Early in 2018, Bloomington, MN, resident Holly Ziebol was diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most common form of brain cancer in adults. “She has a rare type of glioblastoma that harbors a mutation in a histone gene,” explained Clark C. Chen, MD, PhD, U of M Department of Neurosurgery Head. “Histones are proteins that package DNA into structural units. They regulate which genes are turned on and which are turned off.” This mutation, known as H3K27M, turns on a set of genes leading to protein formation that drives cancer growth, Chen added.
“If you look at progress in neurosurgery over the last 100 years, it has, to a large extent, paralleled and depended on advances in technology,” said Garnette Sutherland, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Calgary, Canada. “One can see how technology plays a big role in patient outcome following a neurosurgical procedure.” Sutherland, who has “played” with technology throughout his long career as a neurosurgeon, was on the U of M campus recently to participate in one of many “collisions” being orchestrated by the U of M’s Neurorobotics Consortium.
According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), nurse practitioners (NPs) have been assessing patients, ordering and interpreting tests, making diagnoses and initiating and managing treatment plans — including prescribing medications — for almost 50 years. How do these dedicated professionals view their roles? Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Leah Kann, who has been with the Neurosurgery Department for eight years, and Family Nurse Practitioner Emma Venteicher, who is new to the department, shared their perspectives.