The University of Arizona Health Sciences


Distinguished Physician-Scientist Dr. Kenneth S. Knox Named Faculty Affairs Associate Dean at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix announced last week the appointment of nationally recognized physician-scientist Kenneth S. Knox, MD, as the associate dean of faculty affairs.

Dr. Knox will oversee the Faculty Affairs Office, whose charge is to promote an engaged, diverse community of faculty and scholars that sustain a culture of engagement, professionalism and inclusion at the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix. He also will serve as director of research at the Banner Lung Institute.

Dr. Knox is a pulmonary disease specialist known for his research and clinical expertise in sarcoidosis, fungal diagnostics and immunologic lung disease. His work includes developing treatments for HIV, AIDS and Valley fever.

“During my career and as division chief, I have always taken a strong interest in issues that affect our faculty, whether it be mentoring junior faculty, advocating for colleagues or facilitating professional development,” Dr. Knox said. “A faculty affairs leadership role is both the next logical...

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UA Researchers Go the Distance for Fluid Analysis Via Sweat

While participating in last year's El Tour de Tucson, a competitive long-distance bicycle race, more than a dozen volunteers were simultaneously participating in and conducting a real-world scientific study, one that involved a diminutive device that rapidly and painlessly analyzes body chemistry from sweat.

Among the volunteers were faculty and students at the University of Arizona and University of Illinois who helped develop a first-of-its-kind soft, stretchable, wearable microfluidic sweat sensor. The device is applied and directly adheres to the skin and measures biomarkers in the wearer's sweat to reveal information regarding internal chemistries, loss of electrolytes, fluid status and the overall body's response to exercise. 

A little larger than a quarter and about the same thickness, the simple, low-cost device helps the wearer quickly decide if any adjustments — such as drinking more water or replenishing salts, electrolytes and sugar — need to be made or if something is medically awry.

Designed for one-time use of a few hours, the device, placed directly on the skin...

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No Ifs, Ands, or ‘Butts:’ UA’s Dr. Judith Gordon Developing New Program to Boost Smokers’ Efforts to Quit Tobacco

A new program designed to appeal to men and racial and ethnic minorities who want to quit smoking is being developed by Judith S. Gordon, PhD, professor and interim vice chair for research in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. Widely known for her innovative approaches to smoking cessation, Dr. Gordon will develop and evaluate the use of guided imagery as a tobacco-cessation intervention, delivered over a telephone “quitline” and companion website.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a program of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded $702,606 for the three-year study (NIH grant R34AT008947).

The study is a collaboration with the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, which operates the Arizona Smokers Helpline, a quitline known as ASHLine (1-800-55-66-222). Co-investigators on the study are Julie Armin, PhD, research assistant professor, UA Department of Family and Community Medicine; Melanie Bell, PhD, professor, Department of...

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Sarver Heart Center 30th Anniversary Lecture Series: ‘Thinking from the Heart: How to Protect the Brain in Patients with Heart Disease,’ Dec. 14

Cognitive impairment is too often one of the unwanted long-term side effects of advanced heart disease, affecting about 68 percent of people with heart failure. After bypass surgery, about half of patients also experience cognitive impairment.

Research shows that what is good for the heart also is good for the brain. This includes lifestyle choices, such as a mostly plant-based Mediterranean Diet, exercise and life-long learning. Research also cites well-controlled blood pressure as a way to protect the brain. But there is so much more we don’t understand.

Research is under way to obtain a greater understanding of the role of impaired heart function and associated inflammation in cognitive function and how doctors can manage an individual’s heart condition and protect the brain.

As part of the Sarver Heart Center’s 30th Anniversary Commemoration 2016-2017, the community is invited to learn more through an upcoming lecture with Lee Ryan, PhD, professor and department chair, UA College of Science Psychology Department, and Nancy K....

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Dr. Gmitro Delivers 2016 Founders Day Lecture, 'Optics, MRI, and Good Luck'

Arthur F. Gmitro, PhD, the 2016 Founders Day lecturer at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, says it was a stroke of good luck that he has had great collaborators and students to work with throughout his career, which spans decades and disciplines at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Gmitro is a professor of Medical Imaging and Optical Sciences; professor and head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering; and the Fenton Maynard...

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UA Steele Children’s Research Center Receives $1.73M Grant to Explore Triggers of Autoimmune Disease

The University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center has been awarded a five-year, $1.73 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to determine what triggers autoimmune disease.

Approximately 24 million Americans suffer from about 80 different autoimmune diseases, such as Type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune encephalopathy, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, among others. Autoimmune disease prevalence and incidence rates are on the rise in the Western world.

Autoimmune disease develops when the body’s immune system produces an immune response against healthy cells  rather than attacking pathogens to defend against disease.

This novel research study will be led by principal investigators Pawel Kiela, DVM, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Pediatrics and the Steele Center, and Fayez K. Ghishan, MD,professor and head, Department of Pediatrics, and director of the Steele Center.

“In this study, we are essentially asking what happens during the very early stages of an autoimmune disease,” Kiela said. “How does autoimmune disease...

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Daniel Spaite, MD, Receives Best Abstract Award at AHA Resuscitation Science Symposium

Congratulations to Daniel W. Spaite, MD, on receiving the Best Abstract Award of the Resuscitation Science Symposium at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions. Dr. Spaite is the Virginia Piper Distinguished Chair of Emergency Medicine and Director of EMS Research Collaboration.

Dr. Spaite presented on the "Evaluation of Prehospital Hypotension Depth-duration Dose and Mortality in Major Traumatic Brain Injury." During the presentation, Dr. Spaite said “this is the first time, to our knowledge, that anyone has been able to link detailed, timed prehospital blood pressured and comprehensive hospital data on injuries and outcomes in a large number of patients.”

The Resuscitation Science Symposium features the latest groundbreaking research in resuscitation science for both basic science and clinical audiences. Learn more from Science News coverage of AHA’s Scientific Sessions 2016.

UA Valley Fever Center for Excellence Celebrates 20th Anniversary with New Website Launch

This year the University of Arizona Valley Fever Center for Excellence celebrates its 20th anniversary since its establishment in 1996. The center was created by the Arizona Board of Regents to further advance the research and eradication of Valley Fever as well as to develop public awareness for the disease. The incapacitating, sometimes-fatal respiratory illness is caused by the Coccidioides species of fungus, endemic primarily to soils of the U.S. Southwest and border states in Mexico.

The Center, housed at the UA BIO5 Institute, has been successful in both endeavors. Achievements include progress in the development of both a possible cure and a vaccine, the free distribution of Valley fever tutorials to anyone interested in learning more about the disease and, most recently, the launch of a new website ( just in time for the 14th Annual Valley Fever Awareness Week, Nov. 12-20.

With new features designed for the public and medical professionals, the website is adaptable to mobile devices and features a much improved organization of data, images, videos...

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UA Cancer Center Joins National Clinical Trials Network

The University of Arizona Cancer Center is increasing its clinical trials portfolio and translational research capabilities: the Center has been accepted into a national clinical trials research group spearheaded by the NRG Foundation.

The group, NRG Oncology, is a cooperative group recognized by the National Cancer Institute as a National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) and is a coordinated effort of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and the Gynecologic Oncology Group.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) established National Clinical Trials Networks in 2014 in response to the emerging prevalence of targeted therapies and precision medicine in cancer care. NRG Oncology is one of five cooperative groups in the United States to be awarded NCTN classification. This cooperative group brings together many investigators from hospitals and academic research centers throughout the United States and beyond to conduct early and late-stage clinical trials as part of the NCI.

NRG Oncology has an international roster of more than 200 members. Its primary mission is “to improve the lives of cancer patients by...

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2016 Faculty Teaching Awards

The 37th annual Faculty Teaching Awards and the Vernon and Virginia Furrow Awards, presented by the Academy of Medical Education Scholars (AMES).

The mission of the AMES is to mentor and support outstanding educators, and to promote excellence in teaching and educational scholarship at all College of Medicine teaching sites. The Academy of Medical Education Scholars recognizes the College’s most outstanding educators and provides a forum for teaching faculty to work together to enhance educational programs.

The members of the Academy of Medical Education Scholars are:

Nafees Ahmad, PhD 
Professor, Immunobiology

Helen M. Amerongen, PhD 
Professor, Cellular and Molecular Medicine

John W. Bloom, MD 
Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Medicine

Conrad J. Clemens, MD, MPH 
Professor, Pediatrics

Sean P. Elliott, MD 
Professor, Pediatrics

Edward D. French, PhD 
Professor, Pharmacology

Deborah Fuchs, MD 
Associate Professor, Pathology

Paul R...

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