CATEGORY: In the media, News

In the media: Week of Nov. 27

A sampling of news media stories involving UC Health:

New hope of a cure for HIV, The New York Times

Medical researchers are again in pursuit of a goal they had all but abandoned: curing AIDS. Until recently, the possibility seemed little more than wishful thinking. But the experiences of two patients now suggest to many scientists that it may be achievable. One man, the so-called Berlin patient, Timothy Brown, apparently has cleared his HIV infection, albeit by arduous bone marrow transplants. Brown now lives in San Francisco and is a patient at UCSF. The article quotes UCSF’s Steven Deeks and Jay Levy and mentions research at UCLA.

See additional coverage: Time, The Washington Post, Pasadena Star-News, NBC San Diego, ABC 7 (video)

Oz at the CareNow Clinic (video), The Dr. Oz Show

Nearly 4,000 people lined up for the chance to receive free medical care at the largest free health clinic this year. Dr. Oz shares the stories of people he met and treated, including a breast cancer patient being treated by UCLA physicians. View the next part here.

UC and Stanford rank high in earnings from business spinoffs, San Jose Mercury News

Stanford University and the University of California continue to be fertile breeding grounds for breakthrough technologies, generating many millions of dollars in annual income for two schools that have played a central role in building Silicon Valley. Despite continuing difficult economic conditions, in 2010, Stanford collected $65.5 million from the commercialization of its inventions, up slightly from $65 million in 2009, according to a new survey from the nonprofit Association of University Technology Managers. The 10 campuses in the University of California system also did well, earning a total of $104.5 million in licensing income — up slightly from last year’s earnings of $103.1 million. The article mentions that UC’s technology transfer program generates about half of its licensing revenues last year from five patents. Among them: a Hepatitis B vaccine, a treatment for intercranial aneurysms and a bovine growth hormone.

Stem cell science gets new home in La Jolla, San Diego Union-Tribune

The quest to figure out the nature of stem cells and how to use them to treat disease will greatly expand Tuesday with the opening of the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, a $127 million center in La Jolla that will draw scientists from five major research institutions. The 150,000-square-foot complex will be the largest of its kind in California, housing 335 people, including such eminent scientists as Salk Institute geneticist Fred Gage and biologist Martin Friedlander of The Scripps Research Institute and scientists from the UC San Diego, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology.

The economics of stem cell research (audio), KPCC

Stem cell research is expensive. But advocates say it will one day yield cures that could save Americans billions in long-term healthcare costs. California is now a world leader in stem cell research. Backers of the science believe this field will not only save lives but possibly save the state’s economy as well. UCSF/Gladstone researcher Bruce Conklin is interviewed.

UC students push for affordable medicine, San Diego Reader

Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, an organization largely comprised of medical students across the country, is pushing University of California faculty to refrain from signing a new patent agreement until the system takes steps to ensure that medicines developed in its research facilities will be made affordable to those in developing nations. In the recently decided Stanford v. Roche case, the Supreme Court awarded the rights to a Stanford professor’s research to Roche, a private pharmaceutical company. In response, the University of California sent a letter on November 15 asking faculty to sign a patent agreement with stricter controls over UC’s rights to its own research.

UC regents approve pay hikes for 12 staffers, Los Angeles Times

Even as they dealt with student protests over economic inequities and rising tuition costs, the University of California regents this week approved salary raises of between 6.4% and 23% for 12 highly ranked administrators and attorneys, most of whom now earn more than $200,000 a year. The action has renewed debate about the university’s efforts to retain what it describes as important talent while it seeks more state funding and considers further fee increases. Coming as Occupy protests disrupted the regents meeting, the raises struck some critics of UC as inappropriate and likely to anger taxpayers and legislators. Those mentioned include the COO of the UC Davis Health System, four campus vice chancellors and six campus chief counsels. Read a related opinion piece here.

Must hospital cafeteria food be healthful?, The Wall Street Journal

California children’s hospitals aren’t dishing up particularly healthful fare, a new study shows. Researchers from UCLA and the Rand Corp. report in the journal Academic Pediatrics that of the 16  food venues serving 14 hospitals studied in July 2010, 81% offered unhealthful “impulse items” — think freezers stocked with ice-cream treats — near the cash register. Only 31% offered nutrition information at the point of purchase, while just 25% sold whole-wheat bread.

UCD Med Center logs 70% jump in income, The Sacramento Bee

UC Davis Medical Center posted a 70 per- cent jump in income in 2011, even as patient visits and hospital stays fell slightly, according to financial statements released this week.

Sale would preserve Nevada Cancer Institute’s mission, board chairman says, Las Vegas Sun

The Nevada Cancer Institute, whose joint mission of research and outpatient treatment was jeopardized by financial stresses, was breathed new life Friday in a deal that turns it over to the University of California, San Diego.

The birth of biotech, San Francisco Business Times

A reception for the launch of a book about Genentech ’s early days attracted a technology and finance Who’s Who of the time — guys who ended up with their names on the door like David Morganthaler (Morganthaler Ventures) and Tom Perkins (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers). There were also Roberto Crea and Herb Heyneker, among Genentech’s first scientists. But there were notable absences, too: founders Herb Boyer, the former UCSF scientist whose work laid the platform, and the late Bob Swanson, the out-of-work VC who saw its potential. Boyer was suffering from a severe sinus infection. Swanson’s memory was well served by his widow, Judy Swanson.

A scientist’s life: 10 things UCSD’s Todd Coleman has done, San Diego Union-Tribune

Meet Todd Coleman, an associate professor of bioengineering at the University of California San Diego. Coleman, 34, develops “epidermal electronics,” thin, wireless, wearable sensors that researchers believe will soon be used for everything from monitoring a person’s heartbeat to studying brain activity.

Actors help arm medical students for real life (video), CBS Early Show

This segment spotlights the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA’s standardized patient program, which hires professional actors to portray difficult patient cases designed to teach medical students interpersonal and communication skills in a less pressurized setting than the clinic.  Medical students Molly Diaz and Cathryn Haeffele are interviewed.

Mental health needs high, treatment low, California Healthline

About two million Californians are under stress and need some kind of mental health care – and are not getting the help they need, according to a UCLA study.

See additional coverage: Los Angeles Times, KQED, UPI

Operation Mend (video), KTLA 5

An interview with UCLA’s first Operation Mend patient who described the program’s effect on him. UCLA Dr. Timothy Miller, one of the program’s lead surgeons, also is interviewed. Operation Mend is a partnership between UCLA, Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and the Los Angeles Greater V.A. Medical Center.

Medical breakthroughs you need to know about: Heart transplant (video), The Doctors

A segment on an experimental organ-care system that delivers donor hearts in a warm, beating state.  Dr. Abbas Ardehali, principal investigator of the multicenter study and director of the UCLA Heart Transplant Program, is interviewed.  The segment also features the story of a 41-year-old UCLA heart transplant recipient who participated in the trial.

The Infection Files: Dirty cookstoves pose risk for childhood pneumonia and death, Los Angeles Daily News

This column by Dr. Claire Panosian Dunavan, UCLA clinical professor of medicine, division of infectious diseases, explores how the use of wood, coal and animal dung for indoor cooking and heating in poorer countries can contribute to pneumonia.  A UC Berkeley study is mentioned.

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