Penn Medicine News Blog Archive: Research

The Family and Lab Behind a ‘Precious’ Donation to Basic Research

By Karen Kreeger | November 20, 2015 | Comments image from

In 2009, Sarah Gray found out during a routine ultrasound that one of the twins she was carrying had anencephaly, a fatal genetic condition where the brain and skull don't fully develop. After his death, she and her husband donated Thomas’s organs and tissues and since then, have been tracking how they've been used. Read more

Looking to Ancient Symbionts for New Cancer Therapies

By Karen Kreeger | October 26, 2015 | Comments Mitochondria Courtesy NICHD

Talk about a eureka moment: Andrea Facciabene, PhD, a research assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was taking a walk one day on the Penn campus when it hit him: What do we really need to make immunotherapy a reality for everybody? The answer, he thought, was in the mitochondria,... Read more

Abramson Cancer Center Raises $3.5 Million – and Takes a Selfie (Photos)

By Steve Graff | October 15, 2015 | Comments Selfie

We put together a slideshow of photographs to give a glimpse inside the Abramson Cancer Center’s (ACC) first “Philly Fights Cancer” fundraiser, but perhaps the best picture of the night was snapped Ellen-Degeneres-at-the-Oscars-style on an iPhone during the program. “Everyone get ready," said Tracy Davidson, NBC10 anchor and emcee for... Read more

The Professional Image of Nursing

By Olivia Fermano | October 13, 2015 | Comments PAH SON 1940

Since 1999, nurses have topped the annual Gallop poll that rates 11 professions on honesty and ethical standards, with the exception of 2001, when firefighters were recognized for their tremendous contributions during and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That’s higher than medical doctors, police officers and clergy. Nurses in front... Read more

Health Insurance 101

By Katie Delach | September 4, 2015 | Comments 6146019603_a6964f83ba_o

University of Pennsylvania founder Ben Franklin once said, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” That may have been true back in Mr. Franklin’s time, but today, it seems having questions about health insurance plans and policies is just as certain. Even Penn... Read more

Plugging up the Pipeline

By Karen Kreeger | September 2, 2015 | Comments Steps Jeremy Levine

Cultivating a career in biomedical research is basically a series of experiential steps: Most times, but not always, it starts with a knack and interest in STEM subjects -- science, technology, engineering and math -- in high school, a relevant major in college, eventually earning a PhD, and securing a... Read more

Expanding Understanding of Adversity

By Greg Richter | August 21, 2015 | Comments

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 1998, marked a major step forward in connecting how a child’s experience of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction can influence their future health. Now, a recently published Penn Medicine study in the same journal led... Read more

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

A Mutation, a New Drug, and a New Life

By Steve Graff | July 10, 2015 | Comments IMG_2462_large

Lois Hahn couldn’t have been happier on Tuesday. The 71-year-old wife and grandmother was back at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, with her son and husband by her side, for a follow-up visit with her medical oncologist, Alexander Perl, MD, an assistant professor of Hematology/Oncology in the ACC. She’s feeling and... Read more

What's Eating the Erythrocytes?

By Karen Kreeger | July 8, 2015 | Comments Red Blood Cell Andrew Mason

In the rare, life-threatening disease called paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), patients are stricken with chronic anemia and blood clots, when the oldest part of the immune system -- known as complement -- turns against its own red blood cells, or erythrocytes. Complement is a network of more than 50 proteins... Read more

What E3 Can Teach Us About the Future of Medicine

By Robert Press | June 17, 2015 | Comments

If you follow technology with any kind of regularity, chances are you’re keeping your eyes on Los Angeles this week for the 21st annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). It’s an event that always keeps me glued to a bunch of different news outlets for a few days — but because... Read more

A “Hardy Perennial” View of Conflict of Interest

By Karen Kreeger | June 12, 2015 | Comments Conflict of interest E Pluribus

Perennials and hope spring eternal. And so it seems does the debate over conflict of interest in academia. The latest deliberations took place last week in the pages of two of the world’s most prestigious medical journals. Three former New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) editors commented in a British... Read more

The New Avengers: Lab-Coated Heroes Honored for Behind-the-Scenes Contributions

By Karen Kreeger | May 5, 2015 | Comments Lab week 2015 logo

Late last month Penn Medicine observed the fortieth Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, a time to recognize the hard work and dedication of the 600-plus lab professionals in more than 30 laboratories across the health system. Read more

Using Twitter to Tackle Cardiovascular Disease

By Anna Duerr | April 16, 2015 | Comments Twitter CV Health blog image

When you think of Twitter, a zillion things probably come to mind — breaking news, personal rants, life observations — but health research probably isn’t one of them. However, the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab is changing that, one tweet at a time… or rather, millions of tweets... Read more

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

Making Medical Research Mobile

By Katie Delach | April 1, 2015 | Comments image from

In the laundry list of things you can do with a few swipes or taps of your finger – create a grocery list, conduct banking transactions, and track your daily workout – researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine are partnering with software developers to help create mobile apps aimed... Read more

What’s Going on Inside the Richards Medical Research Building These Days?

By Karen Kreeger | March 4, 2015 | Comments Richards_Labs_Penn

The early 1960s were a heady time on the medical school campus and another wonderful chapter in its past 250 years. In 1960, Peter Nowell and David Hungerford discovered the Philadelphia chromosome, which linked cancer to genetic abnormalities for the first time. In 1962, Aaron Beck devised a revolutionary form of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy. Both of these achievements were destined for international fame and utility. In between those clinical accomplishments, in 1961, an eight-story medical research building, designed by iconoclast architect Louis Kahn, was completed on Hamilton Walk. It was named after renowned Penn pharmacologist and department chair Alfred Newton Richards. Read more

What We've Been Up To: January and February, in Pictures

By Robert Press | February 21, 2015 | Comments

If you feel like you've seen an awful lot of "Hey, check out some shots from the grand opening of [insert massive medical facility here]!" lately, that's because, well ... yeah, we've been opening a whole bunch of new space. In just the past few months we've celebrated the opening... Read more

Dreaming with a Healthy Heart

By Greg Richter | February 11, 2015 | Comments Collapsed-Airway-in-Sleep-Apnea-Patient

Throughout the month of February, affectionately known as American Heart Month, the News Blog highlights news and stories related to cardiovascular health from across Penn Medicine. Countless studies have proven that a lack of sleep is detrimental to your health in numerous ways, but how do sleep problems affect the... Read more

Focus on Rare Diseases is Common at Penn Medicine

By Karen Kreeger | February 6, 2015 | Comments Rare Disease Day Logo 2015

Penn Medicine has been at the forefront of rare disease research for decades, and these efforts – as well as many of its other research and clinical milestones -- are being honored this year as part of the Perelman School of Medicine’s 250th anniversary celebration. Read more

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