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Dec. 1 issue of UW Medicine Insight

For World AIDS Day, UW Medicine is celebrating the Madison Clinic, one of the first clinics in the country for HIV/AIDS patients. . See story. 


and much more...

A biweekly newsletter focused on issues related to
the UW Medicine system.


UW Medicine launching new center focusing on immune system

Dear Colleagues,

In the past five to eight years, scientists have learned a great deal about the immune system. Innate immunity is the body’s processes of immune recognition and response programming that establish effective immunity and immune regulation. With the January 2016 opening of the UW Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease, UW Medicine is poised to lead the world in finding new therapies that trigger and regulate a person’s immune system. These therapies will target a number of diseases, including Ebola, rheumatoid arthritis, influenza, dengue fever, multiple sclerosis, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lupus and others.

The UW Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease, directed by Michael Gale Jr., UW professor of immunology, is located at South Lake Union. This is one of the only centers of its kind in the nation; no other city has the immune system research expertise located in a concentrated area. As well as the highly ranked UW Department of Immunology, research partners within walking distance include Benaroya Research Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Institute for Systems Biology, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

The Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease will be the coordinating site for a variety of research activities and will provide the infrastructure to help move these efforts into human therapies. With local biotech partners, scientists can quickly test and develop these new advances toward clinical applications.

I would like to thank Michael Gale and his colleagues at the UW Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease for their outstanding work in envisioning and shaping the center. Their current and future work will help define important new directions and breakthroughs in immune therapy. For more on the UW Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease, see the Q&A with Dr. Gale on HSNewsBeat.


PGRamsey Signature2

Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.
CEO, UW Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and
Dean of the School of Medicine,
University of Washington

Research bar

Could brain vessels’ blood flow predict approach to aneurysms?

Dr. Michael Levitt is studying whether blood flow in and around brain aneurysms might inform a patient's course of care. (Photo by Brian Donohue.)

Michael Levitt, UW assistant professor of neurological surgery and mechanical engineering, is working with a team from engineering and mathematics to determine which treatment has the best chance of success with any aneurysm. “We want to figure out why procedures are helpful for some but not others, and eventually to figure out why some aneurysms grow and others stay the same,” Levitt said.

A digital angiogram is first turned into a high-fidelity, 3-D printed model of the aneurysm and its vessel. Then fluid can be sent through the resin model at the same rate as the patient’s blood flow, and the team can monitor the fluid dynamics around and inside the aneurysm. For more on the story, see article on HSNewsBeat.

More research stories involving UW Medicine:

Clinical Bar

Twisp firefighter discusses injuries, future, hopes

Daniel Lyon speaks at a news conference Nov. 18. (Photo courtesy of KUOW.)

Daniel Lyon Jr., 25, a firefighter injured in the Twisp River Fire, spoke to the media Nov. 18 upon his discharge from Harborview Medical Center. He was joined by his parents, Daniel Sr. and Barbara, and Nicole Gibran, UW professor of surgery and director of the UW Medicine Regional Burn Center. 

Lyon arrived at Harborview’s Emergency Department on Aug. 19 in critical condition with burns to more than 60 percent of his body. He underwent 11 surgeries and spent two months in intensive care. He continues to heal and recover, receiving physical and occupational therapy from Harborview's rehabilitation medicine team. See the video from his press conference on HSNewsBeat.

Mobile app to convey drug risks in pregnancy

In medication counseling during pregnancy, a mobile application might be a way to provide healthcare professionals with immediate, reliable information on the risks of a mother’s drugs on her baby’s development.

A University of Washington and corporate partnership is exploring the feasibility of, and prototype for, such a mobile app. To carry out this effort,, Inc., a software company, and a UW expert team have received a $150,000 Small Business Innovation and Research grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. See more on the story on HSNewsBeat.

More clinical stories involving UW Medicine:

  • How is it possible to be HIV positive and 'absolutely healthy'? Gawker, Nov. 19, 2015
    In going public with his status, Charlie Sheen introduced the country at large to the emerging reality of what it means to be HIV positive in 2015. Bryan Kutner, doctoral student at the UW, is quoted.
  • Football and the brain, 60 Minutes, Nov. 15, 2015 
    The UW and VICIS, a UW startup, are developing and testing a new kind of football helmet, with seed money from the NFL.
  • Could this test help prevent high school football deaths? CNN, Nov. 12, 2015
    An analysis from the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research database says that among high school and college players, about 12 football-related fatalities occur every year. Dr. Kim Harmon, a sports medicine doctor with the UW, is quoted.
  • Well: What happens to childhood when you start counting steps? New York Times, Nov. 13, 2015
    Fitness trackers and wearable devices are big business these days, and parents tend to hover close, fascinated by the details of their children’s lives. Dr. Megan Moreno, a professor of pediatrics and health services at the UW, is quoted.

Education Bar

U.S. News & World Report names UW Family Medicine Residency Program No. 1

Dr. J. Mark Beard, seen here with a patient, leads the three-year training program.

The UW Family Medicine Residency Program was named the No. 1 family medicine residency by U.S. News & World Report and The residency program is led by J. Mark Beard, UW associate professor of family medicine. The three-year training program prepares medical school graduates to practice in urban, suburban and rural locations, and provides a broad spectrum of clinical skills while leading care delivery teams in clinical practice settings.

The UW Family Medicine Residency program is one of 477 U.S. family medicine programs. The applicants to UW frequently come from the nation’s top 100 medical schools. The 24 residents in the program are based out of UW Medical Center. Training also occurs at four other hospitals in the Seattle area –  Harborview Medical Center, Seattle Children’s, Veteran’s Affairs Puget Sound Health System and Northwest Hospital and Medical Center. The residents also receive training in a number of community practice settings in addition to their hospital work to prepare them for the demands of clinical practice after graduation.

Related education stories:

People Bar

UW research associate professor Elizabeth Bukusi receives HIV award

Dr. Elizabeth Bukusi leads team building exercises to instill a sense of mission among research trainees in Kenya. (Photo courtesy of Kenyan Medical Research Institute.)

Elizabeth Bukusi, UW research associate professor in obstetrics and gynecology, a Kenyan who came to UW to study, was unanimously nominated for a special award given to an African at the 2015 Biomedical HIV Prevention Forum in Harare, Zimbabwe, Nov. 29. The award recognizes her contributions in the development of female-initiated methods of HIV prevention such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), microbicides and multiple prevention technologies.

She embodies the virtues that represent the ideal of an African scientist: diligent, selfless, resilient, innovative and genuinely committed to finding a sustainable and ethical scientific solution to the HIV epidemic in Africa for Africa and with African communities of all races, gender and social classes, the forum organizers said in announcing the award.

Bukusi has been co-investigator, site investigator and principal investigator of innovative behavioral research that includes structural interventions to address the needs of most affected populations such as young girls, adolescents and members of fishing communities.

Bukusi was actively engaged with the landmark study on use of  PrEP as an effective HIV-1 prevention infection tool for sero-discordant couples (in which one partner is infected). She has also been involved in multiple studies on the use of Daviparine gel as a vagina microbicide in healthy HIV-negative women, and the use of ethanol in emollient gel as a microbicide for males.  She has extensively published and led many ground breaking reforms on research ethics that have significantly improved the conduct of research, including the recently launched Kenya guideline for conducting sexual reproductive health and HIV research with adolescents. She has successfully trained and mentored over 55 young African researchers as postgraduate students and serves as a mentor for countless African HIV advocates.

Awards Bar

UW Medical Center listed among 100 best heart programs

UW Medical Center is the only Washington hospital listed among the 100 best heart programs in the country. Hospitals included on this list have received several marks of distinction from various organizations, including U.S. News & World Report, Society of Thoracic Surgeons and Healthgrades.

The UW Medicine Regional Heart Center provides comprehensive care for all types of cardiac conditions and diseases. Their team of cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other highly-trained clinicians is internationally recognized for their expertise in treating valvular heart disease, coronary artery disease, heart rhythm disturbances such as atrial fibrillation, heart failure and adult congenital heart disease. The heart center offers one of the few full cardiovascular services training program in the country. See listing in Becker’s Hospital Review.

Events Bar

  • UW Science in Medicine Lecture with Stanley McKnight, Dec. 2, D-209 Turner Auditorium (1 p.m.)
    Stanley McKnight, UW professor of pharmacology, will give the lecture, “Regulation of Neuronal Circuits by the cAMP-Dependent Protein Kinase (PKA) Pathway.” Genetic mutations in this PKA signaling pathway can lead to resistance to high fat diet-induced obesity. In a separate study, Fields and colleagues uncovered an essential role for presynaptically localized PKA in hippocampal dentate granule neurons. The findings bring new understanding to anxiety disorders. The Science in Medicine lecture series is now celebrating 40 years of excellent lectures. View the website for more lectures. For more information, see the flyer.

  • Reception and book signing on unconscious bias in healthcare by visiting physician from Harvard, Dec. 1, DECA Hotel (6 p.m.). Grand Rounds, Dec. 2, Room T-739 (6:30 a.m.)
    Augustus White III, the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Distinguished Professor of Medical Education, professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School, was the only black student at Stanford Medical School; the first black chief resident at Yale; the only black surgeon in Vietnam and the first black chief of service in a Harvard teaching hospital. His book, "In Seeing Patients," looks at unconscious bias in healthcare. The Center for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion will host a reception for him in the Governor's Room of the DECA Hotel from 6-8 p.m. White will also give a Grand Rounds presentation on “What Dr. Martin Luther King Jr would like us to know about health care disparities.” See flyer for more information on reception and book signing. And see the flyer on Grand Rounds.

  • Special celebration for the 30th anniversary of the Madison Clinic at Harborview Medical Center, Dec. 3, Madison Clinic lobby (4-6 p.m.)
    An open house celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Madison Clinic, in conjunction with the 29th Anniversary of Harborview’s UW AIDS Clinical Trials Unit, is planned in the Madison Clinic lobby to commemorate clinic staff, volunteers and patients. The lobby is on the second floor west clinic wing of Harborview. For more on the Madison Clinic, see story on HSNewsBeat.

  • Yemen: The Forgotten War, Dec. 7, Foege Auditorium (3:30-5 p.m.)
    Aisha Jumaan works with the Department of State as a consultant coordinating health projects in Yemen. He focuses on strengthening labs, surveillance and human resources capabilities. Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes on Yemen on March 26 claiming that it is fighting the Houthi rebels, who it regards as a proxy for its regional rival Iran. For more on the event, see the UW Department of Global Health website:

  • Jingle Bell Run-Walk for Arthritis, Dec. 13
    The Roosevelt/Montlake All-Stars would like to extend an invitation to anyone interested in joining their Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis team. The event is Sunday, Dec. 13, in downtown Seattle and all proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation (part of the UW Combined Fund Drive). There is a Children's 1K Run for the Elves, an Adult 5K race (three waves) for runners and walkers, a costume contest, a “Cheer Garden,” an Elf Village for kids, and more. For more information, see the team website.

  • Recognize exceptional alumni (Deadline Jan. 15, 2016)
    People educated at the UW School of Medicine — researchers, physicians, medical technologists, physician assistants, residents and fellows and other graduates — benefit our communities and enrich the world of medicine. Once a year, the UW School of Medicine Alumni Association honors exceptional alumni with several awards presented during reunion weekend. Please take a moment to nominate a deserving alumnus for one of these awards: the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Alumni Humanitarian Award, the Medical Alumni Service Award and the Alumni Early Achievement Award. Who’s eligible? Anyone who has received a degree from — or completed residency or fellowship training in — a program administered by the UW School of Medicine. Learn more and submit a nomination at Please nominate by Thursday, Jan. 15, 2016. A nomination form is available here.

  • Diabetes Research Center seeks applications for research awards and graduate fellowships, (Deadline Jan. 4 and Feb. 16, 2016)
    The UW Diabetes Research Center is soliciting applications for the Pilot & Feasibility Research Awards and Stroum Graduate Fellowship Awards. The required forms are available at their website. Letters of Intent and reviewer nomination forms are due by Jan. 4, 2016. The deadline for applications is Feb. 16, 2016.

  • Nominations sought for UW lecture series by Jan. 28, 2016
    The Graduate School Public Lecture Committee is accepting nominations for the Walker Ames Series Program, Jessie and John Danz Lecture Series and Mary Ann and John D. Mangels Lecture Series. The deadline for all nominations is 5 p.m., Jan. 28. Nomination instructions can be found by visiting the Graduate School’s lecture series website.  If you have questions, or want more information about lecture series policies and procedures, contact Yvette Moy at 206-372-8609 or

  • Continuing Medical Education
    Visit Continuing Medical Education for information on upcoming classes. 

    Note: Videos from the 2015 UW Mini-Medical School are available on YouTube. 

In the News
Articles that involve UW faculty, staff, students and trainees working in health. 

  • Editorial: Common-sense policies needed for women’s health, Seattle Times, Nov. 24, 2015
    A new report by the state Attorney General’s Office puts to rest lingering questions about the legality of Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue donation program in Washington. The UW School of Medicine is mentioned.
  • 5 lifestyle tweaks for a more productive life, Huffington Post, Nov. 20, 2015
    Whether it be social media, television, text messages, or emails, we all face distractions like never before. A study on meditation from the UW is referenced.
  • How a UW professor helped bring autism to 'Sesame Street,' KUOW, Nov. 18, 2015
    Jeannie Yandel talks to Wendy Stone, a professor of psychology and director of the READi lab at the UW, about being a consultant for Sesame Street as they created their first character with autism, Julia.
  • Do you need to garden your gut? KUOW, Nov. 18, 2015
    David Hyde interviews Seattle biologist Anne Bikle and UW Professor David Montgomery about their new book on the beneficial role microbes play in agriculture and human health called "The Hidden Half Of Nature."
  • Mindfulness-based relapse prevention holds promise for treating addiction, Huffington Post, Nov. 18, 2015
    A new wave of research on meditation shows that mindfulness-based treatments can effectively treat everything from depression to autoimmune disease to post-traumatic stress disorder. The Mindfullness Based Relapse Prevention program at the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the UW is referenced.
  • 5 ways climate change will impact our health, Crosscut, Nov. 17, 2015
    While climate change’s impacts aren’t predicted to be extreme west of the Cascade Mountains – especially relative to parts of Eastern Washington, California and the Midwest – the area won’t be unscathed, according to a new report from the UW.
  • Seattle could be the first city in the U.S. to host safe-injection sites for heroin users, Seattle Weekly, Nov. 17, 2015
    Safe drug sites – places people can use illicit drugs under medical supervision – are coming to Seattle, advocates say. Dr. Caleb Banta-Green, professor of public health at the UW, is quoted.
  • This is what happens when you don’t wash your sheets,, Nov. 17, 2015 
    If you’re thinking you can go more than seven days without stripping your bed and still be sleeping in a sanitary environment, some of you may be in for a rude — or shall we say crude — awakening. Marilyn Roberts, professor of public health at the UW, is quoted.
  • The female libido pill is no viagra, Bloomberg, Nov. 17, 2015 
    The female libido pill hit the market in October with less-than-anticipated demand. Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology at the UW, is quoted.
  • The present and future of low-cost diagnostics, IEEE Pulse, Nov. 16, 2015
    A new class of portable, easy-to-use products is increasing access to health care around the world, yet challenges remain. Paul Yager, a professor of bioengineering at the UW, is quoted.
  • 'No evidence' to support 'unfounded allegations' against Planned Parenthood, says Attorney General Ferguson,, Nov. 16, 2015
    Allegations of unlawful conduct by Planned Parenthood are “unfounded” and “seek to discredit the organization and divert resources away from patient services,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Monday. The Birth Defects Research Laboratory at the UW is referenced.
  • Planned Parenthood in Washington doesn’t sell fetal tissue, state investigation says, Spokesman-Review, Nov. 16, 2015
    Planned Parenthood clinics in Washington do not sell fetal tissue and do not perform partial-birth abortions, conservative lawmakers were told Monday. The UW School of Medicine’s Birth Defects Research Laboratory is referenced.
  • Opinion: Glaring leadership void in mental health system, Seattle Times, Nov. 15, 2015 
    "As a parent, I feel like a member of a Greek chorus observing and commenting on the tragedy, without any influence on how it plays out," writes Abe Bergman, professor of pediatrics at the UW. "This deadening sense of powerlessness is a feeling well known by other families touched by mental illness.
  • What yeast reveals about the origins of multicellular life, Wired, Nov. 15, 2015
    Scientists are gaining insight into the process by re-creating the evolution of multicellularity in the lab. Ben Kerr, a biologist at the UW, is quoted.
  • Herald reporter awarded for ‘compelling’ mental health story, Everett Daily Herald, Nov. 24, 2015
    Daily Herald reporter Diana Hefley received the 2015 Award for Excellence in Coverage of Mental Health and Suicide at a ceremony held Nov. 18. The award is sponsored by Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention, a UW-based nonprofit, and the UW Department of Communication's journalism program.
  • The scientists who know what you're thinking, CNN, Nov. 23, 2015
    Nick Glass travels to the UW to meet a trio of scientists, Rajesh Rao of computer science and engineering, and Chantel Prat and Andrea Stocco of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, who are pioneering brain-to-brain communication.
  • How these scientists are convincing taxpayers to spend big on babies, Seattle Weekly, Nov. 12, 2015
    In Washington, several recent investments in early learning have one thing in common: Dr. Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the UW Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences.
  • UW poised to approve new biology building — from tuition dollars, Seattle Times, Nov. 11, 2015
    A five-story glass and steel building, to be built where the greenhouse stands now, will usher in a new way for undergrads to learn biology. On Thursday, the UW Board of Regents is expected to approve the $165 million Life Sciences Building, scheduled to open in 2018.

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