News

Jessica Miller, PhD, awarded Susan G. Komen grant to study breast cancer-related chronic pain

Jessica A. Miller, PhD, has been awarded a three-year, $450,000 Susan G. Komen grant to investigate the cause of chronic joint stiffness and pain associated with the use of aromatase inhibitors (AI) — a class of drug often used to treat hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.

Breast cancer patients currently on an AI and the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) sulindac will be studied to determine the causes of joint pain and ways to reduce this side effect in order to increase adherence to the use of AIs. This study will take place as part of an ongoing clinical trial at the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

Dr. Miller’s study, “Application of lipidomics to a sulindac intervention of pain,” will help guide future research that will identify molecular targets of pain for the ultimate goal of improving AI adherence and reducing death from breast cancer. Sulindac is thought to have a better safety profile than other NSAIDs, and Dr. Miller’s work aims to understand the individual metabolic response to sulindac that may explain why.

“Sometimes, joint pain can be incredibly...

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UA Sarver Heart Center Presents ‘Fed Up’ Special Showing and Panel Discussion, Oct. 21

Do you know how much hidden sugar is in your food? Join the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center Women’s Heart Health Education Committee for a discussion and special showing of the documentary, “Fed Up,” on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the Loft Cinema.

“The obesity epidemic in America will unquestionably lead to future increases in heart disease events and puts the health and lives of our children at risk. This documentary makes a compelling case that the food we eat is influencing our bodies in unanticipated ways, and that we need to look closely at the convenience foods we all rely on as important contributors to the gain of unhealthy weight in America,” said Nancy Sweitzer, MD, PhD, director of the UA Sarver Heart Center, who will moderate the panel discussion.

WHAT:  Heart Smart Movie and Panel Discussion presented by the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center Women’s Heart Health Education Committee

WHEN:   Tuesday, Oct. 21; reception, including wine tasting, chocolate-dipped strawberries and heart-health information at 6 p.m.; panel discussion at 7 p.m.; movie at 7:30 p.m....

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Gabriel Ayala Trio Concert to Benefit UA Mobile Health Program, Oct. 12

The renowned Gabriel Ayala Trio will perform Sunday, Oct. 12, in a concert to benefit the University of Arizona Mobile Health Program.

Doors will open and a raffle will start at 1 p.m.; the concert will begin at 2:30 p.m. in Holsclaw Hall, 1017 N. Olive Ave., between the Speedway underpass and Park Avenue, on the University of Arizona campus.

Tickets are $150 for the concert and a pre-concert reception with the Gabriel Ayala Trio beginning at 1:30 p.m., or $100 for the concert only. Half of the ticket cost is tax-deductible. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit https://uafoundation.org/NetCommunity/gabrielayalaconcert

Proceeds will benefit the Dr. Augusto and Martha Ortiz Endowment, which helps sustain the UA Mobile Health Program that the Ortizes started in 1976. Dr. Ortiz provided care to families in underserved communities from Picture Rocks to Littletown and Arivaca, and other areas where health care was unavailable. Martha Ortiz was always at her...

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First Responders to be Honored on 6th Annual Heroes Day, Oct. 2; Event Benefits UAMC Trauma Center

Two notable speakers have been added to the lineup of a news conference honoring this year’s Heroes of The Year nominees at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 2, to celebrate Heroes Day 2014 in Southern Arizona.

Peter Rhee, MD, chief of Trauma at the University of Arizona Medical Center, and Nohemy Hite, wife of fallen Tucson Police Department Officer Erik Hite, will help honor first responders at the news conference at La Encantada, 2905 E. Skyline Drive.

As part of Heroes Day 2014, people across the Southern Arizona community are invited to say “thank you” to first responders for the work they do all year long. Now in its sixth year, the annual event recognizes law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, Border Patrol agents and other first responders who work to keep the community safe and help citizens in times of crisis.

A complimentary breakfast and lunch will be provided to first responders at five Jack Furrier Tire & Auto Care locations from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 2. The public is...

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Dr. Daniel Persky receives leadership award from the National Cancer Institute

Daniel O. Persky, MD, a lymphoma specialist at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, is among 12 physicians from across the country to receive the 2014 Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award from the National Cancer Institute. This highly competitive award recognizes exceptional cancer investigators for their contributions to the advancement of clinical research through collaborative team science.
The award is a $100,000, two-year supplement to the UACC’s Cancer Center Support Grant.  Dr. Persky is the first UACC member to be honored with this recognition.  The UACC is one of just 41 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers and the only one headquartered in Arizona.

Dr. Persky is a board-certified medical oncologist, an associate professor of medicine and a co-leader of the Cancer Center’s lymphoma team. He specializes in treating cancers of lymphocytes, such as lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Together with Soham Puvvada, MD, and Jonathan Schatz, MD, he provides both standard and innovative therapy options to patients with such conditions.

 The Cancer Clinical Investigator...

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$1.8M grant supports UA Cancer Center’s cancer biology program

The National Cancer Institute has awarded the University of Arizona Cancer Center a $1.8 million grant to continue training cancer researchers for the future.

The grant, called a T32 Training Grant, is a five-year award that will draw on the strengths of research faculty at The University of Arizona who direct their efforts toward the understanding of cancer causation, prevention and treatment to train future cancer researchers. The grant will fund six pre-doctoral and two postdoctoral trainees.

The training grant has been continuously competitively renewed by the UA Cancer Center since 1978, when Eugene Gerner, PhD,   was the first principal investigator. In 1992, G. Tim Bowden, PhD, the center’s chief science officer and chair of the Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, became the principal investigator. Jesse Martinez, PhD, became PI when Dr. Bowden retired in 2010. Dr. Martinez also serves as chair of the Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, known as CBIO GIDP.

“The renewal of this training grant, which we have had at the UA Cancer Center for 36 years, means that we can continue to train the next generation of cancer...

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14th Annual Himelic Memorial Golf and Dinner Classic, Oct. 3, Raises Funds for ALS Research at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson

Since 2001, the Jim Himelic Foundation (JHF) has organized Tucson’s annual Himelic Memorial Golf and Dinner Classic to raise funds to benefit local research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disease that can strike people from all walks of life.

The 14th annual Himelic Memorial Golf and Dinner Classic will be held Friday, Oct. 3, at the Omni Tucson National Resort, 2727 W. Club Drive, Tucson. Guest speaker will be Warner Smith, UA alumnus ’94 and PAC 10 All Conference football player, who recently was diagnosed with ALS at age 41.

Supporting this local effort to eradicate ALScan make an immediate difference. All proceeds from the event directly benefit investigations at the Jim Himelic Neuromuscular Research Laboratory at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Department of Neurology. The funds are “seed money” that allow UA...

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Arizona Telemedicine Program’s Participation in Mexico’s Congreso de Telesalud Región de las Américas 2014 Opens Doors

Four representatives of the Arizona Telemedicine Program (ATP) and Southwest Telehealth Resource Center (SWTRC) at the Arizona Health Sciences Center traveled to Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, earlier this month to offer telemedicine training to health-care providers, share information and ideas and learn about telemedicine programs in Mexico.

The Congreso de Telesalud Región de las Américas 2014 took place Sept. 3-5, with the ATP/SWTRC training taking place on Sept. 2. 

ATP and SWTRC previously have offered training and consultation to telemedicine programs in other countries, but this was the first time they were asked to bring their expertise to Mexico, said Elizabeth Krupinski, PhD, ATP associate director for evaluation, SWTRC director and UA professor of medical imaging, psychology and public health.

 “It was a very exciting opportunity for us,” Dr. Krupinski said. Mexico is “rapidly adopting telemedicine, in some places more than others. The challenges they face are the same challenges that we face: reaching out to...

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UA Department of Pediatrics and UA Health Network Welcome Dr. Neha Bhasin to Division of Hematology/Oncology/BMT

The University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics and the University of Arizona Health Network welcome new faculty member Neha Bhasin, MD, assistant professor, to the Division of Hematology/ Oncology.
 
Dr. Bhasin earned her medical degree from Ross University (Dominica, West Indies) and then completed her pediatrics residency at Stony Brook University Medical Center (New York). Dr. Bhasin went on to complete a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology from the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and received a certificate in clinical and translational research at University of Iowa.

As a pediatric oncologist, Dr. Bhasin will provide care for children with cancer, bleeding and clotting disorders, sickle cell anemia and thalassemia at the University of Arizona Medical Center – Diamond Children’s, the pediatric hematology/oncology outpatient clinic at the University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus, and Children’s Rehabilitative Services (CRS).

Dr. Bhasin will serve as the director of the Pediatric Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center, located within the pediatric hematology...

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Arizona Health Sciences Center-Affiliated Experts Working With Ebola Virus in West Africa

The following professionals, who have ties to the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, are working with the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa and are available to talk to reporters. Dr. Pust is not in West Africa but is an internationally recognized expert in global health.

• Tom Kenyon, MD, MPH, director, CDC Center for Global Health. Dr. Kenyon did his pediatric residency at the UA and teaches in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson’s Global Health Summer Course. Dr. Kenyon directs the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention response to the Ebola epidemic.

To reach Dr. Kenyon, please contact: Donda Hansen, CDC media lead on Ebola, email: xcb1@cdc.gov

• Adedayo “Dayo” Obaweya, West Africa regional coordinator, Medical Ambassadors International. Volunteers from Tucson-based Heartbeat for Africa (HBA) work with Obaweya’s organization in West Africa.

Contact Obaweya directly by phone in Ghana (...

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