Alumni Magazine

SPR-SUM 2017

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 91

32 PIERCE / SPRING 2017 A s an anatomist, Leila Jabbour is particularly fascinated by the brain. During an internship with a Cleveland-based medical examiner in graduate school, the Pierce assistant professor of Health Sciences developed an interest in how opioid addiction affects the brain at the molecular and cellular levels. With a little investigative work, she discovered a gap in specific research on the topic. Thanks to funding from the Institutional Development Award, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, Jabbour is currently analyzing, in collaboration with other investigators in the field of drug addiction, 28 brain specimens to determine differential gene expression in addicted humans. Five Franklin Pierce students are researching with her. Under her guidance, Jabbour's students will present their findings at the next Society for Neuroscience annual conference in Washington, D.C. "The students are working on testing different regions of the brain, looking for specific molecules," she explains. "We are a small school that still has emerging research options. It is the best of both worlds." The professor takes every opportunity to expose students to experiential learning. At the conclusion of her anatomy and physiology course, they can attend an autopsy demonstration. In senior seminar, they write papers for submission to peer reviewed journals. Last May, Courtney Caputo '16 and Erin Wood '16 co-authored a paper with Jabbour on the impact of fetal alcohol exposure that was published in Embryo Today: Reviews. Jabbour says Pierce has been supportive of her efforts. She was given a space in Marcucella Hall to use as a lab, as well as additional funding for her brain research. "There is a real open- mindedness," she says, "about this type of work on campus." BY JANA F. BROWN PHOTOGRAPHS BY ANDREW CUNNINGHAM Leila Jabbour: Using the Brain As provost, Kim Mooney '83 Ph.D. enhanced the process for faculty evaluation and promotion in rank, ensuring the long-term academic health of Franklin Pierce. Mooney has continued to encourage the highest standards of scholarship and creative work in her inaugural year as president. Faculty accomplishment is judged, first and foremost, through excellence in teaching, but is also linked to advising, institutional service and scholarship/creative work. Motivated by the expectations for their advancement, several faculty have taken advantage of the supportive atmosphere and funding at Pierce to pursue their own research interests, many of them anchored by student participation. "Students want a strong sense of their futures before graduation," says Mooney. "They want to see what people do in various professions, and that experience helps make them better [ job] candidates." In the classrooms, professors are free to teach creatively, to provide experiences in learning. "This faculty is so deeply committed to helping students be successful, not just in earning their degrees," continues Mooney, "but in life." Spotlight on Academics Raising the Bar for Faculty Enriches Students' Classroom Experience Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree introduced First doctoral hooding ceremony held Master of Science Nursing degree introduced 2009 THE UNIVERSITY AT

Articles in this issue

view archives of Alumni Magazine - SPR-SUM 2017