In the news / Infectious Disease

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An inflammatory protein may play a part against the spread of sexually transmitted genital herpes virus in the nervous system, a new study says. The findings could help lead to improved treatment of herpes, according to the researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix.
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UA COM-P researchers have discovered a function in a pro-inflammatory protein that could play an important part in improving current and future therapeutics for the herpes virus. Senior author on the study Dr. Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz, is part of the first group of researchers to detect IL-36g, a protein which is an
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Because of routine PSA testing in older men, cancers that might have gone undetected without ever causing health problems were identified and treated. Dr. Richard Ablin, the pioneer who discovered PSA recognizes some variables to prostate cancer screening that require close attention when evaluating men
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An easy-to-use, self-administered blood test that quickly could evaluate a person’s radiation exposure would help triage emergency medical treatment in the event of a radiological or nuclear event. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services long has sought ways to monitor a population’s radiation
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Leonard Lauder, chairman emeritus of Estee Lauder, called Cancer Center founder David Alberts in 2016, asking questions about ovarian cancer treatment. Alberts says Lauder told him a longtime family friend needed help fighting it. Albert's team responded by researching a successful treatment that put the
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Leading experts including UA Pharmacology and Toxicology assistant professor and BIO5 member Dr. Jun Wang, say understanding how the influenza virus replicates inside the body helps researchers develop a wider range of antiviral drugs. After finding medication resistant mutations within multiple flu viruses, Dr. Wang and other research teams across the globe, are looking to develop new drugs to target them.
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The BIO5 Postdoctoral Fellowship recognizes outstanding postdoctoral researchers at the University of Arizona who are engaging in multi-disciplinary research projects aligned with the foci of the BIO5 Institute. These grants are specifically designed to support and enhance the independent research goals of BIO5 postdoctoral researchers, showcase their research at a BIO5 Research Symposium via short talks and/or poster sessions, and to facilitate a “forward thinking” mindset by requiring each fellow to form a three-member mentoring committee.
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It seems Valley Fever is spreading. Some of the increase may be explained by improved diagnosis, but other factors are also at work; including increased migration and visitation to the Southwest where coccidioidomycosis is endemic. The director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence and BIO5 member Dr. John Galgiani, weighs in on the challenges and progress regarding the development of a vaccine for the disease.
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Immunobiology associate professor at the UA College of Medicine-Tucson and BIO5 faculty Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya, studies how the body deals with damaged cells and protects against chronic health issues. Dr. Bhattacharya says key cells in our immune system can be made more efficient in keeping us safe from infectious diseases.
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Several undergraduate students who won top prizes for presenting their research at the 2019 EarthWeek at the University of Arizona, a celebration of the environmental research across five departments at the University of Arizona.
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If you’re seeing – or feeling, in the case of mosquitoes – more bugs this spring, you can thank the rainy winter. A few wet weeks in February resulted in an abundance of wildflowers and weeds and that has led to a healthy population of bugs, says UA Entomologist and BIO5 member Dr. Dawn Gouge.
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BIO5 member Dr. Michael Johnson, Assistant Professor of Immunobiology in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, is using a five-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to explore whether copper could be the cornerstone for the next generation of antibiotics.
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Tech Launch Arizona, UA’s technology commercialization arm, honored some of its most promising inventors and biggest supporters at the I-Squared Awards Banquet and Expo earlier this month. Awardees included BIO5's Director Dr. Jennifer Barton with Campus Collaborator of the Year award, as well as BIO5 member Dr. Louise Hecker who was named Inventor of the Year.
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A common parasite found in cat intestines may take away the natural fear of dangerous behavior from some animals—and humans. Dr. Anita Koshy, member of the BIO5 Institute and an Associate Professor in the UA College of Medicine's Department of Neurology, as well as in the Department of Immunobiology, is focused on researching this parasite, called Toxoplasma gondii, and how it interacts with the brain.
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The BIO5 Institute's Dr. Michael Worobey has reconstructed the genome of the Spanish Flu from century old blood samples. The University of Arizona scientist had connected with a man named Jim Cox. And Cox just so happened to have in his possession a collection of human tissue slides had handed down through the generations. Those slides, it turns out, could now help rewrite the history of the 1918 Spanish flu — altering our understanding of when it began and how it spread.
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Scientists have pinpointed a molecule that accelerates the evolution of drug-resistant microbes. Now they're trying to find a way to block it. "All steps forward are good, and I think this is a great one," said Dr. Michael Johnson, BIO5 member and Assistant Professor of Immunobiology at the UA College of Medicine—Tucson.
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A $4.4 million grant from the Department of Defense will help BIO5 Institute's Dr. Louise Hecker and her team, including fellow BIO5 member and medicinal chemist Dr. Vijay Gokhale, test two drug candidates for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis – a deadly disease with no cure.
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Recent legislation introduced by Rep. McCarthy is being hailed by valley fever advocates and researchers as a huge step forward in combating the disease, which is on the rise locally. “I think (the bill) is appropriately drawing attention to a problem which is every bit as intense as polio was before its vaccine for the susceptible populations,” said BIO5's Dr. John Galgiani, director of the UA Valley Fever Center for Excellence.
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Fungal infections such as aspergillosis, blastomycosis, and coccidioidomycosis can settle in the lungs if you unknowingly inhale spores in the air.  Dr.  John Galgiani, BIO5 member and an infectious-disease specialist at the UA College of Medicine talks about signs, symptoms, and how to treat an infection local to Arizona, Valley Fever.
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Contaminated food is an issue that affects nearly 1 in 10 people in the world every year. BIO5 Institute's Dr. Sadhana Ravishankar, and a group of UA researchers have been working for ten years to improve food safety using all-natural sanitizers to prevent outbreaks of E. Coli, salmonella and listeria.
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Incidences of Valley Fever have climbed steadily, rising to 5,358 in 2016, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Dr. Galgiani, member of BIO5, heads the Valley Fever Center for Excellence, which has up-to-date information on risk factors, diagnosis and treatment.
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The most common strain of flu currently affecting people in Arizona, known as H3N2, is linked to a strain that children were exposed to in 1968, according to Dr. Michael Worobey, Microbiome Associate Director at the BIO5 Institute.
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The year you were born might predict how you’ll respond to this year’s flu—and how well you’d fair in a flu pandemic. Scientists, including BIO5 researcher researcher Dr. Michael Worobey, have found a clear link between flu susceptibility and bird flu viruses; that connection has been easier to trace because humans aren't regularly exposed to them.
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By looking at an aging mouse's response to West Nile virus, BIO5 member Dr. Michael Kuhns and his research team have discovered that their immune system's T-Cells work differently, not simply decline, as they age. Understanding this, Dr. Kuhns hopes research will improve efforts to tailor vaccines for the elderly.
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A new diagnostic device created by BIO5's Dr. Jeong-Yeol Yoon and a collaborative team of UA engineers and scientists may significantly reduce the amount of time necessary to diagnose tissue infections.