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Genetic link to lung cancer

University of Cincinnati scientist Marshall Anderson has uncovered evidence that may lead to the actual gene that predisposes a family to lung cancer. Anderson and collaborator Susan Pinney, also of UC, led a national research consortium that announced last July it had made a major breakthrough in the fight against the leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

This is the first suggestion that lung cancer, long tied to cigarette smoking and other external causes, might also be an inherited disease. It may also help explain why some people get lung cancer even if they never smoked.

“The discovery of genes for other types of cancer has led to better understanding of those diseases, which in turn can lead to better strategies for treatment and prevention,” says Anderson. “We hope that uncovering a gene or genes responsible for lung cancer will do the same for this devastating disease.”

Researchers have traced the gene to a narrow genetic region, but once the actual culprit is unveiled, doctors will be able to determine whether a family has a bad gene, then tell those who carry it to take precautions, he says.

“We’re confident the gene is there,” Anderson says. “We’ve seen evidence with every analytical model we’ve used. We’ll find it.”

News release about possible lung cancer gene

UC Center for Genome Information

UC researcher wins “American Nobel”

Last fall, UC scientist Elwood Jensen won a Lasker Award, the nation’s highest honor for medical research and often a precursor to the Nobel Prize, for his pioneering breast cancer research. Historically, Ohio has had only one other Lasker winner -- UC researcher Albert Sabin, who developed the oral polio vaccine at UC in the ‘50s.

It was also in the 1950s, at the University of Chicago, that Jensen discovered some breast tumors have receptors for estrogen and others do not, a discovery that revolutionized breast cancer treatment and now saves and/or prolongs the lives of more than 100,000 women yearly. Jensen is a visiting professor at the Vontz Center for Molecular Studies today.

The Lasker Award is widely known as “America’s Nobel” because nomination and selection processes are equally rigorous as those for the Nobel Prize, with judges who are the world’s top scientists. Many Lasker recipients have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize.

More about Jensen's background

Aerospace engineering's 75th

Aerospace engineering's 75th

Propelled by the same spirit that led its founder 75 years ago, the university’s aerospace engineering department continues to climb.

Department founder Bradley Jones was barnstorming across America in the early ‘20s when his WWI commanding officer tracked him down and asked him to lead navigation and instrumentation development at McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio. It paid off.

Jones made national headlines in 1926 when he navigated the first nonstop flight -- from Dayton to Boston -- solely by instrumentation. Charles Lindbergh even credited a compass developed by Jones for allowing him to stay on course during his transatlantic flight from New York to Paris in 1927.

Two years later, when UC asked Jones to head up its new aeronautical engineering program, Jones contacted Orville Wright. Together, the two developed a comprehensive curriculum that combined practical experience with mechanics, navigation and design.

A similar curriculum structure continues to lead UC’s aerospace engineering co-op students. In 2003, students took first place in an international tilt to develop plans for a greenhouse prototype on Mars. Last year, several students designed, built and launched a 20-foot rocket more than 15,000 feet into the air from a NASA base in Virginia.

Aerospace students’ launch Pathfinder at NASA base

State of the University

University of Cincinnati President Nancy Zimpher delivered her second State of the University Address last fall at the All-University Faculty Meeting. Her first one was given to the same group last fall on her second week on the job. “One year later, I can truly say, it has been a very productive first year,” she said.
Among the many UC successes she itemized were the following:

  • Increased enrollment
  • A record $320 million in research funding
  • Dedication of the Genome Research Institute
  • Opening of MainStreet, including Tangeman University Center and the Steger Student Life Center, as well as the new Bearcat baseball field and the Gettler Stadium for soccer, track and field
  • Joining the Big East Athletics Conference
  • Formation of an Uptown Consortium with UC, Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the Cincinnati Zoo, the Health Alliance and TriHealth to improve the quality of life in surrounding neighborhoods
  • Cooperative efforts with Ohio State University and Case Western University to boost Ohio’s economic development through biomedical research, advanced manufacturing and neighborhood renewal
  • UC faculty recipient of the Lasker Award, considered the American Nobel Prize. (See nearby announcement.)

She also outlined goals and implementation efforts for the UC|21 strategic plan.

Watch Webcast of President Zimpher’s address

illustrations/ Angela Klocke

No surprise -- Cincy is basketball’s top city

It comes as little surprise to rabid Bearcat and Musketeer fans that Sporting News magazine named Cincinnati the top college basketball city in America last year.

In fact, most would say it was due time the rest of the nation took notice of the outstanding team play, fan support and pure energy inside both the Fifth Third Arena at UC and the Cintas Center at Xavier. That’s not to mention the electric atmosphere that sweeps over the Queen City when the two national forces, literally separated by only a couple of miles, square off in the annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout -- scheduled for Feb. 10 at UC this year.

Reasoning why Cincy beat out other college basketball biggies, Sporting News editors explained that UC and Xavier played to near capacity last year in each of their facilities even when playing at home on the same night. It also didn’t hurt that X made it to the Elite Eight last year and UC, which won its conference, has made the third-most consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in the nation with 13.

John Erardi’s report in the Cincinnati Enquirer

Medical breakthroughs

Several Medical Center research teams recently made significant announcements:

Brain hemorrhage -- UC neurology professor Joseph Broderick and his colleagues found a treatment to reduce bleeding in the brain and the subsequent disabilities associated with it, in what may prove to be the first effective treatment for brain hemorrhage, the most deadly kind of stroke.

NovoSeven studies

Bleeding strokes -- Untreated high blood pressure raises bleeding stroke risk, states neurology researcher Daniel Woo and his team in the American Heart Association Journal. Blood-pressure treatment, he says, could prevent about one-quarter of the cases, which currently have a 40-50 percent death rate.

Untreated high blood pressure raises bleeding stroke risk

Memory loss and dementia -- Hormone replacement therapy in women actually increases memory loss, rather than reduces it, as previously thought, according to Margery Gass, MD '80, OB/GYN professor and principal investigator of the Tristate Women’s Health Initiative, which published its findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Hormones are no fix for memory loss

Breast cancer -- Does digital mammography offer better results than standard film? What place could magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound serve in detecting breast cancer? Mary Mahoney, radiology assistant professor and Barrett Cancer Center breast-imaging director, is principal investigator for UC teams searching for such answers.

In addition, Susan Waltz, associate surgery professor, received $1.5 million from the National Cancer Institute to study the link between breast cancer and a naturally occurring protein in the body.

New breast-imaging technology

Women’s depression -- With women twice as likely to suffer from depression as men, the UC Women’s Health Research Program is investigating medication that shows promise in alleviating the condition. Few other programs in the country focus on disorders predominately affecting women.

Depression, fibromyalgia studies

pizza clipart

Pizzeria rehab

Although the love affair between pizza and University of Cincinnati students has lasted for decades, it’s usually the students who order the pizza, not the other way around. Last summer, however, students from the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning delivered themselves curb-side to Venice Pizza, a nonprofit establishment run by a group of nuns in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine community.

Furthermore, the DAAP order arrived loaded with everything. The nation’s No. 1 ranked architecture and interior design undergraduate programs provided students to design, complete drawings and bid packages, then actually renovate a 19th century storefront at 1301 Vine St., using an assortment of donated materials.

Students, for instance, cut and artistically pieced together 8,000 floor tiles of varying sizes, textures and colors. They also fabricated decorative screens from thin strips of copper plumbing and created a sign by spelling out the store’s name with glass bottoms of beer bottles.

“It’s important for students to build what they design, to explore design and construction techniques with real clients, real materials and real constraints,” says associate architecture professor Terry Boling, who is overseeing the work. They will also benefit from seeing the project completed, something that happens too rarely on co-op assignments. When the pizzeria opens in the near future, the Dominican Sisters of Hope and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur will use the facility for a service project, providing catering and computer training for hard-to-employ residents.

UC students build a pizza parlor

Students dig into their designs

Money bag clipart

Donors present $14 million

Three recent gifts to UC -- one for $12 million and two for $1 million each -- carry donors’ hopes for a healthier, more just and winning future.

The largest gift, a $12 million bequest from the estate of Edith Johnson Crawley, A&S ‘30, JD ‘32, supports eye-disease research, especially in the elderly, and establishes the Edith Crawley Memorial Scholars Program for medical students and professionals conducting eye research. A wing of the new Center for Academic Research Excellence, now under construction on East Campus, will be named in Crawley’s honor.

Crawley’s gift “incredible”

Richard and Lois Rosenthal, A&S ‘60, presented a $1 million endowment to the College of Law, where the Center for Law and Justice has been renamed the “Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice.” The program’s best known activity has been the Ohio Innocence Project, in which UC law students review death-row cases for new information that could exonerate wrongly imprisoned persons.

Lois and Richard Rosenthal Institute for Justice/Ohio Innocence Project at UC

Benjamin and Dee Gettler demonstrated support of UC’s successful track and soccer teams with a $1 million gift to the Richard Lindner Varsity Village. In appreciation, UC’s renovated track and soccer sports complex has been named “Gettler Stadium.” Alumnus Ben Gettler, A&S ‘45, JD ‘48, was a member of the UC Board of Trustees from 1994-2003, serving as chairman from ‘00-02.

UC's new food science degree

Students eager for a career in food research and development are sinking their teeth into the state’s first baccalaureate program in Culinary Arts and Science.

UC is offering the five-year degree, which includes co-op work experience, in partnership with Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Students attend Cincinnati State for two years, concentrating on food preparation arts, then move to UC’s College of Applied Science for an emphasis on science, especially how heating, preserving, packaging and other variables affect foods.

The university launched the new program, one of only three in the nation, in response to changes in the food industry. For instance, studies show that consumers want more food choices, simplified storage and preparation, ethnic dishes, as well as classic cuisine, ready-to-eat meals, low-carb items -- and whatever the next dietary trend may be. All those demands put pressure on the food and flavoring industries to develop products customers will buy.

A degree in culinary arts and science is an excellent investment, according to salary statistics from the Institute of Food Technologists. In 2004, experienced food science graduates were earning about $73,000 a year.

Something new is cooking in UC offerings

Cox chairs UC Trustees

Phillip Cox, president, CEO and founder of Cox Financial Corp., took over as chairman of the UC Board of Trustees this academic year. A popular public speaker, Cox was appointed by Gov. Robert Taft, JD ‘76, HonDoc ‘00, to replace George Schaefer Jr., who had served since January ‘02. Jeff Wyler, Bus ‘65, president and CEO of Jeff Wyler Automotive Family, is vice chair.

The governor also appointed Thomas Humes, Bus ‘71, MS (A&S) ‘77, to the board late in the year. Humes, president of Great Traditions Land and Development Co., previously served UC as assistant executive vice president and assistant to the president for presidents Warren Bennis and Henry Winkler. He replaces Mike Allen, Univ ‘77, Ed ‘80, who resigned.

Classical superstar joins CCM faculty at the University of Cincinnati

Classical superstar joins CCM faculty at UC

A classical recital performed by a pianist in dreadlocks and an open-collar shirt? Not unusual for international instrumentalist and CCM faculty member Awadagin Pratt.

A decade after the release of Awadagin Pratt’s debut CD, “A Long Way From Normal,” the album title remains an accurate portrayal of the international instrumentalist’s distinctive style -- a uniqueness that UC’s College-Conservatory of Music students have seen up close since his appointment to the CCM faculty as assistant professor of piano and artist-in-residence in 2004.

“From his national television appearances to countless chamber music and guest artist engagements at the highest levels, he brings to CCM a breadth of artistry and insight that will … dramatize CCM’s destination point status for the best keyboard talent in the nation,” says Douglas Lowry, college dean.

Pratt, raised in Normal, Ill., (hence the album title) dazzled the world music scene in 1992 when he became the first black classical instrumentalist to win the prestigious Naumburg International Piano Competition. Since, he has played with the top orchestras of the world and performed at such U.S. venues as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center and the White House for South African presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

In addition to his highly individual performances, Pratt’s signatures include his dreadlocked hair (inspired by tennis star Yannick Noah), his low piano bench and his preference for more casual concert-wear over the traditional black tux. The prodigious virtuoso chose music over sports when, at 16, he put aside a tennis scholarship and enrolled at Illinois University on a violin scholarship. His senior year Awadagin (ah-wah-DAH-jin) transferred to the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore and became the first student there to earn performer’s certificates in three areas -- piano, violin and a graduate diploma in conducting.

Within months of Pratt’s appointment, distinguished Cincinnati pianist Michael Chertock also joined CCM’s faculty as assistant professor of piano and Frank Weinstock, after 24 years on faculty, became department chair, succeeding William Black, who died in December 2003. Black was honored with the creation of the William Black Memorial Prize in Piano. The first of its kind nationwide, the $5,000 scholarship is awarded to the top incoming piano major each year and is renewable for four years while the student is enrolled at CCM.

Announcement of Pratt's and Chertock's appointment

Awadagin's home page

Honors Scholars freshmen start work on a Mount Auburn home before fall term began. photo/Dottie Stover

Honors Scholars freshmen start work on a Mount Auburn home. Photo/Dottie Stover

UC partners with Habitat for Humanity

Are words mightier than a hammer? Twenty freshmen in Honors English 101 volunteered to decide for themselves. Two weeks before school started, they began constructing a Habitat for Humanity house in Mount Auburn, supervised by College of Applied Science upperclassmen. Once school began, the rest of the university community joined in.

Due to be completed this spring, the university-wide project is UC’s second in a Habitat partnership that student Anne Fitzgerald, now an A&S senior, initiated in the fall of 2003. More than 180 students, faculty and staff collectively invested nearly 2,400 hours on the first two-story, three-bedroom house, working from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday for two quarters.

UC also raises money to pay for the houses. Fifth Third Bank agreed to contribute half of the current $64,000 price tag, and other donors are asked to mail checks, made out to “Build a Home Fund/University of Cincinnati,” to Student Affairs and Services, University of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 210638, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0638.

UC Habitat for Humanity Web site