UW Today

Health and medicine


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.


July 28, 2013

Breakthrough in detecting DNA mutations could help treat tuberculosis, cancer

A conceptual image showing examples of mutations and no mutations.

Researchers have developed a new method that can look at a specific segment of DNA and pinpoint a single mutation, which could help diagnose and treat diseases such as cancer and tuberculosis.


July 23, 2013

Pain of artificial legs could be eased by real-time monitoring

Ron Bailey walks on a treadmill while testing the new technology.

University of Washington engineers have developed a device that tracks how much a person’s limb swells and shrinks when inside a prosthetic socket. The data could help doctors and patients predict how and when their limbs will swell, which could be used to build smarter sockets.


July 18, 2013

Falling from windows is serious risk for small children

Windows opened on a hot Seattle afternoon.

A few safety measures can help those with young children at home reduce the chance of window falls.


July 16, 2013

UW Medicine hospitals rank highly in latest U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals

University of Washington Medical Center.

U.S. News publishes Best Hospitals to guide patients who need a high level of care because they face a difficult surgery, a challenging condition, or added risk because of other health problems or age.


July 15, 2013

Ecological forces structure your body’s personal mix of microbes

Researchers hope to build a predictive model of the human microbiome to study what affects this massive biological system and to design ways to manipulate the microbiome to achieve desired clinical outcomes.


July 11, 2013

Health facilities earn inclusion in Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s U.S. index

SCCA at Pride Parade

UW Medicine hospitals and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance were Identified as National ‘Leaders in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Healthcare Equality’


July 10, 2013

Functional genomics lab to predict potential AIDS vaccines efficacy and find protection markers

Michael Katze

Funded by the NIH at $15 million over five years, the lab will be a national resource to evaluate candidate vaccines from studies around the country.


July 9, 2013

Link between low vitamin D blood levels and heart disease varies by race

Hand with pills

Low vitamin D levels are linked to higher risk of heart disease in whites and Chinese, but not in blacks or Hispanics. The findings underscore the importance of designing medical research that includes a diverse ethnic and racial makeup of participants.


School policies reduce student drinking – if they’re perceived to be enforced

Wine and hard liquor bottles photographed through a multiprism filter.

Every middle and high school has a policy against drinking alcohol on campus, but not all students follow the rules. New research suggests students are less likely to drink if they believe their school will strictly enforce its policy.


July 3, 2013

Great ape genetic diversity catalog frames primate evolution and future conservation

Belinga, a great ape

A model of great ape history during the past 15 million years has been fashioned through the study of genetic variation in a large panel of humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans.


June 26, 2013

Pharmacy students learn TB screening

Pharmacy students learn TB screening.

Ninety-one UW pharmacy students became certified in TB screening through collaborative training from the State Department of Public Health, the Washington State Pharmacy Association and the UW School of Pharmacy.


Dentistry names new oral surgery chair

Thomas Dodson

Thomas B. Dodson of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine will become chair the UW Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Sept. 1.


June 25, 2013

UW awarded $10 million to design paper-based diagnostic medical device

Simulated computer image of portable diagnostic device

The University of Washington has received nearly $10 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to continue a project aimed at building a small, paper-based device that could test for infectious diseases on-demand in areas where diagnostic capabilities are limited.


June 20, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court decision to bar gene patents opens genetic test options

BROCA gene test

The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous decision June 13 to bar the patenting of naturally occurring genes opens up important clinical testing options for a variety of diseases.


June 11, 2013

New tasks become as simple as waving a hand with brain-computer interfaces

A human brain depicted in a movie poster.

University of Washington researchers have demonstrated that when humans use brain-computer interfaces, the brain behaves much like it does when completing simple motor skills such as kicking a ball or waving. Learning to control a robotic arm or a prosthetic limb could become second nature for people who are paralyzed.


June 5, 2013

Congolese rape survivors helped by cognitive processing therapy

Congolese training class

Short-term therapy from paraprofessionals improved the mental health of Congolese women who suffered sexual violence.


A walking revolution helps older adults get and stay active

uneven sidewalk

Older adults are assessing their neighborhoods to make them more amenable to a favorite physical activity: walking.


May 29, 2013

Traffic air pollution turns good cholesterol bad

diesel truck spouting exhaust

Exposure to diesel exhaust undermines one of the body’s protections against heart and blood vessel disease.


May 24, 2013

‘The Return’ illustrates Native American environmental health story

"The Return" book cover.

“The Return,” a dreamlike account of a Native woman and her baby, is an allegory for passing environmental health values to the next generation.



Previous page Next page