January 30, 2016
By Mary Woolley and Robert L. Bixby In passing a spending bill for 2016, Congress seemed to acknowledge that medical research had been cut too deeply for over a decade and agreed to boost funding for it in the coming months. But without reforms to address the basic structural problems in the federal budget, downward pressures on research and other important national priorities can be expected to continue. Consider what's at stake: Cutting-edge immunotherapy work at Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center to help achieve the goals of the "moonshot" initiative to cure cancer.
November 9, 2015 |
By most standards, it was a very tough week for U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah. His son, Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr., was convicted Thursday on federal bank- and tax-fraud charges. A formidable political foe, State Rep. Dwight Evans, on Monday said he will challenge Fattah's bid for a 12th term. And Fattah's own federal trial is slated to start six days after the Democratic primary election in April. Still, Fattah appeared engaged, upbeat, and popular with the public at events he attended Saturday.
August 13, 2015 |
Planned Parenthood is under attack by antiabortion activists over secretly recorded videos showing its executives candidly talking about supplying fetal tissue for medical research. This abortion-related controversy is providing grist for the many Republican presidential candidates hitting the trail. But it is also reviving public interest in fetal tissue research, which has yielded advances that have saved the lives of countless babies. Consider rubella. During a U.S. epidemic in the mid-1960s, an estimated 31,000 pregnant women infected with the virus suffered stillbirths, gave birth to severely disabled infants, or decided to end their pregnancies.
July 10, 2015 |
When Dr. Marvin E. Jaffe joined the former Merck, Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories in 1970, son Jonathan said, he hit his stride. "During his career at Merck," his son wrote in an appreciation of his father, "he was responsible for bringing a number of first-in-class drugs" to market, such as Sinemet for Parkinson's disease and Mevacor for cholesterol treatment. And referring to the joint venture with the firm AB Astra, his son said, Dr. Jaffe "had an integral role in the Astra-Merck alliance, which resulted in the development" of the heartburn drug Prilosec.
May 11, 2015 |
For more than a century, medical education in the United States has meant learning how to practice medicine and how to do research to make medicine better. But that could be changing. Given the need for more primary-care physicians, the shortage of certain specialists, and the belief that medical schools boost local economies, 36 institutions have opened across the country in the last 20 years. That growth "has been accompanied by a shift toward new medical-education models where research plays a minimal role," according to a paper published recently in Science Translational Medicine.
April 18, 2015 |
After a decade of flat federal funding, the American Association for Cancer Research, a 107-year-old Philadelphia nonprofit, has a new plan: raise more of its own money and boost its profile. "There's an enormous concern that we're losing the best minds in cancer research, and in medical research in general, to other fields, when they could be helping to save more lives from cancer and other diseases," said Margaret Foti, chief executive of AACR. For established cancer researchers, AACR's annual meeting, starting Saturday in Philadelphia and expected to draw 18,500, is a much-anticipated event.
December 26, 2014 |
It was better to be late than sorry for Daquan Bohannan of North Philadelphia as he braved the rain, bumper-to-bumper mall parking, and throngs of last-minute Christmas shoppers at the Cherry Hill Mall on Wednesday. He had a mission: Pick bracelet charms for his mother, Nicole, 41, at Pandora, which by noon was packed to the brim with customers, almost all of them men on the hunt for gifts for mothers, girlfriends, or wives. It became so crowded an employee was stationed at the store entrance, having customers sign a waiting list to get in. "I just remembered yesterday that I had a few last-minute things to get," Bohannan said as he stood behind a jewelry counter, perusing a catalog.
December 4, 2014 |
Howard Holtzer, 92, of West Philadelphia, a longtime professor and researcher in cell and developmental biology at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, died Wednesday, Nov. 5, at his home. Dr. Holtzer remained active in his research at Penn until a few years before his death. He is survived by his wife and research collaborator of 64 years, Sybil Holtzer. His research into the ways cells communicate was described as groundbreaking. "While doing research in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Weiss in Chicago, he did his first extraordinary experiments and made observations that historically are the foundation of much of the molecular work on inductive signals between tissues and how cells communicate during development," said Bernice J. Koplin, his estate lawyer.
November 25, 2014 |
Peter H. Sellers, 84, of Philadelphia, one of the early pioneers of DNA research, died Saturday, Nov. 15, of cancer at home. Dr. Sellers was the ninth generation of Philadelphia's first family of scientists and engineers, according to D. Vitiello, writing in Engineering Philadelphia, published by Cornell University Press in 2014. Beginning in 1966, Dr. Sellers spent 48 years as a senior research scientist at Rockefeller University. The university called him "a brilliant and pioneering mathematician whose [work]
October 8, 2014 |
The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research is suing a Camden nonprofit, saying it compromised nearly 26,000 research tubes when a freezer door was left open in March. The tubes of blood and other fluids were stored at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research along Haddon Avenue, and would have been used to study the causes of Parkinson's disease, according to the lawsuit. It was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. Fox's foundation, according to the suit, signed two contracts - one in 2010, the other 2011 - worth a combined $4.3 million to store the tubes at Coriell.