LabBook October 26, 2012

Welcome to LabBook, our weekly roundup of University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences research news from around campus and the world wide web. Each Friday, LabBook will recap the week on the blog, link to news stories about our faculty and studies, and briefly summarize a handful of recent publications by our researchers.


Dr. Daniel Le Grange is one of the pioneers of the family-based treatment method for adolescents with eating disorders, which involves the child’s parents in the therapy to help provide a supportive network at home. The treatment is effective in 50 percent of cases, so to close that gap he and his colleagues have been working on pilot programs to develop online support groups for parents.

Whole genome sequencing offers enormous promise for helping researchers understand disease and develop customized treatments, but it also poses serious privacy risks for people who agree to share their genetic code. This month the Presidential Commission on the Study of Bioethical Issues, including Dr. Daniel Sulmasy, released a report called “Privacy and Progress in Whole Genome Sequencing.” The report makes a number of recommendations to help guide the president on the benefits, and potential pitfalls, of the rapid advancements in human genome research.


While studying models for how physicians evaluate mesothelioma patients for treatment, Pritzker School of Medicine student Zacariah Labby noticed that some patients who had been classified with stable tumors were dying before those whose cancer had progressed further. So for his doctoral dissertation, he developed a new model to improve the correlation between the response to chest imaging and patient survival. His work will be published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, and was covered by the Mesothelioma Center.

Tarak Trivedi, another student at Pritzker, studied the sources of hospitalizations in nursing homes and found that while more than 1,000 outbreaks of gastroenteritis are reported each year in nursing homes, that’s only a fraction of the total cases, pointing to a much larger problem. This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and covered by UPI.

Finally, Sara Bares, a fellow in infectious diseases, studied HIV screening practices in a variety of clinical practice settings, and found that one of the biggest obstacles to widespread testing is the doctors themselves. The study, covered by Medpage Today, found that less than 31 percent of residents in outpatient clinics ask their patients about HIV testing, and less than 24 percent in inpatient settings.

About Matt Wood (531 Articles)
Matt Wood is a senior science writer and manager of communications at the University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences Division.
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