Sodium glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibition with empagliflozin improves cardiac diastolic function (Open Access Article)

This month's open access article features several University of Missouri School of Medicine Faculty:

  1. Dr. Javad Habibi, PhD., Dr. Annayya Aroor, MD., Dr. Guanghong Jia, PhD., and Dr. Vincent DeMarco, PhD. are all Assistant Research Professors in the department of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism. 
  2. Dr. Jim Sowers, MD., is a Professor of Medicine, Physiology/Pharmacology, Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Internal Medicine, and Director of the Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Division. In 2017, Dr. Sowers was awarded the Samual Eichold II Memorial Award for Contributions in Diabetes from the American College of Physicians. The award recognizes those who have made important health care delivery innovations for diabetic patients or research that significantly improves quality of care or clinical management of diabetes. 
  3. Dr. R. Scott Rector, PhD., is an Associate Professor in Internal Medicine-Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Dr. Rector's primary research interests include the role of exercise training, lifestyle modifications, and pharmacological interventions upon oxidative stress and liver metabolism. 
  4. Dr. Adam Whaley-Connell, DO., is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Development. His research interests include hypertension, and kidney disease. 

The research team's article, Sodium glucose transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibition with empagliflozin improves cardiac diastolic function in a female rodent model of diabetes was published in Cardiovascular Diabetology in January 2017. Cardiovascular Diabetology is an open access journal that publishes research on all "aspects of the diabetes/cardiovascular interrelationship and the metabolic syndrome; this includes clinical, genetic, experimental, pharmacological, epidemiological and molecular biology research." With a high impact factor and maxiumum visibilty of articles due to their open access policy, this journal has a wide and global audience. 

Here is an excerpt from the abstract:

Obese and diabetic individuals are at increased risk for impairments in diastolic relaxation and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. The impairments in diastolic relaxation are especially pronounced in obese and diabetic women and predict future cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in this population. Recent clinical data suggest sodium glucose transporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibition reduces CVD events in diabetic individuals, but the mechanisms of this CVD protection are unknown. To determine whether targeting SGLT2 improves diastolic relaxation, we utilized empagliflozin (EMPA) in female db/db mice.

In summary, EMPA improved glycemic indices along with diastolic relaxation, as well as SGK1/ENaC profibrosis signaling and associated interstitial fibrosis, all of which occurred in the absence of any changes in BP.



Taira Meadowcroft

Taira Meadowcroft is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Missouri. She focuses on quality improvement, emergency medicine, and social media for the health sciences library.

Dr. Brogan: A critical analysis of the review on antimicrobial resistance report and the infectious disease financing facility (Open Access)

Dr. David Brogan MD, MSc is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the School of Medicine. He won the Brian Abel Smith Prize for Health Policy Dissertation at the London School of Economics, a resident research grant from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, as well as a recent KL2 Mentored Career Development Award.  He has also co-authored multiple publications with the London School of Economics on a range of health policy topics, particularly focusing on the utilization of financial call options to stimulate neglected research. This is an ongoing collaboration with the London School of Economics and the Missouri Orthopedic Institute.

For more information on Dr. Brogan's research interests and publications, click here

Dr. Brogan recently published in Globalization and Health, transdisciplinary journal that situates public health and wellbeing within the dynamic forces of global development.

Brogan, D. M., & Mossialos, E. (2016). A critical analysis of the review on antimicrobial resistance report and the infectious disease financing facility. Global Health, 12, 8. doi:10.1186/s12992-016-0147-y

Here are some of Dr. Brogan's thoughts on Open Access:

Why did you choose to publish in an Open Access journal?

  • I’m quite pleased with the idea that open access journals enhance the abilities of all interested parties to learn more about a topic and greatly enhance the exchange of ideas across may disciplines.

Would you publish in an Open Access journal again?  If so, why? 

  • Yes, absolutely, it was a great experience and I would welcome the opportunity to do so again.

Dr. Booth: Rapid Alterations in Perirenal Adipose Tissue Transcriptomic Networks with Cessation of Voluntary Running (Open Access)

Dr. Frank W. Booth, PhD. is a Professor in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at the School of Medicine, the department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology, and is a Research Investigator at the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. His research interests currently include elucidating mechanisms underlying the decreases in physical activity and gaining a better understanding of why cardiorespiratory fitness, or VO2max declines as an organism ages. Dr. Booth has published over 220 publications and has numerous national and international honor awards from exercise biology organizations. To learn more about Dr. Booth, click here

Dr. Booth published, along with several University of Missouri doctoral students, in Public Library of Science (PLoS One), an open access journal for science and medicine. 

Ruegsegger GN, Company JM, Toedebusch RG, Roberts CK, Roberts MD, Booth FW. (2015) Rapid Alterations in Perirenal Adipose Tissue Transcriptomic Networks with Cessation of Voluntary Running. PLoS ONE 10(12): e0145229. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145229

Dr. Davis: Network Scale Modeling of Lymph Transport and Its Effective Pumping Parameters (Open Access)

Dr. Michel J. Davis, PhD, is a Professor and Associate Department Head, Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology. He is also a Margaret Proctor Mulligan Distinguished Professor in Medical Research. The focus of his research is research is on mechanisms of vascular mechanotransduction, currently working on projects answering the two following research questions:

  1. How is pressure / stretch transduced by extracellular matrix proteins and integrin receptors (adhesion molecules) in vascular smooth muscle to alter the gating of plasma membrane ion channels?
  2. hat ion channels and contractile proteins are important in the control of lymphatic vessel contraction?

To learn more about Dr. Davis' research interestes and projects, click here

Dr. Davis recently published in  Public Library of Science (PLOS), an open access journal for science and medicine:

Jamalian S, Davis MJ, Zawieja DC, Moore JE Jr (2016) Network Scale Modeling of Lymph Transport and Its Effective Pumping Parameters. PLoS ONE 11(2): e0148384. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148384

Morris, Cronk, and Washington: Parenting During Residency: Providing Support for Dr. Mom and Dr. Dad (Open Access)

This week's post features three University of Missouri Faculty:

  1. Dr. Laura Morris, MD, MSPH, is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Family and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine, as well as a practicing physician with Callaway Physicians. Her clinical interests include general pediatrics, obstetrics, and women's health. Dr. Morris currently servs on the board of the Family Physicians Inquiries Network (FPIN, see ) and as an Author and Deputy Editor for their scholarly publications.  She is most proud of her Family Medicine Residency Teacher of the Year award in 2015—that really symbolizes the reason [she] chose academic medicine: to impact learners and make a positive connection while teaching. To see more of her publications, click here
  2. Dr. Nikole J. Cronk, PhD, is an Associate Teaching Professor of Clinical Family and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine. Her research interests include etiology and treatment of anxiety and depression, smoking correlates and treatment, and motivational Interviewing. To learn more about Dr. Cronk, click here
  3. Dr. Karla T. Washington, PhD, LCSW, is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Family and Community Medicine at the School of Medicine. She was involved in two projects on palliative care and hospice care: A Problem-Solving Intervention for Family Caregivers in Palliative Oncology, and Improving Information Flow to Enhance Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Hospice Care. For her academic profile, click here

They recently published their latest research, open access, in Family Medicinethe official journal of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.

Morris L, Cronk NJ, Washington KT. Parenting During Residency: Providing Support for Dr Mom and Dr Dad. Fam Med 2016;48(2):140-144.

Here are some of Dr. Cronk's thoughts on Open Access:

  • Why did you choose to publish in an Open Access journal? 

    "The journal we selected is the most relevant journal for our target audience.  We sought to reach individuals involved with the training of Family Medicine residents in order to highlight the importance of our topic."

  • Would you publish in an Open Access journal again?  If so, why? 

    "Yes, definitely.  I think it is important for the advancement of science generally, and our field specifically, to have ready access to the latest research and scholarship.  Open access journals make it easy for busy professionals to learn and benefit from the latest publications in their respective fields."

Here are some of Dr. Morris' thoughts on Open Access:

  • Why did you choose to publish in an Open Access Journal?

         "Family Medicine is the top journal for family medicine educators and so is considered the key journal in which to publish educational research in our specialty. I'd certainly like to publish there again.​"

Rahman, Schmaltz, Simoes, Jackson-Thompson, Ibdah: Increased risk for colorectal cancer under age 50 in racial and ethnic minorities living in the United States (Open Access)

This week's Open Access post features 5 University of Missouri authors! 

Dr. Rahman specilizes in gastroenterology and practices at the Missouri Digestive Health Center.  

Dr. Schmaltz is a Senior Statistician at the Missouri Cancer Registry and Research Center assisting on several research projects.

Dr. Simoes is the chair of the Department of Health Management and Informatics at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine and is MU's Health Management and Informatics Alumni Distinguished Professor. 

Dr. Jackson-Thopmson is the Director of the Missouri Cancer Registry and Research Center as well as Research Associate Professor of Health and Informatics. 

Dr. Ibdah is the division director of gastroenterology and hepatology at the University of Missouri Medical School and the director of the Gastroenterology Fellowship Program. He's also the Raymond E. and Vaona H. Peck Chair in Cancer Research

They recently published in Cancer Medicine, an open access journal focusing on interdisplinary cancer sciences. 

Rahman, R., Schmaltz, C., Jackson, C. S., Simoes, E. J., Jackson-Thompson, J., & Ibdah, J. A. (2015). Increased risk for colorectal cancer under age 50 in racial and ethnic minorities living in the United States. Cancer Med, 4(12), 1863-1870. doi:10.1002/cam4.560

Dr. Schust: Chlamydia trachomatis Infection of Endocervical Epithelial Cells Enhances Early HIV Transmission Events (Open Access)

Dr. Danny Schust, MD, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Dr. Schust is also the Division Director of Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility at the Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine and Fertility. To learn more about Dr. Schust's research and many awards, click here

Dr. Schust recently published his latest research in Public Library of Science (PLOS), an open access journal for science and medicine: 

Buckner LR, Amedee AM, Albritton HL, Kozlowski PA, Lacour N, McGowin CL, Schust DL, and Quayle AJ. (2016) Chlamydia trachomatis Infection of Endocervical Epithelial Cells Enhances Early HIV Transmission Events. PLoS ONE 11(1): e0146663. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0146663

Dr. Pulakat: Differential Effects of β-Blockers, Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers, and a Novel AT2R Agonist NP-6A4 on Stress Response of Nutrient-Starved Cardiovascular Cells (Open Access)

Dr. Lakshmi Pulakat, PhD, is a professor of Medicine at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Apart from her teaching responsbilites, Dr. Pulakat is also the Associate Director of Research for the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism. To learn more about her research and her many awards, click here

Dr. Pulakat chose to publish her most recent article in Public Library of Science (PLOS), an open access journal for science and medicine: 

Mahmood, A., & Pulakat, L. (2015). Differential Effects of beta-Blockers, Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers, and a Novel AT2R Agonist NP-6A4 on Stress Response of Nutrient-Starved Cardiovascular Cells. PLoS ONE, 10(12), e0144824. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144824


Vesalius at 500 exhibit opens today at Ellis Library

December 31, 2014, will mark the five hundredth birthday of Andreas Vesalius, one of the most important anatomists in the history of medicine. The MU Libraries will commemorate this historic occasion with an exhibition entitled Vesalius at 500: Student, Scholar, and Surgeon, on view November 5-30 in the Ellis Library Colonnade.

Andreas Vesalius is frequently called the father of modern human anatomy. Born in 1514 in modern-day Belgium, he studied at the Universities of Louvain, Paris, and Padua before becoming a professor of anatomy and surgery at the University of Padua. His primary contribution to the history of medicine was his emphasis on dissection and firsthand observation. Vesalius differed from his colleagues because he used his observations to challenge ancient and often inaccurate Greek and Roman medical writings, which formed the basis of all medical knowledge for over a thousand years.

esalius at 500 showcases materials from the Libraries’ collections that helped to shape Vesalius’ career, including medieval manuscripts and early printed books on medicine. The centerpiece of the exhibition is Vesalius’ most famous work, De Humani Corporis Fabrica. The Libraries hold two copies of this important book, a second edition printed in 1555, and a later edition from 1568. Recognizing MU’s strength in human and animal medical research, the exhibition considers Vesalius’ effect on the history of veterinary medicine with several early illustrated works on animal anatomy. Works of Renaissance science are also included in order to situate Vesalius within the world of sixteenth-century scientific thought.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Dr. Gheorghe M. Constantinescu, a professor of veterinary anatomy in the College of Veterinary Medicine at MU, will present “Andreas Vesalius: On the 500th Anniversary of His Birth” on November 12 at 12:00 pm. Dr. Constantinescu is a medical illustrator and author investigating the gross anatomy of domestic and laboratory animals. His presentation will be held in room 4f51a in Ellis Library.

Vesalius at 500: Student, Scholar, and Surgeon is curated by a team of rare book librarians from the J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library, the Zalk Veterinary Medical Library, and Ellis Library’s Special Collections and Rare Books department. The exhibition draws on MU Libraries’ special collections of more than 100,000 original artworks, manuscripts, rare books, and historic documents. The collections, exhibition, and lecture are all free and open to the public.

The gallery below contains a selection of images from De Humani Corporis Fabrica, and we will share more materials from the exhibition over the course of November.




spurzheim-headPhrenology is "a system of Philosophy of the human Mind; it is founded on facts, and the inductive is the only species of reasoning it admits."  So states Dr. Johann Spurzheim in his outlines on the subject.  Spurzheim, collaborator with Dr. Franz Joseph Gall, the founder of modern phrenology, was instrumental in bringing the science to the attention of the public in the U.K. and the United States.  Today, phrenology is known as a pseudoscience that studies the relationship between a person's character and the physical properties of their skull.  Phrenology can trace its roots way back to the ancient philosopher Aristotle, who wrote on the locations of the mental faculties.  Around the 1800s, Gall was the first to posit a direct link between the formation of the skull and the character of the owner, calling his theory crainiology.  Spurzheim was the one who popularized the term phrenology.  Other power players of the field in the 19th century include the Combe brothers and the Fowler brothers, all of whom wrote extensively on the subject.

phrenology1430000001032Phrenology looked at the development of the skull in relation to the development of certain faculties or temperaments in the person it belonged to.  An example would be the faculty of Parental Love, or "Philoprogenitiveness," which is the faculty that people demonstrate in their love of children.  One could discern the prominence of such a person's love of children by observing the back of the head.  According to Spurzheim and illustrated in a book by O.S. Fowler, "When this organ is large … it gives a drooping appearance to the hind part of the head."








This new science rapidly gained popularity in the early 19th century, inspiring phrenology parlors where you could have your head read for a fee.  Unfortunately, many of these gained a bad reputation for being scam parlors set to cheat people out of their money, and this bad reputation still tinges thoughts of phrenology today.  Also stemming from the popularity of phrenology during this time were galleries where people could go to see casts, molds, and busts that illustrated each of the faculties and served to educate the general public.  A renowned phrenologist and maker of the "phrenology heads" that have become iconic of the science today was Frederick Bridges, who had such a gallery in Leeds.  Visitors could walk the gallery (using helpful catalogues such as this one) and see such things as a cast from the head of Lord Byron in which, "Ideality is very large.  Wit, and Language, are also large" next to a cast of Shakespeare's head with "Imitation, Ideality, Benevolence, Individuality and Language large."



phrenology1430000001024Some of the more practical applications of phrenology in the 1800s included using it to defend and/or treat convicted criminals and also to determine the compatibility of two people in a marriage.  In his writing on phrenology and matrimony, Fowler imparts this wisdom upon his unmarried readers, "in the name of nature and of nature's God, marry congenial spirits or none- congenial not in one or two material points, but in all the leading elements of character […] marry one whose Temperament and Phrenological developments are similar to your own!  Do this, and you are safe, you are happy:  fail to do this, and you marry sorrow and regret."

As phrenology's popularity grew, and also likely owing in part to the many scam phrenology parlors, there were some who became skeptical about this practice, likening phrenology to a form of mysticism.  In his reply to an article published by a Dr. Ashburner about phrenology, mesmerism, and clairvoyance, George Corfe asks, "What parent would deliberately wish to educate a child to become a disciple in such antichristian and immoral principles?"

Outsiders weren't the only ones with criticism for phrenologists.  As with any scientific field, phrenologists would write about the work of their contemporaries, as seen in this pamphlet where the author, George Combe, criticizes another work he has read, eloquently calling its author out on several important points and stating that "This is the second time that Mr. Stone has charged 'dishonesty' against Phrenologists, founded solely on gross mistakes of his own," here also referencing a previous article criticizing phrenological practices.

phrenology1430000001025Phrenology experienced a sort of revival in the early 20th century when scientists began to apply it to other areas of study, such as anthropology, psychology, and pedagogy.  On the negative side, the Nazis and other fascist ideologies have historically misapplied the principles of sciences like phrenology and eugenics to advance their own ways of thinking.  Though not nearly as popular today, studiers of this science remain, active in the pursuit of knowledge and the quest to fulfill the charge of the age-old adage to "Know Thyself."  To learn more about this fascinating branch of science (and maybe more about yourself in the process!), check out the links below and stop in to see us here at Special Collections.


All print sources come from our collection.  See links to catalog records in post above for more information.

Online Sources Used:

"Phrenology in the 20th Century." The History of Phrenology. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. <>.

"What Is Phrenology?" Phrenology Lab. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. <>.