November 24, 1998
Volume 45
Number 13

$3.67 Million for Urology Center Study

The Division of Urology at PennMed has received the prestigious George M. O'Brien Urology Research Center grant, a $3.67 million award to investigate the remodeling of bladder smooth muscle following outlet obstruction. Dr. Alan J. Wein, the Division chair, said the O'Brien award "will help provide an environment for investigators to apply the state-of-the-art tools in cell and molecular biology to research related to the pathogenesis of urologic diseases."

Dr. Samuel K. Chacko, professor of pathology at the School of Veterinary Medicine as well as Director of the Urology Research Center here, will coordinate investigation of the cell/molecular basis of contractile dysfunctions in smooth muscle cells in the bladder wall following surgically-induced outlet obstruction in animal models where structural and functional changes are similar to those seen in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia-a condition that affects more than half of the men in their sixties and as many as 90 percent in their seventies and eighties. The obstruction, which produces bladder dysfunction and incontinence, is a leading cause for institutionalization of the elderly, Dr. Chacko said, and costs an estimated $10 billion a year.

In addition to smooth muscle researchers in Penn's Medical and Veterinary Medical Schools, investigators in physiology at MCP, Thomas Jefferson University, and CHOP will participate inthe study of the dysfunction and the return of function after surgical reversal. Three major studies in the project are Expression of channel proteins and calcium pump in remodeling bladder smooth muscle following outlet obstruction, led by Dr. Michael I. Kotlikoff of Vet School; Myosin isoforms and calcium regulation of actomyosin ATPase in detrusor following outlet obstruction and remodeling, by Dr. Chacko with Dr. Wein and Michael DiSanto of Urology; and Mechanism of force generation and maintenance in bladders: effects of outlet obstruction, by Drs. Robert S. Moreland Robert Barsotti of Graduate's Bockus Research Institute. Dr. Stephen Zderic of Pediatric Urology will direct a core facility in the Abramson Research Laboratory at CHOP.

Penn's Way '99

Dear Colleagues:

Over the next few weeks, Penn Faculty and staff, through our Penn's Way '99 Campaign, will once again have the opportunity to continue the tradition of supporting organizations throughout the Delaware Valley in their effort to promote and provide health, human and educational services for our neighbors in greatest need. Your generosity, as demonstrated in years past, enables a wide variety of organizations to continue to flourish and aid those less fortunate than ourselves.

As was the case last year, the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Center for Responsible Funding will assist us in managing the Penn's Way '99 campaign. We have chosen these two management organizations again for their proven track records of maximizing the funds raised through workplace campaigns.

The United Way will manage donations to their member agencies, while the Center will run a parallel campaign for the Partner organizations such as AIDS Fund, Black United Fund of Pennsylvania, Bread & Roses Community Fund, Environmental Fund for Pennsylvania, and Womens Way.

Materials have been sent to you from both the United Way and the Center for Responsible Funding. Each organization has included a booklet or pamphlet with a corresponding pledge form and return envelope.

Please make your selections using one or both of these forms and place them in the appropriate return envelope. Should you need additional information regarding how to complete the information, please contact Barbara Murray at 898-1733.

We urge you to give to your favorite organizations through Penn's Way this year and thank you for your consideration. Let's all work together to make Penn, the City of Philadelphia and its surrounding counties places of opportunity and promise for us all.


 --John Fry  --Carol Scheman
 Executive Vice President  Vice President for Government, Community, and Public Affairs

Houses Beautiful

For scholarly presses, a signal event is when a book crosses into the mainstream while maintaining its appeal for the academic community. Such a breakthrough for the University of Pennsylvania Press is Historic Houses of Philadelphia, which is one of only three on the latest recommended reading list of the influential House Beautiful's December issue. Fifty houses are featured, with their interiors and furnishings, in geographical clusters starting from Philadelphia proper (including Penn's neighbor The Woodlands, which the author, Philadelphia Athenaeum Executive Director Roger W. Moss, calls the premier neoclassic residence in the U.S.). In 256 pages there are 160 photos by Tom Crane (150 in color), and with help from the Barra Foundation the price has been kept to $34.95.


Cover: The Physick House on S. Fourth Street. 

Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 13, November 24, 1998