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Science & Research News


Dr. Boris Striepen, Penn Vet Faculty

Penn Vet’s Boris Striepen, PhD, Earns William Trager Award

Penn Vet’s Boris Striepen, Professor of Pathobiology, has earned the American Committee of Molecular, Cellular and Immunoparasitology’s prestigious William Trager Award for Basic Parasitology. Striepen received his award on November 5th at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. Named in honor of malaria research pioneer Dr. William Trager, the annual award recognizes scientists who have made a fundamental breakthrough in basic parasitology that allows for new areas of investigation.

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Penn Vet to Host Inaugural Cancer Center Symposium Featuring Research Professor Cheryl London

Over the past decade, new discoveries about cancer cell growth have enhanced our ability to prevent, diagnose, treat, and manage the disease. Recent breakthroughs, such as immunotherapy, have put scientists at the threshold of radically transforming care and potentially discovering a cure.

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Targeting Enzyme in ‘Normal’ Cells May Impede Pancreatic Cancer’s Spread, Penn Vet Team Shows

Cancer of the pancreas is a deadly disease, with a median survival time of less than six months. Only one in 20 people with pancreatic cancer survives five years past the diagnosis. The reason is the cancer’s insidiousness; tumor cells hide deep inside the body, betraying no symptoms until late in the disease, when the cancer has almost invariably spread to other organs.

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Penn Vet to Host Translational Retinal Research & Therapies Symposium

The Translational Retinal Research & Therapies Symposium brings together a group of internationally recognized scientists and clinician scientists from the veterinary and human medical fields. They will present the latest research in areas of retinal disease gene discovery, disease mechanisms, viral vector development and applications, translational studies in animal models, and clinical applications.

Swine Production Facilities at New Bolton Center

Penn and Chinese pork producers swap ideas to share and learn

Pork is the world’s most consumed meat, thanks in large part to the Chinese. China consumes half of the planet’s pork and, accordingly, is home to roughly 50 percent of the world’s pigs.

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Penn Study Shows How Female Immune Cells Keep Their Second X Chromosome Shut Off

Autoimmune diseases tend to strike women more than men and having multiple X chromosomes could be the main reason why. While a process called X chromosome inactivation serves to balance out gene dosage between males and females, some genes on the “inactive X” chromosome in immune cells can sometimes escape this process, giving women an extra dose of immunity-related gene expression.

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Penn Vet to Host Fourth Annual Microbiome Symposium Featuring Science Journalist Ed Yong

Philadelphia, PA] – Microbes are ubiquitous and vital to humans: they sculpt our organs, defend us from disease, break down our food, educate our immune systems, guide our behavior, bombard our genomes with their genes, and grant us incredible abilities.

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Penn Team Shows How Seemingly Acute Viral Infections Can Persist

Infections caused by viruses, such as respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, measles, parainfluenza and Ebola, are typically considered acute. These viruses cause disease quickly and live within a host for a limited time.

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Developing a drug to fight a deadly childhood parasite

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 10 people around the world do not have a safe water supply close to home. Around the world, diarrheal diseases are responsible for one in 10 deaths of children under the age of 5. One of the leading causes is Cryptosporidium, a microscopic parasite that is typically transmitted through contaminated water and usually lives in the small intestine. Yet it doesn’t lend itself to easy laboratory investigation and, until recently, scientists have been flummoxed in their attempts to make progress toward finding a treatment.

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How breast cancer originates from normal cells

Dr. Chakrabarti is interested in the fundamental question of how breast cancer originates from normal cells and how molecular events in early tumorigenesis influence the course of disease, including metastatic progression.

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Confronted With Bacteria, Infected Cells Die So Others Can Live, Penn Study Finds

The immune system is constantly performing surveillance to detect foreign organisms that might do harm. But pathogens, for their part, have evolved a number of strategies to evade this detection, such as secreting proteins that hinder a host’s ability to mount an immune response.

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Penn Vet Working Dog Center to Celebrate Five-Year Anniversary with Ceremony and Live Demonstrations

The Penn Vet Working Dog Center, widely recognized as the nation’s premier research and training facility dedicated to the health and performance of detection dogs, will celebrate its five-year anniversary on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.

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Penn Vet Researchers Contribute Expertise to Checklist for ‘One Health’ Studies

A growing body of scientific research is focused on One Health, the integration of knowledge concerning humans, animals and the environment. Yet there is no clear, unified definition of what a One Health study is or how such a study should be conducted.

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New therapies to prevent post traumatic osteoarthritis

Dr. Ortved’s research program at New Bolton Center is focused on joint disease, using the horse as a model for human disease. Specifically, she is interested in developing cell and gene therapies to improve cartilage repair and prevent the development of osteoarthritis.

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A Perturbed Skin Microbiome Can Be ‘Contagious’ and Promote Inflammation, Penn Study Finds

Even in healthy individuals, the skin plays host to a menagerie of bacteria, fungi and viruses. Growing scientific evidence suggests that this lively community, collectively known as the skin microbiome, serves an important role in healing, allergies, inflammatory responses and protection from infection.

At right, Dr. Gustavo Aguirre receives the Proctor Medal from ARVO Board Trustee Steven J. Fliesler

2017 ARVO Award Recipients Honored at Annual Meeting

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is pleased to announce its 2017 ARVO Achievement Award recipients. These award recipients will be acknowledged at the ARVO 2017 Annual Meeting, May 7 – 11, in Baltimore, MD.

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New treatments for laminitis, a horse disease that felled Barbaro

Andrew van Eps, now an associate professor of equine musculoskeletal research at the School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center, was a resident at Penn Vet back in 2006 when Derby winner Barbaro was treated there for a broken leg sustained in the Preakness. Though Dean Richardson, Penn Vet’s Charles W. Raker Professor of Equine Surgery, was able to repair the jigsaw-puzzle-like fracture, the New Bolton Center team was not able to spare the horse from the laminitis that followed.

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Penn Vet prof updates popular book on domestic dogs

Penn Vet professor James Serpell has updated his popular book “The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behavior and Interactions With People,” which was originally published in 1995. The new edition captures the latest scientific information about dogs and their relationship with humans.

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Penn Team Characterizes the Underlying Cause of a Form of Macular Degeneration

Best disease causes blindness, named for Friedrich Best, who characterized the disease in 1905, Best disease, also known as vitelliform macular dystrophy, affects children and young adults and can cause severe declines in central vision as patients age. The disease is one in a group of conditions known as bestrophinopathies, all linked to mutations in the BEST1 gene. This gene is expressed in the retinal pigment epithelium, or RPE, a layer of cells that undergirds and nourishes photoreceptor cells, the rods and cones responsible for vision.

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Look to Lactate to Help Predict Ill Cats’ Prognoses, Penn Vet Study Says

Many factors go into evaluating the prognosis of a critically ill animal, usually involving a combination of objective metrics, such as blood pressure or blood oxygenation, and more subjective clinical signs, such as alertness or lethargy.