News Article | January 21, 2017
With latest developments and its cost becoming more reasonable through the years, genome sequencing promises to take newborn screening to a whole new level. Newborn screening is a mandatory medical procedure done on babies within 72 hours after delivery. It includes a newborn physical examination, where eyes are checked for cataract, heart is checked for irregular heart beat or "murmurs," and in boys, if testicles are in the right place. A newborn screening blood spot or heel prick test, where a nurse or phlebotomist will draw blood sample from the baby's heel and send it to a laboratory, is needed to identify if he's at risk for any of the nine rare diseases. A newborn hearing screening through an automated otoacoustic emission (AOAE) test will also be performed to check for possible hearing loss. It is highly recommended that a baby takes a hearing test within the first four to five weeks up to three months of age. Newborn screening has been proven effective at identifying and preventing serious congenital and genetic conditions. These include metabolic disorders (phenylketonuria or PKU), endocrine disorders (congenital hypothyroidism and congenital adrenal hyperplasia), hemoglobin disorders (sickle cell anemia), and cystic fibrosis. The Newborn Sequencing in Genomic Medicine and Public Health (NSIGHT) program, a consortium of several grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is looking into the potential implications of genome sequencing techniques for newborn screening in diagnostic, preventative, and predictive clinical scenarios. "Genome sequencing is a new and still enormously complex process, and oftentimes the results have uncertain implications. These studies represent some of the first organized approaches to developing the best practices for determining the right information and best ways to return it to parents and their babies' doctors," Alan Beggs, PhD, of the Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research at Boston Children's Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School said. With the ability to explore the entire genome of a newborn baby, parents will now have the opportunity to know how their child's health will fare throughout his life. But do they really want to know? According to Jonathan Berg, MD, PhD, associate professor of genetics at the UNC School of Medicine and one of the authors of a paper in the consortium, not all parents are interested in genome sequencing or the genetic information of their newborn child, although there are some who do. "Some people think this concern is an old, quaint notion that is being made obsolete by technology. And some people believe fervently that it could infringe on the child's autonomy or potentially even harm the child if parents learned or intervened too much," he said. "But the bottom line is we hope that the information we get from these studies will help us make recommendations for how to best roll out some form of newborn genomic screening in the future," Berg concluded. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | February 16, 2017
A new diagnostic method has correctly predicted autism in 80 percent of high-risk infants, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of North Carolina have developed a method using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in infants with older siblings with autism to correctly predict whether infants would later meet the criteria for autism at two years old. “Our study shows that early brain development biomarkers could be very useful in identifying babies at the highest risk for autism before behavioral symptoms emerge,” Dr. Joseph Piven, the Thomas E. Castelloe Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at UNC and senior author of the paper, said in a statement. “Typically, the earliest an autism diagnosis can be made is between ages two and three. But for babies with older autistic siblings, our imaging approach may help predict during the first year of life which babies are most likely to receive an autism diagnosis at 24 months.” It is estimated that one out of every 68 children develop Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the U.S. The patients have characteristic social deficits and demonstrate a range of ritualistic, repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. Despite extensive research, it has been impossible to identify those at ultra-high risk for autism prior to two-years old, which is the earliest time when the hallmark behavioral characteristics of ASD can be observed and a diagnosis made in most children. In the study, the researchers conducted MRI scans of infants at six, 12 and 24 months old. The researchers found that the babies who developed autism experienced a hyper-expansion of brain surface area from six to 12 months, as compared to babies who had an older sibling with autism but did not themselves show evidence of the condition at 24 months of age. They also found that increased growth rate of surface area in the first year of life was linked to increased growth rate of overall brain volume in the second year, which is tied to the emergence of autistic social deficits in the second year. The next step was to take the data—MRI’s of brain volume, surface area, cortical thickness at six and 12 months of age and the sex of the infants—and used a computer program to identify a way to classify babies most likely to meet criteria for autism at two-years old. The computer program developed an algorithm that the researchers applied to a separate set of study participants. The researchers concluded that brain differences at six and 12 months in infants with older siblings with autism correctly predicted eight of 10 infants who would later meet criteria for autism at two-years old in comparison to those with older ASD siblings who did not meet the criteria at two years old. “This means we potentially can identify infants who will later develop autism, before the symptoms of autism begin to consolidate into a diagnosis,” Piven said. This test could be helpful to parents who have a child with autism and have a second child, where they could intervene ‘pre-symptomatically’ before the emergence of the defining symptoms of autism. Researchers could then begin to examine the effect of interventions on children during a period before the syndrome is present and when the brain is most malleable. “Putting this into the larger context of neuroscience research and treatment, there is currently a big push within the field of neurodegenerative diseases to be able to detect the biomarkers of these conditions before patients are diagnosed, at a time when preventive efforts are possible,” Piven said. “In Parkinson’s for instance, we know that once a person is diagnosed, they’ve already lost a substantial portion of the dopamine receptors in their brain, making treatment less effective.” The research, which was led by researchers at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) at the University of North Carolina, where Piven is director, included hundreds of children from across the country. The project’s other clinical sites included the University of Washington, Washington University in St. Louis and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Other key collaborators are McGill University, the University of Alberta, the University of Minnesota, the College of Charleston and New York University. “This study could not have been completed without a major commitment from these families, many of whom flew in to be part of this,” first author Heather Hazlett, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the UNC School of Medicine and a CIDD researcher, said in a statement.
News Article | February 15, 2017
This first-of-its-kind study used MRIs to image the brains of infants, and then researchers used brain measurements and a computer algorithm to accurately predict autism before symptoms set in CHAPEL HILL, NC - Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in infants with older siblings with autism, researchers from around the country were able to correctly predict 80 percent of those infants who would later meet criteria for autism at two years of age. The study, published today in Nature, is the first to show it is possible to identify which infants - among those with older siblings with autism - will be diagnosed with autism at 24 months of age. "Our study shows that early brain development biomarkers could be very useful in identifying babies at the highest risk for autism before behavioral symptoms emerge," said senior author Joseph Piven, MD, the Thomas E. Castelloe Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. "Typically, the earliest an autism diagnosis can be made is between ages two and three. But for babies with older autistic siblings, our imaging approach may help predict during the first year of life which babies are most likely to receive an autism diagnosis at 24 months." This research project included hundreds of children from across the country and was led by researchers at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) at the University of North Carolina, where Piven is director. The project's other clinical sites included the University of Washington, Washington University in St. Louis, and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Other key collaborators are McGill University, the University of Alberta, the University of Minnesota, the College of Charleston, and New York University. "This study could not have been completed without a major commitment from these families, many of whom flew in to be part of this," said first author Heather Hazlett, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the UNC School of Medicine and a CIDD researcher. "We are still enrolling families for this study, and we hope to begin work on a similar project to replicate our findings." People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (or ASD) have characteristic social deficits and demonstrate a range of ritualistic, repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. It is estimated that one out of 68 children develop autism in the United States. For infants with older siblings with autism, the risk may be as high as 20 out of every 100 births. There are about 3 million people with autism in the United States and tens of millions around the world. Despite much research, it has been impossible to identify those at ultra-high risk for autism prior to 24 months of age, which is the earliest time when the hallmark behavioral characteristics of ASD can be observed and a diagnosis made in most children. For this Nature study, Piven, Hazlett, and researchers from around the country conducted MRI scans of infants at six, 12, and 24 months of age. They found that the babies who developed autism experienced a hyper-expansion of brain surface area from six to 12 months, as compared to babies who had an older sibling with autism but did not themselves show evidence of the condition at 24 months of age. Increased growth rate of surface area in the first year of life was linked to increased growth rate of overall brain volume in the second year of life. Brain overgrowth was tied to the emergence of autistic social deficits in the second year. Previous behavioral studies of infants who later developed autism - who had older siblings with autism -revealed that social behaviors typical of autism emerge during the second year of life. The researchers then took these data - MRIs of brain volume, surface area, cortical thickness at 6 and 12 months of age, and sex of the infants - and used a computer program to identify a way to classify babies most likely to meet criteria for autism at 24 months of age. The computer program developed the best algorithm to accomplish this, and the researchers applied the algorithm to a separate set of study participants. The researchers found that brain differences at 6 and 12 months of age in infants with older siblings with autism correctly predicted eight out of ten infants who would later meet criteria for autism at 24 months of age in comparison to those infants with older ASD siblings who did not meet criteria for autism at 24 months. "This means we potentially can identify infants who will later develop autism, before the symptoms of autism begin to consolidate into a diagnosis," Piven said. If parents have a child with autism and then have a second child, such a test might be clinically useful in identifying infants at highest risk for developing this condition. The idea would be to then intervene 'pre-symptomatically' before the emergence of the defining symptoms of autism. Research could then begin to examine the effect of interventions on children during a period before the syndrome is present and when the brain is most malleable. Such interventions may have a greater chance of improving outcomes than treatments started after diagnosis. "Putting this into the larger context of neuroscience research and treatment, there is currently a big push within the field of neurodegenerative diseases to be able to detect the biomarkers of these conditions before patients are diagnosed, at a time when preventive efforts are possible," Piven said. "In Parkinson's for instance, we know that once a person is diagnosed, they've already lost a substantial portion of the dopamine receptors in their brain, making treatment less effective." Piven said the idea with autism is similar; once autism is diagnosed at age 2-3 years, the brain has already begun to change substantially. "We haven't had a way to detect the biomarkers of autism before the condition sets in and symptoms develop," he said. "Now we have very promising leads that suggest this may in fact be possible." For this research, NIH funding was provided by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Autism Speaks and the Simons Foundation contributed additional support.
News Article | February 21, 2017
People with diabetes are at high risk of developing heart disease. Despite knowing this, scientists have struggled to trace the specific biology behind that risk or find ways to intervene. Now, UNC School of Medicine researchers have hunted down a possible culprit – a protein called IRS-1, which is crucial for the smooth muscle cells that make up veins and arteries. According to a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, too little of IRS-1 causes cells to revert to a “dedifferentiated” or stem-cell like state, and this may contribute to the buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis, which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other forms of heart disease. “When diabetes is poorly managed, your blood sugar goes up and the amount of this protein goes down, so the cells become subject to abnormal proliferation,” said senior author David R. Clemmons, MD, Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine. “We need to conduct more studies, but we think this cell pathway may have significant implications for how high blood glucose leads to atherosclerosis in humans.” The research could bring scientists one step closer to finding drugs to help stave off heart disease in people with diabetes, who are twice as likely to have heart disease or experience a stroke, as compared to people without diabetes. People with diabetes also tend to experience major cardiac events at a younger age. The study focused on the cells that form the walls of veins and arteries, known as vascular smooth muscle cells. The main function of these cells is to contract whenever the heart beats, helping to push oxygen-rich blood to the body’s tissues. When plaque builds up along the arterial walls, these cells gradually lose their ability to contract. In their previous work, Clemmons and colleagues discovered that diabetes can trigger an abnormal cell signaling pathway that causes vascular smooth muscle cells to proliferate, which contributes to atherosclerosis. But their attempts to correct the abnormal signaling pathway didn’t seem to completely solve the problem, leading them to suspect another factor. In the new study, the team found that IRS-1 acts as an inhibitor of the abnormal signaling pathway thereby keeping the vascular smooth muscle cells differentiated, or specialized. In the absence of IRS-1, the cells revert to a stem-cell like state, which in turn activates the abnormal signaling pathway and promotes cell proliferation. In people with diabetes, the presence of IRS-1 is strongly influenced by how well – or how poorly – blood sugar is kept in check. Previous studies have shown that patients who frequently or consistently have high blood sugar show dramatic reductions in IRS-1. The new study is the first to link this reduction with a predisposition for heart disease. “The study suggests that you can’t just inhibit the abnormal signaling, which we’ve already figured out how to do,” Clemmons said. “Our work suggests you probably have to restore the normal signaling pathway, at least to some extent, in order to completely restore the cells to normal cell health, differentiation, and functioning.” As a next step, the Clemmons lab will look for things that might stimulate the synthesis of this protein even in the presence of high blood glucose. To prove that IRS-1 acts as a brake on the abnormal signaling pathway that leads to cell proliferation, the team conducted experiments in three different types of mice: healthy mice, diabetic mice, and nondiabetic mice that were genetically engineered to produce no IRS-1. The scientists made a small incision in the blood vessels of the animals and then watched to see how the vascular smooth muscle cells reacted. In healthy mice, the incision stimulated wound healing but little cellular proliferation. In both the diabetic animals and the nondiabetic IRS-1 deficient animals, the researchers observed a marked increase in abnormal cellular proliferation. The findings suggest that it may be possible to counteract the deleterious effects of high blood sugar on atherosclerosis by developing drugs that boost IRS-1. Clemmons said the activities of IRS-1 might also play a role in other diabetes complications, such as eye and kidney disease. The researchers plan to study those potential links.
News Article | March 1, 2017
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that up to 90 percent of predatory fish are gone from Caribbean coral reefs, straining the ocean ecosystem and coastal economy. The good news? They identified reefs, known as supersites, which can support large numbers of predator fishes that if reintroduced, can help restore the environmental and economic setback inflicted by overfishing. The work, led by former UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student Abel Valdivia working with John Bruno, a marine biologist at UNC College of Arts & Sciences, suggests that these supersites - reefs with many nooks and crannies on its surface that act as hiding places for prey (and attract predators) - should be prioritized for protection and could serve as regional models showcasing the value of biodiversity for tourism and other uses. Other features that make a supersite are amount of available food, size of reef and proximity to mangroves. "On land, a supersite would be a national park like Yellowstone, which naturally supports an abundance of varied wildlife and has been protected by the federal government," said Bruno, whose work appears in the March 1 issue of Science Advances. The team surveyed 39 reefs across the Bahamas, Cuba, Florida, Mexico and Belize, both inside and outside marine reserves, to determine how much fish had been lost by comparing fish biomass on pristine sites to fish biomass on a typical reef. They estimated the biomass in each location and found that 90 percent of predatory fish were gone due to overfishing. What they didn't expect to find was a ray of hope -- a small number of reef locations that if protected could substantially contribute to the recovery of predatory fish populations and help restore depleted species. "Some features have a surprisingly large effect on how many predators a reef can support," said Courtney Ellen Cox, a coauthor and former UNC-Chapel Hill doctoral student now at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. For example, researchers believe that the Columbia Reef within the fisheries closures of Cozumel, Mexico, could support an average 10 times the current level of predatory fish if protected. Not long ago, large fishes were plentiful on coral reefs, but are now largely absent due to targeted fishing. Today, predators are larger and more abundant within the marine reserves than on unprotected, overfished reefs. But even some of the marine reserves have seen striking declines, largely due to lack of enforcement of fishing regulations. The bottom line is protection of predatory fish is a win-win from both an environmental and an economical perspective, explained Bruno. "A live shark is worth over a million dollars in tourism revenue over its lifespan because sharks live for decades and thousands of people will travel and dive just to see them up close," said Valdivia, now at the Center for Biological Diversity in Oakland, Calif. "There is a massive economic incentive to restore and protect sharks and other top predators on coral reefs."
News Article | February 15, 2017
Children from low-income families are at substantial risk in terms of their social-emotional and academic skills at school entry, with fewer than half considered ready for school at age 5. A new study has found that infants and toddlers from low-income families who attended a high-quality center-based early education program do better in language and social skills after only one year than children who do not attend the program. The study appears in the journal Child Development. It is based on research conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Chicago, the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Participants were assessed after one year of participating in the program, called Educare. Children who participated had better language skills, fewer problem behaviors, and more positive interactions with their parents than children who didn't participate in the program. "Our results are important because they offer more evidence that providing enriching experiences early in life can set children from low-income families on more productive paths," says Noreen Yazejian, senior research scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, who led the study. Educare is an early education program for children from 6 weeks to 5 years that operates in 21 schools in 18 U.S. cities. The program is designed to reduce the achievement gap between children from low-income families and those from more economically advantaged families. It offers full-day, year-round comprehensive services, including enriching educational experiences, in infant-toddler classrooms of 8 children and 3 adults. Educare also aims to build strong partnerships between families and schools during children's infancy. "The program has had a positive effect on sensitive and responsive parent-child interactions," notes Donna M. Bryant, codirector of the study and also a senior research scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC. Bryant says this might be due to the family support and opportunities for parent engagement that Educare schools provide. Researchers randomly assigned 239 infants and toddlers (ages 6 weeks to 19 months) from low-income families to attend or not attend Educare at five schools (in Chicago, Milwaukee, two schools in Omaha, and Tulsa). About half of the children were African American and about a third were Hispanic. One year later, they measured the children's language skills, observed them playing with their primary caregiver (usually mothers), and asked parents to rate their children's social and emotional skills. The differences between children who attended Educare and children who did not attend were larger than differences seen in previous studies of similar programs, such as Early Head Start or home visiting programs. The findings from this study extend those of the Abecedarian Project and other research suggesting that starting a comprehensive early childhood education program early can improve the outcomes of infants and toddlers from low-income families. The study will follow the children's progress through age 5 and at that time, assess their abilities in academic areas that predict later success in school. Educare includes specific components that may contribute to the positive development of children from low-income families. In particular, all teachers have at least a B.A. degree, and many have an M.A. degree. They are supervised by master teachers, who provide ongoing professional development and coaching on research-based best practices. Educare staff conduct at least two home visits and two parent conferences each year. In addition, they offer meetings, activities, classes, and social events geared to parents and families. While Educare costs more than other programs, the study's authors suggest that the program's cost may be warranted. "Given the persistence of the achievement gap and its many negative consequences, it seems overly optimistic to expect an easy or inexpensive immediate solution," notes Yazejian. Other research suggests that early investments pay off in later social savings. The research was funded by the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, the Brady Education Foundation, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ounce of Prevention Fund, and an anonymous foundation. The Society for Research in Child Development will hold its Biennial Meeting in Austin, Texas, April 6-8, 2017. Members of the media are encouraged to attend to hear presentations on the latest research. Those journalists interested in learning more about this year's conference, or obtaining a press pass, should contact email@example.com. Conference attendance is free for qualified press with advanced registration. Summarized from Child Development, Child and Parenting Outcomes After One Year of Educare by Yazejian, N (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Bryant, M (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Hans, S (University of Chicago), Horm, D (University of Oklahoma-Tulsa), St. Clair, L (formerly at University of Nebraska Medical Center, now at Omaha Program Evaluation Services), File, N (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), and Burchinal, M (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Copyright 2017 The Society for Research in Child Development, Inc. All rights reserved.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Autism can be predicted in most infants through measurements of the brain, according to a groundbreaking new study in the journal Nature. Bigger brains between the ages of 6 and 12 months allowed a team from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to predict autism by age 2 with 90 percent accuracy. “The results of this study are a real breakthrough for early diagnosis of autism,” said Robert Schultz, who leads the Center for Autism Research at CHOP. “While we have known for some time that autism emerges in subtle, gradual ways over the first few years of life, this study offers the first firm evidence before a child’s first birthday predicting whether certain high-risk children are likely to be diagnosed with autism.” The scientists used MRI imaging on 106 high-risk infants (who had autistic older siblings) and 42 low-risk infants. The scans were conducted at 6, 12 and 24 months. They assessed the growth of the brain using a computer-generated algorithm. When combined with brain volume and sex of the infants, it predicted most of the ASD cases among the group. The analysis was most accurate in predicting the high-risk babies that did not develop autism, they added. The ultimate value in early treatment and detection may be early interventions, which have proven to mitigate negative effects of being on the spectrum, they added. “We haven’t had a way to detect the biomarkers of autism before the condition sets in and symptoms develop,” said Joseph Piven, the senior author of the study, from the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at UNC. “Now we have very promising leads that suggest this may in fact be possible.” The latest CDC estimates find that one in 68 children of schooling age are diagnosed with autism in the United States – though some debate exists as to whether the spectrum is more prevalent, or if detection is better. Currently about 3 million people of all ages live with autism in the U.S.
News Article | February 1, 2017
Through the use of state-of-the-art brain imaging techniques and optogenetics, a team of researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine was able to pinpoint a special kind of neurons responsible for triggering social attraction towards the opposite sex in mice. Lead researchers Garret D. Stuber, PhD, and Jenna A. McHenry, PhD, discovered a hormone-sensitive circuit in the brain that regulates social attraction in female mice. The scientists looked into the medial preoptic area (mPOA) of the brain, which earlier scientific works have associated to social and reproductive patterns in all vertebrate species, from fish to human. They focused on one of its major pathways, the ventral tegmental area (VTA), which the mPOA use to transmit messages to other parts of the brain. VTA is also known to stimulate the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps control reward and pleasure receptors. "These neurons essentially take sensory and hormonal signals and translate them into motivated social behavior," Stuber explained. Interestingly, the researchers also discovered that a huge group of the mPOA neurotensin neurons displayed greater activity when the female mice smelled the urine of a male mouse. However, it did not have the same effect when the female mice were shown urine of another female mouse urine or enticing odors, like food. The activity of mPOA neurotensin neurons was more intense in female mice that had high estrogen levels or a mixture of estrogen and progesterone, which shoots up before they become fertile. McHenry believes that their findings, which was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, could only mean that some neurons in the brain are designed to favor social rewards as opposed to nonsocial rewards. McHenry, who is also a Fellow on the Postdoctoral Reproductive Mood Disorders Training Fellowship at UNC, suggested that their study can also provide valuable insights on the treatment of specific mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Anxiety disorders, the most common mental illness in the United States, affect at least 40 million adults — or 18 percent of the population. She noted that these conditions may be worsened in the female population when hormone levels suddenly shift, just like what happens in postpartum depression. According to the American Psychological Association, up to one in seven women experience postpartum depression. Aside from family history, previous diagnosis of depression or anxiety, and other stress-related factors, one of the most common risk factors for postpartum depression include the sudden change in a woman's hormone levels after childbirth. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | February 23, 2017
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sourced Media Books announces the release of MarVista Entertainment film, Waffle Street, on DVD today, for sale at major retailers, including Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, Barnes & Noble, and f.y.e. The 90-minute feature was a smash hit in 2016 on Netflix, where it joined the “Popular” titles shortly after its September release and settled into the center of the Netflix website landing page. Waffle Street is the true story of Jimmy Adams, who loses his job as vice-president of a $30 billion hedge fund and decides to pursue a new course as a waiter at a 24-hour diner. The comedy/drama stars James Lafferty (One Tree Hill) in the role of Adams and Julie Gonzalo (Dallas) as his wife, Becky. Screen legend Danny Glover rounds out the cast as Edward, an ex-con short-order cook who teaches Adams hard lessons about life, finance, and grits. Offering a fresh take on the fallout of corporate greed, Waffle Street is a tale of discovering honest work, unlikely friendships, and personal redemption. The film was named Best Feature at the 2015 Hollywood Film Festival and received the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Red Rock Film Festival. Waffle Street is an adaptation of Jimmy Adams' memoir of the same name, which chronicles his table-waiting days after a layoff in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. As Jimmy struggles to fit in with a motley crew of waiters and cooks on the weekend graveyard shift, he finds himself on the receiving end of many lessons in life’s ironies. In a unique narrative, Adams deftly unravels the enigmas of money, banking, and economics as he relates humorous episodes of a white-collar fish far removed from familiar corporate water. Jimmy Adams is a 2001 graduate of Wake Forest University with 15 years of hard-won experience in financial markets. Although he earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and an MBA in Finance from UNC-Chapel Hill, he maintains that much of his financial knowledge has been gleaned from his foray into food service and the writings of forgotten 19th-century economists.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Working professionals considering attending a global executive MBA program are invited to attend an open house hosted by the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School on Feb. 11. They will learn about OneMBA®, the global executive MBA program designed for business professionals who live and work around the globe. The open house includes an overview of the program, attending a class session on “Strategy in a Global Arena” and lunch with students and alumni. The event runs from 8:50 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at Lansdowne Resort at 44050 Woodridge Parkway in Leesburg, Va. OneMBA is an innovative executive MBA program delivered in partnership by five of the world’s top business schools and features global residencies in developed and emerging markets. UNC Kenan-Flagler’s OneMBA classes meet one weekend a month for 21 months, with classes split between Leesburg and Chapel Hill. The OneMBA network of more than 1,400 alumni in senior leadership positions extends to more than 50 countries. Register here or call 877-UNC-EMBA for more information. About the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School Consistently ranked one of the world's best business schools, UNC Kenan-Flagler is known for its collaborative culture that stems from its core values: excellence, leadership, integrity, community and teamwork. Professors excel at both teaching and research, and demonstrate unparalleled dedication to students. Graduates are effective, principled leaders who have the technical and managerial skills to deliver results in the global business environment. UNC Kenan-Flagler offers a rich portfolio of programs and extraordinary, real-life learning experiences: Undergraduate Business (BSBA), full-time MBA, Executive MBA Programs (Evening, Weekend and global OneMBA®), online MBA@UNC, Master of Accounting, PhD, Executive Development, and UNC Business Essentials programs. It is home to the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.