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Date: Monday, December 6, 2004

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Program Spotlight: The Adult Sickle Cell Center

The Adult Sickle Cell Center at University Hospital (UH) is dedicated to addressing both the clinical and emotional issues of a disease that affects one in 12 African-Americans. Physicians at the center are COM faculty members who, supported by clinical research, are able to provide patients access to the most current health care and medical treatment available. These physicians are teamed with nurses and social workers to help with the emotional aspects of sickle cell disease. Historically, children with sickle cell disease did not survive to adulthood. In the setting of organized care in comprehensive centers across the country, these children are transitioning into adult facilities like UH's, which receives referrals from Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. "Our patients range in age from 21 to 65 years, and our oldest patient is well into her 70s," said Zahida Yasin, MD, director of the center and assistant professor in the COM's Department of Internal Medicine. "It is very important for us to be aware of problems faced by adults with sickle cell disease in order to pioneer organized care in a comprehensive setting."


Three from COM to Serve on Intellectual Property Committee

John Cuppoletti, PhD, Department of Molecular and Cell Physiology, Eric Gruenstein, PhD, Department of Molecular Genetics, and David Melvin, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, will serve on the Intellectual Property Committee, which will provide advice to the vice president for research in numerous areas related to intellectual property and the administration of the university's patent and copyright policies.


Nastech Acquires Rights to Peptide YY Analogs

Nastech Pharmaceutical Co. Inc., of Bothell, Wash., has acquired worldwide patent rights from UC for drugs that could potentially suppress appetite, reduce food intake and induce weight loss. If Nastech obtains Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its nasal spray technology to administer the drug as a treatment for obesity, it could be worth millions of dollars in revenue for UC. The drug, which consists of analogs of peptide PYY, was developed over 10 years by Ambikaipakan Balasubramaniam, PhD, a professor in the Department of Surgery. Dr. Balasubramaniam's drug may be superior to Nastech's current compound for treating obesity, PYY (3-36), because it interacts selectively with cellular receptors that control appetite and reduce food intake. Nastech will now begin rigorous testing prior to submission to the FDA for marketing approval.


Third Frontier Network "Lights Up"

Last week, Ohio officially launched the Third Frontier Network (TFN), the most advanced statewide, fiber-optic network for education, research and economic development. The TFN will link universities, colleges and research facilities across the state, beginning an unprecedented era of scientific research. Specifically, the TFN will promote collaboration throughout the state on advanced research in drug design, personalized medicine and genetic research. The importance of these fields of study and the impact the TFN will have on future research was explained by David Millhorn, PhD, director of UC's Genome Research Institute, as he set the stage for a live videoconference. Using a beta (prerelease) version of high-quality, videoconference software and hardware, Dr. Millhorn spoke to audiences in Columbus and around the state at 60 frames per second, twice the speed of the current videoconference rate. More information about the TFN can be found at


Queen City 101

In December, the average Cincinnati temperature is 33 degrees. This month also averages three inches of rainfall and four inches snow.


Question of the Week

Q: Why don't we get DAAP students to come over and paint something attractive on the construction walls? The sooner the better, it is so confining and ugly on the construction floors.


A: The COM is working with a wayfinding group that is currently under contract as part of the MSB/CARE project to address this and other, similar issues related to construction and renovation. They are preparing a proposal, and as part of that proposal we have asked them to consider the DAAP option.

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