UW News

Health and medicine


November 12, 2019

New Weill Neurohub will unite UCSF, UC Berkeley, UW in race to find new treatments for brain diseases

An image of neurons under a microscope

With a $106 million gift from the Weill Family Foundation, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and the University of Washington have launched the Weill Neurohub, an innovative research network that will forge and nurture new collaborations between neuroscientists and researchers working in an array of other disciplines — including engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry and mathematics — to speed the development of new therapies for diseases and disorders that affect the brain and nervous system.


November 6, 2019

Mailed self-sampling kits helped more women get screened for cervical cancer

Woman's hand pulling envelop from mailbox

Signaling a potential major change in cervical cancer screening options for American women, a new study found that mailed self-sampling kits that test for HPV — the virus that can cause cervical cancer — helped significantly more women get screened for the cancer. The study involving nearly 20,000 women was conducted by researchers from the…


October 29, 2019

Popular third-party genetic genealogy site is vulnerable to compromised data, impersonations

A hand holding a tube in front of a 23andMe kit

UW researchers have found that the third-party genealogy site GEDmatch is vulnerable to multiple kinds of security risks.


October 15, 2019

First smart speaker system that uses white noise to monitor infants’ breathing

A baby in a basket in a living room

UW researchers have developed a new smart speaker skill that lets a device use white noise to both soothe sleeping babies and monitor their breathing and movement.


October 11, 2019

New UW center receives NIH grant to improve the fight against cancer

IV tubes

Even successful methods for diagnosing, treating and caring for people who are suffering from cancer are not enough without effective, practical tools and guidance for putting those methods into practice. To bridge this gap between cancer interventions and their implementation within communities across the country, the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute is funding…


September 9, 2019

UW-GU Regional Health Partnership announces new center in Spokane

Digital rendering of new building

McKinstry to design and construct $60 million ‘leap forward’ for medical education, health sciences research and innovation.


August 27, 2019

Pregnant women of color experience disempowerment by health care providers

Study finds health care providers need more training in power differentials, informed consent and providing respectful care.

A new study finds that women of color perceive their interactions with doctors, nurses and midwives as being misleading, with information being “packaged” in such a way as to disempower them by limiting maternity health care choices for themselves and their children.


August 19, 2019

‘Hidden’ data exacerbates rural public health inequities

The SHARE-NW project is a five-year effort to identify, gather and visualize data in four Northwest states to help rural communities more effectively address health disparities and achieve health equity.


How ergonomic is your warehouse job? Soon, an app might be able to tell you

A factory ceiling with low hanging lights

Researchers at the UW have used machine learning to develop a new system that can monitor factory and warehouse workers and tell them how ergonomic their jobs are in real time.


August 13, 2019

Air pollution can accelerate lung disease as much as a pack a day of cigarettes

Air pollution over Los Angeles.

Air pollution—especially ozone air pollution which is increasing with climate change—accelerates the progression of emphysema of the lung, according to a new study led by the University of Washington, Columbia University and the University at Buffalo.


August 9, 2019

Artificial intelligence could yield more accurate breast cancer diagnoses

Researchers at UW and UCLA have developed an artificial intelligence system that could help pathologists read biopsies more accurately, and lead to better detection and diagnosis of breast cancer.


August 1, 2019

UW Division of Design faculty, Seattle Children’s physicians collaborate on more effective anesthesia cart organization

Dr. Eliot Grigg of Seattle Children's Hospital shown with the Anesthesia Medication Template, created with fellow physicians and Axel Roesler of the UW School of Art + Art History + Design.

In recent years, physicians at Seattle Children’s Hospital have worked with UW faculty members in design to come up with a better, safer, more reliable way to order and use drugs on an operating room’s anesthesia cart.


July 30, 2019

UW study: House move during early pregnancy linked to heightened premature birth risk

Moving to a new residence during the first three months of pregnancy is linked to a heightened risk of premature birth and low birthweight, as well as a slightly higher risk of a smaller-than-expected-size baby, according to new research from the University of Washington published online today in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.


July 29, 2019

Medicaid expansion may prevent child neglect, UW study shows

More than 4 million reports of child maltreatment involving about 7.5 million children were made in 2017 to Child Protective Services. While much work has been done to reduce these high rates of child abuse and neglect in the United States, few programs have been consistently effective.


Stressed at school? Art therapy reduces teenage girls’ headaches

hands paining with watercolors

In a pilot study led by the UW, researchers explored art-based mindfulness activities that schools could use to reduce headaches, a common side effect of stress in adolescent girls. After three weeks of twice-weekly mindfulness and art therapy sessions, eight teenage girls reported experiencing significantly fewer headaches.


July 19, 2019

Offspring of pregnant women exposed to high level of pollutants may have lower IQs

pregnant woman holding belly

A new study found that pregnant women exposed to higher levels of air pollutants had children with lower IQs, compared to the children of women exposed to lower levels. 


July 16, 2019

8 UW professors elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences in 2019

Suzzallo Library at night

Eight scientists and engineers from the University of Washington have been elected this year to the Washington State Academy of Sciences.


July 9, 2019

UW professors to receive 2019 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Six University of Washington professors are to receive a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, according to an announcement July 2 from the White House. The award, also known as the PECASE, is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to early-career scientists and engineers “who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.”


June 19, 2019

‘Alexa, monitor my heart’: Researchers develop first contactless cardiac arrest AI system for smart speakers

An Amazon Alexa lights up

UW researchers have developed a new tool to monitor people for cardiac arrest while they’re asleep — all without touching them. The tool is essentially an app for a smart speaker or a smartphone that allows it to detect the signature sounds of cardiac arrest and call for help.


May 29, 2019

New study identifies patterns of growth in chronic lymphocytic leukemia

In a paper published May 29 in Nature, scientists report that the growth of chronic lymphocytic leukemia is apt to follow one of three trajectories: relentlessly upward, steadily level or something in between. The particular course the disease takes is tightly linked to the genetic makeup of the cancer cells, particularly the number of growth-spurring “driver” mutations they contain.


May 15, 2019

First smartphone app that can hear ear infections in children

a smartphone displaying the app

Researchers at the UW have created a new smartphone app that can detect fluid behind the eardrum by simply using a piece of paper and the phone’s microphone and speaker.


April 18, 2019

Video: Soon, kidneys-on-a-chip will rocket to space station

UW scientists are sending a kidney-on-a-chip experiment into space. At an altitude of 250 miles, astronauts will help study how reduced gravity in space affects kidney physiology.


April 16, 2019

Mindful body awareness training during treatment for drug addiction helps prevent relapse

mug shot

A novel type of body awareness training helps women recover from drug addiction, according to new research from the University of Washington. People in the study made marked improvement, and many improvements lasted for a year.


March 26, 2019

Advice from UW pharmacists on senior use of marijuana

Marijuana leaves.

Marijuana use among older adults has soared in recent years despite little being known about the effectiveness and safety of the drug in people 65 and older. That’s resulted in more seniors asking health care providers about marijuana use: Is it safe? How much to use? Where to buy?


March 19, 2019

Managed retreat due to rising seas is a public health issue

building

Sea-level rise associated with climate change is a concern for many island and coastal communities. While the dangers may seem far off for large coastal cities like Miami or New Orleans, the advancing oceans are already displacing some small indigenous communities, and many others are at risk around the world.


March 13, 2019

New method to assess platelet health could help ER doctors

a hand holding the new device

UW researchers have created a novel system that can measure platelet function within two minutes and can help doctors determine which trauma patients might need a blood transfusion upon being admitted to a hospital.


March 4, 2019

University of Washington and Aga Khan University sign agreement to further population health, research, service and education

group shot

The University of Washington today signed a memorandum of understanding with the Aga Khan University to codify partnership activities already underway and to leverage complementary strengths to further expand research, service and education in low- and middle-income countries.


February 13, 2019

UW study: Exposure to chemical in Roundup increases risk for cancer

Exposure to glyphosate — the world’s most widely used, broad-spectrum herbicide and the primary ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup — increases the risk of some cancers by more than 40 percent, according to new research from the University of Washington.


January 22, 2019

UW books in brief: Healthy travel, Hebrew in America, principals supporting teachers and more

  Recent notable books by University of Washington faculty members explore the importance of Hebrew to modern America, remember the 1919 Seattle General Strike and look at issues in education, among other topics. Practical advice for healthy travel, near or far A new book by Dr. Christopher Sanford offers simple, practical recommendations for those traveling…


January 14, 2019

Seattle bike share programs show infrequent helmet use, little disparity in access to bikes among neighborhoods

Bike share

People riding free-floating bike share rentals in Seattle are wearing helmets infrequently, according to a new analysis conducted by University of Washington researchers. Only 20 percent of bike share riders wore helmets in the study, while more than 90 percent of cyclists wore helmets while riding their own bikes.

Different research on the free-floating bike share systems showed that bikes were usually available in all Seattle neighborhoods across economic, racial and ethnic lines. However, more bikes were located in more-advantaged neighborhoods.


January 9, 2019

First smartphone app to detect opioid overdose and its precursors

Second Chance uses sonar to monitor someone's breathing rate

UW researchers have developed a smartphone app that uses sonar to monitor someone’s breathing rate and sense when an opioid overdose has occurred.


January 7, 2019

UW study: Long-term breastfeeding sheds light on whether an infant becomes right- or left-handed

Bottle feeding infants is associated with left-handedness, according to a new study from the University of Washington. The study found that the prevalence of left-handedness is lower among breastfed infants as compared to bottle-fed infants. This finding was identified in about 60,000 mother-infant pairs and accounted for known risk factors for handedness.


December 12, 2018

Teens get more sleep, show improved grades and attendance with later school start time, researchers find

In 2016, Seattle Public Schools pushed back the start times for the district’s 18 high schools by 55 minutes, from 7:50 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. And as hoped, teenagers used the extra time to sleep in.


November 20, 2018

Mobile health has power to transform HIV/AIDS nursing

headshot

The abundance of personal smartphones in southern African countries got University of Washington professor Sarah Gimbel thinking: What if these phones were used by front-line health workers — namely nurses — to collect and analyze data on patients living with HIV or AIDS to improve their care?


November 5, 2018

Violence in childhood leads to accelerated aging, study finds

A study led by the University of Washington finds that children who are exposed to violence tend to age faster. Photo of teenager's feet.

A new study of nearly 250 children and teens led by the University of Washington found that participants who had suffered abuse were developing faster than those who had not.


October 30, 2018

Suicide more prevalent than homicide in US, but most Americans don’t know it

A study led by the University of Washington shows that public perception of gun violence and homicide risk is far from the reality of the data. Photo of firearm lying on the ground.

First-of-its kind research, led by the University of Washington, Northeastern University and Harvard University, delves into public perceptions of gun violence and the leading causes of death in the U.S.


October 19, 2018

PTSD symptoms improve when patient chooses form of treatment, study shows

A study of PTSD patients led by the University of Washington finds that people who chose their form of treatment were more apt to stick to their program and eventually become diagnosis-free. Photo of woman looking out a window.

A study led by the University of Washington is the first large-scale trial of hundreds of PTSD patients, including veterans and survivors of sexual assault, to measure whether patient preference in the course of treatment impacts the effectiveness of both cognitive behavioral therapy and use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a type of antidepressant often prescribed for PTSD.


October 10, 2018

Prescience: Helping doctors predict the future

Prescience on a computer screen

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a new machine-learning system, called Prescience, which uses input from patient charts and standard operating room sensors to predict the likelihood that a patient will develop hypoxemia — a condition when blood oxygen levels dip slightly below normal. Prescience also provides real-world explanations behind its predictions.


September 19, 2018

UW offers new concurrent graduate degree program for nurses with focus on population, global health

aerial of UW campus

Nurses and nurse-scientists interested in advanced multi-disciplinary training for population and global health practice can now apply for a new University of Washington degree program.


August 7, 2018

NIH awards University of Washington, partner institutions $6.5M for reusable, reproducible biomedical modeling

The NIH has awarded a $6.5 million, five-year grant to the University of Washington and partner institutions to establish the Center for Reproducible Biomedical Modeling. The center’s primary goal is to develop more effective predictive models of biological systems, which are used in research and medicine.



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