LabBook December 7, 2012

Kit used for collecting samples for the Hospital Microbiome Project

Kit used for collecting samples for the Hospital Microbiome Project

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.


Our new Center for Care and Discovery is chock full of cutting-edge technology, but one clever little design detail involving a decidedly low-tech ping pong ball will help doctors and nurses keep vulnerable patients safe.

Dr. Graeme Bell, a researcher with the Kovler Diabetes Center, was awarded the Manpei Suzuki International Prize for 2012 for his pioneering work in understanding the role of genetics in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.

Even with the best intentions, not everyone who wants to donate a kidney is a suitable donor. Our transplant center has developed an online form to evaluate potential donors who might not be eligible because of prior health issues.


Jack Gilbert, who is one of the researchers cataloguing the bacteria in our new hospital, is also working on something called the American Gut Project to study the bacteria that grow inside our bodies. He’s asking people to contribute to the project by sending him specimens from skin, mouths and yes, stools. If you ever wanted to mail a scientist a bag of poop, here’s your chance. The project was covered by MSNBC, Huffington Post, Fox News, ABC and many others.

In order to train physicians to better understand brain death, Dr. Jeffrey Frank, Dr. Fernando Goldenberg and Dr. Agnieszka Ardelt from our neuro-intensive care unit have developed a hands-on workshop to simulate diagnosing a patient who has experienced brain death and communicating this with family members. They hosted their second workshop in November, which was covered by Chicago Health.

Finally, new rules have been implemented over the past decade to limit the number of hours medical residents and interns work to prevent them from making life-threatening mistakes. But in a new commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Vinny Arora says that hospitals routinely violate these rules, and that the culture around how residents are treated needs to change. This study was covered by NPR.

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.
%d bloggers like this: