Volume II, Issue 3: March 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
When it was clear that COVID-19 was going to going to cause the 2021 AFMR regional meetings to go virtual, no one knew what the consequences would be.

I'm glad to report that our first two meetings have been successful beyond our expectations.

The Western meeting, which took place in late January, was extremely well attended. Over 729 participants were online during the two-day event. The program included a lecture by National Council member Ricardo Correa on Health Care Disparities Research as a Way to Improve the Healthcare System, concurrent abstract breakouts in different specialties, and an awards ceremony. The full video will be available on the AFMR website soon on both the Western Region and the Virtual Education Portal. The Southern Regional meeting just concluded and had over 730 attendees. The three-day event included case reports, posters sessions, plenary sessions, and awards. Tulane University Health Sciences Center provided CME credits. The event video will also be online later this month.

We thank the Western and Southern Regional Councils for all their hard work. And congratulate them on their successes! More/Meetings & Elections


The Southern Regional Meeting took place virtually from February 25 - 27, 2021.

Honors included the AFMR Henry Christian Award, as well as Southern AFMR subspecialty awards.

There were three (3) Henry Christian Award Winners.

Other honors included the SAFMR/SSCI Junior Faculty Research Award, SAFMR/SSCI Student Research Award, SAFMR/SSCI Trainee Research Award, and SSCI/SAFMR Presidential Poster of Distinction.

AFMR thanks the Southern Regional Meeting sponsors:

The AFMR would like to thank the following companies for their support of the Southern Regional Meeting:
Gimoti Foundation Medicine

AFMR Henry Christian Award
Mohammed Alsaggaf
Mohammed Alsaggaf
A National Study On Prevalence and Racial Disparities in Lung Cancer Screening
Ochsner Health System, King Abdulaziz University
Arya Mariam Roy
Arya Mariam Roy
Treatment Strategies, Outcomes Of Patients With Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Malinda Wu
Malinda Wu
Estrogen Supplementation Is Associated With Higher Quality Of Life Scores In Women With Cystic Fibrosis
Emory University School of Medicine, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
More Award Winners

AFMR Announces National Award Winners

The AFMR Award Selection Committee has chosen the 2021 AFMR national award honorees. The winners will receive their awards during the virtual Translational Science 2021 in April.

Outstanding Investigator Award
Dr. Raina M. Merchant was chosen as the 2021 Outstanding Investigator for her pioneering work in the field of digital media and health services research. She will present her work in a webinar as part of the AFMR Virtual Education Series. Dr. Merchant is Associate Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, Director of the Center for Digital Health, Director of the Social Media and Health Innovation Lab, and Director of Social Media and Policy at the Center for Emergency Care and Policy at UPenn. View the video clip.
Dr. Raina M. Merchant

Junior Physician-Investigator Award
Dr. Hyun ah Yoon was selected as the 2021 AFMR Junior Physician-Investigator for her research Convalescent Plasma Treatment of Severe COVID-19 Cases in the Bronx, NY. She will be presenting her work at the AFMR Eastern Regional Meeting on April 2nd. Dr. Yoon is Assistant Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases at the Department of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center.
Dr. Hyun ah Yoon


Registration is now open for the Eastern Regional Meeting, which will take place virtually on Friday, April 2nd.

Eastern Regional Meeting

The program will start with conversations with JIM editor Richard McCallum and JIM-HICR editor Michael McPhaul. It will also include:

Registration is free for AFMR members; $50 for non-members; $25 for non-member trainees.
View Program Register Today


Western Regional Meeting

The Western Medical Research Conference took place virtually from January 29th - 30th. Its success far exceeded the expectation of Western Region planners. The event was co-sponsored by the Western Society for Pediatric Research (WSPR).

During the course of the two-days, 729 people attended some part of the event.

The program included a lecture by National Council member Ricardo Correa on Health Care Disparities Research as a Way to Improve the Healthcare System, concurrent abstract breakouts in different specialties, and an awards ceremony. The full video archives will be available later in March on the AFMR website soon on both the Western Region and the Virtual Education Portal.

Manuscripts of the presented abstracts can be found in the January issue of the Journal of Investigative Medicine (JIM).

Congratulations to Western Region leadership!


NIH Four potential COVID-19 therapeutics have entered Phase 2/3 testing in the NIH Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) program. ACTIV is a public/private partnership whose purpose is to create a coordinated research approach prioritizing and speeding up development of favorable COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines. Enrollment has begun to test new investigational drugs. Learn more.


Nature An article in Nature discusses what scientists are learning about the extent and type of COVID vaccine side effects — based on reports of reactions to physicians and through vaccine safety monitoring programs, including smartphone apps.

The piece covers:

Read the article.


Perri Klass, MD Adam Ratner, MD, MPH

A February article in The New England Journal of Medicine offers a perspective, "Vaccinating Children Against COVID-19 — The Lessons of Measles." The piece was authored by Perri Klass, MD and Adam Ratner, MD, MPH of the Grossman School of Medicine at New York University.

It covers the direct (protecting children against rare severe pediatric COVID cases and postinfectious illnesses) and indirect (reducing the physical, economic, and stress) benefits of vaccinating children. It also discusses the need to think creatively and compassionately about what convinces parents to allow their children to be vaccinated. The article examines these issues for COVID vaccines through the historical lens of issues raised by the measles vaccine.

There is also an audio interview with Dr. Klass.

Read the article.



In celebration of the 45th anniversary of Black History Month, FASEB cited the significant contributions of Black Americans to the fields of science, technology, engineering, math and medicine.

The article highlighted:

FASEB is emphasizing the contributions of scientists from underrepresented backgrounds in 2021 by telling their stories — in its continued effort to promote diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in the biomedical community.

Read the article. Interested in sharing your story? Contact Debbie Bouyer.



Research!America has released the results of a survey taken on its behalf by Zogby Analytics in January.

Some results of respondent opinions:

The respondent group was 1,215 adults. The survey has a sampling error of +/-2.8 percentage points.

View the survey.

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 Publications Highlights

Journal of Investigative Medicine (JIM)

Journal of Investigative Medicine (JIM)

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


American Heart Month Month with Harsha Nagarajarao
Guest: Harsha Nagarajarao, MD, Interventional Cardiologist at Saint Joseph Health System (Indiana)
February 26, 2021

Update on Journal of Investigative Medicine — yes, we are on the right road!
Richard McCallum, Editor-in-chief

Editor's Choice
Current Immunotherapy in Gastrointestinal Malignancies: A Review
Dushyant Singh Dahiya, Asim Kichloo, Jagmeet Singh, Michael Albosta, Manidhar Lekkala

Original Research
Evaluation of Mesenteric Artery Disease in Patients with Severe Aortic Valve Stenosis
Aysegul Idil Soylu, Ufuk Avcoglu, Fatih Uzunkaya, Korhan Soylu

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy for Obesity-Associated Hypertension
Erik Matthew Johnsen, Gursukhmandeep Sidhu, Jason Chen, Rachel Moore, Thierry Le Jemtel, Rohan Samson

ALLY in Fighting COVID-19: Magnitude of Albumin Decline and Lymphopenia (ALLY) Predict Progression to Critical Disease
Johanna S van Zyl, Amit Alam, Joost Felius, Ronnie M Youssef, Dipesh Bhakta, Christina Jack, Aayla K Jamil, Shelley A Hall, Göran B Klintmalm, Cedric W Spak, Robert L Gottlieb

Research Tools and Issue
Participant Perspectives on a Seminar-based Research Career Development Program and its Role
Nicole M Llewellyn, Jamie J Adachi, Eric J Nehl, Stacy S Heilman

Brief Report
Anticoagulation and Antiplatelet Therapy in Contact Sports: Is it Career Limiting?
Asim Kichloo, Rawan Amir, Farah Wani, Sukhbir Randhawa, Benjamin Rudd, David Rechlin

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.

Reversible Taste Loss in a COVID-19 Patient with Preexisting Chronic Smell Impairment
Smell loss is important for coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) screening and diagnosis. Particular attention should be paid to individuals with pre-COVID-19 chronic hyposmia or anosmia. We report a case of reversible taste impairment in a COVID-19 patient with chronically impaired sense of smell. This case emphasizes the importance of COVID-19-related taste assessment.

Sweet Syndrome precipitated by Mycobacterium abscessus in a Laotian Man with Autoantibodies to Interferon Gamma
Autoantibodies to interferon y, part of the first line of defense in the human immune response, constitutes a rare form of an acquired immunodeficiency in HIV-uninfected adults that can predispose to disseminated atypical mycobacterial infection. Particularly, this has been described in people of Southeast Asian origin. In this case report, we describe a previously healthy, Laotian man who presented with skin lesions consistent with Sweet syndrome that were later found to be precipitated by disseminated atypical mycobacterial disease. Extensive immunological workup revealed the patient to have autoantibodies to interferon y, rendering him susceptible to this infection. Our report demonstrates a complex case with a multilayered diagnosis, while inviting perspective from multiple specialties. This enigmatic case emphasizes the importance of a broad differential with special attention to demographics while demonstrating the difficulty in treating certain atypical infections that are inherently multidrug resistant.

A Case Report of Loperamide-Induced Ventricular Storm
Loperamide is an easily accessible antidiarrheal medication. Unlike other medications in its class, loperamide is unique in that it causes euphoria at supratherapeutic levels due to its effect on opioid receptors. Unfortunately, with its growing abuse potential also comes increasing reports of cardiotoxicity including prolonged QT, torsades de pointes, and sudden cardiac death. We report a case of a 29-year-old female who presented with unstable arrhythmia that further progressed into electrical storm in the setting of loperamide toxicity. Due to its growing popularity and availability, it is important for clinicians to understand loperamide’s mechanisms for causing toxicity as well as how to appropriately treat its complications.

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:

Related documents: Ethics and COVID-19: Resource allocation and priority setting

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 Set

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

March 2021
Translational Science 2021
Translational Science 2021
March 30, 2021-April 2, 2021
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
Experimental Biology
Experimental Biology 2021
April 27-30, 2021