCGA RNA-seq data (correlation studies) generated by other laboratories. John Ruppert Biochemistry; Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center 304-379-4198

WVU Shared Research Facilities WVU Shared Research Facilities (WVU SRF) provides researchers with the opportunity to use cutting-edge materials, computational modeling, high performance computing equipment and science and engineering instrumentation. WVU SRF are open to all, including researchers at government 28

laboratories and industries. Our staff provides training, guidance, and assistance in operating the instruments and performs routine maintenance. Among our labs, we have Cleanroom facilities, Electron Microscopy facilities, High Performance Computing facilities, Bio-Nano Research facilities and Materials Fabrication and Characterization facilities. Website: http:// Lisa Sharpe, Don McLaughlin, Nathan Gregg, Huiyuan Li, Marcela Redigolo, Kolin Brown, Weiqiang Ding, and Harley Hart WVU Shared Research Facilities 304-293-6872

Targeting Mitochondria as a Means of Brain Protection from Neurodegenerative Diseases and Stroke My laboratory conducts drug discovery studies aimed at the identification of potential new drugs and drug targets for the protection and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and acute neuron compromising events, like stroke. To date, we have discovered several classes of compounds that protect neurons in vitro and in animal models by targeting mitochondrial structures and functions to enhance respiratory capacity and to preserve these structures from stress. These ongoing efforts have resulted in clinical drug trials in Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury and pre-clinical development for Parkinson’s disease and stroke. James Simpkins Physiology & Pharmacology 304-293-7430

Nervous System Development We study molecular and cellular mechanisms for self-assembly of neural circuits during early development. George Spirou Otolaryngology 304-293-3490


International Center for Biofilm Translational Studies Linking Disruptive/Reconstructive Engineering (SMART) Our Biofilm research integrates dentistry, medicine and industry unmasking the correlation with eukaryotic tumor structure and 4 Growth Stages for both bacteria (16S) and fungi (18S), where “structure equals function.” Clinical studies and trials focus on 2 chronic diseases where oral, mobile Microbiota (fungi and bacteria) in unbalanced oral health, establish extra oral infections, Ventillator Assoc Pneumonia (VAP) and Wounds, magnified by a common destructive pathogenic pathway: MMPs. Clinical dual intervention focuses on metagenomic defined practices, highlighting (1) probiotic /symbiotic reconstructive microbiology matched to patients microbial clock (ageing), following (2) disruptive reduction of Biofilm, strengthened by rich fungal-bacterial communities often attached to a surface (device or dentition). Collaboration emphasizes global network and international microbial stocks where present culture OMICS studies include: oral health and new, unique cost effective caries and endodontic intervention, reducing endotracheal airway occlusion in VAP, wound management with gauze delivered honey, silver gel and/or probiotics/synbiotics, suture biofilms, and effects of antitumor drugs against mono or multi species biofilms where C. albicans is the Universal Co-aggregate. John Thomas Endodontics 304-685-5367

Cancer Control via Triple Synergistic Cancer Stem Cell Attack Present cancer chemotherapy and radiation stimulates cancer stem cells, causing great increases in metastasis, angiogenesis, and drug resistance in cancer cell progeny growth, with decreases in progeny cell death (apoptosis). This is caused by stimulation of the DNA transcription factor—nuclear factor kappa b activation which occurs via I kappa b kinases (IKK). Using low doses of a bisbenzyl isoquinoline that inhibits IKK, a spe30

cific oxidant that damages IKK, and low doses of certain anticancer drugs that inhibit IKK, the factors described earlier can be controlled along with the cancer. Our bisbenzyl isoquinoline has passed the three levels of scrutiny by the FDA and awaits approval. Using tri-synergistic low dose therapy will be effective and much better tolerated than present day therapy, which either controls or cures the various susceptible cancers. Knox Van Dyke Biochemistry, Molecular Pharmacology 304-293-5449

Diet Quality and Biomarkers of Obesity-related Chronic Disease Risk Diet is a potentially modifiable determinant of obesity and obesity-related chronic conditions. Our research group works: (1) To identify the relationship between diet and biomarkers of chronic disease risk; and (2) To develop and test a multi-faceted, culturally targeted nutrition intervention to improve diet quality and reduce chronic disease risk among midlife adults in Appalachia. Melissa Ventura Marra Human Nutrition & Foods 304-293-2690

Oral Health and Older Adults My research goal is to improve oral health for older adults. It involves determining systemic factors that impact caries and periodontal diseases; examining health literacy issues; and interventions to improve older adult quality of life. R. Wiener Dental Practice & Rural Health 304-293-1960


Restoration of Sensorimotor Functions with Neuroprosthetics The goal of my research program is to develop a reliable neural interface capable of controlling dextrous prosthetic devices. Specifically, I develop neuromechanical models for real-time online processing or recorded neural signals. This work leads to the development of optimization algorithms for improving the performance of model and prosthesis control to promote rehabilitation after stroke and spinal cord injury. Sergiy Yakovenko Exercise Physiology 304-293-7316

Creation of Biomimetic Microenvironments for Regenerative Medicine and Drug Discovery Our research focus is on developing polymer micro-/nanoengineering technologies to produce a modular cell culture platform with well-defined micro-/nanotopographies, substrate elasticity, and flow-induced mechanical forces in a biomimetic manner. With the fundamental understanding of biomechanical modulation of cell phenotypes and functions, we aim at regulating long-term stem cell growth and differentiation for regenerative medicine and developing in vitro disease models for cancer research and Alzheimer’s disease. Yong Yang Chemical Engineering 304-293-0567

Molecular Biology and Development of Oocyte and Early Embryos Identification and functional characterization of key oocyte-specific genes/ microRNAs that play important roles in oogenesis and early embryonic development in cattle and rainbow trout. Jianbo Yao Animal & Nutritional Sciences 304-293-1948


Mechanisms of Cardiac Arrhythmias We are interested in mechanisms of abnormal heart beat that leads to cardiac death under a variety of conditions such as obesity. To translate the discoveries in animal models to advance clinical treatment of heart disease, we are collaborating with a cardiologist to develop joint research projects. Currently we are focused on two projects: (1) Understanding how leptin helps maintain the regular heart beat; and (2) Investigating genetic causes of a slow heart beat in otherwise young healthy patients living with a pacemaker. Progress in the first project will help us understand how leptin resistance, which occurs in obese people, may predispose an obese heart to irregular heart beats, triggering sudden cardiac death. Knowledge learned from the second project will provide novel ideas as to why there is a lack of effective pharmacological treatment for a slow heartbeat, which often triggers fast heart beats, predisposing a heart to failure. Han-Gang Yu Physiology & Pharmacology 304-293-3034

“Excel in research, creative activity, and innovation in all disciplines.” —Goal 2, WVU 2020 Strategic Plan for the Future






























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LIINC is the 2012 UEDA Awards of Excellence winner for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

For more information on LIINC, please visit the website at: or contact Lindsay Emery directly at

Made possible from the support of the WVU Research Office and the STEM & Business Deans


Third Annual Bioscience and Biomedical Research Showcase  

WVU's LIINC program is hosting the third annual event highlighting faculty research in the bioscience and biomedical arenas. The booklet inc...

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