Volume II, Issue 7: July 2021
American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR) Insights
AFMR Website Meetings/Events Calendar Submit a JIM manuscript Follow AFMR on Twitter
IN THIS ISSUE

 

Samrat U. Das, MD, AFMR President
Samrat U. Das, MD
AFMR President

AFMR is transitioning from its pandemic mode to one of normal operations on both the national and regional levels.

We are excited that the 2022 regional meetings will be in-person, starting with the Western and Southern meetings early next year.

Save the dates for the:

Western Medical Research Conference: January 20-22, Carmel, CA
Southern Regional Meeting: February 10-12, New Orleans, LA

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
AFMR is committed to addressing disparities in our healthcare system and communities. Our official statement can be found on the AFMR homepage. In addition, regional section council leadership is reaching out to HBCU medical schools (historically Black colleges and universities) and other institutions to recruit students and junior researchers to regional councilor positions, as well as to promote abstract submissions to regional meetings. And each regional council meeting will include a session on healthcare inequities, sponsored by AFMR, at meetings where it is an event co-sponsor.

Regional Council Meetings with National Leadership
This year, the AFMR National Council has committed to more interaction with AFMR section councils, as well as proactively involving regional councilors in council activities. Meetings have taken place with regional leadership, followed by sessions with the full councils. I have been in attendance along with past president Janice P. Dutcher and staff. We plan to hold these meeting quarterly.

More from AFMR President Samrat U. Das

 

Virtual Education Series

The AFMR Virtual Education Series is on hiatus for the summer.

What better time to catch up on some of the great offerings in the archive?

All are free to AFMR members, as well as to non-members. So, share the archive with colleagues.

Virtual Education Series registration is required.

Archive titles:

View series titles & register.

 
The FDA Aducanumab Approval Controversy: Opinion Pieces from AFMR Member/Alzheimer's Researcher Allison Reiss, MD & Harvard Medical School Professors

Alzheimer's

On June 12th, the FDA approved Biogen's drug Aduhelm (aducanumab) for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease using its accelerated approval pathway. Aducanumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets beta amyloid aggregates thought to be central to thepathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. In its announcement the FDA stated that the drug "...provides a meaningful therapeutic advantage over existing treatments."

Just a day before, The New York Times had a frontpage article about issues facing Aducanumab's potential approval — the desperation of Alzheimer's patients, juxtaposed with the pushback by scientists who claimed that test data failed to prove the drug's efficacy.

The controversy has not abated.

Two negative analyses appeared not long after the FDA approval:

View the FDA Aducanumab approval statement.

 
Study: New Medical Problems Affecting Post-COVID Patients

Fair Health

An analysis of private patient healthcare claims by FAIR Health has determined that that hundreds of thousands of Americans of all ages have sought medical treatment for conditions that they did not have pre-COVID. The study, which reviewed records of close to two million people, found that almost 23 percent (one-quarter) of those who have had COVID suffer from new health problems.

Issues are wide-ranging, including but not limited to:

The New York Times highlighted the study in an article last month. The FAIR Health white paper, entitled A Detailed Study of Patients with Long-Haul COVID, can be viewed online.

 
Health Equity Grants & Funding Opportunities from the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC)

AAMC

The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) states it is dedicated to "...advancing medical education to meet society's evolving needs; making patient care safer, more affordable, and more equitable; and sustain the discovery of scientific advances."

It does so in four primary mission areas: medical education, healthcare, medical research, and community collaborations.

As part of its research/community engagement initiative, AAMC provides a list of health equity grants and funding opportunities. The list is updated weekly.

 
From Nature: "Community-Academic Partnerships Helped Flint Through its Water Crisis"

nature

A June commentary in Nature discusses how the collaboration between community activists and academics — scientists and physicians — worked together to tackle the Flint, MI water contamination crisis.

The article suggests that such community-research partnerships can determine how to collect data or develop models of health risks and injustices to find solutions to public health problems. It also discusses unique challenges of and ways to nurture these relationships.

In their conclusion, the authors — E. Yvonne Lewis, BBA, BS and Richard C. Sandler, PhD, MPH — state:

"Although our experiences are specific to Flint, community–academic partnerships that focus on research that is relevant to policy are essential worldwide. Regions in the Rust Belt of North America, Eastern Europe and east Asia have all experienced population decline and economic problems. More will soon do so. Exploring solutions is of benefit both to researchers and to communities when they work together."

Read the article.

 
Free Two-Day Symposium "Communicating the Future: Engaging the Public in Basic Science" July 27th & 28th

nature

AFMR partner Research!America is promoting a two-day free symposium, Communicating the Future: Engaging the Public in Basic Science. The event is sponsored by the Science Public Engagement Partnership (SciPEP) in collaboration with the Kavli Foundation and US Department of Energy|Office of Science.

The symposium begins on Monday, July 26th at 8:00 am ET and ends Wednesday, July 28th at 6:00 pm ET.

The conference will examine the relationship between public and basic research, exploring why the two should be connected. It will also discuss current communications and engagement activities and challenges/opportunities in the work.

The event will include keynotes and over 60 interactive poster booths.

View the Research! America announcement. Learn more and register.

 
FASEB Honors Research Leaders During LGBTQ + Pride Month

FASEB

In June, FASEB commemorated LGBTQ + Pride Month by highlighting examples of LGBTQ community members who have made important contributions to science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine.

Those cited included:

Read the article and learn more about these important scientists.

 
Join the AFMR Social Media Team

AFMR is taking its social media footprint to the next level AFMR is taking its social media footprint to the next level.

We need social media savvy members to help us promote AFMR national and regional news and events, our journals, and member news.

Become a member of the new AFMR Social Media Committee, chaired by Ricardo Correa, MD, AFMR Western chair elect. We’re looking for representation for all AFMR regions.

As a social media committee member, you’ll help plan the AFMR social media approach and be part of the posting team for one of the AFMR platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook). And your participation in a national-level AFMR committee will be a good addition to your resume!

Send us an email if you're interested.

 
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)

JIM is now an online only journal.

Announcing JIM's COVID Collection: Articles from the JIM archive on pandemic-related research.

Original Research
Sex differences in the induction of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) in mouse lungs after e-cigarette vapor exposure and its relevance to COVID-19
Vegi Naidu, Amir A Zeki, Pawan Sharma
https://bmj.com/coronavirus/usage
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jim-2020-001768

UBR5 inhibits the radiosensitivity of non-small cell lung cancer cells via the activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway
Yong-Fei Gu, Xing-Ping Ge
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jim-2020-001736

Psoriasis does not worsen outcomes in patients admitted for ischemic stroke: an analysis of the National Inpatient Sample
Ehizogie Edigin, Subuhi Kaul, Precious Obehi Eseaton, Pius Ehiremen Ojemolon, Axi Patel, Augustine Manadan
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jim-2020-001678

Systemic arterial blood pressure and intracerebral hemorrhage after mechanical thrombectomy in anterior cerebral circulation
Jiaqi An, Yonglan Tang, Xiangqi Cao, Huijie Yuan, Meng Wei, Xingyun Yuan, Aifeng Zhang, Yongxin Li, Ardan Saguner, Guoliang Li, Guogang Luo
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jim-2020-001554

Assessing bronchodilator response by changes in per cent predicted forced expiratory volume in one second
Octavian C Ioachimescu, Jose A Ramos, Michael Hoffman, Kevin McCarthy, James K Stoller
https://jim.bmj.com/content/69/5/1027

Brief Report
Assessment of synovial fluid and serum cytokine levels in children with septic arthritis
Walter Dehority, Scott Plaster, Kathryn C Helmig, Nathan Huff, Andrew Parsons, Susan L Tigert, Selina Silva
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jim-2020-001526

Research Tools and Issues
Institutionally chartered Data and Safety Monitoring Boards: structured approaches to assuring participant safety in clinical research
Blair Holbein, Marie T Rape, Barbara N Hammack, Ann Melvin, Carson Reider, Tamsin A Knox
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jim-2021-001779

Letter to the Editor
Fool's gold: diseased marijuana and cannabis hyperemesis syndrome
Oscar Armando Dorantes
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jim-2021-001980

Response to 'Fool's gold: diseased marijuana and cannabis hyperemesis syndrome
Richard McCallum


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.

An Unusual Case of Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis Presentation in Acute Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in acute human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients has been scarcely reported in the English literature. To the best of our knowledge, only 12 cases have been described. We present a case of a 27-year-old male with no past medical history who was admitted with a new-onset headache, fever, night sweats, and chills. Further laboratory tests revealed transaminitis, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, positive HIV antigen/antibody test, and markedly elevated ferritin levels, which promoted our suspicion of HLH. This case demonstrates HLH as an unusual presentation of HIV during its seroconversion stage. This report adds a rare disease process to the available literature, and we emphasize that markedly elevated ferritin levels in acute HIV patients should raise suspicion toward a diagnosis of HLH.

Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia Manifesting as Acute Kidney Injury and Bing-Neel Syndrome with Excellent Response to Ibrutinib
Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WM) is a lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma associated with a monoclonal immunoglobulin M protein. Extranodal involvement in WM is not very common. In this article, we present a rare case of WM with kidney and central nervous system involvement. Bing-Neel syndrome is a distinct complication of WM where lymphoplasmacytic cells involve the central nervous system (CNS). Our patient was initially treated with dialysis and steroids with improvement in his kidney function. He was then started on systemic treatment with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, and dexamethasone with stable kidney function but persistent CNS symptoms. Due to rarity of cases, there is no standard treatment for Bing-Neel syndrome. His treatment was switched to ibrutinib with dramatic improvement in his CNS symptoms as well as radiological findings on magnetic resonance imaging.

Capnocytophaga gingivalis Bacteremia After Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Immunocompromised Patient
Odontogenic bacteremia, most commonly involving gram-positive oral flora, can result from daily self-care practices or professional dental procedures. Though usually transient and quickly cleared by the immune system, the presence of periodontal disease increases the frequency of exposure and risk of persistence of oral-systemic infections. Comorbidities such as asplenia, alcoholism, and immunocompromise increase the risk of complications of hematogenous spread and severe systemic illness. Capnocytophaga is a genus of anaerobic fastidious gram-negative bacilli, which is a common member of human oral flora, and its density is proportional to mass of dental plaques and periodontal diseases. Capnocytophaga spp that colonize humans are less virulent and are uncommon causes of bacteremia when compared with the Capnocytophaga typical of canines. C gingivalis has been rarely reported as a cause of disease in immunocompromised or immunocompetent hosts. In this article, we present a case of an immunocompromised 70-year-old man with poor oral hygiene, on methotrexate and prednisone for rheumatoid arthritis and sarcoidosis, who was admitted for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation and developed C gingivalis bacteremia and septic shock after an episode of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Poor oral hygiene in our patient is believed to have increased his risk as an immunocompromised patient to developing C gingivalis bacteremia. This case highlights the importance of oral care in immunocompromised patients especially while hospitalized, and those about to receive transplant, chemotherapy, or on immune modulators.

 
World Health Organization (WHO) COVAX Website Provides Updates/News on International Vaccine Progress

World Health Organization (WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has a dedicated COVAX website providing information on country vaccine readiness and delivery, workstream, FAQs, updates, data and more.

COVAX is a partnership of CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), GAVI (The Vaccine Alliance), and the WHO. UNICEF serves as a vaccine delivery partner. The PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) Revolving Fund is COVAX’s recognized procurement representative in the Americas.

The site also includes the latest news about international vaccine distribution through the COVAX network.

View the website.

 
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

COVID-19

Latest updates:

Therapeutics

Vaccines

 
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 2022 Meeting Dates

Meeting dates for 2022 AFMR Regional and Affiliate Meetings are chronologically listed below.

Dates are not yet set for the Eastern and Midwestern Clinical and Translational Research Meeting or for Translational Science. Check this section monthly for updates.

Visit the AFMR website to get the latest updates on 2022 AFMR meetings and events.

Theo Trandafirescu, MD, VP of Meetings & Programs
Theo Trandafirescu, MD
VP of Meetings & Programs

January 2022
Western Regional Meeting
Western Regional Meeting
January 20-22, 2022
Carmel, CA
February 2022
Southern Regional Meeting
Southern Regional Meeting
February 10-12, 2022
New Orleans, LA
April 2022
Experimental Biology
Experimental Biology 2022
April 2-5, 2022
Philadelphia, PA