Meeting of Ohio Physiological Society at Wright State abundant with research

The annual meeting of the Ohio Physiological Society brought researchers from around the state to the Boonshoft School of Medicine. (Photo by Andrea Belle Studios, LLC)

About 150 students and faculty conducting physiology and biomedical research at universities around the state gathered at Wright State University to showcase their work.

The 34th annual meeting of the Ohio Physiological Society was held at the Wright State Boonshoft School of Medicine on Sept. 20–21. Wright State researchers were joined by those from The Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, University of Toledo, Kent State University, Ohio University and other universities.

Sponsors of the event included the American Physiological Society, Kent Scientific Corp., ADInstruments, Azer Scientific, Aurora Scientific, Hunt Optics & Imaging, and Wright State’s College of Science & Mathematics.

Provost Susan Edwards, who helped judge student poster presentations and interacted with students at their posters, called the gathering “fabulous.”

“The science was awesome and the students’ presentations were of an exceptionally high caliber,” she said. “The organizers did a really great job putting it together.”

There were sessions on kidney function in health and disease as well as skeletal muscle physiology and ion channels in physiology and disease. There were also more than 70 presentations of research abstracts in the categories of muscle physiology and disease; cancer and cell proliferation; nervous system and disease; kidney, circulation and placenta; and physiology and pathophysiology II.

There were presentations on the importance of copper regulation in maintaining healthy muscles and developing therapies to help repair muscle in cases of muscular dystrophy or muscle injury. There were also presentations on the search for potential treatments for fatal brain tumors and a potential new approach to treating lupus with the help of nanoparticles.

“The conference was a success,” said Andrew Voss, associate professor of biological sciences and president of the Ohio Physiological Society. “It was a great way to showcase the work being done at Wright State and for researchers all over Ohio to share their findings.”

Robert Dirksen, chair of the University of Rochester’s Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, delivered the plenary session address. Dirksen’s research is aimed at advancing treatment for muscular dystrophy and heart disease.

Eric S. Bennett, professor and chair of neuroscience, cell biology, and physiology, welcomed attendees to the event. “It was a wonderful experience talking with scientists about the exciting work being done throughout the state of Ohio,” said Bennett. “The highlight of the meeting for me was hearing students and other young scientists presenting their impressive and significant findings with such enthusiasm and clarity.”

The following students earned Travel Awards for their posters, receiving $750 apiece to attend the 2020 Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego:

Rishi Mehta from the University of Cincinnati, ADInstruments Undergraduate Student Travel Award

Tara-Yesomi Wenegieme from Wright State University, Kent Scientific Undergraduate Student Travel Award

Darren Gordon from the University of Toledo, Aurora Scientific Graduate Student Travel Award

Hannah Newton from the University of Cincinnati, Peter K. Lauf Graduate Student Travel Award

Amjad Aljagthmi from Wright State University, Peter K. Lauf Graduate Student Travel Award

Grace Adkins from the College of Wooster, Folkesson Undergraduate Student Travel Award

The following students earned Honorable Mention Awards, each receiving a $50 Amazon gift card.

T Alex Ruwe, graduate student from the University of Cincinnati

Elizabeth R. Evans, graduate student from Ohio University

Jessica Myers, graduate student from Wright State University

Vaibhavkumar Gawali, postdoctoral fellow from the University of Cincinnati

Vighnesh Ramesh, undergraduate student from the University of Cincinnati

Usman Ashraf, graduate student from the University of Toledo

Dylan Schindele, undergraduate student from Wright State University


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