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.

May 17, 2021

Mayo Clinic Research in the news — 5/17/2021

By Advancing the Science contributor

In the news this week, highlighting Mayo Clinic research and faculty experts, we welcome a new leader and see discussions across the research continuum. Topics range from quality improvement and innovation initiatives, to basic science discoveries, the latest in artificial intelligence in health care and clinical trials. All highlight investigations into improving outcomes and experience for our patients. Our experts also weigh in on all the current concerns and advanced knowledge surrounding COVID-19.


UNM cancer center leader leaving for Mayo Clinic

Albuquerque Journal, 5/17/2021

The leader of the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center, who played a vital role in transforming it into one of the top-tier cancer centers in the nation, will be leaving for a job at the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Cheryl Willman will announce today that she is stepping down as director and CEO of the cancer center to take the position of executive director of Mayo Clinic Cancer Programs and director of Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center in August.


Insights & Outcomes: Gene variants and quantum competitions, and artificial spin ice

YaleNews, 5/13/2021

Tracking down a rare, genetic disorder

When a young Brazilian girl developed a peculiar form of ANE syndrome, a rare genetic disorder marked by facial malformations and intellectual disability, her doctors asked Yale biochemist Susan Baserga and Mayo Clinic geneticist Filippo Pinto e Vairo to investigate a potential molecular cause. …

Highlighted faculty: Filippo Pinto e Vairo, M.D., Ph.D.


American College of Cardiology Names Distinguished Award Winners

Cath Lab Digest, 5/15/2021

…They will be formally recognized for their achievements during the ACC Convocation Ceremony at the 70th Annual Scientific Session, taking place May 15-17 virtually…

2021 Distinguished Fellow Award
Nkechinyere Ijioma, MBBS, FACC; Mayo Clinic Health Systems, La Crosse, Wisconsin

Highlighted faculty: Nkechinyere Ijioma, M.B.B.S.


Evaluating Remote Quality Improvement Initiatives

DocWire News, 5/16/2021

…A team of researchers from pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine specialists in the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, devised a longitudinal framework to evaluate critical care quality improvement and remote training programs. They shared their findings at the 2021 American Thoracic Society International Conference.


Alzheimer’s Disease Has 4 Distinct Subtypes, Brain Imaging Study Shows

Forbes, 5/10/2021

A new international study has shown that Alzheimer’s disease has four distinct subtypes based on brain scan images… "This is an important paper that moves the field forward and suggests that we should not think of Alzheimer’s disease as one disease that starts in a given location and progresses in a stereotypic fashion,” says Dennis Dickson, a neuropathologist at the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, who was not involved in this study. …

Highlighted faculty: Dennis Dickson, M.D.


Racial Disparities in Endovascular Therapy for Stroke Persist

Medscape, 5/14/2021

Although the use of endovascular therapy (EVT) for ischemic stroke has increased in recent years, patients who belong to ethnic minorities are less likely to receive it than White patients, research suggests…

"The burden of vascular risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, are higher in African Americans and Hispanics," Chia-Chun Chiang, MD, senior associate consultant and assistant professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told Medscape Medical News.

Highlighted faculty: Chia-Chun Chiang, M.D., Neurology


Everything You Actually Need To Know About Wearing Sunscreen

HuffPost, 5/12/2021

We break it all down, from the difference between physical and mineral to whether SPF 100 is really much stronger than SPF 30…

As Dr. Nahid Vidal, a micrographic surgeon and dermatologic oncologist at the Mayo Clinic, explained to HuffPost, the sun causes skin damage in several ways, all directly related to UVA and UVB rays. "UVA is the longest wavelength and can reach deeper into the layer of skin, causing changes to our collagen in the dermis related to aging and wrinkling," she explained. "UVB rays tend to be shorter and affect the top layer of our skin (epidermis)." …

Highlighted faculty: Nahid Vidal, M.D.


New Drug Shows Promise Against Tough-to-Manage Asthma

HealthDay, 5/13/2021

… Dr. James Li, an allergist-immunologist with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who was not involved with the research, said, "In this particular study, the subjects had to have had two asthma exacerbations in the previous 12 months — so, uncontrolled asthma. It's for the worst cases, so to speak." After a year's treatment, patients on tezepelumab experienced fewer asthma attacks and better lung function, asthma control, and health-related quality of life than those on placebo, the researchers reported…

Highlighted faculty: James Li, M.D., Ph.D.


Why vaccine side effects really happen, and when you should worry 

National Geographic, 5/13/2021

Side effects can be a powerful deterrent stopping people from getting vaccinated. To address this issue, in 1991, a group of scientists in Minnesota—at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Mayo Clinic—devised an experiment to see just how frequent these unpleasant reactions were…

Highlighted faculty: Robert M. Jacobson, M.D.


Blood Clots Explained

NIH News in Health, May 2021

… A type of surgery called a thrombectomy can be used to remove clots in large blood vessels. It can be used even if people don’t get to the hospital in time to receive clot-busting drugs. “That’s been a huge benefit for patients,” says Dr. Waleed Brinjikji, an expert on stroke at the Mayo Clinic. This technique has also let researchers study what clots are made of after they’re removed. “We’re starting to realize how different clots can be,” says Brinjikji.

Highlighted faculty: Waleed Brinjikji, M.D.


Mayo Clinic to expand biorepository

Post Bulletin, 5/13/2021 (subscription)

Mayo Clinic has launched an $11.6 million expansion of its John W. Marvin Building at 2915 Valleyhigh Dr. NW to add much needed storage space for a growing number of genetic biosamples. The expansion will add 39,000 square feet of space to the 176,455-square-foot biorepository. …


COVID-19 vaccines, long COVID, pandemic preparedness and more

  • AARP6 Things You Need to Know About Long COVID
  • CNBCPandemic Playbook: Predict. Prevent. Prepare. – CNBC Healthy Returns Summit with Mayo Clinic’s John Halamka and Microsoft Health’s Peter Lee
  • Cancer LatamOvarian cancer: concern about increased mortality in pandemic
  • Post-BulletinLong COVID patients are younger, without underlying conditions, Mayo study finds
  • KTTCMayo Clinic pediatrician addresses recent expansion of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine eligibility
  • MedPage TodayNasal Vaccines for COVID-19?
  • ReutersDelaying second COVID-19 vaccine doses can help reduce deaths – study
  • MinnPostCan Minnesota employers require workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Will they?
  • Business Insider, Coronavirus vaccines are more extraordinary in the real world than in trials — even in the face of variants

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Tags: Alzheimer's disease, asthma, Awards, biobank, blood clots, cardiology, Cheryl Willman, Chia-Chun Chiang, COVID-19, Dennis Dickson, dermatology, Filippo Pinto e Vairo, Findings, gene variant, health care value, health disparities, hereditary diseases, James Li, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic Health System, Nahid Vidal, News, News of the Week, Nkechinyere Ijioma, People, Progress Updates, Robert Jacobson, stroke, telehealth, vaccines, Waleed Brinjikji

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