Category Archives: Biomedical Research

Undergrad researcher at N.C. A&T lab recognized for work on cancer prevention and wheat bran

N.C. Research Campus logoAn undergraduate research technician at N.C. A&T’s Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies has been named a finalist in the Undergraduate Student Research Symposium sponsored by the American Chemical Society.

The center is located at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. It is operated by the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

Nicholas Stone, a senior biology major at Davidson College, is one of six finalists chosen from an international pool of applicants. He will present his research on “Alkylresorcinols: Purification from wheat bran and quantification in whole grain wheat breads” at the 249th ACS National Meeting in Denver, March 22 to 26.

The symposium is conducted by the Agricultural and Food Chemistry Division of the ACS. It is open to all undergraduates conducting research in agricultural food chemistry.

Stone, who is originally from Winston-Salem, works in the lab of Dr. Shengmin Sang, associate professor and lead scientist for functional foods. Originally a summer intern, Stone quickly progressed from helping with small tasks like washing dishes to becoming a full-fledged member of the research team focusing on the study of alkylresorcinols (AR), a bioactive compound in whole grain wheat and rye.

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Health science researchers: Apply by November 17 for opportunity to receive release time next spring

Writing a quality proposal requires time, energy and thought, three commodities in short supply when you’re teaching a full class load. If you’re an A&T faculty researcher in health science who would benefit from release from one class to prepare a competitive proposal, we have an opportunity for you. And it’s an opportunity with a short turn-around time.

Applications are being taken through Monday November 17 for faculty release time from one class during the Spring 2015 semester to develop a proposal in the health science area in response to a solicitation from an external sponsor. The number of faculty members receiving funding will be limited only by the quality of proposals submitted by the November 17 deadline.

Apply only if you will work on a proposal due in late summer 2015 or early fall 2015. Spring 2015 deadlines are too close for faculty to benefit from this opportunity.

A question-and-answer session will be held on Wednesday November 5, 5:30 p.m., in the Fort IRC, Room 410.

Full details are here.

This is an especially good opportunity to collaborate with researchers at UNC Chapel Hill and RTI International, A&T’s partners in the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS).  A&T faculty members are encouraged, but not required, to consider how their research interests may coincide with the priorities of NC TraCS.

N.C. A&T’s Dr. Muganda to appear on UNC-TV report to speak on triple-negative breast cancer research

Dr. Perpetua Muganda, professor in A&T’s Department of Biology, will be featured in a segment on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Now this evening (October 15).  Muganda and a team of researchers from A&T and UNC-CH are investigating the role of viral factors in the aggressive nature of triple-negative breast cancer. Their work will be included in a special October report on breast cancer.

The program will air on UNC-TV at 7:30 p.m. EDT and on UNC-MX at 11 p.m.

Dr. Muganda’s study is funded by a grant from the NC TraCS Institute at UNC-CH and money from both universities.  A&T and RTI International are partners with UNC-CH on its current Clinical and Translational Sciences Award from the National Institutes of Health.

Seminar: Medical radioisotopes via reversible gels

Headshot of Dr. Bridges

Dr. Novella Bridges

The Chemistry Department invites you to attend a seminar Thursday, October 9, 11 a.m. in the New Science Building, Room 200. The guest speaker is Dr. Novella Bridges of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Abstract

“Radiogels: Reversible Gels for Delivery of Medical Radioisotopes: Using our RadioGel™ technology, it will be possible to successfully deliver a self-contained high-dose of radiation into a cancerous tumor. This technology will enable the maximum dose of radiation to be absorbed and allow a concise and uniform delivery into the targeted cancer tissue. This delivery system will minimize the radiation dose to the patient and other closely associated healthy tissue that might garner side effects.

“A vital component of the radiogel is a new polymer-based material. This material is biodegradable, water-based and thermally reversible stimulus-sensitive gelling copolymer. This copolymer is combined (in solution) with a high-energy, beta-particle-emitting radioisotope (Yttrium-90) in the form of a colloid. It is the colloid that is trapped within the solidified matrix of the gel that produces the high-dose of radiation.

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N.C. A&T, Xemerge launch spin-off peanut company; 1st hypoallergenic peanuts ready for food industry

Group shot of A&T and Alrgn executives

The team bringing safer peanuts to the world (from left): Wayne Szafranski, A&T director of economic outreach; Barry Burks, vice chancellor for research; Louis Judge, director of technology transfer; Jianmei Yu, research scientist; Johnny Rodrigues, Alrgn Bio founder; and Ann Russell, Alrgn director of U.S. operations.

The world’s first commercially available hypoallergenic peanuts have officially emerged from the laboratory.

Alrgn Bio, exclusive licensee of the hypoallergenic process patented by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, has opened an office in the Gateway University Research Park.  Batches of peanuts are available to the food industry for evaluation, Alrgn announced today.

“We have received tremendous interest since we announced in June that the technology is available,” said Johnny Rodrigues, Alrgn founder.

“We will work with food processors and manufacturers to establish this process as the industry standard for peanuts and peanut-derived ingredients. We’ll work together to deliver safer peanut products to consumers as quickly as possible.”

Alrgn made the announcement Thursday at its demonstration facility at the Gateway University Research Park in Greensboro, North Carolina. Alrgn is a spin-off of N.C. A&T and Xemerge, the North Carolina- and Toronto-based technology development company that originally licensed the A&T peanut technology.

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Fall seminar series begin in Biology, Engineering with microbial evolvability and pectus excavatum

UPDATE: New venue for this week’s ERC seminar and new set of locations for the seminars this semester.

Two weekly seminar series will begin this week for the fall semester. The Biology seminar series is held on Wednesdays at noon in Barnes Hall Room 224.  The Engineering Research Center seminars are held on Friday, 11 a.m. Check weekly for location, which alternates among three locations in McNair (Room 128; Room LR4, an A/V- and distance learning-enabled classroom, and the Auditorium).

Biology: Wednesday, August 27, Noon

Biology seminar flyer

From Dr. Barrick’s bio page:

“We use experiments with microorganisms, nucleic acids, and digital organisms to study evolution in action with the ultimate goal of understanding and harnessing evolution as a creative force. To ask how different types of mutations impact evolutionary potential, we are using deep sequencing to monitor the competitive dynamics of spontaneous beneficial mutations in these populations and also engineering specific genomic changes. Systems biology and biochemistry approaches are used to link the effects of mutations on cell physiology to how they affect competitive fitness at the organism level, and bioinformatics and comparative genomics are used to investigate whether similar mutational pathways are important in nature. Other research interests include investigating the functions of cryptic genomic elements and using mark-recapture techniques on microbial genomes to watch them as they evolve in the context of complex wild and pathogenic communities.”

Engineering Research Center: Friday, August 29, 11 a.m.

Flyer for ERC seminar, August 29, 2014
Introduction:

Pectus excavatum (PE) is the most common chest wall deformity. In PE patients, the middle lower portion of the sternum is depressed producing concavity of the anterior part of the chest wall. Correction is accomplished by using minimally invasive technique of chest remodeling developed by Dr. Donald Nuss in 1987. A curved metal bar is implanted to lift the sternum to its normal position. Upward force from the bar is opposed by downward sternal force, partially flattening the bar.  The bar may be removed 1-2 years later without PE recurrence provided that sternal force has become negligible. There is currently no method available for the in vivo measurement of sternal force. This project sought a noninvasive assay of sternal force using bar end-to-end distance.

Welcome back! Here’s a summer news recap: Hypoallergenic peanuts, EPICS, NC TraCS & more

To all who were gone over the summer, welcome back. Here’s a rundown of the top research-related news at A&T since May:

Faculty members, department chairs, and deans: We want to write about your research, scholarly and creative activity!  Let us know about it; click here for email.