Media Coverage

UB researchers have received a five-year, $3 million grant to apply the power of big data to enhance liver health in the region. Andrew H. Talal, MD, professor of medicine and co-principal investigator on the grant, said “clearly, it’s not an exaggeration to say that we are seeing a national crisis of liver disease and liver cancer.”
Research by Thomas A. Russo, MD, professor of medicine and chief of infectious diseases, investigated the hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae, a rare but increasingly common strain of the pathogen that can infect completely healthy people, is resistant to all antibiotics and can cause blindness in one day and flesh-eating infections, brain abscesses and death in just a few days. “What’s increasingly concerning is the growing number of reports that describe strains of hypervirulent K. pneumoniae that are antimicrobial resistant,” he said. “A bug that's both hypervirulent and challenging to treat is a bad combination.”
A Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ animal study may be one of the first to examine how low levels of vitamin D affect physical performance over the long term. Senior author on the study is Bruce R. Troen, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. First author is Kenneth L. Seldeen, PhD, research assistant professor of medicine, who said, “The take-home message of this study is that while having low serum vitamin D for a month or even a year or two may not matter for a person, yet over several decades it may have clinical ramifications.”
While some issues are part of the normal aging process, geriatric syndromes aren’t, according to Anjeet K. Saini, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. “When we get older, we’re at greater risk for disability that interfere with activities of daily living,” she said. “In geriatrics, activities of daily living are the core principles we need to survive. Once ADLs are decreased, we have more disabilities.”
A story on WBFO-FM about the benefits of the meditation practice of mindfulness interviews Archana Mishra, MD, clinical associate professor of medicine, who practices mindfulness. “Mindfulness is something that helps you become a better human being,” she said. “It reduces anxiety and stress and that’s been proven … by true scientific methods.”
An article on MedPage Today about women physicians who choose not to practice cardiology because of work-life balance issues and gender discrimination problems in the field includes an invited commentary by Anne B. Curtis, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine. “Having this factor be so important to career decisions today means that one needs to consider these issues in structuring positions in order to attract the best people,” Curtis said.
An article in Business First reports that the Department of Medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, in conjunction with Evergreen Health, is participating in a multicenter clinical trial investigating the safety and efficacy of a regimen to treat HIV that is administered in monthly injections. Alyssa S. Shon, MD, clinical assistant professor of medicine, is principal investigator on the trial.
Research by Jeffrey M. Lackner, PsyD, professor of medicine, showed that patients with the most severe and persistent symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome achieved robust and sustained relief by learning to control symptoms with home-based behavioral treatment. “This is a novel, game-changing treatment approach for a public health problem that has real personal and economic costs, and for which there are few medical treatments for the full range of symptoms,” he said.
An article about questions over whether it was a broken heart that caused the hospitalization of former President George H.W. Bush just a day after the funeral of his wife, Barbara, interviews Anne B. Curtis, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and chair of medicine. The sudden loss of a spouse, child or parent “releases an outpouring from the sympathetic nervous system, the fight-or-flight response, which is what seems to damage the heart in broken-heart syndrome,” she said. “The heart rate goes up sharply, blood pressure goes up. This is why people can also have a stroke in situations like this.” 
A story in AAMC News, the newsletter of the Association of American Medical Colleges, mentions that the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has received an award under the Back to Bedside program designed to improve interactions between medical residents and patients. The story describes the new initiatives developed by UB residents, called “the Attending of the Day” and the “Close the Loop rounds.” The story quotes Regina Makdissi, MD, assistant professor of medicine and associate director of the internal medicine residency program, who said that the new programs give patients and families more opportunities to discuss all aspects of care in a less formal way. “Teaching best practices in communications will have a positive impact on current and future patients,” Makdissi said.
An article about a recent study that found that Americans are consuming 17.5 billion drinks a year during binges quotes Brian M. Quigley, PhD, research assistant professor of medicine and senior research scientist in UB’s Research Institute on Addictions, who said he prefers the term “heavy episodic drinking.” “When the public hears the term ‘binge drinking,’” he said, “they think of something else, more akin to a ‘lost weekend’ involving a person drinking for days and having blackouts. That is, of course, an extreme example of a heavy drinking episode.”
An article reports a new UB study has shown insight into how Haemophilus influenza affects individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, the fourth-leading cause of death, and interviews Timothy F. Murphy, MD, senior associate dean for clinical and translational research. "Not only were we able to look at what the genes looked like when the patients acquired the pathogen, but we followed these patients every month,” he said. “The genomes are like a looking glass, revealing the pathogen’s secrets to us by showing us how it changed its genes through the years.”
New diabetes research by Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism found that taking a fiber supplement can help patients with type 2 diabetes boost their insulin secretion even after eating a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal.
Joint research between UB, the University of Maryland and Yale University discovered genetic and evolutionary patterns in the bacterium Haemophilus influenza. These patterns can improve therapies for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients, whose weakened organs are more susceptible to virulent strains of the bacterium. The UB team was led by Timothy F. Murphy, MD, senior associate dean for clinical and translational research and SUNY Distinguished Professor of medicine.
After a record snowstorm dumped a foot or more of snow across Western New York, articles reported tips from John M. Canty, Jr., MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Albert and Elizabeth Rekate Professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, who said that shoveling “is heavy exercise” and warned that shoveling can cause sudden stress on a person’s body, especially because it is performed in the cold.