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Study shows overeating during breastfeeding may lead to health problems for offspring

Breastfeeding has many health benefits for children, such as reducing their risk of obesity and strengthening their immune system. However, new mothers who consume a high-fat diet while breastfeeding may undermine some of those advantages, according to new research at The University of Toledo.

When mouse moms ate a high-fat, high-calorie diet while nursing, their offspring developed obesity, early puberty, diabetes and fertility issues.

Wang

Dr. Mengjie Wang, a PhD candidate in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, is the lead researcher of a team that used mice as a model to study the impact of excess calories during the breastfeeding stage on the offspring’s metabolism and reproduction.

“All over the world, puberty is starting earlier than it did in the past,” said Wang, who is earning her PhD at UT after graduating from medical school in China at Guangxi Medical University. “Childhood obesity, a common health issue, is one of the risk factors for early puberty. Previous evidence from animals has revealed that post-weaning overeating advances the timing of puberty, but we lack knowledge of how nutrition before weaning influences metabolism and reproduction.”

To determine how excess body fat alters the timing of puberty, Wang’s team gave female mice that are new mothers a high-fat diet from the date they gave birth and started breastfeeding until they weaned their offspring. A second group of mice that also were new mothers were given a regular diet. The onset of puberty was evaluated in the offspring after weaning, and fertility tests were done on the mice in adulthood, as well as an examination of their metabolic function.

“We found that excess calories during the breastfeeding phase can cause early obesity and early puberty and increases the risk of developing diabetes, metabolic dysfunction and subfertility during adulthood,” Wang said. “These results show that the breastfeeding phase is a critical window that influences when puberty happens.”

The study found that offspring of the mothers fed a high-fat diet while breastfeeding suffered from glucose intolerance and insulin insensitivity. They also had decreased litter sizes and impaired pregnancy rates.

“Human studies are needed to know whether these results apply to our species,” Wang said. “Still, I recommend that mothers consume a moderate and healthy diet while breastfeeding to protect their child’s long-term health.”

Wang said the research is significant in the clinical setting because doctors don’t always follow the same patients from puberty to adult life.

“Our findings can alert doctors and patients with early puberty that other health problems may arise after they become adults,” Wang said.

UT researcher cures high blood pressure in rats

A University of Toledo researcher recently won a prestigious award for his cutting-edge hypertension study that cured high blood pressure in rats.

Dr. Xi Cheng, a UT College of Medicine postdoctoral fellow, won the Physiological Genomics Group New Investigator Award from the American Physiological Society and presented his research in April at the Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego.

Cheng

In his trailblazing research, Cheng identified a gene responsible for inherited high blood pressure in rats, and then he genetically engineered that gene to cure hypertension in the rats. Both were firsts in the field of genomic science that is focused on essential hypertension.

About one in three U.S. adults suffers from essential hypertension, or high blood pressure, which is a complex condition with no clear cause. Blood pressure can be affected by environmental factors such as diet and weight, but hypertension also runs in families with no identifiable, pre-existing cause. This kind of hypertension is what interests the UT researchers.

Cheng also discovered that another kind of genetic material — circular RNA — also seems to play a role in hypertension. His paper, published last fall in Physiological Genomics, was chosen as an APSselect article, an award given to authors of the most exciting original research articles published by the American Physiological Society.

Cheng has been studying hypertension since 2013, when he came to UT as a doctoral student in molecular medicine. He continues to work with his mentor, Dr. Bina Joe, Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and director of the Center for Hypertension and Personalized Medicine. Their research focuses on how to correct and, if possible, permanently cure hypertension.

Scientists believe patients with hypertension inherit multiple genetic defects, which are difficult for researchers to find on strands of DNA that are millions of base pairs long. It’s also difficult to prove whether the defects “cause” or are “associated” with high blood pressure.

Cheng identified a new gene that regulates blood pressure in rats and pinpointed the mutation that is inherited and causes high blood pressure. He found a 19-base sequence of DNA in rats with lower blood pressure that was missing in rats with higher blood pressure.

Using a new technology, he extracted that critical DNA sequence from the rats with normal blood pressure and inserted it into the genome of hypertensive rats to see if correcting the mutation would cause their blood pressure to decrease. It was the first time anyone had used the new technique, called CRISPR/​Cas9 technology, to perform genome surgery in rats for correcting mutations for hypertension.

The embryos with the edited gene were implanted into surrogate mother rats. When the rodents were born, they became the world’s first genetically altered rats created to pinpoint the area on their DNA that caused them to inherit hypertension. More importantly, Cheng’s new rat strain no longer had high blood pressure. The “cure” had worked.

Cheng’s first-of-its-kind research proved that genome surgery — editing genes — can permanently cure a genetically inherited cause of hypertension in rats.

Allen Cowley, an internationally renowned hypertension researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin, remarked in his review of Cheng’s work that “the work represents a technical tour de force and illustrates the critically important role of animal models that can mimic human traits of a complex disease to advance our understanding of the polymorphic associations that have been defined in human populations.”

Human patients can’t throw out their blood pressure meds just yet, though.

“Additional research will determine the possibility of this approach to cure hypertension in humans as we work to identify all the genetic pieces within the human genome that contribute to hypertension,” Cheng said.

The particular region that controls blood pressure in rats is similar to a region on a chromosome in humans in which scientists have reported associations with cardiac dysfunction and high blood pressure.

It’s much more difficult, though, to test this in humans, whose genes vary in millions of ways from person to person. To pinpoint the piece of genetic material that causes high blood pressure is like finding that proverbial needle in a haystack.

But the researchers are hopeful about the future of the research being conducted at the Center for Hypertension and Personalized Medicine.

“Here in Toledo, we are contributing to a piece of the puzzle,” Joe said. “When Xi and I were born, we didn’t have genome sequencing ability. Now we do.”

In the future, she said, scientists will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict who will get what diseases. And those scientists will rely on researchers like Joe and Cheng for data and to understand the blueprint of the genome.

Cheng has been accepted into a highly competitive online master’s program in computer science and machine learning at the Georgia Institute of Technology and will apply what he learns in the program to his research in Toledo.

Researchers discover molecule that could stop movement of cancer cells

Researchers at The University of Toledo have designed a first-of-its-kind gene-targeting molecule that could serve as a therapy to stop cancer growth and to help cancer patients who are resistant to current drugs.

Dr. Terry Hinds, assistant professor in the UT Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and Lucien McBeth, a second-year medical student, received a full international patent last fall for “Sweet-P,” a new type of anti-cancer molecule.

Dr. Terry Hinds, right, is quick to credit his research team for helping to discover Sweet-P, a new type of anti-cancer molecule. Team members are, from left, Maggie Wong, Vikram Sundararaghavan, Darren Gordon, Charles Hawk, Justin Spear, Lucien McBeth, Abdul-Rizaq Ali Hamoud, Jonathan Demeter, Kari Neifer-Sadhwani and Jonnelle Edwards.

“When cancer cells are moving to other parts of the body, Sweet-P stops the migration,” Hinds said. “There’s nothing like it out there.”

Sweet-P has the potential to be a unique anti-cancer therapy, Hinds said, but more research is needed. It first needs to be used in preclinical investigations in mice before it can be tested in human patients.

Like many scientific discoveries, this one came about as Hinds and his team were studying something else — obesity.

Their work centered on GR beta, one of two proteins that originate from a gene called the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Hinds genetically modified stem cells to have a higher level of GR beta and hypothesized based on other studies that the stem cells would change into large fat cells.

But they didn’t. They rapidly proliferated instead.

“GR beta was driving the growth phase of the cells,” Hinds said.

This discovery led Hinds and his team to ask more questions about GR beta, which is known to cause cancer cells to grow, proliferate and migrate.

Hinds’ team focused on the place on a gene where small RNAs, in this case microRNA-144, bind on the GR beta gene. Very little is known about microRNA-144 or what it specifically controls, but reports show that levels of it are significantly higher in patients with bladder cancer.

“Typically, microRNAs suppress genes. But this microRNA activates GR beta, especially during migration,” Hinds said. “We’d never seen this before.”

No one had ever created a drug to target microRNA-specific interaction with a gene. So Hinds got to work.

The end result is Sweet-P, a peptide nucleic acid molecule that resembles DNA.

Hinds tested the molecule on bladder cancer cells and found that it did indeed suppress GR beta. It latches on to the microRNA binding site of the GR beta gene and stops the microRNA from activating the protein. If the GR beta doesn’t work properly, the cancer cells don’t migrate.

Think of it as a basketball game. GR beta is the point guard, the playmaker. It sends the basketball (a signal) to other players (the cancer cells) to move and drive to the basket (other parts of the body). MicroRNA-144, then, is the coach screaming at GR beta to go faster. Sweet-P is akin to the referee giving a technical foul to silence the “coach” and slow down the game.

Because Sweet-P targets just one specific gene interaction — between the microRNA and the GR beta gene — it could significantly reduce side effects of potential treatments created with it, Hinds said.

“It’s precision medicine at its best,” he said.

Sweet-P’s ability to target GR beta could have implications for treating other cancers in which GR beta is highly expressed, including glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, and prostate and lung cancers.

Sweet-P also could be a potential treatment for other diseases, like asthma, Hinds said.

Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs), the most commonly prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs, are often used to treat asthma, as well as cancer and other diseases. A high level of GR beta can cause those hormones to become ineffective, a condition known as GC resistance. Asthma patients often have high GR beta in their airways.

“When Sweet-P inhibited the GR beta, it increased the responsiveness of GCs, so Sweet-P may reverse GC-resistant diseases,” Hinds said.

If Sweet-P someday becomes an approved therapy, Hinds, who has asthma, might be able to get rid of the EpiPen on his desk.

Area students to learn about health-care fields at CampMed

Thirty-nine students from northwest Ohio will experience what it’s like to study medicine this week at The University of Toledo’s CampMed program.

The high school freshmen will be on Health Science Campus Thursday and Friday, June 14 and 15.

Mayzie Clark, right, was among the 39 freshman from area high schools who learned how to dress for the operating room during last year’s CampMed.

From preparing to dress for the operating room to learning how to make a cast and suture, the students will participate in several hands-on lessons during the program.

“CampMed is a wonderful program for underserved high school students from northwest Ohio to be exposed to careers in medicine and health care while learning about the educational opportunities available to them on The University of Toledo Health Science Campus,” said Courtney K. Combs, director of the UT and Ohio Area Health Education Center programs.

The students will begin Thursday morning after the welcoming ceremonies with a tools of the trade session where they will learn to use medical instruments, including blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes. Lessons will continue for two days with opportunities to tour a gross anatomy lab, the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center and a plastination museum.

“Campers are often first-generation college, underrepresented minorities, and/or  live in rural or urban underserved communities,” Combs said. “They are all high-achieving individuals who show an interest in STEMM, and CampMed provides the exposure and inspiration needed to pursue a career in medicine or health care.”

CampMed, which began in 1998, is coordinated through the UT Area Health Education Center program, which works to improve the well-being of individuals and communities by developing the health-care workforce.

The competitive scholarship program requires students to submit a letter of recommendation, a nomination from a science or math teacher or counselor, and a personal essay to be chosen to participate.

First- and second-year UT medical students serve as camp counselors, and the campers also interact with physicians and faculty members.

UT College of Medicine to hold commencement May 25

Dr. Josiah D. Rich, who is known for his research on infectious diseases and addictions, will be the speaker for The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences’ graduation ceremony Friday, May 25, at 2 p.m. at Stranahan Theater.

A total of 200 degrees will be awarded: 161 doctor of medicine degrees, nine doctor of philosophy degrees, 25 master’s degrees, and five graduate certificates.

Rich

Rich will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.

“It is an honor to have Dr. Rich address our graduates,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and executive vice president for clinical affairs. “Dr. Rich was selected by a committee of medical students and faculty from a national pool in recognition of his efforts to improve health care and his work related to addiction, especially as it relates to the national opiate epidemic.”

Rich is a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Providence. He also is a practicing infectious disease specialist at the Miriam Hospital and at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, caring for prisoners with HIV Infection and other diseases since 1994.

An expert in the care and prevention of disease in addicted and incarcerated individuals, Rich’s research looks at the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS and co-morbid conditions, especially among these populations. He has had continuous federal research funding for more than two decades and has published nearly 200 peer-reviewed publications.

Rich is the director and co-founder of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at the Miriam Hospital. He is also the co-founder of the Nationwide Centers for AIDS Research Collaboration in HIV in Corrections initiative. Rich has advocated for public health policy changes to help people with addiction; this includes improving legal access to sterile syringes and increasing drug treatment for the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated populations.

In 2015, Rhode Island’s Gov. Gina Raimondo appointed Rich as an expert adviser to the Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force, charged with formulating a strategic plan to address addiction and stop overdose deaths in Rhode Island. He also has served as an expert for the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.

In April, Rich spoke about the opioid crisis in front of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. And on May 8, he testified for the House Committee on the Judiciary’s hearing titled “Challenges and Solutions in the Opioid Crisis.”

Faculty members receive promotion, tenure

A number of faculty members received tenure and promotion for the 2017-18 academic year approved in April by the UT Board of Trustees.

Faculty members who received tenure were:

College of Law
• Michelle Cavalieri
• Bryan Lammon

Faculty members who received tenure and promotion to associate professor were:

College of Arts and Letters
• Daniel Hernandez, Art
• Dr. Thor Mednick, Art
• Dr. Liat Ben-Moshe, Disability Studies
• Dr. Jason Levine, Psychology
• Daniel Thobias, Theatre and Film

College of Business and Innovation
• Dr. Kainan Wang, Finance
• Dr. Joseph Cooper, Management

College of Engineering
• Dr. Halim Ayan, Bioengineering
• Dr. Eda Yildirim-Ayan, Bioengineering

College of Health and Human Services
• Dr. Aravindhan Natarajan, School of Social Justice

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. David Heidt, Surgery

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
• Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, Biological Sciences

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Dr. Wissam AbouAlaiwi, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Faculty members promoted to professor were:

College of Arts and Letters
• Dr. Mysoon Rizk, Art
• Dr. Sujata Shetty, Geography and Planning
• Dr. Jami Taylor, Political Science and Public Administration
• Dr. Edmund Lingan, Theatre and Film

College of Business and Innovation
• Dr. Margaret Hopkins, Management
• Dr. Bashar Gammoh, Marketing and International Business

College of Engineering
• Dr. Scott Molitor, Bioengineering
• Dr. Sridhar Viamajala, Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Dr. Youngwoo Seo, Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Dr. Devinder Kaur, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
• Dr. Gursel Serpen, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
• Dr. Chunhua Sheng, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
• Dr. Hongyan Zhang, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

College of Health and Human Services
• Dr. Tavis Glassman, School of Population Health
• Dr. Sheryl Milz, School of Population Health

Judith Herb College of Education
• Dr. Tod Shockey, Curriculum and Instruction
• Dr. Florian Feucht, Educational Foundations and Leadership

College of Law
• Elizabeth McCuskey
• Evan Zoldan

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. Azedine Medhkour, Neurosurgery

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
• Dr. Tomer Avidor-Reiss, Biological Sciences
• Dr. Maria Diakonova, Biological Sciences
• Dr. Michael Weintraub, Environmental Sciences

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, Medicinal and Biological Chemistry
• Dr. Frederick Williams, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Faculty members promoted to associate professor were:

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. Sumon Nandi, Orthopaedic Surgery
• Dr. Terrence Lewis, Radiology

Faculty members recognized for outstanding scholarly and creative activity

With the support of University Libraries and a subcommittee organized by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, President Sharon L. Gaber and Provost Andrew Hsu have recognized 26 faculty members from across campus with outstanding contributions in scholarly or creative activity over the past three years.

These contributions include articles in leading scientific journals with high standing that have attracted significant attention in the community; monographs that were published by premier academic presses that have received positive external reviews; and exhibits or performances of creative activity that have received high acclaim.

“I am pleased that the University Libraries contributed by identifying UT faculty articles and books published in preeminent journals and publishing houses,” said Beau Case, dean of University Libraries.

“Faculty members are raising the profile of The University of Toledo across the breadth of disciplines and programs at UT,” said Dr. Frank Calzonetti, vice president for research. “The excellent work of faculty members in disciplines outside of science and engineering is quite impressive and sometimes goes unnoticed.

“All too often research grant dollars are associated with faculty scholarly and creative activity,” Calzonetti said. “In some disciplines, such as in biomedical science, faculty members cannot sustain their research programs that lead to discoveries and publications without external funding to support laboratory needs. However, in many disciplines, such as pure mathematics or history, external funding is not as critical to faculty success in scholarly and creative activity.”

“Given the many faculty members who have had outstanding contributions in scholarly and creative activity over the past three years, it was a tall order to determine just 26 who should be recognized at this time,” said Dr. Ruth Hottell, chair and professor of the Department of World Languages and Cultures, and selection committee member.

The following faculty members were recognized:

• Dr. Abdollah Afjeh of the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering;

• Dr. Ana C. Alba-Rubio of the Department of Chemical Engineering;

• Dr. Melissa Baltus of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology;

• Dr. Joe Elhai of the Department of Psychology;

• Dr. Kristen Geaman of the Department of History;

• Dr. Blair Grubb of the Department of Medicine;

• Daniel Hernandez of the Department of Art;

• Dr. Terry Hinds of the Department of of Physiology and Pharmacology;

• Dr. Bina Joe of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology;

• Dr. Dong-Shik Kim of the Department of Chemical Engineering;

• Dr. Kristin Kirschbaum of the Instrumentation Center;

• Dr. Ashok Kumar of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering;

• Dr. Beata Lecka-Czernik of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery;

• Dr. Barbara Mann of the Jesup Scott Honors College;

• Elizabeth McCuskey of the College of Law;

• Dr. Thor Mednick of the Department of Art;

• Dr. Munier Nazzal of the Department of Surgery;

• Dr. Kim E. Nielsen of the Department of Disability Studies;

• Dr. Michael Rees of the Department of Urology;

• Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini of the Department of Music;

• Dr. Donald Ronning of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry;

• Stephen Sakowski of the Department of Theatre and Film;

• Dr. Yanfa Yan of the Department of Physics and Astronomy;

• Dr. Matt Yockey of the Department of Theatre and Film;

• Rebecca Zietlow of the College of Law; and

• Evan Zoldan of the College of Law.

New genetic analysis center at UT to accelerate research in disease prevention, detection and treatment

The University of Toledo Women & Philanthropy Genetic Analysis Instrumentation Center will be unveiled Thursday, May 17, at 6 p.m. with a ceremony in Health Education Building Room 100 on Health Science Campus, followed by tours of the facility located on the second floor.

The center, which increases the capability of UT researchers in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences to develop preventative, diagnostic and treatment strategies for diseases such as cancer and heart disease, was created with the help of nearly $60,000 from Women & Philanthropy, the largest grant ever awarded by the volunteer organization that supports UT initiatives.

A researcher works in the Women & Philanthropy Genetic Analysis Instrumentation Center.

“This is a critical investment that advances the research mission of UT,” said Marcy McMahon, chair of Women & Philanthropy. “We believe it will serve to improve public health and retain and attract talented scientists dedicated to curing diseases.”

“The center truly transforms work in the emerging field of molecular diagnostics,” said Dr. David Kennedy, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and co-director of the UT Women & Philanthropy Genetic Analysis Instrumentation Center. “By saving valuable time and using a high-quality process, it sets new standards for molecular testing and incorporates all workflow steps from sample preparation to genetic marker detection.”

“We are extremely grateful for the significant investment provided by Women & Philanthropy to establish the center, which will greatly enhance our capability to investigate numerous diseases and develop potential therapies,” said Dr. Steven Haller, assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and co-director of the new center with Kennedy.

The researchers recently received three grants totaling $450,000 from the Ohio Department of Higher Education to support their water quality research into how exposure to algal toxins, such as microcystin, affects organ function and to create new therapies to prevent and treat organ damage, especially in vulnerable patient populations.

“Although scientists in UT’s Department of Medicine are involved in many cutting-edge research projects vital to human health areas, they lacked the ability to process and examine multiple human and experimental samples for genetic analysis without significant delay,” McMahon said. “The Genetic Analysis Center meets that need.”

The UT Women & Philanthropy Genetic Analysis Instrumentation Center also received more than $45,000 in support from Qiagen, a biomedical company headquartered in Germany, to help pay for instruments, including:

• The Qiagen TissueLyser II, a tissue processor that allows up to 192 biological samples to be processed at the same time;

• The QIACube HT, a DNA-, RNA- and protein-extraction system that uses nucleic acid to quickly and easily purify DNA, RNA, protein and miRNA from almost any type of sample, including cells, tissues and food, as well as from bacteria and viruses in animal samples;

• The QIAgility, an automated liquid handling system that provides rapid, high-precision setup for polymerase chain reaction, a technique used to amplify, or make many copies of, a segment of DNA; and

• Real-time multiplex polymerase chain reaction thermal cyclers that use a centrifugal rotary design to allow each reaction tube to spin in a chamber of moving air, which keeps all samples at each step of the cycling program at exactly the same temperature. The system contains integrated Q-Rex software for data integration and analysis.

UT medical student receives Sarnoff Fellowship for cardiovascular research

A third-year medical student at The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences was selected as a 2018-19 Sarnoff Fellow.

Rahul Mital, who is studying to work in the field of pediatric cardiology, is one of nine students across the United States awarded the honor.

Mital

“This is a very competitive, prestigious award,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the UT College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and executive vice president for clinical affairs. “We are proud of Rahul and look forward to his achievements in cardiovascular research.”

The Sarnoff Fellowship program offers medical students enrolled in accredited U.S. medical schools the opportunity to spend a year conducting intensive work in a biomedical research facility in the United States other than the medical school in which they are enrolled.

“I’m humbled by the opportunity that lies ahead of me and plan to make the most of it,” Mital said. “Being a member of the Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Foundation and partaking in world-class research while receiving mentorship and guidance is truly an invaluable step in achieving my goals.”

Rahul plans to study cardiogenesis, which is the development of the heart in the embryo, and how to use gene therapy as a potential treatment for congenital heart disease.

“No child deserves to be born with a congenital heart disease, but the unfortunate truth is that congenital heart disease is the most common type of birth defect, affecting 40,000 births per year in the United States alone,” Mital said. “If a greater understanding of the underlying pathophysiology is achieved, patient care can move away from expensive surgeries and lifelong follow-ups, and instead be focused at the molecular level.”

The full-time Sarnoff Fellowship is a one-year award of $32,000 for the 2018-19 academic year. Fellows also receive financial support for travel and moving expenses.

The 2018-19 Fellows were introduced at the Sarnoff Foundation’s 38th Annual Scientific Meeting last week in Boston.

Girls in science day at UT May 10

More than 160 sophomore high school girls will visit The University of Toledo Thursday, May 10, when prominent female scientists and engineers across the region will introduce them to the exciting world of science and technology careers through hands-on experiments and demonstrations.

The ninth annual Women in STEMM Day of Meetings, which goes by the acronym WISDOM, will take place from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on UT’s Main Campus and Health Science Campus.

Area students tested their handmade solar cells constructed with glass, blackberries and graphite during last year’s Women in STEMM Day of Meetings, which goes by the acronym WISDOM.

UT faculty and industrial professionals will help inspire a passion for science careers by exploring the tools of the trade.

The girls will carry out investigations in a number of areas, including physics and astronomy, chemistry, biology, psychology, engineering, pharmacy, and medicine.

Activities for students will include building solar cells, swabbing their cheeks for a DNA sample, aseembling a motor, generating electricity on a bike, making biodiesel fuel, creating lip balm, and touring the anatomy museum.