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Translational Research is Alive and Well at VCU

For many, the solutions to our most complex disease problems — cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, to name a few — remain painfully elusive. Why, in the era of the Human Genome Project, modern molecular biology and genetics and incredibly detailed scans of our innermost regions, do these conditions defy our attempts to understand and cure them?

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As a physician-investigator of chronic brain diseases, I have felt the frustration of watching many of my patients — all of them innocents — lose control over their bodies and minds. All the while I realized that we know so much about the cellular problems in their brains but have so few therapies to offer. And there are thousands like me who study the diseases of man with the hope that more knowledge means better treatments and less suffering to patients and families.

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Clinical Research: Conducting a Trial

conducting - abstract paintingPhoto Credit:Luciano Lozano/Ikon/Corbis

Before Edward Chu entered his fourth year at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, he took a 12-month sabbatical to launch his first clinical trial. He wanted to evaluate whether patients using an anti-blood-clotting drug, usually to prevent heart attacks, should stop before general surgery. He thought that if he dedicated himself to the project for 12 months, he could wrap up any loose ends before he graduated in 2013. That was optimistic, to say the least. Chu admits that his goal — to recruit 200 patients, half of whom would continue taking the drug before surgery while the other half discontinued it — was ambitious for a year-long project. His adviser offered guidance throughout, but the day-to-day logistics were up to Chu.

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Eric Juengst Featured on UNC's Real Doctors, Real People

Eric Juengst, PhD, directs the UNC Center for Bioethics. He also makes armor. Yep, the kind knights would wear while protecting their king's domain.

This month's video is different, and I think you'll really like it. First, unlike most of our previous profiles to date, Eric Juengst, is not a medical doctor. Instead, he holds a PhD.

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