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Medical Bulletin

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.


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.

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"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.

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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.


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.

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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.

Sesame Street characters Rosita, Alex, and Abby build toy cars and talk about their families as part of Sesame Street's 'Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration' initiative. (Photo: Gil Vaknin/Copyright 2013 Sesame Workshop)

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.

Essa Yacoub, Ph.D., helps to optimize the technologies supporting the University's high-field magnetic resonance scanners, including the under-construction 10.5T magnet--the most powerful scanner for humans in the world. (Photo: Scott Streble)

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.

Robin Michaels, Ph.D. (Photo: Jefferey)

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.

Medical School alumnus Ross Perko, M.D., examines an orphan in Uganda. (Photo courtesy of Margaret Perko)

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.

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