September 25, 1997......Volume 27, Issue 6

News . . . . Arts . . . . Calendars . . . . Letters . . . . Links . . . . Deadlines . . . . Archive

Search the contents of the Intercom archives and
news releases issued by the Department of Public Information.



Master plan
Sweet music
Diversity conference
Hobby-Eberly Telescope
United Way Campaign kicks off
New at Behrend
Obituaries
Private Giving
Carpoolers
Search under way
Diversity video series
Team players
CQI
Behrend programs accredited
For the Record 
Lectures
The Palmer Museum turns 25
Book Shelf
Family Day
Perfect timing
New at Penn State
Promotions
Alumni Fellows
Seminars on database searching
Awards
News in Brief
Faculty/Staff Alert
Appointments
Penn Staters
Research
Penn State news bureau

Awards


Costas Maranas


Eric Marsh


Themis Matsoukas


Anand Sivasubramaniam


Xiang Zhang


Five awarded grants from
National Science Foundation

Five faculty members from the College of Engineering received grants from the National Science Foundation through its Faculty Early Career Development Program. The program helps scientists and engineers develop their research and teaching simultaneously as their careers are just beginning. The funds are awarded to junior-level faculty at colleges and universities, and these four- to five-year awards range from $200,000 to $500,000. The recipients are:

* Costas Maranas, assistant professor of chemical engineering, whose research focuses on the development of algorithmic, and in particular, optimization techniques to support the molecular design challenge. Preliminary work has focused on polymer design. On the educational front, Maranas is updating the senior chemical engineering capstone design course to introduce elements of product design, chemical process planning and scheduling, and flowsheet optimization.

* Eric Marsh, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Industry faces an urgent need for efficient methods of processing engineering materials such as titanium alloys, ceramics and alloy steels. High-speed machining has become viable in aluminum, but not in difficult materials. Marsh is researching reliable dynamic models to integrate with ongoing research to meet these new manufacturing challenges. The grant's educational component will provide students instruction in structural dynamics; as well as teach the skills to accurately model and analyze precision machines, and contribute to the modeling capabilities of commercial codes.

* Themis Matsoukas, assistant professor of chemical engineering, is building on recent advances in keeping particles suspended in plasmas, by developing a radio-frequency, low-pressure plasma process for the deposition of thin polymer films onto the surface of powders. This process could possibly improve powders' flow-characteristics, preventing irreversible agglomeration, providing protection from chemical attack, and facilitating sintering. The beneficiaries of this grant will be the students: through research opportunities; the development of specialty courses in this emerging interdisciplinary technology; and the development of teaching tools to bridge the gap between engineering education and industrial practice.

* Anand Sivasubramaniam, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, is researching the use of an application-driven approach to realize scalable parallel systems with powerful off-the-shelf workstations and networking hardware. This will enhance the undergraduate and graduate curricula by providing a strong foundation in the design, implementation and evaluation of high performance operating systems and architectures.

* Xiang Zhang, assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering, conducts research focusing on opening new applications in the MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical system) industry. By addressing the challenges this emerging technology presents in fabricating truly 3D high-aspect ratio micro-structures, Zhang expects applications in high-density optical data storage, nano-technology and biomedical engineering to be possible. Two new courses in micro-manufacturing are under development at the graduate and undergraduate levels, with a combined, preliminary version being offered for the first time this fall.

Cataloger earns
library association Fellowship

Roger Brisson, the social sciences cataloger and selector of German language and literature for the University Libraries, has been awarded an American Library Association (ALA) Fellowship and will travel to Leipzig, Germany, for a six-month assignment teaching at the Hochschule für Technik, Wissenschaft, and Kultur (College of Technology, Economics, and Culture). Along with instruction, he also will provide hands-on assistance in the development of MEDOC, Germany's largest digital library initiative, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Research and a host of research institutes and technical colleges.

Known as "information ambassadors," ALA Fellows are chosen from a pool of more than 100 applicants each year. This year 12 people were chosen to participate in areas including Botswana, Bolivia, Japan, Estonia and the West Bank.

In its 11th year, the program is funded by the United States Information Agency, the same organization that takes part in the
Fulbright program. Promoting international resource sharing, the exchange establishes enduring links between library professionals and institutions worldwide.

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News in Brief

Health Matters

Enlightening Lunch: Are you Fit for the Hunt?

Hunting not only requires good mental skills, physical agility and hand-eye coordination, it demands the hunter be in peak physical condition. Learn how to incorporate a personal physical activity program into your lifestyle, no matter what the season. Meets noon to 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, in 109 OPP Building. Cost: None. To register, contact Jan Hawbaker at (814) 865-3085 or e-mail JQH3@psu.edu.

Children's Halloween Trail

It's almost time for the Children's Halloween Trail and Festival at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center. The festivities will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 25 and 26.

The Halloween trail is geared toward children ages 4 through 10, though all ages are welcome and encouraged to attend. The Children's Halloween Trail is a fun, non-frightening, hour-long trip along a trail at Shaver's Creek Environmental Center.

Trail times are 11 and 11:30 a.m., noon, 12:30, 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30 and 3 p.m. Before and after the trail, Shaver's Creek Environmental Center will have many festival activities available, including singing, storytelling, games, concessions and crafts, along with Shaver's Creek's exhibit room, Raptor Center, wetlands, orienteering trails and bookstore.

Tickets for the event cost $5 for both children and adults. Children 3 and younger are free. Tickets are available at Shaver's Creek and Barnes and Noble Bookstore on Benner Pike in State College and Huntingdon's BiLo on state Route 22 starting Oct. 1.

"Depressed" people needed

A study designed to help people with depression is being conducted. You may be experiencing major depression if you:

* Feel depressed most of the day, nearly every day;

* Experience a marked decrease of interest and pleasure in almost all activities;

* Feel fatigue or loss of energy most of the day;

* Feel worthless or excessive guilt; or

* Feel a decreased ability to think or concentrate.

If you believe you are experiencing major depression and would like to be considered for a study being conducted by the Department of Psychology, please call Charles Hines at (814) 863-4833.

Subjects (ages 18-55) included in the study will receive 12 to 20 free sessions of individual psychotherapy, either immediately after being assessed for depression or 12 to 20 weeks later. Subjects also will be asked to complete various questionnaires during and after treatment. A brief telephone interview will help with a preliminary determination of the suitability of this treatment for you. If you cannot be included in this treatment, alternate referral suggestions will be made. Strictest confidentiality is maintained.

Social relationships project

Volunteers are being sought for a study of positive and negative aspects of familial and social relationships. Adults in their 40s, 60s, 80s and 90s, and teen-agers between the ages of 13 and 16 who have parental permission, may participate in the study.

Subjects will be interviewed for between one and two hours and will receive $15 for their participation. For more information, call (814) 863-1834 and leave a message for Karen Fingerman, assistant professor of human development and family studies.

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Faculty/Staff Alerts

Visitor parking

Effective July 1, visitor one-day parking permits for University Park changed in price from $3 to $4 each. The one-day permits can be purchased by visitors, faculty, staff and commuters. Permits may be purchased at any of the five kiosk locations throughout campus or at the Parking Office in 1 Eisenhower Parking Deck. One-day permits are valid in all orange open staff lots. After 5 p.m., these permits are valid in reserved lots unless the lot is otherwise designated by posted signs. One-day permits are NOT VALID in 24-hour reserved spaces, metered spaces, service drives, fire lanes and handicapped spaces.

Alternatives to the one-day permit for visitors are the use of the long-term (blue and gray head) meters and short-term meters (red head) located throughout campus, including the Hub Deck or paid parking in the Nittany Deck.

Anyone with questions regarding visitor parking should call the Parking Office at (814) 865-1436.

Parking lot closing

Effective Oct. 1, the Parking Office will permanently close lot Red C Gravel at University Park. This is the temporary lot between the Machine Shop and the Nittany Six golf course. Some people may think of it as the gravel lot behind the bus station off of Atherton Street. This lot was built as a temporary solution to a parking shortage in the Red C/Red A area.

In May of this year, work was completed on a 294-space addition to Red A, which should provide sufficient parking for faculty and staff on the West side of campus (across Atherton Street).

The completion of this project returns Red A and Red C to their status of open staff parking lots. Accordingly, Red A and Red C are being redesignated as Orange W. Anyone with questions on this change, please contact the Parking Office at (814) 865-1436.

Upcoming HRDC courses

To register for these or other Human Resource Development Center programs, complete the registration form found in the back of the fall HRDC catalog, and fax to (814) 865-3522. The following courses take place on the University Park campus:

* Balancing Your Life to Optimize Your Energy at Work, PER 003 -- From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13, in 319 Rider Building. Meets for four sessions. Cost: $89.

* Increasing Meeting Productivity, PRO 016 -- From 1:30-4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 13, 319 Rider Building. Cost: $44.

* Refining Your Communications Skills at Work, COM 004 -- From 8:15-11:45 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 16 and 23, 118 Agricultural Science Building. Cost: $99.

* Creativity Unleashed: The Ultimate Tool, PER 029 -- From 1:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, 118 Agricultural Science Building. Cost: $44.

Proposal Writing Workshop

The Equal Opportunity Planning Committee will conduct its 1997 Proposal Writing Workshop at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 15, in the Paul Robeson Cultural Center at University Park. This year's workshop is mandatory only for writers of new proposals. Those wishing to submit renewal requests are welcome to attend, but attendance is not required to be considered for funding. Those planning to attend the workshop should register by calling the EOPC office at (814) 863-7889 by Oct. 10.

EOPC proposal guidelines will be available Oct. 15 in 330 Grange Building at University Park, or by calling (814) 863-7889. The guidelines also will be posted on the EOPC Web site at http://www.blue.ue.psu.edu/psu/ee/eopc/. This year's guidelines have been revised. Please read them carefully before submitting a proposal. The deadline for submission for a summer 1998 program is Dec. 15. The deadline for submitting a proposal for academic year 1998-99 is Jan. 26, 1998.

NSF Fellowships

The National Science Foundation will award approximately 1,000 new Graduate Research Fellowships (Graduate Fellowships and Minority Graduate Fellowships) in 1998 to support graduate study in science, mathematics and engineering. The deadline for applying is Nov. 6. Awards will be announced in March 1998.

Each three-year fellowship provides a stipend of $15,000 for 12 months and a cost-of-education allowance of $9,500 per year. Applications are evaluated based on all available evidence of ability, including academic records, recommendations regarding the applicant's qualifications and Graduate Record Examinations scores. Fellowships are awarded for graduate study leading to research-based master's or doctoral degrees. Applicants must be citizens, nationals or permanent resident aliens of the United States at the time of application. Separate competitions are conducted for Graduate Fellowships and Minority Graduate Fellowships, each with additional awards offered for women in engineering and computer and information science.

For information or an application, go to the
Web at http://www.fastlande.nsf.gov or http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/grfp.htm. You can also write to NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), P.O. Box 3010, Oak Ridge, Tenn. 37831-3010; send an e-mail to nsfgrfp@orau.gov; or telephone (423) 241-4300.

Thanksgiving calendar change

To help students travel safely and in timely fashion over this year's Thanksgiving holiday -- without skipping classes -- Penn State has changed its official University Park calendar for November.

Under the change, classes at University Park will end at 12:05 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26 -- the normal ending time of fourth-period classes. Other locations also may adopt the change, as appropriate.

All morning classes on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving will remain scheduled as before. Instructors whose classes would have met after 12:05 p.m. Wednesday are expected to provide opportunities to make up the class time missed because of the early closing. If needed, the Registrar's Office will work with faculty and departments on rescheduling.

The University will monitor how the schedule change works this year and the results of its assessment will be used to guide Thanksgiving holiday scheduling in future years.

Libraries offers more databases

Four new database selections have been added to the Library Information Access System (LIAS). Provided through the Cambridge Scientific Abstracts Internet Database Service, these resources can be found through LIAS at http://www.lias.psu.edu/ and are available to all Penn State users.

* Aquatic Sciences: Provides comprehensive information on the science and technology of marine, freshwater and brackish water organisms and environments; coverage is from 1978 to the present.

* Environmental Sciences: Covering all areas of air, land, water and noise pollution as well as bacteriology, ecology, toxicology, risk assessment, environmental engineering, environmental biotechnology, waste management and water resources, from 1981 to the present.

* Materials Science: Collection of six databases that provide access to the worldwide literature of materials science and engineering. Coverage is from 1966 to the present.

* Mechanical Engineering: Provides access to the worldwide literature of mechanical engineering, engineering management and production engineering; coverage is from 1981 to the present.

All of the above databases can be found on the Fast Track to All Resources menu within LIAS. They are available only through LIAS on the Web, since they require the graphics capabilities of Windows. You cannot access them through the "telnet" (non-windows) version of LIAS, so you won't see them on the "LIAS Selection Menu."

Commission for Women meetings

The Commission for Women, an advisory group to the president, will meet each month this fall and through the Spring Semester. The meetings are open to the University community and follow:

-- Oct. 13 at 3 p.m. in 404 Old Main, University Park

-- Nov. 20 at 1:30 p.m. in 307 Hetzel Union Building, University Park

-- Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. in 404 Old Main, University Park

-- Jan. 15 at noon, 404 Old Main, University Park

-- Feb. 13 at 1 p.m., 404 Old Main, University Park

-- March 16 at 1 p.m., Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel

-- April 10 at 1 p.m., 404 Old Main, University Park

-- May 8 at 3 p.m., Berks Campus

-- June 12 at 1 p.m., 404 Old Main, University Park

For more information about the commission or its meetings, contact Tracy Leitzel at (814) 865-1683.

Reminder

The closing date for receipt of Evan Pugh Professorship nominating materials is Friday, Oct. 31. All nominations must be submitted in accordance with established guidelines and should be sent to the dean of the academic college in which the nominee is appointed. For current nomination guidelines, call (814) 863-9580, e-mail vxi2@psu.edu or visit 304 Old Main, University Park.

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Appointments

Civil and environmental engineering department
announces holder of Kappe Professorship

Bruce E. Logan has been appointed the Stan and Flora Kappe Professor in environmental engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Formerly a professor at the University of Arizona, Logan's teaching and research focus on environmental transport processes, hazardous waste treatment and wastewater treatment processes. He is particularly interested in particle transport processes in natural environments. He will offer a new course here this semester in environmental transport processes, which he taught at Arizona for 11 years. He is completing a textbook with the same name to be published in 1998 by Wiley & Sons, New York, as part of their series in environmental science and engineering.

In addition to teaching, Logan will direct the research activities in the Kappe Environmental Engineering Laboratories, and will work with the State College Waste Water Treatment Plant to test a new technique to monitor oxygen demands of wastewater. The test that this and other treatment plants around the world currently use was developed in 1909 and has remained essentially unchanged. Logan updated the procedures to use new technology, which will make the tests more accurate and easier to run.

He earned a B.S. in chemical engineering and an M.S. in environmental engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. A former Fulbright Scholar, he worked as a hazardous waste specialist and waste treatment engineer before earning his doctorate. He joined the faculty at the University of Arizona in 1986 as an assistant professor. He is vice president of the Association of Environmental Engineers, a member of a number of professional societies in his field and has published extensively.

The Kappe Professorship was established by Stanley Kappe, a 1930 alumnus with a bachelor's degree in sanitary engineering. Kappe founded Kappe Associates, a science and engineering firm in Frederick, Md.

Creation of Commonwealth College leads
to appointment of two division heads

With the creation of the Commonwealth College, effective July 1, two Penn State Shenango faculty members have been appointed division heads of their respective departments. Kathleen G. Mastrian, assistant professor of nursing and campus coordinator for nursing, has been appointed division head, nursing, Commonwealth College, and Charles R. Bursey, professor of biology, has been name division head, biology, Commonwealth College.

While their primary responsibilities will continue to be teaching, research and service, they will be consulted for their disciplinary expertise to key processes and on decisions within the college. In addition, they will provide disciplinary support to academic administrators in the Commonwealth College, notably the directors of academic affairs at the campuses as well as the associate deans in the college office.

Mastrian graduated with a bachelor of science in nursing from Penn State. She received a master of science in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate in medical sociology from Kent State University in Ohio. Mastrian was hired by Penn State Shenango in December 1979. She is an active member of many University committees including the Graduate Affairs Committee and College of Health and Human Development Curricular Affairs Committee. Outside the University, Mastrian participates in a number of organizations.

Bursey obtained his bachelor of arts degree in biology from Kalamazoo College. He went on to receive his master of science in biological science and his doctorate in zoology from Michigan State University. He was hired by Penn State Shenango in August 1970. In addition to his involvement on the campus' Academic Affairs Committee, Bursey is an active member of the University's Promotion and Tenure Committee and the Marine Science Committee.

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Penn Staters

W. Larry Kenney, professor of physiology and kinesiology, recently presented the keynote lecture at the International Union of Physiological Sciences Symposium on Thermal Physiology in Copenhagen Denmark. Kenney's talk, titled "Control of Skin Blood Flow: Mechanisms and Influences," was chosen as the Ellab Distinguished Presentation at the conference.

K.C. Kim, professor of entomology, was elected as a Fellow of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, the institution's highest level of distinction.

Lynn Kozlowski, head of the Department of Biobehavioral Health in the College of Health and Human Development, was invited to the White House to meet with Donna Shalala, U.S. secretary of health and human services, and Bruce Reed, domestic policy adviser, along with four other scientists to consult on the Tobacco Agreement.

Larry Muller, professor of dairy science, was elected vice president of the American Dairy Science Association at the group's annual meeting in Guelph, Ontario.

Christopher Mullin, professor of entomology, presented two seminars for the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC). He presented "Chemical Ecology of Beetle Taste: Rational Basis for Pesticide Design" at a CSIC institute in Tenerife, Canary Islands, and "QSAR in Insect Taste Chemoreception" at a CSIC institute in Madrid, Spain.

Zoann Parker, extension agent in Lancaster County, was appointed deputy secretary for administration in the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. She has taken an administrative leave to serve in this position.

Stuart Patton, Evan Pugh professor emeritus in agriculture, was elected a Fellow of the American Dairy Science Association. Since retiring in 1980, Patton has been a guest scientist at the University of California, San Diego.

While teaching in France at Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle, Guadalupe Martí-Peña, lecturer in the Department of Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, gave an invited paper at the Maison de l' Amérique Latine titled "El delirio de la realidad: Les Vigies," de Porfirio Mamani Macedo ("Reality delirium in Macedo's Les Vigies," L'Harmatan, 1997).

Gary W. Petersen, professor of soil and land resources, Department of Agronomy, and co-director of the Office for Remote Sensing of Earth Resources, Environmental Resources Research Institute, has been elected president of the Soil Science Society of America. This will be a three-year term of office, as he will serve as president-elect, president and past-president.

Jane Ridley, associate professor of theatre arts, played various roles at the Shenandoah International Playwrights' Retreat (SIPR) on the Voices of Asia Project in Staunton, Va. Ridley worked with playwrights from Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Taipei. For more than 20 years, SIPR has provided a meeting ground for theatre artists of the world to engage in the exploration and development of new works for the world's stages.

Recently, Ridley was elected to the National Board of Directors of the University Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA). U/RTA strives to integrate educational and professional theatre and is committed to the advancement of the American theatre.

Joanne Rutkowski, associate professor of music education in the School of Music, College of Arts and Architecture, presented a paper, "The Nature of Children's Singing Voices: Characteristics and Assessment" at "Sharing the Voices: The Phenomenon of Singing," an international symposium held at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Adam J. Sorkin, professor of English at Penn State Delaware County, gave an invited lecture, "'Parallel Universes:' Marin Sorescu and the Biographer's Memory," at the International Conference: Biography and Romanian Studies in the Palace of Culture, Iasi, Romanian.

He also gave a reading of poetry from his new book, Transylvanian Voices, along with a third of the poets in the volume who read their works in the original, at the Third International Congress of the Society for Romanian Studies.

Gerhard F. Strasser, head of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, presented papers at four international conferences during his recent sabbatical year in Europe. At the triannual Fourth International Emblem Conference in Louvain, Belgium, he spoke on "'A Tripartite Emblem' or a Threefold Emblematic Epithalamium from the Middle of the 17th Century;" he presented an invited paper on "The Struwwelpeter Collection at Penn State" at an international symposium on "Heinrich Hoffman and the Struwwelpeter" at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany; he also read a paper on "Cultural Interconnections between the 'Old' and 'New' Worlds: Athanasius Kircher's Theory of Egypt as the Origin of the Chinese and Mexican Civilizations" at the annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and at the end of July, he presented a paper on "Musical Ciphers or the 'Unnatural' Art of Using Music for Secret Communication" at the triannual International Baroque Congress at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbuettel, Germany.

Joan Thomson, associate professor of rural sociology, received the 1997 AAFCS Leaders Award from the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Donald J. Willower, Distinguished Professor of education, made several presentations in Sweden recently. At Uppsala University, he presented a seminar for faculty on "Values in Administrative Decision-making;" and at Umea University he gave two lectures on "Administrator Behavior and Organizational Improvement" to faculty and graduate students, Swedish and Russian school administrators.

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Research

Church attendance is the focus of research conducted by Glenn Firebaugh,
professor of sociology; Hart M. Nelson, professor or sociology; and Conrad Kanagy, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at Elizabethtown College.
Photo: Greg Grieco


Glenn Firebaugh


Hart M. Nelson


Churchgoing is becoming
less of a habit in rural south

By Paul A. Blaum
Public Information

Rural Southerners have long been considered the most religious and traditional churchgoers in America, but that distinction is slowly fading.

Researchers note that church attendance, especially among young people, declined in the rural South between 1972 and 1991, while attendance remained at the same level among urban and suburban Southerners. In other regions outside the South, church attendance held steady or rose during that same period.

All of this points to an increasing cultural convergence, at least in religious terms, between the rural South and the rest of the United States, said three sociologists of religion.

"Culture and religion in America have been most strongly linked in the rural South, the most religiously traditional section of the country," said Glenn Firebaugh, professor of sociology. "Among rural Southerners, the church has continued to play a much larger role in community life than in the North and West, and thus rural Southerners remain the most faithful church attenders in the nation."

"In recent decades, however, rural Southerners appear less inclined to darken church doors because that is what their neighbors do," said Conrad Kanagy, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at Elizabethtown College. "Now rural Southerners, particularly the young, seem more likely to attend out of individual choice or in a spirit of volunteerism. Individualism and volunteerism are quintessential American values which drive churchgoing in other sections of the United States."

This change is not due to direct migration of non-Southerners, said Hart M. Nelsen, professor of sociology. For the contemporary South, it is the movement of new ideas, and not new individuals, that influences church participation.

Because narrowing of regional differences in church attendance is especially pronounced among the young, the rural South will continue in its trend to resemble the rest of America in the area of religion.

"If the present annual rate of convergence were to continue, churchgoing rates will be uniform throughout the United States in about four decades," Firebaugh said.

Breakthrough announced to
help fight cervical cancer

Cervical cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death of women in the world. Papillomaviruses are associated with more than 90 percent of all cases of cervical cancer. In the past, the disease was difficult to study because the virus could not be grown in a tissue culture in a lab. However, researchers in the College of Medicine in Hershey have developed a way to grow the virus. This means the entire life cycle of the virus can now be studied -- which should help researchers develop drugs to fight the disease.

Craig Meyers, assistant professor of microbiology and immunology, calls this work a major step forward in fighting the disease.

"By seeing the virus from beginning to end we can look for opportunities at therapeutic measures. We can search for drugs based on the various stages of the disease. This will help us analyze what current drugs work and how they work. There may also be an opportunity for a weakened form of virus to be used as a vaccine, like the polio vaccine," said Meyers.

There are at least a dozen different strains of virus that cause cervical cancer. By being able to duplicate the complete virus life cycle the many different kinds can all be studied from beginning to end. Meyers said this will allow comparisons of the replication cycles and an investigation into the early stages of infection. Like so many other types of cancer, early detection of cervical cancer is very important to the eventual health of the patient.

High-risk papillomaviruses can cause tumors and cancer. However, there are low-risk papillomaviruses that also affect millions of people with problems such as warts or skin viruses. These viruses can also now be duplicated and studied in the lab from beginning to end, as a search for drugs to help combat the problem.

Researchers suspect clotting factor
may increase risk of heart attack

Researchers in the College of Medicine at The Hershey Medical Center have identified what may be a new, independent risk factor measurement for heart attacks and strokes. Fibrinogen is the main clotting factor in the blood. Researchers say that gamma prime, a form of fibrinogen that makes up about 10 percent of total fibrinogen, may be an indicator of possible heart attacks and strokes.

David Farrell, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, said the more gamma prime fibrinogen in a clot, the tougher a clot is to break down, which could lead to a greater risk of heart attack or stroke.

"We have known that gamma prime has existed since about 1980. However, we never knew about this new role. It will still clot like the major form of fibrinogen. But in addition, it will bind to another coagulation factor, factor XIII, also known as fibrin stabilizing factor. When fibrin and factor XIII meet, they cross-link and are much tougher to break down," said Farrell.

He said several known risk factors must be considered when a doctor examines a patient.

"We think gamma prime fibrinogen could be on that list of risk factors. We're working on a test to measure it, to see if it correlates to the risk of heart attack," said Farrell.

Farrell said his work suggests that people with high levels of gamma prime fibrinogen may be at higher risk of developing blood clots, independent of total levels of fibrinogen.

"That is something that we must continue to study," he said.

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