UVA School of Medicine Faculty News Weekly Round-Up
• Clock Mystery From 350 Years Ago Is Shedding Light on Human Health
In 1665, the inventor of the pendulum clock, Christiaan Huygens, noticed that two of his clocks hung on the same wall would eventually sync up, so that their pendulums swung in opposite directions in perfect time. This “insensible motion,” he thought, might be put to use so that clocks would regulate each other.
Turns out important cells in our guts already had that figured out.
Researchers have determined how the body controls the replacement of the barrier cells lining our guts, cells which protect us from disease. The cells’ internal clocks, the researchers found, are regulated by the same sort of interaction responsible for the strange effect in pendulum clocks.
By understanding the cellular clocks, doctors can use that knowledge to battle disease and improve human health. There may be times when it’s more effective to give a cancer therapy or administer an oral vaccine for typhoid, for example.
“Probably where the rubber meets the road is going to be colorectal cancer, chronotherapy, understanding that precision medicine is not just about the right drug for the right patient, but at the right time,” Sean Moore, MD, said. “This is going to help us develop precision therapies that take into account the time of day.”
Moore is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UVA School of Medicine. He and his research colleagues published their findings in the journal Molecular Cell.
• UVA School of Medicine Community Expresses Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion
The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) at UVA organized an initiative to show the School of Medicine’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Students, staff, and faculty were invited to stop by the Health Sciences Library and fill out whiteboards bearing the message, “Charlottesville is a place for ____ … Not Hate.” Over 350 people participated.
Our own director, Troy Buer, PhD, wrote, “Charlottesville is a place for curiosity.” Many other faculty participated, as well. SNMA member Martha Getachew, who came up with the idea for the initiative, said, “We were overwhelmed by the positive response especially from UVA faculty who went over and beyond (many doctors helped us table [the event], brought us pizza and snacks and stopped by just to chat!)”
We are proud of faculty’s support both of the medical students’ passion for equality and more broadly of diversity and inclusion at UVA and in our community.
View all of the photos from the event: https://news.med.virginia.edu/fac-dev-blog/2017/05/26/photo-gallery-uva-expresses-commitment-to-diversity-inclusion/
• Kenneth Brayman receives Julius A. Mackie Distinguished Graduate Award from University of Pennsylvania
Brayman, MD, PhD, FACS, is a professor in the UVA School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery. He is also Chief of the Division of Transplant Surgery.
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