The University of Arizona Health Sciences


Preventing Asthma in Children: University of Arizona Researchers Are One Step Closer

Efforts to improve the health of children at increased risk for asthma will receive a major boost with the launch of a new University of Arizona Health Sciences-led, federally funded national clinical study. For Fernando D. Martinez, MD, and his colleagues at the UA Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center, this study follows 30 years of research to prevent and cure this chronic disease.

Titled, “Oral Bacterial Extracts (ORBEX): Primary Prevention of Asthma and Wheezing in Children,” the study is funded by a $27 million cooperative agreement grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health (U01HL130045). Taking part in the study will be seven other prestigious research institutions across the United States: Columbia University Medical Center, Emory University School of Medicine, George Washington University/Children’s National Health System, Harvard University/Boston Children’s Hospital, Penn State University College of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“Asthma is a disease that affects 10 percent of all...

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Women with Heart Disease Often Don’t Realize It

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, but a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) is the first to document how women experience the disease differently.

Anne G. Rosenfeld, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN, professor and cardiovascular nurse-scientist at the University of Arizona College of Nursing, is vice chair of the AHA writing group that recently published the statement, titled “Preventing and Experiencing Ischemic Heart Disease as a Woman: State of the Science.”

“Due to a number of factors, including lack of awareness, often women don’t recognize their symptoms as heart disease,” said Dr. Rosenfeld, also a member of the UA Sarver Heart Center. “As a result, women frequently delay seeking help, and when they do, they report difficulty receiving a correct diagnosis because health-care professionals also don’t recognize their symptoms as heart disease.”


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Help Is Just a Phone Call Away – Telephone CPR Improves Cardiac Arrest Outcomes, UA Research Finds

The implementation of a Telephone Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (TCPR) program increases survival rates and favorable outcomes for patients who experienced an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, according to a University of Arizona Department of Emergency Medicine study published online in JAMA Cardiology.

“Although out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) is a major public health problem in the United States, we have a life-saving treatment – CPR. Most cardiac arrest victims, however, don’t get that treatment before trained rescuers arrive,” said Bentley J. Bobrow, MD, professor at the UA Colleges of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix and co-director of the Arizona Emergency Medicine Research Center – Phoenix, part of the UA Department of Emergency Medicine. He also serves as medical director for the Bureau of Emergency Medicine Services and Trauma System at the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Bystander CPR (BCPR) has been shown to double or even triple survival from OHCA. Despite...

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Two New Leadership Appointments Announced at UA Health Sciences Office of Diversity and Inclusion

The University of Arizona Health Sciences Office of Diversity and Inclusion has named Lydia Kennedy, MEd, as director of the office.  Oscar Beita, MPH, who formerly served as its director, now will serve as assistant director of the Arizona Hispanic Center of Excellence.

The UAHS Office of Diversity and Inclusion is directed by Francisco Moreno, MD, UAHS associate vice president and UA College of Medicine – Tucson deputy dean for diversity and inclusion. The office works collaboratively with diversity leaders throughout the UA Health Sciences colleges and UAHS leadership to improve diversity and inclusion in the recruitment, education and training of the nation’s future health care educators, practitioners, researchers and leaders.

The UA's "Never Settle" strategic plan includes initiatives to strengthen the diversity and inclusion of the campus community. Arizona is a diverse state with about 42 percent of its population belonging to a racial or ethnic minority group. The UA Health Sciences, together with programs housed within its colleges and its Office of Diversity and Inclusion...

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People and Programs on the Move at Banner – University Medical Center

Dr. Gordon Carr Named Chief Medical Officer

Gordon Carr, MD, critical care medical director of the Intensive Care Unit at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, has been appointed the hospital’s chief medical officer.

“Dr. Carr has distinguished himself as a leader dedicated to quality and improved patient outcomes,” said Tom Dickson, chief executive officer for Banner hospitals in Tucson.

Dr. Carr is a pulmonologist and intensivist in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine within the University of Arizona Department of Medicine. He joined the faculty in 2011, starting out as medical director of the Intensive Care Unit at University of Arizona Center – South Campus, now known as Banner – University Medical Center South.

Before coming to Tucson he worked at Resurrection Medical Center, Kindred Chicago Medical Center and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, all in Chicago. He received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medical and fellowship in pulmonary disease and critical care medicine at the University of Chicago Medical...

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How the Gut Microbiome May be Key in Post-Surgery Organ Failure after Heart Surgery in Children

University of Arizona pediatric critical care physician-scientist Katri Typpo, MD, wants to improve the health of infants and children with congenital heart disease (CHD). These patients often suffer organ failure after heart repair surgery.

Toward that end, Dr. Typpo, assistant professor, UA Department of Pediatrics and the UA Steele Children’s Research Center at the UA College of Medicine - Tucson, within the University of Arizona Health Sciences, was awarded a four-year, $740,000, K23 “Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development” grant by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Her mentor is Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, professor and head, UA Department of Pediatrics, and director of the UA Steele Center.

The project—“The KIND (Kids Intestinal Dysfunction in Congenital Heart Disease) Heart Study”—is a multi-center study that...

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UA Zika Expert to Speak at Partners in Public Health Luncheon, May 4

As summer approaches, anxiety about Zika is growing in the U.S. The question on everyone’s mind is: Once Zika is here, how big will the outbreak be?

Kacey Ernst, PhD, MPH, an associate professor and infectious disease epidemiologist at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, is co-author of a recent study in the journal PLOS Currents Outbreaks that looked at the highest risk areas for Zika emergence in the United States.

Dr. Ernst will be the guest speaker at the annual Partners in Public Health Luncheon on Wednesday, May 4, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Arizona Inn, 2200 E. Elm St., Tucson.

Dr. Ernst will highlight some of the background and new findings related to the Zika virus and will delve into the work that she and team members are doing at the UA to address Zika. She will discuss the basics of Zika virus infection, current geographic spread and...

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Opioid Research by UAHS MD-PhD Student Alex Sandweiss Receives Three Awards

Research aimed at understanding how opioids activate the reward pathway leading to addiction so that an alternative non-addictive pain reliever can be developed has won three awards for Alex Sandweiss, a student in the MD-PhD Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

Sandweiss was one of 130 students who participated in the UA Graduate and Professional Student Council’s 2016 Student Showcase, an annual exhibition of undergraduate and graduate scholarship demonstrating the wide spectrum and value of UA student research projects. The only student-run research exhibition of its magnitude at the UA, the Showcase includes four categories: community-society, creative expression, education and research. Entries encompass a wide variety of disciplines, including performing arts and literature. State representatives and many community members serve as judges.

Alex’s entry won three awards in the research category:

1st place, Graduate Research ($500). Judges evaluated students’ research based on quality of presentation, quality of research, value to the community and overall... [read more]

‘Decoding Osteoarthritis…New Approaches to Prevention and Treatment Using Your Brain and Body’ Subject of UA Arthritis Center Lecture, May 4

“Decoding Osteoarthritis…New Approaches to Prevention and Treatment Using Your Brain and Body,” will be presented Wednesday, May 4, 6-7:15 p.m., at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. The 75-minute presentation will include time for questions and answers, and light refreshments will be provided.

(Please note: the originally scheduled lecture, “Today, Tomorrow and the Future of Osteoarthritis Treatment” by C. Kent Kwoh, MD, director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center, is postponed until the fall 2016 Living Healthy With Arthritis lecture series.)

Charles R. Ratzlaff, PhD, PT, FCAMT, will discuss non-surgical approaches to the prevention and management of knee and hip osteoarthritis with an emphasis on neuromuscular re-training. An epidemiologist and physical therapist specializing in pre-clinical diagnosis and rehabilitation of hip and knee osteoarthritis, Dr. Ratzlaff is a research assistant professor of medicine with the University of Arizona College of Medicine –...

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Making Precision Medicine a Reality: Genomics Researchers Discover Road Map to Disease Origin

TUCSON, Ariz. – Researchers are one step closer to understanding the genetic and biological basis of diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis – and identifying new drug targets and therapies – thanks to work by three computational biology research teams from the University of Arizona Health Sciences, University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt University.

The researchers’ findings – a method demonstrating that independent DNA variants linked to a disease share similar biological properties – were published online in the April 27 edition of npj Genomic Medicine.

“The discovery of these shared properties offer the opportunity to broaden our understanding of the biological basis of disease and identify new therapeutic targets,” said Yves A. Lussier, MD, FACMI, lead and senior corresponding author of the study and UAHS associate vice president for health sciences and director of the UAHS Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics (CB2).

The researchers...

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