Dixie State Volleyball Adds Libero

May 8, 2021 0 Comments

first_img Tags: Dixie State Volleyball/Hannah Waddell/Pleasant Grove Vikings/Radford Highlanders/Robyn Felder FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailST. GEORGE, Utah-Tuesday, Dixie State women’s volleyball coach Robyn Felder announced the signing of a libero to bolster her team’s defense.Hannah Waddell was extended a scholarship by the Trailblazers, having originally signed early with the Division I Radford Highlanders of the Big South Conference.Waddell starred at Pleasant Grove High School and helped the Vikings to a state title in 2014 and three straight runner-up finishes (2015-17).Waddell finished her scholastic career with 366 digs (3.8 digs per set) and 61 service aces during her senior season.She was also a two-time all-academic region selection for the Vikings.Felder spoke highly of Waddell, saying “Hannah is such a fun athlete to watch. She is fearless and plays with so much energy.” Written by Brad James May 22, 2018 /Sports News – Local Dixie State Volleyball Adds Liberolast_img read more

The Canterbury Tales

May 3, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgThe Canterbury Tales is quite a project to undertake, and this production is somewhat ambitious. One thing that struck me was the conspicuous absence of even a semblance of actual sexuality, a theme that is supposed to be prevalent and even excessive in all of Chaucer’s tales. This is particularly lacking in some of the female roles, where any attempts at supposed seduction are a little naïve. Hillary Stevens, seen twice in roles of ‘temptation’, is more like a child experimenting with high heels from a dressing up box than an object of obsessive desire. Similarly, Johanna Deveraux’s Wife of Bath was more like a children’s television presenter than a scrumptious harlot. As a whole, the adaptation is good, and the language flows – comprehensive to a modern ear but maintaining an air of restoration. Having evidently drawn heavily on the recent adaptation by the RSC, this play is a mildly amusing with a few inspired moments. If you like perky theatre, it works.Kate Antrobus Dir. Harriet BradleyMagdalen Gardens, 7.30pmlast_img read more

Residents’ anger over Bullingdon “seven-day drinking culture”

May 3, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgA proposal by the Bullingdon to extend its opening hours to 4am from its current 2.30am closing time on Friday and Saturday nights has been voted down by Councillors.Residents of East Oxford had expressed their frustration over the “seven-day drinking culture” that exists in the area, in response to the Bullingdon’s application to extend its alcohol-serving licence.The new licence would have meant that events taking place at the club, which hosts popular student nights by companies such as Organised Fun and SE10, could serve alcohol until 4am on Friday and Saturday nights, 3am on weeknights and 1am on Sundays.Residents of the surrounding area objected to the licence increase, on the basis that the street is a “special saturation policy” zone, which means that Oxford City Council is making an eff ort to reduce expansion of pubs and clubs on Cowley Road to protect local residents.City Councillor Jamelia Azad told the Oxford Mail: “I already get a lot of complaints from residents living in streets off Cowley Road.“Residents are being woken up by anti-social behaviour, there’s a lot of noise and I’ve had complaints of people being sick and smashing bottles—it is not just the weekend anymore.“People should be enjoying themselves until late but in nonresidential areas like the city centre.”The London Place Residents’ Association, which represents the seventeen homes almost half a mile from the venue, objected due to the noise that an increased licence would inflict on them. They were supported by Councillor Dick Wolff, who said:“It took many years to get to grips with the antisocial behaviour issues on the Cowley Road and the saturation zone has been a crucial part of this. “It is good that the Cowley Road is a centre for entertainment but at the end of the day it is a residential area and the applicant needs to recognise this.”In a statement to the public, which also blamed the residents’ disturbance on local students, Thames Valley Police revealed that they are treating the area as “a delicate state… from a policing point of view”.The police statement expressed concern that the Bullingdon would be treated as a place for people to go after bars in the city centre had closed, causing more noise between midnight and kicking-out time.It said: “The application would not only allow the existing customer base to consume alcohol for longer but result in increased footfall into the East Oxford area by attracting other late night revellers who don’t want their night to end.“With a large student presence, concentrated in East Oxford and Headington nearby, and it being more socially acceptable to go out late night drinking for the general public as well, the night time economy is now a seven-day a week occurrence.”SE10, who run a number of student club nights at the Bullingdon, appealed on Facebook for support for the licence extension. Their post described the application as “such a reasonable request” and said it was “crazy it hasn’t happened sooner”.The residents’ opposition also provoked scorn from students living near to Cowley Road. Romain Civalleri, a second-year Balliol student who lives on Union Street, said: “I am pretty sure that the whole disruption part is completely overblown. Cowley remains much calmer than central Oxford where all the clubs are concentrated.“Even though I can understand that the direct neighbours of the Bullingdon may have complaints, the area is hardly littered with passed-out students every night.”The Bullingdon, which has been running live music events for over twenty years, describes itself as “Oxford’s leading independent live venue and favourite cocktail bar”. It did not respond to requests for comment.last_img read more

Oxford City Council promises hotel rooms to homeless amid coronavirus outbreak

May 3, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgThe City Council have stated their intention to move from communal shelter schemes, such as the Floyd’s Row Centre which partially opened earlier this year, to self-contained spaces to accommodate homeless people currently sleeping on the streets or in shared accommodation. So far, 21 hotel rooms have been secured by thecouncil for Oxford’s homeless population. In a plea to hotels and other organisationsfor help with accommodation demands, Councillor Linda Smith said: “Nobodyshould have to sleep rough in Oxford and we’re working with outreach, supportedhousing and day services to protect vulnerable people on our streets and insupported housing from the coronavirus.” As part of these measures, Oxford StreetPopulation Outreach Team (OxSPOT) has closed its assessment service inBonn Square to allow for a stronger outreach presence on the streets, providingrough sleepers with information on the symptoms of COVID-19 and advice of stepsto take if individuals believe they have the virus. Last week the Communities Secretary announced a £3.2 million emergency fund to assist Britain’s rough sleepers to self-isolate and protect them from the spread of coronavirus. Oxford City Council has secured up to £32,250 from the government’s nationwide fund to cover the cost of supporting Oxford City’s homeless population. The City Council have further announced that they will be working with The Porch day centre to provide daytime support for rough sleepers in self-contained accommodation. In line with the government’s social distancing measures, these day services are planned to include a mobile service to deliver meals and essential supplies for rough sleepers. A further 60 beds are being urgently sought througha range of options to provide self-contained accommodation for the entirety ofOxford’s homeless population.center_img Oxford City Council has pledged additional support for rough sleepersamidst the COVID-19 outbreak. These new measures follow Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement ofa nation-wide lockdown in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Support includes self-contained accommodation, a measure which came into force over the weekend when the Council activated severe weather emergency protocol (SWEP) to open emergency beds for rough sleepers following the Met Office’s forecast of sub-zero temperatures. The City Council announced on Wednesday that it intended to providehotel rooms for up to 100 people to support those either sleeping on the streetor in communal hostel spaces.last_img read more

HOBOKEN BRIEFS

May 2, 2021 0 Comments

first_img ×Mayor Dawn Zimmer held a press conference Wednesday, Oct. 18 with New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Richard Mroz and Rima Oueid from the US Department of Energy to announce that the board will fund a microgrid feasibility study for Hoboken. (See council cover story) Mayor Dawn Zimmer held a press conference Wednesday, Oct. 18 with New Jersey Board of Public Utilities President Richard Mroz and Rima Oueid from the US Department of Energy to announce that the board will fund a microgrid feasibility study for Hoboken. (See council cover story) Hoboken to appeal Monarch court decisionHoboken will appeal the Oct. 17 decision of the Hudson County Superior Court which ruled the city’s flood control ordinance did not apply to the proposed Monarch development, according to an update from the city.The developers want to build two 11-story towers near Sinatra Drive and Shipyard Lane, with 78 residential units. The city, the Fund for a Better Waterfront, and the Tea Building Condo Association are involved in litigation to hold the development to a 1997 plan that included three tennis courts and a tennis pavilion on the North Pier.Chief Judge of the Hudson County Superior Court Peter Bariso said, “Hoboken has provided sufficient support to show the ordinances were likely passed in response to federal and state efforts to prevent future flood damage following Hurricane Sandy.” However, he ruled that the purpose of the state law in question was “to protect landowners and developers from the inequity that occurred when application and approval efforts and expenses were rendered futile by subsequent changes to the ordinance.”The court determined that the city’s flood safety ordinances could not legally be applied to the developer once the Planning Board’s final approval had been received by the developer.“In essence, Judge Bariso ruled that the state legislature intended to prioritize the economic interests of property owners and developers over the city’s compelling interest in addressing an important public safety concern,” stated the message from the city. “The city will continue to litigate the matter through the appeals process to the New Jersey Supreme Court, if necessary.”The city has also sought review by the state Supreme Court of a ruling against the city on separate Monarch-related litigation concerning whether a final Planning Board approval had in fact been automatically granted to the developer.According to the city the Planning Board did not approve the application and instead rejected it without prejudice due to the pending litigation. That petition requesting review of the ruling has not yet been decided by the Supreme Court. The city has argued that the lower courts did not adequately consider the danger to public safety in granting automatic approval of a project raising public safety concerns, without an actual Planning Board review.The appeals of the court decisions in these two cases are the only litigation items still pending with respect to the proposed Monarch Development. In August the city said it spent $860,086.52 on Monarch litigation. DeFusco files ethics complaint against BhallaHoboken mayoral candidate and Councilman Michael DeFusco filed an official ethics complaint against mayoral candidate and At-large Councilman Ravi Bhalla on Oct. 16.The complaint stems from a 2014 vote Bhalla cast in favor of a redevelopment plan of NJ Transit’s Hoboken Yards property.The possible conflict is the law firm Bhalla works for, Florio, Perrucci, Steinhart & Fader, was paid over $168,000 that same year by their client NJ Transit.New Jersey’s local government ethics law states no local government officer or employee shall act in his official capacity in any matter where he, a member of his immediate family, or a business organization in which he has an interest, has a direct or indirect financial or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair his objectivity or independence of judgment.“Hoboken residents deserve to know that their elected officials are free of any conflicts and only have their best interests in mind when they make decisions, but Ravi Bhalla has proven again and again that he can’t meet that standard,” said DeFusco in the press release.“This is yet the latest desperate political stunt by Mike DeFusco, who is earning a well deserved reputation as the most negative campaigner in the history of Hoboken,” said Rob Horowitz, spokesperson for Ravi Bhalla for Mayor. “Councilman Bhalla has never represented NJ Transit and since he is not an equity partner, he did not and does not personally benefit in any way from the firm’s representation of NJ Transit, which are on personal injury cases having nothing to do with Hoboken politics and government.”Fisher files complaint against DeFusco for alleged fundraising violationCouncilwoman Tiffanie Fisher, who has endorsed Council President Jen Giattino for mayor, filed a complaint on the following day on Oct. 17 with the Hoboken City Clerk and Corporation Counsel’s offices stating that DeFusco has violated Hoboken’s local laws which limit political contributions from PAC’s and committees to $500.In her complaint, Fisher points to the last three ELEC reports filed under both Mike DeFusco for Hoboken Mayor and Team DeFusco for Hoboken accounts which show 15 separate contributions, several having donated more than once, amounting to over $71,000.The majority of the PAC’s listed are affiliated with labor unions, according to Fisher.“In 2011, this law was passed specifically to help minimize the role and influence of special interests in our elections and our local government,” she said. I have requested that the law be enforced, and that Councilman DeFusco’s campaigns be fined the maximum amount provided under the law, which is $285,600.”“The DeFusco Team campaign is in full compliance with all relevant election laws,” stated Ryan Yacco, DeFusco Team campaign manager. “This is nothing but an attempt to distract voters from the real issues at hand in this election and the need to move on from establishment politicians like Jen Giattino who have not delivered what Hoboken needs.” DeFusco calls out Romano’s alleged lack of disclosureDeFusco’s campaign also issued a press release stating that Hudson County Freeholder and mayoral candidate Anthony Romano “has seemingly again violated campaign finance reporting laws by failing to file the mandatory 29 Day Pre-Election report with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission for either his mayoral or Freeholder campaigns.” “This latest example of Anthony Romano ignoring campaign finance law and denying Hoboken voters the right to see who is funding his campaigns is simply outrageous and should be disqualifying for his candidacy,” said DeFusco in the press release.“Team Romano is in full compliance with election law,” said Romano’s Campaign Manager Pablo Fonseca. “We will continue to focus our campaign on policies and issues relevant to the voters and residents of Hoboken. We have filed our elect reports on time for Romano for Mayor as well as Team Romano.”According to ELEC filings reviewed by The Hoboken Reporter it appears Romano hasn’t submitted his 29-Day Pre-Election report for his mayoral campaign but he has submitted a report for the joint candidate committee he is sharing with his council slate. It shows a closing balance of just over $2,000 and it does not include disbursement information.“I can’t control ELEC and what they post and what they don’t post,” said Fonseca. “Sometimes Election Enforcement posts things very quickly and sometimes they don’t.” Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteersLearn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be held at Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St., Hoboken, on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.Hudson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is a non-profit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes. Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.For further information, visit www.hudsoncountycasa.org .Comedic fundraiser for animals is this SundayOn Sunday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. Celebrate Life Studio, 1200 Park Ave., will host “The dog and Funny Show,” a stand up and sketch comedy show raising funds for Companion Animal Placement Inc.Companion Animal Placement Inc. works with the Hoboken Animal Hospital to spay and neuter pets that are lost or without a home, and provide other services needed for pets who are abandoned or with homeless owners.Performers include, Michele Traina, Francesca Day, Alex Cresidk, Michelle Adrienne Slonim, and Kenny Garcia.Tickets cost $12. For more information email [email protected] or call (646) 302-9547. Fundraising 5k for Hoboken Shelter announcedThe HoBOOken 5K Halloween Run and Scary Scurry Kids’ Run will take place on Saturday Oct, 28. at 10 a.m. at Pier A Park.Proceeds will benefit The Hoboken Shelter. Last year’s fundraiser raised over $60,000.As in previous years, runners are encouraged to put together a team, bringing together friends, family and colleagues to complete the course and raise money for the shelter. The top fundraising team will receive dinner for six at Elysian Café, donated by Eugene and Joyce Flinn.There are also prizes for individual fundraising. The top prize is an overnight stay at the W Hotel in Hoboken.The Scary Scurry Kids’ Run will take place at 11 a.m. for children ages two to eight for a race down the grass at Peir A Park.There will be awards for costumes in various categories.Prior to the race kickoff at 11 a.m. there will be songs from PreSchool of Rock.There will also be food from Surf Taco and other vendors, including Bean Vault Coffee and Insomnia Cookies.Participants are encouraged to register online and registration closes Thursday, Oct. 26 at 11:59 p.m.Registration is $35 for adults and $15 for children. On race day, it will go up to $40 for adults and $20 for children.To register go to http://hobooken5k.com/. Residents invited to 5 year Sandy anniversary eventThe city and the Hoboken Historical Museum invite residents and visitors to an open-house event to come together as a community to reflect on Superstorm Sandy and the 5-year anniversary.The event will take place on Sunday, Oct. 29 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hoboken Historical Museum, 1301 Hudson Street.Residents and visitors are invited to view Sandy-related materials, sign the museum’s 5-year anniversary reflection book, and enjoy hot beverages and desserts together.The Turquoise Cup, a pottery craft studio from the Monroe Center that recently fully reopened after being hit by Superstorm Sandy, will also be providing children and adults with the opportunity to create their own pottery artwork.Meet famous ballet dancers at book signingOn Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. Little City Books, the Mile Square Theater, and Hoboken Children’s Theater, will host a reading, signing, and conversation with professional Ballet dancers David Hallberg and Misty Copeland.The two will discuss Hallberg’s memoir “A Body of Work.”The reading will take place at the Mile Square Theater at 1400 Clinton St.The ticket price is purchase of one book which can be preordered at http://www.littlecitybooks.com/event/abt-principal-dancer-david-hallberg-misty-copeland and costs $28.00.Fundraiser announced for Hoboken High School Girls Soccer ProgramOn Friday Nov. 17 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. the Hoboken Soccer Patrons, a local nonprofit, will host Hoboken’s first “Pasta Cup” to raise funds for the girls soccer program at Hoboken High School.The first annual Hoboken Italian “Pasta Cup” will have top local resteraunts competing with their signature pasta dishes to win the Pasta Cup for Best in Hoboken.Resteraunts include, Blue Eyes, Augustinos, Tratttoria Saporito, Leo’s Grandevous, Johnny Pepperoni, Otto Strata, Margherita’s, Luca Brasi, Grand Vin, San Guiseppe, and Rosticeria Da GiGi.Attendees will vote on the restaurants pasta dishes and all food , wine, beer, and non alcoholic beverages are included with the ticket purchase.Tickets cost $30 in advance and $40 at the door.Tickets can be purchased at www.hobokenitalianpastacup.eventbrite.com. Public input needed for new parkHoboken has begun its planning process for the Northwest Resiliency Park by launching a project website, online survey, listening session dates, and public design meeting date.The public design meeting will be held on Thursday Nov. 30 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Wallace School cafeteria at 1100 Willow Ave.All interested in providing input in the survey go to www.hobokennj.gov/nwparksurvey.The project website can be viewed at www.hobokennj.gov/nwpark. Correction on factual error in last week’s cover storyLast week the Hoboken Reporter published an article on the mayoral debate the Hudson Reporter hosted in its office on Tuesday Oct. 10.The article titled “Tensions flare during Hoboken mayoral debate” mistakenly states that candidate and At – large Councilman Ravi Bhalla would separate the department of environmental services and the department of health and human services currently overseen by Director Leo Pellegrini.Bhalla actually stated he would keep the structure as is.“With respect to Freeholder Romano and Council President Giattino stating that we shouldn’t have one director running two offices, I frankly think it’s an insult to Director Pellegrini and the time and service he has put into the community in running two departments, one man, successfully,” said Bhalla. “He has been able to cut costs and save tax dollars by consolidating two departments; he has done a great job of it. I would keep that structure there.”center_img Watch the debatesThe six candidates running for mayor met at the Hudson Reporter offices to answer questions about issues from parking to political intimidation. The six running for mayor are Councilman Ravi Bhalla, Council President Jen Giattino, Councilman Michael DeFusco, Freeholder Anthony Romano, business owner Karen Nason, and activist Ronald Bautista.The debate is available online at https://tinyurl.com/y7ne3w3t.The Quality of Life Coalition also hosted two debates for city council candidates. They can be viewed at http://www.qlchoboken.org/newsvideo.html.The QLC will host their mayoral debate on Oct. 25 at Debaun Auditorium. last_img read more

Butt Foods scoops accolade at Brakes’ Supplier Conference

April 20, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgNottingham-based bakery Butt Foods has been awarded the Desserts and Bakery Supplier of the Year honour at the Brakes Supplier Conference.The company, which supplies flatbread, naans, sub rolls and other speciality breads to the foodservice sector, was awarded the accolade for its 100% level of supply, stock and logistics innovation, market-leading insight and new product development, as well as being praised for having a helpful team.David Williams, MD for Butt Foods, said it was the cherry on the cake to receive the award from Brakes.“We are thrilled to have been named the Desserts and Bakery Supplier of the Year at the Brakes Supplier Conference,” he said.“We have had links with Brakes for almost the entire history of Butt Foods, which sources from more than 2,000 suppliers. Our company was founded in 1990 and, the following year, we began supplying naan breads to Brakes – dealing with the original founding Brake family. The business relationship has continued since then, as both companies have developed.”last_img read more

Strong growth for Mr Kipling as its signs US deal

April 20, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgSource: Premier FoodsPremier Foods has signed an agreement to sell and market Mr Kipling cakes in the US, as it reveals the brand is on track for ‘another record year’.The deal between Premier Foods and Weston Foods, a North American baking company, was announced in its trading update today (19 January) with the first shipments of cake expected to commence in the first quarter of the 2021/22 financial year.It forms part of Premier’s international strategy to deliver ‘sustainable profitable growth’ with a major emphasis on in-market execution and ensuring the optimal route to market for its brands.This has already seen Mr Kipling venture to Australia, delivering ‘very healthy sales’ alongside Cadbury cakes in Q3 – the 13 weeks ending 26 December 2020. The brand is also being tested in Canada with ‘encouraging’ sales so far.Premier Foods’ overall international business grew strongly in this quarter with sales up 43%. This was partly helped by the buy in of products ahead of the 31 December EU exit date.It added that with a free trade agreement with the EU in place, it is not expecting any material impact from tariff changes. To date, the new arrangements have not resulted in ‘any major disruptions’ to its supply chain.Sweet treatsPremier Foods’ Sweet Treat division generated sales of £81.6m in Q3 2020/21 – a 0.5% increase compared to the same quarter in 2019/20. Year-to-date sales for the division sit at £186.3m.Growth was driven by branded products, which includes Mr Kipling and Cadbury cakes, which accounted for £55m worth of sales in the quarter – an increase of 5% versus the previous year.Mr Kipling is on track for ‘another record year’ with sales rising 7% in the quarter, alongside further market share gains. The brand has continued to benefit from the launch of new product ranges and an extended period of marketing investment, Premier added. Recent NPD includes reduced sugar Viennese Whirls and After Dinner Chocolate & Orange Fancies.Cadbury cakes also increased its market share and saw sales increase both in the UK and overseas.Sales of non-branded sweet treats, meanwhile, fell 7.5% to £26.6m.“Looking to the remainder of the year, out of home eating is likely to remain heavily restricted and we therefore expect to see continued high levels of consumer demand for our products. With more brand investment to come, we now expect trading profit to be in the range of £145-£150m this year,” said CEO Alex Whitehouse.last_img read more

HDS announces the Religious Literacy Project

March 1, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgThanks to a generous donation from Bruce McEver, M.T.S. ’11, Harvard Divinity School (HDS) announces a new initiative, the Religious Literacy Project (RLP), which will enable HDS to continue our nearly four decades of leadership in religious studies and education in the United States.As a successor to the Program in Religious Studies and Education, the RLP will be a virtual resource and research center housed at the Center for the Study of World Religions. Its primary aim will be to create and maintain scholarly resources in the general study of religion and in specific religious traditions via an open access website designed primarily for public school teachers and their students.The initial resources will be created to supplement and enhance commonly used textbooks that introduce religion at the middle and secondary levels in world history and world civilizations courses. Other resources will be developed to supplement and enhance English and world literature courses, highlighting commonly taught texts with significant religious themes or dimensions.A third set of resources will focus on teaching sacred texts, including, but not limited to, the Bible. A fourth will be case studies of significant historical events involving religious issues, and a fifth will provide resources for educators to understand and teach about contemporary issues related to religion.In addition to the content resources outlined above, the RLP will also generate and publicize relevant research regarding religion and education, with a special emphasis on the relationship between literacy about religion and civic and moral education in a global world. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Longevity and anti-aging research: ‘Prime time for an impact on the globe’

March 1, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgResearch into longevity and healthy aging has progressed rapidly in recent years, but intense interest from the public, corporations, and the media has created an environment in which unfounded claims can be hard to separate from scientific facts.In February, a group of 16 researchers from Harvard, MIT, and other institutions around the U.S. and Europe launched the nonprofit Academy for Health and Lifespan Research  to promote future work, ease collaborations between scientists, and ensure that governments and corporations are making decisions based on the latest facts instead of rumor, speculation, or hype.The Boston-based organization will form a nexus for work on extending the human health span, fighting the myriad diseases associated with aging, and fostering the work of junior researchers. Harvard Medical School Genetics Professor David Sinclair, one of the new academy’s founding members and director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at HMS, spoke to the Gazette about the status of aging research and the mission of the academy.Q&ADavid SinclairGAZETTE: Tell me about the academy. Is it intended to be mainly an advocacy organization?SINCLAIR: The academy has been formed because our field of aging and longevity research has reached a point of maturity where the leaders in the field believe that we can have — or will have — a big impact on the planet. That impact will be in medicine, in health span, and in its knock-on effect on [everything from] human productivity to Social Security.We wanted to come together to speak with one voice, to be able to help corporations and governments understand what things they should be thinking about now and give realistic projections of what life is going to be like 10, 20, 50 years from now. Because it’s not a question of if there’s going to be an impact, it’s really a question of what kind of a future we want to build when this happens.GAZETTE: What kind of impact are we talking about? When you think about 10, 20, 50 years in the future, how do you see aging being transformed in the U.S. and around the world? SINCLAIR: The 16 researchers in the academy have all been working on this for most, if not all, of our careers. So that spans — for many of us — over 25 years. When we started, research on aging at the molecular level was the backwater of biology, but in the last 25 years, aging has moved to the forefront of science. It’s actually rare to open a leading scientific journal and not see a new breakthrough in our understanding of the aging process.Recently, we’ve moved from being able to extend health and lifespan of simple organisms like yeast and worms and flies to being able to do this quite easily in animals, in mice and monkeys. With that knowledge — how to keep the body younger and not develop diseases of aging — we think it’s now prime time for having an impact on the globe.By impact, I mean that instead of tackling one disease at a time, which is the way 20th-century medicine and pharmaceutical development was practiced, we believe we can [develop] medicines that will treat aging at its source and thereby have a much greater impact on health and lifespan than drugs that target a single disease.Heart disease medicine may keep your heart healthy for an extra five or 10 years, but does nothing for your brain. So, we’re ending up with a population of people who live longer but not better and who need a lot of help, if they’re not completely [in the grip of] dementia. We don’t think that’s necessarily the only or the best approach. “We’re generally in denial that, for most of the diseases that we get these days, the root cause is aging. I don’t know 10-year-olds that get Alzheimer’s disease or heart disease.” — David Sinclair Now, we have the knowledge. We’re developing the technologies to not just delay these diseases of aging but actually reverse aspects of them. Imagine you have a treatment for heart disease, but as a side effect you’d also be protected against Alzheimer’s, cancer, and frailty. You’d live a longer and healthier life.The reason we can extend the lifespan of animals is not because we can just make them live longer, but we keep them healthy. The animals don’t get heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, until sometimes 20 percent later in their life. And so that’s 20 percent longer youth, not just 20 percent longer life.GAZETTE: Are there regulatory hurdles? When we’ve spoken in the past, you’ve mentioned that the FDA considers aging a natural process and therefore won’t approve drugs to treat it. Are we at a point where that is becoming a hurdle in getting advances out to the people who need them?SINCLAIR: Opinions are changing rapidly about whether aging should be a condition that a doctor can prescribe a medicine for. That’s essentially what a disease is. It’s something that a doctor can read the label that this medicine is for aging or age-related conditions. We’re not at that point yet.We currently live in a world where aging is so common that it’s considered by most of the world, including the medical community, as something that’s natural and inevitable. And if something’s considered inevitable, typically you don’t focus on it in the same way as something you can treat. Cancer was a natural part of life at one time, in the same way that aging is today. A hundred years ago, doctors didn’t focus on treating cancer as much as we do now, because then you couldn’t do much, if anything, about it. As soon as you show you can modify the disease process, like we learned in the 1970s with the discovery of oncogenes that cause cancer — and increasingly so today — then there’s renewed hope, and views about the condition shift.There are now dozens of companies working on therapies that could potentially extend overall human health and lifespan, but none of them are working specifically toward an approval for aging because the FDA wouldn’t even know where to start. But that may be changing quickly. I’ve been part of a group that talked with the FDA, and they are willing and also quite enthusiastic about considering a change that defines aging as a disease. They would like us, first, to show that it’s possible to change the rate of aging, which in my view is backward, but that’s what they want.In Australia, the government is 100 percent behind this, at the FDA level and in the Ministry for Health. I’m hopeful that one country in the world — it may be Australia, it may be the U.S., it may be an Asian country — will change its definition of aging. Once one country changes its definition, then it will be a domino effect and the others will follow.One of the biggest changes that happened last year was the World Health Organization, in their international disease codebook, declared aging a condition that is treatable. So now doctors and countries can report back to the World Health Organization how many people in their country are suffering from this condition known as “old age.”We’re generally in denial that, for most of the diseases that we get these days, the root cause is aging. I don’t know 10-year-olds that get Alzheimer’s disease or heart disease. It’s aging that increases the risk 1,000-fold for cancer, while if you smoke, it goes up fivefold. Which is more important to be focused on? GAZETTE: What excites you most about the state of anti-aging and longevity research?SINCLAIR: Well, I hate to pick favorite children. Someone will always be upset. I have my hands in a few pies, but the most recent one that I’m excited about is cellular reprogramming.GAZETTE: And how does that occur?SINCLAIR: We introduce a combination of genes into the animal, or the cell, and we see that the tissue is rejuvenated as though it was young again. So it can heal, it can start new growth, like it was young. And if we can figure out how to deliver that to patients in a safe way, then it’s quite possible that aging is a reversible disease.GAZETTE: What genes are we changing? SINCLAIR: We’re using a combination of Yamanaka factors [used to reprogram differentiated adult cells into induced pluripotent stem cells] that are used to make stem cells currently in a dish, but what we’re finding is that you can introduce them into the animal as well. They tolerate it well and tissues rejuvenate.I haven’t published it yet, so I can’t say too much, but we’re writing up the paper now that shows that parts of the mouse’s body that we thought would not ever improve are able to be regenerated. So we’re licensing that technology and hoping that it will be tested in the clinic in the next two years.,GAZETTE: How likely do you think it will be that the broad public accepts a solution that involves changing themselves at a cellular level? Is that a high hurdle?SINCLAIR: If you’re going blind, I think you’d be quite enthusiastic about it.Clearly we need to make sure it’s safe, too.You asked me what I’m most excited about and it’s that one that has the biggest potential. But the one that’s closest to reality are the NAD boosters that we’ve had in clinical trials for over a year now over at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.GAZETTE: There have been some trials completed on those already, right?SINCLAIR: Yes, we’ve done two trials, but they’ve been safety trials.We’re just getting approval now to test it in older people. Ultimately, we’re planning on treating particular inherited diseases. I can’t say which ones without permission, but these drugs will typically be for diseases that are rare or less common.In the future, if a molecule or a drug makes it onto the market for one particular disease, then doctors can test it on their particular disease of expertise. And, if it works there — just like the statin drugs — expand it from a small group of families with high cholesterol [in the case of statins] to the world. But that would only happen if the drug was really safe.GAZETTE: Is it most likely that something like a NAD booster will be taken daily by many people, in the way that statins are today, or, given the greater promise of the engineering approach, something like that being used widely? Or is there a third that you think might actually surpass those two?SINCLAIR: I think that this drug has the potential to be used widely, like a statin.If you reach age 45 and your blood glucose has crept up, you’re losing muscle strength and volume, and your doctor may say, “Hey, I can see that you’re starting to age.” They could then actually measure your biological age now pretty accurately with a blood test. The doctor might then say, “There’s this drug, it seems pretty safe, there’s no downside that we can tell and it protects you from all age-related diseases. Start taking it now before it’s too late.”That’s the trick. You get the biggest bang for the buck if you treat before you get sick. That’s true for most diseases and it’s certainly true for the mouse populations we study here in the lab.But this cellular reprogramming is exciting because it seems to work even once you’ve lost function of tissues.GAZETTE: Kind of turning back time? Symposium brings spheres together to lend insights to action for elderly Critical step found in DNA repair, cellular aging Related SINCLAIR: Right. It’s going to end up being a combination of treatments that are used, I think.That’s why I’m trying to help other entrepreneurs with their own inventions, so that we can address different aspects of aging and ultimately keep people healthier for much longer than we currently can. GAZETTE: To go back to our initial point, how do you see the Academy for Health and Lifespan Research doing its work? Will there be staff here in Boston? Will investigators like yourself spend a particular amount of time there?SINCLAIR: We have our own secure network that we communicate and collaborate on, so first of all, it’s been a great step forward just linking us together.Also, it’ll be headquartered here in Boston by David Setboun, the president. He’s hiring staff now. And those staff will be similar to other nonprofit organizations. There will be a philanthropic side, raising money — and also distributing the money that’s being raised. The money will be used to bring scientists together. There’s an annual meeting.We think we’ll be able to sponsor young scientists and help research that way; we professors want to be able to replace ourselves with even better talent. Also, we’re planning on putting out publications to separate what’s real from what’s not real. The public finds it very difficult to distinguish science from fake science right now. GAZETTE: Part of that may be intentional.SINCLAIR: I’ve been successful in getting my name off a lot of websites, but the research, Harvard’s name, and my face are still used by companies to insinuate that I endorse their product, when I would never do that. My lab and I don’t receive any money from the sale of supplements.That’s a problem we want to solve. By uniting, we can have a seal of approval, where we can say this is what’s real, this is what isn’t, this is what we believe, as scientists, and this is not what we believe. And we have a website with this information, that’s going to be populated with white papers, and I suspect we’ll also be putting out other publications.As the field grows, with interest from the lay public and investors and the media, we want to make sure the conversation stays evidence-based.center_img Eight Harvard scientists receive funding through High Risk, High Reward program The science, business of aging NIH makes $8.5M investment in promising projects Experiments in mice suggest way to thwart DNA damage from aging, radiation last_img read more

Ecologist studies Great Lakes

January 26, 2021 0 Comments

first_imgNotre Dame research assistant professor Sheila Christopher earned a $155,358 grant from the University of Michigan Water Center, which focuses on environmental issues specific to the Great Lakes, to study environmental solutions in Lake Erie. Christopher, who works with Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative (ECI), said her research will focus on creating a computer model to represent the effectiveness of two specific farmland-drainage management practices, the two-stage ditch process and the tile drain management process, to combat fertilizer runoff into the Great Lakes, which supply 20 percent of the world’s freshwater. “The goal would be to identify if these new and innovative management practices can help reduce nutrient pollution at a large scale, as compared to more traditional practices,” Christopher said. “And also by using this watershed scale [computer] model … we’ll be able to transfer the technology to other research groups, not only in the Great Lakes, but other watersheds around the country and even the world.” These management processes relate to the use of fertilizer in farming and the way farmers deal with excess fertilizer, Christopher said. Biology professor Jennifer Tank, who directs the ECI, saidsuch runoff fertilizer could greatly affect the aquatic ecosystem. “In order to have productive agriculture, we need to apply fertilizer, and oftentimes we apply too much fertilize,” Tank said.  “That ends up in our streams and rivers, and the streams and rivers transport those excess nutrients downstream, often to sensitive water bodies.” Researchers address the problem of nutrient pollution on a smaller scale by looking at alternative ways of managing the land, according to Tank. “We’ve been working on different management strategies and testing out different management practices that might reduce the impact of agricultural fertilizers,” Tank said. However, this small-scale research fails to address bigger problems like those in the Great Lakes, so Christopher stepped in, Tank said. “We hired Christopher as a research assistant professor … to take the field data that we’ve been collecting and the positive results that we’ve been getting at the smaller spatial scale … and then scale that up to whole water shed,” Tank said. “And then her goal is to put that into a water shed model to see if we can impact or improve the state of the Great Lakes Tributary.” While nutrient pollution occurs all over the world, this grant focuses specifically on the impact on the Great Lakes, according to Christopher. “The Great Lakes are used for tourism, for drinking water, [and] for fisheries, and we need to maintain and keep these lakes healthy. In order to do that, we have to look upstream,” Christopher said. The ECI brings together the efforts of about 40 different Notre Dame faculty members from several different disciplines to focus on issues regarding environmental change, Tank said. “The three areas that the Environmental Change Initiative focuses on is the impact of climate change on the environment, the impact of invasive species on the environment, and the impact of land use on the environment, mainly focused around fresh water,” Tank said. “The [Environmental Change Initiative] provides this umbrella initiative or organization that organizes faculty around these grand environmental challenges that really are facing society as a whole.” Contact Katie Sisk at [email protected]last_img read more