April

Medically Tailored Meal Delivery Service Reduces Costs for High Utilizers of Health Care
Study led by Seth Berkowitz, MD, MPH, assistant professor in the department of medicine, finds a 16 percent drop in emergency department and inpatient expense.
Genetic test may improve post-stent treatment, outcome
The study, based on results from patients treated at UNC Hospitals, found that using genetic testing to inform which blood thinner to use following a procedure to open narrowed blood vessels resulted in significantly fewer complications. George “Rick” Stouffer, III, MD, was a leader of the study.
Fragile X Imaging Study Reveals Differences in Infant Brains
UNC School of Medicine researchers used MRIs and computer models to show that babies who develop the neurodevelopmental condition fragile X syndrome have less white matter circuitry compared to other babies. About one-third of people with fragile X meet the diagnostic criteria for autism.
Companionship and Dignity: No One Dies Alone
The volunteers of No One Dies Alone provide companionship to patients just days before their final breath. A recent expansion of the program – called Compassionate Companions – means that anyone who would like company for a few hours can request it.
ASH Announces Partnership with UNC to Curate Genomic Data for Blood Disease Research
In partnership with UNC School of Medicine researchers led by Jonathan Berg, MD, PhD, the American Society of Hematology is supporting two expert review panels that will analyze the clinical significance of variants and mutations understood to be associated with myeloid malignancies and platelet disorders with the goal of aiding in their interpretation on diagnostic genetic tests.
How did Gonorrhea Become a Drug-resistant Superbug?
Scientists led by Rob Nicholas, PhD, at the UNC School of Medicine show how the gonorrhea bacterium resists last-resort antibiotic ceftriaxone while maintaining a robust growth rate.
A talk by Joe Piven on autism and brain imaging
The director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities will give a talk titled "Imaging Infant Brain Development in Autism" April 10.
SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals with Golf Channel’s Gary Williams Celebrates 10th Anniversary and 20,000 Patients Served
Since opening its doors in March 2008, SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals has served more than 20,000 seriously ill patients and their loved ones. Anyone can support this critically needed hospitality house by attending Family House’s 10th Anniversary Golf Tournament & Birthday Party on Friday, April 13. Gary Williams, popular host of Golf Channel’s Morning Drive, will emcee both fun-filled events at Chapel Hill Country Club.
New iPhone Health App Functionality Gives UNC Health Care Patients Centralized Access to Medical Records
UNC Health Care patients are now among the first patients in the United States with the ability to access their medical records from multiple providers through the Apple iPhone Health app (for phones running iOS 11.3 or later).
UNC Lineberger researchers help map the cancer genome, generate key insights
UNC Lineberger researchers led two major projects to mark the finale of The Cancer Genome Atlas project, which was backed by the National Cancer Institute and National Human Genome Research Institute.
Evaluating the Accuracy of the Curacao Criteria in Diagnosing HHT in Children
A multi-center retrospective chart review provided greater detail about the development and diagnosis of the disorder in childhood and points the way toward a better understanding of screening those at risk.
Celebrating Carolina Care Excellence
As the celebration of Doctor’s Day continues, please join UNC Medical Center in congratulating 173 providers who will receive the 2018 UNC Health Care and UNC Faculty Physicians Award for Carolina Care Excellence.
Large Aggregates of ALS-causing Protein Might Actually Help Brain Cells
UNC School of Medicine scientists led by Nikolay Dokholyan, PhD, add to evidence that small aggregates of SOD1 protein are the brain-cell killing culprits in ALS, but the formation of larger, more visible, and fibril-like aggregates of the same protein may protect brain cells.
Dayton, Kibbe, Sims inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite
The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the induction of Paul Dayton, PhD, Melina Kibbe, MD, and Christopher Sims, MD, into its College of Fellows.
Valdar earns MIRA award from NIH for gene mapping
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences awarded Will Valdar, PhD, $2.95 million over five years to investigate the architecture of complex traits using the Collaborative Cross housed at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Kibbe featured as part of WRAL's Celebrating Women Series
Melina Kibbe, MD, chair of the department of surgery, was featured by WRAL TV where she spoke about the chance encounters that shaped her career and her role in leading the national fight against sex bias in drug development.
Payments to doctors linked to prescription practices for two cancer types
Compared to physicians who didn’t receive any payments, those who received payments for meals and lodging from a drug manufacturer had higher odds of prescribing that company’s particular drug for certain cancers, reported Aaron Mitchell, MD, and colleagues in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Lisa Carey, international breast cancer expert, appointed to Susan G. Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board
As a member of Susan G. Komen's Scientific Advisory Board, UNC Lineberger's Lisa A. Carey, MD, will be responsible for helping guide Komen’s $956-million research program – second only to the U.S. government in funding of breast cancer research.
UNC Aortic Team completes rare total arch aneurysm repair
Mark Farber, MD, and Thomas Caranasos, MD, successfully completed an endovascular total arch aneurysm repair, joining a handful of surgical teams around the world.
Researchers identify 44 genomic variants associated with depression
The study, co-led by Patrick Sullivan of UNC and Naomi Wray of the University of Queensland, is the largest genome-wide association study to date of genetic risk factors for major depression.
How Does Plant DNA Avoid the Ravages of UV Radiation?
The lab of UNC Nobel laureate Aziz Sancar, MD, PhD, reveals first-ever repair map of an entire multicellular organism to illuminate some interesting inner workings of the plant kingdom’s DNA highly efficient repair system.
UNC Health Care achieves highest rank possible in three health IT categories
UNC Health Care’s Stage 7 designations for hospitals, outpatient practices, and advanced analytics confirm its position as a national leader in health information technology.
UNC helicopter now based at Nash UNC Health Care
This air ambulance is used for critically ill and trauma-related emergency flights.
After the Storms
It’s been six months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Jennifer Sutherland Kelly, PharmD, a pharmacist in the emergency department at UNC Hospitals, arrived on the island shortly after the storm as part of a disaster medical assistance team – providing medical care and infrastructure assistance to those affected.
“White Coats Black Doctors” builds legacy, plans for the future
On April 9, Celeste Brown, one of the co-founders of the White Coats Black Doctors Foundation (WCBD) was honored with a Public Service Award from the University of North Carolina. On April 13, White Coats Black Doctors awarded the first WCBD Excellence Scholarship to UNC medical student Ashley King.
Berg quoted in NY Times, WRAL Tech Wire on genetic screening
As genetic testing increases in popularity, experts such as Jonathan Berg, MD, PhD, question the usefulness of screening disease risks for the general public until further research establishes best practices.
Strahl earns MIRA award from NIH
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences awarded Brian Strahl, PhD, $1.9 million over five years to continue investigating the detailed mechanisms of gene expression and chromatin, which are crucial to various diseases, especially cancers.
Male Contraceptive Compound Stops Sperm Without Affecting Hormones
In preclinical tests, researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill and Oregon Health and Sciences University showed how a new compound can immobilize sperm temporarily without side effects.
Due to Construction Project at UNC Hospitals, UNC Air Care Helicopters Are Refueling at Horace Williams Airport
This is a temporary measure expected to last until mid-May.
Pope Foundation donates $10 million to UNC-Chapel Hill
Carolina received a $10-million commitment from the John William Pope Foundation to provide support for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC Horizons, the track and field program, and the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program.
UNC scientists create better laboratory tools to study cancer’s spread
In the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, UNC Lineberger’s Andrew Wang, MD, and colleagues report they have developed tissue-engineered models for cancer metastases that reflect the microenvironment around tumors that promotes their growth. They believe their models, which were developed to study colorectal cancer that had spread to the liver and lung, will help scientists studying why cancers tend to spread to certain organs rather than others.
Cigarillo packaging can influence product perception, study finds
Researchers led by UNC Lineberger's Adam Goldstein, MD, and Clare Meernik, MPH, surveyed 2,664 young adults who were current users, never users, or past users of little cigars and cigarillos, finding cigarillo packs with colors and containing a flavor descriptor were rated more positively for taste and smell. Health warnings didn’t fully mitigate the draw of the packaging.
UNC Health Care Hospitals Receive Top Safety Scores from Leapfrog Group
UNC Medical Center, UNC REX, Johnston Health, High Point and UNC Rockingham earn “A” grades for safety
NC TraCS and partners awarded $58.1 million to accelerate research discoveries
The NIH award features a new partnership with NC State, while the UNC-Chapel Hill-led Clinical and Translational Science Award Program continues its alliance with RTI International and N.C. A&T State University.
Running the Race
First-year medical students Rob Arend and Alex Jeffs and third-year medical student Shelley Warner all competed in the Boston Marathon, overcoming cold and wet conditions to finish the historic race.
UNC researchers identify promising delivery method for immunotherapy combination
UNC Lineberger researchers led by Andrew Z. Wang, associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology, believe findings, published in the journal Advanced Materials, offer a promising new nanotechnology-based delivery method for an immunotherapy combination.
Phenotyping may lead to more tailored treatment for head and neck cancer
Fourth-year medical student Wesley Stepp, PhD, has developed a testing method to predict aggressiveness of head and neck cancers and help physicians determine the ideal treatment regimen.
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