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Research Overview

Photo of Carl Fichtenbaum

Carl J. Fichtenbaum MD
Vice Chair for Clinical Research

Photo of Sakthivel Sadyappan Sakthivel Sadyappan PhD, MBA

Vice Chair for Basic Research

Supporting and Fostering Research through Funded Initiatives and Formal Programs

The Department of Internal Medicine is deeply committed to its research mission and to the training of future clinical investigators and researchers in foundational, clinical, translational, outcomes and other health care-associated research areas. Since 2011, our strategic plan in the Department of Internal Medicine (DOIM) has prioritized our research mission and embraced a strategy to foster and support the research careers of the faculty and trainees through formal programs and funded initiatives within the department.

The Vice Chair of Basic Research, Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD, MBA and Vice Chair of Clinical Research Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, the Research Governance Committee and the Academic Research Service staff work together to foster discovery, innovation, mentoring and collaboration.

Our internal medicine awards program, our Supported research rotations for medical residents, Stipend and tuition support for first-year graduate students in our Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine program , and fellow to faculty program that identifies, supports and guides medical or postdoctoral fellows through a comprehensive research driven program that results in appointment as a faculty member,  our J-club and our An Academic Research Services office that will aid faculty in all aspects of their research program have been critical for maintaining legitimate research activity, providing seed money for garnering ultimate external awards and for the gathering of preliminary data for future research activity.

Our total research holdings are now over $89 million dollars. This remains at an all-time high year-to-year

At the end of FY 2019 we held a total of 145 grants. Approximately 19% percent of those were held by primary investigators with R01 awards. There were 44 new grants awarded in fiscal year 19 amounting to a direct award amount of $8.8 million. This data does not include the $5.6 million dollars in clinical trial revenue nor the research funding from our Cincinnati VAMC

As always, we appreciate the commitment, work and service of all the faculty, investigators, researchers, trainees and staff engaging in basic, clinical, translational and healthcare outcomes research.

Formal programs and funded initiatives within the department include:

Research Governance Committee

The Research Governance Committee (RGC) advises the departmental leadership on research priorities that support and advance research and innovation within the Department, and it monitors and evaluates progress with the goal of enhancing the departments status as a leading research department. The committee meets monthly.

Research Conferences

The Department of Internal Medicine hosts Research Conferences on a monthly basis. The Conferences are designed to be interactive, collaborative and valuable for the faculty, trainees, students and staff that attend, as well as the presenters. In the hour-long session junior or senior faculty or trainees present on  a research project or research idea.

Internal Medicine Funding Opportunities

The Department of Internal Medicine provides a number of internally supported funding opportunities for faculty and trainee investigators, consistent with our mission to improve health through innovative multidisciplinary research. Over $200,000 in awards is provided each year through the Distinguished Research Achievement Award, Jr. and Sr. Faculty Pilot Awards, Collaborative Challenge Award, Trainee Award, Post Doc Travel Award, Outcomes Award and Rehn Family Research Award Funding. This funding has increased the number of research external awards and quality publications.

Annual Research Symposium

This symposium offers opportunities for collaboration, networking, and mentoring through poster sessions, round tables, and meet and greet activities.

Academic Research Services

The Academic Research Services (ARS) office is staffed to provide full service support for preparing, editing, and submitting basic and clinical research grant applications and start-up of clinical trials and maintenance of IRB protocols for translational and clinical studies. The ARS office also assists researchers and trainees in finding research funding and provides education on writing winning proposals, mentorship, and collaboration.

Discover Research in the Department of Internal Medicine:

  • The Division of Cardiovascular Health and Disease is actively engaged in a full range of research programs. These include fundamental and translational science, clinical trials, population health, implementation science, artificial intelligence and machine learning. We are fully committed to preventing, treating and curing diseases of the heart and circulatory systems through biomedical research and scholarly undertakings at the highest levels, and aspire to positively impact the cardiovascular health of people in our community and beyond.
  • The Digestive Disease Division has an active research agenda across the spectrum of gastrointestinal disorders. This includes basic, translational and laboratory research studies in esophageal disorders including eosinophilic esophagitis and GERD, upper GI bleeding, pancreatobiliary disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal infections like C. difficile and liver disorders including viral hepatitis, NAFLD/NASH, PSC, PBC and liver transplantation. We anticipate even further expansion of our clinical trials program. Areas of clinical research include treatment of chronic viral hepatitis, NASH, eosinophilic esophagitis, upper GI bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease, and hepatic encephalopathy.
  • The Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism is committed to improving the health of our region by translating insightful findings from innovative research into impactful outcomes for the health of patients and our community. A few examples of how the division is making a difference include the outcome-based research that Robert M. Cohen, MD and Jason Winnick, PhD are conducting and the basic science that  Vincent Fong, MD, PhD explores. Dr. Cohen’s work has great potential impact to inform on how best to treat patients with type 2 diabetes; Dr. Winnick’s work investigates how individuals with Type I or Type II diabetes respond to hypoglycemia and Dr. Fong is investigating how steroids like prednisone impact bone health as well as fat stores; Yufei Dai, MD is our IMSTAR faculty investigating how glucose metabolism is altered after weight loss surgery.
  • Research in the Division of General Internal Medicine has impacted numerous stakeholders ranging from patients in our own health care system to national policy. Examples of Impactful work include work funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that will contribute to updated national guidelines on screening recommendations for hepatitis C infection; NIH-funded research helping to elucidate associations between morbid obesity and the incidence of certain cancers and the impact of bariatric surgery on reducing these risks; PCORI-funded research to determine optimal treatment for migraine headache patients with medication overuse.
  • The scientists and clinical investigators in the Division of Hematology and Oncology strive to understand the molecular basis of cancer with the goal of developing novel cancer therapies. The research faculty is engaged in the design and execution of early phase clinical trials, laboratory, research and in teaching and training clinical and research trainees.
  • Division of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology undertakes a wide range of research that is grounded in immunology and inflammation.  Highlights of this year’s research include:  publication of a novel genetic cause of a mouse model of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), a paper on prevention of food allergy and suppression of established food allergy by neutralization of TSLP, IL-25 and IL-33, a publication using a novel way to suppress anaphylaxis by using an Anti-Fc receptor monoclonal antibody, a paper showing that house dust-mite allergy is independent of IgE and FcɛRiα,  a paper on Targeted inhibition of Axl receptor tyrosine kinase in nephritis, a paper on the genetic basis of house dust-mite allergy, and a paper on targeting innate immunity to reverse Type 1 diabetes.  
  • The Division of Infectious Diseases has a long-standing reputation as a research focused division where 72% of the division’s faculty members have active roles in clinical, translational, and basic science research.   In total, the division has 13 MD investigators and 3 PhD investigators with over $20M in research holdings.
  • The Division of Nephrology, Kidney CARE Program conducts basic and translational research alongside robust programs in clinical outcomes research and clinical trials within nephrology. First and foremost, we strive to impact the health of patients and our community through the delivery of excellent care. One of the ways we achieve this is by bringing the latest discoveries in the field of nephrology closer to the bedside. We are recognized regionally and nationally for leading and/or contributing to cutting-edge research, and advancing the knowledge about kidney diseases to patients, peers and trainees. This is achieved via a variety of mediums, including peer-reviewed publications, chapters and monographs, symposia, and focused learning sessions within the institution and the community. With our state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, we provide an academic home to our established research faculty and are committed to training graduate and post-doctoral students.
  • The Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine conducts both basic and clinical research programs focused primarily on development of pathogenesis-driven molecular diagnostics and therapeutics for rare lung diseases.

Annual Research Report Archives

Research Annual Report 2018-2019 (pdf)

Research Annual Report 2017-2018 (pdf)

Research Annual Report 2016-2017 (pdf)

Research Annual Report 2015-2016 (pdf)

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Department of
Internal Medicine

Medical Sciences Building Room 6065
231 Albert Sabin Way
PO Box 670557
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0557

Phone: 513-558-4231
Fax: 513-558-0852