Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.

March 29, 2021

Mayo Clinic Research in the news — 3/29/2021

By Elizabeth Zimmermann

The news of the week puts a face on some unique COVID-19 related stories, medical school graduates and a range of other health care research topics.

Luther College student creates tool to help underserved communities get vaccinated

KTTC, 3/26/2021

Trying to navigate the information superhighway of a global pandemic is difficult, and some minority groups face extra challenges because of language barriers. The Rochester Healthy Community Partnership was started in 2004. It's a partnership between Mayo Clinic and other community health leaders. Its mission is to bridge the gap that minority groups face when it comes to accessing healthcare. …  

NOTE: Article includes comment from both the featured student – Kelao Charmaine Neumbo, as well as her mentor Jane Njeru, M.B., Ch.B., an internal medicine physician at Mayo Clinic and leader in RHCP.  

Deployed Flight Surgeon returns to 332nd AEW amidst COVID response

DVIDS, 332d Air Expeditionary Wing, 3/23/2021

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Russell Tontz, the oldest of 10 siblings, finds his way to the wing through a circuitous route. … He said the “the transition from Active Duty to Guard went smoother than expected,” and that his duties as a civilian mirrored his previous role in the service—balancing mission accomplishment and keeping people safe.

It’s a role that’s intensified greatly as COVID wreaked havoc on business as usual in the U.S. and around the globe. Now his primary focus is developing return to work protocols for a host of organizations, not least of which is his own employer, the Mayo Clinic.  

NOTE: Read the article for more about Lt. Col. Tontz, chair, Occupational Medicine, Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato.

Former Google CEO gives $150M for research in biology, AI

Minneapolis Star Tribune, 3/25/2021  

Related article: 2 Billionaire Couples Provide $300 Million to Launch New Health Research Institute, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 2/25/2021

Podcast: How research on aging could keep us healthier longer

Chemical & Engineering News, 3/23/2021

Stereo Chemistry explores some treatments being developed to tackle aging at the molecular level  

NOTE: This podcast and transcription include an interview with James Kirkland, M.D., Ph.D., director, Mayo Clinic Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging.      

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Mayo Clinic partner on new diagnostic tools

Select Science, 3/29/2021

The partnership will accelerate clinical validation and commercialization of certain NGS, mass spectrometry and immunology diagnostic tools  

NOTE: Although Mayo Clinic categorizes this as a collaboration, the news is still a good sign for increased innovation, validation and commercialization in health care.  

Gender and Alzheimer’s: Study Finds Harmful Proteins Accumulate Faster in Women’s Brains

Being Patient, 3/29/2021

Mounting evidence shows that Alzheimer’s biomarker tau protein accumulates differently — and more rapidly — in woman’s brains than in men’s. … Meanwhile in a recent op-ed for Being Patient, Carolee Lee of WHAM! (Women’s Health Access Matters) and Michelle M. Mielke at the Specialized Center for Research Excellence on Sex Differences at Mayo Clinic examine the consequences of ignoring gender and biology in Alzheimer’s research — and the pivotal importance of lifespan research.

NOTE: Dr. Mielke is a leader in Alzheimer's and other aging-related research, including sex and gender specific risk factors.

Long COVID Brings Welcome Attention to POTS

Medscape, 3/26/2021

Before COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) was one of those diseases that many people, including physicians, dismissed. … Kamal Shouman, MD, an autonomic neurologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, told Medscape that he has seen patients present with post-COVID POTS in "all flavors," including "neuropathic POTS, which is thought of as the classic postinfectious phenomenon.  

NOTE: Read the article for more on POTS from Dr. Shouman and other experts.

‘The Engaged Scholar’

Inside Higher Ed, 3/26/2021

Author discusses his new book “on expanding the impact of academic research in today’s world.” … The Mayo Clinic’s Academic Appointments and Promotions Committee announced in 2016 that it will include social media and digital activities in its criteria for academic advancement. …

Match Day: The Roadblocks International Medical Graduates Face

Neurology Today, 3/24/2021

… When Dr. Desai was offered to work as a research trainee with Dr. Tatum at Mayo, he expected the position to primarily involve data collection and compilation. However, under Dr. Tatum's mentorship, he was given the opportunity to participate in clinical trials, surgical case conferences, poster presentations, and feel like a member of the team. …  

NOTE: This article details the stories of several individuals, including Nimit Desai, MD, who trained in a fellowship under William Tatum, D.O., at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville in 2019. (Also note that the article incorrectly reports Dr. Tatum as an M.D.)    

Triage System Gets High Marks for Ovarian Cancer Debulking Surgery

MedPage Today, 3/26/2021

Key factors predicted threefold higher risk of 90-day mortality with primary surgery   … Using a retrospective dataset involving women with stage IIIC/IV tumors, mortality at 90 days was threefold lower for triage-appropriate women compared with those considered high-risk based on three key factors, at 2% versus 6.1%, respectively (P=0.03), reported Deepa M. Narasimhulu, MBBS, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.   And these triage-appropriate patients had a significantly lower risk for death following surgical complications (10% vs 25.9%, P=0.05), according to findings presented at the virtual Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) annual meeting.…  

NOTE: Dr. Narasimhulu is a Mayo Clinic fellow in gynecologic oncology.    

Cleaning Secrets for Every Room

Consumer Reports, 3/26/2021

Easy ways to remove grit, grime, and germs in a safe, healthy way … You may even find that the results are a mood-booster, which has been difficult to come by during the challenges of the past year. “What really helps mental well-being is a sense of productivity and doing meaningful things,” says Craig Sawchuk, PhD, a psychologist who’s co-chair of the division of integrated behavioral health at the Mayo Clinic. “Cleaning, for some people, really lands on both spots.”    

Other stories about Mayo Clinic and COVID-19


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Tags: About, Alzheimer's disease, artificial intelligence, collaboration, COVID-19, Craig Sawchuk, Deepa Narasimhulu, education, Findings, gynecologic surgery, gynecology, health disparities, integrative medicine, James Kirkland, Jane Njeru, Kamal Shouman, Kogod Center on Aging, medical innovation, medical research education, Michelle Mielke, military medicine, News, oncology, ovarian cancer, People, POTS, Rochester Healthy Community Partnership, Russell Tontz, William Tatum, women's health

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