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Breakthroughs, the newsletter of the Feinberg School of Medicine Research Office


The newsletter of the Feinberg School of Medicine Research Office

Transplant Research Thrives Through Collaboration

A map of the Northwestern University Transplant Outcomes Research Collaborative (NUTORC) Network looks like an intricate spiderweb. Hovering over one investigator’s name, you see the many investigators they are connected with through publications and research collaboration. This visual represents the wide web of investigators and clinicians needed to address the complex challenges that face organ transplantation.

Read this feature story

Foltz Named New Director of Driskill Graduate Program

Dan Foltz, PhD, professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, has been named director of the Walter S. and Lucienne Driskill Graduate Program in Life Sciences (DGP). Foltz earned his doctoral degree from Northwestern University in 2001 in the very program he will lead.

Read the full story

Faculty Profile

Development and Implementation of Patient-Reported Outcome Measures for Use Across the Lifespan

Courtney Blackwell, ’15 PhD, is an associate professor of Medical Social Sciences in the Divisions of Outcome and Measurement Science and Determinants of Health. Her research focuses on early childhood well-being and identifying social environmental factors that promote positive health and functioning across the lifespan.

Read more about her research


Staff Profile

Supporting Clinical Trials Development and Administration

Katie Hammond is the managing director at the Center for Clinical Research (CCR) at the NUCATS  (Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences) Institute. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from The University of Iowa, and her MBA from National Louis University.  

Read more about her work


Student Profile

Pursuing a Deeper Understanding of Cell Biology 

Annmarie Dominguez is a PhD student in the Driskill Graduate Program. After studying chemistry at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Dominguez joined the laboratory of Luisa Iruela-Arispe, PhD. In the lab, Dominguez investigates endothelial cell mechanobiology. 

Learn more about her research


Campus Events

Jun 17

Jessica Palmieri - Monday Noon Research Conference - Allergy and Immunology

Chicago - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Jun 18

MECS Graduation and Poster Session - TIME Lecture Series - June 2024

Chicago - 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Jun 20

18th Annual Pain & Palliative Care Conference

Chicago - 8:00 AM - 3:30 PM

Jun 20

Rheumatology Discovery Lunch

Chicago - 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Research in the News

US News & World Report, May 30
Being a Dad May Take a Toll on Men's Hearts
John James Parker, MD, was featured. 

AP News, May 20 
Have You Tried Pink Noise for Sleep? Here's What to Know.
Roneil Malkani, MD, was featured. 

HealthDay, May 17
Brain’s ‘Food Smell’ Circuitry Might Drive Overeating
Guangyu Zhou, PhD, was featured.

Check out More Media Coverage


ClinicalTrials.gov Update

The official launch date for the new Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS) website is June 25, 2024.

Here are the existing resources from the NIH to prepare for the launch:

  • An FAQ about PRS modernization
  • An in-depth explanation of the modernization process
  • video demo of the new website ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS)

The NUCATS Institute wants to reassure you that they are here to support you in this transition. You can reach them at clinicaltrials.gov@northwestern.edu.


Sponsored Research

Title: Innate Immune Triggers of Alloantibody Induction

  • PI: Stephanie Eisenbarth, PhD, director of the Center for Human Immunobiology, chief of Allergy and Immunology in the Department of Medicine, Roy and Elaine Patterson Professor of Medicine 
  • Sponsor: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute 

Read more about this project


Sponsored Research

Title: CNS Demyelination: Initiation, Protection, and Correction

  • PI: Brian Popko, PhD, William Frederick Windle Professor of Neurology and professor of Neurology in the Division of Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology 
  • Sponsor: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke 

Read more about this project


Breakthroughs Podcast

The Evolution of Digital Pathology with Lee Cooper, PhD

New advances in digital pathology are revolutionizing the analysis of disease. In this episode, Lee Cooper, PhD, discusses the future of digital and computational pathology and his research on machine learning and pathology, including a recent study published in Nature Medicine on using AI in predicting clinical outcomes for breast cancer patients.

Listen to the podcast episode


New Faculty

Paul Cremer, MD, joined Feinberg in September 2023 as associate professor of Medicine in the divisions of Cardiology and Radiology. Previously, he was at the Cleveland Clinic where he was a cardiologist and associate director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He led multiple clinical trials while at the Cleveland Clinic. He earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a master’s in biostatistics from Case Western Reserve University.  


Galter Library

How an Updated Regulation Can Help Federally Funded Authors Retain Copyright

The update to the Federal Purpose License provides a way for authors to comply with immediate public access requirements. At Galter Library, they are working to help authors understand and comply with the coming changes to public access policies.

Read the full article


High Impact Research

Kim D, Cianfrocco MA, Verhey KJ, Smith GA. The HSV-1 pUL37 protein promotes cell invasion by regulating the kinesin-1 motor. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. May 2024; 121(19):e2401341121-e2401341121. 

Kim JH, Vázquez-Guardado A, Luan H, Kim JT, Yang DS, Zhang H, Chang JK, Yoo S, Park C, Wei Y, Christiansen Z, Kim S, Avila R, Kim JU, Lee YJ, Shin HS, Zhou M, Jeon SW, Baek JM, Lee Y, Kim SY, Lim J, Park M, Jeong H, Won SM, Chen R, Huang Y, Jung YH, Yoo JY, Rogers JA. A wirelessly programmable, skin-integrated thermo-haptic stimulator system for virtual reality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. May 2024; 121(22):e2404007121-e2404007121.

Manson JE, Crandall CJ, Rossouw JE, Chlebowski RT, Anderson GL, Stefanick ML, Aragaki AK, Cauley JA, Wells GL, LaCroix AZ, Thomson CA, Neuhouser ML, Van Horn L, Kooperberg C, Howard BV, Tinker LF, Wactawski-Wende J, Shumaker SA, Prentice RL. The Women's Health Initiative Randomized Trials and Clinical Practice: A Review. Journal of the American Medical Association. May 2024; 331(20):1748-1760.

Maron MS, Masri A, Nassif ME, Barriales-Villa R, Arad M, Cardim N, Choudhury L, Claggett B, Coats CJ, Düngen HD, Garcia-Pavia P, Hagège AA, Januzzi JL, Lee MMY, Lewis GD, Ma CS, Michels M, Olivotto I, Oreziak A, Owens AT, Spertus JA, Solomon SD, Tfelt-Hansen J, van Sinttruije M, Veselka J, Watkins H, Jacoby DL, Heitner SB, Kupfer S, Malik FI, Meng L, Wohltman A, Abraham TP. Aficamten for Symptomatic Obstructive Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. New England Journal of Medicine. May 2024; 390(20):1849-1861.

Review More Publications

Featured Core

Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging

Northwestern University’s Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging (CAMI) was created to drive interdisciplinary research, bridging the gap between basic science and science-based medicine, with an emphasis on in vivo imaging. CAMI provides a wide range of imaging instrumentation and support facilities for molecular imaging of biological events in intact organisms. We can also assist with medical image analysis and visualization.

Services Offered

  • High field magnetic resonance imaging (Bruker 9.4T and 7T magnets)
  • Preclinical nuclear imaging (MILabs U-SPECT+/CT and Mediso nanoScan PET/CT)
  • Whole body bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging (IVIS Spectrum)
  • High-resolution in vivo and specimen x-ray microCT (Bruker SkyScan 1276)
  • Atomic force microscopy of live cells (operated by Scanning Probe Imaging and Development Facility)
  • Surgery suite
  • Free vivarium to imaging center transportation
  • Certified Laboratory Animal Technologist (LATG), specializing in preclinical imaging
  • Image analysis and visualization, including the use of our 20-foot 3D wall

Get more information about CAMI

NIH News

Updating NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Categories to Improve Accuracy and Transparency

This year, the categories of Minority Health, Health Disparities and Biodefense are being replaced with several new categories to improve their accuracy and transparency. The updated categories are: Health Disparities Research, Racial and Ethnic Minority Health Issues, Health Disparities and Racial or Ethnic Minority Health Research, Workforce Diversity and Outreach, and Building Research Capacity at Institutions with Limited NIH Funding. NIH’s commitment to health disparities and minority health was the underlying factor prompting the NIH to better understand and improve reporting. The new categories provide the following benefits:

  • the same classification methodology is used across all projects, eliminating inconsistencies inherent with individual interpretation of coding standards;
  • separating workforce diversity and capacity building from research and assigning them to their own publicly available categories increases transparency;
  • automatic coding increases the accuracy of and reduces the time and effort to produce category data;
  • the NIH’s ability to track the progress of the NIH Minority Health and Health Disparities Strategic Plan goals has been enhanced by these categories that are closely aligned with those goals.

Making Advanced Research Computing More Accessible with NIH Cloud Lab

Researchers today often face barriers when adopting and integrating cloud-based technologies. Common concerns range from complex procurement processes and unpredictable costs to the availability of relevant training and assurances on data security. As a response, the NIH Center for Information Technology has partnered with NIH’s Office of Data Science Strategy to offer two programs: NIH STRIDES Initiative and NIH Cloud Lab. NIH STRIDES streamlines the procurement of commercial cloud services from our partners. For those interested in using cloud technology without making an initial long-term commitment, NIH Cloud Lab enables researchers to try cloud capabilities at no cost in a secure, NIH-approved environment. To help accelerate researchers’ cloud fluency, NIH offers an extensive repository of interactive tutorials that demonstrate how to run realistic bioinformatic, data science and AI workflows.

Read the Latest from NIH

Funding Opportunities

Mechanisms of Alcohol Tolerance (R21/R33 Clinical Trial Optional)

  • Sponsor: NIH, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
  • Deadline: June 16
  • Upper amount: For the R21 phase, two-year project period may not exceed $275,000 with no more than $200,00 requested in a single year; for the R33 phase, the direct costs should not exceed $500,000 per year

Integration of Imaging and Fluid-Based Tumor Monitoring in Cancer Therapy (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)

  • Sponsor: NIH, National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • Deadline: October 5
  • Upper amount: Application budgets are limited to less than $500,000 in direct costs per year

Stimulants and HIV: Addressing Contemporary and Recurring Epidemics (R61/R33 – Clinical Trial Required)

  • Sponsor: NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • Deadline: November 13
  • Upper amount: Budgets for the R61 phase should not exceed $400,000; application budgets for the R31 phase are not limited but should reflect the actual needs of the project

Thank You For Reading

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Breakthroughs, the newsletter of the Feinberg School of Medicine Research Office