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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.
When Marc and Mandy Seymour brought their infant daughter, Quinn, across the country to University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital to be part of a groundbreaking clinical trial aimed at curing her devastating skin disease, the hospital did not yet have an on-site chapel. Today the Seymours are honoring Quinn’s memory—and providing a place of peace and hope for others—by raising $500,000 to build a chapel at Amplatz.
"Healing is the most important ingredient in Native American cooking," says chef Jason Champagne, a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa and student in the School of Public Health who is pursuing a master's degree in public health nutrition. "Indigenous foods are a path to health and a way for us to recover our communities."
No one was more stunned than Tom Maloney when his wife was diagnosed with appendix cancer nearly three years ago. Betti Boers Maloney had always been fit, active, and health-conscious. At 60, after raising four children (a blended family, formed when the couple married in 1984) and working as the office manager for her husband's medical device materials business, she looked like the picture of health.
Agnes Johnson spent decades worrying about her daughter, Ana Belle, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 16. As Johnson aged, she decided to set up a fund to ensure that Ana Belle would always be cared for; in the event of Ana Belle's death, her mother wanted the money to go to the University of Minnesota, where it could support schizophrenia research. When Ana Belle died two years ago, Johnson's careful planning resulted in a generous gift to the U.
A. Stuart Hanson, M.D., went to Dartmouth College on a four-year scholarship that covered his tuition and books. The support was invaluable to a middle-class kid from South Minneapolis, and he never forgot it. "I think the day you receive a scholarship, you have a desire to give back," says Hanson, who recently retired after a lifelong career as a pulmonologist with Park Nicollet Clinic in Minneapolis. "So that's what I'm doing."
Even when you've been hospitalized countless times and you're supported by a loving network like Lizzie Bell's ... even when you're as tough and brave as Lizzie herself, there's nothing easy about a blood and marrow transplant. It's a grueling and terrifying process. But thanks to several donors and the healing surroundings they've created, it's a lot less scary for some young patients at University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital.
Joseph J. Westermeyer, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., has been named by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) as the 2013 recipient of the R. Brinkley Smithers Distinguished Scientist Award. Dr. Westermeyer is being recognized for his continuing support of the ASAM, and his crucial role in guiding alcohol research in America.
Physician and business leader Gregg N. Dyste, M.D., will begin work with at-risk students in an innovative mentoring initiative, Imagine the Possibilities. Dr. Dyste is a highly regarded Twin Cities neurosurgeon who focuses his practice on brain tumors, and conditions and trauma of the brain and spine.
Ellen L. Abeln, M.D., Medical School Class of 1984, has been inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Radiology (ACR). Dr. Abeln is the medical director of the Breast Center of Suburban Imaging in Coon Rapids, and a staff radiologist at Unity Hospital in Fridley and at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids. She is a member of the Society of Breast Imaging, the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, and the American Roentgen Ray Society.
Early-stage cancer patients have become one of medicine's biggest success stories, as the almost 14 million survivors in the United States would be happy to attest. But for many of them, another threat lurks in the background: heart disease. Through its integrated cardio-oncology program, the University of Minnesota has taken aim at this problem with a full-bore range of research and treatment facilities geared toward the prevention and early detection of heart disease in cancer patients, and its physicians are helping patients already diagnosed with cardiovascular problems withstand cancer treatment.
When Dorothy Busch died in 2011 at age 92, her son, Tom Busch, told his cousin that his mom was his hero. The cousin, he recalls, replied, "You know, Tom, she was a hero to many, many people." It was that sentiment that prompted Tom to set up the Dorothy M. Busch Memorial Endowed Fund to support aortic valve disease and related research at the University of Minnesota.
At the Adult Congenital and Cardiovascular Genetics Center at the University of Minnesota, Cindy Martin, M.D., works with people who were born with heart defects or inherited heart diseases and finds ways to alleviate their symptoms. But in the laboratory, she conducts research that delves deeper into what exactly in the patients' genetic makeup caused their disease. And many of her patients jump at the chance to be a part of it.
Little Lydia Kohler's parents were horrified when a large, blood-filled sac in the back of their newborn daughter's head caused her to have a massive seizure, a result of heart failure. But thanks to an innovative treatment by a collaborative University of Minnesota team -- and a strategic use of glue -- little Lydia today is a running, talking, 2-year-old whirlwind, her parents happily report.
When Brad Wallin helped to announce his family's generous gift to create the Winston and Maxine Wallin Neuroscience Discovery Fund at the University of Minnesota in 2011, he said, "It will be exciting to see what unfolds." Two years later, we can see exactly what's unfolded -- and it is quite remarkable.
There are no real treatment options for people who have ataxia -- no real course of action other than coping with symptoms of the neurodegenerative condition, which can include difficulties with balance, coordination, speech, and sometimes vision. But today researchers at the University of Minnesota are on a path to change that reality.
In a state with a thriving biosciences industry and rich history of innovation, it only made sense for the 2008 Minnesota Legislature to invest in a state-of-the-art research park at the University of Minnesota. The Biomedical Discovery District's six buildings -- the last one will open in 2015 -- will provide 700,000 square feet of space for more than 1,000 investigators and personnel to collaborate on research leading to lifesaving discoveries in cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, brain sciences, vision, hearing, immunology, and infectious diseases.
It's a festering problem affecting America's kids that's bigger than autism, bigger even than juvenile diabetes, but too often unnoticed, or unacknowledged, by teachers, doctors, foster parents, and child-care providers. Affecting more than 3 million children -- and that number is on the rise -- it's often a shameful secret. The problem? Growing up with a parent in prison or jail.
Imagine a road map connecting every one of Earth's 7.1 billion people -- and showing how each of those people is connected to the 300 or so people he or she knows. Now imagine 11 more identical maps, crumple them all up, stuff them into a cantaloupe, and try to read them. Now you'll begin to have an idea of the complexity of the "human connectome," as researchers refer to a comprehensive map of neural connections in the brain.
This year the Medical School welcomed two new associate deans of admissions to its Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. Dimple Patel, M.S., moved from Denver, Colo., to Minneapolis in mid-May to assume the role of associate dean of admissions for the Twin Cities campus. In August, a former colleague at the University of Colorado Medical School, Robin Michaels, Ph.D., began as associate dean of student affairs and admissions for the Medical School's Duluth campus. Here's what they had to say about recruiting and selecting the right mix of students at their respective campuses.
The University of Minnesota's transplant program is one of the oldest and most successful in the world, with 50 years of experience in transplant research, innovation, and care -- including performing Minnesota's first kidney transplant, in 1963, and the world's first pancreas-kidney transplant, in 1966. To date, it has performed more than 13,000 transplants.
Traveling beyond the city limits of Kampala, Uganda, can feel like stepping into a time warp. Cars inch along the dusty, potholed streets. Mud huts line village roads. And even the best technology would be considered long outdated in the United States. But for fourth-year University of Minnesota medical student Margaret Perko, it's an ideal place to help her become a great doctor.
Sometimes it's hard to see progress. This from a man who has spent the last three decades improving health for the people of Tanzania by leading widespread community health campaigns, building two hospitals, and creating higher-quality training programs for health workers. But Mark Jacobson, M.D., M.P.H., University of Minnesota Medical School Class of 1978, is surrounded by need every day, and he knows that improving health is not just about getting medical treatment.
The biggest, most graceful jumps in ballet are known as grand jetés -- essentially a midair split -- and young dancers spend years learning how to execute them flawlessly. But for Adam Stein '16, the most challenging leap of his life wasn't encountered on stage. It was the vault he made from a promising career as a professional dancer to a rigorous education at the University of Minnesota Medical School.
Travel is transformative. Neuroradiologist and chronic wayfarer David Priest, M.D. (Class of '95), knows that well. But when he planned his January 2012 trip up India's River Ganges, he never imagined it would lead to thousands of discarded plastic bags becoming brightly hued iPad covers, one-of-a-kind woven tote bags, and multicolored handmade baskets.
Does taconite dust lead to mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung's lining? This was the main question that the state Legislature charged University of Minnesota researchers with answering nearly five years ago through the $4.9 million Minnesota Taconite Workers Health Study. So far, the U team has found that for every year worked in the mines, a person's risk for mesothelioma increased about 3 percent. But there's more work to do, says lead researcher Jeffrey Mandel, M.D., M.P.H., of the School of Public Health.
Deborah Powell, M.D., is looking for a particular group of medical students: those who are unafraid to try new things, those who ask good questions, and, above all, those who are genuinely interested in pediatrics. These students are the ones Powell, Medical School dean emeritus, hopes to recruit to participate in education in Pediatrics Across the Continuum (EPAC), a new project she designed for the University of Minnesota and three other medical schools.
During the 2013 Legislative session, Gov. Mark Dayton and policymakers supported University of Minnesota initiatives aimed at advancing research, boosting the state's economy, and ensuring health care access. The Legislature made a two-year, $35.6 million investment in MnDRIVE, Minnesota Discovery, Research and InnoVation Economy, to fund research initiatives in four key industries: food production, robotics, water quality, and neuromodulation -- a growing research field focused on treatments for brain disorders.
Theodore R. “Ted” Thompson, M.D., New Brighton, Minn., a University of Minnesota Medical School faculty member for more than 40 years, died July 28 at age 70. A valued adviser to medical students, Dr. Thompson, a professor in the Department of Pediatrics, served as director of the department’s Division of Neonatology for 14 years and held leadership roles across the University. He also was a neonatologist at University of...