October 16, 2012

News Digest: UW transplant programs recognized, Honor: Jashvant Unadkat, Evans School caps 50th anniversary celebration

U.S. health and human services honors UW transplant programs
The Department of Health and Human Services has recognized UW Medicine’s heart, kidney and liver transplant programs as national leaders in their fields.

The Health Resources and Services Administration’s Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice program gave awards based on key performance measurements. These included how quickly patients received a transplant after being placed on the waiting list, post-transplant graft survival rates and patient mortality rates while waiting for an organ to become available.

Of the 700 U.S. transplant programs reviewed, 174 were recognized for their achievements.

UW Medical Center was the only hospital in Washington state to receive three awards at the bronze level. In fiscal year 2011, UW Medical Center’s transplant volumes increased by approximately 9 percent. UW Medical Center transplant teams have performed more than 1,600 liver transplants, more than 1,500 kidney transplants and more than 500 heart transplants.

Image of Jash UnadkatPharmacy’s Jashvant Unadkat receives research achievement award
Jashvant Unadkat
, University of Washington professor of pharmaceutics, has received the Research Achievement Award in Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. The association, a professional scientific society with 11,000 members worldwide, gives the award to individuals who have made groundbreaking scientific contributions to their area of research.

Unadkat studies how drugs are handled by the body, such as how they are absorbed, metabolized, excreted and distributed. His work helps prevent drug interactions and could potentially lead to better ways to treat diseases such as hepatitis C, AIDS and Alzheimer’s. For example, he developed a novel imaging technique to measure the activity of a transporter that carries an Alzheimer’s-causing peptide out of the brain, which could result in novel ways to treat this disease.

Unadkat received his award at the association’s annual meeting in Chicago.

Melinda Gates and Norm Rice answer questions

Melinda Gates and Norm Rice

Evans School celebrates 50 years with gala dinner
The UW Evans School of Public Affairs capped the celebration of its 50th anniversary with a gala fundraising dinner Oct. 4, in the recently renovated HUB Ballroom. All proceeds from the gala go to benefit student scholarships.

Melinda Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was the evening’s featured speaker. UW President Michael Young and former Gov. Dan Evans also spoke and Dorothy Bullitt, Evans School senior lecturer and distinguished practitioner, served as emcee.

Former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, an Evans School alumnus and CEO of the Seattle Foundation, participated in a question and answer session with Gates after her speech.