pickleball injuries | Pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the country, but with its rising popularity, there also has been an increase of pickleball-related injuries in emergency rooms. To track these injuries, the Saint Louis University Translational Sports Injury Prevention (TIP) Lab is introducing SPIN (Surveillance in Pickleball Players to reduce INjury). “The recent burst in pickleball participation in the United States has provided a unique opportunity to study injuries and health benefits of a new activity almost from its inception,” TIP Lab director Olu Owoeye, Ph.D., says. “The SPIN Project is positioned to provide a wealth of information to pickleball players, clubs and equipment manufacturers on how to manage the risks and reap the benefits of pickleball most effectively going forward.”

covid-19 vaccine insights
Annual updates to COVID-19 vaccines have caused concern that previous vaccinations could impact the effectiveness. New research from Washington University School of Medicine has found that immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19 does not inhibit later immune responses. Instead, repeat vaccinations promote the development of antibodies that neutralize a wide range of variants and related coronaviruses. “The first vaccine an individual receives induces a strong primary immune response that shapes responses to subsequent infection and vaccination, an effect known as imprinting,” says senior author Dr. Michael S. Diamond, the Herbert S. Gasser Professor of Medicine. “In this case, we see strong imprinting that is positive, because it’s coupled to the development of cross-reactive neutralizing antibodies with remarkable breadth of activity.”

groundbreaking collaboration
Mercy and Mayo Clinic have made a significant advancement in their 10-year collaboration. The two organizations are working together to analyze anonymous patient data as they search for new ways to provide better outcomes and lower costs of care. Mayo Clinic Platform_Connect allows researchers to access larger data sets to better identify risk factors, predict illnesses and provide earlier treatment. “After more than a year in development, we now have a platform that permits insights from Mercy’s own data and that of Mayo Clinic,” says Byron Yount, chief data and AI officer for Mercy. “This data will improve patients’ lives by helping us find diseases earlier and supporting more personalized care.”

gene therapy for hiv
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have received a $6.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop gene therapy to treat HIV. The goal is to modify the immune system’s B cells to produce broadly neutralizing antibodies effective against HIV. In theory, this approach could eliminate the virus from the body or control the infection without needing ongoing medication. “Permanent ways to control or eliminate HIV infection remain elusive, and their development is a major goal of the field,” says Dr. David T. Curiel, the Distinguished Professor of Radiation Oncology. “The idea of modifying B cells—which naturally produce antibodies—to ensure that they manufacture specific antibodies that are broadly effective at targeting HIV is an exciting strategy. We have brought together a great team with expertise in HIV, gene therapy and animal models of infection to work toward this goal.”