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Monthly Archives: August 2016

As Congress Vacations, Clinton Proposes New Federal Fund to Combat Zika Virus

Hillary Clinton nyt black backLaguna Beach, CA, August 24, 2016 — The Associated Press today reports that Hillary Clinton is proposing a new fund to improve the federal government’s response to the continued spread of the Zika vurus.

Clinton says the U.S. is failing to sufficiently invest in public health preparedness, not only for Zika, but health threats from potentially pandemic diseases, climate change and possible bioterrorism.

If elected, Clinton would create what she’s calling a “Public Health Rapid Response Fund” to help federal agencies and local hospital systems respond faster and more aggressively — similarly to how the government responds to a natural disaster. Continue reading

NIH Reports: Stem Cell Therapy Heals Injured Mouse Brain

NIH in BlueBethesda, MD, August 23, 2016 — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reported that scientists and clinicians have long dreamed of helping the injured brain repair itself by creating new neurons, and an innovative NIH-funded study published on August 22 in Nature Medicine may bring this goal much closer to reality.

A team of researchers has developed a therapeutic technique that dramatically increases the production of nerve cells in mice with stroke-induced brain damage.

The therapy relies on the combination of two methods that show promise as treatments for stroke-induced neurological injury. The first consists of surgically grafting human neural stem cells into the damaged area, where they mature into neurons and other brain cells. Continue reading

Seton Hall University and Hackensack University Medical Center Move Closer to Medical School’s 2017 Opening

Roche seton and hackensackNutley, NJ, August 23, 2016 — Sara Jerde reports in The Star-Ledger that a medical school that would occupy a former industrial site on the Clifton-Nutley border is one step closer to reality as Nutley officials are preparing to offer it a tax exemption and approve a redevelopment plan, NorthJersey.com reported.

The Hoffmann-La Roche campus was sold in July to an affiliate of Prism Capital Partners. Ahead of the sale, Hackensack University Hospital and Seton Hall University announced their intentions to open the medical school at the former pharmaceutical campus.

Last month, the medical school entered a longterm agreement to rent 16 acres. Financial details were not disclosed.

The medical school, the state’s fifth, is expected to open in the fall of 2017. Continue reading

Princeton University Researchers Flag Hundreds of New Genes That Could Contribute to Autism

PrincetonPrinceton, NJ, August 22, 2016 — Adam Hadhazy in Princeton University’s Office of Engineering Communications writes that investigators eager to uncover the genetic basis of autism could now have hundreds of promising new leads thanks to a study by Princeton University and Simons Foundation researchers.

In the first effort of its kind, the research team developed a machine-learning program that scoured the whole human genome to predict which genes may contribute to autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The results of the program’s analyses — a rogue’s gallery of 2,500 candidate genes — vastly expand on the 65 autism-risk genes currently known. Continue reading

Stevens Institute Startup Offers Hope for Improved Diabetes Care Through Data

Stevens Institute of TechnologyHoboken, NJ, August 22, 2016 — It began with a conversation.

Justin Williams ’15, then a junior electrical engineering student at Stevens Institute of Technology, who was planning on a career in the defense industry, was talking with a friend diagnosed with diabetes about her daily routine of logging meals, monitoring blood sugar, taking medication — and about a hospital-paging device that had suddenly malfunctioned.

“I told her there had to be a better way,” he recalls, “and she just said, ‘you’re an engineer, why don’t you come up with something?’” Continue reading

Forbes: Opinion Public Health: How the Next Administration Embraces Medical Invention

Jim Robinson

Jim Robinson

New York, NY, August 21, 2016Jim Robinson, President of Astellas Americas, wrote the following guest opinion pieces in Forbes on August 17:

When Gerald Ford accepted his party’s nomination for president in 1976, the five-year relative survival rate for individuals with cancer was just under 50%.  When Barack Obama accepted his first nomination in 2008, it was nearly 70%.

As I participated on innovation panels at both the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions, I was reminded of the fact that the next president of the United States will govern at a time when an increasing number of cancers and other debilitating conditions are treatable.  What began in the 1990s and early 2000s—after years of complicated, risky and costly research—is now coming to fruition. Continue reading

Rutgers Introduces Faculty Research Portal; New Website Aims to Support Research

Rutgers RNew Brunswick, NJ, August 21, 2016 ― Rutgers this month announced its newest website, the Faculty Research Portal, is now live.

The aim of the new website is to serve as a one-stop shop for research-related needs and to provide user-friendly information about grant submission and management, finding funding, research regulatory affairs, and related processes.

A team in Rutgers Office of Research and Economic Development (ORED) created the site, along with a new website supporting the PREP program for early career faculty.

NJIT Biomedical Engineers Showcase Research at the National Neurotrauma Society Symposium

Newark, NJ, August 21NJIT Logo, 2016 ― Researchers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Center for Injury Bio-mechanics, Materials, and Medicine (CIBM3) featured their work on traumatic brain injury (TBI) at the National Neurotrauma Society (NNS) Symposium in June.

Since its inception in 1982, the NNS symposium has served as the premier forum for the exchange of ideas and information related to TBI and spinal cord injury (SCI).

With its focus on integrating clinical, translational and basic science on neurotrauma-related research, combined with the meeting location in Lexington, Ky., the horse capital of the world, this year’s theme was: “The Triple Crown: Advances in Basic Sciences, Pre-Clinical Modeling and Clinical Approaches.” Continue reading

New PhRMA Report Highlights More Than 250 Vaccines in Development

PhRMA jpgWashington, DC, August 19, 2016 — Hannah Mooney writes on the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s (PhRMA) blog, The Catalyst, that, more than 200 years ago, the first vaccine was developed for smallpox, and now, the disease has been eradicated worldwide.

In addition, in the United States, the transmission of poliovirus, measles and rubella have been eliminated.  These are examples of tremendous scientific progress, and through our growing understanding of how these and other diseases work at the molecular level, many new therapeutic and preventative vaccines have been developed.

A new PhRMA report, “Medicines in Development for Vaccines,” offers insight into the more than 250 vaccines currently in development, designed to prevent and treat illness. Continue reading

James Hughes to Step Down as Dean of Rutgers’ Bloustein School, Return to Faculty

Jim Hughes

Jim Hughes

New Brunswick, NJ, August 19, 2016Statement from Richard L. Edwards, Ph.D., Chancellor, Rutgers University–New Brunswick sent to the Rutgers University-New Brunswick community on Wednesday, August 17:

James Hughes will step down from the position of Dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year.

Dr. Hughes, who began his academic career at Rutgers as a member of the faculty in 1971, is a nationally-recognized expert on demographics, housing, and regional economics, and I am grateful for his exceptional leadership of the Bloustein School since he became dean in 1995. Continue reading