The University of Arizona Health Sciences


UA College of Medicine – Tucson Earns 2016 Health Professions Diversity Award

Recognized for its commitment to diversity and inclusion in the health professions, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson has been honored with INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine’s 2016 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.

INSIGHT Into Diversity is the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The Health Professions HEED Award is national honor recognizing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing and allied health schools that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Requiring a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees, and best practices for both, the award also recognizes continued leadership support for diversity and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion.

“Our standards are high, and we look for institutions where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being accomplished every day across their campus,” said Lenore Pearlstein...

[read more]

Grand Challenge: Mapping the Human Immune System

University of Arizona research assistant professor and immunologist Adam Buntzman used CyVerse data-sharing and analysis capabilities to lead the first team to comprehensively map the human adaptive immune system.

Knowing the full potential for our immune systems to protect us from harmful pathogens brings us one huge step closer to finding cures for illnesses such as cancer, infections, autoimmune diabetes and asthma, as well as developing improved diagnostic tests and immune therapies.

"Understanding adaptive immunity is one of the grand challenges in science," said Yves Lussier, associate vice president for UA Health Sciences and executive director of the UA Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatics. "The unique genetics and massive diversity that occur exclusively in cells of the adaptive immune system has posed a dire need for computer tools created specifically to analyze adaptive immune receptors."

Now Buntzman and his...

[read more]

$1 Million Gift to Support Integrative Medicine at UA Health Sciences

Chicago-area philanthropist Jolita Leonas-Arzbaecher has made a $1 million gift to advance the work of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences.

Integrative medicine pioneer Andrew Weil, MD, is director of the UA Center for Integrative Medicine, where he also holds the Lovell-Jones Endowed Chair in Integrative Rheumatology and is a clinical professor of medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

A long-time advocate for integrative medicine, Leonas-Arzbaecher is passionate about Dr. Weil’s vision and has followed the work of the UA Center for Integrative Medicine for many years. “Dr. Weil has been the singular driving force in integrative medicine, helping to move integrative health into everyday life. I am thrilled to know that this gift can have a profound impact on the health of people around the country,” she said.

The UA Center for Integrative Medicine is leading the transformation of health care by training a new generation of health professionals and by empowering individuals and communities to optimize health and wellbeing...

[read more]

UA Cancer Center to Celebrate 40 years and Prestigious Designation with Festivities in Tucson on Sept. 28 and in Phoenix on Sept. 30

EVENT:  UA Cancer Center to Celebrate 40 years and Prestigious Designation with Festivities in Tucson on Sept. 28 and in Phoenix on Sept. 30

The University of Arizona Cancer Center celebrates its 40th anniversary and the renewal of its prestigious designation from the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

DATE/TIME (Tucson):  WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 28, 4–6 P.M.

LOCATION (Tucson):  UA Cancer Center, Kiewit Auditorium, 1515 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson

DATE/TIME (Phoenix):  FRIDAY, SEPT. 30, 2–4 P.M.

LOCATION (Phoenix):      University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center,  625 N. Sixth St., Phoenix

TUCSON, Ariz. – The University of Arizona Cancer Center will celebrate its 40th anniversary and the renewal of its prestigious designation by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center with events planned in Tucson on Wednesday, Sept. 28, and in Phoenix on Friday, Sept. 30, for invited members from the community.

Recognized for its...

[read more]

Cardiologist Dr. Michael A. LaCombe to Present ‘The Importance of Family History,’ Oct. 6

“The Importance of Family History” is the topic of a special lecture on Thursday, Oct. 6, at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

The presentation will be given by cardiologist Michael A. LaCombe, MD, FACC, MACP, LHD (hon), and is part of the bi-annual Donald K. Buffmire Visiting Lectureship in Medicine series, sponsored by the Flinn Foundation.

Dr. LaCombe is a cardiologist who has practiced in Maine for more than 40 years. He is associate editor of the “On Being A Doctor,” “On Being A Patient” and “Ad Libitum” sections of the Annals of Internal Medicine and is a professor of medicine and medical humanities at the University of New England.

He has developed a career that blends writing with the practice of medicine. He has published more than 100 essays and stories in peer-reviewed medical journals, as well as 13 books. A collection of his stories, “Bedside: The Art of Medicine,” was published by the University of Maine Press in 2010. His articles and compositions have been turned into performances and are used for teaching ethics and humanism in medical schools...

[read more]

Med students launch University of Arizona Journal of Medicine

Bonded over their extensive undergraduate research experiences, two medical students at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson founded the College’s first research journal – The University of Arizona Journal of Medicine – to provide a platform to promote the intellectual curiosity and the scientific achievements of the College’s students.

Tania Hassanzadeh and Vicky Khoury, both members of the Class of 2018, sought out to create a place to showcase their work and the work of their peers.

“This is something tangible that we could show prospective students, and they can also benefit from it,” said Hassanzadeh.

After months of work, the Winter 2016 edition was published as a print journal available to medical students and faculty and throughout the College and Banner – University Medical Center.

The second issue, which will also be published online (restricted to COM-T students, faculty and staff), is now accepting submissions.

Hassanzadeh and...

[read more]

‘The Foundations of Health’ Subject of UA Arthritis Center Lecture, Oct. 5

“Modern medicine offers the exciting promise of reducing disease, restoring function and preventing illness. It does not promise to enhance health. That task is in our hands, and the tools to accomplish it are neither complicated nor limited…,” writes Michael J. Hewitt, PhD, Canyon Ranch’s research director for exercise science and October’s Living Healthy With Arthritis lecture series presenter.

Dr. Hewitt will reveal “The Foundations of Health,” on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 6-7:15 p.m., at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. Free and open to the public, the 75-minute presentation will include time for questions and answers.

In this practical and inspiring presentation on true preventive medicine and the importance of physiological resilience, Dr. Hewitt will share his own personal journey of resilience and triumph that took place at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.

True preventive medicine is mom’s medicine: “eat your vegetables, go out and play, do your homework first, get to bed.” These universal...

[read more]

Heart Disease and Sleep: Expert Panel Reports That Both Duration and Quality May Impact Heart Health

Sleep duration including too little or too much sleep and sleep disorders, may be linked to a variety of factors that may raise the risk for cardiovascular diseases, according to the first ever American Heart Association (AHS) scientific statement published this week in the AHA journal Circulation.

A committee of experts in heart health and sleep science, including statement co-author Michael Grandner, PhD, MTR, assistant professor of psychiatry, psychology and medicine at the University of Arizona, reviewed all existing evidence in the scientific literature on the impact of sleep duration and sleep disorders to cardiovascular health and risk and noted the following:

Sleeping too little or too long, along with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia, may be linked to cardiovascular risk factors including obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Research linking sleep problems to obesity and diabetes is robust, but longer studies measuring impact on actual weight are needed. Simple sleep behavior screening tools should be developed and evaluated for use in clinical care and public health settings. Treating those with sleep... [read more]

UA-Led Team Receives PCORI Engagement Award for Patient-Centered SLEEP2 Project

About 70 million Americans have sleep problems, according to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, but you’d never know it by looking at them. There are many symptoms besides sleepiness that people—or their physicians—might not recognize as signs of sleep disorders.

While research has made great strides in understanding the many aspects of sleep, there is much more to be learned and communicated. To improve patient-centered sleep research, a team led by Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, has been funded by a $250,000 Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award approved by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

The Engagement Award—called SLEEP2, which stands for “Strategically Leverage Engage and Empower PCOR in Sleep Disorders”—is meant to engage patients, scientists and other stakeholders as partners across the entire span of sleep research, from topic generation to conduct of studies to disseminating and implementing research findings.


[read more]

New Faculty Join UA Department of Pediatrics and Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center

Heather Cassell, MD, Emily Keyser, MD, and Erica Danielle Laber, MD, have joined the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center.

Heather Cassell, MD

Dr. Cassell, clinical associate professor, joined the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology. As a pediatric allergist/immunologist, Dr. Cassell will provide specialized allergy and immunology care for children at Banner – Diamond Children’s Multi-Specialty Center and Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Cassell received her medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. She completed a residency in pediatrics at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, and then completed a fellowship in pediatric allergy and immunology at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colo.

Dr. Cassell’s clinical interests are asthma, food allergy, atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis. She is board-certified in pediatrics and allergy and immunology.


[read more]