Week 7 NIBs

UCI Health’s Eye Institute Receives Grant


The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation  recently awarded $3 million dollars to the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute to support their efforts in researching preventive measures for disease-related blindness.

$1 million dollars of this grant will be directed toward the acquisition of state-of-the-art technology and instruments, with the remaining $2 million dollars to go toward funding fellowships for aspiring researchers.

The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute is part of UC Irvine Health, and has contributed significant research to the development of treatments for eye-related conditions.


Medical School Students Honor Solidarity Day


In honor of the third Gold Humanism Honor Society’s Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care, UC Irvine’s medical students donned the colors red and pink on Valentine’s Day. The event, held annually in solidarity with over 60 of the North American medical research and educational institutions, featured musical performances by groups UCI MEDleys and Music to Heal.

A tradition that started in 2011 after the Tucson shooting in honor of Doctor Randall Friese, who first treated Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the event aims at commemorating acts of empathy and compassion within the medical field.


Healing Through Love: Medical Research


A currently expanding field of medical research has recently begun to study the tradeoffs of engaging in loving relationships. Studies points to love and high-quality marriages as contributing factors for increased recovery rates after injury and lower rates of death after diagnosis of life-threatening illnesses.

“Assuming it’s a good relationship, people tend to be in better health, they tend to live longer,” Dr. Roger Walsh, a UC Irvine psychiatrist, said.

“How much of this is due to the actual relationship and how much very simple things like eating regularly together and paying attention to one’s health in other ways is not quite clear. Certainly, people in good romantic relationships and marriages tend to report themselves as happier than those who aren’t.”

And it’s not just the psychological aspects of health that are affected by these loving relationships.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins recently found that the death of a loved one could physically manifest. Weakening the cardiac muscles of the heart, temporarily, these deaths can trigger a change in metabolic pathways from stress hormones that stun the heart.

Although much still must be learned about how the physiological traits manifest, recognizing the underlying biological mechanisms at work, researchers are certain that unhappy relationships diminish overall health and longevity not only mentally, but physically as well.

“If you can say, ‘My partner is my best friend,’ the data is clear you’ve pretty much got it made,” Walsh said.


Professor Says  Minimum Wage Hike Won’t Help


In light of President Obama’s recent minimum wage proposal, which will raise the minimum wage to $9 per hour and index it to the cost of living, five of the nation’s top economists have stepped forward to clarify how the proposed course of action will affect the economy and the nation’s workforce.

Amongst them, David Neumark, a professor of economics at UCI and his co-author William Wascher, Federal Reserve Board economist, have expressed their concern about what this raise in minimum wage would mean for low-skilled workers.

“The problem of low-wage work that President Obama’s proposal is intended to address is real, ongoing and serious,” Neumark said in an interview with The Atlantic. “But simply mandating that employers pay a higher wage is not an effective solution because a higher wage floor reduces employment among low-skilled workers.”

Contradicting a White House fact sheet available to the public, Neumark and his colleagues question the breadth of the research consulted in support of their proposal.


ISC Continues Legacy of Garba Dance 


The Indian Sub-Continental Club (ISC) at UC Irvine hosted its 11th annual national dance competition, Garba with Attitude (GWA), on Feb. 16 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.

The only one of its kind on the West coast, the Garba/Raas (Indian folk dance) competition, GWA has grown to become America’s premier Garba/Raas competition.

The event not only exhibited the values and expression of cultural Indian dances, but also promoted cultural awareness amongst the Indian community.

Growing from its inception in 2002 from five participating California universities to over ten universities from across the US, the ISC hopes that the GWA will continue to grow and continue to add to the legacy of their record six year sell-out of over 1,000 audience members.