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University of Cincinnati news


Robo-nurse joins college

Flo-Bot the robot, named after Florence Nightingale, joined the UC College of Nursing as part of an investigation into how robotics can assist with projected nurse and nurse-educator shortages. The college is investing in such “telehealth” technology to prepare students for transforming environments and to ensure workforce readiness, says Debi Sampsel, the college’s chief officer of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Flo will be stationed in a community-based setting as part of a research study on effectively extending the reach of faculty, other health-care providers and the aging nursing workforce. Telehealth robots are used in the health-care field to overcome geographical limitations and to provide medical access to facilities that do not have advanced degree specialists on staff.
(Read more.)

Stems cells for cancer

Lung cancer, with its 15 percent survival rate, is the world’s No. 1 cancer-killer. UC Cancer Institute researchers have recently shown that lung-cancer stem cells can be isolated and grown, offering a new avenue for treatment options targeting stem cells. “One of the hypotheses behind why cancer therapies fail is that the drug only kills cells deemed to be ‘bad,’ but leaves behind stem cells to repopulate the tumor,” says medical professor John Morris, senior author of the study. “These cancer stem cells may also have the highest potential to spread to other organs.”

Studying these unique cells could improve understanding of lung cancer’s origins and lead to novel therapeutics targeting these cells to more effectively eradicate the disease. (Read more.)

High-risk screening

The UC Cancer Institute offers a screening program for people who have smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for more than 20 years and those with prior lung-cancer diagnoses. The program, the Tristate’s first and one of only a handful nationwide, uses low-radiation-dose CT scans to identify cancer in people with no symptoms in an attempt to begin treatment earlier.

A National Cancer Institute study reports that high-risk people experienced 20 percent fewer lung-cancer deaths with low-radiation screening compared to traditional X-rays. (Read more.)

Migraine help in flash

UC  researchers have found that lightning may affect the onset of headaches and migraines. Headache expert Vincent Martin, general internal medicine professor and UC Health physician, led a study with his son, fourth-year medical student Geoffrey Martin, showing a 31 percent increased risk of headache and 28 percent increased risk of migraine for chronic sufferers on days lightning struck within 25 miles of their homes.

The results, published in the January online edition of Cephalalgia journal, are the first tying lightning to headaches and could help chronic sufferers more efficiently anticipate the onset of a painful episode and begin preventive treatment immediately. (Read more.)

Breast-cancer vaccine

UC Cancer Institute scientists recently published the first scientific evidence that using oral delivery of a unique virus — known as recombinant adeno-associated virus — as a breast cancer vaccine was effective in slowing breast cancer growth as well as eliminating health concerns associated with previous approaches. (Read more.)

Improved stroke care

Research to improve stroke treatment and post-stroke results continues with UC stroke specialists based in the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine and the Department of Emergency Medicine. In February, they presented research at the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference showing three things:

  1. How a delay in breaking up clots translates to a worse stroke outcome.
  2. The benefits of minimally invasive tPA drug delivery to break up clots.
  3. A novel combination treatment approach for ischemic stroke.

(Read more.)

Hospital infections

Led by Ohio Eminent Scholar and associate professor Andrew Herr, UC researchers made a major discovery in exploring the causes of hospital-acquired infections. The team found a piece of the puzzle crucial to the formation of infection-causing colonies of bacterial cells, a find that could lead to new treatments. Specifically, they solved the crystal structure of a protein involved in holding bacterial cells together in a biofilm. (Read more.)

Remembering Henry Winkler

University of Cincinnati President Emeritus Henry Winkler, A&S ’38, MA (A&S) ’40, HonDoc ’87, died in December at the age of 96. Considered an outstanding scholar, educator and administrator, he is the only UC alumnus to serve as the university’s president.

Winkler became the 23rd president in 1977 and was active in the creation of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (now the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities). In 1984, he left the president’s office and remained on faculty.

At the age of 70, he retired “because I had to,” he told UC Magazine. “Those were the rules at the time. But it allowed me to become honest again; my first love was my academic profession. So I took a few years to retool myself, then taught off and on, and wrote books on British history.”

(Read more.)


Internationally renowned musician

Internationally renowned film-score composer Randy Edelman, CCM ’69, HonDoc ’04, returned to campus in late January to lead CCM master classes, conduct the CCM Philharmonia Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble in a concert of his music at his alma mater and receive an award from the UC Foundation as an Alumni Master.

When asked how the concert went, he casually remarked that it was just like any other concert. His wife, Jackie DeShannon (a famous singer-songwriter in her own right) quickly began to argue when he stopped her to clarify, “It was just like any other concert for me. That means it was no different than being at Abbey Road, conducting the London Symphony.” (Read more about Edelman's visit.)

Rankings still rise

U.S. News & World Report — In the most recent edition of the magazine’s influential Best Colleges guide, the University of Cincinnati rose to 139th among top-tier universities from 156th — a rare 17-place jump in two years. UC’s rise was spurred by improved numbers in graduation rates, retention of first-year students and alumni-donation levels, explains Lee Mortimer, director of UC’s Institutional Research Office. UC was also among a dozen schools cited for quality internships.

The Princeton Review — The Review’s 2013 edition of “The Best 377 Colleges” named UC, for the sixth straight year, as one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education. Only 15 percent of U.S. colleges are profiled in the book. UC scored strongly in quality of life, fire safety and green rating, and received praise for its diverse student body, great libraries, ease of registration and good food.

The Fiscal Times — The Times listed UC among the “10 Public Colleges with Insanely Luxurious Dorms,” citing the upperclassman housing located in the same building as both the Campus Recreation Center and the CenterCourt dining facility.

(See listing of all UC rankings.)

International honors for DAAP

Six students from the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning received recognition at the latest Visual Education Partnership’s prestigious international Student Design Competition. Katie Barton and Danielle Fraley won first and second prizes, respectively, in the Store Design Category, and Lucie Calise won first prize in the Visual Merchandising Category. Three more students received honorable mentions, and DAAP was one of only four schools to be recognized for having students place in the top three positions of each category. (Read more.)

National Co-op Student of the Year from UC

Biomedical engineering senior Benjamin Ko was named the American Society for Engineering Education’s Co-op of the Year, based upon three co-op assignments with the company AtriCure, where he worked on a product-development team making medical devices for cardiac surgery, led the training of the U.S. sales force on a new cryogenic product and trained the European sales team. (Read more.)

U.S. presidential appointment to alumnus

President Barack Obama appointed Michael Graves, DAAP ’58, HonDoc ’82, award-winning architect and designer, to the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board in January. Since Graves became paralyzed from his chest down in 2004, he has developed many products for mobility-impaired individuals and was named among the country’s top 25 health-care designers by Healthcare Design magazine. (Read more.)

Students free 16th inmate

College of Law students who work on the Ohio Innocence Project (OIP), housed at UC, freed former Akron police captain Douglas Prade, 66, from prison after serving nearly 15 years for a crime he did not commit. Prade walked out of jail a free man on Jan. 29, exonerated for the murder of his ex-wife after DNA from a bite mark on her lab coat excluded him when the case went back to court.

OIP director Mark Godsey and his students began working on the case in 2003, the OIP’s founding year. “Any time you get someone out of prison, it’s rewarding,” Godsey said, “but when it’s something you’ve had to fight for this long and this hard, it makes it even sweeter.”

(Read the whole story, watch a video of Prade soon after his release and read about all the OIP-released inmates.)

Grand reopening for African-American Cultural Center

After a $325,000 renovation, the UC African American Cultural and Research Center reopened in January with a grand ceremony that showed off its now doubled floor space, new furniture, carpet, modern audio/visuals and displays of African art.

“As soon as you come in, you feel the history of our people, and you feel the history of black students at the University of Cincinnati who have contributed so much,” AACRC director Eric Abercrumbie, D (A&S) ’87, told the many guests who gathered for a look at the center. “Today is a very proud day for us.”

Former Cincinnati mayor Dwight Tillery, A&S ’70, was among dozens of former African-American students honored by having their images included on a new wall of history that salutes trailblazers both on campus and beyond.

Others on the mural include local civil-rights activist Marian Spencer, A&S ’42; UC’s first black homecoming queen Vera Derkson Williams, Nur ’78; Olympic gold medalists Oscar Robertson, Bus ’60; and Mary Wineberg, Ed ’02, as well as the city’s first black mayor Theodore Berry, A&S ’28, Law ’31.

(Watch video from opening and read more.)

ROTC members present the colors

UC ROTC presents the colors before opening the Veterans One Stop Center. photo/Dottie Stover

Veterans One Stop opens

On Veterans Day, UC opened the Veterans One Stop Center on the second floor of University Pavilion to cater to the growing population of student veterans both on campus and enrolled through distance learning. The staff offers help with applying for G.I. Bill benefits, tutoring, career services, disability services, counseling and more.

In recent years, UC’s veteran student population has more than doubled from about 500 to 1,200. One primary way UC lends support is by offering in-state tuition to active-duty students without residency requirements.

For the fourth straight year, G.I. Jobs magazine recognized UC as a “Military Friendly School,” a distinction given to roughly 15 percent of schools nationally. Among those honored is also UC Clermont College.

Heading UC’s Office of Veterans Programs and Services is program manager Jack Johnson, hired earlier this year after serving as a 101st Airborne Division combat engineer who was deployed to the Balkans and medically retired after a combat injury. (Read more and see photo gallery.)

Defining moment for ‘earworms’

The word earworm — introduced into the American vocabulary by UC marketing professor James Kellaris — has made its way into the latest edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.

The earworm definition, “a song or melody that keeps repeating in one’s mind,” was added in the 2012 update. Kellaris first introduced the term in his 2001 research, “Identifying Properties of Tunes That Get Stuck in Your Head.” In the wake of his initial research, the media reported his findings and “fellow musicians and academics started calling me ‘Dr. Earworm,’” Kellaris says.

“It’s been a tough nickname to shake. After enduring years of teasing, it’s gratifying to see a term I introduced into the American vocabulary officially recognized.” (Read more.)

STEM grant for women scientists

UCis working to become a national model for the recruitment, retention and advancement of women faculty in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM disciplines).

A team led by UC President Santa Ono won a five-year National Science Foundation grant last year totaling nearly $3.8 million, which is expected to help the university evolve into a go-to institution for women STEM scientists.

“If we want to remain competitive in a global economy, we must do a better job of recruiting and retaining women into these fields,” said Ono, “and UC is ready and willing to do its part, with the help of the National Science Foundation.”

Specific initiatives of the effort — titled Leadership, Empowerment and Advance-ment of Women STEM Faculty (LEAF) — will include broadening recruitment, creating mentoring networks and establishing a council to assess progress. (Read more.)