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West Hartford, CT, United States

Martin K.H.,University of Saint Joseph at West Hartford
Bioscene | Year: 2015

Undergraduate biology programs in smaller liberal arts colleges are increasingly becoming focused on health science fields. This narrowing of focus potentially decreases opportunities for these students to explore other sub-fields of biology. This perspectives article highlights how one small university in Connecticut decided to institute a required integrated biological systems course into their biology degree. The course focuses on empowering biology students to view science topics through multiple scales. © 2015, Association of College and Univesity Biology Educators. All rights reserved.

Martin K.S.,University of Saint Joseph at West Hartford | Wu R.,Biostatistics Center | Wolff M.,Ethel Donaghue Center for Translating Research into Practice and Policy | Colantonio A.G.,University of Connecticut Health Center | Grady J.,Biostatistics Center
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2013

Background The number of food pantries in the U.S. has grown dramatically over 3 decades, yet food insecurity remains a persistent public health problem. Purpose The goal of the study was to examine the impact of a food pantry intervention called Freshplace, designed to promote food security. Design Randomized parallel-group study with equal randomization. Setting/participants Data were collected from June 2010 to June 2012; a total of 228 adults were recruited over 1 year from traditional food pantries and randomized to the Freshplace intervention (n=113) or control group (n=115), with quarterly follow-ups for 12 months. Intervention The Freshplace intervention included a client-choice pantry, monthly meetings with a project manager to receive motivational interviewing, and targeted referrals to community services. Control group participants went to traditional food pantries where they received bags of food. Main outcome measures Data analyses were conducted from July 2012 to January 2013. Outcomes were food security, self-sufficiency, and fruit and vegetable consumption. Multivariate regression models were used to predict the three outcomes, controlling for gender, age, household size, income, and presence of children in the household. Results At baseline, half of the sample experienced very low food security. Over 1 year, Freshplace members were less than half as likely to experience very low food security, increased self-sufficiency by 4.1 points, and increased fruits and vegetables by one serving per day compared to the control group, all outcomes p<0.01. Conclusions Freshplace may serve as a model for other food pantries to promote food security rather than short-term assistance by addressing the underlying causes of poverty. © 2013 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Knecht J.G.,University of Saint Joseph at West Hartford
Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing | Year: 2015

BACKGROUND:: Although prescription medication adherence has been studied in the population living with heart failure (HF), little attention has focused on the patient’s overall medication practices including over-the-counter medications. Patients with HF live with the certainty that their quality of life depends on the proper management of multiple medications. Failure to properly manage prescription medications increases the risk of exacerbation of HF and increased rates of rehospitalization. OBJECTIVES:: The aim of the quantitative component of this study was to identify medication practices in patients with HF. The aim of the qualitative component was to identify themes of patients with high and low HF medication self-efficacy. METHODS:: A convergent parallel mixed-methods design was followed. Quantitative interviews were conducted by telephone with 41 patients living with HF around their medication-taking and lifestyle behaviors. Immediately thereafter, qualitative interviews were conducted to elicit the patient’s perspective of their therapeutic regimen. RESULTS:: Patients are prescribed medications not recommended for the gerontologic population and/or risk anticholinergic burden. Although highly confident, patients admit to a plethora of errors. CONCLUSION:: Future study is required to ensure safe transitions to home and enhance technology to provide seamless communication between patients and providers. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved

Guttilla Reed I.K.,University of Saint Joseph at West Hartford
Cell Health and Cytoskeleton | Year: 2015

During development and the pathogenesis of certain diseases, including cancer, the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) program is activated. It is hypothesized that EMT plays a major role in tumor invasion and the establishment of distant metastases. Metastatic disease is responsible for the vast majority of cancer-related deaths, which provides a precedent for elucidating pathways that regulate EMT. EMT is defined as the transition of cells with an epithelial phenotype into cells with a mesenchymal phenotype through a series of genetic and environmental events. This leads to the repression of epithelial-associated markers, upregulation of mesenchymal-associated markers, a loss of cell polarity and adhesion, and increased cell motility and invasiveness. EMT is a reversible and dynamic process, and can be regulated by signals from the microenvironment such as inflammation, hypoxia, and growth factors or epigenetically via microRNAs. These signals modulate key EMT-associated transcription factors and effector proteins that control cellular phenotype and regulate tumor plasticity in response to changing conditions in the microenvironment and the progressive nature of cancer. Understanding the complex regulatory networks controlling EMT can provide insight into tumor progression and metastasis. © 2015 Guttilla Reed.

Kluger H.M.,Yale University | Zito C.R.,University of Saint Joseph at West Hartford | Barr M.L.,Yale University | Baine M.K.,Yale University | And 5 more authors.
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2015

Purpose: Programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) tumor expression represents a mechanism of immune escape for melanoma cells. Drugs blocking PD-L1 or its receptor have shown unprecedented activity in melanoma, and our purpose was to characterize tumor PD-L1 expression and associated T-cell infiltration in metastatic melanomas. Experimental Design: We used a tissue microarray (TMA) consisting of two cores from 95 metastatic melanomas characterized for clinical stage, outcome, and anatomic site of disease. We assessed PD-L1 expression and tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) content (total T cells and CD4/CD8 subsets) by quantitative immunofluorescence. Results: High PD-L1 expression was associated with improved survival (P = 0.02) and higher T-cell content (P = 0.0005). Higher T-cell content (total and CD8 cells) was independently associated with improved overall survival; PD-L1 expression was not independently prognostic. High TIL content in extracerebral metastases was associated with increased time to developing brain metastases (P = 0.03). Cerebral and dermal metastases had slightly lower PD-L1 expression than other sites, not statistically significant. Cerebral metastases had less T cells (P = 0.01). Conclusions: T-cell-infiltrated melanomas, particularly those with high CD8 T-cell content, are more likely to be associated with PD-L1 expression in tumor cells, an improved prognosis, and increased time to development of brain metastases. Studies of T-cell content and subsets should be incorporated into trials of PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors to determine their predictive value. Furthermore, additional studies of anatomic sites with less PD-L1 expression and T-cell infiltrate are needed to determine if discordant responses to PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors are seen at those sites. © 2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

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