November

Polygenic risk score improves psychosis risk prediction, study finds
A new study, led by Diana O. Perkins, MD, MPH, in the UNC Department of Psychiatry, finds that using a polygenic risk score (PRS) based on data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) improves psychosis risk prediction in individuals meeting clinical high-risk criteria.
CBD, THC Use During Early Pregnancy Can Disrupt Fetal Development
UNC School of Medicine researchers are the first to show in animal models that components of marijuana, including its cannabinoids THC and CBD, can cause brain and facial birth defects if used during the first trimester of pregnancy.
UNC Health Care Restructures Leadership to Coordinate Clinical Care in Triangle
New leadership organization part of broader strategic plan to transform UNC Health Care for the future
Three ‘Art in Science’ Competition Winners Demonstrate Beauty of Science
In honor of University Research Week at UNC-Chapel Hill, the UNC School of Medicine is featuring three winning images from its “Art in Science” competition, images that embody the spirit of discovery, the importance of innovation and collaboration, and the visual beauty of biomedical research.
Feast or Famine: Scientists Find Key Bio ‘Switch’ that Helps Cells Adapt
From the UNC School of Medicine lab of Brian Strahl, PhD, and Stanford University lab of Ashby Morrison, PhD, comes a solution to the mystery of “crotonyl” marks in the genome that may have relevance for the treatment of various forms of cancer.
UNC awarded $2.91 million to create new ultra-long-acting HIV drug delivery implant
Led by J. Victor Garcia, PhD, biomedical researchers have begun a three-year project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop and implement an effective ultra-long-acting antiviral delivery system to combat the spread of HIV.
Researchers Link Specific Protein Mutations to Ataxia Disease Symptoms
Jonathan Schisler, MS, PhD, led research showing that limiting the activity of a mutant CHIP protein could decrease symptom severity for people with cerebral ataxia, a debilitating disease of the nervous system.
Study finds treatment inequities for pain following cesarean deliveries
Jasmine Johnson, MD, and Alison Stuebe, MD, MSc, conducted research highlighting the need for continued efforts to undo biases in medical care. Many such efforts have been put in place at the UNC Medical Center, the UNC School of Medicine, and across the UNC Health Care system.
UNC Health Hospitals Earn Top ‘A’ Safety Scores from Leapfrog Group
UNC Medical Center, UNC REX, Johnston Health and Wayne UNC Health receive top grades
Ashkin, Rosen serve as co-guest editors for November issue of NCMJ
Evan Ashkin, MD, and David Rosen MD, PhD, are guest editors in the current issue of the North Carolina Medical Journal, which centers on health and the criminal justice system.
International Group of Scientists Create ‘Imaging Africa’ Initiative
UNC School of Medicine’s Klaus Hahn, PhD, and colleagues from around the world will lead an intensive workshop and symposium to increase student knowledge of microscope technologies, including cellphone-based technology and super-resolution modalities. The workshop and symposium are free to all student scientists in Africa.
Pancreatic cancer tumor classification could optimize treatment choices
UNC Lineberger’s Jen Jen Yeh, MD, and Naim Rashid, PhD, reported findings on how two subtypes of pancreatic cancer respond to treatments differently. Importantly, they found that one subtype of the disease showed poor responses to common therapies, and also had worse survival rates.
Family Medicine Researchers Funded to Study Shift to Value-based Care
Led by Erin Fraher, PhD, MPP, associate professor of family medicine, researchers at the UNC School of Medicine have been awarded a $255,000 grant from The Duke Endowment to study UNC Family Medicine’s shift to a value-based health care model.
Scientists Identify Underlying Molecular Mechanisms of Alexander Disease
Researchers led by UNC School of Medicine’s Natasha Snider, PhD, used human induced pluripotent stem cells and CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to make important basic science discoveries about the molecular underpinnings of Alexander disease, a rare neurodegenerative condition that is often fatal to young children.
Channing Der Named AAAS Fellow
Channing Der, PhD, in the UNC Department of Pharmacology and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, was named as one of 443 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences for 2019. He is one of three selected from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Hurricane Florence no Match for Doctors at UNC Children’s Hospital
Margot Halpin was born at Mount Sinai in New York City with a ventricular septal defect (VSD). Three months later the Halpin family moved to Chapel Hill and met with the Cardiology & Surgery teams at UNC Children’s Hospital NC Pediatric Heart Center to plan her care.
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