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Around Circle Drive

  • Author:
    Robert Bao
  • Published:
    Summer 2013
The Sparrow Stroke Center, in collaboration with MSU, is the first facility in Michigan to be certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center (CSC) from the Joint Commission, an independent nonprofit that certifies health care facilities in the U.S.  
The designation recognizes elite programs that have the infrastructure, caregivers and equipment to diagnose and treat patients with the most complex strokes.  Stroke is the fourth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the leading cause for disability among adults, with some 800,000 cases a year.  
The collaborative efforts between stroke specialists at Sparrow, MSU’s Dept. of Neurology and Ophthalmology, MSU HealthTeam and Lansing Neurosurgery were key to getting the CSC designation.  
 “We are honored to have met the Joint Commission’s very rigorous standards and to put Sparrow on the map as a truly world-class stroke center,” says Syed Hussain, medical director of stroke services at Sparrow and an MSU HealthTeam neurologist.  
“We are so pleased to help bring this level of care to the Lansing area,” says Richard T. Ward, CEO of MSU HealthTeam. “Our combined clinical capabilities mean patients here have access to the best medical expertise not just in stroke, but in a wide range of health conditions.”
Researchers in MSU’s College of Nursing will use two federal grants to explore tools for helping cancer patients navigate new chemotherapy drugs.
Although chemotherapy in pill form that patients can take at home is convenient, it tends to lack clinical supervision.
“It’s not like taking one medication every day,” says University Distinguished Professor of nursing Barbara Given.  “Every month there’s a different protocol for many of these drugs.”
Given and her husband, Charles Given, MSU professor of family medicine, will lead a clinical trial to see if an automated phone call system can help patients take their pills properly.  The four-year, $2.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute marks 37 years of continuous funding for Barbara Given from the National Institutes of Health. 
Meanwhile, Sandra Spoelstra, assistant professor of nursing, will use a two-year, $350,000 grant—also from the NCI—to test the effectiveness of text messages reminding patients to take their chemo pills and requiring them to reply when they’ve done so.
She says the two studies are about finding a menu of effective options for patients with various needs.
“Some patients will need a nurse to phone them,” says Spoelstra. “Others will only need an automated call or a text message.  It’s ultimately about finding what works for each individual patient.”
Two MSU students have been named 2013-14 Goldwater Scholars. Both are juniors in the College of Natural Science and the Honors College. 
Erik Bates of Ada and Kayla Felger of Ft. Wayne, IN, will receive a Goldwater Scholarship for the 2013-14 academic year.  To date, 34 MSU students have been named Goldwater Scholars, who are selected from the fields of mathematics, science or engineering.  
“It is very exciting that these students have been recognized for their excellence in and dedication to research,” says Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, dean of the Honors College. “The Goldwater Foundation plays an important role in helping MSU and other research universities assist students in following their research passions.”  
Bates is majoring in advanced mathematics and plans to obtain a doctorate in mathematics and perform research in a pure or applied mathematical discipline while teaching at the collegiate level.  Felger is majoring in chemistry and human biology and plans to obtain a doctorate in organic chemistry and design biomedical materials that are both affordable and manufactured from renewable resources.
MSU researchers have identified a test to determine which children with malaria are likely to develop cerebral malaria. 
The screening tool could be a game-changer in resource-limited rural health clinics where workers see hundreds of children with malaria each day and must decide which patients can be sent home with oral drugs and which need to be taken to hospitals for more comprehensive care.
“Rural health workers have to make these decisions with very little objective data, and the consequences of an inappropriate decision are huge,” says Karl Seydel, MSU assistant professor of osteopathic medical specialties. “Children who progress to cerebral malaria have a 20 percent mortality rate, or even higher if they don’t get the right treatment early in the disease process.”
In the Journal of Infectious Diseases, Seydel and colleagues report that testing patients’ blood for HRP2 was an accurate predictor of how the disease progressed among children at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.
Ninety percent of childhood malaria deaths occur in Africa, where an estimated one million children die from it each year.
This capsule of MSU history was compiled  by Sarah Roberts, acquisitions archivist of the University Archives and Historical Collections.
The MSU history community lost a friend and key figure when longtime museum curator Val Berryman passed in January 2013.  Berryman came to MSU as student in 1958 and earned a BFA and MFA in art.  He began working at the Museum as a student and became an exhibit technician in 1963.  In 1967 he was named curator of historical artifacts.  Berryman curated many exhibits at the MSU Museum during his career.  One of his personal passions was collecting Santa Claus related objects and over the years he curated several special Christmas exhibits.  Berryman donated his personal collection to the MSU Museum so future exhibitions can be held.
Val Berryman was a trusted friend and valuable colleague of University Archives and Historical Collections (UAHC).  The Archives usually relied on Berryman for anything related to donations of three-dimensional objects; with his extensive knowledge of MSU history he would know just where the artifacts fit into MSU’s historical record.
Berryman’s legacy will live on thanks to the creation of the Berryman MSU Museum Curator of History Endowment established by museum employees Julie Avery, Stephen Stier and Val Berryman.  It is the first endowed curatorship for the Museum.  The curatorship will provide lasting benefit to the MSU Museum.  Val Berryman’s name—and his love for MSU history and the MSU Museum—will live on.
The blockbuster show Book of Mormon (June 10-15, 2014) will headline the 2013-14 season at MSU’s Wharton Center for Performing Arts, now entering its 31st year.  The musical won nine Tony Awards in 2011, including Best Musical.  “This audacious, hilarious and sacrilegious show is the biggest hit Broadway has seen in decades,” writes Lansing State Journal columnist Ken Glickman, who notes that the show, even at ticket prices of $300-400 in New York, “is sold out for months to come on the Great White Way.”
The Wharton Center has added some designated “After Chats,” conversations with performers after the performances.  These opportunities are free of charge and offer added value to customers.  In addition, patrons will have three “Spotlight Dinner” opportunities and “Insight Previews” before five concerts.
The MSU Federal Credit Union Broadway at Wharton Center Series is being endowed with a $1 million gift from MSUFCU (see photo of the check presentation).  The endowment will help attract touring Broadway shows to mid-Michigan and help fund educational initiatives, says Mike Brand, executive director of the Wharton Center.  When fully funded, the endowment is expected to generate $50,000 annually. 
MSU’s Agriculture Hall will be renamed the Justin T. Morrill Hall of Agriculture, with dedication ceremonies planned for this fall.
The change ensures that the name of the man responsible for the Land-Grant Act will remain on campus after the demolition of Morrill Hall, which began in May.  Built in 1900, the wooden structure had suffered irreparable deterioration.  Reconstruction and restoration of the facility were not deemed economically feasible.  
When the demolition is completed in August, a site restoration project will get underway.  Plans include a terrace with green space, extensive landscaping, special paving, seat walls and piers that will hold commemorative plaques.  The plans were designed by teams of students from MSU’s School of Building, Design and Construction.
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For over a week, from April 12 to 21, children and visitors to campus—including the ones pictured in the Science Theatre enjoying a presentation on radioactivity—enjoyed the first-ever MSU Science Festival, a celebration of the science that touches everyday lives.  
More than150 diverse offerings spanning the science spectrum, from astronomy to human behavior to robotics to zoology, were showcased during the joint effort of the MSU scientific community and University Outreach and Engagement.  
“There was something for everyone—children, teens, adults and seniors,” notes Carla Hills, communications manager of University Outreach and Engagement.  “Thousands in the community turned out to experience this festival presented by members of the MSU scientific community, including dedicated faculty, staff and students.”
In the photo, festival attendees roll objects of differing geometry and weight down an inclined plane to compare their rolling speeds and to show that objects with the weight closest to their center of mass always win.  
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Female rats are much more likely to binge eat than male rats, according to new MSU research that provides some of the strongest evidence yet that biology plays a role in eating disorders.
The MSU-led study is the first to establish sex differences in rates of binge eating in animals, with implications for humans.  Binge eating is a core symptom of most eating disorders, including bulimia nervosa and the binge/purge subtype of anorexia nervosa. Females are four to 10 times more likely than males to have an eating disorder.
“Most theories of why eating disorders are so much more prevalent in females than males focus on the increased cultural and psychological pressure that girls and women face,” says Kelly Klump, lead author and professor of psychology.  “But this study suggests that biological factors likely contribute as well, since female rats do not experience the psychosocial pressures that humans do, such as pressures to be thin.”
Klump and colleagues ran a feeding experiment with 30 female and 30 male rats over a two-week period, replacing the rodents’ food pellets periodically with vanilla frosting.  They found that the rate of binge eating “proneness” was up to six times higher in female as compared to male rats.
A new Bio Engineering Facility on the MSU campus has been given the green light by the MSU Board of Trustees.
The proposed project will stand four stories tall and contain about 130,000 square feet of laboratory and office space.  The goal is to bring together research teams from the colleges of Engineering, Human Medicine and Natural Science to promote the development of bioengineering and engineering health sciences.
“By housing faculty from several colleges in this facility—with complementary research talent—we will be able to make great strides in medical technology through daily collaboration,” says Leo Kempel, acting dean of the College of Engineering. “This not only benefits the research enterprise, but it also will provide new learning opportunities for our students.”
Located between the Life Sciences and Clinical Center buildings on south campus, the building will connect to the Clinical Center C-Wing and Life Sciences B-Wing, in the proximity of the Radiology Building.  About half of the projected $60.8 million cost will be covered by the state of Michigan. 
Every semester, MSU faculty, staff and students earn kudos too numerous to list exhaustively here.  Some examples:
Mike Kolar, assistant director of admissions, has earned the Gen. William E. DePuy Award, the highest civilian award given by the U.S. Army Cadet Command.  Kolar has served as the university’s Army ROTC liaison since 1996. 
Anne Mervenne, co-director of MSU’s Michigan Political Leadership Program in the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, has been named among the Women Officials Network Foundation’s “Wonder Women of 2013.”  Mervenne is CEO of Mervenne & Company, a governmental relations consulting firm. 
 Rocío Quispe-Agnoli, teacher-scholar of Peruvian and Andean studies and associate professor of spanish in MSU’s Dept. of Romance and Classical Studies, has been named a 2013 Successful Peruvian Woman in America.  She is one of four recipients selected this year by the Embassy of Peru in the U.S.
A student team representing the MSU chapter of the American Advertising Federation (MSUAAF) has advanced to the 2013 National Student Advertising Competition finals in Phoenix, AZ.  The team won an 18-school district competition.  
Doug Buhler, former interim dean of the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, has been named director of MSU AgBioResearch and CANR senior associate dean for research.  He replaces Steve Pueppke, who has been named director of CANR Global and Strategic Initiatives.  Pueppke will also continue as MSU associate vice president for research and graduate studies.
MSU has the nation’s top graduate programs in elementary and secondary education, nuclear physics and industrial/organizational psychology, according to the annual U.S. News & World Report. 
The four top-rated programs—from three different colleges—represent the breadth of MSU’s graduate education in the magazine’s 2014 edition of Best Graduate Schools.
Also supply chain/logistics is at No. 2, African history at No. 3 and veterinary medicine at No. 9.  The elementary and secondary graduate education programs have both ranked No. 1 for 19 years in a row.  The College of Education boasts five programs ranked first or second—more top-two programs than any other education school in the country.
For the fourth straight year, MSU nuclear physics was ranked at the No. 1 spot.  MSU is home to the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, a world-leading center for rare isotope research and nuclear science education.  MSU also is designing and building the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, funded by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, MSU and the state of Michigan.
The overall college ranking reflects the quality of the curriculum, faculty, students and research within the college, as well as data from surveys of education deans and school superintendents nationwide. The individual program rankings are based on the survey of deans.
Low-birth-weight babies with a particular brain abnormality are at greater risk for autism, according to a new study that could provide doctors a signpost for early detection of the still poorly understood disorder.
Led by MSU, the study found that low-birth-weight newborns were seven times more likely to be diagnosed with autism later in life if an ultrasound taken just after birth showed they had enlarged ventricles, cavities in the brain that store spinal fluid.  The results appear in the Journal of Pediatrics.
“For many years there’s been a lot of controversy about whether vaccinations or environmental factors influence the development of autism, and there’s always the question of at what age a child begins to develop the disorder,” says lead author Tammy Movsas, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at MSU and medical director of the Midland County Department of Public Health.
“What this study shows us is that an ultrasound scan within the first few days of life may already be able to detect brain abnormalities that indicate a higher risk of developing autism.”
Movsas and colleagues reached that conclusion by analyzing data from a cohort of 1,105 low-birth-weight infants born in the mid-1980s.  The study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.
When it comes to evolution, humans can learn a thing or two from primeval sea lampreys.
As reported in Nature Genetics, scientists have decoded the DNA sequence of the sea lamprey—one of the few ancient, jawless species that has survived through the modern era.  The finding provides insights into the evolution of all vertebrates, says Weiming Li, MSU fisheries and wildlife professor, who coordinated the team.
“Sea lampreys are amazing survivors,” says Li.  “Even though they diverged from our lineage 500 million years ago, they give us a template of how vertebrates, including humans, evolved into the modern species that we have today.”