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6th Annual Midwest Graduate Research Symposium

MGRS Logo 2015

On Saturday, March 21st, 2015, graduate students from across the nation will be coming to campus for the 6th Annual Midwest Graduate Research Symposium, presented by The University of Toledo’s Graduate Student Association (GSA). This all day event is a great opportunity for graduate students of all disciplines to present research, network, and form intercollegiate collaborations and friendships. Throughout the day, participants will have the chance to compete for awards for the best oral and poster presentations about their research. All participants will receive certificates, with the award winners receiving plaques. There will also be a monetary award given to the top woman in a STEM field presenting at the conference. The event includes three meals, ending the day with an awards dinner featuring a nationally recognized keynote speaker.

This year’s keynote speaker is world renowned transplant surgeon and researcher, Dr. Michael Rees. Dr. Rees earned his M.D. at the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge. He currently serves as a physician under UT Health. Dr. Rees will be speaking about “What it Means to be Human.”

The event is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. through 7:30 p.m. and will take place in various locations in the Memorial Field House and Student Union.

Graduate students can register for free before February 28th, 2015. Registration can be  completed online by clicking: Here

For further details about the event, please click: Here

If you have any questions about the event or are interested in participating, volunteering or registering as a judge, please contact the Graduate Student Association at graduatestudentassociation@gmail.com.

Apply Now!! Graduate Student Association- Research Award 2015

The Graduate Student Association at the University of Toledo has just opened their annual application for the competitive Graduate Research Award for the 2014-2015 year. If chosen, one can obtain an award up to $2000 to aid with approved research projects. I encourage you to apply for this award as the deadline is November 21st, 2014.

Application: (GSA Research Award 2015)

The First GSA meeting of the year will also be on Tuesday, September 16: Meeting at MC Law Center 1002 6:00-8:00pm. I encourage you to come participate! More information about the GSA can be found at: (GSA)

~Your GSA Team~



Graduate /Professional Students– Vote For Your GSA Officers For 2014-2015!

Dear University of Toledo Graduate and Professional Students,

     Thank you for the opportunity to serve as President of GSA this year. We had a very successful year and I am proud to contribute those successes to my great officers and to the GSA TEAM! The GSA team this year increased the utilization and number of graduate/ professional students we served by over 300%!! Some of our biggest accomplishments include increasing the amount of travel reimbursement from $9800 to over $36,000. Participation from students at the GSA meetings this year has increased by 214% from last year. The GSA has also co-sponsored 11 graduate organizations for projects and provided $10,000 in research awards this year.

The Graduate Student Association is excited to announce that voting season has arrived and voting is now open to elect GSA officers for the 2014-2015-school season!

 Remember that your vote is your voice! Voting is encouraged from all graduate and professional students. Voting takes less than 60 seconds. Please follow the link provided to vote:




If you would like more information about some the nominees than their Bio provides, please click the flowing links:

 Aaron Shaw https://www.facebook.com/events/246427868875428/

 Laumer, Hughes and Vrtiska


UT GSA: https://www.facebook.com/groups/UToledoGSA/  


Vote Aaron Shaw- GSA President

“What It Means to Be Human”- Wednesday Lunchtime Ethics Lecture Provided by Dr. Rees and the GSA

Ethics Lecture 2014

Participate in the 2014 5th Annual Midwest Graduate Research Symposium!

MGRS Flier 2014

2014 Midwest Graduate Research Sympsoium

Administrators, Faculty and Graduate/ Professional students,

I would like to take a moment and invite you to this year’s 5th Annual Midwest Graduate Research Symposium which will be held on March 29th, 2014. This event will take place at the University of Toledo Memorial Field House. The Midwest Graduate Research Symposium is the largest multidisciplinary symposium in the midwest. This event is the perfect opportunity for students such as yourself to practice your presentation skills and share your work. You will have the opportunity to present and network with students and faculty from over 65+ graduate universities in the Midwest. This all day symposium will include graduate student presentations (poster and oral), an awards ceremony and will end with a dinner and keynote speaker.Last year we had over 200 in participation and over 300 to attend the event.  Online registration is open and is free to all graduate students. The deadline to register for this years Symposium is February 28th.


We also need Judges– If you are interested in Judging please take a minute to register.



 Participant Registrant: 



Also- for more information please visit our website: www.utoledogsa.com



Thank you so much,



Aaron P. Shaw M.S., PA-S1
The University of Toledo
President- Graduate Student Association
College of Medicine and Life Sciences
Masters of Science in Biomedical Science
Physician Assistant- Class 2015
Office: SU1509
(419) 340-0692

Apply Now!! GSA Graduate Research Awards 2014

The University of Toledo Graduate Student Association has opened applications for the 2014 Graduate Research Awards. This is a chance for graduate and professional students to get up to $2000 from the GSA to help with the expenses of their research. For more Information please visit http://www.utoledo.edu/graduate/currentstudents/gsa/index.html

GSA Research Award 2014

First GSA Meeting this Thursday at 6pm!!

Toledo’s Midwest Graduate Research Symposium free deadline extended to April 5th due to increased regional and national interest!!

The Value of Prevention – A Broad Prospective

My interest in prevention of cardiovascular diseases started well before I started my Masters degree at UT in Exercise Physiology focusing specifically in cardiopulmonary physiology. Below is a current illustration of our nation’s current debt and assets. The numbers are absolutely staggering to say the least. So… what exactly is the value of cardiovascular disease prevention, and will the savings from prevention make a difference?

Chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease and other underlying causes such as obesity and tobacco use affect more than 130 million people, nearly half the population of the US. This burden consumes 75% of health care spending or $1.5 trillion annually… Now we’re talking!! If you still need a bit of convincing that prevention is best, the US spends 96% of Medicare dollars and 83% of Medicaid dollars on people with chronic conditions. High chronic disease and obesity rates are annually responsible for over $1 trillion in lost productivity in the workplace. The direct and indirect costs of CVD in the United States have been projected by the American Heart Association to increase from $272.5 and $171.7 billion in 2010 to $818.1 and $275.8 billion in 2030, respectively. The estimated cost of diabetes mellitus in the United States in 2007 was $174 billion, with 28% of expenditures attributed to cardiovascular complications of diabetes mellitus. Thus, most employers have invested in prevention wellness programs with positive results: (IBM has saved more than $175 million utilizing these programs, resulting in health care premiums that are 6-15% below industry averages. The CDC reported that for every dollar spent on prevention, $18.40 is saved. A study based on a simulation model found that for every $1 invested in building parks, and recreational areas such as trails, nearly $3 in medical cost savings may be achieved. A recent meta-analysis showed that medical costs fell by $3.27 and absenteeism costs fell by $2.73 for every dollar spent on worksite wellness programs.

When comparing the investment of prevention with the detriment of disease, one can see that it is simply a NO-BRAINER -that if together, we started to make healthy choices it would make a huge positive impact on our current economic situation!


(Weintraub et al., 2011)
Devol R, Bedroussian A. An Unhealthy America: The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease. The Milken Institute. October 2007. Available at: www.chronicdiseaseimpact.com .
More program examples are available online at: www.fightchronicdisease.org/promisingpractices  and www.prevent.org/lbe  .
Full program description available at: http://promisingpractices.fightchronicdisease.org/programs/detail/ibm  .
Full program description available at: http://promisingpractices.fightchronicdisease.org/programs/detail/heath_care_university
Weintraub, W. S., Daniels, S. R., Burke, L. E., Franklin, B. A., Goff, D. C., Jr., Hayman, L. L., et al. (2011). Value of primordial and primary prevention for cardiovascular disease: a policy statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 124(8), 967-990.

The Future is Bright- Let A Little Sunlight into Your Heart

      Summer is my favorite time of the year simply because it is warm and the sunlight makes me feel good. In the winter, the sunlight frequents us much less often- but does that affect us?

      On average, humans used to spend at least half a day exposed to sunlight before electricity. Nowadays, exposure to sunlight is highly discouraged for fear of skin cancer and modern lifestyles are built around spending long hours inside exposed to artificial light. There is evidence that Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) in the form of sunlight is a significant factor for non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers in pale skinned people. Since our skin is a very large organ, about two square meters in an average adult male, exposure to the sun- whether risky or beneficial will impact us significantly. Similar to stroke, rates of acute coronary syndromes (including unstable angina, acute myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death) are highest in the winter months with shorter hours of sunlight.

Two benefits of sunlight:

Vitamin D:    Vitamin D is formed when ultraviolet B (UVB) hits the skin and mediates photolysis of 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin.

Melatonin:      Melatonin is produced from serotonin by the pineal gland located in the center of the brain during periods of darkness, and its release is suppressed as a function of visible light intensity sensed through ocular photoreceptors.

      In the 1970’s it was observed in several studies that people had consistently lower blood pressure in the summer than in the winter. It was found that the prevalence of mean population diastolic and systolic blood pressures correlate directly with latitude, being higher in populations living further from the equator. Recent studies have also confirmed this by demonstrating that biologically relevant doses of UVA lead to a sustained reduction in blood pressure. With a reduction in blood pressure, and a 20 mmHg lower systolic blood pressure- this leads to a two-fold reduction in overall mortality in both men and women aged 40-69 years. With this in mind, moderate exposure to sunlight may also reduce the economic burden of CVD. One study estimated this amount to be $519 Billion for hypertension, heart disease, and stroke in the USA (Combined impact of healthcare costs and lost economic output).This could potentially translate into hundreds of thousands of person- years of life and $Billions saved each year- (What a convenient way to boost our economy!).

      If you have read my past articles, you know that I am a fan of arginine and Nitric Oxide (NO). In a recent study, it was found that moderate exposure to sunlight may activate bound stores of NO in the skin and mobilize it to its bioactive form. Nitrites, a byproduct of NO has long been considered biologically inert at low concentrations, but is now known to not only dilate blood vessels on its own, but to protect organs against ischemia/ reperfusion. Skin bound NO stores are in equilibrium with circulating nitrite in un-irradiated individuals, and dietary-derived nitrite may therefore increase the skin “NO” reservoir. Nitrite and NO are generated on the skin surface by reduction of sweat nitrate and possibly the oxidation of ammonia. A recent study demonstrated that UVA irradiation can increase plasma nitrite levels by 40%. The adult cardiovascular system may be more susceptible to the beneficial effects of sunlight- related NO release compared to children considering that the demographic is transitioning to an ageing world population with enhanced CVD.

So……… Next time the sun hits your face and you feel its warmth- remember—It might be doing much more for you than you think!


Is sunlight good for our heart? (2010). European Heart Journal, 1-5.

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A journal about how the people at UT Medical Center are improving the human condition. UTMC provides compassionate, university-caliber patient care while supporting and enhancing the health education of The University of Toledo.

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