Artificial intelligence can already scan images of the eye to assess patients for diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of vision loss, and find evidence of strokes on brain CT scans. But what does the future hold for this emerging technology? How will it change how doctors diagnose disease, and how will it improve the care patients receive?

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Many people’s lives became infinitely harder after the pandemic hit last March, perhaps nobody more so than those working in health care.

Dana Palmer, a nurse in UVA Health’s cardiac care unit, certainly had her hands full. After COVID-19 struck, Palmer’s unit was left shorthanded when University of Virginia student volunteers from Madison House – the independent, nonprofit volunteer center for UVA students – were no longer able to coordinate rounding, a task they had helped conduct since 2015 through the cardiac care unit’s Rounding With Heart program.

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The integrated Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia, or iTHRIV, a National Institutes of Health-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award hub, has awarded almost $80,000 in seed funding across two community-focused projects. 

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Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the University of Virginia will not be able to hold Final Exercises as usual this May. Instead, it is consulting with the Class of 2021 about two possible options: holding events this spring that involve only graduating students, with no guests; or postponing a ceremony and other events to a future date when UVA can host families and friends, as well as students.

In either scenario, UVA will confer the degrees to the candidates in each school virtually and produce a celebratory virtual event for students, friends and families this May.

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Connie Zhang and Diana Damenova, second-year computer science students, became friends during their first year at the University of Virginia. They have a lot in common.

Both discovered a passion for cybersecurity in high school, were studying computer science in the School of Engineering, and had successfully completed summer internships. Damenova interned with the U.S. Trade and Development Agency as a security analyst. Zhang joined The MITRE Corporation as a cyber security intern.

The future computer scientists also share career interest in a male-dominated field.

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When the James Webb Space Telescope launches in October, it will be the world’s premier space science observatory. Its combination of high-resolution and infrared-detecting instruments is expected to provide astronomers with a wealth of detailed data – not only on individual stars in the local universe, but also an unprecedented level of detail of what’s happening at the cores of other galaxies.

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While growing up as the son of a steel worker in a blue-collar, football-loving town in western Pennsylvania, Ron Manilla didn’t know much about tennis.

So when a monsignor at the Catholic school he had just started attending as a ninth-grader tried to recruit him to a tennis team that was short on players, Manilla – who had played only football and basketball to that point – scoffed.

“I said, ‘No way I’m playing that sport. That’s a sissy sport,’” Manilla recalled. “He said, ‘Why don’t you show up at the tennis courts tomorrow and I’ll show you who the sissy is.’

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Michael J. Weber, 78, former director of the University of Virginia Cancer Center, died Feb. 11 at home in Albemarle County. He was well-regarded for helping establish the UVA Cancer Center, and later as its director, for guiding it into the 21st century.

“Mike was the heart and soul of the cancer center,” Dr. Thomas Loughran Jr., the current director, wrote in email. “Under his direction, the cancer center was recognized as a national leader in cancer discovery.”

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She recently gave an online presentation on race and racial equity to a college athletics department, speaking to administrators, coaches and student-athletes. That was nothing new for Deborah Stroman.

But this was different. This was the University of Virginia.

“It’s definitely a blessing for me to be able to speak to the alma mater,” Stroman said on a Zoom call last week. “I speak to so many schools, cities, organizations, and to finally go back and do this was really, really moving.”

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For the third year in a row, a discovery from the University of Virginia School of Medicine has been selected as one of the year’s most significant biomedical discoveries. The finding – identifying the gene responsible for one of the deadliest cancers – is among 64 contenders fighting it out to win the public’s votes in an online bracket tournament. 

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After 10 days of enhanced public health measures, the University of Virginia saw a measurable decline in positive COVID-19 cases, allowing University leaders to ease some of those restrictions Friday while keeping other limits in place.

The day after President Jim Ryan and his leadership team implemented enhanced restrictions on Feb. 16, UVA registered 229 new COVID-19 cases, its highest daily total of the year by far.

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Poet and University of Virginia English professor Kiki Petrosino has been named the winner of the University of North Texas’s 2021 Rilke Prize, worth $10,000, for a poetry collection she penned about what it means to be Black in America and to search for one’s ancestors.

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The temperature peaked at 40 degrees on Jan. 22 in Abingdon.

University of Virginia first-year student Spencer Buddington and three of his hometown buddies had gotten together for one last outing before returning to their respective universities for spring term.

They hit their favorite antique store, Zephyr Antiques, on Main Street. Like many small historic towns in Virginia, Abingdon’s once-bustling main street had been recreated into a quaint shopping and strolling place filled with shops and restaurants with names like Mamma Mia Italian, Chef Heathers and The Tavern.

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For years, Zuhayr Shaikh volunteered with free clinics, helping provide quality health care to uninsured and under-insured patients.

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Nate French, a 2012 Duke University political science graduate, decided to become a doctor after working as an emergency medical technician in his hometown of Rochester, New York. 

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The University of Virginia’s Department of Biology and the larger scientific community is mourning the death this month of recently retired professor Michael Menaker, an internationally renowned researcher and a generous mentor.

A giant in the field of circadian rhythms, Menaker was widely considered one of the pioneers in the physiological analysis and identification of circadian pacemakers in the vertebrate nervous and endocrine systems.

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A native of Cameroon, Fri Forjindam came to the University of Virginia on a F-1 visa with the intention of becoming a doctor – until an introductory drama course changed everything.

One day, Forjindam volunteered to do an improvisational scene in front of the class in which she had to befriend, then antagonize, her professor, Richard Warner.

“His reaction to me was way more moving than the actual improv,” she recalled. “I thought, ‘If that’s acting, I want in!’” 

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“Feeling as though you are contributing to such a powerful movement while indoors [in quarantine] is an incredible opportunity that Professor LeFlouria gave each one of us,” University of Virginia student Jalecia Wright wrote about her experience in Talitha LeFlouria’s course, “Black Women and Mass Incarceration.”

How can courses with elements of community engagement continue when students are supposed to avoid others due to the coronavirus? It’s not easy, but some things are possible. Here, two faculty members share some strategies that worked in their classes.

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In September, the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors endorsed several goals articulated by UVA’s Racial Equity Task Force and requested that UVA leadership develop a plan for funding, implementing and measuring progress toward those goals.

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