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Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog

Bob Nellis (@bobnellis)

Activity by Bob Nellis

Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) posted · Fri, Feb 6 9:18am · View  

Dr. Mark Allen to head Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Mark Allen, M.D.

Mark Allen, M.D.

Mayo Clinic thoracic surgeon Mark S. Allen, M.D., has been elected president of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons during the society’s annual meeting in San Diego.

Dr. Allen is a professor of surgery at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. His research at Mayo includes serving as principal investigator for a study examining whether removing all lymph nodes in the chest is more effective than removing lymph nodes selectively in patients with stage I or stage II non-small cell lung cancer; the trial is supported by the National Cancer Institute and American College of Surgeons. [...]

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) posted · Mon, Jan 19 1:13pm · View  

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Heart Disease: Understanding the Connection

cardio-rheumPhysicians have long known that people with rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic conditions such as lupus are more likely to die at younger ages than are those without these conditions. Even with advances in treatment, the gap in life expectancy remains.

No one knew why until 15 years ago. That’s when researchers at Mayo Clinic helped establish that people with rheumatoid arthritis have a greater chance of developing various types of cardiovascular disease.

“We now know that rheumatoid arthritis is associated with an increased risk of heart and vascular disease,” says senior researcher Sherine E. Gabriel, M.D., a rheumatologist and epidemiologist in

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) posted · Thu, Jan 15 10:15am · View  

A Line in the Sand – Mayo Clinic’s Role in Early Insulin Research

Line_in_the_SandEarly in the 20th century, a desperate group of patients began appearing at Mayo Clinic in the hope that the specialists there could keep them alive. Mostly children and younger adults, they had been afflicted with a condition that only years before would have been a death sentence — type I diabetes.

Doctors at Mayo, led by endocrinologist and researcher Russell Wilder, M.D., and a handful of other centers across the country had found a drastic, but feasible method of saving many of them from this deadly disease. Dr. Wilder and his colleague, Walter Boothby, M.D., had formulated a special ketogenic diet.

Consisting of a precise proportion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats determined by [...]

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) posted · Mon, Jan 5 3:58pm · View  

The Next Generation of Biomedical Researchers: Torn by Irresistible Forces

Katie Hartjes, Mayo graduate student

Katie Hartjes, Mayo graduate student

Hours of study, lectures to attend, research to complete, labs to monitor, data to analyze, papers to write, new solutions to old problems to noodle on. It’s just another day in the life of a biomedical research student. The to-do list never seems to end. Morning to night, seven days a week.

 The path to becoming a biomedical researcher is not for the fainthearted. It requires years of study, an insatiable curiosity and unflagging persistence in the face of failure.

 A Ph.D. candidate at Mayo Graduate School, Katherine A. Hartjes says traveling that long road has been worth it. She has [...]

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) posted · Tue, Dec 23 2014 · View  

What is Big Data, and Why Do We Care in Health Care?

Magnifying Glass over People WPBig data is a term with uncertain roots, and variable usage, but one which paints a picture of extremely large amounts of information, complex and disparate, that is difficult to analyze using traditional tools. Other challenges with big data include collection and storage, sorting and searching, sharing and individual privacy – just because you have massive amounts of information doesn’t mean you can use it effectively.

In an arena such as health care, where privacy concerns are paramount, and data collection is both disperse and diverse, it is not surprising that the challenges of using big data have – until recently – appeared to outweigh the benefits. However, as other industries [...]

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) posted · Mon, Dec 15 2014 · View  

Mayo Clinic Plugs Into Drug Discovery

DE_Drug_DiscoveryThe research laboratory of Mayo Clinic pediatric oncologist Richard J. Bram, M.D., Ph.D., was enjoying the kind of success many researchers hope for. His team in Rochester, Minnesota, had long been interested in studying brain tumors, particularly those in children.

“They’re the second most common malignancy in children, but the development of cures has lagged,” Dr. Bram says.

Dr. Bram’s research team made a big discovery: They found that a particular protein called cyclophilin B turned up in abundance in glioblastomas and medulloblastomas, two deadly nervous system tumors.

The protein seemed to be critical to these two cancers. “The findings suggested the protein could be a good target for a drug, selectively [...]

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) posted · Tue, Dec 9 2014 · View  

nuSURF Students Best Advocates for Science

Mayo Clinic's 2014 SURF team

Mayo Clinic's 2014 SURF team

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships are awarded every year to deserving students who are interested in exploring specific topics in research. The goal, in addition to learning alongside professional medical researchers, is to determine if the students are truly interested in persuing research as a career. The students do everything a scientist does, including presenting findings at the end of their project. Mayo Clinic's bumper crop of nuSURF students (nu for nephrology and urology) did rather well this year, according to mentor Michael Romero, Ph.D.  Vanderbilt University in Nashville was the destination for Mayo's 23 SURF fellows, where they attended a two-day conference for [...]

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Bob Nellis (@bobnellis) posted · Thu, Dec 4 2014 · View  

Biomarker Discovery: Staying One Step Ahead of Cancer

DE_BiomarkerFour researchers at Mayo Clinic combined their talents to spur a “bedside to bench” movement that takes the issues they face in the clinic back to the laboratory in the hopes of discovering biomarkers to help specific patients facing difficult medical problems.

George Vasmatzis, Ph.D., co-director of Mayo Clinic’s Biomarker Discovery Program in the Center for Individualized Medicine, has joined thoracic surgeon Dennis Wigle, M.D., Ph.D., urologist R. Jeffrey Karnes, M.D., and hematopathologist Andrew L. Feldman, M.D., in harnessing the power of biomarkers to benefit their patients. This new approach to discovering medical biomarkers has led to 32 molecular cancer discoveries in 2013 alone and dozens of tests that physicians [...]

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