News

Marisela Mariscal, Sylvestor Moses and Lacy Manuelito, 3 of the 10 students admitted to P-MAP at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

UA College of Medicine – Tucson Launches New Pathway to Medical School

Lacy Manuelito grew up in Fort Defiance, Ariz., on the Navajo Nation, knowing that she wanted to be a doctor. The first in her family to graduate from college, she holds a bachelor’s degree in family relations and human development from the University of New Mexico. Now married with a 3-year-old daughter, she is gearing up for the medical school admissions test that will determine if her long-held dream will come true.

Manuelito is one of 10 students enrolled in a new program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson to help some of the brightest and most deserving students reach their goal of becoming doctors.

Called P-MAP – for Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway – the one-year program is open to students who have not had the educational and economic advantages that help students get accepted to medical school and cope with its rigorous curriculum, but whose character and commitment – and academic record – make them outstanding candidates. P-MAP was launched in May by the Office of Diversity and...

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15-year-old Sruti Bandlamuri Raises more Than $7, 000 for Autism Research at UA Steele Children’s Research Center Through Performance

15-year-old Sruti Bandlamuri is a very talented and generous young lady.

Sruti is a student of the ancient Indian dance form known as “Bharatanatyam,” and began studying the art form when she was 5 years old.

On Aug. 23, Sruti performed the “Bharatanatyam Arangetram,” which is the graduation of a student of the dance form. The performance demonstrates that the student has graduated and is prepared to perform for the public. Nearly 600 people attended Sruti’s four-hour performance that took place at the Temple of Music and Art.

“My dance performance was the biggest achievement of my life,” said Sruti. “It meant a lot to me, given that it was my debut as a dancer of Bharatanatyam.”

In lieu of gifts or flowers, Sruti requested that donations be made to the autism research at the UA Steele Children’s Research Center.

“The reason I chose autism research for my fund is because I have personal ties with it,” explained Sruti. “The UA Steele Center is a great place for this research because they are asking the fundamental question: What causes autism?”

“Moreover, I have young cousins who have...

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The Skin Cancer Institute at the University of Arizona Cancer Center presents the fifth annual Melanoma Walk Nov. 1

The Skin Cancer Institute at the University of Arizona Cancer Center will present the fifth annual Melanoma Walk Saturday, Nov. 1 from 2 to 6 p.m. The goal for this year’s Melanoma Walk is to raise $60,000 to fight melanoma – a $5,000 increase from last year’s fundraising efforts.

The 1.5-mile walk is family- and pet-friendly, and includes free skin cancer screenings by appointment (call 520-626-1074), prizes and giveaways, live music, a silent auction and activities for children. Proceeds from the walk directly support melanoma research, community outreach, education and patient care in Arizona.

Melanoma Walk 2014 will be held at The University of Arizona Cancer Center – North Campus, 3838 N. Campbell Ave. Major walk sponsors are INSYS Therapeutics Inc., and Banana Boat/Walgreens.

"The Melanoma Walk is a way for us to support and honor our family and friends affected by melanoma. It raises awareness of the impact of skin cancer in our community, and is a way for the community to help our efforts to prevent, detect and treat skin cancer,” says Robin Harris, co-director of the Skin...

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Dr. Audrey Russell-Kibble

Dr. Audrey Russell-Kibble Receives First Joint Faculty Appointment between UA College of Nursing and Family and Community Medicine at UA College of Medicine – Tucson

Audrey Russell-Kibble, DNP, FNP-C, director of clinical practice innovations and clinical assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Nursing, has received a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the UA College of Medicine — Tucson.

A graduate of the UA Doctor of Nursing Practice program, she is the first UA College of Nursing faculty member to be appointed into the FCM department.

“As an academic medical center, it’s important that we set the standard for interprofessional and interdisciplinary collaboration at every level,” said Tamsen Bassford, MD, associate professor of clinical family medicine and clinical obstetrics & gynecology, and department head of family and community medicine. “Medicine is a team sport in the 21st century, and to provide excellent quality care at reasonable cost, we need the participation and strengths of every discipline.”

Dr. Russell-Kibble is the lead...

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UA College of Medicine - Tucson Participate in a National Day of Service

 As the Student National Medical Association (SNMA) celebrates its Founders Day on Oct. 4, the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Tucson SNMA chapter will partake in a clean-up of De Anza Park, 1000 North Stone Avenue.

The association’s student chapters nationwide will participate in a National Day of Service focusing on nutrition, fitness, health screenings and testing, health fairs, and community restoration such as school/clinic renovation and park beatification. 

Organized by Community Service Chair, Vicky Khoury, a first year medical student, De Anza Park was chosen because it is located in an area designated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) as medically underserved.  Medically Underserved Areas/Populations are areas or populations designated by HRSA as having: too few primary care providers, high infant mortality, high poverty and/or high elderly population (hrsa.gov).

“Our chapter is delighted to be a part of this national effort to honor the founding of SNMA and we are thankful for this opportunity to...

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‘Binding Wounds: African Americans in Civil War Medicine’ at the Arizona Health Sciences Library through Nov. 8

Binding Wounds: African Americans in Civil War Medicine,” a National Library of Medicine traveling banner exhibition that explores the African American men and women who served as surgeons and nurses during the American Civil War, will be displayed in the Arizona Health Sciences Library, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tuesday, Sept. 30 through Saturday, Nov. 8. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

With a nation divided, the American Civil War was a war to preserve the Union. For African Americans, it was a fight for freedom and a chance for full participation in American society. Binding Wounds looks at the men and women who served as surgeons and nurses and how their work as medical providers challenged the prescribed notions of race and gender at the time of the Civil War. As all Americans sought ways to participate and contribute to the war effort for the Union, African Americans moved beyond the prejudices they faced to serve as soldiers, nurses, surgeons, laundresses, cooks and laborers.

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Valley Fever Drug Receives Fast-Track Designation by the FDA

A potentially curative anti-Valley Fever drug has been given a boost in its development by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The University of Arizona has received word that its request has been granted to designate nikkomycin Z (NikZ) as a “qualifying infectious disease product” (QIDP). NikZ is an antifungal drug that the UA has been helping to move into clinical trials and eventually to help patients. The UA has licensed development rights to Valley Fever Solutions, Inc. (VFS), a small start-up business in Tucson.

“Getting a QIDP designation is huge for our program,” said John Galgiani, MD, director of the UA Valley Fever Center for Excellence, project leader for the NikZ development team and chief medical officer for VFS. “It makes NikZ much more attractive to investors because of the added protection and other benefits that come with this designation.”

QIDP designation is a key provision of the GAIN Act, approved by Congress in 2012 to increase the incentives for drug manufacturers to produce new antibiotics for serious and hard-to-treat bacterial and fungal infections....

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Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention awarded $13 million

TUCSON and FLAGSTAFF, Arizona, Oct. 2, 2014 – The Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention has been awarded $13 million from the National Cancer Institute to continue bringing prevention and biomedical research training to Native American communities in Arizona. The partnership focuses on the Hopi Tribe, Tohono O’odham Nation and Navajo Nation of Arizona.

The effort, known as NACP, is a collaboration between the University of Arizona Cancer Center and Northern Arizona University. The UA Cancer Center will receive $6 million and NAU will receive $7 million under the five-year grant renewal.

“This research, training and community outreach grant, first funded in 2002, has forged a powerful bridge between the University of Arizona Cancer Center, Northern Arizona University and Native Americans in the Southwest to address the rising tide of cancer in Native Americans,” said David S. Alberts, MD, the UA’s principal investigator for the grant.

“NACP is the first partnership funded by the NCI aimed at the huge burden that cancer places on Native Americans,” said Laura Huenneke, PhD, provost at Northern Arizona...

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UA Department of Emergency Medicine Seeks Community Input On Study of a New Airway Device

The University of Arizona Department of Emergency Medicine is seeking community input on a clinical trial that requires a medical procedure to be performed without patient consent. The study will determine if a new device to secure breathing tubes holds the emergency breathing tubes more securely than currently used devices. The trial, which is set to begin this fall at the University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus, will be performed on critically ill or injured patients who are unable to provide informed consent.

An Institutional Review Board responsible for human subjects research at the University of Arizona reviewed this research project and found it to be acceptable, according to applicable state and federal regulations and UA policies designed to protect the rights and welfare of participants in research.

The purpose of the study is to determine if an investigational device, the SolidAIRity® Airway Stabilization System, is able to deliver better health care to patients in need of an endotracheal (...

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Jessica Miller, PhD, awarded Susan G. Komen grant to study breast cancer-related chronic pain

Jessica A. Miller, PhD, has been awarded a three-year, $450,000 Susan G. Komen grant to investigate the cause of chronic joint stiffness and pain associated with the use of aromatase inhibitors (AI) — a class of drug often used to treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.

Breast cancer patients currently on an AI and the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) sulindac will be studied to determine the causes of joint pain and ways to reduce this side effect in order to increase adherence to the use of AIs. This study will take place as part of an ongoing clinical trial at the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

Dr. Miller’s study, “Application of lipidomics to a sulindac intervention of pain,” will help guide future research that will identify molecular targets of pain for the ultimate goal of improving AI adherence and reducing death from breast cancer. Sulindac is thought to have a better safety profile than other NSAIDs, and Dr. Miller’s work aims to understand the individual metabolic response to sulindac that may explain why.

“Sometimes, joint pain can be incredibly...

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