Volume III, Issue 4: June 2022
American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR) Insights
AFMR Website Meetings/Events Calendar Submit a JIM manuscript Follow AFMR on Twitter


Attaya Suvannasankha, MD, AFMR President
Attaya Suvannasankha, MD
AFMR President
This is my first column as AFMR president. I am honored to being serving in this role, working with national and regional leadership and members.

I would like to start by thanking outgoing AFMR president Samrat U. Das for all his hard work in the past year, a task made more difficult by COVID-19 and AFMR's need to adjust accordingly.

In addition, I would like to acknowledge the service of Everardo Cobos as Western Section Secretary-Treasurer, Melanie Cree-Green as Western Section Chair, Dubert M. Guerrero as Midwestern Section Secretary-Treasurer, Alexander Philipovskiy as Southern Section Chair, and Shireen Atabaki as Membership Committee Chair. Dr. Atabaki will be continuing in national leadership as a Councilor-at-large. We also want to acknowledge past president Leticia Ryan, who has rotated off the National Council. We appreciate their commitment and work on behalf of the organization.

More from AFMR President Attaya Suvannasankha

Reflections from the Immediate Past President, Dr. Samrat Das

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

As I convened my last national council meeting as the president of American Federation of Medical Research (AFMR), it can be difficult to discover the proper words to express the feelings one feels about my involvement, with its hundreds of recollections, and future, with all its questions and new opportunities. I can tell you; I’m overwhelmed with emotions —yes, with the sadness that comes with saying farewell as the President, but also with excitement for what the future will bring.

As I look back at my time as the President of AFMR, I am overpowered by all that we were able to achieve together. When I took up the role of councilor... Read More

Podcast: Reflections on my presidency and the future of AFMR with Samrat Das, MD
Guest: Dr. Richard McCallum and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Director of Pediatric Undergraduate Medical Education at Duke University School of Medicine
21 June 2022

Congratulations to New National & Regional Leadership!

AFMR congratulates new national and regional leadership. New terms began on May 1, 2022.

National Council


Vijay Shivaswamy, MBBS, MS, President-Elect President-elect: Vijay Shivaswamy, MBBS, MS

Dr. Shivaswamy is associate professor of Internal Medicine (Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism) and associate program director for the Endocrinology Fellowship Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Veterans Affairs Nebraska-Iowa Health Care System.
Zanthia Wiley, MD, Councilor-at-Large Membership Committee Chair: Zanthia Wiley, MD

In addition to assuming of assuming the role of AFMR Membership Committee Chair, Dr. Wiley currently serves as Councilor-at-Large. She is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University and the director of Antimicrobial Stewardship at Emory University Hospital Midtown.
Sidharth Mahapatra, MD, PhD, Councilor-at-Large Councilor-at-Large: Sidharth Mahapatra, MD, PhD

Dr. Mahapatra previously served as chair of the AFMR Midwestern Section. He is associate professor of pediatrics and biochemistry & molecular biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and director for research for the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine.

Regional Councils


Joshua De Leon, MD, Eastern Section Chair-elect Chair-elect: Joshua De Leon, MD

Dr. De Leon previously served as secretary-treasurer of the AFMR Eastern Section. He is associate professor of the Department of Medicine at NYU Long Island School of Medicine, director of the Coronary Care Unit at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, NY, and director of the Cardiovascular Training Program at NYU Winthrop Hospital.
Lora Kasselman, PhD, MPH, Eastern Section Secretary-Treasurer Secretary-Treasurer: Lora Kasselman, PhD, MPH

Dr. Kasselman previously served as chair of the AFMR Eastern Section. She is assistant professor of the Department of Foundations of Medicine at NYU Long Island School of Medicine.


Anupam Kotwal, MBBS, Midwestern Section Chair-elect Chair-elect: Anupam Kotwal, MBBS

Dr. Kotwal currently serves on the AFMR social media committee. He is assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
Jeffrey Salomon, MD, Midwestern Section Secretary-Treasurer Secretary-Treasurer: Jeffrey Salomon, MD

Dr. Salomon received the Oral Award (2022) and the Trainee Award (2020) at the Midwestern Clinical and Translational Research. He is assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and assistant professor in the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Nebraska College of Medicine.


Gaurav Agarwal, MD, Southern Section Chair-elect Chair-elect: Gaurav Agarwal, MD, FACP, FASN

Dr. Agarwal previously served as secretary-treasurer of the AFMR Southern Section. He is associate professor of medicine, Division of Nephrology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and staff clinician at the Birmingham VA Medical Center, Birmingham, AL.
Sheetal Kandiah, MD, Southern Section Secretary-Treasurer Secretary-Treasurer: Sheetal Kandiah, MD

Dr. Kandiah is assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.


David A. Stevenson, MD, Western Section Chair-elect Chair-elect: David A. Stevenson, MD

Dr. Stevenson is currently professor of pediatrics at Stanford University. He is the Service Chief for the Division of Medical Genetics and the Program Director for the Medical Genetics Residency Program and the Combined Pediatric-Medical Genetics Residency Program at Stanford.
Mimi Kim, MD, MSc, Western Section Secretary-Treasurer Secretary-Treasurer: Mimi Kim, MD, MSc

Dr. Kim is associate professor of clinical pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, located in Los Angeles, CA.

Meet All the AFMR 2022-2023 National & Regional Leadership

Western Medical Research Conference Highlights

Western Medical Research Conference Highlights

This year's Western Medical Research Conference (formerly Western Regional Meeting) had 621 attendees. Of the 461 abstracts presentations, 397 were given orally and 63 were presented as posters. The AFMR hosted the "Investigator Workshop: How to Publish – Tips from the Editor."

Southern Regional Meeting Highlights

Southern Regional Meeting Highlights

Held in New Orleans between February 10-12, this year’s meeting was well-attended by 678 people, with 75% in person and 25% virtual. There were 600 abstracts, 57% of which were case reports. A majority of the presenters were trainees/students.

AFMR sessions included:

Midwest Clinical and Translational Research Meeting Highlights

Midwest Clinical and Translational Research Meeting Highlights

The meeting, with 159 in attendance, included 131 abstract presentations, poster sessions, lectures, MWAFMR Career Development Workshop, and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusions (DEI) Symposium. Dr. Sidharth Mahapatra participated in the Department Chair Session, and the Mentor Breakfast included Drs. Jennifer Alexander-Brett, Attaya Suvannasankha and John D. Dickinson.

Current Concepts and Controversies in Transmission of SARS-CoV-2

Curtis J. Donskey, MD
Chairman, Infection Control Committee, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center

1st Annual Eastern Medical Research Conference Highlights

1st Annual Eastern Medical Research Conference Highlights

The Eastern Society for Pediatric Research (ESPR) and AFMR joined together this year for a virtual conference attended by 369. There were 296 abstract presentations, 13 poster sessions and AFMR hosted sessions on "How to Turn your Poster into a Manuscript" and the "Medical Education Panel: Recognizing and Disrupting Microaggressions."

AFMR National Awards Presented at TS 2022

AFMR Outstanding Investigator and Junior Physician-Investigator Awards were presented at the Translational Science 2022, held in Chicago, IL on April 20-22.

Congratulations to the two honorees!
Outstanding Investigator Award, Kevin Sheth Outstanding Investigator Award
Kevin Sheth

Yale University
New Haven, CT

View his presentation
Junior Physician Investigator Award, Carlos Oliveira, MD, PhD Junior Physician Investigator Award
Carlos Oliveira, MD, PhD

Yale University
New Haven, CT

View his presentation

Congratulations to the 2022 Henry Christian Award Recipients!

K.H. Miao Diagnosing Bone Cancers and Enhancing Treatment Outcomes with Imaging and Machine Learning
K.H. Miao
Cornell University, New York, NY, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY
Christen Vagts Post Vaccination Transcriptomic Profiling In Sarcoidosis Yields Pathways Associated With Decreased Immune Response
Christen Vagts
University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Ludy Carmola Investigation of Patient and Viral Characteristics Associated with SARS-COV-2 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections in Atlanta, GA
Ludy Carmola
Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Hannah Costello Effect of Crosstalk between the Adrenal and Kidney Clocks on Aldosterone and Renal Excretory function
Hannah Costello
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Ronak Patel Activation of B Cells and Impair Balance between T Follicular Cells and Regulatory T Cells Involved in High Fat-Diet Associated Lupus Development in MRL/lpr Mice
Ronak Patel
Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, LA
Fatima Alduraibi B-cell Interferon-β Correlates with Lupus Nephritis in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Fatima Alduraibi
The University of Alabama at Birmingham, VA Clinic Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Emily Batton Interviewing Spanish Speaking Parents about Communication in the NICU
Emily Batton
University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA
Erin Finn Oral Contraceptive Use in Adolescents with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Obesity is Associated with Altered Fat Metabolism
Erin Finn
University of Colorado, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, CO
Kaidi He Parental Perspectives Towards COVID-19 Vaccines and Return to School: Focusing on Health Disparities
Kaidi He
Children's Hospital of Orange County, Irvine, CA
Slavita Laies Suprasellar and Sella Meningioma in Pregnancy Presenting with Worsening Visual Deficits and Panhypopituitarism
Slavita Laies
The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Schuyler Tong Secont Hits in NF1-Tumors Reveal Prevelence of Copy Neutral Loss-of-Heterozygosity in Individuals with Neurofibromatosis Type 1
Schuyler Tong
UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, Oakland, CA

AFMR Publication Highlights

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.

Journal of Investigative Medicine (JIM)
Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports (JIM-HICR)

View JIM-HICR's topic collections

JIM — High Impact Case Reports

New! Comings & Goings for the AFMR Community

AFMR Members can submit their accomplishments, promotions, moves, etc. through the “Members Only” section of the AFMR website to be shared with the AFMR Community. Updates will be included in future newsletters and on Social Media.

Submit your accomplishments, promotions or moves at: https://afmr.org/members.

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