Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Genetics

Using Summertime for a Head Start in the Lab

By Karen Kreeger | August 5, 2015 | Comments Summer in the lab pic Aug 2015

Back in 2013, the Penn Medicine News Blog covered then rising high school junior Kareema Dixon, who started her science career, in part, by participating in the BioEYES program developed by Jamie Shuda, EdD, director of Life Science Outreach at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IRM). Dixon continued with her... Read more

250 Years of Progress, Here's to 250 More

By Robert Press | May 26, 2015 | Comments

A whole lot can happen in 250 years. That’s partially because — and I guess this isn’t much of a surprise — 250 years is a long time. Long enough for a standard snail to circle the globe about 2.64 times (seriously, I did the math). Long enough for Niagara... Read more

2015 Philadelphia Science Festival Recap (Slide Show)

By Karen Kreeger | May 15, 2015 | Comments

The fifth annual Philadelphia Science Festival is now a happy memory for all who participated, yet the creativity, as well as knowledge of science that Penn Medicine faculty, staff, and students shared with the public, will last until the next festival. Penn Med took part in many activities all over...

Penn Medicine at the 2015 Philadelphia Science Festival

By Karen Kreeger | April 9, 2015 | Comments 2014 Carnival Penn village tents

Penn Medicine will again play a leading role in the fifth annual Philadelphia Science Festival, a citywide collaboration showcasing science and technology every spring. The Festival packs more than 100 events into nine days at locations across the region, including restaurants and breweries, parks, libraries, and museums. Read more

Beyond Cancer: When Both Parents Hold BRCA, a New Risk Can Emerge

By Karen Kreeger | January 14, 2015 | Comments Greenberg Cancer Discovery blog post image

Greenberg Cancer Discovery blog post imageMany families are acutely aware that BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the most important breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility genes. But recently a team including researchers at Penn Medicine discovered another risk it can pose in cancer patients when both parents carry the mutation. Read more

Looking for Answers in the Genes of ‘Exceptional’ Cancer Patients

By Steve Graff | December 1, 2014 | Comments Bile duct cancer

The little-known metastatic bile duct cancer—or cholangiocarcinoma—is one of the toughest cancers out there to beat. It’s usually caught late and requires an aggressive round of chemotherapy and radiation that, in most cases, only stabilizes it briefly. It can come roaring back and often leads to death. But that wasn’t... Read more

Geroscience? Much More Than a Reaction to the “Silver Tsunami”

By Karen Kreeger | November 25, 2014 | Comments Geroscience The Seven Pillars of Aging

Geroscience is essentially an interdisciplinary field at the crossroads of aging and age-related diseases. Read more

Celebrating Women in Science

By Karen Kreeger | November 20, 2014 | Comments Women in science pic larger

Recently, the New York Times published the provocative op-ed, “Academic Science Isn’t Sexist,” which described a soon-to-be-published study that found that experiences of young and midcareer women in math-intensive fields are, for the most part, similar to those of their male counterparts in terms of hiring, pay, tenure and promotion,... Read more

Making the Summer Count

By Karen Kreeger | August 15, 2014 | Comments SUIP_Poster Session_1

Every summer, the news is filled with profiles of summer student programs, and those that are aimed at increased participation by minority students in STEM are no exception. The Summer Undergraduate Internship Program at Penn Medicine is one such program. Read more

A Picture Really is Worth 1000 Words

By Karen Kreeger | August 1, 2014 | Comments Talamas winning image 2014

The winners of the Penn Medicine 2014 “Art in Science" can certainly make pretty pictures with fancy microscopes, but there is also a rich story of scientific inquiry behind each. Read more

Exploring the Human Microbiome

By John Shea | July 2, 2014 | Comments PENN-Med_SPRING_2014_F3b_LR-1

Like many people, I have gone through life without paying much attention to my gut –- except, that is, for the times my stomach gave unmistakable indications that it was upset. Most of the time, what was happening inside said stomach remained unknown. On the whole, it was out of... Read more

2014 Philadelphia Science Festival Recap

By Karen Kreeger | May 20, 2014 | Comments

It’s only been a little over two weeks since the end of the 2014 Philadelphia Science Festival, but the inspiration, as well as love and knowledge of science that Penn Medicine faculty, staff, and students shared with members of the public, will last far into the next year.

Cycling for Rare Diseases

By Karen Kreeger | May 1, 2014 | Comments image from

The first annual Million Dollar Bike Ride is finally here. On Saturday, May 3, 2014, close to 500 riders and many other volunteers and family members will gather at Highline Park on Penn’s campus to raise funds for and awareness about rare diseases. Read more

Using the Penn High Performance Computing Cluster to Unravel the Spider’s Web

By Karen Kreeger | April 15, 2014 | Comments Golden Silk Orb Weaver L Church Flickr Creative Commons

Uncovering the genomic architecture of spider silk genes wasn’t top of mind for Benjamin Voight, PhD, when he first came to Penn a few years ago. But he and postdoctoral researcher Paul Babb are now deep into sequencing the whole genomes of two spider species: a Golden Silk Orb Weaver and Darwin's Bark Spider. Read more

Penn Medicine at the 2014 Philadelphia Science Festival

By Karen Kreeger | April 4, 2014 | Comments PSF 2011 Carnival Dry ice

PSF 2011 Carnival Dry icePenn Medicine will again play a starring role in the 4th annual Philadelphia Science Festival, a citywide collaboration showcasing science and technology every spring. Read more

Twenty Years Later: How Breast Cancer Risk Genes are Changing Patient Care

By Katie Delach | April 1, 2014 | Comments image from

In the mid-1990s, scientists for the first time were able to isolate and clone the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, mutations in which were thought to increase susceptibility to early onset breast and ovarian cancers. A new Perspective published last week in Science takes a look back at the last twenty... Read more

Beyond the Ivory Tower: Penn’s Neuroscience Grad Students Reach Out During Brain Week, and Beyond

By Karen Kreeger | March 18, 2014 | Comments NGG KidsJudge 2013 Synpatic Land

Philadelphia is a cerebral city this spring. To start, every March, Brain Awareness Week brings together institutions worldwide to celebrate the brain. Read more

The Med Days of Summer

By Karen Kreeger | August 22, 2013 | Comments PARS 1

On the Penn Med campus, mid-August marks the start of the end for many undergrads and high-school students who are wrapping up lab experiments and making presentations about their work in an array of programs designed to showcase what research is all about. Read more

Angelina Jolie’s Cancer Prevention Surgery Puts Basser Research Center for BRCA In National Spotlight

By Holly Auer | May 15, 2013 | Comments This week, when Oscar-winning actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie revealed that she underwent surgery to remove her breasts after learning that she carries one of the BRCA gene mutations that put her at high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, the news hit home here at the University of Pennsylvania. Just a year ago, Penn announced the creation of the Basser Research Center for BRCA, which was made possible by a $25 million gift from Penn alums Mindy and Jon Gray, in honor of Mindy Gray’s sister, Faith Basser, who died of ovarian cancer at age 44. As the only center in the United States devoted solely to research on prevention and treatment for cancers related to BRCA mutations, Jolie’s story turned a spotlight on the important work in progress there, and the experiences of the many other families with similar cancer risks. Read more

2013 Philadelphia Science Festival Recap

By Karen Kreeger | May 14, 2013 | Comments PSF 2013 Carnival Penn tent village 1

Penn Medicine faculty, staff, and students shared their love and knowledge of biomedical science with families, students, and the general public at a dozen events during the 2013 Philadelphia Science Festival.

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