School of Medicine Researchers Uncover Genetic Basis for Several Birth Defects

A multidisciplinary research team at Case Western Reserve University led by Gary Landreth, a professor in the School of Medicine's Department of Neurosciences, has uncovered a common genetic pathway for a number of birth defects that affect the development of the heart and head. Abnormal development of the jaw, palate, brain and heart are relatively common congenital defects and frequently arise due to genetic errors that affect a key developmental pathway.

The research, titled "Mouse and human phenotypes indicate a critical conserved role for ERK2 signaling in neural crest development" is published in the November 10 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Landreth, also the senior author of the study, developed a mouse model of these disorders by removing a gene central to this developmental pathway, called ERK2. He, together with William Snider at the University of North Carolina, discovered that the mice missing the gene for ERK2 in neural crest cells had developmental defects resembling those of human patients with a deletion that includes this gene. The patients have features that are similar to DiGeorge syndrome, which is associated with cardiac and palate defects. Interestingly, the ERK2 gene is central to a well-known pathway already associated with a different distinct group of cardiac and craniofacial syndromes that include Noonan, Costello, Cardiofaciocutaneous syndrome, and LEOPARD syndrome. Read more.

Les Paul to Take Part in Campus Symposium Nov. 15


Guitar legend Les Paul will be on the Case Western Reserve University campus for a day-long symposium focused on his life and work. Paul, whose works are being lauded during the 13th annual American Music Masters series this week, will talk about his career and legacy on Saturday, November 15, during "Rock and Roll Retrospective: The Les Paul Phenomenon." The "father of the electric guitar," Paul revolutionized the recording industry and his performance technique continues to inspire countless guitarists, from Eric Clapton and The Who's Pete Townshend to college students jamming on the Les Paul model controller for the popular video game Guitar Hero.

The American Music Masters Conference, hosted by Case Western Reserve University's Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities in conjunction with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Gibson Guitars, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wolstein Research Building, 2103 Cornell Road. The Retrospective is part of a week-long series of films, lectures, educational programs and concerts celebrating Paul. Read more.

Campus News

There will be a planned 15 minute Internet outage at 11 p.m. tonight. This maintenance will resolve some of the issues left over from last Friday's maintenance. Access through the Internet to/from systems on campus will be impacted. Those who are off campus during this time period will not be able to access any on-campus servers, including, e-mail, Oracle calendar, the Case portal, VPN, HCM, SIS or any system that requires Single Sign-on. Those who are on campus will be able to access these systems. However, there will be no access to the Internet, nor will users be able to receive incoming e-mail messages or be able to send e-mail during this period. All outgoing e-mail messages will be queued and delivered after the outage. Incoming messages sent by other service providers will be queued according to the other providers' rules. Phone service, building access, security, and telemetry services will not be affected by this outage.

The Society of Women Engineers is hosting a trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Science Center Saturday, November 15. All students interested in going on the trip should meet outside of Fribley or at the Village at 115 Starbucks at 1 p.m. The two groups will meet and take the RTA to the museums. Students must bring their RTA pass and Case Western Reserve ID. Students get in free to both museums with their university ID; no ticket is required. This social outing is open to the entire campus community.

The Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations invites the campus community to an open house from 5:30-7 p.m., Wednesday, November 12, at its new building. Employees can take advantage of the university's tuition waiver benefit for the master's degree in nonprofit management. Refreshments will be served. Call 368-6025 or go to the program's Web site.

The Kelvin Smith Library staff invites the campus community to look at the humanities in a new way with a morning workshop in text encoding for the humanities with a workshop on Text Encoding Initiative. Of particular interest to those in English, history, philosophy and humanities-related studies, the workshop will be held 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, November 12. The attendance policy is posted online at CaseLearns, where users also can register and review the semester calendar.

For Faculty and Staff

A faculty development workshop on the topic of "What I Wish I'd Known Earlier in My Career: Some Suggestions for Advancement in Academia," will take place 12:30 to 2 p.m., Friday, November 14, in Thwing Center's 1914 Lounge.


The panelists include Robin Dubin, professor of economics and associate dean for graduate and professional programs with the Weatherhead School of Management;


Shirley Moore, Edward J. and Louise Mellon Professor of Nursing and associate dean of research at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing; and Elizabeth Tracy, professor and chair of the doctoral program with the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.


These three professors will share their insights about advancing in academia based on their personal experiences and observations. They will discuss what they wish they'd known earlier and things that may have made advancement easier. They also will share crucial factors beyond research that helped. Emphasis will be placed on how to be proactive, what to watch out for and tips for success. A question and answer session and discussion will follow. Lunch will be provided. RSVP today to Emily Amdurer.

For Students

The Indian Graduate Student Association is hosting its annual Diwali function, Tarang, beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday, November 16, in the Thwing Center ballroom. Gourmet Indian food will be served, followed by a series of cultural events. Tickets are $12 for members, $17 for other students and $20 the day of the event (including membership). Contact Suraj Tinani, Smruta Koppaka or Vivek Raut for tickets.

The Asian American Alliance and representatives from University Hospitals are hosting a Hepatitis B information session and dinner for students interested in medicine or related fields at 7:30 p.m., Friday, November 14, at Wade Fireside. Dinner will be provided for a maximum of 50 people. Contact Chen Yan for more information.



Voices of Glory, the university's gospel choir, invites the campus community to its fall concert at 5 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at Adelbert Gym. The concert's theme is "Made to Worship." Tickets are $5 in advance, $7 at the door; CaseCash will be accepted. Complimentary refreshments will be available after the concert. Tickets are on sale from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Thursday in Nord Hall; from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday in Leutner and Fribley commons; and from 2-4 p.m. today through Thursday in the Thwing Center atrium.

In cooperation with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Cleveland Astronomical Society, the Department of Astronomy is sponsoring the 2008-09 Frontiers of Astronomy Lecture Series. Renowned astronomers from across the country will give free lectures at the Natural History Museum. Alan Marscher of Boston University will speak on the topic of "Jets from Black Holes in Quasars" at 8 p.m., Thursday, November 13.

The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

November 11, 2008

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Year of Darwin


Case Western Reserve University continues its yearlong series of events celebrating Charles Darwin's life, his work and the diverse ways in which evolutionary theory has impacted research at 4:30 p.m., December 4, in De Grace Hall, Room 312. Hans Hofmann from the University of Texas will speak about molecular systems analyses of plastic brains engaged in social behavior. Learn more.

Case in the News

Bailout touted to avoid auto industry's ripples through Northeast Ohio economy

The Plain Dealer, November 10, 2008
Thousands of people in Northeast Ohio could lose their jobs and dozens of small companies could close if the auto industry doesn't get help from the government soon, economists and business leaders warned Monday. Susan Helper, an economics professor at Case Western Reserve University, said bankrupt suppliers would not necessarily shut their doors, but job losses probably would follow.

Medical industry Cleveland's biggest provider of jobs, November 10, 2008
The largest provider of employment in Cleveland is the medical industry. In University Circle alone the total number of jobs provided by the Cleveland Clinic and University hospitals is 75,000. University Hospitals, medical research at Case Western Reserve University, MetroHealth Medical Center and Cleveland Clinic each lead the way in Cleveland's economic future.

Case Western Reserve prepares superior legal minds

The Plain Dealer, November 6, 2008
In a letter to the editor about the recent local law school rankings, Irving Bell writes that the Case Western Reserve University School of Law prepares students for "the law of the land."

Premature babies benefit from early light therapy for jaundice, November 10, 2008
A study from the National institutes of health has demonstrated that exposing premature babies to blue light early after birth can prevent complications from jaundice. Avroy Faneroff, professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University, explains that infants are prone to jaundice because they are exposed to low levels of oxygen in utero–a condition which causes their bodies to produce extra red blood cells.

Higher Ed News

Training to lead nonprofits

New York Times, November 10, 2008
The do-good desires of the "Gen Y" cohort have sparked a surge in nonprofit management and leadership courses at colleges and universities.