December

'To seek a true cure’: UNC researchers pioneer HIV research with ‘kick and kill’
In honor of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, we take a look at the trailblazing ‘kick and kill’ method of attacking HIV to cure patients. UNC researchers have been working with GlaxoSmithKline on parallel studies at the UNC Cure Center for 18 months to advance this new method of combating the global epidemic of HIV.
The purist: Chapel Hill man shares journey of HIV clinical trials at UNC
Robert Hill has been living with HIV for 22 years. Five years ago, he enrolled in a study at the UNC School of Medicine, which was part of Dr. David Margolis’ ‘kick and kill’ strategy for eradicating HIV by flushing it out of hiding with a drug called Vorinostat and killing it with either a vaccine or with immunotherapies.
New investigational compound dramatically reduces sickle cell pain crises
The drug, called SelG1, also reduced the frequency of pain crises in people with sickle cell disease and reduced the number of days they spent in the hospital.
Ewend named President of UNC Physicians
Matt Ewend, MD, FACS, has been named President of UNC Physicians. In this role, Ewend will oversee the physician clinical enterprise of UNC Health Care, which includes more than 2,400 physicians and 600 Advanced Practice Providers in 450 practices spanning the UNC Physicians Network, UNC Faculty Physicians, and physician practices at UNC Health Care affiliate hospitals.
UNC researchers ‘unravel’ Zika virus (watch video)
Researchers discuss Zika virus, transmission, and protection during Tuesday's UNC School of Medicine expert panel and community discussion.
Celebrity Poker Tournament in Charlotte will support UNC Angelman syndrome research
On Saturday Dec. 10, 2016, Harvey’s Aces Celebrity Poker Tournament will be held at the Charlotte Museum of History. Proceeds will be donated to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation Clinic at Chapel Hill and the Harvey Baseball Foundation, two non-profit organizations that former professional baseball player Bryan Harvey helped create.
UNC School of Medicine Celebrates Second Annual Class of Yang Family Biomedical Scholars
The award, made possible through a donation from Lenovo chairman and CEO Yuanqing Yang, recognizes the research achievements of young tenured faculty.
Brownstein receives 2016 Fuller Award
Michelle Brownstein, MD, assistant professor of surgery, has been honored with this year’s H. Fleming Fuller Award, given annually to the member of the medical staff who most embodies Fuller’s lifelong commitment to patient care, teaching and community service.
UNC Health Care, Wake County Expand WakeBrook Campus with New Inpatient Beds
The expansion adds 12 beds to provide care for more behavioral health patients.
Brain metastasis persists despite improved targeted treatment for HER2 breast cancer
At this year's San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, UNC Lineberger researchers and collaborators shared the outcomes of their investigation into the incidence of brain metastasis after a series of drugs were approved to treat HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, starting with trastuzumab, also known as Herceptin, in the United States in 1998.
Researchers developing model to predict if chemotherapy will work for aggressive breast cancer
In a study presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, UNC Lineberger researchers led by Katherine Hoadley, PhD, reported they developed a model that can predict which triple negative breast cancer patients will respond to chemotherapy.
Genetic alterations more common in tumors of older patients with metastatic breast cancer
In preliminary findings presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, researchers showed that older patients were as likely as younger patients to receive targeted therapy and enroll in therapeutic trials based on their sequencing results.
Scientists find new way to reverse immune suppression caused by HIV
By blocking a specific cell signaling pathway in lab animals, researchers reversed signs of chronic immune activation, thereby boosting T-cell recovery and viral suppression.
Cigar warning labels are not equally believable among adolescents
Less than 50 percent of surveyed teens found it ‘very believable’ that cigars are not a safe alternative to cigarettes, according to a first-of-its-kind UNC School of Medicine study.
For invasive breast cancer, researchers identify biomarkers of treatment response
UNC Lineberger researchers reported at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium they have identified biomarkers they believe can be used as part of a larger model to predict how patients with HER2-positive operative breast cancer will respond to the targeted treatment trastuzumab, commercially known as Herceptin, and chemotherapy.
Gerber named Medical Director for Center for Transplant Care, Transplant Clinic
David A. Gerber, MD, FACS, Chief of the Division of Abdominal Transplant Surgery, has been named Director of the UNC Center for Transplant Care and the UNC Hospitals Jason Ray Transplant Clinic.
White matter structure in the brain predicts cognitive function at ages 1 and 2
This kind of new brain imaging study could help identify cognitive problems and psychiatric disorders very early and develop appropriate interventions.
2016: Our Favorite Stories
It’s that time of year. Time to look back as a staff to revisit our favorite UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health Care stories from 2016.
Humbling and Rewarding
Brian Nelson’s volunteer service with the American Red Cross took him to Houston, Texas, earlier this year to combat floods. This fall he didn’t have to travel far to help individuals and families struggling through Hurricane Matthew.
Painting with a Purpose
Rachel Howard is taking a couple of gap years before applying to medical school. In the meantime, she has found a way to combine her love of art and her interest in medicine by painting windows for patients staying in the Children’s Hospital during the holidays.
Inside the world of cell signaling: a G-protein breakthrough
UNC scientists led by John Sondek, PhD, created a new biochemical tool to block specific types of downstream G-protein signaling, opening new avenues of research and potential drug design and discovery.
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