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photo/courtesy of the Newport Aquarium

Doc under the sea

Living underwater for 18 days will be a dream come true for University of Cincinnati surgeon Tim Broderick, MD '90, who always wanted to be an astronaut. Wait a minute, an astronaut? Well, the story isn't as fishy as it sounds.

This spring, Broderick and three astronauts will live in an underwater laboratory in the Florida Keys to test procedures for performing surgery in space. Coordinated by NASA, the researchers are "exploring communication, simulation and robotic technology to develop the operating room of the future," says Broderick, a robotic surgeon at the UC Center for Surgical Innovation. Medical monitoring equipment being tested was designed by Mary Beth Privitera, DAAP '90, MS (DAAP) '95, of UC's Biomedical Engineering team.

photos/courtesy of the Newport Aquarium

photos/courtesy of the Newport Aquarium

NASA's Extreme Environment Mission Operation (NEEMO) will take place aboard the world's only permanent underwater habitat and research laboratory, a complex similar in size to the Space Station's living quarters. Research will have applications for not only astronauts heading to Mars, but also for people in other "hostile environments," such as battlefields and remote rural areas, Broderick says.

"The doctor's office is changing from the office pictured in a Norman Rockwell print to one seen in an episode of 'Star Trek.' In fact, patients will receive more and more care where they live and work via cell phones and Internet rather than by a doctor in an office or hospital.

"Surgeons will have to show they are competent through use of a virtual reality surgical simulator before they can perform certain procedures," Broderick predicts.


Research dollars hit all-time high

Research funding of $332 million for fiscal year '04-05 was an all-time high for UC and its affiliates, up nearly 4 percent from the previous year and placing UC 22nd on the National Science Foundation's ranking of public universities' federal research expenditures.

"In the face of large budget cuts at some of the largest national funding organizations, UC has continued to increase its research dollars," says Sandra Degen, University of Cincinnati vice president for research. "This speaks volumes about the quality of proposals and work being produced by UC's faculty."

Furthermore, UC's Intellectual Property Office reported 89 invention disclosures, 40 U.S. patents filed and nine patents issued last year, also a substantial increase in activity.

Among the recent grants:

  • $17.4 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to coordinate the first study to compare alternative treatments for acute ischemic stroke to the standard approach, which UC researchers had played a key role in developing.
  • $3 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to work with the U.S. Air Force in studying the effects of anti-fatigue medications on soldiers and searching for markers to diagnose Lou Gehrig's disease, which UC research previously demonstrated that Gulf War veterans developed at nearly twice the typical rate.
  • $2.5 million from the NIH to establish an interdisciplinary program training investigators in women's health, a field in which research is moving too slowly.

Centennials and celebrations

Centennials and Celebrations

"Celebrations 'R Us" could become UC's slogan this year. Besides kicking off the 100th birthday of co-op, the University of Cincinnati has several significant anniversaries to celebrate:

  • 125 years, UC student newspaper -- Originally the Belatrasco (1880), then the Burnet Woods Echo, the University Weekly News, the Cincinnati Bearcat and, since 1936, the News Record
  • 100 years, College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services (CECH) -- Originally the College for Teachers, founded by UC and the Cincinnati Board of Education, 1905
  • 100 years, College of Business -- Originally the private Cincinnati College of Finance, Commerce and Accounts, 1906
  • 50 years, counseling program -- One of the longest continually operating counseling programs in the nation, 1955
  • 25 years, College of Law Urban Morgan Institute -- America's first endowed institute for international human rights law at a law school, 1979-80

The News Record today

College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services

College of Business

Counseling program

Coming to the History Channel: UC's Oesper Museum

It was a film director's dream -- an authentic 19th century chemistry lab just waiting for a History Channel documentary crew to start filming.

The Oesper Museum of Chemical Apparatus in Rieveschl Hall was just what Engel Entertainment needed last fall to portray Confederate chemist Richard McColluh's efforts to develop poison-gas weapons. Scenes filmed at UC will help tell the story, tentatively titled "An Uncivil War," of unconventional measures attempted by both the North and the South. Airing is set for spring '06.

photo/Patrick O'Connor, Engel Entertainment

Photo/Patrick O'Connor, Engel Entertainment

The Oesper, one of only five museums in the U.S. with a complete laboratory, was assembled by the University of Cincinnati's William Jensen, its curator and a history of chemistry professor. Among its treasures are antique burners, balances, a wooden fume hood and a voltage regulator fitted with antiquated light bulbs to monitor current.

Jensen was pleased that, after describing typical activities of a 19th century chemist, "the film crew followed our suggestions to the letter. We were able to avoid Hollywood clichés, such as modern-day Pyrex beakers and flasks filled with colored water and bubbling dry ice."

"Artistic license" was approved, however, when mice were substituted for historically correct cats, in scenes simulating animal tests. "The last thing I wanted was a frantic and highly stressed out cat leaping about our glassware," Jensen says.

"Although it got a bit dicey at times -- fitting lighting equipment, an actor, director, cameraman, sound technician and me into a relatively small room packed with hundreds of irreplaceable glass antiques -- in the end, we came through without breaking anything."

$42 million donated to Med Center

Three UC Medical Center colleges have received recent multi-million-dollar gifts. The largest, $30 million, comes from Frances Lindner, Ed '77, and Craig Lindner, CoB '77, and Edyth and Carl Lindner Jr., HonDoc '85, to establish a new center in the University of Cincinnati's Department of Psychiatry. The Craig and Frances Lindner Center of HOPE (Helping Other People Excel) will deliver innovative psychiatric patient care, family support and mental health education and research.

The Lindners' gift will also help build a new behavioral health center in Mason, Ohio, staffed by UC College of Medicine physicians and jointly operated by the Lindner Foundation and the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati.

Two other alumni gave gifts totaling $12 million for education and research. Shirley Tashiro Burke, Nur '48, gave more than $2 million to the College of Nursing, and an anonymous donor pledged $10 million to help the College of Pharmacy manage its increasing student enrollment.

Lindner Center of HOPE

$12 million to nursing and pharmacy colleges

The "Shoe Guy"

photo/Dottie Stover

'Shoe Guy' Omar Bailey. Photo/Dottie Stover

Omar Bailey seems to leave his shoes behind nearly everywhere he goes, and somehow nobody seems to mind.

In fact, because of his habit, the 22-year-old UC industrial design student has trod his way into some of the world's elite firms. Co-oping in product design at New Balance, K-Swiss and Adidas, the DAAP senior has already produced shoe concepts that have made it to the marketplace. The cleats he designed while at New Balance are now worn by Auburn University's football team. And his K-Swiss performance basketball shoes are due on shelves this month.

"Even in grade school, they called me the 'shoe guy,'" Bailey says. "I was always crazy about shoes, sketching them and designing them. I just can't get enough."

Next, Omar plans to spend his final co-op quarter overseas, then land a position with one of his co-op employers in Asia to learn about the manufacturing process before opening his own shoe-design firm.

Bailey's footwear

UC rankings rise

Last summer, the University of Cincinnati jumped 15 places in the U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of colleges and universities, from 160 to 145. The one-year leap followed a gradual five-year climb from 172.

"We can attribute most of the improvement to restructuring our academic programs to focus on student preparation and success," says Lee Mortimer, UC's director of institutional research. "We saw immediate improvement in retention, standardized test scores and selectivity. That affects the ranking."

UC also received two national honors recently:

  • MarketPointe dining facility, Siddall Hall -- Silver medal for being a national leader in campus dining from the National Association of College and University Food Services
  • Utilities department -- National Energy Project of the Year Award from the Association of Energy Engineers and the System of the Year Award from the International District Energy Association

U.S. News rankings rise

Marketpointe's silver award

UC's Valentine House in Stratford Heights

New housing, parking, retail on campus

Long-awaited Uptown Campus facilities and nearby off-campus housing greeted University of Cincinnati students last fall.

Between Calhoun Street and Corry Boulevard, a garage opened to accommodate 1,000 cars. Above it, University Park Apartments welcomed 750 students, and at ground level in the same complex, Calhoun Marketplace's first retail clients opened their doors, Potbelly Sandwich Works and Fifth Third Bank.

Along MainStreet, the Campus Recreation Center's electronic classrooms and suite-style housing were completed, although its state-of-the-art fitness facilities and multiple dining options will not open until winter 2006.

Across Clifton Avenue, students moved into the Stratford Heights community development --14 residential buildings with suite-style student housing. Some dwellings house individual groups, including Kappa Delta sorority; the fraternities of Delta Tau Delta, Lamba Chi Alpha, Phi Delta Theta, Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Kappa Tau and Sigma Nu; engineering and law students; UC Honors Program students; graduate fellows; students wanting to live in a foreign-language-immersion environment; and the Presbyterian and American Baptist campus ministries.

UC's Valentine House in Stratford Heights is home for students participating in a new Spanish/French language-immersion program that began at UC in September '05. photos/Dottie Stover

UC's Valentine House [above] in Stratford Heights is home for students participating in a new Spanish/French language-immersion program that began at UC in 2005. Photos/Dottie Stover

In addition, extensive renovations to Van Wormer Library, the last 19th century building on the campus, are now completed, including the re-creation of the roof's original glass dome.

New business dean

Just in time to begin its 100th year, the College of Business has a new leader.

Dean Will McIntosh joined the University of Cincinnati in September from ING Real Estate, where he served as a managing director and global head of research and strategy. McIntosh was the director of the Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Kentucky from 1990-93. He also taught finance and real estate at UK.

"Combining a strong academic/scholarly record with a distinguished business career, Dr. McIntosh brings to his deanship a keen vision for a modern business school," says Anthony Perzigian, senior vice president and provost.

Largest incoming class

One of the largest freshman classes in UC history recently completed its first academic quarter. Faculty prepared for more than 5,100 first-time freshmen this fall, the largest class in 16 years. And all those fresh faces pushed the University of Cincinnati's autumn enrollment to about 35,500 students.

Administrators say the record numbers show the word is spreading about the dynamic transformation of campus, the quality of its programs, the new marketing campaign and the UC|21 strategic plan to guide the new urban research university.

So where did they all come from? About 71 percent of this year's freshman crop is from Greater Cincinnati; the rest represent 78 Ohio counties, 41 states and 35 countries. The class includes more than 1,000 Cincinnatus Scholarship recipients, the largest group since the scholarship began in 1996, and more than 100 students who had already attained sophomore or junior status due to advanced placement credits.

It's becoming a habit

From left, CCM alumni in "Hello, Dolly!" last summer with Michele Lee (second from left) were Tiffany Haas; Julie Kotarides; Brian Sears, who played Barnaby Tucker; director Lee Roy Reams; and Kristine Reese. photo/courtesy of Lee Roy Reams

From left, CCM alumni working in "Hello, Dolly!" with Michele Lee (second from left) were Tiffany Haas Julie Kotarides, Brian Sears, director Lee Roy Reams and Kristine Reese. Photo/courtesy of Lee Roy Reams

Directing big-time actresses such as Michele Lee in stage productions of "Hello, Dolly!" is getting to be a habit with University of Cincinnati alumnus Lee Roy Reams. So is working with College-Conservatory of Music alumni and sending the university magazine a photo afterward.

Last summer, Reams, CCM '64, MA (CCM) '82, HonDoc '98, directed Lee and four '05 grads in the Starlight Theatre's production of "Hello, Dolly!" in Kansas City. Previously, he directed the following Dollys: Carol Channing in the Tony-nominated Broadway revival, Madeline Kahn in Atlanta and JoAnne Worley in Houston. Reams' first introduction to Dolly came as an actor, playing Cornelius Hackl on Broadway in 1978.

Earlier this summer, Reams also directed "Singing in the Rain" for the St. Louis Muny, where he worked with five more CCM grads.

Medical Breakthroughs

Fighting fat -- If you're watching your weight, go with the sweetened iced tea over that soft drink. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found evidence that suggests fructose, the sweetener in soft drinks and many other foods, actually adds more body fat than drinks sweetened with plain sugar. Matthias Tschop, from UC's Obesity Research Center, says fructose may alter the body's metabolism in a way that prompts it to store body fat.

Osteoporosis -- A UC researcher has developed a technique for measuring bone brittleness by monitoring how the body absorbs the natural shock of walking.

"When the heel strikes the ground, it creates energy that passes up through the body and is absorbed by healthy, intact bone," says Amit Bhattacharya from the university's Department of Environmental Health. The technique, which uses sensors to measure energy as patients walk, could play a key role in screening for osteoporosis.

Chemobrain -- As many as 99 percent of breast and ovarian cancer patients receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatments experience "chemobrain," a condition that often results in memory loss, confusion and difficulty concentrating. UC's Elyse Lower, MD '81, is leading a new treatment for the problem using the drug dexmethyphenidate, which has proven safe and effective for relieving chemobrain in adult patients.

Skin cancer -- Too many college athletes are suffering from preventable sunburns, says UC sports medicine specialist Brian Adams. Adams found that 85 percent of Cincinnati-area NCAA soccer and cross-country athletes used no sunscreen during the previous week of practice. "The well-documented consequences of not using sunscreen all point to the fact every locker room should have sunscreen right up there next to the Gatorade," Adams says.

Clinical support -- UC's Peter Embi has a solution to increase the number of patients who volunteer for clinical studies. Recognizing that traditional methods for generating study participants -- fliers, memos and advertising -- often leave researchers short on subjects, he came up with a way to remind doctors of appropriate trials for their patients. When docs key information into a patient's electronic chart, Embi's Clinical Trial Alert system searches for key data that matches up with current clinical trials. A reminder, much like a pop-up, then prompts the doctor to advise the patient of the opportunity.