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September 24, 2012 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-24

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8A - Monday, September 24, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8A - Monday, September 24, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Entrepalooza fosters
entrepreneurial efforts

Research team makes strides
in treatment of rare disease


may n
still sh
on Fri(
za, the
tion in
sity al
and n
for the
men an
and pr
a per
ment s
- rece
most it
at the
role in
ety be

Annual event at where the value is created in
the economy, it's primarily com-
promotes ing from entrepreneurs."
Business graduate student
innovation Karthik Raman said Arora's
speech was a refreshing change
ALICIA ADAMCZYK of pace from most of the speech-
Daily StaffReporter es he hears from corporate pro-
fessionals, which are primarily
Ross School of Business focused on business tactics.
ot hold many classes on "It's good every once in a
s, but about 350 students while to get that motivational
owed up bright and early speech of 'believe in yourself to
day to attend Entrepaloo- do something big,"' Raman said.
school's annual entrepre- After the keynote address,
1 symposium. students broke into four panel
repalooza 2012: "Innova- discussions, including one titled
n Many Forms" featured Launching While at School,
es by successful Univer- where attendees discussed the
lumni, panel discussions challenges and benefits of creat-
etworking opportunities ing a start-up while still attend-
young aspiring business- ing college.
nd women. Tyler Paxton, a Business alum
1 Arora - a Business alum and founder and CEO of Are You
esident and CEO of Yodlee, a Human? - a technology compa-
sonal financial manage- ny that replaces CAPTCHAs, the
olutions company geared human verifications that web-
I large fiscal institutions sites use to prohibit computer
eived the Alumni Entre- responses, with more entertain-
r of the Year Award and ing games - said he agreed to be
ed the keynote address. a panelist for the event because
g his speech, he said the the University has been a great
mportant key to success is resource for him over the years.
ence in one's abilities. "We're Michiganders at heart
an interview after the and we love to give back," Paxton
Arora said entrepreneurs said. "It's good to see students
University play a crucial engaged and really excited about
shaping American soci- entrepreneurship."
cause they are redefining Other panelists and Univer-
tive ventures that will sity alumni included Eric Ersher,
for the next 50 years. the co-founder and CEO of the
ey're the engine for popular chain restaurant Zoup!,
h," Arora said. "If you look Tony Grover, the co-founder

and managing director of RPM
Ventures, an early stage venture
firm that invests primarily in
Information Technologies, and
Jeff Weedman, vice president of
global business development at
the Proctor & Gamble company.
Business graduate student
Thomas Polzin said he attended
the seminar to try to take advan-
tage of the University's resources
in his quest to start his own com-
"It's always good to hear from
the horse's mouth," Polzin said.
"I definitely learn by doing and
by action, and these guys have
been there so I learned from
Genevieve Sparby, a part-
time MBA student, said she has
attended the event for four years
and thinks it provides a great
opportunity to network and
share ideas.
"Some of the students I've
seen before in previous years,"
Sparby said. "It's neat to see how
they've progressed in forming
the venture and where they are
MBA student Amaryllia Liu
said she was interested to see
if it would be feasible to switch
careers from law to a start-up
in the food industry, and was
inspired by one of the panelists
who faced a similar situation in
the past.
"It's promising to see that
there are people who have been
successful who are also U of M
grads," Liu said.

Findings indicate
in olfactory
For the Daily
Researchers at the Universi-
ty's Medical School are one step
closer to understanding congen-
ital anosmia, a rare disease that
inhibits the sense of smell from
Jeffrey Martens, an associate
professor in the Department of
Pharmacology, and his research
team published a report in early
September documenting their
findings in increasing the nasal
function in rats suffering from a
strain of the disease that is fatal
in humans.
Though the breakthrough
won't apply specifically to
humans - since humans with
the strain don't survive beyond
birth - the findings have
broad implications for future
research on sensory dysfunc-
tions that result from ciliopathy,
a dysfunction of the cilia - small
hair-like structures that reside
on the cells of the nasal cavity
and are crucial for the brain's
detection and interpretation of
"We're very optimistic
because, not only was this one
of the first reports to treat anos-
mia, but this was, as far as we
know, one of the first reports to
actually treat a ciliopathy," Mar-
tens said.
Congenital anosmia is one
of many diseases that result
from complications with the

cilia. Odors dissolve in the nasal
mucus, which then bond to an
odor receptor on the cilia, which
sends a signal to the brain that
enables it to interpret the smell.
Ciliopathy can also impact
other organs of the body where
cilia exists, including the heart,
eyes and kidneys.
Martens said congenital
anosmia in humans is difficult
to study because of the lack of
known cases. He noted that two
to four million Americans have
anosmia or other olfactory dys-
functions, but it is unclear what
percentage of those cases is con-
Martens explained that lack
of clarity has to do with the dis-
ease going under-diagnosed or
unreported by patients.
"A lot of people don't know
that they can't smell, especially
if they haven't been able to smell
since birth or they don't go to
the doctor thinking it's a major
issue," he said.
The first author of the most
recent paper, Jeremy McIntyre,
a post-doctoral research fel-
low at the University Medical
School, has been working in
Martens's lab for about three
years. He said though the
research process can be ardu-
ous, reaching the point of publi-
cation makes the hard work pay
"In the middle of research, it
can be painful at times," Mar-
tens said. "It can be alot of work.
It can be frustrating trying to
get the conditions right so that
you can answer the questions
that you need and work out all
the technicalities of doing these
experiments ... butthen you pub-
lish it, and everything up until
this point, for me, has been the

reward of publishing the paper."
For people battling the dis-
ease, Martens cautioned that
human applications are still
many years away.
"Our next step is to bet-
ter understand the system and
translate this into a potential
therapy for patients," Martens
said. "I think it's something
coming down the line but we're
not there yet."
Martens said a cure for
humans would require more
extensive research, which will
take time. However, he said he is
optimistic, calling the research
"an exciting first step," adding
that the research is reward-
ing because of the potential for
drastically improving the qual-
ity of life for those affected.
"When I got into this, I didn't
fully understand the impact it
has on people's lives and now it's
really changed my perspective
and I'm very excited because,
for the first time... I can see that
clear translational component,"
he said.
Martens said one of the most
satisfying outcomes of the
breakthrough is the response
he has received from patients
around the world who have vol-
unteered for clinical studies.
Martens lauded the support-
ive atmosphere of the University
in aiding their research endeav-
"We're just excited to be able
to do this work here at Michigan
and the environment here has
really provided us an oppor-
tunity to be able to make an
impact on the field," Martens
said. "There's tremendous sci-
ence going on throughout this
University and we're excited by


Iraq executions on the rise,
raises concerns for civil rights

Launch Your
Creative Career
Today ,,

96 people killed in
2012 for allegedly
partaking in
terrorist activities
BAGHDAD (AP) - Iraq has
executed nearly 100 people so
far this year, a big increase over
previous years that has inten-
sified concern about whether
defendants are receiving fair
trials in a country where the
United States has spent billions
of dollars trying to reform the
judicial system after decades of
The government says most
of the executed had been con-
victed of terrorism as bomb-
ings and shootings persist in
Iraq, albeit not at the levels at
the height of its conflict years

ago. However, international
observers worry that the legal
process is faulty and that some
trials are politically motivated
- including this month's death
sentence against Iraq's fugi-
tive Sunni vice president, Tariq
al-Hashemi, a longtime foe of,
Shiite Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki who was convicted
in absentia of running death
The executions in 2012 of at
least 96 people, all by hanging,
amount to more than a quarter
of all convicts who have been
put to death in the last eight
tumultuous years under lead-
ers who struggled to stabilize
a country at war after dictator
Saddam Hussein was ousted in
the U.S.-led war.
Christof Heyns, the U.N.
investigator on arbitrary exe-
cutions, described the govern-

ment-sanctioned executions
as "arbitrary killing" that is
"committed behind a smoke-
screen of flawed legal pro-
cesses." He warned that the "
continued lack of transparency
about the implementation of
the death penalty in Iraq, and
the country's recent record,
raise serious concerns about
the question of what to expect
in the future."
He made the remarks in a
statement in August after more
than two dozen people were
executed in one week.
Since 2005, Iraq's govern-
ment has executed 372 people,
including at least nine women
and number of foreigners
convicted of terror charges,
according to Justice Ministry
data. The number of foreigners
among those killed this year
was not available.



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