Researcher seeks drug to fight painful condition
An Upstate researcher is testing drugs to treat shingles, a painful skin rash caused by the varicella zoster virus. Jennifer Moffat, PhD, is working with a Connecticut company called NanoViricides to find an antiviral drug that’s safe and effective for clinical trials. “Using nanoparticles to target viruses is an innovative approach, and we’re eager to collaborate on this project,” said Moffat, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology.
For a podcast/radio interview with Moffat about shingles and her work, click here.
Total knee replacement has robotic assistance
Robert Sherman, MD, performed the region’s first total knee replacement using the Mako robotic-assisted surgery system, in February. His patient was discharged to home rehabilitation two days after surgery. The surgeon-controlled robotic-arm system allows for more precise alignment and positioning of implants to achieve greater accuracy than through conventional surgery. “More precise alignment of the implant means less wear and tear, less initial pain and greater lifespan of the implant,” Sherman said. Upstate has used the Mako system for partial knee and hip replacements since late 2014, but the Food and Drug Administration only recently approved the system for total knee replacements.
Upstate recognized by 2 national organizations
— The national ALS Association and its Upstate New York chapter certified Upstate’s ALS Research and Treatment Center as a Treatment Center of Excellence. This signifies that the center exhibits the highest levels of established national standards of care in the management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. In addition, the national association and local chapter both awarded separate grants of $25,000 each to benefit patient care. Upstate treats nearly 185 patients with ALS from throughout Central New York.
— Upstate was named a National Pancreas Foundation Center for Care and Treatment of Pancreas Disease, one of only 37 medical institutions nationwide and the only one in New York outside of New York City.
State awards HIV grant
The state Department of Health awarded Upstate a five-year $1 million grant to support Upstate’s newly created program to keep vulnerable populations free of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Charity run makes donation to fight childhood cancer
Chris Arnold, Ellen Yeomans and members of the Paige’s Butterfly Run Committee presented a check early this year for $232,000, money raised from the 2016 run named in honor of their daughter, Paige Yeomans Arnold.
Paige’s Butterfly Run has raised more than $2.5 million in 20 years to support pediatric cancer research and patient and family services at the Waters Center for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders at the Upstate Cancer Center and Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. The money goes into a permanent endowment established with the Upstate Foundation.
This year’s run is June 3 in downtown Syracuse. Learn more about it here.
This article appears in the spring 2017 issue of Upstate Health magazine.