Noteworthy News

Noteworthy News

December 2015

Honors and Awards

Ruben Dagda

Ruben Dagda

Ruben Dagda, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology, has been awarded a $12,000 year-long grant by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation. Dagda plans to develop a new mouse model deficient in a mitochondrial O-GlcNAc transferase as a new resource tool to study age-related neurodegeneration and diabetes.

Julie Tieman, M.A., CMP, project manager for CASAT, and Julie Hogan, Ph.D., associate professor of CASAT, received a three-year grant from the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, to provide conferencing services for the annual National Prevention Conferences. This year's conference in Washington was a success for Tieman and Hogan who were able to obtain 1,000 participants and had the Surgeon General present the opening address. The purpose of the National Prevention Network (NPN) Conference is to highlight the latest research in the substance abuse prevention field. It provides a forum for prevention professionals, coalition leaders, researchers and federal partners to share research, best practices and promising evaluation results for the purpose of integrating research into prevention practice.

Publications and Presentations

Colleen Morris, M.D., professor of pediatrics, director of clinical genetics services, Las Vegas campus, co-authored "7q11.23 duplication syndrome: Physical characteristics and natural history" in The American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A, 167A:2916-2935.PMID:26333794 Issue 167. This is her fourth publication this year on the topic of genotype and phenotype of deletions and duplications of chromosome 7q11.23. She has also co-authored "7q11.23 Duplication Syndrome" in GeneReviews® Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2015. Available from:; "Symmetrical Dose-Dependent DNA-Methylation Profiles in Children with Deletion or Duplication of 7q11.23: in The American Journal of Human Genetics 2015 Aug 6;97(2):216-27. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2015.05.019. ePub 2015 Jul 9. PMID:26166478; and "Children with 7q11.23 duplication syndrome: psychological characteristics" in The American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 2015 Jul;167(7):1436-50. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.37071. ePub 2015 Apr 21.PMID:25900101.

Yumei Feng, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology, has been invited to present "The Brain RAS" at the Angiotensin Gordon Research Conference in Italy in February 2016.

Julie Hogan, Ph.D., associate professor of CASAT, was featured in Insight Magazine. This article highlighted her life, career, and two of her book contracts with Routledge Publications. The first work is entitled "Substance Abuse Prevention; The Multiple Faces of a Changing Profession" and the second work is entitled "Cannabis Country: Capturing the Social Change of Marijuana Legalization in America."

Michelle Rachal, Savitt librarian, co-authored "Pairing course assessment with library instruction assessment of freshman composition: a collaborative project" in The New Information Literacy Instruction: Best Practices. (pp. 27-40). Rowman & Littlefield.

Scott Earley, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology, co-authored "A TRPC3 Signaling Complex Promotes Cerebral Artery Remodeling During Hypertension" in Cardiovascular Research 2015 Nov 27. pii: cvv261.

Faculty and Staff

Brian LaufBrian Lauf

Brian Lauf, PA-C, has been hired as the founding director of the new Physician Assistant Program. Lauf's main objective is to bring the program to life and to recruit applicants who want to serve rural communities and reside in Nevada. The program is designed to expand access to health care for all Nevadans. Lauf comes to the School of Medicine from Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center, where he served as a PA for the past eight years. He holds a Master of Physician Assistant studies in family medicine from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant studies from Oregon Health Sciences University. He also has emergency medical technician training from the U.S. Air Force.

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