Health Sciences

A Change of Heart: Penn Researchers Reprogram Brain Cells to Become Heart Cells

PHILADELPHIA — For the past decade, researchers have tried to reprogram the identity of all kinds of cell types. Heart cells are one of the most sought-after cells in regenerative medicine because researchers anticipate that they may help to repair injured hearts by replacing lost tissue.

Karen Kreeger

Penn Study Will Investigate HIV-Testing Awareness Using Videos on Los Angeles Buses

PHILADELPHIA -- A University of Pennsylvania study will determine if public transit can convey more than people going from point A to point B. Video displays on public buses in Los Angeles will be used to help determine the efficacy of an innovative soap opera-like video program designed to increase HIV testing among low-income African Americans 14 to 24 years of age.

Joe Diorio

Penn Researchers Identify a New Marker That Predicts Progressive Kidney Failure and Death

A high level of a hormone that regulates phosphate is associated with an increased risk of kidney failure and death among chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, according to a recent study led by researchers at the University of Miami and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and funded by the National Institu

Karen Kreeger

Penn Researchers Show New Evidence of Genetic “Arms Race” Against Malaria

PHILADELPHIA — For tens of thousands of years, the genomes of malaria parasites and humans have been at war with one another. Now, University of Pennsylvania geneticists, in collaboration with an international team of scientists, have developed a new picture of one way that the human genome has fought back. 

Evan Lerner



In the News


Health.com

What is trypanophobia? How to cope with a fear of needles so you can get the COVID-19 vaccine

Thea Gallagher of the Perelman School of Medicine offered tips for overcoming fear of needles in order to get the COVID-19 vaccine, starting with just making the appointment. "More doing and less thinking is an important way to overcome your fear," she said.

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The New York Times

Why are we so afraid of fevers?

Paul Offit of the Perelman School of Medicine said treating fevers can prolong or worsen an illness because immunity works better at higher temperatures. While fever reducers can relieve uncomfortable symptoms, “You’re not supposed to feel better,” he said. “You’re supposed to stay under the covers, keep warm, and ride out the infection. We have fevers for a reason.”

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The Washington Post

Study suggests Pfizer vaccine works against virus variant

Frederic Bushman of the Perelman School of Medicine said there’s no reason to think the COVID-19 vaccines won’t work on new strains of the virus. “A mutation will change one little place, but it’s not going to disrupt binding to all of them,” he said.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Could cutting or delaying doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to immunize more people make the pandemic last longer?

Steven Joffe of the Perelman School of Medicine commented on the unknown efficacy of a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which was designed to be given in two doses. “Those unknowns are why some people say, ‘We should stick with what we know. By all means, do the trials to test [varied regimens], but don’t just wing it.’ Others say, ‘We are in a race against the virus.’ I’m not going to come down on one side or the other,” he said.

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The Washington Post

You’ve seen many images from the Capitol riot. Here’s why it’s okay to take a break

Thea Gallagher of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about the effects of exposure to violent media imagery. “You don’t have to be there,” she said. “You can still be traumatized by watching things, hearing about them.”

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