DECEMBER

A December 30 White Coats Notes post on Boston.com about recent research comparing intensivist-staffed eICUs to standard ICUs included comments from Craig M. Lilly, MD, professor of medicine and anesthesiology and surgery.

A story about a recent string of arsons in Northhampton published in the December 30 edition of the Hampshire Daily Gazette included comments from Jeffrey Geller, MD, assistant professor of family medicine and community health, regarding some common characteristics prevalent in arsonists.

Judith K. Ockene, PhD, Barbara Helen Smith Chair in Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, professor of medicine and a member of the US Preventive Services Task Force, discussed the release of new guidelines governing mammograms in a December 28 Boston Globe article.

A December 28 story in the Worcester Business Journal about efforts to control health care related costs included comments from Paul Swoboda, senior associate at the Center for Health, Law and Economics.

Jane Lian, PhD, professor of cell biology, talked to the Worcester Telegram and Gazette about the $360,000 in ARRA funding her lab received from the NIH for a December 27 story about stimulus money being invested in Central Massachusetts. The article also mentioned that UMass Medical School has received a total of $38.6 million in ARRA funding from the NIH.

On December 23, ABC News.com ran a story about research done by Assistant Professor of Surgery Shimul A. Shah, MD, which shows that pancreatitis patients cared for in hospitals that admit 118 or more such patients each year experience shorter stays and lower death rates and have lower hospital bills than patients who go to hospitals that admit fewer such patients.

A December 21 story in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette about stress during the holidays included comments from Marie Hobart, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry, and Barbara Olendzki, nutrition program director, about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Robert Siefert, senior associate at the Center for Health Law and Economics, commented on the potential impact national health care reform may have in Massachusetts in a December 18 story in the Boston Business Journal.

Darshak Sanghavi, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, wrote a front-page feature article about the complexities of organ donation in the December 16 New York Times Magazine.

Nobel Laureate and Professor of Molecular Medicine Craig C. Mello, PhD, explained that the field of RNA holds untapped potential for the treatment of human diseases in a December 16 story by RNAi News.

A December 12 story in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette about children in Spencer receiving a double dose of flu vaccines included comments from Richard A. Moriarty, MD, pediatrician and professor of clinical pediatrics explaining that there is no evidence that receiving additional doses of the vaccine poses a health threat.

School of Medicine Dean Terence R. Flotte, MD, and the four co-directors of the UMMS RNA Therapeutics Institute--Craig C. Mello, PhD, Victor R. Ambros, PhD, Melissa J. Moore, PhD, and Phil D. Zamore, PhD--discussed their vision of the Institute with RNAi News in a December 10 story.

Gary S. Stein, PhD, chair of cell biology and interim director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, discussed the approval of new embryonic stem cells by the National Institutes of Health in a December 3 story in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.

NOVEMBER

A November 30 segment aired on WCVB-TV featured Craig M. Lilly, MD, professor of medicine and anesthesiology and surgery, who discussed the benefits of eICU programs.

Steven A. Ugras, medical fellow, Steven B. Young, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and David R. Weaver, PhD, professor of neurobiology, talked about how they’ve opened their homes to fellow colleagues during the Thanksgiving holiday for a story published in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette on November 26.

In a November 24 Wall Street Journal article, Frank Ennis, MD, professor of medicine, molecular genetics and microbiology, discussed the dangers of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and his research to understand and treat the disease.

Greg Seward, director of Tobacco Consultation Services, discussed ways people can quit smoking in a November 20 Worcester Telegram and Gazette article about the Great American Smokeout.

In a November 18 New York Times story about Ohio's new medical protocol for executing condemned inmates, Mark Dershwitz, MD, PhD, professor of anesthesiology, discussed his role as an expert witness for the state during the deliberations about the protocol.

School of Medicine Dean Terence R. Flotte, MD, discussed how UMass Medical School provides an affordable medical education to state residents, thanks to a diversified array of revenue streams, in a November 9 Worcester Business Journal article.

Robert Seifert, senior associate at the Center for Health Law and Economics and author of a Blue Cross Foundation analysis on health care reform, commented in a November 1, Boston Globe story about how the five health care reform bills proposed by Congress may harm Massachusetts health care reform efforts.

OCTOBER

A New York Times article about potential conflicts encountered by doctors involved with clinical trials included comments from Charles W. Lidz, PhD, research professor of psychiatry. Dr. Lidz, who has published research on ethics and clinical trials, talked in the October 30 article about the difficulty of balancing a patient's best interests with those of the clinical trial.

An October 27 story in the Wall Street Journal about the use of remote monitoring systems in hospitals -- referred to as eICUs -- included comments from Craig Lilly, MD, professor of medicine and anesthesiology and surgery, about how these systems reduce mortality rates and costs.

An op-ed written by Robert Seifert, senior associate at the Center for Health Law and Economics, explained how national health care reform will impact Massachusetts in unique ways. The article was posted by WBUR on October 20.

Scott Waddell, PhD, associate professor of neurobiology, discussed his discovery that a link between hunger and memory found in drosophila may have implications for humans with eating problems in an October 18 article published in Scientific American.

In a New York Times story about the science behind night-time face creams, David R. Weaver, PhD, professor of neurobiology, explained how biological processes, including the level of gene expression, vary over 24 hours as a result of time-sensitive “clocks” within cells. This article appeared on October 15.

James Leary, associate vice chancellor for community affairs discussed his new position at the medical school and his return to Worcester in the October 12 issue of the Worcester Business Journal.

Chancellor Michael F. Collins, MD, and School of Medicine Dean Terence R. Flotte, MD, talked about how expansion of UMass Medical School's research capacity led to $21.4 million in new research funding from the federal economic stimulus fund in an October 13, Telegram and Gazette article.

Evgeny Rogaev, PhD, professor of psychiatry, isolated the genetic mutation which caused hemophilia in the British royalty. He discussed his research in an October 9 story of Scientific American. Similar articles appeared in the Times of London, BBC, Genome Web Daily News, and Science Magazine, among others.

Jean C. Sullivan, director of the Center for Health Law and Economics, discussed the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System's state-by-state ranking of health care quality in an October 8, Telegram and Gazette article.

Thomas Grisso, PhD, professor of psychiatry, was interviewed for an October 2 Boston Globe editorial calling for a review of the criminal justice system's handling of juvenile murders. Dr. Grisson was quoted in the editorial.

An October 1 story in the Milford Daily News detailed the research of Mary E. Costanza, MD, professor emeritus of medicine. Dr. Costanza has a $3.2 million, five year grant to study the best ways to remind women to get follow-up mammograms. This story also appeared in the MetroWest Daily News.

SEPTEMBER

An Associated Press article appearing on September 25 detailed research by Steven M. Reppert, MD, the Higgins Family Professor of Neuroscience and chair of neurobiology, which found that monarch butterflies have a second circadian clock in their antennas.

Thoru Pederson, PhD, the Vitold Arnett Professor of Cell Biology and professor of biochemistry and molecular pharmacology recalled the pioneering scientist Mahlon B. Hoagland, 87, in a New York Times article about his death. Known for his pioneering DNA research and as director of the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology from 1970 to 1985, Dr. Hoagland passed away on September 25. Dr. Pederson was also quoted in articles by the Boston Globe, Worcester Telegram and Gazette and the West Lebanon Valley News.

A September 16 article in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, detailed a clinical trial being conducted by Shalesh Kaushal, MD, PhD, chair of ophthalmology, which uses gene therapy to treat Leber Congenital Amaurosis.

Chancellor Michael F. Collins, MD, talked about the scientific and economic impact of the Albert Sherman Center, slated to break ground this week, with the Worcester Telegram and Gazette for a September 15 article.

On September 12, the Worcester Telegram and Gazette talked to Gary Stein, PhD, chair of cell biology and interim director of the UMass Memorial Cancer Center, about how funds raised at the 11th annual Walk to Cure Cancer will support a state-of-the-art cancer center at UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Jean C. Sullivan, director of the Center for Health Law and Economics,  reacted to President Obama's address on health care reform for a September 11 article in the Telegram and Gazette.

The Worcester Telegram and Gazette talked to Barry N. Feldman, MD, a suicide prevention specialist, about recent research into suicide prevention for a September 11 article on the subject.

Thomas Grisso, PhD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, commented onthe propensity for criminal defenders to be found mentally unable to stand trial in a September 11 article in the Des Moines Register.

As part of WCVB's annual look at MDA research, Chair of Neurology Robert Brown, MD, DPhil, Associate Professor of Neurology John Landers, PhD and Assistant Neurology Professor Daryl Bosco, PhD, discussed ALS research being conducted at UMass Medical School for the September 3 segment.

AUGUST

An August 23 story in health care reform in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette included comments from Peter B. Schneider, MD, professor of medicine.

Paul Hanbury, senior project manager, detailed "green" elements of the medical school's new 8,000 square foot data center in an August 18 Worcester Business Journal article.

Darshak Sanghavi, MD, chief of pediatric cardiology, discussed the absence of an "end of life" provision in the health care reform package for a special segment which aired on NECN on August 17.

A Boston Globe story about anatomical gift programs at area medical schools talked about the memorial service that medical students at UMMS hold for the families of donors. The August 17 article included comments from Sandra Bertman, PhD, guest lecturer, about the program's impact on medical students.

Terence R. Flotte, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, discussed his research into using gene therapy for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency in an August 12, United Press International story.

An August 11 story appearing in Bloomberg News about research linking Joubert Syndrome to cilia malfunctions included comments from George Witman, PhD, professor of cell biology.

Lynda Young, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics, wrote about the health consequences of obesity in an August 7 op-ed for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.

JULY


Research by toxicologist Richard J. Church, MD, is cited in a July 27 Boston Globe story about Massachusetts school districts banning caffeine-laden energy drinks.

An NECN story about state agencies promoting the need for seat belt safety included comments from  Timothy Emhoff, MD, chief of trauma surgery and surgical critical care. This story aired on July 24.

Anesthesiology Professor Babs Soller, PhD, discussed her work to develop a sensor for NASA that will be used to monitor the health of astronauts in a July 20 Worcester Telegram and Gazette story.

Dean of the School of Medicine Terence R. Flotte, MD, talked about taking with RNAi News about how the medical school has taken advantage of key faculty expertise by establishing a four-person executive group to oversee the RNA Therapeutics Institute.

In a July 16 op-ed piece written for National Public Radio, Darshak Sanghavi, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, discussed the future of the position of surgeon general.

Kanishka Bhattacharya, MD, assistant professor of medicine and John J. Kelly, MD, associate professor of surgery, discussed the investigative TOGA procedure, an incision-less technique of gastroplasty for people suffering from obesity. The story aired on WCVB-TV on July 13 and the Worcester Telegram and Gazette published a similar story on June 3.

A story in the MetroWest Daily News about federal grants to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities mentioned that the program is being managed through a partnership with the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services, UMass Medical School and UMass-Boston. Quoted in the July 9 article is Jay Himmelstein, MD, MPH, professor of family medicine and community health and medicine.

A July 7 story about a local labor-inducing cream cheese aired on WCVB-TV's Chronicle and included comments from Dawn S. Tasillo, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

An op-ed written by Winthrop F. Whitcomb, MD, assistant professor of medicine, explored how much value employers and patients are getting for their health care dollar. This article was published in the July 7 edition of Business West.

Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Vitold Arnett Professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular pharmacology, wrote about Gregory Pincus, cofounder of the Worcester Foundation, in a July 2 op-ed appearing in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.

JUNE

Majaz Moonis, MD, professor of neurology and psychiatry, commented in a June 26 Forbes article on recent research showing that even people who initially recover from a stroke often slip into a gradual decline within five years.

A June 24 story in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette about the popularity of energy drinks among teens includes comments from toxicologist Richard Church, MD, about the dangers these drinks pose.

Lisa Fortuna, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry, commented on the vulnerability of state funding for mental health programs for a June 22 story in the Nashua Telegraph.

A June 22 Worcester Business Journal story about Medicare expenditures in the city of Worcester being higher than those of neighboring communities included comments from Paul Swoboda, an expert in health care payment systems at Commonwealth Medicine.

As part of an NECN story about a group of local students traveling in China that aired on June 19, Richard Ellison, MD, professor of medicine and molecular genetics, commented on the uncommon practice of quarantining patients with H1N1.

In a June 10 op-ed piece appearing in the Telegram and Gazette, Jeffrey Geller, MD, MPH, professor of psychiatry, argued for a better process to determine the number of inpatient psychiatric beds needed in Massachusetts.

Shaoguang Li, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, talked about his research with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network on June 9. Dr. Li’s work shows that the gene Alox5 helps maintain cancer stem cells that cause chronic myeloid leukemia. 

Terence R. Flotte, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, talked about the Advanced Center for Clinical Care, Education and Sciences building, set to open in 2010, in a June 5 Telegram and Gazette article. In the story he explained how the new facility will combine the research capabilities of the University of Massachusetts Medical School with the clinical outpatient services offered by the UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Robert Seifert at the Center for Health Law and Economics wrote about reducing the overuse of unnecessary services in a June 3 op-ed for WBUR.

A June 1 story on insomnia in Time Magazine included comments from Gregg Jacobs, MD, an insomnia specialist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School on the use of online therapy to treat sleeping disorders.

MAY


Tiffany Moore Simas, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology and pediatrics, talked about new recommendations on pregnancy weight issued by the Institute of Medicine for a story aired on NECN on May 29.

In a May 19, New York Times story about primary cilia and their role in cell growth, Gregory Pazour, PhD, associate professor of molecular medicine and physiology and George Witman, PhD, the George F. Booth Chair in the Basic Sciences and professor of cell biology are identified as making the first link between primary cilia and a disease -- polycystic kidney disease.

APRIL


Michael P. Czech, PhD, chair and professor of molecular medicine and professor of biochemistry and molecular pharmacology, discussed his work to orally deliver RNAi particles in an April 30 article for RNAi News.

Jerry Gurwitz, MD, professor of medicine and family medicine and community health, discussed some of the ways technology can help patients with their medications for an April 28 article in the Toronto Globe and Mail.

Francis Ennis, MD, professor of medicine and molecular genetics & microbiology, talked about the swine flu during a special NECN news program aired on April 28.

Alexander Sigalov, PhD, research assistant professor in the department of pathology, talked about his research to stop fatal blood clots by controlling a patient’s appropriate cell communications in an April 24 article in Mass High Tech.

Terence Flotte, MD, dean of the medical school, commented on the federal government's draft rules for funding embryonic stem cell research, for an April 21 Boston Globe story.

Aaron Lazare, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and professor of psychiatry, discussed why we apologize in an April 19 news story appearing in the Albany Times-Union.

An April 16 Associated Press story about the efforts of a local religious order to fund charitable work focused on an anti-wrinkle cream made with adenosine, a natural compound serendipitously discovered by James Dobson, PhD, professor of physiology and medicine, and Michael Ethier, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, in their research into how the human heart ages. This AP story has appeared in dozens of news outlets since its release, including the New York Times, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Forbes magazine, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, the Palm Beach Post, the Guardian UK, ABC News.com, and FOX TV.

A front-page article in the April 9 edition of the Worcester Telegram and Gazette about platelet-rich plasma therapy, which involves injecting platelet-rich blood into an injured tendon or ligament, included comments from J. Herbert Stevenson, MD, assistant professor of family medicine & community health. 

Assistant Professor Darshak Sanghavi, MD, wrote about a simple screening test that uses pulse oximetry to detect heart defects in newborns in an April 9 op-ed for the New York Times.

The Philippine Star talked to Aaron Lazare, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and professor of psychiatry, for an April 7 article about the healing effects of a good apology.

Robert Seifert, senior associate at the Center for Health Law and Economics, talked about the shared cost of health care reform in Massachusetts on National Public Radio on April 6.

Aaron Lazare, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and professor of psychiatry, commented on the potential for humiliation in a Worcester Telegram and Gazette article about April Fools’ Day pranks that can sometimes cross the line from harmless fun to serious damage.

MARCH


A March 31 Reuters article detailed how Steven Reppert, MD, chair of neurobiology, uncovered a group of 40 genes that appear to make North America's monarch butterflies fly thousands of miles south each autumn.

Charles A. Birbara, MD, associate professor of medicine, commented on the impact fibromyalgia has on patients for a March 29 Worcester Telegram and Gazette article on the disease.

A March 26 Boston.com column and a Bloomberg News article noted that Assistant Professors Marc R. Freeman, PhD, and Christopher M. Sassetti, PhD were among 10 Massachusetts researchers to be named Early Career Scientists by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The articles includeda brief synopsis of their work.

Frederic H. Schwartz, M.D., an instructor in medicine, wrote in a March 25 op-ed in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette that medical schools should teach students to use medical resources more efficiently as a means of reducing costs. 

Terence R. Flotte, MD, dean of the School of Medicine, talked about the excitement surrounding new federal funding for scientific research approved by President Obama as part of his stimulus plan in news story appearing in the Boston Globe and airing on NECN on March 23.

In a March 13 op-ed piece appearing in Slate.com, Darshak Sanghavi, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, discussed the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Wyeth v. Levine and the complexities of prescribing and administering drugs. In a March 18 op-ed written for the Boston Globe, Dr. Sanghavi discussed the importance of preserving services for developmentally delayed children in Massachusetts.

The biotech and medical research communities reacted to President Obama’s executive order lifting restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research on March 10. The Boston Globe, Worcester Telegram and Gazette, NECN, WBZ-TV and WCVB-TV interviewed Terence R. Flotte, MD, executive deputy chancellor, provost and dean of the School of Medicine and Gary Stein, PhD, interim director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine regarding the impact this order will have on medical research and the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

A March 6 op-ed in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette written by Justin A. Maykel, MD, assistant professor of surgery, talkedabout the prevalence of colon cancer and the need to get screened. In the article, Dr. Maykel advocates for low-fat, high in vegetables and fruits diets, coupled with regular exercise and regular screenings after the age of 50.

Silvia Corvera, MD, a professor in the program in molecular medicine, hosted one of 4,000 community meetings around the country sponsored by the Obama-Biden Transition Project according to a March 3 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Corvera talked about the group's discussions regarding health care reform.

Lee A. Mancini, MD, assistant professor of family medicine & community health, wrote in a March 3, Worcester Telegram and Gazette op-ed article about the impact steroids have on athletes’ performance and health. 

Robert Brown Jr., MD, DPhil, chair and professor of neurology, discussed his discovery of a fourth ALS-causing gene mutation in a February 26 Boston Globe article and a March 2 Telegram and Gazette article. In the story, Dr. Brown talked about how the discovery accelerates efforts to find therapies to treat the fatal neurodegenerative disease. This story also ran in U.S. News and World Report, Bloomberg News, and more than 30 other news outlets. 

A March 1, Worcester Telegram and Gazette article, detailed how 15 medical students Chancellor Michael F. Collins, MD, were at Mechanics Hall to help screen athletes from the Special Olympic Games for various health issues. The article also notes the new partnership between UMMS and Special Olympics.

FEBRUARY

Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health, Hugh Silk, MD, examined the need for improved dental health among Massachusetts children in a February 24 op-ed piece in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. According to Dr. Silk, dental decay is the most common chronic childhood disease, five times more common than asthma. Furthermore, poor oral health has been linked to poor performance in school and to lifelong ailments such as heart disease. A truly comprehensive health coverage infrastructure needs to include dental health, Dr. Silk said, and he noted that the state has taken steps to address the issue through MassHealth.

The New York Times, Boston Globe, American Medical News and others interviewed Sherry Lynn Pagoto, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, regarding an editorial she wrote for the February 9, 2009 Archives of Internal Medicine. Dr. Pagoto commented on the difficulties patients face when trying to maintain a weight-loss program, even after being diagnosed with a series illness such as diabetes or heart disease.

On February 23, Health Day interviewed Chyke A. Doubeni MD, MPH, assistant professor of family medicine & community health, and Joseph DiFranza, MD, professor of family medicine & community health, about their research on teens and smoking, which shows that children who watch R-rated movies are more likely to smoke. According to the pair’s findings, parental permission to watch R-rated movies is one of the strongest predictors of children's belief that cigarettes are easily available, about as strong as having friends that smoke. The story also appeared in U.S. News and World Report, Yahoo News, Forbes.com, and the Knoxville Times, among others.

In a February 18 Worcester Telegram and Gazette feature about an anonymous $1 million donation to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at UMass Memorial Medical Center, Francis J. Bednarek, MD, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics & gynecology, talked about the early days of the NICU. Over the years, the unit has expanded its physical presence and built its stature as the only Level III facility in the region. Currently, the NICU is slated for a $2 million expansion.

During a panel discussion regarding the economic outlook for Worcester County, Chancellor Michael F. Collins, MD, said that the federal stimulus package could possibly pump added funds into the region's biotechnology sector in the form of $70 million in research funding to the medical school. A story on the economic panel was published in the February 17 edition of the Worcester Business Journal.

Aaron Lazare, MD, the Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and professor of psychiatry commented on the prevalence of apologies in American society for a February 16 Boston Globe story. In the article, Dr. Lazare noted that the number of public apologies seems to have exploded in the last 15 years, as the rise of e-mail and the Internet have greatly increased opportunities for people to offend each other.

A February 16 story in the Worcester Business Journal featuring institutions in Worcester County that receive funding from the National Institutes of Health includes comments from John L. Sullivan, MD, professor of pediatrics and molecular genetics & microbiology and pathology and vice provost for research. In the article, Dr. Sullivan explained that even though NIH funding has remained flat in recent years, UMMS has been able to increase its funding thanks to aggressive efforts to expand research and recruit new faculty.

Saki F. Santorelli, EdD, associate professor of medicine and executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society, was interviewed by Newsweek magazine for its February 14 cover story on health and stress. Dr. Santorelli said that studies at the center have shown that meditation can help people cope with stress and may repair or compensate for stress-related damage already done to the brain.

NECN interviewed Julia Johnson, MD, professor of obstetrics & gynecology on February 10 for her thoughts on the impact the economic recession may have on child birthrates. Dr. Johnson explained that although the birthrate dipped during the Great Depression and spiked in the post-war baby boom, it has remained fairly constant in recent years.

An interview with Wahid Wassef, MD, associate professor of medicine and gastroenterology, was published in the February 6 edition of Scientific American. Dr. Wassef, who has published studies on transluminal surgery, discussed the pros and cons of performing natural orifice transluminal surgery on kidney donors.

Jennifer Daly, MD, professor of medicine, was interviewed by NECN on February 6 about the importance of getting a flu shot and other steps people can take to avoid getting the flu. She discussed the trend in cases for this flu season and stressed that even this last in the season, those at risk are advised to get the flu shot.

Mass High Tech interviewed Gary S. Stein, PhD, the Gerald L. Haidak, MD, and Zelda S. Haidak Professor of Cell Biology and chair and professor of cell biology, and interim director of the program in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine for his insight into the potential of President Obama lifting the restrictions on stem cell research.

In the February 6 story, Dr. Stein said lifting of the ban would lead to an increase in venture capital and start-up companies exploring the field. Massachusetts, as a major center for biomedical research, is poised to benefit greatly from changes in the restrictions.

NECN aired a feature story on February 5 about a new, minimally invasive surgical technique for fusing the lowest two vertebra of the spine in order to relieve chronic back pain. Frederik Pennings, MD, PhD, professor of surgery, was interviewed on camera about the technique.


JANUARY


Kathleen E. Walsh, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, spoke with Consumers Digest and American Medical News, among others, about her recent study showing the high rate of medication errors among cancer patients in outpatient settings. Dr. Walsh explained that medication errors can occur because the types and amounts of chemotherapy drugs delivered are constantly changing over the course of treatment. In pediatric patients, parents are often overwhelmed by all the medications they must administer in the home setting, often leading to missed doses and other errors. This story appeared in more than 30 publications.

On January 9, NECN interviewed Julie G. Pilitsis, MD, PhD, assistant professor of surgery, regarding Deep Brain Stimulation, a procedure to control erratic electrical impulses in the brain via implanted electrodes and a “pacemaker,” and how it can help patients with Parkinson’s disease control their symptoms, such as involuntary muscle movement.

Terence R. Flotte, MD, dean of the School of Medicine and provost & executive deputy chancellor and professor of pediatrics and molecular genetics & microbiology, commented in a January 5 Worcester Business Journal article on the possibility that President Obama may lift restrictions on stem cell research. Dr. Flotte said that lifting the restrictions would accelerate research that could have therapeutic value.