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April 2009 Archives

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Centuries-old scientific drawings of the human body hold clues not only to medicine, but also to art, philosophy, and even morality of the past. Through the ages, anatomical representations have ranged from cartoon-like depictions of unmoored organs floating in the sea of a human body to Gunther von Hagens's graphic anatomical renderings of preserved human bodies in the controversial Body Worlds exhibition.

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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 Minnesota Medical Foundation recently launched the inaugural issue of Discover Your Legacy, a quarterly e-newsletter that describes effective ways to support world-class health-related research, education, and care at the University of Minnesota through planned gifts such as bequests, annuities, and trusts. While planning for your own future needs, you can help build a better future for others.

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You don't have to wait till this fall's Alumni Reunion (September 11-12) to reconnect with your Medical School friends and classmates—now you can reestablish old bonds online. The Medical Alumni Society has created a page for Medical School alumni, students, faculty, and staff on Facebook.

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"I've been interested in food since I was a kid," says Jeffrey Hertzberg, M.D., M.S., a resident alumnus in internal medicine and author of a popular new book on bread baking. "It's the opposite of science: You can be creative."

Now an adjunct assistant professor in the University's Institute for Health Informatics, Hertzberg began baking in 1987. "I learned [to bake] during my medical residency. My wife taught me," he says. Good artisan bread—which is crafted as opposed to mass-produced—wasn't available then and homemade recipes took too long, so he decided to experiment to find a better option.

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The University of Minnesota Medical Alumni Society has selected five exceptional physicians to receive two of its awards in 2009. Please join us in congratulating and thanking these deserving doctors for their work in the service of the medical profession.

oyal Gray, M.D., Ph.D. (foreground), established the N. L. Gault, M.D., Honorary Scholarship, which Laura Ford-Nathan, M.D., received for her fourth year of medical school.

Laura Ford-Nathan, M.D., knew at a very young age that she wanted to heal people.

"The feeling began when I was 4 years old, after my father crushed his hand in a farming accident," she wrote on her family practice residency applications. "I have fond memories of being able to bring my dad relief with ointment and distraction."

Arne Vainio, M.D., made a documentary film to show his middle-aged Native American male patients what to expect from disease screening tests, using himself as a sample patient. (Photo: Dan Schlies)

A family physician who had worked hard to build trusting relationships with his Native American patients at the Min-No-Aya-Win Human Services Clinic on the Fond du Lac Ojibwe Reservation, Arne Vainio, M.D., was frustrated.

When he'd see patients for specific ailments, Vainio would encourage them to come back for annual physicals and routine screenings, especially those who had family histories of disease. But time and again, patients failed to take his advice.

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Toni Moran, M.D., wasn't sure what to expect when she went to visit Mulago Hospital in Kampala, Uganda, two years ago. What she found haunted her: a disease that is manageable in the United States causing untold preventable deaths for lack of basic medical resources. "Our diabetes work here [in the States] is so high-tech and cutting-edge," says Moran, division chief of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at the University of Minnesota. "In my career here in Minnesota, I hardly ever see children die."

Eric Gustafson hugs Kimara Glaser, M.D., in celebration of her match in pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. (Photo: Emily Jensen)

Eager students from the University of Minnesota Medical School's Class of 2009 nervously picked at their breakfasts at the McNamara Alumni Center on March 19, awaiting the start of this year's Match Day ceremony. At 11 a.m., surrounded by family, friends, and Medical School faculty and staff, the students learned where they would complete their medical residency training.

Thumbnail image for John Wagner, M.D., and Daniel Weisdorf, M.D., are breaking new ground in the field of blood and marrow transplantation.

A large-scale study from the University's Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center demonstrated that older patients who receive a blood and marrow stem cell transplant fare just as well as younger patients—eliminating age as a factor for determining whether a patient receives this type of transplant.

Thumbnail image for A research team led by Timothy Ebner, M.D., Ph.D., has found a possible cause of the temporary symptoms associated with episodic ataxia type 2.

University of Minnesota researcher Henry Buchwald, M.D., Ph.D., and associates have demonstrated that bariatric surgery can completely relieve symptoms in the majority of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Their meta-analysis of 621 clinical studies involving 135,246 patients showed that, after bariatric surgery, diabetes was resolved in 78 percent of diabetic patients and was improved or resolved in 86.6 percent of diabetic patients.

David Largaespada, Ph.D.

University of Minnesota researchers affiliated with the Masonic Cancer Center and Medical School have discovered 17 new genes linked to colorectal cancer and 15 linked to liver cancer. These cancers are the second—and third—leading causes of cancer death in the world.

Timothy R. Church, Ph.D.

Yearly screening tests do not appear to reduce deaths from prostate cancer, according to a recent major national study that tracked more than 76,000 men at 10 sites in the United States, including the University of Minnesota.

Prostate-specific antigen tests and/or digital rectal physical exams conducted annually over six years led to more prostate cancer diagnoses but not fewer cancer deaths, according to a report from the national Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial.

About 700 nun volunteers have contributed to the brain aging study–now back at the University of Minnesota–over the past two decades. (Photo: Ruth Jackson, courtesy of School Sisters of Notre Dame)

After nearly 20 years, the world-renowned Nun Study that has netted key insights regarding Alzheimer's disease and other brain disorders has returned to the University of Minnesota.

Snowdon, Ph.D. started at the University, in 1986, was moved to the University of Kentucky four years later, after Snowdon took a job there. He recently announced his retirement, and the sisters again chose the University of Minnesota as the study's home.

Thumbnail image for Ardys Howard and Robert B. Howard, M.D., Class of 1944, catch up with friends at the Half Century Club Luncheon.

University President Robert Bruininks, Ph.D., has announced a plan to combine the positions of senior vice president for health sciences with that of dean of the Medical School—a proposal that will be reviewed by the Board of Regents at its June meeting.

Research by Ashley Haase, Ph.D., and Pat Schlievert, Ph.D., fuels hope that the inexpensive and naturally occurring compound GML can someday be used to help prevent the spread of HIV. (Photo:Emily Jensen)

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have identified a compound that, when applied vaginally in monkeys, can prevent transmission of the primate version of HIV, called simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV.

Department of Microbiology investigators Ashley Haase, Ph.D., and Pat Schlievert, Ph.D., found that glycerol monolaurate (GML), a naturally occurring compound the FDA recognizes as safe, prevented SIV infection in monkeys that were exposed to large doses of the virus. The inexpensive compound is widely used as an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent in food and cosmetics.

(Illustration: Henrik Drescher)

First-year medical students contemplate a photocopied letter posted outside the gross anatomy labs of the University of Minnesota Medical School. The letter is from an anatomical donor who describes her upbringing on a farm, her thwarted ambition to become a dietitian, her dark time in an abusive marriage, and her final days as a great-grandmother and activities leader at a senior center. "My life was good," she concludes her letter, "and I'm glad to help you in your studies to help make other lives better."

Research led by Hassan Ibrahim, M.D., suggests that there are no adverse long-term health consequences of living kidney donation. His study has received attention from media around the world. (Photo: Scott Streble)

When Lexi Rosenbaum was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer at 17 months old, her parents felt helpless. Travis and Maria Rosenbaum could only watch as their daughter endured chemotherapy and four surgeries, losing both of her kidneys in the process.

Doctors put Lexi on dialysis—for 11 hours and 10 minutes every night for two and a half years—knowing that she would eventually need a transplant.

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Batman is one lucky dog. Rescued from the streets of Berlin a decade ago and brought to the United States by Anna Brailovsky and Eric Baker, the laid-back Belgian shepherd mix seemed to be living a charmed life—until he had a massive seizure last July.

Alarmed, Brailovsky brought him to the veterinarian. There she heard words no pet owner wants to hear: Batman likely had a brain tumor that, left untouched, could kill him in a matter of weeks.

Michael Koob, Ph.D., and Young Yoon, Ph.D.

Although Friedreich's ataxia is the most common type of ataxia, an effective treatment remains elusive. But thanks to the efforts of Michael Koob, Ph.D., and his laboratory team, the path to a cure could be getting shorter.

Aided by a one-year, $75,000 seed grant from the Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center (BAARC) in 2008, Koob and his colleague Young Yoon, Ph.D., are working to develop a novel gene therapy for Friedreich's ataxia.

Twins catcher Joe Mauer posed for a photo with fan Joe Peller at the VIP reception.

The fourth annual Diamond Awards, held January 22 at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center, celebrated the Minnesota Twins' 2008 baseball season and raised more than $263,000 to advance leading-edge research and patient care for neurologic illnesses at the University of Minnesota.

Patrick Bradley and Patty Carney-Bradley

Five years ago, ataxia was an unfamiliar disease to Patrick Bradley and Patty Carney- Bradley. They knew little about it, but they had heard that Minnesota Twins legend Bob Allison had it and eventually died from its complications.

"If you grew up in Minnesota, you knew Bob Allison because he was one of the great baseball heroes," says Bradley, who grew up in Austin, Minnesota, as did Carney-Bradley. "I used to get my first sunburn of the year at a Twins game," he says.

An ongoing University study has indicated that the vermis and cerebellar hemisphere, both located in the cerebellum, are the brain regions most impaired by AOA2.

Since it was identified through genetic testing in the early 2000s, ataxia with oculomotor apraxia type 2 (AOA2) has become the second most commonly diagnosed form of recessive ataxia. But while more individuals are being diagnosed with AOA2, research on the disease remains scant. That paucity in data shouldn't last long, however, thanks to a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota's world-renowned Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR).

Renzo Zaldivar, M.D. | Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Ophthalmology residents Ophthalmology fellows...

Pediatric rheumatologist Bryce Binstadt, M.D., Ph.D., examines patient Lucy Meyer's wrist.

Nearly 6,400 children in Minnesota have a rheumatic disease such as lupus, systemic scleroderma, or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Specialized treatment for these children is vital. Pediatric rheumatologists have the expertise to properly diagnose the illness and provide prompt treatment to prevent lifelong problems, which can include severe pain and disability. But there is a serious shortage of specialists in the country—fewer than 200 practicing pediatric rheumatologists to treat more than 300,000 patients.

The tiny Amplatzer® Septal Occluder repaired Bridget's heart defect.

For toddler Bridget Cisneros, an innovation by Kurt Amplatz, M.D., has meant the difference between a risky open-heart surgery and a relatively quick procedure.

Bridget was born with an atrial septal defect, a hole between the upper two chambers of her heart.At one hospital, her family was told that open-heart surgery was Bridget's only viable option. But thanks to one of Amplatz's inventions and his longtime colleague John Bass, M.D., the gap was sealed in about an hour at the Univerity by installing the Amplatzer® Septal Occluder through a catheter into Bridget's heart.

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Longtime University of Minnesota pediatric cardiologist Russell V. Lucas Jr., M.D., was a great teacher and a generous man—so generous that in the 1970s he and his wife, Pat, opened their home to five orphaned children so they wouldn't have to be separated from each other.

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This year's event—which featured WCCOTV's Frank Vascellaro and Amelia Santaniello, popular Nickelodeon characters, live entertainment, rides, and a silent auction—raised more than $40,000 to support the University's internationally renowned Department of Pediatrics and University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital.

Will Smith poses for a photo with Owen Heintz.

Superstar Will Smith visited the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital December 12. In town for the Twin Cities premiere of his new movie, Seven Pounds, Smith delighted patients at the hospital and parents alike. He handed out gifts, posed for pictures, and signed autographs. After his visit, one parent said, "My son wasn't feeling very well this morning, and it was a struggle to get him to the playroom, but now look at him — he's sitting up at the computer, with a big grin on his face!" We are very thankful for Smith's time and generosity!

Sheree Stibbons is grateful for the device that helped heal her son Stevon’s heart without a heart transplant. Today he loves to run.

When you hear the words "heart trouble," you're probably more likely to think of an octogenarian than an infant. But every year some 35,000 babies in the United States are born with a heart defect that requires repair. And hundreds of other children have heart damage caused by illness. As devastating as such circumstances might be, families in the Upper Midwest can feel fortunate to have the University of Minnesota on their team. Home to the first successful open-heart surgery and starting point for the first wearable pacemaker and numerous other cardiac devices, the University continues to lead today in finding and applying new and better ways to mend ailing hearts.

Maryam Valapour, M.D.

As the kidney transplant waiting list grows, so does the practice of living-donor kidney transplantation. And as University of Minnesota researchers continue to study the safety of this practice, assistant professor of medicine and bioethicist Maryam Valapour, M.D., wants to know something more: What motivates people to accept the risks involved in donating an organ, entirely for someone else's benefit? And are donors adequately informed of those risks?

Maryam Valapour, M.D.

As the kidney transplant waiting list grows, so does the practice of living-donor kidney transplantation. And as University of Minnesota researchers continue to study the safety of this practice, assistant professor of medicine and bioethicist Maryam Valapour, M.D., wants to know something more: What motivates people to accept the risks involved in donating an organ, entirely for someone else's benefit? And are donors adequately informed of those risks?

Arthur Matas, M.D. (Photo: Jerry Vincent)

Transplant surgeon Arthur Matas, M.D., has found himself in the middle of an ethical crossfire. To help alleviate the shortage of donated kidneys for people who need them, Matas, director of renal transplantation in the Medical School’s Department of Surgery, in 2004 proposed a regulated way to pay donors for their spare organ. And the sparks flew.

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While the past decade has brought improvements in the nutritional quality of school meals and foods outside of school meal programs, there is still drastic need for improvement. That's according to the results of a national study reported in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. In the journal, findings are presented from the third School Nutrition Dietary Assessment (SNDA-III) study, the most comprehensive assessment of foods available in schools sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Blindness is second only to cancer when it comes to health conditions people fear most, according to a Gallup poll.

So it may come as a surprise that funding for eye research was practically nonexistent until the organization Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB) was founded in 1960. Before that,ophthalmology was a second-tier medical specialty in the United States. Eye care was relegated to the division of surgery in most medical schools, and few basic scientists conducted research on eyes and vision.

Research by Linda McLoon, Ph.D., has shown that retinal ganglion cells previously thought to be beyond rescue might be repairable.

Research by Linda McLoon, Ph.D., has shown that retinal ganglion cells previously thought to be beyond rescue might be repairable.

Many types of eye injuries can cause irreversible damage and vision loss. For example, when the eye's retina and optic nerve are deprived of oxygen, the consensus among clinicians is that nothing can be done to restore the patient's vision if lost.

This year’s Bakken symposium will highlight the evolving technologies used in minimally invasive surgery.

It's not all that common for a multi-institution group of physicians, scientists, and medical device manufacturers to get together and talk about how to best solve complex medical problems. But thanks to a University of Minnesota symposium series, these conversations are flourishing.

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Resident education in the Department of Ophthalmology made a huge leap forward in March with the opening of a new microsurgery practice lab.

The lab is now equipped with four stations, each outfitted with an operating microscope that is wired to its own video monitor. Each resident also receives a set of microsurgical instruments to use at practice sessions throughout his or her training.

Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D., talks with Linda Block about her improved vision after receiving an artificial cornea.

Treatments that are effective in 90 percent of patients are greeted with great acclaim, as they should be. But what happens when you're in the remaining 10 percent who can't be helped?

Welcome to Linda Block's world. Block has keratoconus, a degenerative disease of the cornea that can cause blurring, distorted vision, and sensitivity to light. In its early stages, the condition can be treated with glasses or special contact lenses. But in more severe cases, like Block's, a corneal transplant may be needed to fix the problem.

Ranjit John, M.D., directs the University’s Ventricular Assist Device Program.

In 1995, Jean Loken's health was deteriorating quickly.Within days of suffering a highly damaging heart attack, she learned that she'd need a new heart to survive.

Finding a donor organ for transplantation would likely take months that Loken did not have. So her doctors at the University of Minnesota Medical Center did the next best thing—they implanted into Loken's failing heart a ventricular assist device (VAD), which could keep blood pumping in and out of the organ until a new heart became available. That day, Loken became the first person to be implanted with a VAD in Minnesota.

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Suzanne Mundhenke's first few years of life were ripe with drama.

She was born 12 weeks premature. Under her right eye, she had a large growth called a capillary hemangioma—a fast-growing noncancerous tumor, also known as a strawberry hemangioma. Very soon it began to grow over her eye, obstructing her vision and affecting the eye's development.

Chuck Semrow

Chuck Semrow joined the Department of Ophthalmology's team in December as a senior development officer with the Minnesota Medical Foundation (MMF), which raises money for healthrelated research, education, and service at the University of Minnesota.

Gary Francis, M.D.

Gary Francis, M.D., describes his recent return to the University of Minnesota's cardiology faculty as "a homecoming of sorts."

Francis joined the University faculty in October as an adult clinical cardiologist and associate director of the Lillehei Heart Institute's Clinical Trials Center. But he first came to the University professionally in 1977 and stayed for 20 years, serving at the end of that tenure as a professor of medicine and research director of the Rasmussen Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention.

Thumbnail image for “If you’re going to try to change the war we treat heart disease, it’s critical to be in an environment where you can try new, crazy ideas.” - Doris Taylor, Ph.D.

As part of Heart Health Month in February, women had their questions about heart disease answered by University of Minnesota experts—while enjoying wine and chocolate.

The women-only Take Heart event, presented by the Minnesota Medical Foundation and the University's Lillehei Heart Institute, provided attendees with an open Q&A session with a health-care professional and a scientist.

Meri Firpo, Ph.D.

Meri Firpo, Ph.D., will never forget the moment two years ago that shocked the international stem cell research community. A scientist revealed a novel process using genes to turn ordinary skin cells backward in development, returning them to pluripotent stem cells, the precursor cells capable of developing into any of the body's cells.

Sayeed Ikramuddin, M.D.

Can surgery be an effective way to treat type 2 diabetes? Researchers at the University of Minnesota are teaming up with colleagues around the world to find out.

Through a clinical trial, researchers will examine the effectiveness of a type of gastric bypass surgery called Roux-en-Y (RNY) as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. This is the first randomized clinical study of its kind to compare RNY to traditional medical management as a practical solution for dealing with diabetes.

Thumbnail image for The da Vinci Surgical System in action.

It's not all that common for a multi-institution group of physicians, scientists, and medical device manufacturers to get together and talk about how to best solve complex medical problems. But thanks to a University of Minnesota symposium series, these conversations are flourishing.

Thumbnail image for A ventricular assist device kept Jean Loken’s heart pumping until she could get a transplant. Today Loken, here with her husband, Steve, enjoys walking, sewing, and playing with her grandchildren.

In 1995, Jean Loken's health was deteriorating quickly.Within days of suffering a highly damaging heart attack, she learned that she'd need a new heart to survive. Finding a donor organ for transplantation would likely take months that Loken did not have. So her doctors at the University of Minnesota Medical Center did the next best thing—they implanted into Loken's failing heart a ventricular assist device (VAD), which could keep blood pumping in and out of the organ until a new heart became available. That day, Loken became the first person to be implanted with a VAD in Minnesota.

Klearchos Papas, Ph.D. Photo by Scott Streble

When the idea of transplanting insulin-producing islet cells first emerged many years ago, hope ran high that a cure for type 1 diabetes could be just on the horizon. Reality, however, has yet to catch up with the dream. Islets are not easy to keep alive through pancreas procurement, preservation and islet isolation, purification, and infusion into the liver, where the cells ideally begin producing insulin for their new host. Most transplants appear successful at first, but after two years more than half of recipients are back to needing other sources of insulin.

Longtime supporters of diabetes research at the University, Kathy and Tom Goswitz recently named the Schulze Diabetes Institute in their will. (Photo courtesy of Tom and Kathy Goswitz)

Kathy Goswitz, now 62, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 19. Her sunny disposition masks decades of struggles with numerous complications of the disease, including hypoglycemia unawareness, a kidney transplant, toe amputation, and other ailments. Fortunately, diabetes management has improved dramatically since she was diagnosed, Kathy says. "You can live a fulfilling and happy life [with diabetes]," she says. People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes today don't encounter the thick, painful needles and doctors who say, "You'll never eat anything you like again," that Goswitz remembers so well.

(Photo: Scott Streble)

Jared Deines has a bright smile that exudes boyish charm. He also has the natural poise of the athlete he is. He plays baseball, football, basketball, and his favorite, golf. But on a sunny day in mid- July, Jared is not home in Iowa practicing his golf swing. Instead, he is stretched out on a hospital bed at the University of Minnesota, tethered to an intravenous drip. Last November, Jared and his family learned that he has type 1 diabetes. The news propelled Jared's parents, Samantha "Sam" and Dana Deines, into action. "Dana and I were relentless in our pursuit of the best care we could possibly find for Jared," says Sam. "We wanted to find pioneers in the field."

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The School of Public Health and SPH Alumni Society Board would like to thank everyone who supported the Alumni and Friends Scholarship Gala on May 16. Attendance for the second annual event increased sharply over the previous year. Proceeds from the event will add more than $25,000 to the SPH Alumni Scholarship Endowment.

Becky Gams, R.N., M.S., C.N.P., and Philip Rauk, M.D., are leading the Zero Birth Injury initiative at the University of Minnesota Medical Center.

Preventable birth injuries are rare. At the University of Minnesota Medical Center (UMMC), they happen just 0.3 percent of the time, or to about four babies out of 2,700 deliveries each year.

"But even if you only have 0.3 percent, that's still four babies a year. And that's somebody's baby," says Becky Gams, R.N., M.S., C.N.P., clinical nurse leader and site coordinator for the new Zero Birth Injury safety campaign at the University's hospital.

Psychologist Sue Petzel, Ph.D., helps women who have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer decide whether to undergo genetic testing.

As physician-scientists in the University of Minnesota's Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health continue to search for better ways to treat ovarian cancer, they're simultaneously working to capitalize on what's already known about the disease to head it off.

And they have a message for physicians and patients alike: Where ovarian cancer is concerned, knowing one's family history can mean the difference between life and death.

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Richard Norling has spent his career focused on improving the quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. A graduate of the SPH's Master of Healthcare Administration program, Class of 1975, Norling is retiring after 12 years as president and CEO of the health care alliance Premier, Inc. To honor his contributions to the company and to care improvement, Premier is making a gift to the University in Norling's honor.

Shirley Sparboe

University of Minnesota cancer biologist Sundaram Ramakrishnan, Ph.D., and his colleagues are working on a way to stop ovarian cancer from spreading.

Karen Studders

Karen Studders knows her way around a doctor's office. A cancer survivor who struggled for years with fibroids, heavy bleeding, and anemia, Studders has seen a few physicians in her day.

In Carrie Terrell, M.D., Studders found her ideal provider: a sharp, skilled, inquisitive gynecologist with an open mind, alert to changing data and new possibilities.

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More than 200 people turned out for the SPH Alumni and Friends Scholarship Gala on May 16. The second annual event raised money to support scholarships for SPH students. Keynote speaker Dan Buettner discussed his bestselling book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest. For several years, the well-known explorer has collaborated with SPH faculty.

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For women already diagnosed with ovarian cancer, University of Minnesota researchers are finding better ways to help control their disease.

Some of the most promising developments in ovarian cancer treatment have taken place at the University, says Peter Argenta, M.D., a gynecologic oncologist and assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health.

Thumbnail image for Brian Simmons enjoys a day on the links at the Karen’s Hope Ataxia Benefit.

Majestic Oaks Golf Club, Ham Lake, Minnesota

This tournament benefits the Division of Neonatology. For more information, visit www.bensbuddies.org.

Carrie Terrell, M.D.

Carrie Terrell, M.D., considers herself a bit of a late bloomer. The director of the department's Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology and new chief-of-staff-elect for the entire University of Minnesota Medical Center medical staff, Terrell also was one of the department's nine faculty members named a "Top Doc" by Mpls. St.Paul Magazine in January.

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The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health is promoting a checklist to help patients and their physicians identify "red flags" in their family history that might warrant genetic testing.

Women may have a higher risk of getting breast or ovarian cancer if anyone in their family has had:

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Windsong Farm Golf Club Independence, Minnesota www.wsfarm.com

This first-time tournament will raise funds for children's health at the University of Minnesota. For more information, contact Stephanie Borchardt at 612-273-8643 or s.borchardt@mmf.umn.edu.

The painting

WineFest No. 14 is a one-of-a-kind, two-day epicurean celebration to benefit the internationally renowned University of Minnesota Department of Pediatrics and University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital, where physicianresearchers develop and deliver innovative treatments and cures for childhood diseases.

One of the year's most spectacular charity events, WineFest attracts more than 2,000 guests. Since 1995 it has raised more than $7 million for children's health research and care at the University.

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Annual screenings for prostate cancer led to more diagnoses of the disease, but not fewer prostate cancer deaths, according to a new report from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO ) Cancer Screening Trial. The results appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine. More than 76,000 men were tracked at 10 national study sites, including the University of Minnesota. The university was the largest of the sites, enrolling nearly a quarter of the participants, who were monitored over a decade.

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Women with diabetes have nearly double the risk of developing depression during pregnancy or in the months after childbirth than non-diabetics, a new study finds. Researchers at the School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School analyzed health records of more than 11,000 low-income women enrolled in New Jersey's Medicaid program.

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The poor economy is on everyone's mind, including last year's medical students, who graduated with an average debt of $174,000 each. While many unknowns remain, we do know that Minnesota is facing a historic budget shortfall, which will affect the Medical School as well.

With the faltering economy and increasing tuition costs, the need for scholarship support has never been greater. For some alumni, making a financial contribution that benefits our students is still possible. If this is the case for you, please consider contributing at www.mmf.umn.edu/give/scholarships. In the last fiscal year, 626 medical students at the University received more than $1.8 million in scholarships, with much of that support coming from alumni.


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