News Makers 2016

- archived News Makers -
  • 06 - 30 - 16

    Two Minutes With . . . Dr. Mike Hirsh

    Michael P. Hirsh, MD, professor of surgery and pediatrics, talks about the importance of preventing injuries and the uncertain science around e-cigarettes.

    Worcester Magazine

  • 06 - 29 - 16

    Genes Control the Behavior & Health of Dogs, More Information Needed

    Darwin’s Dogs, a project by Elinor Karlsson, PhD, assistant professor of molecular medicine, collects canine DNA with the hope of using the information as a basis for studies of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and behavioral conditions.

    Live Trading News

    Cape Cod News

  • 06 - 29 - 16

    State launches safe summer driving campaign

    Michael P. Hirsh, MD, professor of surgery and pediatrics, talks about the dangers of driving while distracted at UMass Memorial Medical Center during the kick-off of a new publicity campaign aimed at steering motorists toward safe driving habits this summer.

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette

    State House News vis Berkshire Eagle

  • 06 - 29 - 16

    Years and miles apart, UMass doctor and patient reunite

    Louis M. Messina, MD, professor of surgery, reunites with 21-year-old Katy Drennan to perform a second bypass for a rare aortic condition he first repaired while at UC San Francisco 18 years ago in the then 3 year old.

    Worcester Magazine

    WFXT-Fox 25 Boston

    WHDH-TV Boston

  • 06 - 28 - 16

    Calling All Twentysomethings: Your DNA Could Help Cure Disease

    Jonathan Kay, MD, professor of medicine, explains how biobanks that collect samples of serum, plasma, DNA, and RNA from patients with a variety of diseases can facilitate clinical research into new disease therapeutics.

  • 06 - 28 - 16

    U.S. medical schools expand training to curb painkiller abuse

    In response to the opioid crisis, Michele Pugnaire, MD, senior associate dean for educational affairs and professor of family medicine & community health, explains how UMass Medical School is using advanced medical simulation programs to teach medical students and health care providers how to be safely prescribe the highly addictive medications.

    Associated Press

    Associated Press Television

    ABC News
    Worcester Telegram & Gazette
    Fox News Health
    Fall River Herald
    Washington Post
    Fairbanks Daily News Miner
    Boston Herald

  • 06 - 27 - 16

    2016 Lupus Insight Prize goes to University of Massachusetts professor

    Ann Marshak-Rothstein, PhD, professor of medicine, received the 2016 Lupus Insight Prize for promising research to improve the treatment of the lupus-related skin disease called cutaneous lupus.

    Lupus News Today

  • 06 - 27 - 16

    Finding exercise that speaks to you, making it fun

    An article about finding the exercise that suits your personal needs includes comments from Sherry Pagoto, PhD, associate professor of medicine.

    Chicago Tribune

  • 06 - 27 - 16

    Wearable Devices Could Monitor Opioid Use

    A study by Stephanie Pepper Carreiro, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine, found that wristbands monitoring skin temperature and movement can be used to track and predict opioid use with a fair degree of accuracy. The ability to identify instances of opioid use and opioid tolerance in real time could be helpful to manage pain or substance abuse treatment.

    Pain News Network


  • 06 - 24 - 16

    Critics: Rankings unfair to doctors, misleading to patients

    An article about the Group Insurance Commission, the body that oversees health insurance for the state’s 430,000 state and municipal workers, retirees and their family members, includes comments from Joseph L. Bouchard, MD, assistant professor of medicine.

    Lowell Sun

  • 06 - 23 - 16

    CCH Names New UMass Medical School Associate Dean

    Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine, was quoted in an article  about the appointment of Donald A. Guadagnoli, MD,  to the position of associate dean for medical education and assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology at Cape Cod Healthcare by the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

    Cape Cod Times

  • 06 - 23 - 16

    Massachusetts Considers Imposing Statewide Single-Payer Health Care System

    An article about Massachusetts considering a single-payer health care system says that 75 percent of the state’s 200,000 uninsured residents cited high costs as their reason for lacking health insurance coverage, according to a February report by UMass Medical School, which was commissioned by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation.

    The Heartland Institute

  • 06 - 23 - 16

    Snowball in a Blizzard: The Tricky Problem of Uncertainty in Medicine, by Steven Hatch

    In his book, Snowball in a Blizzard: A Physician’s Notes on Uncertainty in Medicine, Steven C. Hatch, MD, assistant professor of medicine, aims to empower the general public, as consumers of medicine, with a toolkit for interrogating scientific and medical claims and for asking the right questions of health care professionals.

    Times Higher Education

  • 06 - 22 - 16

    Fixed by light: Flick a switch to banish pain and blindness

    An expert in optogentics, Gang Han, PhD, assistant professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, is quoted in an article about the emergence of the field, which relies on genetically modifying neurons so they’re sensitive to light, enabling researchers to turn them on or off at the flick of a switch.

    New Scientist (subscription required)

  • 06 - 22 - 16

    UMass team nabs $17M from NIAID to produce HIV vaccine

    Shan Lu, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, has received $17.3 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to develop and produce an optimized HIV vaccine to be used in Phase II human clinical trials.


  • 06 - 21 - 16

    CRISPER screening reveals Zika weaknesses

    Abraham Brass, MD, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology & physiological systems, has identified multiple human proteins the Zika virus needs to infect cells.

    Free Press Journal


    Bioscience Technology

    Science Daily



  • 06 - 21 - 16

    Family on the front lines in battle against ALS

    Ratt Kennedy, president of The Angel Fund, which raises fund for Robert H. Brown Jr., DPhil, MD, the Leo P. and Theresa M. LaChance Chair in Medical Research and chair and professor of neurology, lost his father and brother to ALS and has been diagnosed with the disease.

    Boston Globe

  • 06 - 20 - 16

    City Hall forum in Worcester discusses opioid crisis

    Alan P. Brown, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry; Matilde Castiel, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine; take part in a panel discussion at Worcester City Hall on the successes and remaining challenges in the state’s battle against opioid abuse.

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette

    Worcester News Tonight

  • 06 - 20 - 16

    Healthcare providers maximize resources through teams

    David Polakoff, MD, professor of family medicine & community health, chief medical officer and associate dean of Commonwealth Medicine, explains that a team-based approach to primary care is key to managed care models that have been integrated into primary care, pediatrics and geriatrics.

    Worcester Business Journal

  • 06 - 20 - 16

    High costs pose barriers to opioid alternatives

    Hugh Silk, MD, professor of family medicine & community health, said making alternatives to opioid painkillers such as Lidoderm patches less cost-prohibitive could help stem the tide of drug addiction.

    Becker’s Hospital Review

    Lowell Sun

    Insurance Journal

    Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise

    Albany Times Union


  • 06 - 18 - 16

    'Changing the message' about women's health at UMass multicultural summit

    Julia Johnson, MD, professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology, and Deborah L. Plummer, vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, organized a Multicultural Women's Health Summit at UMass Medical School, designed to offer women in the community an opportunity to learn about health.

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette

  • 06 - 18 - 16

    Not just cosmetic: For afflicted, vitiligo is a serious matter

    John E. Harris, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center, talks about the causes of  vitiligo and his research into finding a cure for the disease.

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette

  • 06 - 16 - 16

    Bruins 'Fist Bump Kid' cancer survivor Liam Fitzgerald has kicked cancer's butt

    Terence R. Flotte, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine, joins cancer patients, such as 10-year-old Liam Fitzgerald, and UMMS biomedical and clinical researchers at the kick-off event for the UMass Medicine Cancer Walk & Run.

    Worcester News Tonight

    WCVB-TV (no link available)

  • 06 - 15 - 16

    Protecting young athletes from the opioid crisis

    James B. Broadhurst, MD, assistant professor of family medicine & community health; Dennis Dimitri, MD, clinical associate professor of family medicine & community health; Erik J. Garcia, MD, assistant professor of family medicine & community health; Maria M. Garcia, MD,MPH, associate professor of medicine, discuss treating sports injuries in college and youth athletes with opioids.

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette

  • 06 - 12 - 16

    Central Mass. colleges seek out-of-state students to fill enrollment gap

    Chancellor Michael F. Collins discusses how admitting out-of-state students to the School of Medicine has added to the medical school’s diversity and increased access to highly qualified candidates.

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette

  • 06 - 12 - 16

    Science from Scientists engages Burncoat Prep students in Worcester

    Don Gammon, PhD, postdoctoral research fellow in the RTI, visits Burncoat Preparatory School twice a month to do hands-on science experiments with fifth grade students.

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette

  • 06 - 12 - 16

    UMass Medical School employees receive awards

    Alexis D. Henry, ScD, research assistant professor of psychiatry, received the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association’s Armin Loeb Award during the 2016 Recovery Workforce Summit held recently in Boston; Kenneth L. Appelbaum, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry, was presented with the American Psychiatric Association’s Manfred S. Guttmacher Award for his work on the Oxford Textbook of Correctional Psychiatry, the first comprehensive correctional psychiatric textbook.

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette

  • 06 - 10 - 16

    Kratom: Natural painkiller or addictive drug?

    Edward Boyer, MD, PhD, professor of emergency medicine, explains how kratom, a Southeast Asian leaf and natural painkiller sometimes used as a substitute for people coping with heroin addiction, works by binding to opioid receptors.

  • 06 - 09 - 16

    Bristol-Myers Squibb locks into novel autoimmune strategy

    Paul R. Thompson, PhD, professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, explains how protein arginine deiminases (PADs)  may be a viable treatment alternative for autoimmune disorders.

    Nature Biotechnology

  • 06 - 08 - 16

    Encouraging News for Patients on TNF Inhibitors

    Jonathan Kay, MD, professor of medicine, said that new research shows that patients with spondyloarthritis taking tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis are not at increased risk for developing malignancies.

  • 06 - 07 - 16

    6 things New England states are doing to combat the opioid epidemic

    A story about efforts to curb the opioid epidemic in New England references UMass Medical School.

    Springfield Republican

  • 06 - 07 - 16

    High Cost Not the Only Barrier to Patient Access of HCV Drugs

    A retrospective study by Karen Clements, ScD, MPH, senior project director at Commonwealth Medicine, found patients with hepatitis C encounter barriers to obtaining sofosbuvir or simeprevir treatments, which are more effective than other therapeutics, beyond the high cost of the drug.

  • 06 - 07 - 16

    Worcester Board of Health raises minimum smoking age to 21

    Abigail Averbach, MSc, director of analytics  at Commonwealth Medicine, and Tina Grosowsky, project coordinator for the Central Massachusetts Tobacco-free Community Partnership, comment on the Worcester Board of Health’s vote to raise the legal age to buy tobacco products to 21.

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette

  • 06 - 06 - 16

    A Personal Perspective On Knee Replacement Surgery, As Demand For Procedure Surges

    David Ayers, MD, chair and professor of orthopedics & physical rehabilitation, discusses the increasing frequency with which people are getting knee replacements, how his research will help determine who is a good candidate for total knee replacement and which hospitals do the best job.


  • 06 - 06 - 16

    Gov. Baker urges UMass Medical School graduates to make best use of new tools

    Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker gave the keynote address at the 43rd Commencement exercises for UMass Medical School. Quoted in the article are students Wei Sum Li, MD, SOM ’16; Sean Maloney, MD, SOM ’16; Victoria Creeden, MS, GSN ’16; Kathryn Raymond, PhD, GSN ’16; and Aditya Venkatesh, PhD, GSBS ’16.

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette

  • 06 - 06 - 16

    Preventing Weight Gain in Special Needs Patients

    Linda Bandini, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics, is quoted in an article about helping patients with mental disabilities manage their weight.

    MedPage Today

  • 06 - 05 - 16

    Innoblative is top winner at M2D2 $100k Challenge

    Innoblative, which is developing a radio-frequency ablation device that destroys cancer cells, won first place in the 5th annual UMass M2D2 $100k Challenge, which recognizes and rewards medical-technology and biotechnology startups.

    Lowell Sun

  • 06 - 03 - 16

    “Opioid painkillers cause chronic pain” stories leave physician reader in agony

    Stephen Martin, MD, associate professor of family medicine & community health, writes about the short comings of recent basic research claiming that opioid-induced hyperalgesia is clinically important for patients with chronic pain on standard opioid medication.

    Health News Review

  • 06 - 03 - 16

    CMS Quality Policy Unintentionally Scrubs Transplant Candidates

    Natasha Dolgin, PhD, MD/PhD student, and Adel Bozorgzadeh, MD, FACS, professor of surgery, talk about a new study that found transplant centers are increasingly removing the sickest individuals from liver transplant waiting lists, considering them "too sick to transplant." 

    Health Leaders Media

    Kaiser Health News

    National Public Radio

    Washington Post

  • 06 - 03 - 16

    UMass researchers find protein defense against Zika

    Abraham Brass, MD, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology & physiological systems, has identified a protein that blocks the Zika virus from infecting cells.

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette

    Genetic Engineering & Biotech News




    WBZ Radio

    This Week in Health, Harvard School of Public Health

    ZME Science

  • 06 - 01 - 16

    Kratom, the Herb of Last Resort for Recovering Addicts, Is in Legal Trouble

    Toxicologist Kavita Babu, associate professor of emergency medicine, is quoted in a story about how some patients are using kratom to treat opioid addiction.