September 16, 2009

SDSU BioScience Center UpData

By Roberta Gottlieb, M.D.

The SDSU BioScience Center continues to advance its mission to study the critical nexus of infection, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. I hope you had a delightful summer. There was no August newsletter, because I was on vacation, and managed to combine work and pleasure. A conference in Padua (The Society for Heart and Vascular Metabolism) provided an excuse to bring the family and show them the sights in Italy (Pisa, Florence, Verona, and Venice) and London.

Dr. Robert Mentzer
Dr. Robert Mentzer

I am delighted to announce the recruitment of Dr. Robert M. Mentzer, Jr., to the BioScience Center. Dr. Robert M. Mentzer, Jr., a renowned cardiovascular transplant surgeon and experienced clinical investigator has joined the BioScience Center as a Research Professor in the Department of Biology. He has 24 years continuous peer-reviewed research NIH funding, served on numerous NIH and AHA study sections, and conducted multi-institutional and multi-national industry-sponsored clinical research trials. Dr. Mentzer is known for his expertise in the areas of ischemia-reperfusion injury, myocardial protection, and organ preservation. He comes to us from Wayne State University School of Medicine where he is a Professor of Surgery and Physiology, in the Cardiovascular Research Institute. At SDSU, he will serve as the Director of Translational Research and Global Health Initiatives and as a Senior Advisor to the SDSU Research Foundation. In the BioScience Center he will be collaborating with Dr. Roberta Gottlieb on a recently funded multi-PI NIH grant to elucidate the role of autophagy in cardioprotection.

Our immunologists have moved into the Donald P. Shiley Cardiovascular Research Center, unpacked their boxes, and gotten busy with science. Two grant applications have been submitted already, and new collaborations are developing. I look forward to seeing many of you at my home tomorrow, where you will have an opportunity to meet many of the BioScience Center faculty. If you forgot to RSVP but still want to come, please email or call me.

Summer is often a time for postdoctoral fellows to come and go. We are welcoming several: Zoltan Giriscz, PhD, who obtained his PhD at University of Szeged in Hungary and completed 2 years of postdoctoral training in National University of Ireland in Galway; Zoltan has joined the Mentzer lab and will study new therapies to prevent heart damage after ischemia. Kornelia Kis, who obtained her PhD in Immunology at University of Szeged in Hungary and completed 2 years of postdoctoral training in National University of Ireland in Galway will be working with Joy Phillips on influenza and immune responses in aging. Yoshimi Hiraumi, MD, PhD, completed her training at Kyoto University, Japan, and will be joining the Gottlieb lab to study Doxorubicin cardiomyopathy. Nikos Gurfield obtained his doctorate in veterinary medicine at UC Davis and has worked as the SD County Veterinarian and Director of Vector Control. He will join the Gottlieb lab as a postdoctoral fellow but will also work on completing a PhD degree in the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program. Nikos will be studying Chagas Disease in the Gottlieb lab. Brian Bartlett completed his Masters Degree in Biology at SDSU and will be working with Kim Finley to study the role of autophagy in aging, using the fruit fly model.