Solutions

October 13, 2020

Sweet science

Kennewick native Danielle Reed forages for genetic answers after her research finds that processed food is much too sweet for the average human tastebud.


September 21, 2020

Racing a pandemic

Thanks to years of foresight, funding and preparation, two UW labs have been on the forefront of COVID-19 testing.


September 16, 2020

Double trouble

With flu season coming, doctors and public health officials worry that an outbreak of influenza in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic could wipe out our health care system.


Mapping landslide risk

UW engineers are developing a new mapping system to quantify landslide risk in the prone areas of Seattle


Being there

For many older Americans, the rhythms of every day have not just changed during the COVID-19 pandemic; they have stopped.


September 11, 2020

For our health

The UW is putting its combined brainpower into population health, improving lives around the world.


August 14, 2020

Camping during COVID-19

We ask an infectious disease expert for advice about how to explore the great outdoors.


June 25, 2020

Uneven evictions

Who gets evicted in Washington? It depends on gender and race, a UW study reveals.


June 24, 2020

IHME in the spotlight

As the pandemic expanded across the country, IHME projections became a resource for local, regional and national leaders as they responded.


June 10, 2020

The ultimate puzzle

Doctoral student Emily Rabe loves puzzles. Now she's working on one with high stakes—one that could have a significant impact on our planet’s health.


Language of the land

Southern Lushootseed, the language spoken for generations in the Puget Sound area, is being preserved and passed on to students, thanks to Tami Hohn’s work and the Department of American Indian Studies.


June 4, 2020

Her work spans oceans

Jacqueline Padilla-Gamiño studies issues such as global environmental change, ocean acidification and microplastics in the ocean.


May 15, 2020

Hands off the soap, briefly

Hot water and soap is keeping us healthy, but it can wear down our skin. We ask a UW Medicine dermatologist for help.


May 14, 2020

Dangerous cells

Professor Dan Berger says incarcerated people must be freed to halt virus spread.


May 4, 2020

Grant backs Indigenous vision

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation granted $1.8 million to the center to support students and research.


March 30, 2020

Eye on baby's breath

A UW team has used hardware similar to an Amazon Echo to create a smart speaker that detects the breathing motions of an infant’s chest.


March 20, 2020

We need to talk about vehicle residency

Criminalizing a form of shelter causes undue and disproportionate harm to vulnerable people.


March 12, 2020

Fishing for arsenic

Researchers study the movement of water and heavy metals’ impact on aquatic life in lakes near Tacoma.


March 10, 2020

Under the influence

What effect does a parent's marijuana use have on kids? We asked a UW researcher.


For an informed public

The UW's Center for an Informed Public is a response to the rise in disinformation and erosion of trust in our most basic societal institutions.


December 26, 2019

A whale of a problem

Frank Erickson created a synthetic sperm whale oil that saved millions of automatic transmissions worldwide.


December 4, 2019

Seeing himself in the science

Ecologist Christopher Schell believes that tapping into who he is as a person makes his research better.


December 3, 2019

Happy hints

Recommendations from social psychologist Tabitha Kirkland, whose research explores strategies that nurture our happiness.


December 1, 2019

A tern for the worse

Feeding the wrong food to chicks could spell disaster for several species of terns.


November 24, 2019

Calling all dogs

A UW-led study is recruiting 10,000 canines and their companions for a study of dogs’ health as they age.


September 10, 2019

Protecting life in Cambodia

Climate change threatens fish runs and the livelihood and food resources for millions of Cambodians.


September 2, 2019

Warming sea

A die-off points to a larger-scale, longer-term problem with the food supply caused by warming seas.


June 4, 2019

Fossil flosser

Some might find the work of dusting and dabbing sand away from a fossil tedious, but Jean Primozich still marvels at it.


Inventing the future

The UW's Gates Center is a ‘new landmark’ for computer science and engineering.


June 3, 2019

Energy’s new wave

Converting ocean waves into electricity poses challenges—and promise.


June 2, 2019

World of worry

A new book by UW faculty explores anxiety-provoking topics ranging from food safety to mobile phones and bedbugs.


April 18, 2019

History keepers

Creating historical records, archiving photos, recording oral histories—it’s all in a program of UW Libraries with the Ethnic Heritage Council.


March 12, 2019

Abolished

How UW research convinced our state's highest court to toss out the death penalty.


March 1, 2019

Busier bees

Using teeny, tiny batteries and sensors, insects provide a valuable eye in the sky for agriculture.


Natural elixir

Spending time outside is a sure-fire way to feel better. But researchers still don't know why that is.


November 30, 2018

Safe travels

Author and traveler Chris Sanford shares 10 bits of wisdom from his book, “Staying Healthy Abroad: A Global Traveler’s Guide.”


Tech for mental health

UW Medicine researchers are exploring how a smartphone might help someone manage a severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.


August 30, 2018

New biologies

Nature is an interconnected web of life. A new Life Sciences building takes that to heart.


August 29, 2018

Have a say, your way

A UW summer camp helps teens who stutter find their voices.


August 26, 2018

Sharks spin a tale

Great white sharks dive deep into the Atlantic’s clockwise-spinning warm-water whirlpools.


August 6, 2018

Diabetes nation

We talk about the state of diabetes with Ira Hirsch, the UW’s Diabetes Treatment and Teaching Chair.


Soldier Shakespeare

Acting out the Bard’s works enables veterans to access feelings of rage, isolation and grief—
and heal the invisible wounds of war.


Shooting for the stars

For 40 years, a group of Seattle-area women has helped UW students strive to be the best in science and engineering.


June 22, 2018

The Innovation File: A study in persistence

Dennis Edmondson, ’80, ’13, invented the studs inside the Nanoengineering & Sciences Building.


June 5, 2018

Coffee with a twist of tech

Paul Tupper, ’14, started Onda Origins, a Seattle-based coffee company with a technological spin, to further his environmental agenda.


June 4, 2018

Rethinking drugs

Ingrid Walker wants to change the way media and government frame our perceptions about illicit drugs, and the people who use them.


No easy tusk

Marine biologist Kristin Laidre is living her dream of studying narwhals, the mysterious 2,000-pound mammals that are notoriously tricky to find.


Drug price isn't right

There’s a new blockbuster drug that could save the lives of thousands of people with type 2 diabetes in the U.S.


April 5, 2018

International problem solvers

Outside of the classroom, UW engineering students solve problems around the world.


Genetic fortune telling

Thanks to services such as 23andMe, genetics has gone mainstream. But should you believe the hype?


March 26, 2018

From playdough to Plato

Children are by nature philosophical thinkers—ready to take on heady topics like race, fairness and human rights.


March 13, 2018

New point of view

Lisa Zurk, ’95, will be the first woman to lead the Applied Physics Laboratory.


March 6, 2018

Cyber safe

Stefan Savage, ’02, earned a MacArthur "genius" grant for his work on cyber security.


March 5, 2018

Stop the bleed

It only takes a few minutes to bleed to death, but bystanders with a little knowledge can save lives.


March 4, 2018

The man who made us look

Psychology professor Anthony Greenwald developed the Implicit Association Test, a rapid-fire survey that reveals the biases that lurk inside us.


January 9, 2018

Rural rescue

Connecting UW Medicine research to primary care clinics around the region.


December 28, 2017

Forging new links

A new type of fire-resistant wood reduces atmospheric carbon and can be made of damaged trees. Could it revive depressed economies in Washington’s rural timber communities?


December 15, 2017

The puzzle of aging

Building on decades of research and outreach, UW experts are piecing together new ways to live longer and better.


December 11, 2017

History lessons

After Charlottesville clash, a history professor heard echoes of an ugly era.


December 8, 2017

Engineering on the brain

Doctors, engineers and other experts work together at the UW Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.


December 7, 2017

The opioid boom

The prevailing practice for treating addiction to painkillers led to the worst man-made epidemic in modern medical history.


September 28, 2017

Dyslexia, defeated

My alma mater helped my daughter become a reader.


Understanding homelessness

"It's a symptom of a bigger disease of our society."


September 13, 2017

Transplants on the double

UW Medicine’s innovation could yield better results for kidney patients.


June 27, 2017

Welcome back, Paul Allen

Before he funded UW's computer science labs, Paul Allen got kicked out of them.


June 26, 2017

traffic, machine learning, microsoft

Predict and prevent

The UW has partnered with Microsoft and the city of Bellevue to curb traffic accidents with machine learning.


June 16, 2017

elephant art wolfe, sam wasser

Animal instinct

Biology professor Sam Wasser fights to save endangered species.


June 15, 2017

'If we don't, who will?'

A family eager to help their son has helped make the UW a leader in facing down an insidious disease.


June 12, 2017

pound of flesh, alexes harris, fines and fees

Legal loop

Fees and fines are the punishment that keeps on giving in the criminal justice system.


June 6, 2017

Discoveries, breakthroughs and data

From researchers at the University of Washington.


May 25, 2017

microaggressions, john crowley

Micro-damaging

Overt racism has long been linked to health disparities, but what about subtle slights?


March 24, 2017

Why do people give to charity?

Why do we give to charitable organizations and causes? Our motivations for philanthropic giving depend on how we feel we’re faring compared to others.


March 1, 2017

population health

Finding a solution

Tackling the most vexing medical problems facing humankind.


population health

Cancer calamity

Disparities in health care access hit communities of color hard—particularly when it comes to cancer.


population health, global health, health care, uw medicine

Gates gift

A historic $279 million donation will enable the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to forecast health scenarios.


If you are a Hispanic or African American woman diagnosed with breast cancer, your chances of a good outcome—and sometimes even of surviving—are not as good as that of a Caucasian woman. It’s an unfortunate fact in America’s health care system. Just ask Ali Mokdad. The UW professor of global health conducted a landmark study of 29 cancers and U.S. deaths by county from 1980-2014. What he uncovered was beyond sobering. Although deaths from all cancers combined fell by 20 percent in the U.S. as a whole, cancer rates are actually rising in 160 counties that had predomoniantly lower income and minority residents. In some counties, death rates are more than 20 times higher than average. “In a country where we spend more than anyone else on health care and we debate health all the time, it surprised me to see such huge disparities at the county level. We are leaving people behind in some places where the cancer rate is increasing,” says Mokdad, lead author on the study that was completed at the UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. “You see certain counties where life expectancy is as high as anywhere in the world and other places where the life expectancy is like countries in Africa and Asia.” Medical science can’t always explain why a particular cancer occurs more often in one part of the U.S. than in another. For example, in the Puget Sound area, people tend to get less cancer overall and have better survival rates than in places such as the Deep South, the states bordering Mexico and the Southeast. On the other hand, Puget Sound residents appear more vulnerable to brain cancer. And this area has seen higher rates of some types of blood cancer with higher death rates than in other parts of the U.S. “It’s hard to speculate on reasons. Something else is going on, but it’s very important to know that it’s a problem,” says Mokdad. In general, disparities in cancer and death rates are affected by a host of factors: lifestyle, access to cancer screenings, patient compliance, access to quality care and proximity to quality treatment. “The question is, how can we bring prevention to the forefront of what we are doing,” he adds. “It’s not enough to have excellent treatment.” The sad truth is that disparities in health care access, treatment and outcome hit communities of color especially hard. Breast cancer is a primary example. African American and Hispanic women are more likely to have more aggressive forms of cancer, to be diagnosed with more advanced cancer and to have worse outcomes. Lupe Salazar, associate professor in the Division of Oncology, says underrepresented minority women are also more likely to receive treatment that fails to meet recognized standards of care. “Before the Affordable Care Act, we had patients at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance who couldn’t get the full complement of services. For example, the Medicaid vouchers wouldn’t cover PET Scans,” says Salazar, ’02, ’03. PET scans are vital in pinpointing the location and severity of cancer. But they are expensive; the average cost of a PET scan ranges from $3,000 to more than $12,000. Minority women, particularly if they are low income or single parents, are also much less likely to participate in clinical trials. Government funding agencies always ask researchers to recruit from minority populations, “but [there is] nobody to give you resources or funding for things like paying for translators for help with getting consents,” Salazar explains. “It’s also very hard to enroll patients who don’t have a computer or a way to log on to clinicaltrials.gov or a way to find the database of experimental treatments.” Health disparities plague other communities including immigrants. India Ornelas, ’99, assistant professor in health services, and Vicky Taylor, research professor in health services, are working to increase the number of refugee women who receive regular screenings for cervical cancer. They created a video to build awareness for non-medical audiences. Collaboration is absolutely vital to addressing these inequities in diagnosis and treatment. “We are going to come together to figure out what we can build on and what we can deliver,” says Salazar. “We hope the Population Health Initiative will improve the health care of the poorest people, whether you’re in the Pacific Northwest or a developing country. We will see.” n—Julie Garner

Live better

Where we live affects our quality of life in many ways, including our health, happiness and social equity.


population health, global health, health care, uw medicine

Diet and disease

How UW researchers are mapping and combating health disparities.


population health, global health, health care

Tending to the world

Scientists, doctors and data collectors join forces for population health.


February 28, 2017

Birds’ brains

An over-the-counter health supplement can be linked linked to aggression in songbirds, suggesting health implications for people who may be using the DHEA hormone.


Failure to grow

About 162 million children worldwide under the age of five are considered too short for their age—a growth failure called stunting.


Kristy Leissle, daN BATES, chocolate uw, cocoa uw

Dr. Chocolate

UW Bothell lecturer Kristy Leissle is a leading researcher of the global cocoa trade.


musicnet, machine learning

Note-worthy

STEM researchers at the UW have arranged a dataset to understand classical music.


prevention revisited

Prevention revisited

Harborview’s Injury Prevention & Research Center works with Seattle Children’s Hospital and a number of UW schools and departments to explore everything from infant vaccination to the role alcohol plays in traumatic injuries.


We heart UW

If you need a heart transplant, here’s your prescription: come to UW Medical Center.


February 27, 2017

Yes, it's rocket science. Really.

Inspired by the film "Hidden Figures," the Obama White House honored a group of women of color who have contributed to NASA’s success. Two UW alumnae were included.


January 17, 2017

Michael Gale

Zeroing in on Zika

In South Lake Union, a UW lab races to halt the Zika virus.


December 29, 2016

breast biopsy, atypia

The breast biopsy puzzle

Why some women don't get clarity when it comes to a cancer diagnosis.


$210 million gift gates foundation uw

Healthy people, healthy planet

With a $210 million gift, the UW moves forward to become a global hub for human health.


December 21, 2016

fish mislabeling

Fishy business

A broad examination of seafood mislabeling and the ecological and financial impacts suggests that because of the mislabeling, more people are eating more sustainably.


Smartphones over needles

A team of engineers and computer scientists from the University of Washington has developed HemaApp, a smartphone camera app to measure hemoglobin levels.


December 19, 2016

karen cheng trash bin

Smarter garbage

Compost. Recycle. Landfill. Three words, so many headaches. Two design professors think interactive trash bins could make life much easier.


December 16, 2016

David Sharrow, James Anderson, twins live longer

Long live twins

Two UW researchers paired up to look at the life span of twins. They found that womb-mates live longer than the rest of us.


Self-driving trike

Researchers at UW Bothell are working on a self-driving tricycle.


December 13, 2016

ACA

On the mend

No matter the fate of the Affordable Care Act, UW faculty and alumni continue to seek remedies for our health care system.


December 12, 2016

Nina Cesare

Social mourning

Two UW sociology researchers are studying how people tweet about death, analyzing feeds of deceased Twitter users.


September 1, 2016

Deep data

In April 2015, the Axial Seamount, an active underwater volcano about 300 miles off the coast of Oregon, erupted. For the first time ever, scientists, engineers and students from the UW and around the world could watch it in real time thanks to an elaborate array of sensors they installed a year earlier.


The batwoman

Forget the silly myths about vampires. Sharlene Santana discovered that the role of bats in the environment is underrated. And most don't want to bite you.


June 1, 2016

Nordic Noir

Scandinavian Studies Professor Andy Nestingen shares his research into the genre and how it contrasts with American Noir’s heroes and villains.


Urban evolution

The UW's Urban Ecology Research Lab studies how species change in response to cities.


March 1, 2016

Test driven

Here, we present the tales of two clinical trials of technology that one day could alleviate suffering and improve lives for the hundreds of thousands of people suffering from severe heart problems and kidney failure.