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2001 Highlights

Patient care

  • A team of kidney-transplant specialists at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., developed a kidney-transplant procedure called positive crossmatch. The procedure greatly reduces the chance of organ rejection in patients with elevated antibody levels that made tissue rejection almost certain. Mayo Clinic is one of a handful of medical centers in the United States to offer this procedure.
  • Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., became one of three centers in the United States to use capsule endoscopy -- a breakthrough procedure that uses a miniature disposable camera to detect unexplained bleeding and other problems in the digestive system. The patient swallows a vitamin-sized capsule containing a computerized video camera.
  • Mayo Clinic/St. Luke's Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., expanded its transplant program in 20041 with the addition of heart and lung transplant surgery.
  • Fairmont Community Hospital, Fairmont, Minn., was incorporated into Mayo Health System. The affiliation will allow Fairmont Clinic and Fairmont Community Hospital to become a fully integrated medical center.
  • Arizona's first live-donor liver transplant was performed at Mayo Clinic Hospital. The procedure involves harvesting a portion of the liver from a healthy adult donor for immediate transplantation. The donor's liver regenerates and regains normal function with a few weeks, as does the liver for the recipient.
  • The new Gonda Building, a testament to Mayo Clinic's commitment to efficient, collaborative patient care, opened in Rochester. Completion of the 20-story building makes Mayo Clinic in Rochester the largest interconnected medical facility of its kind in the world.
  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester welcomed its 6 millionth patient on Nov. 28, 2001.


  • Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville successfully bred mice exhibiting amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, two key hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. The breakthrough is expected to provide investigators with a more complete model of human Alzheimer's disease with which to test therapies aimed at preventing or halting progression of the disease.
  • Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester reported the successful use of an antiviral drug to combat a brain disease responsible for death in as many as 5 percent of patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
  • At Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, researchers demonstrated that the hepatitis C virus replicates in the central nervous system, providing a possible biological background for nneuropsychiatric symptoms present in chronic hepatitis C.
  • Transplant specialists at Mayo Clinic in Rochester identified a new treatment to help reduce pancreas-transplant-rejection rates for patients with diabetes.
  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester received patents for a colonic-delivery technology. The patents allow Mayo investigators to refine a special capsule, which when taken orally, delays the release of drugs until they are inside the colon. The delayed release may improve treatment for patients with illnesses such as irritable bowel disorder, colon cancer, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
  • A study at Mayo Clinic in Rochester identified a cardiac gene as the first molecular link to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester developed a DNA test to rapidly identify anthrax. The new test can identify the presence of anthrax in less than one hour instead of days. Roche Diagnostics is making the test widely available to public health agencies, hospital laboratories and reference laboratories.
  • Investigators at Mayo Clinic in Rochester found that intact mutant protein kills brain cells in patients with Huntington's disease. The mutant protein locks onto a normal protein counterpart in the cell and prevents normal cell function.
  • In a study conducted using mouse models, researchers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester identified ways to delay onset of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) in the mice and increase the rate of survival.


  • Mayo Clinic hosted more than 400 members of the International Association of Medical Science Educators at the organization's fifth annual meeting and conference in Rochester. The organization's members include educators throughout the world who teach medical students anatomy, behavioral sciences, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology and physiology.
  • The Mayo School of Health Sciences announced a partnership with the University of Minnesota to offer a baccalaureate degree in respiratory care and radiation therapy. The school's physical therapy program will change from a master's-level to a doctoral-level program.
  • The Mayo International Health Program began in 2001. Sponsored by the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and Mayo Fellows Association, residents traveled to underserved areas in Haiti, China, Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines.
  • Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville added graduate medical education programs in diagnostic radiology and neurology during 2001, while Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale added programs in gastroenterology and pain management.

Honors and achievements

  • Two investigators from Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville received the 2000 Award for Medical Research from Metropolitan Life Foundation. The national award recognizes work in Alzheimer's disease research.
  • The American College of Chest Physicians recognized Mayo Clinic for tow community health projects: the Rochester Salvation Army Smoking Cessation Clinic and the Mayo Clinic Outreach to Students and Teachers.
  • For the third consecutive year, Mayo Clinic Hospital received recognition as "Best Hospital" in the metropolitan Phoenix area. The award is based on the results of a comprehensive independent consumer research study that is conducted annually.
  • Luther Midelfort -- part of the Mayo Health System -- in Eau Claire, Wis., was chosen as one of a dozen health-care organizations around the nation to participate in "Pursuing Perfection: Raising the bar for health care performance," an initiative sponsored by The Robert Wood Foundation and the Institute of Healthcare Improvement. Luther Midelfort also won the Models of Excellence in High Risk Patient Management Award given by the American Medical Group Association.
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