Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 29.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Stephen Poole BRC Clinical Research Fellow from the Southampton Southampton, UK MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Our understanding of how the emergence of COVID 19 (SARS-CoV-2) has effected existing seasonal respiratory viruses, like influenza or common cold viruses, is limited. Many labs stopped or reduced their testing for these other respiratory viruses during the first epidemic peak as healthcare providers were trying to save resources for COVID-19 testing. We know that the viruses in circulation prior to COVID caused a lot of exacerbations of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) but it is unclear whether this is the case with SARS-CoV-2. The aims of our study were to measure the impact of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 on other respiratory viruses and to compare the patterns of illness. Our group in Southampton, UK led by Dr Tristan Clark were uniquely positioned to be able to do this. We have run 3 large trials in the last 5 winters which have tested for a wide range of respiratory viruses all in the same group of patients: adults arriving in hospital with a recent onset respiratory illness. We use this to compare the proportion of tests which were positive in the height of the COVID pandemic (March-May) with the same time period in previous years. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 29.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gizem Kilic MSc, PhD Candidate} Radboud University Medical Center Department of Internal Medicine Laboratory of Experimental Internal Medicine Nijmegen MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Having emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019, novel coronavirus infection 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) has become a major health crisis affecting worldwide. Although the disease symptoms are mild in most of the cases, it is known that advanced age and co-morbidities such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases increase the risk of disease severity. Moreover, epidemiological data from different countries indicated that the mortality rate is higher in males compared to females. There are reports suggesting that some viral and bacterial infection are sex-biased; however, why males are more susceptible to develop severe COVID-19 infection has not been fully understood yet. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Sugar, Weight Research / 29.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kimber L. Stanhope PhD RD Department of Molecular Biosciences School of Veterinary Medicine University of California Dr. Bettina Hieronimus PhD Institute of Child Nutrition Max Rubner-Institut, Federal Research Institute of Nutrition and Food Karlsruhe MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Sugar consumption is associated with increased body weight and other metabolic diseases. Fructose in particular seems to be detrimental to health as it causes higher increases in blood lipids compared to glucose. Our study assessed the effects of sugar consumption on cardiometabolic risk factors. We compared the effects of consuming glucose, two different doses of fructose or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) with a non-caloric sweetener. Our subjects were healthy young individuals who drank three sweetened beverages per day over the course of two weeks. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Kidney Stones, Lancet, Stanford / 26.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Shuchi Anand M.D. M.S. Director of the Center for Tubulointerstitial Kidney Disease Stanford University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Seroprevalence (or presence of antibodies in response to SARS CoV-2) is considered by many experts to be the most complete to track the spread of COVID19 in communities. However seroprevalence studies are hard to conduct, because they require going into communities and underdoing random blood draws. Many people—especially racial and ethnic minorities, or people with underlying health conditions, or people with language barriers—may be hard to reach for these types of surveys. Plus outreach into communities is very difficult in light of the COVID19 pandemic. To mitigate this problem we worked with a random sample of 28,503 patients on hemodialysis, the vast majority of whom are covered by Medicare. They get their blood drawn monthly, as part of their routine care. Furthermore even though we used a random sample, we know that patients on dialysis are more likely to be racial and ethnic minorities, and more likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Lipids, Statins, UCSD / 26.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Lori B. Daniels, MD, MAS, FACC, FAHA Professor of Medicine Director, Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit UCSD Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center La Jolla, CA 92037-7411 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The purpose of our study was to investigate whether there is an association between the use of statin medications and COVID-19 morbidity and mortality among patients hospitalized for COVID-19. Our study investigated all patients hospitalized for treatment of COVID at a major US academic medical center during the study period. We studied patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19, and compared those who had been taking statins for at least 30 days prior to admission, with those not on statins. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, FASEB, Genetic Research / 25.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David Gurwitz, PhD Associate Professor Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry Sackler Faculty of Medicine Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv Israel MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We closely followed the news on COVID-19 epidemiology since it was declared a pandemic, and were puzzled by the low fatality rates reported in nearly all East Asian countries, even that clearly this was in part due to fast response; for example, Taiwan remains the best example for combatting the pandemic. My past research on serpins (serine protease inhibitors) made me wonder if ethnic differences in some of them are in part related to the relatively low COVID-19 morbidities and fatalities, as serine proteases, in particular TMPPRSS2, are strongly implicated in the SARS-CoV-2 respiratory track cell entry and infection. Additionally, serine proteases such as neutrophil elastase are highly implicated in inflammatory tissue damage. Guy Shapira, a graduate student of my colleague Professor Noam Shomron, examined mutation records in different ethnic groups for the entire human serpin gene family. He came up with the findings we report regarding a close correlation between national records of the frequencies of the two mutations PiZ and PiS, underlying alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, in 67 countries on the global scale, and the current COVID-19 fatalities in the same 67 countries. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cannabis, JAMA, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 25.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sarah E. Paul, BA , Graduate Student and Ryan Bogdan, PhD, Associate Professor BRAIN Lab Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO 63130 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Sarah Paul: This study was motivated by several trends in cannabis use, its legal landscape, and people's perception of risk. As more states legalize recreational cannabis use, cannabis has become more accessible as well as more potent. Over the past couple of decades, the percentage of adolescents and adults who think that cannabis use is risky or harmful has fallen substantially. Cannabis dispensaries have been reported to actually recommend cannabis to pregnant women for the treatment of pregnancy-related nausea. And finally, between 2002/2003 and 2016/2017, the percentage of women reporting cannabis use during their pregnancies rose 106%. Given these trends and the mixed literature regarding the potential consequences associated with prenatal cannabis exposure, we aimed to comprehensively examine a range of outcomes in a large, representative sample while accounting for a host of important potentially confounding covariates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA / 25.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Maria Gabriela Figueiro Longo, MD, MSc Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School, Boston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Transcranial low-level light therapy (3LT) has been shown to be effective in animal models of traumatic brain injury. Our goal was to assess the 3LT in humans with acute TBI. We tested (1) safety, and (2) any effect in the brain in a measurable way. We found positive results for both - there was no event adverse during the trial related to the 3LT; and we found some differences in the brain MRI diffusivity parameters in the patients who received light therapy compared to the sham group. The study was not powered for clinical evaluation, although there was a trend towards lower symptom burden in the treated group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, NEJM / 24.09.2020

Remarks from: Julio Rosenstock, M.D Director, Dallas Diabetes and Endocrine Center Clinical Professor of Medicine University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, TX MedicalResearch.com: Why was the study initiated / What is the background of the study? Response: Most people with type 2 diabetes, would prefer simplicity, with fewer injections than currently provided by once-daily basal insulin treatment regimens. Therefore, there is a need to continue to offer innovative treatment options to support people living with type 2 diabetes and hopefully improve their glycemic outcomes. As a once-weekly basal insulin, insulin icodec has the potential to offer a simpler, efficacious and well-tolerated treatment option thereby reducing the potential burden on people living with type 2 diabetes. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, CMAJ, Pediatrics / 23.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Melanie Leung, M.D.,C.M. candidate 2021 4th-year medical student at McGill University Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Department of Pediatrics, Montreal Children’s Hospital McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan, MD, MSc Pediatric allergist and immunologist at the MCH (Montreal Children’s Hospital) and Scientist at the Research Institute of the MUHC (McGill University Health Center) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In Canada, up to 9% of children have at least 1 food allergy. Anaphylaxis is the most severe and potential life-threatening manifestation of food allergy. Peanuts and tree nuts are the main culprits in food-induced anaphylaxis and account for most fatal cases in North America. Public awareness about peanut and nut anaphylaxis can help to prevent and to act promptly, in the case of anaphylactic reaction. However, the best timing for public awareness campaigns remained unknown, as no previous study looked at the potential association between specific times of the year, such as public holidays, and the incidence of peanut and tree nut anaphylaxis. Our aim was to evaluate the risk of peanut and tree nut-induced anaphylaxis on Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Chinese New Year, and Eid al-Adha. Data was collected from 1390 pediatric cases of peanut or nut-induced anaphylaxis across Canada (Newfoundland & Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia), from 2011 to 2020. 62% of children were boys and the median age was 5.4 years. We compared the average daily number of cases during each holiday and compared it to the rest of the year (i.e.: non-holiday period). (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs / 23.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gaurav Pandey, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences Icahn Institute of Genomics and Multiscale Biology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Given the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on people's health and lives worldwide, it is crucial to be able to accurately predict patients' outcomes, including their chances of mortality from the disease. Using the largest clinical dataset to date, and a systematical machine learning framework, the research team at Mount Sinai identified an accurate and parsimonious prediction model of COVID-19 mortality. This model was based on only three routinely collected clinical features, namely patient's age, minimum oxygen saturation over the course of their medical encounter, and type of patient encounter (inpatient vs outpatient and telehealth visits). (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, COVID -19 Coronavirus / 23.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joon Seo Lim, PhD, ELS Clinical Research Center Asan Institute for Life Sciences Asan Medical Center, Songpa-gu Seoul, Republic of Korea MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to spread at an alarming rate in all parts of the world, and screening individuals based on symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, anosmia) does not seem to be effective in sufficiently curbing the transmission of the disease. This suggests that asymptomatic individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 may be a driving force of the ongoing pandemic, but empirical evidence on this issue has been lacking because asymptomatic individuals are likely to go unnoticed unless subjected to systematic contact tracing. A large-sized outbreak of COVID-19 from a single religious group in South Korea enabled us to identify and test a large number of asymptomatic individuals with SARS-CoV-2 alongside symptomatic patients from the same cluster. (more…)
Author Interviews, Electronic Records, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 22.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hailey Miller, PhD, RN Postdoctoral Associate Duke University School of Nursing Stephen P. Juraschek, MD PhD Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Digital tools, such as the electronic medical record (EMR), are increasingly utilized to identify and recruit participants for clinical trials. These strategies offer a strong opportunity to increase recruitment yields, however, our previous work has demonstrated that patient portal users are disproportionately White, and therefore utilizing these strategies may contribute to the under-representation of Black Americans in clinical research. This study examined multiple recruitment strategies, including EMR-based strategies and other non-EMR strategies, such as community mailing, Facebook advertisement and newspaper advertisement, to understand if recruitment strategies influenced the demographic composition of trial participants. Given our previous finding that patient portal users are disproportionately White, one of our EMR-based strategies included postal mailing to individuals without a patient portal. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, ESMO, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 21.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ziad Bakouny, MD, MSc Post-doctoral research fellow Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology Dana-Farber Cancer Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected patients with cancer, with these patients unfortunately having worse outcomes than the general population. In fact, a recent report by the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium (CCC19) showed that the mortality rate in patients with cancer who develop COVID-19, at 30 days median follow-up, was 16%. Although the adverse outcomes of patients with cancer who develop COVID-19 has received much attention, few studies have thus far investigated the effects of the potential disruption to cancer care delivery caused by the pandemic. Our aim in the COVID and Cancer Outcomes Study (CCOS) was therefore to evaluate this disruption to cancer care caused by the pandemic. This is a multicenter prospective cohort study that included patients seen in the outpatient setting at the Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston during one week in March (between March 2 and March 6 2020). Data was collected 3 months before this index week and 3 months prospectively (during the first peak of the pandemic in the Northeastern United States). (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, JAMA, Sleep Disorders / 21.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Wuxiang Xie, PhD Peking University Clinical Research Institute Peking University First Hospital Beijing, China MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Dementia is one of the most common and serious disorders in later life. A strong relationship between sleep and cognitive function had been previously reported, while the relationship between sleep duration and the trajectory of cognitive decline remains unclear. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Emory, Heart Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 21.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David H. Howard, PhD Professor, Health Policy and Management Rollins School of Public Health Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Application of the False Claims Act (FCA) to medically unnecessary care is controversial, both in the courts and in the Department of Justice. Although there haven’t been many FCA suits against hospitals and physicians for performing unnecessary percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs), the suits that have occurred have been against some of the highest-volume hospitals and physicians. Some cardiologists have been sentenced to prison. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, ESMO / 21.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Guy Jerusalem MD PhD Medical Oncology, CHU Sart Tilman Liège and University of Liège Liège/BE MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: COVID-19 pandemic impacted healthcare systems globally and resulted in the interruption of usual care in many healthcare facilities exposing vulnerable cancer patients to significant risks. Our study aimed to evaluate the impact of this pandemic on cancer care worldwide. A 95 items survey was constructed and distributed worldwide by 20 oncologists from 10 of the most affected countries. 109 representatives from oncology centers in 18 countries filled out the survey between June 17 and July 14. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Education / 18.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Thomas M. Selden Director of the Division of Research and Modeling Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Rockville, Maryland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Across the United States, school districts are facing decisions about whether and how to reopen elementary and secondary schools. We conducted this study to provide evidence on the risk of severe COVID-19 among adults who are connected to schools in some way – as teachers or other school workers or as household members of school-age children or school employees. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) collects the data we used in this study as part of its longstanding Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), which is the nation’s most complete source of data on the cost and use of health care and health insurance coverage. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Immunotherapy / 18.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Wechsler, M.D., M.M.Sc. Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Dr. Wechsler is Director of the National Jewish Cohen Family Asthma Institute in Denver Colorado and principal investigator of the Dupixent® (dupilumab) Phase 3 open-label extension trial. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you briefly explain how Dupilumab differs from other medications of asthma? What are the advantages over steroids, inhalers etc.? Dupixent - Asthma Response: Asthma is a chronic, progressive disease driven in part by underlying inflammation and requires long-term control of symptoms. Over time, this chronic inflammation can lead to a decline in lung function. The Phase 3 open-label extension trial evaluated long-term safety and efficacy of Dupixent treatment in adults and adolescents with moderate-to-severe asthma who had previously participated in a controlled Dupixent clinical trial, including three pivotal trials that lasted between 24 and 52 weeks. With more than 2,200 patients enrolled, the Phase 3 LIBERTY ASTHMA TRAVERSE open-label extension trial is the largest of a biologic medicine ever conducted in asthma. Dupixent is a biologic therapy that works differently from existing therapies that treat asthma. Dupixent is a fully-human monoclonal antibody that inhibits the signaling of the interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) proteins. Data from Dupixent clinical trials have shown that interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) are key drivers of the type 2 inflammation that plays a major role in asthma. It is the only biologic to demonstrate sustained improvements in lung function and asthma exacerbations across a broad patient population with type 2 inflammation. Dupixent is not an immunosuppressant. (more…)
Author Interviews, Critical Care - Intensive Care - ICUs, Infections, PLoS / 17.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Alexandre Mebazaa Head of the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care Hôpital Lariboisiere and of the Research group MASCOT supported by Inserm and the Université de Paris (Paris, France). Prof. Mebazaa is the principle investigator of the recently published preclinical experiments on Procizumab, a potent, pre-clinical drug candidate targeting DPP3 in patients with acute mycardial depression. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What is the significance of DPP3? Response: The global burden of sepsis counts for one in three deaths world-wide. Recent findings have shown that circulating Dipeptidyl Pepidase 3 (cDPP3) is elevated in critical patients, including cardiogenic shock and septic patients, with the highest DPP3 blood levels found in non-survivors. Dipeptidyl Peptidase 3 (DPP3) is an intracellular peptidase that is released into the bloodstream upon cell injury and death, where it inactivates many circulating peptides including angiotensin II. This process likely leads to cardiac depression. Procizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody in preclinical development that targets and modulates DPP3. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the benefits of inhibiting circulating DPP3 by Procizumab in a preclinical model of sepsis-induced myocardial depression. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research / 17.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Arvin C. Dar, PhD Associate Professor Departments of Oncological Sciences & Pharmacological Sciences Tisch Cancer Institute Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Associate Director Mount Sinai Center for Therapeutic Discovery MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We were interested in better understanding the mechanism of action for the drug trametinib. We wanted to understand how the drug actually works – even though its clinically approved, the drug was a ‘serendipitous discovery’ and originally found through phenotypic screens. (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, NYU, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 16.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Aisha T. Langford, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor Department of Population Health Co-Director, CTSI Recruitment and Retention Core NYU Grossman School of Medicine NYU Langone Health New York, NY 10016 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In 2018, the American Heart Association (AHA) published an updated Scientific Statement on Resistant Hypertension. The term apparent treatment-resistant hypertension (aTRH) is used when pseudoresistance (e.g., white coat effect, medication nonadherence) cannot be excluded. The current study was designed to investigate if Black adults with aTRH, a group disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease, receive evidence-based approaches to lower blood pressure as recommended in the 2018 AHA Scientific Statement. Specifically, we studied healthy lifestyle factors including not smoking, not consuming alcohol, ≥75 minutes of vigorous-intensity or ≥150 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity per week, and body mass index <25 kg/m2; and recommended antihypertensive medication classes among US Black adults. (more…)
Addiction, Author Interviews, Cleveland Clinic, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Mental Health Research / 16.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rong Xu PhD Center for Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery, School of Medicine Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Chronic use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs is associated with cardiovascular, pulmonary, and metabolic diseases, all of which are also risk factors for COVID-19 infection and for worse outcomes. Additionally, individuals with substance use disorders are more likely to experience social adversity such as homelessness, decreased access to health care, housing insecurity among others. Based on these, we hypothesis or predict that individuals with SUD are especially vulnerable for COVID-19 infection and adverse outcomes. In our study, we found that individuals with substance use disorders, especially individuals with OUD and African Americans with SUD, as having increased risk for COVID-19 and its adverse outcomes (more…)
Author Interviews, Brain Injury, JAMA / 16.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Susan Rowell MD, MBA, MCR Associate Professor, Department of Surgery Division of Trauma, Acute & Critical Care Surgery Duke University School of Medicine Durham, NC 27710 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Tranexamic acid (TXA) has been increasingly used in trauma patients since publication of the CRASH-2 trial in 2010 demonstrated a survival benefit for patients at risk for traumatic hemorrhage. Subsequently, it was shown that the earlier TXA was administered, the better the outcome. There had been several small studies suggesting that TXA may also be beneficial in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), however, an adequate prospective randomized trial was needed. In this trial we randomized over 1000 patients with moderate and severe TBI as early as possible after injury (by paramedics in the prehospital setting an average of 42 minutes after injury) to either a 1-gram TXA bolus followed by a 1-gram 8-hour TXA infusion (the dose typically used for trauma patients), a 2-gram TXA bolus only (a logistically easier route of administration requiring no maintenance infusion), or placebo only. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Pediatrics / 16.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Irene Lara-Corrales, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto Staff physician in Pediatric Dermatology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada She is a member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.   Christina Boull, MD Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Program Director for the Advanced Dermatology Medical Student Rotation Fellowship Director for the Pediatric Dermatology Fellowship MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We got involved in this project a couple of years ago when many members of the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance's (PeDRA) Skin Tumors and Reactions to Cancer Therapies (STARC) group started seeing many patients with skin toxicities given by targeted therapies. We recognized that this was a new and growing area of skin concerns that pediatric dermatologists were starting to see. Being such a new field, and with little known about these medications, we thought it would be important to put our cases together and describe what we were seeing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Fertility, Technology / 16.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hadi Shafiee, PhD Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are some of the characteristics that AI uses to identify blastocysts witha better chance of successful implantation? Response: In-vitro fertilization (IVF), while a solution to many infertile couples is still extremely inefficient with a success rate of nearly 30% and is both mentally, physically, and economically taxing to patients. The IVF process involves the insemination of eggs and the culture of embryos externally in a fertility lab before transferring the developed embryo to the mother. A major challenge in the field is deciding on the embryos that need to be transferred during IVF, such that chances of a healthy birth are maximal and any complications for both mother and child are minimal. Currently, the tools available to embryologists when making such are extremely limited and expensive, and thus, most embryologists are required to make these life-altering decisions using only their observational skills and expertise. In such scenarios, their decision-making process is extremely subjective and tends to be variable. (more…)
Author Interviews / 14.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Mario Falchi Head of Bioinformatics for the School of Life Course Sciences Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology King’s College London MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The relationship between sun exposure and health is a double-edged sword, on one side there is the beneficial effect of vitamin D production and on the other the increased risk of skin cancer, depending on length and frequency of exposure, and on the individual skin type. Despite public health campaigns, changing sun-seeking behaviour seems to be challenging for some people, even for those with a familial or personal history of skin cancer. Previous investigations have suggested that exposure to UV could be addictive. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, HIV, JAMA, Sexual Health / 14.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gordon Mansergh, PhD Senior Behavioral Scientist CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention MedicalResearch.com: What would you say is the take home message from the study? Response: A small but notable subgroup of gay and bisexual men are sharing their PrEP medication with others. As PrEP continues to be more commonly used, it is important to better understand and address the context of PrEP sharing, and to emphasize messaging about provider monitoring of medication use over time for health and safety reasons. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco Research / 11.09.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Irfan Rahman, Ph.D. Principal Investigator. Center for Inhalation and Flavoring Toxicological Research University of Rochester MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our study aimed to determine whether vaping and smoking affect Covid-19 proteins and genes and whether that effect changes depending on the age of the vaper/smoker. SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, enters cells by interacting with ACE2 and TMPRSS2-Furin proteins. We found that both of these proteins increase with age and are also increased by smoking or vaping. This suggests that older adults, smokers and vapers may be more prone to infection with SARS-Cov-2 and may be more likely to have severe complications. (more…)