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Archive for December, 2014

Med student writes about mustard gas, its connection to chemotherapy

Though mustard gas was introduced as a chemical weapon during World War I, it later became the foundation of modern chemotherapy.

Gallagher

Gallagher

That’s what Sean Gallagher, a University of Toledo fourth-year medical student, wrote about in a recent publication in the World Journal of Clinical Urology.

His article, “From the Battlefield to the Bladder: The Development of thioTEPA,” takes a look at how the science behind mustard gas evolved into modern treatments of cancer. He specifically looks at thioTEPA, a molecule that was developed out of mustard gas research and is used in today’s treatment of bladder cancer.

When mustard gas first appeared in war, military physicians had seen nothing like it, so they began recording everything they could about its effects. Later researchers analyzed the information and noticed that those who were exposed to the gas had low blood cell counts. They hypothesized that because patients with cancer usually have high blood cell counts, the use of the chemical could be a beneficial treatment.

It was this discovery that led to the testing of these chemicals on cancer patients, and later the development and use of similar compounds that had different effects. Some of the compounds developed then are still used in modern chemotherapy.

“Their work really gave birth to a whole new field of research,” Gallagher said.

Though Gallagher has always had an interest in history, his article was something he didn’t expect to be able to do in medical school.

“It’s really cool that, being in the medical field, I can still pursue my interest in history,” Gallagher said. “I thought that was something I gave up, or at least that I’d be relegated to reading books.”

The door opened for Gallagher when he joined UT’s History of Medicine Club, led by Dr. Steven Selman, professor and chair of urology. Each student in the club does a research project and an informal presentation, but more often than not, that research becomes a publication — as was the case with Gallagher.

“It was a neat process because it was a bit different than more traditional health science research,” Gallagher said. “Really, you’re just trying to learn the story about how someone else made a big breakthrough.”

Gallagher said he really enjoyed reviewing the other articles, which took him two years to compile and draw conclusions from.

“It was a really fun process,” he said. “Taking that chemical weapon and seeing it turn into something useful is kind of neat.”

Gallagher is finishing his last year of medical school at UT and will be matched with a residency in March. His chosen field is pediatrics, and his wife, Mae, another fourth-year medical student at the University, plans to go into family medicine.

High school students compete in Junior Achievement Business Challenge at UT

Teams of students from 21 area high schools were on campus last month in the Savage & Associates Business Complex as they competed in the Junior Achievement Business Challenge for $32,000 in scholarships.

Among the schools represented in the competition were Perrysburg, Sylvania Northview and Southview, Maumee Valley Country Day, Central Catholic, St. John’s Jesuit, Springfield, St. Francis de Sales, Anthony Wayne, St. Ursula, Notre Dame, Defiance and Maumee.

Using online, interactive business simulation, the students formed companies, and with the help of mentors from the business community, strategized to operate successfully and perform the duties of a management team.

A mentor worked with local high school students during the Junior Achievement Business Challenge, which was held last month on Main Campus.

A mentor worked with local high school students during the Junior Achievement Business Challenge, which was held last month on Main Campus.

Rockets battle Duke, come up short, 86-69

Freshman center Jahlil Okafor proved to be too much for Toledo to handle on Monday evening in the Rockets’ 86-69 setback at No. 2 Duke.

Senior Julius Brown scored a team-high 19 points in Toledo's 86-69 loss at No. 2 Duke.

Senior Julius Brown scored a team-high 19 points in Toledo’s 86-69 loss at No. 2 Duke.

The Rockets’ senior trio of guard Julius Brown (19 points), guard Justin Drummond (14 points) and forward J.D. Weatherspoon (14 points and team-high eight rebounds) paced the Rockets’ offense.

Sophomore guard Jonathan Williams also was in double figures with 10 points. Junior center Nathan Boothe tallied nine points but played just 21 minutes due to foul trouble.

Okafor topped Duke offensively with a season-high 27 points on 12 of 15 shooting, while senior guard Quinn Cook posted a season-best 20 points.

After falling behind by 14 points early in the contest, Toledo connected on 13 of 15 shots over a nine-and-a-half-minute span to cut the Blue Devils’ lead to 47-44 approximately 90 seconds into the second half.

Okafor ignited a decisive 21-9 run by scoring seven straight points that put Duke up 68-53 with just over nine minutes remaining.

The contest was played at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., and televised on ESPN2.

Toledo will return to action Saturday, Jan. 3, with a trip to Highland Heights, Ky., for its final non-conference contest at Northern Kentucky (6-7). Tip-off time is set for 4 p.m.

Men’s basketball team to play Duke Dec. 29 in game televised on ESPN2

The Toledo men’s basketball team (7-4) will face its biggest challenge of the 2014-15 campaign when it takes on No. 2 Duke (10-0) Monday, Dec. 29, at 7 p.m.

thumb-rocket-color-logoThe contest will be played at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., and be televised on ESPN2.

The Rockets are riding a season-high five-game winning streak following an 83-69 road victory over McNeese State Dec. 20.

The Blue Devils have been idle since a 66-56 triumph over Connecticut Dec. 18 and have an NCAA-best 38-game home-court winning streak.

Toledo is in its 100th year of basketball and the preseason pick to win the Mid-American Conference by numerous publications. UT is in search of its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1980 after posting a school-record 27-7 win-loss mark last year.

UT Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk has guided the Rockets to a 68-41 (.624) win-loss mark since the start of the 2011-12 season.

Four of five Rocket starters possess double-figure scoring averages to help Toledo rank second in the MAC with 77.5 points per game.

A member of the 2015 Bob Cousy Award Watch List, senior guard Julius Brown leads the Rockets and ranks second and third in the MAC, respectively, with a 52.5 three-point field shooting percentage (32 of 61) and 15.9 points per game.

Also scoring in double figures for UT are senior forward J.D. Weatherspoon (12.6), senior guard Justin Drummond (12.6) and sophomore guard Jonathan Williams (10.9).


As of Dec. 25, Toledo ranked sixth nationally with a MAC-best 76.7 free-throw percentage. Freshman guard Kurt Hall leads the league with a 95.2 mark and is followed by junior center Nathan Boothe (90.9) and Brown (89.5).

The Blue Devils rank third nationally with their plus-25.2 scoring margin and fourth with a 52.3 field-goal percentage and 1.59 assist/turnover ratio.

Department of Theatre and Film takes productions on road

The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film and its students have been invited to present two productions as part of two major theater events — “The Adding Machine” in Cleveland and “Strip Tease” in Chicago.

UT theatre alumna Elif Erturk, who plays Daisy, and theatre student Tyler Mitchell, who has the role of Mr. Zero, rehearsed a scene from the UT production of Elmer Rice’s “The Adding Machine.”

UT theatre alumna Elif Erturk, who plays Daisy, and theatre student Tyler Mitchell, who has the role of Mr. Zero, rehearsed a scene from the UT production of Elmer Rice’s “The Adding Machine.”

Judges from the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festivals attend members’ local productions and choose the best one for invitation to the festival.

This year’s UT production of “The Adding Machine,” written by American playwright Elmer Rice and directed by UT Theatre Lecturer Irene Alby, will be included in the upcoming Region II Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

The regional festival will be held in Cleveland, where UT’s production of “The Adding Machine” will be performed at the Ohio Theater in Playhouse Square Tuesday, Jan. 6.

Should it be well-received there, it will have the chance to be performed at the national 47th Annual Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in April in Washington, D.C.

“The Adding Machine” follows the story of an ordinary accountant, Mr. Zero, who murders his boss after learning he will be replaced at work by an adding machine. This action — his only unique and spontaneous act after a lifetime of obedience — and its consequences are explored in Rice’s expressionistic play.

After Mr. Zero is sentenced and executed for murder, he finds his afterlife to be a most unexpected experience. Funny, sad, poignant and startling, this metaphorical play is a visually rich contemplation on right and wrong, life and death.

UT’s production presents the action of the play as coordinated movement that is almost dance-like. All of the set pieces such as the cage-like office, which also transforms into Mr. Zero’s cell, as well as the actors, move in a kind of dance that makes the UT production a creative rendering of the play.

The 2013 fall UT production of Slawomir Mrozek’s “Strip Tease” was presented earlier this month at the Chopin Theatre in Chicago.

Managers at the Chopin Theatre invited UT to bring the production as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival.

The one-act play, directed by Cornel Gabara, UT associate professor of theatre, was part of a festival celebrating the work of playwrights Mrozek and Zbigniew Herbert.

The festival titled Tribute to S. Mrozek and Z. Hebert was sponsored by the Chopin Theatre and the University of Illinois at Chicago and its Hejna Family Chair in Polish Language and Literature.

Performances of UT’s production of “Strip Tease” were held Dec. 5-7.

The one-act play is a comedic social commentary that explores the response of two characters faced with a voiceless and faceless authority figure that seems to be demanding that they shed not only their clothing but their dignity as well. But is it really asking or are they just all too willing to comply with what they do not understand? Through comic critique, the play invokes the social and political quirks of modern human beings.

Chemistry professor named to science magazine’s power list

A University of Toledo professor of chemistry and biochemistry has been named as one of the most influential people in the field of analytical science.

Dr. Jared Anderson just poured liquid nitrogen into a dewar that is the cryogenic cooling unit for a two-dimensional gas chromatograph. This separation system allows him to obtain profiles of paraffins and aromatic compounds that are components of petrochemical samples, such as kerosene and diesel fuels.

Dr. Jared Anderson just poured liquid nitrogen into a dewar that is the cryogenic cooling unit for a two-dimensional gas chromatograph. This separation system allows him to obtain profiles of paraffins and aromatic compounds that are components of petrochemical samples, such as kerosene and diesel fuels.

Dr. Jared Anderson recently was named to the 2014 40 Under 40 Power List of the Analytical Scientist Magazine. The global list features 40 individuals younger than 40 who are having a big impact on the field of analytical science.

“The fact that we received worldwide recognition for the influence of our work in the field of analytical chemistry is quite gratifying,” Anderson said.

“It is a great honor to be named to that list, and it was only possible because of the teamwork and strong work ethic of my research group over the past nine years since I have been at UT,” Anderson said. “I’ve been able to work with an incredible group of graduate and undergraduate students, and I am extremely lucky and grateful for that.”

Most recently, Anderson has been working on developing sample preparation approaches with applications in the life sciences. Specifically, he is exploring new methods for the analysis of nucleic acids from environmental and biological samples.

“Our work runs the gamut from separating high-boiling petroleum samples using multidimensional chromatography to sample preparation within the biological sciences, predominately in the area of rapid DNA analysis,” Anderson said. “Ultimately, our goal is to create new tools for chemists and biochemists in industry and academia so they can address challenges within chemical separations.”

In 2010, Anderson received $850,000 in both federal and industrial grants; today that figure is more than $1,350,000.

“I am incredibly lucky to receive these grants in order to further my research; it leads to advancements in the field and new opportunities for my research team,” he said.

Anderson and his team also have been working with a company in California to make pharmaceutical drugs safer. Their goal is to create new tools and methods that can be used by analytical chemists all over the world to address current challenges in detecting and removing genotoxic impurities from pharmaceutical drugs.

“The international recognition Jared has received as one of the top analytical chemists worldwide validates our long-standing belief that he is an outstanding and creative scientist. He is also one of the department’s best teachers and mentors for our students,” Dr. Jon Kirchhoff, Distinguished University Professor and chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said.

Dec. 31 deadline to vote for Lake Erie Center Photo Contest

The University of Toledo’s 2014 Lake Erie Center Photo Contest is under way, and you can let your voice be heard by voting for this year’s People’s Choice Award.

Lake erie center FB picsThe contest, “The Nature of Our Region: From Oak Openings to Maumee Bay,” features photos of northwest Ohio taken by camera enthusiasts in our area. Photographers of all ages and skill levels participated in this year’s contest, capturing wildlife, plants, landscapes and people interacting with nature.

To vote for your favorites, simply like the Lake Erie Center’s Facebook page and like your favorite photo(s) in the contest’s gallery.

The photo with the most likes by noon Wednesday, Dec. 31, will win a $25 Visa gift card.

In addition to the People’s Choice Award, prizes will be given to the winners in each of the five categories: adult, special needs adult, teen, youth and junior youth. Winners will receive a $50 Visa gift card for first place, and their entries will be framed and hung in the Lake Erie Center.

The contest takes place each fall. For rules and details, visit utoledo.edu/nsm/lec.

Football coach signs contract extension through 2020

The University of Toledo and Head Football Coach Matt Campbell have agreed to a contract extension that will run through the 2020 football season, UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced today.

Campbell

Campbell

Campbell, in his third full season with the Rockets, has a 25-13 record as head coach. He has led the Rockets to an 8-4 record this season, including a 7-1 mark in Mid-American Conference games. The Rockets earned a share of the MAC West Division title and will play Arkansas State in the GoDaddy Bowl Sunday, Jan. 4. Previously, Campbell led UT to a 42-41 victory over Air Force in the 2011 Military Bowl in his first game as head coach. In 2012, the Rockets finished 9-4, were ranked in the Top 25 at one point in the season, and participated in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

“Matt Campbell is a proven winner and one of the finest head coaches in all of college football,” O’Brien said. “Just as importantly, Matt is a great mentor to the young men in our football program. He is dedicated to ensuring that our student-athletes develop on the football field, in the classroom and in life. We are pleased to make this commitment to Matt and look forward to many more years with him as our head football coach.”

“I’m honored to be the head football coach at this great university and grateful for the support of Interim President Nagi Naganathan, Mike O’Brien, and the entire UT administrative staff,” Campbell said. “I’m also very thankful for our players, assistant coaches and football support staff. Their effort and enthusiasm are the real reason behind the great success we’ve had since I’ve been involved with the UT football program.”

Campbell served three seasons as UT’s offensive coordinator under former head coach Tim Beckman from 2009 to 2011. He was named head coach for the Rockets Dec. 12, 2011, becoming the 26th head football coach in school history and the youngest head coach in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision at the time by more than three years.

A native of Massillon, Ohio, Campbell played his college football at Mount Union, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 2002. Campbell earned NCAA Division III All-America honors at defensive end in 2001 and 2002, leading the Purple Raiders to national championships in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

He returned to coach at Mount Union under legendary head coach Larry Kehres in 2005 and 2006, helping guide the Purple Raiders to two more national titles. Campbell then coached at Bowling Green for two seasons as the offensive line and run-game coordinator before joining the UT staff in 2009.

Campbell and his wife, Erica, have two girls, Katelyn (6) and Isabella (5), and a son, Rudy (1).

Undergraduate Nursing Advising Office moving to Rocket Hall

On Monday, Dec. 29, the Undergraduate Nursing Advising Office will move from Carlson Library to Rocket Hall.

The centralized space will be helpful for both students and advisers, and will provide students with easy access to Rocket Solution Central, YouCollege, the Registrar’s Office, Treasurer’s Office and Student Disability Services, according to Kathleen Mitchell, instructor and assistant dean of student services in the College of Nursing.

She added the new location will have better parking, and the office offers a larger waiting room with more seating.

The new office will be in Rocket Hall Room 1400, Mail Stop 348, but the phone number 419.530.2673 will remain the same, as well as the advisers’ email addresses.

A grand opening is being planned for February.

‘The Relevant University’ to air Dec. 23

As the growth of minority-owned businesses continues to increase, so do the challenges and resources needed for success.

Relevant U logo 2014In this month’s episode of “The Relevant University,” Lawrence J. Burns, vice president for external affairs at The University of Toledo, talks about those challenges with four leaders in the area of minority business development and ownership.

Tune in “The Relevant University” Tuesday, Dec. 23, at 7 p.m. on AM 760 WJR.

The guests will be:

• Dr. Shanda Gore, associate vice president for equity, diversity and community engagement and chief diversity officer at The University of Toledo;

• Gary Johnson, president and CEO of American Floors and Interiors in Toledo;

• Tarolyn Buckles, president and CEO of Onyx Enterprises Inc. in Detroit; and

• Louis Green, CEO of the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.

The University of Toledo and Detroit’s WJR Radio produce the monthly, hour-long program that explores the critical role higher education plays in our world.

Listen to “The Relevant University” at utoledo.edu/therelevantuniversity, WJR 760 AM or wjr.com.