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2003 Press Releases

December 15, 2003
University of Chicago lecture series to highlight skin cancer
Learn how tumors develop using skin cancer as a model in a new series of free public lectures, beginning Saturday, January 17, 2004, intended to convey the excitement of new discoveries in the biological sciences to a general audience.

December 12, 2003
Chemical gradient steers nerve growth in spinal cord
A research team at the University of Chicago has discovered a crucial signaling pathway that controls the growth of nascent nerves within the spinal cord, guiding them toward the brain during development.

December 5, 2003
Changing one gene launches new fly species: Study also ties sex appeal to cold tolerance
Evolutionary biologists at the University of Chicago replaced a single gene in fruit flies and discovered a mechanism by which two different "races" begin to become different species.

November 26, 2003
Nitric oxide can prevent lung disease and death for premature infants
In a new study, University of Chicago researchers found that low doses of inhaled nitric oxide can decrease the risk of chronic lung disease and death by nearly one-fourth in premature infants who have respiratory distress syndrome.

November 21, 2003
Investigational drug brings new hope to kidney cancer patients
Preliminary phase-II trial results demonstrate significant short-term benefit for patients with advanced kidney cancer from an investigational drug. Only 15 percent of patients with metastatic kidney cancer respond to standard therapy. In this study, 42 percent of patients had their tumors shrink at least 25 percent within the first 12 weeks. Six had a reduction of 50 percent or more. Another 26 percent had stable disease. A novel trial design may have rescued this promising drug from obscurity.

November 17, 2003
Novel delivery system and new target show promise for toxoplasmosis treatment
A multi-center research team has discovered how to deliver antimicrobial medications directly to the infectious parasites that cause diseases such as toxoplasmosis, even when the parasites lay hidden and inactive within cysts, where they have been untreatable by any available medicines.

October 14, 2003
Investigational drug may protect cancer and AIDS patients from side effects of pain relief therapy
A drug developed to relieve one of the major side effects of pain therapy for cancer patients may offer an added benefit for AIDS patients.

October 8, 2003
Sleep boosts ability to learn language, University of Chicago researchers find
Scientists at the University of Chicago have demonstrated that sleeping has an important and previously unrecognized impact on improving people's ability to learn language.

October 6, 2003
Minority children: over- or underrepresented in medical research?
In a new study published in the October issue of Pediatrics, researchers from the University of Chicago show that African-American children are over-represented in research, including clinical trials.

September 30, 2003
University of Chicago receives funding for $30 million infectious disease initiative
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a $17 million grant to the University of Chicago to build a Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at Argonne National Laboratory.

September 19, 2003
White Coat Ceremony set for Sept. 22 at University of Chicago
This year, 104 medical students in the Class of 2007 will gather in Rockefeller Chapel to share with faculty, alumni, parents and friends in this special occasion as they don their white coats and stand together to recite the Hippocratic Oath.

September 16, 2003
Longer commute for cancer treatment associated with better survival
Cancer patients who travel more than 15 miles for treatment appear to survive longer than patients who live closer to their treatment center, even after controlling for factors such as disease stage and economic status.

September 16, 2003
University of Chicago scientist wins prestigious Balzan Prize
University of Chicago Professor Wen-Hsiung Li, PhD, has been awarded the prestigious Balzan Prize--a $709,000 award often referred to as the "Italian Nobel"--in genetics and evolution by the International Balzan Foundation.

September 12, 2003
University of Chicago initiates cross disciplinary study of reasons for early onset of deadly breast cancer among African-Americans
Leading scholars at the University of Chicago will use a $9.7 million federal grant to develop a new interdisciplinary approach to study why African-American women have an unusually high rate of breast cancer at an early age.

September 9, 2003
Most physicians willing to serve but unready for bioterrorism
A survey of 1,000 physicians found that four out of five were willing to care for victims of a bioterrorist attack, but only one out of five felt well prepared for such a role.

September 4, 2003
NIH to fund Midwestern regional center for study of emerging diseases
The University of Chicago, as the lead institution for a Regional Center of Excellence (RCE) for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, has been awarded a grant of more than $35 million over five years by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of the National Institutes of Health.

August 19, 2003
Physicians and patients rarely discuss costs
Patients and physicians agree that discussion of out-of-pocket costs is important. Although 63 percent of patients expressed the need for such talks, only 15 percent of patients inn this study reported that they occurred. Out-of-pocket costs create enough of a burden that many patients forgo prescribed medications. This means that patients are changing the plan of care for financial reasons without consulting their doctors.

August 6, 2003
Name that tune: How birds learn to recognize song
University of Chicago researchers are peering inside the minds of European starlings to find out how they recognize songs and in the process are providing insights into how the brain learns, recognizes and remembers complex sounds at the cellular level.

July 28, 2003
University of Chicago Hospitals selects CCFC as its new ad agency and marketing partner
After an extensive review, the University of Chicago Hospitals has selected Coil Counts Ford & Cheney of Chicago as its advertising agency. CCFC will be responsible for all of the Hospitals' advertising, creative and production.

July 17, 2003
National survey again names UCH as one of the best U.S. hospitals
For the seventh year in a row, the University of Chicago Hospitals have been selected as one of the best hospitals in the United States by U.S.News & World Report in its annual survey of America's 6,003 hospitals.

July 16, 2003
Minimally invasive procedure helps children with GERD
A new minimally invasive surgery for children suffering with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It's called the Stretta procedure.

July 14, 2003
Drug combination extends survival in mesothelioma
Patients with pleural mesothelioma live longer and have less pain and shortness of breath when treated with a combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed. This drug combination caused the cancer to shrink in 41 percent of patients. This is the first therapy to show a benefit for this type of cancer.

July 11, 2003
Researchers identify molecular signaling system that is crucial for plant fertility
University of Chicago researchers have found that a substance that functions as a neurotransmitter in humans also plays a crucial role in plant reproduction, guiding growth of the tube that transports sperm from a pollen grain on a flower's surface to the egg cells within a plant's ovules.

June 26, 2003
Breast cancer survivors have fewer heart attacks
Breast cancer survivors appear to be one-third less likely to have a heart attack than other women report researchers from the University of Chicago in the July 2003 issue of Cancer.

June 25, 2003
Robotic surgery comes to prostate removal
Surgeons at the University of Chicago Hospitals are using a robotic system to remove cancerous prostate glands with less pain, smaller scars, minimal blood loss and rapid recovery.

June 25, 2003
International Adoption Clinic helps parents adopting foreign-born babies
Parents in the Chicago area who are adopting a child from another country can get expert advice from pediatric specialists at the new International Adoption Clinic at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital.

June 5, 2003
Harry Belafonte to speak at University of Chicago Hospitals cancer survivors celebration, June 8
Human and civil rights activist, singer, actor, producer and cancer survivor Harry Belafonte will be the keynote speaker for UCH's 14th-annual Cancer Survivors celebration on Sunday, June 8.

June 1, 2003
Genetic alterations help predict severe side effects related to irinotecan
The presence of specific gene alterations can help doctors predict which colorectal cancer patients are likely to experience severe side effects from the new chemotherapy drug irinotecan, new research shows.

May 30, 2003
University of Chicago surgeons perform fourth US heart-liver-kidney transplant
On Wednesday, May 21, 2003, 40-year-old Michael Gaynor of Chicago received a new heart, liver and kidney at the University of Chicago Hospitals. He is the fourth patient in the United States to undergo this complex transplant, and the third at UCH.

May 21, 2003
U of C scientist receives NSF CAREER Award, NIH grant totaling over $2 million
Manyuan Long, PhD, assistant professor of ecology and evolution, recently received an NSF CAREER Award providing nearly a million dollars over five years and an NIH grant of more than one million dollars.

May 19, 2003
Conference considers compensating organ donors
A team of transplant physicians, medical ethicists and economists will consider that question, and others, at a two-day conference to be held at the University of Chicago's Gleacher Center, 450 N. Cityfront Plaza, on May 16 and 17.

April 28, 2003
Gene variation raises risk of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia
A research team based at the University of Chicago has traced increased susceptibility to bipolar disorder to two overlapping genes found on the long arm of chromosome 13.

April 22, 2003
Arthur Haney, MD, appointed chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Chicago
Arthur F. Haney, MD, a specialist in reproductive endocrinology, infertility and the prevention of adhesions following gynecologic surgery, has been appointed professor and chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology.

April 15, 2003
Early use of universal forms boosts informed consent among ICU patients
By asking permission at the first opportunity rather than when it becomes necessary and urgent, caregivers can nearly double the consent rate for most of the invasive procedures performed in the ICU setting.

March 26, 2003
New species of earliest-known salamanders found in China
A 161-million-year-old fossil not only reveals a new species of salamanders, but also provides proof that much of the evolution of salamanders occurred in Asia.

March 24, 2003
Janet Rowley, MD, honored by two national organizations
Janet Rowley, MD, has been selected to receive the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement, and the Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Award.

March 24, 2003
Nuclear medicine pioneer Malcolm Cooper, M.B.Ch.B., 1936-2003
A pioneer in the use of positron emission tomography to study how the brain functions, Malcolm Cooper, M.B.Ch.B., associate professor and director of research in the department of radiology, died on Thursday, March 20. He was 66.

March 20, 2003
NBA star Alonzo Mourning visits UCH to increase awareness of kidney disease
On March 26, Alonzo Mourning will speak at the University of Chicago Hospitals about his personal experience with anemia, and its treatment. A free educational seminar about CKD will also be provided for all attendees.

March 17, 2003
Study shows public support for doctors who deceive insurers
One out of four people think it's OK for a doctor to mislead an insurance company in order to persuade them to pay for medical care. This finding highlights the public's lack of trust in the healthcare system and raises concerns about pressures on physicians to bend the rules.

March 5, 2003
Daily aspirin lowers colorectal cancer risk
A daily aspirin can prevent polyps in patients at high risk for colorectal cancer, according to a new study. Aspirin reduced the occurrence of polyps by one-third. Patients on aspirin who did get polyps took longer to develop them and had fewer polyps. The protective effect was so significant that the study was stopped early. This adds to the mounting evidence that aspirin can reduce the risk of colon cancer--the second-leading cancer killer.

February 24, 2003
Corbin Bernsen, Partners Against Pain® and the University of Chicago Hospitals host consumer awareness program and unveil "Many Faces of Pain" photo exhibit
The "Many Faces of Pain" photo exhibition, part of a national tour paying tribute to the 50 million Americans who live with persistent pain, will be unveiled on March 13, 2003 following a consumer awareness program hosted by actor Corbin Bernsen and Dr. Friedl Pantle-Fisher, director of the Pain Management Center at the University of Chicago.

February 10, 2003
Celiac disease is far more common than thought
A massive, multi-center study has found that celiac disease is much more common in the United States than previously believed.

February 6, 2003
Discovery of iron-acquisition pathway suggests new treatments for drug-resistant Staph. infections
University of Chicago researchers have discovered how Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of life-threatening infections, acquires iron from its host's red blood cells, a critical step in causing disease. The discovery suggests new ways to combat this common pathogen, which infects 500,000 hospital patients a year and has grown ominously resistant to antibiotics.

January 22, 2003
Physician groups slow to adopt optimal care management processes
Patients with chronic diseases are not receiving the type of care management that has been proven to be effective, according to a nationwide survey of physician organizations published by University of Chicago researchers.

January 7, 2003
University of Chicago lecture series to highlight cancer and hormones
Learn how hormones affect cancer growth in a new series of free public lectures, beginning Saturday, January 18, intended to convey the excitement of new discoveries in the biological sciences to a general audience.

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