HHRI News & Press Releases


HHRI (formerly MMRF) News


MMRF Investigator Responds to Minneapolis’ Proposal to Raise the Age to Buy Tobacco
May 22, 2018 – MMRF investigator and Chief of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at HCMC Paul Pentel, MD, was recently interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio about the City of Minneapolis’ proposal to raise the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21.

SRTR Establishes Living Donor Registry to Study the Long-term Outcomes of Living Donation
May 8, 2018 – The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) recently launched a pilot project called the Living Donor Collective (LCD) to study the long-term effects of donating one’s kidney or liver.  This living donor registry, which began enrolling patients in 2018, is starting at 16 transplant programs (10 kidney and 6 liver) across the United States.  Additional centers will be added when the pilot phase is completed by the end of 2020.



MMRF Included in Scientific American article “Fighting the Opioid Crisis with Vaccines and Better Chemistry”
August 29, 2017 – Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation investigators, led by Marco Pravetoni, PhD, are working to develop therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of oxycodone, hydrocodone, and heroin abuse and dependence. This work was included in an August 17, 2017 Scientific American article about the renewed public focus on efforts to develop vaccines to help combat the country’s opioid epidemic.

Q&A with New MMRF Clinical Research Scholar Andrew Busch, PhD
August 29, 2017 — Andrew (Drew) Busch, PhD, recently joined the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation Addiction Research team. A licensed psychologist, Dr. Busch specializes in treating mood disorders and facilitating health behavior change (e.g., smoking cessation) in medical patients. Dr. Busch discusses his research studies, what inspired him to pursue treatment research, and what he enjoys doing when he’s not working.

MMRF Participates in Community Festival to Raise Awareness About the Importance of Research
May 26, 2017 — Twin Cities researchers, including investigators from the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation (MMRF) and the University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), took part in the In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre’s annual MayDay Festival on May 7 at Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis.

MMRF Researchers Working on Vaccines to Treat Opioid Addiction
March 31, 2017 – Opioid abuse is one of the leading causes of overdose deaths, claiming the lives of more than 33,000 people in 2015 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Scientists at the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation are working to develop therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of oxycodone, hydrocodone, and heroin abuse and dependence.

MMRF Accepting Applications for 2017 Post-doctoral Appointment Program
March 22, 2017 — The Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation (MMRF) has issued a Request for Proposals for its 2017 Post-doctoral Appointment Program. Letters of intent are due April 26, 2017, with applications due on May 26, 2017. The overall goal of the program is for MMRF post-doc awards to provide a bridge for the post-doctoral investigator to develop their own independent careers at MMRF.

MMRF Researcher Dr. Anne Murray Featured in February 2017 Issue of Minnesota Good Age Magazine
February 7, 2017 — This month’s issue of Minnesota Good Age Magazine features Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation (MMRF) researcher Anne M. Murray, MD, MSc. Dr. Murray, a geriatrician, internist, epidemiologist specializing in dementia, is the Medical Director for the Berman Center for Outcomes and Clinical Research at MMRF. The Good Age article highlights Dr. Murray’s career treating older adults, as well as her groundbreaking research as principal investigator on the BRain IN Kidney (BRINK) study and as the lead U.S. geriatrician for the National Institute on Aging’s ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) study.


MMRF 2016 Year in Review

Dr. Anne Murray Discusses Alzheimer’s Research on Healthy Matters
November 2016 — MMRF researcher Dr. Anne Murray was the featured guest on Healthy Matters on WCCO radio on November 13. Dr. Murray and host Dr. David Hilden talked about Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia and the latest in research including the BRain IN Kidney disease (BRINK) study, which is investigating the connection between dementia and chronic kidney disease.

Changes at Grants.gov
October 2016 — In December 2017, Grants.gov will phase out the Legacy Application Package that uses a single PDF package of forms. Instead, applicants will apply for federal grants using Grants.gov Workspace.

New Policy on NIH-funded Clinical Trial Information
October 2016 — Effective January 18, 2017, investigators conducting clinical trials funded in whole or in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be expected to make sure their trials are registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, and that the summary results information is submitted to the site for public posting.

IRB Marks 50 Years of Protecting the Rights & Welfare of Human Subjects in Research
August 2016 — The Human Subjects Research Committee (HSRC), the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at MMRF and HCMC celebrates its 50th Anniversary.

Rockswold Health Scholars
August 2016 — Seven undergraduate students from St. Olaf College spent their summer immersed in many areas of HCMC and MMRF as part of the Rockswold Health Scholars program.

New Grant Guidelines from NIH: What You Need to Know
May 2016 — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has updated its grant application guidelines to address scientific rigor and transparency.

Breakthroughs in Traumatic Brain Injury Research
March 2016 — MMRF Researchers aim to develop a standard approach for evaluating and diagnosing Traumatic Brain Injury, including concussion. Study will include various evaluation methods, including analysis of blood-based biomarkers, eye tracking and imaging to help classify severity of head injury.


Press Releases

Opioid Use Linked to Poor Health, Criminal Justice Involvement According to National Study
July 6, 2018 – A public health approach to address the opioid epidemic in the United States must address the complex physical and mental health needs of individuals who use opioids and improve connections between health care, public health and the criminal justice system concluded the authors of a national study published in JAMA Network Open. The study by investigators from the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute, University of Colorado and New York University examined data from the 2015 and 2016 National Survey on Drug Use. It is the first study to use national data in identifying the health and justice profiles of people using various levels of prescription opioids or heroin.

BRINK Study Finds Patients with Moderate Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Have Increased Risk for Dementia
November 18, 2016 — Patients with moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD), who have lost more than half of their kidney function score worse on tests of memory and decision-making skills than those without CKD, according to the BRain IN Kidney disease (BRINK) study. Approximately 3 million people live with moderate CKD in the United States.

SRTR Press Releases

Press releases from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), which is administered by the Chronic Disease Research Group, a division of the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation. The SRTR database allows users to find and compare organ transplant programs.


Media Mentions


Beating Clinician Burnout
HealthLeaders Media
March 30, 2017— Signs of clinician burnout—a response to chronic workplace stressors—have become a reality in the healthcare industry. “It’s somewhere between 30% and 50% nationally in physicians and it is rising,” says Mark Linzer, MD, FACP, director of the division of general internal medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Could A Vaccine End The Opioid Epidemic?
Twin Cities Business Magazine
March 29, 2017 — Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation researchers are advancing work that could help end the United States’ burgeoning painkiller problem as they seek to develop a vaccine that can work on addiction to prescription painkillers such as oxycontin.

Brilliant Minds
Minnesota Good Age Magazine
March 6, 2017 — Dr. Anne Murray, an MMRF researcher, geriatrician, internist and epidemiologist is an internationally recognized medical researcher whose discoveries include a connection between advanced kidney problems and dementia. “Our results could end up changing the way kidney patients are treated for memory loss,” Dr. Murray said.

Top doctor – Dr. Anne Murray’s extraordinary journey into gerontology has led her to remarkable discoveries that may help older adults tremendously
Minnesota Good Age Magazine
February 2017 — Dr. Anne Murray, an MMRF researcher, geriatrician, internist and epidemiologist, has spent decades specializing dementia care and research, including multiple studies that show a connection between kidney disease and memory loss.

HCMC, U to Test new, simpler treatment for brain injuries
January 12, 2017 — Researchers at Hennepin County Medical Center and the University of Minnesota are studying an experimental approach to stimulating the vagus nerve, which could provide effective treatment for moderate traumatic brain injury.

HCMC doctor develops stimulation treatment for brain injuries, clinical trials underway
January 10, 2017 — Researchers at the HCMC Brain Injury Research lab are testing vagus nerve simulation to treat brain injury without medications.


Betty Ford comes to San Diego with new focus on opioid addiction
San Diego Union-Tribune
December 12, 2016 — Dr. Gavin Bart, director of addiction medicine at HCMC, MMRF researcher and a professor at the University of Minnesota, pointed to several peer-reviewed studies in medical journals that indicate tapering of these medications is ineffective.

Dr. Anne Murray discusses Alzheimer’s research on Healthy Matters radio program
November 13, 2016 — MMRF researcher Dr. Anne Murray and Healthy Matters host Dr. David Hilden talk about Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, and about the latest in research for this disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
Listen to the podcast on WCCO.
Choose the Sunday, November 13th, 2016 broadcast.

Eight big and 14 small ideas for building resiliency
Minnesota Medicine
November/December 2016 — Dr. Mark Linzer, director of general internal medicine at HCMC and a national authority on physician well-being, says hospitals, clinics and health care systems are recognizing they have an “organizational imperative” to care for the well-being of their staff.

Fixing the system to fight burnout
ACP Internist
November 1, 2016 — The systems that burn out physicians, not the burned-out physicians themselves, may lead to decrements in care quality, said Mark Linzer, MD, FACP, a study author and one of the leading researchers in burnout and physician wellness.

Five ways hospitals are improving the workplace on Labor Day and beyond
September 2, 2016 — “There is nowhere to go in a hospital to just stop for a minute before you go back to your typical 12- or 14-hour day,” said Mark Linzer, director of the office of professional work-life at Hennepin. “The idea really is just to sit.”

State Fair-goers help with brain injury research
August 31, 2016 — Fair-goers participate in the Minnesota Healthy Brain Initiative, an MMRF and HCMC research study in which participants complete a questionnaire and then watch videos while a tracking camera watches and measures their eye movements.

Despite rising concerns over concussions, this doctor prescribes football
August 28, 2016 — Dr. Uzma Samadani, parent of a player, neurosurgeon and the Rockswold Kaplan Endowed Chair for brain injury research at MMRF and HCMC, says a proper approach takes the concern out of the game.

Key points on avoiding brain injury
August 28, 2016 — Advice from Dr. Uzma Samadani, a University of Minnesota associate professor of neurosurgery and an attending neurosurgeon and brain injury researcher at HCMC and MMRF.

Minnesota hospitals ramp up efforts to battle physician burnout
August 6, 2016 — “The system that burns out doctors doesn’t perform as well when it comes to patient care,” said Dr. Mark Linzer, director of internal medicine at HCMC in Minneapolis. “I think people have recognized that if you start measuring [burnout], start talking about it and develop some kind of modest infrastructure to oversee it, you can begin to make a dent in it.”

Inside Your Health Special: Food as Medicine
August 1, 2016 — Food can also be used as a health care tool, similar to prescription medications or surgery. Hennepin County Medical Center is even writing “food prescriptions” for patients. Dr. Jon Pryor and Dr. Diana Cutts were interviewed for this special.

HCMC, Regions study for emergency brain injury waives patient consent
June 17, 2016 — A study underway in St. Paul through the Regions Hospital EMS service is now starting in Minneapolis with HCMC ambulance crews to test a clotting drug on patients with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Researchers suspect that “microbleeding” in the brain may exacerbate TBIs. Dr. Paul Nystrom is leading HCMC’s arm of the study.

Physicians take to “reset room” to battle burnout
AMA Wire
June 8, 2016 — Leaders at Hennepin County Medical Center developed the Office for Professional Worklife to address the needs of its physicians and other medical providers. Dr. Mark Linzer, Sara Poplau and Laura Guzman-Corrales at MMRF, authored a module on preventing physician burnout for the AMA’s STEPS Forward™ collection of practice improvement strategies to help physicians make transformative changes to their practices.

Prince died from accidental overdose of fentanyl
June 3, 2016 — Deaths associated with drugs slow the investigative process, because they require toxicology tests, then Olympic-level verification to determine the exact type and amount of drugs, said Fred Apple, PhD, medical director of the clinical laboratories at HCMC, which did not conduct the Prince toxicology testing.

Good Question: Why do autopsies take so long?
April 28, 2016 — “You want to get the answer right, which is the most important thing,” said Dr. Fred Apple, medical director of clinical laboratories at Hennepin County Medical Center. He says autopsies can be done quickly, but it is toxicology that takes time.

Being a woman can put you at a critical disadvantage in the ER
Woman’s Day
April 27, 2016 — “The last thing anyone who goes into medicine wants is to treat only half of their patients well,” says James R. Miner, MD, chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

HCMC receives financial gift from late iconic ad man Pat Fallon
Twin Cities Business
April 25, 2016 — “Pat Fallon’s generosity enables HCMC to attract world-class physician researchers who are developing new ways to identify and treat brain injuries,” HCMC CEO Jon L. Pryor said in a statement.

11 things I wish I knew before becoming a neurosurgeon
April 12, 2016 — “I’ve been very lucky to work in a hospital system that values my work as a researcher, so I’m able to work in a clinical setting three days a week and work on research two days a week. It’s a fantastic arrangement, and we just started one of the largest brain studies in the country.” – Uzma Samadani, PhD, MD, FACS, FAANS, is an attending neurosurgeon at the Hennepin County Medical Center, where she serves as Rockswold Kaplan endowed chair.

Researchers: Doctors may be treating concussions the wrong way
WCCO-4 Sunday Morning
March 20, 2016 — Dr. Uzma Samadani, a leading researcher on brain injuries at MMRF and HCMC, spoke with Esme Murphy about the big problem facing doctors trying to understand concussions.

Largest single-center concussion study launched at trauma center in Minnesota 
March 11, 2016 — Researchers at Hennepin County Medical Center and the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with Abbott, are embarking on a groundbreaking and comprehensive study that aims to identify the spectrum of brain injuries that occur in patients on arrival to the ED, and followed through to completion for up to a year after they are discharged from the hospital.

Major brain injury study to be launched in the Twin Cities
March 10, 2016 — The University of Minnesota, Hennepin County Medical Center and Abbott Diagnostics are collaborating on a study. They hope to enroll a thousand concussion or brain injury patients. MPR’s Cathy Wurzer spoke with one of the researchers, Dr. Uzma Samadani, a neurosurgeon at HCMC.

The largest study on brain trauma is happening here in Minnesota
Twin Cities Business
March 9, 2016 — The University of Minnesota has teamed up with the Hennepin County Medical Center to develop a new standard approach for evaluating and diagnosing traumatic injury to the brain including concussion.

Minnesota hospitals create nation’s largest concussion study
March 9, 2016 — Hennepin County Medical Center and the University of Minnesota are collaborating to develop a standard approach to evaluate and diagnose concussions and other traumatic brain injuries, the largest study of its kind in the nation.

MN researchers, doctors seek to understand, treat brain injuries
March 9, 2016 — Amazing things can happen when great minds come together. Doctors from the University of Minnesota, Hennepin County Medical Center and researchers from Abbott Diagnostics just announced they’re launching a joint study on concussions and traumatic brain injury.

MN researchers launch largest concussion study
March 9, 2016 — Researchers in Minnesota are conducting a study to help better diagnose concussions. The University of Minnesota, Hennepin County Medical Center and Abbott Diagnostic Labs in Chicago are launching the nation’s largest, single-center study of concussions and TBI.

Minnesota hospitals launch “nation’s largest” concussion study
March 9, 2016 — Hennepin County Medical Center and the University of Minnesota are launching what’s billed as the nation’s largest study of concussions and traumatic brain injuries, combining discoveries in brain imaging, blood analysis and eye tests to find a more accurate way to detect the injuries’ severity and long-term ramifications.

AcelRx Pharmaceuticals’s Acute Pain Candidate: Improved Pain Scores in ER Patients
Drug Discovery & Development
February 25, 2016 — Dr. James Miner, chief of emergency medicine at HCMC and primary investigator of the ARX-04 studies, said, “In my clinical experience in a high-capacity emergency department, I believe a product with the ability to mitigate pain rapidly, without the practical and logistical impediment of starting an intravenous line, holds great potential for use in the ER.

Ex-Viking quarterback says he has Alzheimer’s
February 8, 2016 — HCMC neurosurgeon Dr. Uzma Samadani, who studies the long-term cognitive effects of contact sports, says someone like Joe Kapp, who played in the 1960s and 1970s is of far greater risk of brain damage than those who play now.

Hennepin County Medical Center finding solutions to “physician burnout”
January 16, 2016 — Recent studies show that as many as 50 percent of doctors across the nation are burned out at work. Experts say that can greatly affect the patient. “Burnout has three components: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a lack of sense of personal accomplishment,” Dr. Mark Linzer, HCMC’s Director of Internal Medicine, said.  It’s a concept Linzer has researched for two decades.