2021 was another year marked by challenge, but it also led with discovery and hope. With the countdown to 2022 in sight, these ideas were prominent as we counted down our 10 most-read stories of 2021:


Headshot of Clark C. Chen, MD, PhD

10. Years of Scientific Progress Lead to Hope for a Glioblastoma Patient 

 “Zero stars, would not recommend, it absolutely sucks,” is how Keegan Walsh describes life since his wife, Laura, was diagnosed with glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of adult brain cancer.

Plate with utensils and tape measurer.

9. The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Been Linked With Six Unhealthy Eating Behaviors

A new probe into the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed correlations to six unhealthy eating behaviors, according to a study by the University of Minnesota Medical School and School of Public Health.

Headshot of a physician.

8. Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Recognizes 190+ Faculty Physicians on 2021 “Top Doctors: Rising Stars” List

Mpls.St.Paul Magazine recognized 190 talented University of Minnesota Medical School faculty physicians – spanning over 19 departments – on its 2021 “Top Doctors: Rising Stars” list.

Headshot of Dr. Ergando

7. A Journey Across International Waters to Become a Minnesota Physician

For Tesfatsiyon Ergando, MD, realizing a passion for medicine came after a life-threatening case of malaria.

Carmen Aguirre, a second-year medical student (Photo by @stassievee)

6. Medical Student Creates, Auctions NFTs to Promote Mental Health Awareness

Over the past year, Carmen Aguirre, a second-year medical student at the University of Minnesota Medical School, has been developing NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, to promote mental health awareness.

Data graph

5. Scientists Uncover Four New Facts About Early SARS-CoV-2 Infections

University of Minnesota Medical School researchers studied SARS-CoV-2 infections at individual cellular levels and made four major discoveries about the virus, including one that validates the effectiveness of remdesivir – an FDA-approved antiviral drug – as a form of treatment for severe COVID-19 disease.

Illustration of cell

4. Microglia, Stockholm Syndrome and Miraculous Cures in Glioblastoma Patients

University of Minnesota researchers’ study of “exceptional responders” led to the identification of a new drug target for brain cancer.

Medical students sitting in auditorium

3. Class of 2021 Takes Oath to Honor the Medical Profession

Each year, the incoming class of medical students creates their own class oath, which they recite together at the White Coat Ceremony. 

Vaccine vial and needel

2. University of Minnesota Medical School Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

The University of Minnesota Medical School announced its plans to participate in a Phase 3 COVID-19 clinical trial in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

Positive COVID test

1. U of M Medical School Receives $1.5M to Launch Nation’s First Ivermectin COVID-19 Treatment Clinical Trial

An ongoing COVID-19 clinical trial studying the outpatient use of metformin, a generic medication for type 2 diabetes, has expanded and will now be the nation’s first to include fluvoxamine, an antidepressant, and ivermectin, an antiparasitic, as possible treatment options to prevent hospitalization and “long COVID.”