1998 Press Releases

December 23, 1998
Seeing tamoxifen in action provides clues to designing better drugs
Researchers discovered the molecular mechanism by which tamoxifen blocks the effects of estrogen, a process that has been shown to prevent breast cancer in some women at high risk. The results provide valuable clues about ways to design more effective disease-preventing medications with fewer side effects.

December 17, 1998
Singing in their sleep: Dreaming birds review their songs
Zebra finches in a University of Chicago lab are providing strong evidence that sleep plays an important role in learning. Researchers have shown that while young birds sleep at night, they may be reviewing the songs they've learned from their parents during the day. The findings were published in the December 18, 1998 issue of Science.

December 15, 1998
New approach supercharges immunotherapy
By tripping two parallel "on switches" at once, physicians at the University of Chicago Medical Center may have found a way to bring the full power of the immune system into play against cancer. Early clinical results will be presented December 5, 1998 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

December 14, 1998
Best use of angiostatin? Enhance radiation therapy
The scientists who discovered how low-dose angiostatin enhances radiation therapy demonstrate that only brief exposure to angiostatin is required to get substantial anti-tumor effects. Additional exposure at low doses did not increase anti-tumor effects. This report adds to the mounting enthusiasm for combining angiostatin with radiation therapy.

December 8, 1998
Janet Rowley, MD, awarded National Medal of Science
Janet Rowley, MD, was selected to receive the National Medal of Science for 1998--the nation's highest scientific honor. The Medal is awarded each year by a distinguished, presidential-appointed committee of outstanding scientists and engineers from a variety of scientific disciplines.

December 4, 1998
James Watson, Thomas Caskey, Svante Pääbo, and Edward O. Wilson speak at University Chicago events
The first Marjorie I. and Bernard A. Mitchell Conference in Human Genetics will bring James Watson, Thomas Caskey, and Svante Pääbo to campus to discuss what DNA can tell us about the present, the past and the future. Following the conference, Edward O. Wilson will talk about "The Diversity of Life," in the third annual Jean Mitchell Watson Lecture, named in honor of James Watson's mother.

November 26, 1998
First molecular mechanism for promoting evolutionary change
Researchers at the University of Chicago have discovered the first molecular mechanism for promoting evolutionary change in response to the environment. The mechanism works by allowing multiple small genetic variations to accumulate and then expose themselves when that organism is under environmental stress.

November 25, 1998
Substance discovered that induces hair follicle formation in the mature skin cells of mice
Researchers from the Howard Hughes Institute at the University of Chicago have induced hair follicle formation in the mature skin cells of mice. Follicle formation is a once-in-a-lifetime event that ordinarily happens only during early embryogenesis.

November 20, 1998
Origin of species
Researchers at the University of Chicago recently discovered a gene that appears to play a crucial role in causing one species to split into two, which causes the male progeny of two recently separated species to be sterile.

November 18, 1998
Frank W. Newell, MD, 1916-1998
Frank W. Newell, MD, 82, the James and Anna Raymond Professor Emeritus and former chairman of ophthalmology at the University of Chicago--one of the field's most renowned practitioners and organizers--died at his Chicago home on Wednesday, November 18, 1998.

November 9, 1998
Ralph Muller to chair AAMC
Ralph Muller, president and chief executive officer of the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System, has been selected as chair-elect of the Association of American Medical Colleges. He will succeed William A. Peck, MD, executive dean of Washington University School of Medicine as chair in November of 1999.

November 5, 1998
Bernard Roizman receives $50,000 Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Infectious Disease Research
Bernard Roizman, ScD, the world's leading expert on herpes simplex virus, was named the winner of the eighth annual Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Infectious Disease Research.

October 29, 1998
RWJ Foundation awards UCMC $450,000 grant for innovative end-of-life care program
The University of Chicago Medical Center was awarded a three-year grant of $450,000 for an innovative end-of-life care program. The project is called PEACE, for Palliative Excellence in Alzheimer's Care. It will offer, in conjunction with Hospice of Michigan, full-service hospice care earlier in the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

October 27, 1998
Genetic testing not only for the well
Although public debate has focused on genetic testing for the worried well, the group most likely to benefit from genetic information--cancer patients--is often omitted from the discussion. Now a cancer-risk specialist is reminding cancer surgeons that therapy doesn't end with removing the first cancer; it should also include preparing for the next.

October 20, 1998
Meals days before surgery may affect anesthesia
Foods such as potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants contain chemicals that can slow down the metabolism of common anesthetic drugs--even in small amounts. Foods eaten days before surgery could significantly delay recovery. Much of the wide variation in sensitivity to certain anesthetics may thus be due to diet.

October 17, 1998
New short-acting anesthetics cut recovery time
New anesthetics allow many patients--including more than half the ambulatory surgery patients at the University of Chicago Hospitals--to bypass the recovery room with minimal, if any, pain or nausea. This approach is expected to move quickly from academic medical centers to community hospitals to private offices.

October 15, 1998
University of Chicago researcher receives Packard Fellowship
Manyuan Long, PhD, assistant professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago, is one of the nation's 24 recipients of the David and Lucile Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering. The Fellowship, which provides $650,000 over the course of five years, is awarded to young professors in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, astronomy, and computer science to support basic research.

October 14, 1998
$2.4 million grant from Howard Hughes Medical Institute
The Division of the Biological Sciences at the University of Chicago received $2.4 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Resource Program to support and expand programs in immunology and structural biology.

October 13, 1998
Trace amounts of nicotine raise blood pressure in an animal model
Minuscule amounts of nicotine--comparable to the trace amounts found in the blood after only 15 minutes of exposure to second hand smoke--can trigger the release of chemicals that raise blood pressure in an animal model, report researchers from the University of Chicago in the October 13, 1998 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

October 1, 1998
ICAEL OKs UCH echo lab
The Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation for Echocardiography Laboratories (ICAEL) has granted accreditation to the echocardiography laboratory at the University of Chicago Hospitals--one of the first centers in the United States and Canada, and the first in the Chicago area, to gain this coveted recognition of diagnostic accuracy.

October 1, 1998
New cardiac surgery chief
Valluvan Jeevanandam, MD--a nationally recognized leader in the surgical treatment for heart failure, including heart transplantation--was appointed section chief of cardiac and thoracic surgery at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

September 20, 1998
Cancer symposium emphasizes progress, research needs: Sept. 26, 1998
The University of Chicago Cancer Research Center will present "Beginning the End of Cancer," a symposium for cancer patients, their families, and others at risk, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on September 26, 1998 at 5758 S. Maryland.

September 20, 1998
Janet Rowley wins 1998 Lasker Award
Janet Davison Rowley, MD, was awarded the Albert Lasker Clinical Medicine Research Prize for 1998. The Laskers are the nation's most distinguished honor for outstanding contributions to medical research.

September 16, 1998
Howard Hughes Medical Institute awards $1.6 million grant to support undergraduate biology education at the University of Chicago
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) just awarded the University of Chicago a $1.6 million grant to support undergraduate biology education. This is the third such grant the University has received from HHMI in eight years.

September 15, 1998
Researchers pin muscle disease to genetic mutation
Researchers at the University of Chicago and Barcelona, Spain have shown that a genetic deletion causes one form of myopathy--a muscle disorder that can lead to heart failure and muscle degeneration. The finding, reported in the September 15, 1998 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides the first functional evidence linking a mutation in the desmin gene to this type of myopathy in humans.

September 2, 1998
Promiscuous plants could spread genes to weeds
Crops engineered to contain genes that give them resistance to pests or the ability to produce lots of seeds could pass these genes to their weedier cousins, producing hybrid strains of super-weeds, says Joy Bergelson, assistant professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago, in the September 3, 1998, correspondence pages of Nature.

August 10, 1998
Chinese herbal medicine conference
Researchers from the U.S. and the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine meet to present new findings and share ideas.

August 10, 1998
Golomb selected as chairman of department of medicine
Harvey Golomb, MD, professor of medicine, section chief of hematology/oncology at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and a renowned cancer researcher and clinician, was appointed chairman of the department of medicine.

August 1, 1998
Severity of classic heat stroke recognized
Classic heat-stroke patients who required intensive care during the 1995 Chicago heat wave often had complications rarely described in previous studies. Half of those patients died within a year and many survivors suffered permanent loss of independent function. The focus only on immediate deaths underestimates the consequences of that episode.

August 1, 1998
Trace amounts of little known protein prevent formation of kidney stones
Researchers at the University of Chicago discovered that an anti-inflammatory protein called calgranulin, previously detected only in white blood cells, may play a key role in the prevention of kidney stones.

July 27, 1998
Unusual double transplant combats two diseases
On Saturday, July 25, 1998, Mr. Patsy Esposito, 65, of Orland Park, became the first person in the Midwest to receive a combined liver and pancreatic islet cell transplant. Esposito, married and father of three, suffered from hepatitis C--a viral infection that destroyed his liver. He was also diabetic, requiring daily insulin shots to control his blood sugar.

July 27, 1998
University of Chicago researcher Elizabeth McNally receives Culpeper Foundation award
Elizabeth M. McNally, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the section of cardiology at the University of Chicago's department of medicine, was named one of four recipients of the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation Scholarships in Medical Science for 1998.

July 17, 1998
Honor Roll: University of Chicago Hospitals near top in annual hospital rankings
The University of Chicago Hospitals have been selected as one of the 14 best hospitals by U.S.News & World Report in their annual survey of America's nearly 7,000 hospitals. In the 1998 Best Hospitals issue (July 27, 1998), the University of Chicago Hospitals ranked 12th nationally overall and were among the best in all 12 specialties rigorously studied.

July 16, 1998
Combining angiostatin with radiation enhances anti-cancer effects of each
Adding angiostatin to radiation therapy dramatically improves results of treatment in animal models of cancer without increasing toxicity. Simultaneous angiostatin/radiation treatment was much more effective than the combined effects of angiostatin alone plus radiation alone.

July 10, 1998
New chairpersons boost neurosciences at University of Chicago Medical Center
The appointment of two chairmen, for the department of psychiatry and for the department of pharmacological and physiological sciences, signals the beginning of a major planned expansion of neuroscience programs at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

July 10,1998
Denatured proteins rescued by trio of chaperones
Researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Chicago report in the July 10, 1998 issue of Cell that a powerful combination of heat shock proteins (Hsps) can return aggregated proteins--until now thought to be permanently entangled--to their functional, native states.

June 29, 1998
BRCA testing guidelines for women with breast cancer
Researchers argue that all women with breast cancer who were diagnosed before age 50 and have family histories of breast or ovarian cancer should consider testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, which increase their risk of ovarian cancer 10-fold. Nearly 40 percent of the 238 women studied had mutations.

June 25, 1998
Discovery of plant-like metabolic pathway in common parasites supplies new targets for therapy: Effective new ways to inhibit parasites that cause malaria, toxoplasmosis and cryptosporidiosis
The parasites responsible for malaria, toxoplasmosis, and several other diseases share a metabolic pathway essential for survival in plants but not found in mammals--making it an ideal treatment target. Researchers demonstrate that an herbicide inhibits growth of these parasites in tissue culture and protects mice from fatal parasitic infections.

June 23, 1998
University of Chicago, Hopkins narrow search for inflammatory bowel disease genes: New study provides evidence for important gene-gene interaction
The largest, most comprehensive genome-wide study of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)--including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis--has narrowed the search for the genes that cause this common and debilitating illness--identifying new regions on chromosomes 1p, 3q, and 4q, which may contain genes that trigger IBD.

June 19, 1998
Queen Latifah visits patients at University of Chicago Children's Hospital
Queen Latifah, grammy award-winning music artist and actress, visited seriously ill children on Saturday, June 20, 1998 at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital.

June 11, 1998
Disney Institute presents "Mousker" Award to University of Chicago Hospitals: Celebrates collaboration that adapts the "Disney Approach" to healthcare
Mickey Mouse, accompanied by officials from the Disney Institute, will present the "Mousker" Award to the University of Chicago Hospitals for adapting the Disney philosophy of customer service to the healthcare field.

June 7, 1998
Actors Robert Urich, Bonnie Hunt, speak at UCH cancer survivors celebration, June 7
Cancer survivor and prolific television actor Robert Urich will be the keynote speaker for the University of Chicago Hospitals' ninth annual "Celebration of Life," a recognition of National Cancer Survivors Day. The theme for the day is "It's a Wonderful Life."

June 1, 1998
Mammography provides equal benefits to women in their 40s: Tips balance toward annual screening
Women should get annual mammograms after age 40. The benefit of detecting breast cancer early is greater for younger women, who progress more rapidly to more aggressive disease with worse outcomes than older women, report researchers from the University of Chicago in the June 1, 1998 issue of Cancer.

June 1, 1998
Gene-altered mice boost studies of cardiomyopathy: Enables research into causes and treatment of heart failure
University of Chicago cardiologists have created the first transgenic mouse that closely reproduces the clinical, anatomical, and pathological features of dilated cardiomyopathy. Scientists now have unprecedented opportunities to study the early changes associated with this fairly common disorder and to develop and test new therapies.

May 20,1998
Research on ulcerative colitis and ulcerative proctitis highlights benefits of topical 5-ASA treatments
A University of Chicago research team, after a review of all published articles and abstracts, concluded that topical 5-ASA mesalamine seems to be the most effective medical treatment for achieving remission in patients with active left-sided ulcerative colitis (UC) and ulcerative proctitis (UP).

May 18,1998
New chemotherapy regimen significantly decreases risk of death for women with "node positive" breast cancer: Also reduces odds of early recurrence
The addition of the anti-cancer drug TAXOL (paclitaxel) to standard chemotherapy dramatically reduces the risks of death or early cancer recurrence for women with breast cancer. A landmark breast cancer trial, headed by the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), demonstrated that administering TAXOL in addition to a standard chemotherapy regimen decreased the number of deaths by 26 percent and reduced the rate of cancer recurrence by 22 percent compared to the previous standard treatment regimen when measured at 18 months. These results were presented Monday, May 18, 1998 at American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual conference in Los Angeles, California.

May 12, 1998
Beating the odds: Chicago statistician, 6th heart-kidney-pancreas transplant patient in U.S., leaves Hospitals today
On Tuesday, May 12, 1998--two days after Mother's Day--53-year-old, triple-transplant patient Forrest Powers of Chicago will be discharged from the University of Chicago Hospitals. On April 5, 1998--Palm Sunday--after three months of waiting in the hospital, Powers became the sixth person in the United States to receive a transplanted heart, kidney, and pancreas. This was the second time this combination of surgical procedures has ever been performed in Illinois. The first heart-kidney-pancreas transplant in the state was also performed at the University of Chicago Hospitals, on May 14, 1995--Mother's Day.

May 4, 1998
The first rejection: Eggs sequester bits of sperm for later elimination
Portions of the tail of gigantic fruit fly sperm persist in the developing midgut of the embryo and are excreted soon after the larva hatches, reports Tim Karr, a developmental biologist at the University of Chicago, and colleagues in the May 7, 1998 issue of Proceedings of the Royal Society.

April 28, 1998
University of Chicago Cancer Research Center receives comprehensive designation from National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has designated the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center (UCCRC) as a "Comprehensive Cancer Center," in recognition of the center's excellence in basic, clinical, and prevention and control research.

April 28, 1998
Hillary Clinton launches Chicago citywide Reach Out and Read Campaign
First Lady Hillary Clinton was one of several VIPs to participate in the launch of the Chicago Citywide Reach Out and Read Literacy Program (ROR) on April 28, 1998 at the University of Chicago Hospitals' Friend Family Health Center.

April 20, 1998
Ability to read mammograms varies widely
The mammogram-reading skills of general radiologists vary enormously. In a test situation, 75 general radiologists detected an average of 70 percent of breast cancers--which is about what previous studies would predict. However, their sensitivity showed tremendous variability. Expert mammographers detected 16 percent more cancers.

March 20, 1998
Watching biology in action in billionths of a second
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in making a "movie" of a protein molecule at work carrying out a biological reaction under normal physiological conditions.

March 20, 1998
Lights, camera...reaction: Charting the biological effects of light in billionths of a second
Scientists created the first "snapshots" of a photoactive protein molecule converting light into chemical energy, the first direct structural evidence of the initial stage--less than one billionth of a second--of processes such as photosynthesis and vision. The finding suggests a new mechanism for optical computers.

March 10, 1998
Medical students bring younger students inside story on drugs
Twelve University of Chicago medical students took more than three classes of 11- and 12-year-olds at Murray Language Academy in Chicago and also at Robert Healy School in Bridgeport. The medical students were there to explain the effects of drug abuse.

March 3, 1998
Chicago man receives heart/liver transplant
On Monday, March 2, 1998, 45-year-old Stephen Trenka of Chicago received a very welcome surprise--a new heart and liver. The procedure has been performed only 10 times in the United States, including three times at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Both previous UCH patients are alive, at home, and doing well.

February 25, 1998
Drug-resistant infection once found only in hospitals now present in community
Drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a predominantly hospital-acquired infection, has been identified in children outside of the hospital setting with no identified risk factors, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital and published in the February 25, 1998 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

February 10, 1998
Latest in digital diagnostic equipment donated to University of Chicago Hospitals dental clinic
Cygnus Imaging, of Scottsdale, Arizona, has donated one of the first CygnusRay2 dental imaging systems--the latest in digital imaging technology--to the University of Chicago Hospitals' dental clinic. The top-of-the-line equipment, valued at $20,000, will provide improved diagnostic capabilities and much faster results to the clinic's patients, nearly half of whom are medically indigent.

February 2, 1998
Popular Mini-Med School offers second chance for those still curious
All you need is a sense of curiosity and some free evenings this spring to participate in the University of Chicago's award-winning Mini-Med School, a free, 10-week series of easy-to-understand, entertaining, and educational lectures for the general public.

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