Thursday, February 13, 2020

USA scientists study role of NAD+ in cancer treatment

Robert Sobol, Ph.D. professor of pharmacology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and chief of the Molecular & Metabolic Oncology Program at USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute, works in his lab at the Mitchell Cancer Institute. 
Research conducted at the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute examining the impact of vitamin B3-related molecules such as niacin, as it is converted in cells as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), was highlighted in the January issue of Scientific Reports.

The article, titled “Extracellular NAD+ enhances PARP-dependent DNA repair capacity independently of CD73 activity,” outlines the importance of NAD+, also known as an "energy molecule." NAD+ is essential for survival of every cell in the body and plays an important role in cancer research and treatment efficacy.

Robert Sobol, Ph.D., talks with research associate Jennifer
Clark about their research at the Mitchell Cancer Institute.
“This type of research could be significant for the patients treated at the Mitchell Cancer Institute,” said Robert W. Sobol, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine and chief of the Molecular & Metabolic Oncology Program at the Mitchell Cancer Institute. “We can use our findings to better understand why some cancer treatment responses may be affected differently depending on vitamin B3 dietary intake and how the tumor can process vitamin B3 into the needed cellular metabolites.”

According to Sobol, NAD+ molecules can ensure the stability of the genome, and could positively impact patients affected by cancer. Sobol explained that he, Marie Migaud, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, and other members of the program are working to understand how changes in cellular NAD+ levels may impact treatment for different types of cancer.

The Molecular & Metabolic Oncology Program at the Mitchell Cancer Institute focuses on the cellular mechanisms of DNA repair and metabolism and how these processes impact cancer development and the response to cancer treatments.

The article published in Scientific Reports is based on work conducted by Sobol and his research team. Co-authors from the USA College of Medicine and Mitchell Cancer Institute include Migaud; Jianfeng Li, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology; Jennifer Clark, instructor of pharmacology; Anna Wilk, Ph.D., instructor of pharmacology; and Faisal Hayat, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow in pharmacology.

At the Mitchell Cancer Institute, physicians and scientific investigators are searching for breakthrough discoveries to improve the lives of cancer patients.

Pediatric surgeon returns to USA College of Medicine faculty

Katrina Weaver, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, recently completed advanced training in pediatric/adolescent bariatric surgery and is now offering this new surgery options for young patients dealing with obesity.

“Childhood obesity impacts one out of every five children in the United States with the majority of these children suffering from the same comorbidities as obese adults but at a much earlier age,” Weaver said. “I am eager to help bring change and new surgical options for our morbidly obese adolescent population. Bariatric surgery is successful for many morbidly obese adolescents, with most of them having significant improvement or even complete resolution of their weight-related comorbidities.”

In 2017, Weaver joined the USA College of Medicine faculty in the division of trauma, critical care and burns. She recently returned to Mobile following a pediatric surgery fellowship at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

”I’m thrilled to be back at USA Health and and excited to to bring new surgery options for young patients in our region who are struggling with their health and weight,” she said.

Weaver earned her medical degree at the University of Utah School of Medicine and then completed her internship and residency at the USA College of Medicine. She also completed a surgical scholar research fellowship and a surgery critical care fellowship at Children’s Mercy Hospital before completing her a pediatric surgery fellowship. She is board certified in general surgery and surgical critical care.

Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming grand rounds

Mark your calendar for the following grand rounds:

Cardiology Grand Rounds
"Atrial Septal Defects Part 2"
Marc Cribbs, M.D., Cardiologist, University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Cardiology
Noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18
USA Health University Hospital, Cardiology Conference Room
Contact: Angela Hunt at (251) 471-7923 or arhunt@health.southalabama.edu

Neurology Grand Rounds
"Treatment of Epilepsy with Sodium Channel Modulators"
Miles Steven Evans, M.D., Professor of Neurology, University of Louisville
8 to 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18
USA Health University Hospital, 2nd Floor Conference Center
Contact: Heather Kelly at (251) 445-8292 or hdkelly@helath.southalabama.edu

Psychiatry Grand Rounds
"It’s More Than 'Just' Burnout"
Owen Muir, M.D., Founder, Brooklyn Minds Psychiatry, P.C., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18
AltaPointe Health Systems, Bayview/DOP, 1015 Montlimar Dr. Suite A-210
Contact: Angela Pope at (251) 706-5553 or apope@altapointe.org

Medicine Grand Rounds
"Developmental Therapeutics"
Sachin Pai, M.D., Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Clinical Oncology, USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute
8 to 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 20
USA Health University Hospital, 2nd Floor Conference Center
Contact: Linda Ching at (251) 471-7900 or lching@health.southalabama.edu

Surgery Grand Rounds
"The Social Determinants of Health: A Focus on Poverty"
Errol Crook, M.D., Professor and Chair of Internal Medicine, USA College of Medicine
7 to 8 a.m. Friday, Feb. 21
USA Health University Hospital, 2nd Floor Conference Center
Contact: Tyronda Rogers at (251) 445-8230 or tmrogers@health.southalabama.edu

Pediatric Grand Rounds
"Atopic Dermatitis - Just the Facts for the Pediatric Provider"
Anthony J. Mancini, M.D., Head of Dermatology, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago; Professor of Pediatrics & Dermatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
8 to 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 21
Strada Patient Care Center, 1st Floor Conference Room
Contact: Nicole Laden at (251) 415-8688 or nicoleladen@health.southalabama.edu

Friday, February 7, 2020

Med School Café video online: 'Sports Injuries, Treatment and Prevention'

Brad Clay, M.D., assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the USA College of Medicine and a sports medicine orthopaedic surgeon with USA Health, presented "Sports Injuries, Treatment and Prevention" at the January Med School Café.

Watch the full lecture on YouTube or below:

Thursday, February 6, 2020

See how USA Health is transforming medicine in new advertising campaign

USA Health has the responsibility not only to provide the highest quality and level of care to our patients, but also to look for new ways of doing things so that we transform medicine. As the region’s only academic health system, we use our unique perspectives to train the next generation of physicians at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine.

Last year we committed resources to telling people about our work and our successes. This week we launched our next effort, focusing on our own people. The campaign is multipronged and includes television, billboards, print ads and internal messaging. Throughout the year, the campaign will highlight people from USA Health and the USA College of Medicine.

Among those featured are Mike Lin, Ph.D., associate professor of physiology and cell biology; Myria Mack-Williams, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics; William Richards, M.D., professor and chair of surgery; and Jennifer Young Pierce, M.D., professor of interdisciplinary clinical oncology.

Watch our three television commercials below, and visit www.howweseeit.com for more information on how we are transforming medicine.