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Health Sciences In The Media

  • "We don't have anywhere near the population exposed, infected or recovered or somehow immunized to COVID-19 yet. We're not going to get to herd immunity until many more people are exposed to the virus or if we have a vaccine which will enable more people to get immunity," said Dr. Shad Marvasti, director of public health for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

  • Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona health officials held a press conference at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix at 3 p.m. regarding influenza and flu shots.

  • In honor of Dr. Fayez K. Ghishan's 25th anniversary as director of the Steele Children's Research Center at the University of Arizona, members of the Phoenix Women's Board of the Steele Children's Research Center have contributed $5 million to establish an endowment in his name.

  • People Magazine - Aug. 31

    There are now more than 25 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe. "We basically have 50 laboratory experiments going on right now, and every state has a slightly different policy approach," said Joe Gerald, an associate professor at the University of Arizona's Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, in an Aug. 24 story in The New York Times. "If we get complacent, this thing could get out of control again. And we'll have even less safety margin to manage it because we're starting from a higher place."

  • Experts say there could be some serious unintended consequences to kids' health due to excessive screen time. "It's something we call accommodation spasm, where the lenses of the eye are so accustomed to focusing at a certain distance, that when they change that up, they get really blurry vision. Other kids will get things like headaches," said Gary Kirkilas, a pediatrician with the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

  • AZ Big Media - Aug. 30

    Dr. Funda Bachini, assistant program director of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship at Phoenix Children's Hospital, discusses mental health strategies for children who are going back to school during the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The Hill - Aug. 29

    Experts say Arizona stands as an example of just how badly the coronavirus can devastate a region – and how aggressive action can bend the case curve down. "While a state-level mandate may have been more effective, I do sometimes wonder if the decentralization and ability to tailor the mandate to a specific community's needs may have led to more buy-in and uptake of masks overall," said Kacey Ernst, director of the epidemiology program at the University of Arizona's Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. "I have been impressed with the sharp increase in mask use that I personally witnessed."

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics publishes its findings weekly and, while comparisons are difficult because states report differently, the data as of Aug. 20 shows Arizona leads the nation with 975 children and teens hospitalized, 12 deaths and a positivity rate of 17.8 percent. Dr. Katri Typpo, division chief of Pediatric Critical Care at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, has worked with colleagues to reach out to other pediatric intensive care units around the world. That information is now being shared regularly online between professionals from 161 medical sites worldwide.

  • In addition to technical challenges, at-home learning also carries an array of stressors that can weigh on families. Patricia Haynes, an associate professor in the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, is interviewed.

  • Cronkite News - Aug. 28

    Arizona passed 200,000 COVID-19 cases this week and is likely to register its 5,000th death this weekend, but despite those somber milestones experts said the numbers are all moving in the right direction – for now. "I think we've gone through several experiences now where we've let up on some of these things and opened a bit too quickly," said Dr. Daniel Derksen, director of the University of Arizona Center for Rural Health. "People got relaxed and less careful about going to places like bars, the public congregating in large gatherings, or even large numbers of people not wearing masks."

  • University of Arizona immunobiologist Deepta Bhattacharya from the College of Medicine – Tucson and New York Times science journalist Katherine J. Wu discuss the complicated and varied response of the immune system to SARS-CoV2 – and why current research suggests we can be optimistic about gaining long-lasting immunity from future COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Though no single drug is a "game-changer," experts say medications and improved standard care seem to be reducing death rates. "A common mistake is to get excited and be chasing things that may seem esoteric, and to abandon the things we know work well," said Dr. Christian Bime, a researcher and ICU medical director at the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson. "Good old-fashioned public health may seem boring, but it works."

  • SaiOx, a Tucson-based technology startup, has received a patent from the U.S. Patent Office for its new respiratory assist device aimed at assisting COVID-19 patients. The device, Hespiro, delivers both helium and oxygen to the user while capturing exhaled gas in a closed-off "rebreather" system. It was developed by Dr. Sairam Parthasarathy, a University of Arizona pulmonologist at the College of Medicine - Tucson, and Dr. Marvin J. Slepian, a Regents Professor and cardiologist in the UArizona Sarver Heart Center.

  • The Atlantic - Aug. 27

    Roberta Diaz Brinton, director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science at the University of Arizona, is investigating whether the drug allopregnanolone – a naturally occurring brain steroid – could promote a process called neurogenesis, which triggers brain cell growth and might restore cognitive function.

  • Dr. Amelia Gallitano, an associate professor, basic medical sciences and psychiatry, was named to the Phoenix Business Journal's "Outstanding Women in Business" list.

  • The Hill - Aug. 27

    Coronavirus cases nationally are falling from their July peaks and some hard-hit states are showing signs of improvement – a hopeful sign even as the country deals with about 1,000 COVID-19 deaths every day. Arizona, once one of the hardest-hit states, has seen a dramatic improvement after Gov. Doug Ducey, who initially resisted stronger measures, closed bars and allowed localities to require masks. “Definitely things are improving and they’re actually improving quite dramatically,” said Joe Gerald, an associate professor at the University of Arizona's Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

  • The Michael J. Fox Foundation has awarded more than $8.8 million in wide-ranging grants to scientists aiming to better understand, diagnose and treat Parkinson's disease. One grant recipient is Dr. Lalitha Madhavan, an associate professor in the University of Arizona Department of Neurology at the College of Medicine - Tucson. She and her team are developing a human cellular system to help in the early identification and study of Parkinson’s mechanisms. Specifically, they want to develop dopamine neurons and patient-derived skin cells – called fibroblasts – for use in evaluating in clinical trials potential Parkinson's therapies and biomarkers.

  • The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and Banner Health's Poison and Drug Information Center in Phoenix are warning residents statewide against using inappropriate medications and botanical products such as oleandrin to prevent or treat COVID-19.

  • While leading health organizations such as the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the use of hand dryers, experts say misinformation about this equipment remains. Kelly Reynolds, a professor and Department Chair at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, offered an explanation as to the root of these misconceptions, stating that, “Consumers may only read (sensationalized) headlines which can influence public opinion toward biased or erroneous conclusions, (but) the fact is, the breadth of data available does not favor one hand drying method as being more hygienic or safer.”

  • Understanding how cells respond to stress may provide new building blocks for designing future cancer and aging treatments. Timothy Bolger, a researcher at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, received a $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate how cells respond to stress and the role this process may have in cancer growth and aging.