In the news / Drug Delivery

NEWS
Throughout the 20 years of BIO5, this institute has connected various campus departments to solve the challenges of a new period of technology growth, research that tells us more than ever, and support students at UArizona.
 
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Drs. Tally Largent-Milnes and Alicia Allen, researchers with the UArizona Health Sciences Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center are working toward closing a 20- to 30-year gap in understanding the link between female hormones, pain and addiction, in an effort to improve the quality of women’s lives.
 
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A new UArizona Health Sciences Workforce Education and Training Program, PeerWORKS, has been designed to help people impacted by opioid and substance use disorders. The program will train state-certified health professionals, who are in recovery from a mental illness or substance use disorder, to provide support to those experiencing similar issues.
 
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We're only beginning to understand all the different types of chemicals that can be found in the Cannabis sativa plant, and CBD is one of them. Dr. Todd Vanderah addresses what you need to know if you are thinking about trying CBD.
 
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More than 1.5 billion people live with chronic pain worldwide, and it’s the most common cause of long-term disability in the United States. Several BIO5 researchers are addressing chronic pain and working to tackle the opioid epidemic through basic science and clinical approaches.
 
NEWS
UArizona researchers are expanding the scientific knowledge of cannabis with a focus on two distinct areas – pain and addiction. Members of the Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center are optimistic about the potential of cannabis as a viable non-opioid alternative to treat pain.
 
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The finalists of the 2021 Copper Cactus Awards have been announced including UArizona innovators from Avery Therapeutics, SaiOx, and uPetsia. The awards ceremony will be held on October 1, 2021.
 
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The Comprehensive Pain and Addiction Center will oversee PeerWORKS, which is a collaboration between UArizona COM-T, the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, and the Center for Rural Health and the Workforce Development Program. The center received a $2.2M grant to train peer support specialists to serve in integrated care facilities in rural and underserved areas of Arizona.
 
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Collaborating scientists have identified what may be the key molecular mechanism responsible for COVID-19 mortality – an enzyme related to neurotoxins found in rattlesnake venom.
 
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University of Arizona Health Sciences researchers recently completed a study that has the potential to improve cancer treatment for colorectal cancer and melanoma by using nanotechnology to deliver chemotherapy in a way that makes it more effective against aggressive tumors.
 
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Dr. Jianqin Lu leads a research team which created the first nanotherapeutic platform of its kind, using a nanotechnology delivery method to make them more effective against aggressive tumors. The researchers note that their nanotechnology platform can be used to deliver a range of cancer therapeutics.
 
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Despite slowdowns in research suffered by universities around the world due to the pandemic, the University of Arizona has experienced solid growth in the commercialization of university inventions. In the last fiscal year alone UArizona received 274 invention disclosures and launched 17 startups.
 
NEWS
Despite slowdowns in research suffered by universities around the world due to the pandemic, the University of Arizona has experienced solid growth in the commercialization of university inventions.
 
NEWS
Snake bites are now recognised as one of the world's most important neglected health problems and one that disproportionately affects poorer communities. Dr. Leslie Boyer, founding director of BIO5’s Venom Immunochemistry, Pharmacology and Emergency Response (Viper) Institute at the University of Arizona, weighs in on the challenges surrounding antivenom. While many antivenoms are relatively effective, the complex nature of snake venom can make treatment difficult. Access to antivenom can be patchy and treatments with it can be expensive. The World Health Organization considers snake bites to be such a burden on some communities that they recently classified snake bite envenomation – where venom is injected by a bite – as a neglected tropical disease.
 
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In recent years, there’s been a push by pharma to find nonaddictive pain therapies. In 2006, scientists described the curious case of a Pakistani boy who seemed immune to pain. It was discovered that the SCN9A gene provides instructions for making a “sodium channel” found in nerve cells that transmits pain signals to the brain, acting like a volume knob for pain. Now, a biotech startup wants to mimic this mutation to treat people with chronic pain using CRISPR. Dr. Rajesh Khanna, UArizona Pharmacology professor and BIO5 member who specializes in the study of chronic pain, weighs in on the research surrounding the Nav1.7 channel and use of CRISPR therapy.
 
NEWS
As vaccines for COVID-19 roll out, so do questions and concerns. Do they work? What are the side effects? Which one is more effective? Pfizer or Moderna? Different companies but both claim their vaccine to be 95% effective. Doctors all over the world are saying, not just having one but two vaccines is incredible. Dr. Elizabeth Connick, UArizona Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases and BIO5 member, called the vaccine a home run. Overall, Dr. Connick said, the vaccines are the same but with a few differences, like effects.
 
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The dream for some researchers is to irreversibly cure people's cancer. This includes Drs. Richard Austin, Laurence Hurley, and Vijay in Gokhale. In 2016 the trio came together with the aim to cure cancer through the company they created and call Reglagene. They built a technology to fight cancer that targets genes that become resistant to other therapies.
 
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Two University of Arizona faculty including College of Pharmacy professor and BIO5 member Dr. Laurence Hurley, have been elected as fellows of the National Academy of Inventors. Election as an NAI fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.