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Bolli, U of L to lead multi-center cardioprotective study

Group garners nearly $10 million NIH grant to evaluate new therapies
Bolli, U of L to lead multi-center cardioprotective study

Dr. Roberto Bolli of the University of Louisville Division of Cardiovascular Medicine will lead a multi-center research consortium to study cardioprotective therapies at a preclinical level.

Click HERE  to see a photo gallery from the grant announcement

Once again, when the world needs the best in cardiovascular research, it turns its eyes to the University of Louisville.

A multi-institutional consortium, led by Roberto Bolli, M.D., chief of the University of Louisville Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and director of the Institute for Molecular Cardiology, recently earned a nearly $10 million grant from the National Institutes of Health'sNational Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to evaluate cardioprotective therapies at a preclinical level.

The $9.56 million, five-year grant, titled "Preclinical Consortium to Facilitate Translation of Cardioprotective Therapies (CAESAR)," will include four independent laboratories and cores at the University of Louisville, Emory University, Johns Hopkins University and Virginia Commonwealth University; the U of L team will lead this multi-center program.

Together, these institutions will work to test potential cardioprotective therapies in a blinded, randomized manner using rigorous statistical methods and analyses.

"CAESAR will be my most important contribution to the field of cardioprotection," Bolli said. "We hope that CAESAR will facilitate translation of basic research into therapies that will help victims of heart attacks."

According to Bolli, it will mark the first time the NIH has funded a network of laboratories to test cardioprotective therapies and to serve as a public resource.

"Approximately eight years ago, I began talking with NIH representatives about the need to change how we are conducting cardioprotective preclinical studies," Bolli said. "Those conversations have led to this grant."

The network's research will be available to all investigators in both the academic and biomedical research fields; NIH-funded investigators will have access to the network's facilities and expertise at no cost.

"The development of a network of leading laboratories, funded by the NIH and available to the entire community of investigators, represents a veritable paradigm shift that will radically transform the way we approach cardioprotection," Bolli said.

A key advantage in how these studies will be conducted is the addition of a statistician in developing the research study design. Another is ensuring reproducibility; each study will be performed in two centers using identical protocols, with each center unaware of the other’s results.

In addition, expanding the multi-faceted approach to this level of research will bring these new therapies to patients much sooner.

"Multi-center research programs accelerate the translation of research to the clinic," Jesse Roman, M.D., Chairman of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine said. "CAESAR is such an effort. By joining strong cardiovascular research programs at Emory, Johns Hopkins, and VCU, the U of L team, lead by Dr. Roberto Bolli, brings attention to the important topic of cardioprotection.

"This approach represents what should be the natural evolution of sophisticated scientific programs that seek to advance discovery. I am extremely proud of the stellar contributions this team has made to our understanding of cardiovascular disease."

Joining Bolli in the research at U of L are Xian-Liang Tang, M.D., associate professor of medicine, Yiru Guo, M.D., associate professor of medicine, Qianhong Li, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine, and Steven Jones, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine, all with the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Department of Medicine; and Dr. Maiying Kong, Ph.D., associate professor of bioinformatics and biostatistics in the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences.

Leading the efforts at the other university centers are Dr. Charles Steenbergen at Johns Hopkins; Dr. David Lefer and Dr. Jacob Vinten-Johansen at Emory; and Dr. Rakesh Kukreja at Virginia Commonwealth.

U of L's SSCI membership continues record growth

Addition of six new members makes U of L the group's fastest-growing contingent.

Six more members of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine have been accepted for membership in the prestigious Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, a regional academic society dedicated to the advancement of medical research.

That brings the total membership from the University of Louisville to 24, making the U of L contingent the fastest growing group in the SSCI.

The SSCI and the Southern Region-American Federation for Medical Research are committed to supporting the development of young investigators and students.

In addition, the group is also committed to encouraging students, residents and fellows to enter academic medicine and to support junior faculty success in clinical investigation.

"The SSCI is an honorary society that promotes scholarship, research, education, and mentorship," Dr. Jesse Roman, Chair of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine said. "The fact that our department houses 24 SSCI members speaks loudly about the quality of our faculty and about their leadership role in academic medicine."

The latest group of new members includes:

This most recent group of newly elected members will be announced in February at the SSCI annual meeting in New Orleans.

U of L doctors talk sleep disorders on WFPL's 'State of Affairs'

U of L doctors talk sleep disorders on WFPL's 'State of Affairs'

Fidaa Shaib, M.D. of the University of Louisville discussed sleep disorders on a recent edition of WFPL's "State of Affairs" radio program.

When there are questions about heart health, who better to ask than doctors from the University of Louisville?

U of L Drs. Fidaa Shaib and Sarah Honaker joined WFPL-89.3 radio host Julie Kredens for the December 13, 2010 edition of the "State of Affairs" program and discussed sleep disorders and their effects on other areas of personal health.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW [MP3]

Schapmire to receive ACS C.A.R.E. Award

Schapmire to receive ACS C.A.R.E. Award

The University of Louisville's Dr. Tara Schapmire will be honored with the 2013 ACS C.A.R.E. Award.

Tara J. Schapmire, Ph.D., MSSW, CSW, CCM, OSW-C, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the University of Louisville Division of General Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine & Medical Education, was recently named the recipient of the 2013 C.A.R.E. Award given by the American Cancer Society.

The award recognizes an allied healthcare professional for their compassionate, affirming, respectful and empathetic service to the needs of cancer survivors and their families.

"I have been blessed to work with and learn from so many amazing people affected by cancer, AND so many brilliant and caring health care professionals through the years," Schapmire said. "I am humbled to accept the American Cancer Society's C.A.R.E award in honor of all of them!"

Schapmire is a member of the Interdisciplinary Program for Palliative Care & Chronic Illness program and also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at U of L's Kent School of Social Work.

She will receive the award at the 2013 Evening of Hope Gala to be held August 17, 2013 in the Galt House Hotel Grand Ballroom.

Herzig featured in C-J article on stem cell donation

Herzig featured in C-J article on stem cell donation

Roger Herzig, M.D., Chief of the University of Louisville Division of Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation.

When three Sigma Chi fraternity brothers at the University of Louisville signed up for a stem cell donor registry in 2009, they didn’t think it was a big deal.

Only one in 540 people who register are ever matched with a recipient, according to Be the Match, the organization that ran the drive on the U of L campus.

All three turned out to be perfect matches for patients in need of stem cells, and all three made donations. The chance of such a coincidence is exceedingly low, according to officials at Be the Match.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Study: Grapes help protect against colitis

Study: Grapes help protect against colitis

Scientists isolated the grape's exosome-like nanoparticles or GELNs, which are tiny vesicles that only can be seen under an electron microscope.

A team of researchers including a pair of doctors from the University of Louisville Department of Medicine has shown red table grapes produce substances that enable intestinal stem cells in mice to continue functioning even as colitis is introduced into their intestinal tract.

The study, led by Dr. Huang-ge Zhang of the U of L Department of Microbiology and Immunology, also included Drs. Donald Miller and Jun Yan of the DOM's Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology.

The substances are the first exosome-like nanoparticles identified from an edible plant; until now, exosome nanoparticles have only been seen in mammals.

The research is published online in the Nature Publishing Group’s journal Molecular Therapy.

READ THE ABSTRACT

Ramirez garners international award

Ramirez garners international award

Dr. Julio Ramirez, Chief of the University of Louisville Division of Infectious Diseases.

A doctor from the University of Louisville Department of Medicine is garnering international acclaim.

Julio Ramirez, M.D., FACP, Chief of the U of L Division of Infectious Diseases, has been named the recipient of the 2013 ERS Presidential Award.

"I am very honored to have been chosen to receive this award," Ramirez said. "This award is the result of the years of hard work of our University Clinical and Translational Research team in the area of pneumonia."

Given by the European Respiratory Society, the award is "in recognition of (Ramirez') outstanding contribution to research in respiratory infections and clinical management of pneumonia," ERS president Dr. Francesco Blasi said.

"Receiving a Presidential Award from one of the top respiratory societies in the world is a wonderful accomplishment," Dr. Jesse Roman, Chairman of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine said. "Dr. Ramirez has distinguished himself as a world-class clinician, educator and researcher, and we are very proud."

Ramirez will receive the award at the ERS Annual Congress 2013 held in Barcelona, Spain in September.

Casper, Smith go to Washington

U of L medical education faculty share concerns with Congressional leaders.
Casper, Smith go to Washington

U of L Drs. Clayton Smith and Barbara Casper were at the U.S. Capitol representing the Kentucky Chapter of the American College of Physicians.

Two members of the University of Louisville Division of General Internal Medicine, Palliative Medicine and Medical Education traveled to Washington, D.C. May 21-22 to represent the Kentucky Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine (AAIM) at the organization's annual Leadership Day program.

Barbara Casper, M.D., FACP, division chief and director of the U of L Internal Medicine Residency Program was joined by Chief Medical Resident Clayton Smith, M.D., on the trip to the nation's capital.

“Clay Smith and I were privileged to represent the ACP and AAIM in Washington," Casper said. "We had the opportunity to meet with several members of Congress and their assistants to discuss issues surrounding the delivery of health care as well as residency training. We are hopeful that there may be some bipartisan movement on several of the issues that we presented."

The ACP had four key "asks" of the 113th Congress:

  • Eliminating Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula and transitioning to new value-based payment models.

  • Replacing sequestration cuts and preventing future disruptions in funding for critical health care.

  • Enacting fiscally- and socially- responsible alternatives to reduce unnecessary health care spending.

  • Enacting meaningful medical liability reforms, including piloting testing of health courts.

"I appreciated the chance to tell our elected officials about how their decisions affect what we do at the University," Smith said. "I would encourage others who are interested in changing the system to take the time to learn about and participate in this advocacy program."

With 133,000 members, ACP is the largest medical specialty organization and second-largest physician group in the United States with a mission to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the science and practice of medicine.

Kloecker collects MediStar Award

U of L oncologist recognized for efforts in healthcare advocacy.
Kloecker collects MediStar Award

Dr. Goetz Kloecker of the U of L Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, was the recipient of The Seven Counties Services "Healthcare Advocacy" Award at the 2013 MediStar Awards.

Goetz Kloecker, M.D., MBA, MSPH, FACP, of the University of Louisville Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology, along with patient Nancy Alvey, were awarded The Seven Counties Services "Healthcare Advocacy" Award at the 2013 MediStar Awards held Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Louisville.

The award is presented annually to an individual or organization that is an effective advocate at the local, state or national level concerning issues such as, but not limited to, access to care initiatives that support healthy lifestyles.

A physician at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, Kloecker specializes in caring for lung cancer patients. He was instrumental in establishing the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Clinic and serves as its director.

Kloecker also directs the Medical Oncology/Hematology Fellowship Program.

Created in 2007 by IGE Media, publishers of Medical News and Medical News For You, The MediStar Awards honor eight healthcare professionals for their achievements in advocacy, innovation, education, leadership, design, humanity and meeting consumer needs, as well as the Physician of the Year award.

Study: Grapefruit a 'secret weapon'

Study finds GNVs can efficiently deliver a variety of therapeutic agents, including DNA, RNA (DIR-GNVs), proteins and anti-cancer drugs (GNVs-Drugs).
Study: Grapefruit a 'secret weapon'

U of L scientists discovered how GNVs can efficiently deliver a variety of therapeutic agents, including DNA, RNA (DIR-GNVs), proteins (PKH26-GNVs) and anti-cancer drugs (GNVs-Drugs).

Grapefruits have long been known for their health benefits, and the subtropical fruit may revolutionize how medical therapies like anti-cancer drugs are delivered to specific tumor cells.

University of Louisville researchers have uncovered how to create nanoparticles using natural lipids derived from grapefruit, and have discovered how to use them as drug delivery vehicles.

Drs. Zhong-Bin Deng, Donald Miller and Jun Yan of the U of L Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology were  part of the team that published their findings in the May 2013 edition of Nature Communications.

READ THE ABSTRACT

Survivor Clinic, Bais, featured in C-J

Survivor Clinic, Bais, featured in C-J

Dr. Rajeev Bais (above) of the Division of Infectious Diseases, along with Dr. Steven Lippmann of the Dept. of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences are the driving forces behind The Survivor Clinic.

Since 2010, victims of the unthinkable have had a place to go that understands their specific ordeal.

The Survivor Clinic, brainchild of Dr. Rajeev Bais of the University of Louisville Division of Infectious Diseases, works to provide comprehensive medical and psychological care to survivors of torture.

Dr. Bais and the clinic were featured in the May 14, 2013 edition of The Courier-Journal, including a video of Dr. Bais' work on behalf of those who have been torture victims.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Congratulations to Dr. Cristina Fernandez!!!

Congratulations!

Dr. Cristina Fernandez has been nominated & accepted into the 2013 Southeast Center of Excellence in Geriatric Medicine Resident Award Summit!

Chaires named JGBCC Scientist of the Year for 2013

Will receive the award at this year's Julep Ball.
Chaires named JGBCC Scientist of the Year for 2013

Jonathan Brad Chaires, Ph.D., has been named the 2013 James Graham Brown Cancer Center Scientist of the Year.

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center has named Jonathan "Brad" Chaires, Ph.D., as its 2013 Scientist of the Year.

Chaires is a member of the University of Louisville Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, as well as the James Graham Brown Endowed Chair in Biophysics.

He will be recognized and receive his award at this year's Julep Ball to be held on May 3 at the KFC Yum! Center.

"One of the main goals of the Brown Cancer Center is to have on our faculty excellent scientists like Brad Chaires," Donald Miller, M.D., Ph,.D., director of the Brown Cancer Center said. "Brad is a prime representative of all the scientists at the Brown Cancer Center who work every day to make life better for cancer patients in our region."

Match Day a success once again

U of L Internal Medicine Residency Program throws another perfect game.
Match Day a success once again

March 15 was Match Day for U of L medical school graduates.

SEE PHOTO GALLERY

It's "Match Madness" all over again.

Match Day for University of Louisville medical students, and others nationwide, was March 15 as they opened their envelopes from the National Residency Match Program to find where they had been matched for residency training.

The U of L Internal Medicine Residency Program completed a perfect match yet again, filling 23 categorical and 11 preliminary positions.

"It was a very successful match day for the University of Louisville students!" Dr. Barbara Casper, director of the U of L Internal Medicine Residency Program said. "In addition, the internal medicine training program had an outstanding match. Each of our positions were filled in the matching process and our new intern class will be one of our most academically gifted. We are looking forward to having a very successful year!"

Conducted annually by the NRMP, The Match uses a computerized algorithm designed to the best results by aligning the preferences of applicants with the preferences of residency programs.

The results are used to fill thousands of training positions available in the United States.

Stoddard discusses women's risk for heart disease

Stoddard discusses women's risk for heart disease

Dr. Marcus Stoddard

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Over one quarter of all deaths are from heart disease. It is also a major cause of disability.

The risk of heart disease increases as you age. You have a greater risk of heart disease if you are a man over age 45 or a woman over age 55.

You also are at greater risk if you have a close family member who had heart disease at an early age.

"One important thing to note about women and heart disease is that their symptoms can be atypical," Dr. Marcus Stoddard, professor of medicine and director of the Non-Invasive Cardiology Program in the University of Louisville Division of Cardiovascular Medicine said.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Bolli reappointed to prestigious editor post

U of L cardiologist tabbed for another term as head of Circulation Research.
Bolli reappointed to prestigious editor post

University of Louisville Dr. Roberto Bolli (right) continues as Editor-in-Chief of Circulation Research, while Dr. Aruni Bhatnager (left) serves as Deputy Editor.

When it came to the editorship of Circulation Research, the American Heart Association followed a simple piece of advice: Never mess with a winning streak.

The AHA recently reappointed Dr. Roberto Bolli to another five-year term as Editor-in-Chief of the journal.

Bolli, chief of the University of Louisville Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director, Institute of Molecular Cardiology, was initially appointed to the editors post in July 2009.

Founded in 1953, Circulation Research is the official journal of the American Heart Association and the most prestigious journal in basic and translational cardiovascular research in the world.

It is regarded as the most authoritative repository of new advances in cardiovascular medicine that are likely to impact the future of the field.

"I believe that being the site of the editorship of Circulation Research brings a tremendous amount of visibility and academic recognition to the University of Louisville," Bolli said. "In addition, the editorship facilitates our efforts to recruit top fellows and faculty, and advance our research mission."

Since taking the lead role with Circulation Research, Bolli has worked to revolutionize every aspect of the journal from its format to overall editorial policy and philosophy.

"In the past four years, I have worked assiduously to elevate the journal to an ever higher status," Bolli said. "Never has a journal changed so much in such a short time. Visits to the journal website have increased almost 50%, and the impact factor in 2012 will jump from 9.5 to approximately 12.0."

Serving as Bolli's deputy editor is U of L cardiovascular researcher Dr. Aruni Bhatnagar.

Callen earns MDS Lifetime Achievement Award

Callen earns MDS Lifetime Achievement Award

Jeffrey Callen, M.D., chief of the University of Louisville Division of Dermatology, is the recipient of the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Medical Dermatology Society.

There's nothing better than to be recognized by your peers for your career accomplishments.

That's the case with Jeffrey Callen, M.D., chief of the University of Louisville Division of Dermatology, who was recently tabbed as the 2011 recipient of the Medical Dermatology Society Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Callen will receive his award at the annual meeting of the MDS on February 3, 2011 in New Orleans.

According to the MDS, the Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a medical dermatologist who has been inspirational during his or her career.

Specifically, Callen will be recognized for his inspired patient care, mentoring and research in medical dermatology.

"It's nice to be recognized by your peers," Dr. Callen said. "It is truly an honor to receive an award that recognizes achievement across a lifetime. I am pleased that my efforts have been seen to make some difference that translates to better care for patients, through the students I've taught and the research activities of which I have been part."

The Medical Dermatology Society is made up of the leaders of clinical dermatology and the teachers of the next generation of practicing dermatologists. Its members include academicians, private practitioners, and resident physicians who specialize in the care of patients with serious dermatologic diseases.

A native of Chicago, Callen earned his MD at the University of Michigan, where he also completed residencies in internal medicine and dermatology.

He joined the faculty at the University of Louisville in 1977 and was named professor of medicine and division chief in 1988.

Prior to his current honor, Dr. Callen received the 2008 Thomas G. Pearson, Ed.D. Memorial Education Award from the American Academy of Dermatology.

"Dr. Callen is an outstanding clinician and educator, and his efforts in advancing knowledge in the diagnosis and management of dermatological disorders are exemplary," Dr. Jesse Roman, Chairman of the University of Louisville Department of Medicine said. "We are proud of his accomplishments and congratulate him for this well-deserved honor."