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School of Medicine review proposes treatments for COVID-related blood clots

Yale News

Scientists at Yale have synthesized research from around the world to suggest new treatment methods for COVID-19.

A multidisciplinary team of Yale physician scientists, researchers, nursing staff and others have collaborated since early on in the pandemic to figure out why COVID-19 patients are so prone to blood-clotting. Their recent review, published on Nov. 19 in Nature Reviews Cardiology, details how COVID-19 causes blood clots in sick patients and why the disease has been so difficult to treat.

“Blood clotting is a complex process that involves many types of cells in the body including platelets and endothelial cells,” John Hwa, professor of medicine at the Yale Cardiovascular Research Center and one of the review’s senior authors, wrote in an email to the News. “It isn’t often that all components involved are in serious disarray and thus synergizing to promote massive blood clotting. In some ways it’s like ‘a perfect storm’ where all the components are perturbed and are tipped over the edge by COVID-19.”

Hwa said his colleague Hyung Chun, co-author of the review and director of Translational Research at the Yale Pulmonary Vascular Disease Program, contacted him in March when he suspected that endothelial cells, which line the interior surface of blood vessels, might be involved in the pathogenesis of COVID-19. 

Alfred Lee, associate professor of Medicine and another author of the review, also reached out to Hwa in March and informed him of potential abnormalities in platelets — cells responsible for blood clotting — that he was observing in COVID-19 patients. The team, which included Lee, Hwa and Chun, expanded those observations into a massive collaborative effort that included many frontline healthcare workers helping with patient treatment.

Platelets and endothelial cells are not usually considered important in the development of a disease from viral infection, according to Hwa. But COVID-19 and the body’s resulting immune response can lead to damage in many different cells and cause a wide range of complications — including those related to platelets and endothelial cells.

“A major adverse outcome of those critically ill with Covid19 is formation of blood clots, many of which are likely undiagnosed,” Chun wrote in an email to the News. “This is likely occurring due to a combination of endothelial injury/activation and platelet activation.”

To make matters worse, the functions of these cells can already be compromised in elderly people and in people with diabetes or other cardiovascular risk factors. Then, when the cells are introduced to COVID-19, the “perfect storm” that Hwa described forms. 

Another complication can come in the form of elevated cytokine levels, according to Jennifer Kwan, co-author of the review and clinical fellow at the Yale School of Medicine.

“The cytokines are essentially our messaging system released by immune cells to ramp up the immune defense or offense against a microbial threat,” Kwan said. “But when

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Momaya now board-certified in Sports Medicine – School of Medicine – Orthopaedic Surgery

AmitMomaya 200x150Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Assistant Professsor and Chief of Sports Medicine Amit Momaya, M.D., successfully passed the 2020 American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Subspecialty Examination.

According to the ABOS, the subspecialty certificate in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine is for board-certified orthopaedic surgeons who have demonstrated qualifications in sports medicine beyond those expected of other orthopaedic surgeons by virtue of additional training, a practice characterized by a volume of cases in sports medicine, or have made significant contributions to this field.

The examination for the subspecialty certificate in Orthopaedic Sports Medicine is developed and administered by the ABOS, whose mission is to ensure safe, ethical and effective practice of orthopaedic surgery. Momaya is proud of this milestone achievement as a provider and faculty member.

“To also be board-certified in sports medicine not only supports me in continuing to provide excellent patient care, but it also encourages me to continue to grow,” said Momaya. “Ultimately, that is my passion as a provider– to never stop learning new and effective ways to treat my patients so they may return to their active lifestyles.”

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Scientists at Yale School of Medicine design a virus to treat ovarian cancer

Marisa Peryer, Senior Photographer

A new Yale study showed that certain genetically modified viruses can cure ovarian cancer in mice. It may be of use in the treatment of ovarian cancer in humans.

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine have tested a chimeric virus — containing genes from two different viruses — that can selectively infect and kill ovarian cancer cells in mice. Their findings represent a potential breakthrough in the long-term treatment of ovarian cancer in humans. The study was published in the journal Virology on Nov. 12, two weeks after the death of the paper’s lead author Anthony Van den Pol, former professor of neurosurgery and psychiatry at Yale.

“Every year, around 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which is a smaller number compared to cancer types such as breast cancer,” said Gil Mor, the scientific director of the C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development at Wayne State University and a co-author of the paper. “However, unfortunately only around 4,000 of those women can survive the disease.”

The main reason behind the lethality of ovarian cancer is the lack of treatments preventing the recurrence of the disease. In 80 percent of cases, patients who respond positively to chemotherapy still experience a return of the disease, according to Mor. He explained that once the cancer comes back and begins to spread, there is little that doctors can do.

The inspiration for the study was born out of a collaboration between Van den Pol and Mor many years ago, when they worked in adjacent labs at the Yale School of Medicine. Van den Pol, a research scientist in the Neurosurgery Department, had concentrated his research on the long-term treatment of brain tumors. Mor, on the other hand, had been working on treatments for ovarian cancer. The two scientists decided to collaborate to find an alternative treatment for ovarian cancer through oncolytic viruses, which selectively infect and kill cancer cells.

In the experiment’s in vitro phase, in which the research takes place in laboratory tubes or petri dishes without a living component, researchers made a virus called Lassa-VSV in the laboratory. Lassa-VSV consists of three parts: the Lassa virus, the vesicular stomatitis virus, or VSV, and a fluorescent label to facilitate tracing, according to Nazli Albayrak, a scientist who was involved in the in vitro phase. During this phase, the team infected different ovarian cancer cell lines, eventually choosing the ones that were infected most frequently to proceed with the research. 

Then, after deciding on the cell line, the team injected tumor cells into the bodies of the mice, the paper explains. As the tumor cells began to replicate, the team then injected the Lassa-VSV virus into the tumor clusters. They observed that the virus infected the tumor cells very effectively yet did not harm the healthy cells

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Lobe Sciences Announces Launch of Preclinical Study in Collaboration with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

(MENAFN – Newsfile Corp) Lobe Sciences Announces Launch of Preclinical Study in Collaboration with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Vancouver, British Columbia–(Newsfile Corp. – November 30, 2020) – Lobe Sciences Ltd. (CSE: LOBE) (OTC Pink: GTSIF) (” Lobe ” or the ” Company “) is pleased to announce the launch of preclinical research studies using psilocybin and N-Acetylcysteine (” NAC “) for the treatment of mild traumatic brain injury/concussion (” mTBI “) with post-traumatic stress disorder (” PTSD “). The study is in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of scientists and physicians at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine under the lead of Michael E. Hoffer, M.D., professor of otolaryngology and neurological surgery.

NAC has been shown to be safe and efficacious in a phase I human clinical study in treating military personnel who had suffered mTBI. The initial research focus is to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the combination of psilocybin and NAC using broadly accepted rodent models. Final results are expected in 2021. Once this is established, more specific work can examine dose response, medicine uptake, and medicine levels. The research team at the Miller School of Medicine has conducted prior studies involving NAC with mTBI and has a license from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to conduct research using Schedule I controlled substances, which includes psilocybin.

The Miller School of Medicine is an internationally recognized leader in medical research, ranked No. 39 among the top medical schools in the nation by Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research. In 2019, the medical school submitted 1,968 research proposals and was awarded $149 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Advances in neuro-diagnostic assessment have revealed mild traumatic brain injury (concussion) is more common than previously thought and potentially associated with a host of negative health outcomes. The Centers for Disease Control (” CDC “) estimates that there are 3 million emergency room visits and over 230,000 hospitalizations due to TBI in any given year in the United States alone. Also, at the same time there are 5.3 million Americans living with the effects of mTBI (a 53% increase over ten years ago). The World Health Organization calls traumatic brain injury a “silent epidemic” that affects over 70 million individuals across the world. The United States Department of Defense estimates that over 345,000 individuals are affected by mTBI and that 20% of all service members who deploy suffer mTBI. mTBI and PTSD are significant health care issues that often co-occur and impact each other.

Dr. Hoffer, the principal investigator on the study, said, “This a very important extension of our work with NAC and other medicines to identify new treatments for mTBI and PTSD. We are hopeful that this new combination of psilocybin with NAC will lead us to better solutions for those suffering from mTBI and/or PTSD.”

Maghsoud Dariani, Chief Science Officer of Lobe said, “We are very excited to begin the preclinical studies in collaboration with Dr.

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Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine Partners With MANRRS to Increase Diversity in Veterinary Profession

Pet owners represent a much more diverse population than the veterinary professionals who care for them and their animals, a gap the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA)1 and the Association of American Veterinary Colleges (AAVMC) 2 are working hard to fill. Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) is committed to being part of the solution and is proud to announce a new partnership with Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS). This collaboration will further RUSVM’s long-term commitment to increase diversity in the veterinary profession and strengthen the pipeline of highly qualified, diverse students pursuing an education in veterinary medicine.

The partnership will introduce RUSVM to MANRRS chapters across the U.S. with MANRRS members gaining access to exclusive webinars and virtual workshops from RUSVM to increase exposure to the profession. Additionally, qualified students may apply for a newly launched MANRRS scholarship. The partnership will also help establish a professional chapter of MANRRS at RUSVM that will create mentoring opportunities for current RUSVM students and enhanced networking opportunities. To learn more about this partnership, click here.

“It is vitally important that the field of veterinary medicine is representative of the communities that we serve, and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine is thrilled to take this important step toward increasing diversity in the field,” said Sean Callanan, MVB, CERTVR, MRCVS, PHD, FRCPATH, DIPLECVP, dean of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. “As one of the most ethnically diverse AVMA-accredited veterinary schools, the partnership with MANRRS will provide new opportunities for prospective, current and former students, and pave the way for a more diverse workforce.”

According to an American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) report, more than one-third of African Americans surveyed own a pet. However, the vast majority of practicing veterinarians in the U.S. are white3, highlighting a disparity in the diversity of the profession and the people that they serve.

“While facing the dismal reality that more than 85% of Veterinarians are white, MANRRS is committed to partnering with RUSVM to provide underrepresented students access to pursue a career in veterinary medicine,” said Ebony Webber, chief operating officer for MANRRS. “Provided that MANRRS is one of the only and largest organizations focused on diverse talent in agriculture, our student and professional members expect MANRRS to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in areas where minorities are needed to help solve the world’s biggest challenges relating to animal health.”

RUSVM, supported by its parent company, Adtalem Global Education, is committed to cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusivity and creating a diverse global workforce that reflects that culture. To learn more about Adtalem’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, click here.

About Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine

Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) is an institution of Adtalem Global Education (NYSE:ATGE, member S&amp, P MidCap 400 Index)). Founded in 1982, RUSVM is committed to preparing students to become members and leaders of the worldwide public and professional healthcare team and to advance human, animal and

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Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine Partners With MANRRS to Increase Diversity in Veterinary Profession – Press Release

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts–(Business Wire)–Pet owners represent a much more diverse population than the veterinary professionals who care for them and their animals, a gap the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA)1 and the Association of American Veterinary Colleges (AAVMC) 2 are working hard to fill. Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) is committed to being part of the solution and is proud to announce a new partnership with Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS). This collaboration will further RUSVM’s long-term commitment to increase diversity in the veterinary profession and strengthen the pipeline of highly qualified, diverse students pursuing an education in veterinary medicine.

The partnership will introduce RUSVM to MANRRS chapters across the U.S. with MANRRS members gaining access to exclusive webinars and virtual workshops from RUSVM to increase exposure to the profession. Additionally, qualified students may apply for a newly launched MANRRS scholarship. The partnership will also help establish a professional chapter of MANRRS at RUSVM that will create mentoring opportunities for current RUSVM students and enhanced networking opportunities. To learn more about this partnership, click here.

“It is vitally important that the field of veterinary medicine is representative of the communities that we serve, and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine is thrilled to take this important step toward increasing diversity in the field,” said Sean Callanan, MVB, CERTVR, MRCVS, PHD, FRCPATH, DIPLECVP, dean of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. “As one of the most ethnically diverse AVMA-accredited veterinary schools, the partnership with MANRRS will provide new opportunities for prospective, current and former students, and pave the way for a more diverse workforce.”

According to an American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) report, more than one-third of African Americans surveyed own a pet. However, the vast majority of practicing veterinarians in the U.S. are white3, highlighting a disparity in the diversity of the profession and the people that they serve.

“While facing the dismal reality that more than 85% of Veterinarians are white, MANRRS is committed to partnering with RUSVM to provide underrepresented students access to pursue a career in veterinary medicine,” said Ebony Webber, chief operating officer for MANRRS. “Provided that MANRRS is one of the only and largest organizations focused on diverse talent in agriculture, our student and professional members expect MANRRS to advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in areas where minorities are needed to help solve the world’s biggest challenges relating to animal health.”

RUSVM, supported by its parent company, Adtalem Global Education, is committed to cultivating a culture of diversity and inclusivity and creating a diverse global workforce that reflects that culture. To learn more about Adtalem’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, click here.

About Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine

Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM) is an institution of Adtalem Global Education (NYSE: ATGE; member S&P MidCap 400 Index). Founded in 1982, RUSVM is committed to preparing students to become members and leaders of the worldwide public and professional healthcare team and to advance

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Gain Therapeutics and University of Maryland School of Medicine Announce Research Collaboration

BETHESDA, Md. and BALTIMORE, Nov. 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Gain Therapeutics, Inc. (“Gain”), today announced a research collaboration with the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), to investigate Gain’s structurally targeted allosteric regulators (STARs) in cellular models of neuronopathic Gaucher disease (nGD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). STARs are proprietary small molecules targeting novel allosteric binding sites on enzymes. These small molecule drug candidates are designed to cross the blood brain barrier and penetrate other hard to treat organs such as bone and cartilage, stabilize the effective enzyme to restore function and reduce toxic substrate. Research will be led by Ricardo A. Feldman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, of Microbiology and Immunology in UMSOM.

Under the terms of the collaboration, UMSOM will investigate Gain’s STAR candidates in macrophage and neuronal models of nGD and GBA-associated PD. These diseases are characterized by mutations in the GBA gene, where misfolding of the enzyme encoded by GBA (beta-glucocerebrosidase (GCase)) interferes with its normal transport to the lysosome. The research program will aim to further elucidate the mechanism of action of Gain’s STAR candidates by studying their effect on GCase, including GCase’s enzyme activity and transport to the lysosome. Additionally, other effects such as prevention of alpha-synuclein aggregation in PD dopaminergic neurons will be evaluated.

“We are exceedingly proud to be advancing our work in nGD and Parkinson’s in close collaboration with the University of Maryland School of Medicine,” said Eric Richman, Chief Executive Officer at Gain. “The expertise and experience of UMSOM and Dr. Feldman will be instrumental as we work to further validate the exciting potential of Gain’s STAR candidate for these devastating diseases. I am confident these foundational studies will bring us closer to a potential new treatment option for those with these disorders.”

Dr. Feldman added, “Our laboratory has used human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) models of GD and GBA-associated PD to uncover the molecular mechanisms leading to these diseases. We have also developed very sensitive assays to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of small molecules in reversing the phenotypic abnormalities caused by mutant GBA in the cell types affected by these diseases, including macrophages and neuronal cells. I have been impressed by Gain’s initial results evaluating the potential of STARs in correcting enzyme misfolding and restoring function, and look forward to working with Gain’s team to further advance its program to treat these diseases.”

Gain and UMSOM intend to report initial data from the collaboration in the first half of 2021.

About Gain Therapeutics, Inc.
Gain Therapeutics is redefining drug discovery with its SEE-Tx™ target identification platform. By identifying and optimizing allosteric binding sites that have never before been targeted, Gain is unlocking new treatment options for difficult-to-treat disorders characterized by protein misfolding. Gain was originally established in 2017 with the support of its founders and institutional investors such as TiVenture, 3B Future Health Fund (previously known as Helsinn Investment Fund) and VitaTech. It has been awarded funding support from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for

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Cebu Institute of Medicine named no. 1 medicine school nationwide


ALTHOUGH no Cebu-based takers made it to the top 10 of the November 2020 Physician Licensure Examinations (PLE), the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) named a Cebu-based medicine school as the number one performing school this year.

The Cebu Institute of Medicine (CIM) took the top spot after all of its 138 first-time takers passed the examinations, giving the school a 100 percent passing rate.

The CIM was followed by the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila with a 98.63 percent passing rate and the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health with 98.60 percent.

The PRC released the results of the November 2020 PLE on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, or seven working days after the last day of the examination.

The PRC said a total of 3,538 out of the 4,704 takers passed this year’s PLE administered by the Board of Medicine in the Cities of Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Lucena, Tacloban, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga.

A UP-Manila graduate, Jomel Lapides, emerged as the top 1 with a rate of 88.67 percent, followed by Patrick Joseph Mabugat from University of Saint La Salle and Adrian Teves from University of Sto. Tomas (UST) who both garnered 88.58 percent. Henrick Fong of UST and Raphael Rodolfo of UP Manila ranked third with a rate of 88.33 percent.

Among those who passed is Janine Patricia “Tricia” Robredo, a daughter of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.

In a Twitter post Thursday morning, Robredo said: “Our children’s achievements are always sweeter than our own. Congratulations, Trish. Thank you for making us proud many times over.”

Lapides, a graduate of UP Manila, topped the examination with a rating of 88.67 percent.

Seven other UP Manila graduates were among the 20 examinees who landed in the top 10 slots.

Only one examinee from outside Luzon made it to the top 10.

The certificate of registration and the registration for the issuance of professional ID will be done online beginning Jan. 11 to 29 next year. (WBS / Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)

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Cebu Institute of Medicine ranks 1st among top performing school in physician exam


ALTHOUGH no Cebu-based graduates made it to the top 10 of the November 2020 Physician Licensure Examinations (PLE), the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) named a Cebu-based medicine school as the top 1 among the top performing schools this year.

The Cebu Institute of Medicine (CIM) ranked first among the top ten performing schools in the November 2020 PLE after all of its 138 first time-takers have passed the examinations, giving the school a 100 percent passing rate.

The CIM was followed by the University of the Philippines (UP)-Manila with 98.63 percent passing rate and Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health with 98.60 percent.

The PRC released the results of the November 2020 PLE on Thursday, November 26, 2020 or seven working days after the last day of the examination.

The PRC said a total of 3,538 out of the 4,704 takers passed this year’s PLE administered by the Board of Medicine in the Cities of Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Lucena, Tacloban, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga.

A UP-Manila graduate, Jomel Lapides, emerged as the top 1 with a rate of 88.67 percent, followed by Patrick Joseph Mabugat from University of Saint La Salle and Adrian Teves from University of Sto. Tomas (UST) who both garnered 88.58 percent while both Henrick Fong of UST and Raphael Rodolfo of UP-Manila ranked third with a rate of 88.33 percent. (WBS)

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Novant Health, UNC Health, UNC School of Medicine announce agreement to partner across North Carolina

Novant Health, UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine have reached an agreement to expand medical education, research and clinical services to Novant Health facilities and other locations across North Carolina.

This partnership will expand the recently approved relationship between these organizations in New Hanover County to include Mecklenburg, Forsyth and other counties, with an additional focus to find innovative solutions to enhance care in rural areas.

The partnership will begin with locating a UNC School of Medicine branch campus at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte and will enhance and serve as an important training site for learners. It also gives more students access to learn at the best medical school for primary care in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report, and will expand the pipeline for high-quality physicians available to serve North Carolinians. In addition, the expansion of UNC School of Medicine’s Kenan Primary Care Medical Scholars Program will train more students to work in rural and under-resourced communities with enhanced training for care in those communities across North Carolina.

Additionally, clinical trials and studies from UNC School of Medicine’s world-renowned researchers will provide new treatment options for patients in Novant Health facilities.

Collaboration on population health has the potential to make a tremendous impact on the health of North Carolina. Together, through advanced analytics and proven population health strategies, more data will allow these partners to address community health challenges, such as COVID-19, opioid addiction, social determinants of health and health equity, to name a few.

“I am pleased that Forsyth and Mecklenburg counties, and the surrounding communities, will benefit from a collaboration between Novant Health and UNC Health and School of Medicine,” said Carl S. Armato, Novant Health president and CEO. “Our organizations are culturally aligned and committed to delivering safe, high-quality and affordable care while improving health equity in the communities we serve. This alignment allows us to expand access to medical education and clinical research across the state.”

“I am excited for the opportunities ahead for Novant Health, UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine to build a healthier North Carolina and to train more physicians for North Carolina,” said Dr. Wesley Burks, CEO of UNC Health and dean of UNC School of Medicine. “Our partnership will impact health in North Carolina for decades to come.”

More details will be announced as the partnership is finalized.

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