UT Southwestern in the News — June 2009

Science Magazine — Study refutes protein's role in heart attacks (June 30, 2009)A new study may be the last word in a controversy that's plagued cardiovascular disease research for years: whether a marker of inflammation known as C-reactive protein (CRP) drives heart attacks and strokes. "It's fairly well nailed shut" now, says James de Lemos, a cardiologist at UT Southwestern. "It's hard for me to imagine CRP is causal."

National Public Radio/Morning Edition — Non-smokers suffer lung cancer stigma (June 30, 2009)
Smoking is such a well-known cause of lung cancer that many don't realize thousands who never smoked get the diagnosis. The great majority are women. Recent research shows it's really a different disease than smoking-related lung cancer. Dr. Adi Gazdar studies lung cancer at the UT Southwestern. He says the DNA of tumors from smokers shows telltale damage from chemicals in tobacco smoke. "In never smokers, lung cancers lack this characteristic pattern that to me is powerful evidence that tobacco carcinogens are not the major driving force," he said. Listen

The Dallas Morning News — Progress on peanut allergies: nut-sniffing dogs, densensitization (June 30, 2009)
Nearly 1.8 million Americans are allergic to peanuts, and 400,000 of those are school-age children. Only 20 percent of children outgrow it. As the health crisis becomes more prevalent and disrupts so many lives, researchers, children willing to endure clinical trials and even a Texas dog trainer are getting involved. Dr. Rebecca Gruchalla, chief of allergy and immunology at UT Southwestern, comments.

Science Daily — Enzyme fights mutated protein in inherited Parkinson's disease (June 26, 2009)
An enzyme that naturally occurs in the brain helps destroy the mutated protein that is the most common cause of inherited Parkinson's disease, researchers at UT Southwestern have found. Their study, using human cells, provides a focus for further research into halting the action of the mutated protein. Dr. Matthew Goldberg, assistant professor of neurology and psychiatry and senior author of the paper, which appears online in the journal Public Library of Science, comments. Read More

Associated Press — Jobs' care shows how transplant system works (June 25, 2009)
A celebrity like Apple CEO Steve Jobs scores a rare organ transplant and the world wonders: Did he game the system? The rich have plenty of advantages that others don't. Jobs had end-stage liver disease, meaning extensive liver damage had occurred. Patients in such bad shape would get priority on any organ transplant list, and if Jobs did have a recurrence of cancer, that would give him even higher preference, said Dr. Roderich Schwarz, a pancreatic cancer specialist at UT Southwestern.

The Dallas Morning News — Dallas North Tollway wrong-way crashes prompt look at deterrents (June 25, 2009)
Area highway authorities are scrambling to figure out what they can do to stanch a spate of recent wrong-way crashes. With the exception of Sunday's crash, which remains under investigation, alcohol has been either confirmed or suspected as a factor in all of the North Texas wrong-way driving collisions this year. Dr. Carlos Tirado, an assistant professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

The New York Times — F.D.A. panel recommends approval of a gout drug (June 17, 2009)
A federal advisory committee on Tuesday recommended approval of a drug developed by Savient Pharmaceuticals to treat severe cases of gout. "The effects of this drug are so striking that they can be demonstrated in a small study,” said one committee member, Dr. Milton Packer, a cardiologist at UT Southwestern. Read More

The Dallas Morning News — Arthur Ruff's legacy includes $1 million gift for wound research at UT Southwestern (June 17, 2009)
Dallas businessman Arthur L. Ruff was proud of his military service in Vietnam and admired the honorable men who served alongside him. This dedication, coupled with his concern for the care of wounded soldiers returning from battle, has spurred a $1 million gift from his widow, Suzy, to support wound-healing research at UT Southwestern.

The Wall Street Journal — Giving weight to the other cholesterol (June 16, 2009)
Heart experts are growing increasingly concerned that the often-ignored components of blood cholesterol — HDL, or good cholesterol, and triglycerides — are threatening to undermine the gains of the statin revolution. The markers are part of a larger cluster of risk factors that make up what doctors call the metabolic syndrome, which is associated with heart attacks at younger ages — low 50s for men and low 60s for women — and early death. Dr. Darren McGuire comments. Read More

The Dallas Morning News — Editorial: Clements’ generous gift (June 12, 2009)
Even the most warm-hearted philanthropists usually specify how their charitable contributions will be used. Most givers are passionate about something: improving education, curing a specific disease, helping the less fortunate. This is what makes former Texas Gov. Bill Clements' $100 million gift to UT Southwestern exceedingly rare. Not only is it the largest single gift in the institution's history, the donation comes without strings.

The Dallas Morning News — Former Texas Gov. Bill Clements giving $100 million
to UT Southwestern (June 12, 2009)
Former Texas Gov. Bill Clements is giving $100 million to UT Southwestern, the largest single gift in the institution's history and perhaps the biggest one-time financial pledge to any civic body in Dallas history, UT Southwestern officials will announce Friday. "To those who may have questioned the prospects for philanthropy in a time of economic uncertainty, Bill Clements has answered in a profound and extraordinarily selfless way," said Dr. Daniel Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern.

The Wall Street Journal — Testing at Home for Urinary Infections (June 9, 2009)
Worried you have a urinary-tract infection but have no time to see the doctor? A home test for UTIs can tell you if you do in moments. An estimated 11 percent of U.S. women are diagnosed with at least one UTI a year. UTIs are caused by bacteria in the urinary tract and symptoms include frequent urination and burning or pain during urination. The home tests are most useful for patients who have a history of UTIs and know how they feel when they have one, says Jeanne Sheffield, a physician at UT Southwestern and a co-author of the ACOG practice bulletin. Read More

Web MD — Sunscreen and your makeup routine (June 9, 2009)
You want to prevent wrinkles and skin cancer, so you are a dedicated sunscreen wearer. But is it possible to wear makeup with sunscreen without looking like a glazed donut? With so many foundations and other makeup products offering SPF, it's tempting to use them for coverage rather than putting on sunscreen, which can by shiny, chalky, or just plain messy, especially under makeup. WebMD turned to medical experts, including Karen Houpt, MD, professor of dermatology at UT Southwestern, and makeup artists for a step-by-step guide to using sunscreen and makeup. Read More

WFAA-TV Ch. 8 Dallas — Woman with rare anemia gets Disney wish, again (June 8, 2009)
UT Southwestern cardiologist Mark Drazner and a nurse flew to Disney World in Florida, where they spent the day with 21-year-old patient Jessica Kath. At birth, Jessica was diagnosed with a rare disease called Diamond-Blackfan Anemia. She doesn't make her own red blood cells and needs regular transfusions. Watch Video

Science Daily — Oxygen plus MRI might help determine cancer therapy success (June 3, 2009)
A simple magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test involving breathing oxygen might help oncologists determine the best treatment for some cancer patients, report researchers at UT Southwestern. Prior research has shown that the amount of oxygen present in a tumor can be a predictor of how well a patient will respond to treatment. The new technique, known as BOLD (blood oxygen level dependent) MRI, can detect oxygen levels in tumors without the need for an invasive procedure. Dr. Ralph Mason comments. Read More

The Dallas Morning News — UT Southwestern receives $12 million gift toward endowed scholar program in clinical care (June 3, 2009)
The Dedman Foundation has made a landmark $12 million gift to establish the Dedman Family Endowed Program for Scholars in Clinical Care at UT Southwestern. The gift, made to Southwestern Medical Foundation, has been matched to create a $24 million endowment, which will aid in recruiting the most promising early-career physicians to the medical center and launching their careers under the mentorship of senior clinicians and clinical scientists.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram — Listening to reason (June 2, 2009)
More than half of people in their 50s have some degree of hearing loss. Clogged ears is one of the common causes of hearing loss in midlife adults. About 12 million people (that’s 1 in 20 adults) visit the doctor each year to have earwax removed, according to a new report from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Peter Roland, professor and chairman of the department of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery at UT Southwestern, comments.

United Press International — What to do if mower severs finger or toe (June 1, 2009)
There are more than 200,000 gardening accidents annually, including ones that resulted in severed fingers or toes, U.S. researchers said. Dr. Maureen Finnegan of UT Southwestern said whirling blades can send projectiles like rocks and sticks flying. They can also cut fingers, toes and feet. Read More