Category Archives: Biotechnology

Atherosclerosis, insulin resistance and diet

This week’s Engineering Research Center-Bioengineering Joint Seminar, Friday January 31, 11 a.m., McNair Hall, Auditorium:

Topic: Atherosclerosis in Insulin Resistant Pigs Fed a High Fat – High NaCl Diet

Speaker: Timothy C. Nichols, MD, Professor of Medicine, Pathology & Lab Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Nichols is the Director of the Francis Owen Blood Research Laboratory.  The lab focuses on bleeding, thrombosis and atherosclerosis through the study of  genetically determined animal models. He is a board-certified adult cardiologist with experience as an invasive and interventional cardiologist. His research and clinical interests are hemorrhage, hemostasis, thrombosis, and atherosclerosis research in animal models and in clinical medicine.

Abstract: The increasing prevalence of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes is likely to be attended by a significant increase in cardiovascular disease (CVD). Insulin resistance (IR) is defined as a decreased biological response to normal concentrations of serum insulin that over time leads to compensatory hypersinsulinemia.

Insulin resistant and diabetic humans often develop diffuse coronary atherosclerosis involving long arterial segments and including multiple distal lesions.  These patients require intensive medical therapy, and their lesions are less amenable to angioplasty, stent placement, surgical reconstruction, or bypass.  Often disease progression outside of the stented segment of the coronary artery or bypass insertion site limits the duration of benefit in patients with IR and diabetes, and even the most aggressive medical treatment regimens do not lower the risk for CVD to the non-diabetic level.

These findings strongly suggest that available treatments are not addressing key pathophysiological mechanisms that, when activated in these patients, augment the development of atherosclerosis. Thus, we developed a relevant pig model of insulin resistance that also exhibits severe and diffuse coronary and aortic atherosclerosis for future mechanistic-oriented and intervention studies.

Weekly Biology seminar: Nanobioelectronics

This week’s Department of Biology weekly seminar,  Wednesday January 29, noon, Barnes Hall, Room 221:

Topic: Nanobioelectronics: Convergence of Microsystems, Nanotechnology and Bioengineering

Speaker: Dr. Shyam Aravamudhan, Assistant  Professor, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

Abstract: Nanobioelectronics is an emerging field at the intersection of semiconductor nano/microfabrication, biology, and electronics, with the goal of novel devices for disease diagnostics, regenerative medicine, and even for advanced computing. In this talk, Dr. Aravamudhan will present the current work being done in the lab in this emerging field with a particular emphasis on (a) multi-modal diagnostic device-on-chip, (b) microsystem-based regenerative tissue engineering and (c) methods to understand toxicity of engineering nanomaterials.

A&T, NCCU team up to study disease-fighting ginger

Screengrab of Dr. Sang interviewed by UNC-TV

Dr. Shengmin Sang of the Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, N.C. A&T’s research center at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis

The bioactive compounds in ginger pack a punch, two of them, actually. Fresh ginger contains anemia-fighting gingerols. Dry ginger contains shogaols, biocompounds that could be helpful in preventing cancer. Scientists from N.C., A&T and N.C. Central University are working together to determine how the human body can get the most benefit from those compounds.

UNC-TV will air a report on the research tonight (December 18), on “North Carolina Now” at 7:30 p.m. But if you want to watch it now or any time, just click here.

 

‘NanoBio Launchpad’ at Gateway research park

Gateway University Research Park mapThe Gateway University Research Park has created space for use as a business incubator for nanobio start-ups. The “NanoBio Launchpad” is located at the park’s south campus in the building next door to the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN).

The 2,500 square foot space contains three offices, eight workstations and a shared laboratory.

From The Business Journal:

“Ideally, Launchpad occupants will be able to benefit from the close proximity to the JSNN and the new Nanomanufacturing Innovation Consortium, through which private-sector nano organizations gain access to the expensive equipment and brainpower at the school. In the best case scenario for Gateway, companies that get started in the Launchpad will grow into traditional space in the research park’s current and future buildings.”

The full Business Journal article is here.

The Launchpad is in the Research Facility One building. The building also contains the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service and East National Technical Support Center; Advaero Technologies, a N.C. A&T nanotech spin-off company; and Gateway’s administrative offices.

The Gateway research park and JSNN both are operated jointly by N.C. A&T and UNC Greensboro.

New N.C. A&T biosafety guide now available

Cover of N.C. A&T biosafety guide

Newly revised N.C. A&T biosafety guide

The N.C. A&T Office of Research Compliance and Ethics has released a new edition of “Biological and Biohazardous Materials Safety Guide For Researchers,” the university’s comprehensive guide to biosafety.

The guide is available on the university website. It covers roles and responsibilities; biosafety requirements; biosafety levels; accidents, exposures,and spill response; and biohazardous waste pick-up.

Biosafety on campus is a joint responsibility of the university’s Biosafety Officer, Dr. Tonya Hargett, and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, headed by Ms. Louisa Thomas.

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Ag Research Seminars to be held Thursday

Flyer for 2013 Ag Research Seminars

NSF CREST Bioenergy Center Spring Seminar: Thermochemical Processing of Biomass

Book cover: "Thermochemical Processing of Biomass"

Dr. Robert Brown’s book, “Thermochemical Processing of Biomass”

Dr. Robert Brown of Iowa State University will speak on “Thermochemical Processing of Biomass” for the spring seminar presented by the NSF CREST Bioenergy Center.

The seminar will be held on Thursday March 28, 11:00 a.m., in the New Science Building Room 200.

Thermochemical processing uses heat and catalysts to transform biomass to fuels and biobased chemicals. Thermochemical processing includes gasification, pyrolysis, and solvolysis, each of which has its advantages and challenges.  Dr. Brown’s talk will provide an overview of these processing options along with the results of recent studies at Iowa State University.

Dr. Brown is Anson Marston Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Gary and Donna Hoover Chair in Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University.  He is the director of ISU’s Bioeconomy Institute and the Center for Sustainable Environmental Technologies. His research focuses on the thermochemical processing of biomass and fossil fuels into energy, fuels, and chemicals.

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Engineering Distinguished Speaker Series presents bioengineering innovator/entrepreneur Mir Imran

Flyer for talk by Mir Imran

Speakers set for Spring Biology Seminar Series

Researchers from Carnegie-Mellon University, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and N.C. State University highlight the schedule for the Department of Biology’s spring seminars.

The series begins next week on Wednesday, January 30, with Dr. Teresa L. Leavens, Research Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, speaking on the development of physiologically based pharmacokinetic models for drug delivery toward specific diseases.

The weekly seminars are held on Wednesdays in Barnes Hall, Room 224, from noon to 1 p.m.

Click here for the full schedule.

Reminder: Biofuels event at JSNN on Dec. 13