Volume II, Issue 11: November 2021
American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR) Insights
AFMR Website Meetings/Events Calendar Submit a JIM manuscript Follow AFMR on Twitter


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

As we enter autumn, AFMR continues work on important projects on both the national and regional levels.

Regional & National Meetings
As we enter the last two months of 2021, we remain hopeful about the continuing improvement in the COVID situation. It has been a year of progress, tempered by many challenges here and abroad. I hope that you, your family, and colleagues are in a better place and that you will be able to be together for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Eastern Section to Collaborate with ESPR for 2022 Meeting
We are pleased to announce that the AFMR Eastern Section (EAFMR) has formed a collaboration with the Eastern Society for Pediatric Research (ESPR) for its 2022 meeting — the First Annual Eastern Medical Research Conference. The partnership will allow the EAFMR to greatly expand its regional conference audience. Hopefully the relationship will continue in the future and into in-person events.

AFMR to Present National Awards at Translational Science (TS) 2022
AFMR will honor its national award honorees— Outstanding Investigator and Junior Physician-Investigator — at Translational Science 2022, which is scheduled for April in Chicago. Henry Christian Award winners will also be acknowledged. The National Council determined the awards deserved a return to prominence via their presentation at a national meeting.

Also, this month:

More from AFMR President Samrat U. Das

Register Today for January 2022 Western Regional Meeting; View Preliminary Program

The Western Medical Research Conference is taking place January 20 -22, 2022 in Carmel, CA.

Partner societies include the Western Society for Pediatric Research (WSPR), Western Association of Physicians/Western Society of Clinical Investigation (WAP/WSCI), and the Western Students & Residents Medical Research Forum (WSMRF).

Western Regional Meeting

The preliminary program can be found online.

Registration is now open. The fee discount ends January 8, 2022. Register today!

Midwestern Regional Meeting Abstract Deadline December 12th; Registration Open

The AFMR Midwest Clinical and Translational Research Meeting will be taking place in Chicago from March 3-4, 2022. Abstract submissions are now being accepted.

Abstract Deadline: Sunday, December 12, 2021, 11:59 pm CT

Learn more and submit.

Midwestern Clinical & Translational Research Meeting

AFMR members whose abstracts are chosen for presentation are eligible for the Henry Christian Award. Check to make sure your membership is current. Research travel award opportunities are also available.

Registration is open with online registration closing February 20, 2022. Register today!

Register for the Southern Regional Meeting — February 2022 in New Orleans

The Southern Region Meeting will be taking place from February 10-12, 2022 in New Orleans, LA.

Southern Regional Meeting

Registration is now open. Pre-registration ends on February 7, 2022. Register today!

The preliminary program is coming soon! Check out the website later this month.

Apply for AFMR Outstanding Investigator & Junior Physician-Investigator Awards!


Applications are now open for AFMR national awards. Submissions are due on January 15, 2022.

The two AFMR honors are the:

Both awards are open to current AFMR members. Check to determine the status of your AFMR membership.

AFMR will honor the 2022 winners at Translational Science 2022, which is scheduled for April in Chicago.

More About the Outstanding Investigator & Junior Physician-Investigator Awards

FASEB Shared Research Task Force Publishes Findings: "Establishing a national strategy for shared research resources in biomedical sciences"


The FASEB Shared Research Task Force has published its findings in the October issue of The FASEB Journal. The task force spent a year developing applicable policy recommendations for enhancing team science and shared research resources (SSRs) in "advancing scientific progress and research efficiency."

SSRs are located in academic institutions (aka core facilities), national laboratories and private research centers. They share access to scientific tools, equipment and expertise for researchers and staff.

Currently, SSR funding and oversight is decentralized and dispersed, resulting in inefficiencies and resource duplications.

The task force recommended that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) create and execute a national SSR strategy. It also suggested that NIH establish a SSR Working Group within its Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) — whose purpose is to provide him/her with advice on the many issues related to NIH’s mission and program.

Learn more about the task force's recommendations. Read the article.

Research!America Names Five Advocacy Awards Recipients for 2022


Research!America has announced five 2022 Advocacy Award winners. The honors were established in 1996 to acknowledge individuals and organizations whose leadership have advanced medical, health and scientific research in the nation.

Honorees include:

Additional honorees will be named later. The awards will be presented on March 16, 2022 at an event currently scheduled to be in-person.

Learn more.

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

NIH Research Matters: "Test May Reduce Racial Disparities in Kidney Disease"


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is estimated to affect more than 37 million individuals in the US. The disease can lead to kidney failure, which may be fatal without dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Kidney function is currently gauged by a blood test measuring the protein creatinine. However, Black patients tend to have higher levels of the creatinine in their blood. As a result, estimates of kidney function list race as a variable.

Black Americans have a higher kidney failure rate than their white counterparts. Researchers have been concerned that these race-based estimates may result in improper classification, impacting CKD treatment and outcome disparities.

Two research studies — funded primarily by NIH's National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases — have analyzed whether assessing a different kidney protein, cystatin C, would result in a race-blind kidney function estimate. Their results were positive, finding that a cystatin C test can approximate kidney function without taking race into account.

Read the article.

ScienceDaily: "How Many People Get 'Long COVID'? More than Half, Researchers Find"


A Penn State College of Medicine study has determined that adults as well as children, can experience negative health issues for six months or more after recovering from COVID-19.

The researchers reviewed 57 worldwide reports, including data from a little over 250,000 unvaccinated adults and children who were diagnosed with COVID between December 2019 - March 2021.

They concluded that governments, healthcare organizations and public health experts should be equipped to treat the many patients who suffer with long COVID — which results in a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms.

Learn more about the study.

Editorial from Science: "Preparing for 'Disease X'"


An editorial in Science entitled "Preparing for 'Disease X'" discusses the need for the international public health community to be better prepared in the future for diseases of epidemic and pandemic potential. It cites current and past examples including COVID, Ebola, influenza, MERS, Zika and more.

The authors — Maria D. Van Kerkhove, Michael J. Ryan and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus — note that future threats will be exacerbated by external forces including climate change, ecosystem changes and increasing urbanization.

They cite the newly created World Health Organization (WHO) Scientific Advisory Group on the Origins of Novel Pathogens (SAGO) as "an unprecedented opportunity" to provide better guidance for research studies that focus on high-threat diseases. The authors, all of whom work at WHO, detail why this advisory group can make a difference for the future.

They closed by stating, "Globally, at least 4.8 million people have died from COVID-19. They and their families are owed answers as to where and how the virus originated. It's in everyone's interest to better prepare for the next Disease X."

Read the editorial.

MedicalNewsToday: "Statin Use Associated with Type 2 Diabetes Progression"


A recent study has determined that patients with Type 2 diabetes who take statins to lower their cholesterol are at higher risk of disease progression.

The study corresponding author was Professor Ishak Mansi MD of the Department of Medicine, Department of Population and Data Sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas.

In an interview with MedicalNewsToday, he noted that statins could still continue to be used as a major medical intervention. He also stated that the relationship between statin use and diabetes progression was just one of numerous elements to be considered when prescribing statins.

Dr. Mansi said, "[There are] three important precautions in reading our study: no patient should stop taking their statins based on our study, association does not prove causation, and no single study should dictate treatment policy but [rather] all the pieces of evidence together."

Read the article.

MedicalNewsToday: "Hypertension at Age 35-44 Linked to Higher Dementia Risk"


Researchers from China and Australia studied public health data to determine whether the age at which individuals are diagnosed with hypertension affects brain health and the risk of developing dementia.

Their results suggest that patients who receive a diagnosis of high blood pressure (HBP) between the ages of 35 and 44 are 61 percent more likely to develop dementia in later life than their peers.

Given that there are lower hypertension treatment rates for young adults, the research team suggested that physicians focus more on helping this age cohort manage their HBP.

Read the article.

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 from 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.

Be Part of the AFMR Conversation: Connect on Twitter, LinkedIn & Facebook

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American Federation for Medical Research

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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.


Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Dr. Zeina Nahleh
Guest: Zeina Nahleh, MD, Chair of the Department of Hematology-Oncology and Director
Cleveland Clinic Florida Maroone Cancer Center
October 29, 2021


Call for emergency action to limit global temperature increases, restore biodiversity and protect health
Lukoye Atwoli, Abdullah H Baqui, Thomas Benfield, Raffaella Bosurgi, Fiona Godlee, Stephen Hancocks, Richard Horton, Laurie Laybourn-Langton, Carlos Augusto Monteiro, Ian Norman, Kirsten Patrick, Nigel Praities, Marcel GM Olde Rikkert, Eric J Rubin, Peush Sahni, Richard Smith, Nicholas J Talley, Sue Turale, Damián Vázquez

Pulmonary arterial hypertension: promising advances and remaining challenges
Karim El-Kersh, John D Dickinson


Clinical management of immune-related adverse events following immunotherapy treatment in patients with non-small cell lung cancer
Hannah Elizabeth Green, Jorge Nieva

Overview of severe asthma, with emphasis on pediatric patients: a review for practitioners
Arabelle Abellard, Andrea A Pappalardo

Original Research

Importance of beta-lactam pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics on the recovery of microbial diversity in the airway of persons with cystic fibrosis
Andrea Hahn, Aszia Burrell, Hollis Chaney, Iman Sami, Anastassios C Koumbourlis, Robert J Freishtat, Edith T Zemanick, Stan Louie, Keith A Crandall

Comparison of a new predictive model with other critical scores for predicting in-hospital mortality among children with pneumonia-related bacteremia
Jilei Lin, Yin Zhang, Anchao Song, Nan Yang, Linyan Ying, Jihong Dai

Diagnosis values of IL-6 and IL-8 levels in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Fang Liu, Xin Zhang, Wenxiu Du, Junfeng Du, Yumin Chi, Baohua Sun, Zhan Song, Jian Shi

Brief Reports

Effects of non-surgical treatment of chronic periodontitis on insulin resistance and glucose tolerance in subjects without diabetes (PARODIA 2 study)
Arnel Redon Nana Nana, Nadia-Flore Tsobgny Tsague, Eric Lontchi-Yimagou, Charles Bengondo Messanga, Aurel Tankeu, Jean-Claude Katte, Eric Balti Vounsia, Mesmin Dehayem, Eugene Sobngwi

Tumor invasive ability of papillary thyroid carcinomas is not conferred by acquired gene mutations
Mengying Tong, Shuang Li, Yulong Li, Ying Li, Yue Feng, Ying Che

Letter to the Editor

Importance of preserving the resident microflora of the skin to improve immunological response
Justin S Brandt, Sonal Grover, Cande V Ananth

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.

Abdominal Pain: A Silent and Unlikely Cause
While diverticulosis is a common phenomenon in the large intestine, it is a rare disease found in the small intestine accounting for only 0.06% to 1.3% of cases. Although most cases are asymptomatic, roughly 30% to 40%, it is crucial that it is on the differential of acute abdominal pain as it can be life-threatening and potentially require surgical management. Here, we describe a case of a 61-year-old Hispanic man who was found to have a perforated jejunal diverticula after initially presenting with left upper quadrant abdominal pain.

A Case of S-Variant Hepatitis B Virus: An Immune System Escape Artist
Genomic variants of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) preS/S protein are well-known to occur. Typically, immunity is gained through recovered HBV infection or by immunization. Very rarely, there are certain mutations that may enable HBV escape from the immune detection. PreS/S mutants may present with unpredictable pathobiologic, clinical, and transmittable implications. Standard laboratory testing for genomic HBV variants is not routinely performed by reference guidelines. s-variant HBV management remains challenging. Herein is a case of s-variant chronic HBV infection in a 55-year-old man. Diagnosis and treatment are described.

Fanconi Syndrome Induced by Concomitant HIV PrEP and Tacrolimus
Fanconi syndrome (FS) is a severe grade of drug-induced proximal tubule toxicity. There are numerous causes for acquired FS, and drug toxicity is one of the most common. FS is known to be associated with the nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF). TDF is often used in combination with emtricitabine (FTC) for preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. TDF/FTC-induced FS has been observed as a dose-related phenomenon that is directly correlated to kidney function, high levels of absorption of the drug into the proximal tubule, and interactions with other medications. This case report describes a patient who acquired FS after starting TDF/FTC for PrEP in the setting of chronic kidney disease (CKD) with concomitant tacrolimus therapy, a known nephrotoxic agent.

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, which includes a global research database.

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 includes separate pages covering:

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

AFMR 2022 Meeting Dates

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

The Eastern Regional Meeting will be a collaboration with the Eastern Society for Pediatric Research (ESPR) — the First Annual Eastern Medical Research Conference. More information will be available soon.

Visit the AFMR website to get the latest 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
March 2022
Midwestern Clinical & Translational Research Meeting
Midwestern Clinical & Translational Research Meeting
March 3-4, 2022
Abstract Deadline: December 12, 2021
Chicago, IL
April 2022
Experimental Biology
Experimental Biology 2022
April 2-5, 2022
Philadelphia, PA
Translational Science
Translational Science
April 20-22, 2022
Chicago, IL