News

Dr. Daniel Persky receives leadership award from the National Cancer Institute

Daniel O. Persky, MD, a lymphoma specialist at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, is among 12 physicians from across the country to receive the 2014 Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award from the National Cancer Institute. This highly competitive award recognizes exceptional cancer investigators for their contributions to the advancement of clinical research through collaborative team science.
The award is a $100,000, two-year supplement to the UACC’s Cancer Center Support Grant.  Dr. Persky is the first UACC member to be honored with this recognition.  The UACC is one of just 41 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers and the only one headquartered in Arizona.

Dr. Persky is a board-certified medical oncologist, an associate professor of medicine and a co-leader of the Cancer Center’s lymphoma team. He specializes in treating cancers of lymphocytes, such as lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Together with Soham Puvvada, MD, and Jonathan Schatz, MD, he provides both standard and innovative therapy options to patients with such conditions.

 The Cancer Clinical Investigator...

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$1.8M grant supports UA Cancer Center’s cancer biology program

The National Cancer Institute has awarded the University of Arizona Cancer Center a $1.8 million grant to continue training cancer researchers for the future.

The grant, called a T32 Training Grant, is a five-year award that will draw on the strengths of research faculty at The University of Arizona who direct their efforts toward the understanding of cancer causation, prevention and treatment to train future cancer researchers. The grant will fund six pre-doctoral and two postdoctoral trainees.

The training grant has been continuously competitively renewed by the UA Cancer Center since 1978, when Eugene Gerner, PhD,   was the first principal investigator. In 1992, G. Tim Bowden, PhD, the center’s chief science officer and chair of the Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, became the principal investigator. Jesse Martinez, PhD, became PI when Dr. Bowden retired in 2010. Dr. Martinez also serves as chair of the Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, known as CBIO GIDP.

“The renewal of this training grant, which we have had at the UA Cancer Center for 36 years, means that we can continue to train the next generation of cancer...

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14th Annual Himelic Memorial Golf and Dinner Classic, Oct. 3, Raises Funds for ALS Research at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

Since 2001, the Jim Himelic Foundation (JHF) has organized Tucson’s annual Himelic Memorial Golf and Dinner Classic to raise funds to benefit local research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disease that can strike people from all walks of life.

The 14th annual Himelic Memorial Golf and Dinner Classic will be held Friday, Oct. 3, at the Omni Tucson National Resort, 2727 W. Club Drive, Tucson. Guest speaker will be Warner Smith, UA alumnus ’94 and PAC 10 All Conference football player, who recently was diagnosed with ALS at age 41.

Supporting this local effort to eradicate ALScan make an immediate difference. All proceeds from the event directly benefit investigations at the Jim Himelic Neuromuscular Research Laboratory at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Department of Neurology. The funds are “seed money” that allow UA...

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Arizona Telemedicine Program’s Participation in Mexico’s Congreso de Telesalud Región de las Américas 2014 Opens Doors

Four representatives of the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) and Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC) at the Arizona Health Sciences Center traveled to Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, earlier this month to offer telemedicine training to health-care providers, share information and ideas and learn about telemedicine programs in Mexico.

The Congreso de Telesalud Región de las Américas 2014 took place Sept. 3-5, with the ATP/SWTRC training taking place on Sept. 2. 

ATP and SWTRC previously have offered training and consultation to telemedicine programs in other countries, but this was the first time they were asked to bring their expertise to Mexico, said Elizabeth Krupinski, PhD, ATP associate director for evaluation, SWTRC director and UA professor of medical imaging, psychology and public health.

 “It was a very exciting opportunity for us,” Dr. Krupinski said. Mexico is “rapidly adopting telemedicine, in some places more than others. The challenges they face are the same challenges that we face: reaching out to...

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UA Department of Pediatrics and UA Health Network Welcome Dr. Neha Bhasin to Division of Hematology/Oncology/BMT

The University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics and the University of Arizona Health Network welcome new faculty member Neha Bhasin, MD, assistant professor, to the Division of Hematology/ Oncology.
 
Dr. Bhasin earned her medical degree from Ross University (Dominica, West Indies) and then completed her pediatrics residency at Stony Brook University Medical Center (New York). Dr. Bhasin went on to complete a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology from the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and received a certificate in clinical and translational research at University of Iowa.

As a pediatric oncologist, Dr. Bhasin will provide care for children with cancer, bleeding and clotting disorders, sickle cell anemia and thalassemia at the University of Arizona Medical Center – Diamond Children’s, the pediatric hematology/oncology outpatient clinic at the University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, and Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS).

Dr. Bhasin will serve as the director of the Pediatric Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, located within the pediatric hematology...

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Arizona Health Sciences Center-Affiliated Experts Working With Ebola Virus in West Africa

The following professionals, who have ties to the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, are working with the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa and are available to talk to reporters. Dr. Pust is not in West Africa but is an internationally recognized expert in global health.

• Tom Kenyon, MD, MPH, director, CDC Center for Global Health. Dr. Kenyon did his pediatric residency at the UA and teaches in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson’s Global Health Summer Course. Dr. Kenyon directs the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention response to the Ebola epidemic.

To reach Dr. Kenyon, please contact: Donda Hansen, CDC media lead on Ebola, email: xcb1@cdc.gov

• Adedayo “Dayo” Obaweya, West Africa regional coordinator, Medical Ambassadors International. Volunteers from Tucson-based Heartbeat for Africa (HBA) work with Obaweya’s organization in West Africa.

Contact Obaweya directly by phone in Ghana (...

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Dr. Joe G.N. ‘Skip’ Garcia Featured in Hispanic Executive Magazine

Building the Health Professional Pipeline
Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. In a timely interview with Hispanic Executive Magazine, Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences, discusses health issues among Hispanics, the importance of creating an educational pipeline to recruit and train a diverse health-care workforce and other issues.

In the Q & A interview with Michelle Markelz, Dr. Garcia, who also is the interim dean of the UA College of Medicine - Tucson, emphasizes the Arizona Health Sciences Center’s efforts to ensure access to services for underserved populations throughout the state and along the border.

For more information on health and diversity at the Arizona Health Sciences Center, please visit: http://ahsc.arizona.edu/ or connect with AHSC on Facebook and...

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UA Arthritis Center Presents ‘Optimal Aging, Rewinding the Clock,’ Oct. 1

What we can do to “live younger longer” will be revealed in “Optimal Aging, Rewinding the Clock,” a presentation by Michael Hewitt, PhD, Canyon Ranch Health Resort research director for exercise science, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 6-7:15 p.m., at the University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, DuVal Auditorium (Room 2600), 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson.

Open to the public, the free 75-minute presentation includes time for questions and answers. Light refreshments will be provided. (Please note: There is a parking fee of $1.50 per hour, cash only, in the UAMC – University Campus visitor/patient parking garage.)

Many aches and pains that accompany growing older are not a direct result of the aging process. Dr. Hewitt will highlight the differences between chronological, biological and psychological age. He will delve into determinants of aging that individuals can control: the ten biomarkers of aging, as developed by Tufts University researchers. These biomarkers are indicators of physical function that influence well-being and are measures of the significant biological states used to monitor our health. Dr. Hewitt will address how to...

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Dr. Charles B. Cairns Appointed an Assistant Vice President at AHSC and Vice Dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

Charles B. Cairns, MD, FACEP, FAHA, a nationally recognized leader in emergency and critical care research, has been appointed assistant vice president for clinical research and clinical trials at the Arizona Health Sciences Center and vice dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. He is scheduled to begin his new duties at the UA in November.

He also will join the Department of Emergency Medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson as professor.

Dr. Cairns will report to Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences and interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

“I am extremely pleased that Dr. Cairns will be joining the UA in these important leadership positions with AHSC and the College of Medicine,” said Dr. Garcia. “His deep commitment to research will help us expand our health sciences research portfolio – a key component of the UA’s “Never Settle” strategic plan – and his expertise in medical education will help...

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UA First in World to Use an Amniotic Membrane Patch to Heal the Heart after Surgery

University of Arizona heart surgeon Zain Khalpey, MD, PhD, MRCS, performed the world’s first procedure using an amniotic membrane patch on a patient to help heal his heart after surgery. Based on initial positive results, the UA has launched a clinical trial to determine how tissue from the amniotic sac could be used to prevent post-surgical complications, such as atrial fibrillation, in heart patients.

Up to 40 percent of patients develop atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm) after heart surgery, said Dr. Khalpey, associate professor, UA Department of Surgery, and surgical director of the Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at The University of Arizona Medical Center. A complication possibly caused by post-surgical inflammation, AFib reduces blood flow and increases the risk of stroke and other serious complications.

Surgeons have used amniotic tissue to treat certain eye conditions for a number of years. Made from the inner layer of the placenta, which supplies blood and nutrients to the baby...

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