Huntington, WV, United States
Huntington, WV, United States

Marshall University is a coeducational public research university in Huntington, West Virginia, United States founded in 1837, and named after John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the United States.The university is currently composed of nine undergraduate colleges: College of Business , College of Education and Professional Development , College of Arts and Media , College of Health Professions , Honors College, College of Information Technology and Engineering , College of Liberal Arts , College of Science , and University College ; three graduate colleges, the general Graduate College, the School of Pharmacy, and the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, a regional center for cancer research which has a national reputation for its programs in rural healthcare delivery. The forensic science graduate program is one of nearly twenty post-graduate-level academic programs in the United States accredited by the American Academy of Forensic science. The University's digital forensics program is the first program in the world to receive accreditation in digital forensics from the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission . The College of Business has achieved AACSB accreditation.Marshall University has a non-residential branch campus, focused on graduate education, in South Charleston, the Marshall University - South Charleston Campus, which also offers classes throughout the southern half of the state, including at the Erma Byrd Higher Education Center in Beckley. It also offers undergraduate courses, under three "centers", the Southern Mountain Center, operating on the campuses of the Southern West Virginia Community College in Logan and Williamson and at the YMCA in Gilbert; the Mid-Ohio Valley Center in Point Pleasant and the Teays Valley Center in Hurricane. Marshall University also operates the Robert C. Byrd Institute, with operations on both the Huntington and South Charleston campuses, as well as in Fairmont, West Virginia, and Rocket Center, West Virginia. The goal of the Institute is the transfer of technology from the academic departments to private industry to support job development in the region. Wikipedia.

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Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: STTR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 465.95K | Year: 2013

Beginning from an advanced stage of development, this Phase II STTR project will produce designs and prototypes for a ricin-specific artificial antibody constructed using DNA origami. These novel constructs will provide both a capture function (mimicking the properties of an antibody) and intrinsic optical reporting functionality, which marks a significant improvement over current antibody capability. Accordingly, they will prove a compelling substitute for antibodies in a wide variety of applications, beginning with ELISA-like laboratory tests, evolving to rapid, fieldable Lateral Flow Immunoassay tests for threat sensing, and will be generalizable to all current antibody applications. Phase II includes two experimental thrusts. The first involves the optimization of the synthetic constructs designed in Phase I to capture and report optically the threat agent ricin. The second involves manufacturability, a focus on issues which must be surmounted for DNA-based systems to become large-scale commodities and system components. These efforts will lead to enhancements to Parabon"s existing origami design automation software, specifically for the creation of artificial antibodies. Such enhancements are essential for computing optimal placement of capture and response elements, and displaying surface charge and relative hydrophobicity profiles.

Nalabotu S.K.,Marshall University
International journal of nanomedicine | Year: 2011

Cerium oxide (CeO(2)) nanoparticles have been posited to have both beneficial and toxic effects on biological systems. Herein, we examine if a single intratracheal instillation of CeO(2) nanoparticles is associated with systemic toxicity in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Compared with control animals, CeO(2) nanoparticle exposure was associated with increased liver ceria levels, elevations in serum alanine transaminase levels, reduced albumin levels, a diminished sodium-potassium ratio, and decreased serum triglyceride levels (P < 0.05). Consistent with these data, rats exposed to CeO(2) nanoparticles also exhibited reductions in liver weight (P < 0.05) and dose-dependent hydropic degeneration, hepatocyte enlargement, sinusoidal dilatation, and accumulation of granular material. No histopathological alterations were observed in the kidney, spleen, and heart. Analysis of serum biomarkers suggested an elevation of acute phase reactants and markers of hepatocyte injury in the rats exposed to CeO(2) nanoparticles. Taken together, these data suggest that intratracheal instillation of CeO(2) nanoparticles can result in liver damage.

T helper type 2 (Th2) cells are critical to host defence against helminth infection and the pathogenesis of allergic diseases. The differentiation of Th2 cells from naive CD4 T cells is controlled by intricate transcriptional mechanisms. At the precursor stage of naive CD4 T cells, transcriptional mechanisms maintain the potential and in the meantime prevent spontaneous differentiation to Th2 fate. In addition, intrachromosomal interactions important for co-ordinated expression of Th2 cytokines pre-exist in naive CD4 T cells. Upon T-cell receptor (TCR) engagement, naive CD4 T cells are induced by polarizing signals of the interleukin-4/Stat6 and Jagged/Notch pathways to up-regulate the expression of GATA-3. Once up-regulated, GATA-3 drives Th2 and suppresses Th1 differentiation in a cell autonomous fashion. In this stage of differentiation, the Th2 cytokine locus, as well as the interferon-γ locus, undergoes chromatin remodelling and epigenetic modifications that contribute to the somatic memory of Th2 cytokine gene expression pattern. Once differentiated, Th2 effector cells promptly produce Th2 cytokines upon TCR stimulation, which is regulated by concerted actions of GATA-3, TCR signalling, enhancers and the Th2 locus control region. This review provides a detailed account of the transcriptional regulatory events at these different stages of Th2 differentiation. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Hardman W.E.,Marshall University
Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2014

Cancer may not be completely the result of novel or inherited genetic mutations but may in fact be a largely preventable disease. Researchers have identified biochemicals, including n-3 (ω-3) fatty acids, tocopherols, β-sitosterol, and pedunculagin, that are found in walnuts and that have cancer-prevention properties. Mouse studies in which walnuts were added to the diet have shown the following compared with the control diet: 1) the walnut-containing diet inhibited the growth rate of human breast cancers implanted in nudemice by ̃80%; 2) the walnut-containing diet reduced the number of mammary gland tumors by ̃60% in a transgenicmousemodel; 3) the reduction in mammary gland tumors was greater with whole walnuts than with a diet containing the same amount of n-3 fatty acids, supporting the idea that multiple components in walnuts additively or synergistically contribute to cancer suppression; and 4) walnuts slowed the growth of prostate, colon, and renal cancers by antiproliferative and antiangiogenic mechanisms. Cell studies have aided in the identification of the active components in walnuts and of their mechanisms of action. This review summarizes these studies and presents the notion that walnuts may be included as a cancer-preventive choice in a healthy diet. © 2014 American Society for Nutrition.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 22.45K | Year: 2015

Many underrepresented minorities attend two year technical and community colleges (2YCs) or minority-serving institutions (MSIs) as undergraduates; but these institutions commonly lack adequate geoscience programs. The purpose of this project is to identify strategies that will help 2YC and MSI institutions to better prepare underrepresented students for geoscience careers. This project brings together partner institutions, individual faculty, educational resource providers, educational researchers, and geoscience employers in a series of focused workshops to determine the systems that would be ideal for increasing geoscience capacity at the targeted institutions. This project directly involves 20 2YC/MSI institutional partners and faculty and 30 additional stakeholders. The main project outcome is a series of reports and related web-based resources for the general geoscience education community outlining challenges and opportunities for improving and expanding geoscience teaching at 2YCs and MSIs.

Lack of access to undergraduate opportunities in two year colleges (2YCs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) remains a major barrier to improving the preparation and diversity of the geoscience workforce. The specific goals of this project are to (1) identify and clarify barriers and opportunities for better use of existing instructional resources that engage underrepresented students in the geosciences at 2YCs/MSIs and (2) explore with stakeholders what an ideal model of resources, professional development, and ongoing support for faculty and institutions might look like. These goals are addressed through holding a series of focused stakeholder needs assessments workshops. The needs assessments workshops will yield information about barriers and opportunities by bringing together five key stakeholder groups including (1) instructional faculty at 2YCs and MSIs, (2) educational resource providers, (3) academic chairs and administrators, (4) discipline-based geoscience education researchers, and (5) geoscience workforce employers. Reports and related web-based resources generated during each of these workshops will highlight sustainable institutional infrastructure that will increase access and usability of existing educational resources. Evaluation and project team activities will synthesize findings across the groups to generate knowledge and align future proposals with stakeholder needs. This project focuses activities at the institution and system level, directly involving 20 2YC/MSI institutional partners and faculty, and 30 other individuals from additional stakeholder groups. By working at the system level, it will be possible to ensure that not only individual courses but also pathways to the geosciences are created. The external evaluation will (1) provide an independent, objective view as to how well the project management is functioning as a team, (2) evaluate the extent to which the needs assessment workshops are meeting the project goals, and (3) review stakeholder reports and the project teams final report for accuracy and completeness. The evaluator will be a participant observer in all project team activities and will collect qualitative data from the management team after project management activities via short questionnaires. The evaluator will have access (via the SERC content management system) to all documents and records produced by the management board making it possible to track core project activities and evaluate how the team is progressing. Feedback will be provided at least quarterly to inform the PIs as to where improvements can be made. To complete the second task, the external evaluator will develop and administer a questionnaire about participant satisfaction with the workshops.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: EXP PROG TO STIM COMP RES | Award Amount: 508.71K | Year: 2016

Proposal: 1553667 -

PI: Spitzer, Nadia Ph.D.

Consumers today are in contact with hundreds of products that boast antimicrobial properties because they contain manufactured silver nanoparticles. These products include wound dressings, food containers, toys, toothbrushes, clothing, cosmetics, and household appliances. The silver nanoparticles may be shed from these products resulting in exposure. The antibacterial properties of silver have been recognized since before modern medicine; however, the specific shape and size of silver nanoparticles make them act differently than larger forms of silver. Specifically, they may cross barriers that other forms of silver cannot, following repeated exposures. This project examines the responses of brain cells to low-levels of silver nanoparticles such as those that might result from daily exposure. The PI use a special type of brain cell, adult neural cells. The results of this research will improve our understanding of the impact of widespread incorporation of silver nanoparticles in consumer products. It will also contribute to regulatory policies.

The proposed work will investigate the cellular and molecular effects of chronic low-level exposures to silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on neural physiology and development. It utilizes adult neural cells as a model to test the effects of low levels of AgNPs on neural cell physiology in identified cells in vitro and in vivo. In vitro studies
will identify the intracellular signaling pathways targeted by AgNP exposure to mediate deficits
in cytoskeletal structure and function. This will be assessed by combining pharmacology with immunocytochemistry, immunoblot, and time-lapse microscopy of differentiating adult neural cells in culture. The passive and active membrane properties of living cells exposed to low-level AgNPs will be measured by patch clamp electrophysiology to quantify effects on cell physiology during differentiation. Building on in vitro findings, neurogenesis in the brain after chronic, sub-lethal oral AgNP exposure will be investigated using rats. This work represents a critical step towards understanding the cellular targets of sub-lethal AgNPs on neural cells with respect to the physiological mechanisms operating in individual cells. The proposed work includes a significant public education effort that involves undergraduate students in bringing science to elementary schools throughout rural West Virginia. Children will learn scientific concepts in fun interactive ways and meet accessible role models for choosing careers in science or technology.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Digitization | Award Amount: 83.05K | Year: 2014

The southeastern USA is botanically rich, with areas of high global biodiversity in both the Appalachians and the coastal plain. Millions of plant specimens have been collected from this region over the past four centuries, and these specimens and the information they contain currently reside in museums, or herbaria, at universities across the area. Scientists study these specimens intently; however, it is difficult to retrieve information at broad geographic and taxonomic scales without pipelines to move the information electronically from the specimen to an accessible pool of data. SERNEC, or the SouthEast Regional Network of Expertise and Collections, is a large regional network of botanical experts and collections that has, through an NSF-sponsored research coordination network (RCN) project, developed critical skills in biodiversity informatics. The current project will allow the SERNEC group to make data available for over 3 million specimens using the latest photography and information capture tools and to engage citizen scientists and students to assist in transcribing and georeferencing this large dataset. The research generated through this project can help regional planners, land managers and communities to manage their natural resources in our ever-changing environment.

The interaction of scientists, citizen scientists, and students will provide a synergy to build a research tool of an unparalleled scale and scope. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop an imaged and databased set of over 3 million specimens from over 100 herbaria in one of the most floristically diverse regions in North America and a global hotspot of plant diversity. This will represent a valuable data source for research on the response of vegetation to climate change, human development, and rapid migrations of introduced species. This region has been a biodiversity hotspot for 100 million years and this project should encourage research on changes over time to develop better predictive models as areas of biodiversity change. By partnering with Symbiota, Notes from Nature, GEOLocate, Adler Planetarium, iPlant/TACC, and Specify, the project will develop ways to best integrate various efforts for data accessibility. This award is made as part of the National Resource for Digitization of Biological Collections through the Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program, and all data resulting from this award will be available through the national resource (

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Campus Cyberinfrastrc (CC-NIE) | Award Amount: 499.86K | Year: 2015

Marshall University is improving and expanding its campus research network to offer high-performance end-to-end network connectivity between research facilities by implementing: a) Science DMZ to provide a dedicated network with configuration and policies optimized for scientific applications. b) a dedicated data transfer node to offer a high-speed storage server with adequate data store to host large data sets and 10G transfer rate on the Science DMZ and c) high performance network improvement supporting 10-40 Gb/s connectivity between research facilities, laboratories and the campus core network/data center. The end-to-end network performance measurement is based on the perfSONAR framework allowing constant monitoring of performance and latency.

The improved network infrastructures provides support to advanced data-intensive scientific research by enhancing data transfer from the end points at the researcher locations to the main campus research facilities including the Robert C Byrd Biotechnology Science Center, Genomics & Bioinformatics Core Facility (GABC), Arthur Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex, Visualization Lab, and Big Green XSEDE-compatible High Performance Computing cluster in University data center and the backup facility.

The new network capabilities enable faster data transfer for intra-campus connectivity and remove the bottleneck in external connectivity to foster collaboration with other institutions over the Internet2 national network. The project aligns with the institutions cyberinfrastructure plan in achieving the goal of creating a scalable network design that supports current and future science requirements to advance scientific research.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING | Award Amount: 349.68K | Year: 2015

PI: Price, Elmer M.
Proposal Number: 1511928

Recent evidence indicates that there exist locations in the adult brain that constantly generate new cells that migrate into specific regions involved in olfaction, memory and learning. This project aims to provide new information regarding the mechanisms that are responsible for this important and complex process. The PI also plans to use this knowledge to bioengineer structures which, when implanted into brain, will form new migratory paths that will deliberately target new neurons into specific regions of the brain. When delivered to areas impacted by injury or disease, these new neurons are anticipated to restore lost function.

During adult neurogenesis, a large number of molecules participate in complex signaling, which requires precise spatial and temporal control. Although several of these neurotrophic ligands and cognate receptors have been identified, many questions remain regarding the molecular mechanisms by which these components function. The goals of this project are to characterize the mechanism by which specific factors mediate neurogenesis using an in vitro system and then use this information to bioengineer cylindrical fibrin-based implants which will generate new neural migratory paths in vivo. The project involves in vitro and complementary in vivo aims. The premise of the in vitro studies is that neural stem cells receive neurotrophic signals in a particular order and one role of each ligand is to induce the expression of the receptor for the next ligand. The in vivo experiments will exploit novel, readily bioengineered fibrin cylinders that will be implanted into the brain in order to recruit endogenous neural progenitor cells from their usual niche and target them into non-neurogenic regions. The project will use time-lapse microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, immunochemistry, and animal behavioral studies to accomplish the aims. Undergraduate researchers will participate in this research through a program dubbed FIRE (Full Immersion Research Experience), where the students will be involved in all aspects of a research program, including literature evaluation, grant writing, technical and presentation skill development, and preparation for graduate school application.

Marshall University | Date: 2013-03-19

Methods for selecting chemotherapeutic agents for treating a cancer are provided that include the steps of providing a cancer cell sample having a population of bulk cancer cells and a population of cancer stem-like cells, culturing a first portion of the cancer cell sample in a hydrodynamic focusing bioreactor under microgravity conditions and for a period of time to selectively enhance the population of cancer stem-like cells and selectively kill the population of bulk cancer cells, contacting the cancer stem-like cells with one or more chemotherapeutic agents, and then selecting the one or more chemotherapeutic agents for treating the cancer if there is an increase in an amount of cytotoxicity. Methods for treating a cancer are also provided in which the identified chemotherapeutic agents are administered to a subject. Further provided are methods for identifying a test compound useful for treating a cancer.

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