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For June, 2010

June 30 - Mott patient hits milestones after 4th heart surgery, Free Press reports

Seventeen-month-old Mira Larrison received her 4th open-heart surgery at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital June 1, reports the Free Press. Since then, the Clay Township toddler has reached a few milestones: her parents have moved her into her own room at home; she has slowly begun to eat through the mouth rather than a feeding tube; and her parents are considering traveling out-of-state because she no longer needs to be three hours away from the hospital.

June 29 - Dr. Joyce Lee quoted on about risks of being overweight featured an article outlining how lifestyle choices made in young adults may come back to haunt them in later years. Joyce Lee, M.D., M.P.H., U-M assistant professor of pediatric endocrinology was quoted in the article about making a fresh start after years of eating fast food. “Check your BMI. If it’s above 25 and you’re overweight, try to drop some pounds. Losing even 5 percent of your body weight can lower your risk of diabetes,” she said.

June 28 - Dr. Lee Green’s editorial on the use of statin medications in LA Times

LA Times, Baltimore Sun and the Chicago Tribune reports studies recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggest a widely hailed 2008 study that appeared to establish the benefit of the statin rosuvastatin (commercially marketed as Crestor) in the prevention of heart attack and stroke was “flawed.” In an editorial in the Archives, Dr. Lee A. Green of U-M says the research that will inform consultations for the medication in the future "must be free of incentives to find any desired answer.

June 28 - UMHS patient, mother advocate for increased awareness of organ donation in Michigan

Five-month old Kylee Vliet is recovering from a lifesaving liver transplant at U-M's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, reports the Detroit Free Press. She is one of the fortunate ones -- 203 Michiganders died last year while awaiting a transplant. Gift of Life Michigan officials are lobbying Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land to have clerks ask people if they want to be organ donors while renewing driver's licenses, which advocates say have raised donor rates substantially in other states.

June 28 - Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan in Wall Street Journal on prostate cancer

Most forms of prostate cancer don’t need treatment, though small percentages are lethal and aggressive. As of now, there's no way to tell which cancers are which, so all diagnosed undergo treatment. The Wall Street Journal reports scientists at U-M have identified at least 24 different kinds of prostate cancer with genetic testing. "We are not there yet, but within the next year, we hope to have a clinical lab test where we can predict what kind of cancer a man has," says Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan of U-M.

June 28 - Dr. Jon Sekiya on Fox 2 for ACL repairs

Fox 2 reports there are hundreds of thousands of anterior cruciate ligament knee repairs done every year and thousands of those will fail due to in adequate rehabilitation, physiological factors, reoccurring and improper surgical techniques. To reduce the chance of failure, Dr. Jon Sekiya of U-M says patients should talk to surgeons and other clinical staff who may be involved in their care about their experience before deciding on where to get the surgery. See UMHS news release.

June 28 - Don Tomford in The Press and Guide on diving safety awareness

The Press and Guide reports UMHS is working to raise awareness about injuries that can occur due to diving accidents, including spinal cord injury. This awareness is “to prevent anybody from getting injured by jumping headfirst into water and getting injured,” said Don Tomford, M.A., chief department administer for neurosurgery at U of M. U-M hopes to encourage swimmers and boaters to think “feet first” on the water. See UMHS news release.

June 28 - Dr. Timothy Johnson contributes article on caesareans to Boston Globe

Even though caesareans are associated with higher rates of complications than vaginal births, they are becoming increasingly common, according to a Boston Globe article contributed by Timothy Johnson, M.D., FACOG, chair of the U-M Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Problems range from infections, to blood clots, prematurity, respiratory problems for the baby, complications with subsequent pregnancies and a small risk of death for the mother. Media attention has stressed that extreme obesity can raise the risk of having a caesarean, but more emphasis is needed on other system-based approaches to lower the caesarean rate.

June 27 - Drs. Pamela Rockwell, Caren Stalburg, Kevin Reynolds in Free Press column for grateful cancer patient

After experiencing peculiar symptoms, Susan Anger from the Detroit Free Press called Pam Rockwell, D.O., of U-M for advice. Rockwell referred Anger to U-M gynecologist, Caren Stalburg, M.D. who diagnosed her with endometrial cancer. After her full hysterectomy via the daVinci robotics system at U-M, performed by Kevin Reynolds, M.D., the risk of her cancer returning was one percent. Anger says she learned: “Don't put off seeking help. Cancer can often be stalled or cured. And take good care of your friends and family, who will keep you afloat in frightening times.”

June 27 - Dr. Ora Pescovitz featured in Free Press on women and top roles in health care

A Detroit Free Press column says diversity in the CEO ranks of a major industry in the Detroit region has historically been rare. “Diversity matters for business' sake because women make most buying decisions,” the column says. Among panelists at the recent Michigan Chronicle “Pancakes and Politics” panel discussion on health care, Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., executive vice president for medical affairs at University of Michigan, was one of three women.

June 25 - Listen to Dr. Pescovitz on WLBY-AM Saturday morning

Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, executive vice president for Medical Affairs and chief executive officer of the Health System, appeared on the Lucy Ann Lance show this week to talk about the health system, the role of the new North Campus Research Complex, and how the national health care program will impact the way hospitals do business. You can listen to the interview on WLBY-AM 1290 at this link, and scroll down to Dr. Pescovitz's picture. Or tune in on Saturday about 11:30 a.m.

June 24 - Doug Strong and Dr. Pescovitz quoted in Crain’s Detroit Business

The U-M Hospitals and Health Centers expect to double projected fiscal 2010 operating margin to 3.3 percent and post $2 billion in revenue for the three hospitals and 40 outpatient clinics, reports Crain’s Detroit Business. Doug Strong, CEO of U-M Hospitals said in the article, “this year’s success can be attributed to a combination of more patients, efficiency, teamwork and attention to factors that affect our bottom line.” Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., CEO of the U-M Health System, said that the positive margins will allow the health system to invest in facilities, information technology and human resources.

June 24 – Dr. Woolliscroft quoted in New York Times and Detroit News

In the latest effort to break up the often cozy relationship between doctors and the medical industry, the University of Michigan Medical School has become the first to decide that it will no longer take any money from drug and device makers to pay for coursework doctors need to renew their medical licenses, reports the New York Times and the Detroit News. James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., dean of Michigan’s medical school, said leading faculty members “wanted education to be free from bias, to be based on the best evidence and a balanced view of the topic under discussion.”

June 24 – Former Mott patient honored at World Stem Cell Summit

Laura Jackson, a former patient at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, will receive the Inspiration Award at the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit in Detroit on Oct. 5, reports Reuters. Paralyzed in a cheerleading accident seven years ago, Laura Jackson has become a tireless and effective advocate for stem cell research. Others being honored at the Summit include A. Alfred Taubman, whose visionary leadership has resulted in the establishment of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at the University of Michigan, and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

June 23 - Dr. As-Sanie quoted on

According to an article on, women are 10 times more likely than men to get fibromyalgia, a chronic condition that causes fatigue and muscle and joint pain. And for some of these women, there’s one time each month when fibromyalgia symptoms and pain become worse - their period. “Many women report an increase in fibromyalgia symptoms just prior to their periods and during menses,” said Sawsan As-Sanie, M.D., M.P.H., U-M assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, in the article. “Overall pain and sensitivity change during the menstrual cycle.”

June 22 - Dr. Saini on for colonoscopy study

Major medical organizations recommend colonoscopies every 10 years for people ages 50 and older who are considered at low-risk for colon cancer, and people who are at high-risk should undergo screening every three years, reports U-M research found that this is the standard for reducing colon cancer cases and deaths. “There is evidence that we are overusing colonoscopy in low-risk patients and under-using them in high-risk patients,” Sameer Saini, M.D., M.S., U-M professor of internal medicine, said. “We need to focus our efforts on high-risk patients, who have the most to gain from these procedures.” See UMHS news release.

June 21 - Dr. Paul Kileny in U.S. News & World Report on MP3 players and hearing loss

According to Belgian researchers, people using MP3 players are leaving themselves open to temporary changes in hearing, which over time might result in permanent hearing loss, reports U.S. News & World Report. Paul R. Kileny, Ph.D., director of audiology and electrophysiology at the U-M, says in addition to volume levels, which can cause hearing damage, MP3s use a compression system to make music files smaller -- a technique that may also lead to hearing loss.

June 21 - Dr. Gary Huffnagle comments on new study on babies’ birth routes

Science News reports new research finds babies born via cesarean section have markedly different bacteria on their skin, noses mouths and rectums than babies born vaginally, adding to evidence that babies born via C-section may miss out on beneficial bacteria passed on by their mothers. The new work may improve understanding of the early immune system, says Dr. Gary Huffnagle of U-M. While C-sections can be lifesaving in some cases, the procedure appears to shift a baby’s first bacterial community.

June 21 - Dr. Mark Ilgen in UPI and Science Daily on veteran suicides research

Veterans with substance use disorders are more likely to use violent means (such as a firearm) rather than nonviolent means (such as a drug overdose) to commit suicide, reports UPI and Science Daily. The research led by Dr. Mark Ilgen of U-M and the Department of Veterans Affairs Center of Excellence in Ann Arbor says substance use disorders and suicide are linked in several ways and suggests care providers should be aware of the high suicide risk in this group and access to lethal means should be reduced. See UMHS news release.

June 21 - Dr. Marcia Valenstein quoted in Austin American-Statesman on acupuncture to treat PTSD

Acupuncture is endorsed by many Western medicine practitioners as a treatment for physical pain, and now the therapy is slowly accepted into Western medicine as treatment for mental pain. The military is leading the pack, reports Austin American-Statesman. About 30 to 45 percent of soldiers come home with some mental health problems, said Dr. Marcia Valenstein, of U-M and the Department of Veterans Affairs Center of Excellence in Ann Arbor. PTSD is one of the most common.

June 19 - U-M transplant surgeons trade scrubs for server aprons

Members of the University of Michigan Transplant Center traded in their surgical scrubs for server aprons during a fundraising dinner at Zingerman's Roadhouse June 15, reports Ann Arbor Journal. U-M head football coach Rich Rodriguez also made a special appearance. Several of the surgeons said events like this help people to better understand what's involved in transplant surgery and they hoped to encourage more people to become organ donors. Quoted were Amit Mathur, M.D., John Charpie, M.D., Shelly Riddell, P.A., John Magee, M.D., Randy Sung, M.D., and Rishi Reddy, M.D.

June 19 - Dr. Reg A. Williams quoted in KFSN-TV on new mental health disorder treatments

KFSN-TV (Fresno, Calif.) reports millions of Americans suffer regular bouts of depression or anxiety. Most never seek help, yet experts say new treatments can effectively relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. New treatments are being used with new medications, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, vagal nerve stimulation and alternative therapies. "Both with depression and anxiety, often individuals have a distortion in their thinking about what is going on in their life," explains Reg A. Williams, Ph.D., of U-M.

June 19 - Dr. Chun quoted in HealthDay, US News & World Report

As reported in HealthDay and U.S. News & World Report, for a small number of obese people, those extra pounds do not condemn them to heart disease or diabetes, according to Dutch researchers. For those few without other risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, being obese doesn’t raise their risk of cardiovascular trouble. Tae-Hwa Chun, M.D., Ph.D., U-M assistant professor of internal medicine, said in the article that “clearly we need to know why some overweight and obese individuals are protected from metabolic deterioration and increased cardiovascular risk.” He adds that “there is a caveat in this study, however, as the cardiovascular event rate is so low in the short follow-up period, the study may not possess enough statistics to detect a difference.”

June 18 - WWJ-950 and MLive covers Pancakes and Politics, attended by Dr. Pescovitz to discuss jobs in health care.

Health care is a key part of the economic development future of metro Detroit, according to Friday morning’s final installment of the Pancakes and Politics breakfast series for the program year, covered by WWJ-950 and MLive. In terms of health care as an economic development, U-M Health System CEO, Dr. Ora Pescovitz, said at the event that U-M’s purchase of Pfizer’s huge research campus in Ann Arbor is a natural spot for more public-private partnerships to create more health care companies.

June 18 – U-M Hospitals and Health Centers exceed financial projections

University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers continued in strong financial health, despite the state's economy, posting a 3.3% operating margin on $2 billion in revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30, reports The Detroit Free Press and Crain’s Detroit. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D., CEO of the University of Michigan Health System, said the positive margins will allow the health system to invest in facilities, information technology and human resources. “They also provide vital support to our strong biomedical research and education programs,” Pescovitz says. See UMHS news release.

June 18 – Dr. Sandberg quoted in Time Magazine

Marisa Langford and her husband learned they were silent carriers of the genetic variation that causes congenital adrenal hyperplasia when their son was diagnosed with the condition after birth, reports Time Magazine. Langford was prescribed dexamethasone, a commonly used medication for CAH. The early prenatal use of dexamethasone, or dex, has been shown to prevent some of the symptoms of CAH in girls, namely ambiguous genitalia. Some doctors and researchers have criticized proponents of prenatal dex for introducing gender behavior into the medical prognosis. “Maybe this gives clinicians the idea that the treatment goal is normalizing behavior, says David E. Sandberg, Ph.D., a U-M pediatric psychologist who treats and conducts research on children with CAH. “To say you want a girl to be less masculine is not a reasonable goal of clinical care."

June 18 – 5k walk/run to honor former Mott patient

Dillon Cope beat back leukemia several times after being diagnosed in the first grade. It finally won in May 2009 when he was 16, a sophomore and linebacker for Rochester Adams High School's junior-varsity football team. On June 19, members of the Rochester Hills Government Youth Council want to honor his fight by sponsoring a 5K walk/run at Bloomer Park with proceeds to benefit C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital where he was treated, reports the Detroit News. The money will be used to buy televisions and movies to help patients relax while they're undergoing cancer treatment.

June 18 – Dr. Ohye and heart transplant patient in the Flint Journal

After receiving a heart transplant at U-M, 12-year-old Clair McCorkle is finally leading an energetic life out of her wheelchair, reports the Flint Journal. Claire was suffering from restrictive cardiomyopathy, which can also lead to problems in other organs. Claire’s family and Ohye stress the need for more donor awareness. “That’s why these kids die waiting is because of lack of donors,” says Richard Ohye, M.D, Claire’s surgeon at U-M., adding some may be taken off the transplant list if their problems damage other organs too much.

June 18 – Dr. Prince quoted in Denver Post

The University of Colorado medical school announced a first-of-its-kind program Thursday aimed at attracting major clinical trials on cancer patients in search of drugs that will kill cancer stem cells, reports the Denver Post. CU is the first to dedicate a program solely to testing drugs that target and destroy the cells at the root of cancer, Colorado researchers said. Mark Prince, M.D., a surgeon and professor at the University of Michigan who focuses on head and neck cancer, said CU's new program is significant, but called it "sort of a marketing gimmick" to attract drug companies. "It's important and it's great that they singled that out," Prince says. "But lots of places have been (studying cancer stem cells) for longer than Colorado."

June 18 – Dr. Petty quoted in Science Daily

During pregnancy, many women experience remission of autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and uveitis. Now, scientists have described a biological mechanism responsible for changes in the immune system that helps to explain the remission, reports Science Daily. The expression of an enzyme known as pyruvate kinase is reduced in immune cells in pregnant women compared to non-pregnant women, according to Howard R. Petty, Ph.D., biophysicist at the U-M Kellogg Eye Center. "It may be possible to design drugs that mildly suppress pyruvate kinase activity as a means of replicating the immune status of normal pregnancy," says Petty. See UMHS news release.

June 18 – North Campus Research Complex featured in Dome Magazine

The University of Michigan plans to vastly expand its research capability and help its home state make the painful transition from a manufacturing to a knowledge-based economy, reports Dome Magazine. U-M bought the 174-acre former Pfizer research complex on the edge of the university’s North Campus in 2009 for $108 million, far below the cost of building new facilities. It will increase the university’s lab space, already among the most expansive of any university in the country, by 50 percent. U-M announced on June 11 that David Canter, who formerly was Pfizer’s top executive at the Ann Arbor site, will take over as executive director of the North Campus Research Center on July 19. Joan Keiser remains as managing director of the complex. See UMHS news release.

June 17 – Dr. Volk quoted in ABC News and

A U.K. family is outraged after learning that their now-deceased-daughter received a double lung transplant from a long-time smoker, reports ABC News and But it's a situation that occurs all over the world, and fairly often, according to transplant surgeons. "In general there's been a transition in medicine to give patients more autonomy in decision making," says Michael Volk, M.D., an expert in patient-physician communication regarding transplant issues at the University of Michigan. "But, we really don't tell patients that much about organ quality, partially because it's difficult for them to gauge risk," he says.

June 17 – U-M football coach, players, visit sick child at Mott

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez comforts a grieving family and gives a father and son their U-M moment, in a story published by the Detroit News. David Page III was born with non-immune hydrops, a life-threatening disorder that essentially is a prenatal form of heart failure. He was sent to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, not far from Michigan Stadium. On April 16, a Friday and a day before Michigan's spring football game, the team's final practice before August camp, Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez and his wife, Rita, visited David at Mott after meeting other sick children. Michigan offensive linemen Perry Dorrestein and John Ferrara also were there that day.

June 17 – ‘Kanz for Kids’ fundraiser for Mott Children’s Hospital on WJBK Fox 2

Katie Sesi has been raising money going on can drives and playing the violin outside her aunt’s shop in Ann Arbor for the past year and a half to reach her goal of $10,000 to donate to the U-M Mott Children’s Hospital, reports WJBK Fox 2. Katie will be playing violin on the sidewalk during the Event on Main, another fundraiser to raise money for the new hospital this week. She will also be presenting her check there.

June 17 – Dr. Heidelbaugh quoted in Scientific American

Recent research suggests that the popularity of acid blockers in part results from unnecessary prescriptions that may be putting millions of people at risk, reports Scientific American Magazine. Although proton pump inhibitors are meant to treat only gastroesophageal reflux and peptic ulcer disease, a number of people who have gastrointestinal symptoms that are not due to acid are given PPIs. Doctors also give PPIs to hospital patients who have serious injuries to prevent gastrointestinal bleeding and stress ulcers.  But not only are such prescriptions questionable, they are also frequently given to patients who do not need them. “This spilled out into, ‘Let’s do this for all or most of our hospitalized patients,’ ” explains Joel Heidelbaugh, M.D., an associate professor of family medicine at U-M.

June 17 – Dr. Ginsburg appointed to Shire's Science & Technology and Remuneration Committees

Shire plc, the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, announces that David Ginsburg, M.D., has been appointed to the Shire Board of Directors with immediate effect, reports Reuters. Ginsburg is currently Professor of Internal Medicine & Human Genetics at the Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan; an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor of Medicine. Ginsburg qualified at Yale University and has a very distinguished background that includes many research achievements, fellowships, awards and published papers. These have included a research post at Harvard Medical School and numerous senior professorial positions across a broad spectrum of medical specializms at the University of Michigan. Ginsburg has also been appointed to Shire's Science & Technology Committee.

June 17 – U-M Medical Innovation Center looking to expand

WWJ reports that better medical devices are already emerging from the University of Michigan's Medical Innovation Center, a two-year-old university organization dedicated to commercializing medical devices and software. The center, established in the spring of 2008, also runs a fellowship program that brings together five people from UM's business, engineering and medical schools for a year-long project. The center is expanding to include medical device ideas outside the UM faculty, and currently has a portfolio of projects of more than 120 that it's trying to help get to the next step. To become self-sustaining, the center needs an endowment of $25 million to $30 million.

June 15 - Dr. Hayward’s study on statins in Wall Street Journal

For years, Americans have been taking statins, among the most widely used drugs in the world, with the aim of getting their cholesterol numbers down to target levels, reports the Wall Street Journal. Now, U-M expert, Rodney Hayward, M.D., suggests physicians do away with numerical cholesterol targets in favor of a more tailored approach to treating individual patients. “When you think of only one thing-are you at target?-you’ve adopted a simplistic view that is not tailored to that patient’s circumstances,” says Hayward in the article. Hayward backs the use of statins, but argues that the target approach focuses too much on just cholesterol in choosing treatments. See UMHS news release.

June 15 - Sarah Clark, Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher in Detroit News on concussions

A U-M survey found parents of school and youth athletes are too often unaware of risks from sports concussions, but they support school policies to minimize the dangers, reports Detroit News. Sarah Clark, M.P.H., said she’s surprised so many parents are unaware of long-term damage done by repeat concussions. Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., says parents need to educate themselves about the issue to prevent kids from returning too soon to the activity where a second concussion may happen. See UMHS news release.

June 14 - CNN interview with Dr. Kevorkian and Dr. Gupta on U-M’s campus

Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviewed Dr. Jack Kevorkian on U-M’s campus, which will air on CNN’s “Larry King Live” 9 p.m. Thursday. They were in Ann Arbor because both attended the University of Michigan Medical School. Gupta graduated in 1993 and the 82-year-old Kevorkian in 1952. Kevorkian says he has assisted in at least 130 people’s suicides and prefers the term “patholysis,” which means the destruction of disease or suffering. Read the story here.

June 13 - New NCRC executive director honored in Free Press, more

U-M has named David Canter executive director of the North Campus Research Complex, the 174-acre research campus formerly belonging to Pfizer, reports the Detroit Free Press. Canter, pending the approval of the U-M Board of Regents, will assume his role July 19. He will have responsibility for developing U-M strategy for the site’s 30 buildings and open land. Also reported by The Michigan Daily, Crain’s Detroit and See UMHS news release.

June 11 - Dr. Caird, patient needing a new wheelchair featured in Jackson News

Shayna Miller, 16, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was 9 months old. Recently, she underwent surgery to straighten her spine. The surgery required a new wheelchair to sit safely, says Michelle Caird, M.D., of U-M, Miller’s pediatric orthopedic surgeon. However, the Jackson News reports even with the help of the University of Michigan Health System Wheelchair Seating Service, Miller’s family has still hit roadblocks with Medicaid.

June 11 – Dr. Markel quoted in Washington Post, L.A. Times, Seattle Times and Yahoo News

Scientists examining Saint Rose of Viterbo’s mummified body say she had a congenital heart defect that may have ultimately killed her as a teenager, reports The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times and Yahoo News. To get the X-rays, researchers from the G. d'Annunzio University in Chieti, Italy took a portable machine to Santa Rosa monastery in Viterbo, near Rome, where Saint Rose's heart is kept in a reliquary. Her body was mummified separately. Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan, says re-examining mummies should only be done under certain circumstances. "To avoid this being a macabre parlor game, we have to ask ... does this answer any burning questions in medicine or in history?" he says. "I'm not sure this does."

June 11 – Dr. Sussman’s study on the recession’s effects on hospital quality in Science Daily

Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System and St. Joseph Mercy Health System say the current national economic crisis may be an exception to past recessions where hospitals were still financially stable, reports Science Daily and Ann "In uncertain economic times, it's especially important to have certainty that hospitals are doing things safely,” says lead author Jeremy Sussman, M.D., internal medicine physician and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation clinical scholar at UMHS. “But as hospitals reduce staff and make other changes to make ends meet, we don't necessarily have that certainty. That's why it's as important as ever to not only measure the quality of hospital care, but also understand the systems that do deliver consistent, cost-effective and high quality care." See UMHS news release.

June 11 – Dr. Cooney’s research on prostate cancer in WWJ and UPI

Researchers believe that genetics and traditional screening methods could play a role in predicting the risk of prostate cancer in younger men, reports WWJ, Kalamazoo Gazette and UPI. “This is a potential opportunity to combine PSA testing with genetic markers to determine who has significant prostate cancer. It could be a combination of age and family history that could help us determine who should be tested with PSA and a panel of genetic markers,” says study author Kathleen Cooney, M.D., Frances and Victor Ginsberg Professor of Hematology/Oncology and division chief of hematology/oncology at the U-M Medical School. See UMHS news release.

June 10 – Pat Lynch quoted in reports that two burger restaurants just announced deals to open in the South State and East Liberty streets area in coming months. They follow still more deals struck in 2009, signaling the rising local effects of a growing U.S. restaurant niche. Burgers are a $100 billion national industry, and national experts say there’s room to grow the “gourmet” or “better burger” part of the sector. However, many burger-lovers overlook the high calorie counts. A 10-ounce burger made of lean meat will have 600 calories just in the meat, estimated Pat Lynch, registered dietitian at the University of Michigan Health Center. “That’s not the bun, that’s not the sauce, that’s not the cheese,” she says. Large burgers laden with toppings could reach 1,500 calories.

June 6 - Dr. Hyzy quoted in Free Press about ICU health

Robert Hyzy, M.D., A.C.P., ACCP, ACCM, chief of the medical Intensive Care Unit at U-M, has been on the forefront of cutting down hospital-acquired infections in the ICU, reports the Detroit Free Press. Nearly 100,000 people die of hospital-acquired infections each year, and Michigan is in the forefront of combating that staggering statistic. Of the U-M ICU unit, Hyzy said “We call it the Big Mo, the Big Mobility. We get patients off sedation, out of bed and back in the game.”

June 4 – Mott earns high rankings in U.S. News & World Report

The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is nationally ranked in eight of 10 pediatric specialty areas featured in the 2010-11 Best Children’s Hospitals report by U.S. News. Mott is recognized as 4th in the nation in children’s heart care and heart surgery, 13th in orthopedics, and 19th in kidney disorders, and among the nation’s best in cancer, diabetes and endocrinology, pulmonology, neonatology and urology. See UMHS news release.

June 4 – Cecilia Sauter quoted in ABC News

ABC News reports that the calories lurking in popular beverages can contribute to increased diabetes risk. Cecilia Sauter, R.D., a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator at the University of Michigan says nature plays a part in tricking us with liquid calories. "Our brain, when we drink something, is not just going to check it off as, 'I quenched my hunger,'" says Sauter. "When I drink eight ounces of juice, I am not going to feel satisfied."

June 4 – Dr. Morrison among keynote speakers at World Stem Cell Summit

The World Stem Cell Summit announced the selection of keynote speakers for the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit, which is taking place at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan, October 4-6. The Science Keynote will be delivered by Sean Morrison, Ph.D., Director of Center for Stem Cell Biology, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan. Delivering the Advocacy Keynote will be A. Alfred Taubman, Founder and Chair, A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute. Reuters reported on this announcement.

June 4 – Dr. Sasson's study on cardiac survival in New York Times and UPI.

The most important factor involved in surviving a heart attack may be the neighborhood in which it occurs, reports UPI. Comilla Sasson, M.D., who conducted the study while at the University of Michigan, found cardiac arrest rates in some neighborhoods were two to three times higher than in other neighborhoods in the same county. The neighborhoods with high cardiac arrest rates also tended to have lower median household incomes, more African-American residents and lower education levels, the study found. Reported by The New York Times. See UMHS news release.

June 3 - Cardiovascular Center doc talks to Voice of America about recycling pacemakers

Physicians at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center continue to show reusing pacemakers is an effective, cost-saving option in Third World countries where patients would not otherwise be able to afford such therapies. Dr. Timir Baman talked to Voice of America about the global inequalities in heart care, and Center Director Dr. Kim Eagle was quoted by Reuters Health about the potential for saving lives with recycled pacemakers. Their research was recently presented at an American Heart Association scientific forum. See news release here.

June 3 – Dr. Dauer’s study on neural tissues in Science Daily

Researchers from the University of Michigan have found neural tissue contains imbalanced levels of proteins, which may explain the brain's susceptibility to a debilitating childhood movement disorder, reports Science Daily. Known as DYT1 dystonia, the disease causes involuntary twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures. "We want to understand why dystonia affects only brain cells in order to treat children," says William Dauer, M.D., Elinor Levine associate professor in the department of neurology at the University of Michigan. See UMHS news release.

June 3 – U-M researchers develop culture dish that could advance stem cell research

Science Daily reports that a new synthetic Petri dish coating could overcome a major challenge to the advancement of human embryonic stem cell research. Joerg Lahann, Ph.D., associate professor of chemical engineering at U-M, Gary Smith, Ph.D., associate professor in obstetrics and gynecology at U-M, and their co-workers built a new stem cell growth matrix that is completely synthetic and doesn't contaminate the stem cells with foreign substances that could interfere with their normal function. “We have designed a fully synthetic, fully chemically defined hydrogel that has long-term stability and no batch-to-batch variability,” Smith says. “Moreover, we have established that it can be used for long-term growth of human embryonic stem cells while maintaining all of their known normal functions.” See Press Release.

June 3 – Prostate Cancer Foundation adds Dr. Mani to 2010 class

The Prostate Cancer Foundation announced the addition of four Young Investigators to its Class of 2010, reports Reuters. PCF`s Young Investigator awards are designed to encourage the most innovative minds in cancer research to focus their careers on prostate cancer. Ram S. Mani, Ph.D., of U-M, was one of the award winners. Gene fusions are defined by the joining of two genes normally found in distinct regions of the genome. Mani proposes to exploit this finding by identifying molecules that block the cellular machinery responsible for generating gene fusions, thereby preventing prostate cancer initiation or progression.

June 1 - Dr. Comilla Sasson’s quoted on cardiac arrest study

According to a U-M study, the odds of surviving cardiac arrest may depend on where you live and whether anyone in the neighborhood attempts to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), reports Science Daily, Ivanhoe, and U.S. News and World Report. The outcomes “show that it is time to change our thinking on how and where we conduct CPR training if we are ever going to change the dismal rate of survival from cardiac arrest," said Comilla Sasson, M.D., M.S., of U-M.

June 1 - U-M rehab program sets paralyzed OSU student on his feet, reports Toledo Blade

Brock Mealer, 25-year-old Ohio State University student who survived a car accident in 2007 that left him paralyzed from the waist down, is a step closer to defying the “impossible.” Mealer is currently undergoing rehabilitation at U-M, where his brother is a football player, in preparation to lead the Wolverines onto the field at the Big House on September 4 for the season opener. According to the Toledo Blade, the 99 percent chance doctors gave him of never walking again, is becoming more tenuous with each passing day, due in part to U-M strength coaches who have begun dabbling in spinal cord research.

June 1 - Drs. Traynor and Neubig quoted on new antidepressant study

U-M scientists have provided the most detailed picture yet of a key receptor in the brain that influences the effectiveness of serotonin-related antidepressants, such as Prozac, reports Science Daily. The best current treatments for depression are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. The team of researchers showed that one particular pathway, the serotonin 5HT1a receptor is linked with antidepressive and antianxiety behavior in mice. See UMHS news release.

May 31 - Dr. Shawn Hervey-Jumper, Dr. Karin Muraszko and Laura Zang quoted on diving safety

To encourage diver safety, U-M researchers urge swimmers to jump feet first in shallow water or if the depth is unknown. 18-year-old Matt Kerry dove into shallow water, paralyzing him from the neck down. His story is captured in a video being distributed across the country called, "Shattered Dreams." The video is one of the tools the University of Michigan uses in its injury prevention program. Reported by Health Day,, Detroit News and WJBK Fox 2 Detroit. See UMHS news release.

May 28 - Dr. Richard Ohye’s research in Science Daily and HealthDay

A trial on shunts used to direct blood flow to the lungs, led by researchers at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital will lead to better outcomes for kids worldwide born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, the most common severe heart birth defect, reports Science Daily and HealthDay. The lead author and principal investigator of this study was Richard G. Ohye, M.D., of U-M. See UMHS news release.

May 28 - Dr. Carmen Green comments on pain empathy in CNN

CNN reports that humans are hardwired to feel another person’s pain, though they may feel less innate empathy if the other person’s skin color doesn’t match their own. Researchers from Italy are reporting that subtle racial bias can interfere with pain empathy. "Pain empathy is basically feeling someone else's pain," says Carmen Green, M.D., of U-M. "This paper tells us that race plays a role in pain empathy."

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