Friday, November 13, 2009

Soap and Water - Your Best Defense

WMPI's Mike Rush sat down with USA Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Kevin Green to talk about the most important thing we all can do to prevent the spread of germs and illness - - it's something we probably learned when we were in the first grade - - properly washing our hands.

The story will air on Monday on NBC-15 during their 10 p.m. newscast.

Stimulating Science - Story to Air Sunday

Recently, WALA-FOX10 News Anchor Bob Grip visited the USA Center for Lung Biology and discovered that scientists are finding out great deal about how to improve care for lung diseases and stimulating the local economy at the same time.  Watch WALA's 9 p.m. newscast this Sunday for the full story.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

USA Pulmonary Hypertension Center Takes Part In National Awareness Effort

Left:  Physician-scientist Dr. Karen Fagan leads the USA Pulmonary Hypertension Center

November is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month. Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) is a rare blood vessel disorder of the lung in which the pressure in the pulmonary artery (the blood vessel that leads from the heart to the lungs) rises above normal levels and may become life threatening. It is a disease that affects people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds.

In our region, the University of South Alabama Pulmonary Hypertension Center provides care for patients with PH and educates patients, families, and the community about the disease. Its mission is to search for better treatments and ultimately a cure for PH through research at the USA Center for Lung Biology and clinical trials through the USA Pulmonary Hypertension Center. Patients are referred to our center from throughout southern Alabama as well as Mississippi and Florida.

Dr. Karen A. Fagan serves as medical director of the USA Pulmonary Hypertension Center. She has more than 14 years of experience in the diagnosis and management of PH. Dr. Fagan is an internationally recognized leader in the PH field as both a clinician and scientist. She is on the Scientific Leadership Council of the PH Association and a leader in the Pulmonary Circulation Assembly of the American Thoracic Society. Dr. Fagan has written more than 40 scientific and clinical articles and book chapters and is frequently invited to speak on PH.

Scientific discoveries made by Dr. Ivan McMurtry, a researcher at the USA Center for Lung Biology, serve as the basis for many of the drugs currently used to treat patients with PH. Dr. McMurtry has written and reviewed numerous publications regarding PH. He is a member of the American Physiological Society, American Thoracic Society and the American Heart Association.

Med School Cafe' - "State of the Art Care for Peripheral Artery Disease"

This month's Med School Cafe' will feature Dr. G. Mustafa Awan, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Director of Interventional Cardiology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. 

His lecture - "State of the Art Care for Peripheral Artery Disease" - will take place on Nov. 18, 2009 at the Mobile Museum of Art.  Lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. and Dr. Awan's talk will begin at 12 noon.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), is one of the most common circulatory problems outside the heart and brain. The condition results from narrowed arteries, which reduce blood flow to the arms and legs.

During his lecture, Dr. Awan, an interventional cardiologist, will talk about the medical management of PAD as well as new therapies available to patients who suffer from this condition.

An estimated 8 to 12 million Americans have PAD. The most common symptoms include cramping, pain, or tiredness in the leg or hip muscles while walking.

A lunch will be provided for lecture attendees. The Med School CafĂ© lecture and lunch are provided free of charge, but reservations are required. To make reservations, please call (251) 460-7770 or e-mail .

November 12th DSS - “Epigenetic Control of Chromatin-Dependent Transcription: Lessons from HPV E2 and E6 Proteins”

The next Distinguished Scientist Seminar will be presented by Dr. Cheng-Ming Chiang on Nov. 12, 2009, at 4 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building auditorium. His seminar is titled “Epigenetic Control of Chromatin-Dependent Transcription: Lessons from HPV E2 and E6 Proteins.”

Currently, Dr. Chiang serves as professor in the departments of biochemistry and pharmacology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Primarily, Dr. Chiang’s laboratory involves understanding the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in mammalian cells and in defining the roles of protein factors involved in these processes. He is also interested in the studies of human papillomaviruses, which cause a variety of human diseases, including benign genital warts and cervical cancer. His research interests include transcription, chromatin, gene regulation, and virology.

Dr. Chiang is a 1996 Pew Scholar and has been an editorial board member of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and Faculty of 1000 since 2003. He presently serves as a regular member for the American Cancer Society Genetic Mechanisms in Cancer and National Institutes of Health Virology B study sections.

Dr. Chiang received a bachelor of science degree from the department of agricultural chemistry at National Taiwan University in 1984. He received his medical degree from the department of biochemistry at the University of Cheng-Ming Chiang Rochester in 1991.

His doctoral dissertation was supervised by Professors Louise Chow and Thomas Broker. After finishing his postdoctoral training with Professor Robert Roeder at Rockefeller University, he took a faculty position in the department of biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

In 2000, he moved to the department of biochemistry at Case Western Reserve University as tenured associate professor. He has recently accepted a professorship at UT Southwestern in the departments of biochemistry and pharmacology, and he relocated his laboratory to UT Southwestern Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center in July 2007.

For more information on Dr. Chiang’s research, visit .

For additional information, contact Natalie Kent at 461-1548.