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2016 Spring/Summer Highlights of Hope

  • Text
  • Hope
  • Institute
  • Epigenetics
  • Neurodegenerative
  • Epigenetic

spring

spring 2016 van andel institute’s Highlightsof HOPE Register for the Purple Community® 5K Run/Walk + Fun Run! Get ready for the warm weather running season with Purple Community. Our second annual 5K Run / Walk + Fun Run is scheduled for Saturday, April 30, and 100 percent of the proceeds benefit cancer and neurodegenerative disease research at Van Andel Institute. The 5K takes place at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan. You can get involved in the Purple Community 5K in a variety of ways: • Register as an individual • Form a team by becoming a team captain • Join a team to begin fundraising • Donate and make a difference Register at purplecommunity.org For information on the Purple Community 5K Run/Walk contact Ashley Owen at Ashley.Owen@vai.org. AROUND THE WORLD Around the World, a fine food and wine tasting event hosted by Van Andel Institute’s JBoard Ambassadors in December 2015, brought more than 200 people to the Institute for a night of fundraising and activism. All proceeds from Around the World benefited the Institute’s Pathway of Hope tuberous sclerosis research initiative. Join the JBoard Ambassadors! JBoard Ambassadors provides a forum, a framework and an opportunity for building engaging relationships between young professionals and Van Andel Institute (VAI). In addition to various events throughout the year, a donation of 0 includes the following opportunities: • News and information about VAI’s biomedical research and science education programs • Quarterly Lunch & Learn events • Two complimentary tickets to VAI’s Winterfest Celebration • Professional networking connections • Annual health science forums and luncheons throughout the year • Recognition on VAI’s website and in VAI’s annual report Contact Teresa Marchetti at 616.234.5040 to join the JBoard today! 6 | Van Andel Institute Highlights of Hope

Starting a New Conversation About Depression More than 18 million Americans have depression, yet it remains one of the most socially stigmatized conditions. It can include a host of symptoms—difficulty concentrating, feelings of guilt, disinterest in usual activities, sleep problems, unhealthy appetite changes and thoughts of helplessness—that make everyday life seem overwhelming. In severe cases, depression can lead to suicide. Last fall, Van Andel Institute addressed the topic of depression during A Conversation About Depression – Hosted by Carol Van Andel. The event was an opportunity for the community to hear directly from experts like Van Andel Research Institute Associate Professor Lena Brundin, M.D., Ph.D.; Eric Achtyes, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and director of the Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine; and Bill Sanders, D.O., psychiatry residency program director at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services. Brundin and her team study the role that inflammation— the body’s primary response to infection and other triggers, including autoimmune activity—plays in depression and suicidality. Through a collaborative study with Pine Rest, one of Brundin’s research projects investigates the link between depression and neuroinflammation during pregnancy and the post-partum period. She and her colleagues are searching for better ways to identify women at risk of developing depression while also investigating new treatment options for depression and suicidality during this critical period. “It’s exciting to think that medications currently used for the treatment of inflammation and infection could help people with depression and become part of a psychiatrist’s toolkit. Research advances are important, but family and friends also play a vital Lena Brundin, M.D., Ph.D. role in helping those with depression,” Brundin said. “It’s often these people that can help identify depressive symptoms while providing a network to help the person seek help and recover from their symptoms. It was a wonderful experience seeing so many people from the community come together to support those with depression.” For information on the Institute’s health advocacy events visit vai.org. GLOSSARY Anti-inflammatory medication: Anti-inflammatory medications, which include aspirin and ibuprofen, reduce pain, fevers and other inflammation responses in the body. They work by inhibiting the production of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation. Van Andel Institute Highlights of Hope | 7

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