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Missouri State Journal

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The Missouri State Journal is a weekly program keeping you in touch with Missouri State University

Gene therapy is the insertion, alteration, or removal of genes or gene particles within an individual’s cells and biological tissues to treat disease. It is an experimental technique that may eventually allow doctors to treat a disorder by inserting a gene into a patient’s cells instead of using drugs or surgery.

Dr. Robert Delong, assistant professor of biomedical sciences, is the lead investigator of a Missouri State University study that is investigating ways that gene therapy could be used to treat cancer.

Delong said gene therapy has two primary barriers – getting the gene particles into a cell and keeping the cell from attacking the gene.

His research team at Missouri State includes Dr. Kartik Ghosh, Dr. Adam Wanekaya, and Dr. Richard Garrad and a group of undergraduate researchers. The team is investigating how nano-materials can be used to gain access to the cell and protect the gene segment.

Delong said current cancer treatments rely on chemotherapy, which has a very nonspecific way that it attacks cancer cells, therefore, other cells are also damaged, which causes people to get very sick from the treatment.

Missouri State’s specific area of inquiry is in how to use naturally occurring elements to deliver the treatment.



The written word can take many forms, from poetry to prose, and each is an art form. William Trowbridge, often described as a clever, sardonic, comic poet, will visit Missouri State University on Feb. 25 from 7-8 p.m. in the Carrington Hall auditorium. A reception will immediately follow. Marcus Cafagna, associate professor of English, discusses Trowbridge's body of work.

For more information on William Trowbridge, visit http://williamtrowbridge.net.

Missouri State University is dedicated to the community in which we reside, and one great service the School of Accountancy provides to the area is volunteer income tax assistance or VITA. Dr. Sandra Byrd, professor of accounting and director of the Missouri State Low Income Tax Clinic, discusses the services, changes and ideas for getting more from your return this year.

A detailed schedule of the VITA clinics is available at www.missouristate.edu/soa/. For more information, call 211 from a cell phone or 1-800-427-4626.

Wedding season is around the corner and that means future brides all over the country are trying to get fit for their big day. Wedding websites are full of discussion boards with women giving each other advice on working out and eating healthy, as well as moral support and accountability. Dr. Barbara Bushman, professor in the department of health, physical education and recreation at Missouri State University; and Natalie Allen, instructor of biomedical sciences specializing in dietetics, explain that this special event can be a catalyst for long-term change but shouldn't be the sole motivator.

Missouri State University, in conjunction with community and corporate sponsors, is hosting a series of speakers and workshops designed to build partnerships, promote cultural competence and facilitate diversity-related planning in the community.

More information...

Due to its strong commitment to a mission in public affairs, Missouri State University was selected for the 2010 Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teachning. Elizabeth Strong, associate director for the office of citizenship and service learning and acting director of the study away office at Missouri State, led the university through this process and discusses this honor.

A complete listing is available at www.carnegiefoundation.org.

On Jan. 13, 1981, a certificate of incorporation was issued by the Missouri State Secretary of State to the then-Southwest Missouri State University Foundation, Inc. Thirty years later and with a total of $220 million in gifts and commitments, the Foundation has launched its year-long anniversary celebration. The Foundation’s current $125 million campaign is well underway, and the Foundation today announced 30 new scholarships and several significant gifts totaling nearly $3 million.

More information...

Veteran journalist Dante Chinni (PBS NewsHour) will speak on "Our Patchwork Nation: The Ozarks and the Road Ahead" at 7:30 PM, January 24 in Meyer Library Room 101.

Chinni is project director of Patchwork Nation, an effort to get beyond the red/blue map of American politics by dividing the nation's 3,141 counties into 12 community types. Nixa, Missouri is the community the project chose to represent the country’s 468 or so Evangelical Epicenter counties. In the past, Chinni has worked for the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. Together with James Gimpel, he is the author of the newly released Our Patchwork Nation: The Surprising Truth About the "Real" America, The 12 Community Types That Make Up Our Nation (Gotham Books, 2010). The book includes an entire chapter on Nixa, Missouri.

Veteran journalist Dante Chinni has worked for the Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, and the Project for Excellence in Journalism. He is native of a Detroit, Michigan area. He is project director of Patchwork Nation.

For more information on Chinni, see www.dantechinni.com

For more information on the project, see www.patchworknation.org

As the new year begins, many people make resolutions about ways to improve their lives. And some of those resolutions will involve money. Dr. Sandra Byrd is a professor of accountancy at Missouri State University. She offers some tips about how to improve your financial situation.