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2012 Press Releases

December 20, 2012
Seymour Taxman personally delivers $2.5 million gift to fund GI research
Real estate businessman Seymour "Sy" Taxman and his wife, Nancy, presented a gift of $2.5 million to the University of Chicago Medicine on Wednesday in honor of the late Joseph B. Kirsner, MD, PhD, the Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and a pioneer in the research and treatment of digestive disease.

December 20, 2012
Elwood Jensen, PhD, 1920-2012, pioneer in cancer biology research
Elwood V. Jensen, PhD, known worldwide for his pioneering research on how steroid hormones exert their influence through specific receptors in target cells, died from pneumonia on Sunday, Dec. 16, at a nursing and rehabilitation facility in suburban Cincinnati. He was 92.

December 14, 2012
Tips to help kids cope following tragic news events
The mass-shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn., raises many questions: How do you talk to your children about such a horrendous event? Is there an age that's too early to have this discussion?

December 10, 2012
Drug helps women who stop smoking keep weight off
A medication being tested to help smokers kick the habit also may help avoid the weight gain that is common after quitting but only in women, according to a study published in the December issue of Biological Psychiatry.

December 4, 2012
University of Chicago's Graeme Bell receives international diabetes prize
Graeme Ian Bell, PhD, the Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics and an investigator in the Kovler Diabetes Center at the University of Chicago, has been awarded the Manpei Suzuki International Prize for 2012 for his pioneering work in understanding the role of genetics in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.

November 28, 2012
University of Chicago Medicine gets A for safety
The University of Chicago Medicine received an A grade in hospital safety, according to a national nonprofit group's survey of more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals.

November 26, 2012
New clinic focuses on those aged 15 to 30 with blood cancers
Filling a gap in cancer care, the University of Chicago Medicine has launched the Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Program, which draws together physicians and researchers from multiple medical and scientific fields to cross the boundaries between pediatric and young adult patients with leukemia and lymphoma.

November 21, 2012
Public Invited to See University of Chicago Medicine's 'Hospital of the Future'
Residents from across the region will get their first inside look at the University of Chicago Medicine's new Center for Care Discovery during a Chicago-area Community Open House on Saturday, Dec. 8.

November 21, 2012
MicroRNAs can convert normal cells into cancer promoters
Unraveling the mechanism that ovarian cancer cells use to change normal cells around them into cells that promote tumor growth has identified several new targets for treatment of this deadly disease.

November 15, 2012
Dr. Eric Whitaker to Leave the University of Chicago Medicine in March
Eric Whitaker, MD, MPH, will leave his post at the University of Chicago Medicine as executive vice president of strategic affiliations and associate dean of community-based research on March 31 to seek a new venture in the public health field.

November 13, 2012
Michael Bishop, MD, to head stem cell transplant program at University of Chicago Medicine
Michael R. Bishop, MD, an authority on the use of stem cell transplantation as a treatment for lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma, has been appointed professor of medicine and director of the hematopoietic stem cell transplant program at the University of Chicago Medicine, effective November 15, 2012.

November 5, 2012
Dorothy J. MacLean Fellows Conference to focus on ethics of organ transplant, global health and pediatric immunization
The MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics will focus its 24th Annual Dorothy J. MacLean Fellows Conference on ethical issues in organ transplantation and other broader ethical topics, including global health, pediatric immunization and end-of-life care.

October 31, 2012
Ross Milner, MD, Named First Master Clinician at Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence
The Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence, an initiative designed to improve doctor-patient communication and clinical decision-making, has appointed vascular surgeon Ross Milner, MD, as the first Bucksbaum master clinician, a three-year appointment.

October 29, 2012
University of Chicago's Le Beau to lead the Association of American Cancer Institutes
Michelle M. Le Beau, PhD, director of the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center, will be the new president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) effective November 1, the association announced.

October 16, 2012
Even your fat cells need sleep, according to new research
In a study that challenges the long-held notion that the primary function of sleep is to give rest to the brain, researchers have found that not getting enough shut-eye has a harmful impact on fat cells, reducing by 30 percent their ability to respond to insulin, a hormone that regulates energy.

October 2, 2012
New Hospital Pavilion Is Named Center for Care and Discovery
The University of Chicago Medicine's new 1.2 million-square-foot hospital is getting a name that will underscore its commitment to innovative medical research and patient-centered care: the Center for Care and Discovery.

October 1, 2012
Homolog of Mammalian Neocortex Found in Bird Brain
A seemingly unique part of the human and mammalian brain is the neocortex, a layered structure on the outer surface of the organ where most higher-order processing is thought to occur. But new research at the University of Chicago has found the cells similar to those of the mammalian neocortex in the brains of birds, sitting in a vastly different anatomical structure.

September 21, 2012
Taxi drivers to be offered free flu shots at O'Hare, Midway
As part of an initiative to vaccinate some of Chicago's most vulnerable populations, University of Chicago Medicine nurses will administer free flu shots to licensed taxicab drivers at O'Hare International Airport on Tuesday, Sept. 25, and at Midway International Airport the following Tuesday, Oct. 2

September 21, 2012
VP for care delivery innovation, assistant dean for diversity named
The University of Chicago Medicine has named Brenda Battle, RN, BSN, MBA, former head of the Center for Diversity and Cultural Competence at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, as its new vice president for care delivery innovation and assistant dean for diversity and inclusion.

September 21, 2012
University of Chicago Medicine names VP of governmental affairs
Ben Gibson, formerly University of Chicago Medicine's director of governmental affairs, has been promoted to vice president for governmental affairs.

September 17, 2012
Gary Gasbarra named VP finance at University of Chicago Medicine
Gary Gasbarra was named vice president of finance at the University of Chicago Medicine effective Aug. 22.

September 14, 2012
University of Chicago Medicine nets honor for supplier diversity
The University of Chicago Medicine has been awarded the 2012 Supplier Diversity Leadership Award by UHC, a prestigious nationwide alliance of non-profit academic medical centers, in recognition of its commitment to expanding the use of certified women-, minority- and veteran-owned contractors as business partners throughout its campus.

September 7, 2012
Kovler Diabetes Center names 3 new members to leadership board
Lisa Allegra, Amy Franze and Eve Tyree have been appointed to the University of Chicago Medicine Kovler Diabetes Center's leadership board. The 10-member board promotes the vision and mission of the Kovler Diabetes Center and supports the needs of the physicians who provide clinical care, research, education and outreach.

September 5, 2012
Illinois State Rep. Deborah Mell recovers from breast cancer surgery
State Rep. Deborah Mell (D-Chicago) is recovering from surgery three months after announcing she had Stage 1 invasive breast cancer, according to her doctors at the University of Chicago Medicine.

September 4, 2012
Study points to new target for cancers resistant to Iressa and Herceptin
A more-sensitive method to analyze protein interactions has uncovered a new way that cancer cells may use the cell-surface molecule HER3 to drive tumor progression following treatment with HER1 and HER2 inhibitors.

August 27, 2012
Manipulating the microbiome could help manage weight
Vaccines and antibiotics may someday join caloric restriction or bariatric surgery as a way to regulate weight gain, according to a new study focused on the interactions between diet, the bacteria that live in the bowel, and the immune system.

August 21, 2012
James Liao appointed chief of cardiology at the University of Chicago Medicine
James K. Liao, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of vascular medicine research at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, has been appointed section chief of cardiology at the University of Chicago Medicine, effective Aug. 21, 2012.

August 15, 2012
Diabetes initiative taps power of Rx pad to drive healthy food choices
The University of Chicago Medicine and Walgreens are teaming up to launch a "Food Rx" initiative that will help people with diabetes improve their eating habits by overcoming two major hurdles when shopping for food: access and affordability.

August 13, 2012
Antisense approach promising for treatment of parasitic infections
A targeted approach to treating toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease, shows early promise in test-tube and animal studies, where it prevented the parasites from making selected proteins.

August 7, 2012
Grapefruit juice lets patients take lower dose of cancer drug
A glass a day of grapefruit juice lets patients derive the same benefits from an anti-cancer drug as they would get from more than three times as much of the drug by itself, according to a new clinical trial.

August 5, 2012
Donald Liu, MD, PhD, pediatric surgeon, 1962-2012
Donald Liu, MD, PhD, section chief of pediatric surgery and surgeon-in-chief at the University of Chicago Medicine's Comer Children's Hospital, drowned Sunday, Aug. 5, after attempting to rescue two children who were caught in a strong current in Lake Michigan near the town of Lakeside, Mich. He was 50 years old.

July 30, 2012
Ernest Page, MD, cardiac muscle biologist, 1927-2012
Ernest Page, MD, professor emeritus in the departments of Medicine and of Neurobiology, Pharmacology and Physiology, and a member of the Committee on Cell Physiology at the University of Chicago Medicine, died from complications of long-term neuromuscular disease on July 21 at his home in Jerusalem.

July 23, 2012
University of Chicago to boost transformative medical research with $23 million grant
A $23 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will energize the University of Chicago's efforts to harness innovative medical research for interventions that lead to better health for patients in Chicago and across the nation.

July 13, 2012
New roadmap suggests proven routes to ending health disparities
Major disparities exist along racial and ethnic lines in the United States for various medical conditions, but guidance is scarce about how to reduce these gaps.

July 10, 2012
A stronger doctor-patient relationship for the costliest patients
Patients who are frequently hospitalized account for a disproportionate amount of health care spending in the United States. Working with a $6.1 million grant, a new University of Chicago Medicine program will test whether an updated version of the traditional general practitioner can reduce spending while also improving care for these patients.

July 7, 2012
Joseph B. Kirsner, MD, PhD, 1909-2012
Renowned gastroenterologist Joseph B. Kirsner, MD, PhD, the Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago, died from kidney failure at his home in Chicago on July 7. He was 102.

July 4, 2012
Pioneer in imaging science, Charles Metz, 1942-2012
Charles E. Metz, PhD, professor of radiology and a member of the Committee on Medical Physics at the University of Chicago Medicine, died from pancreatic cancer on July 4 at his home in Burr Ridge. He was 69 years old.

July 2, 2012
Taxman Foundation pledges $2.5M to boost training of digestive disease experts
The Taxman Family Foundation will donate $2.5 million to support the training of specialists in the study and treatment of digestive disease at the University of Chicago Medicine.

June 24, 2012
The price tag on a patient-centered medical home
The patient-centered medical home (PCMH) is a concept at the heart of many health care reform models that aim to both improve the quality of care and reduce wasteful spending.

June 21, 2012
Parents seen as critical stakeholders in expanding newborn screening
Parents must be considered when states decide to expand genetic screening programs for newborns, according to a new study that looked at mandatory testing panels and political pressure by advocacy groups.

June 20, 2012
Parents seek public's help to find missing 15-year-old son
Parents of Kahil Gray, a 15-year-old boy diagnosed with autism, are asking for the public's help in finding their son. The teenager is described to be about 5 feet 6 inches tall and 130 pounds.

June 20, 2012
Comprehensive Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital to open June 25
The University of Chicago Medicine and Silver Cross Hospital's $21.6 million outpatient cancer treatment center in New Lenox will open its doors to patients on Monday, June 25, 2012, nearly a year after the start of construction.

June 18, 2012
Doctors cite concern for patients, colleagues top motives for working sick
An unwavering work ethic is a hallmark of many health professionals. But a new survey finds that when a doctor is sick, staunch dedication can have unintended consequences.

June 13, 2012
Where we split from sharks: common ancestor comes into focus
The common ancestor of all jawed vertebrates on Earth resembled a shark, according to a new analysis of the braincase of a 290-million-year-old fossil fish that has long puzzled paleontologists.

June 13, 2012
Western diet changes gut bacteria and triggers colitis in those at risk
Certain saturated fats that are common in the modern Western diet can initiate a chain of events leading to complex immune disorders such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) in people with a genetic predisposition, according to a study to be published early online in the journal Nature.

June 6, 2012
Leapfrog gives University of Chicago Medicine 'A' in hospital safety
The University of Chicago Medicine received an A grade in hospital safety in The Leapfrog Group's survey of more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals, according to the national nonprofit organization.

June 5, 2012
Study finds high risk of GI cancers among childhood cancer survivors
Survivors of childhood cancers are at an increased risk of another battle with cancer later in life, according to new research published online June 5 by the Annals of Internal Medicine.

June 4, 2012
Drug combination highly effective for newly diagnosed myeloma patients
A three-drug treatment for the blood cancer multiple myeloma provided rapid, deep and potentially durable responses, researchers report today online in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology, and yesterday, Sunday, June 3, 2012, at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, USA.

June 1, 2012
University of Chicago Medicine devotes 21% of revenues to community
The University of Chicago Medicine contributed more than $237 million in programs and services to improve health on the South Side and beyond in the last fiscal year, according to the medical center's first community benefit report, which was just released.

June 1, 2012
Radiation therapy specialist joins University of Chicago Cancer Center at Silver Cross
Anne R. McCall, MD, a radiation oncologist specializing in the treatment of breast, gynecologic, lung and prostate cancer and lymphoma, has joined the faculty at the University of Chicago as an assistant professor of radiation and cellular oncology and medical director for radiation oncology at Silver Cross Hospital.

May 31, 2012
University of Chicago Medicine celebrates 22nd Cancer Survivors Day
The University of Chicago Medicine will hold its 22nd annual Cancer Survivors Day celebration, from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 3, 2012, in the Wellington Ballroom of the Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago hotel, 909 N. Michigan Ave.

May 23, 2012
Named professorship to honor cancer researcher Janet Rowley, MD
Donations from Jim and Karen Frank and others will endow the Janet Davison Rowley, MD, Professorship in Cancer Research at the University of Chicago Medicine.

May 22, 2012
Human-like spine morphology found in aquatic eel fossil
For decades, scientists believed that a spine with multiple segments was an exclusive feature of land-dwelling animals. But the discovery of the same anatomical feature in a 345-million-year-old eel suggests that this complex anatomy arose separately from -- and perhaps before -- the first species to walk on land.

May 21, 2012
Web-based video enhances patient compliance with cancer screening
Patients who watch an online instructional video are more likely to keep their appointments and arrive prepared for a scheduled colonoscopy than those who do not, according to a study by gastroenterologists at the University of Chicago Medicine.

May 15, 2012
President of University of Chicago Medical Center joins CURE board
University of Chicago Medical Center President Sharon O'Keefe, a nationally recognized authority on hospital operations, health care quality and patient satisfaction, and the mother of a child with epilepsy, has been named to the board of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE).

May 15, 2012
Mystery gene reveals new mechanism for anxiety disorders
A novel mechanism for anxiety behaviors, including a previously unrecognized inhibitory brain signal, may inspire new strategies for treating psychiatric disorders, University of Chicago researchers report.

May 11, 2012
Annual Day of Service and Reflection Marks 10 Years of Giving to Community
Hundreds of University of Chicago Medicine staff, faculty members, students, their family and friends will mobilize across Chicago's South Side to tackle a host of community projects as part of the 10th annual Day of Service and Reflection (DOSAR).

May 8, 2012
$5.9 million grant to create 'CommunityRX' system for South Side
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $5.9 million to a University of Chicago Medicine-led program to set up a real-time automated system that will link a patient with up-to-date information about community-based services and resources.

May 4, 2012
Beehive extract shows potential as prostate cancer treatment
An over-the-counter natural remedy derived from honeybee hives arrests the growth of prostate cancer cells and tumors in mice, according to a new paper from researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine.

April 24, 2012
Guidelines for prostate screening widely ignored
New research confirms that the controversial decision by Warren Buffet -- the 81-year-old CEO of Berkshire Hathaway -- to undergo a blood test screening for prostate cancer despite his age is hardly unusual.

April 18, 2012
Early introduction of biologic therapy improves Crohn's disease outcomes
A large-scale study of medical claims data shows that introducing sophisticated biologic therapies early in the course of treatment for Crohn's disease improves response to medication and reduces the need for surgery.

April 13, 2012
Clinical trial measures impact of food on anti-cancer drug effects
An unusual clinical trial based at the University of Chicago Medicine is seeking to determine whether a drug approved for patients with advanced prostate cancer might be safer and just as effective if taken at a much lower dose with food instead of at the full dose on an empty stomach.

April 9, 2012
Social stress changes immune system gene expression in primates
The ranking of a monkey within her social environment and the stress accompanying that status dramatically alters the expression of nearly 1,000 genes, a new scientific study reports.

April 9, 2012
Leading organization awards University of Chicago Medicine Hypertension Center its highest designation
The American Society of Hypertension (ASH), the largest organization of hypertension researchers and health care providers in the United States, has designated the University of Chicago Medicine as a Comprehensive Hypertension Center, the first in the Chicago area.

April 4, 2012
Antipsychotic drug may be helpful treatment for anorexia nervosa
Low doses of a commonly used atypical antipsychotic drug improved survival in a mouse model of anorexia nervosa, University of Chicago researchers report this month. The result offers promise for a common and occasionally fatal eating disorder that currently lacks approved drugs for treatment.

April 2, 2012
New program will study the role of religion in practicing medicine
Is a doctor's spirituality an obstacle or a benefit in the clinic? Does religious affiliation affect medical decision making? Can a spiritual calling protect doctors against career burnout?

March 28, 2012
Restaurants cater to gluten-free Chicagoans at celiac fundraiser
Chicago-area residents gathering at the Sheraton Hotel on April 20 will have one thing in common: They either have celiac disease or they know someone who does.

March 22, 2012
'What we don't talk about when we don't talk about sex'
How often does your doctor ask about your sexual life? Unfortunately, the answer may be: not often enough.

March 21, 2012
Evidence mounts for link between opioids and cancer growth
Opioid drugs used to relieve pain in postoperative and chronic cancer patients may stimulate the growth and spread of tumors, according to two studies and a commentary in the 2012 annual Journal Symposium issue of Anesthesiology.

March 13, 2012
Pritzker School of Medicine ranked among Top 10 in U.S.
The University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine has been named one of the Top 10 medical schools in the United States, by U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Graduate Schools" survey.

March 12, 2012
Personal mobile computing increases doctors' efficiency
Providing personal mobile computers to medical residents increases their efficiency, reduces delays in patient care and enhances continuity of care, according to a "research letter" in the March 12, 2012, issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

February 24, 2012
Acclaimed documentary The Interrupters is shown in series of community events to engage communities impacted by violence
The University of Chicago Medicine is teaming up with the Chicago Urban League on Monday, February 27 to host a community panel discussion addressing violence in South Side communities.

February 23, 2012
Genetic risk for elevated arsenic toxicity discovered
One of the first large-scale genomic studies conducted in a developing country has discovered genetic variants that elevate the risk for skin lesions in people chronically exposed to arsenic.

February 21, 2012
Energy network within cells may be new target for cancer therapy
Mitochondria, tiny structures within each cell that regulate metabolism and energy use, may be a promising new target for cancer therapy, according to a new study.

February 19, 2012
A classic model for ecological stability revised, 40 years later
A famous mathematical formula which shook the world of ecology 40 years ago has been revisited and refined by two University of Chicago researchers in the current issue of Nature.

February 15, 2012
Smoking cessation aide shows promise as alcoholism treatment
A medication commonly used to help people stop smoking may have an unanticipated positive side effect for an entirely different vice: drinking alcohol. A new study by University of Chicago researchers finds that varenicline, sold as Chantix, increases the negative effects of alcohol and therefore could hold promise as a treatment for alcoholism.

February 7, 2012
University of Chicago Medicine, CeaseFire partner to address violence
In an effort to address urban violence on the South Side, the University of Chicago Medicine is partnering with CeaseFire Chicago to sponsor a "Violence Interrupter" who will focus on monitoring, mediating and defusing disputes in neighborhoods that the medical campus serves.

February 6, 2012
Antidepressant-suicide link in youths absent in new analysis
In 2004, concerns about antidepressant drugs increasing suicidal thoughts and behaviors in young patients prompted the FDA to issue a rare "black box warning." Now, a new analysis of clinical trial data finds that treatment with the antidepressant fluoxetine did not increase -- or decrease -- suicidality in children compared to placebo treatment.

February 3, 2012
Do patients pay when they leave against medical advice?
There are ways in which patients who leave the hospital against medical advice wind up paying for that decision. Being saddled with the full cost of their hospital stay, however, is not one of them.

January 31, 2012
Lung transplant system often skips over those most in need
The system for allocating donated lungs based on proximity and not on need appears to decrease the potential benefits of lung transplantation and increase the number of patients who die waiting. In 2009, lungs were routinely allocated to less urgent, local candidates even when there were patients within the region but outside the local donor service who were in much greater need.

January 25, 2012
Janet Rowley, MD, to receive Japan Prize for her role in the development of targeted cancer therapy
Janet Davison Rowley, MD, the Blum-Riese Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine, Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology and Human Genetics at the University of Chicago, will share the 2012 Japan Prize for Healthcare and Medical Technology with Brian J. Druker, MD, from the Oregon Health and Science University, and Nicholas B. Lydon, PhD, formerly with Novartis.

January 23, 2012
University of Chicago Medicine looks ahead to new brand, new hospital
The University of Chicago Medical Center, one of the leading academic medical institutions in the country, is introducing a new brand as it prepares to open a modern 10-story hospital on its South Side campus next January.

January 19, 2012
Study: Communicating health risk is a risky task for FDA
The impact of efforts by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to notify the general public and health care providers about unanticipated risks from approved medications has been "varied and unpredictable," according to a systematic review of published studies about FDA warnings and alerts over the last 20 years.

January 17, 2012
Four faculty members in Pritzker, BSD receive named appointments
Four members of the faculty in the Biological Sciences Division -- Habibul Ahsan, Peter Angelos, David Song and Jerrold Turner -- have received named professorships.

January 16, 2012
Neural balls and strikes: where categories live in the brain
Hundreds of times during a baseball game, the home plate umpire must instantaneously categorize a fast-moving pitch as a ball or a strike. In new research from the University of Chicago, scientists have pinpointed an area in the brain where these kinds of visual categories are encoded.

January 9, 2012
Top Japanese scientist leaving government post to move to the University of Chicago Medical Center
Yusuke Nakamura, MD, PhD, Secretary General in the Japanese Government's Office of Medical Innovation and a professor of molecular medicine at Tokyo University's Human Genome Center, has stepped down from his leadership position in the Japanese Cabinet Secretariat. He will join the faculty at the University of Chicago in April 2012.

January 9, 2012
For those with diabetes, controlling blood pressure is crucial, but not urgent
A new study suggests that middle-aged adults recently diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension have time to try to learn how to control their high blood pressure without medications, but not too much time.

January 9, 2012
Evolution of complexity recreated using "molecular time travel"
Much of what living cells do is carried out by "molecular machines" -- physical complexes of specialized proteins working together to carry out some biological function. How the minute steps of evolution produced these constructions has long puzzled scientists, and provided a favorite target for creationists.

January 4, 2012
Experts urge BMI method for calculating weight in kids with eating disorders
An exact determination of expected body weight for adolescents based on age, height and gender is critical for diagnosis and management of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia. However, there are no clear guidelines regarding the appropriate method for calculating this weight in children with such disorders.