Michigan Medicine faculty making news

News & Research

Michigan Medicine faculty making news

Fall 2018
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These children did not get to the border on their own. They are entirely innocent by any standard. But the trauma of forced separation from one’s loving family and its lifelong consequences are hard to overstate. The biological impacts are scientifically irrefutable. Toxic stress and trauma quite literally ‘get under the skin.’ They alter brain circuitry and functioning, as well as the way that genes work, through a process known as ‘epigenetic methylation’ that can turn genes on and off.”

Daniel Keating, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, of psychology, and of pediatrics; and a research professor at the Institute for Social Research, wrote an op-ed for CNN.com criticizing the Trump administration’s family separation policy, citing research that concludes that such a traumatic event can impact a child’s development and cause lasting damage.


“Our intuitive and emotional reactions are wired for millennia and millennia. When there’s a fire in the cave, you run. The way we frame illness and the treatment options is the most important factor driving what happens next. And the cancer label is particularly profound.”

Steven Katz, M.D., professor of internal medicine and of health management and policy, was quoted in a New York Times op-ed on the perils of breast cancer diagnoses, and the ways in which murky communication can negatively affect patients’ decision-making.


“The term ‘addiction’ is tossed around pretty commonly, like ‘chocoholic’ or saying you’re addicted to reality TV. [But addiction means an inability to control use] to the point where you’re failing at life.”

Ellen Selkie, M.D., clinical lecturer of adolescent medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, provided this definition of addiction in an Associated Press article on “gaming disorder,” which will be included in the 11th edition of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases.


“No one would challenge you about discussing driving safety with a patient having memory trouble. I don’t think anyone would question your discussing power tools. As a physician, my interest is in the safety of my patient and those around him, so this feels like it would be negligent not to discuss ... with a patient and his or her family.”

Donovan Maust, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, spoke to the Los Angeles Times regarding a recent study that investigated how to approach the topic of gun safety with people diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other cognitive conditions. Maust contributed to the study. 

Illustration by Ricardo Bessa/Folio Art