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Bob Nellis

Bob Nellis (@bobnellis)

Activity by Bob Nellis

Bob Nellis

Tue, Aug 18 at 8:00am EDT by Bob Nellis · View  

Mayo Clinic joins Illumina, Warburg Pincus, and Sutter Hill Ventures to form Helix to Accelerate Consumer Adoption of Genomics

Individualized Medicine Clinic

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — August 18, 2015—Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ: ILMN), Warburg Pincus and Sutter Hill Ventures announced today that they have formed a company to empower consumers to discover insights into their own genomes through a vibrant ecosystem of high-quality content partners. The company, called Helix, is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and received financing commitments in excess of $100 million. Jay Flatley, CEO of Illumina, will serve as Chairman of the Board.

Helix will enable individuals to acquire an unprecedented amount of genetic information by providing affordable sequencing and database services for consumer samples brought through third party partners, driving the creation of an ecosystem of consumer applications. After being sequenced, individuals will be able to manage their data and explore an open marketplace of on-demand applications, provided by Helix’s partners, to gain additional insights into the genomic data that has already been acquired. By converting genetic information to digital data stored in the cloud, Helix enables its partners to develop and deliver premium genomic products to consumers without the burden of developing their own assay, laboratory, or database infrastructure. [...]

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Bob Nellis

Thu, Jul 30 at 8:00am EDT by Bob Nellis · View  

Cost-effective addition to mammography in detecting cancer in dense breast tissue

ROCHESTER, Minn. – For women with dense breast tissue, supplementing standard mammography with a new imaging technique called molecular breast imaging (MBI) can lower the cost of diagnosis of breast cancers, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine found that adding MBI to mammography of women with dense breast tissue increased the costs of diagnosis 3.2 times, compared to costs of mammography alone, and nearly quadrupled the rate of cancer detection. Because the supplemental test found more cancer, screening with a combination of mammography and MBI saved $8,254 per cancer detected.

While mammography is still the standard tool for widespread breast cancer screening, it is now known to perform less effectively in women with dense breast tissue. Both tumors and normal dense breast tissue can appear white on a mammogram, making tumors hard to detect. Nearly half of all women over age 40 have mammograms classified as “dense,” according to Carrie Hruska, Ph.D., a medical physicist in the Mayo Clinic Department of Radiology and the study’s lead author. Supplemental screening techniques like MBI address a significant need for better cancer detection methods for this patient population.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Hruska are in the downloads.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis and Shea Jennings, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu [...]

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Bob Nellis

Wed, Jul 15 at 11:53am EDT by Bob Nellis · View  

Repairing Fatal Mutations Behind Mitochondrial Disease

A multidisciplinary team of researchers has eliminated fatal mitochondrial DNA mutations in stem cells from patients with mitochondrial diseasesAbstract DNA, futuristic molecule, cell illustration.The study is published in today's online issue of Nature as a collaboration between some of the nation's top institutions and Mayo Clinic's Center for Regenerative Medicine.

Mitochondrial diseases are a particular struggle for patients and their families as treatment options are limited, something made more dire as many of those affected are children. Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., director of Mayo Clinic's Center for Regenerative Medicine, explains: "These are life threatening conditions where standard care is limited to alleviating symptoms of disease. Our proof-of-concept study shows that functionally corrected stem cells can be generated from these patients, providing initial steps towards regenerative therapy for mitochondrial disease.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

Read: Research paper in Nature

Read: Oregon Health & Science University News Release

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Bob Nellis

Wed, May 13 at 6:00am EDT by Bob Nellis · View  

Mayo Clinic to Study 10,000 Patients for Drug-Gene Safety

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Mayo Clinic, in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine, is planning to launch a study of 10,000 Mayo biobank members for potential risk of drug reactions or lack of drug effect based on each individual’s genome.Logotipo del Centro para Medicina Personalizada Researchers will be sequencing the DNA of the biobank members for 69 different genes that can influence how patients’ metabolize or react to different drugs. The goal is to determine which “pharmacogenomic” findings are relevant to that individual patient and to insert that information into their medical records – providing an “early warning system” to prevent adverse drug reactions or ineffective treatments.

“This is a huge step toward bringing knowledge of pharmacogenomics into patient care,” says Richard Weinshilboum, M.D., Pharmacogenomics Program Director at Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine and the Mary Lou and John H. Dasburg Professor of Cancer Genomics. “Most importantly, it has the potential of preventing errors and identifying the most appropriate drugs and individualized treatments for thousands of patients – thanks to research on the human genome.”

Media Contact: Bob Nellis at Mayo Clinic Public Affairs: 507-284-5005 or newsbureau@mayo.edu [...]

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Bob Nellis

Wed, Apr 22 at 2:00pm EDT by Bob Nellis · View  

Asthma Discovery May Lead to New Therapeutic Approach

Embargoed: Do not release before 2:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time, April 22, 2015

Mayo Clinic researchers and collaborators have discovered a key cellular mechanism that contributes to bronchoconstriction and inflammation in asthma. Their studies may lead to a novel, effective asthma therapy for patients. The findings appear in the journal Science Translational Medicine.illustration of healthy lung and airway, airway with mucous membrane and buildup

The team of researchers from Mayo Clinic, Cardiff University in Wales, King’s College London, the University of Manchester and the Open University in the United Kingdom, as well as the University of California San Francisco, showed that elevated extracellular calcium as well as other internal chemicals released in asthma can activate a “calcium-sensing receptor” (CaSR) on airway cells. The researchers found that CaSR expression is increased in asthma, and contributes to enhanced bronchoconstriction and inflammation that is typically seen in asthma. Importantly, they found that the effects of CaSR can be reversed by CaSR antagonists, also called calcilytics.

Media Contact: Bob Nellis at Mayo Clinic Public Affairs: 507-284-5005 or newsbureau@mayo.edu [...]

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Bob Nellis

Wed, Apr 8 at 1:29pm EDT by Bob Nellis · View  

Effective Leadership: One Remedy for Physician Burnout

Burnout is a common problem among U.S. doctors and studies suggest it adversely impacts quality of care and patient satisfaction. Many factors impact how physicians perceive their career. A new study suggests there’s an interesting correlation between physician burnout and the effectiveness of their supervisors. That’s what researchers found at Mayo Clinic when they undertook a large internal study on the satisfaction of physicians and the leadership qualities of their supervisors. The findings appear today in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

 “We found that at the work-group level, 11 percent of the variation in burnout and 50 percent of the variation in satisfaction among physicians was attributable to the leadership behaviors of their supervisor,” says Tait Shanafelt, M.D., Mayo researcher and first author of the study. “The behaviors of physician supervisors have a direct impact on the personal well-being of the physicians they lead.”

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

Media Contact: Bob Nellis at Mayo Clinic Public Affairs: 507-284-5005 or newsbureau@mayo.edu [...]

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Bob Nellis

Tue, Apr 7 at 12:06pm EDT by Bob Nellis · View  

Minnesota Partnership Awards Six New Research Grants

medical team working in research lab

New treatments for cancer and heart disease dominate the 2015 research awards recently announced by the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics. The state-supported funding was distributed among six research teams, based on competitive applications. Each team represents researchers from Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota. A seventh grant was also awarded to help support commercialization of a research finding previously funded by the Partnership.University of Minnesota Research Partnership Logo

“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.

The seven grants totaled just under $5.5 million.

Media Contacts:
Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic 507-284-5005 
Holly Ziemer, University of Minnesota 612-626-7037

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Bob Nellis

Tue, Mar 24 at 9:22am EDT by Bob Nellis · View  

Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis Launches New TB Journal

The Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis,  a regional training and consultation center at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minn, is today launching a new medical journal, the Journal of Clinical Tuberculosis and Other Mycobacterial Diseases. The online journal is published by Elsevier.cover of Clinical Tuberculosis magazine

“We believe that the Journal of Clinical Tuberculosis and Other Mycobacterial Diseases fills an unmet need by providing a platform for the dissemination of the results of clinically relevant research,” say the editors in their inaugural editorial for the publication. They also cite the continue spread of tuberculosis as a global health problem, making it the second greatest cause of death from infectious diseases after HIV.

“We are very excited that we are launching this journal on World TB Day and hope that it will effectively advance new knowledge that will ultimately help end this terrible disease,” says Editor-in-Chief Zelalem Temesgen, M.D [Za-La-Lum Tah-mezg-in]. Two other Mayo Clinic physician-researchers, Stacey Rizza, M.D. and John Wilson, M.D., will serve as associate editors. All three are members of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Mayo Clinic and members of the tuberculosis center. An editorial board composed of leading experts in the field from around the globe has already been established to help advance the journal's mission.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: newsbureau@mayo.edu [...]

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