June 2017 Newsletter

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Department of Medicine eNewsletter
June 2017
:: Interview
:: Department News
:: Department Events
:: Development and Diversity
Master Clinician-Educator Award
Jeffry Katz, MD
Jose Ortiz, MD
Sri Krishna Madan Mohan, MD
Research Day 2017 Awards
Ahmed Alkhathlan, MD
Talib Dosani, MD
Nissreen Elfadawy, MD
Vittal Hejjaji, MD
Andrew Blum, MD
Bishnu Dhakal, MD, Sadeer Al-Kindi, MD, Christopher Bianco, MD
Anubhav Kanwar, MD
Anna Borton
Luca Di Martino
Nelson Hsieh
David Sweet
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department interview
John Peterson, PhD, Business Development Officer at the Department of Medicine, shares the recent work he has done on enhancing clinical research opportunities within the Department of Medicine and highlights ways for faculty members to get involved to secure research funding and advance patient care.

What does your position bring to the Department of Medicine and how can the faculty benefit from your efforts?

My role within the department is focused on business development; specifically I work to identify industry-sponsored clinical trials that could advance the research portfolio of the department. This is an initiative that we plan to spearhead across all divisions. My initial focus has been on the Division of Infectious Diseases & HIV Medicine and the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine. With traction gained, my focus has since expanded to the Division of Gastroenterology & Liver Diseases and Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. This effort allows the department to diversify the funding for its research and complement the support from NIH with industry funding, empowering the faculty members to lead innovative research projects in their fields.

My background is in chemistry and I spent the majority of my career in the pharmaceutical services industry. My experience has largely been in drug discovery and drug production. I got into the clinical arena when Case Western Reserve University launched the Ohio Clinical Trials Collaborative in 2013 with the help of Governor John Kasich. This initiative was focused on establishing Ohio as one of the most efficient states to test new medications and treatments through clinical trials.

What notable projects came to the department as a result of the business development activities you have been leading?

We currently have a number of projects underway; we are targeting small biotechnology companies that need integrated support and clinical planning both domestically and globally as well as strategic relationships with large clinical research organizations. For example, we are currently working on launching clinical trials with companies from Pennsylvania as well as Austria and Australia. By providing site access and talented researchers, we are able to create an incredible value proposition to both domestic and international companies looking to enter the U.S. market.

How do you identify promising partnerships and expand your network within the industry?

We start by analyzing the research interests within each division. We then group companies by therapeutic area and, after evaluating their product pipelines, propose potentially favorable matches. Most of my interactions take place at the corporate level, involving CEOs, Chief Scientific Officers, and Chief Medical Officers who oversee the company's strategic direction, and through extensive discussions with them we ensure we bring the highest quality of partnerships to the department.

It is also a growing industry, so we have to ensure our list always includes the most relevant companies for the department's evolving research interests. I seek to make new contacts with senior leadership and equity investment firms at major international trade meetings such as BIO, American Thoracic Society, and IDWeek. This is where we identify promising new companies that need our guidance and help through the clinical trials process. We are always on the lookout for companies interested in Phase I and Phase II clinical trials, where our clinicians can deliver the maximum research impact, as well as Phase III-IV studies where the department could maximize patient enrollment.

What can the faculty members do to participate in such partnerships and diversify their research portfolios?

If faculty members have specific research interests that they are interested in aligning with industry, it would be best to get in touch with me and their Division Chief or physician-champion. For the process to be most effective, each division should have one or more physician-champions who are experienced clinical researchers and can quickly evaluate a new opportunity and make a decision as to its fit with the division's research interests and patient pool. Once the proposed research interest is approved as one of the areas of development for the division, we set up an individual meeting to discuss it in detail. This one-on-one time is crucial for understanding the specifics of a faculty member's research and essential for identifying promising partnerships that fit with the faculty member's talents. Once a business opportunity is identified, we bring it back to the physician-champion to evaluate its feasibility and potential for adequate enrollment in the study. The Department of Medicine is in the early phases of this important initiative so it is crucial for faculty members to get involved now.

Contact John Peterson, PhD
department news report
Ugandan Physicians Strengthen Ties with the Department of Medicine during their visit to University Hospitals

In May, the Department of Medicine welcomed a delegation of physician colleagues from Kampala, Uganda. For over 30 years, UH Department of Medicine Chairman Robert Salata, MD, has collaborated with Makere University College of Health Sciences, on research and education to reduce disease prevalence. Currently, the collaboration has more than 100 ongoing clinical trials or observational studies. During the visit the delegation discussed new ways of expanding the collaboration and detailed plans for future work together.




Division of Gastroenterology & Liver Disease

Amitabh Chak, MD, received a $6 million grant for his project on genetic determinants of Barrett's Esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma from the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Chak has been spearheading the research on Barrett's Esophagus for many years, receiving a grant toward studying the genetic biomarkers related to the condition in 2011. The funding will also support the Barrett's Esophagus Translational Research Network, a partnership of six institutions, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, Mayo Clinic, Washington University St. Louis, and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Division of General Internal Medicine

Attila Nemeth, MD, was appointed as Co-Chair to the Society of General Internal Medicine Veterans Affairs Task Force that is designed for fostering communication and promotion of veteran's issues.

Nathan Stehouwer, MD, received the Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital Pearls award in recognition for his excellence in teaching and clinical mentorship.
Dr. Stehouwer and Jane Little, MD, also published an article titled "Acute Pain in Adolescents and Young Adults with Sickle Cell Disease: Delayed and Increased Opioid Dosing Following Transition to Adult Care" in the American Journal of Hematology.

Division of Geriatrics & Palliative Care
Gowrishankar Gnanasekaran, MD, was awarded the 2017 Scholarship in Teaching Award from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine for innovation in teaching. Dr. Gnanasekaran received the award for his "CRIT Extend - Train the Trainers" program that demonstrates meaningful teaching and contributes to the outstanding educational tradition of the School of Medicine.
In addition, Dr. Gnanasekaran presented an abstract on Patient Advocate Liaison at the American Geriatrics Society National Conference. In his work Dr. Gnanasekaran presented a program aimed at improving medical student communication skills.




Division of Infectious Diseases & HIV Medicine
W. Henry Boom, MD, will lead the Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine as Division Chief.





Amy Ray, MD, will lead the Division of Infectious Diseases as an Associate Division Chief for Clinical Affairs and Education.




department conferences & events
Chairman's Intern Welcome Dinner
Date: Monday, June 19
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Shoreby Club, 40 Shoreby Drive, Bratenahl, OH, 44108


Full-Time Faculty Town Hall Meeting: UH Academic Strategy
Presenters: Jeffrey Peters, MD, Daniel Simon, MD, Cliff Megerian, MD
Date: Tuesday, July 11
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Location: Kulas Auditorium
department development & diversity
How to Create a Curriculum
Date: Tuesday, June 20
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Frohring Auditorium, BRB 105
Sponsor: School of Medicine Office of Faculty Affairs
Audience: Faculty interested in a workshop to improve their ability to advance their skills as an education leader