We are pleased that the work of two outstanding undergraduates has been published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments. McKayla Seymour (Class of 2018) and Elizabeth Pritchard (Class of 2019) spearheaded the effort to publish our method that uses volumetric capnography and plethysmography to measure what we call the “lung structure-function relationship“. The paper contains video instructions of the method, step-by-step written instructions, and information about its validation. We are so grateful for these talented physiologists’ efforts to share our method with the scientific community and hope it is of use to other scientists and clinicians interested in lung disease.
We are pleased to announce that Hannah Welper has joined the lab this semester as a master’s thesis student! Hannah has already worked to establish expertise in hypoxia and multiple myeloma and will be looking at factors that impact the tumor microenvironment.
Drs. Bates and Tomasson, in collaboration with other investigators from the University of Iowa multiple myeloma group, have been awarded a one year grant to study the factors that drive the transition from pre-malignancy to malignancy in multiple myeloma. This award extends the lab’s current history of work in myeloma treatment and prevention, will provide the framework for studying the interaction between genetic mutations and environmental stressors.
We look forward to this exciting opportunity to continue our work!!!!
We are pleased to announce the publication of our most recent paper titled “Prevention Is the Best Treatment: The Case for Understanding the Transition from Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance to Myeloma,” which is free to view here.
Screening and prevention strategies have been used successfully in some solid tumor cancers, including breast, colon, and prostate. Multiple Myeloma is essentially always preceded by a non-malignant precursor stage called Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance (MGUS). We believe that if we could identify ways to prevent the transition from pre-malignant MGUS to myeloma, we could reduce the personal, societal and economic burden of this devastating blood cancer. In our paper, we review some possible prevention strategies. We also provide the first data on the incidence of sleep-disordered breathing and daytime sleepiness in myeloma patients, and comprehensively detail the multi-million dollar cost of treating this disease.
Thank you to all the lab members and collaborators who contributed to this effort. We hope this paper will be helpful to the scientific and patient community, and to find others who also believe that prevention is the best treatment.
Last week our lab came together in the Clinical Research Unit at the University of Iowa to film the online supplement to our paper titled “Combining volumetric capnography and barometric plethysmography to measure the lung structure-function relationship.” This method allows the investigator to measure the volume of the airways at different lung volumes, to more comprehensively evaluate the lung. As we say in the paper…
This may be a valuable tool for investigators aiming to quantify the influence of airways mechanics versus lung compliance and elastance on pulmonary function in healthy and diseased populations. Furthermore accounting for the absolute lung volume at which the… measurements are being performed allows investigators to characterize the effects of conditions that can alter the inflation state of the lung, such as obesity, lung transplant, or interventions like chest wall strapping. [This method] may ultimately have clinical utility in the intensive care setting.
The paper is in-press with the Journal of Visualized Experiments and will be available soon. Thanks to our collaborators and lab members who came out and contributed to the process!
Today members of the lab took a momentary break from the daily grind of research to celebrate Halloween. Each lab member seems to have independently chosen a scientist-type get-up, with Professor Bates and grad student Hannah choosing a Rick and Morty themed outfit. Hannah, however, truly paid homage to the new cult class by bringing her own Morty as an accessory. Rotating Ph.D. student Adam shined as Bill Nye and Professor Tomasson stretched beyond his comfort zone and dressed as a physician scientist.
A focus of our laboratory is understanding the regulation of pulmonary blood vessels by hypoxia, including non-canonical intrapulmonary shunt vessels. While we still don’t understand a lot about their structure, we recently found that they are regulated (in part) by the beta-2 adrenergic pathway. Beta-2 adrenergic receptors cause dilation (or widening) of blood vessels in the body. Blocking these receptors prevents intrapulmonary shunt vessels from being fully recruited. This is important because opening these pathways may compromise oxygen uptake, which is a major function of the lung.
There is a lot about these pathways that we still don’t understand. Our current interest is motivated by their identification in the lungs of infants and adults that have died of pulmonary hypertension. We hope that by studying their regulation, we can better understand the role they play in lung disease and develop new treatments for these patients.