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The University of Minnesota Duluth

BRIDGE Fall 2009, Volume 27, #1

Life-Saving Research | Paulucci's Honored | Global Education for Students |
New Major |
Neutrino Experiments | 21st-Century Voyagerus |

News About UMD, Alumni, The Campus, and Beyond

Lester R. Drewes, Ph.D., head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Matthew Andrews, Ph.D., professor and head of the UMD Department of Biology.
SEARCH TO SAVE LIVES:
Discovery Could Save Thousands of Lives

The lives of 33,000 people in the United States alone could be saved each year based on the collaborative discovery of three scientists from the University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth and the University of Minnesota Medical School-Minneapolis. Matthew Andrews, Ph.D.; Lester R. Drewes, Ph.D.; and Gregory Beilman, M.D. have designed a low volume resuscitation fluid that may increase the survival rates of people who would otherwise die from hemorrhagic shock. The proprietary product is called Tamiasyn™ which potentially will allow the human body to endure severe blood loss for an extended period of time and also inhibit human organ damage during resuscitation. The long-standing treatment during hemorrhagic shock is to hook up a patient to an IV of solutions that keep the patient hydrated. But that does not slow blood loss, nor does it keep the organs, including the brain, oxygenated.

The University of Minnesota’s Office for Technology Commercialization in Minneapolis has authorized a development stage company to hold an exclusive license to market the product. VitalMedix™ intends to market Tamiasyn™ in combination with a hemorrhagic shock treatment system. It is hoped that this system will offer first responders, trauma center surgeons, and military medics a simple, safe, and reliable product for preventing serious organ damage and death among victims of severe blood loss. It is believed that Tamiasyn™ also might have potential applications during invasive surgery and organ preservation, and in cases of stroke.

Development of the product requires FDA approval, clinical trials, and product introduction in Europe and the United States. VitalMedix™ is charged with raising venture capital to invest in the commercialization of the product. According to the company plan, it will be three years before FDA approval, but the clinical trials tentatively should begin in the second year.

Andrews, professor and head of the UMD Department of Biology, has been studying hibernating animals for 16 years and is considered an international expert on the molecular biology of hibernation. Drewes heads the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth and is known internationally for his research related to the blood-brain barrier and neuroprotection. He is a recipient of the Javits Award from National Institutes of Health and the founding president of the International Brain Barriers Society. Beilman is professor of Surgery and Anesthesia, chief of Surgical Critical Care/Trauma at the University of Minnesota. In addition to research in tissue monitoring during hemorrhagic and septic shock, Beilman conducts research in pathogenesis and early metabolic changes in shock.

Andrews and Drewes are readying their research for publication in scientific journals. They also continue to refine and advance the research for other applications, including the implications of their research to improve the outcomes for stroke and heart attack victims. In addition, they foresee an application for preserving organs used for transplant. Most abdominal organs used for transplantation can be preserved 24 to 48 hours from the point of removal to implant. Hearts and lungs can be preserved only minutes to hours. If their work helps extend the life of the organs, effectively prompting the organs to hibernate, organ banks could be established that make more organs available on an as-needed basis.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Lois and Jeno Paulucci Honored at Commencement

Lois and Jeno Paulucci were both acknowledged for their outstanding civic leadership, humanitarian efforts, and entrepreneurship at UMD’s Undergraduate Commencement, the largest in UMD’s history. The couple, who have roots in Northern Minnesota and Duluth, have worked together as civic leaders during their 62 years of marriage.

Lois Paulucci was awarded the Chancellor’s Distinguished Service Award, and Jeno Paulucci was presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for public service, which is the highest award given by the University.

Jeno, one of the nation’s most influential business leaders, delivered the commencement address. He encouraged the graduating seniors, their family, and friends to be generous with their time. “I would hope that each one of you, in this graduating class, would spend just one hour a week as an activist, dedicated to your community, and your fellow man,” he said. “Just simply doing it would help solve some of our problems and alleviate hardships. As your life goes on and you reach [a time of reflection], you want to be proud of the heritage you leave.”

As a team, Lois and Jeno are internationally recognized as activists and humanitarians.

Jeno, founder and chairman of Luigino’s, Inc. carries the nickname “frozen-food king,” for his phenomenal success as the creator of such well-known food brands as Chun King Chinese cuisine, Jeno’s Pizza Rolls and Michelina’s frozen entrees. Jeno and Lois have created and run over 50 companies and organizations worldwide.

Using their background in business as their starting point, the Pauluccis have worked individually and together in their endeavors to benefit the Duluth community, Northern Minnesota, and other regions worldwide. They were instrumental in the legislative efforts for establishing UMD’s Medical School, pushing along the Taconite Amendment that revived the iron ore industry in the 1950s, and constructing Duluth’s Bayfront Park. They have also done humanitarian work which includes providing transportation for those seeking medical care to assisting with financial help during a crisis. In 2006, the Pauluccis were main supporters in the construction of the Solvay Hospice House, the first residential hospice house in Duluth.

These awards are not the Paulucci’s first; they have received many local, national, and international awards and recognition for their civic activism, business achievements, and humanitarian efforts.

UMD students join their Korean student partners to push the world back together at the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) in Korea. Shown are: (l-r) Johanna Fenlon, Jiyoon Yoon, Jessica Randol, Kendra Caywood, Kyuhee Lee, Heesun Lim, Duzong Yang, Youjung Park, Sonia Wadena, Minkyoung Shin, Hunjin Yoon, Jacque Gulbrandson, and Melanie Olson.

REACHING STUDENTS WORLD WIDE: Education Students in South Korea

Eight students studying education embarked on a 28-day program in June 2009 to immerse themselves in the educational system and culture of South Korea. The students and Jiyoon Yoon, education department associate professor, stayed at the Ewha Womans University in Seoul, where each student was paired with a Korean educational student studying the same area. Together the pairs designed lessons and worked with young Korean students in their classrooms.

The program funds were provided by UMD alumna LaVerne Colness ’57, a teacher in elementary education, and her husband Marvin. The Colnesses were happy to help make this program a reality since they firmly believe that education is important for the youth of the country as young people represent the future.

Yoon sees the exchange of ideas and diverse teaching styles as valuable for students from both universities. She hopes students both from UMD and Ewha Womans University benefited from the collaboration this year and will in years to come.

OPENING DOORS: New Writing Studies Major Offered

As of Fall 2009, the UMD Department of Writing Studies offers a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Studies. The new program provides students with a choice of two tracks, one in journalism and one in professional writing.

The goal of the major is to give students in both tracks a solid foundation in writing as an academic discipline. All students in the program will take classes in ethics, new media, literacy, and technology. The core classes, those required of both tracks, and electives are designed to help students become more versatile in their writing so they can use multiple sets of skills in a variety of different jobs for diverse audiences, locally or around the world.

The Department of Writing Studies was able to offer the new major by redesigning the curriculum and courses in already existing minors. The major connects all the programs within writing studies — journalism, linguistics, information design, and professional writing — so that students understand their relationship. The program already has 30 students who have declared Writing Studies as a major.

HIDDEN SCIENCE: Assisting in International Neutrino Experiments

Undergraduate physics majors: (back row l-r) Ryan Trogstad, Cody Rude, Jordan Heaton, and Emily Draeger, with Assistant Professors Rik Gran and Alec Habig (center), in the the UMD neutrino research group’s electronics lab.

Alec Habig and Rik Gran, both physics professors, along with many undergraduate and graduate students, have been directly involved with international neutrino physics research programs. Their goal is to track the behavior of neutrinos, which are so small sophisticated methods are needed to detect them. Habig and his students work on the MINOS (Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search) and NOvA projects. Gran and his students work with MINOS and another Fermilab neutrino experiment called Minerva.

The only way to understand these particles is to monitor what they smash into, which is the purpose of the new neutrino detector laboratory that is being constructed at Ash River, Minnesota. Once the pulses of the neutrinos’ impact can be detected and analyzed, they will help researchers better understand dark matter in the universe and the relationship between matter and antimatter.

Habig, with his students’ help, is already working on UMD’s contribution to the project by writing acquisition software that will store information gathered and help decode it. Another task UMD took on was to conduct strain tests that will help make sure the device performs the same way as simulations predict. Construction of the new laboratory will finish in 2011 and then the equipment can be installed in 2012 and 2013, with the experiments to follow.

REAL LESSONS: 21st-Century Voyageurs

The 2009-2010 cast includes: (l-r) Jenna Colaizy, Brishelle Jacobs, Christine Hawkins, Elizabeth Steffensen, Greg Dokken, William Lucas, Vince Osborn, and Jennifer Graupmann.

A unique program showcases the talents of School of Fine Arts music graduate students while teaching children about the benefits of healthy eating. Jenna Colaizy, Greg Dokken, Jennifer Graupmann, Christine Hawkins, Brishelle Jacobs, William Lucas, Vince Osborn and Elizabeth Steffensen, known as the UMD Voyageurs, perform a musical called Pirates of the Carrot Bean. The play extols the virtues of living a healthy life.

The show has been performed for more than 6,000 K-5 students and 250 teachers in the Minnesota districts of Duluth, Proctor, Hermantown, Hibbing, and Bloomington. Hawkins, who plays the pirate captain of the Carrot Bean said, “It’s been eye opening for all of us to see how much music and theater can assist in learning. I love it.”

Funding for this program came from a new partnership with Duluth health care organizations - SMDC Health System, Duluth Children’s, and HealthPartners. Duluth Public Schools and its Board of Education also played a critical role in the partnership by providing funding and involving teachers, principals, and school leaders.

Watch a scene from Pirates of the Carrot Bean on UMD’s YouTube site at http://www.youtube.com/user/UMNDuluth.

 

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