Prof Akpa wins the College of Engineering’s Harold Simon Award!

UIC-Harold-Simon2Prof Akpa has been selected as the 2015 Harold Simon awardee.  The Harold Simon award is the highest teaching distinction in the College of Engineering:

“The late Dr. Harold A. Simon was a UIC professor of mechanical engineering renowned for his teaching excellence. In 1985, as a memorial to Dr. Simon, an award recognizing teaching excellence was established by the College of Engineering. One award is presented each year to a faculty member who exemplifies the dedication, distinguished service, and teaching excellence that were the hallmarks of the late Dr. Simon’s career.”

The award was presented to Prof Akpa by Dr Simon’s daughter during the College of Engineering commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 9th.

Interrogating lipid dosing using physiological models – New publication at Annals of Emergency Medicine

confusion about infusionIntravenous infusions of lipid emulsion hold considerable promise as broad spectrum interventions for drug overdose, but one can have too much of a good thing.  Very high doses of lipid present their own complications, and our current understanding of lipid interventions is largely limited to reversal of acute heart failure in the case of a rapidly absorbed toxin.  The corresponding rates of IV delivery are likely not appropriate for treatment of oral overdoses where absorption of the cardiotoxin is prolonged.  See the article at Annals of Emergency Medicine.

tl;dr version: physiological models demonstrate the dynamic coupling of lipid metabolism with circulatory transport to explain why generic application of a fixed rate of infusion is potentially dangerous.

Latest publication is the cover story at the Journal of Controlled Release

JCRCheck out our latest on the multifunctionality of therapeutic emulsions: Multi-modal contributions to detoxification of acute pharmacotoxicity by a triglyceride micro-emulsion

Via a combination of small-animal experiments and computational modelling, we highlight a 3-fold mechanism for the rapid reversal of toxin-induced cardiac instability.  These suspensions achieve the dual objective of stimulating cardiac contractility and displacing the offending xenobiotic from cardiac tissue.

Come see us at AIChE!

BHB sys

The group will have two presentations at this year’s meeting.  PhD student Manuela Ayee will be presenting her work on the structural consequences of metabolite absorption in lipid layers in a Tuesday morning session on the Thermophysical Properties of Biological Systems.  Prof Akpa will contribute a Rapid Fire Oral presentation and poster on Monday evening in the CAST Division’s Interactive Session on Applied Mathematics and Numerical Analysis.

Engineering Week at STEM Magnet Academy

It’s that time of year again: Engineering week!  And UIC Chemical Engineers were lucky enough to spend another afternoon with Gretchen Brinza’s 4th graders at Chicago’s STEM Magnet Academy.  Our budding young engineers learned how to use surfactants and catalytic reactions to make foams of various types with occasionally explosive results.  Prof. Belinda Akpa, Prof. Randall Meyer and Prof. Vivek Sharma would like to thank ChemE Graduate students Jelena Dinic, Catalina Mogollon, and Subinuer Yilixati for joining us in sharing engineering concepts with a very enthusiastic bunch of students.

kids adding yeast

hands raised







“A creative modeling exercise resulting in significant gain in insight…”

An article by Dr Akpa and colleagues in the Department of Anesthesiology has been the subject of an upcoming editorial in the journal Anesthesiology. Dr. Geoffrey Tucker writes that the combination of complex small animal experiments and physiological modeling reported:

“… should be applauded as a creative modeling exercise resulting in significant gain in insight into the mechanisms of lipid resuscitation which opens the way for further investigation of the optimal clinical implementation …”

See the rest of the editorial here and see our paper here.