Neural and Cardiac Responses to Hypoglycemia

The laboratories of Simon Fisher, MD, Owen Chan, PhD, and Candace Reno, PhD, demonstrated that brain glucose sensing was impaired in rats with recurrent hypoglycemia as a result of defective glucose and lactate metabolism within the neurons and astrocytes in the hypothalamus. The resultant abnormal release of neurotransmitters—such as GABA, glutamate and dopamine—led to inadequate activation of hormonal responses to hypoglycemia. Continue reading → Neural and Cardiac Responses to Hypoglycemia

ARF6 Plays Key Role in Diabetes-Induced Blindness

University of Utah Health researcher Weiquan Zhu, PhD, and colleagues identified a protein, known as ARF6, which regulates the effects of VEGF by maintaining and amplifying its receptor signaling, thus stimulating a series of cascading responses that lead to diabetic retinal edema. Continue reading → ARF6 Plays Key Role in Diabetes-Induced Blindness

Viral RNA Modulation of Host Gene Expression

Viruses depend on and modulate their hosts’ cellular environments to maximize replication. Cazalla and colleagues studied the small RNAs from H. saimiri, a herpesvirus that establishes latency in the T cells of New World primates and can cause aggressive leukemias and lymphomas in non-natural hosts. Continue reading → Viral RNA Modulation of Host Gene Expression

Individualized Venous Thromboembolism Risk Stratification and Chemoprophylaxis in Surgical Patients

The research team of Christopher Pannucci, MD, and Benjamin Brooke, MD, set out to determine whether chemoprophylaxis for VTE among surgical patients could be better achieved through individualized risk stratification using established Caprini scores. They performed a meta-analysis of nearly 15,000 surgery patients, stratified by Caprini scores for VTE risk levels. Continue reading → Individualized Venous Thromboembolism Risk Stratification and Chemoprophylaxis in Surgical Patients

Genes Responsible for Maintaining Embryonic Developmental Potential

A major question concerning early embryos involves how early cleavage-stage (two-cell) embryos establish unlimited developmental potential – termed totipotency. Cairns and colleagues identified the multicopy retrogene, DUX4 in humans or Dux in mice, as a transcription factor that is turned on in very early embryos and activates hundreds of genes and retroviral elements during cleavage stage. Continue reading → Genes Responsible for Maintaining Embryonic Developmental Potential

Rapid Identification of Microbial Pathogens

The rapid identification of microbial pathogens is critical for timely and successful treatments. Improved capabilities in pathogen identification were the focus of a collaboration between physicians and scientists in the departments of Biomedical Informatics, Human Genetics, and Pathology. Continue reading → Rapid Identification of Microbial Pathogens

Therapy for ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a catastrophic degeneration of the nervous system with great need for disease-modifying treatments. Stefan Pulst, MD, and his collaborator Daniel Scoles, PhD, were studying a lesser-known but similarly dire condition (spinocerebellar ataxia 2, SCA2) when they identified a gene relevant to both diseases. Continue reading → Therapy for ALS

Maintaining Epithelial Barriers

A vital issue in cell biology is how epithelial sheets provide a barrier while balancing cell growth and death, and withstand the stretching forces that sheets experience in vivo. Rosenblatt and colleagues demonstrated that mechanical stretching stimulates epithelial cell division and characterized the stretch-sensitive Piezo1 channel as well as the downstream signaling that triggers cell division. Continue reading → Maintaining Epithelial Barriers

Cancer Symptom Care at Home

Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator Kathi Mooney, PhD, RN, and her colleague, Susan Beck, PhD, APRN, developed Symptom Care at Home, an automated, remote-monitoring platform that assesses 11 cancer symptoms at home, provides automated self-management coaching based on the symptom severity reported, and automatically alerts the clinical team about symptoms requiring further intervention. Continue reading → Cancer Symptom Care at Home

Defining Pathways for Formation and Suppression of Highly Metastatic Lung Tumors

Cancers arise from the complex interplay of oncogene activation and tumor suppressor inactivation. Oliver and colleagues uncovered how Myc cooperates with other oncogene products to promote aggressive, highly metastatic lung tumors. Continue reading → Defining Pathways for Formation and Suppression of Highly Metastatic Lung Tumors