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c1-c4WCMspring094/17/091:44 PMPage c1weillcornellmedicineTHE MAGAZINE OFWEILL CORNELL MEDICALCOLLEGE ANDWEILL CORNELLGRADUATE SCHOOL OFMEDICAL SCIENCESSPRING 2009Art & ScienceThe photography ofZina Semenovskaya ’09

c1-c4WCMspring094/23/092:48 PMPage c2With a Charitable Gift Annuity arrangement, you can choose to support any program areaincluding Weill Cornell’s Discoveries that Make a Difference Capital Campaign, andachieve many other financial objectives. The annuity can be funded with various assets.The resulting income stream is paid at attractive rates to supplement your current retirement plan orprovide for a dependent relative—all in a tax-efficient way. Here’s how it works:1. You transfer cash, securities, or other property to Weill Cornell Medical College.2. You receive an income tax deduction and may save capital gains. A fixed amount will be paideach year to you or to anyone you name for life. Typically, a portion of these payments is taxexempt.3. When the gift annuity ends, its remaining principal passes to Weill Cornell Medical Collegeto support your area of interest.For more information about a Charitable Gift Annuity, please contact our Director of PlannedGiving, Robert Wollenburg at 646-962-3415 or row2012@med.cornell.edu.Current One-LifeGift Annuity Rates subject to changeTwo-life rates also available.Contact us for information.Please visit our website at:www.weillcornellgifts.org

01-03WCMspring09toc4/23/092:41 PMPage 1weillcornellmedicineTHE MAGAZINE OFWEILL CORNELLMEDICAL COLLEGE ANDWEILL CORNELLGRADUATE SCHOOL OFMEDICAL SCIENCESSPRING 200924NATIONAL MUSEUM OF HEALTH AND MEDICINEFEATURES24 IN THE EVENT OF ANEMERGENCY36 DOUBLE DUTYBETH SAULNIERNathaniel Hupert wants America to be ready for theworst. An expert in the field of disaster preparedness, the public health professor works with engineers from the Ithaca campus to study howgovernments and medical professionals can bestcope with a host of calamities—from hurricanes topandemics, floods to bioterror attacks. As of October2008, he also leads the CDC’s new PreparednessModeling Unit, helping to formulate national policyon disaster response.BETH SAULNIERIt’s hard enough to earn a medical degree or an academic doctorate. What does it take to be an MDPhD? Weill Cornell Medicine talked to some of thestudents who’ve chosen to dedicate the better part ofa decade to earning the dual degree—physicianscientists who epitomize the link between benchand bedside. “This program started out from itsinception to provide an integrated training environment,” says director Olaf Andersen, “where youacknowledge that an MD-PhD is not ‘an MD plus aPhD’ but ‘an MD-hyphen-PhD.’ ”JOHN ABBOTT30 THROUGH ZINA’S LENSCover photograph byZina Semenovskaya ’09For address changesand other subscriptioninquiries, please e-mailus atwcm@weill.cornell.edu36PHOTOGRAPHS BYZINA SEMENOVSKAYA ’09While working in India and Africa during a year offfrom medical school, Zina Semenovskaya took aseries of striking photographs that wouldn’t be outof place in National Geographic. She captured imagesof monks in the Himalayas, a trio of girls inZanzibar, the impoverished residents of a SouthAfrican township—using her camera not as a wayto distance herself, but as a link to the peoplearound her.Tanya WilliamsSPRING 20091

01-03WCMspring09toc4/17/092:28 PMPage 2Child-centeredtreatment in asupportiveenvironmentTHE WEILL CORNELL CENTER FORP E D I AT R I C O T O L A R Y N G O L O G YShe’s four years old. She’s waiting for a hearing test, and she’d like to romp arounda little. He’s not quite a year old and his ear aches, and all he wants is to do is nestle into his mother’s shoulder until the pain goes away. She’s sixteen and her tonsilsare acting up again, but she’s got the SATs on Saturday and needs to feel better.This spring, when the Weill Cornell Center for Pediatric Otolaryngology opens in a newly renovated spacein the Oxford Building, they will each find a practice that is entirely child-centered—with a waiting room whereplaying is part of the experience and doctors who treat ear, nose, and throat ailments both common and complex. As part of a 1 million initiative in the Discoveries That Make a Difference campaign, the Medical Collegeplans to create a world-class center in pediatric otolaryngology, the first of its kind in New York City.Robert Ward, MD, and Max April, MD, were recruited to the Department of Otorhinolaryngology becausethey are innovators who have shaped their careers around developing better treatments for children. Almost adecade ago, Ward and April looked long and hard at the way tonsillectomies were performed, seeking a surgical method that was less painful and allowed children to heal faster. They were early proponents of the partialor intracapsular technique and contributed to the literature establishing the new procedure. At the time, manywere leery of the concept. “Now it’s a standard of care,” says April, professor of clinical otorhinolaryngologyand pediatrics, an expert in pediatric sinus disease as well as the treatment of head and neck masses andobstructive sleep apnea. “Ours has been a journey of discovery and that’s what it will continue to be at theCenter,” says Ward, professor of otorhinolaryngology and pediatrics, who has played an important role in thedevelopment of innovative surgical techniques for airway reconstruction. He also travels to Central and SouthAmerica to perform pro bono cleft lip and palate surgery.Both physicians were drawn to Weill Cornell because it gave them a chance to work with residents andmedical students and to establish a fellowship to train the next generation of pediatric otolaryngologists.Vikash Modi, MD, assistant professor of otorhinolaryngology and pediatrics, has joined their team. Modi hasexpertise in airway reconstructive procedures, surgical management of pediatric head and neck masses, andpediatric sinus surgery using computer-aided image guidance. The Center is also forming an aerodigestiveteam of specialists in ENT, pediatric pulmonology, and pediatric gastroenterology. “Because we did not havethis kind of practice in the area, parents and children got shuffled around to many different doctors,” Modisays. “It’s an exhausting and difficult experience.”The team also works with pediatric anesthesiologists and has access to one of the best neonatal and pediatric intensive care units in the nation. The Center will feature the latest technology including video and fiberoptic endoscopy as well as an audiology suite supporting programs of excellence in hearing loss, deafness, andspeech delay. “We know that parents would do anything for their child,” April says. “They want their child toget the very best care, and that is what drives us. It’s why we are here.”

01-03WCMspring09toc4/23/092:41 PMPage 3weillcornellmedicineTHE MAGAZINE OF WEILL CORNELL MEDICALCOLLEGE AND WEILL CORNELL GRADUATE SCHOOLOF MEDICAL SCIENCESwww.weill.cornell.eduPublished by the Office of Public AffairsWeill Cornell Medical College and Weill CornellGraduate School of Medical SciencesWEILL CORNELL SENIOR ADMINISTRATORSAntonio M. Gotto Jr., MD, DPhilThe Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean,Weill Cornell Medical College; Provost forMedical Affairs, Cornell UniversityDavid P. Hajjar, PhDDean, Weill Cornell Graduate School ofMedical SciencesMyrna MannersVice Provost for Public AffairsLarry SchaferVice Provost for DevelopmentWEILL CORNELL DIRECTOR OF PUBLICATIONSMichael SellersWEILL CORNELL EDITORIAL ASSISTANTAndria Lam6SATRE STUELKEDEPARTMENTSWeill Cornell Medicine is produced by the staffof Cornell Alumni Magazine.PUBLISHERJim Roberts4 DEANS MESSAGESComments from Dean Gotto & Dean HajjarEDITORBeth SaulnierCONTRIBUTING EDITORS6 LIGHT BOXX-ray visionChris FurstAdele RobinetteSharon TregaskisEDITORIAL ASSISTANT8 SCOPEWeills fulfill 170 million pledge. Plus: A new clinicfor Haiti, Bugando’s first physicians, ortho in Doha,WCMC-Q students debate, high marks for healthinfo systems, and expert advice on weight loss andbreast cancer.Tanis FurstART DIRECTORStefanie GreenASSISTANT ART DIRECTORLisa Banlaki FrankACCOUNTING MANAGER12 TALK OF THE GOWN(Re)productive collaboration. Plus: Cop doc, neurosurgery in Africa, battling pre-eclampsia, mysteries ofthe ribosome, climbing high, kidney checklist, depression in deep space, a center for hep C, and fromRussia with love.Barbara BennettEDITORIAL AND BUSINESS OFFICES401 E. State St., Suite 301Ithaca, NY 14850(607) 272-8530; FAX (607) 272-853242 NOTEBOOKWeill Cornell Medicine (ISSN 1551-4455) isproduced four times a year by Cornell AlumniMagazine, 401 E. State St., Suite 301,Ithaca, NY 14850-4400 for Weill CornellMedical College and Weill Cornell GraduateSchool of Medical Sciences. Third-classpostage paid at New York, NY, and additionalmailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send addresschanges to Public Affairs, 525 E. 68th St.,Box 144, New York, NY 10065.News of Medical College alumni andGraduate School alumni47 IN MEMORIAMAlumni remembered48 POST-DOCPrinted by The Lane Press, South Burlington, VT.Copyright 2009. Rights for republication ofall matter are reserved. Printed in U.S.A.Essay questionSPRING 20093

04-05WCMspring09deans4/17/091:47 PMDeans MessagesPage 4‘The envelopes, please.’Antonio M. Gotto Jr.,MD, DPhil, Dean of theMedical CollegeRICHARD LOBELLResidency bound: Eva Umohlearns that she has matchedin orthopaedic surgery at theCleveland Clinic.4Rarely have I seen so many agitatedmedical students in one place—dozens of them, chomping at the bitto get to a table of envelopes in theGriffis Faculty Club during theMedical College’s annual Match Day ceremonyon March 19. I likely added to their anxiety bytaking a few moments to acknowledge this riteof passage for the physicians-to-be who wouldsoon find out where they would undertake theirresidency training. Would they be uprootingthemselves to work in a different city or remaining in New York to complete their residency hereat NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell?When the clock hit noon, Carol StoreyJohnson, MD, the senior associate dean for education, announced, “The table is yours!” Nextcame the sound of dozens of envelopes beingtorn—then a moment of silence as the studentsread their letters, followed by exclamations ofjoy as we learned that eighty-one out of ninetyone had matched to a top-fifty hospital asranked by U.S. News & World Report. Internal andtransitional medicine were the most popular specialties, with ten and eleven students, respectively, accepting appointments in those fields. Ninestudents accepted psychiatry residencies. And itWEILL CORNELL MEDICINEturns out that almost half the students are staying in the New York metropolitan area, twentyone of them at Weill Cornell.Some 15,000 medical students around theworld were participating in Match Day at thatmoment—including the seventeen graduatingmembers of Weill Cornell Medical College inQatar, albeit electronically. I’m told that insteadof ripping envelopes, the dominant sound wasthat of computer mice clicking to open e-mailsthat contained their matches. It turns out that allbut three of the students will be coming to theU.S. for residency, four of them at Weill Cornell.I like to think that Match Day isn’t just aboutresidency placement, but a time when all doctorspause to think about the reasons why they wentinto medicine, and perhaps about their ownMatch Day ceremony. At some point during yourresidency, you begin to recognize the enormityof your commitment to a life in medicine.As we turned to leave after the ceremony, Inoticed one student alone in the corner with acell phone pressed to his ear. Tears were streaming down his face. “Mom, I did it,” I heard himsay. “I got the match. I really am going to be adoctor!”What more needs to be said?

04-05WCMspring09deans4/17/091:47 PMPage 5By the NumbersSSymposium. The symposium, honoring the lateNobel laureate Dr. Vincent du Vigneaud, formerhead of the Department of Biochemistry at WeillCornell Medical College, is a Graduate Schooltradition dating back to 1981. The presentationof student research through posters and oral presentations is an opportunity for students andfaculty to exchange ideas across disciplines.We are, of course, overwhelmingly proud ofall of our programs of study and very grateful toour faculty and students, whose hard work madethis possible.David P. Hajjar, PhD,Dean of the GraduateSchool of Medical SciencesLab work: MD-PhD studentGabrielle Rizzuto at the bench.For a full story on the MD-PhDprogram, see page 36.JOHN ABBOTTeven cutting-edge programs of study.More than 250 world-renownedresearch faculty members. More than 200 million in research funding.Two of the finest medical institutionsin the world.Here at the Weill Cornell Graduate School ofMedical Sciences of Cornell University, the numbers bear out what we have long known—greatpeople come here to accomplish great things.And outside our labs and classrooms, the globalhigher education community has also takennotice.The Weill Cornell Graduate School comprisesfaculty from the Weill Cornell Medical College andthe Sloan-Kettering Institute. And in a series ofrankings recently released by the Chronicle of HigherEducation, all of the Graduate School programswere rated in the top ten in the nation.Our Biochemistry and Structural Biology program was ranked number one, besting suchschools as Baylor and New York University.Chaired by Frederick Maxfield, PhD, and NikolaPavletich, PhD, the program has focused itsresearch on understanding the roles of varioussignaling pathways in cancer, atherosclerosis, andinflammation; the role of defective DNA repair incancer predisposition; and the link betweendefective protein folding and diseases such asAlzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.Three other programs—Molecular Biology,Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis, andPharmacology—all ranked in the top five amongthe listed institutions. Our Physiology programranked sixth; the Cell Biology and Genetics program ranked eighth; and the Neuroscience program ranked tenth.To determine the rankings, the Chronicle ofHigher Education studied the Graduate School’sfaculty members, focusing on their productivityas determined by the number of peer-reviewedpublications, citations of journal articles, federalgrant dollars awarded, and honors and awardsreceived.These most recent accolades come at a time ofgreat growth and development at the GraduateSchool. For example, Francis Lee, MD, PhD, washonored at the White House in December 2008as a recipient of the Presidential Early CareerAward for Scientists and Researchers. Dr. Lee, afaculty member in our pharmacology program,was recognized for work that could lead to thefirst-ever diagnostic test to guide the treatmentfor depression.This summer, Weill Cornell graduate studentsare organizing the annual du Vigneaud ResearchSPRING 20095

06-07WCMspring9lightbox4/17/091:48 PMLight BoxInside look: Using a CT scanner, third-year medical studentSatre Stuelke creates imagesand animations of commonobjects—toys, food, and electronics—that reveal startlinginner lives. Stuelke, who had aprevious career as a professorat Manhattan’s School ofVisual Arts, takes the hundreds of slices from the scansand assigns different colors tothe various densities. Here, ashot of a remote-controlleddog shows its motor mechanism and the levers that wagits tail and move its head. Hisother toy images, which canbe found in his online galleryat www.radiologyart.com,include a Barbie doll, a stuffedbunny, and a wind-up car.6WEILL CORNELL MEDICINEPage 6

06-07WCMspring9lightbox4/17/091:48 PMPage 7Want fries with that?: Stuelke’s image of a Big Mac is part of aforay into McDonald’s cuisine that includes Chicken McNuggets anda Filet-O-Fish sandwich. “Note the sesame seed bun, pickles, specialsauce, and cheese all readily visualized within the box,” he says.“Interestingly, spots of glue can be seen holding the tabs of thepackaging.”Apple’s core: In his scan of an early clamshell iBook, the Apple logocan be seen upside-down through the screen. Also on view are thebatteries, hard drive, CD-ROM, wireless antenna, and more.SPRING 20097

08-11WCMspring09scope4/17/09Scope1:49 PMPage 8Weills Fulfill Pledge With 170 Million GiftThe Weill Challenge will encourage other donorsNews Briefsto support the College’s new research buildingForemost benefactors:Sanford and Joan WeillRICHARD LOBELLTo boost the Medical College’s 1.3 billion Discoveries That Make a Difference capital campaignduring the difficult economy, benefactors Joan and Sanford Weill have fulfilled their pledgewith a 170 million cash payment. Of that gift, 15 million will be applied to research collaborations between the Ithaca and New York campuses, and to the Weill Institute for Celland Molecular Biology. The Weills made the cash payment at the request of Cornell presidentDavid Skorton, MD, and Board of Trustees chairman Peter Meinig. “The Weills are fully aware that philanthropy—now, more than ever—is critical to the advancement of Weill Cornell and its research enterprise,” says Skorton. “As such, they enthusiastically agreed.”The Weills have also offered a unique challenge: for each 1.50 given to support the College’s newresearch building, 1 of the Weills’ gift will be allocated. The Weill Challenge is meant to encourage otherdonors by making naming opportunities more accessible. For example, a donor giving 150,000 to thebuilding project would have a naming opportunity equal to a gift of 250,000. The Challenge will raiseup to 203 million in additional gifts to support the building, a 650 million, sixteen-floor facility scheduled to break ground this year on East 69th Street between York and First avenues.“The world has changed in the past six months,” says Sanford Weill, chairman of the Board ofOverseers and a 1955 graduate of the Ithaca campus. “In order to ensure that the research building project moves forward, we decided to make our gift available to other donors who may be holding back. It isour hope that this decision will encourage everyone to join us in support of superior medical education,first-class research, and superb clinical care.”The Weills’ pledge, originally made in 2007 as a bequest to the University, is believed to be the largestsingle gift ever made to an American medical school. To date, the Weills and their family foundationhave given more than 500 million to Cornell. “We are enormously greatful to Joan and Sandy Weill foreverything they have done for Weill Cornell Medical College,” says Dean Antonio Gotto, MD, “helpingput this institution on the map for innovation and biomedical discovery and fulfilling our mission topromote healing here in New York and around the globe.”8WEILL CORNELL MEDICINE

08-11WCMspring09scope4/23/092:42 PMPage 9Clinic in Haiti Named forWarren JohnsonNearly forty years ago, Weill Cornell professor Warren Johnson, MD, mentored JeanPape, a medical student from Haiti. Pape,MD ’75, went on to become a major force inpublic health in his native country, initiallybattling infant mortality and childhood diarrhea. At the dawn of the HIV epidemic, heand Johnson were among the founders ofGHESKIO, an organization devoted to thestudy of AIDS and other illnesses such astuberculosis and typhoid. (In French, theacronym stands for the Haitian Group forthe Study of Kaposi’s Sarcoma andOpportunistic Infections.) In February, the B.H. Kean Professor of Tropical Medicine washonored at a ceremony dedicatingGHESKIO’s new clinic, the Warren D.Johnson Jr. Medical Center. “You guided mycareer as a young physician,” Pape told himat the ceremony, “gave me the opportunityto train in your lab as an infectious disease fellow, and supported wholeheartedlymy determination to return to Haiti and make a difference in my own country.”Part of the organization’s Institute of Infectious Diseases and Public Health,the new facility is located in northern Port-au-Prince, about thirty minutes fromthe original GHESKIO clinic, still in operation. In addition to its medical mission,the nonprofit has developed social programs in such fields as nutrition, victimcounseling, and microcredit. “The GHESKIO team has persevered through adversity and thrived,” Johnson says. “We were told many times over the years that itcouldn’t be done, let alone be done in Haiti. But it was done, and often for thefirst time anywhere. It has been my joy, my honor, to participate in this vision.”PIXELLE PHOTOGRAPHYOrtho Partnership for WCMC-QStudents at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar will now have access to clinical facilities for orthopaedic care, thanks to an agreement between the MedicalCollege and ASPETAR, Qatar’s fifty-bed hospital for orthopaedics and sports medicine. The arrangement will complement WCMC-Q’s existing agreement with its teaching hospital,Hamad Medical Corporation, says Dean Antonio M. Gotto Jr., who calls it “welcome evidence of thegrowing relationship between the United States and the Islamic world.”PROVIDEDBugando Campus Graduates First DoctorsLast November, Weill Bugando University College of Health Sciences inTanzania celebrated the graduationof its inaugural class of nine physicians in a ceremony that featuredremarks by Tanzanian presidentJakaya Kikwete. Degrees were alsogranted to the 135 members of WeillBugando’s paramedical programs:assistant medical officers, nurses, laband pharmacy technicians, radiographers, and nurse-anesthetists. Justfour years old, the African collegenow has nearly 300 medical students and a total enrollment of 800.PIXELLE PHOTOGRAPHYTropical medicine: On hand tomark the opening of theWarren D. Johnson Jr. MedicalCenter were (from left) itsnamesake; Alain Mérieux, CEOof the French medical diagnostics company bioMérieux,whose late son Rodolphe washonored with the naming of aGHESKIO lab; Jean Pape, MD’75; and Andrew Schafer, MD,chairman of the Weill CornellDepartment of Medicine.SPRING 20099

08-11WCMspring09scope4/17/091:49 PMPage 10ScopeTIP OF THE CAP TO. . .Adam Cheriff, MD, named WeillCornell’s chief medical informationofficer, and Curtis Cole, MD ’94,named its chief information officer.Public health professor Oliver Fein,MD, a former Robert Wood JohnsonHealth Policy Fellow, winner of theprogram’s inaugural Alumni Awardfor Excellence in Promoting andAdvancing Health Policy.Microbiology professor WilliamHolloman, PhD, named a fellow ofthe American Association for theAdvancement of Science.Pathology postdoc Brian Lamon,PhD, recipient of a 100,000 biomedical research fellowship from theHartwell Foundation.Pharmacology professor Francis Lee,MD, PhD, winner of a PresidentialEarly Career Award, the WhiteHouse’s highest honor for young scientists, for his work on the molecular mechanisms of depression.Microbiology and immunologychairman Carl Nathan, MD, winnerof Germany’s Robert Koch Award forhis research into the mechanisms ofantibacterial infection defense.Larry Schafer, Weill Cornell viceprovost for development/NewYorkPresbyterian Hospital vice presidentfor development, elected chairman ofthe steering committee of theAmerican Association of MedicalColleges’ Group on InstitutionalAdvancement.MD-PhD candidates Fatima Soliman,Dennis Spencer, and Tanya Williams,winners of United Negro CollegeFund/Merck Institute for ScienceEducation Fellowships.Urologist Ashutosh Tewari, MD,awarded the Cutlers’ Surgical Prizeby the Worshipful Company ofCutlers of London, an organizationdedicated to the craft of cuttinginstruments that traces its roots to acharter from King Henry V.10WEILL CORNELL MEDICINEWCMC-Q Students Up for DebateAt the World Universities Debating Championships in Ireland last winter, there were teamsfrom two Cornell campuses: Ithaca and Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. It was thefirst time that schools from the Middle East participated in the competition, held atUniversity College Cork. Billed as the world’s largest academic event, it drew students frommore than forty countries for eight days of debates. During the event, the Ithaca and Dohateams had time to socialize and discuss potential plans for an annual debate between theircampuses.Stanton Gives 50 Million for Cancer CareHospital trustee Ronald Stanton has given 50 million to support clinical cancer care atNewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The gift will support the purchase of state-of-the-art radiation therapy equipment, the creation of a new infusion center,and the recruitment of top cancer specialists. “A diagnosis of cancer can be devastating forpatients and their families,” says NYPH president Herbert Pardes, MD. “This remarkable giftwill help our hospital keep its promise to provide the best available treatments in a comforting and compassionate environment.” Stanton is the founder and chairman of TransammoniaInc., a firm that trades in fertilizers, liquefied petroleum gas, and petrochemicals.Kudos for New York’s Health Info SystemsAccording to a review by Weill Cornell researchers, the health information technology programs that New York State implemented two years ago are all still functioning and runningoptimally—and could serve as models for federal initiatives. Such systems, they report inHealth Affairs, have the potential to improve quality of care and efficiency while loweringcosts. New York State has invested 390 million in its health information infrastructure, creating a way for doctors to share patient records through a statewide network. “Programssuch as these could transform the way health care is delivered nationally and locally,” saysassociate professor of public health Rainu Kaushal, MD. The federal government is set toinvest 19 billion in health information technology under the economic stimulus plan.Books on Battling Weight, Breast CancerRandom House has published The Skinny: On LosingWeight Without Being Hungry by medicine professorand weight-loss expert Louis Aronne, MD, with AlisaBowman. Aronne, director of the ComprehensiveWeight Control Program at NYPH/WCMC, offersadvice on such issues as feeling full on fewer caloriesand stopping the cycle of weight loss and gain, as wellas which medications and conditions are likely tocause weight gain. The book has been endorsed byDavid Letterman, whose heart condition Aronne diagnosed; the physician has since appeared on his showas a regular guest.Also, clinical associate professor of medicineYashar Hirshaut, MD, and clinical professor of surgeryPeter Pressman, MD, have published a fifth edition oftheir book, Breast Cancer: The Complete Guide. The volume, which first came out in 1992, was written forwomen who have or are concerned about gettingbreast cancer. It is organized in four sections: “FromSuspicion to Diagnosis,” “Treatment,” “After Treatment,” and “Life After Cancer.” The book wonthe American Medical Writers Association’s RoseKushner Award for achievement in writing aboutbreast cancer.

4/17/091:49 PMPage 11FROM THE BENCHHIV Drug Proven EffectiveDue to rapid mutations, HIV can quickly become resistantto entire classes of medication. But as medicine professor Roy Gulick, MD, has shown, a new drug called maraviroc can successfully suppress the virus. Thedrug—which the FDA approved in August 2007—acts noton the virus itself but on the human T-cell, binding to itin a way that prevents the spread of HIV. According toGulick, director of Weill Cornell’s HIV Clinical Trials Unit,many patients whose current drugs have failed canregain control of their HIV infection with a combinationof maraviroc and other antiretrovirals. The results of aPhase III multicenter trial of 1,049 patients withadvanced, drug-resistant HIV were published in the NewEngland Journal of Medicine in October. “This is animportant step forward,” says Gulick, the study’s principalinvestigator.Technique Eases ProstateSurgery PainA new device has been found preferable to the standardcatheter following prostate cancer surgery, according to astudy led by urology professor Ashutosh Tewari, MD,director of robotic prostatectomy. The approach avoidsthe use of a catheter, instead rerouting urine directlyfrom the bladder with a small needle, implanted belowthe gut, which also supports the internal urinary structures as the patient heals. “The results are very excitingbecause through this new technology, we are able tocontinually improve on the robotic surgical option thathas already given men a high rate of continence and sexual function,” says Tewari, whose work was published inthe British Journal of Urology International in October.His study followed thirty patients implanted with thenew device and twenty with the standard penile catheter.Strong Surgical Options forDetached RetinasRetinal detachment—a condition that puts some 10,000Americans at risk for vision loss or blindness eachyear—has become highly treatable, thanks to the development of several surgical techniques. According to areview published in the New England Journal of Medicineby ophthalmologist-in-chief Donald D’Amico, MD, surgeons now have three options for reattaching the retina:scleral buckling (a piece of silicone is inserted to restorecontact between retina and eyeball), pneumaticretinopexy (a gas bubble is injected to close the break),and vitrectomy (vitreous gel, a typical cause of detachment, is removed). “No matter which procedure thesurgeon chooses,” D’Amico says, “there is a good chancetoday that a patient’s retina can be reattached and hisor her vision preserved.”A Test for Breast CancerMetastasis?Weill Cornell investigators led by clinical pathology professor Joan Jones, MD, are working to develop a tissuetest that could help predict the likelihood of breastcancer metastasis. The test—an immunostain to judgethe density of three cell types associated with metastasis—could change the way the cancer is treated andspare some patients expensive and debilitating procedures like radiation and chemotherapy. “If patients canbe better classified as either low risk or high risk

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