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Media Contact:Steve Graff | stephen.graff@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5653September 16, 2015

Penn Team Pinpoints Immune Changes in Blood of Melanoma Patients on PD-1 Drugs That Put Potential Biomarker within Reach

A simple blood test can detect early markers of “reinvigorated” T cells and track immune responses in metastatic melanoma patients after initial treatment with the anti-PD-1 drug pembrolizumab, researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania report in new research being presented at the inaugural CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference.

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Media Contact:Steve Graff | stephen.graff@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5653September 16, 2015

Multiple Myeloma Patients More Vulnerable to 'Financial Toxicity' Due to Expensive, Longer Courses of Treatments, Penn Study Finds

Even patients with health insurance who have multiple myeloma may be vulnerable to “financial toxicity” – including those who make over $100,000 a year – because of the higher use of novel therapeutics and extended duration of myeloma treatment, researchers from 

Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5658September 15, 2015

Penn Study Demonstrates Genes' Major Role in Skin and Organ Development

Knocking out one or both crucial regulatory genes caused cleft lip, skin barrier defects, and a host of other developmental problems in mice, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, hinting that abnormalities in these molecular pathways could underlie many birth defects that are presently not well understood.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604September 28, 2015

Penn Engineers Design Color-Changing Material That Could Help Diagnose Concussions

The precise link between concussions and debilitating conditions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy is still being explored, but as the name suggests, repeated head injuries are a main culprit. Unfortunately, unlike a broken bone or a torn ligament, concussions are invisible and tricky to diagnose.

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Media Contact:Jeanne Leong | jleong@upenn.edu | 215-573-8151September 17, 2015

Penn Center for High Impact Philanthropy Creates Guide for Donating Funds to Combat Substance Abuse

The Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania has developed a free online guide for people who want to save lives by reducing illness and homelessness related to drug or alcohol use, and help more people access the care they need to get better more quickly.

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

A History Student Makes an Impact in the Operating Room at Penn

blurb: 
Nicholas Savino, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, devoted a summer to examining the magnitude of blood wastage in the operating room. His independent research project helped lead to changes that have significantly reduced wastage at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

It’s not only physicians and nurses who can make a difference in health care. Sometimes it takes a history major and some careful observation to help effect positive change.

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194September 14, 2015

Penn Vet Team Identifies a Form of Congenital Night Blindness in Dogs

blurb: 
Working in collaboration with Japanese scientists, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have for the first time found a form of CSNB in dogs. Their discovery and subsequent hunt for the genetic mutation responsible may one day allow for the development of gene therapy to correct the dysfunction in people as well as dogs.

People with congenital stationary night blindness, or CSNB, have normal vision during the day but find it difficult or impossible to distinguish objects in low light. This rare condition is present from birth and can seriously impact quality of life, especially in locations and conditions where artificial illumination is not available.

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Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5658September 10, 2015

Sensitivity of Smell Cilia Depends on Location and Length in Nasal Cavity, Penn Researchers Find

Like the hairs they resemble, cilia come in all lengths, from short to long.  But unlike the hair on our heads, the length of sensory cilia on nerve cells in our noses is of far more than merely cosmetic significance.

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Media Contact:Karen Kreeger | karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-5658September 10, 2015

Blood Cancers Develop When Immune Cell DNA Editing Enzyme Hits Off-target Spots in the Genome, Penn Animal Study Finds

Sometimes when the immune system makes small mistakes, the body amplifies its response in a big way: Editing errors in the DNA of developing T and B cells can cause blood cancers.

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

Effects of Incarceration Spill Over into Health Care System, Penn Study Finds

blurb: 
In states with the highest incarceration rates, there’s less access to quality health care and less trust in physicians, according to a new study led by professor Jason Schnittker of Sociology.

Consequences of incarceration on former inmates and their families are well known. But how does imprisonment affect the health care system as a whole?