November 28, 1995 |
Only months away from testing a new cystic fibrosis drug on patients, gene therapist James M. Wilson was flying in from Philadelphia for the biggest CF conference in the world. But more important to him than the scientific papers being presented was the meeting he planned to have with a scientist who didn't think Wilson's tests would succeed. The scientist, Richard C. Boucher of the University of North Carolina, had just published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that a drug similar to Wilson's did not work.
October 2, 1995 |
University of Pennsylvania researcher Yiping Yang slid the mouse liver cells under the microscope. What Yang saw shocked him. The new gene therapy drug had stopped working. He looked at more cells. There was no trace of drug activity. Nothing. This was Vector III, a cold virus genetically engineered to treat or possibly cure cystic fibrosis. It was supposed to work much longer than two previous versions that had also been jiggered to include the gene that cystic fibrosis patients lack.
August 10, 1995 |
When Lauren Chrest, 10, and her brother Paul, 4, caught a common bug called pseudomonas cepacia last winter, it wreaked havoc for their family. Friends in Florida canceled plans to vacation with them this summer because they feared their son would catch the bug. The Chrests, of Haverford, also stopped seeing a number of close friends in this area whose children used to play with Lauren and Paul. And come next winter, the Chrests believe they won't be invited to the annual Christmas party at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.
July 24, 1995 |
Dressed in a long white lab coat, the dark-haired woman came out of the research building carrying a Styrofoam box. Mariann Grossman edged her way into the crowd of students rushing by the lab building on the University of Pennsylvania campus. She was afraid a student whizzing by on a bike would jostle her and dump the container's invaluable contents. In the box was dry ice surrounding a test tube that contained one trillion viruses. Grossman crossed Spruce Street, walked into the Penn Medical Center, and took an elevator to a lab on the sixth floor.
July 23, 1995 |
Six scientists sat patiently as Yiping Yang, a young researcher at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, prepared to show color slides of mouse lung and liver tissue. The slides involved a complicated study of a new type of cystic fibrosis drug, but no scientific training was needed to interpret them: Pink was bad; blue was good. Pink meant that the scientists had no idea why the drug stopped working after a few weeks. Blue meant they had just found out why. This would be a breakthrough in their quest to wipe out disease with a new type of treatment called gene therapy.
June 21, 1995 |
A City Hall jury convicted a former surgical resident yesterday in less time than it took for him to drug and rape a cystic fibrosis patient in a hospital bed. After just 13 minutes of deliberations that followed a one-week trial, the jury found Dr. Richard Kennedy guilty of raping the woman after knocking her unconscious with a barbituate. The sedate doc, his bail revoked, listened silently to the verdict and then rose and hugged his wife before sheriff's deputies cuffed his hands behind his back.
June 14, 1995 |
The last thing she remembered was seeing the name "Kennedy" embroidered on a white lab coat. Then, she said, she blacked out. The 30-year-old woman took the witness stand yesterday and identified Dr. Richard Kennedy, a former Medical College of Pennsylvania surgical resident, as the man wearing that white lab coat last June 19. Kennedy, 47, is on trial in Common Pleas Court, accused of drugging her and raping her that day. The woman testified...
February 20, 1995
Pretending to attack waste and fraud, a congressional panel has just voted to slash aid for children with mental or physical disabilities. If the whole Congress agrees to cut this program instead of fine-tuning it, hundreds of thousands of kids will lose help they need. The political pressure pushing this mean-spirited escapade has been whipped up by shoddy, tabloid-style coverage of scattered abuses. The feds now give a low-income family up to $458 a month to help care for a disabled child - and that child automatically qualifies for Medicaid.
October 16, 1994 |
The normally sedate Passarelle was jumping Oct. 8. The restaurant in Radnor was the site of a fund-raising benefit for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Called "Crossing the Footbridge," the benefit drew 100 or so guests who traversed the span - decorated with roped white tulle that had been anchored with coral ribbons - leading to the restaurant. "We've never had a fund-raiser here," said Bill Bergan, Passarelle's manager. "It's about time, and this is a good cause. " While the guests munched hors d'oeuvres - broccoli tartlets, duck rillettes and tomato tapenades prepared by executive chef Al Vanesko, Wayne - they bid on a multitude of silent-auction items.
October 14, 1994 |
Chicago Bears fullback Merril Hoge is hoping to save his career after two concussions in six weeks. But more important, he says, is saving his health. Hoge, whose streak of 112 consecutive games was ended when he missed last Sunday's game against New Orleans, has met with a specialist at Northwestern University and is scheduled to see a neurologist in Pittsburgh, "A week ago I was doing everything in my power to get back on the field," Hoge said. "Since this has persisted and lingered beyond my thinking, I've changed my tune.