Health & Science
Ryan Lee ’03 runs a dental oncology practice with four offices in the Northeast. But for the past month he’s been leading 18 Massachusetts Army National Guard strike teams, coordinating COVID-19 testing for some of the state’s most at-risk residents.
Last August, Northwestern audiology graduate students made the trek to Nuevo Progreso in western Guatemala to provide comprehensive care for the local residents. Over the course of four more-than-12-hour days, eight students worked alongside four professional audiologists to perform diagnostic testing and hearing-aid fittings.
When molecular diagnostics expert Karen Kaul ’84 MD, PhD, ’88 GME ordered reagents and other supplies for her lab at NorthShore University HealthSystem’s Evanston Hospital in early February, she and her team had been following the coronavirus outbreak overseas for weeks. They figured they’d better be prepared, just in case.
Desmond Wang reached out to alumni affiliated with the NU Club of Beijing to launch a fundraiser. In less than two weeks, Wang led an international effort that resulted in the donation of more than 5,500 N95 masks and two iPads to Northwestern Memorial Hospital — and a contribution of nearly $14,000 to Northwestern Medicine’s COVID-19 Relief Fund to give the hospital flexibility as its needs evolve.
Amy Rosenzweig picks up a Rubik’s Cube–like paperweight with a colorful, spiral structure printed on one side. “This side commemorates that I determined the complicated structure of a protein in graduate school, which ended up launching my career in chemistry,” says Rosenzweig, who holds joint appointments in chemistry and molecular biosciences in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.
When hospital leaders across Chicago wanted to know if providing housing to the city’s homeless individuals reduced their use of the emergency room and increased their use of primary care services, they turned to a collaboration brought together by the Feinberg School of Medicine’s Center for Health Information Partnerships (CHIP). “We knew from prior work that homeless patients are the most likely to seek care across multiple institutions,” says CHIP director Abel Kho, “and this fragmented care and lack of social support leads to poor health outcomes.” By linking data on Chicago’s homeless individuals with clinical data across multiple hospital and health care centers citywide, the collaborative team was able to determine the immense impact of housing on health.
Using South African Radio Astronomy Observatory’s MeerKAT telescope, professor Farhad Yusef-Zadeh and an international team of researchers discovered a gigantic, balloon-like structure in the center of the Milky Way. The newly spotted pair of radio-emitting bubbles spans hundreds of light-years.
Northwestern neurobiologist Martha Vitaterna ’92 PhD helped discover the first molecular piece of the mammalian clock. Since then, research with Clock mutant mice has shown that circadian rhythms are important to almost every physiological process — from sleep to digestion to mood and more.
Sahar Jamal, founder of Maziwa, is creating a battery-powered breast pump so new mothers in East Africa can return to work. Maziwa’s design includes a cooler and pump so that women can collect and store breast milk even if they have no access to electricity or refrigeration, and the pump’s sleek, compact design also allows women to pump more discreetly.
When Sheila Gujrathi ’92, ’96 MD was a student at the Feinberg School of Medicine, she took a year off between her second and third years to live in an ashram in the south of India. Her mother, a pediatrician, was so worried about Gujrathi that she called the ashram and asked them to send her daughter home to finish school, but Gujrathi wanted to lead a more centered life.