Volume III, Issue 9: June 2011


Researchers find link between environment, genetics in triggering MS

Dr. Michael Demetriou
Dr. Michael Demetriou, neurologist

Environmental and inherited risk factors associated with multiple sclerosis — previously poorly understood and not known to be connected — converge to alter a critical cellular function linked to the chronic neurologic disease, researchers with the UC Irvine Multiple Sclerosis Research Center have discovered. The findings suggest that a unifying mechanism may be responsible for multiple sclerosis and point to therapies personalized according to genetic factors. "MS results from complex interactions between an individual's genetics and his or her environment," said study leader Dr. Michael Demetriou, a UCI neurologist and associate director of the Multiple Sclerosis Research Center. "Defining how these come together to induce the disease is critical for developing a cure."

MS finding »

California economic climate sunnier than thought

David Neumark
David Neumark, economics professor

Location, location, location. That's what economics professor David Neumark says is key to understanding how California's economy has managed to stay in line with or surpass the national growth average, despite the Golden State's less than favorable rankings in popular business climate indexes. In a study released in April by the Public Policy Institute of California, Neumark and his co-authors found that non-policy factors such as weather, geography and industry mix more accurately predict a state’s economic growth than traditional business index measures, which focus on productivity and tax policy.

Neumark study»

Oncologist launches journal on care of young patients

Dr. Leonard S. Sender
Dr. Leonard S. Sender, oncologist

A new effort led by a UCI oncologist seeks to improve cancer survival rates for adolescents and young adults. Dr. Leonard S. Sender has long advocated changing the approach oncologists take with patients and survivors between 15 and 39. Now he and like-minded colleagues have launched the Journal of Adolescent & Young Adult Oncology, a peer-reviewed publication with Sender as editor-in-chief that focuses attention on this underserved population. It's the official journal of the newly formed Society for Adolescent & Young Adult Oncology.

Oncology journal »

Flu Fighter: Physicist works on faster way to ID viruses

Zuzanna Siwy
Zuzanna Siwy, physicist

When Zuzanna Siwy was growing up in Poland, she suffered often from the flu. "I was one of the wimpy children," jokes the physics & astronomy associate professor. That childhood misery motivated her to become a scientist on the hunt for influenza and other viruses. She has attracted considerable notice for her work developing techniques that could lead to faster, cheaper ways of identifying infectious agents, so that treatment can begin sooner.

Research goes viral »