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Media Contact:Katie Delach | katie.delach@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5964December 30, 2015

T Cells That Recognize HER2 Receptor May Be Key to Preventing HER2+ Breast Cancer Recurrence, Penn Study Finds

Recurrence of HER2-positive breast cancer after treatment may be due to a specific and possibly cancer-induced weakness in the patient’s immune system – a weakness that in principle could be corrected with a HER2-targeted vaccine – according to a new study from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Results of the study show that T cells from patient

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Media Contact:Steve Graff | stephen.graff@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5653December 30, 2015

New Breast Cancer Drug May be Effective against Other Types of Cancer, Abramson Cancer Center Experts Find

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Palbociclib, in combination with other therapies, has potentially powerful effect.

Palbociclib, a new oral drug whose efficacy in combating breast cancer has been demonstrated alone and in combination with endocrine therapy, also has potential to combat other types of cancer, according to a literature review and additional original research conducted by experts at the

Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5658December 31, 2015

Penn-led Team Reprograms Social Behavior in Carpenter Ants Using Epigenetic Drugs

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In a new study published today in Science, a multi-institution team anchored at University of Pennsylvania found that these caste-specific behaviors are not set in stone. Rather, this pioneering study shows that social behavior can be reprogrammed, indicating that an individual’s epigenetic, not genetic, makeup determines behavior in ant colonies.

In Florida carpenter ant colonies, distinct worker castes called minors and majors exhibit pronounced differences in social behavior throughout their lives. In a new study published today in Science, a multi-institution team anchored at University of Pennsylvania found that these caste-specific behaviors are not set in stone.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604
Media Contact:Lee-Ann Donegan | Leeann.Donegan@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5660December 17, 2015

Penn Researchers Use Network Science to Help Pinpoint Source of Seizures

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Using brain data crowdsourced from 22 epilepsy patients with implanted electrodes, the researchers have developed a series of algorithms that can predict where in the brain a seizure will originate and which groups of neurons it will likely spread to as it grows.

For the third of all epilepsy patients who don’t respond to medication, an alternative is to locate the small cluster of neurons that act as the seed of a seizure’s aberrant electrical activity and surgically remove it. Unfortunately, such surgeries often fail to bring any relief.

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Media Contact:Michele Berger | mwberger@upenn.edu | 215-898-6751December 17, 2015

Penn Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Minorities Less Likely to Trust Physicians

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Abigail Sewell of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Arts & Sciences found that minority groups like African-Americans and Latinos are less likely than whites to believe their physicians care about them.

When it comes to trust in their physicians, minority groups in the United States are less likely than white people to believe their doctors care about them, according to research by University of Pennsylvania’s Abigail Sewell.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194December 16, 2015

Penn Biologists-in-training Used Genomic Techniques to Study Campus Microbes

The premier scientists at the University of Pennsylvania rely on next-generation sequencing techniques to elicit new information about the living world. Now, freshmen can do the same thing.

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Media Contact:Michele Berger | mwberger@upenn.edu | 215-898-6751December 16, 2015

Penn Nursing Research: Exceptional Care Requires Patient-driven Education

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New research from Terri Lipman of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing reveals that, when it comes to quality communication, meeting the needs of all health-literacy levels requires creative thinking.

We’ve all been there: Sitting in a consultation with a doctor or nurse, jargon gets thrown around, time with the health-care provider is short and, soon after the conversation concludes, you forget half of what you were told.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194December 15, 2015

East Antarctic Ice Sheet Has Stayed Frozen for 14 Million Years, Penn Team Reports

Antarctica was once a balmier place, lush with plants and lakes. Figuring out just how long the continent has been a barren, cold desert of ice can give clues as to how Antarctica responded to the effects of past climates and can perhaps also indicate what to expect there as Earth’s atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide grows.

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Media Contact:Michele Berger | mwberger@upenn.edu | 215-898-6751December 14, 2015

Kindness, Charitable Behavior Influenced by Amygdala, Penn Research Reveals

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University of Pennsylvania PIK professor Michael Platt discovered that the amygdala, a small structure in the brain, is associated with charitable giving and positive social behavior, not just fear.

The amygdala, a small structure at the front end of the brain’s temporal lobe, has long been associated with negative behaviors generally, and specifically with fear. But new research from Michael Platt, the James S.

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Media Contact:Michele Berger | mwberger@upenn.edu | 215-898-6751December 10, 2015

AIDS Treatment Benefits Health, Economics of People Without HIV, Penn Study Shows

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Sociology’s Hans-Peter Kohler, along with researchers from the University of Melbourne and the University of Chicago, discovered that AIDS treatment can help HIV-negative people by quelling fear of the virus and boosting mental health and productivity.

In rural Malawi, roughly 10 percent of the adult population has HIV.