For more news highlights about basic science research at PennMedicine, see the PennMedicine Benchmarks e-newsletter.
- Penn Researchers' New Tracking Method Yields Insights into Mitochondrial Dynamics
1 Jul 2015
Mitochondria, the tiny oxygen reactors that power our cells, can be the keys to health or disease. But while the recognition of their importance has soared in recent years, methods for studying them haven’t always kept pace. Now, scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have devised a powerful new technique that enables the tracking of every mitochondrion as it moves within a cell.
- Jonathan Epstein, MD, Named Chief Scientific Officer for Penn Medicine
29 Jun 2015
Jonathan Epstein, MD, a highly regarded physician-scientist whose work has played a major role in the understanding and treatment of congenital heart disease, has been named executive vice dean and chief scientific officer for Penn Medicine.
- Penn Researchers Identify Stem-like Progenitor Cell that Exclusively Forms Heart Muscle
25 Jun 2015
Future therapies for failing hearts are likely to include stem-like cells and associated growth factors that regenerate heart muscle. Scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have just taken an important step towards that future by identifying a stem-like “progenitor” cell that produces only heart muscle cells.
- Penn Medicine's Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, Receives National Institutes of Health 2015 Matilda White Riley Award
23 Jun 2015
Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, a professor of Medicine and Health Care Management in the Perelman School of Medicine and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, is receiving the 2015 Matilda White Riley Award, issued today by the National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) as part of their 20th Anniversary celebration.
- Penn Medicine Awarded Nearly $9 Million in Grants to Improve HIV/TB Care, Study Lung Health in Africa
23 Jun 2015
Two Penn Medicine infectious disease teams have received five-year federal grants collectively worth nearly $9 million, the first of which will help train and expand the local health care workforce in Botswana, while the second will investigate lasting lung complications stemming from HIV/tuberculosis (TB) co-infections in South Africa.
- Penn Medicine Study Finds Participation in Research Studies Not Detrimental to Preterm Infants
18 Jun 2015
Premature babies who are enrolled in clinical trials for therapies to treat and prevent complications from preterm birth are no more likely to die or experience poor outcomes than babies who are not trial participants, according to a retrospective analysis of more than 5,000 babies born before 29 weeks of gestation.
- Protein "Comet Tails" Propel Cell Recycling Process, Penn Study Finds
18 Jun 2015
Several well-known neurodegenerative diseases, such as Lou Gehrig’s (ALS), Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's disease, all result in part from a defect in autophagy – one way a cell removes and recycles misfolded proteins and pathogens. In a paper published this week in Current Biology, postdoctoral fellow David Kast, PhD, and professor Roberto Dominguez, PhD, and three other colleagues from the Department of Physiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, show for the first time that the formation of ephemeral compartments key in this process require actin polymerization by the Arp2/3 complex, a composite of seven proteins.
- Penn Author Calls for Better Primary Care for Medicaid Patients to Curb Unnecessary Emergency Room Visits
17 Jun 2015
Health policy researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Institute of Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco, suggest in a new Perspective published in the New England Journal of Medicine that patient-centered medical homes may be more effective in reducing the number of Medicare patients seeking nonemergency care in EDs than increasing the cost of the visits.
- Maria Molina, CRNP, MSN, Receives Two Awards from International Transplant Nurses Society
17 Jun 2015
Maria Molina, CRNP, MSN, a board-certified adult gerontology-acute care nurse practitioner and critical-care registered nurse with a Transplant specialty, received the 2015 International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS) Nursing Excellence Award and the 2015 ITNS Symposium Best Research Abstract Award.
- Penn Researchers Receive $2.9 Million in Awards from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to Launch Biomedical Research Careers
17 Jun 2015
Five early-career researchers from three schools at the University of Pennsylvania have received funding from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund (BWF) for their excellence in biomedical research, in topics including heart disease, sleep, and infectious diseases, as part of a nationwide program totaling $22.5 million.
- Penn Medicine's Judith Green-McKenzie, MD, MPH, Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
12 Jun 2015
Judith Green-McKenzie, MD, MPH, an associate professor of Emergency Medicine and chief of the division of Occupational Medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, was awarded the 2015 Kehoe Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Education or Researcher from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
- Frederic D. Bushman, PhD, Named as Chair of the Department of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
11 Jun 2015
Frederic D. Bushman, PhD, a widely recognized leader in the fields of microbiology and gene therapy, has been named the new chair of the department of Microbiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Penn Medicine Study Shows First Signs that Drug Used to Treat ADHD May Improve Cognitive Difficulties for Menopausal Women
11 Jun 2015
According to a new study, women experiencing difficulty with time management, attention, organization, memory, and problem solving – often referred to as executive functions – related to menopause may find improvement with a drug already being used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Penn Study Shows Nearly 10 Percent of Women Live Too Far from Access to Gynecologic Cancer Care
11 Jun 2015
More than one-third of counties in the Unites States are located more than 50 miles from the nearest gynecologic oncologist, making access to specialty care for ovarian and other gynecologic cancers difficult for nearly 15 million women.
- Strategies Needed for Community Health Worker Programs to Solve Healthcare Challenges
10 Jun 2015
Community health workers (CHW) are expected to be a growing and vital part of healthcare delivery in the United States as the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented. A slate of steps detailing how CHW programs can maximize their effectiveness and impact on patients and healthcare spending is provided in a new perspective piece in The New England Journal of Medicine by experts at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and New York University.
- Certain Donors with High T Cell Counts Make a Better Match for Stem-Cell Transplant Patients, Penn Study Suggests
8 Jun 2015
Using a simple blood test to measure the T lymphocyte count in donors for stem cell transplants may help identify the best match for patients in need of an allogeneic stem cell transplant, suggests a new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology from researchers at the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) of the University of Pennsylvania.
- Reverberations in Metabolism: Protein Maintains Double Duty as Key Cog in Body Clock and Metabolic Control, Penn Study Finds
4 Jun 2015
In a new study published online ahead of print in Science Express, the Mitchell Lazar, MD, PhD, and his team describes how one protein regulates the clock in most cells in the body and metabolic genes in the liver, the body's key organ for metabolism of fat as well as sugar.
- Yoga, Running, Weight Lifting, and Gardening: Penn Study Maps the Types of Physical Activity Associated with Better Sleep Habits
4 Jun 2015
Physical activities, such as walking, as well as aerobics/calisthenics, biking, gardening, golfing, running, weight-lifting, and yoga/Pilates are associated with better sleep habits, compared to no activity, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Eating Less During Late Night Hours May Stave off Some Effects of Sleep Deprivation, Penn Study Shows
4 Jun 2015
Eating less late at night may help curb the concentration and alertness deficits that accompany sleep deprivation, according to results of a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania that will be presented at SLEEP 2015, the 29th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.
- High Levels of Moral Reasoning Correspond with Increased Gray Matter in Brain
3 Jun 2015
Individuals with a higher level of moral reasoning skills showed increased gray matter in the areas of the brain implicated in complex social behavior, decision making, and conflict processing as compared to subjects at a lower level of moral reasoning, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
- Penn Researchers Home in on What's Wearing Out T Cells
3 Jun 2015
Sometimes even cells get tired. When the T cells of your immune system are forced to deal over time with cancer or a chronic infection such as HIV or hepatitis C, they can develop "T cell exhaustion," becoming less effective and losing their ability to attack and destroy the invaders of the body. While the PD-1 protein pathway has long been implicated as a primary player in T cell exhaustion, a major question has been whether PD-1 actually directly causes exhaustion.
- Wide Variability in Organ Donation Rates: Midwest Leads Nation in Highest Rates of Donations
28 May 2015
More than 123,000 Americans are currently waiting for lifesaving organ transplants, but 21 patients die each day because there aren't enough organs to go around. New research shows wide variation in the number of eligible organ donors whose loved ones consent to organ donation across the country.
- Penn Medicine Study Reveals Novel Use of 3-D Imaging Technique for Precise Measurement of Injectable Wrinkle Reducers
28 May 2015
A three-dimensional imaging technique often used in the automotive and aerospace industries for accurate measurement may be useful to measure the efficacy of injectable wrinkle reducers such as Botox and Dysport, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Penn Medicine Authors Emphasize Importance of Clinically Actionable Results in Genetic Panel Testing for Breast Cancer
27 May 2015
While advances in technology have made multigene testing, or “panel testing,” for genetic mutations that increase the risk of breast or other cancers an option, authors of a review published today in the New England Journal of Medicine say larger studies are needed in order to provide reliable risk estimates for counseling these patients.