Media Coverage

The work done by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty members (and even some students) is regularly highlighted in newspapers, online media outlets and more. Below you’ll find links to articles and videos of Feinberg in the news.

The Wall Street Journal 0

“This is what we hope will be a breakthrough in finding a way to treat a lifelong, debilitating blood disorder with a one-time treatment,” said Alexis A. Thompson, one of the paper’s lead authors and head of hematology at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. An estimated 288,000 people worldwide suffer from βbeta-thalassemia, in which genetic mutations cause the body to make insufficient beta globin, a molecule needed to produce healthy red blood cells. Patients’ defective red blood cells often die before they fully mature, resulting in anemia, or they burst open while in circulation, releasing iron into the bloodstream that can cause organ damage.


Results of the small study, which involved two early clinical trials funded by biotechnology company Bluebird Bio, were published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. Phase three of the trial is currently underway. “The standard procedure for a curative option for thalassemia would be a bone marrow transplant from a brother or sister, which is not without significant risk, but more importantly, most people will not have that appropriate sibling donor,” said Dr. Alexis Thompson, head of hematology and director of the Comprehensive Thalassemia Program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, who led the new research. The study “actually allows us to envision treating thalassemia with curative intent using the patient as their own donor,” she said.

U.S. News & World Report 0

Family physicians and internists also have many responsibilities competing for their attention in a short visit, like staying up on continually evolving recommendations in many other areas from blood pressuring monitoring to screening for high cholesterol. “It’s not a criticism of primary care physicians – they have many, many things on their plate,” says Dr. Edward Schaeffer, chair of urology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and a professor of urology at Northwestern University in Chicago. So I understand why the data suggests it’s not a good test in the hands of … a primary care physician, but I don’t think that means that the test is a bad test. If you ask me to interpret an echocardiogram, I couldn’t do it.”

National Public Radio 0

Gene therapy is showing promise for treating one of the most common genetic disorders. Results of a study published Wednesday show that 15 of 22 patients with beta-thalassemia who got gene therapy were able to stop or sharply reduce the regular blood transfusions they had needed to alleviate their life-threatening anemia. There were no serious side effects.”We’re extraordinarily excited about these early results,” says Alexis Thompson, a professor of pediatrics at the Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, who helped with the study released Wednesday. “For the first time ever, we have a treatment that we might offer to all our patients,” says Mark Walters of the University of California, San Francisco, who also helped conduct the study.

Chicago Tonight - WTTW 0

One key finding is that men cannot safely consume more alcohol than women. That finding directly contradicts guidelines issued by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), which defines moderate drinking as one drink per day for women and two for men. Dr. Evan Goulding is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine where he specializes in treatment of addiction. He says the study looks pretty comprehensive. “It’s a big study and it looks like it is pretty solid,” said Goulding. “It’s pretty consistent with the evolving literature.”

Chicago Tribune 0

“Mommy’s wine has become a pop culture trend, a marketer’s dream and a hashtag,” said Dr. Crystal Tennille Clark, a psychiatrist and assistant professor at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine who specializes in women’s health. “I do think we’re losing sight of what a problem (drinking) could be. Many people, whether they’re men or women, don’t appreciate the risks of drinking.” Hollywood perpetuates the storyline, and celebrities embrace it. Trips to the movie theater to see “Bad Moms” and its sequel, which celebrated boozy mom culture, were common “moms night out” gatherings.

Chicago Tribune 0

“This is the first study, to our knowledge, that was able to look at mortality risk,” said Kristen Knutson, an associate professor of neurology and sleep researcher at Northwestern. Night owls have a harder time switching to daylight saving time and are more likely to suffer from diabetes and psychological and neurological disorders, she said. Researchers surveyed 433,268 participants, ages 38 to 73, in the U.K., asking whether they considered themselves a “definite morning type,” “moderate morning type,” “moderate evening type” or “definite evening type.” Then researchers tracked deaths within the sample.

Chicago Tribune 0

“After seeing the amazing technology behind modern movies and the video games I play with my kids, I started wondering how we could apply some of that same technology to patient care,” wrote Dr. Michael Walsh, a Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital neurological surgeon, via email. According to the hospital statement, a panel of judges, mostly affiliated with Northwestern Medicine, selected the Lake Forest initiative on March 21 with the funds provided by a local ambulance company. “We plan to have enough devices such as iPads in our office so that all of our neurosurgery patients can begin learning about our team as well as basic neurosurgical concepts while they are in the waiting room, with more advanced platforms such as interactive wall boards and virtual reality, which will be used during their time with the care providers,” Walsh said.

The Washington Post 0

Although studies show that untreated maternal depression can affect mother-and-baby bonding, paternal depression can also influence a child’s development. “We know depression can impact the father-child relationship, as well as children’s future behavior,” said Sheehan Fisher, a clinical psychologist and researcher at Northwestern University. According to Fisher, kids who grow up with depressed dads may have a harder time coping with negative emotions such as anger, anxiety and sadness. He said these children may be more likely to “act out” their feelings by misbehaving and becoming aggressive.

The Washington Post 0

It’s pretty extraordinary for people in their 80s and 90s to keep the same sharp memory as someone several decades younger, so scientists are peeking into the brains of“superagers” who do to uncover their secret. The work is the flip side of the disappointing hunt for new drugs to fight or prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Instead of tackling that problem, “why don’t we figure out what it is we might need to do to maximize our memory?” said neuro­scientist Emily Rogalski, who leads the SuperAging study at Northwestern University in Chicago.

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