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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.

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Throughout his life, Paul McCarron served as an advocate for public health and human services. As a Minnesota legislator, he was the architect behind the Community Social Services Act (CSSA), landmark welfare-reform legislation. For another project, he went undercover as a janitor so he could see firsthand the conditions at state hospitals.

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Russell Johnson, '13 M.D., took a year away from his formal medical education to be part of a clinical research team at the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh, situated in the heart of Bangladesh's capital city, Dhaka -- one of the world's most densely populated and rapidly growing cities.

Though he stays in bounds now, Thomas Crowley, M.D., still enjoys mountain skiing. (Photo: Sharp Shoooter Imaging)

Thomas J. Crowley, '62 M.D., discovered the joys of mountain skiing through the University of Minnesota Ski Club. The Minneapolis native's first trip west took him to Aspen for some traditional downhill skiing. But over time he discovered his true passion was for the backcountry. He did worry, however, about the very real and ever-present danger of avalanches. After a fair bit of tinkering, Crowley invented and patented the AvaLung.

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Like all Medical School students, Rachel Lundberg '15 has plenty of good stories to tell. But she tells one story that sets her apart--the one from her first year of medical school when, over the course of a few months, she went from being a student to a patient.

John S. Najarian, M.D., and David E. R. Sutherland, M.D., Ph.D., are the only two recipients of the from deceased donors. Medawar Prize (the highest honor bestowed by the international Transplantation Society) from the same department: Najarian became a M

The debilitating, often deadly disease of type 1 diabetes mellitus still has not been conquered. But 40 years ago, because seven forward-looking patients volunteered to be injected with tiny clusters of cells from donated pancreases, University of Minnesota scientists took a huge step toward taming diabetes.

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The University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP), and Fairview Health Services in February launched a new brand, University of Minnesota Health, representing the closer integration of the three organizations and their shared commitment to delivering the best possible care to patients.

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In December the University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved final agreements among the University, University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP), and Fairview Health Services (now operating together as University of Minnesota Health) for a new academic outpatient clinic.

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Rulon F. Stacey, Ph.D., F.A.C.H.E., an experienced leader of both academic and community health systems, on November 4 became Fairview Health Services' president and chief executive officer.

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Before turning the job over to Brooks Jackson, M.D., M.B.A., Aaron Friedman, M.D., reflected on his tenure as dean of the Medical School in a note to the faculty.

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A team of University of Minnesota cardiothoracic transplant experts in November performed the Midwest's first "breathing lung" transplant, an innovative surgical approach that uses technology capable of keeping donated lungs warm and breathing during transportation -- which also keeps them healthier before transplantation.

Islets are clusters of cells within the pancreas containing the insulin-producing beta cells that are critically important in diabetes. This close-up image of an islet shows beta cells in green.

The University of Minnesota and Harvard University will partner on a multicenter clinical study evaluating a potential treatment for kidney disease in people who have type 1 diabetes. The study will be funded by a $24.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

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After a monthlong journey by boat from England, across the Atlantic, and through the Great Lakes, the world's largest imaging magnet made its way from Duluth, Minnesota, to its new home at the University of Minnesota's Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, arriving on December 6.

Gary Davis, Ph.D.

After seven years as regional campus dean for the Medical School's Duluth campus, Gary Davis, Ph.D., will be stepping down from his leadership role.

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To spur creative ideas for improving medical education, the Medical School came up with an unconventional approach: an Innovations contest that invited students, staff, and faculty members to submit their out-of-the-box ideas in an interactive, online forum.

Classmates Virginia Dale, M.D., Peggy Naas, M.D., and Lisa Erickson, M.D., reconnect at their 30-year Medical School reunion. (Photo: Stephanie Dunn)

The Class of 1963 exceeded its attendance goal at its 50th reunion celebration last fall. Now it's focused on a loftier goal: raising $2 million from classmates for medical student scholarships.

Bettina Dordoni-Willson joins her husband, Richard Willson, M.D., and his 1962 classmate Bruce Bayley, M.D., as they celebrate their 50-year reunion at the McNamara Alumni Center. (Photo: Tim Rummelhoff)

All Medical School alumni, including the reunion classes of 1949, 1954, 1959, 1964, 1974, 1984, 1989, 1994, and 2004, are invited back to campus to reunite with friends, engage with students, and see what's new at the Medical School.

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Martin Dworkin, Ph.D., St. Paul, Minn., died February 6 at age 78. Dr. Dworkin was a beloved professor who taught microbiology at the University of Minnesota Medical School for more than four decades.

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Author Brian Lucas, who is senior director of communications for the U's Academic Health Center, recounts his family's story through a new book, Here Comes the Sun. He says he wanted to offer a clear and honest look at what happens when an illness throws life off track and show how a combination of science, love, and serendipity can put things right.

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After collectively logging more than 2 million hours of training, the 225 students in the University of Minnesota Medical School's Class of 2014 learned where they'd be completing their residencies on Match Day, held March 21 at the McNamara Alumni Center.

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Medical themes are threaded throughout PBS's wildly popular "Downton Abbey," from Matthew's temporary paralysis during the Great War to Sybil's tragic death from eclampsia. The Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine illuminates medicine of Edwardian England through its current exhibit, which is free and open to the public.

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We remember Medical School alumni who have recently passed away and honor their contributions to improving health and advancing medicine.

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The latest issue of Discoveries in Diabetes is now available in print and online.

Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D. (Photo: Scott Streble)

For decades, researchers have focused much of their energy on minimizing the impact of diabetes. Because people with diabetes do not have functioning pancreas islet cells--essential for producing the insulin our bodies need--physicians and scientists have found ways to help them manage their blood sugar levels through lifestyle changes, medications, and insulin injections.

But Jakub Tolar, M.D., Ph.D., director of the University of Minnesota's Stem Cell Institute, wants to think much bigger. He doesn't just want to make it easier for patients to live with their diabetes; he wants to cure them of it.

As a special gift for Burke Derr, a lifelong teddy bear collector, his friends asked a teddy bear company to create a bear for Burke. The original Burke P. Bear arrived at the hospital five days before Burke died. Today Burke P. Bear is the world-travelin

He has toured 47 states and 23 countries to increase awareness of cystic fibrosis (CF)--a genetic disorder that causes mucus to build up and clog some organs of the body, primarily the lungs--and he gets hugs everywhere he goes. This furry advocate is Burke P. Bear, a cuddly teddy bear named in honor of Burke P. Derr, who died two days before his 19th birthday in 1997 from complications of CF.

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Learn about how the U of M's trailblazing scientists are shaping the future of diabetes treatment at the first-ever Diabetes Spotlight on Thursday, May 29.

Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D.

University of Minnesota professor and endocrinologist Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., in January was named President of Medicine and Science for the American Diabetes Association, the nation's largest voluntary health organization leading the fight against diabetes.

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The University of Minnesota and Harvard University will partner on a multicenter clinical study evaluating a potential treatment for kidney disease in people who have type 1 diabetes. The study will be funded by a $24.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

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The latest issue of Masonic Cancer Center News is now available in print and online.

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When scientists talk about "environmental" causes of cancer, they don't mean that carcinogens lurk in every tree and stream. They're referring to anything that enters or interacts with the human body--sunshine, food, water, alcohol, radiation, cigarette smoke--and examining them for their potential to cause renegade cell growth. And as they now know, environmental factors are linked to as many as two out of every three cancers diagnosed.

Image courtesy of Canon Design

In December the University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved final agreements among the University, University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP), and Fairview Health Services (now operating together as University of Minnesota Health) for a new academic outpatient clinic.

Jill Siegfried, M.D., is associate director of the Translational Research program for the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota.

Why does it take so long for promising cancer drugs to move out of the lab and into doctors' offices where patients can benefit? Jill Siegfried, M.D., explains how Masonic Cancer Center scientists are working to speed up research projects showing the most potential.

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Brad Hoyt fell in love with racing as a boy when his father took him to see the movie "Grand Prix." So when he found himself the winner at the finish line of the premier Historic Grand Prix of Monaco in 2008--in a 1969 Formula One Ferrari similar to the one in the movie--he had to pinch himself. After returning home to Minnesota, all Hoyt wanted to do was get back to Monaco and win again. But a diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in April 2011 threatened that plan--and his life.

Hinda Litman brings a smile, fresh flowers, and a selection of treats every week to patients visiting the Masonic Cancer Clinic. (Photo: Scott Streble)

At 78, volunteer Hinda Litman now has a shock of snow-white hair but retains the same joyful energy she brought to University of Minnesota hospitals more than 35 years ago, when she first volunteered as a patient visitor. Since then, she's worked in the surgery lounge, with hospice patients, and now in the Masonic Cancer Clinic--wherever there has been a patient in need, Litman has shown up.

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This story is short. Not much is known about metastasis. And that's the point. "Patients don't die from primary tumors," says researcher Akhouri Sinha, Ph.D., of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. "It's the metastases that kill them."

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Since scientists now know that between 5 and 10 percent of all cancers are caused by abnormal genes inherited from a parent--often called hereditary cancers--Masonic Cancer Center researchers and clinicians are increasingly focused on making sure that patients understand their family history to minimize their cancer risk.

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Giving a gift of appreciated stock, bonds, or mutual fund shares that have been held more than one year can provide an immediate benefit to research, education, or care at the University of Minnesota--and it may be more tax-efficient than giving cash.

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Camie and Jack Eugster believe that children deserve a comfortable environment when they’re sick that can cheer them up. That’s why, through their family foundation, the Eugsters sponsored an Adopt A Room on the hospital’s blood and marrow transplant unit—to brighten the days of children who typically face long hospital stays.

Milton Oran, University of Minnesota Patient

By the time Milton Oran arrived at the University of Minnesota-affiliated Neurosurgery Clinic in early October 2013, he was in so much pain that he could barely speak. The 88-year-old Oran, a retired mechanical engineer, had been diagnosed four years earlier with trigeminal neuralgia, a chronic disorder of the facial nerve. In its classic form, trigeminal neuralgia causes intense, sudden electric shock-like pain. Oran's condition had been kept largely under control with medication, but the nerve had started acting up, this time more severely than ever.

Anne Keating, M.D., with Aaron Weingeist, M.D., and Daniel Briceland, M.D.

Dr. Anne Keating has been recognized for her participation in the Leadership Development Program (LDP) XV, Class of 2013. All LDP alumni were recognized with the 2013 Special Recognition Award during the opening session. Dr. Keating was among a select group of 18 participants chosen for the LDP XV, Class of 2013, from among a large group that was nominated by state, subspecialty, and specialized interest societies.

Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., says endowed chairs foster the pursuit of novel ideas. (Photo: Jim Bovin)

University of Minnesota professor of medicine and endocrinologist Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D., was recently named President of Medicine and Science, on the Board of Directors for the American Diabetes Association, the nation’s largest voluntary health organization leading the fight to Stop Diabetes®.

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Meet Gabriel Loor, M.D., the lead surgeon behind the Midwest's first breathing lung transplant, performed in November at University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

The Seymour family

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.

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The newest issue of Giving Matters is now available in print and online.

Am EMT from a family of community servants, Robert Eddy hopes his gift advances the U's research into improving survival rates after sudden cardiac arrest. (Photo: Jason Wachter)

Because he's hardwired to help, Robert Eddy '74, a philanthropist and volunteer Sherburne County Sheriff's deputy, former firefighter, and EMT, has made it his life's mission to bring more people back to life after sudden cardiac arrest.

Cancer and Cardiovascular Research Building

The Biomedical Discovery District at the University of Minnesota has a clear-cut mission: to bring breakthroughs in the laboratory to patients as quickly as possible. And with a boost from philanthropy, that vision is becoming reality.

MPH student Jason Champagne believes that community cooking events, like this one on the White Mountain Apache reservation in eastern Arizona, will bring Native people together again. (Photo: Mike Henry)

"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."

Betti Boers Maloney cherished time with her family, especially her three grandchildren. (Photo courtesy of Tom Maloney)

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 and a young Anna Belle Johnson, long before her schizophrenia diagnosis. (Photo courtesy of Dorothy Sayers, R.N.)

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.

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The vast majority of Americans no longer have to worry about federal estate taxes, but a will or living trust is still vital for making your wishes known about distributing your estate.

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Follow this year-end countdown to maximize your planned giving and minimize your costs.


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