- Retiring pharmacy school dean lauded at Pharmaceutics Conference 2007
- State task force on campus security releases report
- Academia and industry share technical advances in stem cell research
- Challenge to Rutgers students: Know how to reduce Rutgers’ carbon output to zero?
- Nursing Professor Rachel Jones wins New York Times 2007 Nurse Educator award
Retiring pharmacy school dean lauded at Pharmaceutics Conference 2007
Ernest Mario, faculty members of his namesake – the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy – and students extolled the many virtues of retiring Dean John Colaizzi, as he prepares to assume a teaching post after his protracted tenure at the school’s helm comes to a close.
Mario, chair and CEO of Reliant Pharmaceuticals, presented Colaizzi with a plaque that read, “In recognition of his twenty-nine years of extraordinary leadership in pharmaceutical science as Dean, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy” at the Rutgers’ Pharmaceutics Conference 2007 on October 5 at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick. The biennial event, sponsored by Rutgers’ Department of Pharmaceutics, celebrates the research accomplishments of current and past students, and professors.
John Mauger, dean of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Utah, described Colaizzi as visionary leader known for his outreach to students, a sentiment echoed by George Downs, dean emeritus of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. Anh Nguyen, student president of the Pharmacy Governing Council, called Colaizzi “the students’ dean.” She told the group how, at the Rutgers-Pitt football game, Colaizzi, a University of Pittsburgh alumnus, to the consternation of his fellow alums, joined the Rutgers students in cheering on the Scarlet Knights.
In addition to applauding Colaizzi’s contributions, the conference considered meaningful issues in the field of pharmaceutics. Edmund LaVoie, chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, highlighted the importance of academic research in the discovery of new drugs, contrasting the research environment with that of industry. C.S. Yang, chair of the Department of Chemical Biology, spoke about the role of teaching and research in disease prevention, with emphases on cancer and diet. Yang also squeezed in a laudatory comment about Colaizzi, citing his spirit of service, his ethics and his low-key, effective style of leadership.
Joseph Barone, chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Administration, recounted the successes of the Institute for Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowships, through which postdoctoral pharmacists gain experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Thirteen companies participate in institute programs that have educated more than 450 postdoctoral fellows.
Other presentations addressed current pharmaceutical research, including nanotechnology in cancer treatment and imaging, drug delivery through and across the skin, and drug transport in the body. The event was organized by Patrick Sinko, chair of the Department of Pharmaceutics, and Guofeng You, associate professor of pharmaceutics.
– Joseph BlumbergBack to Top
State task force on campus security releases report
A state task force on campus security has recommended that New Jersey’s colleges and universities take steps to improve emergency management plans, enhance training for mental health awareness, and increase information sharing with local law enforcement and emergency agencies.
The task force, established in April, released a report [PDF] October 2 to Gov. Jon S. Corzine. The group was established by Richard Codey, who served as acting governor in April while Corzine was hospitalized following a car crash on the Garden State Parkway.
The task force recommended that universities and colleges:
- amend emergency management plans to include procedures for incidents likely to occur on campus;
- establish crisis intervention teams and provide mental health-awareness training to students, faculty, and staff;
- develop procedures to deliver emergency notifications to the campus community; and
- establish formalized relationships with state and local agencies to improve communication and information sharing.
In July, Rutgers hosted an emergency management exercise on the Livingston Campus testing the response capabilities of law enforcement and emergency services from Rutgers, Middlesex County, the township of Piscataway, and the New Jersey National Guard. The exercise also required establishing a command post near the site of the hostage incident and setting up a triage station at the Busch/Livingston Health Center to treat mock injuries.
The university introduced a text message notification system in April, following the mass shootings at the Virginia Tech campus. Members of the university community can go to alerts.rutgers.edu to sign up for the messages using their NetID.
Other security measures on campus include:
- hundreds of security cameras located in and around residence halls, parking lots and bus stops;
- residence halls equipped with electronic locking systems that require swipe card access 24 hours a day, or staffed by security personnel who check the ID of anyone entering the building; and
- the use of a variety of existing methods—including sending email, notifying off-campus radio and television stations, and posting notices on the university website and cable television network, RU-tv—to notify students, faculty, and staff about emergencies.
– Ashanti M. AlvarezBack to Top
Academia and industry share technical advances in stem cell research
More than 170 scientists from New Jersey and New York attended the first New Jersey Stem Cell Technology Symposium, September 26 in Bridgewater. Sponsored by the Rutgers Stem Cell Research Center and Applied Biosystems Inc., the symposium brought together scientists working on stem cell research in academia and industry to discuss best practices to advance science and enable greater collaboration.
Attendees received training in the application of molecular methods, such as gene expression analysis, gene knockdown, and genotyping. Researchers shared recent discoveries and discussed means to drive standardization to achieve more reproducible results, greater study replication, and data sharing.
“With the strong support of our state government for this work, New Jersey is on the cutting edge of stem cell research, yet many of our researchers have limited experience with the technological tools available to study these molecules,” said Ronald P. Hart, a professor in Rutgers’ Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience and an organizer of the symposium. “We took this opportunity to highlight some of the best practices in laboratory technologies and work toward standardizing them among researchers in academia and industry.”
Kenneth Breslauer, dean of the Division of Life Sciences and vice president for Health Science Partnerships at Rutgers, opened the conference with an introduction to the new Rutgers Stem Cell Research Center. The center’s mission is to encourage new research into human embryonic stem cells in the state by providing standard stem cell cultures and non-federally-restricted laboratory space for pilot projects. The center, on Rutgers’ Busch Campus, is funded through a grant from the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology.
Symposium sessions included Hart speaking on methods to keep stem cell cultures free of infectious viruses; a discussion by Xiaokui Zhang of Celgene Cellular Therapeutics on methods for obtaining human stem cells from placentas; and John Edwards of Columbia University demonstrating the use of advanced DNA sequencing techniques to find genes that were “silenced,” a step that is important in turning stem cells into specific tissues. Dr. Diego Fraidenraich of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey discussed his work with transplanting stem cells into a mouse model of muscular dystrophy.
– Joseph BlumbergBack to Top
Challenge to Rutgers students: Know how to reduce Rutgers’ carbon output to zero?
The Rutgers Energy Institute is offering four awards of up to $2,500 to students who develop the best plans to reduce or eliminate carbon output on the New Brunswick Campus by 2030.
“We challenge the undergraduate student body to develop a carbon-neutral campus for the 21st century,” said Paul Falkowski, the institute’s director and Board of Governors Professor of earth, planetary, and marine sciences. “This is a learning experience, of course, but it’s also a serious request for help on a serious issue.”
The current carbon footprint on the New Brunswick Campus is 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to Clinton Andrews, professor of political science at Rutgers’ Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and assistant director of the institute. “That’s for stationary sources only,” Andrews said. “It doesn’t take account of vehicles – the university’s own vehicles, or the thousands of vehicles driven to campus and around campus by commuting students, faculty, and staff.”
Proposals should be approximately 10 pages in length, contain an analysis of costs and energy savings, a timeline for implementation, suggestions for how the plan can be implemented, and how the costs and energy savings were calculated. Plans may be developed by individuals or by groups of students working in teams. Advice from faculty is permitted, but the plans must be conceived of and written by the student(s).
Individual or teams of enrolled undergraduate students in any program on the New Brunswick Campus are eligible. Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are not eligible.
Proposals should be submitted on or before March 31, 2008, to Director, Rutgers Energy Institute, 71 Dudley Rd., New Brunswick, NJ 08901, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The four prizes of up to $2,500 each will be awarded by a panel composed of faculty and undergraduate students chosen by the advisory board of the institute. The prize money can be used to defray any educational cost, including books, tuition, student fees, study abroad, or computer purchase. For additional details, click here.
– Ken BransonBack to Top
Nursing Professor Rachel Jones wins New York Times 2007 Nurse Educator award
Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member Rachel Jones has been selected to be the recipient of the Nurse Educator of the New York Times 2007 Tribute to Nurses Award.
The New York Times selected three practicing nurses and one nurse educator from hundreds of candidates nominated by patients and their families, students and colleagues. The winners will be featured in a special section in the December 2 New York Times Magazine. Jones, assistant professor at the College of Nursing, was honored for her work in developing video vignettes to reduce HIV sexual risk behavior in young women living in urban areas.
“It is an honor to be a recipient of this award. It is our hope that this award promotes ongoing awareness of the importance of promoting innovative approaches to reduce HIV/AIDS and to base these approaches on the wisdom of women and men in the community. Young students in multiple disciplines from nursing and the performing arts had the opportunity to participate in research and serve the community through practice. These videos are truly a labor of love in the fight against AIDS,” said Jones, a Boonton, Township N.J. resident. “The important aspect of this work is understanding, interpreting, and communicating women’s knowledge about the relationship pressures that can get in the way of reducing HIV risk and through the drama, show ways women can turn the situation around.”
She and her team, composed of Alan Roth, an independent
documentary filmmaker, Robert Nahory, a digital application developer at
Rutgers-Newark Dana Library, nursing students, performing arts students and
graduates from the Rutgers-Newark campus, technology students, and people from
the community, created a 43-minute soap opera video and several shorter videos
aimed at reducing HIV risk in inner city women. The research was funded by the
National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Library of Medicine at
the National Institutes of Health.
The heroines are young adult African-American and Latina women acting with awareness of new choices to promote health. Recently, her team created a web site to promote access to the videos at www.stophiv.newark.rutgers.edu. Interested persons can view the videos and learn more about this research to reduce HIV/AIDS through soap opera dramatization.
– Miguel Tersy
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