New research unlocks a mystery of albinism

A team led by Brown University biologists has discovered the way in which a specific genetic mutation appears to lead to the lack of melanin production underlying a form of albinism.

Cliatt named VP for communications

Cass Cliatt, currently vice president for communications at Franklin & Marshall College, has been appointed vice president for communications at Brown University. Cliatt will begin her work at Brown April 1, 2015, succeeding Marisa Quinn.

Molecular decoys help overcome drug resistance

Efflux pumps are surface proteins that prevent antimicrobial drugs from getting a foothold in a bacterial cell by identifying and pumping them out of the cell. New research suggests that small pieces of those drugs could keep the efflux pumps busy and allow the antimicrobial drugs to reach a critical mass inside the cell.

New technique reveals immune cell motion through variety of tissues

Neutrophils, cells recruited by the immune system to fight infection, need to move through a great variety of tissues. New research shows how neutrophils move through confined spaces in the body. A new system can mimic tissues of different densities and stiffness, enabling improved development and testing of drugs.
Big Data v. cancer

Algorithm identifies networks of genetic changes across cancers

Cancers often involve far more than a genetic mutation acting alone. Multiple mutations, many of which are rare, may occur in different networks of multiple genes. HotNet2 is a powerful algorithm that analyzes genes at the network level and can help cancer researchers search for genetic associations and likely sources of disease across almost unimaginable genetic complexities.

Racial and ethnic gaps narrow for acute care

A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that in 2010 compared to 2005, racial and ethnic disparities in the quality of U.S. hospital care for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia shrank considerably as more acute care patients of all races received recommended treatments.
 
Ferguson evidence

Med students’ site translates Ferguson medical jargon

A group of nine Brown University medical students has posted lay translations of the medical evidence considered by the grand jury in the Michael Brown/Ferguson, Mo., case. The effort to provide a straightforward simplification of the jargon is meant to make the information more publicly accessible.
Viewpoint

Essay argues for Obamacare employer mandate

In a new “Viewpoint” article in JAMA, Dr. Eli Adashi and a Harvard colleague argue that the Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide health insurance for good reasons. The authors caution against the likely alternatives if the mandate, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2015, were to be repealed.

Chernow named executive VP for finance and administration

Barbara D. Chernow, currently senior vice president for administration at Stony Brook University, has been appointed executive vice president for finance and administration at Brown University. Chernow will begin her duties March 1, 2015, succeeding Elizabeth Huidekoper.