Drug combination slows progression of treatment-resistant bone marrow cancer
December 18, 2006 — Combining a newly formulated drug with one that is already a standard treatment slows the progression of multiple myeloma, an advanced cancer of the bone marrow cells, according to a clinical trial led by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine researcher.
UNC scientists solve mystery of how largest cellular motor protein powers movement
December 12, 2006 — Scientists now understand how an important protein converts chemical energy to mechanical force, thus powering the process of cell division, thanks to a new structural model by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers.
Request for Proposals: Investments for the Future
December 4, 2006 — The Office of the Dean of the UNC School of Medicine is pleased to announce this request for applications. The initiative, the School of Medicine’s “Investments for the Future” Project will provide resources for School of Medicine (SOM) initiatives to lead the way in research, teaching, and clinical care for the future.
UNC to lead national study of schizophrenia drug side effects
November 17, 2006 — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Medicine will lead a new clinical trial to study strategies to reduce metabolic syndrome in people with schizophrenia such as weight gain and elevated cholesterol levels, caused by drugs that are commonly used for treating schizophrenia.
Three new lung tumor subtypes identified in DNA profiling study
November 3, 2006 — A new study has identified three subtypes of non-small-cell lung cancer tumors, a finding that may provide valuable clinical information about patient survival in early- or late-stage disease, how likely the cancer is to spread and whether the tumor will prove resistant to chemotherapy.
Protein important in blood clotting may also play a role in fertility
November 1, 2006 — A protein known to play a role in blood clotting and other cell functions is also critical for proper sperm formation in mice, according to researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.
UNC named genome analysis center for Federal Cancer Genome Atlas project
October 27, 2006 — A team of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists will take part in the Cancer Genome Atlas project, a national effort to characterize and chart the molecular changes in specific types of cancer.
Abdominal fat affects breast cancer survival
October 25, 2006 — A new study from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides evidence that excess abdominal fat can affect breast cancer survival.
Preeclampsia, fetal development problems may be linked to low levels of hormone
October 19, 2006 — New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ties low levels of a hormone secreted by the uterus and embryos to problems with pregnancy and fetal development. The findings also suggest that the hormone, adrenomedullin, plays a key role in maternal susceptibility to preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy complication that occurs in the third trimester.
UNC reaches new NIH funding high; ranks 15th among all universities
October 16, 2006 — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received nearly $300 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in fiscal 2005, placing Carolina 15th overall and first among public universities in the South. The $296.6 million total, an all-time high, was a 2.3 percent increase over funding of $289.7 million in fiscal 2004, and it represented more than $150 million in growth in biomedical research at UNC since 1998. It was also slightly more than half of UNC's total research funding for fiscal 2005.
Exercise may increase breast cancer survival for young women
October 12, 2006 — Overweight or obese young women who report moderate or vigorous physical activity during the year prior to their breast cancer diagnosis have increased five-year survival, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found.
Studies find general mechanism of cellular aging; suggest tumor suppressor gene is key
October 2, 2006 — Three separate studies involving researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill confirm a gene that suppresses tumor cell growth also plays a key role in aging.
Dean Roper to moderate panel on preparing for pandemic influenza; broadcast Friday, Sept 29
September 28, 2006 — Public health experts predict that a new pandemic flu would impact every community and every citizen. On Sept. 29, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will examine how communities can prepare for pandemic influenza.
Study identifies molecular process underlying leukemia
September 26, 2006 — New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has identified a molecular process in cells that is crucial to the development of two common leukemias. The findings help explain how fundamental cell processes go awry during cancer development and represent a first step toward new, targeted treatments for leukemia.
Statins may inhibit progression of multiple sclerosis
September 20, 2006 — Scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have established how statins -- cholesterol-lowering drugs -- inhibit inflammation and nerve cell damage caused by multiple sclerosis. Preliminary research has shown that multiple sclerosis (MS) patients taking statins with their standard drug regimen develop less nerve cell damage over time than MS patients on standard therapy.
UNC receives $21.3 million Gates Foundation grant to develop new drugs for African sleeping sickness
September 15, 2006 — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a $21.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop effective, inexpensive drugs to treat late-stage African sleeping sickness and visceral leishmaniasis - diseases that infect and kill hundreds of thousands of people in developing nations. The grant supports the work of an international consortium led by Dr. Richard Tidwell, a professor in UNC's Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy and principal investigator for the project.
UNC presents community conference on genetics and human values
September 11, 2006 — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will host a community genetics forum aimed at engaging the public in discussions about advances in genetics research and promoting community conversations about scientific, health and ethical issues in genetics.
Primary care billing data can help track emerging infections, UNC pilot study finds
September 7, 2006 — Billing data routinely collected by primary care providers can help public health authorities detect outbreaks of emerging infections, according to a pilot study conducted by UNC researchers.
Study reveals how cells destroy faulty proteins in cystic fibrosis
September 5, 2006 — The cellular system that degrades faulty proteins created by the cystic fibrosis gene has been identified by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists. Turning off the degradation system allows some proteins to regain their proper shape, offering a new avenue for treatments aimed at curing the disease.
Different gene-expression predictors of breast cancer agree, UNC study shows
August 31, 2006 — Breast cancer researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have identified a number of activity patterns in the genes of individual tumors that make them biologically different from others. These findings could provide valuable clinical information such as how likely the tumors are to be invasive, how well they might respond to different treatments and how likely they are to recur or spread.
Study finds fiber found in blood clots possesses extraordinary properties
August 28, 2006 — A joint research project by pathologists, biochemists, and physicists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University has found that the major protein in blood clots is remarkably strong and elastic.
UNC's FPG Child Development Institute awarded $2.5 million federal grant
August 25, 2006 — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Frank Porter Graham (FPG) Child Development Institute has been awarded a $2.5 million five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education to establish the National Center on High Quality Personnel in Inclusive Early Childhood Settings. An inclusive setting educates typically developing children and those with disabilities in the same classroom.
UNC mammography scientist Pisano honored by Ladies' Home Journal
August 21, 2006 — Dr. Etta Pisano, professor in the departments of radiology and biomedical engineering and vice dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, is one of seven recipients of a new award presented by Ladies' Home Journal. The Health Breakthrough award recognizes leading medical professionals who are making life-saving and life-enhancing discoveries in research, diagnostics and treatment - with results that have significantly helped women and families.
New method of using nanotube x-rays creates CT images faster than traditional scanners
August 9, 2006 — Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a new method to create computed tomography (CT) images using carbon nanotube x-rays that works much faster than traditional scanners and uses less peak power.
Study: Targeting specific immune cells may help reduce rejection of skin grafts in burn patients
August 2, 2006 — Burn patients, such as a man currently in the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center who was burned over 90 percent of his skin, are among the most vulnerable to infection. Their injuries have traumatized their immune systems.
Study: Breast cancer in younger black women is more likely to be an aggressive variety
July 24, 2006 — For decades, researchers have tried to understand why breast cancer in younger black women is such a significant public health problem. Black women have fewer breast cancers than white women, but their mortality is worse. Black women under the age of 50 have a 77 percent higher mortality rate from breast cancer than white women of the same age.
Multimodality therapies trump surgery alone for treatment of esophageal cancer
July 24, 2006 — Results of a multi-center study comparing treatment modalities for esophageal cancer show an advantage to undergoing multimodality therapy as opposed to one type of treatment.
Study finds racial differences in response to treatments for advanced colon cancer
July 14, 2006 — In recent years, reports have emerged showing that Americans with colorectal cancer who are black have a lower rate of survival compared with other racial or ethnic groups. For both black men and women, cancers of the colon and rectum are the third most common cause of cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society.
Drug shows promise against advanced form of lung cancer
July 12, 2006 — Results of a multi-center clinical study of a drug currently approved for treatment of kidney cancer indicate that it may also be effective for people with recurrent and advanced lung cancer.
UNC leads new study of rare genetic airways disorders
July 5, 2006 — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the lead institution in a new study of rare genetic airways disorders, such as cystic fibrosis and primary ciliary dyskinesia, that is being launched as part of the National Institute of Health's Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (RDCRN).
Study: Neural stem cell gene plays crucial role in eye development
July 5, 2006 — Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have demonstrated that normal development of the eye requires the right amount of a neural stem cell gene be expressed at the right time and place.
Study identifies substances in grapefruit juice that may interact dangerously with some drugs
June 23, 2006 — New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has identified and established the substance in grapefruit juice that causes potentially dangerous interactions with certain medications.
Novel enzyme offers new look at male hormone regulation; UNC scientists' findings have implications
June 12, 2006 — For the second time in less than a year, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill scientists have purified a novel protein and have shown it can alter gene activity by reversing a molecular modification previously thought permanent.
Vaccine shown effective against chancroid could reduce HIV transmission: study
June 9, 2006 — HIV plagues more than 25 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Health Organization, and efforts to develop a vaccine against the virus have achieved limited success. But what if a vaccine against another sexually transmitted infection found widely in that region of Africa - chancroid - was relatively easy to develop and could reduce transmission of HIV as much as 10-fold?
Low-intensity therapy plus medication may provide more accessible treatment for alcoholism: study
June 5, 2006 — Low-intensity therapy offered by medical doctors, combined with either medication or specialized behavior therapy, can effectively treat alcoholism, making treatment more readily available to people who need it, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and numerous other sites nationwide.
International study CHAVI gets under way to investigate the early biology of HIV infection
May 19, 2006 — In July 2005, the race to find a vaccine that would stem the worldwide rate of 13,000 new cases of HIV infection each day moved from competition among research institutions to a strategy of cooperation. An international "virtual research center" - the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI) - was awarded up to $300 million over seven years to support efforts to develop an HIV vaccine.
Report: Existing medicines are ineffective for treating anorexia nervosa; treatments show promise with two other eating disorders
May 16, 2006 — There are no medications and few therapies available to effectively treat patients suffering from anorexia nervosa, according to a new report by researchers at the RTI International-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Evidence-based Practice Center. However, the researchers did find evidence of medications and behavioral and psychological therapies that show promise in treating those suffering from bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.
Loss of cellular protein may increase risk of colon polyps in some who receive growth hormone therapy
May 10, 2006 — The use of growth hormone therapy has been linked in some people to the development of colon polyps, a possible precursor to colorectal cancer – but medical researchers have debated the extent of a cancer risk.
Gift to School of Medicine creates opportunity for cutting-edge research in cardiovascular biology
May 5, 2006 — A gift pledged by Dr. Hugh A. "Chip" McAllister Jr., and his wife, Angela, will give a major boost to cardiovascular disease research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine.
Many schizophrenia patients benefit by switching to second medication, UNC-led study finds
May 5, 2006 — Many schizophrenia patients who don’t respond well to their first antipsychotic medication see improvement after switching to a second medication, the second round of a landmark University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill-led study has found.
Study describes how cells return to normal after responding to stress
April 28, 2006 — New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine describes how cells recover from heat, cold and other stressful conditions. The findings also could have implications for the development of new therapies for cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Study shows how neurons become damaged in myelin-related diseases such as multiple sclerosis
April 19, 2006 — Multiple sclerosis leads to degeneration of axons, the long fibers that carry electrical impulses from nerve cell to nerve cell. How that damage occurs has previously been unclear – but, for the first time, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that disrupting a region that connects the axon to its protective coating causes axons to deteriorate.
Report finds limited number of psychiatrists statewide
April 12, 2006 — North Carolinians dealing with anxiety, depression or other common mental disorders are having a more difficult time getting treatment because of the limited number of psychiatrists statewide, according to a recent report on psychiatrist supply.
UNC nutrition professor leads creation of Healthy Beverage Guidelines
April 4, 2006 — American adults consume an estimated 21 percent of their daily calories from beverages – twice as much as the 10 percent recommended by the World Health Organization. The Beverage Guidance Panel, initiated and led by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor, wants to reverse that trend and help people understand how to choose healthy beverages as part of a balanced nutritional diet.
Aspirin is cost-effective at preventing heart disease in more men than previously thought
March 24, 2006 — Taking aspirin to prevent coronary heart disease is beneficial and cost-effective for a wider range of men than is often recognized, a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has found.
Genetics accounts for more than half of anorexia liability, UNC-led study concludes
March 15, 2006 — A new study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers estimates that 56 percent of the liability for developing anorexia nervosa is determined by genetics. In addition, the study found that the personality trait of "neuroticism" (a tendency to be anxious and depressed) earlier in life is a significant factor associated with development of the eating disorder later.
UNC’s School of Medicine receives $800,000 graduate training grant
February 28, 2006 — The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has awarded the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine a graduate student training grant aimed at introducing doctoral students in the basic sciences to clinical medicine. The grant, totaling $800,000 over four years, will provide students with a broad knowledge of human disease and a clinical perspective.
UNC scientists discover ‘gatekeeper’ protein in blood clotting; more study is planned
February 7, 2006 — New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine has identified a protein that may control blood clotting by keeping blood platelets from sticking together.
Researchers find effective, cheap treatment for cystic fibrosis lung disease
January 20, 2006 — Working half a world away from each other, two teams of medical scientists have identified what they believe is a simple, effective and inexpensive treatment to reduce lung problems associated with cystic fibrosis, the leading fatal genetic illness among whites.
Chromosome regions containing genes related to alcohol addiction affect drinking behavior in smokers
January 4, 2006 — Scientists have found in a study of tobacco users that their drinking behavior is linked to some of the same chromosome regions associated with alcohol addiction. The study, published in the December issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, offers evidence that the interaction between smoking and alcohol consumption may partly be due to overlapping genetic risk factors.