2007


Hormone may be new drug target for preventing lymphedema, tumor spread
December 20, 2007 — A hormone secreted by cells throughout the body and known to play a role in cardiovascular disease and other cell functions is also critical for proper formation of the lymphatic system in mice, according to research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.


Protein controls blood vessel formation, offers new drug target
December 4, 2007 — After an injury, the body grows new blood vessels to repair damaged tissue. But sometimes too much growth causes problems, as when new blood vessels in the eyes leak, causing diabetic retinopathy and blindness if not treated.


UNC to launch trial of inhaled saline in infants with cystic fibrosis
November 9, 2007 — Early next year, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will begin enrolling infants in a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of inhaled saline as a treatment for cystic fibrosis lung disease.


Lifetime trauma may speed progression of HIV, early death  
November 5, 2007  — Even though effective drug cocktails have improved the outlook for many patients with HIV, disease progression, including the time from AIDS onset to death, varies widely from patient to patient. Now, a study led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine provides new evidence that psychological factors play a role in disease progression.


Gene defects could be new cause of male infertility  
October 31, 2007 — Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have identified a gene crucial to the final step of the formation of a functional sperm cell.


University Cancer Research Fund panel sets priorities, adds national experts  
October 26, 2007 — The governance committee of the University Cancer Research Fund has established first-year spending priorities for the state’s initial $25 million investment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases aims to improve lives  
October 18, 2007 — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has launched an Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases to extend and enhance ongoing research efforts to improve the lives of people around the world. The institute, based in the School of Medicine, will build on the University's current global health presence in about 50 countries.


Oliver Smithies wins Nobel Prize  
October 8, 2007 — Dr. Oliver Smithies, Excellence professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, is a co-recipient of this year’s Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.


Defects in critical gene lead to accelerated lung tumor growth  
September 1, 2007 — Cancer causing mutations occur in our bodies every day – but luckily, we have specific genes that recognize these malignant events and keep cells from growing out of control. Only a few of these genes – called tumor suppressors – are currently known.


Total research revenues top $610 million  
August 17, 2007 — As federal funding for research stalls and competition for investment from other sources heats up, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has again grown its revenues. Growth hit 2.9 percent in fiscal 2007, putting UNC above $610 million in total grants and contracts. That’s $17 million more than last year’s record of $593 million, and more than twice as much revenue just 10 years ago.


North Carolina legislators establish University Cancer Research Fund  
August 8, 2007 — The North Carolina General Assembly created the state’s first University Cancer Research Fund with the passage of the new state budget. The fund, established to accelerate cancer research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Medicine and its Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, will provide $25 million in 2007-2008 and is slated to increase to $50 million per year beginning in 2009.


Program in Leadership Development  
August 3, 2007  — The Program in Leadership Development (PLD) web site is now available for viewing.


Strains of laboratory mice more varied than previously thought  
July 30, 2007 — A collaborative study by scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, has found that the genetic variation in the most widely used strains of laboratory mice is vastly greater than previously thought.


2007 North Carolina Women's Health Report Card  
July 24, 2007 — The 2007 North Carolina Women's Health Report Card will be available for download beginning at 12:00 noon on July 25, 2007. Released every two years, the Report Card features up-to-date information on the health status and healthcare needs of North Carolina's 4.3 million women.


New way to target and kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria found  
July 18, 2007 — Putting bacteria on birth control could stop the spread of drug-resistant microbes, and researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found a way to do just that.


Drug derived from Gila monster saliva helps diabetics control glucose, lose weight  
July 13, 2007 — Exenatide, a drug that is a synthetic form of a substance found in Gila monster saliva, led to healthy sustained glucose levels and progressive weight loss among people with type 2 diabetes who took part in a three-year study.


Sun exposure early in life linked to specific skin cancer gene mutation  
June 19, 2007 — Skin cancers often contain different gene mutations, but just how these mutations contribute to the cause of melanomas has been a mystery. A new clue comes from scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Their research indicates that early life sun exposure, from birth to 20 years old, may specifically increase the risk of melanomas with BRAF gene mutations.


Study implicates protein as a trigger of advanced prostate cancer recurrence  
June 4, 2007 — Scientists with the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have for the first time implicated a growth-promoting cellular protein as one trigger of the inevitable recurrence of advanced prostate cancer in men who are undergoing drug treatment to shut down their sex hormones, or androgens.


Connection between weight, self-esteem linked to teen’s race, gender  
May 22, 2007 — Among young teens, race and gender affect whether self-esteem is linked to body weight, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have found.


Clinical trial of combination hearing aid-cochlear implant device opens at UNC  
May 9, 2007 — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has opened a national clinical trial of a hearing device that combines hearing aid and cochlear implant technology in the same ear.


UNC’s Dr. David Grimes to be honored by Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists  
May 3, 2007 — David A. Grimes, M.D. will receive an honorary fellowship from the Faculty of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The award, which is bestowed on persons of eminence who have rendered exceptional services to the science or practice of sexual and reproductive health care, will be presented to Grimes on June 21 at a ceremony in London, England.


Brain tissue reveals possible genetic trigger for schizophrenia  
April 8, 2007 — A study led by scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill may have identified a molecular mechanism involved in the development of schizophrenia. In studying the postmortem brain tissue of adults who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, the researchers found that levels of certain gene-regulating molecules called microRNAs were lower among schizophrenia patients than in persons who were free of psychiatric illness.


Pisano: MRI urged for women with recent breast cancer diagnosis  
March 28, 2007 — Women with a recent diagnosis of cancer in one breast should have MRI screening of the opposite breast, concludes a multi-center study involving University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers. Dr. Etta Pisano, Kenan professor of radiology and biomedical engineering at UNC and a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center co-authored the study.


UNC scientists discover cellular “SOS” signal in response to UV skin damage  
March 22, 2007 — New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine has identified two proteins that may help against skin cancer.


Health disparities in prostate cancer stem from lack of care, not lack of knowledge  
March 20, 2007 — Decreasing the rates of prostate cancer among black men may require improving access to routine health care, rather than increased education about the disease, a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine suggests.


UNC and GE Healthcare partner to create Center for Research Excellence in Breast Cancer Imaging  
March 14, 2007 — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced a multi-year agreement with GE Healthcare to establish a Center for Research Excellence in Breast Cancer Imaging within the university’s Biomedical Research Imaging Center. This is a university-wide center for excellence created to advance and commercialize research and technological developments to detect, diagnose and treat breast cancer.


Study sheds light on value of newer antipsychotic drugs for schizophrenia  
March 12, 2007 — A study comparing medications for schizophrenia found two of three newer antipsychotic drugs are more effective in patients who did not benefit from an older medication, according to a team led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers.


Industry-funded breast cancer trials more likely to yield positive results  
March 5, 2007 — Industry-funded studies of breast cancer therapies are more likely to report positive results than non-pharmaceutical funded studies, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute have found. In addition, significant differences exist in the design and nature of clinical trials supported by the pharmaceutical industry compared to trials without industry involvement.


Results from autism genome scan may lead to improved diagnosis and treatment  
February 26, 2007 — Preliminary results from the largest genome scan ever attempted in autism research were published online Feb. 18 by the journal Nature Genetics. The results identify new potential pathways involved in autism susceptibility, said Dr. Joseph Piven, professor of psychiatry in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and director of UNC’s Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Center.


Newborn brains grow vision and movement regions first  
February 22, 2007 — The regions of the brain that control vision and other sensory information grow dramatically in the first few months following birth, while the area that controls abstract thought experiences very little growth during the same period, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have found.


Brain bleeding common in newborns, UNC study finds  
February 6, 2007 — A brain development study in newborns revealed intracranial hemorrhages or bleeding in and around the brain, affects 26 percent of babies born vaginally, according to researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Efficacy similar among antidepressants, side effects drive multiple prescriptions  
February 1, 2007 — A review of 293 studies that assessed 12 commonly prescribed second-generation antidepressants found no significant differences between the drugs for the treatment of acute-phase depression, according to a report by the RTI International-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Evidence-based Practice Center.


Harvard physician and scientist to speak to medical students Wednesday (Jan. 31)  
January 29, 2007 — Dr. William F. Crowley, Jr., the Director of Clinical Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, will deliver the Ralph R. Landes Lecture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine on Wednesday (Jan. 31).


Resurgence and spread of syphilis in China is a rapidly increasing epidemic  
January 19, 2007 — The resurgence and spread in China of syphilis, an infection eliminated there from 1960 to 1980, represents a rapidly increasing epidemic calling for urgent intervention, according to authors of a new report documenting rising infection rates.


High doses of lithium-like drugs may impair neuronal function  
January 17, 2007 — New laboratory research suggests that lithium and other drugs that inhibit a particular enzyme, GSK-3 beta, should be used with caution in treating Alzheimer's disease because too high a dose can impair, rather than enhance, neuronal function.


Higher occurrence of Parkinson's linked to low LDL cholesterol  
January 12, 2007 — People with low levels of LDL cholesterol are more likely to have Parkinson's disease than people with high LDL levels, according to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers.


Gene discovered by UNC researchers tied to pancreatic cancer, study shows  
January 4, 2007 — A gene discovered by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine has been associated with two forms of pancreatic cancer, according to a study by an international group of researchers.

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