UH R&E Quarterly Newsletter March 2021


Mukesh K. Jain, MD

The Roman philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca once said, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” As we enter 2021, we seek to build on the efforts of the past and usher in a new era for University Hospitals by embracing new leadership, a renewed partnership and a new coalition.


I recently sat down with our newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Cliff A. Megerian, to learn more about how his career path and experiences that have prepared him to lead one of the nation’s largest health systems and to understand his clinical and academic vision for UH. Listen to our full conversation at UH R&E podcast.

Also, as many of you know, University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University entered into a ten-year affiliation agreement that builds on a 126-year collaboration of these two storied institutions of Northeast Ohio. The affiliation agreement allows for coordinated investments in research in key domains. Further, the agreement recognizes and enhances UH’s commitment to education for CWRU’s medical and allied health students.


Finally, in January, Governor Mike DeWine announced the creation of the Cleveland Innovation District, a new partnership between University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, The MetroHealth System, Cleveland State University, the Cleveland Clinic, the City of Cleveland and the State of Ohio supported by the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) and JobsOhio. The Cleveland Innovation District will serve as a catalyst for biomedical entrepreneurial and commercial activities in Northeast Ohio. The University Hospitals Research and Education Institute will oversee the allocation and utilization of this generous resource provided by the state to advance medical research, drug development, and product innovation at our institution.


There is a lot of work ahead for all of us, but I am certain these new beginnings and our dedication to advancing the science of health will continue to strengthen our organization as a health system that improves the lives within our community and beyond.


Life and Leadership: A Dialogue with Cliff Megerian

UH Chief Academic Officer, Mukesh K. Jain, MD, sat down with CEO Cliff Megerian, MD to learn more about University Hospitals' new CEO and the future of academics within the UH health system.

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TriNetX at UH - Grants, Publications, Enhancing Patient Recruitment, and Protocol Design

TriNetX is a global health research network that connects healthcare organizations, biopharmaceutical companies, and contract research organizations. The primary use of TriNetX is to optimize clinical research and access Electronic Medical Record (EMR) data more efficiently. At UH, we have been utilizing TriNetX to query UH patients that meet study inclusion/exclusion criteria to ensure the protocols are feasible before IRB submission.

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Bionutrition Resources

Did you know the Clinical Research Center Dahms Clinical Research Unit (DCRU) has a bionutrition research core (BRC)? The BRC call-center collects dietary intake data using research quality, gold-standard nutrition software (NDSR), a body-composition suite that includes a research-dedicated DXA machine (Hologic Horizon A model), and a metabolic weighing station.

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DCRU Analytical Lab Offers ELISA Sample Analysis

If you’re wondering, “what sample types should I collect?” or “who will analyze my samples?” look no further than the Dahms Clinical Research Unit (DCRU) Analytical Laboratory at University Hospitals. DCRU Analytical Lab provides consultation and testing of research samples for a variety of different analytes using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). 

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Need Help Promoting Your Study?

University Hospitals Clinical Research Center (CRC) oversees thousands of patient-based studies across all medical disciplines. The UH Research & Education Institute marketing team supports the CRC and study teams who are interested in promoting their studies. If your study team would like to enhance participant enrollment or system awareness of a study, please submit a WorkFront request to begin a study promotion. Click here for the full list of actively enrolling clinical trials and studies.


GME Collaborates with CEDI to Host Annual Second Look Event

University Hospitals’ Graduate Medical Education (GME) leadership collaborated with the Office of Community Impact, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (CEDI) to host the Annual Second Look Event. This event gives Underrepresented in Medicine applicants a chance to learn more about how they will be embraced into our learning environment. Attendance for this virtual event was higher than ever, with over 100 applicants and many faculty attending.

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Supported by the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) and JobsOhio, University Hospitals joins the Cleveland Clinic, The MetroHealth System, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, and the City of Cleveland to establish the new Cleveland Innovation District, a center of excellence that acts as a catalyst for ongoing investment in Northeast Ohio. University Hospitals will lead efforts to advance medical research and product innovation.

University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) extended their affiliation and agreed upon a 10-year agreement that will expand opportunities for collaboration between the two organizations and with others across Northeast Ohio.

Save the Date

UH Department of Surgery’s Annual Research Day will be held Wednesday, May 12, 2021.


Congratulations to the following award recipients:


Jason Chao, MD, MS, received the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Research Paper of the Year Award for a study he co-authored and published in the Journal of Family Medicine, "Contributions of US Medical Schools to Primary Care (2003-2014): Determining and Predicting Who Really Goes Into Primary Care."


John Johnson, MD of the Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine has been awarded a 17.1 million USD, 10-year contract from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to continue his work with colleagues at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda and the Uganda-CWRU Research Collaboration as an international site for the CDC-sponsored Tuberculosis Trials Consortium (TBTC).


Anand Kumar, MD and the Wald Plastic Surgery Laboratory received a $100K award from the Plastic Surgery Foundation (PSF) has awarded through The PSF/MTF Biologics Allograft Tissue Research Grant Program. The grant acknowledges the innovative work being performed at University Hospitals n the field of tissue regeneration particularly in volumetric muscle loss after trauma and cancer ablation. The grant represents a major step forward in the external validation of the team's novel VML defect model and progressive approach to tissue replacement and regeneration.


Jennifer Levin, MD and Martha Sajatovic, MD received a $3M five-year grant award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for their study "Using mHealth to Improve Adherence and Reduce Blood Pressure in Individuals with Hypertension and Bipolar Disorder."


Sanjay Rajagopalan, MD was elected to the Association of American Physicians (AAP), the oldest honorific physician organization in the U.S. Founded by William Osler in 1885, the organization recognizes individuals whose investigative efforts are notable for innovation, impact, and enduring contributions to human health.


Sanjay Rajagopalan, MD has been awarded the 2021 Distinguished Scientist Award (Translational Domain) by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) for his contributions to the cardiovascular profession. Dr. Rajagopalan will be recognized with other 2021 Distinguished Award-winners at the 70th Annual Scientific Session & Expo happening May 15-17 in Atlanta and presented virtually.


Patrick Runnels, MD was awarded a $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to research a new UH-developed model that is designed to help patients with their physical and mental health and social needs by teaming them up with case managers who will develop a long-term, relationship-based approach for vulnerable patients on Medicaid.



Congratulations to the following individuals for the recent achievements:


Erum Ahmad, MD and Archana Brojmohun, MD (VA) were chosen to be co-presidents of the Cleveland Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry for the upcoming term.


Susan Hatters Friedman, MD, DFAPA, was elected President-Elect of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL). AAPL is an organization of psychiatrists dedicated to excellence in practice, teaching, and research in forensic psychiatry.

Congratulations to the 34 University Hospitals physicians and clinicians have been promoted in rank as Associate Professor or Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. This notable achievement in academic medicine celebrates their exemplary contributions to their respective fields and their ongoing commitment to the three interlocking components of the UH mission: To Heal. To Teach. To Discover.


Congratulations to our UH investigators who have authored recent publications. We have more than 410 published work from August to October, 2020. Select the few noted below and view the complete list at PubMed.


Cynthia Owusu IMPROVE, a community-based exercise intervention versus support group to improve functional and health outcomes among older African American and Non-Hispanic White breast cancer survivors from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds: Recruitment strategies and baseline characteristics. Cancer. Feb. 2021


Sadeer G. Al-Kindi, Sanjay Rajagopalan. SPRINT Research Group. The Benefits of Intensive Versus Standard Blood Pressure Treatment According to Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution Exposure: A Post Hoc Analysis of SPRINT. Hypertension. Mar. 2021


Andrew A. Pieper. Stevens HE. Maternal P7C3-A20 Treatment Protects Offspring from Neuropsychiatric Sequelae of Prenatal Stress. Antioxid Redox Signal. Jan. 2021


Peter Pronovost. American College of Surgeons Efforts in Support of Value-Based Metrics-Reply. JAMA Oncol. Feb. 2021


Ian J. Neeland. Prevention and Treatment of Heart Failure: We Want to Pump You Up. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. Jan. 2021


James J. Driscoll. Racial and age-related disparities in early mortality affect the outcomes of multiple myeloma patients. Leukemia. Jan. 2021


Liyan Fan, Mukesh K. Jain. Muscle Krüppel-like factor 15 regulates lipid flux and systemic metabolic homeostasis. J Clin Invest. Feb. 2021



CRC Will Sponsor Your Research Poster Presentations

Due to great success, the UH Clinical Research Center (UH CRC) is excited to announce it will extend the initiative to pay the cost of research poster presentations through 2021. To qualify for this opportunity, scientist must be a UH Faculty member with an Assistant or Associate Professor rank and is listed as the first or senior author on the publication and the poster must stem from a research project (quality improvement projects do not qualify). Please complete and return the Researcher Poster Request form to Laura Randall. Once you have CRC approval, you will then submit the form along with the specifications of your research poster to Jan Lochotzki at Taylor Communications. This form will be the only way that Taylor Communications knows to bill the CRC for the poster cost. If you have any questions please email Laura Randall or call (216) 844-5936.


Have a presentation? Don't forget to use the UH branded PowerPoint templates.


Committed to discovery, team-science and continued educational excellence.


If you have important advancements that should be featured in a future newsletter please e-mail UH R&E.