Argonne-University Of Chicago Joint Venture Bolsters Genomic Sequencing Capabilities

The Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology (IGSB), a joint venture of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago, has acquired two new instruments that provide an enhanced ability to sequence genomes more quickly and broadly.

“Sequencing used to be like locating a golf ball by searching only on the fairway, but not the rough,” said IGSB Director Kevin White. “It used to be that only species that could be cultivated, or grown in pure culture, could be sequenced. The capabilities of the new Roche 454 FLEX and Illumina Solexa Genome Sequencer now allow scientists that use the machines to skip the cultivation step. Eliminating that step will save time and speed up the research process, while maintaining accurate sequencing results.”

The 454 FLEX is ideally suited for studying microbial communities by de novo sequencing. It provides 400,000 DNA fragments of about 250 base pairs each – or 100 million base pairs per run – that represent either a significant part of the genome of a single organism or a random snapshot of parts of multiple genomes.

The Solexa Genome Sequencer is targeted at resequencing. Compared to the Roche 454 FLEX, it generates more but shorter reads, creating 40 million reads with a current read length of 18 to 36 base pairs – or about 1 billion base pairs per run – depending on the application.

The machines were purchased to facilitate research for three Argonne Laboratory-Directed Research and Development projects. A project led by Michael Miller, a terrestrial ecologist, and Folker Meyer, a computational biologist in IGSB, will enhance our understanding of soil CO2 sequestration capability on the microbial level.

In another project, Argonne’s soil ecology group is using metagenome sequencing to study the microbial population in chronoseries plots at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. In a third project, Argonne’s environmental remediation program is studying the role played by microbial communities in subsurface remediation of inorganic contaminates using metagenome sequencing.

IGSB’s sequencing group plays an active role in the design and optimization of experiments using DNA sequencing technology, such as developing and optimizing protocols for DNA isolation from environment as diverse as subsurface soil and plant leaves. The group also works with researchers to develop protocols for DNA extraction and to conduct downstream bioinformatics analyses.

The new machines are also open to other Argonne and University of Chicago researchers who need genetic samples sequenced. In the near future, the sequencing instruments will be available to select peer-reviewed proposals from researchers from other organizations.


Argonne’s genomics research is primarily funded DOE’s Office of Science, which supports research that provides a fundamental scientific understanding of plants and microbes necessary to develop strategies for sequestering carbon gases, producing biofuels and cleaning up waste.

Argonne National Laboratory brings the world’s brightest scientists and engineers together to find exciting and creative new solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Source: Angela Hardin

DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

BMA calls for proper planning on doctors’ training, UK

Responding to a government announcement about the new ‘Modernising Medical Careers’ training system for junior doctors today (Tuesday 9 August, 2005) Mr Simon Eccles, chairman of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee, said:

“Modernising Medical Careers gives us an opportunity to achieve a streamlined system where a doctor’s career progression depends on their ability rather than how much time they’ve spent at a particular grade.

However, while we support the principles underlying the new system, the way the transition has been planned has risked worsening workforce problems. Hospital trusts have stopped offering long-term Senior House Officer posts, and it seems that many of these may have been absorbed into the new foundation programmes. Many junior doctors are finding themselves without jobs to go to.

Modernising Medical Careers could bring major benefits to both doctors and patients, but its implementation needs to be properly planned and funded. It is vital that carefully thought-out solutions are put in place over the coming years or workforce problems will worsen.”

British Medical Association
BMA House
Tavistock Square

Acne Really Is A Nightmare For Some Teens

Zits, pimples, bumps and blemishes are a young person’s worst nightmare. Collectively they are known as acne, a very common skin condition that affects millions of adolescents. Now a Norwegian study published in the open access journal BMC Public Health has investigated the links between acne, diet and mental health issues in both males and females.

University of Oslo researcher Jon Anders Halvorsen together with co-authors from Lhasa (Tibet) and Boston (US) studied 3775 adolescents to explore the possible causes of acne. The 18- and 19-year olds were given questionnaires to monitor their diets, lifestyle variables, and mental conditions. Participants reported on their own acne. Lastly, researchers acquired the socio-demographic status of the young people from Statistics Norway.

The study identified crude associations between acne and high intake of chocolate and chips and low intake of vegetables. In girls, there was a significant link between acne and diet low in raw and fresh vegetables. This may indicate that a low-glycemic index could have a protective role in the development of acne.

Dr. Halvorsen said: “Our study shows a possible link between diet and acne. However, when we introduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in our statistical model, the role of diet became less clear. On the other hand the association between acne and mental health problems was still strong when diet was introduced. This underscores mental health problems as an important aspect of young people’s acne”.

He concluded, “It is too early to give evidence based diet advice to teenagers with acne. Further studies are needed. Luckily, acne is rarely associated with serious morbidity. However, it does cause problems for a high number of young people. I hope that this study will encourage doctors to help adolescents to treat their acne and researchers to find preventive factors. Young people deserve better!”


Is the association between acne and mental distress influenced by diet? Results from a cross-sectional population study among 3775 late adolescents in Oslo, Norway.
Jon A Halvorsen, Florence Dalgard, Magne Thoresen, Espen Bjertness and Lars Lien
BMC Public Health (in press)


Graeme Baldwin

BioMed Central

Adolescents From Certain Races Participating In Religion May Become More Depressed

One of the few studies to look at the effects of religious participation on the mental health of minorities suggests that for some of them, religion may actually be contributing to adolescent depression.

Previous research has shown that teens who are active in religious services are depressed less often because it provides these adolescents with social support and a sense of belonging.

But new research has found that this does not hold true for all adolescents, particularly for minorities and some females. The study found that white and African-American adolescents generally had fewer symptoms of depressive at high levels of religious participation. But for some Latino and Asian-American adolescents, attending church more often was actually affecting their mood in a negative way.

Asian-American adolescents who reported high levels of participation in their church had the highest number of depressive symptoms among teens of their race.

Likewise, Latino adolescents who were highly active in their church were more depressed than their peers who went to church less often. Females of all races and ethnic groups were also more likely to have symptoms of depression than males overall.

Setting all other factors aside, the results suggest that participating in religion at high levels may be detrimental to some teens because of the tensions they face in balancing the conflicting ideals and customs of their religion with those of mainstream culture, said Richard Petts, co-author of the study, who did the work as a doctoral student in sociology at Ohio State University.

“Most research has shown that religious participation, for the most part, is good and can be very helpful for battling depression. But our research has shown that this relationship does not hold true in all instances,” he said.

While the study shows that females and males from certain groups may be more inclined to become depressed, involvement in religious services still had an overall positive affect for many youth in the study. The results do provide important insight into the impact of religious participation on teenage depression, but race and gender may only be part of the reason certain youth were more depressed, Petts said.

“The study shows that we need to consider the broader social aspects of institutions such as religion on an individual’s well being, both good and bad. We focus specifically on race and gender, but these are not the only two factors that may be contributing to higher and lower depression among youth,” he said.

Petts, who is now an assistant professor of sociology at Ball State University, conducted the study with Anne Jolliff when they were both doctoral students at Ohio State. Jolliff is now a research coordinator at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The pair based the study on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a study surveying middle and high school students throughout the United States.

Adolescents in grades 7 through 12 were initially interviewed in school and a random number of students were again interviewed at home. Students were asked to identify the positive and negative feelings they had experienced in the preceding week such as depression, loneliness, isolation, happiness, or excitement. They were also asked about their behavior in the last year and asked to identify their race, religious preference, and how often they attended services during the same period of time.

Adolescents were then interviewed a second time one year later at home about the same topics. Parents of these adolescents were also asked about their child’s moods and behaviors. Only the 12,155 adolescents who participated in both parts of the study and had information from their parents were included in this study.

The results were recently published in the journal Review of Religious Research.

Among adolescents who never attended church, Asian-American adolescents reported 4 percent fewer symptoms of depression in the preceding week than did their African-American peers.

In comparison, Asian-American youth who attended church at least once a week reported 20 to 27 percent more symptoms of depression than their white and African-American peers who attended at the same level.

Latino adolescents fared about the same as Asian Americans, reporting 6 to 14 percent higher rates of depression symptoms than did African-American and white teens when attending church at least once a week.

The results showed that in stark contrast to the findings for white and African-American adolescents, Asian-American adolescents who never attended services and Latinos attending at intermediate levels were the least likely to be depressed within their groups.

The results suggest that something unique was affecting adolescents within these two groups when they went to church often. Petts believes that the traditional nature of religion for these two groups may be conflicting with the ideals and customs of mainstream American society. This conflict may be putting additional stress on these youth as they try to balance competing principles and traditions, he said.

“Asian and Latino youth who are highly involved in a culturally distinct church may have a more difficult time balancing the beliefs of their family and their traditional culture with mainstream society. Their religious institution is telling them what should be important in their lives and how to behave, and mainstream society is saying something else,” he said.

At higher levels of participation, Asian-American and Latino adolescents had a harder time juggling which set of ideals to adopt because they were more involved and committed to their religion.

Meanwhile, Asian-American adolescents who had lower levels of involvement in church were able to focus more on life without worrying about conflicting ideals, resulting in lower depression. At lower levels of involvement, adolescents still gained the social support of their religious community while also feeling in touch with mainstream society, Petts said.

The results also showed that the problem for Latino adolescents may be two-fold. At high levels of involvement in their religious community, Latino teens experienced the same tension between culture and society as some Asian-American teens. This led to higher reports of depression symptoms among these youth.

But Latino teens who never attended church reported high levels of depression as well, reporting 26 to 28 percent higher rate of depression symptoms than did white and African-American American youth. Religion is often an important part of social support for these adolescents and no involvement in their religion may leave these teens without a sense of connection to their community and culture, he said.

“Participating to a certain extent may enable these youth to balance their lives better. They have a connection with a religious community and all the benefits it offers, but they are not so immersed that they’re out of touch with mainstream society. So they’re sort of getting the best of both worlds,” Petts said.

The tension between society and religion may also help explain why females who were sexually active report higher levels of depression than do sexually active males. The disconnect between how their religion told them to act and what they chose to do may cause these females to have higher emotional distress and increased depression, he said.

In addition, Latina females who participated heavily in their religion were more likely to become depressed then Latino males. Not only were these young women more at risk for feeling depressed than were their male counterparts, but they were also more depressed then Latina females who attended church at intermittent levels.

“Females in these religious institutions often have subordinate status and if females feel that they don’t have equal say in that religious institution, that may contribute to higher levels of depression,” Petts said.

This may also explain why attending church at intermediate levels resulted in lower depression for these females. Latina females who attend at moderate levels may benefit from the social support of the religious community, while avoiding the patriarchal tensions experienced by those who attend services weekly.


Jenna McGuire

Source: Richard Petts

Ohio State University

Collaboration Between Belimed Inc. And 3M To Jointly Promote Best Practices In Sterile Processing

Belimed, Inc, a world leader in infection control systems, and 3M Sterilization Assurance, a world leader in sterilization monitoring products and a part of 3M Health Care, have formed a collaboration to jointly promote best practices in sterile processing in the United States. With infection prevention a key issue in the industry today, the two organizations will work together to provide objective educational resources to customers on sterilization monitoring practices. This partnership was announced at the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) Annual Congress in Anaheim, Calif.

As the first step in the partnership, 3M™ Attest™ Sterile U Network educational resources and training were featured during the AORN congress in the Belimed booth (#375) between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. each day.

After AORN, Belimed will provide access to 3M Sterilization Assurance educational resources to all existing and new accounts on an ongoing basis, and both organizations’ sales groups will work together to advance higher standards of practice in sterile processing areas.

According to U.S. Belimed CEO Joseph McDonald, “This partnership is a critical step in the advancement of sterile processing best practices and will bring together innovative products and practice to enable more facilities to reduce hospital acquired infections while running reliable and efficient sterile processing departments.”

Doug Patton, 3M Sterilization Assurance global business manager, added, “Collaborating with Belimed allows us to continue to expand industry access to our educational resources. 3M Sterilization Assurance is committed to helping customers achieve the highest standard of sterilization excellence, and this partnership is an important step toward that goal.”



Belimed, Inc. is a world leader in infection control, specializing in cleaning, disinfection and sterilization. A division of Metal-Zug, a Swiss company with an annual sales volume of approximately $500 million, Belimed, Inc. has been providing state-of the-art products in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and laboratory sectors worldwide for over 30 years.


3M Health Care, one of 3M’s six major business segments, provides world-class innovative products and services to help health care professionals improve the practice, delivery and outcome of patient care in medical, oral care, drug delivery and health information markets.

3M and Attest are trademarks of 3M.


Laura Francis

Stephanie Sanderson


AMS800 Artificial Urinary Sphincter Approved For Use In Japan

American Medical Systems® (AMS) (NASDAQ: AMMD), a leading provider of world-class devices and therapies for both male and female pelvic health, announced that it has received clearance from the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) to market and distribute its AMS 800 Artificial Urinary Sphincter (AUS) in Japan, effective September 7, 2009.

The AMS 800 has been used for nearly 30 years to restore urinary continence in almost 130,000 patients around the world. The long-term safety and efficacy of the AMS 800 have made it the gold standard treatment for moderate to severe stress urinary incontinence (SUI), which can be an unfortunate side effect of prostate cancer surgery. According to a recent survey conducted by the Japanese Urological Association approximately 16,000 radical prostatectomies were performed in Japan in 2004.

The AMS 800 is a medical device which is implanted and completely concealed inside the patient’s body. The device effectively controls the flow of urine and restores continence. This first-of-its-kind product in Japan offers incontinent patients an alternative to traditional pad and diaper therapy.

“We are very excited to offer this treatment to incontinent men in Japan,” said Michael Ryan, Vice President and General Manager of Asia Pacific, Latin America and Canada at AMS. “Although the incidence of prostate cancer is lower in Japan than in the West, it is on the increase.”

AMS is currently working with a select group of physicians to develop Centers of Excellence throughout Japan, which will serve as resources and training centers for physicians interested in implanting the AMS 800. As a next step, AMS will seek to obtain national reimbursement through the MHLW Insurance Bureau.

“We are very grateful to the Japanese Urological Association and Japanese Neurogenic Bladder Society for recognizing the importance of the AUS,” Ryan said. “AMS is eager to begin working with our identified Centers of Excellence as we strive to offer this product to every Japanese patient whose quality of life could be improved through the use of this technology.

American Medical Systems

‘Pork Is Safe To Eat, Handle,’ Says Pork Industry

“Pork is safe to eat and handle,” the U.S. pork industry continues to reassure people in the wake of a report from Canada that pigs in an Alberta pork operation contracted an H1N1 virus. A worker who recently visited Mexico – and became ill with the flu – is suspected of transmitting the virus to a pig.

“People cannot get the flu from eating or handling pork,” said Dr. Jennifer Greiner, director of science and technology for the National Pork Producers Council. “The flu is a respiratory illness, it’s not a food-borne illness.”

According to the World Health Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services and Homeland Security the H1N1 flu strain that has been contracted by 763 people worldwide cannot be transmitted by eating pork; it is not a food safety issue.

Today, the World Trade Organization, the OIE and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization issued a joint statement saying pork is safe.

“Influenza is not uncommon in pigs,” Greiner said, “but they recover, and it does not affect the safety or quality of pork.

“It is well known that influenzas are transmissible, and it is not a surprise that a flu virus might have passed from people to pigs. The bottom line is pork is safe to eat and handle.”

National Pork Producers Council

Adaptimmune Announces Opening Of Phase I/II Clinical Trial For Metastatic Melanoma At Washington University, St. Louis

Adaptimmune announced today that it has opened a Phase I/II, two cohort, open label clinical trial in metastatic melanoma at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.

Adaptimmune is focused on the use of T-cell therapy to treat cancer, with the body’s own machinery – the T lymphocyte — a cell that is being used to target and destroy cancerous cells. This trial is designed to investigate the safety, bioactivity and anti-tumor effect of patients’ own T cells that have been genetically modified to express a high affinity T cell receptor (TCR) specific for a type of tumor antigen (protein) known as a cancer testis antigen (CT antigen).

TCRs that have been developed using Adaptimmune’s unique TCR enhancement technology will be deployed to target two CT antigens called Mage-A3/6 and NYESO-1. T cell manufacturing will be performed at the Clinical Cell and Vaccine Production Facility at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania directed by Dr. Bruce Levine.

The clinical trial design includes patients who have unresectable stage III/IV melanoma. Up to 12 patients will be enrolled in the trial over a period of two years, with six patients participating in each of the NYESO-1 and MAGE-A3/6 cohorts in accordance with a genetic randomization scheme based on a patient’s HLA-A type and tumor antigen status.

Dr. Carl H. June at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Gerald Linette of the DivisionWashington University’s Division of Medical Oncology and Siteman Cancer Center, developed the study which was presented to the National Institutes of Health Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee last year. Dr. June is the regulatory sponsor (FDA representative) for the study and Dr. Linette is the lead clinical investigator. Adaptimmune is the financial sponsor and owns the core T cell receptor technology.

“There’s a strong rationale for using immunotherapy for treating melanoma because its molecular signposts can be seen by the immune system and immunotherapeutic approaches have been effective in prior trials,” says Dr. June. “With this trial, we aimed to enhance response rates using gene-based personalized cell therapy that incorporates recent advances in vector design, TCR engineering, and the T cell manufacturing process.”

“TCR engineering is an important advance for cancer therapy,” says Dr. Linette. “This approach of infusing autologous TCR engineered T cells creates a uniform and high frequency response to tumor antigen known to be present in the patient’s cancer, and therefore it may overcome limitations previously observed with cancer vaccines.”

Patients enrolled on the study will have their T cells collected by leukapheresis, a procedure for collection of white blood cells. Once the manufacture of the genetically modified T cell product is complete, the patient will undergo cytoreductive chemotherapy to “make space” for the T cell infusion, followed a few days later with the infusion. The active phase of the study lasts three months, with up to one year of monitoring of patients responding to the treatment.

“The potential of adoptive T cell therapy to effect impressive antitumor responses in melanoma patients is generally established,” says James Noble, Adaptimmune’s CEO. “The challenge now is how to achieve reproducible responses among patients using a commercially viable manufacturing process, and I believe our high affinity TCR technology and manufacturing process address this challenge.”

Additional study details and contact information for patients interested in finding out more about participation can be found at clincialtrials under trial identifier number NCT01350401.


Dr. Carl June has no financial interest or other relationship with Adaptimmune LTD, apart from their scientific collaboration in developing the engineered killer T cell, conducting laboratory experiments and planning human clinical trials.


Adaptimmune Limited

Cloned Immune Cells Treat Skin Cancer

“A cancer patient has made a full recovery after being injected with billions of his own immune cells in the first case of its kind,” The Daily Telegraph reported. The newspaper described how a 52-year-old man with advanced melanoma, a type of skin cancer that usually has a poor prognosis once it has spread, has made a full recovery. The story said that after two years he is still free from the disease, which had spread to his lymph nodes and one of his lungs.

This case report received a lot of press coverage, and most reports were careful to put the study into context. The researchers themselves avoid the word cure, since this type of cancer is notorious for re-occurring at a late stage, even after two years. Although this is a landmark in the treatment of metastatic melanoma, other cancer types in different body sites are expected to behave differently and the researchers do not assume the treatment will be helpful for all cancers.

It would be wise to wait for the reports of the full series of patients (as well as larger controlled trials) before fully evaluating the practicalities and possible downsides to this innovative treatment.

Where did the story come from?

Dr Naomi Hunder from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle and colleagues from the University of Washington in Seattle and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York carried out the research. The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the General Clinical Research Center, the Edson Foundation and the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. The study was published as a brief report in the peer-reviewedNew England Journal of Medicine.

What kind of scientific study was this?

Previous studies show that some T-cells – a special type of white blood cell involved in the immune response – can be used to treat people with metastatic melanoma. The subtypes of these cells known as CD4+ and CD8+ have an anti-cancer effect by interacting with each other and producing substances that directly or indirectly destroy tumour cells.

In this case report, the researchers described the results of an innovative treatment of metastatic melanoma in a 52-year-old patient. Metastatic melanoma is a type of skin cancer that spreads beyond the skin to other areas of the body, and is notoriously difficult to treat.

The patient in this case report had had a melanoma skin cancer removed but this had returned. He had also been unsuccessfully treated with several conventional chemotherapy treatments. At the last recurrence of his disease, he had deposits (metastases) in the lung and in the lymph nodes of the groin and pelvis. The researchers checked for further disease and recorded the precise location of the deposits by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI-scan) of the brain and computed tomography (CT-scan) of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis. This confirmed the position and size of the deposits, and showed that he had not developed brain metastasis. He also had a positron-emission tomography (PET-scan) of his entire body, which showed that no other areas were affected.

Using a biopsy of the melanoma, the researchers identified a specific protein, (NY-ESO-1) found on the surface of the cells that could be used to identify the cancer. They then collected white blood cells from the patient’s blood and grew them in the presence of part of the NY-ESO-1 protein, which acted as an “antigen”, meaning that it provoked an immune response. The researchers then separated out only the T-cells that recognised and attacked the NY-ESO-1 protein. They then used novel techniques to generate a large number of identical CD4+ T-cells that would direct the immune system to attack the tumour cells that carried the NY-ESO-1 protein. Several billion of these cells were then injected back into the patient. Over the next three months his antibody response and the number of T-cells in his blood were monitored.

Two months after the treatment they also carried out PET and CT scans to look for any signs of the original metastases or to detect any new ones.

What were the results of the study?

For their results, the researchers describe the method they have developed that isolated a patient’s CD4+ T-cell and expands those specific to the melanoma-associated antigen NY-ESO-1.

The researchers report that PET and CT scans carried out two months after the cells were injected into the patient found no evidence of cancer and, after 22 months, there was still no sign of recurrence. The researchers last had contact with the patient 26 months after the injection and he had not needed any further cancer treatment and could function normally with no obvious symptoms of disease. The treatment also did not seem to induce any side effects related to the immune system.

In addition, they noted that the treatment also induced T-cells to respond to melanoma antigens other than NY-ESO-1.

What interpretations did the researchers draw from these results?

In their interpretation of this study, the researchers said they had showed that injecting “a clonal population of CD4+ T cells with specificity for a single tumour-associated antigen caused complete regression of a tumour”.

They also said that “during regression of the tumour, this clone appears to have induced the patient’s own T cells to respond to other antigens of his tumour.” This means that the cloned T-cells that recognised the NY-ESO-1 protein appeared to make the patient’s own T-cells respond to other proteins on the surface of the tumour.

What does the NHS Knowledge Service make of this study?

The results of the study, while encouraging, should be put into context. This study is a good illustration of the role of a single case report in identifying suitable areas for further research. The researchers are careful to avoid saying that they have found a cure for this stage and type of cancer. They do not speculate on the implications of their findings for other cancers beyond saying that “these findings support further clinical studies of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells in the treatment of malignant disease”.

This case report does not describe any results for other people that may have been offered the treatment. It does not clarify the extent of the clinical examination, nor which tests were performed at 22 months.

The newspapers mention nine other patients who received similar treatment. It would be wise to wait for the reports of this case series (as well as the results of larger controlled trials) before fully evaluating the practicalities and possible downsides to this treatment.

Links to the headlines

Cloned immune cells cleared patient’s cancer. The Guardian, June 19 2008
Patient fights off cancer with clones of his own immune cells. Daily Mail, June 19 2008
Cancer patient recovers after injection of immune cells. The Daily Telegraph, June 19 2008

This news comes from NHS Choices

COES Students Receive Prestigious NSF Fellowships

Louis Reis, a Louisiana Tech University biomedical and electrical engineering student, and Mark Wade, a recent summa cum laude graduate in electrical engineering and physics and current graduate student at Tech, have each been awarded Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The Fellowship provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant achievements in science and engineering research. It recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF’s mission.

“To be selected from among thousands of qualified candidates around the world is a real honor,” said Reis. “I appreciate all that Louisiana Tech has given me to excel in my field and prove my worth for this award. I look forward to the experience and the knowledge I will gain while working toward my Ph.D. as a NSF Fellow.”

Reis is planning to continue his studies at Louisiana Tech as a Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering. His research focus is biosensors, specifically glucose and chemical sensors.

Wade, who graduated first in his class in both electrical engineering and physics, has been working as a design engineer for Radiance Technologies since graduation, and will be starting a Ph.D. program in electrical engineering this fall at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

“I am honored and excited to receive the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship,” said Wade. “The award will allow me to focus on my Ph.D. studies and research, and it is a testament to the quality of engineering and science education at Louisiana Tech. I am grateful to the professors at Tech who helped me put together my application and prepared me for graduate school.”

The NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program is highly-competitive and sought after among students in the STEM fields. The program seeks to ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the U.S. The ranks of NSF Fellows include individuals who have made transformative breakthroughs in science and engineering research and have become leaders in their chosen fields and Nobel laureates.

“I have reviewed for this program for the last four years and can tell you that it is an intensely competitive process,” said Dr. Jenna Carpenter, associate dean for administration and strategic initiatives in Louisiana Tech’s College of Engineering and Science. “These are very prestigious awards. They receive over 10,000 applications and only award about 3,000.”

Students selected for the Fellowship receive an annual stipend of $30,000 and a cost-of-education allowance of $10,500. Fellows can choose to attend any appropriate, accredited, non-profit U.S. institution offering advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Dave Guerin
Louisiana Tech University