UT Southwestern study shows glucagon is key for kidney health

Glucagon, a hormone best known for promoting blood sugar production in the liver, also appears to play a key role in maintaining kidney health. When UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers removed receptors for this hormone from mouse kidneys, the animals developed symptoms akin to chronic kidney disease (CKD).

From segregation to inspiration, James Griffin, M.D., is making history at Parkland and UT Southwestern

To call the connection James D. Griffin, M.D., has with UT Southwestern and Parkland Memorial Hospital lifelong is no exaggeration. Dr. Griffin was born at Parkland in 1958, when the labor and delivery ward was still segregated. More than six decades later, his colleagues at that hospital elected him President of the medical staff – the first Black physician to earn the honor.

Age, sex, race among top risk factors for revision knee surgery

Patients who are younger than about 40, male, or Black are among those most at risk for revision surgery after having had a total knee replacement, according to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The study, published in the Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, was the first to explore relationships among risk factors for revision after total knee arthroplasty (TKA).

In Memoriam: Jonathan W. Uhr, M.D., renowned immunologist and longtime Chair of Microbiology

Jonathan W. Uhr, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Immunology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, who discovered how antibodies are made and developed a technique that led to the early detection of cancer cells, died Feb. 15. He was 96. Dr. Uhr was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Gold nanoparticles reverse brain deficits in multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s

Results from phase two clinical trials at UT Southwestern Medical Center showed that a suspension of gold nanocrystals taken daily by patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) significantly reversed deficits of metabolites linked to energy activity in the brain and resulted in functional improvements.

UT Southwestern molecular geneticist wins Hill Prize from TAMEST

Russell DeBose-Boyd, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Genetics at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been awarded the Hill Prize in Biological Sciences from the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering, Science and Technology (TAMEST) in recognition of his long-standing research into a key mechanism necessary for cholesterol control.

Device keeps brain alive, functioning separate from body

Researchers led by a team at UT Southwestern Medical Center have developed a device that can isolate blood flow to the brain, keeping the organ alive and functioning independent from the rest of the body for several hours.

Nerve block can reduce need for postsurgical opioids

A preoperative nerve block used in combination with other medications can reduce the need for opioids to manage pain following spinal surgery, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers found. The findings, published in European Spine Journal, suggest a way to lessen the reliance on opioids to reduce postoperative pain and help patients become ambulatory sooner.

Traditional Chinese medicine reduces risk after heart attack

A traditional Chinese medicine whose name means “to open the network of the heart” reduced the risk of heart attacks, deaths, and other major cardiovascular complications for at least a year after a first heart attack, a study led by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers shows. The findings, published in JAMA, reveal the promise of this compound, one of the first traditional Chinese medicines tested in a large-scale, Western-style clinical trial.

Study reveals how estrogen exerts its anti-diabetic effects

The quintessential female sex hormone estrogen stimulates cells that line blood vessels to deliver insulin to muscles, lowering blood sugar and protecting against Type 2 diabetes, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report. The findings, published in Nature Communications, could eventually lead to new therapies for Type 2 diabetes, a disease that affects hundreds of millions of people around the globe and continues to grow more prevalent.

Catherine Spong, M.D., elected to the National Academy of Medicine

Catherine Spong, M.D., Chair and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) in recognition of her contributions to the field of maternal-fetal medicine, her leadership in women’s health research, and her dedication to advancing health care for mothers and babies.

UTSW researcher receives NIH Director’s New Innovator Award

Ravikanth Maddipati, M.D., Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and in Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, has been awarded $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support research investigating positional heterogeneity in cancer, or how tumors in the same organ can behave differently based on where they form.

UT Southwestern biochemist Zhijian ‘James’ Chen to receive prestigious Horwitz Prize

Zhijian “James” Chen, Ph.D., Professor of Molecular Biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been awarded the 2023 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize in recognition of his groundbreaking work on innate immunity.

Iron supplements provided in prenatal visits improved outcomes

Giving free prenatal iron supplements to medically underserved pregnant patients rather than only recommending them significantly reduced anemia and postpartum blood transfusions, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Health report in a study published in JAMA Network Open.

UTSW researchers identify driver of inflammatory bowel disease

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered an intracellular mechanism that converts protective intestinal cells into disease-driving pathogenic cells, a finding that could lead to improved treatments for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Intestinal bacteria release molecular ‘brake’ on weight gain

Bacteria that live in the intestines inhibit a molecule that limits the amount of fat absorbed, increasing weight gain in mice fed a high-sugar, high-fat diet, researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center report. The findings, published in Science, could eventually lead to new ways to combat obesity, diabetes, and malnutrition – health problems that plague hundreds of millions worldwide.

Fish oil supplement claims often vague, not supported by data

Your daily dose of omega-3s may not be doing what you think it is. Most fish oil supplements on the market today have labels boasting health benefits that aren’t supported by clinical data, according to a study published in JAMA Cardiology by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Cause of ‘brain freeze’ a bit of a mystery, but not to worry

You’re eating or drinking something frozen, like a snow cone, ice cream, or ice pops – probably a bit too eagerly – and you get one of those sudden-onset, painful headaches known as “brain freeze.” Man, does it hurt, but usually not for long, and it’s not harmful, according to an expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Study identifies characteristics specific to human brains

Researchers led by a team at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified cellular and molecular features of the brain that set modern humans apart from their closest primate relatives and ancient human ancestors. The findings, published in Nature, offer new insights into human brain evolution.

Research pinpoints inflammation source behind atherosclerosis

Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center Dallas have discovered in mice how high cholesterol causes blood vessels to become inflamed, a necessary prerequisite for atherosclerosis – the “hardening of the arteries” responsible for most heart attacks and strokes. The findings, published in Nature Communications, could lead to new interventions to protect against cardiovascular diseases (CVD), the leading cause of death globally.

Most pancreatic cancer patients don’t get lifesaving surgery

Only 22% of Texas patients with early-stage pancreatic cancer received standard-of-care surgery to remove their tumors, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center report in a new study. The findings, published in the Journal of Surgical Oncology, are a call to action to improve treatment in the Lone Star State for this deadly disease, the authors say.

Less is best with caffeine, energy drinks during pregnancy

Millions of people drink coffee, soda, and/or tea daily, making caffeinated beverages the most commonly consumed stimulants in the world. Highly caffeinated energy drinks also have been a hugely popular pick-me-up for more than two decades, especially among younger adults and teens. But pregnant individuals should be careful regarding energy drinks and their overall intake of caffeine, according to an expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

College students help aging patients who are hospitalized

Valentina Harmjanz often tapped into music on her smartphone to connect with older patients she visited at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. The UT Southwestern medical student met with patients as part of the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), a joint effort between UTSW and the Hobson Wildenthal Honors College at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Gene that regulates immune activity in the retina identified

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified a gene called Lipe that appears to be pivotal to retinal health, with mutations spurring immune activation and retinal degeneration. This is important because the retina is responsible for detecting the light that is transformed into vision. The findings, published in Communications Biology, provide clues about the mechanisms behind a variety of disorders affecting the retina, including macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Early diagnosis of pelvic floor disorders key for health

Pelvic floor disorders (PFDs), which occur when women’s pelvic floor muscles are weakened or injured, significantly affect quality of life and require surgery for hundreds of thousands in the U.S. each year. Now a study led by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers has found a noninvasive test that could identify women at risk for these conditions and improve treatment.

CRI’s Sean Morrison elected to European Molecular Biology Organization

Stem cell biologist Sean J. Morrison, Ph.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and founding Director and Professor of the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI), has been elected by his peers as an associate member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

Public-private consortium will fund three gene therapy clinical trials at UT Southwestern and Children’s Health

A consortium of government, industry, and nonprofit partners will fund gene therapy clinical trials for three different rare diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Health, where scientists are working on gene therapies to treat neurodevelopmental disorders in children.

Warfarin use should not disqualify stroke patients from lifesaving clot-removing surgery

Most stroke patients taking the anticoagulant warfarin were no more likely than those not on the medication to experience a brain bleed when undergoing a procedure to remove a blood clot, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report in a new study. The findings, published in JAMA, could help doctors better gauge the risk of endovascular thrombectomy (EVT), potentially expanding the pool of eligible patients for this mainstay stroke treatment.

Public-private consortium will fund three gene therapy clinical trials at UT Southwestern

A consortium of government, industry, and nonprofit partners will fund gene therapy clinical trials for three rare diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center, where scientists are working on gene therapies to treat neurodevelopmental disorders in children.

Noboro Mizushima, M.D., Ph.D., awarded inaugural Beth Levine, M.D. Prize in Autophagy Research from UT Southwestern

Japanese biochemist and molecular biologist Noboru Mizushima, M.D., Ph.D., has been named the inaugural recipient of the Beth Levine, M.D. Prize in Autophagy Research from UT Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Mizushima is an internationally recognized scientist who has made significant strides in unraveling the complex processes of mammalian autophagy, a fundamental cellular mechanism responsible for maintaining cellular health and functionality.

Former UTSW Otolaryngology Chair recognized for pioneering cochlear implant contributions

Peter Roland, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been honored by the American Cochlear Implant Alliance with its 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award for his groundbreaking work in advancing the use and benefits of cochlear implants (CI).

Start screenings at age 45 to prevent colorectal cancer, UT Southwestern experts advise

Colorectal cancer is on the rise among younger adults. According to the American Cancer Society, the proportion of cases among people under 55 increased from 11% in 1995 to 20% in 2019, and it is now the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men younger than 50.