The National Institutes of Health and two food allergy advocacy groups awarded the University of Cincinnati a $430,000 grant to study the cause of peanut allergies.

Internal medicine researchers Dr. Fred Finkelman and Marat Khodoun, Ph.D., will lead the two-year study.

Peanuts may top the list of food allergens because one or more proteins in peanuts activate what is known as the body’s complement system, which typically fights bacteria and viruses, Finkelman says. While activation causes no reaction in some people, in others it can cause mild sickness or even contribute to anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that can cause shock and death. Finkelman and Khodoun’s study will work to discover which peanut protein or combination of peanut proteins causes activation.

The NIH reports more than 30,000 cases of food-induced anaphylaxis and as many as 150 food anaphylaxis-related deaths in the United States each year.

UC and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, which received $250,000 to study the role a protein plays in food allergy responses, were two of only 12 sites across the country to be awarded funds from the $5 million total grant.

EducationNorthern Kentucky University’s College of Business received a $15 million grant from the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./US Bank Foundation. The grant will establish endowed chairs for faculty and support for faculty recruitment, retention and development, and provide scholarships for business students and their international experiences. It also will expand NKU’s finance investment program. The gift is the largest NKU has received in its 40-year history.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Patrick Dierig, a Xavier University alumnus, ran a marathon in New Mexico to raise money for the Center for Citizen Leadership, an organization that works to empower wounded and disabled veterans as citizen leaders. One of the services CCL provides wounded veterans is 14 weeks at a camp to match the soldier’s skills with job needs.

Chris Christensen, who teaches math at Northern Kentucky University, received the Carol B. Allendoerfer Award for his Mathematics Magazine article titled “Polish Mathematicians Finding Patterns in Enigma Messages.” The award is given to authors of expository articles published in the magazine.

Douglas Brown is the 2008 recipient of the Rob V. Forman Memorial Scholarship at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The $20,000 memorial fund was set up byJody Forman Fall to honor her son, who passed away last year at University Hospital. Rob Forman was 36 when he contracted a virus that attacked his heart.

The Fifth Third Bank Entrepreneurship Institute announced the addition ofRodney D’Souza to the Northern Kentucky University College of Business faculty this fall. The institute works to maximize learning opportunities for entrepreneurially inclined students and businesses in the region. D’Souza teaches entrepreneurship courses in the management department and conducts research and public service in the field of entrepreneurship.

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