UA Researchers Study Increasing Lifespan and Immune Function

Nearly one quarter of the U.S. population will be over age 65 by 2040, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and those reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 19.2 years. Ensuring the healthy and productive lives of that very large group is becoming an urgent priority, says Janko Nikolich-Žugich, MD, PhD, co-director of the University of Arizona Center on Aging.
“Research has shown that consuming fewer calories, while maintaining sufficient nutrients, extends lifespan and there are ongoing clinical studies in humans. However, aging also is associated with increased susceptibility to diseases,” Dr. Nikolich-Žugich notes.
Now, researchers at the UA College of Medicine – Tucsonare beginning to study lifespan extension and immune function, thanks to a two-year $403,751 grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health.
“Remarkable extension of lifespan has been achieved in organisms by lowering calorie intake or...
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Going Rural: UA Medical Students Spend the Summer Training in Rural Communities

As government agencies report a higher percentage of health-related deaths in rural communities as compared with more urban areas – partially due to less access to qualified physicians and specialists – the University of Arizona is working to increase the number of physicians serving in such communities.

Through the Rural Health Professions Program, 25 students from the UA College of Medicine – Tucson and UA College of Medicine – Phoenix are working in rural areas this summer under the guidance of physicians in those communities.

At the UA College of Medicine - Tucson, Carlos Gonzales, MD, associate professor of Family and Community Medicine - (Clinical Scholar Track) is the director of the Rural Health Professions Program.

The shortage of medical specialists in rural areas remains a contributor to limited access to patient care. The issue was so concerning that theUA program was...

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National Video Awards Won by AHSC Division of BioCommunications’ Michell Bauer and Erica Coleman

Wildcat Diagnosis,” a video about the first confirmed case in 2014 of a highly contagious, seasonal condition affecting tens of thousands of people in the Tucson area, has won a Silver Award of Distinction from The Communicator Awards, which are sanctioned and judged by the International Academy of Visual Arts.

Michell Bauer, senior producer with the Medical Television and Teleconferencing section of the Division of BioCommunications at the Arizona Health Sciences Center of the University of Arizona, produced the tongue-in-cheek video that shows how the first case of March Madness was discovered by UA College of Nursing students Sara Ameli and Justin Chua. The concept for the video was created and developed by Janelle Drumwright, communications manager for the college, who also wrote the script. The patient, Manny Kin, was voiced by Nick Prevenas, associate editor with the University of Arizona Cancer Center. The March Madness symptoms included...

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U.S. News & World Report Names UA Medical Center Among Best in Nation

University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus has been ranked among the best hospitals in the nation in Geriatrics and as the best hospital in metro Tucson and in Southeastern Arizona by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

The annual U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings, now in its 25th year, recognize hospitals that excel in treating the most challenging patients.

U.S. News also ranked UAMC as “high performing” in the following medical specialties:

• Cancer
• Cardiology and Heart Surgery
• Diabetes and Endocrinology
• Ear, Nose & Throat
• Gastroenterology & GI Surgery
• Gynecology
• Nephrology
• Neurology and Neurosurgery
• Orthopedics
• Pulmonology
• Urology

“I congratulate our physicians and staff, whose expertise and care have once again earned this academic medical center a spot among the best hospitals in the state and nation,” said Karen Mlawsky, CEO of the Hospital Division of...

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People and Programs On The Move At the Arizona Health Sciences Center

Dr. Frank Walter Receives Arizona’s Highest Award for Public Health Service

Frank G. Walter, MD, FACEP, FACMT, FAACT, professor of emergency medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, professor of pharmacy practice and science at the UA College of Pharmacy, and medical toxicologist for the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, has received the 2014 Public Health Service Award, Arizona’s highest award for public health service to the people of Arizona, from the Arizona Medical Association and Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS). The award was presented “in recognition of Dr. Walter’s dedication as an exceptional, energetic public health and preparedness advocate, providing guidance and expertise to ADHS’ emergency preparedness work.”

Dr. Walter serves as medical director for the ADHS Bureau of Public Health Emergency Preparedness and is a Governor’s Appointee to the Medical Direction Commission for the Bureau of EMS (Emergency Medical Services). Recently, he was the lead member of the Clinical Work Group to develop “Crisis Standards of Care” for Arizona. He serves as subject matter expert for...

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Baby Boomers Greatest at-Risk Group of the Silent Killer Infection, Hepatitis C; New Clinic at UAMC Offers Free Screenings

The baby boomer generation, those born between 1945 through 1965, have left a lasting imprint on American culture and now, as they move toward their golden years, a silent killer may be ravaging the health and well-being of many people in this age group.

People born from 1945-1965 are five times more likely to have hepatitis C, a virus that over time, can cause serious health problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver transplantation and even death – and most people don’t know they are infected. Because of the risk of being a hepatitis C carrier, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that all people in this age group be screened for the virus.

The only way to know if someone has hepatitis C is for the individual to be tested. Now, thanks to a free walk-in clinic at the University of Arizona Health Network’s Liver Research Institute, free screening for Hepatitis C is available.

The clinic, which also offers treatment and lifetime care, is located at the University of Arizona Medical Center...

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UA College of Medicine – Tucson Earns Accreditation Through 2022

The medical education program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, designed to train the next generation of highly skilled physicians dedicated to improving patient care and advancing the state of medical knowledge, has earned accreditation through 2022, a full eight-year term.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the accreditation authority for MD programs in the United States and Canada, announced the decision and identified a number of institutional strengths within the college that are distinctive and worthy of emulation. The LCME is jointly sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association (AMA).

The UA College of Medicine – Tucson graduates 115 medical doctors each year and is led by Interim Dean Joe G.N. "Skip" Garcia, MD, who also serves as UA senior vice president for health sciences. The college’s medical education program is led by Kevin Moynahan, MD, deputy dean of education.

In January, more than 100 faculty, students,...

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More than 100 UAHN Physicians among 'Best Doctors in America'

More than 100 Tucson physicians with the University of Arizona Health Network are ranked among the 2014 Best Doctors in America and are featured in Tucson Lifestyle magazine’s July issue on Best Doctors in Tucson.

The prestigious national list, compiled for more than 20 years by Best Doctors Inc., includes about 45,000 U.S. physicians in more than 40 specialties and 400 subspecialties of medicine. They represent the top 5 percent of physicians in the country.

The list is based on a biennial survey of tens of thousands of leading physicians who were asked whom they would go to for treatment in their own specialty. For more information, visit

The 2014 list includes more than 400 Tucson physicians, of whom about 100 are part of the UA Health Network:

Allergy and Immunology
Randy J. Horwitz

Steven J. Barker
R. Dennis Bastron
C. Mark Bazzell
Brenda A. Gentz
Stuart Roy Hameroff
Wayne K. Jacobsen

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UA Discovery Shows Curcumin Blocks the Metastasis of Colon Cancer by a Novel Mechanism

A team of researchers led by the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center discovered that curcumin—the bioactive molecule derived from the spice turmeric—blocks the protein cortactin in colon cancer.

Cortactin, a protein essential for cell movement, frequently is overexpressed in cancer, thus facilitating cancer cell metastasis to other organs in the body.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and the third most common cancer in men and women. When cancer metastasizes to other organs, a patient’s chances of survival are greatly diminished. Thus, finding novel ways to prevent cancer metastasis remains an urgent need.

The National Institutes of Health-funded research  recently was published in PLOS One (available here).

The study was led by co-investigators Fayez K. Ghishan, MD, professor and head, UA Department of Pediatrics and director of the UA Steele Children’s Research Center; Pawel Kiela, DVM, PhD,...

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Free Healthy Eye Screenings

WHAT: Free Healthy Eye Screenings
At these University of Arizona Medical Center and UA Department of Ophthalmology sponsored healthy eye screenings, we check for cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and dry eye. Screenings are recommended for individuals over age 18, those with a family history of eye disease, a diagnosis of diabetes and/or high blood pressure, and for those taking certain medications. Click here to view and post the flier.

DATE & TIME:  SATURDAY, July 19, 8 A.M. - NOON

Free eye screenings also will be Saturday, August 16 and Sept. 20 – same time.

PLACE:  St. Elizabeth’s Health Center
140 W. Speedway Blvd., Tucson
(next to Pima Community College west of Stone & Speedway)

Worried about your vision? Do you have a family history of glaucoma? Are you age 50 or older and concerned about the health of your eyes?

The University of Arizona Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, in...

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