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Health Sciences In The Media

  • Telemundo Arizona: David Garcia, PhD, associate professor of health promotion sciences and Edgar Villavicencio, a research specialist from the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, discuss the consequences of obesity and the connection to culture, habits and lifestyle.

  • Many factors weaken the aging immune system. But vaccines—and booster doses—do offer protection from hospitalization and death. Experts say they still don’t have an adequate explanation for why older people were more susceptible to COVID-19 even before vaccines were available. “It’s just one of the great mysteries of the virus,” says Deepta Bhattacharya, PhD, professor of immunobiology at the College of Medicine – Tucson.

  • The relatively low number of West Nile cases has been a roadblock for development of a vaccine. In Phase III clinical trials, a significant number of individuals has to be infected and enrolled in order for a vaccine or treatment to demonstrate efficacy. Only a proven effective vaccine will be approved for use in humans, explained Deepta Bhattacharya, PhD, a professor of immunobiology at the College of Medicine – Phoenix. “That was one of the reasons why the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines were able to be deployed so quickly: at the time Pfizer and Moderna were testing the vaccine, there was a ton of community spread,” Dr. Bhattacharya said.

  • Stern (Germany) - Oct. 18

    The article cites research led by Roberta Diaz Brinton, PhD, director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science at the University of Arizona, on changes in the brain that occur during female midlife aging that lead to greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

  • - Oct. 18

    Nicola Finley, MD, a board-certified internal medicine physician and adjunct faculty member at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, will lead a panel on how the pandemic exposed inequities in both health care and wellness and how that will be tackled in the future.

  • Continuing coverage: Scientists at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University released a study in Science Advances that explains how and why molar teeth emerge in stages during your and why that happens so much more slowly compared to other living apes. “One of the mysteries of human biological development is how the precise synchrony between molar emergence and life history came about and how it is regulated," said lead author Halszka Glowacka, PhD, assistant professor and co-director of the clinical anatomy program at the College of Medicine – Phoenix. 

  • Congressional Valley Fever Task Force Co-Chair and Congressman Kevin McCarthy introduced a bipartisan bill, the Finding Orphan-disease Remedies with Antifungal Research and Development (FORWARD) Act of 2021, to combat Valley fever. “This year in Arizona, our data shows that for every four new diagnoses of COVID-19, an additional person with the same symptoms has Valley fever,” said John Galgiani, MD, director of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson.

  • After battling health challenges several years ago, a Valley mom is now on the path to becoming a doctor in hopes of helping others. Amy Arias, first year medical student at the College of Medicine – Phoenix, was granted a spot in UArizona’s Primary Care Physician Scholarship program, hoping to use her medical degree and Spanish-speaking skills she picked up while living abroad in Ecuador, to help patients in Phoenix.

  • CBS News - Oct. 14

    An FDA advisory panel unanimously voted to recommend Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine booster six months after initial vaccination for vulnerable Americans. Those included in the recommendation are people ages 65 and older, adults with underlying health conditions and those with an increased risk of contracting the virus due to their job. Shad Marvasti, MD, director of the public health, prevention and health promotion curriculum and associate professor at the College of Medicine – Phoenix, is interviewed.

  • Yahoo News - Oct. 14

    Murtaza Akhter, MD, an emergency room physician and clinical assistant professor at the College of Medicine – Phoenix, discusses the state of the COVID-19 pandemic and the news that the FDA backed Moderna booster shots.

  • A first-year medical student at the College of Medicine – Phoenix wants to inspire moms it is not too late in life to start a career path. Amy Arias, a mother of three, said after medical scares between her and her husband she decided she wanted to get into the medical field.

  • University of Arizona medical students will soon deliver healthy meals to the homes of cancer patients in Phoenix as part of a partnership with a Valley-based nonprofit organization. The Joy Bus collects and cooks donated food for volunteers to deliver to cancer patients around the Valley, with first- and second-year medical students enrolled in the Culinary Medicine Capstone Course at the UArizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. The nonprofit and medical students will not only deliver chef-inspired meals but also have impactful conversations with cancer patients.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has been an especially stressful time for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, which attacks not only the cancer, but also the immune cells needed to defend the body from infections. “We wanted to make sure we understand the level of protection the COVID-19 vaccines are offering our cancer patients, especially as restrictions were being eased and more contagious variants were starting to spread,” says Rachna Shroff, MD, chief of gastrointestinal medical oncology at the University of Arizona Cancer Center and director of the Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office.

  • Yahoo Life - Oct. 13

    Researchers have identified specific micronutrients and other substances in food that show promise for the tired and weary among us. "The more interesting studies are in people who have some kind of sleep complaint, but not an actual disorder," says Michael Grandner, PhD, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the College of Medicine – Tucson, who studies nutrition's influence on sleep. "They show that you can somewhat normalize or at least make sleep better. It's hard to draw firm conclusions, but they are proof of concept."

  • The first antiviral pill to treat COVID-19, called molnupiravir, could be available soon. “What this drug is doing is actually making the virus mutate so quickly that it kills itself,” said Koenraad Van Doorslaer, PhD, an assistant professor in virology at the College of Medicine – Tucson. “It’s pushing it to make so much mistakes that essentially the virus as it comes in and tries to make more copies of itself, it makes so many errors that now the source code is no longer interpretable and you no longer make virus.” He says vaccination is still key as it is better to not get COVID in the first place.

  • Steven Wang, MD, professor and chair of the department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery at the College of Medicine – Tucson said transmission usually occurs at a very young age. "It's a long period of time specifically around 15 years or more between someone who is initially infected in their throat with the HPV virus, and if the cancer ever develops that's the reason why we think the typical patient that presents to me is someone who probably contracted oral HPV infection in their twenties or even earlier." Dr. Wang said the best prevention is getting vaccinated.

  • A discussion of the book “Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay, which explores the idea that our physical body is influenced by our thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Ann L. Baldwin, PhD, a professor of physiology at the College of Medicine – Tucson, explains the phenomenon of “Biofield” discussed in the book.

  • CBC News - Oct. 12

    New Canadian data suggests those who received AstraZeneca and then an mRNA vaccine are well-protected. Deepta Bhattacharya, PhD, an immunologist at the College of Medicine – Tucson, who was not involved in the study, was initially skeptical about mixing vaccine brands, a view that was far from unusual. But Dr. Bhattacharya said the results are "very encouraging" and provide evidence of "improved real-world protection" from delaying second doses.

  • A research team at the University of Arizona Cancer Center has discovered a new way of controlling blood vessel growth in tumors, a development that could make it easier to treat cancer patients. Noel Warfel, PhD, assistant professor of cellular molecular medicine at the College of Medicine – Tucson, initiated this project after studying the role of a pro-survival protein, Proviral Insert for the Moloney murine leukemia virus, or PIM1.

  • Nathan Price, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at the College of Medicine – Tucson discusses the similarities and differences of COVID-19 infection in children and adults, the rise of the Delta Variant and the importance of vaccination.