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UToledo Team Headed to Poland to Train Ukrainian Physicians in Trauma Care

A group of physicians and nurses from The University of Toledo will soon travel to Poland to lead a pair of Advance Trauma Life Support classes, training Ukrainian doctors and other healthcare providers how to better manage serious battlefield injuries.

Developed and managed by the American College of Surgeons, Advance Trauma Life Support is generally intended for emergency medicine physicians, surgeons and other doctors who regularly are confronted with trauma patients.

From left, Cristina Alvarado, Dr. Stephen Markowiak, Dr. Kristopher Brickman and Kristin Calkins are among a group of UToledo physicians and nurses traveling to Warsaw to train Ukrainian and Polish doctors in Advance Trauma Life Support.

In Ukraine and neighboring Poland, the need goes far beyond that.

The ongoing war has forced nearly every physician in the country to be at the ready for taking on trauma cases — something well outside the expertise of most doctors.

“You’re asking physicians who don’t typically specialize in trauma to start taking care of trauma patients and teach others to be prepared for it. They desperately need this training. They’re living it,” said Cristina Alvarado, a registered nurse and director of immersive and simulation-based learning at UToledo.

On July 16, Alvarado and the rest of the UToledo team will depart for the Medical University of Warsaw, where they’ll provide the training for a mix of Polish physicians, Polish paramedics and Ukrainian physicians who are traveling from Bukovinian State Medical University in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, a city near the Moldovan-Romanian border.

“The goal of this trip truly is to give them the knowledge, training, education and the tools to not only handle traumas better but teach others how to handle them better as well,” Alvarado said.

The training to be provided includes how to establish an airway and initiate assisted breathing, addressing collapsed lungs and placing a central line. The course also focuses heavily on how to triage injuries, rapidly assess a patient’s condition and how and when to make decisions on specific interventions.

Among those who will participate in the training is Dr. Olena Korotun, a Ukrainian pediatrician and associate professor at Bukovinian State Medical University who Alvarado knew through the medical simulation community.

Soon after the Russian invasion, Alvarado connected with Korotun to check in and ask how UToledo might be able to help. Though Korotun’s university has an advanced simulation center, it had never focused on tactical medicine or trauma care — which she said has become the most essential skill for any Ukrainain doctor.

Korotun and Alvarado worked to put together virtual trainings that could be streamed live from the UToledo’s Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center to physicians in Chernivtsi, which has emerged as a key training site for physicians because of its relative safety.

An April trip to Poland to meet with Medical University of Warsaw leadership helped set the stage for the on-the-ground training the UToledo Team will be doing in July.

“When it comes to me personally as a pediatrician and medical doctor, I want — I need — to be ready and confident to face trauma. It is an essential skill in my country today,” Korotun said. “Too many children have gone during this war already. We need to do all that is possible to not increase that number.”

In addition to Alvarado, the UToledo team includes Dr. Kristopher Brickman an emergency medicine specialist and director of the Global Health Program in the UToledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Kristin Calkins, a registered nurse and director of trauma services at The University of Toledo Medical Center, and Dr. Stephen Markowiak, a general surgeon at UTMC.

Dr. Stanislaw Stepkowski, a Warsaw native who is professor of medical microbiology and immunology at UToledo, and Dr. Ivan Kaspruk, an emergency medicine resident at UToledo who is originally from Ukraine, will join the team to assist in translation.

Once in Poland, UToledo’s team will be joined by physicians from Missouri, Cyprus and the Netherlands.

The project also is being supported by Gaumard Scientific, which is sending key simulation equipment to Warsaw to assist in the hands-on training clinicians will undertake. The Florida-based company is one of the leading producers of patient simulators and is providing the materials free of charge.


UToledo a National Leader in Improving Student Success Through Student Experience Project

The University of Toledo’s participation in the national Student Experience Project has helped faculty revamp how they engage with students to enhance student support, retention and success, particularly for first-generation and underserved students.

The method built at UToledo now serves as a national model for how to do what are called Communities of Practice, which is transforming how faculty teach. Participating instructors at UToledo, who total 142 since 2020 and includes faculty, lecturers and graduate students, are called Equity Champions.

“The project is based on evidence regarding some of the reasons we lose students from the very beginning,” said Dr. Michael Prior, an associate professor of social work and Equity Champion. “We lose so many students through them not believing in themselves and not practicing habits that lead to success. But through specific techniques, we can adjust our service to impact both of those aspects of the students’ experience which in turn can make all the difference in the world for them academically.”

Research shows that social belonging and the cues students receive about their ability makes a difference in whether they persist or not.

For the past three years UToledo is one of six schools that has been working with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and Coalition of Urban Serving Universities on an equity-focused initiative to boost student achievement by fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging.

University partners in this project are UToledo, Colorado State University, University of Colorado Denver, University of New Mexico, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Portland State University.

The Student Experience Project also was a collaboration with other learning partners that included a group of social psychologists across the U.S. and Canada associated with the College Transition Collaborative and the Project for Educational Research that Scales.

As part of its work on the project, UToledo implemented a Community of Practice where each semester a cohort of Equity Champions are given a space to meet once a week, encourage each other and share resources that worked in their classroom.

“I joined Equity Champions as we were starting to come back to campus amid the pandemic, political discord and racial divisiveness because I knew I needed to focus on my students’ well-being if I wanted them to learn the content of my courses,” said Heather Robbins, senior lecturer in the School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences in the College of Health and Human Services. “I never felt alone nor overwhelmed while doing the work. Quite honestly, it has sparked a new love for teaching as it reminded me why I got into this profession in the first place.”

The national results of the Student Experience Project, funded by the Raikes Foundation, will be released next month along with field-tested resources. Dr. Denise Bartell, associate vice provost for student success, will be part of a panel discussion and talk about what worked for UToledo so other institutions of higher education across the country can replicate the best practices. The virtual event is noon Wednesday, July 13. Register through the event’s Zoom website.

“The University of Toledo has been a leader in the work on the Student Experience Project and that speaks to the power of the faculty who have stepped up to adopt practices that make first-generation and underserved students feel welcome and supported while improving academic performance,” Bartell said.

The practices utilized by Equity Champions and designed by the Student Experience Project include revising syllabi and course policies to be more student-attuned, explicitly communicating the belief that all students are capable of success, sharing stories with students of times when they struggled with a sense of belonging in college, and highlighting the work of diverse scholars.

“For example, changing the tone or word choices in a syllabus is critical,” Bartell said. “Instead of it reading like a contract, convey that it is common to struggle in courses like this, we have resources to support you, we know you can be successful here, and reach out to me for support. And provide reasonable flexibility for students who need to work a part-time job or support their family. It truly changes the nature of students’ experience in the classroom.”

Data from UToledo show that implementing these innovative practices is increasing student academic outcomes. Equity Champions have collectively made gains in every key concept addressed by the Student Experience Project in each semester since the beginning of the project.

For example, sense of social belonging — the feeling that one belongs in the learning environment — jumped from 36% to 43% in Fall 2020 and 54% to 57% in spring 2021, and identity safety — in which students from diverse backgrounds feel welcome, valued, respected and recognized as having the potential to succeed — increased from 64% to 73% in fall 2020 and 76% to 80% in spring 2021.

Equity Champions measure the immediate impact of their course changes by using a free, data-driven survey tool throughout the semester called Ascend that enables the instructors to learn how their students are experiencing courses. They then use these results to identify evidence-based practices that can improve the student experience in their classroom in real time.

Students who report positive experiences across all categories in Ascend have fewer failing D or F grades or withdrawals from courses with participating instructors.

“I realize that through operationalized caring and believing in students, I can impact their success and academic well-being more efficiently each semester,” Prior said.

UToledo’s cohort of Equity Champions for the upcoming fall semester is 76, the largest since the project began. Half of the instructors have participated in a previous semester and half are new to the project — with some academic programs scaling it up to the department level.

“Our goal is to change the system of higher education and the way we do this is by empowering faculty to create equitable learning experiences and utilize their power and influence to move their institutions forward for student success,” Bartell said. “Higher education is inherently competitive. We created a space that feels different, modeling that we’re all learning together.”

“The lived experience in the program has done for me something akin to what we hope we can do for our students,” Prior said. “I realize that, even at the age of 67, I have not reached my potential as a teacher.”

Read UToledo’s semester reports about the Student Experience Project on the Office of the Provost website.

At the July 13 event the APLU plans to release resources for administrators and faculty across the country to improve equity in student experience, including the First Day Toolkit, a field-tested Classroom Practices Library and the Ascend measurement platform.


Fundraiser to Support Freedom for Trafficking Victims July 2

The University of Toledo’s Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute and the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition are teaming up to host a fundraiser, “Give True Freedom This Independence Day,” to benefit programs that support victims of human trafficking.

“There are more than 40 million human trafficking victims estimated around the world,” said Dr. Celia Williamson, Distinguished University Professor of social work and director of the UToledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute. “This Fourth of July is Independence Day in the United States, the day we come together to celebrate our freedom. But there are many in our community who don’t have freedom. They are being controlled, abused, battered and sold. It’s time for us to tell the story of what is happening to them and do something about it.”

The event is from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 2, at TolHouse, located at 1447 N. Summit St.

Tickets are $25 for the event that features a silent auction, cash bar and appetizers.

Money raised will enable the organizations to continue the work of identifying and providing comprehensive health and social services that help survivors.

“We will host a community call to action to raise awareness and bring what is happening in the darkness and behind closed doors to light,” Williamson said. “We will also highlight the work being done in the community.”

Together, the UToledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute and the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition have served hundreds of local survivors.

For more information about the event, visit the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition website.

 


Corey Feldman, Chris Hansen Among Celebrity Speakers at International Human Trafficking Conference

Registration is open for The University of Toledo’s 19th Annual International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference in the fall, which will feature several celebrity speakers.

Actor and musician Corey Feldman; investigative journalist Chris Hansen from Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator”; Kai Zen Bickle, the son of Peter Nygard, a Canadian fashion mogul arrested on federal sex trafficking and racketeering charges and accused of sexual assault by women and minors; and Make Sense Labs’ CEO and self-dubbed “First Lady of Crypto” Crystal Rose Pierce are among the presenters to discuss how to keep children safe from predators, legal loopholes used by accused traffickers, and advocacy efforts to change federal laws regarding the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse.

The Sept. 21-23 virtual conference will feature survivors, researchers, advocates and direct service professionals around the world, with more than 110 live and on-demand webinar sessions.

“Our special guests this year have achieved a level of prominence and celebrity for what they have contributed to the world. They are choosing to collaborate with us to speak out about the issue of abuse, victimization and exploitation of the vulnerable in our society,” said Dr. Celia Williamson, Distinguished University Professor of social work and director of the UToledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute. “We are excited about their compassion for others and to partner with them this year.”

Presenters also include Patte O’Connor, who will recount her experience with Bill Cosby in 1984 and how she found healing after trauma, and Marci Hamilton, the founder and CEO of CHILD USA, the leading national think tank fighting for the civil rights of children.

The deadline to register is Tuesday, Sept. 13. Register and explore the full schedule of presentations on the conference website.

The event has welcomed people from 50 states and 47 countries since it began in 2004 to bring people together to learn and collaborate on research, advocacy, program development and policy legislation.

“Our conference has grown to be the oldest and largest academic conference of its kind in the United States,” said Williamson. “The conference has been the impetus for many research collaborations and has spurred new programming across the globe. We are grateful for the opportunity to provide the platform and coordination necessary to host such an important conference each year.”

Williamson, a world-renown social worker and researcher who works directly with victims and has revolutionized global anti-trafficking efforts, will present 10:15 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, about the journey of survivors of child abuse, sexual assault, intimate partner violence or sex trafficking, and how to provide trauma-focused care.

Corey Feldman

Feldman, who rose to superstardom in the 1980s as a young actor in films such as “The Goonies” and “Stand By Me,” will speak at 9:40 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, about how he believes the Screen Actors Guild needs to add protections for child actors into their by-laws and about the importance of passing state laws to mandate protections for child entertainers.

Hansen, who has exposed more than 400 men attempting to meet children online for sex, and Jeff Jani, CEO of AuthenticID, are scheduled to present 9:40 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, about online predators and AuthenticID, a solution to stop online predators.

Bickle, the recipient of ChildUSA’s 2021 “Voice of the Voiceless” award who played a critical role in the investigation of his father, will present at 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, about a jurisdiction reform bill and his work with All for Humanity Alliance, an anti-human trafficking campaign that will support nurses in foreign countries to take verified rape kits to be used as evidence in the U.S. after the bill is passed.

Pierce, who also co-founded the shEOS Foundation that provides computer science scholarships to young women, will speak at 9:20 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, about how blockchain can track where money goes for charities and measuring the impact of each dollar.

The International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference also features a separate day devoted to high school students. The National High School Summit is from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20. The virtual workshop is free and focused on educating teenagers about human trafficking, healthy relationships and how they can get involved in their community.


Accounting Camp for High School Students June 28

The University of Toledo’s John B. and Lillian E. Neff College of Business and Innovation and the Ohio CPA Foundation are co-hosting the Careers in Professional Accounting Camp, or CPA Camp, for high school students interested in accounting from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 28.

The deadline to register for the free, one-day camp is Friday, June 17. Lunch and a campus tour will be provided.

The career development program is designed for underrepresented high school students including, but not limited to, those who identify as having a disability, LGBTQ+, students of color and the first in their family to attend college.

“The CPA Camp provides an opportunity for us to expose students to the accounting profession and the various career opportunities that exist,” said Dr. Dana Hollie, a professor of accounting and the Alan H. and Karen A. Barry Endowed Professor of Accounting. “The students experience firsthand UToledo’s campus environment, meet faculty and staff, and learn more about various career progression paths in accounting.”

Participants will learn about opportunities in accounting including the kinds of jobs available and salaries; hear from employees from a local accounting company; learn about the differences between corporate and public accounting; gather input from UToledo students and faculty about what college life is like as an accounting major; meet and network with local recruiters and employers; and have the opportunity to earn scholarships.

Sponsors of the event include Huntington, Owens Corning, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, the Accountancy Board of Ohio, Deloitte, Procter & Gamble, Ernst & Young, Plante Moran, Crowe, Clark Schaefer Hackett, PricewaterhouseCoopers, RSM, William Vaughan Company, Rehmann, GBQ, Ingram-White Castle Foundation and the Ohio Society of CPAs.

To register, go to the CPA Camp website.


UToledo to Celebrate Title IX’s 50th Anniversary June 23

To mark Title IX’s 50th anniversary, The University of Toledo is hosting a panel discussion from 12:45 to 2 p.m. Thursday, June 23, in the Grogan Room at Savage Arena.

Though registration is closed, members of the media are invited to cover the event, which kicks off a year-long celebration of Title IX’s 50th anniversary.

A federal law signed on June 23, 1972, Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex or gender in any educational institution that receives federal funding. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

“The University of Toledo and the Title IX Office work to create a campus environment that results in student success, employee advancement and access to opportunities based on individual merit, ability and potential, without fear of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation,” said Vicky Kulicke, UToledo director of Title IX and compliance and Title IX coordinator. “With the 50th anniversary, we want to continue to highlight the importance of federal protections like Title IX. We want folks to think of the 50th anniversary as less of an ‘event’ and more of a dedicated and continuous effort.”

Moderated by Valerie Walston, interim vice president for student affairs, the featured panelists include:

  • Malaika Bell, interim executive director for diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • Kelly Andrews, senior associate athletic director;
  • Karen Bjorkman, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs;
  • Vicky Kulicke, director of Title IX and compliance and Title IX coordinator; and
  • Kennedy Lovell, student-athlete.

The UToledo Title IX Office and campus partners in the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, UToledo Athletics and Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have formed a planning committee for a year-long celebration of the historic event.


UToledo Police to Hold Active Aggressor Training Drill June 7

The University of Toledo Police Department, alongside personnel from The University of Toledo Medical Center, will conduct a training exercise on Tuesday, June 7, to test the University’s response in the event of a violent intruder.

The training exercise will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Jacobs Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center on UToledo’s Health Science Campus. It begins with a de-escalation training and will be followed by an active shooter simulation.

“As the recent horrific shootings at a supermarket in New York and an elementary school in Texas have unfortunately demonstrated, these instances continue to occur across the country,” said Jeff Newton, associate vice president of public safety. “While we hope we never need to use these skills, it’s important we continue our regular trainings and preparations to be able to respond to this type of violence. We want to ensure we’re providing the safest environment possible for our students and staff.”

UToledo and UTMC regularly perform tabletop drills and full-scale exercises to test the University’s response to a variety of emergency situations.

The June 7 exercise, planning for which began in February, will specifically test the response of police and emergency room personnel to a shooting that results in multiple casualties.

In addition to evaluating first-responders’ communication, response and scene management, campus safety officials will observe how nurses, students and other hospital personnel use their “run, hide, fight” training in a simulated active shooter event.

The run, hide, fight principles are recommended by the F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security for individuals confronted with an active shooter scenario to run to safety if they can, hide if escape isn’t possible and, as a last resort, fight back.

In-person de-escalation and run, hide, fight training can be requested through the University of Toledo Office of Public Safety. The University also offers the run, hide, fight training via the Safety and Health Training Test Bank, accessible through MyUT.

Signs will be posted that say “UToledo Police Training Event” around the Center for Creative Education. In the event of a real emergency, the public address and UT Alert systems would be activated to inform the campus community that a dangerous situation is occurring and to stay clear.

To learn what to do in the event of an emergency and for more information on the University’s emergency preparedness plans and procedures, visit emergency.utoledo.edu.


UToledo Awarded Collegiate Purple Star for Support of Military Students, Families

The state of Ohio awarded The University of Toledo a Collegiate Purple Star for its support of military and veteran students and their families, helping them transition to the classroom and achieve success.

UToledo was selected to be part of the inaugural class of 33 public and private colleges and universities in Ohio awarded the honor for being a military-friendly institution of higher education.

“The University of Toledo has supported veterans and service members for years through its Military Service Center,” said Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “The Collegiate Purple Star is fitting recognition for UToledo’s dedication to helping all of its military-connected students succeed.”

Ohio is the first state in the nation to offer this Collegiate Purple Star campus designation.

“We have long known that The University of Toledo is a leader in working with military-connected students,” said Eric Buetikofer, UToledo director of military and veteran affairs. “This is evident in the University’s commitment to recognizing the sacrifices of our service

members and their families and our dedication to helping them achieve continued success in higher education. This award is acknowledgment from the state of Ohio that we are meeting state-wide recommendations in meeting the needs of our military-connected students.”

UToledo’s Military Service Center helps military and veteran students apply for GI benefits and certifies their eligibility through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It also helps them obtain and post military transcripts for credit and makes referrals to community resources for additional assistance.

UToledo was recognized in 2021 by the Military Times as a Best for Vets school being ranked 65 out of more than 260 four-year institutions nationwide. The University was ranked 80 out of 134 in 2020 and 123 out of 208 in 2019.

The Military Service Center regularly hosts Green Zone training to discuss how faculty and staff can support military-connected students at UToledo.

UToledo also dedicated the Lt. Col. Thomas J. ’65 Veterans Lounge in Carlson Library in 2018 to provide student veterans a place to relax, study and enjoy the camaraderie they experienced while serving their country.

In 2017 UToledo was nationally recognized as the first university campus in the country to simultaneously honor all service members of the armed forces and the families who lost a loved one defending the United States by dedicating both a Blue Star Memorial marker and Gold Star Memorial marker. The star markers are part of the Veterans’ Plaza, located on the northwest corner of Centennial Mall on Main Campus, which recognizes the courage and commitment made by servicemen and women.

In addition, the community’s annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast and Resource Fair on Veterans Day is held at the University.

“No other state in the country has an award like this,” Buetikofer said. “UToledo being awarded the Collegiate Purple Star is not only good for the University and northwest Ohio but also is a symbol that Ohio cares about our military-connected students and is striving to elevate all institutions of higher education within the state to a standard of excellence not seen anywhere else in the country.”

The Collegiate Purple Star awards advance the work already done by Ohio’s PreK-12 school system to create the Purple Star designation for military friendly schools in 2017.

The higher education designations were determined by a Collegiate Purple Star Advisory Committee after evaluation and recommendation. The advisory committee was comprised of members from organizations including the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the Ohio Veterans Education Council, the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, the Ohio Adjutant General’s Department, and the Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission K-12 Purple Star Committee.


Study Finds Gut Bacteria Can Make Blood Pressure Medication Less Effective

A new study from The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences has shown gut bacteria can reduce the effectiveness of certain blood pressure drugs.

The research, published this month in the journal Hypertension, offers the first clues to what has been an elusive mystery — why do some people not respond well to medication?

“High blood pressure is often called a silent killer because it doesn’t usually cause symptoms. However, there is a big population of individuals who know they have hypertension but still cannot get it under control, even though they’re taking blood pressure drugs,” said Dr. Tao Yang, an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and the study’s first and lead author. “Addressing this is of huge clinical importance.”

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in America. It’s also one of the most common chronic conditions in the United States, with nearly half of U.S. adults considered hypertensive under current guidelines.

Among those with high blood pressure, an estimated 20% have what’s known as resistant hypertension, meaning their blood pressure remains high despite aggressive treatment.

“The only thing doctors can really do in these patients is adding or switching medications and increasing the dose with the hope they can find something that works,” Yang said. “Until now, we haven’t had any clear indication what the mechanism is for resistant hypertension. Our research could provide a first step toward identifying new ways to effectively overcome treatment-resistant hypertension.”

In recent years researchers have more intently examined the link between an individual’s blood pressure readings and the unique collection of bacteria that lives in their gut.

That work — significant portions of which has been done at UToledo — has helped to unravel potential causes of hypertension that extend beyond diet and exercise. However, Yang’s research is the first to examine the impact of gut bacteria on blood pressure medication itself.

Dr. Bina Joe, Distinguished University Professor and chair of the UToledo Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, and the study’s senior author, said the research is a significant extension of UToledo’s work to better understand the causes of hypertension and find new ways to treat it.

“Yang pioneered this important, highly translational idea during his training as a postdoctoral fellow in my laboratory,” she said. “This is now a major research theme in his own laboratory at The University of Toledo.”

In the study, UToledo scientists compared the effectiveness of the antihypertensive drug quinapril in rats with normal gut bacteria against those whose gut microbiota had been depleted by high doses of antibiotics.

Researchers found a clear difference between the two, with animals that were given antibiotics first responding much better to quinapril.

Analysis of the gut bacteria composition in the animals identified the bacteria Coprococcus as the culprit. Laboratory experiments proved that Coprococcus comes, a dominant bacteria species in this genus, can break down quinapril and ramipril, resulting in the compromised blood pressure-lowering effects.

While the UToledo study was limited to animal models and lab experiments, researchers identified at least one intriguing case study that seems to bolster the argument that this finding could be applicable to humans.

That 2015 report, published in the International Journal of Cardiology, described a woman with a long history of treatment-resistant hypertension whose blood pressure was controlled without any antihypertensive medication for the two weeks she was taking antibiotics for a post-surgical infection. Her blood pressure was able to be controlled with only one medication for six months after stopping antibiotics before again becoming treatment-resistant.

“This is just one report and more research is needed. However, this suggests that gut bacteria can play a very real and very important role in regulating the efficacy of blood pressure medication,” Yang said.

The research group plans to continue its work by studying the interaction between additional blood pressure medications and other common types of gut bacteria.

Though long-term use of antibiotics isn’t a realistic strategy for addressing treatment-resistant hypertension, Yang said it should be possible for someone to alter their microbiota through probiotics, prebiotics and changes in diet.

“The ultimate goal of my research is to identify ways we can specifically target the bacteria in an individual’s gut to improve drug efficacy,” he said. “This has the potential to benefit a lot of people.”

Dr. Young Oh, a program officer with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, agrees that this study represents an important piece of the puzzle in understanding resistant hypertension. The study was supported in part by the NHLBI, part of the National Institutes of Health.

“The gut microbiome has been understudied as it relates to hypertension,” said Oh, who was not a member of the study team. “While this study fills an important knowledge gap, more studies are needed, particularly in humans, to confirm the findings.”

The research was also supported in part by a grant from the American Heart Association.

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Research reported in this release was supported in part by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part the National Institutes of Health, under the following grant numbers: R01HL143082 and HL132448.

DISCLAIMER:  The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


UToledo Offers Free Microelectronics Cybersecurity Camp for High School Students, Teachers

The University of Toledo is offering a free, weeklong camp in a specialized area of cybersecurity for high school students and teachers.

The Microelectronics Security Summer Workshop, which is funded by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, June 6, through Friday, June 10, in the North Engineering Building. Free lunch and parking are provided.

Participants will interact with UToledo professors and students; tour laboratories; watch live demonstrations; gain hands-on experience in designing microelectronic circuits; explore cybersecurity and detect “spy” and counterfeit chips; and learn about blockchain technology and NFT applications in microelectronics security.

The workshop is part of a $30 million project funded by the U.S. Air Force aimed at developing a pipeline of trained undergraduate engineering students with the skills to design and develop assured and trusted digital microelectronic devices and systems.

Dr. Mohammed Niamat, professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in the College of Engineering, is leading UToledo’s efforts.

The research group in the hardware security and trust lab led by Niamat is working to devise techniques to prevent cyber-attacks based on machine learning and blockchain technology on digital microelectronic chips.

Register for the workshop by emailing NoorAhmad.Hazari@utoledo.edu by Wednesday, June 1.