On June 27th the FDA held a workshop at its campus in Silver Spring, Maryland. Discussions at this workshop entitled, “Development of inhaled antibacterial treatments for cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis” focused on landscape and important scientific challenges associated with cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis drug development as well as cross-cutting device-related challenges associated with both disease areas. Dr. Rajiv Dhand participated in this workshop as an expert panel member.
Dr. J. Francis Turner has been invited by the Interventional Pulmonary Disease Department and Endoscopy Center of AnHui Chest Hospital to be the keynote speaker of the Interventional Pulmonary Conference of East China. This conference will be held in the Anhui Province of the People's Republic of China from June 28 through 30, 2018.
Dr. J. Francis Turner was one of six practitioners recognized by Dr. Ko-Pen Wang for contributions to transbronchial needle aspiration. Dr. Ko-Pen Wang was the first in the United States to describe the transbronchial needle aspiration technique. We are honored to have a highly skilled practitioner, such as Dr. Turner, on our faculty.
The American Thoracic Society recently granted Dr. Rajiv Dhand and Dr. J. Francis Turner, Jr. fellow designation. This is a new designation offered by the ATS. The designation recognizes members for their accomplishments, demonstrated dedication to the Society and noteworthy contributions in the fields of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.
Dr. J. Francis Turner traveled to China to present two invited lectures. In Shanghai, he presented a lecture to the Shanghai Interventional Pulmonary Association entitled, “Bronchoscopic Management for Malignant Central Airway Obstruction." He then traveled to Suzhou where he presented, “Edge of Interventional Pulmonology and Pulmonary Critical Care Medicine: Training Program for China” to the Chinese Endoscopist Association.
Dr. Paul Terry will be in Herndon, Virginia, in mid-December to review prostate cancer-related grant applications as a member of the “Clinical Experimental Therapeutics” peer review panel for the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP). Several of these grant applications relate to novel “natural” or “herbal” agents that have shown promise as anti-cancer agents in vitro and in vivo. Although the CDMRP does not have “permanent” grant-review panel members, this will be Dr. Terry’s twelfth grant-reviewing assignment for the DOD since 2008.
Dr. Rajiv Dhand was invited to co-chair a NIH study section on Biomaterials, Delivery and Nanotechnology. The purpose of the study section is to assess the scientific merit of NIH grant applications and play an important role in determining the most promising basic or applied research funded by the NIH.
Dr. Charles Duffy presented the Department of Medicine Grand Rounds, “Cognitive care in primary care: A neurological perspective,” on Tuesday, November 28, 2017. Dr. Duffy is Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York.
Drs. Dhand, Terry, Martin, Rowe and Jennifer Ferris submitted a CORNET-Clinical Award proposal entitled, “Muscle weakness in hospital patients with medical illnesses: Micro-RNA biomarkers of prolonged weakness." The purpose of CORNET-Clinical Awards is to encourage innovative, interdisciplinary, team research creating opportunities for future external funding as well as promoting new lines of research.
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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