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Notable Medical Research Findings from Einstein

Yeshiva University boasts its fair share of pre-med students. In fact, in the Fall of 2013, YU reported over 340 biology majors between SCW and YC. As finals season progresses, these industrious undergraduates try their best to master all the material that their biology, chemistry, and other science professors have presented to them. However, even as the focus currently lies on the present, two recent medical discoveries at YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine that have been featured in the media highlight what the future may have in store for at least some of these hardworking students.

Dr. Ekaterina Dadachova, a professor of radiology and microbiology, has been leading a team of researchers of radioimmunotherapy (RIT), which directs lethal doses of radiation to tumor cells, and its role in possibly “reducing HIV infection to undetectable levels,” as last week’s official press release stated. As 33 million people worldwide are currently infected by the HIV virus, the new RIT treatment could potentially be the key to unlocking a lasting cure for the disease. Unlike current treatments, RIT permanently eliminates HIV-infected cells from the body. As the research continues, Dr. Dadachova explains, “We have applied for funding from a South African medical research council, [which will enable] a clinical trial in HIV patients.” The team is also applying for a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Geoffrey Kabat, of Einstein’s Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, has been investigating a completely different, but equally interesting, medical dilemma – the possible correlations between height and cancer. As reported in Discover Magazine, Kabat “found a significant relationship between height and cancer at any site in the body.” Essentially, for each four-inch increase in height, there was a thirteen percent increase in risk for developing any type of cancer – even after controlling for a multitude of demographic factors, in order to “exclude the possibility that any association you find…is not due to the interference of some sort of other factor,” Kabat explained. Though Kabat’s study focused on female patients, the findings echo other investigations into increased cancer risks regardless of gender.

These notable discoveries from the Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus at Einstein simply scratch the surface of the tremendous work that YU is producing. As Dr. Dadachova says, “The collegial atmosphere at Einstein among faculty is special, unlike the other places where I previously worked.” This environment continues to spill over into the undergraduate campuses, where students participate in USRP, or Undergraduate Student Research Presentations, or write Honors Theses.