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For March, 2010

March 31 - Dr. Jackson and Jean DuRussel-Weston quoted on school lunches study

Associated Content reports middle school children who regularly eat school lunches are more likely to be overweight or obese, and develop poorer eating habits and more sedentary lifestyles, according researchers at U-M. The study focused on how the choice to eat school lunches related to healthy eating and lifestyle choices. The researchers acknowledged the study was limited because differences in socioeconomic status among students were not adjusted, and addressed the need to discover factors related to the results. See UMHS news release.

March 31 - Dr. Silveira quoted in The Detroit News, CBS News, Washington Post, more

U-M research suggests more than one in four elderly Americans will eventually need someone to make end-of-life decisions about their medical care, reports The Detroit News, CBS News, Washington Post and more. Those who had advance directives received the care they wanted most of the time, says lead author Maria Silveira, M.D., M.P.H. She also says the study suggests crafting a living will and appointing a durable power of attorney for health care can be worthwhile. See UMHS news release.

March 31 - First U-M employees move to North Campus Research

The University of Michigan moved its first employees into the ex-Pfizer site, which has been renamed North Campus Research Complex, yesterday, reported U-M announced in January that numerous departments representing 300 employees would be the first to move to the complex. “Today is a major milestone in the development of the North Campus Research Complex, and we welcome this pioneering group of employees,” U-M Health System CEO and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, Ora Pescovitz, said. See UMHS news release.

March 30 - Dr. Pierce quoted on study showing mastectomies not always best for cancer patients

Lori Pierce, M.D., U-M professor of radiation oncology, was quoted on the New York Times online,, and in other media about her research that suggests women with genetic predispositions to breast cancer may not always have a decreased survival rate if they choose to preserve their breast rather than having it removed. “Breast conservation therapy…with chemotherapy and hormonal therapy is a very reasonable alternative,” Pierce said. Doctors said Pierce’s findings should buy some newly diagnosed breast cancer patients a bit of breathing room.,,,, and Boston Globe Online also covered the story.

March 26 - Dr. Hollister in NY Times on lab-grown replacement bones

Scott Hollister, Ph.D., professor in biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering and associate professor of surgery at U-M, is co-founder of Tissue Regeneration Systems, a company that is commercializing technology his group is developing for skeletal reconstruction in the face, spine and extremities. He is working on creating bones of a jaw joint, using the human body as the incubator, reported the New York Times.

March 25 - Sue Olsson, R.N. quoted in Lansing State Journal

Nurses and nursing students rallied for the Safe Patient Care Act at the state Capitol Wednesday that would establish minimum nurse-to-patient ratios and end the use of mandated overtime. Hospitals that cut back on nurse staffing risk harming their patients, said Sue Olsson, R.N., of U-M, in the Lansing State Journal. Michigan Health and Hospital Association, which represents 143 acute care hospitals in the state, said the legislature shouldn't decide how to staff hospitals.

March 24 - Dr. Kalemkerian comments on London chemotherapy research

Chemotherapy improves survival for patients with operable non-small cell lung cancer, say British and French researchers who reviewed nearly 50 studies, reported by HealthDay. In an accompanying commentary to the report released online March 23 in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of The Lancet, Gregory P. Kalemkerian, M.D., professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at U-M, said, “…worldwide adoption of adjuvant chemotherapy could save up to 10,000 lives every year.”

March 24 - Dr. Eagle quoted on

Kim Eagle, M.D., professor of internal medicine at U-M and director of the U-M Cardiovascular Center, was quoted in a story that highlights elevated blood pressure as a sign of long-term survival for people admitted to an intensive care unit for a heart problem. A study led by Dr. Eagle several years ago anticipated this effect for people with acute coronary syndromes. “If someone is in acute stress, having a heart attack, and can generate acute hypertension, he is in good shape.”

March 24 - Dr. Howell writes book on Washtenaw County bike routes

Joel Howell, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Health Services Management and Policy and History at U-M, spends much of his free time road biking. According to Heritage Newspapers, Howell has given advice on the best places to ride for many years, prompting him to write a book to inspire new riders and encourage others to live an active lifestyle. Available in area bookstores, profits from the book will benefit the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society safety fund.

March 23 - Dr. Green speaks healthcare reform on ABC News

Lee Green, M.D., M.P.H., professor in the Department of Family Medicine at U-M, speaks to ABC News about the health care reform, featured on World News Tonight. Green is also quoted on Virginia’s WJLA news station from his appearance.

March 22 - U-M studies featured on MSNBC and WXYZ Detroit

MSNBC included U-M study on improving social skills with exercise on Health Watch, reporting those who were more physically active are more likely to show empathy with others and have strong leadership qualities. See UMHS physical activity news release. WXYZ Detroit included U-M study on the increased risk of irritable bowel syndrome for shift workers on Health Edge, reporting abdominal pain being more common in nurses working rotating shifts. See UMHS shift work news release.

March 22 - Marianne Udow-Philip, Drs. Fendrick and Davis quoted on health care reform

The approval of the federal health care reform bill Sunday night stirred mixed reactions from business, legal and health care communities. Marianne Udow-Philips, director of the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, is featured in Crain’s Detroit. She and Drs. A. Mark Fendrick and Matt Davis were also quoted on

March 19 - U-M experts: Parents don’t understand booster seat laws

MyFoxDetroit reported that parents are failing on the issue of booster seat use. According to a new study from the Mott Children’s Hospital, many parents don't understand their state laws. Booster seat use among kids goes way down after the age of five. University of Michigan experts say that it's most important to pay attention to the child's size regardless of age. See UMHS news release.

March 19 - Dr. Askari quoted in ABC News

Dr. Fred Askari, associate professor at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, was quoted in an story on a football fan who inadvertently saved his own life by donating. The fan donated blood for over 20 years to pay for football tickets while having an undiagnosed case of hemochromatosis. Normally, blood donation centers won’t accept blood from someone with hemochromatosis. "This is one disease left in medicine that we treat where we take blood off and throw it out," says Dr. Askari. "It's kind of surprising that no one looked for it."

March 19 - U-M 4th year med students matched to residencies

U-M fourth year medical students found out which residency programs they were assigned to on Match Day, reported Michigan Radio. Thousands of med students participate in the National Residency Match Program or NRMP, which helps hospitals find students to train for the residency. U-M graduated 165 students this year. Nearly a third of the class of 2010 will remain in Michigan to complete their residencies. See UMHS news release.

March 19 - Dr. Ten Haken quoted in Science Daily

The Quantitative Analysis of Normal Tissue Effects in the Clinic (QUANTEC) review has been published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, ScienceDaily reports. "The information provided in the QUANTEC review is critical to providing cancer patients with the most effective radiation treatments to cure their cancer while minimizing side effects to normal tissue," Randall K. Ten Haken, Ph.D., one of the guest editors of the QUANTEC review and a professor at the University of Michigan Department of Radiation Oncology in Ann Arbor, Mich., said.

March 19 - Dr. William D. Chey quoted in Health Day

HealthDay News reported that people with irritable bowel syndrome aren't at increased risk for polyps, colon cancer or inflammatory bowel diseases, and, in most cases, don't require a colonoscopy. "Patients and doctors get nervous about the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. They think the symptoms represent something more sinister," says lead author Dr. William D. Chey, professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. "This study should reassure doctors and patients that typical IBS symptoms are not indicators of a more serious disease." See UMHS news release.

March 19 - Dr. Fendrick quoted on health care

A. Mark Fendrick, M.D., a doctor and professor of medicine and health policy at the University of Michigan, was quoted in USA Today and article on a new health insurance plan in Oregon. The insurance offers reduced rates for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, but charges extra fees for overused treatments such as knee and hip replacements and cardiac bypass surgery. It is unknown whether this new program will decrease medical spending. According to Fendrick, patients failing to take needed medications cost the country about $100 billion a year, partly in hospitalizations that could have been avoided.

March 18 - Drs. Davis, Campbell, and Schilling quoted in NY Times

NY Times quoted Drs. Matthew Davis, Peter L. Schilling and Darrell A. Campbell Jr., all from U-M, who analyzed records of almost 40 hospitals and nearly 175,000 patients to find factors affecting patient safety: high hospital occupancy, weekend admissions, nurse staffing levels and the seasonal flu. The key is not identifying universal cutoff points, but an individual hospital’s limits. See UMHS news release.

March 16 - Dr. Markovitz quoted on banana lectin as HIV inhibitor study

David Marvovitz, M.D., professor of internal medicine at the U-M Medical School, was quoted in Science Daily, the Montreal Gazette and other media about the banana lectin BanLec being as effective as two current anti-HIV drugs. "HIV is still rampant in the U.S. and the explosion in poorer countries continues to be a bad problem because of tremendous human suffering and the cost of treating it," Marvovitz is quoted as saying in Science Daily. BanLec could become a cheaper option in the treatment of HIV, researchers say. WDIV TV Detroit,, Ann, and USATODAY's social media network also covered the story. See UMHS news release.

March 16 - Mark Ilgen quoted in Denver Post article about drinking

Mark Ilgen, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan and a Veterans Affairs Hospital staff member, was quoted in a Denver Post story about moderate drinkers who may encounter some of the same problems that alcoholics face. "If people are concerned about it, there are resources other than Alcoholics Anonymous," Ilgen said. "There are treatment resources that aren't going to wag their finger at them."

March 16 - Dr. William J. Meurer quoted in UPI story about patients receiving wrong prescriptions

University of Michigan researchers estimate that almost 19.5 million elderly emergency room patients received at least one potentially inappropriate medication. William J. Meurer, M.D., M.S., an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, was quoted in a UPI story saying that the large sample of approximately 470,000 emergency department and outpatient clinic visits, corresponding to a national estimate of about 1.5 billion total visits, allowed the researchers to determine the extent of the problem nationwide.

March 16 - Michael W. Smith-Wheelock quoted in U-M Kellogg Eye Center quoted Michael W. Smith-Wheelock, M.D., in an article on the new University of Michigan's W.K. Kellogg Eye Center. Employees at the center took note of the increased space that should be more effective in helping patients. "We have much more clinical space than we have had in the past, and we have an opportunity for growth here that we have not seen before," Smith-Wheelock was quoted as saying.

March 15 - U-M study: link between school-provided lunch and obesity

U-M researchers have found that students who frequently eat school-provided lunches are more likely to be overweight and have increased cholesterol levels than those who eat lunches brought from home, reported, WebMD, and “This study confirms the current and escalating national concern with children’s health, and underscores the need to educate children about how to make healthy eating and lifestyle choices early on,” said Elizabeth A. Jackson, M.D., M.P.H., U-M assistant professor of internal medicine and study lead author. See UMHS news release.

March 12 - Depression Center’s Michelle Riba quoted in Ann Arbor Journal

The Ann Arbor Journal reported that economic stresses can lead to mental disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. Dr. Michelle Riba, U-M professor of psychology and associate director of the U-M Depression Center, told the Journal that “depression is a biological condition, but certainly external forces can make things more difficult.” According to the article, the U-M Depression Center treats hundreds of thousands of patients annually and is the first ever multi-disciplinary center dedicated to the research, education and treatment of such depressive and bipolar illnesses.

March 12 - Dr. Muraszko talks to Ann Arbor Journal about new MRI at Mott

An Ann Arbor Journal article reported that better surgical technology means quicker recovery for patients. Karin Muraszko, M.D., F.A.C.S., U-M professor of neurosurgery, talked to the Journal about the MRI that will be part of the neuroscience operative suite in the new Mott Children’s Hospital that is currently under construction. “The IMRIS system will greatly improve current technology for the removal of brain tumors in children,” she said. “It will advance our ability to care for patients with brain tumors and epilepsy, and it will let us obtain the best MRI imaging during an operation without moving the patient or compromising the surgical field, to determine what is going on.”

March 12 - Health care reform expert on Fox Business this morning

A. Mark Fendrick, M.D. Professor of Internal Medicine in the School of Medicine and a Professor of Health Management and Policy in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, will appear on the Stuart Varney show on the Fox Business network at about 10:30 a.m. Fendrick, who is co-director of U-M's Center for Value-based Insurance Design, will be talking about health care reform. The show is on Fox Business Network, channel 359 on DirectTV and channel 106 for those with Comcast Digital Cable.

March 12 - Sleep expert on WLBY-AM this morning

J. Todd Arnedt, Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychiatry and director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program, will appear on the Lucy Ann Lance show at 10:40 a.m. today. The broadcast will be on WLBY-A.M. 1290 and you can listen live also at the Web site, Arnedt will be discussing sleep and the upcoming daylight-savings time switch.

March 10 - Dr. Norman promotes World Kidney Day on Fox 2 News

An interview with U-M nephrologist Dr. Silas P. Norman will air Wednesday on Fox 2 News Detroit in advance of March 11's World Kidney Day. Norman is a member of the scientific advisory board of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, and an advocate for improved access to transplants. End stage kidney disease means patients need dialysis or a kidney transplant to live, but there are ways to protect kidneys such as controlling diabetes and hypertension. To learn more about free kidney screenings offered during Thursday's U-M Health System health fair, go to

March 8 - Dr. Jeffrey Innis appears on Dr. Oz

Jeffrey Innis, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric geneticist at the U-M C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, appeared on the Dr. Oz Show with his six-year-old patient, Kaylee, and her parents to discuss Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), also known as progeria or premature aging syndrome. Dr. Innis diagnosed Kaylee with the rare disease, in which a random genetic mutation causes cells in the body to die at a faster rate than normal. View clip from WDIV TV Local 4.

Mar. 8 - Collins’ study shows HIV cells can hide in bone marrow

The Boston Globe,, the Washington Post, HealthDay magazine, and others, quoted Kathleen L. Collins, M.D., Ph.D, U-M associate professor of internal medicine, on her study findings that reveal HIV may lurk in certain bone marrow cells, further outlining how HIV attacks the body’s immune system and destroys its ability to restore itself. “The virus is dormant in bone marrow cells, but when those cells develop into blood cells, the virus can be reactivated and cause renewed infection,” Collins said. Identifying the origin of the virus is important because eliminating it would allow AIDS patients to stop taking drugs after their infections were gone.

Mar. 8 - Dr. Richardson talks to Free Press about warming weather stay-healthy tips

The Detroit Free Press published an article featuring an interview with Caroline Richardson, M.D., associate professor of family medicine at U-M, about healthy tips for dealing with the weather’s increasing temperature. Richardson told the paper that those who are beginning their outdoor exercise routine for the season should start low and warm up slowly to avoid injury. “Along with being active, sunlight is an effective treatment for depression,” she said, explaining why increasing temperatures may also make people seem happier. “Together it is a powerful combination.”

March 5 - Cosmas Van De Ven quoted in Detroit Free Press

Cosmas J. Van De Ven, M.D., was quoted in a front page story in the Detroit Free Press today on the surge of C-section rates at hospitals. The story focused on rising C-section rates stirring a national debate about whether too many are being performed. Nearly one in three babies born by Cesarean, the highest rate ever. Doctors "slowly but steadily are coming away with what is the correct C-section rate," Van De Ven is quoted as saying. "We are trying to find out, is there such a thing as a correct C-section rate?"

March 4 - Dr. Jeffrey Innis on Dr. Oz show

Jeffrey W. Innis, M.D., Ph.D., director of pediatric genetics at the U-M C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, will be a guest on the nationally televised Dr. Oz Show with his six-year-old patient Kaylee. The topic of discussion is the rare genetic disorder Progeria or Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, a rare, genetic condition of childhood with striking features resembling premature aging. The show is expected to be broadcast at 3 p.m. Monday, March 8, 2010 on WDIV TV Local 4.

March 4 - U-M study: Freezing breast tumors helps stop cancer’s spread in mice

U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers discovered cryoablation, applying a cold probe to a tumor to freeze it, kills a cancer and generates an immune response that helps stop the cancer’s spread in mice with breast cancer, reported Science Daily and Lead study author Michael Sabel, M.D., associate professor of surgery, says, “Cryoablation has strong potential as a treatment for breast cancer.” Researchers are now conducting a clinical trial using cryoablation in patients with breast cancer. See UMHS news release.

March 3 - U-M study: cocaine deaths increase in warmer weather

U-M researchers found deaths from accidental cocaine overdose in New York City increased when the average weekly ambient temperature was greater than 75 degrees Fahrenheit, reported UPI. "Cocaine users are at a high risk for a number of negative health outcomes and need public health attention, particularly when the weather is warm," study lead author Amy Bohnert, Ph.D., of U-M, says.

March 3 - Dr. Lumeng quoted in Los Angeles Times story about fat-and-disease link

The Los Angeles Times reported that scientists increasingly say inflammation is important in breaking the fat-and-disease connection. Carey Lumeng, M.D., Ph.D., U-M assistant professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, says that “if fat cells functioned perfectly, you could be as obese as you want and not have heart disease.” According the article, a major study is currently being conducted to test whether an anti-inflammatory drug can battle the Type 2 diabetes triggered by obesity. Both diabetes and heart disease are common conditions associated with excess pounds.

March 3 - Hoogerwerf’s study shows rotating shift work raises irritable bowel risk quoted Willemijntje A. Hoogerwerf, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at U-M, on her findings that suggest rotating work schedules may increase the risk for irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. She and her colleagues call for additional studies to evaluate whether these findings are a result of an underlying biological rhythm disorder of the intestine. The researchers also found reports of sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness in those with rotating work shifts.

March 2 - U-M’s Brehm Tower expands eye care, unites diabetes studies

The new eight-story Brehm Tower provides an additional 230,000 square feet of space for seven eye clinics with suites for refractive surgery and cosmetic surgery and an open laboratory layout for diabetes and vision researchers, reports, Crain’s Detroit and the Detroit Free Press. The tower, located adjacent to the Kellogg Eye Center research tower on Wall Street in Ann Arbor, was made possible by part of a gift from Delores and William Brehm in 2004. See UMHS news release.

March 1 - U-M study: 1 in 4 parents buys unproven vaccine-autism link

According to the research of Gary Freed, M.D., M.P.H., professor of pediatrics, one in four U.S. parents believes some vaccines cause autism in healthy children. Reported by The Seattle Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Time, the Chicago Tribune, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and more, many of those worried about vaccine risks still think their children should be vaccinated. Extensive research has found no connection between autism and vaccines. See UMHS news release.

March 1 - Dr. Randolph Nesse quoted in New York Times article about depression

The New York Times reported that depression is as inescapable as the common cold and that every year 7 percent of people will suffer from it. Randolph Nesse, M.D., professor of both psychiatry and psychology, says that “complex psychiatric disorders, like depression, rarely have simple evolutionary explanations.” He said that some hypotheses attempting to explain the prevalence of depression are not sufficient enough to explain the origin of the depressive disorder.

March 1 - Lok’s study shows early liver cancer detection methods ineffective

U.S. News & World Report quoted Anna S. Lok, M.D., F.R.C.P., professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, on her findings that suggest that two early liver cancer detection indicators aren’t ideal methods. “This observation merits further investigation, as it might impact the accuracy of liver cancer detection in men versus women, and in patients of various races and ethnicity,” Lok said. See UMHS news release.

March 1 - U-M medical team returns from Haiti

Wolverine Team 1, consisting of two physicians, seven nurses and one pharmacist, returned home from a two-week deployment on board U.S. Naval Ship Comfort, reported, WXYZ Detroit and WWJ radio. The team provided relief for Navy medical personnel onboard the Comfort and cared for a variety of earthquake victims. Further deployments are not planned because the Comfort has been called home due to a decrease in the need of immediate medical relief. See UMHS news release.

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