Research Program Overview
Research Program Overview
The Department of Medicine is comprised of eleven sections which are focused on specific clinical disciplines within the field of Internal Medicine, two sections which are devoted to research (the Cardiovascular Research and Health Services Research) and three research centers: The Biology of Inflammation Center, the Asthma Clinical Research Center, and the Winters Center for Heart Failure Research. In addition, department of faculty play leadership roles in nine College-wide centers including the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, the VA HSR&D Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety (IQuEST Center), the Medical Ethics and Health Policy Center, the Diabetes Research Center, the Texas Gulf Coast Digestive Diseases Center, the Center for Space Medicine, and the Cardiovascular Research Center.
In March, 2013, the research efforts of Department faculty were supported by $48.7M in total extramural research funding, including $27.1M from the NIH, $4.9M from the Veteran’s Administration, $3.9M from other federal agencies, $4.2M from industry support of clinical trials, and $8.5M from other non-federal sources (a total of 562 funding awards). Among these awards are NIH Center awards in endocrinology, infectious diseases, oncology, and gastroenterology, and a VA Center of Excellence Award (health services research). In addition eight Sections have been awarded NIH T-32 grants to support research training in the fields of endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, health services research, immunology, infectious diseases, pulmonary medicine, molecular medicine, and nephrology.
In FY12, Department faculty published 987 peer-reviewed reports and 139 reviews and book chapters. 124 faculty were members or officers of national advisory committees and study sections; 91 serve as associate editors or invited members of journal editorial boards; 16 are elected members of the Association of American Physicians (AAP); and 17 are elected members of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI).
The foci of research interests of Department faculty encompass the broad field of internal medicine and related translational sciences, including:
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Research: identification of novel biomarkers to predict heart disease, stroke, and diabetes; molecular and cellular mechanisms of cardiac injury and repair; identification of genes regulating lipid metabolism and pharmacologic approaches to treat dyslipidemia
- Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism: basic and translational research in the biology and physiology of diabetes (including novel gene therapy approaches to the treatment of type I diabetes) and diabetic complications; clinical and molecular characterization of ketosis-prone diabetes; physiology of adipogenesis and energy metabolism
- Emergency Medicine: clinical investigations targeted to improved treatment asthma, acute heart failure, pneumonia, suspected acute coronary syndrome, stroke, venous thromboembolic disease, and the management of acute pain; application of ultrasonography in various acute conditions; evalution of indicators for hospitalization for syncope, stroke, chest pain, heart failure, hypertension, influenza, chagas disease, traumatic brain injury; optimization of EMS airway management
- Gastroenterology and Hepatology: genetic epidemiology and outcomes of Barrett’s esophagus, hepatitis C, cirrhosis, pancreatic cancer, colorectal polyps and cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma; pathogenesis, clinical outcomes, and treatment of Heliobacter pylori; novel pharmacological approaches to the therapy of inflammatory bowel disease; delivery of care and performance measures for cirrhosis and inflammatory bowel disease
- General Internal Medicine: physician and patient behavior in hypertension control; ethical issues and development of policy related to human genome sequencing and “personalized medicine”; environmental health; and obesity prevention
- Geriatrics: pathophysiology of the aging cardiovascular system; analysis of decision-making by elderly individuals
- Health Services Research: improving quality, effectiveness and safety of health care through patient-centered communication and coordination, targeting this continuum of health care, from epidemiology and patient experience, to clinical practice and outcomes of care, to the development of health care policy, including optimal use of the EMR; health care economics, comparative effectiveness research, pyschometrics and survey design
- Hematology and Oncology: basic, translational, clinical, epidemiological, and prevention research targeted to breast cancer; development of novel cell- and gene-based immunotherapies of multiple cancers; stem cell biology and cell signaling; clinical trials research; molecular pathophysiology of castration-resistant prostate cancer
- Immunology, Allergy, and Rheumatology: pathogenesis of allergic, Th17, autoimmune, and fibrotic lung diseases; health care outcomes of arthritis and arthritis therapy; molecular control of mitosis and cytokine signaling; vaccination against substances of abuse
- Infectious Diseases: molecular pathogenesis and drug development focusing on Stat3 and substance P; HIV/AIDS health services and clinical research (including factors influencing compliance with HIV care); pathophysiology of diarrheal diseases focusing on norovirus and C. difficile diarrhea; nosocomial pathogens on prosthetic devices; vaccine research development focusing on respiratory pathogens
- Nephrology: molecular mechanisms of muscle wasting in uremia and other catabolic conditions; pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy; cytokine-induced kidney disease; inflammatory mechanisms of glomerulonephritis; and strategies for treating progressive chronic kidney diseases
- Pulmonary Medicine: basic inflammatory and immune pathophysiology of asthma, COPD, and other lung diseases; clinical investigation focused on improved therapies for ARDS, pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis, COPD, TB, and asthma
Medicine Administration Pre-Award Research Office
The Department of Medicine’s pre-award research office provides faculty guidance in identifying funding opportunities including alternatives to NIH and large foundation sponsors, training investigators in the use of BRAIN (electronic interface for grant submission), help in preparation of the NIH SF424 grant application (including budget, justification, other administrative elements and application formatting to meet NIH stringent requirements), verification of salary, effort and indirect cost calculations, final review of grant prior to submission, information to new faculty on identifying pre-award services and exploring research interests, and communications with investigators on research issues. The Office handles grant applications for all Department of Medicine faculty, provides expert advice to investigators and administrators outside the department and collaborating institutions, and serves in a liaison function with the College’s Office of Research.