The University of Arizona Health Sciences


‘Back in Control – A Spine Surgeon’s Inside Look at Healing Back Pain’ Subject of UA Arthritis Center Lecture, Nov. 2

‘Back in Control – A Spine Surgeon’s Inside Look at Healing Back Pain’ will be presented Wednesday, Nov. 2, 6-7:15 p.m., at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, DuVal Auditorium, 1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson. The 75-minute presentation will include time for questions and answers.

At any given time, 31 million Americans experience back pain and experts estimate that nearly 80 percent of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.

Back pain is the second leading cause of disability in the United States and can be caused and influenced by a number of musculoskeletal issues. In his lecture, Kenneth A. Hood, DO, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and an orthopaedic spine surgeon at Banner - University Medical Center Tucson, will highlight his patient-centered approach to treatment on the pathway to healing back pain.

Back pain can be a complicated, personal experience. The back is a complex structure of bones, joints,...

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UA Health Sciences’ Virtual Learning Exercise Bridges Continents, Technology and Interdisciplinary Health Training

In emergency-care situations like cardiac arrest, the difference between life and death can be a matter of minutes, complicated by distance and access to health care. Working to overcome these challenges, the University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) is using virtual learning technologies, including medical-simulation technology and the power of telemedicine to train interdisciplinary health-care teams.

Sharing its expertise internationally, the UA Health Sciences recently held a live, multi-site telemedicine simulation workshop that included students and faculty members in Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson and global attendees at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. The workshop was held to show how interprofessional training using telemedicine and simulation technology can save lives.

The workshop was held during the “All Together Better Health VIII Conference” at Oxford University and was made possible by Sally Reel, PhD, UAHS associate vice president for health sciences, interprofessional education, and Michael Holcomb, associate director of information technology at the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP).

The workshop provided...

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UA Cancer Center Scientist Recognized for ‘Bold Approach to Major Challenges in Biomedical Research’ through NIH Transformative Research Award

Keith Maggert, PhD, a research scientist at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, has received a prestigious Transformative Research Award (TRA) and a five-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund his research program, “Induced Transgenerational Inheritance Without Epigenetics.”

Investigators previously have attempted to use drugs that target epigenetics to treat diseases. Dr. Maggert’s work demonstrates why these treatments, in general, largely have been ineffective and in some cases even toxic. With the knowledge gained by this research, Dr. Maggert will seek to identify new and effective treatments for epigenetic diseases, such as cancer.

Epigenetics is the study of stable changes in gene function that are passed from cell generation to cell generation. For instance, a gene can be silenced through epigenetic changes that are inherited in the absence of genetic mutation. Dr. Maggert’s transformative research is a new way to conceive of the field of epigenetics that challenges the current model and seeks to build a new paradigm to characterize epigenetics.

Although a...

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UA Endocrinology Lecture to Put Spotlight on Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior and the Evolution of Human Health, Nov. 8

The evolutionary roots of physical activity and health are the subject of David Raichlen, PhD, an associate professor and research scientist in the University of Arizona School of Anthropology, who is the next speaker for the UA Endocrinology Grand Rounds.

He coauthored a recent article, published in the International Journal of Obesity, that looks at how genetics and physical activity or sedentary behavior affect body mass index. Researchers are investigating whether the amount of time you spend sitting, for instance, could serve as a risk factor for obesity and related diseases.

This lecture series was renewed in September 2016 by the UA Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and is a collaboration with the new UA Health Sciences Center for Disparities in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. The talks—held on the second Tuesdays of the month—are open to the public, as well as community physicians and other health-care professionals interested in learning more on these topics.

The title of Dr. Raichlen’s address is:


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Renowned Oncology Surgeon and Physician-Scientist Dr. William Cance Joins UA Cancer Center as Deputy Director to Lead Phoenix Efforts

William Cance, MD, has joined the University of Arizona Cancer Center as deputy director and will lead the efforts in Phoenix at the UA Cancer Center at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.

Dr. Cance is a fellowship-trained surgical oncologist who treats patients with complex gastrointestinal and endocrine cancers. He has a particular focus on the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid and parathyroid diseases, including thyroid cancer.

“I believe that the partnership between a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center such as the UA Cancer Center and a world-class health-care organization such as Dignity Health St. Joseph’s will serve to integrate delivery of cancer care and bring new levels of excellence in cancer treatment and prevention to the Phoenix area and across Arizona,” said Dr. Cance.

As the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center headquartered in the state, the UA Cancer Center (UACC) is bringing the future of cancer care to downtown Phoenix. Medical staff, who have been recruited from across the nation, began seeing patients in August 2015...

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Skin Cancer Institute at UA Cancer Center Presents 7th Annual Melanoma Walk, Nov. 5

The Skin Cancer Institute at the University of Arizona Cancer Center will present the Seventh Annual Melanoma Walk on Saturday, Nov. 5, 1 to 7 p.m., on the UA Mall, 1209 E. University Blvd. Event activities begin at 1 p.m. and the walk starts at 4:30 p.m.

The 1.5 mile walk is family- and pet-friendly, and includes prizes and giveaways, music, a silent auction and activities for the kids. Free skin cancer screenings are available before the walk by appointment only; call 520-626-1074 to schedule.

Proceeds from the walk directly support melanoma research, community outreach, education and patient care in Arizona. The Skin Cancer Institute’s goal is to raise $75,000 to help fight melanoma.

Advance registration is $30 for adults, $15 for children ages 6 to 12, and free for children under age 5. Participants also may register as a “Skin Cancer Prevention Friend” (SPF) for $100, which provides one walk registration plus membership in the SPF program that supports the institute’s prevention and cure activities.

Several teams already have...

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UA Receives $10.3M to Help Unlock the Mystery of Alzheimer’s in Women

TUCSON, Ariz. – Why do more women than men get Alzheimer’s disease? In their quest to find the answer, neuroscientist Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD, and her colleagues in the Center for Innovation in Brain Science at the University of Arizona Health Sciences have been awarded a $10.3 million five-year Program Project Grant (PPG) from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health.

The number of women affected by this neurodegenerative brain disease that steals the mind is staggering. Of the more than 5 million Americans of all ages who have Alzheimer's disease in 2016, more than 3 million are women. By age 65, women have a 1 in 6 chance of developing Alzheimer’s, compared to a 1 in 11 chance for men. Women in their 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than to develop breast cancer.

Alzheimer’s also is deadly. It is the fifth-leading cause of death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it is the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed,...

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Kids of Steele Sixth Annual Mini Golf Event to Benefit UA Steele Children’s Research Center

Sunday, Oct. 23, 4 – 8 P.M.

Golf N’ Stuff, 6503 E. Tanque Verde Road

Starting at $55/individual; $225/foursome play package. Corporate sponsorships available. Registration/purchase tickets/more info:

Jenny Horn, (520) 406-4676

Kids of Steele, the family auxiliary of the University of Arizona Steele Children’s Research Center, will host its “Sixth  Annual Mini Golf Event” at Golf N’ Stuff, Sunday, Oct. 23, from 4 -8 P.M.

Kids of Steele is comprised of local families who want to teach their children about service and kindness, while raising awareness and funds for the UA Steele Center.

The event is presented by VIP Mortgage – The Sundt Team.

“The event’s theme this year is ‘Hopes and Dreams,’” said Jenny Horn, Kids of Steele event chair. “We are promoting the idea that with community support we can use research and...

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UA’s Dr. Frank Porreca Honored by the International Association for the Study of Pain with the Ronald Melzack Lecture Award

Frank Porreca, PhD, associate head of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, has been honored by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) with the Ronald Melzack Lecture Award.

The award was presented during IASP’s 16thWorld Congress on Pain®in Yokohama, Japan, attended by 4,400 of the world’s top pain researchers and clinicians from more than 90 countries. Dr. Porreca, who also has joint appointments as professor in the Departments of Pharmacology and Anesthesiology, delivered the Ronald Melzack Distinguished Lecture, “Reward and Motivation in Pain and Pain Relief.”

The Ronald Melzack Lecture Award was created in 2010 by the IASP Council in honor of IASP Honorary Member Ronald Melzack, PhD, emeritus professor of psychology at McGill University, for his work and contributions to the science of pain. Award funding is provided by the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation of Montreal, Canada, and the recipient is selected by the IASP Scientific Program Committee from among plenary...

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UA Health Sciences Hispanic Center of Excellence and UA Department of Spanish and Portuguese Introduce Spanish Language Classes for Health Sciences Students

To improve the cultural competency of future health-care providers looking to serve Hispanic communities, the University of Arizona Health Sciences (UAHS) Hispanic Center of Excellence and the UA Department of Spanish and Portuguese have introduced Spanish language classes for health sciences students.

The effort is part of a multi-faceted initiative to provide students interested in health sciences, including graduate students, a Spanish language learning experience. The aim is to improve population health outcomes by better preparing future and current health-care providers working among Spanish-speaking populations.

The UA Department of Spanish and Portuguese, in consultation with health professionals, developed the Spanish-language classes as part of a collaborative effort to increase the language competency of health-care professionals at UAHS colleges and the community at large. The classes will allow students to fulfill their undergraduate language requirements in classes designed to improve their health-related language...

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