UNMC

The University of Nebraska Medical Center recently received the “Community Engagement” designation by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Researchers at UNMC will study the genetic risk for nicotine dependence thanks to a $40,000 grant.

With the election past, UNMC is looking toward what impact the results will have on health care reform.

Enrollment at UNMC is at a record high this fall with 3,655 students, an increase of almost one-percent over last year.

A new report released by UNMC looks at the expansion of the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act.

A new biobank at UNMC will allow researchers access to a larger number of blood samples that aren't specific to any one disease. Dr. Jennifer Larsen, vice chancellor for research, says a biobank holds biologic samples to be used in future research. 

Currently, UNMC has several condition-specific biobanks. But this new biobank would contain blood samples obtained from individuals when they go to the doctor for a routine visit.

The director of UNMC’s Adult Cystic Fibrosis program says he’s excited about a new treatment called Kalydeco.

Dr. Peter J. Murphy says Kalydeco is a drug that specifically targets a certain class of genetic mutation that causes cystic fibrosis in some patients.  Cystic fibrosis is a disease that primarily affects the lungs, with thick secretions that may sometimes become infected and make it difficult for patients to breathe.  

UNMC rose in the 2013 US News and World Report rankings of the nation’s top medical schools.

Chancellor Harold Maurer says out of the 149 medical schools surveyed in the latest rankings, UNMC ranked sixth in primary care, up from seventh last year.  He says 83% of the students who attend medical school at UNMC are from Nebraska and many opt to work in the state when they finish school. 

Chancellor Maurer says he’s especially proud of the rural medicine program which tied for 12th this year, up from 15th last year.

Researchers at UNMC are making strides in dealing with Her2. 

Dr. Kay Wagner says Her2 is an aggressive type of breast cancer.  He says there are several subsets and that each case must be treated differently. 

Dr. Wagner says in previous studies, it was thought that by inhibiting a certain protein called Cyclin D1, the growth of breast cancer cells could be stopped or slowed.  But he says his research indicated the opposite was true.

UNMC is offering a new doctoral degree in epidemiology.

Dr. Dana Loomis, Professor and Chair of Department of Epidemiology, says this is the fifth doctoral program in UNMC’s College of Public Health.  

Dr. Loomis says epidemiology is the basic science of public health, providing knowledge that’s important for all the health disciplines.

It also generates scientific data that helps in decision making across health fields.  Dr. Loomis says it is a broad field that’s not just about investigating disease outbreaks.

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