In the news / Cancer

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A $1.5 million Health Sciences grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will support research to examine how being a firefighter affects women’s stress levels, as well as their risk of cancer and reproductive health issues. The study to understand the occupational risks of these firefighters will include work from UArizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health faculty and BIO5 members, Drs. Jeff Burgess and Leslie Farland.
 
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The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a significant and alarming trend of increased alcohol use and abuse – especially among younger adults, males and those who have lost their jobs – according to a new study by University of Arizona researchers. The research led by professor of psychiatry in the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, director of the Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab, and BIO5 member Dr. Scott Killgore, found that hazardous alcohol use and likely dependence increased every month for those under lockdowns compared to those not under restrictions.
 
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The dream for some researchers is to irreversibly cure people's cancer. This includes Drs. Richard Austin, Laurence Hurley, and Vijay in Gokhale. In 2016 the trio came together with the aim to cure cancer through the company they created and call Reglagene. They built a technology to fight cancer that targets genes that become resistant to other therapies.
 
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Dr. Juanita Merchant, BIO5 member, professor, and chief of Gastroenterology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, is a gastric cancer expert whose research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of the disease. Dr. Merchant led a team of University of Arizona Health Sciences researchers who discovered a promising new biomarker that can be identified through a simple blood test, that may help with early detection of the disease and lead to better treatment.
 
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Dr. Judith Su runs the UArizona Little Sensor Lab, where researchers are working to sense tiny amounts – down to a single molecule – of everything from doping agents to biomarkers for cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Lyme disease and, yes, even COVID-19. Dr. Su, biomedical engineering and optical sciences professor and a member of the BIO5 Institute, has received a $1.82 million, five-year Maximizing Investigators' Research Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
 
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A UArizona research team led by Dr. Jacob Schwartz, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry assistant professor and BIO5 member, is trying to crack the cancer code. With the help of a grant from the American Cancer Society, Dr. Schwartz is taking a closer look at Ewing Sarcoma and how it behaves. He also says it's helping them understand other cancers along the way.
 
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On campus at the University of Arizona, researchers are trying to crack the cancer code. With the help of a grant from the American Cancer Society Dr. Jacob Schwartz, BIO5 member and assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is taking a closer look at the the behavior of the childhood cancer, Ewing Sarcoma. Dr. Schwartz also says it is helping them understand other cancers along the way.
 
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Dr. Ian Robey is a Research Assistant Professor within the Department of Medicine at the University of Arizona and a Full Investigator at the Arizona Cancer Center, specializing in tumor biology and microenvironment. Dr. Robey also serves as the Technical Director for the Department of Veterans Affairs Biorepository Brain Bank, which helps support future research on central nervous system diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
 
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UArizona Health Sciences professor and BIO5 member Dr. Cynthia Thomson, recently helped update the American Cancer Society's guidelines on cancer prevention lifestyle habits that could save lives. These guidelines cover the simple yet meaningful ways in which diet and physical activity can help people reduce their personal risks for developing cancer.
 
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A UArizona Cancer Center research team, co-led by BIO5 members Drs. Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski and Dongkyun Kang, is creating a portable, less expensive version of a skin cancer diagnostic microscope to improve cancer care. This device would allow doctors to quickly and safely diagnose many skin cancers and monitor responses to treatment without a biopsy.
 
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Scientists are only just starting to scratch the surface of how diverse species of bacteria interact with our unique body chemistries to influence our health. One of those scientists is Dr. Melissa Herbst-Kralovetz, a UArizona COM-Passociate professor and BIO5 member, who leads a team of researchers who are working to better understand how to predict, prevent and treat gynecologic cancers.
 
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The UArizona Cancer Center is one of two new centers to join the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) and has received an initial $1.4 million to advance cancer prevention and control science, with particular focus on the health needs of Hispanic cancer survivors. Dr. Cynthia A. Thomson, a professor in the UArizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and BIO5 member, discusses the importance of this distinction for the center's public health initiatives.
 
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Dr. Jeffrey Burgess, a UArizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health researcher and BIO5 member has spent decades researching the connection between firefighters and chemical exposures that can lead to cancer. Dr. Burgess and a team of researchers throughout the U.S. are looking into the genetic changes caused by a firefighter's exposure to chemicals present at fires and different methods that can be used to quickly clear their bodies of these toxins.
 
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The National Cancer Institute, a unit of the National Institutes on Health, has awarded a UArizona Cancer Center study a five-year, $6.9 million grant. The team, led by UArizona Skin Cancer Institute co-director, College of Medicine-Tucson Dermatology professor, and BIO5 member Dr. Clara Curiel-Lewandrowski, will use the funding to help develop new strategies to prevent and reduce the risk of squamous cell carcinoma, the second most-common form of non-melanoma skin cancer.
 
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UArizona Biomedical Engineering professor and director of the BIO5 Institute Dr. Jennifer Barton, gives a look into a day in her life. Dr. Barton discusses her academic and professional journey, how and why she began conducting her current research, and the importance of women becoming increasingly involved in engineering and STEM fields.
 
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The Arizona Prevention Research Center has received a $7.5 million, five-year award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue critical collaborations with community health workers and their organizations in Pima, Maricopa, Yuma, Santa Cruz and Cochise Counties. This award will benefit a cancer prevention research project led by UArizona Zuckerman College of Public Health professor, and BIO5 and UArizona Cancer Center member, Dr. Cynthia Thomson.
 
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Dr. Jennifer Barton, University of Arizona professor of biomedical engineering and director of the BIO5 Institute, has been appointed to the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, part of the National Institutes of Health. The council advises the leadership of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, or NIBIB, on policies and priorities related to research, training and health information dissemination in the areas of biomedical imaging and engineering.
 
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In an interview with MD Magazine, Dr. Monica Kraft, Department of Medicine chair at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, detailed her session on interpreting gender sex differences in lung disease, and what clinicians need to know when monitoring and caring for women at risk of asthma.