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Imaging Excellence — David Gaita, a college student who participated in the 2012 Summer Undergraduate Research Program, won the “Novel Application Image of the Year” category of the Siemens Preclinical Image of the Year contest, along with his mentors. The award showcases images acquired as part of cutting-edge preclinical research using Siemens imaging systems. The award-winning images tested the feasibility of utilizing a widely used medical radioisotope, Technetium-99m (Tc-99m-MAA), to image the live goldfish brain. The winning images showed that Tc-9mm-MAA readily localizes to the gills, brain, and the suprabranchial chamber of the goldfish. The experiment was conducted using a novel device ? specially designed and constructed by Wade Koba, operations manager of the MicroPET Core Facility ? that immobilizes aquatic animals in their natural environment. (Einstein has filed a patent application related to this research, which is available for licensing.) Results from the experiment demonstrated the ability to obtain repeated imaging without harm to the fish. This lays important groundwork for the possibility of imaging conscious zebra fish, an important vertebrate model organism used in such diverse fields as genetics, developmental biology, cancer, and immunology. Mr. Gaita conducted his studies under the guidance of Dr. Linda Jelicks, associate professor of physiology and biophysics.
Supporting Innovation — Dr. Richard Kitsis was 1 of 10 recipients selected to receive an inaugural 2012 Harrington Scholar-Innovator grant, awarded by the Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, in Cleveland, OH. The competitive grants, given to physician-scientists to accelerate the translation of promising drug discoveries into treatments for patients, will support Dr. Kitsis’ creation of a first-in-class drug to reduce heart cell damage from acute myocardial infarction. Dr. Kitsis is professor of medicine and of cell biology,director of the Wilf Family Cardiovascular Research Institute and the Dr. Gerald and Myra Dorros Chair in Cardiovascular Disease.