Edward Chaum, MD, PhD, Receives $2.4 Million Grant to Study Macular Degeneration

Edward Chaum, MD, PhD, professor of retinal diseases at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has been awarded a four-year grant totaling $2.4 million from the National Eye Institute as co-principal investigator on innovative research into age-related macular degeneration.

Edward Chaum, MD, PhD, professor of retinal diseases at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has been awarded a four-year grant totaling $2.4 million from the National Eye Institute as co-principal investigator on innovative research into age-related macular degeneration.

Edward Chaum, MD, PhD, Plough Foundation Professor of Retinal Diseases at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), Hamilton Eye Institute, has a successful history of collaborating with scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to battle diseases of the eye. [Read more...]

UTHSC Alumna Rhea Seddon, MD, Inducted Into the Astronaut Hall of Fame

Margaret Rhea Seddon 2015 Astronaut Hall of Fame Inductee 1973 Graduate of the UT College of Medicine in Memphis

Margaret Rhea Seddon
2015 Astronaut Hall of Fame Inductee
1973 Graduate of the UT College of Medicine in Memphis

Margaret Rhea Seddon, MD, alumna of the College of Medicine (’73) at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), is set to be inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame on May 30. The public ceremony will be held at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

One of NASA’s first female astronauts, Dr. Seddon will join the ranks of well-known space explorers including Alan Shepard, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. [Read more...]

UTHSC Graduate Research Assistant Sarah Neuner Receives $172,480 Grant for Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Research

A $172,480 grant from the National Institute on Aging, an NIH subsidiary, will allow graduate research assistant Sarah Neuner to identify genes that may influence a person’s likelihood for  developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

A $172,480 grant from the National Institute on Aging, an NIH subsidiary, will allow graduate research assistant Sarah Neuner to identify genes that may influence a person’s likelihood for developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Although gene mutations that cause early onset Alzheimer’s disease have been identified, the vast majority of cases result from what is known as “sporadic,” or late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD), which has no known cause.  Sarah Neuner’s research focuses on identifying currently unknown genes that influence a person’s likelihood of developing LOAD.

Neuner, a graduate research assistant in the lab of Catherine Kaczorowski, PhD, in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has received a grant totaling $172,480 from the National Institute on Aging, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health. The award will be used to support a project titled, “Identification of Genetic Modifiers of Neuronal Deficits and Memory Failure in Alzheimer’s Disease.” The award will be distributed over four years.

Identifying those genes that modify susceptibility to LOAD in human studies has proven challenging, in part due to large genomic variability in individuals. In contrast, animal studies suffer from the opposite problem – too little genetic diversity, as most traditional studies utilize one inbred Alzheimer’s disease (AD) mouse model. Therefore, Neuner and her collaborators have developed a new panel of AD mice that model some of the genetic complexity of human populations, which is thought to contribute to the “sporadic” nature of the disease. In this project, the research team will measure memory function as well as clinically relevant markers of AD in this panel throughout their lifespan in order to determine which strains are more or less prone to developing AD. Results from these tests will be used to pinpoint the region or regions in the genome that contain genes influencing the susceptibility and/or resistance of an individual strain to AD. Once these genes have been identified, gene therapy tools will be used to prevent or reverse AD-related memory deficits. Research outcomes, combined with insight from analysis of available human datasets, will allow researchers to prioritize candidates with the best potential to translate into treatments for use in human populations.

If successful, this research may uncover new therapeutic targets that can be used to delay, prevent, or cure Alzheimer’s disease in humans. They may also be useful as “biomarkers” to identify individuals who are at high risk, enabling earlier detection and treatment, which would ultimately result in better outcomes for both patients and their families.

“I am extremely fortunate and thankful to have received a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award from the National Institute on Aging, which will provide support for my doctoral training over the next four years,” said Neuner. “My mentor, Dr. Catherine Kaczorowski, and the co-sponsor of this award, Dr. Rob Williams, will provide training on research design, ethics, grantsmanship, and additional career development opportunities that are essential for progressing towards a career as an independent scientist. Working closely with Drs. Kaczorowski and Williams in the development of this project has allowed me to learn from experts in the three fields I am very interested in – aging, Alzheimer’s disease and genetics – and combine the two in new ways. This award is especially important to me because it will help me achieve my goal of making significant contributions to the field of Alzheimer’s disease genetics and to the understanding of the mechanisms causing this disease.”

The National Institute on Aging remains committed to understanding the aging process and prolonging life. It is the primary agency that supports and conducts Alzheimer’s research. For more information, visit www.nia.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

UTHSC Raises $3,381.42 in Six Hours for Nepal Earthquake Relief

Nepal HomePageSlider

UTHSC students from Nepal, left, proudly display their flag along with UTHSC team members at the fund drive.

Donations for Nepal earthquake relief came in a range of sizes today, from coins and $1 bills to checks for more than $100. Together team members at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) raised $3,381.42 in six hours and delivered the funds to the local Red Cross office before the close of business today. [Read more...]

UT Health Science Center Holds Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund Drive April 29

Faculty, staff and students at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) are set to raise funds for Nepal earthquake relief on Wednesday, April 29. UTHSC will collect donations from all members of the Memphis Medical Center community and greater Memphis who wish to donate. From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., UTHSC team members will accept donations of cash and checks in the lobby of the General Education Building, located at 8 S. Dunlap Street (southeast corner of Dunlap and Madison Avenue, across from Health Sciences Park).

On Saturday, April 25, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, a landlocked country in South Asia, suffered a major earthquake, magnitude 7.8, followed rapidly by a series of more than 60 intense aftershocks. With many villages cut off from help and the government’s lack of rescue equipment, access to food, water and aid are severely hindered. The country has been described as “overwhelmed” and “on a war footing” as it tries to help survivors. The death toll, injuries and property damage continue to mount.

“At times like this, we know the UTHSC community is moved to act and to help in any way we can,” said UTHSC Chancellor Steve J. Schwab. “Join us on Wednesday, as we combine our resources to help those in jeopardy from this natural disaster and its aftermath. No donation is too small. Every dollar we raise will make a difference to people in need.”

All proceeds from the fund-raising drive will be donated to the Red Cross. Donations by check should be made payable to the American Red Cross, with Nepal Earthquake Relief written on the memo line. For more information, call (901) 448-1164 or email phouston@uthsc.edu.

Valerie K. Arnold, MD, of UTHSC Inducted into the American College of Psychiatrists

Valerie K. Arnold 2015 American College of Psychiatrists Inductee

Valerie K. Arnold
2015 American College of Psychiatrists Inductee

Valerie K. Arnold MD, FAPA, chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), was inducted into the American College of Psychiatrists during its recent ceremony in Huntington Beach, California. [Read more...]

UTHSC Graduates 698 Health Care Professionals in May

Rosie Ann Riley (left) will receive her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from UT Health Science Center in May, embarking on her third career, while her daughter, Ivy Lace Riley, will graduate Magna Cum Laude in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Jackson State University.

Rosie Ann Riley (left) will receive her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from UTHSC in May, embarking on her third career, while her daughter, Ivy Lace Riley, will graduate Magna Cum Laude in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Jackson State University.

Former Marine, UTHSC Pharmacy Student Earns Doctorate Same Month That Daughter Earns Bachelor’s Degree

At ceremonies on May 15, 22 and 29, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) will graduate a total of 698 health care professionals. [Read more...]

Tennessee Medical Association Honors Two Doctors from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center with Outstanding Physician Awards

UT College of Medicine Alumnus Also Honored With Distinguished Service Award

Dr. James Eason

Dr. James Eason

James Eason, MD, FACS, professor and chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and medical director of the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute, received an Outstanding Physician Award from the Tennessee Medical Association (TMA) at its recent annual convention in Nashville.

The TMA also honored J. Mack Worthington, MD, FAAFP, professor and chair of Family Medicine in the UTHSC College of Medicine, Chattanooga, with an Outstanding Physician Award. The award is given annually by the TMA House of Delegates to member physicians, who through their illustrious medical careers, make an impression among their colleagues, peers and on the profession of medicine. [Read more...]