Volume I, Issue 5: June 2020
American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR) Insights
AFMR Website Meetings/Events Calendar Submit a JIM manuscript Follow AFMR on Twitter


AFMR honored National, Eastern, and Midwestern awardees at a virtual ceremony held via Zoom on June 3, 2020 from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT. The presentations were slated for the Eastern and Midwestern Regional meetings, which were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More


Janice P. Dutcher, MD, AFMR President
Janice P. Dutcher, MD
AFMR President


As I begin my year as AFMR president, I want to thank everyone for their support of AFMR, in this, its 80th year (originally AFCR). We will be facing ongoing challenges this year as we implement strategies to maintain our mentoring responsibilities and move into virtual platforms so we can continue our regional interactions with medical students, residents, junior faculty, and senior mentors. This will be an ongoing conversation, and AFMR will provide frequent updates as implementation proceeds. We look forward to continuing these innovative approaches to maintaining our mission.



Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) The Federal of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has presented its Public Service Award to Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for his "decades of outstanding leadership in basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat daunting infectious diseases." More


Shireen Atabaki
Shireen Atabaki
Congratulations to AFMR Eastern Region Chair Shireen Atabaki, MD, MPH, who has been named lead PI/PD of a $928,000 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) grant to Children’s National Hospital for a regional pediatric telehealth consortium.

Dr. Atabaki is a pediatric emergency physician and professor of pediatrics at George Washington University. She is a Medical Director of Informatics and Associate Medical Director of Telemedicine at Children’s National in Washington, DC.

The consortium will include urban, suburban, and rural healthcare sites in the Washington metropolitan area (District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia).

Learn more.

Global Research on Coronavirus

World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has a dedicated page devoted to global research on coronavirus.

Elements include:

NIH Grants & Funding: Coronavirus Disease 2019


The NIH Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Information for NIH Applicants and Recipients of NIH Fund page offers a wide range of guidance on research funding.

The Guidance portion includes the following sections:
  • Overview presentation (in PowerPoint and Word formats)
  • Proposal Submission & Award Management
  • Human Subjects & Clinical Trials
  • Animal Welfare
  • Peer Review
  • FAQs (last updated April 13, 2020)
In the Funding section, there are two sections:
  • Blog: COVID-19 Funding and Funding Opportunities
  • List of NIH Funding Opportunities Specific to COVID-19

Learn more.


This year's Eastern and Midwestern Henry Christian Award honorees and Eastern Region Scholars were robbed by the coronavirus of the opportunity to receive their awards in person. The Eastern and Midwestern Regional meetings were cancelled. Their achievements were recognized at the AFMR Virtual Awards Ceremony on June 3, 2020.

Join us in congratulating them! More

AFMR Publications Highlights

Journal of Investigative Medicine (JIM)

Journal of Investigative Medicine (JIM)

Platelets and Platelet Extracellular Vesicles in Hemostatis and Sepsis
Elizabeth W J Kerris, Claire Hoptay, Thais Calderon, Robert J Freishtat; 10.1136/jim-2019-001195

Original Research
Influenza Vaccination Reduces Dementia in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Nationwide Cohort Study
Ching-Shan Luo, Ching-Chi Chi, Yu-Ann Fang, Ju-Chi Liu, Kang-Yun Lee; 10.1136/jim-2019-001155

Procalcitonin Predicts the Severity of Cystic Fibrosis Pulmonary Exacerbations and Readmissions in Adult Patients: A Prospective Cohort Study
Kristina L Bailey, Peter J Murphy, Olena K Lineberry, Matthew R Haack, John D Dickinson, Andre C Kalil; 10.1136/jim-2019-001183

Serum Creatinine Trajectories in Real-world Hospitalized Patients: Clinical Context and Short-term Mortality
Olga Laszczy?ska, Milton Severo, Joana Mascarenhas, José Artur Paiva, Ana Azevado; 10.1136/jim-2019-001185

Brief Report
Thromboelastography Parameters in Italian Pregnant Women: Do Antithrombotic Drugs Change Reference Values?
Giovanni Luca Tiscia, Antonio De Laurenzo, Filomena Cappucci, Giovanni Favuzzi, Elena Chinni, Pasquale Vaira, Angelo Ostuni, Maurizio Margaglione, Elvira Grandone; 10.1136/jim-2019-001261

JIM — High Impact Case Reports

JIM — High Impact Case Reports

A Rare Case of Autoimmune Demyelinating Polyneuropathy and Hydrocephalus Secondary to Pembrolizumab
Pembrolizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets the programmed cell death 1 protein (PD-1) receptor and blocks the inhibitory checkpoint interaction between PD-1 and its ligands. This interaction leads to the upregulation of effector T-cells and downregulating regulatory T-cell production. Although this mechanism is essential for the management of cancer, it may lead to decreased self-tolerance with an autoimmune reaction toward healthy functioning tissue. One of the less commonly reported and less understood immune-related adverse events includes neuromuscular complications. We present a rare case of autoimmune demyelinating polyneuropathy and hydrocephalus secondary to pembrolizumab use for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the cheek.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome–Like Reaction After Exposure to Pembrolizumab and Recombinant Zoster Vaccine in a Patient with Metastatic Lung Cancer
Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a life-threating mucocutaneous reaction predominantly induced by drugs. Targeted cancer therapies such as pembrolizumab, which has been approved for the treatment of metastatic malignancy, can cause severe skin toxicities, including SJS. They are rare and inconsistently reported. In this article, we report the case of a 80-year-old woman with metastatic non–small cell lung cancer who had a SJS-like eruption involving oral mucosa after 15 weeks of exposure of pembrolizumab (6 doses) and 7 days after 1 dose of recombinant zoster vaccine. SJS is a rare blistering disorder with high mortality rate and significant morbidity. Causes include drugs, herpes viruses, and immunization. The timing of the eruption soon after the receipt of recombinant zoster vaccine suggests a role of vaccination in our patient, yet patients receiving cancer immunotherapy may develop late-onset skin toxicity. Therefore, we recommend long-term monitoring for mucocutaneous reactions after initiation of pembrolizumab. Further research is needed to characterize the immunological pathogenesis and improve timely recognition and treatment strategies.

Coronavirus Resources

News and information on COVID-19 are constantly changing.

Here are quick links to resources for coronavirus updates: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Johns Hopkins Corona Virus Resource Center, and World Health Organization:

AFMR 2021 Meeting Dates Set

Dates have been set for AFMR Regional and Affiliate meetings for 2021. Meeting dates, locations, and abstract information are listed below based on date.

Visit the AFMR website to get the latest updates on 2021 AFMR Meetings & Events.
Cherry Wongtrakool, MD, VP of Meetings & Programs
Cherry Wongtrakool, MD
VP of Meetings & Programs

February 2021
Southern Regional Meeting
Southern Regional Meeting
February 25-27, 2021
New Orleans, Louisiana
Abstract Deadline: October 9, 2020
March 2021
Translational Science 2021
March 30, 2021-April 2, 2021
Washington, DC
April 2021
Eastern Regional Meeting
Eastern Regional Meeting
April 2, 2021
Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, DC
Abstract Deadline (Tentative): December 1, 2020
Midwest Clinical & Translational Research Meeting
Midwest Clinical & Translational Research Meeting
April 8-9, 2021
Holiday Inn Mart Plaza, Chicago, Illinois
Abstract Deadline: January 10, 2021
May 2021
Experimental Biology 2021
May 1-4, 2021
Indianapolis, IN