For more news highlights about basic science research at PennMedicine, see the PennMedicine Benchmarks e-newsletter.
- How to Make Insulin-Producing Cells from Gut Cells
10 Mar 2014
New Penn Medicine research describes how introducing three proteins that control the regulation of DNA in the nucleus -- called transcription factors -- into an immune-deficient mouse turned a specific group of cells in the gut lining into beta-like cells, raising the prospect of using differentiated pancreatic cells as a source for new beta cells.
- Penn Medicine's Basser Research Center for BRCA Unveils Homologous Hope Sculpture
10 Mar 2014
On Wednesday, the University of Pennsylvania’s Basser Research Center for BRCA will host a special event to formally unveil “Homologous Hope,” a new sculpture to be featured in the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.
- Penn Researchers Model a Key Breaking Point Involved in Traumatic Brain Injury
10 Mar 2014
Even the mildest form of a traumatic brain injury, better known as a concussion, can deal permanent, irreparable damage. Now, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania is using mathematical modeling to better understand the mechanisms at play in this kind of injury, with an eye toward protecting the brain from its long-term consequences.
- Three Penn hospitals Receive Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Awards
6 Mar 2014
Pennsylvania Hospital, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and Chester County Hospital have received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.
- 3.25 Million Dollar Gift Creates Penn Medicine/CHOP Friedreich's Ataxia Center of Excellence
6 Mar 2014
Three longtime allies have joined forces to create the new Penn Medicine/CHOP Friedreich's Ataxia Center of Excellence.
- Personalized Gene Therapy Locks Out HIV, Paving the Way to Control Virus Without Antiretroviral Drugs
5 Mar 2014
University of Pennsylvania researchers have successfully genetically engineered the immune cells of 12 HIV positive patients to resist infection, and decreased the viral loads of some patients taken off antiretroviral drug therapy (ADT) entirely—including one patient whose levels became undetectable.
- 2014 Continence Care Champion Award Presented to Penn Medicine's Alan J. Wein, MD, PhD(hon)
4 Mar 2014
Alan J. Wein, MD, PhD(hon.), has received the 2014 Rodney Appell Continence Care Champion Award from the The National Association For Continence (NAFC).
- Penn Study Results Confirm BMI is a Direct Cause of Type 2 Diabetes and High Blood Pressure
3 Mar 2014
Using new genetic evidence, an international team of scientists led by experts at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has found that an increased body mass index (BMI) raised the risk for both type 2 diabetes and higher blood pressure.
- Penn Medicine Teams Up with the City of Philadelphia to Offer Heart Health Screenings to City Employees
28 Feb 2014
Penn Medicine will join forces with the City of Philadelphia to wrap-up American Heart Month on Friday, February 28th by offering free cardiovascular screenings for city employees.
- Penn Study Shows Way to Make Treatment of Rare Blood Disorder More Affordable and Effective
26 Feb 2014
A University of Pennsylvania research team has defined a possible new way to fight a disease that is currently treatable only with the most expensive drug available for sale in the United States.
- Penn Medicine Researchers Ask If A Story Help Doctors Curb the Prescription Opioid Abuse Epidemic
26 Feb 2014
In the fight against a nationwide prescription opioid abuse epidemic, Penn Medicine researchers are using storytelling to help doctors recall important, potentially lifesaving national guidelines on how to prescribe these medications.
- Penn Study finds Blocking Autophagy with Malaria Drug May Help Overcome Resistance to BRAF Drugs in Melanoma
24 Feb 2014
Half of melanoma patients with the BRAF mutation have a positive response to treatment with BRAF inhibitors, but nearly all of those patients develop resistance to the drugs and experience disease progression. Now, a new preclinical study published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Investigation from Penn Medicine researchers found that in many cases the root of the resistance may lie in a never-before-seen autophagy mechanism induced by the BRAF inhibitors vermurafenib and dabrafenib.
- The Parasite that Escaped Out of Africa
21 Feb 2014
An international team of scientists has traced the origin of Plasmodium vivax, the second-worst malaria parasite of humans, to Africa, according to a study published this week in Nature Communications. Until recently, the closest genetic relatives of human P. vivax were found only in Asian macaques, leading researchers to believe that P. vivax originated in Asia.
- Kevin Volpp and Steven Joffe Named Vice Chairs of Penn Medicine's Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy
20 Feb 2014
Steven Joffe, MD, MPH, and Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, have been named Vice Chair of Medical Ethics and Vice Chair of Health Policy, respectively, in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Penn Study in Fruitflies Strengthens Connection Among Protein Misfolding, Sleep Loss, and Age
20 Feb 2014
Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, have been studying the molecular mechanisms underpinning sleep. Now they report that the pathways of aging and sleep intersect at the circuitry of a cellular stress response pathway, and that by tinkering with those connections, it may be possible to alter sleep patterns in the aged for the better – at least in fruit flies.
- Trauma Patients' Insurance Status May Influence Hospital Transfer Decisions
19 Feb 2014
Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that patients with severe injuries initially evaluated at non-trauma center emergency departments are less likely to be transferred if they are insured.
- Penn Medicine and Wistar Scientists Create Precise Tumor Classifier for Glioblastoma
19 Feb 2014
A newly developed, more specific approach to classifying tumors by molecular type can help cancer researchers to determine tumor characteristics and guide treatment strategies.
- Pennsylvania Hospital Opens Philadelphia's First All-Private Maternity Suite Unit
18 Feb 2014
After three years of renovations and new construction, Pennsylvania Hospital of Penn Medicine will unveil its new Well Mother and Baby Unit on February 26. The hospital, where nearly 5,000 babies are delivered each year – the most in the City of Philadelphia – will now offer three full floors of all private rooms dedicated solely to new mothers and their newborns.
- Penn Medicine Launches Nationwide "Impressions of Philadelphia" Photography Contest
17 Feb 2014
Penn Medicine, in partnership with the Center for Emerging Visual Artists, today announced a new opportunity for photographers to have their work displayed in a unique setting. Up to 25 images depicting the theme “Impressions of Philadelphia” will be selected for a large format wall display (approximately 19x19 feet) in public concourse areas of the new Pavilion for Advanced Care (PAC) at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.
- Sweet Taste Receptors Are Primary Sentinels in Defense against Bacterial Infections in the Upper Airway, Penn Medicine Study Finds
17 Feb 2014
The body uses mucus as a protective barrier to defend against pathogens, toxins, and allergens in the upper respiratory tract that can lead to such conditions as chronic sinusitis. Aiding in this defense are antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), a diverse group of small proteins found in mucus that kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. In addition to these known defensive systems, researchers have recently surmised that taste receptors serve "double duty" by also acting as first line sentinels against infection in the upper airway. Now, scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania reveal that the release of AMPs is partially controlled by bitter taste receptors in the upper airway on a cell previously identified in animals and only recently in humans known as solitary chemosensory cells (SCCs).
- Penn Study Finds Topiramate Reduces Heavy Drinking Among Patients Seeking to Cut Down on Alcohol Consumption
14 Feb 2014
Researchers at Penn Medicine have shown that the anticonvulsant medication, topiramate, previously shown to reduce drinking in patients committed to abstinence from alcohol, can also be helpful in treating problem drinkers whose aim is to curb their alcohol consumption – particularly among a specific group of patients whose genetic makeup appears to be linked to the efficacy of the therapy.
- Mental Health Patients up to Four Times More Likely to Be Infected with HIV, Penn Medicine Study Finds
14 Feb 2014
People receiving mental health care are up to four times more likely to be infected with HIV than the general population, according to a new study published Feb. 13 in the American Journal of Public Health from researchers at Penn Medicine and other institutions who tested over 1,000 patients in care in Philadelphia and Baltimore.
- Penn Physician Urges Greater Recognition of How "Misfearing" Influences Women's Perceptions of Heart Health Risks
13 Feb 2014
While more women die from heart disease each year than all forms of cancer combined, many are more fearful of other diseases, particularly breast cancer. This phenomenon, referred to as "misfearing," describes the human tendency to fear instinctively and according to societal influences rather than based on facts. This trend may be a contributor to the reasons why many women fail to take enough steps -- such as changing diet and fitness habits or risk-taking behaviors -- to guard against heart disease.
- Teledermatology App System Offers Efficiencies and Can Reliably Prioritize Inpatient Consults
13 Feb 2014
A new Penn Medicine study shows that remote consultations from dermatologists using a secure smart phone app are reliable at prioritizing care for hospitalized patients with skin conditions. Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania report in JAMA Dermatology that this teledermatology process is reliable and can help deliver care more efficiently in busy academic hospitals and potentially in community hospital settings.