Dr. Eve Gallman, Associate Professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy at our Athens
partnership campus, has been notified that she has been nominated for the 2021 Outstanding
Reviewer Award for the journal Medical Science Educatore.
Congratulations on this award Dr. Gallman!
Dr. Yutao Liu, vision scientist and human geneticist in our Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, is the Basic Science Research Distinguished Faculty Award recipient. This expert in dissecting diseases like the progressive, double vision inducing keratoconus, and glaucoma, is a prolific, inspired and extremely well-funded scientist and generally great citizen of MCG and internationally.
To read more about Dr. Liu's achievement, visit the Deans Diary
Congratulations to our CBA colleague Dr. Gerard "Jerry" Guillot! Dr. Guillot was selected
to receive one of the Educator of the Year awards. The excellent educator award honoree
was nominated by the students from the MCG class of 2024.
To read more about this wonderful achievement, visit the Deans Diary
Congratulations to our CBA colleague at the AU/UGA partnership campus, Dr. Robert
Dr. Mackin was selected to receive one of the Educator of the Year awards. The excellent educator award honoree was nominated by the MCG AU/UGA partnership students, class of 2024.
To read more about this wonderful achievement, visit the Deans Diary
Congratulations to Ms. Linda James, our assistant dean for student diversity and inclusion, who has received the inaugural Champion of Diversity Award! She is director of the now 50 + year-old SEEP pipeline program for high school and college students and director of the Igniting the Dream of Medicine Conference. Most recently, Ms. James helped start and is co-advisor of Black Men of the Medical College of Georgia. She is a member of the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, a voting member of our Admissions Committee and co-advisor to the Student National Medical Association. She first joined us as a research assistant in 1986, we lost her (their win) to Paine College for about 16 years, then she came back in 2004 as director of SEEP and Diversity Outreach. Class of 2023 student Gina Dominguez Castillo says it well: “All my interactions with her are always ones of support and encouragement.” For these reasons and about a million more Ms. James is the inaugural recipient of our Champion of Diversity Award.
Congratulations to Dr. Ellen LeMosy! She was nominated by her student Brooklyn Zwinklis
for the High Five My Faculty Award. This
award goes to a faculty member who has mentored one or more undergraduate students in research or scholarship. This is a way
for students to recognize and give thanks to undergraduate research mentors who have positively impacted their lives.
We are delighted to share the good news that graduate student Mackenzie L. Hagan successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled “The role of Sptbn1 in osteocyte mechanosensation and downstream bone adaptation” on April 22, 2021. Her work was mentored by Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence and her committee members were Drs. Graydon Gonsalvez, Mark Hamrick, William Hill and Mitchell Watsky. Dr. Yutao Liu served as a reader for the thesis. We are very proud of Mackenzie’s accomplishments and wish her the best in her future endeavors.
Congratulations to Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence! She was nominated by her student Victor Piedra for the High Five My Faculty Award. This award goes to a faculty member who has mentored one or more undergraduate students in research or scholarship. This is a way for students to recognize and give thanks to undergraduate research mentors who have positively impacted their lives.
Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence has been named as one of the recipients to receive the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship’s 2021 Mentor Excellence Award! Considerable effort is expended in mentoring talented undergraduate students and we are very proud of the work of our colleagues in this important endeavor.
Congratulating Shannon Barwick, PhD student in Dr. Sylvia Smith's lab, won first prize
in the “3MT” competition on Thursday, April 22, 2021! The “3MT” refers to a three-minute
thesis presentation. The Graduate School launched this five years ago and graduate
students have the opportunity to compete. The idea of being able to present your (80,000+
word) thesis work in only 3 minutes started at Queensland University (Australia) and
has been adopted by more than 900 universities. We are very proud that two CBA students
were in the top five 3MT finalists: Hannah Youngblood & Shannon Barwick.
Thank you for representing our department so well!
Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence was recognized with the Distinguished Teaching Award from the Graduate School. Dr. McGee-Lawrence oversees a robust research laboratory, mentors several students, has directed/participated in several graduate school courses. She is the Director of the Molecular Cell Biology Core course, which has consistently been very highly evaluated by first year students and offers an excellent foundation for studies in biological sciences.
Congratulations Dr. McGee-Lawrence!
We are delighted to share with you the recognition for several students at today’s graduate research day awards ceremony: Frederick Baker (Gonsalvez lab) was the recipient of the Cellular Biology/Anatomy Excellence in Research Award; Hannah Youngblood (Liu lab) was the recipient of the James and Jean Culver Excellence in Vision Research Award; Shannon Barwick (Smith lab) was the recipient of the Graduate School Excellence in Research Award. Congratulations to these awardees and to all of our students for participating in Graduate Research Day and for the high quality of the work you are conducting.
We are very proud of you!
Dr. Mark Hamrick's newly announced cluster hire in inflamm-aging and brain aging research has been recognized by the Augusta Chronicle.
Read more about this exciting research here.
Congratulations Dr. Hamrick!
Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence has been appointed as a standing member of the NIH Skeletal Biology Development and Disease (SBDD) study section for a 4 year term.
Congrats Dr. McGee-Lawrence!
Dr. Ellen LeMosy has been named as one of the recipients to receive the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship’s 2021 Mentor Excellence Award! Dr. LeMosy is pictured here with CURS students Brooklyn Zwinklis (far left) and Helena Blackburn (far right). Considerable effort is expended in mentoring talented undergraduate students and we are very proud of the contributions Dr. LeMosy has provided to this important endeavor.
Congratulations Dr. LeMosy!
Dr. Jing Wang, Assistant Research Scientist (Smith lab), has been notified that her competing renewal of her Knights Templar Eye Foundation application (Sigma 1 Receptor and Retinopathy of Prematurity) will be funded beginning July 2021!
Great work Jing!
Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence has been named as one of the recipients to receive the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship’s 2021 Mentor Excellence Award! Considerable effort is expended in mentoring talented undergraduate students and we are very proud of the contributions Dr. McGee-Lawrence has provided to this important endeavor.
Congratulations Dr. McGee-Lawrence!
Terrific recognition for Dr. Wanling Xuan, stem cell biologist in the Vascular Biology Center, for her new RO1. Dr. Mark Hamrick, bone and muscle biologist in the MCG Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy and Senior Associate Dean for Research, is Co-Investigator. Both were recognized for their research on stem cell therapy on the Augusta University Jag home page. Read more about this exciting research here.
Congratulations Drs. Xuan and Hamrick!
Hannah Youngblood, PhD candidate in the laboratory of Dr. Yutao Liu, was invited to attend Augusta University’s Virtual Research University Day at the Capitol. This event, which was held virtually on March 16th, 2021, featured institutional leaders (Dr. Keel and Dr. MacKinnon) as well as several Georgia legislatures.
Congratulations Hannah on being selected for this honor!
CBA is pleased to announce that Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence's amazing research is being
featured in the Augusta Chronicle!
NASA grant aids AU professor's research on bone loss, potential repair
As the NASA Rover Perseverance approaches Mars for a touchdown later this month, Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence of Augusta University is studying ways to make the same flight easier for humans one day. But her research might also apply to aging and perhaps even make exercise more productive. McGee-Lawrence has a $750,000 grant from NASA to study a basic problem that would plague astronauts during such a long mission: the lack of gravity would lead to bone loss. Humans form and reshape their bones constantly in response to gravity and other forces and one of the key cells for doing that are osteocytes, long cells nestled into the matrix of bone, she said. "The osteocytes are the managing cell population in the skeleton," said McGee-Lawrence, an associate professor in Cellular Biology and Anatomy. "They do a great job of sensing what is around them and telling everyone else what to do. The osteocyte population senses what is going on and then they tell the osteoblasts how much bone to build and the osteoclasts how much bone they should break down so that the tissue has the ability to adapt and has the best possible structure to withstand the loading it experiences on a routine basis. Basically, it tells everyone what to do so that the tissue is the right shape and size to do the job it needs to do." Adapting bone is important as a response to the environment so that the skeleton has just the right amount of bone needed, she said. "Bone is a very metabolically expensive tissue," McGee-Lawrence said. "It’s heavy and it takes a lot of work to maintain it." One of the ways, and there are many, that bone responds to forces like gravity is possibly through small tears in the osteocytes, known as plasma membrane disruptions. McGee-Lawrence has early work in mice that shows these form routinely in response to gravity and normal activity. Normal cells can easily heal these tears in about 10-30 seconds but they appear to be a signal to the other cells to do the necessary work. The NASA grant is to explore if the opposite will prove true, that the lack of gravity or force causes fewer of these disruptions or interferes with their repair. "We think of repair rate almost like a thermostat where you can speed it up or slow it down and in doing so control the magnitude of the downstream response of that cell," McGee-Lawrence said. A previous study shows that repair rate is out of tune in older osteocytes, which may contribute to bone loss in aging, she said. Her work is building on what is already known to happen in skeletal muscle, that these tears happen in muscle cells and the lack of gravity appears to impair their repair rate, McGee-Lawrence said. "That then is our jumping off point for this project: does bone behave in the same way as muscle?" she said. "And if so, can some of the therapeutic approaches that have been applied to muscle apply to the skeleton?" That would be important to NASA, McGee-Lawrence said. "Both bone and muscle are lost during space flight," she said. "Trying to find ways to prevent that bone and muscle loss or recover it once it has occurred is pretty important in the context of long-term space flights. If you send an astronaut to Mars, you want them to maintain their bone and muscle mass during space flight so when they land you don’t want them to all of a sudden start suffering a lot of fractures and muscle injuries. You want to be able to help them recover whatever they may have lost on that journey, whether they are returning to Earth or maybe some day landing on Mars." Those insights could also help with what happens to people during disuse, such as prolonged bed rest or spinal cord injury and thus could be relevant long before those space flights become possible, McGee-Lawrence said. "NASA gives you interesting problems to pursue that not only advance space travel but come up with novel solutions to problems we face every day here on Earth," she said. "If we can find ways to make bone and also muscle more sensitive to mechanical loading, one goal is maybe you could get some of the same benefits of exercise with a less strenuous exercise program. You can see how that would also be greatly applicable to life here on Earth. Who wouldn’t want to get stronger bone and muscle with less exercise than you would need to otherwise?"
Congratulations Dr. McGee-Lawrence on this fascinating venture!
Heartfelt congratulations to Drs. Graydon Gonsalvez, Carol Nichols, and Patricia Schoenlein in addition to our AU/UGA Medical Partnership, Drs. Thom Gaddy, DeLoris Wenzel and Brett Szymik. All have been selected to receive the MCG Exemplary Teaching Award for their teaching efforts in academic year 2019/2020. The award is given to recognize faculty who have made a significant contribution in either undergraduate or graduate medical education at MCG in the past year.
Congratulations to all!
Dr. Ellen LeMosy will be hosting two students this year through the Summer Scholars Program. They will be working with Dr. LeMosy on a project titled "Extracellular Matrix Tinagl1 in Craniofacial Development and Wnt Signaling." Dr. LeMosy has been mentoring undergraduate student researchers for a number of years and just this past year, one of her trainees (Ms. Brooklyn Zwinklis) was awarded funds from the Provost/Student Research Program. Ms. Zwinklis was one of only two undergraduate students receiving this competitive program vetted through the Department of Medicine's Translational Research Program.
Congrats Dr. LeMosy!
Dr. Barbara Mysona, Assistant Research Scientist, has been notified that she will receive an IGP (intramural grants program) award for her project entitled: “Role of astrocyte-endothelial interactions in von Hippel-Lindau disease.”
Congratulations Barbara and best wishes for a fruitful project!
CBA is pleased to announce that Dr. Yutao Liu, Associate Professor, has been selected to receive one of three grants awarded in the Pilot Grant Program in Aging Research. His project investigates the role of arginase 1 and 2 in age-related eye pressure regulation.
Congratulations Dr. Liu! Another terrific start to the New Year!
CBA is pleased to announce that Dr. Yuqing Huo, Professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy and member of VBC, has been selected for a pilot grant to conduct metabolic analyses of aortic vascular cells of aged mice with aortic aneurysm via scRNSseq approach.
Congratulations Dr. Huo!
CBA is pleased to announce that Dr. Qingqing Wei, Assistant Professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, has been awarded an NIH R01 from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Her project entitled "The regulation and function of long non coding RNA in ischemic AKI: Role of GSTM3P1."
Congratulations Dr. Wei! A terrific start to the New Year!
Please join us in congratulating the recipients of the 2020 Augusta University Research Institute (AURI) research awards!
Congratulations to everyone on these exceptional achievements!
Dr. Mark Hamrick, George G. Weiss Research Professor and Regents' Professor, has been appointed Senior Associate Dean for Research at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. In his new position, Hamrick will work closely with MCG Dean Dr. David Hess and other MCG research leaders to develop a plan to move MCG toward the top 50 in National Institutes of Health funding. Among the nation’s medical schools, MCG currently is ranked 73rd by the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, with nearly $48 million in funding. However, research funding grew to over $65 million last fiscal year, which should move that ranking to somewhere in the 60s. He will work with MCG department chairs and center and institute directors to recruit and retain new federally funded research faculty and identify and develop new research collaborations across MCG departments, other AU colleges and with university and industry partners across Georgia and beyond.
Congratulations Dr. Hamrick!
CBA is pleased to announce that Dr. Patricia Schoenlein was selected by the MCG Class of 2023 as the recipient of the Educator of the Year Award! This is truly an honor – to have our student learners select one of our faculty for this distinction. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Schoenlein for her accomplishment!
Congratulations Dr. Schoenlein!
CBA is pleased to announce that Dr. Anna Edmondson, Professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, was presented the Award for Mentoring Excellence during the MCG Faculty Awards Ceremony October 15, 2020. Dr. Edmondson is a fantastic mentor to both students and faculty and is most deserving of this honor.
Congratulations Dr. Edmondson!
Dr. Zheng Dong, Regents' and Leon H. Charbonnier Endowed Chair of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, has been highlighted in the MCG Deans Diary for his recently published JCI paper regarding the kidney and autophagy.
Congratulations Dr. Hamrick!
Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence, Associate Professor, has been notified that her project "Osteocyte plasma membrane disruptions in skeletal adaption to loading and unloading" has been approved for funding by the Nationa Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and will be awarded effective October 1, 2020. Dr. Mark Hamrick is Co-I on the project for 5% FTE, as is Ms. Maribeth Johnson. Terrific Work!
CBA is pleased to recognize Dr. Anna Edmondson, Professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, who has been invited by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) to join the USMLE Gross Anatomy and Embryology Test Material Development Committee. The NMBE is the group that assesses medical student preparedness and develops a uniform examination for students across the US (the United States Medical Licensing Examination). The test was formerly known as Step I of the USMLE. It is most prestigious that a member of our faculty has been invited to serve on this committee.
Congratulations on this appointment!
September is Women in Medicine Month. Celebrate with us by sharing the women at AU/MCG in medicine who inspire. Today, professor, educator and mentor extraordinaire, Dr. Anna Edmondson, has been recognized by the MCG Office of Faculty Success.
Congratulations to someone who inspires us during Women in Medicine month and everyday!
Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence and colleagues have been awarded an R13 grant to support an upcoming conference entitled: Marrow Adiposity: Bone, Aging, and Beyond – The 6th International Conference of Bone Marrow Adiposity Society.
We are delighted to share great news that our CBA graduate student, Chandler Goldman, successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled: “Determining the Mechanism of Egali1arian-mediacted mRNA transport in Drosophila” on July 20, 2020. His work was mentored by Dr. Graydon Gonsalvez and his committee members were Drs. Jian-Kang Chen, Yutao Liu, Meghan McGee-Lawrence, and Sylvia Smith. Dr. Mark Hamrick served as a reader for the thesis. We are very proud of Chandler’s accomplishment and wish him the best in his future endeavors. Chandler is pursuing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Georgia.
Congratulations Dr. Goldman!
The vision research group on campus (which includes several of our CBA colleagues:
Drs. Liu, Fan, Watsky, Zhang, Caldwell, Smith – and all of their hardworking lab members)
have learned that the P30 (Core Grant for Vision Research) will be awarded. This is
a 5 year award from NIH/NEI (National Eye Institute) to provide resources and support for vision research.
Congratulations to all!
Dr. Anna Edmondson, Professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy, has been selected as the 2020 recipient of the Medical College of Georgia Mentoring Award! This honor is well deserved. Dr. Edmondson has mentored 35 medical students for educational research projects and more in the 90 medical student teaching assistants. She has also helped establish the Pedagogy Interest Workgroup with graduate students interested in a career in medical Education.
Congratulations Dr. Edmondson!
Dr. Zheng Dong's VA merit renewal award entitled “Ischemic Kidney Injury and Kidney Repair” has received notice that it will be funded! This award will continue Dr. Dong’s VA research project through 2025!
Congratulations Dr. Dong!
We are delighted to share with you great news! Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence has been notified that her multi-PI R01 grant titled “Age-Related Kynurenine Accumulation Impairs miRNA and Hdac Epigenetic Regulation of the SDF-1 Axis Resulting in Bone Loss” has been awarded by the National Institute on Aging. The project is a collaborative effort with Dr. William David Hill.
We are delighted to welcome Dr. Jerry Guillot, Associate Professor and Dr. Morganne
Manuel, Assistant Professor as our newest colleagues in the Department of Cellular
Biology and Anatomy. Dr. Guillot joins us from Indiana University and Dr. Manuel recently
completed her PhD training at Louisiana State University. Both of our new colleagues
will be heavily involved in the teaching of medical students and will play key roles
as the new curriculum is implemented.
Congratulations and welcome!
Dr. Anna Edmondson has been promoted to Professor and Dr. Ming Zhang has been promoted
to Associate Professor. Dr. Edmondson plays a key role in the academic mission for
the university and Dr. Zhang is a retinal virologist whose studies are supported by
the National Eye Institute, NIH.
Congratulations on this exemplary accomplishment!
Dr. Carol Nichols, Professor of Cellular Biology and Anatomy has also assumed the
role of Assistant Dean for Curriculum: Foundations of Medicine. This duty, which is
conducted through the Office of Academic Affairs, MCG, reflects Dr. Nichols considerable
efforts in the design of the medical curriculum that is well underway. Congratulations
Dr. Nichols, we look forward to your continued leadership of our medical education
Effective July 1, 2020, two associate professors in our department, Dr. Yutao Liu
and Dr. Meghan McGee-Lawrence have been tenured. Dr. Liu is a geneticist whose work
is supported by NEI, NIH. Dr. McGee-Lawrence is a bone biologist whose research is
funded by National Institute on Aging, NIH. Both of these colleagues play key roles
in the education of our graduate students as well.
Congratulations on this outstanding accomplishment!
The International Society of Medical Educators has just named Dr. Anna Edmondson as
Chair of the IAMSE Nominating Committee. Dr. Edmondson is a long-time, active member
of this society and we thank her for enhancing MCG’s reputation in medical education
through her excellent leadership!
Dr. Zheng Dong and his laboratory have been notified that their manuscript entitled:
p53/microRNA-214/ULK1 axis impairs renal tubular autophagy in diabetic kidney disease
has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Dr. Zhengwei
Ma is first author.
Congrats to all!
Hannah Youngblood has been notified that her F31 pre-doctoral grant will be funded by the NEI! Hannah is a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Yutao Liu, Associate Professor, CBA. Hannah’s project is entitled "Effects of estrogen on trabecular meshwork regulation of intraocular pressure.”
Great job Hannah!
Dr. Graydon Gonsalvez has received an Augusta University Intramural Grant (IGP) for his project “Using proximity ligation to identify the components of a localization complex.”
Well done Dr. Gonsalvez!
Dr. Mark Hamrick has received a notice of grant award from NIH for his NIH R43 award titled “Novel small molecules for the treatment of sarcopenia.” This grant is an SBIR phase 1 award that seeks to commercialize discoveries that Dr. Hamrick and his collaborator Dr. Isales have made in aging research. Congratulations Dr. Hamrick!
Dr. Carol Nichols is the recipient of this year's Distinguished Career Award for Excellence
in Teaching and Educational Scholarship awarded by the International Association of
Medical Science Educators (IAMSE). This is an outstanding achievement and well-deserved
recognition of the tireless efforts Dr. Nichols has made toward medical education
at our institution and beyond.
Congratulations Dr. Nichols!
Ting Liu successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled: “Role of class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase in the renal proximal tubule” on April 17, 2020. Ting has been a fine member of the department and secured a pre-doctoral award from AHA to support her studies. Her thesis work was mentored by Dr. Jian-Kang Chen and her committee members were Drs. Zheng Dong, Adviye Ergul, Graydon Gonsalvez and Patricia Schoenlein and Dr. Sang-Ho Kwon served as the reader for the thesis.
Helen Kaiser successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled: “The role of kynurenine, a tryptophan metabolite that increases with age, in muscle atrophy” on April 16, 2020. Helen has been a great ambassador for the department and the university. Her thesis work was mentored by Dr. Mark Hamrick and her committee members were Drs. Carlos Isales, Yutao Liu and Meghan McGee-Lawrence and Dr. Graydon Gonsalvez served as the reader for the thesis.
Dr. Ellen LeMosy has mentored an undergraduate student Ms. Brooklyn Zwinklis, including
serving as a mentor for the AU CURS program. Just this past week, Dr. LeMosy received
the “High Five” Faculty Award for her exemplary guidance over the past year.
Congratulations Dr. LeMosy!