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UT research shows cigarette smoke exposure increases scar tissue in kidney, heart

Smoking cigarettes leads to fibrosis in the kidneys and heart and accelerates kidney disease, according to research at The University of Toledo.

“Smoking is bad for the kidneys and heart together,” said Dr. Christopher Drummond, postdoctoral fellow in the Cardiovascular Division of the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences. “Tobacco and nicotine increase the formation of injury or scarring called fibrosis. That reduces cardiac function, so your heart isn’t operating as efficiently. It also makes it so your kidneys can’t filter toxins from your blood as effectively.”



His research titled “Cigarette Smoking Causes Epigenetic Changes Associated With Cardiorenal Fibrosis,” which was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and done in collaboration with the University of California at San Diego, recently was published in the journal Physiological Genomics.

“The results of this study are a public health concern because a significant portion of the U.S. population suffers from kidney disease and heart-related side effects,” Drummond said. “When you smoke, you’re speeding up the development of kidney disease.”

An estimated 26 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Drummond exposed two groups of rats to cigarette smoke five days a week for four weeks. One group had chronic kidney disease. The other group had normal renal function. Drummond compared those two groups with two control groups of rats — one with chronic kidney disease and one with normal kidney function — that were kept in a room with no smoke.

“We designed and built a system to expose rats to a constant concentration of smoke from cigarettes,” Drummond said. “Those were lit and the animals inhaled around five cigarettes’ worth of combustible smoke a day.”

In the smoke groups, researchers found a decrease in the genetic material called microRNA associated with slowing or preventing fibrosis in the organ tissue.

Smoking alone drove the rats into renal dysfunction, according to Drummond. Also, blood pressure increased, the heart enlarged, and scar tissue developed in the heart muscle and kidneys.

“If you are concerned or have a pre-existing condition, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to improve your health,” Drummond said.

He is currently investigating the effects of e-cigarettes on the kidney and heart.

Pancreatic cancer survivor credits aggressive, unconventional treatment at UT in successful fight

Gerri Musser of Oregon, Ohio, didn’t think she would be around to celebrate Christmas and the New Year with her family.

“I am very lucky to be alive,” Musser, 62, said. “The odds were overwhelmingly against me.”

Dr. Changhu Chen and Gerri Musser posed for a photo in the Edge Radiosurgery Suite in UT Medical Center’s Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center. Under Chen’s care, Musser received a 10-day, high-dose, targeted radiation treatment for a tumor in her pancreas, liver, stomach and bile duct.

Dr. Changhu Chen and Gerri Musser posed for a photo in the Edge Radiosurgery Suite in UT Medical Center’s Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center. Under Chen’s care, Musser received a 10-day, high-dose, targeted radiation treatment for a tumor in her pancreas, liver, stomach and bile duct.

The day-care worker and great-grandmother of seven believed she was delivered a death sentence when doctors diagnosed her with pancreatic cancer in August 2015.

“You hear awful stories about how it’s too late when symptoms of pancreatic cancer surface — people died within weeks,” Musser said. “I was at stage IV when they found it. The shocking diagnosis sounded like instantaneous death. They gave me six months to live.”

Musser said her cancer journey started when she couldn’t keep any food down and lost 23 pounds in six weeks. She went to her family physician to find out why she was so sick.

“The ultrasound discovered a tumor the size of a cantaloupe in my pancreas,” Musser said. “I was immediately referred to the Dana Cancer Center at The University of Toledo to see a specialist.”

Surgical oncologists took her into surgery, but couldn’t remove the tumor because they discovered it also had spread to her liver, stomach and bile duct.

Dr. Changhu Chen, radiation oncologist at the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center and professor and chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology in the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, said Musser had a less than 5 percent chance of survival.

“After the surgery, I told them three times, ‘I want to live, I want to live, I want to live,’” Musser said. “I will do whatever I have to do.”

The primary tumor in Musser’s pancreas continued to grow despite chemotherapy, so Chen and staff at the Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center guided Musser through what Chen calls “unconventional treatment.”

“This is an exceptional case,” Chen said. “She responded so well, you could call it a miracle.”

Musser underwent a 10-day, high-dose, targeted radiation treatment.

“We offered Gerri a 10-day course of high-dose, intensity-modulated radiation therapy using a technology called stereotactic radiosurgery,” Chen said. “Instead of the traditional treatment of low doses on a region of the body for 25 to 30 days, we focused specifically on Gerri’s tumor for 10 minutes a day for 10 days with more than double the dosage using our Edge Radiosurgery Suite. We have had this machine for more than two years and have extensive experience with this fast and safe treatment.”

“It was aggressive treatment, and I’m happy to say it worked,” Musser said. “Dr. Chen dropped an atomic bomb on that big tumor in my pancreas, and the tumor has resolved. I had no side effects. I’m in a remission state and check in with my doctors every other month to make sure it doesn’t come back.”

Chen said Musser’s tumor is the largest for which he has had success using this treatment for pancreatic cancer. This technique is normally used for tumors less than 2 inches in size.

“Pancreatic cancer is a very deadly disease,” Chen said. “There has been no big breakthrough in treatment, no discovery of a method for early detection. I am glad we had good results from a devastating diagnosis in Gerri’s case.”

Chen said the Dana Cancer Center has had many successful treatments for patients with cancers other than pancreatic cancer using expertise and technology in radiation therapy at UT.

Musser, whose hair is growing back, savored every minute celebrating Christmas with her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

“I had great doctors, and I’m feeling good about making a fresh start for the New Year,” Musser said. “It’s a long road. I’m not done yet. It’s something I’ll have to live with for the rest of my life. However, I am prepared to fight again because I’d like to see my great-grandchildren grow up.”

Memorial service set for UT student; fund established in her memory

Visitation and a celebration of life for Molly L. LaBadie, a UT student who was pursuing a degree in anthropology and art history, will be held Saturday, Jan. 7.



LaBadie, 24, passed away from a sudden illness Dec. 22 in the Dominican Republic while on vacation with her mother, Dr. Kandace J. Williams, UT professor of biochemistry and cancer biology, and associate dean of the graduate program in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences.

The family will receive guests Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at Newcomer Funeral Home, 4752 Heatherdowns Blvd., Toledo. The celebration of life will begin at 2 p.m. Family and friends then are invited to gather at 4 p.m. at the Toledo Sailing Club, 2701 Broadway St.

LaBadie worked as a lab aide from 2015 to 2016 in the College of Medicine.

The Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology is planning to establish a fund in memory of LaBadie with the UT Foundation.

“Our hope is that this fund will be sufficient to provide modest support for a selected graduate student to travel to a national scientific meeting each year,” Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and executive vice president for clinical affairs, wrote in an email sent to college members. “Given Molly’s past contributions to the department, her love of travel, and Kandace’s devotion to our graduate students, we believe that this would be a fitting way to honor Molly.”

Donations may be made to the UT Foundation with “Biochem in memory of Molly LaBadie” in the memo and left with Mary Ann Schuster, assistant to the chair of the Biochemistry and Cancer Biology Department, in Block Health Science Building Room 413. The UT Foundation also will provide envelopes at the memorial service Saturday at Newcomer Funeral Home.

To share memories of LaBadie, click here.

Distinguished educator to deliver commencement address Dec. 17

Toledo native Dr. Timothy Law Snyder, president of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, will present the keynote address at the UT fall commencement Saturday, Dec. 17, at 10 a.m. in Savage Arena.

Snyder, who will receive an honorary degree during the ceremony, will address 2,066 candidates for degrees: 93 doctoral, 584 master’s, 1,346 bachelor’s and 43 associate’s degrees.



The ceremony will be streamed live at http://video.utoledo.edu.

Snyder is a distinguished American educator and academic administrator whose career includes success as a computational mathematician, musician, published scholar, lecturer and podcaster. He attended Toledo Public Schools and graduated from UT in 1981 with bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and mathematics. Additionally, he earned a master’s degree in mathematics from UT in 1983.

Snyder also holds a second master’s degree, as well as a doctoral degree, in computational mathematics from Princeton University.

“We’re honored to have Dr. Timothy Snyder return to his alma mater as our fall commencement speaker,” said UT President Sharon L. Gaber. “His career is proof that goals can be multidirectional, and success follows people who work hard to make lasting contributions, no matter what career paths they choose over a lifetime.”

In 2014, The University of Toledo Alumni Association recognized Snyder with its College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics’ Outstanding Alumnus Award.

“I return to my hometown with pride and excitement to deliver the keynote commencement address. My educational path and career were profoundly shaped by my years at UT,” Snyder said. “I continue to resonate with UT’s mission to improve the human condition and advance knowledge, among its other values. I hope to inspire graduates to pursue their life goals with creativity and integrity.”

Snyder has held academic positions at Berklee College of Music in Boston, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and at Georgetown University, where he was chair of the Department of Computer Science and its first dean of science. Additionally, he served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University in Connecticut and vice president for academic affairs at Loyola University Maryland. In 2015, Snyder was appointed the 16th president of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

He has published and presented widely on his research, which includes computational mathematics, data structures, design and analysis of algorithms, geometric probability, digital signal processing, computer music, and the education of the millennial generation. More recently, he has been researching risk assessment in commercial airline safety, as well as HIV and its prevention.

A musician most of his life, Snyder was lead singer in the touring rock-and-punk band Whirlwind from 1976 to 1983. His music can be found on iTunes and SoundCloud. He is also active in social media through his Twitter handle @LMUSnyder.

The University’s fall commencement ceremony will recognize graduates from the colleges of Arts and Letters, Business and Innovation, Judith Herb College of Education, Health and Human Services, Medicine and Life Sciences, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Nursing, and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Additionally, UT’s College of Engineering will hold graduation ceremonies for its undergraduate and graduate candidates Friday, Dec. 16, at 5:30 p.m. in Savage Arena.

For more information, visit utoledo.edu/commencement.

Reach Out and Read partners with Barnes & Noble to collect books, promote education

Reach Out and Reach, a grant-funded program of The University of Toledo Department of Pediatrics, is working with Barnes & Noble at the Shops at Fallen Timbers to help children in the classroom.

The community can help promote school readiness and family reading time by donating a book at the Barnes & Noble Fallen Timbers Holiday Book Drive at the store in Maumee Sunday, Dec. 11, with the voucher at right, or by shopping online at barnesnandnoble.com Dec. 11-16 with the book fair ID 11985702 at checkout. 

Barnes & Noble voucherAll book drive and book fair proceeds will benefit children and families in northwest Ohio.

“Our goal is to secure 10 percent of our books needed for the year; that is a total of 2,600 books,” Lori LeGendre, program director for Reach Out and Reach, said.

Reach Out and Read prepares America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.

Doctors, nurse practitioners and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read’s evidence-based model into regular pediatric checkups by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally appropriate books to children.

Locally, the program will reach 13,000 families with young children at 25 pediatric and family practice offices in northwest Ohio. The program distributes 26,000 new books yearly.

Nationally, Reach Out and Read programs are located in 5,800 hospitals, health centers and pediatric clinics in all 50 states. The program also serves 4.5 million children and families each year. More than 6.5 million new, developmentally appropriate books are given to children annually, and more than 12,000 doctors and nurses participate in Reach Out and Read.

Donations may be made to Reach Out and Read of Northwest Ohio at https://www.utfoundation.org/foundation/home/Give_Online.aspx.

For more information about the local initiative, visit facebook.com/RORNWO or reachoutandread.org, or contact LeGendre at lori.legendre@utoledo.edu or 419.383.4007.

Researchers take cross-disciplinary look at addressing side effect of cancer treatment

Radiation and chemotherapy treatments can have negative impacts on normal functions in the body and become so severe that some patients choose to discontinue their treatment plans.

Dr. Heather Conti, UT assistant professor of biological sciences, recently was awarded $60,000 from Ohio Cancer Research to support a study titled “Proinflammatory Cytokines IL-23 and IL-17 in Radiotherapy Induced Oral Mucositis” to explore what mechanisms cause one of the most common debilitating complications of cancer treatment called oral mucositis.

Conducting research to better understand oral mucositis with Dr. E. Ishmael Parsai, right, and Dr. Heather Conti are, from left, Nathan Schmidt, research assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences; Jackie Kratch, graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences; Lisa Root, director and attending vet in the Department of Lab Animal Resources; and Dr. Nicholas Sperling, assistant professor of medical physics. They are standing by the Varian Edge System at UT’s Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center.

Conducting research to better understand oral mucositis with Dr. E. Ishmael Parsai, right, and Dr. Heather Conti are, from left, Nathan Schmidt, research assistant in the Department of Biological Sciences; Jackie Kratch, graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences; Lisa Root, director and attending vet in the Department of Lab Animal Resources; and Dr. Nicholas Sperling, assistant professor of medical physics. They are standing by the Varian Edge System at UT’s Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center.

Oral mucositis occurs when cancer treatments break down the lining of the inside of the mouth, leaving it open to sores and infection. Patients experience sores on the gums or tongue, difficulty swallowing, bleeding and pain.

“Patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation of the head and neck can develop severe damage to the lining of the oral cavity,” Conti said. “The inflammation and sores can make it difficult and painful for the patient to speak, eat or drink, and can lead to an increased risk of serious infection.”

She has joined forces with Dr. E. Ishmael Parsai, radiation oncology professor and chief of the Medical Physics Division, to take a cross-disciplinary approach in examining oral mucositis in mouse models.

“I am thrilled to be working alongside Dr. Parsai. He has amazing, cutting-edge radiology equipment that he uses to treat patients, and it is one of the leading reasons why I chose to come to UT to conduct my research,” Conti said. “He will provide radiation treatments to the mouse models that are very similar to what cancer patients receive. We can then examine how interleukins, IL-23 and IL-17 are involved in cell-to-cell communication and are involved in the development of oral mucositis.”

These proteins are proinflammatory cytokines produced by both humans and mice.

Candida albicans is a yeast fungus that naturally occurs within the mouth, gut and vaginal tract, but given the chance to flourish in a patient where damage to the mucosal tissue has occurred due to radiation treatments, it can take hold and cause inflammation. It is the most common secondary infection in cancer patients.

Parsai said that despite advances in radiation treatment that have made it highly precise, such as the Varian Edge System used at UT’s Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center, healthy tissue still can be affected.

“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Conti to better understand how oral mucositis develops,” he said. “This research could lead to the development of better drugs to treat it and its associated infections, so that patients are able to successfully complete their course of cancer treatments.”

World AIDS Day forum to be held on UT’s Main Campus

The University of Toledo Medical Center’s Ryan White Program will host a forum discussing the many challenges of HIV and AIDS.

The free event will take place on World AIDS Day, Thursday, Dec. 1, in the Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium on UT’s Main Campus. Light refreshments will be served at a reception from 5 to 5:30 p.m. followed by a panel discussion.

World AIDS Day flyer version 6.pub (Read-Only)“The goal of the Ryan White Program and World AIDS Day is to reduce the stigma surrounding the HIV epidemic and to open a dialogue to educate the public about the myths and facts associated with HIV,” said Kennyetta White, minority outreach coordinator. “We need to work together to change public perceptions. While HIV infection rates are down, we still need to talk about risk factors and preventative measures.”

Panel members will include individuals living with or affected by HIV, as well as community health-care and service providers. The panelists will offer insight into the world of HIV and field questions from audience members.

World AIDS Day has been recognized every year since 1988 to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic and recognize those who have lost their lives to the disease.

“This forum is open to students, faculty, the HIV community and anyone else interested in learning more about HIV,” said Te’Anne Townsend, senior public health major and intern with the Ryan White Program. “This is an opportunity to separate fact from fiction, educate the public, and work to end stigma.”

UTMC’s Ryan White Program offers high-quality comprehensive HIV/AIDS care services. The program uses a multidisciplinary model that incorporates health care, mental health services and case management for those affected by HIV/AIDS in Lucas County and the surrounding counties in northwest Ohio.

“We encourage UT students and young adults in the community to attend,” said Megan Cooper, master of public health student and intern with the Ryan White Program. “It’s important for young people to understand risks of contracting HIV and the effects it has on a community to make a difference for future generations.”

Researchers explore connection between kidney and heart disease

Chronic kidney disease affects nearly 25 percent of the adult population in the United States. It is closely associated with cardiovascular disease and can lead to a patient requiring dialysis or kidney transplant.

Researchers at The University of Toledo are exploring the connection between the kidney and heart in an effort to understand the molecular mechanisms, which can help develop new treatments to improve patient outcomes.

Dr. Steven Haller, left, Dr. David Kennedy, center, and Dr. Jiang Tian are examining the connection between the kidney and heart.

Dr. Steven Haller, left, Dr. David Kennedy, center, and
Dr. Jiang Tian are examining the connection between the kidney and heart.

A recent study titled “Attenuation of Na/K-ATPase Mediated Oxidant Amplification With pNaKtide Ameliorates Experimental Uremic Cardiomyopathy” was published in Scientific Reports earlier this month.

UT researchers, in collaboration with Marshall University and New York Medical College, identified a peptide that could reduce kidney disease-related cardiac fibrosis in mice, which could potentially lead to the development of new treatment options for patients diagnosed with kidney disease.

“We know patients with kidney disease often develop cardiac fibrosis, which is a condition where their heart tissue becomes damaged and scarred,” said Dr. Jiang Tian, associate professor of medicine and lead co-author of the study. “Cardiac fibrosis was previously thought to be untreatable, but this new discovery shows promise for reversing or preventing the condition.”

The research builds upon pioneering work by co-author Dr. Zijian Xie, director of the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, who discovered a new function of the Na/K-ATPase during his tenure at UT. Xie found that the Na/K-ATPase can mediate cell signaling in addition to its role in regulating the potassium and sodium level in each cell of the body.

The research team subsequently learned that dysfunction of kidneys signals the body to produce steroids that bind to the Na/K-ATPase, but that a long term “off-target” effect of this causes scarring to develop in the heart.

“We discovered that these sodium-potassium pumps don’t just move sodium and potassium around, but they are multitasking proteins that are involved in other functions as well,” said Dr. David Kennedy, assistant professor of medicine and co-author of the study. “It’s like finding out your car is a spaceship and you didn’t even know it.”

When the team introduced a peptide called pNaKtide in a mouse model with kidney disease, the associated cardiac fibrosis was reduced.

“We are excited about these findings and will further explore the possibility to use this peptide as a therapeutic treatment for cardiac fibrosis,” Tian said.

In a related UT study, Dr. Steven Haller, assistant professor of medicine discovered use of the immunosuppressant drug Rapamycin also helps in reducing cardiac fibrosis in animal models with kidney disease.

“Given that we now know Na/K-ATPase signaling is known to initiate events that leads to cardiac fibrosis, we can look at ways to interrupt this sequence,” Haller said. “Rapamycin inhibits an enzyme implicated in the progression of many different forms of kidney disease, and we now know it also regulates a pro-fibrotic steroid, which binds the Na/K-ATPase and causes fibrosis.”

The study, “Rapamycin Attenuates Cardiac Fibrosis in Experimental Uremic Cardiomyopathy by Reducing Marinobufagenin Levels and Inhibiting Downstream Pro-Fibrotic Signaling,” was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

National advocacy board recognizes UT physician for groundbreaking research

Recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on syncope and disorders of the autonomic nervous system, Dr. Blair Grubb, UT Distinguished University Professor of Medicine and director of the Clinical Electrophysiology Program, recently was honored for his groundbreaking work in dysautonomia research.

Dysautonomia describes a group of diseases in which the autonomic nervous system does not work properly, affecting the heart, bladder, intestines, and other organs and blood vessels.

Dr. Blair Grubb received a $25,000 award from the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation last week. Posing for a photo with the physician were, from left, Kaylee Sills, acting executive director of the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation; Sarah Glenn Smith, president of the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation; and Ainsley Glenn, founding director of the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation.

Dr. Blair Grubb received a $25,000 award from the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation last week. Posing for a photo with the physician were, from left, Kaylee Sills, acting executive director of the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation; Sarah Glenn Smith, president of the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation; and Ainsley Glenn, founding director of the Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation.

The Dysautonomia Advocacy Foundation recognized Grubb at a reception in his honor Oct. 25 in Charleston, S.C. The association presented Grubb with a $25,000 award to support his research efforts.

“We presented Dr. Grubb with $5,000 last year, and we are so impressed with his progress in groundbreaking research into the role of autoimmunity in the pathogenesis of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), we decided to quintuple our gift this year,” said Sarah Glenn Smith, president of the association’s board.

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, known as POTS, is a form of dysautonomia and the condition characterized by an inappropriate elevation in heart rate and drop in blood pressure when standing up that can cause lightheadedness and palpitations.

“We see people from all over the world with varying levels of disability due to these diseases. We are working hard to determine what causes dysautonomia so we can improve their lives,” Grubb said. “This funding will help us to continue our exploration of dysautonomia as an autoimmune disease.”

Grubb pioneered many of the diagnostic and treatment modalities that are in common use for these disorders today and has authored more than 240 scientific papers, as well as five books and 35 book chapters.

He was recognized as one of “America’s Top Doctors” for 12 years in a row and received UT’s Distinguished University Professor award in 2009 and 2015. He was named Dysautonomia International’s Physician of the Year in 2015 and the Medical Professional of the Decade by the British Heart Rhythm Society and Arrhythmia Alliance in 2015.

While in South Carolina, Grubb also presented a lecture, “Autonomic Disorders: A Guide for the Clinician,” at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Grand Rounds Continuing Medical Education.

A research fund has been established to support Grubb’s mission to care for patients impacted by this condition. Visit https://give2ut.utoledo.edu/grubb.asp to make a donation. For more information, contact Allie Berns, assistant director of annual giving programs, at 419.530.5414 or allison.berns@utoledo.edu.

History of medicine lecture to explore work of early bacteriologist

The human body’s relationship with bacteria is complex. The microscopic organisms can help us live a healthy life or harm us by causing myriad diseases.

Researchers have long been fascinated by bacteriology, the study of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms. Dr. F. G. Novy, a world-renowned bacteriologist and former dean of the University of Michigan Medical School, is credited for putting the field of bacteriology on firm scientific foundations. He investigated how microbes survive in nature, spread in the environment, and cause disease in animals.



Novy’s work and accomplishments in this field of science will be the focus of the Eighth Annual S. Amjad Hussain Visiting Lecture in the History of Medicine and Surgery at The University of Toledo.

Dr. Powel Kazanjian, professor and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and professor of history at the University of Michigan, will present a lecture titled “The Origins of Bacteriology in America: Life and Works of Frederick Novy” Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 5 p.m. in Health Education Building Room 100 on UT’s Health Science Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

“Novy was an organic chemist who is known as the father of bacteriology. He was instrumental in the understanding of how microorganisms cause disease,” said Dr. S. Amjad Hussain, professor emeritus of thoracic cardiovascular surgery and humanities, and former member of the UT Board of Trustees. “His work helped to define bacteriology as a distinct discipline in America and laid much of the groundwork for studying the interactions between bacteria and the human body.”

Kazanjian was selected to speak at this year’s lecture by a committee that included Hussain; Howard Newman, retired associate vice president of development; Dr. Steven Selman, professor emeritus and chair of urology; Dr. Peter White, professor emeritus of medicine; and Dr. Thomas Sodeman, division chief of gastroenterology at The University of Toledo.

“Dr. Kazanjian is well-respected as an expert in the field of infectious diseases. He has written nearly 100 research publications,” Hussain said. “His interest in the history of bacteriology, epidemics and sexually transmitted diseases fits nicely with the goals of our lecture series.”

Hussain said researchers and physicians are continually building on historical concepts in medicine to find new ways to cure disease.

“When penicillin was discovered in the 1940s, we thought it was the silver bullet,” he said. “What we learned in time is that microorganisms are vigilant and have learned how to develop resistance to available antibiotics; therefore, we are continually on a quest to find and develop new antibiotics.”