Nevada System of Higher Education
Health Sciences System Newsletter 
January 2015
The Health Sciences System (HSS) was established by the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents in 2006. Its purpose is to address Nevada's community health issues through a system-wide effort to integrate and expand the education of health professionals and to foster collaborative research in health and health care.  Through collaboration among the NSHE institutions and a broad range of external partners, the HSS intends to be a catalyst for improvement in the health and wellness of Nevada.  Visit us at:
UNLV Nursing Online Grad Degree Program Ranked Sixth Best by U.S. News & World Report


The UNLV School of Nursing earned a spot among the country's top 10 online graduate nursing programs in U.S. News & World Report's 2015 survey.


The school's Master of Science in Nursing program ranked sixth out of 133 surveyed programs offered entirely online. The program jumped four spots from 10th last year, and it has ranked among the top 20 every year since U.S. News began the ranking in 2012.


U.S. News ranks online nursing programs in five distinct areas: student engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, student services and technology, and admissions selectivity.


"This recognition belongs to our faculty and staff, especially Dr. Tish Smyer, the associate dean for academics, and our master's program coordinators," said Carolyn Yucha, dean of the UNLV School of Nursing. "Their interaction with our students and dedication to the program continually enhances the curriculum and overall experience."




TMCC Receives a $150,000 Donation for New X-ray Equipment

Radiologic Technology spring 2014 graduates gather on the TMCC campus in June.

The Radiologic Technology Program at Truckee Meadows Community College has been given a $150,000 donation to upgrade X-ray equipment. William N. Pennington Foundation has made the generous gift to purchase the instrument, which is planned to be installed in TMCC's radiology lab in 2015.


Dean of sciences, Dr. Lance Bowen responded to a Foundation inquiry, seeking to acquire an X-ray unit that features more attributes for hands-on student learning. Some of the current equipment was manufactured by a firm that is now out of business, making spare parts hard to obtain. The new system is comprised of: 

  • 65 KW CPI Indico-100 RF Generator
  • GE RFX/SFX 90/90 Tilt table
  • Fluoroscopy X-ray tube
  • Digital spot platform
  • 12/9/6 inch triple field image intensifier
  • GE Model XT Overhead tube Crane with MX-100 X-ray tube

"The unit we are looking at purchasing is a diagnostic X-ray unit with an overhead tube system and a fluoroscopic X-ray unit, which is a component this program has never had in the past," said Bowen. "It will allow our students to perform lab experiments and prepare them for fluoroscopic licensure in Nevada and California, which was not possible before because we did not possess the equipment."


Rad Tech students will use the new diagnostic system to better prepare for clinical rotations, building a more thorough knowledge base than ever before. The new equipment is closely related to those in operation at clinical sites in the region.


School of Medicine scientist finds the cause of 'headless' sperm in male infertility


A team led by School of Medicine researcher Wei Yan, M.D., Ph.D., of the physiology and cell biology department, made a significant discovery into the cause of male infertility. Photo by Skye Snyder.

Male infertility affects one out of 20 adult men worldwide, and headless sperm are often seen in the semen of male infertility patients. In some infertile males, all  their sperm are headless, a condition called "acephalic sperm." 

Despite its high incidence among infertile men, the mechanism behind acephalic sperm remains elusive. Until now.

A research team led by University of Nevada School of Medicine researcher Wei Yan, M.D., Ph.D., professor of physiology and cell biology, has discovered that the acephalic sperm condition is caused by either a lack of, or a partial formation of the sperm neck, and that proper sperm neck formation requires an evolutionarily conserved gene called Spata6, which encodes a protein participating in the transportation of "building blocks" essential for sperm neck assembly inside the testis. When Spata6 gene is mutated, the sperm neck either lacks or becomes fragile, leading to separation of the head from the tail.  


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Did you know: 
The Nevada System of Higher Education has 150 distinct Health Sciences programs throughout eight institutions with an estimated total of 18,000 enrolled students.
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