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Doctoral student Faizule Hassan at work
Doctoral student Faizule Hassan of Michael Kennedy's lab, is studying cellular, molecular and structural biology.

Undergrads contribute to pancreatic cancer research

What is metabonomics?

Metabonomics is the study of the change in an individual’s metabolic profile (usually in urine, blood or stool samples) in response to drug treatment, environmental changes and diseases. Animals and human patients show consistent metabolic responses to disease, and to both desirable and adverse effects of drugs. Metabonomics is metabolites, whereas genomics is concerned with DNA and genes and proteomics is concerned with proteins.

Following on the heels of genomics and proteomics, metabonomics may lead to more efficient drug discovery, individualized patient drug therapy, and discovery of biomarkers for human diseases that can be used for early detection, identifying individuals with predisposition for disease, monitoring disease progression, assessing therapeutic efficacy of treating disease, and better understanding disease etiology.  

Michael A. Kennedy
Michael A. Kennedy

The lab's director, this Ohio Eminent Scholar in Structural Biology and professor of chemistry is in his seventh year at Miami.

The Center for Structural Biology and Metabonomics is one of 14 Health Care/Biomedicine Ohio Centers of Excellence. Under Michael Kennedy's direction, work in the center involves extensive National Institutes of Health (NIH)- funded collaborations with researchers and physicians at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, including a study to discover biomarkers for early detection of necrotizing enterocolitis, a disease that afflicts preterm infants in which the tissue of the small intestine dies, leading to death or a lifetime of health consequences. Kennedy also has National Institutes of Health funding from the National Cancer Institute to use metabolic profiling to discover biomarkers for early detection of pancreatic cancer using a transgenic mouse model.

Kennedy's lab involves many undergraduates, doctoral students, a postdoctoral researcher and two senior research scholars. Kennedy especially encourages undergraduate students to get involved in research, even beginning in their first year at Miami through the First Year Research Experience or FYRE Program, which he co-founded in 2009.

Kennedy is working to establish Miami University as the "go-to" site for medical researchers at hospitals in Ohio that require an interdisciplinary approach in order to address difficult medical research problems. His lab, equipped with an 850 MHz NMR spectrometer and two 600 MHz NMR spectrometers, offers an array of solutions for medical research, including structural biology studies of proteins that play important roles in pancreatic cancer and other human diseases, metabonomics and metabolic profiling of human cancer cell lines, small animal models for human diseases, and human clinical samples for cancer and childhood diseases.

In addition to disease-related research, Kennedy's lab at Miami is one of nine members of the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medicine-funded Northeast Structural Genomics (NESG) consortium, a research program led by Rutgers University by Principal Investigator Gaetano Montelione. 
Kennedy's lab has been funded by the project since 2000. Researchers in Kennedy's lab use NMR spectroscopy, EPR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography to experimentally determine new three-dimensional protein structures that are deposited into the public database known as the Protein Data Bank, i.e. the PDB.

Written by Claire Wagner, University Communications and Marketing

Published April 2013

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Doctoral student Michelle Veite

Doctoral student Michelle Veite

Veite works with the 850 MHz NMR spectrometer, which is used in metabolic profiling and structural biology studies of proteins that play important roles in diseases.
Senior Laura LoBuglio

Senior Laura LoBuglio

It's biochemistry major Laura LoBuglio's first year working in the lab. Paige Larney, next to Laura, is a sophomore biochemistry major.
Junior Nathan Friesel

Junior Nathan Friesel

From Germantown, Friesel is a chemistry and zoology major with a minor in molecular biology. Graduate students and undergrads work together in the lab.
Doctoral student Tafadzwa Chihanga

Doctoral student Tafadzwa Chihanga

Sophomore Sarah Hausmann

Sophomore Sarah Hausmann

Microbiology major Sarah Hausmann is also a member of the lab team. Many students begin in Kenney’s lab their freshman year through the FYRE program: First-Year Research Experience.

What is metabonomics?

Metabonomics is the study of the change in an individual’s metabolic profile (usually in urine, blood or stool samples) in response to drug treatment, environmental changes and diseases. Animals and human patients show consistent metabolic responses to disease, and to both desirable and adverse effects of drugs. Metabonomics is metabolites, whereas genomics is concerned with DNA and genes and proteomics is concerned with proteins.

Following on the heels of genomics and proteomics, metabonomics may lead to more efficient drug discovery, individualized patient drug therapy, and discovery of biomarkers for human diseases that can be used for early detection, identifying individuals with predisposition for disease, monitoring disease progression, assessing therapeutic efficacy of treating disease, and better understanding disease etiology.  

Locations
Luxembourg
West Chester
Middletown
Hamilton
Oxford
  • Luxembourg
    Luxembourg

    John E. Dolibois European Center, Luxembourg

    One of Miami's oldest continuous study abroad programs, the Miami University John E. Dolibois Center (MUDEC) in Luxembourg offers students the opportunity to enroll in Miami classes taught by European-based and Ohio-based Miami faculty. Students enjoy a unique combination of first-class academics, engagement in the local community, and various faculty-guided and independent travel opportunities.

    Contact and emergency information for the Luxembourg Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    Château de Differdange
    1, Impasse du Château
    L-4524 Differdange
    Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
    luxembourg@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/luxembourg

    217-222 MacMillan Hall
    531 E. Spring Street
    Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA

    Directions

    Main Operator: 011-352-582222-1
    Oxford-based Coordinator: 513-529-5050
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • West Chester
    West Chester

    Voice of America Learning Center

    Located midway between Cincinnati and Dayton along I-75, the Voice of America Learning Center (VOALC) offers undergraduate and graduate courses and programs drawn from Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses. Home to Miami's MBA program, the Learning Center provides ready access to graduate programs for area educators and courses leading to the BIS degree for undergraduates.

    Contact and emergency information for the Voice of America Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    7847 VOA Park Dr.
    (Corner of VOA Park Dr. and Cox Rd.)
    West Chester, OH 45069
     
    voalc@MiamiOH.edu
    MiamiOH.edu/voalc

    Printable Floor Plan
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-895-8862
    (From Middletown) 513-217-8862
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Middletown
    Middletown

    Middletown Regional Campus

    Nestled on 141 acres near I-75, Miami University Middletown offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Nearby Greentree Health Science Academy immerses Miami's nursing and health information technology students in the health care experience while taking classes.

    Contact and emergency information for the Middletown Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

     4200 N. University Blvd.
    Middletown, OH 45042
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-727-3200
    (Toll-free) 1-86-MIAMI-MID
    Office of Admission: 513-727-3216
    Campus Status Line: 513-727-3477
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Hamilton
    Hamilton

    Hamilton Regional Campus

    A compact, friendly, commuter campus, Miami Hamilton offers bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and beginning coursework for most four-year degrees. Small class sizes, on-site child care, and flexible scheduling make Miami Hamilton attractive to students at all stages of life and career.

    Contact and emergency information for the Hamilton Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    1601 University Blvd.
    Hamilton, OH 45011
    regionalwebmaster@MiamiOH.edu
    regionals.MiamiOH.edu

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-785-3000
    Office of Admission: 513-785-3111
    Campus Status Line: 513-785-3077
    Emergency info: regionals.MiamiOH.edu/emergency

  • Oxford
    Oxford

    Miami University, Oxford Ohio

    Nationally recognized as one of the most outstanding undergraduate institutions, Miami University is a public university located in Oxford, Ohio. With a student body of 16,000, Miami effectively combines a wide range of strong academic programs with faculty who love to teach and the personal attention ordinarily found only at much smaller institutions.

    Contact and emergency information for the Oxford Campus. Starting with general contact info on the left; additional contact and emergency information on the right.

    501 E. High St.
    Oxford, OH 45056

    Printable Campus Map
    Directions

    Main Operator: 513-529-1809
    Office of Admission: 513-529-2531
    Vine Hotline: 513-529-6400
    Emergency info: MiamiOH.edu/emergency