Research Connections Home  »  Past Issues

research connections 0922

 Research Connections :: University of Rochester

Email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
Main Image

Featured speakers for the 2017-18 Phelps Colloquium series are, left to right, top to bottom: Nancy Bennett, professor of medicine and public health sciences, director of the Center for Community Health, and co-director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute; Carmala Garzione, the Helen F. and Fred H. Gowen Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences; Susan Hetherington, associate professor of pediatrics and director of the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities; Narayana Kocherlakota, the Lionel W. McKenzie Professor of Economics; LaRon Nelson, assistant professor and Dean’s Endowed Fellow in Health Disparities at the School of Nursing; and Oliver Schneller, professor of composition and director of the Eastman Audio Research Studio (EARS) at the Eastman School of Music.

Phelps Colloquium: 'the best, most interesting, and engaging talks'

The Phelps Colloquium was initiated in April 2004 as “Lunch with the Provost” by former provost Chuck Phelps, who sought to create a relaxed setting in which faculty and academic leaders from across the University could learn about interesting research and scholarship and interact with colleagues outside their normal spheres.

Phelps’ idea was that this cross-campus mingling would engender more multi-disciplinary collaborations.

In keeping with Phelps’ vision, this year’s lineup of speakers spans disciplines as diverse as public health, earth and environmental sciences, economics, and music composition.

  • October 5: LaRon Nelson, assistant professor and Dean’s Endowed Fellow in Health Disparities at the School of Nursing. “Sharing is Caring: Harnessing Systems Integration Thinking to End the HIV Epidemic.” 4 to 5:30 p.m., Evarts Lounge, Helen Wood Hall. School of Nursing.
  • November 8: Oliver Schneller, professor of composition and director of the Eastman Audio Research Studio (EARS) at the Eastman School of Music. “Figures and Forms: Thoughts on the ‘Inside’ and the ‘Outside’ of Music.” 4 to 5:30 p.m. Max of Eastman Place.
  • December 7: Susan Hetherington, associate professor of pediatrics and director of the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities. “Including Disability in the Diversity Conversation.” 4 to 5:30 p.m. Evarts Lounge, Helen Wood Hall. School of Nursing.
  • February 8: Carmala Garzione, the Helen F. and Fred H. Gowen Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences. “Deserts, Dust, and Iron Fertilization of the North Pacific Ocean: Cause or Consequence of Global Cooling?” 4 to 5:30 p.m. Feldman Ballroom, Douglass Commons.
  • March 1: Narayana Kocherlakota, the Lionel W. McKenzie Professor of Economics. “Doing Better Next Time: Policy Lessons from the Great Recession and Not-So-Great-Recovery.” 4 to 5:30 p.m. Location TBD.
  • April 12: Nancy Bennett, professor of medicine and public health sciences, director of the Center for Community Health, and co-director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. “The American Health Paradox: What’s Missing?” 4 to 5:30 p.m. Location TBD.

The Phelps Colloquium has developed a reputation for fascinating topics and high quality speakers that one faculty member recently called “routinely the best, most interesting, and engaging talks I go to.”

Click here to register and see for yourself.


App could provide easy-to-use, early detection for afib

You can’t see it with the naked eye, but the color of our skin fluctuates with every heartbeat.

A research team at the Medical Center and RIT has developed a technology that uses the camera in tablets to capture changes in heartbeat by measuring subtle variations in skin tone.

Now, with a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, the team will enroll up to 300 people at risk for afib to test a new tablet-based video monitoring technology. Their goal is to create an inexpensive, easy-to-use detection system that can alert health care providers of the onset of afib, allowing for early treatment.

Afib is an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke and heart failure. Because the likelihood of afib increases with age and people are living longer today, experts predict the number of cases will rise dramatically over the next several years. Current estimates suggest it affects more than 3 million Americans.

The researchers will test the technology on individuals with afib who undergo electrical cardioversion or ablation – procedures that restore a normal heartbeat. Even after treatment, 20 to 30 percent of patients will have a recurrence of afib. Following their procedures, individuals will be sent home with a tablet that will automatically record facial videos when they read emails, browse the internet, or watch videos.

Participants will also wear an ECG patch – the gold standard for monitoring afib. Researchers will compare data from the patch and the tablet to determine how accurate the tablet technology is in detecting afib.

“Our technology is unique because it requires no action on the part of the user aside from what they normally do – go on a tablet to shop, look at pictures, read articles, or whatever they like,” said Jean-Phillippe Couderc, leader of the study and associate professor of cardiology in the Heart Research Follow-up Program. “Ultimately, we’d like to develop an app. If you are at risk for afib, you install it on your tablet or phone and don’t think about it anymore.”

The video monitoring technology was developed in the laboratory of Gill Tsouri, associate professor in the Department of Electrical & Microelectronic Engineering at RIT. Tsouri and Couderc acknowledge that their technology may not be superior to the ECG patch, but it will be much cheaper, since it uses the standard web camera found in all phones and tablets and doesn’t require additional hardware or sensors.

Burr W. Hall, associate professor of cardiology and a member of the UR Medicine Heart & Vascular team, will enroll patients in the study. “With this technology we could screen a large number of people, identify affected patients, and prescribe blood thinners to minimize the risk of stroke. This could have huge benefits for public health,” he says.

Read more here.


Lymphoma: Targeting treatment for special populations

(Over the last 20 years, researchers have been uncovering the complexity of lymphoma and the challenges it presents for treatment. The lymphoma program at Wilmot Cancer Institute is helping lead the search for answers. This installment is from a story at the institute’s Dialogue Blog.)

Clinical trials to test new therapies are a priority at Wilmot Cancer Institute. While Wilmot participates in many national studies, the lymphoma team is also developing its own trials.

For example, Patrick Reagan, assistant professor of hematology/oncology, is working with Wilmot’s Geriatric Oncology team to study a modified version of the standard treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in older adults. While many DLBCL patients are cured using the standard treatment — a chemotherapy regimen known as R-CHOP — a subset will not respond at all.

“We’re trying to develop a targeted approach in a group, where if the disease comes back, we have few effective treatment options,” Reagan says.

The goal of Reagan’s study is to improve older adults’ response to chemotherapy without adding to the side effects. His trial will incorporate the drug brentuximab vedotin, which targets a protein called CD30 that is present in about a quarter of large-cell lymphomas, into the standard therapy.

As part of the study, he will also be evaluating the impact on activities of daily living, as well as any changes in cognition, among other factors. In addition, his team is looking at the changes in the immune system that occur with age and the influence it has on B and T cells, which are involved in lymphoma.

“This is a great area for research because this is a common disease and there is a lot of room for improvement,” Reagan says.


Introducing a new faculty member

Andrew Cashner has joined the Department of Music as an assistant professor. He  received his PhD in the history and theory of music from the University of Chicago in 2015 with a dissertation on theological aspects of devotional music in 17th-century Mexico and Spain. His book in progress, Faith, Hearing, and the Power of Music in Devotional Music of the Spanish Empire, investigates how Hispanic Catholics expressed and enacted their beliefs about musical hearing through the medium of music itself. Other projects explore Spanish colonial representations of racial differences and intercultural encounter through music across the early modern world. Broader interests include Protestant and evangelical congregational song; stylistic allusion and homage; hermeneutics and ritual theory; canon formation; and music of Mozart, Brahms, Britten, and Messiaen. He also studied piano at the New England Conservatory and previously taught at the University of Southern California. He is an active performer on piano, organ, and harpsichord, as well as a composer and improviser.


Third annual Immune Imaging Symposium is November 4

The newest developments in understanding immune function through visualizing immunity “in action” will be discussed at a symposium hosted by the Program for Advanced Immune Bioimaging from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. November 4 at the Saunders Research Building.

The goal of the symposium is to foster lively scientific discussion, exchange of ideas, and future collaborations. The program includes a distinguished group of international speakers, an interactive poster session, and opportunities for oral presentations from students and postdoctoral fellows.

The poster session for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will focus on all aspects of immunity that address spatial localization, homing, cell-cell interactions, tissue structure, or host-pathogen interactions. New developments in tissue or immune visualization are encouraged at all levels including, but not limited to, multiphoton microscopy, confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, optogenetics, and novel computational approaches to analysis of imaging data.

Monetary awards will be presented at the end of the symposium for the best poster presentations. The deadline to submit abstracts is October 16, 2017. Submit your abstracts here.

Lunch and refreshments will be served. For more information, click here. Registration is free. But all those wanting to participate must register online.


Wilmot Cancer Institute Scientific Symposium is November 9

The annual Wilmot Cancer Institute Scientific Symposium, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., November 9 at the Class of ’62 Auditorium and Flaum Atrium, brings together scientists working in all areas of cancer research to hear oral presentations and attend a poster session.

The poster presentation, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Flaum Atrium, will focus on the following themes:

  • Molecular and cell biology
  • Blood cancers/blood/tumor microenvironment/immunotherapy
  • Solid tumor biology and therapy
  • Cancer control/epidemiology

$100 will be awarded to the best poster in each of the categories. In addition, a single grand prize of $500 will be awarded from the group of winners as a stipend to attend and present at a national/international scientific conference. The deadline for poster registration submission is Wednesday, November 1, 2017.

For questions about the symposium, the poster presentation, or to obtain a poster registration form, contact Chelsea Costanzo at chelsea_costanzo@urmc.rochester.edu or at 273-1447.


Annual HIV/AIDS symposium is December 1

Michael Blank, professor of psychology in psychiatry, HIV Prevention Research Division at the University of Pennsylvania, and Kamel Khalili, professor and chair, Department of Neuroscience and director, Center for Neurovirology at Temple University, will be keynote speakers at the Center for AIDS Research ninth annual HIV/AIDS Scientific Symposium.

The symposium will be held on Thursday, December 1, in recognition of World AIDS Day with keynote addresses at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Class of ’62 Auditorium, and a poster session from 11 am to 12:30 pm in Flaum Atrium.  Contact Laura Enders for more information about World AIDS Day events.


An overview of the final Common Rule revisions

Emily Flagg, senior regulatory specialist in the Research Subjects Review Board, will review the much anticipated changes to the Office for Human Research Protections Common Rule (45 CFR 46) from noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, September 27, at Helen Wood Hall, 1W-304.

The changes will become effective on January 19, 2018.  The focus will be on:

  • changes to the consent form requirements including the revised template,
  • broad consent,
  • exemptions,
  • revised requirements for continuing review.

The implementation plan will also be briefly reviewed.

Lunch will be provided. Bring your own beverage.


PhD dissertation defense

Eric Comeau, Biomedical Engineering, “Ultrasound Standing Wave Field Technology for Cell Patterning and Microvessel Network Formation In Vitro and In Situ.” 2 p.m. September 25, 2017. 1400 Wegmans Hall. Advisors: Diane Dalecki and Denise Hocking.


Mark your calendar

Sept. 25: Conference: The Road from Nanomedicine to Precision Medicine. Networking opportunities for physicians, scientists, engineers, lawyers, business professionals, technology transfer specialists, policy makers and venture capitalists from government, academia, and industry. Albany College of Pharmacy. Free. No registration. The University’s UNYTE Translational Research Network is partnering with Albany to produce the event. Click here for more information

Sept. 25: 5 p.m. deadline to submit initial abstracts for Novel Biostatistical and Epidemiologic Methods awards from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Click here to view the RFA.

Sept. 25 to 29: Early Stage Faculty Boot Camp to help senior instructors and assistant professors identify the skills they need for successful career advancement. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the CTSI website for more details.

Sept. 27: Science, Technology, and Culture book club discusses Chemistry, by Weike Wang. Featuring Hochang (Ben) Lee, Department of Psychiatry Chair. 5 to 6 p.m. Humanities Center lobby (Rush Rhees Library). Email Emma_Grygotis@urmc.rochester.edu for more information.

Oct. 1: Deadline for applications for AS&E PumpPrimer II awards to stimulate extramural funding for projects otherwise difficult to launch. Click here for more information.

October 5: Sharing is Caring: Harnessing Systems Integration Thinking to End the HIV Epidemic.” LaRon Nelson, assistant professor and Dean’s Endowed Fellow in Health Disparities at the School of Nursing. Phelps Colloquium series. 4 to 5:30 p.m., Evarts Lounge, Helen Wood Hall. School of Nursing. Click here to register

Oct. 9: 5 p.m. deadline to apply to Center for AIDS Research for pilot funding. Click here to find full pilot announcement.

Oct. 18: Science, Technology, and Culture book club discusses A Crack in Creation, by Jennifer Doudna. 5 to 6 p.m. Humanities Center lobby (Rush Rhees Library). Email Emma_Grygotis@urmc.rochester.edu for more information.

Oct. 23: 5 p.m. deadline to apply to Center for AIDS Research for joint funding through SMD, SON and Program of Excellence. Click here to find full pilot announcement.

Nov. 4: Immune Imaging Symposium hosted by the Program for Advanced Immune Bioimaging.  International speakers, poster session, and oral presentations from students and postdoctoral fellows. 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Saunders Research Building. Submit poster abstracts here by October 16. Lunch and refreshments will be served. For more information, click here. Registration is free.

Nov. 8: Science, Technology, and Culture book club discusses The Periodic Table, by Primo Levi. 5 to 6 p.m. Humanities Center lobby (Rush Rhees Library). Email Emma_Grygotis@urmc.rochester.edu for more information.

November 8: “Figures and Forms: Thoughts on the ‘Inside’ and the ‘Outside’ of Music.” Oliver Schneller, professor of composition and director of the Eastman Audio Research Studio (EARS) at the Eastman School of Music.  Phelps Colloquium. 4 to 5:30 p.m. Max of Eastman Place. Click here to register.

Nov. 9: Wilmot Cancer Institute Scientific Symposium. Oral presentations and poster session.  9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Class of ’62 Auditorium and Flaum Atrium, Prizes for best posters. Deadline for poster registration submission is November 1. For questions about the symposium, the poster presentation, or to obtain a poster registration form, contact Chelsea Costanzo at chelsea_costanzo@urmc.rochester.edu or at 273-1447.

Nov. 13: Initial abstracts due for Incubator Awards from the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s Scientific Advisory Committee. Find more details and application instructions online.

Dec. 1: Center for AIDS Research ninth annual HIV/AID Scientific Symposium. Keynote speakers and poster session. Click here for more information. Contact Laura Enders for more information about World AIDS Day events.

Dec. 6: Science, Technology, and Culture book club discusses Weapons of Math Destruction, by Cathy O’Neil. 5 to 6 p.m. Humanities Center lobby (Rush Rhees Library). Email Emma_Grygotis@urmc.rochester.edu for more information.

December 7: “Including Disability in the Diversity Conversation.” Susan Hetherington, associate professor of pediatrics and director of the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities.  Phelps Colloquium. 4 to 5:30 p.m. Evarts Lounge, Helen Wood Hall. School of Nursing. Click here to register.



Please send suggestions and comments to Bob Marcotte. You can see back issues of Research Connections, an index of people and departments linked to those issues, and a chronological listing of PhD dissertation defenses since April 2014, by discipline.



Copyright 2013, All rights reserved.
Rochester Connections is a weekly e-newsletter all faculty, scientists, post docs and graduate students engaged in research at the University of Rochester. You are receiving this e-newsletter because you are a member of the Rochester community with an interest in research topics.