Faculty News Weekly Round-Up, August 4

August 4, 2017 by   |   Leave a Comment

UVA School of Medicine Faculty News Weekly Round-Up
August 4

• UVA Researchers Identify Neurons That Control Brain’s Body Clock

Neurons in the brain that produce the pleasure-signaling neurotransmitter dopamine also directly control the brain’s circadian center, or “body clock” – the area that regulates eating cycles, metabolism and waking/resting cycles – a key link that possibly affects the body’s ability to adapt to jet lag and rotating shift work, a new University of Virginia study has demonstrated.

“This discovery, which identifies a direct dopamine neuron connection to the circadian center, is possibly the first step toward the development of unique drugs, targeting specific neurons, to combat the unpleasant symptoms of jet-lag and shiftwork, as well as several dangerous pathologies,” said Ali Deniz Güler, PhD, UVA Assistant Professor of Biology, who oversaw the study in his lab.

The finding is reported in an online edition of the journal Current Biology.

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• UVA Breast Care Program Earns National Accreditation

For its high-quality care, the UVA Breast Care Program has earned full accreditation from the American College of Surgeons’ National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).

According to the NAPBC, accreditation “is only given to those centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance.”

Centers that earn accreditation meet national standards in areas that include quality improvement, clinical management, research, prevention and early detection programs, staff education and community outreach.

• UVA Enlists Robotic Help to Enhance Blood Testing

UVA Health System has revolutionized how it tests patient blood samples, automating its primary testing facility with high-tech robots that are getting doctors the results they need quickly and efficiently – and allowing UVA to offer a wider range of blood tests, to boot.

Speedy turnaround times for blood tests are often vital for physicians making important patient-care decisions. They can literally be the difference in life and death. “We are known for receiving the sickest patients, and we want to get the correct treatment to them as rapidly as possible,” said Doris Haverstick, PhD, Associate Professor of Pathology and Director of Clinical Chemistry.

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