In the news / Precision Medicine

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Regents Professor Emeritus and UArizona CBC faculty Dr. Victor Hruby, is one of two university academics being honored as National Academy of Inventors Fellows, the highest professional distinction awarded to academic inventors. Known as a world leader in peptide research as it relates to health, disease and human behavior, Dr. Hruby holds more than 50 issued patents, and is dedicated to answering challenging research questions and then translating those discoveries to the public via intellectual property protection and commercial pathways.
 
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Dr. Matt Goode, UArizona wildlife ecologist and assistant research scientist in the university’s world-renowned Venom Immunochemistry, Pharmacology and Emergency Response (VIPER) Institute, shares what researchers know about when, where, and why snakes are scarce in the winter, and how climate might change their behavior.
 
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Acoustoelectric cardiac imaging, a new, noninvasive cardiac imaging technology developed at the University of Arizona, has been licensed to startup ElectroSonix. Dr. Russell Witte, BIO5 faculty and Medical Imaging professor at the UArizona College of Medicine-Tucson, developed the patented technology that provides improvements over current cardiac imaging technologies such as electroanatomical mapping, which provides low-resolution images that make it difficult to pinpoint the exact location of cardiac arrhythmias.
 
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UArizona researchers led by Dr. Nicholas Delamere, professor and head of the Department of Physiology at UA COM-T, are studying potential reasons behind pressure build up in the eye, that may help us understand and develop future treatments for glaucoma and other diseases.
 
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Dr. Jennifer Barton, University of Arizona professor of biomedical engineering and director of the BIO5 Institute, has been appointed to the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, part of the National Institutes of Health. The council advises the leadership of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, or NIBIB, on policies and priorities related to research, training and health information dissemination in the areas of biomedical imaging and engineering.
 
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Our genes can have the effect of increasing our risk for certain diseases, or at it turns out, sometimes they can protect us from them. This has turned out to be the case with a Colombian woman in her 70s who should have developed Alzheimer’s disease by her mid-40s, but has an identified a mutation in her genes that is keeping her from not experiencing dementia.
 
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To better understand biological processes, researchers at the University of Arizona have developed new materials for detecting radioisotopes that provide faster and higher resolution results than today’s generally accepted methods. These materials were developed by a team of researchers including the BIO5 Institute's Dr. Craig Aspinwall professor in the UA Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biomedical Engineering, and also a member of the Cancer Center and Sarver Heart Center at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.
 
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Dr. Louise Hecker, research lead for a College of Medicine – Tucson lab studying highly selective Nox4 small molecule inhibitors for the treatment of fibrotic disorders, was selected to receive the Innovator of the Year Award in the academia category at the annual Governor's Celebration of Innovation Awards.
 
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A study done by UA COM-Phoenix researchers, including Basic Medical Sciences associate professor and BIO5 member Dr. Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz, 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. The aim of the research is to better understand important underlying immune mechanisms in the female reproductive tract to improve women’s health.
 
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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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The University of Arizona Cancer Center recently received a $5 million gift from Leonard A. Lauder, retired Estee Lauder Co. chairman and son of Estee Lauder herself. The gift will be used by BIO5 and UA Cancer Center research member Dr. David S. Alberts, to continue research in the fight against ovarian cancer, which took Leonard Lauder's wife Evelyn from him in 2011.
 
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Director of the UA Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation, UA COM-T professor, and BIO5 member Dr. Marvin Slepian, has introduced a high-tech device that could change the way we help track, treat, and prevent disease. Manufactured by a company in Boston, BioStamp is a skin patch sensor that documents and measures various body processes such as vital signs, activity, posture, and sleep, that clinicians can monitor to help prevent disease.
 
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A group of UAHS researchers including BIO5 members Drs. Rick Schnellmann, Roberta Brinton, Todd Vanderah, Monica Kraft, Scott Boitano, Andrew Capaldi, Michael Worobey, Louise Hecker, and Julie Ledford participated in the “Discovering New Medicines in Arizona” one-day summit, hosted by the AZ Center for Drug Discovery and the UA Cancer Center. The event sought to highlight key areas of research that seek to treat diseases prevalent in Arizona while establishing collaborations that enable success for future research and discoveries.
 
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A team of UA researchers including Director of the Evelyn F Mcknight Brain Institute Dr. Carol Barnes, and UA Physiology professor Dr. Meredith Hay, both BIO5 faculty, have proposed a precision aging model designed to help researchers better understand and treat age-related cognitive decline on an individual level.
 
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Most studies have shown correlations between the microbiome and the effectiveness of drugs, but a recent study is one of the first to dig into how these associations work. Better understanding the causal links in drug responses may mean scientists are able to do more with our gut microbes.  BIO5 faculty and UA College of Medicine-Phoenix associate professor Dr. Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz, thinks this may pave the way for doctors to choose the most effective drug for individual patients.
 
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To lower the need for invasive procedures, UA COM-T Pharmacology and Toxicology professor Dr. Bernard Futscher, worked to develop a new blood test to detect most major cancers. The research and development was completed through the recently launched startup, DesertDx, created to bring the invention to doctors and their patients.
 
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Dr. Clara Curiel, clinical director of the SCI and leader of the UA Cancer Center cutaneous oncology team uses chemoprevention to slow, stop, or reverse the progression of skin cancer. Chemoprevention strategies can be employed at many points in time, starting when skin already has been damaged by UV radiation.