Health and Medicine

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Professor Manoj Sharma | The Multi-theory Model (MTM) of Health Behavior Change: Understanding Meditation, or ‘Dhyana’

Professor Manoj Sharma | The Multi-theory Model (MTM) of Health Behavior Change: Understanding Meditation, or ‘Dhyana’

The multi-theory model – or ‘MTM’ – of health behavior change provides a theoretical framework for understanding and promoting health behaviors. Professor Manoj Sharma from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has now applied this model to understand the factors that lead people to take up meditation – or ‘dhyana’ – and to maintain this health-related behavior over time. His findings confirm the utility of the MTM in informing behavior change interventions and open up important avenues for future research.

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Dr Julia Gresky | A Missed Opportunity: Reports of Ancient Rare Diseases in the Paleopathological Literature

Dr Julia Gresky | A Missed Opportunity: Reports of Ancient Rare Diseases in the Paleopathological Literature

Dr Julia Gresky of the German Archaeological Institute and her colleagues examined the frequency and content of accounts of ancient rare diseases in the paleopathological literature. By studying published records over the past 45 years, the researchers provide a long-term perspective on the reporting of rare diseases in archaeological contexts. Despite methodological advancements, their work shows that there is much still to be achieved in this fascinating but understudied field.

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Simone Henriksen | Regulating the Quality of Treatment for Substance-related Disorders

Simone Henriksen | Regulating the Quality of Treatment for Substance-related Disorders

In Australia, like in many countries, substance related disorders remain a pressing societal concern. The Australian government recently introduced a new framework to help regulate the quality of care provided and this has been reviewed by Simone Henriksen from the University of the Sunshine Coast. Her analysis highlights a variety of challenges that need to be faced and she provides critical recommendations to support the implementation and sustained usage of the new framework.

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Professor Barrett S. Caldwell | Developing Effective Chronic Care Systems for Traumatic Brain Injury

Professor Barrett S. Caldwell | Developing Effective Chronic Care Systems for Traumatic Brain Injury

An estimated 69 million people worldwide are currently living with traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI can lead to short- and long-term conditions including sleep disorders, depression, headaches and an increased risk of suicide. TBI has recently been recognised as a chronic condition, although the human factors involved in recovery remain understudied. Working to address this is Professor Barrett S. Caldwell who leads the GROUPER Laboratory at Purdue University, USA.

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Professor Nadezhda Sabeva – Professor Peter Ferchmin | Determining the Safety of the Tobacco Cembranoid 4R as a Neuroprotective Agent

Professor Nadezhda Sabeva – Professor Peter Ferchmin | Determining the Safety of the Tobacco Cembranoid 4R as a Neuroprotective Agent

Increased use of organophosphate chemicals in industry, agriculture and warfare has led to a rising threat of exposure to these neurotoxins in civilian and military populations. Though their danger has been recognised and efforts made to decrease concentrations used, even at low doses these chemicals can still pose significant risks to exposed individuals. Finding effective treatments to counteract the impact of exposure is becoming increasingly important and is the focus of research by Professor Nadezhda Sabeva and Professor Peter Ferchmin at the Universidad Central del Caribe, Puerto Rico.

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Dr Susmita Bose | 3D Printed Bone-like Materials for Delivering Natural Medicine

Dr Susmita Bose | 3D Printed Bone-like Materials for Delivering Natural Medicine

Some of the greatest advances in medical history have revolved around the creation of new materials that can replace damaged tissues in the body. Today, many researchers focus on creating materials that can replace damaged bone tissue, which often cannot heal naturally. Dr Susmita Bose and her team at Washington State University have been researching ways to engineer exciting new materials that mimic the structure of natural bone, allowing us to live happier, healthier, and longer lives.

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Dr Matthew Hoare | Dr Peter Campbell – Understanding Gene Mutations in Chronic Liver Disease

Dr Matthew Hoare | Dr Peter Campbell – Understanding Gene Mutations in Chronic Liver Disease

Liver disease is reported to be the third largest cause of premature death in the UK, with 75% of patients being diagnosed too late for any meaningful intervention. Dr Matthew Hoare from the University of Cambridge, and Dr Peter Campbell from the Sanger Institute, lead a team conducting research into the genome changes associated with chronic liver disease to help understand the cause and consequence of these changes.

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Professor Paige Lacy | Deciphering Novel Cytokine Secretion Mechanisms

Professor Paige Lacy | Deciphering Novel Cytokine Secretion Mechanisms

Following exposure to injury or infection, the body elicits a counteractive immune response which involves many different cell types and processes. Cytokines are substances secreted by cells which play a pivotal role in the regulation of this response. Professor Paige Lacy and colleagues in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, have conducted extensive research into the exact mechanisms underpinning the regulation of cytokine release during the immune response with a particular focus on airway inflammatory disorders.

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Dr Ilida Ortega Asencio | Template-driven Electrospinning: A Smart Manufacturing Approach to Treating Skin Injuries

Dr Ilida Ortega Asencio | Template-driven Electrospinning: A Smart Manufacturing Approach to Treating Skin Injuries

Human skin acts as an important line of defence against the external environment. To preserve this important function, the regeneration of injured skin is critical. Scientists are now able to artificially replicate aspects of the complex microenvironment in which human skin stem cells reside thanks to the technological advances in the field of biomaterial devices. Dr Ilida Ortega Asencio, from the University of Sheffield, UK, and her team have developed a new approach in which electrospun patches with defined microenvironments can be functionalised with key compounds to aid the formation of new blood vessels in injured skin.

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Dr Dipak Panigrahy | Chemotherapy- and Carcinogen-induced Cell Debris Initiates Cancer Recurrence

Dr Dipak Panigrahy | Chemotherapy- and Carcinogen-induced Cell Debris Initiates Cancer Recurrence

Chemotherapy, one of the mainstays of cancer treatment, can unfortunately act as a double-edged sword. While achieving the intended aim of killing cancerous cells, it also generates an accumulation of cell debris, which in turn, promotes tumour growth by stimulating inflammation in the tumour microenvironment. Dr Dipak Panigrahy and his colleagues from Harvard Medical School, USA, have conducted several studies in mice showing that targeting the tumour cell debris-mediated surge of proinflammatory and protumourigenic factors provides a strategy for enhancing the efficacy of chemotherapy.

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Toria Herd | Understanding How Adolescents Respond to Trauma

Toria Herd | Understanding How Adolescents Respond to Trauma

Children and youth who experience trauma often develop posttraumatic stress symptoms, and some go on to develop posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Toria Herd from the Pennsylvania State University, US, is exploring the factors that put adolescents at risk of developing PTSD and also those that may protect against this consequence associated with trauma exposure. Her findings have important implications for the trauma-informed care of young people and the reduction of the long-term impact of trauma on individuals and families.

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Professor Manoj Sharma | The Multi-theory Model (MTM) of Health Behavior Change: Understanding the Determinants of Breast Cancer Screening

Professor Manoj Sharma | The Multi-theory Model (MTM) of Health Behavior Change: Understanding the Determinants of Breast Cancer Screening

The multi-theory model (MTM) of health behavior change provides a theoretical framework for understanding and promoting health behaviors. Professor Manoj Sharma from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the originator of this model, has applied this model to breast cancer and undertaking mammography screening in women from groups underserved in current healthcare. His findings have important theoretical and practical implications.

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Dr Maggie O’Haire | Dr Kerri Rodriguez – Service Dogs: Understanding Their Impact on Military Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Dr Maggie O’Haire | Dr Kerri Rodriguez – Service Dogs: Understanding Their Impact on Military Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that can develop after experiencing a traumatic event, such as being part of military combat. Dr Maggie O’Haire and Dr Kerri Rodriguez at Purdue University in the USA and their colleagues are working to better understand why and how PTSD service dogs may improve PTSD symptoms among military veterans.

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Professor Manoj Sharma | The Multi-theory Model (MTM) of Health Behavior Change: Understanding the Determinants of Breast Cancer Screening

Professor Manoj Sharma | The Multi-theory Model (MTM) of Health Behavior Change: Understanding the Determinants of Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting women overall but there are stark differences in breast cancer risk and survival rates between racial and ethnic groups. Breast cancers must be detected at an early stage to ensure timely treatment and the reduction of premature mortality. Professor Manoj Sharma from the School of Public Health at the University of Nevada, USA, is working with colleagues to gain an in-depth understanding of the determinants of undertaking mammogram screening in typically under-represented groups with a view to improving health through behaviour change.

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Access to Human Tissue for Collaborative Research

Access to Human Tissue for Collaborative Research

The Collaborative Biorepository for Translational Medicine (CBTM) is based at the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in the Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre. Professor Kourosh Saeb-Parsy and the team work to provide reliable access to fresh tissue for collaborative research and to ensure the generously donated tissue has the best chance to make a positive impact.

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Professor Michael Bukrinsky | Human Immunodeficiency Virus Co-morbidities: How Lipid Homeostasis Alterations Lead to Cardiovascular and Neurological Disorders

Professor Michael Bukrinsky | Human Immunodeficiency Virus Co-morbidities: How Lipid Homeostasis Alterations Lead to Cardiovascular and Neurological Disorders

Professor Michael Bukrinsky at George Washington University in Washington DC is working with scientists across the globe to elucidate the molecular mechanisms behind the comorbidities associated with human immunodeficiency virus so that they can be targeted with therapies.

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Dr Kristin Parent | Bacteriophage Hunting: Searching for the Tiny Viruses That Kill Harmful Bacteria

Dr Kristin Parent | Bacteriophage Hunting: Searching for the Tiny Viruses That Kill Harmful Bacteria

Shigellosis is an infection of the Shigella bacteria with over 164 million cases each year leading to 1.1 million deaths. The ever-increasing antibiotic resistance of the bacteria means we need alternatives or supplements to existing antibiotics. Dr Kristin Parent from Michigan State University is working on exciting, collaborative projects hunting for bacteriophages to be used in novel therapeutics.

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Sarah Leighton | Can Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Help Military Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

Sarah Leighton | Can Psychiatric Assistance Dogs Help Military Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

Psychiatric assistance dogs trained to help with mental health symptoms have become increasingly popular as a complementary intervention for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sarah Leighton and her colleagues from Purdue University and the University of Arizona in the USA are exploring the effectiveness of psychiatric assistance dog partnerships for military veterans with PTSD.

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Professor Derrick Robinson | Using Intrabodies to Induce Cell Death in Trypanosome Parasites

Professor Derrick Robinson | Using Intrabodies to Induce Cell Death in Trypanosome Parasites

Trypanosomes are single-celled parasites that cause life-threatening diseases in humans, domestic livestock and wild animals. In sub-Saharan Africa, infection with a species called Trypanosoma brucei or T.brucei causes African sleeping sickness, which results in organ failure and eventually fatal coma if left untreated. There are limited diagnostic tests and treatments available and much of trypanosome biology remains undiscovered.

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Dr Tamas Feher | Understanding Myopia-26: A Rare Visual Disorder

Dr Tamas Feher | Understanding Myopia-26: A Rare Visual Disorder

Myopia – better known as short-sightedness – is a global health problem in which the eye grows too long, meaning it cannot produce clear images of objects in the distance. The common form of myopia is readily treated through the wearing of glasses, contact lenses or conducting laser surgery. It is also polygenic, meaning that many genes are likely to be involved in its inheritance through generations.

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Strategies to Ensure the Worldwide Elimination of Tetanus in Mothers and Neonates | Dr Syed Ahsan Raza

Strategies to Ensure the Worldwide Elimination of Tetanus in Mothers and Neonates | Dr Syed Ahsan Raza

Tetanus is a serious, potentially fatal disease of the nervous system caused by Clostridium tetani bacteria entering the body. It is characterised by severe stiffness, muscle spasms and breathing difficulties. In some developing countries, tetanus unfortunately still occurs and presents a significant healthcare challenge, particularly in relation to maternal and neonatal (newborn) deaths.

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