This past weekend a few members of the lab traveled to Shreveport for the annual Louisiana Space Consortium Meeting. There were talks from faculty and students about a variety of research projects related to NASA and space travel. We learned a lot and as always enjoyed visiting with our colleagues from across the state. Thank you to LaSPACE for supporting our students India Pursell, undergraduate in Biological Sciences, a 2018-2019 LURA recipient and Haley Pursell, graduate student in Molecular Sciences and Nanotechnology, a recipient of a 2018-2019 GSRA. Sophomore Heather Vogel has also joined the project and was able to be a part of her first poster presentation!
Fun bonus was getting to see former Newman Lab member and current medical school student, Matt Busby!
Erik Beadle was recently featured as a graduate of Biological Sciences at Louisiana Tech. Erik completed his BS in Biological Sciences and then continued to work in the lab to earn his MS in Molecular Science and Nanotechnology. Erik was a great student who demonstrate a strong work ethic and compassion for those around him. I have missed having him in Carson-Taylor Hall but am so proud of what he is achieving in a PhD program at Vanderbilt.
Erik is currently a 3rd year PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University in the program for cancer biology. He recently passed his qualifying exams, a huge milestone in graduate school. Erik works in the lab of Dr. Julie Rhoades, where his lab predominantly focuses on tumor induced bone disease (TIBD). They use engineering and biological approaches to block tumor cells’ ability to induce bone resorption by disrupting the “vicious cycle”, which is outlined in the figure below. This includes the use of 3D printed scaffolds that mimic the internal architecture of bone and drug delivery nanoparticles to model tumor drug response and tumor cell behavior in the bones.
Tumor induced bone disease is often the result of tumor cells secreting proteins that coax bone cells to destroy bones faster than they build them. The particular bone tumor that Erik studies is osteosarcoma, a very aggressive pediatric tumor. He studies the molecular mechanism that the Gli2 protein uses to induce bone breakdown by osteosarcoma.
You can learn more about his lab here.
Outside of the lab Erik was able to rotate with clinicians in the oncology clinic for a course through Vanderbilt aimed at understanding precision cancer medicine. This course is largely beneficial for PhD students to see how their research translates back to the clinic. Erik has also begun to become more involved in attending many of the cancer oriented events around Nashville, and was recently named the top individual fundraiser at the American Liver Foundation’s Liver Life Walk in September. Outside of that he’s been enjoying what Music City has to offer!
Learn more about his graduate program and the IGP at Vanderbilt!
Feel free to email him with any questions about graduate school, Nashville, or Vanderbilt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The vicious cycle of tumor induced bone disease: Tumor cells colonize the bone microenvironment and secrete PTHrP. PTHrP stimulates osteoblasts to express RankL, which promotes osteoclast differentiation and accelerates bone resorption. This bone resorption releases matrix bound growth factors that promotes tumor growth. Gli2 is a transcription factor of the Hedgehog pathway that increases PTHrP expression and bone resorption.
Joseph Straub, a PhD student in the lab, presented at the weekly biology seminar on his summer internship. Joseph, with the support of New Mexico's INBRE and the Louisiana Tech's School of Biological Sciences, spent 6 weeks in New Mexico learning skills in bioinformatics. He shared his experience with undergraduates, graduate students and faculty, discussing the basics of bioinformatics, applications, and his experience away from Louisiana in cooler, dryer New Mexico! He did a great job introducing people to a necessary and evolving field of biological research!
The University has begun a project to regularly feature an academic program with a video, an undergraduate profile, a faculty profile, and an alumni profile. I am proud to say that the Newman Lab is featured in many of the promotions this week! I was the faculty feature, former undergraduate and graduate student, Erik Beadle, was the featured alum, and there is a brief second of me and my students in the video. It is an honor to be chosen to represent the program and the University!
We are all back from summer break and the seniors are beginning to figure out their next step. I am proud to congratulate undergraduate student, Hannah Logan, on her acceptance to LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport! Hannah has been working in the Newman Lab for almost 2 years and in that time has demonstrated an initiative and dedication that is admirable. She has been awarded a CBERS Award for Undergraduate Research and recently accepted the challenge of completing an honors thesis, following in the footsteps of another strong undergraduate, Rachel Eddy. I am so proud of Hannah and can't wait to see what she does next! Congratulations on your acceptance to medical school, Hannah!!!
Congratulations to Rachel Eddy who graduated Suma Cum Laude having completed the honors program and an honors thesis. Rachel worked in the lab for 2 years and during that time participated twice in the LBRN summer program, received a Louisiana Space Consortium Undergraduate Award, presented at a dozen meetings where she was recognized with 1st place awards in poster and oral presentations, and even presented her work at the Society for Biomaterials meeting this past spring. Rachel was the first student in the College of Applied and Natural Sciences to complete an honors thesis and was honored Friday night in a special honors program reception. Rachel has remained a dedicated member of the lab, always up for a challenge, optimizing conditions for immunofluorescence and conducting experiments in the area of osteogenic differentiation. Her labmates even came to graduation to celebrate her achievements and give her a Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine "Team" Necklace (I have the best lab - they really are a family, looking out for each other and celebrating each other!). I am so proud of Rachel and all that she has achieved during her time at Louisiana Tech. I can't wait to see what she will do next!!!
Last week the Newman Lab participated in the annual College of Applied and Natural Sciences Research Symposium. This is a great day for students from across the college to share their research with each other. It is also a day to recognize faculty, staff, and students for their accomplishments over the past year. This year the lab gave oral presentations (Scott and India) and poster presentations (Avery and Hannah, Joseph and Michael, and Jacob). Anna Morris also presented on the digital painting and biological visualization program (kind of an honorary lab member). Joseph won second place in the graduate student poster competition - congratulations! Another great day for the lab!
Today Rachel Eddy defended her senior honor's thesis, the first in the College of Applied and Natural Sciences to ever do this and only the second outside of the Humanities! Rachel presented to her committee along with friends and other faculty from the School of Biological Sciences and her art professor, Nick Bustamante. I could not be prouder of all that Rachel has achieved while in the lab and the recognition she received today for her outstanding presentation and thesis document.
Rachel joined the lab 2 years ago and in that time has presented at a number of conferences, optimized protocols for the lab, participated in successful group research projects, and been a dedicated student and lab citizen. In the past two years Rachel has presented at local and state conferences, most recently winning 1st place in the Louisiana Academy of Sciences annual meeting undergradaute oral presentation competition. On Wednesday Rachel leaves for Atlanta where she will present her research at the annual Society for Biomaterials meeting and next week she will be 1 of only 10 students representing Louisiana Tech at the annual University of Louisiana Academic Summit. Rachel was selected 2 years in a row to participate in the Louisiana Biomedical Research Summer Program, has received 2 College of Applied and Natural Sciences minigrants, and was awarded a Louisiana Space Consortium Undergraduate Research Assistantship. This is a tremendous list of accomplishments, but does not even include the other activities Rachel has been involved in, including art classes in Mural Painting and Digital Painting, and her participation and leadership in a society dedicated to raising awareness for mental illness. On May 18 I will have the privilege of introducing Rachel during the Honors Graduation Reception where out of 100 students graduating this spring, Rachel will be 1 of 3 who completed an honors thesis. I am so proud of all that Rachel has accomplished and will have more to post (with better photos) when she graduates in May. Congratulations Rachel on this amazing achievement!
Congratulations to Katie Whitehead on her admission to the MD/PhD program at LSUHSC-New Orleans. Katie joined the lab as an undergraduate and then stayed on to complete a master's degree in Molecular Science and Nanotechnology. Katie has presented at a number of state conferences where her ability to communicate her research was recognized when she was awarded 1st place in poster and oral presentation competitions. Katie also presented at a national meeting where her research was positively received by experts in the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Katie has been awarded ANS minigrants and Louisiana Space Consortium grants both as an undergraduate and graduate student. Although she graduated last May, Katie has continued to work in the lab as a part time research associate, completing her second manuscript on which she is first author, and training new students in the lab. Katie has been a tremendous asset to the lab and I am so proud of all she has and will continue to achieve. Congratulations Katie - a much deserved next step in your career!
Every year the Center for Biomedical Engineering and Rehabilitation Sciences (CBERS) at Louisiana Tech recognizes outstanding undergraduate and graduate students who are participating in research. This year 5 members of the Newman Lab were recognized with this honor. Haley Barnett and Joseph Straub were awarded 2 of the Graduate Student awards and India Pursell, Hannah Logan, and Avery Bryan were awarded 3 of the undergraduate awards. This is a cash award that each student receives either as part of their graduate stipend or in the form of tuition support for the remainder of the spring quarter. A well deserved recognition for these 5 students!
Dr. Jamie Newman
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences