Welcome to LabBook, our weekly roundup of University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences research news from around campus and the internet. 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.
LAST WEEK ON THE BLOG
On Monday, we wrote about the 1200 Patients project created by Peter O’Donnell, in which patients have their DNA analyzed ahead of time to see how they will respond to certain medications. The system is now live with a web portal doctors can access from the office to help make better decisions about patient care, delivering truly personalized medicine.
And on Wednesday we wrote about the work of Donald Jensen, director of our Center for Liver Diseases, in developing new treatments for hepatitis C that essentially amount to a cure for this disease that affects an estimated 4 million Americans.
RESEARCH IN THE NEWS
Since Valentine’s Day was this week, it’s no surprise that some of our neuroscience researchers were featured in news stories on the biological basis of love. CBS News highlighted the work of Stephanie Cacioppo, showing how the brain reacts to images of people we love by releasing chemicals associated with pleasure and empathy.
Perhaps the next logical step from the study of love is a study on parenting. This week child development expert Elizabeth Gunderson made the news for her study on how to praise children for their accomplishments (Gunderson is now at Temple, but conducted the study here). According to her research, parents should praise children for their actions, like saying “You worked really hard on that,” vs praising them for innate qualities, e.g. “You’re really smart.” The idea is to teach them that people can change and learn from challenges. The study was covered by the Chicago Tribune, Time and many others.
And finally, the Chicago Tribune ran a wonderful profile of Dana Suskind, co-founder of our pediatric cochlear implant program. Her work is giving children who were born deaf the ability to hear, dramatically changing their lives. She has also launched the 30 Million Words program that teaches parents of children from low socioeconomic backgrounds about the importance of hearing spoken language to a child’s development.