Curcumin Shows Potential to Prevent Inflammation-Associated Colorectal Cancer, Restore Microbial Gut Ecology

Researchers at the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center have made another promising discovery about curcumin—the bioactive ingredient in turmeric—as a potentially viable means to prevent inflammation-associated colorectal cancer and balance the microbiota of the gut.

“The microbiota of the gut is becoming recognized as a major player in health and disease,” said Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, professor and head, UA Department of Pediatrics and director of the UA Steele Center. “This is the first study to implicate the role of curcumin in modulating the microbiota of the gut and preventing colon cancer.”

Colorectal cancer—cancers of the colon and rectum—is the third-highest cause of cancer-related mortality in the United States. Individuals with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) have a higher chance of developing colon cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2015, approximately 93,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with colon cancer, 40,000 with rectal cancer and 50,000 will die from the disease.

Genetic components,...

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World-renowned Burn Care Specialist to Lead Off Community Lecture Series

Join Kevin Foster, MD, MBA, FACS, on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. in the Virginia G. Piper Auditorium on the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix campus, 600 E. Van Buren, as he shares details about Arizona Burn Center’s experimental skin spray treatment designed to help burn victims heal from devastating injuries.

Dr. Foster has dedicated his life to the continual improvement of care and wellbeing for burn victims, and currently serves as the medical director of Maricopa Integrated Health System’s Arizona Burn Center and clinical assistant professor of surgery at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix.

The innovative treatment is considered less invasive than traditional skin grafting and has been found to not only heal more quickly, but also create less scarring with the potential to decrease the number of operations patients need.

“There are really few opportunities to talk about truly translation research when one goes from doing a study on a product or drug or device and then using it almost immediately on patient,” Dr. Foster said.  “As soon as this is approved by the...

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Open House to Celebrate, Rededicate ‘Camp Wellness’

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 12, 2015, 3:30 - 5 P.M.

UA RISE Health and Wellness Center, 1030 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson

The University of Arizona Department of Family and Community Medicine invites media to cover a celebration and rededication of Camp Wellness, a nationally recognized day program that teaches adults with serious mental illness how to make healthy lifestyle choices.

The open house will be held Wednesday, Aug. 12, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., at the UA RISE Health and Wellness Center, home to Camp Wellness, at 1030 N. Alvernon Way, just south of Speedway Blvd., in Tucson.

Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will speak at the open house, as will Terry Stevens, CEO of Cenpatico Arizona, which last December won the state’s three-year contract to administer behavioral health-care services throughout Southern Arizona, including Pima County, beginning Oct. 1. Wednesday’s open house will celebrate and rededicate Camp Wellness as an important component of Cenpatico’s services.

The UA Department of Family and Community Medicine...

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AHSC Diversity Programs Featured on Arizona Public Media

The diversity-and-inclusion efforts of the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center were featured on the Arizona Public Media (AZPM) show, Arizona Week. The program airs on PBS 6 on Fridays at 8:30 p.m. and Sundays at 11 a.m. The program featuring AHSC diversity and inclusion efforts can viewed online:

Arizona Week producer and host, Lorraine Rivera, interviews Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, as he explains the efforts AHSC has taken to train and mentor students via a variety of diversity-and-inclusion programs, specifically created to positively impact health care. With a population that is 35-percent Latino and Native American, Arizona suffers from serious health disparities and access to quality care, made even more severe by the lack of diversity in the biomedical and health-care workforce.
The program features interviews with the following students and alumni:

Malini Chauhan, a UA College of Medicine – Tucson Class...

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The 21st annual ceremony marks the students’ entrance into the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

Francisco Garcia, MD, MPH, director and chief medical officer of the Pima County Health Department, a 1992 graduate of the UA College of Medicine and the College’s 2015 Alumnus of the Year, will be this year’s keynote speaker.

DATE/TIME:            FRIDAY, AUG. 7, 5-6:30 P.M. (reception immediately follows)

LOCATION:             Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., UA Main Campus, Tucson

TUCSON, Ariz. – As family, friends and faculty cheer, 117 new medical students in the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Class of 2019 will celebrate their entrance into the medical profession at the College’s 21st annual White Coat Ceremony.

Designed to honor new medical students as they accept the responsibility of the doctor-patient relationship, the ceremony will be held Friday, Aug. 7, 5 to 6:30 p.m., in Centennial Hall,...

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Breathing New Life Into Diabetes Treatment

This story first appeared in UANews and was written by Alexis Blue, University Relations - Communications,

Dr. Klearchos Papas, a professor in the University of Arizona Department of Surgery, and his collaborators have been awarded $3 million in grants and contracts for ongoing efforts to revolutionize islet cell transplantation in patients with Type 1 diabetes.

Their work includes the development of an implantable oxygen generator aimed at improving the function and efficacy of implanted, encapsulated insulin-producing islet cells. If successful, the advancement has the potential to reverse Type 1 diabetes in some patients without the need for immunosuppression.

"We believe this could be a breakthrough in diabetes treatment," said Papas, scientific director of the UA's Institute for Cellular Transplantation.

JDRF, the world's largest charitable funder of Type 1 diabetes research and formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research...

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Banner, College of Medicine Welcome Host of New Faculty Physicians

A nephrologist from one of the top U.S. health systems specializing in kidney transplants is among more than 30 new faculty physicians joining Banner – University Medical Center and the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson in the next 90 days.

Asjad Sardar, MD, an assistant professor in the UA Department of Medicine, came to Tucson last month from a transplant nephrology fellowship at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, whose hospital is ranked No. 5 in the country by the National Kidney Registry for kidney transplants.

Dr. Sardar earned his medical degree from Allama Iqbal Medical College in Lahore, Pakistan, and did his residency at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, N.Y. He worked as a hospitalist in Indiana and internal medicine specialist in Yuma, Ariz., before completing a general nephrology fellowship at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston. In Texas, he served under Pradeep K. Kadambi, MD, now Banner – UMC medical director of solid organ transplantation, who recruited him to Tucson. He is board certified in internal medicine and nephrology.

“I believe the combination of Dr. Sardar’s...

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UA and Banner Welcome New Pediatric Specialists

The University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics and Banner Children’s – Diamond Children’s Medical Center welcome new faculty members Jenny Mendelson, MD, and Alicia Palmer, MD.

Dr. Mendelson, assistant professor, joined the Division of Critical Care.  As a pediatric intensivist and pediatric emergency physician, Dr. Mendelson will take care of critically ill children in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the pediatric emergency department at Diamond Children’s.

Dr. Mendelson completed her MD and a combined residency in emergency medicine/pediatrics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. She then completed a fellowship in pediatric critical care medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center).

Her research interests are in the areas of pediatric cardiac arrest and post-resuscitation care, medical simulation and transport medicine. She is board certified in pediatrics and emergency medicine.

Dr. Palmer, assistant...

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Message from the UA Senior Vice President for Health Sciences: UA Health Sciences Programs Champion Health-care Workforce Diversity

Increasing the racial and ethnic diversity of the health-care workforce has been identified as a key factor to addressing health disparities and ensuring the adequate provision of culturally competent care to our nation’s growing minority communities.

To encourage diversity in the health-care workforce, the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center has initiated several novel programs and initiatives focused on the recruitment, education and training of a diverse group of future health-care educators, practitioners and leaders.

Diversity in the health-care workforce is essential if we hope to ensure gains in the health and well-being of our state and nation. With a population that is 35-percent Latino and Native American, Arizona suffers from serious health disparities and access to quality care – challenges made even more profound by the lack of diversity in the biomedical and health-care workforce. Creating a diverse health-care workforce, representative of the populations it serves, is a strategic priority for the UA Health Sciences.

I am pleased to report that our efforts are paying off. For example, the incoming UA College of Medicine – Tucson Class...

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‘Ebola: What Are We Learning? In Africa? In America?,’ Aug. 10

An Ebola survivor is one of four national and local experts—including representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson—who will discuss the current state of affairs surrounding the disease and answer questions at “Ebola: What Are We Learning? In Africa? In America?”

The free presentation, open to the public and health professionals, will be held Monday, Aug. 10, 4:30-6 p.m., at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. (Please note: There is a parking fee of $1.50 per hour, cash only, in the Banner – University Medical Center Tucson visitor/patient parking garages.)

As the Ebola epidemic continues, headlines are shifting from panic toward sober appraisal of this new clinical and public health challenge. Recent news that an Ebola vaccine has been successful in a clinical trial has raised hopes that an end to the epidemic may be near.

The presenters are:

Craig Spencer, MD, MPH (appearing via a...

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