UA Arthritis Center Receives $6.1 Million 5-Year NIH Grant to Help Identify Treatments for Osteoarthritis

Researchers at  the University of Arizona Arthritis Center at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson are working to identify treatments to slow the progression of osteoarthritis (OA), supported by a recent $6.1 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

The most common cause of disability in the aging population, OA is a complex condition involving not only the breakdown of cartilage in joints but also changes in adjacent soft tissue and bone beneath the cartilage, leading to debilitating joint pain and stiffness and often pain in surrounding muscles and ligaments. The public health impact of knee OA, in particular, is expected to increase dramatically. No cure exists and no FDA-approved drugs are available to prevent development or halt the progression of the condition.

The study, “Risk of Incident Knee OA & Clinical Outcomes Based on Imaging Biomarkers,” builds on two ongoing studies, the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) and the Pivotal OAI MRI Analyses (POMA), an ancillary proposal to the OAI. The OAI was...

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Abbett Family Foundation Donates $115,000 to UAMC Diamond Children’s

The University of Arizona of Arizona Medical Center – Diamond Children’s received a donation of $115,000 from the Abbett Family Foundation.

Foundation trustees Jeffrey Abbett, his sister, Renee Abbett, and Tim Wilcox, principal, Sonora Investment Management, visited Diamond Children’s on Jan. 15 to acknowledge the donation, which was made in December.

"The Abbett Family Foundation is proud to support the efforts of Diamond Children's in providing the highest quality of care for the children and families in our community," said Jeffrey Abbett.

The funds will be used to:
• Purchase one C-Mac intubation video laryngoscope intubation system;
• Purchase six interactive gaming systems on roving carts for patients on the pediatric hematology/oncology and pediatric medical/surgical units;
• Support the Child Life program and purchase supplies ($25,000);
• Purchase other medical equipment and support additional Child Life program needs ($22,000).

“The C-Mac is a state-of-the-art...

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Photograph of the front of the future Banner – University Medical Center Tucson (currently the University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus)

New Banner division drives new names and leadership appointments

With an approval by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) on the merger agreement to bring the University of Arizona Health Network into Banner Health, and closure of the agreement on Feb. 27, an academic-focused division will be created at Banner that will result in new facility names and leadership appointments within the division. The ABOR vote is expected to occur during the week of Jan. 26. 

If ABOR approves, the closure of the agreement on Feb. 27 will launch the Banner – University Medicine Division.  It will include three academic medical centers, a physician group serving as faculty in the academic medical centers and at the University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine in Tucson and Phoenix, and other services.

New Names

The name changes for the academic medical centers and physician group after Feb. 27:

University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, to become Banner – University Medical Center Tucson University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus, to become Banner – University Medical Center South Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, to become Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix University of... [read more]

UA Innovation Hub Headed by Dr. Marvin Slepian to Accelerate Translational Medical Research

The University of Arizona has announced the creation of a center focused on accelerating the development and commercialization of translational biomedical technologies.

The Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation (ACABI), is a place where investigators can work with other experienced innovators to flesh out their ideas, consider next steps in the development of their technologies and access scientific and business resources to move those ideas forward. The center also will help to create connections between emerging research and market needs, thus directing research more rapidly toward solutions such as new drug therapies, medical interventions and diagnostic technologies.

As described in the plan for the new center, ACABI will focus on unmet needs in health care, well care and individual well-being, identifying how science, technology and other discoveries can be employed to meet those needs.

Marvin Slepian, MD, head of ACABI, is a cardiologist with the UA Sarver Heart Center, an experienced biomedical innovator and successful...

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UA Steele Children’s Research Center Receives $2 Million from CDC to Continue Identifying Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Arizona

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Steele Children’s Research Center received a four-year, $2 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to continue its Arizona Developmental Disabilities Surveillance Program (ADDSP).

The ADDSP is part of a multi-site effort to track autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and intellectual disabilities (ID) among U.S. school children. 

ADDSP has conducted ASD surveillance in Arizona since 2000 as part of the Autism and Developmental Disability Monitoring (ADDM) Network. The UA pediatrics team reviews thousands of special education and clinic records each study year to report on the number of 4- and 8-year-old children with ASD and/or ID and on the demographic and behavioral characteristics of the affected children. In study year 2010, ADDSP reported that approximately 1 in 64 8-year-olds living in Maricopa County had ASD, an increase from 1 in 154 children in 2000.   

The study is led by co-principal-...

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Jennifer Flores Appointed Associate Vice President and Chief Health Sciences Development Officer for the Arizona Health Sciences Center

Veteran fundraiser Jennifer Flores has been appointed associate vice president and chief health sciences development officer for the Arizona Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Flores, who was appointed following a national search, joined the UA Jan. 5 and will provide senior strategic leadership and operations performance management of AHSC development activities. She reports to Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences and interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

“We are excited to welcome Jennifer to the UA to lead AHSC philanthropic and charitable giving activities,” said Dr. Garcia. “She has an outstanding track record as a fundraising professional and a keen appreciation for – and understanding of – our unique clinical services, health professional education and training, and health-related community outreach and engagement missions.”

“It is my great pleasure to join the University of Arizona and the AHSC leadership team,” said Flores. “This is a very exciting time for the University and its health sciences enterprise and I...

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UA’s Dr. David Harris Appointed Executive Director of New Biorepository at Arizona Health Sciences Center

David T. Harris, PhD, professor of immunology at the University of Arizona, has been appointed executive director of the new Arizona Health Sciences Center Biorepository.  

Following a national search, Dr. Harris was selected to establish and lead the AHSC Biorepository, which will provide centralized, state-of-the-art specimen collection infrastructure and offer concierge-level technical and regulatory expertise to principal investigators engaged in research biospecimen activities. 

Dr. Harris brings more than 20 years of experience in biobanking to the repository, including establishment of the first cord blood stem cell bank in the United States in 1992. He also has extensive experience in adult stem cell banking, as well as the banking of other cells and tissues.

“I am excited by the opportunity to position my scientific research and technical and regulatory knowledge in the area of biospecimen collection and biobanking toward the development of a critical research resource for AHSC faculty and trainees,” said Dr. Harris. “The AHSC Biorepository will be a catalyst for research by providing the strategic collection and timely dissemination of...

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University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center Presents Healthy Heart Day 2015, Feb. 7

Join the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center on Saturday, Feb. 7, for an interactive, informative day of heart-healthy presentations, screenings and activities. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of Americans. This disease group includes heart failure, atrial fibrillation, heart-valve problems, sudden cardiac arrest, stroke, diabetes and more, and is responsible for about 600,000 deaths and 720,000 heart attacks in the United States each year. Learn how you can partner with health experts to reduce your risks.

Start the day with a health fair, including free screenings for blood pressure, glucose, breathing assessment and medication consults with UA College of Pharmacy students. Browse heart-health information tables. Try tai chi and laughter yoga. Learn about the latest heart health updates from University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center experts.

WHAT:          Healthy Heart Day 2015

WHEN:          Saturday, February 7, 2015, 7:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

WHERE:        University of Arizona Medical Center - University Campus, 1501 N. Campbell...

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University of Arizona Arthritis Center’s 2015 Living Healthy With Arthritis Conference, Jan. 24

“The Healing Power of Sleep...Chief Nourisher of the Mind, Heart and Body” will be addressed by keynote speaker Sairam Parthasarathy, MD, at the University of Arizona Arthritis Center’s 2015 Living Healthy With Arthritis conference on Saturday, Jan. 24, 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. (check-in begins at 8 a.m.), at the University of Arizona Medical Center-University Campus, DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. 

Dr. Parthasarathy is associate professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine of the Department of Medicine, UA College of Medicine – Tucson; medical director of the Center for Sleep Disorders at the UAMC-University Campus; associate director of Sleep and Circadian Sciences at the Arizona Respiratory Center; and program director of the UA Sleep Medicine Fellowship Program. 

The 2015 Living Healthy With Arthritis Conference also will cover...

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‘Molecular Truck’ Could Deliver New Treatment Option for Kids with Ulcerative Colitis

Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed a novel drug and delivery system to treat inflammation and ulcerations in the colon. 

This novel drug and delivery system, a carrier drug the research team has termed a “molecular truck,” shows promise in treating ulcerative colitis, one of the two forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

The development and testing of the “molecular truck” was completed by Eugene A. Mash Jr., PhD, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Science; pediatric gastroenterologist Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, professor and head, Department of Pediatrics and director of the UA Steele Children’s Research Center, College of Medicine – Tucson; and Pawel Kiela, PhD, associate professor, Department of Pediatrics and Steele Center researcher in the area of gastroenterology.

“This drug has the potential to be a major advancement in the...

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