Nevada Medicine Weekly

Nevada Medicine Weekly | June 20, 2017

News for A Healthy Nevada

Dean Burkin and lab

UNR Med and NIH Researchers Aim to Repurpose Former Experimental Cancer Therapy to Treat Muscular Dystrophy

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine have demonstrated that a drug originally targeted unsuccessfully to treat cancer may serve as a potential treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

The candidate drug, SU9516, represents a different approach for treating DMD, a degenerative muscle disease that usually begins in childhood and has no known cure. It is caused by a faulty gene that leads to progressive muscle weakness, with death often occurring around age 25. Rather than trying to fix or replace the broken gene, SU9516 ramps up the muscle repair process, helping reinforce muscle structure.

NCATS Chemical Genomics Center Acting Branch Chief Juan Marugan, Ph.D., and UNR Med Professor of Pharmacology Dean Burkin, Ph.D., led a team that screened more than 350,000 compounds to find SU9516, which had been previously developed as a treatment for leukemia. The research demonstrated that this compound improved muscle function in both laboratory and animal DMD models. The results, published recently in Molecular Therapy, may provide a promising approach against the disorder and other muscle-wasting conditions.

Learn more about this potential new treatment for DMD…


Las Vegas Appreciation Reception

Las Vegas-based School of Medicine faculty, staff and practice plan employees attended an appreciation reception June 13 to thank southern Nevada colleagues and leaders for decades of service and dedication.

University of Nevada, Reno President Marc Johnson and University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine Dean Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D. acknowledged the critical contributions made by the Las Vegas campus to UNR Med's mission of medical student and resident education, the creation of new knowledge, and the delivery of quality patient care, as part of our shared vision of "A Healthy Nevada."

"You've all had such a positive impact on our state, and the University," Johnson said. "We're pleased that our medical faculty and staff, who have served medical students and patients so superbly in southern Nevada, will continue to be play an important role in Nevada's medical education system."

Schwenk added, "Thanks to every one of you. For your contributions. For your knowledge. For your collegiality. For creating a legacy for the past 36 years. And most of all, for being an indispensable part of the team. We wish you nothing but the best in this next exciting phase of building public medical education."

Savitt Medical Library Las Vegas Branch Transition

The last day of operation for the Savitt Medical Library at 1701 West Charleston is Thursday, June 22. The library is reserved for exams Friday, June 23. We look forward to serving our Las Vegas-based UNR Med students and faculty through our library website, online resources, email, chat and phone.

Following the Las Vegas branch closure, Alexander Lyubechansky, clinical librarian, will be reachable at He will make regular trips from Reno to Las Vegas to provide assistance and training to UNR Med students and faculty.

The current book collection will move to the sixth floor of 1701 West Charleston. Student study space, computers and lounge will also be located on the sixth floor. These spaces will reopen in mid-July.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Holiday: Independence Day

July 4, 2017

Events for June 20 – 27, 2017

ECHO Clinics: Pain Management

June 21, 2017 • 8–9 a.m.
CDC Guidelines Pt. 3 and Discontinuation Scenarios

ECHO Clinics: Geriatrics

June 21, 2017 • 12–1 p.m.
Marijuana and Palliative Care Medicine: Don’t Get Lost in the Weed

ECHO Clinics: Sports Medicine

June 22, 2017 • 8–9 a.m.
2017 Sports Concussion Update

More events

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In The News
Latest In The News

Former cancer drug may combat muscular dystrophy

June 15, 2017 • Life Science Daily
.…(NCATS) and the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) regarding the drug, SU9516, were published in Molecular Therapy.

Researchers Aim to Repurpose Failed Leukemia Drug to Treat Muscular Dystrophy

June 14, 2017 • Managed Care
In earlier research, Dean Burkin, PhD, a professor of pharmacology at UNR Med, who was senior author of the current study, and his colleagues…

More In The News

Just Released
Latest News

MEDIA ADVISORY: University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine to hold Clinician’s Ceremony, June 21

June 19, 2017
The UNR Med Clinician’s Ceremony will be on June 21

Researchers aim to repurpose former experimental cancer therapy to treat muscular dystrophy

June 13, 2017
Molecular therapy may have new life as a potential treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

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Nevada Medicine Weekly is a publication of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and the office of Advancement and Engagement. Please see the Content Submissions page for instructions on how to submit items for inclusion. Copyright © 2017 University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.