University of Illinois, Chicago: News

  • 10/25/2012samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler) writer samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler) by samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler) published by samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler)
    Beverly Malone, chief executive officer of the National League for Nursing and a past president of the American Nurses Association, will be the keynote speaker at the 15th Annual Power of Nursing Leadership Event Nov. 2 at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave.

    Malone, who in 2010 was ranked 29th among the 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare magazine, will address nursing leadership during her presentation.

    In this era of health care challenges, it is more important than ever to recognize strong nursing leadership, says Terri Weaver, dean of the UIC College of Nursing.

    “The Power of Nursing Leadership is an opportunity to celebrate the impact of the most outstanding nurse-leaders who are shaping health care throughout Illinois,” Weaver said.

    Several awards will be presented at the event. The Joan L. Shaver Illinois Nurse Leader Award recognizes an outstanding nurse leader who is highly influential in shaping quality health care in Illinois through hard work, dedication, supremely skilled leadership and the courage to break through barriers.

    The SAGE Award recognizes nurses who have made a significant impact on the lives and careers of others through their actions as role models, facilitators and mentors. Several extraordinary nurses will also be selected and recognized as Pinnacle Nurse Leaders.

    Malone has been CEO of the National League of Nursing since 2007. Her tenure has been marked by a retooling of the organization’s mission to reflect the core values of caring, diversity, integrity and excellence, and an ongoing focus on advancing the nation’s health.

    During her career, Malone has served on the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on the Future of Nursing Education, contributing to the institute's groundbreaking report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” She also served on the Advisory Committee on Minority Health, a federal panel established to advise the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

    Malone has worked as a surgical staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, director of nursing, and assistant administrator of nursing. A former dean of the School of Nursing at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, she was elected to two terms as president of the American Nurses Association, representing 180,000 nurses in the U.S.

    In 2000, Malone became deputy assistant secretary for health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She served as general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, the United Kingdom’s largest professional union of nurses, from 2001 to 2007. She was also a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

    For more information on the Power of Nursing Leadership Event visit web.nursing.uic.edu/pnle/registration.html .
  • 10/26/2012samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler) writer samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler) by samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler) published by samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler)
    Powerful antibiotics that scientists and physicians thought stop the growth of harmful bacteria by completely blocking their ability to make proteins actually allow the germs to continue producing certain proteins -- which may help do them in.

    The finding, by a team at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy, clarifies how antibiotics work and may aid in the discovery of new drugs or improve clinical therapy with existing ones. The study is published in the Oct. 26 issue of the journal Cell.

    Among the most complex molecular machines in the cell are the ribosomes, responsible for churning out all the proteins a cell needs for survival. In bacteria, ribosomes are the target of many important antibiotics, says Alexander Mankin, professor and director of the UIC Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, who led the study.

    Mankin and his colleagues picked apart the process of protein synthesis inside the ribosome, comparing the action of the classic antibiotics erythromycin and azithromycin and newer drugs called ketolides, which are used to treat serious infections.

    Surprisingly, the more powerful drugs were the more "leaky" in blocking the production of proteins.

    “We were shocked to discover that ketolides, which are known to be better antibiotics, allow for many more proteins to be made compared to the older, less efficient drugs,” Mankin said. “We now believe that allowing cells to make some proteins could be much more damaging for a microbe than not letting it make any proteins at all.”

    The findings may point the way to better and more potent antibiotics, Mankin said. But he and colleagues are “thinking beyond just antibiotics.”

    “If a chemical can be designed that binds to the human ribosome and allows it to make good proteins but not bad ones, such as mutant enzymes or proteins that promote cancer, then such new drugs can treat many human maladies,” he said.

    Co-authors on the Cell paper are graduate student Krishna Kannan and research associate professor Nora Vazquez-Laslop. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation.

    UIC ranks among the nation's leading research universities and is Chicago's largest university with 27,500 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state's major public medical center. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world.
  • 10/18/2012samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler) writer samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler) by samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler) published by samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler)
    Mi Ja Kim has never considered herself a living legend. But the American Academy of Nursing does.

    Kim, who is professor, dean emerita and executive director of the Global Health Leadership Office at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, was one of four nursing educators in the U.S. named a "Living Legend" for 2012 by the academy, whose mission is to transform health care policy and practice through nursing knowledge.

    Since 1994, the academy has named 86 Living Legends to honor the distinguished careers of those who made notable contributions to nursing practice, research and education. Kim is the fifth UIC nurse-educator to be named a Living Legend by the academy. Former dean Helen Grace and former professors Harriet Werley, Virginia Ohlson and Suzanne Feetham preceded her.

    Kim received the award during a reception at the organization’s annual meeting and conference in Washington.

    “I never would have thought I would win such a prestigious award,” Kim said. “I was very surprised to learn I had been honored, because it’s an exclusive group of educators. I’m truly humbled.”

    Kim has remained at UIC since 1971, when she began a doctoral program in physiology. Upon completion of her doctorate four years later, she joined the College of Nursing faculty. Except for one year as a Senior Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor at Seoul’s Yonsei University, her alma mater, she has never left.

    “I’ve loved my career at UIC,” Kim said. “UIC is where I grew up professionally. I love teaching, performing research, developing faculty, and mentoring the students. To me, there’s nothing greater than watching the students grow.”

    Kim is known nationally and internationally for her leadership in research, training of future leaders and scholars, administration, and policy development. She has published hundreds of scientific papers and garnered millions of dollars in research grants.

    Her research interests include pulmonary physiology/nursing and the evaluation of doctoral nursing education in Australia, Japan, Korea, South Africa, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the U.S. She also studies cardiovascular health disparities in Korean Americans.

    Her education grant, Bridges to the Doctorate for Minority Nursing students, has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2003. During that time, nine underrepresented students have graduated with doctorate degrees. More than 20 master’s students are in the program.

    Kim served as nursing dean from 1989 to 2005 and from 2009 to 2010. She teaches such courses as Leadership in International Health, and Minority Health, and mentors international postdoctoral fellows, visiting scholars and students.

    Her latest project is managing UIC’s involvement in the Rwanda Human Resources for Health Program, whose goal is to improve nursing and midwifery and dental and medical education in the east African nation. UIC is one of five U.S. nursing schools selected to participate.

    Terri Weaver, dean of the UIC College of Nursing since 2010, says Kim has provided "leadership in nursing across many fronts."

    “Mi Ja wants everyone to have an opportunity,” Weaver said. “She opens doors, facilitates relationships, and provides great leadership. The Living Legend is the highest honor in nursing, and she promotes the field in such a humble way. That’s what makes Mi Ja special and endearing to us.”
  • 10/11/2012burton@uic.edu (Bill Burton) writer burton@uic.edu (Bill Burton) by burton@uic.edu (Bill Burton) published by burton@uic.edu (Bill Burton)
    Researchers at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System have identified a genetic signature that distinguishes patients with complicated sarcoidosis, an inflammatory lung disease that can be fatal, from patients with a more benign form of the disease. The gene signature could become the basis for a simple blood test.

    Their findings are reported online in the journal PLOS ONE.

    In sarcoidosis, tiny clumps of abnormal tissue form in organs of the body. These clusters of immune cells, called granulomas, cause inflammation. Sarcoidosis can occur in the lymph nodes, liver, eyes, skin or other tissues, but almost always also in the lungs. The cause of the disease is unknown. African Americans are at higher risk for the disease and for more severe cases.

    "One of the perplexing aspects of this disease is that two thirds of the people who get sarcoidosis get better with only minimal therapy," says Dr. Joe G.N. "Skip" Garcia, vice president for health affairs at the University of Illinois and principle investigator on the study.

    But one third of patients go on to develop complicated sarcoidosis -- neurologic sarcoidosis, cardiac sarcoidosis and progressive lung disease, Garcia said. Complicated sarcoidosis can leave patients with lung damage, and in a small percentage of cases the disease can be fatal.

    The challenge, Garcia says, is that there is no difference in the clinical presentation between patients with simple sarcoidosis and those who will go on to develop more serious disease.

    The researchers took blood from patients with simple and complicated sarcoidosis as well as patients without the disease to look for a pattern of gene expression unique to complicated sarcoidosis.

    They were able to identify a distinct 20-gene pattern of gene expression that could reliably identify those most likely to progress to complicated sarcoidosis.

    A 31-gene expression signature had been identified previously, but a smaller panel of genes makes the new test less expensive and more useful clinically, said Garcia.

    "We are dedicated to looking for new insights as well as new therapies for sarcoidosis and hope to someday be able to identify people at risk for it ahead of time," Garcia said.

    UI Health has partnered with the Bernie Mac Foundation to form the Bernie Mac Star Clinic for Sarcoidosis, where the researchers hope to further validate use of the genetic signature.

    They hope the genetic signature could someday be the basis for a biochip that could identify patients most likely to progress to life-threatening disease.

    The study was supported by NIH grants NHLBI HL58094, RO1HL112051, HL68019, HL83870, UO1HL105371-01, RC2 HL101740-01 and NHLBI K23HL098454; and by the Johns Hopkins Sarcoidosis gene bank/database and the Hospital for the Consumptives of Maryland.

    Tong Zhou, research assistant professor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at the UIC College of Medicine, was first author of the paper. Wei Zhang, Dr. Nadera Sweiss, Shwu-Fan Ma, Imre Noth and Roberto Machado of the UIC College of Medicine; Edward Chen, David Moller of Johns Hopkins University; and Kenneth Knox of the University of Arizona also contributed to the study.

    For more information about the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System,
    visit http://www.hospital.uillinois.edu.
  • 10/10/2012samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler) writer samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler) by samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler) published by samhos@uic.edu (Sam Hostettler)
    The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy will host a symposium Oct. 20 on how botanical dietary supplements can benefit women's health.

    The eighth annual event, sponsored by the Natural Health Research Institute and the American Nutrition Association, will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 833 S. Wood St.

    The scientific symposium will examine the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements and botanicals in women’s health care and the cost-effectiveness of natural products. A panel discussion will follow the presentations. Continuing education credits are available for pharmacists, nutritionists and nurses.

    Presenters include:

    --Tori Hudson, medical director, Institute of Women's Health & Integrative Medicine, Portland, Ore., on evidence-based natural solutions to symptoms related to perimenopause and menopause.
    --Richard van Breemen, director, UIC/NIH Botanical Center for Dietary Supplements Research, on safety and efficacy of botanical dietary supplements as alternatives to hormone replacement therapy.
    --Harry G. Preuss, professor of biochemistry, medicine and pathology at Georgetown University, on clinical studies of managing obesity with natural dietary supplements.
    --Dennis Lubahn, director, Missouri University Center for Phytonutrient & Phytochemical Studies, on using botanicals, hedgehogs and oxysterols in the prevention of human disease.
    --William Helferich, director, Botanical Research Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, on isoflavones and breast cancer growth and progression.
    --Elizabeth Lipski, director of doctoral studies, Hawthorn University, on natural approaches to treating irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.

    Millions of women use natural products -- primarily botanical supplements -- to maintain or improve their health, particularly during menopause or PMS, van Breemen says. In 1999, UIC became one of the first centers funded by the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements and the National Center on Complementary and Alternative Medicine to conduct research on botanical dietary supplements.

    The UIC Botanical Center's studies are addressing the safety of botanicals and their efficacy in reducing the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and other somatic symptoms in menopausal women. The center also tests botanicals for their effect on estrogen metabolism and estrogen carcinogenesis. Among the plants that have been or are currently under study are black cohosh, red clover, chaste berry, valerian, hops and dong quai.

    Registration for the symposium is $30 for the general public, $55 for pharmacists, and $15 for students. Online registration is at http://www.regonline.com/nhriana2012. For more information, contact Nancy Henkel at (312) 413-9634 or nshenkel@uic.edu.