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September 2011 Archives

Thumbnail image for 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.

Tuesday saw a special night at Best Buy headquarters, and FOX 9's Scott Wasserman was the moderator at an event where eight people with Type-1 diabetes told their stories to celebrate a life of being insulin-free following a trial procedure being pioneered by the University of Minnesota.

Michael Kyba, Ph.D.

Scientist Michael Kyba, Ph.D., and his lab team got a boost in August when they received a $375,000 research grant from the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Kyba's new study on a gene named DUX4 and its impact on facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is now under way.


Good news for those who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — or COPD: A clinical trial involving more than 1,100 people has found that a common antibiotic called azithromycin can reduce the occurrence and severity of COPD exacerbations or flareups.

University of Minnesota imaging expert Michael Garwood, Ph.D., and urologic surgeon Christopher Warlick, M.D., Ph.D., are collaborating on new ways to use MRI technology to diagnose and monitor prostate cancer. (Photo: Scott Streble)

For several decades, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has given cancer researchers and physicians a sensitive tool to help track down tumors. But University of Minnesota scientists believe there is room for improvement. Now University physicians are working closely with research colleagues at the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) to push the capabilities of MRI and explore new ways it could be used in cancer detection, diagnosis, and therapy.

Beth Virnig, Ph.D., Co-leader, Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship Research Program

Beth Virnig, Ph.D., answers frequently asked questions about cancer screening.

Sally Sweatt has four canine companions at home and owns four others.

Sally Sweatt surrounds herself with animals. It only made sense for Sweatt to support research that would help animals and humans who have cancer through the University of Minnesota's comparative oncology program.

Dickerson with her dog Kiko.

Tucked into a lab on the Masonic Cancer Research Building's fifth floor, Erin Dickerson, Ph.D., spends her days investigating potential new treatments for ovarian cancer—using tumor cells from dogs being treated at the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Abdi Jibril participated in the internship program two summers ago and now works in his former mentor's lab. (Photo: Rebecca Wilson)

To encourage more minority students to pursue careers in medicine, two Masonic Cancer Center members created an internship program that pairs undergraduate students with professors currently conducting cancer research. Students spend time in the lab learning basic protocols and procedures, and they also design their own research projects.


When the University of Minnesota's new, state-of-the-art cancer and cardiovascular research building is complete in 2013, it will bring top researchers together across disciplines to discover the next generation of cancer and heart therapies.

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Another member of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Lung Science and Health (CLSH) has received a major national award from the American Thoracic Society (ATS). In May, John Marini, M.D., a professor of medicine in the University’s Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine division, received the ATS Distinguished Achievement Award, which recognizes those “who have made outstanding contributions to fighting respiratory disease through research, education, patient care and advocacy.”

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It’s a vicious circle: The more resistant your body is to insulin, the higher your blood sugar goes. The higher your blood sugar, the more insulin your pancreas secretes. Left unchecked, high insulin levels result in your body’s inability to compensate for elevated blood sugars, the failure of pancreatic islets, and, ultimately, type 2 diabetes. Those who are obese—30 percent of the U.S. population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—are at an especially high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

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Edward “Ned” Dayton considers himself lucky. He survived childhood polio with no long-term effects. Today, Dayton is engaged in the battle against another formidable disease—type 1 diabetes—which his youngest son, Michael, now 43, has had since age 4.


Help your kids start the school year off right with the Vikings Fitness Playbook, a tool using offensive and defensive plays from childhood obesity experts at the University of Minnesota.

•	Residency program director John Andrews, M.D., consults with resident Andrea Van Wyk, M.D., on a patient’s chart. (Photo: Tim Rummelhoff)

Resident education at the former University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital building was top-notch, but as for space dedicated to training, "we had precious little," says John Andrews, M.D., who directs the Pediatric Residency Program. What a difference a move across the river makes.

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