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Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Ruby Grand Hall Erickson Alumni Center


The WVU Office of Research and Economic Development, through the support provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, 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 Interim Vice President for Research

Name Badge Key: Blue: Industry Gold: WVU Blue/Gold: WVU Presenter 2


BioWV The purpose of the Bioscience Association of West Virginia is to promote the bioscience industry in West Virginia, expand the knowledge and expertise of West Virginia’s businesses concerning the life sciences through seminars, educational publications and to enhance public awareness of the biotechnology industry in West Virginia. BioWV represents the interests of the bioscience industry in West Virginia before federal, state and local legislators and regulators.

Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute The Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute is a unique, independent, nonprofit institute dedicated to the study of both memory and memory disorders. Its mission is to: 1) expand and advance state-of-the-art scientific research of memory and memory disorders for purposes of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment; and 2) promote translation of resulting discoveries to practical medical applications.

Codex Biosolutions CodexBiosolutions provides cell based assay products and services to academic and governmental research institutes, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. The company is headquartered in the I-270 Hi-Tech corridor in the state of Maryland. The core products of CodexBiosolution are ACTOne Cell lines and membrane potential kits where are licensed from BD Biosciences. We also develop other new cell based products to meet the demands from various customers.

Diagnostic Imaging Sales, LLC Diagnostic Imaging Sales, LLC is a provider and buyer of pre-owned radiological and diagnostic imaging equipment, including a wide variety of Used Ultrasound equipment, CT and MRI* Systems equipment, Portables, Radiographic and Radiographic/Fluoroscopic rooms. We handle all types of high-end, mid-range and low-end x-ray systems. We are always looking for quality sources to purchase all modalities of imaging equipment, including, refurbished medical equipment: hospitals, clinics, imaging centers, private offices.


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 high-tech 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.

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.

Intermed Partners Intermed Partners is an experienced, full service, accelerator specifically designed to assist practicing health professionals develop innovations. We utilize focused intellectual mining to discover, build, and deliver disruptive technology to a successful exit. Remember, before you throw away that napkin and great idea, call Intermed and let us help you make it a reality.

Jackson Kelly PLLC Offering business and corporate legal services, from offices in West Virginia, Colorado, Kentucky, and the District of Columbia. The Firm has been home to Governors and business leaders, judges and public servants, great lawyers and community leaders. It has helped form and served many of the state’s leading businesses and been a driving force in industries as diverse as coal, chemical, biotechnology, media and banking.

Knopp Biosciences Knopp Biosciences is a drug discovery and development company focused on delivering breakthrough treatments for unmet medical needs through innovation, experience and partnership. Our clinical and preclinical programs focus on novel mechanisms of mitochondrial energetics and our lead compound, dexpramipexole, is currently in Phase 3 clinical development for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Additional programs include dexpramipexole combination therapy for Parkinson’s disease and the discovery of ion channel modulators for pain and epilepsy.


Merck Our vision is to make a difference in the lives of people globally through our innovative medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, consumer health and animal products. Today, we conduct research in a broad range of therapeutic categories – including cardiovascular, diabetes and endocrinology, neurosciences and ophthalmology, oncology, infectious diseases, and respiratory and immunology. To help achieve our goal of saving and improving lives around the world, we have expanded our capabilities in new areas, such as biologics and biosimilars.

Mylan Pharmaceuticals Mylan is one of the world’s leading generics and specialty pharmaceutical companies, providing products to customers in more than 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. With a workforce of more than 16,000, Mylan has attained leading positions in key international markets through its wide array of dosage forms and delivery systems, significant manufacturing capacity, global commercial scale and a committed focus on quality and customer service.

Napo Pharmaceuticals Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held pharmaceutical company based in San Francisco, California. Napo's lead drug candidate, crofelemer, is under development for gastrointestinal indications including chronic diarrhea in persons living with HIV/AIDS. Napo Pharmaceuticals focuses on the development and commercialization of proprietary pharmaceuticals for the global marketplace in collaboration with local partners.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP The law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough offers the strength and resources of a national law firm with diverse attorneys and professional staff experienced in a broad range of services. With a strong East Coast presence, Nelson Mullins has grown into a national firm with a reputation for meeting the complex litigation, corporate, securities, finance, intellectual property, employment, government relations, regulatory, and other needs of clients ranging from private individuals to large businesses, including many publicly held companies.


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.

Norgenix Norgenix, a wholly owned subsidiary of the J M Smith Corporation, is a North American specialty pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotech company that engages in the development, commercialization, and sales of pharmaceutical products in the women’s health arena. Founded in 2008, Norgenix offers quality products that provide solutions to the unmet needs within women’s health. With products spanning the continuum of care from pharmaceutical therapies to medical devices, Norgenix is licensed to sell, market, and distribute prescription drug products and medical devices in all 50 United States.

Pfizer Pfizer is prioritizing its research and development efforts in areas with the greatest scientific and commercial promise: immunology and inflammation, oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, neuroscience and pain, and vaccines. Through major research efforts across multiple modalities — including small molecules, biologics and vaccines — Pfizer is developing the medical solutions that will matter most to the people we serve. Planned specialized efforts in biosimilars as well as orphan and genetic diseases also illustrate our dedication to develop and deliver innovative medicines and vaccines that will benefit patients around the world.

Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG) provides capital investments and customized company formation and business growth services to our region’s life sciences enterprises. We support biosciences companies with promising innovations in the following concentrations: Biotechnology Tools, Diagnostics, Healthcare IT, Medical Devices and Therapeutics.


Progenesis Technologies, LLC Progenesis Technologies, LLC is a spin-off from Marshall University in Huntington WV. It was established to commercialize the patent-pending discoveries by Dr. Hongwei Yu concerning the signal for alginate production and genetic alteration of the regulatory genes of the alginate pathway that allow Pseudomonas sp. to maximally produce this exopolysaccharide. Progenesis is primarily a research and development company. Our strategy is to demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing our genetically-engineered bacterial alginates on an industrial scale for a competitive price. We will then either out-source the commercial production of the products or partner with companies to manufacture and sell the bacterial alginate products.

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.

Saint-Gobain Crystals Saint-Gobain Crystals is a world leader in the design and manufacture of: Ionizing radiation detection materials, detectors, and instruments; photonic components & mono-crystals; and fused quartz & fused silica products. Our products are used in a broad spectrum of industries including medical imaging, and diagnostics, industrial applications, oil exploration, semiconductors and lithography, health physics, astronomy and astrophysics.

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.


Supernus Pharmaceuticals With more than 20 years of experience, we are a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing products for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders. We are developing several product candidates in neurology and psychiatry to address unmet medical needs and opportunities in epilepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and its coexisting disorders, and depression.

TechConnect 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.

TRAX Biodiscovery The immune system is made up of many types of cells. One such cell type, the T lymphocyte (or T cell), is tasked with determining what is part of you and what is not—be it a cancer cell, a virus-infected cell, a cell in a transplanted organ or even your body seeing “you” as not being part of “you” (autoimmune diseases). Our technology allows the specific and accurate identification of individual T cell populations involved in specific conditions, allowing the design of new targeted therapeutics and disease monitoring devices.

TSI Incorporated TSI Inc. serves a global market by investigating, identifying and solving measurement problems. As an industry leader in the design and production of precision measurement instruments, TSI partners with research institutions and customers around the world to set the standard for measurements relating to aerosol science, air flow, indoor air quality, fluid dynamics and biohazard detection.

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.


West Virginia 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 (more than 15 shows attended in 2008).

WV Angel Network The West Virginia Angel Investor Network seeks investment opportunities in two sectors – companies seeking seed capital (companies that do not have sales or may not have a completed or tested product/service) and early stage capital (companies with sales near or above $500k per year).

The following companies expressed interest, but regrettably were unable to attend: Agile Technologies, AIT Instruments, Akrimax Pharmaceuticals, APT Therapeutics, Bayer MaterialScience, ClearCount Medical Solutions, Eli Lilly, Good Measures LLC, Health Dialog Services Corporation, InnovationWorks, ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Maven Analytical, M’s Science Corporation, Meritus Ventures, Mnemosyne Pharmaceuticals, MTEL Consultants, Mountain Capital, Novartis, Philips Healthcare, RayVisions, Schnabel Engineering Associates, SensL, Siemens Molecular Imaging, Tetra Discovery, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Zoll Medical Corporation 9

FACULTY RESEARCH A Gene Expression Profile of Ischemic Stroke and Brain Injury My program of research is centered on the use of genomic methodologies and preclinical models to identify and implement clinically relevant biomarkers that guide clinical care and change the way we study human brain injury (ischemic stroke and traumatic brain injury). In an earlier whole genome expression study, we identified a panel of genes that differentiated ischemic stroke patients from control subjects. We also identified many genes and pathways involved in innate and adaptive immune responses. At present we are validating this panel of gene markers in ischemic stroke and testing the relationship of these markers with stroke and TBI recovery. Taura L. Barr School of Nursing and Emergency Medicine 304-293-0503

Role of oxidative stress regulators in lung tumorigenesis Developing therapies for treatment of lung cancer by assessing the roles of oxidative stress regulators in lung tumor cell invasion and metastasis. Developing novel therapeutic strategies and nano delivery mechanisms for treating lung cancer patients. Erik A. Bey MBRCC & Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences 304-293-0948

Bio-imaging Analysis Methods to Determine the Nano-toxicity Effects of Cells Carbon nano-materials, including carbon nanotubes (CNTs), have been increasingly used in a wide range of industries for various commercial and biomedical applications. My research is concentrated on developing bioimaging analysis methods investigating the nano-toxicity effects of cells from their morphological changes during long-term cell culturing (this work is in collaboration with Yuxin Liu — WVU). Thirimachos Bourlai LDCSEE 832-713-9773


Effects of age and disease on arterial and cardiac function

Dr. Chantler’s laboratory has research interests focusing on examining the age-associated changes in arterial and cardiac structure and function, and how ageing interacts with various disease states (Metabolic Syndrome and Heart Failure) to alter structure and function. This lab is also interested in identifying and developing therapeutic interventions (exercise training, nutritional and pharmacological supplementation) to reverse the alterations in arterial and cardiac structure and function. Paul Chantler Human Performance – Exercise Physiology 304-293-0646

Childhood obesity: Underlying mechanisms, prevention, and treatment options Childhood obesity directly impacts children's health and well-being. Obesity also increases children's risks for secondary health concerns such as asthma and diabetes. Our current research approaches examine underlying mechanisms that associate obesity with rising risks of asthma and diabetes but also evaluate potentially successful intervention programs. Lesley Cottrell Pediatrics 304-293-1149

Efficacy of Ultrasonic Imaging to Detect Periodontal Bone Defects The two major tools currently used for periodontal diagnosis are probing and radiographic measurements. Both of these procedures are associated with various sources of error. Traditional 2-D radiographs incur ionizing radiation. Radiographs are also a two-dimensional representation of threedimensional bone, tooth, and soft tissue structures. The objective of this study was to determine if ultrasound images provide more information and accurate images of a periodontal defect, compared to 2-D radiographs and 3-D cone beam images. Richard Crout Periodontics 304-291-3533


Bio-composite and Biofuel Research 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). Biofuel research includes processing techniques that result in more energy dense and economical biofuel materials. Non-destructive evaluation research includes optical scanning, image analysis, and ultrasonic testing for predicting and modeling material properties. David DeVallance Forestry and Natural Resources 304-293-0029

Airway responses to inhaled irritants We study how inhaled irritants, like ozone, cigarette smoke, particulates, diesel exhaust, allergens, affect the lungs and airway (breathing tubes). We have some limited exposure facilities (ozone cigarette smoke, nanoparticles), but have potential to expand. We measure airway resistance and inflammation, two important parameters that indicate lung damage and suggest potential links to diseases like asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We have techniques to visualize changes in nerves that supply the lungs and participate in the responses, and we can wash the lung to measure chemicals (mediators) that are released. Our approaches might be useful for drug development or testing toxicity of materials used for human use or in manufacturing. Richard Dey Neurobiology and Anatomy 304-293-5979

BioNanoTechnology My research focuses on understanding toxicity associated with cellular exposure to nanomaterials, and technology development for in situ single molecule printing, nanosensors and nanocomposite-based decontamination. To successfully bridge the gap between biological and conventional engineering to yield exciting prospects, understanding and controlling material interface properties, preserving biological viability, and manipulating the biological-material interface are being considered. Cerasela Zoica Dinu Chemical Engineering 304-293-9338


Cancer drug discovery In 1994, we reported that normal epithelial cells, but not metastatic tumor cells, are programmed to die by apoptosis upon detachment from their resident extracellular matrix, a phenomenon that we named "anoikis" ("homelessness"). Subsequently, the gene expression reprogramming event known as the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), that plays a critical role in tumor metastasis, was found to invariably confer resistance to anoikis. We are exploring the mechanistic relationship between these two processes with a view toward the discovery of novel cancer drugs. Steven M. Frisch Biochemistry and Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center 304-293-2980

Immobilized enzymes for bioreactors, high throughput screening and biosensors Immobilized enzymes can be used in bioreactors for compound synthesis, for high throughput screening, and mechanistic studies. For drug development P450 enzymes are of major importance and all new drugs must be screened against them. Our work has discovered how P450 enzymes can be immobilized and used in a variety of formats with applications in the areas of enzyme mediate synthesis, high throughput screening modes, or biosensors. Peter M. Gannett Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences 304-293-1480

Home-based assessment and rehabilitation of movement impairment We are developing a portable low-cost motion capture system for quantification of movements in 3D that would provide accurate classification of the individual motor deficits of neurological patients. The new quantitative method combines current clinical tests with motion capture and biomechanical modelling to isolate and quantify specific impairments in coordinated action of muscles. We are also developing home-based rehabilitation that combines telemedicine, computer games, and physical therapy. Valeriya Gritsenko Human Performance, Div. Physical Therapy 304-293-7719


Computer Vision, Image and Video Computing, Biometrics (1) Human identification and human description based on computational analysis of face and body images; (2) Human action recognition from videos; (3) Soft-Biometrics: recognizing human age, gender, and ethnicity; and (4) Social computing and social network analysis using Computer Vision techniques. Guodong Guo Computer Science and Electrical Engineering 304-293-9143

Identification of diagnostic, prognostic and chemoresponse predictive biomarkers Our research utilized innovative computational methods to analyze genomic and proteomic profiles of cancer patient samples for the identification of diagnostic, prognostic and chemoresponse biomarkers with potential clinical utilities. We have validated the identified biomarkers for lung cancer and breast cancer using patient tumor tissue samples and blood samples collected from multiple institutes,. The results show that the identified mRNA and microRNA biomarkers provide accurate diagnosis and prognosis in patient cohorts from multiple institutes. We have applied for five patents based on our research findings. Nancy Lan Guo Community Medicine/Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center 304-293-6455

Opportunities for Biostatistics Students I do not have a particular research study to highlight here, but I am interested in discussing possible opportunities for new graduate students in biostatistics. I am charged with creating and leading a Masters program in Biostatistics as part of our creation of a School of Public Health. I am looking for possible partnerships with industry for our students - to help us recruit good students and to help industry by providing well-trained and qualified biostatistics graduates. Matthew Gurka Community Medicine (Biostatistics) 304-293-6760


In vivo animal model for mechanistic and functional studies of vascular related diseases and assessing the efficacy for drug delivery and new therapies Our research focuses on the microcirculatory changes under disease conditions using in vivo animal models, such as sepsis, diabetes, and chronic inflammation. Our experimental approach of using individually perfused microvessels allows us to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in disease-associated vascular dysfunction in intact microvessels, which closely represents the pathological conditions in vivo. It is also a useful tool to assess drug delivery and the efficacy of the new therapies. Our recent projects involving diabetic animal and diabetic patients have a great translational potential in developing targeted therapy and prognostic marker for cardiovascular risk and vascular complications in patients with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. We are a seeking potential pharmaceutical company to join us for this exciting project and develop strategies for intervention and prevention of cardiovascular diseases and disease associated cardiovascular complications. Pingnian He Physiology and Pharmacology 304-293-1515

Role of changes in neurovascular unit function following ischemic stroke Therapeutic research on stroke has centered on mechanisms that regulate pathways involved in neuronal cell death following ischemic stroke. While a wealth of knowledge about stroke injury has accumulated, no “neurocentric” approach to therapy has made the leap from bench to bedside. The only approved therapeutic for acute ischemic stroke is tPA and its therapeutic benefit results from vascular effects. Effective stroke therapeutics must do more than “protect” neurons. No amount of neuroprotection will salvage or recover function if the neuronal microenvironment is not maintained and protected. In recent years, several research groups have reported exciting findings on ischemic brain injury and recovery by focusing on the role of microglia and astrocytes in altering vascular remodeling following experimental stroke. Jason Huber Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences 304 293-1474


Seizure hypersusceptibility induced by peripherally restricted inflammation Peripheral inflammation has been recognized as an important comorbid factor for seizures. We have developed a preclinical model to address the underlying mechanisms and shown that peritoneally restricted inflammation elicits protracted hypersusceptibility to kainic acid (KA)induced seizures. This hypersusceptibility features altered expression of several genes encoding glutamatergic and GABAergic receptors. These results indicate that inflammatory signals from the periphery are conveyed to the brain and elicit protracted hyperexcitable phenotype through genomic reprogramming of hippocampal neurons. Gregory Konat Neurobiology 304-293-0594

Protein-based Bioelectronics and Biosensors A major challenge for the future of electronic devices is producing electronic elements close to the atomic scale that are stable at room temperature. We are attempting to address this challenge by using proteins as electronic components. After billions of years of evolution, proteins that undergo redox reactions are routinely used by living things to transport oxygen or metabolize various chemicals and toxins, and they are usually smaller than 5 nm in diameter. Our approach consists of integrating proteins such as myoglobin and cytochrome P450, which have a heme group with a single Fe atom performing the redox reaction, into single protein break junction transistors and nanoscale electrochemical cells. In collaboration with Peter Gannett —WVU Pharmacy. David Lederman Physics 304-293-5136

Understanding the mechanical properties of biologically relevant surfaces with scanning probe technologies The long term goal of our research program is to understand nanoscale mechanical responses of biologically relevant surfaces (i.e., cells, organelles, and membranes) to perturbations in their composition and/or environment. The rationale that underlies our research is that fundamental knowledge of how biologically relevant surfaces respond mechanically to 16

their environment will provide a foundation to probe key questions ranging from basic and disease-related biology to tissue and biomimetic materials engineering. A prerequisite for such studies is the development of techniques with the ability to perform in aqueous environments, allowing for investigations under near physiological conditions. While tapping mode AFM has long been established as a non-invasive, high resolution imaging technique, the tip/sample interaction also contains information on adhesion, stiffness, energy dissipation, and chemical composition. We have developed a technique, referred to as scanning probe acceleration microscopy (SPAM), that can recover these time-resolved tip/sample forces during routine imaging experiment and is capable of operating in aqueous solution, making it particularly useful in studying biologically relevant surfaces. Justin Legleiter Chemistry 304-293-3435 ext. 6436

Nanomedicine and drug delivery Nanomedicine and drug delivery for infection prevention, wound healing, and cancer treatment. Website: Nanomedica-Group/Resume/Publications.aspx. Bingyun Li Orthopaedics and WVNano 3042931075

Microfluidics, lab on chip, micro/nanomanufacturing, and Biomimetic systems The MICRoChip Lab at WVU is focusing on the development of Microfluidics, Lab on Chip, and advanced micromanufacturing based technologies and their applications in biomedical microdevices for biosensors, cellular bioreactors, and tissue engineering. Our research is including 1) microfluidic lab on chip based biosensor for toxicity detections; 2) Bioimpedance bioreactor for nanotoxicity effects on human epithelium and endothelium barrier functions; 3) Microvascular vessel assay for drug screening and cancer research; 4) Microchip based high throughout bioimaging technologies. Yuxin Liu Computer Science and Electrical Engineering 304-293-9144


Organ-Specific Positron Emission Tomography Imagers Benefiting from the latest developments in compact solid state radiation sensors, we are developing PET imagers for imaging breast, brain, prostate, and for surgical applications. These compact mobile or even wearable devices offer high resolution, high sensitivity and MRIcompatibility. Our goal is to develop initial prototypes and to work with industry to transfer this novel IP in oder to implement it in marketable specialized PET imagers. Stan Majewski Radiology 304-293-1878

Food safety and nutritionally-enhanced foods My research program lies within the field of Food Science, with an emphasis in two main areas: food safety and nutritionally-enhanced foods. Our lab explores the strengths and limitations of alternative processing and preservation technologies with a focus on microbial reduction for increased safety and shelf-life of foods. We also explore the effect of these processes on quality indicators and sensory properties of food. Other research in our lab includes the development of a series of value-added products enhanced with omega-3 fatty acids, reduced sodium and/or increased dietary fiber. Specific components of these studies include: shelflife studies, sensory tests, consumer studies, texture analysis, etc. Kristen Matak Animal and Nutritional Sciences 304-293-1908

Sigma receptors: novel targets for medications We develop and characterize novel sigma receptor compounds as potential therapeutics, imaging agents, and experimental tools. Most of our work focuses on potential applications for neurologic and psychiatric indications. Our compounds also have potential therapeutic applications for cancer, immunologic disorders, gastrointestinal dysfunction, and ophthalmologic disease (e.g., retinal degeneration). Rae R. Matsumoto Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences 304-293-1450


Lung Function Testing With Aerosol Boli A pulse of inhaled aerosol can be used not only to determine lung function in human subjects with greater precision than standard pulmonary function tests but can also be used to locate obstructions and target the delivery of therapeutic aerosols. The test requires no forced exhalation and so can be used reliably by the patient at home multiple times every day to assure compliance with care and to spot potentially deleterious trends in pulmonary function. The device can be attached to a phone modem for telemedicine operations, is small and relatively inexpensive as well as being simple to operate. Michael McCawley Community Medicine 304-293-8042

Biotechnology of Medicinal Plants at WVU I would like to establish a medicinal plant research program at WVU. The long term research goal is to identify medicinally important bioactive molecules from plant sources to treat diseases and improve human health. The objectives are 1) to screen potential medicinal plants grown in West Virginia as well as other important medicinal plants, 2) to perform chemical screening to identify bioactive molecules for drug use from plants, 3) to develop methods to grow, propagate and store medicinal plants or plant parts, 4) to elucidate biosynthetic pathway of novel molecules, and 5) to develop crops that over produce the desired bioactive molecules. Youyoun Moon Division of Plant and Soil Sciences and Department of Biology

Engineered Nanomaterial Exposure and Microvascular Toxicity Engineered nanomaterials (ENM) hold the potential to benefit human health from numerous paradigm shifting perspectives. However, if this potential is to be fully realized in regards to human health, specific ENM toxicities must be fully identified. My laboratory develops and uses novel technologies and experimental approaches to achieve this goal, with a specific focus on cardiovascular health. ENM exposures are performed via the respiratory system (lung/inhalation), the digestive system (stomach/gavage), and circulatory system (infusions, intravenous and minipump implantation). 19

Subsequent microvascular experiments in the heart, skeletal muscle and mesentery assess: 1) targeted in vivo mechanisms, 2) ENM dose-response and time-course relationships, and 3) specific ENM-route toxicities and ranks (no-effect dose, maximum dose, and EC50). It is our full expectation that a sustained and increasing commitment to these three outcomes will result in a more rapid and widespread use of ENM that directly benefits human health from numerous perspectives. Timothy R. Nurkiewicz Center for Cardiovascular & Respiratory Sciences 304-293-7328

Regulation of angiogenesis in health and disease The current major focus in my laboratory is to better understand the molecular regulation of skeletal muscle angiogenesis. One factor of particular interest is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is a critical factor for vessel formation during growth and development, but is also found to be important throughout life (e.g., in response to wound healing, tumor progression, and exercise-induced skeletal muscle angiogenesis). Recent discoveries in my laboratory have also expanded our interest in the role of negative angiogenic regulators and extracellular matrix proteins, such as thrombospondin (TSP) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), may play in pathophysiology of cardiac and skeletal muscle co-morbidities associated with COPD and other chronic diseases. Mark Olfert Exercise Physiology 304-293-7597

Decellularized Stem Cell Matrix: A Novel and Powerful Cell Expansion System for Cartilage Engineering and Regeneration Cartilage defect cannot heal by itself due to no blood supply. Tissuespecific stem cells are a promising cell source for cartilage repair. Cell senescence is a hurdle for cell-based cartilage engineering and regeneration. Decellularized stem cell matrix is a newly developed 3D matrix with tissuespecific clues for stem cell proliferation while retaining expanded cell chondrogenic potential. By this technology, autologous chondrocytes and stem cells from patients can be effectively expanded and induced to engineer high-quality articular cartilage for the treatment of cartilage defects. Ming Pei Orthopaedics 304-293-1072


Combination of Gaming and Sensor Glove to Monitor Motor Function in Children Periodic motor function assessment is critical for implementing correct rehabilitation interventions, but access to specialized care is limited for pediatric patients living in rural areas. Our objective is to develop low-cost, accurate system to monitor upper extremity motor function. We have recently developed a computer-based application that uses a pointing task with multiple levels of difficulty to test motor function, and have validated this video game as a measure of dexterity in adult and pediatric subjects. We are currently developing a prototype of a sensor glove that measures angles of movement. We plan to use the game-and-glove combination for regular school- or home-based evaluation and self-evaluation of treatment efficacy that will facilitate the development of appropriate rehabilitation interventions. Paola Pergami Pediatrics 304-293-7331

Clinical Pharmacology of Anticancer Drugs   

New drug development focusing on design of late preclinical and early human phases. Clinical pharmacology of anticancer drugs. Investigations evaluating mechanisms of inter-individual variability in drug disposition.

William Petros MBRCC/Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences 304-293-0495

Nanotechnology and Anticancer Therapeutics Research focus is in understanding how cancer cells become resistant to death and how they gain competitive advantages over normal cells. Research also involves molecular mechanisms of nanomaterial-induced carcinogenesis and development of anticancer therapeutics. Yon Rojanasakul Pharmaceutical Sciences 304-293-1476


Aging and Ischemia For several decades interest in neuroprotection has identified hundreds of agents that have been efficacious in the lab, and unsuccessful clinically. My laboratory studies a novel aging animal model of ischemia that more closely replicates the human condition of stroke. With this model, we have been able to identify important differences in the blood brain barrier, inflammatory response, oxygen radical formation and recovery capacity of the aged animal versus young animals. With these tools, we hope to be able to identify unique strategies to help with ischemia and brain injury that can translate from bench to bedside. Charles L. Rosen Neurosurgery 304-293-5041

Bioenergy and Liquid Fuel Production from Woody Biomass and Coal My research focuses on producing liquid fuels using co-liquefaction technology, solid hybrid fuels using co-processing technology, and gas fuels and electricity using gasification technology from woody biomass and coal feedstock. Kaushlendra Singh Division of Forestry and Natural Resources 304-293-7643

Targeted Drug Delivery and Detection Using Molecular Recognition Elements Molecular recognition elements (MRE) are peptide or nucleic acid biomolecules that tightly and specifically bind a target of interest. The Sooter Lab is pursuing the following prostate cell lines for both targeted drug delivery and detection: androgen-dependent cancer, androgen-independent cancer, pre-cancerous, abnormal, and normal. MRE's are also being developed against toxins and pesticides. Letha J. Sooter Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences 304-293-9218


Alternative pre-mRNA splicing My group pursues two lines of research. The first one is aimed at understanding the role of alternative pre-mRNA splicing in oncogenesis. We are also developing small molecule therapeutics for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and cancer that target alternative pre-mRNA splicing. Peter Stoilov Biochemistry/Cancer Center 304-293-6334

Intervention to diminish loneliness and chronic illness sequelae related to loneliness Loneliness is a biopsychosocial stressor that is linked to hypertension, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and depression. A story theory based cognitive restructuring intervention has been developed and is being evaluated for efficacy in diminishing loneliness and blood pressure. Cytokines and salivary cortisol are being tested for differences pre and post intervention. Preliminary analysis indicates that participants are significantly less lonely with lower blood pressure and increasing IL2. Chronically lonely older adult participants are biobanking blood for analysis in a follow-up study which will include genomic expression on IL1, IL2, IL6, TNF, CRP, Cortisol, and MMP9. My research is exploring if genomic expression changes from pre to post intervention. Laurie Theeke Health Restoration 304-293-1405

Light Scatter Technology ( BARDOT) A new, unique platform utilizing expertise of Purdue University and WVU collaboration for rapid detection of microbial pathogens capable of defining in one analysis, 1) mechanism of reisistance, 2) genera ID, 3) location of origin, hospital, national or global, and for 4) triaging. John G. Thomas Pathology 304-293-3204


Woody biomass utilization for biofuels and bioproducts Our current bioenergy research team includes key personnel from WVU’s three colleges: the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design; Eberly College of Arts and Sciences; and Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Currently our core team has major strengths in feedstock development, biomass processing, harvesting, economic and environmental analyses, feedstock preprocessing and pretreatment, thermal chemical conversions , as well as outreach and commercialization efforts. Team members have obtained more than $19 million of funding with more than 95 projects, and published more than 120 journal papers in the past five years for biofuel, bioenergy and bioproducts research. Jingxin Wang Forestry and Natural Resources 304-293-7601 jxwang@wvu.wvu

Horticultural Crop Improvement My research focuses on crop improvement utilizing biotechnology. Specifically, I’m interested in understanding and improving plant responses to drought and heat stresses under normal or elevated CO2 level. One component of my research is to develop methods to allow ornamental plants to tolerate temporary periods of stress in the retail environment. The other component of my research is to elucidate the mechanism of plant responses to these environmental stresses at the molecular level. Nicole Waterland Plant and Soil Sciences 304-293-2969

Neural mechanisms of secondhand smoke-exacerbated asthma in early life Asthma is one of the most common chronic respiratory diseases. Recent studies in our laboratory found that exposure to secondhand smoke during utero (maternal exposure) and early postnatal life produces the changes of lung function that lead to asthma later in life. Our current research focuses on the possible neural mechanisms induced by exposure to secondhand smoke during early life that potentially leads to increased susceptibility and occurrence of asthma later in childhood or as adults. Zhongxin Wu Neurobiology and Anatomy 304-293-7222


Role of Nonmuscle Myosin II in Vascular Biology The overall aim of my laboratory is to define the role of non-muscle myosin II in vascular permeability, vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. The development of biomechanical tension between endothelial cells drives the reorganization of cells into cords, directs capillary network formation and is critical for normal vascular integrity. Nonmuscle myosin IIA, IIB and IIC are the molecular motors responsible for generation of cellular tension; however, it is currently unknown what role myosin II plays in these processes. Studies are ongoing to biochemically, physiologically and morphologically characterize myosin II, its activation and contractile activity and distribution in endothelial cells. 3-D matrices composed of natural extracellular components and growth factors have been developed for studying the developmental stages of capillary networks formation. This medium allow us to implant the de novo formed capillary networks into animals for assessing their interactions with the host circulation. The lab routinely employs the following techniques: Two-Photon Fluorescence Microscopy, Second Harmonic Generation Microscopy (SHG). TEM, SEM, routine histology and immunofluorescent microscopy, permeability measurements (ECIS), isometric tension measurements and generation of cellularized 3-D tissue constructs (endothelial, fibroblasts and stroma cells) for assessing cell-cell and cell matrix interactions. Robert Wysolmerski Neurobiology and Anatomy 304-293-2213

Functional characterization of oocye-specific genes Maternal mRNAs that accumulate in the oocyte during oogenesis play important roles during initial stages of embryonic development. Some of the maternal transcripts are oocyte-specific and are known as maternal effect genes which are required for the early cleavage events post fertilization. In domestic animals, major activation of the embryonic genome takes place later as compared to rodents (e.g., 8-16-cell stage in cattle vs. 2-cell stage in mouse) suggesting potential species differences in mechanisms and mediators of the maternal-to-zygotic transition. Our research has been focused on the cloning and functional characterization of bovine oocyte-specific genes that play important roles in early embryogenesis. Jianbo Yao Animal and Nutritional Sciences 304-293-1948


Intracellular signaling in the mediation of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders My major research interests focus on intracellular signaling in the mediation of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. More specifically, I am interested in exploring the roles of cAMP/CREB signaling in mediating depression, anxiety, alcohol dependence, drug abuse, and cognition deficits associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and neuropsychiatric diseases such as depression and schizophrenia. Development of novel drugs for treating these disorders is also one of my foci. Hanting Zhang Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry 304-293-1488


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


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For more information on LIINC, please visit the website at: or contact Lindsay Emery directly at 304-293-0391 Made possible from the support of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation


Booklet for LIINC Bioscience and Biomedical Research Showcase  

This is a booklet containing attending industries and brief faculty abstracts for the LIINC Bioscience and Biomedical Research Showcase on F...