Research Announcements

N-95 Disposable Respirator Fit Testing

Colleagues who are required to be fitted annually for a disposable N95 respirator should schedule a fitting between July 10 and July 21. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires fit testing for any employee whose job description indicates a potential for exposure to airborne and/or aerosolized diseases and particles. If you are not sure if you are required to be fit tested, please check with your manager or UNMC Safety.

Per OSHA requirement, you must be fit tested before you use a respirator in the workplace and you must be retested at least annually to make sure that the respirator you use still fits you. You must be fit tested with the specific make, model, style and size of respirator that you will be using.

The fit of your respirator must also be retested whenever you have a change in your physical condition which could affect the fit of your respirator. Such changes could include:

  • Large weight gain or loss
  • Major dental work (such as new dentures)
  • Facial surgery that may have changed the shape of your face
  • Significant scarring in the area of the seal

Any of these changes could affect your respirator’s ability to properly seal to your face, which could allow contaminated air to leak into your respirator face piece.

Beginning July 10, fit testing for disposable N95 respirators will be held in the Durham Outpatient Center, level two, room 2602.You are asked to sign up for a fit testing slot between July 10 and July 21 in Apollo. Log in to Apollo, select “Search for Trainings” on the right-hand side, then type in ”fit testing.”  Note: These sessions will not be conducting fit testing for any reusable half mask or full face respirators.  Contact Employee Health to schedule fit testing for those respirators.

Additional dates will be held in the future for those who are unable to make it during this two-week period.

Here are some additional details for your upcoming appointment:

  1. It will take approximately 20 minutes
  2. Plan to arrive 5 to 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment
  3. You must complete this questionnaire before you arrive
  4. If you are late, you may be asked to reschedule
  5. Males must be clean shaven in the area where the mask will make contact with their skin. Facial hair can affect the respirator’s ability to protect you

For questions, email Employee Health at FitTest@nebraskamed.com

User-Fee Voucher Program for UNMC Advanced Microscopy Core Facility Announced

The Nebraska Center for Cellular Signaling is pleased to announce that funding through a voucher program is available to support usage of the UNMC Advanced Microscopy Core Facility. The facility encompasses microscopes with live-­cell capability as well as a new, state-­of-­the-­art Zeiss ELYRA PS.1 super-­resolution microscope capable of Super-­Resolution Structured Illumination Microscopy (SR-­SIM) and single-­molecule localization techniques such as direct Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (dSTORM) and Photoactivatable Localization Microscopy (PALM). We support an applications specialist whose job is to promote the use of super-­resolution techniques so that a broader swath of the research community uses dSTORM or PALM.

Further information about the core facility and its capabilities may be found on our main website:
https://www.unmc.edu/vcr/cores/vcr-­cores/confocal-­microscopy/index.html

Purpose: The goals of this voucher program are to encourage and support usage of the microscopes by investigators for projects (1) to help acquire preliminary data for external grant applications that would use the core facility and (2) to promote utilization of microscopy in their research by users who are new to the technology.

Description: Vouchers in amounts up to $2,500 per project will be made on a competitive basis for a one-­year duration. These funds will not be allocated directly to the investigators’ laboratories, but would instead be held in an account by the Core Facility to be expended as needed to subsidize usage
fees for the Core for the applicable projects.

Eligibility and Qualifications: The voucher program is not limited to current NCCS investigators, but is available to any faculty members holding tenure ­leading appointments at UNMC, UNO, UNL or Creighton University. Individuals with transient commitments to or from their institutions will NOT be eligible; thus, post-­doctoral fellows and visiting professors and investigators with no more than adjunct appointments are not eligible.

Proposal Requirements: Submit a one-­page description of the entire project in the format of an NIH R-­type specific aims page accompanied by an NIH-­style Bio-Sketch of the Principal Investigator.  Include a cover letter summarizing your past experience with and the usage of microscopy in your research. Be sure to justify your proposed hours of use of the core facility relative to the requested funds. Blanket requests for $2,500 without a thoughtful projection of your likely needs will be given low priority for funding. In addition, you should state how your intended use of the voucher program would either enhance an ongoing project or improve the likelihood of acquiring external funding for a new project. The Executive Committee of the Core Facility will evaluate the proposals and awardees will be notified by email when decisions have been made.

Deadline for receipt of proposals: April 21, 2017
Earliest possible date vouchers would be available: May 15, 2017

For further Information:
Keith Johnson: 402-­559-­3890, kjohnsonr@unmc.edu
Rick MacDonald: 402-­559-­7824, rgmacdon@unmc.edu

Microbiome Research Seminar

Inflammation and dysbiosis in periodontitis: Mechanisms and therapeutic intervention
George Hajishengallis, DDS, PhD, Thomas W. Evans Centennial Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Penn Dental Medicine – Microbiology, Philadelphia, PA

Wednesday, March 8, 2017; 12:00 noon

Dixon Lecture Hall, UNMC, College of Dentistry
40th & Holdrege (UNL East Campus)
Lincoln, NE

Presentation will be livestreamed to CON 2017 on the UNMC campus in Omaha

Hosted by: Dr. Tom Petro

Recent human microbiome analyses and animal model-based mechanistic studies collectively suggest that the pathogenesis of periodontitis is not mediated by a select few bacteria (traditionally known as ‘periopathogens’) but rather involves polymicrobial synergy and dysbiosis. The dysbiosis of the periodontal microbiota represents an alteration in the relative abundance or influence of individual members of the polymicrobial community (relative to their abundance or influence in health) leading to dysregulated host-microbial interactions that mediate destructive inflammation and bone loss. Functional specialization of community participants has given rise to several newly appreciated designations within the commensal-to-pathogen spectrum (e.g., accessory pathogens, keystone pathogens, and pathobionts). Although necessary, the bacteria are not sufficient to cause periodontitis, as it is the host inflammatory response to this polymicrobial challenge that predominantly inflicts damage to the periodontium. It is now well appreciated that the control of periodontal inflammation can indirectly exert antimicrobial effects. This is because periodontitis-associated bacteria thrive in an inflammatory environment. Indeed, the release into the gingival crevicular fluid of inflammatory breakdown products of connective tissue favors the outgrowth of certain species (e.g., proteolytic and asaccharolytic) that can benefit from these microenvironmental alterations.  Briefly stated, an initial inflammatory response (e.g., due to incipient dysbsiosis associated with poor oral hygiene) may select for those bacteria that can give rise to full-blown dysbiosis, thereby exacerbating inflammation and ultimately causing clinically evident periodontitis in susceptible individuals. Therefore, the control of inflammation should not only inhibit tissue damage but also suppress a nutritionally favorable environment that fuels dysbiosis.

All interested faculty, staff and students are invited to attend this presentation. The seminar will be recorded and available for those who cannot attend.