- WSU wins 'Movember' White Coat Mustache Challenge, project raises $13K for men's health
In Headlines on December 3, 2013
WSU medical students Adam Russman, left, and Arjun Gowda, show off their Movember moustaches.
Despite a hair-raising back and forth near the end, Team WSUSOMoustaches remains champion of the White Coat Mustache Challenge, contributing $3,466 of the $13,413 raised in November for Movember.
Men were encouraged to shave Nov. 1, then grow full moustaches for the 30 days in November, turning themselves into walking conversation starters and collecting donations for charity. No goatees or beards were allowed.
The challenge was created by WSU medical students three years ago to up the ante (and the subsequent amount raised) for Movember, the international annual campaign that unites men and women in a month-long charity effort to benefit men’s health initiatives.
The 10 participating medical schools included University of California at Irvine (in second place) and Michigan State University (in third place), Oakland University and others. (View all team results on the Movember network page here.)
WSU medical student Arjun Gowda captained the School of Medicine’s Movember fundraising team.
“It’s pretty awesome that we won this year's competition, but that said, I'm really just happy with the turnout and enthusiasm we had from all the participants, both at Wayne and from the other competing schools,” Gowda said.
The third-year student co-founded the challenge with 2013 School of Medicine graduate Andrew Vollman, M.D., and fourth-year medical student Adam Russman, who has been involved with Movember since starting at the School of Medicine in 2010.
“Movember definitely plays an important role in raising money to help fund research in men's health, but for me it has always been a fun way to spread awareness about men's-related illnesses like prostate cancer by making yourself look like a goofball. I'm just happy that there are other med students out there that feel the same way,” Gowda said.
The first White Coat Mustache Challenge included medical students only at WSU, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. But the WSU team increased participation in 2012 by contacting medical schools across the country.
“Spreading the word to other schools was mostly by recruiting schools who were already participating in Movember, or former participants in the White Coat Mustache Challenge,” Gowda said.
At WSU, money was raised by word of mouth and “a few absurd emails to the school to get people in involved,” he said.
Movember was started in 2003 by a group of Australian friends. The proceeds, collected by independent teams like the one at WSU, benefit the Movember Foundation, Prostate Cancer Foundation and LiveStrong Foundation.
- Kresge Eye Institute unveils tactile art mural for vision-impaired patients
In Headlines on December 3, 2013
From left, Canton residents Christopher and Jackie Kight, and artist Laurie Eisenhardt, meet at the mural unveiling. Photo by Millard Berry.
WSU Professor of Ophthalmology James Puklin, M.D., checks out the art. Photo by Millard Berry.
Rainbow Man by Laurie Eisenhardt. Photo by Richard Doyle.
The Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit recently hosted a reception to celebrate the unveiling of a new mosaic mural in its third floor pediatric waiting room.
The installation, “Rainbow Man,” is 13 feet wide by 7 feet tall and includes more than 1,000 hand-sculpted clay pieces. It features three-dimensional details, allowing visually impaired children and adults to experience art by touch. One section features a quote by Helen Keller in Braille type.
“Kresge Eye Institute is more than just the home of excellent eye care,” said Mark Juzych, director of KEI and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at WSU. “We now have a unique space where visually impaired young people can use their sense of touch to interact with a work of art through an installation made especially for them. It’s a good example of the way we at Kresge care for the whole person.”
The mural, unveiled Nov. 6, was created by Royal Oak artist Laurie Eisenhardt, with funding from the Sara Williams Parish Foundation. The project was completed with volunteers from Art & Soul, a mission of Birmingham First United Methodist Church, in cooperation with the Networking, Organizing and Advocating for the Homeless program at Detroit’s Central United Methodist Church. Art & Soul is designed to inspire pride and purpose in the homeless through self-expressive art. Many Art & Soul members also are patients at Kresge.
“The inspiring collaboration with the folks at Art & Soul on ideas for the imagery led to the development of ‘Rainbow Man,’” Eisenhardt said. “Two main considerations in designing the mosaic were planning spaces in the piece that many people with varying skill levels could contribute to and, of course, the design challenge to create art that would be accessible for the visually impaired.”
The pediatric waiting area is called “Christopher’s Corner,” to honor a former patient, Christopher Kight, who lost sight in one eye as a result of an injury as an infant. Christopher is now 11 years old and lives in Canton with his family.“A few years ago, we were able to make a small donation and direct some additional funding to Kresge,” said Jackie Kight, Christopher’s mother. “This helped create a waiting area for the children. When Christopher was being treated, I noticed that there was not a space for the children to play quietly while they waited. Christopher’s Corner was our contribution to give back to Kresge and provide a place for the kids to wait to see the wonderful doctors.”
- Ultrasounds perform Dec. 6 in Margherio Conference Center
In Headlines on December 3, 2013The Margherio Family Conference Center will ring with the dulcet tones of the Ultrasounds as they perform a holiday season concert Dec. 6.
The performance, from noon to 1:30 p.m., will feature the School of Medicine’s student a capella group, with a special guest appearance by Music in Medicine.
The concert, sponsored by the Shiffman Medical Library and the School of Medicine, is part of the Arts in the Atrium series.
- World AIDS Day Detroit events begin Dec. 2 at the School of Medicine
In Headlines on November 27, 2013
World AIDS Day is Dec. 1. Activities will take place through Dec. 7.
American Idol finalist and HIV/AIDS activist will appear at the Mayors Breakfast Dec. 6 at the Fillmore theater in Detroit.
The annual World AIDS Day Detroit is returning to the Wayne State University School of Medicine with a week’s worth of events at the school and around the city.
WADD was launched in 2011 by School of Medicine third-year student Phillip Kucab, Class of 2015, to coincide with the global awareness day established in 1988 by the World Health Organization. It is observed yearly Dec. 1, which this year is the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Globally, this year’s theme is “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report in 2012 chronicling the impact of HIV on the country’s youth. An estimated 1.1 million people are living with HIV in the United States, and about 50,000 people contract HIV each year, the report stated. About one in four of new infections occur in 13- to 24-years-olds. About 60 percent don’t know they are infected, the CDC said, and 54 percent of the new infections are among young gay and bisexual African-American males.
Kucab, who had a cousin with hemophilia who contracted HIV through blood transfusions as a child, thought the message needed to return, especially in Detroit. Due to the close proximity of the holiday, this year’s committee decided to organize a week’s worth of events set for Dec.2-Dec. 7.
The events are being organized by the WADD committee, along with the School of Medicine’s STI/AIDS Education Initiative, LGBT People in Medicine and the American Medical Student Association.
Dec. 2: A “community board” will be hoisted in the cafeteria where students, staff and faculty can write why they want an AIDS-free generation. It will remain there through end of week. The group also will sell 2013 World AIDS Day Detroit T-shirts for $15 and 2012 T-shirts for $5 during lunch in the Scott Hall cafeteria through Dec. 6.
Dec. 4: Photo Day, Scott Hall, Room 1328. “Wear your T-shirt and come down to get your picture professionally taken with you, your friends, your awesome new T-shirts and a chalkboard message,” said Sarah Atkinson, this year’s World AIDS Day Detroit organizer and a second-year medical student.
Dec. 5: “Wear RED Day.” Sport some red clothing to show your support. Then, from 6 to 9 p.m., Blumz by JRDesigns at 503 E. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale, will sponsor a benefit for the AIDS memorial quilt. Guests can enjoy complimentary appetizers and beverages and view the first NAMES Project Foundation quilt panel submitted (#0001) and the last panel added (#5914). The event is hosted at Blumz by the Michigan chapter of NAMES Project Foundation and the Michigan AIDS Coalition.
Dec. 6: The third annual World AIDS Day Detroit Mayors Breakfast will take place from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Fillmore Theater, 2115 Woodward in Detroit. Visit www.worldaidsdaydetroit.eventbrite.com for free general admission tickets.
This year’s special guest is singer and model Kimberley Locke, a former “American Idol” contestant who placed third in the 2003 season behind winner Ruben Studdard and runner-up Clay Aiken. Since appearing on the show, Locke, a Nashville native, has been actively involved with One Heartland, a national non-profit organization committed to improving the lives of children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS. She serves on the organization’s board of directors. She also has worked with several other HIV/AIDS related charities, including the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, YouthAIDS, Nashville CARES and the Davy Foundation. In 2007, Locke was presented with the Red Ribbon Award in recognition of her extensive charitable efforts as an HIV/AIDS activist.
Atkinson and team have planned the World AIDS Day Detroit Extravaganza for the evening of Dec. 6 at Saint Andrew's Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit. The event will be "glo"-themed and local indie pop duo Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is expected to perform.
The World AIDS Day Detroit observance ends Dec. 7 with a fundraiser and mixer at Hamlin Pub in Royal Oak co-hosted by School of Medicine medical students and Oakland University medical students.To learn more, volunteer at any World AIDS Day Detroit event or to donate to the cause, visit www.worldaidsdaydetroit.com or https://www.facebook.com/worldaidsdaydetroit.
- WSU part of team on worldwide exclusive license for novel approaches to manage cancer with green tea extracts
In Headlines on November 26, 2013
Q. Ping Dou, Ph.D.Wayne State University, along with McGill University in Canada and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, have executed an exclusive worldwide license with Viteava Pharmaceutical Inc. for an intellectual property portfolio claiming composition of matter and/or methods of use of novel analogs and derivatives of the green tea flavonoid known as (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG.
This intellectual property resulted from a long-standing collaboration between Q. Ping Dou, Ph.D., professor of oncology, pharmacology and pathology at Wayne State University’s School of Medicine and the Karmanos Cancer Institute, and Tak-Hang Chan, Ph.D., professor emeritus of chemistry at McGill University and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The intellectual property portfolio is owned by Wayne State University, McGill University, the University of South Florida, the Moffitt Cancer Center and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Patents have been issued in the United States, Japan and China, and are pending in other international jurisdictions.
Viteava Pharmaceuticals will focus on the development of novel approaches to manage cancer and related conditions. It has identified VPE001, a prodrug of EGCG with improved bioavailability and potency, as its lead drug candidate expected to enter clinical development in 2015. Initial clinical indications may include the treatment of uterine fibroids and/or delaying the progression of cancer in high-risk, early-stage chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients.
“My laboratory was the first to identify inhibition of proteasomal chymotrypsin-like activity as an important mechanism of action of EGCG,” Dr. Dou said. “We also know that EGCG can affect, albeit to a lesser extent, other important pathways, such as PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling. Viteava's drug candidates target diseases where these pathways are dysregulated.”
“I am very excited to work together with Viteava Pharmaceuticals to move toward the clinic drug candidates designed through a deep understanding of structure-activity relationships involving the EGCG pharmacophore that my laboratory has researched for many years,” Dr. Chan said. “We have been working diligently to translate the well-established health benefits of green tea and its major active ingredient, EGCG, to design commercially-viable drug candidates.”
Viteava Pharmaceuticals is a privately-held start-up drug development company established to commercialize this intellectual property portfolio. The company's strategy focuses principally on clinical indications in which green tea extracts have been demonstrated to elicit biological responses in human studies. Viteava's drug candidates are designed to improve these treatment regimens and achieve better clinical outcomes, while retaining a high level of safety. By regulating multiple pathways important to the progression of diseases such as cancer, Viteava's drug candidates are expected to provide advantages over more potent and more selective drugs that usually only elicit temporary responses together with a high level of toxicity.
Dr. Pou’s research stemmed from a grant and administrative supplement of more than $1.6 million from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (grant number 1R01CA120009). The grant, “Roles of polymorphic COMT, tea polyphenols and proteasome in cancer prevention,” was initially funded in 2006.
- School honors donor who committed $1 million to ovarian cancer research
In Headlines on November 26, 2013
Dean Parisi thanks Cheryl McKee for her gift. Ms. McKee was assisted in unveiling the plaque recognizing her philanthropy by her niece, Teagan Roberts, 9, of Ferndale.
Ms. McKee poses with the plaque, which incorporates a photograph of her sister, Dorothy Ann McKee.
The plaque will be installed near the Office of the Vice Dean of Research in Scott Hall.
Cheryl McKee celebrates with family, friends and faculty.
Vice Dean of Research Bonita Stanton, M.D., thanks Ms. McKee for her commitment to ovarian cancer researchThe Wayne State University School of Medicine held a reception to honor a Macomb County woman for her financial gift to support research to fight ovarian cancer.
The reception, held Nov. 20 in Scott Hall, recognized Cheryl McKee, who gave $1 million to establish the Dorothy Ann McKee Endowed Fund for Ovarian Cancer Research, Prevention and Treatment at the School of Medicine.
“This is a tremendous gift for medical research,” said Dean Valerie M. Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. “Ms. McKee’s commitment to funding research will serve as a legacy for her sister and a wonderful philanthropic example for others for decades to come. Contributions such as hers are especially meaningful because the endowment will continue to fund research that will help millions of people around the world. Gifts such as these are all the more valuable given how challenging obtaining research grants has become.”
The fund is named for McKee’s sister, known to friends and family as “Doris,” who died in 2005 at the age of 57 after a nine-year battle with ovarian cancer. Doris was Ms. McKee’s only sibling.
Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. The American Cancer Society estimates that 22,280 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year. About 15,500 women will die from the disease, which ranks as the ninth most common cancer among women.
One in every 71 American women will develop ovarian cancer in her lifetime. That woman’s lifetime chance of dying from the disease is about one in 95. If caught early, the five-year survival rate is 93 percent, according to the ACS, but only 15 percent to 20 percent of cases are discovered in the early stage. Once the cancer has spread beyond the ovaries, the five-year survival rate drops to about 27 percent.
Ovarian cancer is more common in white women. About half of American women diagnosed with the disease are age 60 or older.
No reliable test is available for ovarian cancer.
Dean Parisi presented McKee with a plaque containing a photo of her sister and engraved with the words “The Dorothy Ann McKee Endowed Fund in Ovarian Cancer Research, Prevention and Treatment, established by Cheryl McKee in loving memory of her sister, Dorothy Ann McKee.” A similar plaque will be mounted near the Office of the Vice Dean of Research in Scott Hall.
“I just want to thank everyone for being here,” said an emotional Cheryl McKee, surrounded by family, friends and faculty. “This is overwhelming for me. I hope that my family is looking down and are proud of what I’ve done.”
Bonita Stanton, M.D., vice dean for Research for the School of Medicine, said that McKee’s gift would provide the means for researchers in many disciplines to come together to study new therapies and possibly a cure for ovarian cancer.
Larry Matherly, Ph.D., professor of oncology and pharmacology, and director of the Cancer Biology Graduate Program, thanked McKee for her generosity, saying the funding would assist researchers in developing a method to identify ovarian cancer sooner. He also noted that the funding would go a long way toward convincing younger researchers to keep at the mission.