Media Coverage

New research by Zhen Yan, PhD, professor of physiology and biophysics, has shown that an FDA-approved anti-cancer drug can significantly restore the social deficits associated with autism spectrum disorder in mice.
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 about the avalanche of fan mail offering friendship, encouragement and sexually provocative photos that is being sent to Nikolas Cruz, the teen accused of killing 17 people in a shooting rampage at a Florida high school last month, in jail interviews Steven L. Dubovsky, MD, professor and chair of psychiatry, who said some people get a kind of “notoriety and fame by association” with heinous killers. “It’s like hanging out with a rock star or being a groupie,” he said.
An article about the opioid crisis and the rising number of people who are dying from overdoses interviews Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair of addiction medicine, who said the opioid crisis is an epidemic of our own making and that prescription rates have skyrocketed, fueled in part by hospitals and doctors trying to treat chronic pain rather than the underlying symptoms. “Long-term, it’s going to be 20 years before we dig ourselves out of the hole that we made,” he said. “Some aspects of [the crisis] are getting worse.”
Local orthopaedic surgeons are addressing the opioid crisis in Western New York. Leslie J. Bisson, MD, professor and chair of orthopaedics, organized a summit of 35 surgeons to discuss prescribing patterns. “We surveyed our own group and found there was huge variability,” he said. “Some were giving one type of pain medication of a certain number, others were giving twice as many. It was kind of all over the place, but because there wasn’t a lot of literature, it was more practice and habit-based.”
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.”
First-year medical students discuss the Health in the Neighborhood course at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and their experiences learning about health care disparities directly from those who are experiencing them in Buffalo. “In order to the learn from the community, it is important to engage as listeners and learners,” said Linda F. Pessar, MD, founder of the course and professor emeritus of psychiatry. The story focused on the national attention it’s drawing from the American Medical Association. “It’s important to have an organization like the AMA be involved in what we’re doing because they have a lot of influence,” said Lisa Jane Jacobsen, MD, associate dean of medical curriculum.
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.
A feature story on Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, professor of neurology, showcases her work with multiple sclerosis patients. The article interviews colleagues who include Ralph H. Benedict, PhD, professor of neurology.
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.
Jack Tseng, PhD, assistant professor of pathology and anatomical sciences, describes his research about what skull size and shape may tell you about an animal’s diet.
A story on ways that seniors can stay strong and avoid breaking a hip as they age interviews Christopher E. Mutty, MD, clinical assistant professor of orthopaedics and an orthopedic surgeon with UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. “A sedentary lifestyle certainly does promote bone resorption of minerals from the skeleton and we know that loading and using bone working out, exercise regularly, those kinds of things, maintains bone mass,” he said.
Sourav Sengupta, MD, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry; and Michael R. Cummings, MD, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry, talk about the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics that children age 12 and over undergo annual depression screenings. “The rate of suicide has gone up in the 10 to 14 population astronomically from 2006. While we don’t really know what causes that, it aligns directly with social media, and the pressures that teens, particularly female teens, go through is astronomical compared to a generation ago,” Cummings said.
Michal K. Stachowiak, PhD, professor of pathology and anatomical sciences, discusses new findings that show the early stages of pregnancy as the starting point for schizophrenia. “After centuries of patients suffering horrendous treatment, our findings now reveal that schizophrenia is a disorder of faulty brain construction during the first trimester of pregnancy, and is driven by a common dysregulated pathway,” he said.
Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, professor of neurology, has received the Impact Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for her research and patient care in the field.