Posts filed under ‘News’

Compassion + Science: Addiction research at Penn State College of Medicine

66769 LE 2By Heidi Lynn Russell

The conversation always starts the same way: “My son…” “My daughter…” “My grandchild…. has a drug problem.”

And for years, researchers at Penn State College of Medicine have been trying to solve a yearning question from people whose hearts are breaking:

“Why can’t they stop?”

But research now underway may finally unveil an answer – and some hope. Behind all of the science that goes on in sterile campus laboratories – behind the studies of rats and brain cells and clinical findings – is an understanding that many people, including those struggling with drug use, don’t always see:  Addiction to opioids alters a person’s brain chemistry, robbing them of the ability to make free-will decisions, says Dr. Sue Grigson, professor of neural and behavioral sciences. (more…)

March 23, 2017 at 7:28 am Leave a comment

Penn State Colorectal Diseases Biobank links genetics and colorectal cancer

 By Heidi Lynn Russell

What if your family’s DNA could become the blueprint for your very own precise and personalized treatment for colorectal cancer? Or, better yet, what if it could be used to help doctors screen you earlier for the disease, before it has a chance to strike?

This isn’t a science-fictional, futuristic ideal. Cutting-edge research at Penn State College of Medicine and the Penn State Colorectal Diseases Biobank is revealing how genetics play a role in treating this disease. (more…)

March 15, 2017 at 11:13 am 4 comments

Four Diamonds celebrates 40-year partnership with THON

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Charles and Irma Millard

By Ashley Davidson

When Penn State students hit the dance floor for THON this Friday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 19 at the Bryce Jordan Center, they’ll celebrate the culmination of a year-long fundraising effort that’s expected to raise millions of dollars — and mark the 40th anniversary since THON named Four Diamonds its sole beneficiary. But it’ll be an exceptionally bittersweet moment for Four Diamonds’ founders Charles and Irma Millard, who can’t believe how far the partnership has come.

They founded Four Diamonds in 1972 after their 14-year-old son, Christopher, lost his three-year battle with cancer at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. (Read more about the history of Four Diamonds here.) Five years later, Four Diamonds forged the relationship with THON (formally called the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon), which catapulted the organization’s fundraising efforts and ultimately grew it into the nationally recognized philanthropy it is today. (more…)

February 15, 2017 at 2:25 pm 1 comment

Grant to help address primary care physician shortage

game-changer

A $2.4 million Human Resources Services Administration (HRSA) grant is a potential “game changer” for teaching medicine at Penn State College of Medicine and encouraging students to pursue careers in primary care to address a national physician shortage.

“By bringing together education leaders across our organization, we will break down silos and enhance education,” said Dr. Shou Ling Leong, principal investigator of the HRSA grant and associate vice chair of education in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.  “Ultimately, the goal is to improve the health of the nation by creating clinical training that is more integrated across disciplines.” (more…)

January 26, 2017 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

Scholarships help medical students achieve their goals

Match program doubles donations to student scholarships

By Jade Kelly Solovey

Steven Ma is a first-generation Asian American with a strong interest in global health. A native of Westminster, Calif., he joined Penn State College of Medicine Class of 2020 because of the school’s global health opportunities and its welcoming feel.

His undergraduate degree is from University of California, Irvine, where he volunteered in both Nicaragua and Panama as part of that school’s Global Medical Training organization.

ma_steven

Steven Ma

“I really got exposed to the medical field and more and more I started falling in love with what medicine involved,” he said.

The cost of medical school is a reality that was a potential barrier to pursuing his interest in medicine. (more…)

November 11, 2016 at 7:09 am 2 comments

Student design partners help shape the future for fellow medical students

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Student design partners are helping shape the future curriculum at Penn State College of Medicine. The design partners are, from left,  Jason Spicher, Vanessa Vides, Morgan Decker, Tom Laux and Duncan McDermond. 

When Duncan McDermond studied abroad in a rural African hospital during college, he saw firsthand the correlation between doctors who live among their patients and their ability to understand, gain trust and ultimately provide better medical care.

It’s that kind of holistic approach to medicine that drew McDermond to apply for an innovative program where students are helping to shape Penn State College of Medicine’s curriculum.

“If medical providers do not understand the needs of a community, they will be inherently less effective at treating them,” said McDermond, a Messiah College graduate who is interested in carrying on the legacy of his grandfather, a missionary doctor, who founded the rural hospital in Zambia where he studied abroad.

The ability of firsthand experience to inform and reinforce education is nothing new, but at the College of Medicine, the idea is being given top priority in a first-of-its-kind initiative that could serve as a national model to transform how medicine is taught.

McDermond and four other student design partners – students who have been accepted to the College of Medicine but will defer enrollment until the fall of 2017 – are now College of Medicine employees at University Park. They will work with faculty to develop and pilot a flexible and integrated program of study.

(more…)

October 26, 2016 at 12:55 pm Leave a comment

Inspired student Sarayna Schock delivers produce program

A photo of Sarayna Shock at Beaver Stadium

Sarayna Schock

When Sarayna Schock sets her mind to something, there’s no stopping her. The second year Penn State College of Medicine student shows an admirable level of dedication to service while achieving her own goals. Her personal story drives her to help others with similar challenges and to make a difference in her community, including serving with LionCare, the student-run medical clinic in downtown Harrisburg, and abroad in Zambia with the College’s Global Health Scholars program.

To get there required four years in the Air Force and two years in the reserves. Serving in the military was the way Schock funded her medical education. Enlisting, however, required some changes. (more…)

October 6, 2016 at 8:04 am Leave a comment

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