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Follow the news and meet the people behind IMRIC's innovative medical research.

Grab a Tissue and Roar for Science

Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock performs Katy Perry's Roar

Last month I wrote about a viral video created in an Israeli hospital to inform people to wash their hands. I thought the video was a great way to promote hygiene and really showed the hospitals commitment to patients and people just like me.

Once again, I have stumbled upon another viral video, but this one really pulls at the heartstrings. If you haven’t seen this posted on your friend’s Facebook page already, then please let me be the first to share this with you. It is a sweet cover of the popular Katy Perry song, “Roar.” What makes it so sweet? The cover includes both children and staff at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Children’s Hospital.

It’s hard to watch it all the way through and not tear-up worse than those silly romantic-comedies you swear you will never see again. The children, of all ages, are adorable and you can see the staff’s love for their patients. For me, it is a reminder of the profound purpose of innovative research. Once again, it is the students and teachers at IMRIC, working away in their labs, that will eventually contribute breakthrough science and cures, for children just like those in this video.

A few months ago I sat with 25-year-old PhD Student Muhannad Abu-Remalieh discussing his research on cancer cell metabolism. He talked about his passion for the science, as all the students I meet with always do. He also talked about the unique experience of applying his research to actual patients since IMRIC has the privilege to work with Hadassah Hospital on-campus.

Not only is this vital to the research, but for students like Muhannad, they are able to realize time and time again how important their research is for people here and all over the world. Researchers understand the end result of their studies, and it is more than notes in a notebook or what is on the other side of the microscope; but, the clarity of knowing their work is truly changing lives.

Grab a tissue and watch the video and then check out IMRIC’s research that will hopefully give these children another thing to sing about, outside hospital walls.

Understanding Stem Cells

What is a stem cell

I stumbled upon this incredible new educational project informing people about stem cells. Often readers like you and me can’t wrap our heads around scientific research because of the complicated investigations and language that scientists speak in.

With the help of the Stem Cell Network Public Outreach Award, these researchers decided to break down the science in a series of animated videos to answer basic questions, in about one-minute.

Below check out some of these Stem Cell Shorts, with special guest narration by Canadian stem cell researcher, Dr. Jim Till of the University of Toronto, Dr. Janet Rossant and Dr. Mick Bhatia.  And make sure to spread the knowledge by sharing this blog post with your friends. 

What is a stem cell? Narrated by Dr. Jim Till from Stem Cell Network on Vimeo.

To check out more click here

Back to the basics: Washing our Hands

hand washing

While the IMRIC researchers are working on the latest breakthroughs in medical research, there’s always the simple known facts of how to stay healthy that the rest of us know about. One of these main issues is simply washing your hands.

Good hygiene is often taken for granted today, what with all the cleaning products, sanitizers and good smelling soaps; but there are still many people who forget the basics along the way. Here in Israel there has been a new push for washing your hands since the recent outbreak of polio in the sewage system. Since the disease is lurking in the water, most Israelis have now vaccinated their children with the live virus, which means you must be extra careful because it could spread if precautionary measures are not taken seriously.

A simple way to contract any disease is not taking care of your hygiene.  We learned as young children to wash our hands with soap and water, but somehow along the way, people have forgotten about it. Research has reported that up to one million deaths could be prevented annually by washing our hands. 

So to help remind us of the simple yet extremely effective technique, the doctors and nurses at a hospital in Jerusalem decided to take measures into their own hands, cleaned with soap and water, of course. They produced a music video to encourage the public to take action, and what do you know it went viral. I wanted to share it with you and even though it is in Hebrew you can understand the message loud and clear with just he visual production. Stay clean and stay healthy.

 

Vlog #1: Muhannad Abu Remaileh, IMRIC PhD Student

Blog: Student
By: Muhannad Abu Remaileh

I am very excited to share my current research on cancer cell metabolism and pancreatic cancer. Here at IMRIC, In my lab's investigations we're trying to understand the alterations in the metabolism of the cancer cells in order to target them specifically. With pancreatic cancer, our group of researchers focuses on trying to uncover new tumor suppressor pathways and mechanisms, in order to get a better understanding for this mysterious and fatal type of cancer. My goal is to innovate new approaches for better prognosis and treatment of cancer. I hope you enjoy my vlog post and can get an idea of the incredible work we are doing. 

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For more on Muhannad's lab and research click here.

 

Dying of Dementia

Degenerative Diseases

Over the last few years I watched my friend struggle to take care of her mother who was diagnosed with dementia. Although she was busy raising her new baby, she had decided to take care of her mother as well, moving her closer to her home.

At times it seemed the baby was easier to take care of than her mother. After all, emotionally this was the woman who raised her, and now after many years, she the daughter began to take full control. And as her family grew from one baby to two, her mother’s memory loss grew too. Simple conversations became difficult. Time needed to be better managed. Emotions contained.

I watched from the outside, never saying anything. But it did remind me of my grandmother who too suffered from dementia. It brought me back to a conversation I had with her once over the phone when I was seven, which would end up being a few years before she died. She kept confusing me with my brother, repeating everything she said. I thought, at the time, she was being silly, but later my parents explained to me what was really going on.

Many years have passed since my grandmother died. My friend’s mother died this week. The sad stories have similarities since the disease takes over your mind. Dementia can affect basic functioning making the easiest of activities hard. I know there were days where my uncle said my grandmother lost things, or she refused to leave the house, but couldn’t be left alone. I don’t know what it was like for my friend, but I can only imagine.

Dementia affects us all. We all know someone or a story about it. I know the emotional side and the personal experience. I also know the scientific side working on breakthroughs and hopefully a cure for degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and many others. While I have the memory of my grandmother’s last difficult years, I also have the experience of meeting with IMRIC researchers and their students as their investigations show true progress in the race for a cure.

I know that while my friend deals with her loss, the scientists are gaining more and more knowledge through their innovative research to hopefully give our stories a happier ending. 

To learn more about IMRIC research click here.