Category Archives: Medical

Science Research in Oklahoma

There is so much science happening right under our noses here in eastern Oklahoma. The OSU Center for Health Sciences is just one example. You’ll find research into biomedical and forensic science, healthcare, medicine, and ,my personal favorite, paleontology.

The cool thing is OSU-CHS has a fantastic resource to help you stay on top of what they’re doing. They call it the Research Spotlight. There are videos and information all on kinds of topics. The video below is one example of the research taking place right here in Tulsa!

 

 

OU Scientist Named a National Academy of Inventors Fellow

A note from Dan- The following is a news release from the University of Oklahoma

Dr. Heloise Anne Pereira, courtesy University of Oklahoma

Dr. Heloise Anne Pereira, courtesy University of Oklahoma

Norman, Okla.—University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Professor Heloise Anne Pereira has been named a 2016 National Academy of Inventors Fellow, a high professional distinction awarded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

Pereira has been on the OU Health Sciences Center faculty for the past 23 years.  Throughout her career, she has been a leader in promoting entrepreneurship and collaboration between academia and the biotechnology industry.  Her research has resulted in numerous patents, and she has transitioned innovative technology from her academic research laboratory into a successful company for commercialization.

In her academic role, Pereira serves as associate dean of research in the OU College of Pharmacy, dean of the Graduate College, professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and adjunct professor in cell biology and pathology.  She was awarded the Henry Zarrow Presidential Professorship for Excellence in Scholarship and Teaching from 2008-2012.  Pereira has published 34 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and has contributed to six book chapters.

Pereira is known internationally for her expertise on the naturally occurring protein CAP37 and has been invited to make numerous presentations on her research and commercialization experiences around CAP37-derived antimicrobial peptides.  She has received numerous awards, including the distinction of Fellow to both the American Association for Advancement of Science and American Association of College Pharmacy Academic Research Program.

Pereira has been studying the naturally occurring CAP37 protein for over 25 years.  Through her research, she identified and developed novel CAP37-derived antimicrobial peptides that have the ability to kill bacteria that are resistant to standard antibiotics.  Currently, she has 14 U.S. patents, 4 foreign patents and numerous pending U.S. and foreign applications directed to these novel peptides and their therapeutic uses in infections.

In 2005, Pereira founded the company Biolytx Pharmaceutical Corp., and she currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer for the company.  In the last 10 years, antibiotic-resistant infections have risen around the world, and new therapeutic strategies for treating antibiotic-resistant infections are urgently needed.  Biolytx is working to meet this unmet need and is in pre-clinical development of antibiotic peptides for use in treatment of ocular, topical and serious hospital-acquired infections.

Pereira has been awarded over $7 million in grants to support the commercialization of new antimicrobial therapeutics.  Two basic research grants totaling $3.7 million were awarded to Pereira for basic research on the naturally occurring CAP37 and CAP-37-derived peptides.  An additional $3 million from state-supported funds has been awarded to Pereira and to Biolytx for applied and translational research.  Recently, Biolytx received $1 million in private seed money for continued commercialization efforts.

Pereira will be inducted on April 15, 2016, as part of the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexander, Va.  Commissioner for Patents Andrew Hirschfeld will provide the keynote address for the induction ceremony.  Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, medal and rosette pin in honor of their outstanding accomplishments.

Flu Vaccine is Safe and Ready to Protect Your Family

Have you received your flu vaccine yet this year? How about your children? If not, please…please call your doctor or health department to get vaccinated. It’s the best way to protect your family.

I know there are people who say, ‘The flu vaccine caused my Aunt Melba to get the flu once.’ Or, ‘The flu is nothing more than a money-maker for big pharma.’ All I can say is wrong on all accounts. The flu vaccine does not cause anyone to get the flu because the vaccine only contains a dead virus. Dead. Not alive. Dead.

It’s especially important for anyone who is able to get the vaccine to do so in order to protect those who cannot. It’s called herd immunity. Basically, if 9 out of 10 people get vaccinated, that 10th person is less likely to get sick because the 9 people who are vaccinated are keeping the virus at bay.

I talked with Dr. Amy Middleman with the OU Health Sciences Center. She encourages everyone to get vaccinated.

I could refer you to the CDC for all of the information and stats on the flu you can handle, but there’s another site you should check out. Voices For Vaccines is by parents, for parents. It’s straight talk to help parents get a better understanding of vaccines. You can read stories from parents about why they changed their minds about vaccines.

Please get your flu shot.

 

Ebola…How to write about it and not scare the pants off everyone

I’ve been trying to think of the best way to address this Ebola scare. I’m far from a doctor or Ebola expert and I don’t want to add to the tidal wave of misinformation that’s sweeping across the internet. So I thought the best way is to let the professionals handle it and I turned to two blogs that are my go-to resources for medical information.

In this article at NeuroLogica Blog , Dr. Steven Novella takes a look at past Ebola epidemics and some of the reasons why they were able to spread so quickly. He then compares that to the U.S. and explains why he thinks we don’t have anything to worry about. It’s a very calm read that doesn’t stir emotions or get folks riled up. So, basically, completely opposite of just about everything else written about Ebola.

Next up is Dr. David Gorski and this article at Science-Based Medicine. He looks at some of the irrational conspiracy theories floating around and explains why they’re all a bunch of bunk.

It’s hard to stay on an even keel when such an unusual medical problem arises but these are good starting points when taking a reasonable look at what’s happening across the country.