UW Today

Health and medicine


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.


UW engineers invent programming language to build synthetic DNA

An example chemical program.

A team led by the University of Washington has developed a programming language for chemistry that it hopes will streamline efforts to design a network that can guide the behavior of chemical-reaction mixtures in the same way that embedded electronic controllers guide cars, robots and other devices.


September 19, 2013

Cognitive rehabilitation improves brain function in cancer survivors

A study participant takes the Stroop test.

A new study shows that cancer survivors who experience memory and thinking problems may benefit from cognitive rehabilitation.


September 16, 2013

Depletion of ‘traitor’ immune cells slows cancer growth in mice

A stained cross-section of a mouse tumor. In this image, red areas are macrophages, and green indicates the presence of the peptide that can bind with macrophages in cancer cells.

Scientists at the University of Washington have developed a strategy to slow tumor growth and prolong survival in mice with cancer by targeting and destroying a type of cell that dampens the body’s immune response to cancer.


September 13, 2013

Neighborhoods and UW team up to measure diesel exhaust pollution in South Seattle

UW researchers install an air-sampling monitor.

The residents of the Georgetown and South Park neighborhoods in Seattle’s Duwamish Valley now know how much diesel exhaust they are exposed to. A report on findings from an air pollution study comparing these neighborhoods to Beacon Hill and Queen Anne was published today, Sept. 13.


September 12, 2013

Initial positive results reported on vaccine to treat genital herpes

Scanning electron micrograph of a human T cells. The GEN-003 herpes vaccine candidate is designed to manipulate the immune responses of T cells, among other therapeutic effects.

The vaccine is the first to significantly reduce the frequency of viral shedding — the surfacing of herpes virus on the genitals — and appears to activate T cell immune responses to the virus.


September 11, 2013

UW engineers to make cookstoves 10 times cleaner for developing world

An example of one of the more efficient cookstoves used in developing countries.

University of Washington engineers have received a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to design a better cookstove, which researchers say will use half as much fuel and cut emissions by 90 percent.


September 10, 2013

New Sports Medicine Center at Husky Stadium is a game-changer for all athletes

antogravity treadmill

This week the newest UW Medicine Sports Medicine Center opened its doors to the community at Husky Stadium. A public open house is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19.


Two common drugs may help treat deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

MERS virus

A combination of interferon-alpha 2b and ribavirin, drugs routinely given for hepatitis C, may be an effective treatment for the coronovirus that causes this new disease.


September 9, 2013

Gene for most common childhood cancer identified

stained ALL leukemia bone marrow cells

In children with this form of leukemia, damage to chromosome 9 removes part of a normal copy of the gene in question, and leaves the mutated copy unopposed.


Nearly half of state’s distracted drivers are texting

texting while driving

In our state, texting on a hand-held device diverts drivers’ attention more than any other distraction.


September 4, 2013

Pico-world dragnets: Computer-designed proteins recognize and bind small molecules

Protein design team

Computer-designed proteins that can recognize and interact with small biological molecules are now a reality. Scientists have succeeded in creating a protein molecule that can be programmed to unite with three different steroids.


Researchers hope to protect against another HIV-like outbreak

A man with a performing mon

Researchers examining virus transmission from monkeys to humans in Bangladesh found some people are infected with multiple strains of simian foamy virus.


August 26, 2013

Microneedle patch could replace standard tuberculosis skin test

A chitin microneedle patch tested on human skin.

A team led by University of Washington engineers has created a patch with tiny, biodegradable needles that can penetrate the skin and precisely deliver a tuberculosis test. The researchers published their results online Aug. 26 in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials.


August 16, 2013

UW Dentistry tackles a job for Huskies: mouth guards

Huskies mouth guard

The winning smiles of the UW Huskies will be protected on the football field with customized mouth guards from UW Pediatric Dentistry.


August 12, 2013

Progress made in linking some forms of epilepsy to genetics

Some of the answers to the causes of epilepsy may be contained in human genes. Above are chromosomes that have been manipulated to have distinctive colors.

Some epilepsy patients who have both seizures and speech abnormalities share something else in common — mutations on the same gene.


August 7, 2013

UW researchers report on genome of aggressive cervical cancer that killed Henrietta Lacks

A 1945 photograph of Henrietta and David Lacks.

Henrietta Lacks was the subject of bestselling book on the HeLa immortal cell line, the most used of its kind in labs around the world. The UW scientists are the first to publish under new policy, established through agreement with Lacks’ family.


August 1, 2013

Brain chemistry changes in children with autism offer clues to earlier detection and intervention

Dager autism lab

Between ages three and 10, children with autism spectrum disorder exhibit distinct brain chemical changes that differ from children with developmental delays and children with typical development.


Burnt sugar-derivative reduces muscle wasting in fly and mouse models of muscular dystrophy

A small fruit fly

A trace substance in caramelized sugar, when purified and given in appropriate doses, improves muscle regeneration in insect and animal models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.



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