Volume III, Issue 1: January 2022
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

From the President

Happy New Year! I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday season.

We are about to kick off an exciting year. After having to go virtual for AFMR regional meetings because of the coronavirus pandemic, January will be the first of three in-person regional events. The Eastern meeting will be virtual again this year.

We hope you will attend the conference in your region and take advantage not only of the wide range of interesting sessions and poster presentations, but also the ability to network with fellow research professionals.

Check out preliminary program and registration information for each event:

We are hopeful that some plenary sessions will be recorded and posted on the Virtual Education Portal.

Get Involved at the Regional or National Level
In this new year, consider become more engaged in AFMR by becoming a regional councilor or joining an AFMR committee.

More: National Awards, AFMR Advocacy, Upcoming Elections

Still Time to Register for Western Regional Meeting January 20-22 in Carmel, CA; Discount Deadline Is January 8th

Discount registration for the 2022 Western Medical Research Conference ends January 8th. The conference is taking place January 20-22 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.

Register today! Discount ends soon.



Time is running out to apply for AFMR national awards. The deadline is January 15th!

The two 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.

Learn More & Apply

Southern Regional Meeting — Preregistration ends February 7th, Preliminary Program Now Online

The Southern Region Meeting will be taking place February 10-12 in New Orleans, LA. Partner societies include the Academic Pediatric Association, Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, Southern Society for General Internal Medicine, and Southern Society for Pediatric Research.

Southern Regional Meeting

View the preliminary program at-a-glance.

Awards include the SAFMR/SSCI Student Research Award, SAFMR/SSCI Trainee Award, and SAFMR/SSCI Young Faculty Award. Learn more about criteria/eligibility.

Pre-registration ends on February 7, 2022. Register today!

View Program for First Annual Eastern Medical Research Conference (March 10-12) — Co-Sponsored by EAFMR & Eastern Society for Pediatric Research (ESPR)

The First Annual Eastern Medical Research Conference, co-sponsored by the Eastern Society for Pediatric Research (ESPR) will take place virtually from March 10-12, 2022.

First Annual Eastern Medical Research Conference

Program features include:

Learn more.

Register Online for Midwestern Regional Meeting — March 3-4 in Chicago

The AFMR Midwest Clinical and Translational Research Meeting is scheduled in Chicago from March 3-4, 2022. The conference is co-sponsored by the Central Society for Clinical and Translational Research (CSCTR).

Midwestern Clinical & Translational Research Meeting

The meeting will combine presentations about clinical research techniques, as well as new research findings in cardiology, gastroenterology, pulmonary and critical care, hematology and oncology, endocrinology, nephrology, infectious disease, allergy, and health care research.

Some highlights include:

Learn more about other highlights and conference meeting objectives.

Register today! Online registration closes February 20, 2022.

New AFMR Podcast: "The COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned and an Intensivist's Perspective."

Hugh Black, MD
Amir Zeki, MD

Don't miss the latest AFMR podcast: "The COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned and an Intensivist's Perspective."

The podcast guest is Hugh Black, MD of UC Davis Health|University of California. Dr. Black is Medical Co-director of the Neurocritical Care Service and Medical Director of the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit.

He is interviewed by Amir Zeki, MD, former AFMR president and publications committee chair.

The interview was recorded in November 2021.

Listen to the podcast

Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) Opens RFPs; Other Opportunities to Advance Work of Accelerating Medicines Partnership® (AMP®) Bespoke Gene Therapy Consortium

Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH)

The Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Bespoke Gene Therapy Consortium (BGTC) is a new public-private partnership created to expanding effective gene therapies for rare diseases.

The Foundation for National Institutes of Health (FNIH) has opened opportunities for researchers, clinicians, and patient advocates to enhance the consortium’s work.

Get Involved in Advocacy: Sign up for Legislative Alerts from FASEB


AFMR is a partner with the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), which represents more than 130,000 scientists through its member societies. FASEB represents its partners in advocating for "sustainable and predictable federal funding for scientific research."

It also recommends that all scientists individually advocate with their members of Congress about issues of importance to them. FASEB offers an Advocacy Toolkit with ways to interact with legislators.

AFMR members can also be kept up to date on important issues by signing up for FASEB legislative alerts.

This link also allows AFMR members to search for specific legislation and find their elected official via zip code.

Research!America is Expanding; Check Out Open Positions


Research!America is a nonprofit, nonpartisan alliance committed to increasing federal support for the advancement of science, medicine, and public health and is an AFMR partner.

The organization is expanding, hiring new key staff to play a pivotal role in "advocacy for a new era of prolific research and development."

Openings include:

Learn more about positions and how to apply.

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: "Antiviral Drug Shows Promise Against COVID-19 and RSV"


COVID vaccines are saving lives daily, however treatment options for the virus remain limited. One antiviral drug — Remdesivir — has been approved by the FDA and has shown success, however it must be administered via IV. Two oral antivirals recently received emergency use authorization from the FDA. Pfizer's Paxlovid was approved on December 22nd. The next day, the FDA also gave the okay to Molnupiravir (jointly developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapies). However, there have been concerns about its modest effectiveness and potential safety risks.

Notwithstanding, the options for antiviral medicines that can be taken at home are minimal.

Researchers led by Richard Pemper, MD of Georgia State University have been investigating potential broad-spectrum antivirals. Such drugs can impede different types of viruses, including other respiratory infections like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

In their study, the research focused on a compound related to molnupiravir called "4'-fluorouridine" or 4'-FIU. Tests showed that the drug effectively treated COVID-19 and RSV in animals. It is a promising candidate for outpatient treatment as it can be taken once a day in pill form.

"There is an urgent need to expand the therapeutic arsenal against SARS-CoV-2," Dr. Plemper stated, "and 4'-FIU has strong potential to become an additional therapeutic option."

The study was funded by the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Learn more.

New York Times: "Women Earn $2 Million Less Than Men in Their Careers as Doctors

New York Times

A recent article in the New York Times reported about a RAND corporation compensation survey of more than 80,000 physicians. The study took place from 2014 - 2019. It is the largest analysis of physician pay to-date and the first to estimate the cost of wage gaps over the span of a career.

RAND is a nonpartisan think tank.

The results showed that over the course of a 40-year career, women physicians earn $2 million less than their male counterparts. Lead author and health economist Christopher Whaley explained, "We were able to see that essentially from Year 1 to Year 40, there is a pretty sizable gap."

Read the article.

Science Daily: "Experimental mRNA HIV Vaccine Safe, Shows Promise in Animals"

Science Daily

Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) along with investigators from Moderna, Inc. and collaborators from other institutions have determined that an experimental mRNA HIV vaccine shows promise in mice and nonhuman primates.

The study was led by Paolo Lusso, MD, PhD of NIAID’s Laboratory of Immunoregulations.

The test vaccine was deemed safe and had the desired antibody and cellular immune responses against an HIV-like virus. Results were published in Nature Medicine.

"Despite nearly four decades of effort by the global research community, an effective vaccine to prevent HIV remains an elusive goal," said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD, chief of the laboratory and co-author of the paper. "This experimental mRNA vaccine combines several features that may overcome shortcomings of other experimental HIV vaccines and thus represents a promising approach."

Learn more.

NIH Research Matters: "Cancer Cells Drain Energy from Immune Cells"


Recent research has found that cancer cells use straw-like nanotubes to siphon immune cell mitochondria, sapping their energy.

The study was performed by a team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital led by Drs. Hae Lin Jang and Shiladitya Sengupta. They investigated how cancer cells escape the human system by creating human and mouse breast cancer cells with T cells.

"Cancer kills when the immune system is suppressed and cancer cells are able to metastasize, and it appears that nanotubes can help them do both," stated Dr. Sengupta. "This is a completely new mechanism by which cancer cells evade the immune system, and it gives us a new target to go after."

The researchers determined that nanotube formation could make specific therapies more effective.

The research was underwritten by NIH entities — the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

Learn more.

MedicalNewsToday: "Plant-based LIFE Diet Could Relieve Medication-Resistant Migraine"

Medical News Today

A recent case study investigated the benefits of the LIFE (Low Inflammatory Foods Everyday) diet on migraines that are resistant to medicine.

Over 40 million US residents suffer from migraine headaches, which are ranked second among causes of disability in the world. It is especially prevalent in young women.

David Dunaief MD (senior author), Brittany Perzia, MD (lead author), and Joshua Dunaief (contributing author) studied the benefits of the LIFE diet, which is rich in dark green leafy vegetables — essential sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

The research — part of a study on links between diet and migraine — focused on a 60-year-old man who suffered from migraines for 12 years. His migraines became chronic six months before the study started. After switching to the LIFE diet, the man experienced long-term relief and required less medication.

Read the article.

Science Daily: "Synthetic Tissue Can Repair Hearts, Muscles, and Vocal Cords"

Science Daily

Scientists from McGill University have created a biomaterial strong enough to repair the heart, muscles, and vocal cords. The team used their knowledge of biology, chemistry, engineering, and physics to develop this major advance in regenerative medicine.

The team constructed a new injectable hydrogel for wound repair. Hydrogels provide room for cells to grow and divide. Once the biomaterial is injected into the body, it forms a durable, permeable composition that allows live cells to grow or pass through to repair damaged organs.

The team was led by Professor Luc Mongeau and Assistant Professor Jianyu Li and included Guangyu Bao, a PhD candidate in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

"People recovering from heart damage often face a long and tricky journey. Healing is challenging because of the constant movement tissues must withstand as the heart beats. The same is true for vocal cords," said Bao. "Until now there was no injectable material strong enough for the job."

Learn more.

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 Research

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Journal of Investigative Medicine

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American Federation for Medical Research

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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.


New Pharmacology for Weight Loss
Guest: Gurdeep Singh, MD
Lourdes Memorial Hospital in Binghamton, New York.
December 15, 2021


Obesity and GLP-1 RAs
Tamis Bright

Semaglutide 2.4 mg: the latest GLP-1RA approved for obesity
Ricardo Villela, Ricardo Correa


Wegovy (semaglutide): a new weight loss drug for chronic weight management ✔ Editor's Choice
Gurdeep Singh, Matthew Krauthamer, Meghan Bjalme-Evans

Pregnancy in patients with multiple sclerosis ✔ Key Article
Borros M Arneth

Original Research

Impact on the fitness of N95 masks with extended use/limited reuse and dry heat decontamination ✔ Key Article
Mengyi Zha, Jude Alsarraj, Brandon Bunch, David Venzon

Tocilizumab in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials ✔ Key Article
Samiksha Gupta, Rana Prathap Padappayil, Agam Bansal, Salim Daouk, Brent Brown

Long COVID following mild SARS-CoV-2 infection: characteristic T cell alterations and response to antihistamines
Paul Glynne, Natasha Tahmasebi, Vanya Gant, Rajeev Gupta

Nocardiosis in renal transplant patients
Maya Gibson, Nianlan Yang, Jennifer L Waller, Lufei Young, Wendy B Bollag, Mufaddal Kheda, Azeem Mohammed, Stephanie L Baer

Association between blood carboxyhemoglobin level and bronchopulmonary dysplasia in extremely low birthweight infants
Thea Tagliaferro, Rowena Cayabyab, Rangasamy Ramanathan

Brief Report

In-vivo skeletal muscle mitochondrial function in Klinefelter syndrome
Stephanie Cung, Laura Pyle, Kristin Nadeau, Dana Dabelea, Melanie Cree-Green, Shanlee M Davis

Letter to the Editor

Estimating clinical research project duration from idea to publication
Dmitry Tumin, Kori L Brewer, Doyle M Cummings, Keith L Keene, Kendall M Campbell

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.

From Coronaries to Cirrhosis: The Role of Percutaneous Coronary Intervention and Dual Antiplatelet Therapy in End-Stage Liver Disease
Drug-eluting stents (DES) have superior efficacy compared with bare metal stents (BMS) for treatment of coronary artery lesions. However, BMS continue to play an important role in percutaneous coronary intervention for patients who are at a high bleeding risk, because they require a shorter duration of dual antiplatelet therapy. However, new developments in DES and understanding of the optimal time required for dual antiplatelet therapy after percutaneous coronary intervention may further limit the use of BMS. Furthermore, the use of dual antiplatelet therapy is complicated in patients with cirrhosis, who may have coagulopathy. In this article, we present the case of a patient with cirrhosis and end-stage chronic liver disease with coronary artery disease and a proximal left anterior descending stenosis who received a DES and had multiple episodes of gastrointestinal bleeding. We review the literature addressing DES and BMS in patients at high risk of bleeding. We also review the optimal duration of dual antiplatelet therapy.

Actinomycotic Abscess of Thyroid Gland in a 3-Year-Old Child
Actinomycosis is an atypical cause of infection in the head and neck area, especially in children. A rare incidence of actinomycosis, its nonspecific clinical signs that mimic other pathological conditions, as well as a complicated identification of microorganism lead to diagnostic delays in clinical practice. Besides an accurate diagnosis, it is of an utmost importance to pinpoint relevant predisposing factors, which might result in the infection. We present a clinical case of actinomycotic infection of the thyroid gland in the pediatric patient at our department.

Medication-Induced Gastroparesis: A Case Report
Gastroparesis is a commonly diagnosed gastrointestinal disorder with a high prevalence globally and high disease burden to those afflicted with it. Etiologies are variable with idiopathic and diabetes being the most common causes of gastroparesis. Management of gastroparesis depends on the etiology, and accurate diagnosis is required for better targeted therapy. Medication-induced gastroparesis is reversible, and discontinuing the medication is generally curative. This case report discusses 2 cases of medication-induced gastroparesis which were initially diagnosed as diabetic gastroparesis, and thorough history taking revealed the cause to be medication induced. Repeat studies following medication discontinuation revealed improvement in symptoms and resolution of gastroparesis. Further research needs to be done to assess the frequency of misdiagnosing diabetic patients with gastroparesis due to medications, specifically glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists which are increasingly being used in diabetics.

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.

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
Chicago, IL
1st Annual Eastern Medical Research Conference
1st Annual Eastern Medical Research Conference
Co-sponsored by the Eastern Society for Pediatric Research (ESPR)
March 10-12, 2022
April 2022
Experimental Biology
Experimental Biology 2022
April 2-5, 2022
Philadelphia, PA
Translational Science
Translational Science
April 20-22, 2022
Chicago, IL