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Forum highlights strong clinical, translational research efforts

From left, Paul Harris, Ph.D., Gordon Bernard, M.D., Kathryn Edwards, M.D., and Katherine Hartmann, M.D., Ph.D., pose for a photo at last week’s Vanderbilt Translational Research Forum. (photo by Steve Green) Clinical and translational research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is thriving. Nearly 80 percent of tenure-track faculty members in the School of Medicine participate in... 

Calcium intake and colorectal cancer

Calcium plays key roles in cellular signaling, proliferation and death. Previous studies exploring the relationship between dietary calcium intake and colorectal cancer have had contradictory results, perhaps due to no consideration of variation in calcium reabsorption by the kidney. Qi Dai, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues examined how variation in genes involved in calcium reabsorption related to the... 

New faculty: Mariann Piano, professor of nursing and senior associate dean for research

Mariann Piano, professor of nursing and senior associate dean for research (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt) Four to five drinks in an evening. Starting the weekend on Thursday with happy hour. No big deal, right? Wrong, according to Mariann Piano, new senior associate dean for research at the School of Nursing, whose work indicates that binge drinking by young adults 18-30 may lead to vascular dysfunction... 

Gender, pain and dementia

Men and women feel pain differently, and the same is true for people with Alzheimer’s disease. In a report published last month in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Todd Monroe, Ph.D., and his colleagues conclude that these differences will need to be considered in order to improve the detection, evaluation and treatment of pain in this vulnerable population. The researchers used a standard questionnaire... 
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VIGH receives federal grants to fight kidney disease

Researchers in the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) have received two new grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) aimed at reducing the risk of kidney disease in HIV-infected adults and improving the treatment of epilepsy in children in Nigeria. The first grant will provide $ 3.1 million over five years to support a randomized controlled trial of 2,200 HIV-infected adults... 

Researcher targets peanut allergies with Cohen Fund support

With support from the Stanley Cohen Innovation Fund, Scott Smith, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues are testing a new therapeutic strategy for peanut allergies. (photo by Daniel Dubois) Scott Smith, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Medicine, has received a 2017 research award from the Stanley Cohen Innovation Fund to test a new therapeutic strategy for peanut allergies. The Cohen Fund honors Cohen,... 

New tools to combat kidney fibrosis

Interstitial fibrosis – excessive tissue scarring – contributes to chronic kidney disease, which is increasing in prevalence in the United States. Raymond Harris, M.D., and colleagues have previously implicated the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy and kidney fibrosis, but the role of sustained EGFR activation in the renal tubule (a specific region... 

A switch for autoimmunity

by Meredith Jackson When a virus or bacteria comes calling, protein “sensors” in your cells can detect the invader’s DNA and activate inflammatory responses to prevent infection. One such sensor is cGAS (cyclic GMP-AMP synthase). Normally, cGAS is an asset – something you definitely want to be working for you. However, abnormal responses to intracellular DNA can lead to hyper-inflammatory... 

Mayor to speak at Center for Addiction Research science day

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will speak during a “science day” Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the Belcourt Theatre hosted by the Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research (VCAR). The half-day event, which begins at 8:45 a.m., also features a discussion of Tennessee’s opioid crisis by Stephen Loyd, M.D., medical director of Substance Abuse Services for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance... 

Major international study testing therapy to prevent spread of HIV

Nine more volunteers are needed to complete a study at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) that could lead to a way to prevent the spread of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). A total of 4,200 volunteers are being recruited at 47 sites in 10 countries in North and South America and Africa to participate in the AMP (antibody mediated prevention) study. Darnell Peppers (front row, right) is... 
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