2004 Press Releases

December 29, 2004
University of Chicago lecture series to highlight prostate cancer
Learn about prostate cancer development and treatment in a series of free public lectures at the University of Chicago beginning Saturday, Jan. 15, 2005.

December 29, 2004
University of Chicago researchers discovered humans have "privileged" evolutionary lineage
The genes that regulate brain size and development evolved more rapidly in humans than nonhuman primates and other mammals because of a natural selection process seen only in human evolution. Researchers reported their findings in the cover article of the Dec. 29, 2004, issue of the journal Cell.

December 9, 2004
Researchers testing immunotherapy for couples suffering from recurrent miscarriages
Researchers from the University of Chicago are recruiting couples for a study to determine if intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), an immune system booster, helps couples that have experienced recurrent miscarriages for unexplained reasons after having one successful pregnancy.

December 6, 2004
Sleep loss boosts appetite, may encourage weight gain
Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that partial sleep deprivation alters the circulating levels of the hormones that regulate hunger, causing an increase in appetite and a preference for calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods.

December 1, 2004
Stem cells of limited use for cardiac muscle repair
New evidence suggests that a promising investigational treatment for patients with damaged hearts--using adult stem cells to regenerate heart tissue--may not work as planned.

November 29, 2004
Fussy Baby Network answers cries for help in community
Erikson Institute's Fussy Baby Network is meeting a real need in the Chicago community. Already, more than 200 families have received help from this first-of-its-kind program in Illinois that responds to parent concerns about their infant's inconsolable crying.

November 22, 2004
University of Chicago plant geneticist Edward D. Garber, 1918-2004
Edward D. Garber, PhD, a plant geneticist and professor emeritus of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago, died of kidney failure Oct. 9, 2004, at the age of 86, in Skokie, IL.

November 18, 2004
Marine sponge leads researchers to immune system regulator
A Japanese brewery, an Okinawan sea sponge, and some clever detective work have enabled an international research team based at the University of Chicago to solve a biological mystery, and the solution suggests a novel way to boost the body's defenses against cancer.

November 16, 2004
Young cancer patient inspiring others to give during the holidays
Megan Schillerstrom, an 8-year-old cancer patient, raised more than $7,000 to fight leukemia through fund-raising activities. She will talk about giving back at a fund-raising event for the new University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital.

November 11, 2004
By impounding iron, FHC foils cell suicide, fuels inflammation
A research team based at the University of Chicago may have found a way to manipulate cell suicide, also known as programmed cell death, a normal process that regulates cell number but that goes awry in chronic inflammatory disorders, cancer and other diseases.

November 8, 2004
Big Red Dog visits patients and families at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital
He's friendly, big-hearted and just BIG! Clifford, the beloved children's storybook character and star of the top-rated PBS show, "Clifford The Big Red Dog," will visit patients and families at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital on November 11, 2004.

November 7, 2004
Sexual competition drives evolution of a sex-related gene
In what could be termed a truly seminal discovery, researchers have shown that when females are more promiscuous, males have to work harder--at the genetic level, that is.

November 7, 2004
Alumnus Irwin Rose receives 2004 Nobel Prize in chemistry
Irwin Rose, 78, who earned his BS and PhD in biochemistry from the University of Chicago, will share the 2004 Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko of Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), Haifa, Israel, "for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation."

November 4, 2004
Paleontologist snares research prize with new approach to evolutionary theory
Peter Wagner's research on the twists and turns of fossil snail shells and evolutionary theory has earned him the 2004 Charles Schuchert Award from the Paleontological Society. The society bestows the award annually on a scientist under 40 whose work reflects excellence and promise in paleontology.

November 3, 2004
Pritchard will study human genetic variations with Packard grant
Jonathan K. Pritchard, assistant professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago, is among 16 researchers nationwide to receive a 2004 Packard Foundation Fellowship for Science and Engineering. Pritchard will receive an unrestricted research grant of $625,000 over five years as a Packard Fellow.

November 1, 2004
Patients spread holiday cheer to help hospitalized children
You can support a good cause by ordering holiday greeting cards from the University of Chicago Children's Hospital's Child Life and Family Education Department. Proceeds are used to purchase toys and educational materials and to provide support services for patients and families.

October 29, 2004
John Brandecker named vice president for the University of Chicago Children's Hospital
John A. Brandecker has been appointed vice president, University of Chicago Hospitals and director, University of Chicago Children's Hospital, effective Oct. 18, 2004. Brandecker joins the University of Chicago Hospitals at an exciting time as it prepares to move inpatient care from its current children's hospital into the state-of-the-art Chicago Comer Children's Hospital this winter.

October 28, 2004
"Broken" gene reveals evolution of salt retention and possible ties to hypertension
Researchers at the University of Chicago have found genetic evidence to support the sodium-retention hypothesis, a controversial 30-year-old theory that the high rate of hypertension in certain ethnic groups is caused, in part, by an inherited tendency to retain salt.

October 28, 2004
Schneewind named chairman of University of Chicago department of microbiology
Olaf Schneewind, MD, PhD, an infectious disease expert, has been named chairman of the University of Chicago's department of microbiology.

October 20, 2004
Renowned forensic psychiatrist Lawrence Z. Freedman, 1919-2004
An internationally recognized authority on the psychiatry of aggression, violence, crime, and terrorism and the interactions between psychiatry and the law, Lawrence Z. Freedman, MD, professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of Chicago, died from a stroke at his home in Chicago on October 6, 2004. He was 85.

October 20, 2004
Garrison Keillor to speak at University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital celebration, Nov. 3
Writer and humorist Garrison Keillor, known for his radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion," will speak at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3, at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave., Chicago. Keillor's appearance is in honor of the upcoming opening of the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital.

October 18, 2004
Heart specialists team up to provide "hybrid" procedure for newborns
Two heart specialists at the University of Chicago have developed a new approach, called "hybrid surgery," for treatment of newborns with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Instead of a series of major operations that pose considerable risk, the hybrid approach combines non-surgical interventions with a less drastic operation.

October 14, 2004
Major overhaul needed in end-of life care for patients with dementia
Three University of Chicago geriatricians are calling for creative and wide-reaching solutions to the problem of sub-optimal end-of-life care for patients with dementia.

October 11, 2004
Researchers provide road map for generating B cells from stem cells
Before stem cells, of whatever origin, can be used to treat patients, scientists will need to learn how to coax them to develop into the desired cell types, a major challenge. In the October 12, 2004 issue of Developmental Cell, researchers from the University of Chicago present the first rough road map, suggesting how to lead a hematopoietic stem cell down the narrowing path to becoming an antibody-producing B cell.

October 8, 2004
Collaboration brings Chicago children brighter smiles
A collaboration between Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Walter G. Zoller Memorial Dental Clinics at the University of Chicago, with support from La Rabida Children's Hospital and the Friend Family Health Center, will bring oral healthcare services directly to disadvantaged and disabled children of Chicago via the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program.

September 26, 2004
Elwood Jensen, University of Chicago professor emeritus, receives coveted Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research
The 2004 Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research will be presented to Elwood Jensen, PhD, the Charles B. Huggins Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Ben May Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Chicago.

September 23, 2004
New fossil sheds light on old mystery
Scientists describe a newly discovered Chinese reptile from the Triassic in the journal Science. The well-preserved fossil of this species may explain the function of the extremely long neck--a feature that has puzzled scientists for decades.

September 9, 2004
Transplant candidates may wait longer for available kidneys
Researchers from the University of Chicago and Stanford University found that one of the new programs to increase the number of kidneys available for transplantation has disadvantages for candidates with blood type O who are waiting for an organ from a deceased donor.

September 1, 2004
Stanley Yachnin, MD, 1930-2004
Stanley Yachnin, MD, professor emeritus and former section chief of hematology and oncology at the University of Chicago, died at his daughter's home in Hyde Park on Monday, Aug. 30, following a long battle with cancer--a disease he spent much of his life studying. He was 74.

August 23, 2004
Genetic clues found for common congenital brain disorder
Thanks to a productive collaboration between clinical and basic scientists, researchers from the University of Chicago have identified the first genetic cause of one of the most common birth defects of the brain, Dandy-Walker malformation (DWM).

August 20, 2004
Basic research producing new anthrax therapies
Thanks to new screening tools, and some luck, researchers at the University of Chicago have discovered three unrelated compounds that inhibit the two toxins--edema factor and lethal factor--that have made anthrax one of the most feared of potential bioterror agents.

August 16, 2004
Protective gene may enhance vaccine responses
Researchers from the University of Chicago have discovered the first of a new class of "protective factors" that appear to be required for the development of memory T cells, the cells that form the core of a vaccine response.

August 10, 2004
Excess thyroid hormone harmful to fetus
Researchers from the University of Chicago have showed, for the first time, that an excess of thyroid hormone during pregnancy has a direct toxic effect on the fetus, tripling the risk of miscarriage and reducing the average birth weight of infants who survive.

July 26, 2004
New hemodialysis system lets patients treat themselves at home
A new hemodialysis system that enables people with end-stage renal disease to treat themselves daily at home has already made a difference for Dadi Ding, a former dialysis nurse and a long-term dialysis patient, who recently became the first person in the Chicago area to use the new home-based system.

July 16, 2004
Respected neonatologist and clinical researcher Marguerite (Peggy) Herschel, MD, 1939-2004
Marguerite (Peggy) Herschel, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and medical director of the general care nursery at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital, died in her Hyde Park home after a six-year battle with breast cancer on July 9, 2004. She was 64.

July 14, 2004
New model explains why costly insect "outbreaks" are hard to predict
Many insect species produce periodic population surges, known as outbreaks, only to crash down to low levels. These outbreaks can devastate huge areas of forest, but they occur at long, irregular intervals and so are hard to predict. In the July 15, 2004, issue of Nature, researchers present a model that appears to untangle the factors that trigger such outbreaks.

July 8, 2004
University of Chicago scientists pinpoint cellular cause of SIDS
University of Chicago researchers may have found a crucial clue to understanding and ultimately eliminating sudden infant death syndrome, the leading cause of post-neonatal mortality in the United States.

July 5, 2004
Ginseng reduces effects of anti-clotting drug
Researchers from the University of Chicago report in the July 6, 2004, issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine that ginseng, one of the best selling herbal supplements in the United States, interferes with warfarin, a drug commonly used to prevent blood clots.

July 2, 2004
National survey names UCH as one of the best US hospitals
The University of Chicago Hospitals has 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 6,012 hospitals.

June 6, 2004
Chemotherapy after surgery improves survival in patients with early stage lung cancer
Adjuvant chemotherapy can improve survival following surgical treatment for early stage lung cancer report researchers at the American Society for Clinical Oncology annual meeting. This is the first study to demonstrate a substantial benefit from chemotherapy for patients with stage 1B non-small-cell lung cancer.

June 5, 2004
Investigational drug shows promise in kidney cancer patients
Interim results from a phase II trial of an investigational drug known as BAY 43-9006 or sorafenib demonstrate a significant and lasting benefit for a subset of patients with advanced renal cell cancer, researchers from the University of Chicago and four other centers report at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

June 2, 2004
Renowned cancer researcher H. G. Williams-Ashman 1925-2004
An internationally recognized authority on the biochemistry, biosynthesis, regulation and molecular mode of action of sex hormones and their roles in reproduction and in cancer, Howard Guy Williams-Ashman, PhD, the Maurice Goldblatt Professor Emeritus in the Ben May Institute for Cancer Research and the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago, died from pneumonia on May 24, 2004.

May 26, 2004
Steve Goldstein appointed chairman of pediatrics at the University of Chicago
Steve A.N. Goldstein, MD, PhD, a leading authority on the molecular mechanisms underlying normal cardiac function and sudden life-threatening diseases of the heart, has been appointed professor and chairman of the department of pediatrics at the University of Chicago, effective June 15, 2004.

May 26, 2004
William Mieler appointed chairman of ophthalmology at the University of Chicago
William F. Mieler, MD, an expert on treatment of diseases of the macula, retina and vitreous, as well as medical and surgical management of eye injuries, has been appointed professor and chairman of the department of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Chicago effective April 15, 2004.

May 21, 2004
Diahann Carroll to speak at University of Chicago Hospitals cancer survivors celebration, June 6
Actress, singer, and breast cancer survivor Diahann Carroll will be the keynote speaker for the University of Chicago Hospitals' 15th annual Cancer Survivors Day celebration on Sunday, June 6.

May 21, 2004
Studies highlight benefits of three novel therapies for inflammatory bowel disease
Two studies performed by University of Chicago researchers and presented at the annual Digestive Disease Week (DDW) meeting in New Orleans provide encouraging results from clinical trials of novel drugs to treat inflammatory bowel disease.

May 14, 2004
Conference promotes breast and cervical cancer awareness in Nigeria
In an effort to create awareness of breast and cervical cancer risk, prevention, detection, and treatment among African doctors and the public, physicians and scientists from the University of Chicago, the University of Ibadan, and the Medical Women's Association of Nigeria have organized the first International Workshop on New Trends in the Management of Breast and Cervical Cancers.

April 7, 2004
Experts debate prescription drug policy at University of Chicago Health Forum
Noted legal and medical experts debate whether current national policy toward the pharmaceutical industry serves the best health interests of Americans at the second annual Chicago Health Forum, titled "Prescription Drugs for All."

April 2, 2004
Oldest-known arm bone found in Pennsylvania
Paleontologists from the University of Chicago and the Academy of Natural Sciences found a 365-million-year-old fossil (the oldest-known arm bone) that sheds light how the fins of fish evolved into the arms and legs of land-living animals.

March 15, 2004
Studies focus on vascular spasm as a common cause of cardiomyopathy
Researchers at the University of Chicago argue in the March 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation that vascular spasm--a sudden, brief tightening of a blood vessel that can block blood supply to the heart--is an under-recognized and under-treated source of damage to heart muscle.

March 15, 2004
Widely used anti-nausea drug may interfere with cancer chemotherapy
A drug widely used to prevent nausea and other side effects in patients receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer may also, unfortunately, prevent the therapy from working efficiently on tumor cells, researchers from the University of Chicago report in the March 1 issue of the journal, Cancer Research.

February 16, 2004
Approved drug blocks deadly anthrax toxin
Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that a drug approved in 2002 for treatment of chronic hepatitis B can block the action of an anthrax toxin.

February 1, 2004
Pacifying bacteria prevents lethal post-op infections
Détente may be better than assault in the war between man and microbe. By injecting a coating into the intestines to pacify bacteria there instead of relying on antibiotics to kill them, University of Chicago researchers rescued mice from infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a virulent pathogen. The coating forms a bioshield, preventing stress signals that trigger virulence from reaching the bacteria and distancing bacteria from the bowel wall. This approach may prevent hospital infections without using antibiotics.

January 29, 2004
Genomic changes reveal evolution of SARS virus
Careful study of changes in the SARS virus through the recent epidemic has allowed researchers from China and the University of Chicago to bolster the evidence for the animal origins of SARS and to chart three phases of the virus's molecular evolution as it gradually adapted to human hosts, becoming more infectious over time. This study confirms the importance of containing any new outbreaks quickly and points to potential targets for a vaccine.

January 22, 2004
U. Chicago study overturns conclusion of historic human genome data
Researchers at the University of Chicago have discovered there is extensive gene "traffic" on the mammalian X chromosome and overturn a conventional theory about how the genes evolved on the sex chromosome.

January 15, 2004
Pioneering cell biologist Hewson Swift, PhD, 1920-2004
An internationally recognized expert on electron microscopy, chromosome structure and function, and the use of DNA to study evolutionary relationships, Hewson H. Swift, PhD, died on January 1, 2004. He was 83.

January 13, 2004
Gene may be key to evolution of larger human brain
Researchers have identified a gene that appears to have played a role in the expansion of the human brain's cerebral cortex--a hallmark of the evolution of humans from other primates.

January 5, 2004
Placebo-controlled clinical trials put children with asthma at risk
Enrolling children with asthma in the placebo arm of a clinical trial is common, harmful and ethically unjustified argue researchers from the University of Chicago and the National Institutes of Health in the January 2004 issue of Pediatrics.

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