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Professional Notes: End of Academic Year 2016-2017

A round-up of awards, grants, service and other notable SLU achievements for the end of the 2016-2017 school year.



Gina Yosten, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology and physiology, received the 2017 New Investigator Award from the American Physiological Society at its annual meeting in Chicago. The Award recognizes an outstanding investigator in the early stages of his/her career who has made meritorious contributions to the area represented by the endocrinology and metabolism section. The Award Citation recognizes the importance of Yosten’s discovery of two novel peptide hormones, neuronostatin and phoenixin, and her demonstration of their importance in metabolism and reproduction. Yosten has previously won the Research Recognition Award, the Mead Johnson Award and the Virendra Mahesh Award of Excellence in Endocrinology Award from the society. She earned her doctorate from SLU in 2010 and joined the pharmacological and physiological sciences faculty in 2015.

Marla Berg Weger
Marla Berg-Weger, Ph.D., receives the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from Mario Schootman, Ph.D., associate dean for research at the College for Public Health and Social Justice. Photo by CPHSJ Research Office

Marla Berg-Weger, Ph.D., received the Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from the College for Public Health and Social Justice this semester. Four other CPHSJ faculty were also recognized for their research accomplishments: Monica Matthieu, Ph.D., assistant professor of social work; Enbal Shacham, Ph.D., associate professor of behavioral science and health education; Michael Vaughn, Ph.D., professor of social work; and Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., professor of environmental and occupational health. The award was one of several given to the college's faculty during its annual Celebrating Scholarship reception April 24.

Advocacy and Service

Lauren Landfried
(Left) Lauren Landfried, SLU nutrition and dietetics instructor, joined other St. Louis nutrition professionals for an advocacy day in Jefferson City where they met with Missouri lawmakers, including state Senator Scott Sifton (center). Submitted photo

Instructor Lauren Landfried, of the department of Nutrition and Dietetics, recently joined a group of 30 St. Louis students and nutrition professionals for an advocacy day in Jefferson City where she discussed issues related to the profession including licensure boards with state lawmakers.


 An interdisciplinary team of SLU researchers has published a paper in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine"Self-Regulation of Science: What Can We Still Learn from Asilomar?" The team includes Carole Baskin, associate professor, environmental and occupational health, Institute for Biosecurity at the College for Public Health and Social Justice; Robert Gatter, J.D.,  co-director, Center for Health Law Studies, professor of health management and policy, College of Public Health and Social Justice; Mark Campbell, Ph.D., SLU biosafety officer and select agent responsible official; James Dubois, Ph.D., Steven J. Bander Professor of Medical Ethics and Professionalism, School of Medicine; and Allison Waits, a former SLU law student. 

The paper examines the principles, thoughts, and behaviors that resulted in successful self-regulation of scientific research for the past four decades and how engagement of scientists made it possible. 

The Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning has published the first issue of its new e-journal, Technology for Teaching. Technology for Teaching is a semi-annual publication from the center’s Instructional Developer team. Each issue will explore innovative ways technology might be used in teaching. It is available online.

thomas campbell
Thomas Campbell, chemistry graduate student, won a fellowship from NASA to study the chemistry of life. Photo by Jeremy Nagle


Scholarships, Grants and Fellowships

Graduate student Thomas Campbell, who is pursuing a doctorate in chemistry, won a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship for the 2017-2018 academic year for his project “Prebiotic Chemistry in Hypersaline Aqueous Media Encountered on Terrestrial Planets.” Campbell’s successful proposal was one of 33 awards NASA made after receiving 197 applications from students across the nation.

Undergraduate student Jake Bernstein, who is pursuing a minor in Russian, received a STARTALK (National Security Agency and National Foreign Language Center) scholarship this spring. The scholarship will cover Bernstein’s tuition, room and board and extracurricular activities while he takes part in the Russian Language and Culture Residential Immersion Program at California State University, Northridge (check). During the program, Bernstein will speak only Russian and will build on experiences he had while hosting an exchange student from eastern Europe. Elizabeth Blake, Ph.D., SLU assistant professor of Russian in the department of languages, literatures and cultures, recommended the program.


Alexander Lin and Carly Jacobs
Alexander Lin, M.D., with his co-author, third-year medical student Carly Jacobs. The pair have recently published a paper in the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Submitted photo

A Saint Louis University review of 3-D printing techniques in plastic surgery was featured in the May edition of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

A New Classification of Three-Dimensional Printing Technologies: Systematic Review of Three-Dimensional Printing for Patient-Specific Craniomaxillofacial Surgery” was authored by Carly Jacobs, a third-year medical student at School of Medicine. The senior author is Alexander Lin, M.D., a SLUCare plastic surgeon and the Wolff Endowed Chair in Craniofacial, Maxillofacial, and Pediatric Plastic Surgery at the School of Medicine.

In the article, the SLU research team’s analysis revealed the four different ways 3-D printed patient-specific objects can be used to help in surgeries that are personalized for patients. This new classification should help advance and predict future surgical applications of 3-D printing, Lin said.

“Our research focused on direct surgical applications that were customized to specific patients,” said Lin. “That means this research was focused only on the most critical translational work in 3-D printing that has direct clinical patient impact.”

Lin praised Jacobs’ work on the article.

“SLU medical students are some of the best students I have worked with in my career. They have character, persistence, intelligence, and creativity, and an excellent medical school education,” he said. “I am thankful for the students who have chosen to do research with me, and I hope they will continue research as part of their future medical careers to advance the state of medicine through understanding and innovation.”

Advocacy and Service

social work students
Students from the School of Social Work raised funds for Queen of Peace Center this semester. Submitted photo  

Students from the School of Social Work, College for Public Health and Social Justice, raised $813 for the Queen of Peace Center. The center is a family-centered behavioral healthcare provider for women with addiction issues, their children and families. The funds went toward providing undergarments and hygiene products. The students raised the funds as a final project for the “Social Work Practice with Families and Groups” course led by Shannon Cooper-Sadlo, Ph.D., School of Social Work. 

Three SLU law students testified before the Missouri House Crime Prevention Committee this past semester in support of HB 726, known as the “Geriatric Parole” bill. Second-year student Kathleen Cadigan and third-year students Emily Bell and Ryan Reed told the stories of Clinic clients and how they would benefit from the bill. The students also cited studies showing that elderly prisoners who are released have an extremely low recidivism rate.

law student advocates
Students from the Legal Clinics meet with legislators in the Missouri House chamber after testifying in support of a bill allowing for geriatric parole. From left: Rep. Cora Faith Walker (Law '09); law professor John J. Ammann, J.D. (Law '84); students Emily Bell, Ryan Reed, and Kathleen Cadigan; Rep. Bruce Franks; and Rep. Tracy McCreery. Submitted photo

The proposed legislation would allow someone with a life sentence who has reached the age of 65 and has served more than 25 years in prison to have a parole hearing and a chance to be released. The bill has received support from a variety of other organizations, including the ACLU, Empower Missouri and the Catholic Conference.

“Our law students know that to carry out our Jesuit mission, they not only may find themselves in a courtroom, but also in a prison visiting clients or in the halls of the legislature to speak on their behalf,” said John Ammann, J.D., McDonnell Professor of Justice in American Society at the School of Law.