Post date: Fri, 11/11/2011 - 10:35

November 9, 2011. Northwestern University will receive funding through Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for an innovative project that seeks to significantly decrease the price of drugs that treat HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. 

Grand Challenges Explorations funds scientists and researchers worldwide who are testing unorthodox ideas and tackling priority global health issues where solutions do not yet exist.

The prestigious award to Linda J. Broadbelt and Keith E.J. Tyo, professors of chemical and biological engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, is one of 110 Grand Challenges Explorations grants announced this week.

Broadbelt and Tyo will develop novel biosynthetic processes to make important drugs that are too expensive to be purchased in resource-poor countries. Current chemical synthesis methods for producing many of these drugs require expensive reagents and have very low yields. Biosynthetic processes use inexpensive reagents, such as sugar, and precisely control the chemistry, increasing yields. More efficient biosynthetic production could dramatically expand the use of these drugs in poor countries and reduce the mortality and spread of diseases.

“We believe in the power of innovation -- that a single bold idea can pioneer solutions to our greatest health and development challenges,” said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Grand Challenges Explorations seeks to identify and fund these new ideas wherever they come from.” 

Broadbelt and Tyo will receive an 18-month grant of $100,000. Successful projects have an opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to $1 million.

Source: Northwestern News Center

Post date: Thu, 11/03/2011 - 13:01

October 26, 2011. Researchers including Northwestern anthropology Prof. Thomas McDade and School of Education and Social Policy Prof. Emma Adam published a study Oct. 20 showing that low-income women with children who move from high-poverty to lower-poverty neighborhoods experience notable long-term improvements in some aspects of their health. These health benefits include reductions in extreme obesity and diabetes, according to a news release.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the first to use a random experimental design. According to the press release, this set-up is analogous to a randomized clinical trail to test the effectiveness of new drugs.

The study's findings could help expland the disparities in obesity and diabetes prevalence across race and ethnic lines in America, according to the release.

Source: The Daily Northwestern (paper version)

Post date: Mon, 08/15/2011 - 00:00

August 15, 2011. The south and southwest sides of Chicago suffer the most in terms of residents’ health and access to basic health resources, according to a new study of 77 Chicago neighborhoods.

The study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Public Health is the first comprehensive profile compiled in one document of the health of residents and resources in Chicago neighborhoods. The study was made possible with support from the Aetna Foundation and Aetna Inc.

The 150-page study of Chicago neighborhoods -- available at -- tracks the prevalence of five key public health issues for the entire city. The health issues -- which serve as the cornerstone of the Chicago public health agenda being released tomorrow -- are childhood obesity, breast cancer, HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy and motor vehicle injury and death. Read on...

Source: Northwestern NewsCenter

Post date: Fri, 07/22/2011 - 14:33

No hiding place - The long-sought goal of a cure for AIDS is inching closer

July 21, 2011. AIDS researchers, many of whom have been meeting this week in Rome under the auspices of the International AIDS Society, are rightly pleased with the progress they have made. In particular, the use of antiretroviral drugs has not only revolutionised treatment of HIV infection, but also offers the prospect of stopping the spread of the virus. In a matter of weeks, these drugs reduce the number of viruses per millilitre of infected blood from millions to less than 50. That deals with both symptoms and infectivity. Unless a patient stops taking the drugs, or goes on to develop resistance to them, he can expect to live almost as long as an uninfected individual. Read on...

Source: The Economist

Post date: Tue, 04/12/2011 - 15:26

April 12, 2011. Northwestern University held its first-ever Global Health Week April 5-8 on the Evanston and Chicago campuses. The event welcomed almost 40 institutional partners from across the globe — physicians and researchers from more than a dozen countries, including Chile, France, India, and Nigeria. Through a series of talks and networking events, the University introduced foreign and domestic guests to its global health efforts and to countless opportunities for expanding collaborations.

“Global Health Week is a celebration of many years of collaboration with leading institutions worldwide,” said Robert Murphy, MD, John Philip Phair Professor of Infectious Diseases and director of the Center for Global Health at the Feinberg School of Medicine. “We all know that highly multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary partnerships are necessary to curb inequities in healthcare.” Read on...

Source: Feinberg News

Post date: Tue, 04/12/2011 - 10:00

April 11, 2011. Designers, editors and managers from companies including GE Healthcare, Herman Miller and Fast Company magazine will gather to discuss new innovations in health care and design Thursday, April 14, at Northwestern University.

The annual design seminar “Design:Chicago” will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. in the McCormick Tribune Auditorium, James L. Allen Center, 2169 Campus Drive, on the Evanston campus.

The popular event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The panel will feature Robert T. Schwartz, general manager, global design, GE Healthcare; Sumant Ramachandra, senior vice president R&D and medical affairs, chief scientific officer, Hospira
; Linda Tischler, editor, Fast Company
; Gretchen Gscheidle, director, insight and exploration, Herman Miller; and Lorna Ross, design manager, Center for Innovation, Mayo Clinic

. Read on...

Source: Northwestern NewsCenter

Post date: Sat, 04/09/2011 - 10:03

April 8, 2011. Michael Wallach ’06 believes that one of the greatest barriers to Africa’s growth is the lack of awareness of the opportunities on the continent.

At the 2011 Kellogg Africa Business Conference, Wallach cited a study of investors in which 60 percent of the respondents said they weren’t aware of general partnerships that invested in Africa.

“That, to me, strikes of opportunity,” said Wallach, the Sachs Capital Group director of strategic investments, during the panel discussion “Financing Africa’s Growth: Who Holds the Key?”

More than 267 alumni, students and business professionals attended the sold-out April 2 event, in which speakers and panelists explored the theme “Africa’s Golden Age: Seizing Opportunities in an Exciting New Era.” Read on...

Source: Kellogg News & Events

Post date: Fri, 04/01/2011 - 07:30

March 31, 2011. Northwestern University Global Health Week 2011 will celebrate the University’s years of partnership with institutions worldwide and explore future opportunities for research and collaboration.

The week’s activities, to be held on the Evanston and Chicago campuses from April 5 to 8, will showcase the many global health initiatives at Northwestern and its international partners’ institutions.

Global health leaders from more than a dozen countries will provide insight into research and public health issues facing their countries. They also will highlight educational opportunities and potential for further research and collaboration on global medical education, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS research, global health delivery programs and other topics.

Participants will include international academic leaders, physicians and research collaborators from Burkina Faso, Chile, China, France, India, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

Key attendees from Northwestern will include President Morton Schapiro; Provost Daniel Linzer; Jay Walsh, vice president for research; Jeffrey Glassroth, M.D., interim dean of the Feinberg School of Medicine; Rex Chisholm, dean for research at Feinberg; and Raymond Curry, M.D., vice dean for education at Feinberg.

Robert Murphy, M.D., is chair of the Global Health Week committee and director of the Center for Global Health at Feinberg. Other members of the committee are Dévora Grynspan, director of Northwestern’s Office of International Program Development; Matthew Glucksberg, professor and chair of biomedical engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science; and Kara Palamountain, research assistant professor of managerial economics and decision sciences at the Kellogg School of Management. 

Global Health Week is a collaboration between Feinberg, McCormick, Kellogg and the Weinberg College of Arts and Applied Sciences.

The entire Northwestern community is invited. The full agenda and registration materials are available online.

For any additional questions, e-mail

Source: Northwestern News

Post date: Wed, 03/16/2011 - 12:08

The Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC) is establishing international service initiatives with other countries where NUPOC graduates can volunteer their O&P expertise, augment their clinical proficiency and improve the lives of under-resourced populations of people who live with physical disability. First among these initiatives is the collaboration between NUPOC and the Range of Motion Project-Chicago (ROMP) that resulted in the annual volunteer service trip to the ROMP Clinic in Zacapa, Guatemala. 

Jared Howell, CPO, assistant director of prosthetics education for NUPOC, recently led the second annual expedition of NUPOC graduates to Zacapa, Guatemala, where they volunteered their O&P expertise working with on-site clinicians. The 2010 annual work group included NUPOC graduates Katie Antle, Christy Vant, Jacqueline Ziegler, Jenna Lombardo, Jennifer Pecora and Zach Lacy. From December 4-13, 2010, Howell and the NUPOC group provided custom-designed thermoplastic orthoses and prostheses using componentry that was donated by U.S. practitioners. Clients were low income individuals, some of whom traveled more than 8 hours to reach the ROMP Clinic. The NUPOC group provided O&P solutions to people who had little or inadequate O&P interventions. They fit prostheses for amputations secondary to trauma and orthoses for children who had not obtained prior medical care. Read on...

Source: O&P Business News

Post date: Thu, 03/03/2011 - 14:46

March 2, 2011. The treatment of HIV and AIDS in West Africa is an anthropological and psychological issue as much as it is a medical one, a University of Montreal physician and medical anthropologist said in a lecture at Northwestern University Tuesday night.

When West Africans acknowledge that they are HIV-positive, it changes how they view themselves, how others see them and how they define their community, said Dr. Vinh-Kim Nguyen, author of  “The Republic of Therapy: Triage and Sovereignty in West Africa’s Time of AIDS.“

“The people most vulnerable to HIV were people whose human rights needed to be improved,” which had lasting impacts on individuals and communities, he said.

Nguyen’s work focuses on the period between 1994 and 2000, before many people in West Africa considered health a human right. Read on...

Source: Medill Reports Chicago