University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota Foundation
Giving to medicine and health at the University of Minnesota

Latest Stories and Multimedia

Discover what’s possible. Browse these features to find out more about the impact of University of Minnesota research, education, and care—and how you can help.


Important information regarding alumni programs at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

A chance meeting with a U cardiologist likely saved Rick Christensen from a burst aortic aneurysm.

Fate works in funny ways. Just ask Rick Christensen, who learned he had a life-threatening aortic aneurysm after a chance meeting in 2012 with University of Minnesota Health cardiologist S. Kimara March, M.D.

Your annual gifts to support the University of Minnesota make a real difference to patients and their families. Did you know that you can continue to make a difference after your lifetime by including the University of Minnesota Foundation in your estate plan?


Tens of thousands of Minnesotans soon could be asking this question: Can a daily low-dose aspirin prevent a heart attack or stroke for me?

A “fibrin patch” made in the lab of Jianyi Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., may help improve the effectiveness of stem cell therapies for the heart. (Photo: Jim Bovin)

Stem cell therapy has been a hot topic in cardiovascular sciences for more than a decade. The theory is that if doctors can successfully introduce stem cells--unspecialized cells that have the remarkable ability to become different types of specialized cells as they grow—to areas of heart muscle that have been injured during a heart attack, the damage could be repaired.

Bob Allison and his three sons in the Minnesota Twins dugout

As the Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center rounds out its 25th year, board chair Mark Allison says there's plenty to be proud of. BAARC has raised nearly $7.5 million, and it has granted more than $2.3 million to 27 U of M researchers, who in turn have attracted an astounding $29.6 million from the National Institutes of Health.


A career of discovery and research progress has earned the University of Minnesota's Harry Orr, Ph.D., a spot in the prestigious Institute of Medicine.

Sheila Specker, M.D., studies the complex interplay of factors that keeps some people in the grips of alcohol or drug dependence. (Photo: Jim Bovin)

Addiction doesn't happen in a vacuum. As Department of Psychiatry associate professor Sheila Specker, M.D., has seen time and again, it's often accompanied by depression, bipolar disorder, an eating disorder, or another mental health problem. Sometimes it's one thread in a tangle of issues; often it's tough to tease out which problem came first.

The University of Minnesota's Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) is among the first to be awarded a federal grant resulting from President Obama's BRAIN Initiative, an effort to develop next-generation brain imaging technology.

Photo by Patrick O’Leary

University of Minnesota researchers hope a new vaccine for Epstein-Barr virus could guard against mono, multiple sclerosis, and certain blood cancers.


Four years ago, University of Minnesota neurology professor emeritus Arthur Klassen, M.D., donated $50,000 to start the Neurology Resident Educational Travel Scholarship, which was designed to help cash-strapped young residents attend important national conferences. So far, the fund has received support from 77 donors who have made 91 gifts totaling more than $131,000.

You've seen the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but did you know that the University of Minnesota ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Center is an ALS Association Certified Center of Excellence? That's the highest designation the ALS Association gives to recognize and support clinics it considers the best in the field.

Alfonso Araque, Ph.D., shipped this elaborate equipment, being used here to measure the electrical activity of a neuron, to the U from his lab in Spain. Photo: Jim Bovin

Alfonso Araque, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neuroscience and holder of the Robert and Elaine Larson Neuroscience Research Chair, is one of those investigators taking the path less charted, one who believes that solutions for brain diseases could lie in the shadowy world of the glia.


When graduate student Adam Steiner walked in and announced, "My rats are expressing regret," Department of Neuroscience Professor A. David Redish, Ph.D., could hardly believe it.


Enthusiastic. Knowledgeable. Funny. Organized. Passionate. Available. Medical School students, professors, and administrators alike rattled off this list of qualities that make good teachers great without hesitating. And many also agreed that great teachers of medicine, specifically, must have an additional set of attributes to truly excel.


Integrative therapies have been shown to reduce nausea, reduce stress, and help manage pain with fewer side effects than medications. At University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, leaders are recognizing that the best outcomes happen for kids who receive care and support for all aspects of their health.


Minnesota consistently rates as one of the country’s healthiest states—and is recognized as having one of the top health care systems—with a glaring exception: Minnesota has the largest health disparities in the country. So today a few University of Minnesota experts are taking aim at the vast disparities that segregate us into a nation of medical haves and have-nots.

mb_fall2014_global outreach_map.jpg

"Leaky pipes," an essay by Medical School student Missy McCoy, on social context behind disease in Cameroon


James G. Boulger, Ph.D., a charter faculty member of the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Duluth campus, has received the Rural Health Hero award from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Rural Health Association.


Labor induction or cesarean delivery without medical reason before babies reach 39 weeks gestational age, when they are considered full-term, can be associated with health problems for the newborns, according to University of Minnesota research.


U researchers have reported that rats can recognize when they've made a bad choice and change their behavior in response. And that is the essence of regret.

State legislators agreed last spring to fund efforts that could unlock new cures and treatments for some of the most devastating health conditions facing our population, allotting nearly $50 million over the next 10 years to regenerative medicine research in Minnesota.


Alan Johns, M.D., M.Ed., was one of the first students at the University of Minnesota Medical School's Duluth campus more than 40 years ago, and in July 2014 he became its interim dean.

As of July 1, 2014, University of Minnesota facilities, buildings, and grounds on the Duluth, Crookston, Rochester, and Twin Cities campuses are smoke- and tobacco-free.


With powerful University of Minnesota research as critical testimony, Gov. Mark Dayton in May signed a bill into law that prohibits minors from using indoor tanning beds, making Minnesota the eighth state to pass such a law.


The University of Minnesota has renamed its children's hospital University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital following the announcement of a $25 million gift from Minnesota Masonic Charities and in recognition of the Masons' legacy of support.

Gov. Mark Dayton in August launched a blue-ribbon committee to help ensure the U of M Medical School is a national leader in medical training, research, and care.


Third-year medical student Sarah Parker has received a 2014 Hematology Opportunities for the Next Generation of Research Scientists Award from the American Society of Hematology to continue her stem cell research, which now involves making T cells from embryonic stem cells in culture.


As poets and others have observed, the eye is the window of the soul. But for a long time, medicine has also known that our eyes provide more than an aperture into our spiritual state of being. They are also a window that allows doctors and researchers to peer into the state of our physical and mental well-being.


Robert W. Goltz, M.D., Class of 1944, La Jolla, Calif., died March 23 at age 90. Dr. Goltz led the Department of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School from 1970 to 1985. He also served as the first professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado, Denver, and acting chief of dermatology at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Goltz was known for his groundbreaking work...


In 1964, you could pick up a pack of cigarettes for around 30 cents, stroll into a movie theater, and light up as you watched Mary Poppins. You could blow smoke rings over the produce while you shopped for groceries, chain smoke on planes, even inhale unfiltered Camels in your hospital bed after heart surgery. And you were in good company while you did it: almost 43 percent of Americans were right there smoking with you.


The first six Minnesota's Future Doctors program participants admitted to the University of Minnesota Medical School have now completed their medical degrees. Since the program was launched in 2007, 25 percent of MFD students have been admitted to medical schools across the country, and 50 percent are now enrolled as undergraduate students with the intent to pursue medical school after graduation.


Four University of Minnesota Medical School alumni were honored for their work in the service of the medical profession at the Medical School Alumni Awards Banquet on September 18 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota's East Bank campus.

Starting this fall, some family medicine residents will have the opportunity to go back to high school -- and to provide care for teens through the little-known Minneapolis School-Based Clinics.


After spending much of her career as a family physician in a Native community in Juneau, Medical School alumna Mary Owen, M.D., is back in Duluth in a new role: director of its well-known Center of American Indian and Minority Health (CAIMH), where the mission is raising the health status of Native Americans by supporting and educating Native American students pursuing careers in health care.


Aiming to bridge the gap between medical education and clinical practice, University of Minnesota Medical School leaders have created a new position to address the breach: assistant dean for clinical education. Anne Pereira, M.D., M.P.H., is the first person charged with the task.


Medical student and military veteran Josh Farley believes the depth of compassion and empathy he gained through his own war experiences allowed him to make connections he otherwise might not have with patients he met in his recent psychiatry rotation at the VA Health Care System in Minneapolis.


Explore the newest issue of Medical Bulletin.

U pulmonologist Rade Tomic, M.D., and psychologist Thyra Fossum, Ph.D., are taking a not-so-typical approach to helping people who have a progressive and incurable lung disease. (Photo by Jim Bovin)

Maintaining a good quality of life sounds like a simple goal. But for people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a progressive and incurable lung disease, a good quality of life--emotional health, little stress, enjoyment of everyday things--can be elusive. Enter two University of Minnesota experts, who are starting a study to examine whether cognitive behavioral therapy can help.

(Photo: Scott Streble)

Megan Voss, D.N.P., walked into the room of a 12-year-old girl who was recovering from an umbilical cord blood transplant at the Pediatric Blood & Marrow Transplant Center at University of Minnesota Children's Hospital. The girl was in intense pain, but it was difficult to determine what was causing her discomfort. But after Voss performed Reiki, an integrative therapy now being offered to BMT patients at the hospital, the girl told her mother and Voss that not only was her pain better, she also felt much less anxious.

Ethan Hoover

These kids are proof that no gift--and no donor--is too small to make a difference.

Summer Ostlund (Photo: Scott Streble)

Summer Ostlund is a busy baby who always has a smile on her face. Like most 1-year-olds, she is on the move and making her family laugh. But the last year has been a test of Summer's strength. In January, Summer became the 800th person--and one of the youngest ever--to receive a heart transplant in the University of Minnesota's history.


Being born with heart disease presents challenges for both babies and their families. And those challenges can last a lifetime. The U's Lazaros Kochilas, M.D., hopes to get a better picture of what these health issues are by analyzing 30 years of data from 47 centers across the country.


Help the seriously ill children we serve at University of Minnesota Children's Hospital. Your gift will support expert care and discovery of groundbreaking treatments at one of the country's top children's hospitals.

Cardiologist Greg Helmer, M.D., is leading a new clinical study to evaluate a device's potential to prevent the need for open-heart surgery in some people who have aortic stenosis. (Photo: Jim Bovin)

Before a new drug or medical device can be made available to patients, it must go through lengthy and stringent testing through a clinical trial to make sure it's safe and effective. While these studies do carry some risk, they offer access to tomorrow's treatments right now. And the Lillehei Clinical Research Unit is there to make sure it's a safe process for participants and a smooth one for investigators.

Research teammates (from left) Silvia Mangia, Ph.D., Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., and Gülin Öz, Ph.D., are using the University’s powerful imaging resources, including the 4 Tesla MRI magnet seen here behind them, to investigate the effect of diabetes on

People who have diabetes are living longer, healthier lives today thanks to improved understanding and management of the disease. That’s good news. But along with this increase in longevity has come another reality: the list of potential complications associated with long-term diabetes—including eye, kidney, cardiovascular, and nerve problems—now also includes dementia and other brain disorders typically associated with advanced age.

Kamil Ugurbil, Ph.D. (Photo: Scott Streble)

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR), where Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., studies brain metabolism in people who have diabetes, is home to the world’s largest human scanning device. The 10.5 Tesla, whole-body human magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) magnet is nearly 10 times stronger than most medical MRI scanners.

Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D.

Please join us to learn more about diabetes research at the U of M from Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., on October 14, and David Bernlohr, Ph.D., on November 12. Both events will be from 8 to 9 a.m. at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University’s East Bank Campus.

Eric Newman, Ph.D.

Neuroscientist Eric Newman, Ph.D., is on a mission. With colleagues in endocrinology and ophthalmology, he is testing a simple chemical that could help reverse vision loss related to diabetes.

Brian Fife, Ph.D.

Finding a cure for diabetes is a longtime passion for immunologist Brian Fife, Ph.D. It’s also deeply personal. He has a cousin with diabetes and for more than 40 years Fife has observed the impact of this devastating autoimmune disease on her life firsthand. “Statistics would say that my chances of developing diabetes were equal to my cousin’s,” Fife says soberly. “But I was lucky. I only got allergies.”

Make a Gift

Your gift is an investment in a healthier tomorrow!
Give Online  |  More Ways to Give