MUW Cystic Fibrosis Grant, UMMC HIV Testing Center and Millsaps International Perspectives Program | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

MUW Cystic Fibrosis Grant, UMMC HIV Testing Center and Millsaps International Perspectives Program

On Feb. 16 and 17, Millsaps College hosted a campus-wide climate change conference as part of its new International Perspectives Program. Photo courtesy Millsaps College

On Feb. 16 and 17, Millsaps College hosted a campus-wide climate change conference as part of its new International Perspectives Program. Photo courtesy Millsaps College

Ghanshyam Heda, professor of biology at Mississippi University for Women, recently received a $55,000 grant from the Mississippi IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence to aid student research related to cystic fibrosis. Heda, who joined the university in 2008, has received funding for his cystic fibrosis projects for the last eight years. MUW is currently running three research projects to identify drug reagents that can help cystic fibrosis patients.

Two undergraduate senior biology majors at MUW, Shreya Ghimire and Lisa Shrestha, are also working on independent projects under Heda's supervision. Ghimire is determining the effects of therapeutic reagents in a cultured cell model using immunohistochemistry, a technique that uses antibodies to test for antigens and identify diseases. Shrestha is developing a technique for the analysis of the protein that causes cystic fibrosis.

In addition to renewing Heda's research funds, Mississippi-INBRE also approved his request for $14,500 to upgrade an analytical scanner called Azur Biosystem c300 that MUW acquired about a year ago.

For more information, visit muw.edu.

UMMC Opens Free HIV Testing Center

The University of Mississippi Medical Center has opened a new clinic called Express Personal Health on the third floor of the Jackson Medical Mall. The clinic offers free HIV testing for those who may be in danger of infection. The clinic currently has two registered nurse educators and a receptionist.

The Mississippi Department of Health is providing funding for UMMC to operate Express Personal Health and provide HIV screenings—but not on-site treatment—to individuals who are at high risk. UMMC also received a grant from Gilead Sciences, a California-based biopharmaceutical company, to fund free testing for hepatitis B and C, and for the STD syphilis.

Express Personal Health occupies the space that Crossroads Clinic was in before it relocated to the health department's Five Points clinic on the medical mall's first floor in June 2017. That clinic offers STD screening and treatment for STDs, except for HIV. Five Points and Express Personal Health will provide immediate referrals to community clinics and organizations for treatment for those who test positively for that disease.

Testing requires only a blood sample from a finger stick or mouth swab, which a laboratory will then analyze for HIV and deliver results in about 20 minutes. UMMC will link people who test positively with an HIV primary-care provider on the same day.

For more information, visit umc.edu.

Millsaps Hosts First International Perspectives Program Conference

On Feb. 16 and 17, Millsaps College hosted a campus-wide climate change conference as part of its new International Perspectives Program, in which participating students live together in learning communities, hold conversations after classes, learn about the participants' cultures, and also serve as hosts for guest international scholars.

Millsaps history professor William Storey heads the program, which receives funding from a philanthropic organization called the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. Students in the program spent the fall 2017 semester studying climate change from perspectives such as agriculture, health, the arts, teaching, research and service.

Guest lecturers for the inaugural conference included climate change speaker Bruce Northridge from Bay St. Louis, Miss.; Dominika Parry, founder of climate action group 2C Mississippi; Sumesh Arora, director of the Energy and Natural Resources Division of the Mississippi Development Authority; and University of Mississippi Medical Center professors Dr. Alan Penman and Dr. Elise Gomez-Sanchez.

For more information, visit millsaps.edu.

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