U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns embarked on a self-styled “listening tour” through the UF Health Science Center and Shands Critical Care Center on Thursday, interviewing doctors who work on treatments to combat Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer, as well as physicians who work on the front lines of emergency care.
“Health care is a prevalent concern in Congress,” Stearns said. “There are large issues involved. Just using Alzheimer’s disease as an example, what can be done to arrest the process when people start losing their cognitive ability?”
For those kinds of answers, he interviewed Todd Golde, M.D., a professor of neuroscience in the College of Medicine and director of the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases.
Golde discussed how UF is addressing the clinical challenges involved in treating or preventing a disease that may progress for two decades or more before patients begin to show symptoms.
From there, the tour moved to the Shands Critical Care Center on the north campus of Shands at UF with emergency medicine resident Beth Nealon, M.D., and Adrian Tyndall, M.D., the chairman of emergency medicine. The facility combines an emergency department and Level I trauma center, with an emergency room that has 62 treatment areas and provides clinical teams the capacity to treat 100,000 patients a year.
Stearns’ health-care listening tour ended with a meeting with Stephen Grobmyer, M.D., an associate professor of surgical oncology and endocrine surgery in the UF College of Medicine’s department of surgery and a member of the UF Shands Cancer Center, and Brij M. Moudgil, a professor of materials science and engineering.
Grobmyer, Moudgil and colleagues are collaborating on ways to use nanoparticles for high resolution imaging of cancer — important for making an early diagnosis and effectively targeting cancer cells instead of healthy ones during treatment.