UW Today

Health and medicine


December 31, 2013

Genetically identical bacteria can behave in radically different ways

bacterial cells split

When a bacterial cell divides into two daughter cells there can be an uneven distribution of cellular organelles. The resulting cells can behave differently from each other, giving them an evolutionary advantage.


December 26, 2013

Psychiatry’s Jeremy J. Clark receives Presidential Early Career Award

Jeremy Clark

Clark was recognized for his work in the neurobiology of motivated behavior. His award will support investigations of how alcohol exposure during the teen years might lead to chronic alcoholism in adults.


December 23, 2013

UW Medicine Memory and Brain Wellness Center opens at Harborview

A colorized lateral view of the brain

The new center at Harborview will link clinical evaluation and care of patients with research programs in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, latent degenerative disease detection and treatment, and care delivery.


December 19, 2013

TB bacteria mask their identity to intrude into deeper regions of lungs

TB in lower lungs

Cell surface lipids hide molecular patterns that infection-killing cells might recognize as dangerous.


December 18, 2013

Home dialysis gains momentum through UW research

home dialysis

Of the 400,000 kidney disease patients on dialysis in the United States only 6 percent to 7 percent are treated with home dialysis, largely because the choice is not often given to them as an option.


Single bacterial super-clone behind world epidemic of drug-resistant E. coli

E. coli

Virulent, drug-resistant forms of E. coli that recently have spread around the world emerged from a single strain of the bacteria, not many different strains, as has been widely supposed.


December 17, 2013

UWMC grants wish for seriously ill teen interested in NICU nursing

Samantha in NICU

Samantha’s dream career is Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nursing. One day last week the nurses in the UW Medical Center NICU warmly welcomed her to their world of caring for babies and their families.


December 16, 2013

5 effective parenting programs to reduce problem behaviors in children

father holding daughter's hand

UW researchers evaluated about 20 parenting programs and found five that are especially effective at helping parents and children at all risk levels avoid adolescent behavior problems that affect not only individuals, but entire communities.


December 12, 2013

Scientists discover double meaning in genetic code

Genome scientist Dr. John Stamatoyannopoulos.

Finding a second code hiding in the genome casts new light on how changes to DNA impact health and disease.


December 9, 2013

Communities across U.S. reduce teen smoking, drinking, violence and crime

Fewer high school students across the U.S. started drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, committing crimes and engaging in violence before graduation when their towns used a prevention system developed by UW’s Social Development Research Group.


December 6, 2013

Sounders star makes young UW dental patient’s day

Sounder visits pediatric dental

Samuel Knorr didn’t like the idea of missing school for an orthodontic retainer check at the UW’s The Center for Pediatric Dentistry. When he came face to face with Seattle Sounders star DeAndre Yedlin, however, he was happy he did.


December 3, 2013

Project to gauge effects of Affordable Care Act in Washington state

clinical hands

The overall purpose of the project, called UW-SHARE, is to obtain a benchmark, pre-ACA picture of health-care use, health, health-related attitudes, and access to health insurance.


November 26, 2013

MyHeartMapSeattle scavenger hunters report over 2,000 defibrillators

Unpacked AED

A city-wide contest to locate as many of Seattle’s automatic external defibrillators, or AEDs, netted far more than expected. The challenge arose from the need to map and monitor these devices, which can save the lives of people suffering an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest.


AAAS names five UW researchers as fellows

Advancement of Science logo

Five University of Washington researchers are among new fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


November 24, 2013

How living cells solved a needle in a haystack problem to generate electrical signals

Advanced Light Source

Filtered from a vast sodium sea, more than 1 million calcium ions per second gush through our cells’ pores to generate charges


November 21, 2013

Studies to probe confluence of human, animal and environmental health in Africa

Two goats are carried out of a corral in Kenya for their immunizations.

Grand Challenges Exploration Grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will allow two UW-led teams to study the health determinants people share with other living creatures.


November 14, 2013

FDA-approved immune-modulating drug unexpectedly benefits mice with fatal mitochondrial defect

Leigh mouse and normal mouse

Rapamycin, an anti-rejection drug for organ transplant patients, has now been shown to increases survival in and delayed symptoms of Leigh’s syndrome. The drug appears to cause a metabolic switch that bypasses the mitochondrial deficiency.


November 7, 2013

Cost-effective method accurately orders DNA sequencing along entire chromosomes

human chromosomes

The method may help overcome a major obstacle that has delayed progress in designing rapid, low-cost — but still accurate — ways to assemble genomes from scratch. It also may validate certain types of chromosomal abnormalities in cancer.


November 6, 2013

Brain may play key role in blood sugar metabolism and diabetes development

diabetes research

Future diabetes treatment approaches might target regulatory systems in both the brain and the pancreas to achieve better blood glucose control, or even put the disease into remission.


November 1, 2013

UW surgical robot featured in 2013 movie ‘Ender’s Game’

A close-up shoot of the UW’s Raven II robot as it simulates brain surgery on actor Moisés Arias during the filming of “Ender’s Game.”

A University of Washington surgical research robot appears in the sci-fi movie “Ender’s Game” starring Harrison Ford. Two UW students operated the robot during the filming of the movie, which opens Nov. 1 in theaters across the country.


October 31, 2013

Epilepsy film to be screened Nov. 9 at Harborview Medical Center

Epilepsy film man in the street

Independent film producer Louis Stanislaw will present “Living on the Edge” at 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 9, in the Harborview Medical Center Research & Training Building. The showing will be followed by a panel discussion of individuals living with epilepsy and UW Medicine professionals who treat seizure disorders.


October 30, 2013

Institute of Medicine issues report today on youth concussions

Ice hockey is one of the sports associated with increased risk of head concussions for both male and female young athletes.

UW injury expert Dr. Fred Rivara was vice chair of the committee. Its report recommends actions to reduce the occurrence and consequences of youth concussions in sports and in the military, and stresses the need to better understand their nature and treatment.


October 28, 2013

UW work contributes to largest international study of Alzheimer’s genes

damaged brain cell Alzheimer's

Eleven regions of the human genome have been newly discovered to influence the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The UW was one of 145 academic centers worldwide participating in this research, which involved analyzing genes from more than 74,000 people.


October 25, 2013

Patient case takes health care students on an interprofessional learning journey

Interprofessional training three students

Students from the various health sciences schools worked together on a fictional case to solve the patient’s list of problems from different perspectives.


October 24, 2013

Panel to discuss making a difference during health-care reform

Learn about the anticipated impact of health-care reform on people's lives at a UW panel discussion.

UW faculty, staff and students are invited to attend a panel discussion on the “Affordable Care Act: How You Can Make a Difference,” from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29, in Hogness Auditorium at the UW Health Sciences Center.


October 21, 2013

Three UW faculty members elected to Institute of Medicine

NAS building

Blood disease specialist Dr. Janis Abkowitz and drug safety expert Dr, Bruce Psaty today were named new members of the prestigious Institute of Medicine, an honorary and national advisory group.


October 18, 2013

Expectant mother stays hopeful through breast cancer

Sarah and her mom UWMC beast cancer

Sarah Lien and her mother Barbara Hawkins were both diagnosed with breast cancer as young women. Sarah is modeling her mother’s optimistic approach to the disease while awaiting the birth of her own daughter, Elizabeth.


UW receives grant from attorney general’s office for pain management

Drumheller Fountain and Gerberding Hall on the UW campus.

The University of Washington has received an 18-month grant of $110,299 from the state Attorney General’s Office to provide training and education for health professionals and the general public on the subject of chronic pain management and cannabis use.


October 17, 2013

Project aims to make mall walking more accessible

The blood-pressure check station for Bellevue Square's mall-walking program.

A new project by the UW School of Nursing will evaluate whether mall-walking programs are effective and whether they can lead to larger-scale increases in walking.


Yoga accessible for the blind with new Microsoft Kinect-based program

Example of how the Kinect reads incorrect body posture.

A team of University of Washington computer scientists has created a software program that watches a user’s movements and gives spoken feedback using a Microsoft Kinect on what to change to accurately complete a yoga pose.


October 15, 2013

Study: Nearly 500,000 perished in Iraq war

A market scene in Erbil, Iraq, from September 2011.

A new study estimates nearly a half-million people died from causes attributable to the war in Iraq from 2003 through 2011. The results come from the first population-based survey since 2006 to estimate war-related deaths in Iraq, and the first study covering the conflict’s full timespan.


Initiative draws faculty, students into collaborative health care

Joseph Falcone, a second-year medical student.

The UW schools of health sciences have formed a new initiative to teach and deliver health care across disciplines, a team-based approach that is gaining recognition nationally and is expected to make health care more efficient and effective.


Nanopore sequencing technology lands licensing deal

Electrical signal from the sequence of a DNA strand.

A San Diego company has licensed UW-developed technology capable of reading the sequence of a single DNA molecule.


October 9, 2013

New strategy lets cochlear implant users hear music

Photo of piano keys

University of Washington scientists have developed a new way of processing the signals in cochlear implants to help users hear music better. The technique lets users perceive differences between musical instruments, a significant improvement from what standard cochlear implants can offer.


October 8, 2013

Profile: Brian Wansink, Slim By Design author and 2013 Hogness Lecturer

Brian Winsink

Wansink explores mindless eating and how cues in our environment lead us to eat too much of the wrong foods.


Major funding awarded for research on drugs taken during pregnancy

Photo of pills

Pharmacists and physicians will be looking at prescription and illicit drugs taken during pregnancy to evaluate risks to mothers and their fetuses.


October 3, 2013

My HeartMap Seattle Challenge enlists the public to locate city’s life-saving devices

AED at aiport

If you witness a heart attack, would you know where the nearest AED is? A Seattle contest will help pre-hospital emergency care leaders locate the city’s automatic external defibrillators, which can help restore normal heart rhythms and coach in CPR.


October 2, 2013

UW Medicine helps first patients sign up for Health Benefit Exchange

health exchange enrollment

Yesterday was a historic day for health care coverage in the United States. UW Medicine was ready to assist patients in signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, signed into law March 23, 2010.


October 1, 2013

Estrogen pills for menopause symptoms vary in blood clot risk

Pills and a stethoscope.

A recent observational study comparing the safety of estradiol and conjugated equine estrogen associated estradiol with a lower risk of leg vein and lung clots.


September 30, 2013

3 UW professors honored by NIH for innovative biomedical research

Drumheller Fountain and Gerberding Hall on the UW campus.

Three University of Washington faculty members are among those honored with a grant from the National Institutes of Health’s High Risk-High Reward program.



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