Our Internal Medicine Residency Program continues to compete favorably with top training programs nationally with a strong performance on the IM In-service Training Exam. We view the IM-ITE as a valuable tool which assists our evaluation of curricular components and allows each resident to identify knowledge gaps on a yearly basis. Our recent graduates continued to demonstrate excellence with a 100% Pass Rate on the American Board of Internal Medicine certification exam. We take pride in continuing this rich tradition.
The Department of Medicine was well represented by Drs. Sehgal, Dewald, Pugh and Boulos at Chest 2017; the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians held in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Jonathan Dewald was award a blue ribbon for outstanding case report for "Progression of pulmonary fibrosis in a patient with telomere disease previously treated with danazol."
After months of tireless effort, the PCORI team, headed by Dr. Dhand, Jennifer Ferris and Dr. Paul Terry, recently submitted a grant proposal entitled, "Nebulizers vs inhalers as maintenance therapy to treat dyspnea in advanced COPD" to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. If accepted, this three-year project would be completed in phases and would involve approximately 600 patients. Each patient would visit our facility three times during a six-month period. One-half of the participants would use regular inhalers and one-half would use nebulizer delivery systems. If our proposal is accepted, this award would start a very valuable relationship with the PCORI group.
Dr. Rajiv Dhand spoke, on September 14, at the 21st Annual Thomas J. Godar Pulmonary/Critical Care Symposium sponsored by the Section of Pulmonary/Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut. His talk entitled, "Advancement and Understanding of Pathogenesis and Newer Modalities of Treatment for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - Bench to Bedside" was attended by pulmonary/critical care physicians and internists interested in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.
Light chain amyloidosis (AL) is the most common form of systemic amyloid disease, with an estimated 4,500 new cases each year in the US. AL is a complex plasma cell-related disease characterized by the formation of insoluble protein fibrils composed of misfolded monoclonal immunoglobulin light chain components. Effective clinical management of patients with AL requires, in addition to chemotherapy, removal of destructive tissue amyloid so that organ function can be allowed to recover. To address this Dr. Wall’s team has developed a strategy that uses a novel bifunctional “peptope” - that combines a pan-amyloid-reactive peptide and a linear epitope sequence - to enhance the efficacy and extend the utility of current immunotherapeutic antibodies, such as the chimeric reagent, 11-1F4. AL amyloidosis remains a devastating and incurable disease. The goal of this work is to characterize innovative bifunctional peptides that simultaneously bind amyloid and the 11-1F4 monoclonal antibody to generate a novel immunotherapy for AL amyloidosis. This approach will complement current antibody-based therapies for amyloid removal, thereby restoring organ function and securing long-term survival and remission for patients with AL.
Publication of the Chinese translation of the 3rd Edition of Flexible Bronchoscopy was recently announced. Dr. J. Francis Turner is the editor of this exceptional training manual for interventional bronchoscopy that highlights complications, precautions and contraindications as well as addresses current techniques and future technologies in interventional bronchoscopy.
Dr. Jonathan Wall, Dr. Timothy Sparer and Dr. Stephen Kennel were granted US Patent #9683017, “Inhibitory peptides of viral infection” on June 20, 2017. The patent discloses methods of treating and/or inhibiting a viral infection in a subject.
Dr. Francisco Soto joined the faculty as an Associate Professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Soto attended medical school at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia.He completed residency in internal medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago, He completed a fellowship in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Soto also joined University Pulmonary and Critical Care.
The Donald C. Brockman Memorial Research Grant is awarded in memory of one of the co-founders of the Amyloidosis Foundation who passed away in 2004. Progression from multiple myeloma to amyloidosis can occur in at least 15% of patients; thus, Dr. Martin's research proposal focused on a technique that may identify which of these patients have a greater risk of developing amyloidosis and, in turn, assist in earlier detection of the disease and improved patient survival. She, an assistant professor in the Amyloidosis and Cancer Theranostics Program in the Department of Medicine, was awarded this junior research grant of $50,000 by the Amyloidosis Foundation to further develop the technology.
Dr. Rajiv Dhand was elected president of the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM). ISAM is an international, non-profit organization that stimulates and fosters interdisciplinary cooperation and exchange of information in all aspects of aerosol medicine including the health effects of inhaled aerosols and pulmonary drug delivery. We anticipate Dr. Dhand achieving many great things in his role as president of ISAM.
To enhance research activity in the Department of Medicine a Research Committee has been established. This committee will help streamline processes as well as to facilitate and promote research activities in the department. The charge for this committee is to provide broad oversight of research within the department and to promote new research ideas and interdisciplinary collaboration.
Members of this committee are as follows:
Emily Martin, PhD, Chair
Mark Rasnake, MD, Co-chair
Daphne Norwood, MD
Paul Terry, PhD
Jaime Morris, DO
Jon Angotti, MD
Blair Reynolds, MD
Kristi Gregg, BS
Daphne Norwood, MD, Assistant Professor and Transitional Year Residency Program Director, received the 2016 Laureate Award from the Tennessee Chapter of the American College of Physicians for her commitment to excellence in medical care, education, research and service. In the presentation of Dr. Norwood's award, she was said to embody the qualities of the classically-trained physician.
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