Breakthrough Medical Treatments from Cuba

Summary: Cuba has a long history of being a leader in finding new medical treatments.
Air Date: 9/19/15
Duration: 60
Host: Michael Roizen, MD
Guest Bio: Mark M. Rasenick, PhD
Mark RasenickDr. Mark Rasenick is distinguished professor of physiology and biophysics and psychiatry. He is founding director of the Neuroscience Program in the UIC College of Medicine. He has made significant contributions towards advancing the understanding of neurotransmitter signaling and the biology of mood disorders. 

His research has helped identify a membrane protein, the localization of which can be used as a biomarker for depression. Using the biomarker as the basis of a blood test, Rasenick can accurately test for depression and assess the efficacy of antidepressant medications within just a few days of treatment — long before patients typically feel any beneficial effects. The test could lead to safer and more accurate therapeutic approaches. Rasenick has made more numerous trips to Cuba over the last two decades for scientific exchange meetings and to collaborate with Cuban researchers. 

In April, 2014, he visited Cuba as part of a delegation of members of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences to meet with leaders with the Cuban Academy of Science. The meeting resulted in the signing of a landmark agreement to advance scientific cooperation by Cuban and U.S. scientists, in key areas of mutual interest to both countries.
Breakthrough Medical Treatments from Cuba

Most Americans don't know this, but Cuba has a long history of being a leader in finding new medical treatments.

Now that the trade embargo against Cuba has been loosened, the U.S. is teaming up with Cuban scientists on some exciting studies that could dramatically change the way disease is treated and prevented.

Dr. Mark Rasenick, professor of physiology and biophysics at the University of Illinois, discusses his travels and findings from his visits to Cuba and these promising new treatments.

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