• Purified human CD8 T-cells

    Erin Zwack/Brodsky Lab & Penn Vet Imaging Core - Murine macrophages infected with Yersinia pseudo tuberculosis. Blue indicates the cell, red is a mitochondrial stain, green is a stain for Yersinia secreted effector proteins.

  • 3D image of the inflamed meningeal membrane of a CX3CR1-GFP reporter mouse

    Claudio Giraudo - Polarization of lytic granules to the immunological synapse during the cytolytic process of human CD8 lymphocytes against cancer cells.

  • Time series of cells expressing GFP-tagged ebola viral protein VP40

    Gretchen Harms, Hunter lab - Stylized images of CD8+ T cells looking at differential localization of the transcription factor T-bet in mouse cells after infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, using the Amnis ImageStream. In the cell in the first and third box, T-bet (red) does not co-localize with DAPI (blue), indicating that it is cytoplas

IFI Members in the News

XX

March 22, 2016

A study led by Montserrat Anguera of Vet has uncovered the first mechanistic evidence for why females are more susceptible than males to certain autoimmune conditions.

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Two Studies Strengthen Links Between the Zika Virus and Serious Birth Defects

March 7, 2016

Sara Cherry, PhD, an associate professor of Microbiology, commented in the New York Times about two Zika virus studies on the link between the virus and microcephaly. She noted that noted that cells used in the highlighted preclinical study were infected with a Zika strain “quite distinct” from the one now infecting people in Latin America.

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Critical Details

March 7, 2016

Medicine's Gregory Beatty, Kristen Long and Whitney Gladney showed how specific immune cells can be “re-educated” to make pancreatic cancer vulnerable to chemotherapy.

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Saving Theresa: The Race to Stop an Elusive Killer

February 29, 2016

Degos, a condition that afflicts perhaps a dozen or so people in the United States each year, causes brittle spots of dead tissue that can perforate at any time, spreading bacteria and infection throughout the body. The Philadelphia Inquirer interviews Peter A. Merkel, MD, MPH, chief of the division of Rheumatology, and an expert on rare diseases, about coordinating a patient’s Degos treatment.

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Congratulations David Roth!

February 26, 2016

It is with great pleasure to announce the appointment of David B. Roth, MD, PhD, as Director of the new Penn Center for Precision Medicine (PCPM), a greatly expanded effort in this burgeoning field. In his new role, Dr. Roth will work with the many stakeholders invested in this field to accelerate the implementation of precision medicine into clinical care. 

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Penn Medicine, Novartis Open Center for Advanced Cellular Therapeutics

February 26, 2016

On Tuesday night, physicians, scientists and leaders from the Perelman School of Medicine and Novartis unveiled the Center for Advanced Cellular Therapeutics (CACT), reports 6ABC and WHYY. The CACT, made up of nearly 24,000 square feet of lab and cell therapy manufacturing space, will serve as an epicenter for research and early development of personalized T cell therapies.

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Living a Full Life

February 23, 2016

A piece in the Princeton Packet featured a Penn patient and former mayor of the town, Phyllis Marchand, and her involvement with the Perelman School of Medicine’s Longitudinal Experience to Appreciate Patient Perspectives, or LEAPP, program. Marchand’s clinician, Alain Rook, MD, a professor of Dermatology, is also mentioned in the story.

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A Way In

February 16, 2016

Using powerful microscopy, Vet prof Christopher Hunter and postdoc Christoph Konradt showed how the Toxoplasma parasite breaches the blood-brain barrier. 

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Advances in Personalized Medicine Must be Balanced with 'Clinical Reality'

February 9, 2016

HemOncToday quoted David Roth, MD, PhD, chair of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Precision Medicine, in its coverage of a Cancer Action Network-hosted round table on the practicalities and availability of personalized medicine.

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Changing Diapers

February 4, 2016

Baby poop may be an important data source to learn how the risk of obesity develops in early life, according to a study by Babette Zemel and Gary Wu of Medicine and CHOP.

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Vice President Biden Kicks off "Moonshot" Effort at Abramson Cancer Center (Photos)

January 22, 2016

Days after President Obama announced the “moonshot” to find a cancer cure during his State of the Union, Vice President Biden visited Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center to kick off the national effort he said aims to “accelerate the progress already underway” – much of which is happening right here.

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Vice President Biden's "Moonshot" Push to Find a Cure for Cancer

January 21, 2016

Carl June, MD, director of Translational Research at the Abramson Cancer Center, was a guest on NPR’s “On Point” to discuss the “moonshot” effort put forth by Vice President Biden, who toured and met with researchers at the ACC last Friday. “[The vice president] is looking for how can we take the tool box that we have, which has never been so full….and accelerate the cure of cancer,” June said.
(Starts at 30:34)

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Vice President Biden Launches "Moonshot" Effort at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center

January 18, 2016

On Friday, Vice President Joseph Biden visited Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center to kick off his national “moonshot” effort to find a cancer cure, reports CBS News, the Associated Press, CNN, and many other national and international outlets. Biden toured a first-of-its-kind research hub at Penn that will serve as the epicenter of its personalized T cell therapy program and met with top experts in immunotherapy, cancer prevention, surgery, genomics, and more at the ACC and Perelman School of Medicine.

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Too Cautious About Food? That's Dangerous

January 18, 2016

Bloomberg View weighed in on the recent changes in dietary recommendations, highlighting consumption in moderation versus eliminating certain foods entirely, and cautioning that when people are told to avoid one thing they often consumer too much of another. Comments from Daniel J. Rader, MD, chief of the Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics, are referenced.

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How a Penn Cancer Research Center Caught Joe Biden's Attention

January 15, 2016

Previewing Vice President Biden’s visit to Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center (ACC), STAT highlighted some of the groundbreaking immunotherapy work to come out of the ACC, described by the VP’s office as “cutting edge.” The article also featured Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, director of the ACC, Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, associate director of translational research at the ACC, and Carl June, MD, director of translational research at the ACC.

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Vice President Biden to Visit Abramson Cancer Center

January 15, 2016

As part of his national "moonshot" effort on cancer, Vice President Joe Biden will visit Penn's Abramson Cancer Center Friday to speak with physicians and scientists leading the charge in the fight against the disease, reports NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, and other outlets. Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, associate director of translational research at the ACC, was also featured on NBC10.

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Two Accolades

January 14, 2016

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America has recognized Med's Gary Lichtenstein and Gary Wu with 2015 Inflammatory Bowel Disease Scientific Achievement Awards.

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Camel Vaccine Offers Hope to Stop MERS

January 11, 2016

David Weiner, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, comments in Science about the development of a MERS vaccine to suppress circulation of the virus in camels.

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Kudos, Criticisim for New Dietary Guidelines

January 8, 2016

Daniel J. Rader, MD, director of the Preventive Cardiovascular Program, was quoted in a 6ABC story of the newly released USDA dietary recommendations, supporting the call for consumption in moderation.

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Diet, Exercise Ease One Aspect of Heart Failure but not All

January 5, 2016

MedPage Today featured the results of a new study which found that lifestyle modifications may improve exercise capacity for obese older patients, but may not improve their quality of life. Mariell Jessup, MD, a professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, is quoted.

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HBO Vice Special Report on HIV: Countdown to Zero

December 2, 2015

On World AIDS Day, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine professors Carl June, MD, and Bruce Levine, PhD, were featured in a special HIV report from HBO’s Vice. June sat down with host Shane Smith to describe how his team successfully used a zinc finger technology to induce the CCR5 mutation — the same one found in Timothy Brown, the “Berlin patient” — in patients’ T cells to lock out the virus. The show also features a tour of Penn’s Cell and Vaccine Production Facility, showcasing how the gene editing process works.

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Immunotherapies Changing Outlook for Cancer Patients

November 24, 2015

Abramson Cancer Center physicians Lynn Schuchter, MD, chief of Hematology/Oncology and David Porter, MD, a professor of Hematology/Oncology, were guests on WHYY's Radio Times, discussing advances in cancer immunotherapies.

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U.S. Heart Groups to Weigh New Data for Hypertension Treatment Guidelines

November 16, 2015

Mariell L. Jessup, MD, a professor of Medicine and the directory of Penn's Heart and Vascular center, provided comment to Reuters on the guideline implications following the announcement of the SPRINT study results, which found that more aggressively lowering blood pressure in high-risk older patients can reduce cardiovascular and mortality risk.

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Baby's Leukemia Recedes After Novel Gene Therapy

November 13, 2015

Bruce Levine, PhD, and Carl June, MD, both professors of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, are quoted in articles detailing the recently announced case of a British baby whose blood cancer was treated with “off the shelf” genetically modified T cells from an unrelated donor.

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No Scar

November 13, 2015

A study revealed how mouse ears regenerate without the tissue scarring, which may have implications for human wound healing, according to Thomas Leung of Medicine.

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Vericiguat Misses Primary End Point of Lower NT-proBNP in Chronic Heart-Failure Patients

November 10, 2015

Mariell L. Jessup, MD, a professor of Medicine and medical director of Penn's Heart and Vascular Center, commented on the trial results of the heart failure drug vericiguat for the improvement of worsening chronic heart failure, in a Medscape article. Results were presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2015.

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Virome

November 10, 2015

A survey of the skin’s viruses has found that 90 percent are viral “dark matter” that have never been described before, according to Elizabeth Grice of Medicine.

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Nitrates No Help in Heart Failure

November 9, 2015

In a video interview with MedPage Today, Mariell L. Jessup, MD, a professor of Medicine, medical director of Penn's Heart and Vascular Center and moderator of the first AHA late-breaking clinical trial panel, commented on the results of the Nitrate's Effect on Activity Tolerance in Heart Failure (NEAT-HFpEF) trial and what physicians can learn from the data.

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Medical Trials Underway Harnessing Modified HIV Virus for Cancer Treatment

November 5, 2015

PIX11, the CW affiliate in New York City, chronicled progress in the Abramson Cancer Center's trials using genetically modified versions of patients' own T cells to combat leukemia and other blood cancers. Alison Loren, MD, an associate professor of Hematology/Oncology in the Abramson Cancer Center, and Carl June, MD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Translational Research in the Abramson Cancer Center, were featured in the story along with the first patient to participate in this clinical trial, who remains in remission more than five years after receiving the investigational therapy.

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Penn Scientist Reveal 90 Percent of Skin-Based Viruses Represent Viral "Dark Matter"

November 3, 2015

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine have used state-of-the-art techniques to survey the skin’s virus population, or “virome.” The study, published in the online journal mBio last month, reveals that most DNA viruses on healthy human skin are viral “dark matter” that have never been described before. Elizabeth A. Grice, PhD, an assistant professor of Dermatology, served as senior author.

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Penn Scientist Reveal 90 Percent of Skin-Based Viruses Represent Viral "Dark Matter"

November 2, 2015

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine have used state-of-the-art techniques to survey the skin’s virus population, or “virome.” The study, published in the online journal mBio last month, reveals that most DNA viruses on healthy human skin are viral “dark matter” that have never been described before. Elizabeth A. Grice, PhD, an assistant professor of Dermatology, served as senior author.

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Infection Buster

October 30, 2015

A study led by Vet’s Bruce Freedman and Ronald Harty blocked the ability of Ebola and other viruses to exit a host cell and spread by targeting a calcium-signaling pathway.

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Microbial Frontier

October 29, 2015

In a Q&A with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Vet's Dan Beiting explained the role of bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites in maintaining health and causing disease.

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Celebrating the Health Care Innovator Award winners

October 27, 2015

The Philadelphia Business Journal named its 2015 Health Care Innovators of the Year, which includes Penn Medicine's L. Scott Levin, MD, FACS, a professor of Bone and Joint Surgery and chair of the department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and Carl June, MD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Translational Research in the Abramson Cancer Center.

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Nasal Cilia: The 'Long and Short' of Scent-sation

October 22, 2015

Perfumer & Flavorist covered a study by Minghong Ma, PhD, an associate professor of Neuroscience, that identified patterns in cilia length and function within the mouse nasal cavity. "Since primary cilia are present on almost every cell type in our body and brain, defects in cilia formation and function often cause complex symptoms involving brain malformation, obesity, cognitive deficits, cystic kidney disorder and blindness in addition to anosmia," she said. 

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Epigenetic Pathway

October 22, 2015

A study by Medicine’s Xianxin Hua has found that the relationship of a suppressor molecule and an oncogene explains how breast cancer cells become desensitized to drugs.

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Off-Kilter

October 21, 2015

Research by James Lewis, Frederic Bushman and Gary Wu of Medicine showed that different treatments for Crohn's disease affect children's gut microbes in distinct ways.

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Blood Disorder

October 20, 2015

By elucidating the protein complex structure at its root, Mark Greene, Zheng Cal and Douglas Cines of Medicine are developing a new treatment for a serious clotting condition.

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Academia, Big Pharma Find Collaboration Fruitful

October 19, 2015

Elizabeth Grice, MD, an assistant professor of Dermatology, spoke with the Philadelphia Inquirer on the new ways that academia and drug companies collaborate on research to generate cash for schools and profitable medicines for manufacturers. Also quoted in the article is Laurie Actman, chief operating officer in the Penn Center for Innovation, who works to spur more corporate engagement.

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Turncoat Protein Regulates Sensitivity of Breast Cancer Cells to Drug, Providing New Target for Preventing Relapses, Finds Penn Study

October 13, 2015

A surprising, paradoxical relationship between a tumor suppressor molecule and an oncogene may be the key to explaining and working around how breast cancer tumor cells become desensitized to a common cancer drug, found researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine. “We found that an epigenetic pathway is crucial for growth of HER2+ cells and this epigenetic factor reduces sensitivity of the cancer cells to lapatinib, a HER2 inhibitor,” said senior author Xianxin Hua, MD, PhD, a professor of Cancer Biology.

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Philadelphia's History of Vaccine Research and Development

October 12, 2015

A Philadelphia Inquirer story on the history of vaccines highlighted several leaders from the Perelman School of Medicine, including the late Robert Austrian, but it also looked ahead. Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, vice chief of Research in the division of Hematology/Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center, and colleagues are working to create a gene therapy vaccine that could prevent malignancies from forming in healthy individuals who are at heightened risk for developing cancer.

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Penn Team Shines a Light on Blood Disorder

October 8, 2015

FierceBiotech mentions a study about a potential treatment for a serious clotting condition by elucidating the structure of the protein complex at its root.  The study was led by Mark Greene, MD, PhD the John W. Exkman Professor of Medical Science, and Douglas Cines, MD, director of the Coagulation Laboratory and a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

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Novel Platform

October 8, 2015

A vaccine developed by David Weiner of Medicine has successfully removed precancerous cervical lesions in half of patients, providing an alternative to surgical treatments.

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Dual Role

October 7, 2015

George Hajishengallis of Dental Medicine and colleagues have discovered a protein that inhibits bone resorption and can reduce bone loss associated with severe gum disease.

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New Approach to Treating Heparin0induced Blood Disorder Revealed in Structure of Protein-Antibody Complex, Penn Study Finds

October 7, 2015

A potential treatment for a serious clotting condition that can strike patients who receive heparin to treat or prevent blood clots may lie within reach by elucidating the structure of the protein complex at its root, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine. The team's work was published in Nature Communications. The team is from the lab of Mark Greene, MD, PhD, the John W. Eckman Professor of Medical Science, including Zheng Cai, PhD, senior research investigator, as well as the lab of Douglas Cines, MD, director of the Coagulation Laboratory and a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

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Our Microbiome and Our Health

October 7, 2015

The trillions of bacteria and fungi in our bodies make up our microbiome. We’re just beginning to understand the critical role this plays in our health. Researchers now believe our “body bugs” influence autoimmune diseases, allergies, obesity, mental health and more. Radio Times embarked on an informative discussion with Tracy Bale, PhD, a professor of Neuroscience in the School of Veterinary Medicine and in the department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine, Gary Wu, MD, a professor of Gastroenterology, and Frederic Bushman, PhD, a professor of Microbiology.

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Exploring New Horizons in Hematologic Oncology

October 6, 2015

In continuing coverage, Oncology Central research from the lab of David Roth, MD, PhD, chair of the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, on a DNA-cutting mechanism that sometimes malfunctions, leading normal immune cells to turn into blood cancers.

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Cancer Immunotherapy: The Cutting Edge Gets Sharper

October 1, 2015

Scientific American spoke with Carl June, MD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Translational Research in the Ambramson Cancer Center, for an article focusing on the latest advances — and remaining questions  — in the field of immunotherapy. "There are 300 kinds of cancer at least and they're each goingt to have different issues." June said. "I think we have enough tools that we can plot a course."

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Penn-developed, DNA-based Vaccine Clears Nearly Half of Precancerous Cervical Lesions in Clinical Trial

September 30, 2015

Using a novel synthetic platform for creating vaccines originally developed in the laboratory of David Weiner, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, a team led by his colleagues at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has successfully eradicated precancerous cervical lesions in nearly half of the women who received the investigational vaccine in a clinical trial.

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Immunotherapy

September 23, 2015

A study led by Alexander Huang, an Abramson Cancer Center fellow, demonstrates how PD-1 drugs work in melanoma patients, putting a potential biomarker within reach.

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CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellows: A Passion for Science

September 22, 2015

Postdoctoral fellows are the engine of biomedical research. Hear what it's like to be a Cancer Research Institute (CRI) postdoctoral fellow from those who have devoted their lives to the pursuit of basic research in cancer immunology. Featuring Beth Stadmueller, PhD, Roy Maute, PhD, Matthew Gubin, PhD, Paola Betancur, PhD, Kristen Pauken, PhD, E. John Wherry, PhD, and Ellen Puré, PhD.

Established in 1971, the CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship Program is the oldest of CRI's grant initiatives. To date, CRI has supported more than 1,300 fellows and invested more than $115 million in their training at laboratories all over the world. CRI is the only nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to funding research in the areas of cancer immunology and immunotherapy, with the goal of developing more effective immune-based treatments for all cancers.

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Doctors Take Shot at Keeping Cancer Away

September 21, 2015

Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, vice chief of research in the division of Hematology/Oncology at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center, is quoted in a Houston Chronicle article on the latest studies investigating cancer vaccines. His group recently launched an early-stage, DNA immunotherapy trial trying to prevent recurrence in cancers of the pancreas, lung and breast.

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Sense of Smell

September 18, 2015

Sensitivity to odors depends on the length of the sensory cilia and their location in the nasal cavity, according to research by Med’s Rosemary Lewis and Minghong Ma.  

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American College of Rheumatology Educational Tracks

September 17, 2015

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Meeting sessions are based on educational tracks based on specialty or area of interest, ACR Daily News reports. In the business administration track, a senior member of Congress will provide perspective on the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act, which Sharon L. Kolasinski, MD, a professor of clinical medicine and director of rheumatology at the Penn Musculoskeletal Center, says “will help support change in the tiering of medications.”

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Lafayette student receives a kidney from a stranger

September 17, 2015

The Allentown Morning Call spoke with Peter Abt, MD, an associate professor of Surgery in the division of Transplant Surgery, and the surgeon who operated on Penn patient Andrea Samson, about her case and some of reasons why people donate. Samson, a 20 year-old college student who had dealt with kidney failure her entire life, received a kidney from an anonymous donor in July. Abt, who performed both of Samson's transplant surgeries - the first was a kidney donation from her father at age 15, which her body ultimately rejected - noted that many individual donors have a history of volunteerism, and choose to donate their organs simply to help others -- even strangers.

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Editing Errors

September 15, 2015

A study by David Roth of Medicine shows that blood cancer can develop in animals when enzymes that cut and paste segments of DNA hit an “off-target” spot on a chromosome.

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Enzyme Replacement Works in Rare Lipid Disorder

September 11, 2015

In this week's New England Journal of Medicine, researchers report results of a trial showing the efficacy of a new enzyme-replacement therapy for Lysosomal acid lipase deficiency. In an accompanying editorial, Daniel J. Rader, MD, chair of the department of Genetics, noted the great potential of this therapy. Quoted in MedPage Today, Rader says there is still a need for a larger, longer-term study to confirm these results.

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Blood Cancers Develop When Immune Cell DNA Editing Enzyme Hits Off-target Spots in the Genome, Penn Animal Study Finds

September 11, 2015

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine have shown that when the enzyme key to cutting and pasting segments of DNA hits so-called “off-target” spots on a chromosome, the development of immune cells can lead to cancer in animal models. David Roth, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, served as senior author of the study which was published online this week in Cell Reports.

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Novel Approach

September 10, 2015

A study by Med's David Porter and Carl June shows that personalized cellular therapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia has resulted in long remissions for some patients. 

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PCSK9 Inhibitors: Now That We Have Them, What Do We Do?

September 9, 2015

Following the FDA approval of PCSK9 inhibitors for lowering LDL levels, MedPage Today quoted Daniel J. Rader, MD, chair of the department of Genetics in the Perelman School of Medicine, on the preexisting need for this type of medication. Rader noted there is "a big pent up demand for these drugs," particularly for those with coronary artery disease, familial hypercholesterolemia, and those who have trouble tolerating statins.

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Penn Reports Long-Term T-Cell Therapy Results

September 8, 2015

In continuing coverage, David Porter, MD, a professor of Hematology-Oncology and director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation in the Abramson Cancer Center, is quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer story detailing his team's latest results using an investigational personalized cellular therapy to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Bill Ludwig, the first patient to receive the therapy, recently marked five years cancer-free, and is also featured in the article.

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Breathing Easy

September 4, 2015

Research led by Vet’s Carolina López found a viral product that promotes a strong immune response against respiratory syncytial virus, a threat to infants and the elderly.

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Blood Cells, Honed in the Lab to Kill Cancer, Lead to Five-Year Remissions

September 3, 2015

The Abramson Cancer Center team whose work led to the first successful and sustained demonstration in the use of genetically engineered T cells to fight cancer reports this week that two leukemia patients who were among the first to receive this investigational therapy remain in remission five years later. The research, published in Science Translational Medicine this week, is led by David Porter, MD, a professor of Hematology-Oncology and director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation in the Abramson Cancer Center, and Carl June, MD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Translational Research in the Abramson Cancer Center. "The patients in this trial have largely failed all other conventional therapies and really had really, very few treatment options," Porter told WHYY Radio. "Nothing was really working for them."

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Results From the SERVE-HF Study

September 2, 2015

At the European Society of Cardiology meeting last week, MedPage Today conducted a video interview with Mariell Jessup, MD, a professor of Medicine, associate chief of Clinical Affairs in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and medical director of the Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center. Jessup commented on the SERVE-HF trial and the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing with adaptive servo-ventilation in patients with chronic heart failure.

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F.D.A. Approves Repatha, a Second Drug for Cholesterol in a Potent New Class

August 31, 2015

As the F.D.A. approves the second drug designed to lower LDL levels for those whose high cholesterol and heart disease cannot be controlled with statins, the New York Times quoted Dan Rader, MD, associate director, Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics and chief, division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics, on the benefits of lower LDL levels in lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke.

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Carter's Cancer Fight Reflects Change in Treatment of Elderly

August 25, 2015

Lynn Schuchter, MD, chief of Hematology/Oncology at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, and Robert Lustig, MD, a professor of Radiation Oncology, are quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer story on the recently announced cancer treatment plan for Jimmy Carter, who will receive radiation plus the immunotherapy pembrolizumab for his metastatic melanoma. “I definitely think it's a reasonable treatment to be pursuing and potentially could really help him,” Schuchter told the Inquirer.

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High Priority

August 25, 2015

Med’s David Weiner and Karuppiah Muthumani have found that a novel synthetic DNA vaccine can induce immunity against Middle East respiratory syndrome in animals.

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Internal Clock

August 24, 2015

According to a study by Medicine’s Garret Fitzgerald, Frederic Bushman and Xue Liang, circadian rhythms and gender influence the microbiome make-up of mammals.    

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Synthetic DNA Vaccine Against MERS Induces Immunity in Animal Study, Penn Researchers Find

August 19, 2015

In continuing coverage, WHYY Radio and other outlets ran stories about a synthetic DNA–based vaccine targeting the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Lead author David Weiner, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine was quoted.

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Jimmy Carter to Undergo Radiation and Immunotherapy

August 21, 2015

Lynn Schuchter, MD, chief of Hematology/Oncology at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, and James Metz, MD, chair of Radiation Oncology, were featured on CBS3 for a story on Jimmy Carter’s cancer announcement. Carter revealed that he will receive both radiation and a newer immunotherapy drug call pembrolizumab to treat his melanoma, which has spread to his liver and brain. “The idea is that radiation will cause the death of tumor cells, cause an immune response, and with that drug, it will actually make the immune system work better,” Metz told CBS3. Schuchter also went live on CBS3 and FOX29 to discuss the diagnosis and treatments.

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Delaware Woman Receives Kidney of Father Killed in Car Accident

August 17, 2015

In continuing coverage, ABCNews.com reports on a Delaware woman who needed a kidney transplant for almost two years, and now has her father's kidney after he recently died in a car accident. Penn patient Stacey Knox traveled to HUP earlier this month to receive her father's kidney, her husband said, adding that the transplant was successful, and that she's recovering and being monitored. "It's certainly a bittersweet story, but I think this is one of those opportunities where a parent gets to make a lasting and final gift to their child," Knox's surgeon Peter Abt, MD, surgical director of Kidney Transplantation, said.

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T cell Receptor Therapy Achieves Encouraging Clinical Responses in Multiple Myeloma

August 11, 2015

In continuing coverage, the Baltimore Sun covered a recent study investigating a new T cell receptor therapy in multiple melanoma patients from researchers in Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. This time, the team, led by Carl June, MD, a professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Edward Stadtmauer, MD, a professor of Medicine and section chief of Hematologic Malignancies, modified T cells to attack cancer cells expressing NY-ESO-1. The study was also covered by Oncology Nurse Advisor and the ASCO Post.

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Parasite Defense

Agust 5, 2015

After infection with leishmania, T cells reside in the skin to prevent future attacks, Vet's Philip Scott found. The work could inform vaccine development.

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Seminar Research

August 5, 2015

In recognition of her influential contributions to the field of hematology, Medicine’s Nancy Speck was awarded the 2015 Henry M. Stratton Medal for Basic Science.

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Vitamin D for Pancreatic Cancer

July 27, 2015

In continuing coverage, ABC 30 in Fresno, Calif., reported on a clinical trial at the Abramson Cancer Center investigating the use of vitamin D in combination with chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer patients. This first in-human trial is being led by Jeffrey A. Drebin, MD, PhD, chair of Surgery, and Peter O’Dwyer, MD, a professor of Hematology/Oncology, and is funded by the Stand Up to Cancer initiative.

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T-Cell Receptor Therapy Shows Promise for Myeloma

July 27, 2015

Results from a clinical trial investigating a new T cell receptor therapy demonstrated a response in 80 percent of multiple myeloma patients after undergoing autologous stem cell transplants, according to a new study from Abramson Cancer Center researchers published in Nature Medicine, reports WHYY Radio and Fiercebiotech. This time, the team, led by Carl June, MD, a professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Edward Stadtmauer, MD, a professor of Medicine and section chief of Hematologic Malignancies, modified T cells to attack cancer cells expressing NY-ESO-1, an antigen found in nearly 60 percent of multiple myelomas. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Medical Daily, and BioScience also covered the study.

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Man Survives Cancer and Heart Transplant, then Bikes Coast to Coast

July 23, 2015

Penn Medicine heart transplant patient, Derek Fitzgerald, completed the final leg of his cross country bike tour to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, stopping through Penn yesterday for a ceremony featuring words from Mariell Jessup, MD, an associate chief of clinical affairs in the division of Cardiology and medical director of the Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center and Chi Van Dang, MD, PhD, director of the Abramson Cancer Center. Derek and his team finished is his 44-day journey yesterday afternoon in Avalon, NJ. This was covered by CBS3, WIP Sports Radio and NBC10.

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Investigational T-cell Receptor Therapy Achieves Encouraging Clinical Responses in Multiple Patients, Penn-led Study Finds

July 21, 2015

Results from a clinical trial investigating a new T cell receptor (TCR) therapy that uses a person’s own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells demonstrated a clinical response in 80 percent of multiple myeloma patients with advanced disease after undergoing autologous stem cell transplants (ASCT). The results of the study were published this week in the journal Nature Medicine from researchers at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, including senior author Carl H. June, MD, the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Translational Research in the ACC, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc (Adaptimmune).

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Clinical Response

July 22, 2015

Research by Carl June and Edward Stadtmauer of Medicine has found that new T-cell receptor therapy is both safe and effective for patients with advanced multiple myeloma.

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ECG Metrics May Predict Cardiac Deaths in CKD Patients

July 15, 2015

HealthDay (via Doctors Lounge) reports that certain electrocardiographic measures may improve prediction of cardiovascular death in patients with chronic kidney disease, according to a study led by Rajat Deo, MD, an assistant professor of Medicine, and published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Medscape and Health Management also covered the study.

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FDA Approves Heart Failure Drug that Comes with Survival Benefit

July 13, 2015

In continuing coverage, TCTMD reports on the FDA's recent approval of Entresto for the treatment of heart failure. Mariell Jessup, MD, associate chief of clinical affairs in the division of Cardiology and medical director of the Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center, says that among the reasons the approval is important is that "the success of this drug has seemingly opened the floodgates of research into other potential heart failure drug investigation, making it a very exciting next chapter in the heart failure arena."

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The Summer of Cardiology Blockbusters

July 9, 2015

Medpage Today reports that the recent FDA approval of heart failure drug Entresto and the pending approval of two PCSK9 inhibitors this summer has reinvigorated the search for further advances in cardiology. "Already there has been a renewed sense of interest and excitement from many pharmaceutical companies taking another look at heart failure therapy," said Mariell Jessup, MD, associate chief of clinical affairs in the division of Cardiology and medical director of the Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center.

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Novartis "Breakthrough" Heart Failure Drug Wins Speedy Approval

July 8, 2015

The first drug to demonstrate a mortality benefit when compared with enalapril for heart failure -- Entresto, previously known as LCZ696 -- received FDA approval Tuesday, according to Medpage Today. Cardiologists, including Mariell Jessup, MD, associate chief of clinical affairs in the division of Cardiology and medical director of the Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center, are calling it a potential game changer because "it represents a new class of drug, which may have a meaningful impact on the trajectory of disease in many patients."

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Groundbreaking Specialty Drugs Come with High Costs

July 8, 2015

A Food and Drug Administration advisory group recommended in June that the agency approve a new drug, Praluent, from Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. If approved, it will be the first in a new class of blockbuster medicines that sharply lower levels of cholesterol, the leading cause of heart disease. But groundbreaking specialty drugs often come with a huge price tag. "If these drugs are really given to the number of people who are candidates for them, the cost will be astronomical," Daniel J. Rader, MD, chair of the department of Genetics and director of the Preventive Cardiovascular Program, told U.S. News & World Report.

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Stayin Active in the Lab

July 7, 2015

David Weiner, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, comments in The Scientist about continuing research after retirement. Weiner hosted retired clinical dermatologist Henry Maguire as a full-time postdoc in his lab from 1997 to 2011. In retirement, Maguire's expertise was an invaluable asset to the gourp, Weiner says. "He always challenged us: What is the importance of this work? What is the point of doing this? He made things kind of slow down, took you out of the rat race, and gave you time to think about things in an elegant and important way."

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Higher CD8 T-cell Dose from Younger Donors Improves Transplant Outcomes

July 7, 2015

HemOnc Today reports on a new study from Abramson Cancer Center researchers that found that older patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplants who received stem cells from younger, unrelated donors with higher numbers of so-called killer T cells (CD8 cells) had significantly reduced risk of disease relapse and improved survival. The study, co-authored by David Porter, MD, director of Blood and Marrow Transplantation in the ACC, was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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The Work Towards a Cure

July 7, 2015

James Hoxie, MD, director of the Penn Center for AIDS Research, was featured in a Hellio.com video talking about the advances in HIV, including gene therapy technology that kept the virus at bay in some patients taken off medications. "Those of us in the field, especially those of us who have been in it since the beginning, when HIV was a new disease, feel empowered by what we've accoplished, " Hoxie said. "That can only make us hopeful for what is ahead."

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PCSK9 Inhibitors: The Needle, the Cost, the Barriers

July 2, 2015

On June 10, an FDA advisory panel voted 11-4 in favor of approving PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab (Repatha), with most panelists saying they saw no need to wait for the ongoing cardiovascular outcomes trial data. Daniel Rader, MD, director of preventive cardiology, predicted that rigorous documentation of statin intolerance would be required for insurance coverage in the clinic, he told MedPage Today.

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