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OSU Center for Health Sciences News

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015

OSU medical student elected national SOMA president

Smith
Smith

Alex Smith, OMS-III, of Elyria, Ohio, was recently elected president of the national Student Osteopathic Medical Association during the group’s annual conference in Orlando, Fla. His term begins in April 2016.

During his tenure, Smith plans to continue to develop the way SOMA provides value and development to all members, including every medical student level, chapter leaders and national leaders. His goal is to run a transparent, member-focused and member-driven organization.

The primary duty of the national president is to lead the SOMA board of trustees and helping guide activities of the national board of directors and individual chapters on osteopathic campuses. Other duties include helping organize SOMA conventions, partnering with the board of directors in creating programming materials for conventions and distribution and maintaining partnerships with many osteopathic organizations. Smith is currently the Region III trustee on SOMA’s Board of Trustees.

Pet therapy program expands to OSU’s Tulsa campuses

The first class of Pete’s Pet Posse Tulsa  therapy dogs recently graduated during a special Barkalaureate ceremony. From  left are Sandy Cooper and Lily, Amanda Sumner and Lucy, Pistol Pete, Jerrie  Hall and Jake, Kayse Shrum, D.O., and Deuce and Megan Whitehead and Diesel.
The first class of Pete’s Pet Posse Tulsa recently graduated during a special Barkalaureate ceremony. From left are Sandy Cooper and Lily, Amanda Sumner and Lucy, Pistol Pete, Jerrie Hall and Jake, Kayse Shrum, D.O., and Deuce and Megan Whitehead and Diesel.

Students, faculty and staff at OSU-CHS and OSU-Tulsa now have some four-legged friends to visit on campus to aid in wellness and stress relief efforts.

“The benefits of pet ownership have been well documented,” said Sandy Cooper, assistant vice president for human resources at OSU in Tulsa and coordinator of Pete’s Pet Posse Tulsa (P3T). “It makes sense that allowing therapy animals in the workplace will have the same benefits as living with a pet.”

P3T is an expansion of the Pete’s Pet Posse therapy dog program launched by OSU-Stillwater in 2013 as part of the university’s American’s Healthiest Campus initiative. The first P3T class of five dogs graduated from training during a “Barkalaureate” ceremony on Oct. 15 at OSU-CHS. Watch a video featuring the first class.

The first P3T class includes Deuce, an 11-year-old yellow lab, and his handler, Kayse Shrum, D.O., OSU-CHS president and dean of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine; Diesel, a 7-year-old chocolate lab, and his handler, Megan Whitehead, clinic coordinator for the communication sciences and disorders department; Jake, a 10-year-old red heeler mix, and his handler, Jerrie Hall, associate library director at OSU-Tulsa; Lily, a 7-year-old cockapoo, and her handler, Cooper; and Lucy, a 5-year-old black lab, her handlers, OSU-CHS Registrar Amanda Sumner and her husband Phillip Sumner. Read more.

Research Spotlight: Cystic fibrosis study seeks to reduce lung infections

Champlin
Champlin

Due to many cystic fibrosis patients dying from chronic pulmonary infections, an OSU-CHS researcher is looking at ways to prevent deadly bacteria from invading the lungs.

“My primary aim is to learn more about the basic biology of bacteria and come up with novel ways to combat them,” said Franklin Champlin, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology at OSU-CHS. “We want to better understand how certain types of bacteria cause opportunistic infections in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients and determine the factors that make them so virulent.”

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes the body to produce unusually thick and sticky mucus that leads to chronic lung infections. It can affect the lungs, intestines, liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Champlin is particularly interested in why the antimicrobial agents used to fight infections are able to enter some bacterial cells but not others. Read more.

OSU-CHS professor recognized for paleontology education, outreach

Smith
Smith

Kent Smith, Ph.D., associate dean for the Office for the Advancement of American Indians in Medicine and Science and anatomy professor, has been named the first recipient of the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology Award for Excellence in Paleontological Research and Education.

The award honors a paleontologist who exhibits excellence both in original scientific research, as well as in education and outreach at the primary and secondary school levels. Smith is co-founder of the Native Explorers educational program aimed at increasing the number of American Indians pursuing careers as scientists, educators and physicians.

Smith will receive the award during the museum’s annual Peccary Society dinner on Friday. The Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology in Claremont, Calif. is the only accredited museum in the country located on a high school campus. Students play an integral role in the discovery, excavation, preparation and research of their findings and are often published in scientific journals.

Seminar to explore how brain research may alter practice of psychiatry

Paulus
Paulus

Martin P. Paulus, M.D., president and scientific director of the Laureate Institute for Brain Research, will discuss how the study of neuroscience could affect psychiatry at a special seminar on Friday, Oct. 30 at noon in D-107.

Paulus will examine ways to make neuroscience-based research relevant in practice and to generate clinically meaningful predictions for individual patients. He will also discuss a heuristic approach that would better integrate neuroscience with psychopathology.

The seminar is free and open to the public. The event is hosted by the OSU-CHS Biochemistry and Microbiology Department.

Pros for Africa supports Uganda girls school, medical student

Joshua  Foster, OMS-I, left, and John Lowe, OMS-II, prepare to freeze ice cream with  liquid nitrogen to raise funds for the student Pros for Africa club.
Joshua Foster, OMS-I, left, and John Lowe, OMS-II, prepare to freeze ice cream with liquid nitrogen to raise funds for the student Pros for Africa club.

The OSU-CHS chapter of Pros for Africa has raised nearly $800 this year to help support Sister Rosemary Nyirube’s work at Saint Monica’s Girls Vocational School in Uganda and the education of Ugandan medical student Pius Sumba.

More than $400 of the total funds came from bagel sales and a crockpot lunch. The remaining amount was matching funds through OSU-COM. On Tuesday, the club sold ice cream made by using liquid nitrogen and this weekend will sell T-shirts and host a raffle for OSU Homecoming.

Club secretary Ashley Shumaker, OMS-II, said the group will be selling bagels again in the Student Lounge from 7-10 a.m. on Monday and 7-9 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. The club also is planning a silent auction dinner for January.

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