Department of Medicine Individual Achievements 2015-2016

Dr. Sanford Markowitz and Dr. Jackson Wright were honored by the prestigious Clinical Research Forum for their groundbreaking clinical investigation of blood pressure and colon cancer in African Americans, providing findings that could transform how care is delivered. They each authored a paper recognized by the Forum as one of the year’s ten most outstanding biomedical research papers.

Daniel I. Simon, MD, FACC, awarded the 2016 Distinguished Scientist Award – Basic Domain by the American College of Cardiology

Amitabh Chak, MD, and colleagues have discovered that a rare genetic mutation is associated with susceptibility to familial Barrett esophagus (FBE) and esophageal cancer. Dr. Chak and colleagues set out to identify novel disease susceptibility variants in FBE in affected individuals from a large multigenerational family. The team used targeted next generation gene sequencing to find a rare mutation (S631G) in FBE in the uncharacterized gene VSIG10L that segregated with disease in affected family members. Functional studies revealed that this mutation disrupts maturation of the normal esophageal lining.

W. Henry Boom, MD, received a five-year, $11 million NIH grant to investigate why some people living with HIV in Africa avoid becoming infected with the bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB) despite exposure to high-TB- risk circumstances.

Fabio Cominelli, MD, PhD, received a 5-year $9.7 million National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institute of Health grant. The grant will be used with the goal of better understanding the origins of Crohn's disease and eventually developing a cure.

James D. Reynolds, PhD, received a significant grant from the U.S. Department of Defense for his transplant research. He is leading a multi-disciplinary team examining a new class of drug aimed at stabilizing donor limb and tissue biology after brain death.

Stanton Gerson, MD, participated with Vice President Joe Biden in the roll out of the nation’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Through the Initiative, the Cancer Center will work to overcome current barriers to progress and develop specific ways to better coordinate federal efforts to support cancer research and care, partnerships with stakeholders, and implementation of findings.

Michael Lederman, MD, Donald Anthony, MD, PhD, Robert Bonomo, MD, in partnership with the Department of Pathology faculty, have launched a new journal entitled "Pathogens and Immunity." The electronic, open access journal focuses on original research in microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases.

Albert Waldo, MD, received the 2015 Maurice Saltzman award from the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation. The award recognizes Dr. Waldo's notorious achievements in the field of cardiovascular medicine as well as his significant contributions to the health interests of the Cleveland community.

Michael Lederman, MD, received the 2015 Honorary Alumnus award from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The award celebrates Dr. Lederman's distinguished career and national recognition in the field of infectious diseases.

Jackson Wright, MD, PhD, received the 2015 Clinical Research Award from the American Heart Association for his outstanding contributions in clinical cardiovascular science.

Rajesh Chandra, MD, became the Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs and Transformation in the Department of Medicine.

Robert Salata, MD, was appointed the inaugural Master Clinician in Infectious Diseases.

Charles Malemud, PhD, was named the Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of Global Vaccines and Immunology.

Daniel Simon, MD, became President of University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. In his new role, Dr. Simon will lead initiatives to further UH Cleveland Medical Center's national reputation for excellence.

Fabio Cominelli, MD, PhD, became the Associate Dean of Program Development in the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. In his new role, Dr. Cominelli will help develop and implement new programs to promote connectivity and cooperation throughout the School of Medicine.

Cynthia Owusu, MD, was selected as one of the health care innovators to watch by Crain's Cleveland Business. Dr. Owusu's premier work with older patients who have breast cancer and long-term health of breast cancer survivors was particularly highlighted.

Yngve Falck-Ytter, MD, was found to be one of the most highly cited researchers in 2015 by Thomson Reuters. This finding recognizes Dr. Falck-Ytter's meaningful contributions to clinical epidemiology.

Jackson Wright, Jr., MD, PhD, was selected as one of Cleveland's 2016 Health Care Heroes by Crain's Cleveland Business in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of hypertension and his leading role on many clinical trials focusing on African-American population.

Goutham Narla, MD, PhD, was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation. The election recognizes and celebrates Dr. Narla's significant research accomplishments.

Evi Stavrou, MD, was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Case Western Reserve University as the inaugural occupant of the Oscar Ratnoff Professorship in Medicine and Hematology.

Curtis Donskey, MD, received the 2016 Award for Publication Excellence from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) and the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) Editorial Board of Directors.

Michael Lederman, MD, received the Faculty Distinguished Research award. This honor recognizes Dr. Lederman's outstanding contributions to research that made a lasting impact in the field of infectious diseases.

Usha Stiefel, MD, received the 2016 Helen Evans Mid-Career Faculty Development award from the Women Faculty of the School of Medicine. The prestigious award is given to faculty members demonstrating outstanding potential for a promising career in academic medicine.