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Prestigious training grant extended five more years

By Heidi Lynn Russell

Penn State College of Medicine has again been successful in extending funding from the National Cancer Institute through a training grant for vital research into viruses that cause cancer. This training grant has been in place for more than 20 years.

This August, the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Penn State Cancer Institute were successful in renewing the training grant funding to continue groundbreaking research for another five years – something that many other universities have not been able to achieve, said Dr. Craig Meyers. Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. “We’re listed right up there with the big names,” he said. “A lot of universities want it.” Meyers, director of the Viruses and Cancer Training Program wrote the grant. (more…)

November 1, 2017 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

Summit to address health disparities in rural Appalachia

For those who live along the Appalachian mountain range, limited availability of health care services, low level of health insurance coverage, and behavioral risks, such as opioid addiction, are challenges. Researchers at Penn State and other institutions are working to understand these challenges through the Appalachian Translational Research Network.

Appalachia is a predominantly rural region along the Appalachian mountain range, including 420 counties in 13 states from southern New York to Mississippi.  For Pennsylvania, 52 of its 67 counties are Appalachian. (more…)

October 20, 2017 at 10:38 am Leave a comment

Partnership targets farm safety among region’s Amish population

Amish Buggy on farm road

A stock image of an Amish farm.

By Carolyn Kimmel

Beyond the picturesque barns and horse-drawn buggies that define Pennsylvania Dutch Country lurk farm dangers that can land children in the hospital.

Falling down hay holes in the barn, injuries from farm equipment and being struck by large farm animals are top causes of trauma to children brought to Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Penn State Children’s Hospital.

Preventing injuries and death on farms across the state is a priority, thanks to a unique partnership between medical personnel from the Children’s Hospital and Lancaster General Hospital, Penn State Cooperative Extension and the Pennsylvania Amish Safety Committee.

(more…)

September 27, 2017 at 2:36 pm 1 comment

Alex Smith: A Four Diamonds child pays it forward

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Treatment outcomes for children with cancer have made tremendous improvements over the past 50 years, but the reality is one in five children with cancer will die of their disease within five years. Four Diamonds is on a mission to change this reality. Join Four Diamonds as a Partner In The Fight to conquer childhood cancer by raising awareness and taking action. Visit FourDiamonds.org and #GoGoldFTK. Below is Alex’s story and her family’s experience with childhood cancer and how Four Diamonds has helped them.

alex 2

By Jade Kelly Solovey

Aleksandra “Alex” Smith is, in many ways, your typical 14-year-old.

Upon meeting her, you quickly realize that she’s also unique. Alex was adopted from Russia when she was 7 months old and now lives in Carlisle with her parents and little brother.

She is funny and artistic and her mother describes her as delightful, engaging and entertaining. Although she has autism, she is mainstreamed and attends Carlisle Christian Academy.

All of that is part of the uniqueness that makes the avid Hershey Bears fan “Alex.” One thing that really sets Alex apart from her peers is that she is a Four Diamonds child, dealing with pediatric cancer.

(more…)

September 13, 2017 at 1:58 pm Leave a comment

Carrots for Candy: The Great Boy Scout Experiment

How Penn State PRO Wellness is helping scouts make better food choices

 

By Heidi Lynn Russell

Summer camp can be rife with memories of telling ghost stories by crackling campfires, hiking through shaded trails, gliding in a canoe across a sparkling lake – and candy – lots of candy – at the camp “trading post.”

It’s that candy that is a concern to the Boy Scouts of America. As rates of childhood obesity increase in the United States, the Boy Scouts organization wants its members to enjoy their camping experiences with wholesome, delicious meals and snacks.

How can they convince children to want to make healthy eating choices? (more…)

September 5, 2017 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

Dr. Mack Ruffin: A career dedicated to research

Ruffin_Chair_Portrait_03-02-2017_15

By Heidi Lynn Russell

Most people may not consider their family doctor to be a cancer prevention researcher. But Dr. Mack Ruffin IV balances one-on-one patient care with scientific sleuthing. When he’s not attending to patients and instructing medical residents at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Ruffin is pursuing mysteries about how people’s daily habits and decisions can lead to deadly consequences.

Recently, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Society of Teachers in Family Medicine – the Curtis G. Hames Research Award. It honors those whose careers over the years exemplify dedication to research in family medicine. Ruffin, professor and chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine, came to Penn State College of Medicine last year from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor. He has 27 years of experience as a physician-scientist. (more…)

August 23, 2017 at 3:37 pm Leave a comment

Pediatric cancer research thriving thanks to Four Diamonds

By Jade Kelly Solovey

While outcomes for children diagnosed with cancer have improved greatly over the past five decades, one-in-five children will still die from their disease. In the United States, more children die from cancer than any other disease.

Investigators at the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Center at Penn State Children’s Hospital are working to change that.

(more…)

August 16, 2017 at 12:28 pm Leave a comment

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