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Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog

August 16th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Getting it RIGHT - Individualized medicine is getting very personal

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

The RIGHT Protocol studies the impact of getting patients the right drug at the right dose at the right time based on their genetic information.

10,000 people help answer a basic individualized medicine question

Nearly 1 out of every 3 American adults has high blood pressure. About 70 percent of them take medication for their condition, but only half have it under control. Why? The answer gets to the heart of individualized medicine: Because each person has a unique genetic makeup, everyone responds differently to drugs.

In recent years, individualized medicine, sometimes called precision medicine, has made headlines by predicting the possibility an individual may develop a specific disease [...]

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Tags: Biobank, center for individualized medicine, CIM, Individualized Medicine, Jennifer St Sauver, kern center, personalized medicine, RIGHT 10K, RIGHT Protocol, Weinshilboum

August 10th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Rochester Epidemiology Project – 50 Years of making a difference in health care, despite the “Lake Wobegon effect”

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

3209582_0201_silverlake1 In 2012, Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP) co-directors Walter Rocca, M.D., Mayo Clinic; and Barbara Yawn, M.D., Olmsted Medical Center; and their colleagues, published a paper describing the generalizability of epidemiological findings from one population to others.

Their premise - health and health care information derived from the largely ethnically homogeneous population in Olmsted County, Minnesota, and more recently in the 27 counties that comprise the REP, can indeed impact our ability to provide better care – regionally, nationally and beyond.

“We suffer from the Lake Wobegon effect,” laments Dr. Rocca. “People say, ‘ah yes, Minnesota, the place where all women are strong, all men are good looking, all children are above average, and you have a lot of cornfields – but what could you possibly tell me about my much more diverse population?’” [...]

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Tags: Big Data, Olmsted County, Olmsted County Public Health Service, Olmsted Medical Center, OMC, population health, REP, Rochester Epidemiology Project

August 4th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

What’s best for my child? What’s best for my patient?

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Informed consent made easier in pediatric emergency sedation
The science of health care delivery can be very exciting – sometimes offering a futuristic peak into the way things could be. Soon we may have an app that enables near instantaneous health data analysis and distillation, and brings individualized care suggestions to a provider’s fingertips. Crunching data from hundreds of thousands of patients, finding the ones that are most like the patient in front of the provider, adding in genetic information, personal preferences and more, and in a blink of an eye, giving information for the most efficient and effective care.

In the meantime, we do things a little more manually, but the end, results are similar. [...]

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Tags: ED, Emergency Department, Fernanda Bellolio, Henrique Puls, informed consent, kern center, Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars, Kern Scholars

August 3rd, 2016 · 2 Comments

Mayo Clinic Takes Medical Research to Kilimanjaro

By Bob Nellis bobnellis

mount-kilimanjaro-tanzaniaThe core group of Mayo Clinic researchers that moved their lab to the base camp at Mount Everest to study heart disease and aging are at it again, this time in Africa. Along with a party of nearly 35, they will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, obtaining scientific data from the climbers along the way.

Led by Mayo physiologist Bruce Johnson, Ph.D. and joined by Amine Issa, Ph.D., Courtney Wheatley, Ph.D., and Jan Stepanek, M.D., among others, the group will monitor climbers’ heart rates, oxygen saturation, movement, energy expenditure, skin temperature and the quality of their sleep. They’ll also conduct ultrasound scanning to determine differences in younger and older climbers as they react to the altitude.

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Tags: Aging, altitude sickness, Amine Issa, Bruce Johnson, Kilimanjaro, physiology, research

July 26th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Research and Practice Offer New Drug Development Model

By Sara Tiner saratiner

Success is built on top ofotp past failures.

But the costs associated with bringing a drug from idea to market run into the billions, making drug companies highly risk averse. And in the academic world, timelines or project shifts can slow down discovery, limiting the innovative potential of academic research.

Regardless, patients still need medical advances now, as well as a pipeline of innovation to improve treatment in the future.

Thomas “TC” Chung, Ph.D., associate director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) Office of Translation to Practice (OTP) at Mayo Clinic, has worked in both the academic and pharmaceutical worlds. Now he and the OTP help [...]

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Tags: CCaTS, collaboration, drug discovery, Office of Translation to Practice, Thomas Chung

July 22nd, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Save the Date: Arizona Health Equity Conference to Take Place Oct. 20

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

AZ Health Equality ConfJoin us October 20, in Phoenix, at the 2016 Arizona Health Equity Conference.

A statewide event in its third year, the conference will highlight health equity research, practice and policy efforts taking place in Arizona. Mayo Clinic is the lead organizer and sponsor of the conference, which enables attendees to facilitate innovative collaborations.

The theme of the conference is "Building Bridges: Connecting Communities in Research, Practice and Policy."

Attendees include physicians, nurses, researchers, clinicians, public health professionals, community health workers and social workers.

Proposals for presentations and posters can be submitted through Aug. 12. All presentations and posters must be related to health equity to be [...]

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Tags: Arizona, health disparity, health equity

July 5th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

The July Phenomenon

By meghanknoedler meghanknoedler

july“Never go to the hospital in July,” a phrase often repeated by patients; and perpetuated by a myriad of hospital employees, casts a worrisome tone over care received in July. Thus we hear of the “July Phenomenon.”

This is because each July 1 is the start of the medical residency year. A day full of mixed emotions:  excitement, splendor, fear, stress, and accomplishment; it is the very environment that many clinicians thrive in. It also starts the period that some people fear can be very distracting for new doctors, and possibly even dangerous for their patients. [...]

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Tags: cornelius thiels, intern, july phenomenon, kern center, medical research, resident, surgical outcomes

June 24th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Mayo Clinic at AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

The Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery has a booth (#211) at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting June 25-28 in Boston.  If you happen to be there, stop by for a visit. You'll be able to learn more about all kinds of health services research going on at Mayo Clinic, although this year much of the conversation will revolve around epidemiology and population health.

We'll be sharing some information about the Rochester Epidemiology Project too, which is celebrating 50 years of continuous National Institutes of Health funding this year. Lots of potential research projects in this unique national resource, which has led to more [...]

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Tags: #ARM16, AcademyHealth, kern center, Science of health care delivery

June 16th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP) – 50 Years and Still Going Strong

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

REP-Magnet no gridlinesIt has been 50 years since Leonard Kurland, M.D., successfully obtained funding from the National Institutes of Health to start the regional collaboration and medical records-linkage system known as the Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP).

This unique national resource was made possible because of the collegial relations of the health care providers in Rochester, Minnesota, at the time. The initial medical records and the data sharing and data mining capabilities were established by the Mayo brothers as part of their pioneering idea of a group practice and their shared education mindset. Henry Plummer, M.D., Mabel Root, and Joseph Berkson, M.D., icons of Mayo Clinic history, led [...]

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June 15th, 2016 · 1 Comment

2016 Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars Named — The next generation of health care delivery clinical researchers

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

The Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery is pleased to welcome four new scholars to the Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars Program.


Elizabeth Lorenz, M.D. – Nephrology and Hypertension

  • Research Focus:  Health outcomes after transplant
  • Mentorship Team:  Andrea Cheville, M.D.; David Eton, Ph.D.; Kathleen Yost, Ph.D.; Brooks Edwards, M.D.; Andrew Rule, M.D.
  • Read more about Dr. Lorenz.

Oliver Tobin, M.B.,B.Ch., BAO, Ph.D. – Neurology

  • Research Focus:  Multiple sclerosis and telemedicine
  • Mentorship Team:  Andrea Cheville, M.D.; Joan Griffin, Ph.D.; Susan Hallbeck, Ph.D.; Claudia Lucchinetti, M.D.
  • Read more about Dr. Tobin.

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Tags: CSHCD, Elizabeth Lorenz, kern center, Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars, Kern Scholars, Michael Wilson, Oliver Tobin, Rahma Warsame

June 7th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Talks Research at BIO Conference

By Bob Nellis bobnellis

The Minnesota Pavilion at BIO 2016

The Minnesota Pavilion at BIO 2016

From Taiwan to Texas, anyone who has anything to do with biosciences is here in San Francisco to hear speakers, attend education sessions, but mostly to network and make contacts for business and research. Mayo Clinic is here along with Destination Medical Center in Minnesota to talk about our research activities and make a major announcement later today. Mayo's research centers are represented in the Minnesota Pavilion at the conference and by several of our scientists and leaders.

We are spreading the word about Mayo being the NIH’s pick for the national biobank . It was announced [...]

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Tags: center for individualized medicine, Destination Medical Center, Individualized Medicine, mayo clinic, Mayo research

May 31st, 2016 · Leave a Comment

We’ll bet on Dr. Ansell anytime

By Bob Nellis bobnellis

AnsellOn May 17, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval to nivolumab (Opdivo®) for the treatment of patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL) that has relapsed or progressed after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Nivolumab also received a breakthrough therapy designation for the treatment of relapsed or refractory cHL after failure of autologous HSCT and brentuximab vedotin. Nivolumab also has orphan drug status for the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma under FDA's accelerated approval program.

Much of the credit for these achievements is due to the work of Stephen Ansell, M.D., Ph.D. of Mayo Clinic. Dr. Ansell led a multi-institution phase I clinical trial of nivolumab which found the immune-boosting drug [...]

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Tags: Hodgkin lymphoma, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, research, Stephen Ansell

May 3rd, 2016 · 5 Comments


By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Determining which drug works better for which patients

"Our findings definitely point toward important age-related risk that merits consideration when doctors are making treatment recommendations," says lead author Neena S. Abraham, M.D.

To the average TV viewer, it may seem like new drugs flood the marketplace daily.However, from the 1950s until just recently, warfarin was the only available anticoagulant drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent blood clotting. One of the most common reasons people take an anticoagulant is to reduce stroke and heart attack risk related to atrial fibrillation, an irregular and often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow. [...]

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Tags: anticoagulant, atrial fibrillation, dabigatran, medical research, Neena Abraham, rivaroxaban, warfarin

April 12th, 2016 · 3 Comments

A Head Start for HPV Vaccine: Better Series Completion

By meghanknoedler meghanknoedler

HPVHPV infographic

The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease (STD), with about 14 million new cases each year.

Surprisingly, this STD is largely asymptomatic but can carry quite a punch.  HPV affects both men and women and can cause cervical cancer and other cancers of the genitals, anus, mouth, and throat, all of which can lead to severe disease, disability, infertility or death.

There are currently three different licensed vaccine options for use in girls and boys that protect against and prevent HPV, and using these vaccines routinely could potentially prevent 70% - 90% of cervical [...]

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Tags: HPV, Human Papillomavirus, Jennifer St Sauver, kern center, Lila Finney Rutten, REP, Robert Jacobson, Rochester Epidemiology Project, Science of health care delivery

March 31st, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Although Prostate-specific Antigen Screenings Now Result in Fewer Biopsies, Relative Risk of Complications has Increased

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

mss_522405While absolute rates of biopsy and post-biopsy complications have decreased following several benchmark prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening publications, the relative risk for each patient continues to increase, according to a new study by Mayo Clinic researchers.

The study is the largest to examine the impact of PSA screening trials and revised PSA screening guidelines on rates of prostate biopsy and the first to examine their impact on post-biopsy complications. The results, which appear in European Urology, suggest a need to reduce the harm associated with biopsy.

Read the full news release.


Tags: Boris Gershman, Choose Wisely, Jeffrey Karnes, kern center, OtumLabs, Prostate Cancer, prostate cancer biopsy, prostate-specific antigen PSA, Science of health care delivery

March 30th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

New Deputy Director for Practice named — Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

dowdy2Sean C. Dowdy, M.D., has been appointed Deputy Director for Practice in the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.

Dr. Dowdy is also the Division Chair, Gynecologic Surgery within the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology. He has a long track record of studying innovation and process improvements in the surgical environment.

Building on Mayo Clinic's more than 100 years of experience in applying scientific and engineering principles to health care delivery, the Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery is transforming the way that patients everywhere receive and experience health care.

The center is highly focused [...]

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Tags: kern center, Science of health care delivery

March 15th, 2016 · 1 Comment

New Treatment-Sequencing Based on Biomarker Elevation in Pancreatic Cancer

By meghanknoedler meghanknoedler

pancreasPancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death in men and women and is projected to increase to the second leading cause of death by 2020 if there are not significant treatment advances made.

Our current understanding of pancreatic cancer suggests that it is a systemic disease in most patients, meaning, that by the time of usual diagnosis metastasis or spread of the cancer has already occurred, even if imaging studies are normal.  This aggressive nature of pancreatic cancer highlights the need for innovative treatment or diagnostic options for patients to improve survival.


Mark Truty, M.D., Surgical Oncologist

A study done by [...]

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Tags: biomarkers, Elizabeth Habermann, kern center, Mark Truty, pancreatic cancer, treatment-sequencing, John Jay Bergquist

March 3rd, 2016 · 1 Comment

Changes in Medical Education: Shifting Doctors' Attitudes in Medicine

By meghanknoedler meghanknoedler

Medical school training and admissions are going through many changes.  The medical school entrance exam (Medical College Admission Test or MCAT) is one of the notable changes.   For many years, the test focused on objective knowledge based on general chemistry and stoichiometry, organic chemistry.

compassionThe test made a drastic change in 2015 decreasing the questions regarding general chemistry, physics, biology and verbal skills.  In place of the more traditional questions, the test creators added questions in the domains of psychology and sociology.

This shift in the entrance exam reflects that it is becoming more important that clinicians are able to engage patients in empathic and collaborative ways.  It advances the notion that [...]

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Tags: Brian Lynch, kern center, Kern Scholars, Mayo Medical School, obesity, population health, Sean Phelan, unconscious bias

February 23rd, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Taking the First Step - Tracking Discharge Delays

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

The national conversation continues to revolve around health care and improvements in health care delivery, and often focuses on finding ways to add value and reduce cost.

At Mayo Clinic, we too seek to enhance health and the way patients experience health care. Nurses are at the front line of patient care, and positioned such, we are able to understand problems and identify solutions from a unique perspective.

My colleagues and I have taken on one of these problems – discharge delays.dischargeplanning3136064_0001

Delayed hospital discharges is a prevalent topic in research literature (see PUBMED list) and have been a cause of concern for decades. However, true understanding and methods for [...]

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Tags: Diane Holland, discharge delays, Journal of Nursing Care Quality, nursing, nursing research, redcap, Science of health care delivery

February 19th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Madonna Living Community Series Update: Clinomics – New Frontiers in Patient Care

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Mayo Clinic's three transformational centers - the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, the Center for Regenerative Medicine, and the Center for Individualized Medicine collaborate with the Madonna Living Community to offer a bi-monthly speaker series in which Mayo Clinic speakers share their research on topics relevant to both residents and the surrounding community.

Individualized Medicine ClinicOn Thursday, February 18, Dr. Eric Wieben spoke about Clinomics: New Frontiers in Patient Care to an audience at Madonna's Sister Generose Auditorium.

Dr. Wieben started his talk by defining clinomics as the study of –omics data along with its associated clinical data. He then focused on illustrating to the audience [...]

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Tags: clinomics, DNA, Eric Wieben, genome, Madonna Living Communities

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