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U of M health care startup honored by the U.S. Science Coalition

A University of Minnesota health care startup originally supported by federal funding has been highlighted in a new report by The Science Coalition as a premier example of how federally-funded research can bring transformational innovations to market, creating new jobs and contributing to economic growth.

In their latest report, “Sparking Economic Growth 2.0: Companies Created from Federally Funded Research, Fueling American Innovation and Economic Growth,” the Science Coalition honored University of Minnesota licensee Steady State Imaging, LLC – purchased by GE Healthcare in 2011 – as one of 100 national companies that can trace their roots to federally funded university research.

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research-and-clinical-trials

Collaborators awarded $3.7 million for HIV/AIDS research

Pamela Skinner, Ph.D., associate professor in the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, and longtime collaborator Liz Connick, M.D., professor at the University of Colorado Denver, have been awarded a five-year research grant totaling more than $3.7 million from the National Institutes of Health …

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research-and-clinical-trials

Are medication side effects affecting our ability to think straight?

When it comes to epilepsy, relief from seizures often arrives in the form of the FDA-approved drug topiramate. This drug acts in the brain to prevent seizure activity and in doing so, alters how the brain functions. In some patients, these alterations can produce undesirable effects on cognition.

While patients with epilepsy might be willing to accept a few adverse side effects in return for seizure relief, the effects on cognition are less tolerable for patients who take topiramate for other purposes …

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patient-care

U of M & Mayo Clinic set their sights on myelodysplastic syndrome

Earlier this week, ABC’s Robin Roberts announced she is battling myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a disease of the blood and bone marrow. In patients with MDS, the bone marrow keeps trying to make more blood cells to make up for a deficit, but many of these cells die before they make it into the blood stream. The condition is often treated with chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants.

MDS can be a scary condition for patients. More than 10,000 patients are diagnosed with the condition each year and 30 percent of those cases progress into acute leukemia. The condition can occur seemingly at random with few known causes.

For reasons still unknown, Minnesota owns the country’s highest incidence rate of MDS. As a result, both the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic have made MDS research a priority, which spells good news for MDS patients across the country.

Together, the two institutions are taking the lead on the development of new tools to both diagnose and treat the condition.

Recently, U of M and Mayo researchers were awarded $1.35 million by the Minnesota Partnership to combat the disease. That grant comes on the heels of a five-year, $2.5 million grant awarded last year to U of M epidemiologist Julie Ross, Ph.D., and pediatric hematologist-oncologist Erica Warlick, M.D., to conduct the nation’s first large scale epidemiologic study of MDS.

“There aren’t many studies where we look at newly-diagnosed patients and follow them over time, so we’ve never truly investigated why people get MDS,” said Ross. “Therefore we can’t definitively say which patients will see their disease progress into leukemia. We want to take the speculation and shift it into fact, giving patients a better chance against the disease.”

KSTP recently caught up with Warlick to learn more about MDS. You can watch that video here. For more on University of Minnesota research into MDS, visit cancer.umn.edu.

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