The American Physiological Society’s Physiological -Omics Interest Group “provides a forum for communication and collaboration among physiologists with an interest in –omic-related sciences, including but not limited to: genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, systems biology, computational biology, bioinformatics, genetics and gene manipulation and molecular intervention.” Dr. Tomasson has had a long term passion for understanding the genetic contributors to blood cancers, and how genes interact with physiology to impact patient outcomes. He is an international expert in genetic contributors to the blood cancer multiple myeloma.
He is pleased to join this exciting and dynamic group as Awards Committee Co-Chair and support the next generation of scientists interested in -omics!
Twenty-twenty has been a difficult year for many of our laboratories, families, and communities. Still, members of the IPG Laboratory have continued to work together to address important challenges in biomedicine and physiology and have achieved success in their work.
Mackenzie Berschel, a senior undergraduate member of the lab and Health and Human Physiology Honors student, was a recipient of the 2021 Barbara A. Horwitz and John M. Horowitz Outstanding Undergraduate Abstract Award. As an abstract awardee, Mackenzie will receive $100 and a 1-year complimentary membership with the APS. She presented her abstract at the 2021 Experimental Biology national meeting in April. Her research addresses genetic changes to the bone marrow microenvironment that support the development of multiple myeloma, a painful and debilitating cancer of bone marrow plasma cells. She is also the recipient of a University of Iowa ICRU fellowship and the Dr. Tom Rocklin Meet the Challenge Excel Award. The Meet the Challenge Excel Award is awarded by the University of Iowa Division of Student Life to a handful of undergraduates who set and pursue ambitious academic objectives that advance their overall goals and challenge their abilities.
Laura Flores, a freshman Health and Human Physiology Honors student, has been named one of four Hearst Summer Research Fellows by the American Physiological Society. The Hearst Fellowship is supported by the Hearst Foundation and is awarded to the top applicants to the summer research program. The fellowship provides fellows with a hands-on research experience in the laboratory of an established American Physiological Society member, professional development activities and an opportunity to present their research at the national Experimental Biology meeting in the spring. Laura has also been awarded an Honors College scholarship in recognition of her outstanding academic achievement this year.
Dr. Bates has been invited to present her work on long-term outcomes in survivors of prematurity at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Philadelphia on May 4th, 2020. She will share the platform with renowned physician-scientists including Anne-Monique Nuyt, Kara Goss, Philip Levy, Adam Lewandoski, and Patrick McNamara. Together, this group is dedicated to defining how prematurity, and the interventions we use to care for these tiny babies, impact cardiovascular development and increase the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease.
Prematurity is a historically recent phenomenon and these children only began surviving prematurity on a large scale in the early 1990s when surfactant became available. We still have so much to learn about how these children grow and develop into adulthood and Dr. Bates is excited to share some of her findings with the pediatrics community!
This award from the American Physiological Society is the highest honor given to an early career scientist in respiratory physiology. According to the APS website:
The Giles F. Filley Memorial Award for Excellence in Respiratory Physiology and Medicinerecognizes excellence in respiratory physiology and medicine. The award is given to an investigator who holds an academic rank no higher than assistant professor. The award is presented annually to an individual demonstrating outstanding promise based on his/her research program in respiratory physiology and medicine.
Giles Filley was drawn to respiratory medicine after contracting tuberculosis. His own health struggles, and his observations at the Trudeau Sanitarium where he received treatment, inspired him to conduct research to improve patients’ lives. Dr. Filley is most remembered for his work in acid-base balance and his invention of a volume-controlled ventilator that made its way into clinical practice.
Dr. Filley’s motivation to do work that helps people continues to be an inspiration for our own work!
Thank you to all of the outstanding women in the lab, and women that we collaborate with, who contribute every day to our mission to develop new strategies to prevent and treat disease, by completely considering the contribution of genetics, environmental factors, and pathophysiological modifiers.
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.
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!!!!
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.