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January 15, 2014

In Brief

Rodent recognized

naked mole rat

Science magazine coverScience magazine recognized the naked mole rat as “Vertebrate of the Year” for 2013. The long-living, subterranean rodent received the honor thanks to the work of University biologists Vera Gorbunova and Andrei Seluanov. Naked mole rats can live as long as 30 years and stay healthy right up to the end—and that includes never getting cancer. In fact, when naked mole rat cells are induced to form a tumor, the rodents stop the threat almost immediately. “The Vertebrate of the Year announcement is ultimately recognition that our work using unconventional animal models is on the same level as other top scientific developments in cancer research,” says Gorbunova. “And it shows that the research dollars invested by the National Institutes of Health is money well spent.”

Recognize a dedicated colleague or innovative team

Nominations for three staff awards are being accepted through Feb. 7. The Witmer Award is intended as a “lifetime achievement” award, recognizing staff members for their accomplishments, leadership, and dedication to the University over the course of their career. The Meliora Award recognizes staff members whose work performance over the past year exemplifies the University’s motto, Meliora. The Staff Community Service Award recognizes outstanding time and talent contributions of nonmanagement staff to the University community (in a capacity other than their usual assignment) or to the benefit of the Rochester community.  Full- and part-time active staff from any division are eligible for the awards. See complete details and nomination materials at www.rochester.edu/working/hr.

Direct questions to the Witmer, Meliora, or Staff Community Service Awards mailboxes on global or call 275-4642 or 276-6817.

Nobel laureate to speak at Medical Center

The School of Medicine and Dentistry welcomes Nobel laureate Thomas Cech, who will deliver two talks in the Class of ’62 Auditorium this month in conjunction with the school’s third annual Medical Scientist Research Symposium. On Thursday, Jan. 23, from 4 to 5 p.m. he will discuss “Long Non-Coding RNAs and Their Protein” at an event sponsored by the Departments of Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, Chemistry, and the Center for RNA Biology. On Friday, Jan. 24, Cech will present “Telomerase in Health and Disease: Genomics and the Future of Medicine” from 1 to 2 p.m.

Rochester named a top school for veterans

The University was named a top military-friendly university in Military Advanced Education’s 2014 Guide to Military-Friendly Colleges and Universities.

Open Letter Books receives $50,000 grant

Open Letter Books—a nonprofit, literary translation press at the University—has been selected to receive an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The grant will help support Open Letter’s efforts to publish and promote translated works by emerging authors from Argentina, Russia, Chile, Israel, Bulgaria, and France.

University honored for green cleaning practices

The University received the Grand Award in the college/university category of the 2013 Green Cleaning Awards, released by American School and University magazine. Both the River Campus and School of Medicine and Dentistry Environmental Services teams were recognized for their healthy and sustainable approaches to cleaning.

Certificate course teaches patient safety

The Division of Healthcare Management in the Department of Public Health Sciences is offering a “mini” certificate course for health care professionals, trainees, and students from medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, hospital administration, and health services research. The free program offers information on how to improve safety as well as the latest thinking and theories regarding patient safety. The registration deadline is Friday, Jan. 24, and sessions will run from Jan. 30 to June 19. Registration materials are available at http://intranet.urmc-sh.rochester.edu/depts/qualitysafety/patientsafetycourse.asp or contact Judy Hughes at 275-7712 or judy_hughes@urmc.rochester.edu for more information.

Marriage and family therapy program applications open

The Family Therapy Training Program is accepting applications for its master’s degree program in marriage and family therapy through May 1. Those wishing to attend the Jan. 31 interview day should have their applications nearly complete by Jan. 15. Contact Phylliss_Paeth@urmc.rochester.edu or CALL 275-0577 for more information.

Mileage reimbursement update

The University is adjusting its mileage reimbursement rates to reflect new IRS rates. Effective Jan. 1, the business mileage reimbursement rate is 56 cents per mile, and the moving mileage reimbursement rate is 23.5 cents per mile.

Get weather notifications, updates from Facilities

Facilities and Services offers University employees the opportunity to receive notifications of hazardous weather conditions, shutdowns, projects, and emergency notifications by email. There are three listservs available: one for Medical Center properties, one for the River Campus, and one for other University properties. Learn more at www.facilities.rochester.edu/notifications.php.

African-American Network changes name

The African-American Network at the University has recently changed its name to Sankofa, which is a word in the Akan language of Ghana that translates into “reach back and get it.” Group members hope to focus on service and activities that uphold the original purpose of the group: “to reach back and bring someone along.” Learn more on Sankofa’s website, www.rochester.edu/diversity/affinity/sankofa or email sankofa@urmc.rochester.edu with any questions.

New fitness classes and programs offered

The URMC Fitness and Wellness Center is offering programs such as Pilates, Zumba, yoga, ballet, Jazzercise, 25-minute workout classes, indoor sports, kids camps, and weight loss programs. Details are available at www.urmc.rochester.edu/fitness-wellness-center/highlights.cfm.

Change to Blue Line bus schedule

The Blue Line has a new schedule, including a new stop at the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Visit www.rochester.edu/parking/options/busesandshuttles.html to view bus schedules. University bus lines are free to University students, faculty, and staff; swipe your ID card when boarding. Call 275-5953 with any questions.

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