Volume I, Issue 9: October 2020
American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR) Insights
AFMR Website Meetings/Events Calendar Submit a JIM manuscript Follow AFMR on Twitter


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

During this unprecedented year, AFMR has worked to adjust to the restrictions caused by the coronavirus and to continue fulfilling its mission of developing and mentoring tomorrow's leaders in medical research.

Virtual Education Series
Our Virtual Education Portal is the source for AFMR’s new online initiative, including the newly launched Virtual Education Series. Our first offering - How to Write a Manuscript - was a great success. Don’t miss our October and November presentations!



Richard W. McCallum, MD
Richard W. McCallum, MD
Over 250 participants took advantage of the first AFMR Virtual Education Series — A workshop on How to Write A Manuscript.

The workshop was led by Richard McCallum, MD, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Investigative Medicine (JIM). Dr. McCallum is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

The seminar consisted of four (4) sections of about 15 minutes on:

There was a 30-minute Q&A throughout and following the presentation.

An audio of the workshop will be available on the Virtual Education Portal soon.

Submit a manuscript to the Journal of Investigative Medicine (JIM). There are no page charges for AFMR members’ published manuscripts.

Save the Date — AFMR Virtual Education Series Events: October 20th & November 4th

AFMR continues its newly launched Virtual Education Series with two fall events:

The series was created to provide AFMR members with virtual educational opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic.

With in-person meetings being cancelled or in limbo, the AFMR Virtual Education Series will offer a range of events — from workshops to symposia to abstract/journal review sessions. AFMR hopes to continue the series once in-person meeting return.

Theo Trandafirescu, MD
Theo Trandafirescu, MD
Pulmonology & Dermatology Abstract Review
Date:Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Duration:6:00 pm - 7:00 pm ET
Lead:Theo Trandafirescu, MD — Eastern Region Council Chair
Associate Professor of Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine; Mount Sinai Queens Hospital Center

Join Dr. Trandsfirescu and a panel of experts —Tracey O'Brien, Sofia Lakhdarand and Akwe Nyabera — as they take a deep dive into three clinical cases in the following subject areas:

Each presentation will run for 15 - 20 minutes, followed by discussion with session participants.

Register today!

Allison B. Reiss, MD
Allison B. Reiss, MDD
Alzheimer’s Disease: Tau, Amyloid and Beyond — Toward Effective Treatment Webinar
Date:Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Duration:Noon - 1:00 pm ET
Lead:Allison B. Reiss, MD — AFMR National Council Councilor-at-Large Associate Professor of Medicine, New York University Long Island School of Medicine Member, Alzheimer's Foundation of America's Medical, Scientific and Memory Screening Board Editorial Board member, Journal of Investigative Medicine (JIM) and Journal of Investigative Medicine High-Impact case Reports (JIM-HICR)

The webinar
In this webinar, Dr. Reiss will discuss past Alzheimer’s disease treatment disappointments and ways in which, they may lead to future breakthroughs for preventing and slowing neuronal cell death using innovative approaches.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of progressive dementia, resulting in irreversible deterioration of brain function, cognition and memory. It is considered the sixth leading cause of death in the world. The global burden of AD is enormous and as the number of older persons increases over the next few decades, the number of AD cases is expected to skyrocket. Amyloid plaques and tau tangles are characteristic of AD. However, immunotherapy using antibodies which bind to amyloid or tau to promote their clearance has not proven effective as a therapy thus far. Researchers are struggling to develop ways to stop disease progression before people develop deficits in thinking and changes in personality.

Register today!

Updates on COVID Therapeutics/Vaccine Research

Researchers around the world are racing to develop therapeutics and vaccines aimed at stemming the coronavirus pandemic.

Some updates:

Therapeutics Vaccines

Submit Abstracts Today for Eastern & Midwestern Regional Meetings

Submit your abstracts to the 2021 AFMR Eastern Regional Meeting and Midwest Clinical & Translational Research Meeting.

Everyone is eligible to submit abstracts to these two events, which will be virtual due to uncertainties of the COVID 19 pandemic. Join AFMR to be eligible for awards. Eastern Regional Meeting

Learn more and submit your research. Deadline: Tuesday, December 1, 2020, 11:59 Eastern.

Midwest Clinical & Translational Research Meeting

Midwest abstract submissions will be opening later in October.

Check back for more information. Deadline: Sunday, January 10 2021, 11:59 CST.

Ricardo Correa Named to 100 Inspiring Hispanic/Latinx Scientists in America List

Janice P. Dutcher, MD, AFMR President
Ricardo Correa, MD
AFMR National Council Member Ricardo Correa, MD has been named as one of the CELLMentor 100 Inspiring Hispanic/Latinx Scientists in America. Dr. Correa is Secretary-Treasurer of the AFMR Western Regional Council.

The list was created in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 - October 15, 2020.

“This list — selected based on scholarly achievements, mentoring excellence, and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion — represents only a subset of the scientific role models in the community,” CELLMentor explained. “Our aim in assembling these names is to put an end to the harmful myth that there are not enough diverse scientists to give seminars, serve as panelists, or fill scientific positions. We highlight scientists encompassing careers within academia, government, and biotech and showcase individuals committed to serving diverse student populations at Hispanic-serving institutions.”

Dr. Correa is Program Director for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Fellowship and the Director for Diversity of Graduate Medical Education, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix.

PODCAST: Health Disparities in the Latinx Community During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, this podcast discusses health disparities in the Latinx community during COVID-19 with Omar Matuk, MD of the University of Houston College of Medicine and Ilan Shapiro, MD of AltaMed Health Services.

They are interviewed by Ricardo Correa, MD, AFMR Western Region Secretary-Treasurer and National Council member.

Dr. Matuk is a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Houston College of Medicine. In addition, he is responsible for the pediatric pre-clinical and clinical curriculum and is developing a direct primary care model for the uninsured population.

Dr. Shapiro is Medical Director of Medical Education and Wellness at AltaMed, which serves more than 300,000 community residents in Southern California. AltaMed works to eliminate disparities in healthcare access and outcomes by providing quality health and human services to Latino, multiethnic and unserved communities.

Listen to the podcast

NIH Early Career Reviewer (ECR) Program Opportunity

The AFMR mission is to develop and mentor tomorrow's leaders in medical research. The National Council wants AFMR early investigators to know about the important opportunity from NIH — the Early Career Reviewer (ECR) Program.

Program Purpose
To help early career scientists become more competitive as grant applicants through first-hand experience with peer review while enriching and diversifying the CSR pool of trained reviewers.

Eligibility Requirements

Check Eligibility & Apply

Join the AFMR Conversation: Connect on Twitter & LinkedIn

AFMR Research

AFMR Research
Journal of Investigative Medicine

Journal of Investigative Medicine

On LinkedIn

American Federation for Medical Research

American Federation for Medical Research

AFMR Publication Highlights

Journal of Investigative Medicine (JIM)

Physician-scientist and the COVID-19 dilemma
Richard McCallum 10.1136/jim-2020-001582

Faculty Development & Education
Saving the endangered physician-scientists: reintroducing them to an environment of administrative support
Shreya Shah, Oliver Luc Villemain 10.1136/jim-2020-001544

Interventions to improve medication adherence in adolescents with HIV: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Sasha Alcon, Billal Ahmed, David Sloane, Youn Seon Lim, Joseph Steven Cervia 10.1136/jim-2020-001295

Original Research
Psychosocial factors associated with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder in general practitioners during the COVID-19 pandemic
Alvaro Monterrosa-Castro, Velia Redondo-Mendoza, María Mercado-Lara1 0.1136/jim-2020-001456

Diagnostic accuracy of time to first positivity of blood cultures for predicting severe clinical outcomes in children with pneumonia-related bacteremia
Yin Zhang, Jilei Lin, Qingxia Shi, Chulin Li, Jingyue Liu, Jihong Dai 10.1136/jim-2020-001473

Perinatal quality improvement bundle to decrease hypothermia in extremely low birthweight infants with birth weight less than 1000 g: single-center experience over 6 years
Dilip R Bhatt, Nirupa Reddy, Reynaldo Ruiz, Darla V Bustos, Torria Peacock, Roman-Angelo Dizon, Sunjeeve Weerasinghe, David X Braun, Rangasamy Ramanathan 10.1136/jim-2020-001334

Incidence of acute kidney injury and its association with mortality in patients with COVID-19; a meta-analysis
Panupong Hansrivijit, Chenchen Qian, Boonphiphop Boonpheng, Charat Thongprayoon, Saraschandra Vallabhajosyula, Wisit Cheungpasitporn, Nasrollah Ghahramani 10.1136/jim-2020-001407

Brief Report
Differential gene expression in patients with primary mitral valve disease: identifying potential therapeutic targets in the era of precision medicine
Emily Shih, John J Squiers, Jacob Turner, Michael DiMaio, William T Brinkman, Robert L Smith 10.1136/jim-2020-001467

Journal of Investigative Medicine - High Impact Case Reports

A Case of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation as a Salvage Therapy for COVID-19-Associated Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Mounting Evidence
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by a novel human coronavirus has led to a tsunami of viral illness across the globe, originating from Wuhan, China. Although the value and effectiveness of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in severe respiratory illness from COVID-19 remains unclear at this time, there is emerging evidence suggesting that it could be utilized as an ultimate treatment in appropriately selected patients not responding to conventional care. We present a case of a 32-year-old COVID-19 positive male with a history of diabetes mellitus who was intubated for severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The patient’s hypoxemia failed to improve despite positive pressure ventilation, prone positioning, and use of neuromuscular blockade for ventilator asynchrony. He was evaluated by a multidisciplinary team for considering ECMO for refractory ARDS. He was initiated on venovenous ECMO via dual-site cannulation performed at the bedside. Although his ECMO course was complicated by bleeding, he showed a remarkable improvement in his lung function. ECMO was successfully decannulated after 17 days of initiation. The patient was discharged home after 47 days of hospitalization without any supplemental oxygen and was able to undergo active physical rehabilitation. A multidisciplinary approach is imperative in the initiation and management of ECMO in COVID-19 patients with severe ARDS. While ECMO is labor-intensive, using it in the right phenotype and in specialized centers may lead to positive results. Patients who are young, with fewer comorbidities and single organ dysfunction portray a better prognosis for patients in which ECMO is utilized.

Intravascular Large B-Cell Lymphoma Presenting as Acute Axonal Polyneuropathy: A Case Report and Literature Review
Intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (ILBL) is a rare and difficult to diagnose subtype of large B-cell lymphoma. The most common locations of presentation are in the central nervous system and the skin, but there are reports of other organ involvement. Due to the indolence, nonspecific symptoms, and rarity of the disease, this form of lymphoma is most often diagnosed postmortem. In this article, we describe a case of ILBL that presented as a rapidly progressive acute axonal polyneuropathy. Acute axonal polyneuropathy is a common disease process with a wide differential diagnosis, but there is limited literature on its prevalence as the presenting symptom of ILBL. This patient was treated with R-EPOCH and intrathecal methotrexate with significant improvement in his polyneuropathy after 1 cycle, and complete remission after 6 cycles. Data on chemotherapy regimens and their success rates for this disease are lacking.

Comparison of Genetic Variants and Manifestations of OTUD6B-Related Disorder: The First Mexican Case
The intellectual disability syndrome characterized by seizures and dysmorphic features was initially described in 2017 and was associated with genetic variants in the OTUD6B gene, identified by exome sequencing (ES) in a large cohort. This multisystem disorder primarily affects the central nervous system, the gastrointestinal, and the skeletal systems. In this article, we describe the first Mexican patient diagnosed by ES. The homozygous c.433C>T (p.Arg145*) variant of the OTUD6B gene confirmed this intellectual disability syndrome. In addition to seizures and other more frequently reported manifestations of this condition, this is the third patient with associated hypothyroidism and hypogammaglobulinemia, underscoring the value of screening for these conditions in other patients. The current challenge with this patient is to ensure medical management of his seizures and provide him with a better quality of life. The possibilities of additional therapeutic approaches may increase by understanding the physiopathology of the involved pathways.

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.

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:

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

News and information on COVID-19 is constantly changing.

Johns Hopkins has updated and expanded its resource center.

The website now has separate pages covering:

Its Interactive Map is updated throughout the day.
COVID-19 Interactive Map

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

January 2021
Western Regional Meeting
Western Regional Meeting
January 29-30, 2021
Going Virtual for 2021
February 2021
Southern Regional Meeting
Southern Regional Meeting
February 25-27, 2021
March 2021
Translational Science 2021
Translational Science 2021
March 30, 2021-April 2, 2021
Washington, DC
April 2021
Eastern Regional Meeting
Eastern Regional Meeting
April 2, 2021
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