Volume II, Issue 4: April 2021
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
Time has really flown. At the end of this month, I will complete my term as president of the AFMR National Council. I started just as the COVID pandemic became a reality, and I am leaving as vaccines bode promise for normalcy in the future.

During the year, AFMR rose to the test by continuing to serve its members.



More on 2020-2021 Accomplishments & Challenges

Congratulations to Eastern Regional Meeting Awards Recipients!

The Eastern Regional Meeting took place virtually on April 2, 2021.

Honors included the AFMR Henry Christian Award, as well as AFMR Eastern Regional Meeting Scholars.

There were two (2) Henry Christian Award winners.

Henry Christian Award Winners
Ahmed Elsaie Ahmed Elsaie
Endothelial Adenosine Monophosphate-Activated Protein Kinase-alpha (AMPK) Deficiency Potentiates Hyperoxia-Induced Experimental Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia and Pulmonary Hypertension
Baylor College of Medicine
George Vasquez Rios George Vasquez Rios
Plasma Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptors Predict Kidney Disease Progression and Adverse Clinical Outcomes After Hospitalization
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York

AFMR Eastern Regional Meeting Scholars
Victor Crentsil, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Tai Kyung Hairston, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Zaina Inam, Children’s National Health System
Mohamed Ismail, University of Minnesota
Charles Kennedy, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Heba Mahjoub, Johns Hopkins Medicine
Mathew Sebastian, University of Florida
Rose Yin, The George Washington University

View Eastern Regional Meeting abstracts

Congratulations Midwestern Henry Christian Awardees; Register for Meeting Today!

The Midwestern Clinical and Translational Research Meeting will be taking place virtually from April 12-16. The meeting is co-sponsored by the Central Society for Clinical and Translational Research (CSCTR).

Henry Christian Award Winners
Syed Bukhari Syed Bukhari
Development and Validation of a Diagnostic Model and Scoring System for Transthyretin Cardiac Amyloidosis
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
Weiguo Chen Weiguo Chen
Human Lung Endothelial Cell Barrier Function is Augmented by Kindlin-1
University of Illinois at Chicago

Register for the Meeting Today!
The program will run for three hours each day starting at 4 pm CDT.

Midwest Clinical & Translational Research Meeting

Program highlights include a keynote, bone marrow transplant symposium, department chair session, discussion of the effect of COVID-19 in research workplaces, biomarkers in nephrology, the Max Mill Lecture in Diabetes Research, cardiology/pulmonary lecture, poster presentations, a career workshop, networking happy hours, and award presentations.

Registration is $50 for AFMR members. View the program and register today!

AFMR National Awards Presented at TS 2021

AFMR Outstanding Investigator and Junior Physician-Investigator Awards were presented at the virtual Translational Science 2021 on March 30th.

Congratulations to the two honorees!

Dr. Raina M. Merchant Outstanding Investigator Award
Raina Merchant, MD
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
View her presentation.
Dr. Hyun ah Yoon Junior Physician-Investigator Award
Hyun ah Yoon, MD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine & Montefiore Medical Center (MMC), Bronx, NY
View her presentation.

Long COVID: Symptoms, Issues & Post COVID Care Centers


In February, the NIH launched a new initiative to study symptoms existing in those who have had COVID but have not recovered in a timely manner — currently described as "Long COVID" or "Post-acute SARS-CoV-2 (PASC) syndrome".

NIH Director Francis S. Collins, in his announcement of the project, noted that: "Large numbers of patients who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 continue to experience a constellation of symptoms long past the time that they've recovered from the initial stages of COVID-19 illness. Strangely, Long COVID symptoms may not be related to the severity of the initial infection. Often referred to as "Long COVID", these symptoms, which can include fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, "brain fog", sleep disorders, fevers, gastrointestinal symptoms, anxiety, and depression, can persist for months and can range from mild to incapacitating."

The purpose of the NIH study announcement is to rapidly stand up a robust and thorough patient registry of clinical symptoms and tissue biobank to characterize the different forms of Long COVID and identify new treatments. Read the statement.

A Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago study of 100 patients at its clinic for post-COVID neurological symptoms determined that some 85 percent experienced four or more neurological symptoms — brain fog, dizziness, headaches, muscle pain, and tingling. The study was discussed in a New York Times article. A recent op-ed in the Times suggested that Long COVID is a potential health crisis.

Multi-disciplinary centers have been opening around the country to deal with those dealing with Long COVID symptoms — Post COVID Care Centers (PCCC). Currently, they exist in more than 30 states. Survivor Corps has created a map identifying states with PCCC, which allows users to click through to find a facility in their area.



The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues, causing FASEB to go virtual with its 2021 Capitol Hill Day for the first time ever.

The event took place on March 9 and 11 when 50 members of the FASEB Board and Science Policy Committee along with member society volunteers attended more than 100 Zoom meetings with House and Senate staffers. One benefit was allowing greater involvement of representatives from Western time zones.

Subjects covered included:

FASEB created a page encouraging members to become an advocate as part of Virtual Capitol Hill Day. The Turn Your Passion into Action page consists of a variety of advocacy resources.

Learn more about Virtual Capitol Hill Day.

NIH COVID-19 Research Funding Opportunities/Guidance on Research Funding


NIH has a web page offering a listing of COVID-19 research funding opportunities — both active and expired. Current notices of special interest include:

Learn more and view other opportunities.

NIH 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.

Science Magazine Article Discusses Best Strategies for Treating Coronavirus


A March 16 article in Science discusses physicians' best strategies for treating coronavirus.

It offers quotes from doctors on the front lines, as well as a discussion of cornerstones of care with a graphic. The piece notes that there are limited therapies for early stage COVID-19 but that clinicians have put together a small group of therapies to use when symptoms become more severe.

The magazine's COVID-19 coverage is supported by the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Read the article.

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)

Journal of Investigative Medicine (JIM)

As of January 2021, JIM is an online only journal.


Colon Cancer Awareness Month
Guests: Gottumukkala S. Raju, MD & Robert S. Bresalier, MD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
March 31, 2021


From trash to gold: gastrointestinal microbiome research in patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders
Gerald Holtmann, Ayesha Shah, Mark Morrison


Potential use of biomarkers for the clinical evaluation of sarcoidosis
Amir Mousapasandi, Cristan Herbert, Paul Thomas

Original Research

Factors associated with COVID-19 severity and mortality among Hispanic patients living on the USA–Mexico border
Jorge Cervantes, Amit Sureen, Gian Galura, Christopher Dodoo, Alok Kumar Dwivedi, Mohammad Bashashati, Marc Zuckerman, Armando Meza

Investigation of oral, gastric, and duodenal microbiota in patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms
Jorge Cervantes, Majd Michael, Bo-Young Hong, Aden Springer, Hua Guo, Burgandy Mendoza, Mingtao Zeng, Olof Sundin, Richard McCallum

Gender-based disparities in COVID-19 patient outcomes
Paul Ellis Marik, Sarah E DePerrior, Qamar Ahmad, Sunita Dodani

Association of vitamin D with incident glaucoma: findings from the Women's Health Initiative
Laura D Carbone, Karen Johnson, Joseph C Larson, Fridtjof Thomas, Jean Wactawski-Wende, Kathryn Bollinger, Zhao Chen, Mitchell Watsky

Brief Report

Reach Out and Read and developmental screening: using federal dollars through a health services initiative
Marny Dunlap, Lori Lake, Shelly Patterson, Bryon Perdue, Alexandria Caldwell

2021 Eastern Regional Conference


Author Index

Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports (JIM-HICR)

JIM — High Impact Case Reports

Check out JIM-HICR's new COVID-19 Collection of cases focusing on pandemic-related issues.

New-Onset Seizure with Possible Limbic Encephalitis in a Patient With COVID-19 Infection: A Case Report and Review
With the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) as a global pandemic, various of its neurological manifestations have been reported. We report a case of a 54-year-old male with new-onset seizure who tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 from a nasopharyngeal swab sample. Investigative findings, which included contrast-enhancing right posterior temporal lobe T2-hyperintensity on brain magnetic resonance imaging, right-sided lateralized periodic discharges on the electroencephalogram, and elevated protein level on cerebrospinal fluid analysis, supported the diagnosis of possible encephalitis from COVID-19 infection. The findings in this case are placed in the context of the existing literature.

Diabetes Insipidus and Concomitant Myocarditis: A Late Sequelae of COVID-19 Infection
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which has become a global pandemic. Apart from the mild features of the disease, long-term complications involve many systems including both endocrine and cardiovascular systems. Myocarditis, secondary to COVID-19, has become a well-known complication of the disease. However, endocrine complications are generally not common, particularly isolated pituitary abnormalities. There is one other report of diabetes insipidus developing as a late sequela of COVID-19. In this article, we report a case of a young male who presented with features of myocarditis but developed diabetes insipidus on day 7 of admission as a long-term complication after recovery from COVID-19 infection. His laboratory test results at the time of developing the complication revealed a high serum sodium level and low urine osmolality. The patient recovered on administration of desmopressin and was discharged after 16 days of hospitalization.

An Unexpected Case of Malignant Mesothelioma in a Young Woman
A 41-year-old female with a past medical history significant only for right retinal vein occlusion presented with chest pain, cough, and shortness of breath. After being found to have a large right-sided pleural effusion and undergoing a nondiagnostic thoracentesis, a noncontrast chest computed tomography scan revealed multiple diffuse nodules in the right lung with irregular paraspinal pleural thickening. An extensive workup followed, with computed tomography–guided biopsy ultimately revealing the diagnosis. The following report describes the patient presentation, laboratory findings, and extensive clinical investigation, and provides a discussion of the epidemiology, imaging findings, prognosis, and differential diagnoses for the illness in question.

Global Research on Coronavirus

World Health Organization (WHO)

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

The page includes links to:

Updates on COVID Therapeutics/Vaccine Research


Latest updates:



Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center

News and information on COVID-19 is constantly changing.

The Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource center now includes a vaccine tracker, as well as separate pages covering:

Its Interactive Map is updated throughout the day.
COVID-19 Interactive Map 2021

AFMR 2021 Meeting Dates

All 2021 AFMR Regional and Affiliate meetings will be virtual. Dates are listed below in chronological order.

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

April 2021
Midwest Clinical & Translational Research Meeting
Midwest Clinical & Translational Research Meeting
April 8-9, 2021
Experimental Biology
Experimental Biology 2021
April 27-30, 2021