Alumni Magazine

FAL-WIN 2018

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

Issue link: https://franklinpierce.epubxp.com/i/1049165

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N early one in 10 babies born in the U.S. requires some degree of intervention to take their first breaths. An endotracheal tube may need to be inserted in the tiny airway within seconds or minutes of birth, a life-saving procedure that requires speed and precision. Dr. Paula McWilliam, director of nursing at Franklin Pierce, has assembled a research team and developed a prototype device, the Sensor-Integrated Laryngoscope, to measure the torque and force applied to insert the tube. The device provides objective data to guide first responders and medical personnel learning and using the technique. "In newborns, every attempt to intubate doubles or triples the risk of infection," said McWilliam. "The ultimate goal is to reduce errors and injury." McWilliam's team includes faculty and students from Pierce's nursing and physical therapy programs. They recently collaborated with the Laerdal Company of Norway to test the laryngoscope on a beta version of their SimBaby manikin, a highly realistic infant simulator that helps clinicians develop critical "muscle memory" for proper technique. McWilliam has partnered with Dr. Louis Halamek, a professor in the Neonatal and Developmental Medicine division at Stanford University, and faculty from the College of Engineering and Physical Science at University of N.H., to design and prototype the laryngoscope. McWilliam's research is supported by N.H.-INBRE (IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) in collaboration with the N.H.-INBRE lead institution, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and several partner institutions including Franklin Pierce. — Julie Rizzo NURSING RESEARCH Nursing Research: Improving Babies' First Breaths FACING PAGE AND THIS PAGE: ANDREW CUNNINGHAM SAVING LIVES E very day, more than 90 Americans die aer overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which recently issued a report citing that the misuse of and addiction to opioids, including prescription pain relievers, heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, is a serious national crisis affecting public health and social and economic welfare. Annalea "Annie" Wohlgemuth '20 is assisting Dr. Leila Jabbour, associate professor of health sciences at Pierce, with her research on the effect of opioids on the human brain. Jabbour's current project is focused on mapping expression of ΔFosB in postmortem human brain specimens obtained following opioid overdoses. "Our long-term goal is to better understand addiction resulting from the abuse of opioids, by analyzing differential gene expression in the specimens we have on hand," she said. e research is funded by N.H.-INBRE of the National Institutes of Health. As a student research assistant, Wohlgemuth prepares brain tissue slides to be analyzed by Jabbour. e tissues are harvested from the hippocampus, nucleus accumens and amygdala, areas that control fear and are affected by the presence of opioids. "First, tissue samples are dewaxed and affixed to a specimen slide," she said. "e tissue slide is baked in a hybridization oven and then blocked with horse serum. A primary and secondary antibody is applied and rinsed off. Diaminobenzidine, an organic compound that is used in the staining of nucleic acids and proteins, most commonly for immunohistochemical procedures, is applied and counterstained." e process takes a couple of hours, and Wohlgemuth said the experience is invaluable. "Hands-on experience in the field of science is so very important," she said. "is opportunity allows me to relate this research to my ongoing coursework. If I were not at FPU, I would not be as successful as I have been." Last year, Wohlgemuth was inducted into the Alpha Chi academic honor society. Members must be in the top 10 percent of their class and be nominated by a faculty member. "Annalea Wolhgemuth is the type of multidimensional student that Franklin Pierce University attracts and mentors for optimal success during their time here," said Provost James DuMond. And Wohlgemuth agrees about mentoring. "e professors always answer their emails and are available during their office hours to assist in any way they can." — Alexa Wallace '16 MBA '19 Ravens Research Opioid Crisis FALL / WINTER 2018 PIERCE 9 Annalea "Annie" Wohlgemuth '20 in Dr. Leila Jabbour's lab.

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