E-Catalyst Newsletter January 2011
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Upcoming Alumni Event
WiredFebruary 12, 2011
A conference about how we use technology and the legal, health, and cultural issues involved. Learn more & RSVP
D3Students in Distributed Drug Discovery LabDistributed Drug Discovery Program
 Not many college students can say their efforts in the laboratory may lead to therapies for diseases that devastate millions of people worldwide, but chemistry students in the School of Science can. As they learn the science of chemistry they are actually synthesizing molecules that may someday be tested in human clinical trials as potential drug treatments or cures for such devastating diseases as malaria and tuberculosis.
 Read more.
Stephen Randall and Brenda BlacklockIncreasing Diversity of Future Life Science Researchers
The School of Science has received $943,000 to increase the number and diversity of future life science researchers.  Read more.
Tomás Meijome and Kathryn DelaCruz
IUPUI Students Sweep Top Prizes at Statewide LSAMP Research Conference
Students from the School of Science placed first in the oral competition and took first and second places in the scientific poster presentation. Read more.
Science@IUPUI in the News
Issue: 2January/2011
Common Diabetes Drug May Halt Growth of Cysts in Polycystic Kidney Disease
Confirmation through other models is next step
Human cystic kidney
At left, a regulation size football. At right, a human cystic kidney removed during a transplantation operation. A normal human kidney is the size of an adult fist.

Researchers report that a drug commonly used to treat diabetes may also retard the growth of fluid-filled cysts of the most common genetic disorder, polycystic kidney disease. PKD does not discriminate by gender or race and affects one in 1,000 adults worldwide.


Researchers from the schools of Science and Medicine at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic report in the online peer-reviewed journal PPAR Research that pioglitazone appears to control the growth of PKD cysts.


Using a rat model that has the same genetic mutation as a form of human PKD, the two research groups independently tested a pioglitazone treatment regimen and found that it slowed down both kidney and liver cyst growth by inhibiting a chloride channel in the cells of these organs.

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Helping Individuals with Severe Mental Illness Achieve Recovery Goals
Michelle Salyers · Associate Professor, Psychology and Co-Director, Indiana ACT Center of Indiana
Michelle Salyers, Ph.D

Five to ten million Americans of all ages suffer from schizophrenia, manic-depressive (bipolar) disorders and other severe mental illnesses. These illnesses are chronic brain diseases that can profoundly disrupt a person's ability to think, feel and relate to others.


Recently appointed associate professor of psychology, Michelle Salyers, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, mental health services administrator and researcher, has long been interested in the severely mentally ill and is a national leader in Assertive Community Treatment (ACT), a care management model which provides highly individualized psychiatric, social work, vocational and other services from a dedicated team. One of the primary goals for ACT is to help mentally ill individuals live at home rather than in a hospital, nursing home, jail, or on the streets.


"ACT programs have a track record of success in reducing far costlier hospitalizations and other adverse consequences of lack of treatment," said Salyers. She published one of the first studies to show that individuals could graduate from ACT programs. "This study contributed to the idea of recovery - that people with severe mental illness can have meaningful lives where they can contribute to society," she said. For the past nine years, Salyers has co-directed the Indiana ACT Center, which helped develop 31 ACT teams based at community mental health facilities across the state.


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Alum Looks Toward a Sustainable Future
Gabriel Grant · 2004 Alumnus, Physics · Ph.D. Student, Industrial Environmental Management, Yale; Director, Byron Fellowship Educational Foundation

Gabriel Grant's resume was longer than most seasoned business professionals - before he graduated from college. While attending Purdue University and the School of Science at IUPUI, Grant worked as a consultant for three companies, completed several internships and founded two organizations dedicated to sustainability.


Gabriel Grant"I absolutely loved IUPUI," says Grant. "I found the professors to be so passionate about teaching and the classroom experiences lively and engaging. I had plans to return to Purdue and never did."


Grant's interest in science formed early building Rube-Goldberg machines, competing in a seventh-grade science fair with an innovative generator prototype and racing a solar powered bicycle with high school teammates. Grant enrolled at Purdue in West Lafayette, then transferred to IUPUI at the end of his sophomore year to grow his consulting business in Indianapolis and work on the development of The Indiana Consortium for Education toward Sustainability (ICES) - a statewide effort aimed at leveraging sustainability initiatives. While still attending IUPUI, his involvement with ICES led to the creation of the Byron Fellowship Educational Foundation which hosts a week-long interdisciplinary course in sustainable community development. Byron Fellowship is attended each year by undergraduates, graduate students and recent graduates.

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