UT Southwestern in the News June 2011

USA TODAY – New combination of drugs offers hope for hepatitis C (June 22, 2011)
Single mom Donna Terry figured feeling tired all the time came with the territory. Terry, now 49, learned the real cause of her fatigue: the hepatitis C virus. Over the next several years, three arduous courses of the standard drug regimen used to treat hepatitis C failed. But today, Terry, with "an abundance of energy," appears to be free of the virus, thanks to a new class of drugs, the first major advance in hepatitis C treatment since before she was diagnosed

ESPN – Dirk Nowitzki turns 33 with surprise bash (June 21, 2011)
Dirk Nowitzki’s weeklong run of championship celebrations was capped by a surprise birthday party thrown for him Sunday night by girlfriend Jessica Olsson and lifelong coach/adviser Holger Geschwindner at the Dallas wine club Graileys. The private event to commemorate Nowitzki’s 33rd birthday – dubbed “Dinner For 41” — featured exactly 41 guests, including Dr. Johann Deisenhofer, professor of biochemistry at UT Southwestern. Read More

New York Times – Chemical suicides, popular in Japan, are increasing in the U.S. (June 19, 2011)
In Japan it is known as detergent suicide, a near-instant death achieved by mixing common household chemicals into a poisonous cloud of gas. By some counts, more than 2,000 people there have taken their own lives, inhaling the gas in most cases hydrogen sulfide – in cars, closets or other enclosed spaces. Dr. Kurt Kleinschmidt, chief of medical toxicology at UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

WFAA-TV (Ch.8) – Expectant mothers warned of virus outbreak (June 17, 2011)
Heightened concerns have arisen over an outbreak of a common but potentially dangerous virus. Some schools in Denton and Collin counties sent notes home about a higher number of Fifth disease cases before classes let out. Fifth disease is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15. Dr. Ashley Hickman, a Parkland and UT Southwestern maternal-fetal specialist, comments. Watch Video

Los Angeles Times – Drug speeds depression relief in mice and men: How does it do it? (June 16, 2011)
The long-used (and abused) sedative ketamine appears to lift depression’s dark veil almost instantaneously by boosting the production of a protein that helps protect and maintain brain cells and regenerate them after injury. Ketamine makes children unaware of pain during difficult medical procedures. Read More

Time – How the 'Club Drug' Ketamine lifts depression quickly (June 15, 2011)
A new study sheds light on why the anesthetic and "club drug" ketamine can relieve depression rapidly — in hours, instead of weeks or months. The findings may help provide new targets for developing antidepressants and increase researchers' understanding of the devastating disorder. The researchers were led by Dr. Lisa Monteggia, associate professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern  Read More

USA Today – Weight-loss surgery fails to extend life in very obese older men (June 13, 2011)
Very obese older men hoping to live longer may be let down by a new long-term study that found weight-loss surgery didn’t increase survival for people like them — at least during the first seven years. Prior studies have found stomach stapling and other obesity surgeries improved survival rates after two to 10 years. The new study suggests not everyone gains equally from surgery, or a survival benefit may show up later in older men, after more years of follow-up.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram – Cancer center to open new, larger facility in Fort Worth (June 9, 2011)
Moncrief Cancer Institute will return to its roots in Fort Worth's Medical District with a $22 million facility on Magnolia Avenue that will house its cancer education, screening and support services. The 60,000-square-foot building is expected to open in about a year. It will also contain Moncrief's newly created Community Survivorship Clinic, which supports cancer patients after their treatment and provides follow-up services. Moncrief, a not-for-profit organization, is affiliated with UT Southwestern.

Oprah Winfrey Network – Too young to be sick: case of Harry Crowther – Atypical Progeria Syndrome (June 8, 2011)
Sharron and John Crowther were married for nine years before having their third son, Harry. A fantastic child, both Sharron and John never would have suspected what was to come. The Crowthers headed to the U.S. to meet Dr. Abhimanyu Garg, Chief, Nutrition and Metabolic Diseases for UT Southwestern. Read More

Austin American-Statesman – Internationally acclaimed immunologist shares $1 million Shaw Prize (June 8, 2011)
Dr. Bruce Beutler, an internationally recognized leader in immunology recruited to be the director of a new Center for the Genetics of Host Defense at UT Southwestern, is one of three winners to share the $1 million 2011 Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine for their work on innate immunity. The prize was announced in Hong Kong on June 7, and an award ceremony will be held Sept. 28. Read More

Dallas Morning News – Prostate cancer patients face tough decisions (June 6, 2011)
Men who receive a prostate cancer diagnosis often face a life-or-death gamble. They can attack it aggressively, or they can wait it out, preserving their current quality of life but living in fear that the cancer will spread, becoming incurable. Doctors offer an array of aggressive treatments such as surgery, radiation and brachytherapy, which uses cancer-killing radioactive pellets. 

Dallas Morning News – Osteoporosis can be a problem for men, too (June 6, 2011)
Given how Sally Field cozies up to viewers with that “just us girls” voice to sell Boniva on TV, you might assume that only women get osteoporosis. You’d be wrong. “Guys, you can get osteoporosis, too,” warns Dr. Khashayar Sakhaee, professor of internal medicine at
UT Southwestern and an expert in mineral metabolism. Twenty percent of the nation’s 10 million osteoporosis patients are men, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Read More

Dallas Morning News – After 30 years of AIDS, funding could become an issue again in Texas (June 4, 2011)
As if Helen Goldenberg didn’t have enough on her mind already. Diagnosed with AIDS in 1987, the 64-year-old grandmother is clinging to a lifeline of 27 pills she takes daily to stay alive. About 1,800 new, needy patients across Texas may not be as lucky. They could lose access to lifesaving HIV/AIDS medications over the next two years. Read More

Dallas Morning News' Robert Miller – New mental health center will provide training for health care workers (June 3, 2011)
The biggest provider of public mental health treatment in North Texas is opening a center to train physicians, nurses, counselors, advanced nurse practitioners and other health care workers. Dallas-based Metrocare Services and its new Center for Education and Research at the Metrocare Pathways Clinic is collaborating with UT Southwestern and SMU. Read More

Dallas Business Journal – UTSW, LoneStar Heart team up for research (June 3, 2011)
Biomedical company LoneStar Heart Inc. is moving its research headquarters from California to the BioCenter in the Southwestern Medical District, where its researchers are searching for ways to reprogram stem cells in the heart to reverse congestive heart failure. LoneStar is building off of research by Drs. Eric Olson and Jay Schneider at UT Southwestern. Read More

United Press International – Fewer prostate cancer treatments are safer (June 2, 2011)
Higher doses of radiation received less frequently are safe and effective for men with low-to-intermediate-risk prostate cancer, U.S. researchers say. Senior author Dr. Robert Timmerman, vice chairman of radiation oncology at UT Southwestern, and colleagues found stereotactic body radiation therapy, which delivers ultra-precise radiation, was effective in treating patients with localized prostate cancer in five 30-minute sessions every other day during two weeks. Read More

CNBC – Houston getting more cancer specialists (June 2, 2011)
Houston is loading up on superstar cancer scientists, bankrolled in part by a generously funded state program that's transforming Texas into the nation's center of research on the deadly disease. Many were recruited through the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), the $3 billion initiative voters approved in 1997.

Wall Street Journal – William Perry Clements: Lone-Star giant (June 2, 2011)
Today in Dallas, a son of Texas will be laid to rest. The death Sunday at age 94 of former Gov. William Perry Clements Jr. ended a storied life of achievement and service. He became the strongest modern Texas governor, except perhaps for John Connally in the 1960s. Read More

May 2011

Dallas Morning News – Bob Miller: Dr. Joseph Hill of UT Southwestern to head Council on Academic Cardiology (May 31, 2011)
Dr. Joseph Hill, chief of cardiology at UT Southwestern, has been named to lead the American College of Cardiology’s new Council on Academic Cardiology for the next three years. The council will provide a strong voice for doctors who are also teaching and conducting research, Dr. Hill said. Read More

KXAS-TV (NBC 5) – Gov. Bill Clements dies (May 30, 2011)
Flags across Texas are flying at half staff after the passing of Former Texas Gov. Bill Clements. Clements died of natural causes at UT Southwestern University Hospital, according to the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office. Many of the former governor's colleagues have released statements about the death of the man who donated $100 million gift for UT Southwestern. His generous donation was the largest in the institutions history to date. Watch Video

United Press International – Chemical tested to aid concussion healing (May 29, 2011)
U.S. researchers are recruiting professional boxers and trainers to study if red wine and grape compounds help reduce concussion damage. Principal investigator Dr. Joshua Gatson, assistant professor at UT Southwestern, says two dozen professional boxers will take the neuroprotective compound resveratrol after a fight to see if it helps restore subtle brain function and connections via its antioxidant effects. Read More

Dallas Morning News – Fitness in 40s, 50s predicts likelihood of heart disease (May 31, 2011)
Want to head off heart disease? Get fit by your 40s or 50s. That’s the message from
UT Southwestern researchers and others who discovered in two different studies that fitness level (the speed at which a middle-aged person runs a mile) is a predictor of the risk of death later in life from heart attack or stroke in men and can be an early warning sign of heart disease. For example, a 55-year-old man who needs 15 minutes to run a mile has a 30 percent lifetime risk of developing heart disease; if he can run it in 8 minutes, his lifetime risk is less than 10 percent. Read More

ABC News – Experimental drug gives former Mavericks player another shot (May 27, 2011)
When former pro basketball player Ray Johnston asked his doctor about his odds of living to see his 33rd birthday, he said the answer was "not good." Johnston was 31 at the time. Instead of caving into his prognosis, Johnston, an aspiring musician, took his band — the Ray Johnston Band — on tour. Dr. Robert Collins comments. Read More

United Press International – ECG screening may not help young athletes (May 27, 2011)
A U.S. cardiologist suggests screening every young athlete to identify an inherited cause of sudden cardiac death may be ineffective. Dr. Benjamin Levine of UT Southwestern, who is also director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, says research shows the chance of athletes ages 8-35 dying of a sudden cardiac arrest is similar to that of dying from a lightning strike. People in this age group are far more likely to die from cancer or automobile accidents, Dr. Levine says. Read More

United Press International – 'Superfruits' may not help against cancer (May 25, 2011)
So-called superfruits like noni or pomegranate juice may provide a lot of antioxidants but may not be much help in preventing cancer, U.S. researchers say. Dr. David Euhus, a professor of surgery at UT Southwestern, and an expert in cancer genetics and risk assessment, says the fruits, marketed by companies for their high nutritional and antioxidant content, have no documented impact on keeping cancer at bay in humans. Read More

U.S. News & World Report – Cooked right, fish can help a woman's heart (May 25, 2011)
Research tracking more than 84,000 postmenopausal women for an average of 10 years found that those whose diets included more baked and broiled fish -- defined as five or more servings per week — had a 30 percent lower risk of heart failure compared to women who ate less than one serving per month. Lona Sandon, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition, comments. Read More

Wall Street Journal – Hepatitis C drug approved (May 24, 2011)
The Food and Drug Administration approved a new hepatitis C drug from Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., marking the second such drug to be approved by the agency in less than two weeks after years without new treatments for the viral liver disease. Vertex's drug, called Incivek, joins Merck & Co.'s Victrelis. Many patients like Michael Hood, who has failed three different treatments since his diagnosis in 1999, have been awaiting the approvals. Dr. William Lee, his doctor at UT Southwestern, also comments. Read More

New York Times – On your marks, get set, measure heart health (May 24, 2011)
How fast can you run a mile? For people in midlife, this simple measure of fitness may help predict their risk of heart problems as they age. In two separate studies, researchers from UT Southwestern and the Cooper Institute in Dallas analyzed fitness levels for more than 66,000 people. Read More

KXAS-TV (NBC 5) – Component in red wine eyed for concussion treatment (May 22, 2011)
North Texas researchers are studying whether a component found in red wine and grapes could help reduce the short- and long-term effects of concussions. Researchers at UT Southwestern are using resveratrol to treat boxes who sustain concussions in the ring. The trial currently has five professional boxers in Dallas. The study was named REPAIR by Dr. Joshua Gatson, who came up with the idea to try and treat concussions in athletes after watching a game of football on ESPN. Watch Video

KXAS-TV (NBC 5) – Experimental drug helps former Mavs hopeful (May 20, 2011)
Ray Johnston knows about racing the clock – and beating the odds. The one-time Dallas Mavericks prospect has survived four bouts with cancer. His most recent relapse was in June 2009. His doctor at UT Southwestern suggested an experimental drug that is only approved for treatment in Japan. Dr. Robert Collins at UT Southwestern secured the drug for Johnston, who has been cancer-free ever since. Watch Video

Austin American-Statesman – Business, academic leaders back university research (May 20, 2011)

Here's how George Smoot, a Nobel laureate and astrophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley, once explained the importance of research with no particular use in mind: "People cannot foresee the future well enough to predict what's going to develop from basic research. If we only did applied research, we would still be making better spears." That also sums up the view of several prominent business and academic leaders who participated in a panel discussion on academic research at the University of Texas on Thursday. Dr. Michael Brown, a Nobelist and professor at UT Southwestern, said he sees a troubling loss of confidence. Read More

KDAF-TV (The 33) – Risky procedure saves twins (May 19, 2011)
Pregnancy brings its share of excitement and worries, double that if you're expecting multiples. Texas doctors are taking on a deadly and rare condition that affects 15 percent of identical twins. There is a pair of North Texas twins who are among the handful to survive. This was really unusual but UT Southwestern announced it has performed the area’s first fetal surgery to correct twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. The condition, until now, was nearly always fatal. 

New York Times – A blood test offers clues to longevity (May 19, 2011)
Want to know how long you will live? Blood tests that seek to tell people their biological age — possibly offering a clue to their longevity or how healthy they will remain — are now going on sale. Dr. Jerry W. Shay, a professor of cell biology at UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

Nature – Texas two-step: the Lone Star state lures two top scientists (May 18, 2011)
University officials last week announced that the Texas had also corralled a pair of leading scientists to lead research efforts at two of the state’s premier institutions. University of Texas regents on Wednesday named Ronald DePinho as the next president of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. A long-time cancer geneticist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, in recent years DePinho has turned his attention to the aging process. The same day, UT Southwestern announced that Sean Morrison, currently director of the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor’s Center for Stem Cell Biology, will lead a new effort to develop treatments for pediatric diseases. Read More

Wall Street Journal – Helping kids beat depression... by treating mom (May 16, 2011)
Successfully treating a mother with depression isn't just good for the mom; it also can provide long-lasting benefits for her children's mental health, new research shows. Dr. Madhukar Trivedi comments. Read More

ABC World News – Can a blood test determine how long people will live? (May 16, 2011)
A new blood test could potentially offer some proof that many people really are older than they look.  Read More

Wall Street Journal – FDA clears Merck hepatitis drug (May 15, 2011)
The Food and Drug Administration approved the first new treatment for the infectious disease hepatitis C in almost a decade, green-lighting a Merck & Co. drug that heralds a wave of stronger medicines. Dr. William Lee, a hepatitis C doctor at UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

Science – Texas's cancer fund lures leading stem cell researcher (May 15, 2011)
University of Michigan stem cell researcher Sean Morrison, an outspoken proponent of allowing research on human embryonic stem cells in the state, has been wooed to Texas by its $3 billion state cancer research program. Read More

Reuters – Common drug helps babies with sickle cell disease (May 12, 2011)
A drug that eases symptoms of sickle cell disease in older children is safe and effective to use for babies with the blood disorder and should become the new standard of care, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. "We found a decrease in chest syndrome and hospitalization among trial participants who received hydroxyurea," Dr. Zora Rogers of
UT Southwestern, who worked on the study, said in a statement. "We used to offer hydroxyurea as secondary prevention, but with these findings, it could become the primary preventive measure." Read More

Detroit News – Top stem cell researcher leaving University of Michigan (May 11, 2011)
One of the most vocal academic proponents for loosening Michigan's stem cell law is leaving the state to do research elsewhere, officials announced today. Dr. Sean J. Morrison, director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology at University of Michigan, is departing the university to lead a new pediatric research initiative at UT Southwestern. 

CNN – Full face transplant patient ready to go home (May 10, 2011)
Dallas Wiens wanted to feel his 4-year-old daughter's kisses again, something he couldn't do after a horrific electrical accident disfigured his face. But he'll be able to sense her touch again soon, doctors said Monday, less than two months after Wiens underwent the first full face transplant in the U.S. Watch Video

KTVT-TV (Ch. 11) – Super fruits or super claims? (May 3, 2011)
You can’t walk into the grocery store without noticing a new juice, powder, or bar touting a super-fruit. In just two-years, consumers have spent half-a-billion dollars on products with names like acai, lichi, and goji. The list of what’s being called “super-foods”…specifically “super-fruits” …and so do their “super-claims.” Oncologist David Euhus at
UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

KXAS-TV (Ch. 5) – Patient eager to try melanoma drug again (May 3, 2011)
Many melanoma patients are waiting for a chance to try a drug that was recently approved by federal regulators. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Yervoy to extend the life of melanoma patients. Watch Video

KSAT-TV (San Antonio) – SA woman gets double lung transplant (May 3, 2011)
Holly Teague was born with cystic fibrosis, and her lungs were giving out. Holly's only hope was a double lung transplant in Dallas. Her physician, Dr. Fernando Torres, decided to present her to the UT Southwestern Transplant Committee.

Dallas Morning News – Using scare tactics to stop skin cancer (May 2, 2011)
Dr. Seemal Desai keeps a stack of photos of patients whose faces have aged too fast, thanks to sun damage. With those patients’ permission, he shows the photos to “scare straight” teen patients who sunbathe or use tanning booths. “I’ll show the photo and ask, ‘How old do you think this person is?’” says Desai, assistant professor of dermatology at UT Southwestern.  Read More

The Wall Street Journal – For the newly depressed, one drug will do (May 2, 2011)
It can be tough to find the right antidepressant since any given drug works for — at most — about two-thirds of people who try it. Well then, wouldn’t it make sense to take more than one drug at the same time? Some research, including a major clinical trial called STAR*D, has suggested that strategy has merit. Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, one of the authors of the paper and a professor of psychiatry at UT Southwestern, comments. Read More

Fox News – How to avoid raising a bully (May 2, 2011)
Parents who don't want their children to become bullies should stay positive, talk to their kids and meet their children's friends. That's according to new research presented May 1 at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Denver. Read More

United Press International – Autistic children families need priorities (May 2, 2011)
A team that conducted nationally recognized research has revealed how a lifelong commitment to physical fitness can preserve heart muscle equal to or even exceeding those of younger, healthy people who do not exercise. The study was performed with Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern.  Read More