CTBR NEWSLETTER | March 2016

Hunter College, the City University of New York

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for Addressing Health Disparities and Improving Health Outcomes
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From the Director...

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Jesus Angulo
PI/PD, CTBR


The success of the RCMI Program at Hunter College depends to a great extent on the support of the administration. We at Hunter are fortunate to have a dynamic President and a new Provost who has years of experience in the biomedical sciences and an unwavering commitment to the biomedical research infrastructure at Hunter. Provost Kaufman is a creative leader with ideas that bring new trends to the RCMI Program at Hunter. I am delighted to work with Provost Kaufman and I look forward to our regular meetings as we make plans and implement strategies to diversify the RCMI Program and to expand its translational and community engagement projects.

We have finalized the program for the 29th Annual International Symposium at Hunter College sponsored by the RCMI Program and the Clinical and Translational Science Center, Weill Cornell Medical College. The symposium is titled “Current Advances in Prostate Cancer Health Disparities” and will take place on May 5th, 2016 at the Kaye Playhouse of Hunter College. A group of stellar speakers from outstanding research institutions has been assembled for this one-day event. Among the stellar speakers is one of our own, Dr. Olorunseun Ogunwobi, from the department of Biological Sciences.     

We have again received a large volume of applications for the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) at Hunter College. The application portal is now closed and we are in the process of selecting 7-10 applicants from around the country to come to Hunter for 8 weeks of research in the area of Neuroscience with an emphasis on drug abuse. The funds for this activity come from an R25 grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH. We will soon start contacting you if there is a good match between the interests of the applicant and your research program. Thanks again for participating and making this program highly successful, better than 90% of participants in the last four years have gone on to PhD programs in prestigious universities across the USA.

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Highlights...

Last year Lon S. Kaufman joined Hunter College as new Acting Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. He is an accomplished biologist who has held a variety of senior academic administrative positions including Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost, Vice Provost for Planning and Programs, Dean of the Honors College, and Head of the Department of Biological Sciences. We look forward to working closely with Provost Kaufman towards the goals of the Hunter College RCMI grant:  to develop and prepare the next generation of American scientists, including minorities underrepresented in the sciences, and to support research projects that aim to improve health and reduce health disparities in our population.

 lkaufman Lon S. Kaufman



Olorunseun Ogunwobi came to Hunter as a CTBR-funded faculty in 2014. His education includes a medical degree from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, a Master’s degree in Biomedical Science from the University of Hull, United Kingdom and a PhD in Cell and Molecular Medicine from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Florida. 

Dr. Ogunwobi's translational research integrates human clinical studies with studies of mouse models and relevant mammalian cancer lines. His research has the potential for collaboration with colleagues in Immunology, biomedical and health disparities research. 

Since 2004, Dr. Ogunwobi has studied the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying development and progression of gastrointestinal and liver cancers. His work has been published in over
30 peer reviewed journal articles. The overall goal of Dr. Ogunwobi’s laboratory is to elucidate the mechanisms of metastasis in solid organ cancers. Ongoing studies include examination of the role of circulating tumor cell biology and epigenetics in the metastasis of solid organ cancers.

Also, the laboratory is investigating the biological mechanisms underlying the racial disparities in specific solid organ cancers. The cancer models they currently focus on are hepatocellular carcinoma, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. Dr. Ogunwobi has established novel mouse models of cancer metastasis and human and mouse cancer cell lines that are completely unique and have potential to open up a new approach to translational cancer biology.  
Dr. Ogunwobi received the 2014 Minority Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research Award from the American Association for Cancer Research.

Since joining the CTBR, Dr. Ogunwobi has submitted four successful CTBR Professional Development proposals and was recently awarded a two-year CTSC grant for his project PVT1 exon 9 and Aggressive Prostate Cancer in Black Men.   
In addition, he chairs the planning committee for the 2016 CTBR symposium Current Advances in Prostate Cancer Health Disparities which is co-sponsored by Weill Cornell CTSC.


 

Olorunseun OgunwobiOlorunseun Ogunwobi

Infrastructure...

CTBR DIGITAL BIO-IMAGING FACILITY

This facility is based in room 826 HN and provides both Hunter College and CUNY researchers with an accessible state-of-the-art facility for biological image analysis. The Director of the facility, Lloyd Williams, PhD, is assisted by Zhong Wang with faculty oversight provided by CTBR member Diana Bratu. A full list of equipment that is housed and maintained in our Bio-Imaging facility can be found on
our website.

Since Hunter's expansion to the new Belfer Research Building on 413 East 69th Street, CTBR has funded new equipment for the facility that is housed at Belfer to support the research there.

Nikon A1R Resonant Confocal (Belfer, Room BB 453)

Nikon A1R Resonant Confocal 2

The Nikon A1 Confocal microscope is a powerful fully-automated confocal imaging system, capable of capturing high-quality confocal images of cells and molecular events at high speed and enhanced sensitivity.  The A1R pairs the capabilities of a high quality line scanning confocal with an ultrahigh-speed resonant scanner. This allows imaging of intercellular dynamics at 30 fps (512 x 512 pixels). This system was acquired through an administrative supplement from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the NIH awarded to the RCMI program at Hunter College.

Nikon Ti-S Fluorescence Microscope (Room BB 477)

Nikon Ti-S Fluorescence Microscope 2

This is a basic workhorse fluorescent microscope equipped with X10, X20 and X40 objectives, and standard dichroics for DAPI GFP and RFP.


An Additional Nikon NIS Elements Analysis station (coming soon…).

This station, equipped with software for 3D analysis and deconvolution, will enable researchers to offload analysis from the busy workstations that control the microscope.

GE FLA 7000 Typhoon (Room BB 475)

GE FLA 7000Typhoon 3

The Typhoon FLA 7000 is a fast laser scanner for biomolecular imaging applications including sensitive and quantitative measurements of radioisotopic labels, chemifluorescent Western blots, and single fluorescence.

Bio Tek Synergy HTX  Microplate Reader
Synergy HTX is a Multi-Mode Microplate Reader for making absorbance, fluorescence, luminescence and AlphaScreen/AlphaLISA measurements on 6- to 384-well microplates.
 

 

Community Engagement...

 
Dr. Ogunwobi is collaborating with the Bronx Health Link (TBHL), which is a health education, research, and advocacy group that engages Bronx residents, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders in pursuing better health outcomes for the borough. The collaboration aims to better understand the experiences of local minority populations’ experience with prostate cancer prevention and its implications for basic research. 

The CTBR REACH program has previously consulted TBHL, who sought an academic partner, with developing a community survey to assess knowledge of Doula services for underrepresented, disadvantaged pregnant women in the Bronx. 

These types of community engagement projects advance the CTBR goal of fostering collaborative translational research that seek to understand how to attain meaningful health outcomes.

 

Events...

 

The 29th Annual International Symposium of the Center for Translational and Basic Research (CTBR) in collaboration with the Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) at Weill Cornell Medical College will take place on Thursday May 5, 2016 at Hunter College’s Kaye Playhouse.

The symposium will address 
Current Advances in Prostate Cancer Health Disparities and include keynote presentations from Philip W. KantoffMD (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center) and Curtis A. Pettaway, MD (University of Texas, Anderson Cancer Center). Other presenters include Timothy R. Rebbeck (Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Dana Farber Cancer Institute) who will speak on "Global Disparities in Prostate Cancer: From Nucleotide to Neighborhood" and a prostate cancer survivor Reverend Patrick H. O’Connor (First Presbyterian Church). You can find the full program on the symposium website.

Please encourage your students and lab members to submit abstracts for the symposium poster session which offers cash prize awards for the top three posters!

We hope you will join us in what promises to be yet another exciting event with distinguished speakers ranging from academia to community-based organizations. 
Register here!

 
 

Last month, the Office of Minority Health (OMH) offered many ways to commemorate Black History Month 2016February was also American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, and African American men are disproportionately affected.

March is International Women's History Month. Since 1990, t
he NIH Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) has studied sex/gender factors through scientific research. The ORWH works in partnership with the 27 NIH Institutes and Centers to ensure that women’s health research is part of the scientific framework at the NIH, and throughout the scientific community.

 

Want to offer a story idea? Have a comment or question about a story you've read here?
Send us an email: ctbr[at]hunter.cuny.edu
You can find archives of CTBR Newsletters here

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The CTBR is supported by a Research Centers in Minority Institutions Program grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (8 G12 MD007599) of the National Institutes of Health, the Weill Cornell Medical College Clinical & Translational Science Center (2UL1TR000457-06) of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.
 


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