Research

Kafui Dzirasa; Nenad Bursac

Like a team in a science fiction movie, the six-lab squad funded by a 2017 MEDx Biomedical research grant is striking in its combination of diverse skills and duties.

Cara O’Brien, MD

With sepsis, time is of the essence. Left untreated, the illness—a runaway immune response to infection—can quickly become life-threatening. Duke hospital medicine physician Cara O’Brien, MD, is partnering with the Duke Institute for Health Innovation to lead a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, and biostatisticians that is using data science to rapidly identify at-risk patients, speed treatment, and improve outcomes.

fluorescent_dye

Researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute are teaming up with several other institutions to develop a fluorescent dye that is injected into cancerous tumors and lights up when viewed under a special camera. This allows surgeons to see if residual cancer remains after the tumor has been removed.

Regeneration Next

“One day, patients will have access to regenerative medicine treatments that will circumvent the complications of organ donation,” says Sharlini Sankaran, PhD, executive director of Duke’s Regeneration Next Initiative. “We will be able to use our bodies’ own innate repair mechanisms to eliminate the wait time, cost, and limited supply of organ transplantation. Instead of transplanting organs, we will know how to repair our own.”

mongolia research

The fortified Toyota Land Cruiser slipped and bounced in the muddy hollows of the rain-drenched Mongolian steppe. The driver, a native Mongolian man named Inka who spoke little English, slowly engineered the vehicle along what just two days earlier was a dusty pair of dirt tracks.

Mimicking the Placental Barrier

The United States has one of the highest rates of preterm birth—up to 10 percent of all pregnancies—in the world. And many pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia, which contributes to preterm birth, are associated with abnormal placental development.

MedX

According to Google Maps, the walking distance between Duke University School of Medicine and the Pratt School of Engineering is 0.8 miles, or about 1,800 steps. You can cover it in less than 15 minutes.

Listening to Blood

Small vessel vasculitis—inflammation of the small blood vessels—appears as a stain of tiny, red dots covering the skin that, depending on the severity, can evolve into painful pustules or ulcers.  In some patients, it may even reflect inflammation in internal organs.

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