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VUMC researchers find a way to ‘starve’ cancer

This computationally derived homology model of glutamine transporter shows small molecule inhibitor binding in the transporter’s orange-red transmembrane region. Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to starve a tumor and stop its growth with a newly discovered small compound that blocks uptake of the vital nutrient glutamine. Their... 

Investigators eye new target for treating movement disorders

  Blocking a nerve-cell receptor in part of the brain that coordinates movement could improve the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, dyskinesia and other movement disorders, researchers at Vanderbilt University have reported. Their findings, published recently in the journal Neuron, focus on M4, a subtype of the muscarinic acetylcholine family of nerve cell (neuron) receptors activated by binding... 

HDL and kidney injury after surgery

by Jenelle Grewell Higher concentrations of high-density lipoproteins — HDL, the “good” cholesterol — may be protective against acute kidney injury (AKI) after cardiac surgery, Vanderbilt researchers have discovered. AKI affects up to 30 percent of patients after cardiac surgery. Loren Smith, MD, PhD, and colleagues evaluated 391 patients participating in a randomized clinical trial of a statin... 

A spicy finding

(iStock) Extracts of the plant turmeric — the spice that gives Indian curries a yellow color — have been used as an anti-inflammatory treatment in traditional Asian medicine for centuries. Clinical trials of curcumin (the active chemical compound in turmeric), however, have produced mixed results. A molecular understanding of curcumin’s biological effects is needed. Claus Schneider, PhD, and... 
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VUMC joins national effort to block global pandemics of potentially lethal viruses

Members of VUMC’s Pandemic Protection team include, from left, Pavlo Gilchuk, PhD, Cinque Soto, PhD, Merissa Mayo, director James Crowe Jr., MD, Robin Bombardi, MS, Thomas Voss, PhD, Robert Carnahan, PhD, and Megan Leksell. (photo by Steve Green) The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has signed a five-year cooperative agreement worth up to $ 28 million with Vanderbilt University... 

BOLD view of white matter

The brain consists of gray matter, which contains the nerve cell bodies (neurons), and white matter, bundles of long nerve fibers (axons) that until recently were considered passive transmitters of signals between different brain regions. Now Zhaohua Ding, PhD, and colleagues in the Vanderbilt University Institute of Imaging Science have detected synchronous BOLD signals in white matter reflecting... 
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Lighting up iron levels

The metal iron is required for life, and disruption in iron levels has been connected to cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegeneration and aging. Current tools for detecting iron – in its various chemical forms – are mostly limited to studies of cell cultures or isolated tissues. Now, Eric Skaar, PhD, MPH, and colleagues have validated a probe for iron imaging in living animals. The probe,... 

Heart failure risk predicted by communities, not wealth

When buying and selling real estate, how often have you heard the realtor’s mantra– location, location, location? This is also the central theme of a recently released journal report on factors that can predict heart failure risk. According to new research in the American Heart Association journal, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, almost 5 percent of heart failure risk was... 

Vanderbilt signs licensing, research agreements to develop new approach to schizophrenia treatment

Jeffrey Conn (Vanderbilt University School of Medicine) Vanderbilt University has signed separate licensing and research collaboration agreements with Lundbeck, a global pharmaceutical company based in Denmark, to develop a novel approach for treating schizophrenia. Under the terms of the licensing agreement, Lundbeck has exclusively licensed rights to compounds developed by the Vanderbilt Center for... 

Asthma study may point to potential new therapeutic approach

Matthew Stier, PhD, left, R. Stokes Peebles, MD, and colleagues are studying a factor involved in the movement of certain white blood cells from the bone marrow to the lungs. (photo by Anne Rayner) A team of Vanderbilt investigators has discovered that a specific factor is critical for the movement of certain white blood cells from the bone marrow to the lungs, where they participate in allergic and... 
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