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3 days ago by @bobnellis · View  

Gene Therapy for Metabolic Liver Diseases Shows Promise in Pigs

illustration of gene sequenceROCHESTER, Minn. ─ With a shortage of donor organs, Mayo Clinic is exploring therapeutic strategies for patients with debilitating liver diseases. Researchers are testing a new approach to correct metabolic disorders without a whole organ transplant. Their findings appear in Science Translational Medicine.

The medical research study tested gene therapy in pigs suffering from hereditary tyrosinemia type 1 (HT1), a metabolic disorder caused by an enzyme deficiency. The common treatment for this disease is a drug regimen, but it is ineffective in many patients, and the long-term safety of using the drug is unknown.

“Liver transplant is the only curable option in treating HT1, which is characterized by progressive liver disease,” says Raymond Hickey, Ph.D., a Mayo surgical researcher. “Using this novel approach to treat HT1 and other metabolic diseases will allow patients to avoid a liver transplant and save more lives.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

Through gene therapy, the corrected liver cells are transplanted into the diseased liver, resulting in enzyme production. “This treatment is a new form of cell transplantation that utilizes the patient’s own cells, so it does not require immunosuppressive drugs and, thus, avoids the side effects of those drugs,” says Scott Nyberg, M.D., Ph.D., a liver transplant surgeon at Mayo Clinic. This therapy resulted in the improvement of pigs with HT1 and the prevention of liver failure. The use of nuclear imaging enables the researchers to monitor expansion of the corrected cells through a noninvasive imaging process.

“Pediatric patients suffering from inborn errors of metabolism of the liver will benefit most from this therapy,” says Dr. Hickey. “More than one-fifth of all pediatric liver transplants are a result of metabolic disease.”

The study also examines the use of lentiviral vectors for cell delivery in treating liver diseases, a tool traditionally used in treating blood disorders.

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, an American Liver Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, a Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine Career Development Award, the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, the Marriott Foundation, the Darwin Deason Family Foundation, and Mayo Clinic.

Co-authors of the paper are:

  • Shennen A. Mao, M.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Jaime Glorioso, M.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Faysal Elgilani, M.B.B.S., Mayo Clinic
  • Bruce Amiot, Mayo Clinic
  • Harvey Chen, M.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Piero Rinaldo, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Ronald Marler, D.V.M., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Huailei Jiang, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Timothy R. DeGrado, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Michael K. O’Connor, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Brittany L. Freeman, Mayo Clinic
  • Samar H. Ibrahim, M.B., Ch.B., Mayo Clinic
  • Kah Whye Peng, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Yasuhiro Ikeda, D.V.M., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Joseph B. Lillegard, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Stephen J. Russell, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Scott L. Nyberg, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Lukkana Suksanpaisan, Imanis Life Sciences
  • Cary O. Harding, M.D., Oregon Health & Science University
  • Markus Grompe, M.D., Oregon Health & Science University
  • Chak S. Ho, M.D., Gift of Life Michigan

Dr. Nyberg grants NIH RO1 DK106667.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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Tue, Jun 21 at 8:00am EDT by @bobnellis · View  

Mayo Clinic Introduces Precision Medicine in Psychiatry

lab vials being processed against blue backgroundROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic is highlighting the potential merits of using precision medicine in prescribing antidepressants. Details appear in the current issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Eleven percent of Americans 12 years and older have been prescribed antidepressant medication, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from 2005–2008. These medications are regularly prescribed in psychiatric, pediatric, adolescent, family and general medicine clinics nationwide.

Mark A. Frye, M.D., department chair of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic, recognizes there is increasing interest in individualizing treatment selection for more than 20 treatments approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for major depressive disorder. By doing so, physicians may be able to provide greater precision to pharmacotherapy recommendations for individual patients beyond the large-scale, clinical trials evidence base.

“The medical community continues to recognize that genetic variation may contribute to disparate patient reactions to drugs,” Dr. Frye says. “For example, some may experience adverse side effects, while others respond positively to the same drug.” He says the different responses to pharmacotherapy provide a unique opportunity to develop pharmacogenetic guidelines for psychiatry.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

These comments are reflected in an evidence review of other studies published in the July issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings. This review focuses on two major genetic tests that screen for pharmacokinetic metabolizing genes CYP2D6 and CYP2C19 — enzymes that metabolize selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI).

Dr. Frye explains that using the electronic health record along with genetic testing results has the potential to further enable prescribers the ability to individualize treatment for their patients taking antidepressants.

Other authors of this study, all of Mayo Clinic, include:

  • Malik Nassan, M.B.B.S.
  • Wayne T. Nicholson, M.D., Pharm.D.
  • Michelle A. Elliott, M.D.
  • Carolyn R. Rohrer Vitek
  • John L. Black, M.D.

The researchers’ potential competing interests are outlined in the article.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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Thu, Jun 2 at 11:00am EDT by @bobnellis · View  

Mayo Clinic Uncovers How One Gene, Protein Suppresses Tumor Formation

woman working in labROCHESTER, Minn. — Pten (short for phosphatase and tensin homolog) is a tumor suppressor that is defective in about 20-25 percent of all patients with cancers. Mayo Clinic researchers now have discovered that Pten safeguards against tumor formation by keeping chromosome numbers intact when a cell splits into two daughter cells. In this study, the last three amino acids of the Pten protein, which are often missing in human cancers, were found to be critical for forming an intact mitotic spindle, a structure required for accurate chromosome segregation. The findings appear in the online issue of Nature Cell Biology.

Pten is the most prominent human tumor suppressor after p53. The current thinking is that Pten’s phosphatase activity counteracts PI3 kinase activity. Loss of this function causes tumor formation through uncontrolled stimulation of AKT, an enzyme that stimulates cell proliferation and survival and is often hyperactive in human tumors. For years, there has been speculation that Pten defects found in cancer patients also lead to the reshuffling of the cell’s chromosomes, but it was unknown how that would happen and how it propels cancer growth. The Mayo study now provides definitive answers to these long-standing questions.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

“We found that Pten localizes to mitotic spindle poles to recruit the ’motor’ protein EG5, which moves the poles apart to form a perfectly symmetrical bipolar spindle that accurately separates duplicated chromosomes,” says senior author Jan van Deursen, Ph.D., a molecular biologist and cancer researcher at Mayo Clinic. The research team further found that the recruitment process involves Dlg1, an Eg5-binding protein that docks to the last three Pten amino acids at spindles poles. Importantly, mutant mice lacking these amino acids have abnormal chromosome numbers and form tumors at high frequency. The researchers say these new findings predict that a large proportion of Pten tumors will be hypersensitive to Eg5-inhibiting drugs, providing new opportunities for targeted cancer therapy.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (CA168709). Co-authors – all of Mayo Clinic – are:

  • Janine Van Ree, Ph.D.
  • Hyun-Ja Nam, Ph.D.
  • Karthikbabu Jeganathan, Ph.D.
  • Arun Kanakkanthara, Ph.D.

Dr. van Deursen, who is the Vita Valley Professor of Cell Senescence at Mayo Clinic, holds a joint appointment in the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine and Biochemistry. He is chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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Thu, May 12 at 12:00pm EDT by @bobnellis · View  

Mayo Clinic Endocrinologist Honored for Obesity Research

obesity map

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The World Obesity Federation, representing scientific and medical obesity research globally, has named Michael Jensen, M.D., a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and obesity researcher, as the winner of its 2016 clinical research award. Dr. Jensen, who is internationally regarded for his research into how the body metabolizes food and creates fat, accepted the Willendorf Award for Scientific Excellence during recent International Conference on Obesity in Vancouver, Canada.

“This is a great honor given how many of my heroes in the field of obesity research have received this award. I’m also gratified because it recognizes decades of work and comes from one’s peers,” says Dr. Jensen.

Dr. Jensen also presented his keynote address for the conference, “Regional Fat Distribution, Fatty Acid Metabolism and Adipocytes.”

bio picture of Dr. Michael Jensen

Dr. Michael Jensen

MEDIA CONTACT
Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

Dr. Jensen's research on Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus involves measuring free fatty acid release to relate these factors to organ and tissue function. He also measures the uptake of fatty acids into muscle, liver and adipose tissue to determine whether preferential uptake of fat can predispose people to obesity or a specific body fat distribution. The cellular fates of fatty acids and the cell processes responsible for these steps can be determined, and this information can be used to help patients. The long-term goal of Dr. Jensen's research is to understand the regulation of body fat and body fat distribution in hopes of developing medical therapies and other approaches to improve the health of humans affected by obesity or excess fat.

According to the World Obesity Federation, the Willendorf Award was introduced in 1980. This award recognizes outstanding medical scientists who have demonstrated substantial clinically oriented contributions in research related to obesity.

The World Obesity Federation represents professional members of the scientific, medical and research communities from more than 50 regional and national obesity associations. Its goal is to create a global community of organizations dedicated to solving the problems of obesity.

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About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/

Tags:

#Mayo Clinic; #Minnesota news release; #news release; #medical research; #awards ; #Dr Michael Jensen; #endocrinology ; #Obesity

 

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Tue, May 10 at 12:00pm EDT by @bobnellis · View  

Discovery’s Edge Launches Online Spanish Edition

Screen grab of Spanish Discovery's Edge on laptop

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Discovery’s Edge, Mayo Clinic’s research magazine, is now available online in Spanish at http://discoverysedge.mayo.edu/espanol/

Each year, Mayo Clinic cares for more than 1 million patients from the U.S. and more than 143 countries worldwide, including many Spanish speakers. To better serve these patients and everyone interested in Mayo’s research, Mayo Clinic has launched its new Discovery’s Edge online version in Spanish.

“We’re very excited to offer our stories of discovery to this expanded audience,” says Bob Nellis, executive editor of Discovery’s Edge. “We also hope news of these scientific discoveries will be shared widely by Spanish-language media..”

Discovery’s Edge offers insight into the process and progress of medical science discoveries at the world’s-largest group medical practice. The magazine’s mission is to tell the stories of scientists and physician-researchers who are improving treatment and care for patients every day through interdisciplinary studies in all areas of medicine.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

The magazine’s newest online presence was launched in January 2016, greatly expanding the number of news and feature articles, as well as adding videos and animations. Mayo Clinic has more than 1,000 medical researchers and an annual budget of more than $660 million dedicated to making discoveries that will help meet unmet patient needs. Mayo investigators share their discoveries and other scientific knowledge by publishing more than 7,000 journal articles annually and presenting at medical conferences worldwide. Discovery’s Edge conveys those findings to the public in terms they can understand, with visuals that captivate.

The news media may republish articles with permission.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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bobnellis

Thu, May 5 at 12:01pm EDT by @bobnellis · View  

Research Suggests Diabetes Drug Acts Differently from Previous Theories

a bottle of pills on its side with medicine tablets spilling outROCHESTER, Minn. — A Mayo Clinic study suggests laboratory findings do not tell the whole story of how the diabetes drug metformin works to limit the level of glucose in the blood. The researchers found that metformin does not limit the action of the hormone glucagon, specifically glucagon-stimulated glucose production from the liver. The article appears in the journal Cell Reports.

“In our clinical trial, metformin treatment appeared to trigger a compensatory increase of glucagon that may mitigate the ability of metformin to lower glucose production in prediabetic individuals and prevent the likelihood of hypoglycemia,” explained K. Sreekumaran Nair, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and senior author of the article.

Metformin's action is generally related to the release of glucose from the liver. The liver releases glucose when prodded by a pancreatic hormone called glucagon. Glucagon is released when blood glucose levels drop. Metformin is thought to limit the action of glucagon, the substances used to make it, or affect the level of enzymes used to make it.

Yet that’s not what Dr. Nair and colleagues found in their double-blind study of nine prediabetic individuals.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

The researchers found that for the six individuals with fasting (basal) glucagon levels of less than 150 picograms/milliliter, metformin treatment decreased the liver’s production of glucose as expected. But for the three individuals with basal levels greater than 150 pg/mL, levels of glucose produced by the liver actually increased after metformin treatment.

This contradictory finding may be due to both the study design and participants. Unlike previous preclinical metformin research, this study used human participants and metformin at therapeutic doses. Studies in animal or cellular models have examined higher doses, or used drugs in the same class as metformin that are not approved for use in humans. Also, unlike many other human studies based on participants with type 2 diabetes, the current report is based on prediabetic individuals.

More research on a larger and more diverse group of patients is needed before the findings can be widely applied.

Dr. Nair’s co-authors include: Adam Konopka, Ph.D.; Raul Ruiz Esponda, M.D.; Matthew Robinson, Ph.D.; Matthew Johnson, Ph.D.; Ian Lanza, Ph.D.; and Rickey Carter, Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic; Michele Schiavon, Ph.D.; and Claudio Cobelli, Ph.D., of the University of Padova; and Fredric Wondisford, M.D., of the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Grants from the National Institutes of Health and The Minnesota Nutrition and Obesity Center funded this study.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

nennasays

nennasays responded Thu, May 5 at 3:23pm EDT · View

I was prescribed metaformin, when my blood glucose level was just under diabetic levels. I took it for several weeks, and almost immediately began having severe pains in my left arm, radiating up through my shoulder, neck and jaw. Severe pain that would wake me up out of a dead sleep, night after night. After having an EKG and finding nothing, I stopped taking the med. Within a week, felt better. Doctor insisted I start [...]

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bobnellis

Fri, Apr 1 at 8:20am EDT by @bobnellis · View  

Professional Burnout Associated With Physicians Limiting Practice

Close up of doctor's medical Stethoscope, laid face-down on table, processed in blue huesROCHESTER, Minn. — At a time when the nation is facing projected physician shortages, a Mayo Clinic study shows an association between burnout and declining professional satisfaction with physicians reducing the number of hours they devote to clinical practice. The findings appear in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

“A dramatic increase in burnout has occurred among U.S. physicians over the last several years,” says Tait Shanafelt, M.D., Mayo Clinic physician and lead author of the study. “Using independent payroll records, this study objectively found that the measured level of burnout today predicts whether physicians will cut their work hours over the next 12-24 months.”

Researchers from Mayo Clinic and Sirota Survey Intelligence linked data from validated surveys assessing burnout and work satisfaction from physicians at Mayo Clinic to seven years of administrative and payroll records for doctors at the institution. Although none of the Mayo Clinic investigators had access to any identifying information, the Sirota team was able to pair the payroll data Mayo provided to survey responses. The investigators found that for every point increase in the seven-point scale measuring emotional exhaustion (a domain of burnout), there was a 40 percent greater likelihood a physician would cut back his or her work hours over the next 24 months. A similar relationship was observed for every one-point decrease in the five-point scale measuring professional satisfaction.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

The longitudinal study used survey data from 1,856 physicians responding in 2011 and 2,132 physicians responding in 2013. The study included physicians on payroll at the Mayo Clinic campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. Results were adjusted for geographic site, age, sex and specialty.

“There is a societal imperative to provide physicians a better option than choosing between reducing clinical work or burning out,” Dr. Shanafelt says. “Physicians reducing their professional effort due to burnout could exacerbate the already substantial U.S. physician workforce shortage as well as impact continuity of care for patients.”

He says the link between burnout and cutting clinical work is particularly concerning for several primary care disciplines, such as family medicine and general internal medicine. These specialties already have the largest projected physician shortages and have some of the highest rates of burnout.

The researchers say more studies must be done to determine if the workforce reduction due to burnout is causal and to see if changes in the practice environment can reverse this trend.

In addition to Dr. Shanafelt, Mayo Clinic co-authors include:

  • Michelle Mungo
  • Jaime Schmitgen
  • Sharonne Hayes, M.D.
  • Jeff Sloan, Ph.D.
  • Stephen Swensen, M.D.
  • Steven Buskirk, M.D.

From Sirota:

  • Kristen Storz
  • David Reeves, Ph.D.

The study was funded by Mayo Clinic.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

 

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Mon, Mar 14 at 8:00am EDT by @bobnellis · View  

Medical Students, Burnout and Alcohol

Close up of doctor's medical Stethoscope, laid face-down on table, processed in blue huesROCHESTER, Minn. — Medical students are more prone to alcohol abuse than their peers not attending medical school, especially if they are young, single and under a high debt load. That’s according to a study on medical student burnout by researchers at Mayo Clinic. The findings appear in the journal Academic Medicine.

“Our findings clearly show there is reason for concern,” says Liselotte Dyrbye, M.D., Mayo Clinic internist and senior author of the paper. “We recommend institutions pursue a multifaceted solution to address related issues with burnout, the cost of medical education and alcohol abuse.”

Mayo researchers surveyed 12,500 medical students, and one-third of those students responded. Approximately 1,400 of that subgroup experienced clinical alcohol abuse or dependence. Nationally, that translates to about one-third of those responding, compared to only 16 percent of peers not in medical school, and double the rate of alcohol abuse or dependence of surgeons, U.S. physicians or the general public based on earlier research by this team.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email: [email protected]

Burnout factors such as emotional exhaustion or feelings of depersonalization were all highly associated with alcohol abuse or dependence among the medical students. Three other factors were independently associated:

  • A younger age than most peers in medical school
  • Being unmarried
  • Amount of educational debt

No statistical difference was found between differing years of medical school or between men and women.

Researchers say the average cost of medical school from 1995 to 2014 increased by 209 percent at private colleges and 286 percent at public schools. They say physicians graduating with a medical degree in 2014 had an average of $180,000 in educational debt.

“In our paper we recommend wellness curricula for medical schools, identifying and remediating factors within the learning environment contributing to stress, and removal of barriers to mental health services,” says first author and Mayo Medical School student Eric Jackson.

Other co-authors include Tait Shanafelt, M.D., Omar Hasan, M.B.B.S., and Daniel Satele, of Mayo Clinic. The research was funded by the American Medical Association and Mayo Clinic.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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Wed, Mar 2 at 9:20am EDT by @bobnellis · View  

Mayo Clinic Researchers Show how to Turn Around Science Education

Close-up of zebra fishROCHESTER, Minn. — Over seven years ago, Mayo Clinic researchers began collecting scientific data on a different kind of experiment: How well K-8 school students might improve in science if offered a hands-on, real-time research curriculum. Their findings, published online in the journal Palgrave Communications, demonstrate that their Integrated Science Education Outreach (InSciEd Out) program is not only scalable and transferrable across the country and the world, but that it can be used to help reform science education in primary and secondary schools. The work also challenges efforts in education reform to employ the same statistical scrutiny found in the review process of other areas of science.

Instead of sticking with a traditional textbook curriculum in Lincoln K-8 school in Rochester, Minn., the Mayo team collaborated with the school system to introduce a research laboratory approach using live zebrafish as a tool and focal point. The data show that first school became the top science middle school in Minnesota. Since then, the approach has been replicated in multiple grade levels in schools in other systems and states, and has been exported in a partnership with India.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: [email protected].

“These analyses provide evidence that scientifically rigorous evaluation demonstrating relevant program efficacy is indeed achievable in education science,” says Joanna Yang, a Ph.D. candidate in Clinical and Translational Sciences at Mayo Graduate School and first author of the article.

The study follows the growth of 4 cohorts of participating students assessed for proficiency in science in grades 5 and 8. Outcomes from students employing InSciEd Out curriculum are compared to cohorts at the district and state level following traditional curriculum. The InSciEd Out students show identity of scientists through a more than 8-fold increase in science fair participation. They show entry into the scientific pipeline through a doubling in their choice to enter advanced science classes when transitioning to high school. Each of these changes is shown in the manuscript to be sustained for 6 years in the science/education partnership.

InSciEd Out launched as a collaboration among Mayo Clinic, Winona State University-Rochester, and Rochester Public Schools in 2009. It has since grown to include collaborations in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., Florida, Illinois, India, and Ghana. Founding partners Chris Pierret, Ph.D., Stephen Ekker, Ph.D., and James Sonju (principal at Lincoln K-8) realized that students were hungry for science and capable of much more than was currently offered. A pilot program grew into a transferrable multi-year curriculum that led to students publishing as co-authors on research papers and to a visit to the White House where the students and their mentors were praised by President Obama.

“We consider this paper to be a call to apply the same scientific rigor and clinical trial temperament (that we use in science) to education efforts,” says corresponding author Dr. Chris Pierret. “Statistical significance of findings is and should remain the gold standard for describing success.”

Co-authors include Thomas LaBounty of LaBounty Consulting; Woodbury, Minn.; and Stephen Ekker, Ph.D. of Mayo Clinic. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences; the National Science Foundation; and Mayo Clinic.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/

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Tue, Feb 23 at 11:31am EDT by @bobnellis · View  

Minnesota Partnership Announces Seven New Research Awards

Lab worker with test tubes doing research
ROCHESTER, Minn. — New treatments and diagnostics for Alzheimer’s and cancer dominate the 2016 research awards recently announced by the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics. The state-supported funding was distributed among seven research teams, based on competitive applications. Each team represents researchers from Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota.

“These are seed grants, aimed at providing innovative researchers the means to get a scientific project off the ground and on the way toward a possible new treatment,” says Eric Wieben, Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic, program co-director for the Minnesota Partnership.

“I’m pleased that we are entering our second decade of scientific progress with so many strong projects that could potentially change how medicine is practiced,” says Tucker LeBien, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota, program co-director.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: [email protected]

The seven grants totaled just over $6.5 million.

Characterization of Anti-Tumor Immune Responses following Oncolytic therapy in Spontaneous Cancer
In this study researchers will use engineered Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) as a powerful new immunotherapy for osteosarcoma. The study patients will be dogs already stricken with osteosarcoma that, like humans, often die due to progressive disease and metastasis. Researchers will carry out an in-depth analysis to understand how and when VSV therapy activates the immune system to destroy naturally occurring canine osteosarcoma as a way to prevent or delay disease progression.

Jaime Modiano, D.V.M, Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Stephen Russell, M.D., Mayo Clinic

Bioengineered Oral Vaccines against MRSA “Superbug”
This project will develop vaccines against the antibiotic resistant bacteria MRSA. If this project is successful, the bacteria will be rendered sensitive to the antibiotics that currently do not work, including penicillin and its derivatives. These vaccines also hold promises to eliminate these dangerous infectious agents before surgery or implantation of artificial joints or cardiac pacemakers to reduce the risk of untreatable infections.

Michael Barry, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic; Chun Wang, Ph.D., University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota Research Partnership Logo

Evaluating Novel Therapeutic Strategies for Treating Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy
Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy is a late onset degenerative eye disease. Corneal transplantation is the only available treatment option for this disease. With the identification of the underlying disease mechanism, researchers are now in a position to better understand the disease process and will be testing therapeutic strategies to identify drug classes that will slow disease progression.

Michael Fautsch, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic; Harry Orr, Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Smart Fabric for Cardio-Performance Enhancement
Compression garments have widespread clinical and commercial applications, but garments on the market today suffer from several design flaws. This research team is developing a smart garment with integrated active materials with the ability to squeeze on command, combining the controllability and ease of donning an inflatable sleeve with the low mass/profile of an elastic stocking. Applications range from vascular disease therapies to sports medicine.

Lucy Dunne, Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Bruce Johnson, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic

Regenerating Myelin in Multiple Sclerosis
MS is a complicated progressive disease that affects almost one in every thousand people around the world. These researchers will be using newly patented DNA aptamers that help mice to regenerate material damaged by animal MS to study disease progression. Aptamers are specialized molecules that bind to pre-selected targets. Researchers will test how best to assemble these aptamers for treatment, and whether a simpler method to ease the drug manufacturing process will be effective. These studies with mice will set the stage for moving this important new MS therapy toward future studies with humans.

Jim Maher, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic; Sang-Hyun Oh, Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Molecular Mechanism of Novel Small Molecule Therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease

This project hopes to establish more efficient treatment regimens for memory loss. It will take a novel therapy (CP2/C458) and determine if it can slow or stop actual loss of nerve cells caused by the toxic proteins that cause Alzheimer’s disease.

Michael Lee, Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Eugenia Trushina, Ph.D., Mayo Clinic

Early Diagnosis of Brain Insulin Resistance in Alzheimer’s disease
It is shown that in type II diabetes and similarly, in Alzheimer’s disease, blood vessels in the brain are damaged and insulin needed for proper brain function cannot be delivered to the brain. Researchers in this project will work on developing insulin as an imaging marker for the early detection of the blood vessels’ inability to transport insulin into the brain. This will allow health professionals to screen individuals at risk for dementia before the memory changes become evident.

Karunya Kandimalla, Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Val Lowe, M.D., Mayo Clinic

The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic and the state of Minnesota. To learn more about the Partnership, visit http://www.minnesotapartnership.info.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

 

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Thu, Feb 11 at 3:54pm EDT by @bobnellis · View  

Long-Term Benefits of “Senolytic” Drugs on Vascular Health in Mice

Concept of biochemistry with dna molecule on blue background
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Building on previous studies, Mayo Clinic researchers have demonstrated significant health improvements in the vascular system of mice following repeated treatments to remove senescent cells. They say this is the first study to show that regular and continual clearance of senescent cells improves age-related vascular conditions – and that the method may be a viable approach to reduce cardiovascular disease and death. The findings appear online in Aging Cell.

“Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in our population today, and disability related to heart disease and stroke has a tremendous impact on our aging population,” says James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging at Mayo Clinic and co-corresponding author of this study. “This is the first evidence that longer term use of senolytic drugs to clear these damaged cells from the body can have a preventative impact against vascular diseases.”

Senescent cells are damaged cells that no longer function properly, but remain in the body and contribute to frailty and many of the other health conditions associated with aging. Prior studies at Mayo showed chronic removal of the cells from genetically-altered mice can alter or delay many of these conditions, and short-term treatment with drugs that remove senescent cells can improve the function of the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels. This study, however, looked at the structural and functional impacts of cell clearance using a unique combination of drugs on blood vessels over time. Mice were 24 months old when the drugs – a cocktail of dasatinib and quercetin – were administered orally over a three-month period following those initial two years. A separate set of mice with high cholesterol was allowed to develop atherosclerotic plaques for 4 months and were then treated with the drug cocktail for two months.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis or Megan Forliti, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: [email protected].

The research showed that senescent cell clearance in either naturally-aged or atherosclerotic mice alleviated vascular dysfunction. Although it did not reduce the size of plaques in mice with high cholesterol, it did reduce calcification of existing plaques on the interior of vessel walls.

“Our finding that senolytic drugs can reduce cardiovascular calcification is very exciting, since blood vessels with calcified plaques are notoriously difficult to reduce in size, and patients with heart valve calcification currently do not have any treatment options other than surgery,” says Jordan Miller, Ph.D., Mayo cardiovascular surgery researcher and senior author of the paper. “While more research is needed, our findings are encouraging that one day removal of senescent cells in humans may be used as a complementary therapy along with traditional management of risk factors to reduce surgery, disability, or death resulting from cardiovascular disease.”

The coauthors include first author Carolyn Roos; Bin Zhang, M.D.; Allyson Palmer; Tamar Pirtskhalava, Ph.D.; Nassir Thalji, M.D., Ph.D.; Michael Hagler; Leslie Smith; Grace Casaclang-Verzosa, M.D.; Yi Zhu, Ph.D.; Marissa Schafer, Ph.D.; Tamara Tchkonia, Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic; and Mikolaj Ogrodnik, and Diana Jurk, Ph.D., of Newcastle University.

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine, and the Connor Group and Noaber Foundation. Drs. Kirkland, Tchkonia, Zhu, Pirtskhalava, and Ms. Palmer have a financial interest related to the research.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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Fri, Feb 5 at 10:11am EDT by @bobnellis · View  

Mayo Plans Residential Mental Illness Recovery Care Option

Female celebrating life in a beautiful sunset
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic plans to build a pair of adjacent residential recovery homes across from Mayo Clinic Hospital – Saint Marys Campus in Rochester for adults with mental illness. The homes and the services offered there are designed for individuals living with mental illness who are stable and have a desire to succeed in their recovery but need additional support to learn how to manage their illness. Staff members will offer residents on-site, around-the-clock support in a supervised environment structured to support personalized treatment and community involvement.

These residences are being made possible through a generous gift to Mayo Clinic from The Sylvan C. Herman Foundation, founder of ClearView Communities, a residential rehabilitation program for adults with mental illness in Frederick, Maryland. They will be named in memory of Sylvan Herman’s son and collectively be known as the John E. Herman House in collaboration with ClearView Communities.

The John E. Herman House will be located on property Mayo Clinic owns along 14th Avenue Southwest across from the Saint Marys Campus. With this location, the homes’ residents will have convenient access to outpatient treatment programs of Mayo Clinic's Department of Psychiatry and Psychology located in the Generose Building. Each home will host 6 to 10 residents and will share an on-site treatment space.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected]

“The residents of these homes will be individuals who are investing in their health, so they can be good neighbors and contribute to their communities,” says Mark Frye, M.D., chair, Mayo Clinic Department of Psychiatry and Psychology. “This new facility will help extend Mayo Clinic’s multidisciplinary care team model into a residential home setting. Physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, mental health technicians and social workers will be involved with onsite residential care support for the home’s residents and the delivery of seamless and appropriate care. This new recovery care option will help extend Mayo Clinic’s multidisciplinary care team model into a residential setting.”

The program will use principles and treatment models developed by ClearView Communities, paired with Mayo Clinic’s knowledge and expertise, to offer a comfortable home environment to promote healing and help residents prepare for independent living. Residents will participate in activities that support community inclusion, including work, school and volunteering.

“Mayo Clinic will support individuals and their ongoing care with this program as there is an unmet need for this kind of residential care,” said Brian Palmer, M.D., Mayo Clinic psychiatrist and John E. Herman House medical director. “We believe providing patients with resources like this in a residential setting like this will lead to better outcomes and ultimately help them in their recovery.”

Formal construction plans and timelines are being determined.

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic, or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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Dec 8, 2015 by @bobnellis · View  

Mayo Clinic Researchers Identify Potential Biomarkers for Bipolar I Disorder

test tubes 16 x 9

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a series of proteins that could be diagnostic markers to identify bipolar I disorder. If this discovery sample can be validated through replication these markers may help as a diagnostic tool for psychiatrists treating mood disorders. The findings appear in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

“The potential of having a biological test to help accurately diagnose bipolar disorder would make a huge difference to medical practice,” says Mark Frye, M.D., head of psychiatry and psychology at Mayo Clinic and first author of the study. “It would then help clinicians to choose the most appropriate treatment for hard-to-diagnose individuals.”

Up to now psychiatrists have relied on observed symptoms and patient assessments based on interviews. That information is then compared to established diagnostic criteria. In contrast to other medical conditions – such as heart attack or cancer – there is no biological marker in mood disorders in general, bipolar disorder in particular, to help confirm clinical diagnosis. It is critical to differentiate bipolar disorder from other mood disorders as the treatments differ and a medication suited to one condition may be dangerous to patients with another.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email: [email protected]

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Frye are available in the downloads.

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Dec 1, 2015 by @bobnellis · View  

Physicians and Burnout: It’s Getting Worse

burnout 16 x 9

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Burnout among U.S. physicians is getting worse. An update from a three-year study evaluating burnout and work-life balance shows that American physicians are worse off today than they were three years earlier. These dimensions remained largely unchanged among U.S. workers in general, resulting in a widening gap between physicians and U.S. workers in other fields. The study conducted by Mayo Clinic researchers in partnership with the American Medical Association compared data from 2014 to metrics they collected in 2011 and found that now more than half of U.S. physicians are experiencing professional burnout. The findings appear in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

“Burnout manifests as emotional exhaustion, loss of meaning in work, and feelings of ineffectiveness,” says Tait Shanafelt, M.D., “What we found is that more physicians in almost every specialty are feeling this way and that’s not good for them, their families, the medical profession, or patients.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email: [email protected] [...]

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Nov 30, 2015 by @bobnellis · View  

Mayo Clinic Launches New Web Concept for its Research Magazine

Screen Shot 1 2015-11-23 at 3.14.11 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Mayo Clinic has developed and launched a new concept for Discovery’s Edge, its research magazine. The new approach adds videos, animations, medical imagery, weekly news briefs, and news features, while maintaining its longstanding appeal to thousands of readers interested in medical discoveries and emerging research. Discovery’s Edge continues its popular in-depth articles on medical research written by some of the nation’s top science writers. The new platform complements the print and digital magazine versions, which appear twice annually, and replaces an online presence that began in 2004. In 2016, a Spanish language edition will be available.

“Today’s research determines tomorrow’s medical treatments,” says Gregory Gores, M.D., Mayo Clinic’s executive dean for Research. “Discovery’s Edge is our messenger, telling our story on behalf of the thousands on our research teams working to find those solutions.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email: [email protected] [...]

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Nov 23, 2015 by @bobnellis · View  

Mayo Clinic Featured on National Geographic “Breakthrough” Series

“The universal fascination and anxiety that we all feel around this subject is what gives it its power.” - Ron Howard, director of Breakthrough - The Age of Aging

BREAKTHROUGH_AGING_PR_DIGITAL_PC1

How to age but keep your health? Can science reverse aging? Those are just two of the questions Oscar-winning director Ron Howard will investigate when he hosts the documentary series Breakthrough on the National Geographic channel on Sunday November 29, 9 pm EST/8 pm CST. The segment focuses on Mayo Clinic’s Kogod Center on Aging and features gerontology researcher James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D.

The production team spent a week on Mayo’s Rochester, Minnesota campus last spring, interviewing researchers, physicians and residents of retirement communities about optimal ways to make the most out of one’s later years. Expect to hear about possible aging interventions at the cellular level and what that may mean for lifespan and “healthspan.”

Download and view a segment of the program on Mayo research.

Aging is the leading risk factor for most chronic diseases, including stroke, heart disease, cancer, dementia, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, blindness and frailty. Research discoveries being made at the Mayo Clinic Kogod Center on Aging suggest that aging may actually be a modifiable risk factor — aging doesn't have to increase the risk of disease and disability.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: [email protected] [...]

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Nov 12, 2015 by @bobnellis · View  

Mayo Clinic Researchers Identify New Diabetes Risk Mechanism

diabetes and regenerative medicine

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Researchers at Mayo Clinic have discovered an unexpected effect from a gene known to increase diabetes risk. They assumed the specific allele in the gene TCF7L2 which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes impairs insulin production in response to increased insulin resistance.
Some slight evidence of that was found, but more significantly the researchers discovered that this variant impaired a person’s ability to balance blood sugar (glucose) by suppressing glucagon – the hormone that raises the level of glucose in the bloodstream. The findings appear in the journal Diabetes.

“This was surprising. It demonstrates a completely novel mechanism of predisposition to diabetes that could lead to novel therapies,” says Adrian Vella, M.D., Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and senior author of the study. “Ultimately, this sheds new light on how this gene actually predisposes to diabetes.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: [email protected]

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Nov 10, 2015 by @bobnellis · View  

Mayo Clinic Experts Advise Caution with New Cholesterol Drugs- PCSK-9 Inhibitors

In a viewpoint released today in The Journal of the American Medical Association Cardiovascular Special Issue, Mayo Clinic endocrinologists and researchers are warning against the “premature and widespread adoption” of a new type of drug that reduces cholesterol, PCSK-9 inhibitors.the word cholesterol on a scale or meter reader They argue that little is known about their long-term safety and efficacy on outcomes that matter to patients. Given the long track record of efficacy and safety and the low cost of statins, they think that it is premature to adopt PCSK-9 inhibitors as alternatives to statins.

The Food and Drug Administration has recently approved the new class of drugs for patients with high LDL-cholesterol who also have familial hypercholesterolemia or with clinical cardiovascular disease who are seeking secondary prevention or cannot tolerate statins. The Mayo experts are predicting four situations that will fuel abandoning statins in favor of the PCSK-9 inhibitors:

  • Patients who have muscle problems or other symptoms suggestive of statin intolerance.
  • Patients who have a heart attack or a stroke while using a statin.
  • Patients who may not to be taking statins every day.
  • Patients who have cholesterol levels that remain high despite statins.

Media Contact: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs,
507-284-5005, [email protected]

Journalists: Sound bites with Drs. Montori and Rodriguez-Gutierrez are available in the downloads.

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Sep 28, 2015 by @bobnellis · View  

Decision Aids Help Patients with Depression and Doctors Feel Better About Medication

Choosing the right antidepressant can be a daunting task. With so many choices and such unpredictability in their individual effects, patients with depression often spend months or years casting about for the right medication, while clinicians are often uneasy or unwilling to offer options other than their preferred prescriptions.Dr. Victor Montori talking with patient

A new study from Mayo Clinic shows that a simple series of conversation cards can dramatically improve both the patient’s and their physician’s satisfaction with the discussion on and comfort with the choice of antidepressant. The findings appear in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

“We worked closely with patients, their families, and clinicians to fully understand what really matters to them when confronted with this situation. We wanted to transform the too-often unavailable evidence into accurate, easily accessible information to be used within the context of each person’s needs and preferences, ultimately creating what we hope to be meaningful conversations,” says Annie LeBlanc, Ph.D., first author and Mayo Clinic health science researcher.

Media Contact: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, [email protected] [...]

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Sep 21, 2015 by @bobnellis · View  

Five Ways Individualized Medicine is Impacting Health Care

Rochester, Minn. — How is individualized medicine working? Let us count the ways.

That’s just what Mayo Clinic Vice President Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., did this morning in his opening keynote at the 4th annual Individualizing Medicine Conference. The core of his talk highlighted five areas in which the knowledge and know-how from the human genome will be most impactful in patient care, not just at Mayo Clinic, but anywhere in the nation and globally.

“What’s in it for you?” he asked the crowd of health providers at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester,
Minn. “Individualized or precision medicine offers help for your medical practice today. You can take advantage of these advances to help your patients, to better diagnose, treat or prevent illness right now.” Here is his short list of “value adds” to the practice of medicine. There are many more, but these are the most pervasive and applicable at the moment.

Journalists: B-roll of the conference and sound bites with Dr. Farrugia and Dr. Stewart are available in the downloads.

Media Contact: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs,
507-284-5005, [email protected]

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jonholten

jonholten responded Sep 25, 2015 · View

Good stuff, Bob. Sure makes me want to know more.

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