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research-and-clinical-trials

Health care professionals hold unique position to address structural racism

The responsibilities of a doctor to its patient, or a health researcher to its community, are many: safety, support and equity chief among them. The power and privilege health professionals wield as stewards of health and wellbeing is tremendous and thus must include consideration of the structures and systems preventing all patients and all communities from achieving good health.

Structural racism and disproportionate use of lethal force by law enforcement officers against communities of color is not new nor is the impact of structural racism in health care and health research.

“Video evidence and the advent of the Black Lives Matter movement have forced our nation to begin to grapple with the insidiousness of racism in America,” said Rachel Hardeman, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.  “Structural racism causes widespread suffering and we all have a role to play in dismantling it.” 

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research-and-clinical-trials

UMN researchers find the link between heart and blood cells in early development

New research from the University of Minnesota reveals endoglin as a critical factor in determining the fate of early undifferentiated cells during development. Endoglin, a receptor involved in cell signaling, has previously been known mostly for its function in blood vessels and angiogenesis. In a new paper published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers showed endoglin modulates key signaling pathways to encourage early cells to develop into blood cells at the expense of the heart.

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research-and-clinical-trials

New method makes microbiome profiling more accurate, reproducible

Research out of the University of Minnesota Genomics Center highlights an improved method for profiling the microbiome, providing more accurate data in a rapidly expanding research area.

What is the microbiome? Microbiomes are the communities of microorganisms residing on or inside humans and animals, or in the environment. Understanding the microbiome is important as it can play a key role in the healthy function of the body or of an ecosystem.

 

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beyond-minnesota

Calling communities to engage in National Cancer Moonshot Initiative

Defeating cancer – a lofty goal, but no more bold than the idea of putting a man on the moon. When President Obama set forth the charge and launched the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, the scientific community was rallied toward accelerating progress in therapies, diagnosis tools, and prevention tactics.

The NCI is now inviting the public to join the venture, launching a web portal for anyone to come and contribute ideas, concepts, or pathways of study. Many researchers are excited about this partnership with the public and the opportunity for mutual learning and collaboration.

We spoke with Christopher Pennell, Ph.D., associate director for Education and Community Engagement at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, about this new step in the Moonshot Initiative.

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expert-perspectives

Expert perspective: Using aspirin regularly may lower cancer risk

Long-term aspirin use may reduce risk for overall cancer, according to a new study in JAMA Oncology.

Researchers set out to take a closer look at aspirin use for cancer prevention and better understand the benefits of aspirin for cancer screening. They found an association between aspirin use and lower cancer risk – primarily because the benefits as it related to incidence of gastrointestinal cancer were particularly notable.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Research snapshot: Research collaboration discovers copolymer able to stabilize dystrophic skeletal muscle

New research from a University of Minnesota research collaboration identifies a copolymer well suited to stabilizing muscle cell membranes in a model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Poloxamer 188 (P188) is a block copolymer membrane stabilizer. In a new paper published in Molecular Therapy-Methods & Clinical Development, researchers showed this stabilizer works well to protect the dystrophic skeletal muscles.

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