Volume II, Issue 10: October 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
The Midwestern, Southern and Western regional meetings have been scheduled. The Eastern regional meeting location and dates are still to be determined. Locations and dates have also been set for national meetings (Experimental Biology; Translational Science). A complete calendar can be viewed online.

As of this writing, all AFMR regional meetings are planned as in-person events. However, given the uncertainty about the Delta variant and levels of COVID in each region, the AFMR National Council determined at its September meeting that each regional should have a backup plan — which would permit the option for a hybrid meeting.

Abstract submissions are open for the Midwestern Clinical and Translational Research Meeting with a deadline of December 12, 2021. The Southern Meeting abstract deadline is near: October 8th. So, hurry if you want to submit!

The preliminary program for the Western Medical Research Conference (January 20 -22, 2022, Carmel, CA) can now be viewed online. Registration is now open for the Southern Regional Meeting (February 10-12, 2022, New Orleans) and Midwestern Clinical and Translational Research Meeting (March 3-4, 2022, Chicago).

Other activities over the past month have included activation of the AFMR Facebook page, the inaugural meeting of the AFMR social media committee, quarterly regional section council meetings, and continuing DEI initiatives. Coming soon: Call for submissions for AFMR National Awards (Outstanding Investigator and Junior Physician-Investigator Awards).

More from AFMR President Samrat U. Das

Southern Regional Meeting: Abstraction Submissions Close October 8th; Register Today

There’s still time to submit an abstract to the Southern Regional Meeting. The deadline is October 8th, 11:59 pm ET. Learn more and submit.

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

Southern Regional Meeting

Abstracts submitted by AFMR members in good standing are eligible for the Henry Christian Award. Check to make sure your membership is current. Research travel award opportunities are also available.

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

Western Regional Meeting: View the Preliminary Program

The Western Medical Research Conference is scheduled for 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 is now online. Check back later this month for registration information.

Midwestern Regional Meeting Abstract Submission/Registration Now Open

Abstract submission is now open for the AFMR Midwest Clinical and Translational Research Meeting.

The conference will be taking place in Chicago from March 3-4, 2022.

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 also now open. Online registration closes February 20, 2022.

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

Learn more and submit.

FASEB Launches DataWorks! — Data-sharing and Reuse Initiative


FASEB is introducing a new initiative — DataWorks! — focusing on “accelerating and enhancing research discoveries through data sharing and reuse.”

The project's goals include:

The initiative will have four components:

Learn more.

Research!America Civic Engagement Microgrant Submissions Due October 12th!


Research!America's Civic Engagement Microgrant Program — awarded to graduate student and postdoc-led teams grounded in STEM and the social sciences — is accepting submissions until October 12, 2021.

The program’s purpose is to support the design of projects aimed at creating dialogue with stakeholders — local community leaders, public officials, and the public at-large — regarding issues of common concern. Grantees develop communications and program planning skills, as well as a better understanding of public policy and government.

Applications can be made for one or more modules for a total of ,000.

Time is short. Learn more and apply today!

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.

Opinion: "Science Alone Can't Heal a Sick Society"

New York Times

In a guest opinion column in The New York Times — "Science Alone Can't Heal a Sick Society," — Jay S. Kaufman, MD contends that the COVID-19 pandemic is "socially patterned."

He argues that "Society's being out of joint means that epidemiological research is out of joint, because it exists inside the same society. This is not a new problem, but the dominant 'follow the science' mantra misses the fact that the same social pathology that exacerbates the pandemic also debilitates our scientific response to it." He concludes, "The real problem is simply that sick societies have sick institutions."

Dr. Kaufman is a professor of epidemiology at McGill University in Montreal and past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research.

Read the article.

NIH Research Matters: "Some Brain Function May Improve with Age."


Findings of a study published in August 2021 indicate that elders declined in only one of three key brain functions — with the other two showing improvement until the mid-to-late 70s. Results may show that practice can help preserve some cognitive features into late old age.

The research — using computer tests of attention and ability to focus — was performed by Dr. João Veríssimo (University of Lisbon, Portugal) and Dr. Michael Ullman from Georgetown University (Washington, DC). There were 700 participants between the ages of 58 and 98, part of the Social Environment and Biomarkers of Aging Study in Taiwan. This research investigated the relationship between life challenges and mental, physical, and cognitive health in elders.

Read the article.

COVID: From CNN Health — "An Average COVID-19 Hospitalization Costs Medicare About 150 Times More Than It Does to Vaccinate One Beneficiary."

CNN Health

A CNN analysis has shown that the cost to Medicare of COVID-19 hospitalization is some 150 times greater than that of full vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccines are free to US residents. Medicare reimburses healthcare providers $150 to provide a person with two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer injections.

The average cost of hospitalization of Medicare beneficiaries with COVID-19 is $21,752 (Source: Annals of Internal Medicine) covering a mean stay of 9.2 days. Costs were higher for patients needing a ventilator.

Read the article.

COVID: From NIH Research Matters — "Early Treatment with Convalescent Plasma for COVID-19 Doesn't Show Benefit."


A study released in August 2021 has determined that convalescent plasma did not prevent COVID-19 from advancing in high-risk patients who went to the emergency room for treatment within a week of developing symptoms.

The research also suggested little benefit of using the treatment for COVID-19.

Dr. Clifton Callaway (University of Pittsburgh) led the clinical trial to determine the efficacy of COVID-19 treatment for high-risk patients in early disease stages. The research was supported by the NIH National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), in addition to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

Read the article.

COVID: From Science — "Having SARS-CoV-2 Once Confers Much Greater Immunity Than a Vaccine — But Vaccination Remains Vital"


A large study in Israel has shown that the natural immune protection of those who have had COVID-19 is a stronger deterrent to the Delta variant than two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The research reviewed the medical records of tens of thousands of Israelis recording their infections, symptoms and hospitalizations between June 1 and August 14, when Delta was prevalent in the country. Israel is one of the highest vaccinated nations in the world.

Some researchers have addressed the study’s limitations including the inherent weakness of a retrospective analysis versus a prospective study that regularly tests subjects while tracking new infections, symptomatic infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Read the article.

COVID: From Scientific Reports — "Implementation of an Efficient SARS-CoV-2 Specimen Pooling Strategy for High Throughput Diagnostic Testing"

Scienctific Reports

A key strategy for controlling COVID-19 continues to be rapid identification via testing followed by isolation of those infected with the virus. Frequent testing is a powerful tool for identifying the virus in both asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic individuals. RT-PCT tests are the gold standard, but they are expensive — making regular testing of everyone infeasible.

Sample pooling is a more cost-effective approach. This report details the pooling strategies implemented for a South African sports team using 3-d and 4-d hypercubes.

View the article.

MedicalNewsToday: "Cholesterol-lowing Jab Could Save Over 30,000 Lives"


A new heart disease drug — Inclisiran — has been approved for use in England and Wales by the National Health Service (NHS). It is the first medication to use RNA interference to help the human body remove dangerous cholesterol from the bloodstream.

The drug, manufactured by Novartis, was the subject of an international trial, which determined that the treatment can "safely cut cholesterol by 50 percent."

The plan is for 300,000 patients to receive the medication. If so, it could prevent premature death from heart attacks and strokes for 30,000 individuals.

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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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.


Management of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Guest: Himanshu Deshwal, MD, Fellow in Pulmonary Disease & Critical Care
NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY
September 24, 2021


Good news continues for JIM in 2021
Richard McCallum

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


Advances in the management of pulmonary arterial hypertension✔ Editor's Choice
Himanshu Deshwal, Tatiana Weinstein, Roxana Sulica

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

Original Research

Circulating lipid and lipoprotein profiles and their correlation to cardiac function and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with acute myocardial infarction
Haoyu Wu, Chen Wang, Gulinigaer Tuerhongjiang, Xiangrui Qiao, Yiming Hua, Jianqing She, Zuyi Yuan

Serum high-molecular-weight adiponectin and response to dapagliflozin in patients with type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
Yoshimasa Aso, Masaaki Sagara, Takafumi Niitani, Kanako Kato, Toshie Iijima, Takuya Tomaru, Teruo Jojima, Isao Usui

Role of serum adropin measurement in the assessment of insulin resistance in obesity
Hande Erman, Ali Ozdemir, Mustafa Erinc Sitar, Seher Irem Cetin, Banu Boyuk

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment impacts oxidative stress markers in patients with necrotizing soft-tissue infection
Morten Hedetoft, Peter Østrup Jensen, Claus Moser, Julie Vinkel, Ole Hyldegaard

Brief Report

Ambulatory cardiology telemedicine: a large academic pediatric center experience
Aaron A Phillips, Craig A Sable, Shireen M Atabaki, Christina Waggaman, James E Bost, Ashraf S Harahsheh

Letter to the Editor

Dissemination of research during the first year of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic
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.

Perpetually Positive: Post-COVID Interstitial Lung Disease in an Immunocompromised Patient with Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma
As more patients recover from COVID-19 infection, long-term complications are beginning to arise. Our case report will explore a debilitating long-term complication, Post-COVID Interstitial Lung Disease (PC-ILD). We will introduce a patient who developed PC-ILD in the setting of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, outlining a difficult hospital course, including a positive COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for more than 3 months. We will then discuss the human body’s physiological response to the virus and how our patient was not able to adequately mount an immune response. Finally, the pathophysiology of PC-ILD will be explored and correlated with the patient’s subsequent computed tomographic images obtained over a 3-month period. The difficult hospital course and complex medical decision-making outlined in this case report serve as a reminder for health care providers to maintain vigilance in protecting our most vulnerable patient population from such a devastating disease process.

Epstein-Barr Virus Coinfection in COVID-19
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a member of the herpes virus family, is a causative agent for infectious mononucleosis in young adults. It has an asymptomatic and subclinical distribution in about 90% to 95% of the world population based on seropositivity. EBV is associated with various lymphomas, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, and in immunocompromised states can give rise to aggressive lymphoproliferative disorders. Symptomatic patients mostly present with mild hepatitis, rash, oral symptoms, lymphadenopathy, and generalized malaise. Recently with the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-2019) pandemic, hepatitis has been found to be related to acute EBV and cytomegalovirus reactivation versus acute infection in the absence of other major causes. We describe a case of EBV coinfection in a patient with resolving mild COVID-19 infection.

"A Tale of 2 Demons"—Concomitant Presence of Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Primary Neuroendocrine Tumor of Liver: A Case Report and Review of Literatures
Neuroendocrine tumors usually originate from the neuroendocrine cells of gastrointestinal tract and their presence in the liver is mostly in the form of metastases. A primary neuroendocrine tumor in the liver concomitantly with hepatocellular carcinoma is an infrequent phenomenon. We present a 66-year-old woman with a remote history of breast cancer coming with postprandial fullness, later found to have multiple liver masses. After a thorough investigation, she was found to have a combined type of hepatocellular and primary neuroendocrine tumor of liver with pulmonary metastases. She was not a surgical candidate due to distant metastases. She was treated with chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapies but continued to deteriorate clinically, and finally succumbed to her illness. The presence of this combined type of tumor in our patient is unique in many different ways: It is extremely rare, she did not have any risk factors for liver cancer, no genetic mutation till date could tie all these cancers (breast cancer, neuroendocrine tumor, and hepatocellular carcinoma) together, and not a lot of literatures/studies performed on this illness.

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 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 Regional Meeting. Check this section monthly for updates.

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
Abstract Deadline: October 8, 2021
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