The University of Arizona Health Sciences


UA Sarver Heart Center Presents Update on Options for Treating Atrial Fibrillation, Feb. 17

LECTURE:    Update on Options for Treating Atrial Fibrillation

Peter Ott, MD, from the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, will discuss atrial fibrillation and stroke therapies, anti-coagulation medicine and new options for patients who can’t tolerate anti-coagulants

(Presentation is a part of the Green Valley Lecture Series, featuring experts from the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, in cooperation with Green Valley Recreation, Inc.) 

WHEN:          Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 10 a.m.

WHERE:        West Center, 1111 S. Via Arcoiris, Green Valley


Peter Ott, MD, associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, The Peter Ott, MD Endowed Chair of Electrophysiology at the UA Sarver Heart Center, and director of the Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory...

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UA College of Pharmacy Faculty Member Dr. Heidi Mansour Develops Inhalers to Treat Lung Diseases

Please also see the linked video interview with Dr. Mansour (available for download).

Heidi M. Mansour, PhD, assistant professor in the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, is working to develop advanced dry powder inhalers to treat and prevent pulmonary diseases.

Dr. Mansour investigates pulmonary states and diseases that have unmet medical needs, including lung transplants, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary fibrosis, bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary infections and pulmonary hypertension. Her goal is to design treatments for these pulmonary conditions by researching and developing new drugs and by developing the delivery mechanisms for these drugs. Her specialty is dry powder inhalation aerosols – that is, inhalers.

She recently published a paper in the journal Expert Opinion on Drug Delivery titled “Dry Powder Inhalers in COPD, Lung Inflammation and Pulmonary Infections” detailing this research. The paper discusses currently available dry powder inhalers for...

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The Evolution of a ‘Med School Mom’

When the youngest of Mary Smith’s five daughters was approaching school age and her husband was finishing his dissertation, she began thinking seriously about a career of her own.

“My secret fantasy was to start a grocery store. I thought that would be the funnest thing,” she said. “But then I started thinking about teaching or social work, something to contribute directly to people. And then I was torn between that and something in the hard sciences, which I really, really love.”

Medical school was not on her list.

But when her husband was invited to a job interview in Salt Lake City, where there happens to be a medical school, she thought, “Of course. Why didn’t I think of this before?

“It was the perfect combination of service and science and academic rigor that was so appealing to me. And I would still be helping people.”

This evolution, as Smith calls it, was followed by another. “I thought, wherever my husband gets a job, that’s where we’ll go, and I’ll see if there’s a medical school there. But if there isn’t, I’ll do something else. I literally said that.”

But she and husband, Konden, and their five daughters...

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UA Awarded $1.5 Million Grant to Improve Arizona’s Rural Hospitals

The Center for Rural Health (CRH) at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has been awarded a three-year $1.5 million grant by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support the Arizona Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (AzFlex) which provides quality, operational and performance improvement in Arizona’s rural hospitals and affiliated outpatient services.

Arizona’s 14 Critical Access Hospitals and 21 Rural Health Clinics play crucial roles in assuring access to quality health care, improving population health outcomes and contributing to a community’s overall economic health and development. The AzFlex program provides technical assistance, training and information resources for Arizona’s Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and a statewide network of rural primary care, trauma and emergency medical services (EMS) providers.

The AzFlex work plan for the next three years has four program areas: quality improvement; financial and operational improvement; population...

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Dr. Charles Cairns

Virus or bacteria? Host gene expression test can identify origin of acute respiratory infection

Doctors may soon be able to tell whether an acute respiratory infection (ARI) is viral or bacterial, and whether it is contagious.

Charles B. Cairns, MD, interim dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, is one of a team of researchers who have developed “host gene expression classifiers” that reveal the etiology of ARI with an overall accuracy rate of 87 percent. This technology could reduce over-prescribing of antibiotics, which can ultimately lead to antibiotic resistance and the creation of “super bugs.” The research was conducted at Duke University, where Dr. Cairns previously served as a consulting faculty member to the Duke Clinical Research Institute, while professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Learn more from this article in Science

UA Department of Pediatrics and Banner Children’s Welcome 3 New Faculty Members

The University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics and Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center welcome new faculty members Rajesh Dudani, MD, Timothy Johanson, MD, and Lauren Nicholls, MD.

Rajesh Dudani, MD, assistant professor, Division of Neonatology
Dr. Dudani received his medical degree from B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (Dharan, Nepal). He then completed his residency in pediatrics from John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County (Chicago) and a fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine from University of Chicago Medical Center Comer Children’s Hospital. As a pediatric neonatologist, Dr. Dudani will take care of infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Diamond Children’s.His research area of interest is in global health, investigating ways to improve newborn care in middle- and low-income countries and among underserved populations in United States.


Timothy David Johanson, MD, clinical associate professor, Division of General Pediatrics
Dr. Johanson received his MD from...

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UA Researchers Identify Food Additive that May Help Prevent Skin Cancer

Researchers at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy have discovered that a compound found in the natural food additive annatto prevents the formation of cancer cells and skin damage from UV radiation in mice. In the future, the compound, bixin, may be valuable in the prevention and treatment of human skin cancers.

Georg Wondrak, PhD, associate professor, and Donna Zhang, PhD, professor, both members of the University of Arizona Cancer Center, recently published a study in Free Radical Biology and Medicine titled, “System Administration of the Apocarotenoid Bixin Protects Skin against Solar UV-Induced Damage through Activation of Nrf2.”

Bixin is a bright reddish orange compound found in annatto, a natural condiment and food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote fruit. Annatto, also known as achiote, has been a common ingredient in Latin American cooking since the pre...

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New UA Chief of Infectious Diseases Has Long History of Novel Research into HIV, AIDS Prevention

Renowned human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) researcher Elizabeth Connick, MD, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado – Denver, has been named chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. She will join the UA faculty in April.

“We’re very excited to have such an accomplished physician-scientist join us as a colleague and leader in such a critical medical subspecialty,” said Monica Kraft, MD, chair of the UA Department of Medicine and the Robert and Irene Flinn Endowed Professor of Medicine.

“Dr. Connick’s basic immunology studies and clinical trials into immune therapies  to help us understand HIV and how to better prevent infection and AIDS, as well as her outreach work to promote improved awareness among younger generations via engagement programs, have been crucial to the struggle to limit the impact and find a cure for this devastating disease,” Dr. Kraft said.

“I’m fortunate to join a well-run division with excellent clinician-educators,” Dr. Connick said. “I look forward to...

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UA Students Promote Diversity Awareness in Medicine

To engage community and raise awareness of the importance of diversity and disparity in health care, both within the University of Arizona Health Sciences and in Tucson, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson medical student leaders have launched Diversity Month in January.   

The UA College of Medicine –Tucson Student Diversity Advisory Committee – made up of representatives from the college’s African American, Asian Pacific American and Latino Medical Student Associations; Association of Native American Medical Students; MedPride student club and Student National Medical Association – have joined together to raise cultural competence among their UAHS peers who represent the future of health care.

The students, who are working with the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Office of Admissions and the UAHS Office of Diversity and Inclusion, said that Diversity Month is a collaborative effort to raise awareness of health disparities caused by a lack of training and the lack of diversity in the physician and...

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Esther Johnston, MD, working with children in Afrida

Residency Alumna Featured on NPR

Esther Johnston, MD, a 2014 graduate of the UA College of Medicine - Tucson residency in Family Medicine, was featured in a Jan. 7 NPR story about her work as family medicine director for Seed Global Health, a non-profit that has teamed up with the Peace Corps to educate doctors and other medical professionals in Africa. During her residency, she received a College of Medicine Resident Excellence and Leadership Scholarship to fund her work to promote pediatric nutrition in Kenya. Upon completing her residency, Dr. Johnston was named one of the top 12 family medicine residents in the U.S. by the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the top resident in Arizona by the AAFP state chapter.