eNewsletter

The

DEAN’S MESSAGE

DEPT. NEWS

Welcome to the first eNewsletter of 2011! We hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday season and are experiencing a happy, healthy new year thus far. As alumni and friends of the college, we value your support and look forward to sharing another year with you here at the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.

As we enter yet another new semester, we are excited about the many promising activities and events that lie ahead in 2011. As always, we will strive to provide the best possible educational environment for our students, while also promoting a rigorous focus on cutting-edge research and scientific advancement.

To that end, we are very much looking forward to hosting our 25th annual Student Research Conference on Saturday, March 19th. As they do every year, talented students from across the college's scientific and mathematical disciplines will present their individual research to faculty, alumni, friends of the college, and members of the community. This event continues to provide a uniquely wonderful opportunity for students to share what they've

learned and for CPMS to showcase the ground-breaking things happening here on campus.

We invite anyone interested in BYU, the college, our students, or just scientific research in general to join us for this annual event. We relish the opportunity to present our student's top-notch work to a broader audience — they work so hard day in and day out, and it is truly a joy to share the fruits of those labors with all of you. We will share more details as the conference moves closer.

As always, we hope you enjoy the many articles included in this month's eNewsletter. These stories offer a snapshot of the great work currently being done here at BYU — and of the boundless opportunities for learning and scientific advancement that will remain available to our student and faculty members in the coming year.

As we move forward into 2011, we will continue to keep you updated about our activities and progress. We thank you for being a part of our college family and for your continued support.

CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY
Biochem Professor Wins Award for Sponsored Funding
COMPUTER SCIENCE
Email Software Features Security, Usability
BYU-based Wiki Promotes
Internet Safety
MATHEMATICS EDUCATION
Japanese Professors Visit BYU, Share Teaching Techniques
COLLEGE LINKS
CPMS Homepage
Giving to the College
SOCIAL MEDIA
CPMS on Facebook
CPMS on Twitter
Linkedin
CPMStv
ALUMNI NEWS
Elevita: A Non-profit Organization


Dinosaur Land Webisode

PROF. SEARCHES FOR PREECLAMPSIA CURE

There is a disease that only pregnant women can get: preeclampsia. It is responsible for up to 76,000 maternal and 500,000 infant deaths every year, according to the official preeclampsia website.

Though relatively easy to diagnose, there are currently no effective treatments for preeclampsia and no known cause. Characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine, preeclampsia is closely related to pregnancy-induced hypertension. If the disease progresses, the only solution is to deliver the baby, no matter how far along in the pregnancy this may occur.

Dr. Steven Graves, of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has been studying this disease’s symptoms and possible causes since 1983. His focus is on a biological product known as a “digitalis-like factor” which has been implicated in several forms of clinical high blood pressure (or hypertension) including preeclampsia.

“This is a material that the body produces that is really not completely characterized,” Graves said. “This means that we don’t know all of its’ chemical makeup or exactly how it works.”

Graves helped perform a double-blind, placebo controlled, multi-centered clinical trial on 51 pregnant women with severe preeclampsia. Half were administered a placebo, but half were given a compound known as Digibind®. This antibody fragment was predicted to bind to this digitalis-like factor and eliminate its effects.

The study hoped to reduce the need of anti-hypertension medication and to have a beneficial effect on kidney function. It did not meet the first goal, as many women were too far along in the disease and had already received anti-hypertensive medications before enrollment. But the study was able to demonstrate an improvement or preservation of renal function in response to the drug.  This is the first clinical trial of a medication in cases of severe preeclampsia that has showed an end organ effect.

more...
CHEMISTRY AND BIOCHEMISTRY | COMPUTER SCIENCE | GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES
MATHEMATICS | MATHEMATICS EDUCATION | PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY | STATISTICS

For more information about the college, contact Lynn Patten at lynn_patten@byu.edu.
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