Russell Rothman, MD, MPP
The Vanderbilt Institute for Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) continues to support groups across Vanderbilt participating in a wide array of research, education, and community-engaged activities to translate knowledge into better health. As noted in today’s newsletter we continue to expand efforts across the Vanderbilt community to address COVID19, health equity, and other key issues that impact individual, population, and public health.  Please visit our website to learn more about research activities, community outreach, and learning opportunities from groups across Vanderbilt that are working to identify and implement practical solutions to improve health.
Best wishes,
Russell Rothman, MD, MPP
Senior Vice President, Population and Public Health
Director, Institute for Medicine and Public Health
Chris Lindsell, PhD

Official ORCHID trial results to be released shortly, will tell us effectivity of hydroxychloroquine in acute COVID-19 cases
"This particular trial occurred at a time when every single skid was greased, everyone was working together to solve a common problem, so all of the typical slowdowns in clinical trials were avoided,” Chris Lindsell, PhD, a member of the ORCHID trial team, a biostatistician, co-director of the HEAlth Data Science (HEADS) Center and a professor of biostatistics at Vanderbilt said. “The sense of teamwork was really strong, and it is extraordinary what can be accomplished in a very short period of time when people do that. Typically what would have taken a year or more in start-up time took 14 days.”

 Wesley Self, MD, MPH

VUMC awarded $34 million to lead nationwide convalescent plasma study
Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been awarded a one-year, $34-million grant by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, to conduct a nationwide study of “convalescent plasma” as a treatment for COVID-19. Todd Rice, MD, MSc, and Wesley Self, MD, MPH, will lead the study, which will recruit 1,000 participants in approximately 51 sites across the country.

Investigational glaucoma drug studied to prevent respiratory distress in COVID-19 patients
Wesley Self, MD, an emergency medicine physician at VUMC and collaborators are evaluating razuprotafib, a drug used to treat glaucoma, in a new randomized, investigational trial for the prevention and treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in adult patients with moderate to severe COVID-19.

Bo Stubblefield, MD

About half of health care workers positive for COVID-19 by serology have no symptoms
Wesley Self, MD and Bo Stubblefield, MD, lead IVY Research Network epidemiology studies of COVID-19 in health care workers and patients.  “We are continuing to study COVID-19 in front-line health care workers across the country to better understand what may be done to decrease their risk of infection, such as using specific types of personal protective equipment”, Dr. Stubblefield said.

COVID infections in health workers often go undetected: study
Many COVID-19 infections among health care workers go undetected, likely because many people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, have mild or no symptoms, a study led by Wesley Self, MD, MPH, shows.

Jin Han, MD, MSc

Study to explore how COVID affects cognition over time

"There is emerging evidence that COVID-19 affects the brain and leads to a wide range of neurological complications such as delirium. Because it affects the brain and causes delirium, we hypothesize that a disproportionate number of patients might develop long-term cognitive impairment, PTSD and depression,” said Jin Han, MD, MSc, associate professor of Emergency Medicine and principal investigator of the study.
Carlos Grijalva, MD, MPH

New study examines coronavirus transmission within households
The study funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  examines the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, within households in Nashville. This is one of few longitudinal studies in the country that will examine coronavirus infections among close contacts.

Yu Shyr, PhD

Multinational consortium reports COVID-19 impact on cancer patients

Newly released data on treatment outcomes of people with cancer diagnosed with COVID-19 reveal a racial disparity in access to Remdesivir, an antiviral drug that has been shown to shorten hospital stays, and increased mortality associated with dexamethasone, a steroid that has had the opposite effect in the general patient population. Vanderbilt coauthors on the study included Samuel Rubenstein, MD, Brendan Lee, Brian Rini, MD, Sanjay Mishra, PhD, Chih-Yuan Hsu, PhD, and Yu Shyr, PhD.
John Graves, PhD
New analysis finds association between masking requirements and slower growth in COVID-19 hospitalizations
In a new analysis, researchers from the Department of Health Policy have found a relationship between the growth of hospitalizations and masking requirements put in place across the state.
Tina Hartert, MD, MPH

Study to determine incidence of novel coronavirus infection in U.S. children begins
Tina Hartert, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Asthma and Environmental Sciences Research, vice president for translational research, the Lulu H. Owen Chair in Medicine and a professor of medicine at the VUMC, leads nationwide Human Epidemiology and RespOnse to SARS-CoV-2 (HEROS) surveillance study to define the magnitude of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the US population.

Stephen Patrick MD, MPH

Well-being of Parents and Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Survey
Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH and colleagues study how COVID-19 is affecting the health, well-being, and food security of U.S. families with children.

Wes Ely, MD

Covid-19 Might Lead To A ‘Mental Health Pandemic’
The effects of Covid-19 are here to stay, including in the brain, at least according to a new study by Mario Mazza and colleagues in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Wes Ely, MD and the VUMC Critical Illness, Brain Dysfunction, and Survivorship (CIBS) Center collaborators study the cognitive function and physical outcomes of COVID-19 survivors to unravel the relationship between COVID-19 and long-term health.  Learn more about all CIBS studies and their extensive press coverage here.

James Jackson, PsyD

New Vanderbilt survey shows impact of COVID-19 on mental health

Anxiety, depression, isolation are just a few of the mental tolls people are dealing with right now.
“For most of us who are oriented around relationships with other people who draw energy from other people and interaction with others this isolation has been very challenging," Dr. Jim Jackson, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at VUMC, said. 
Natasha Halasa, MD, MPH

Study to track if COVID can spread during minimally invasive surgery
Recent studies suggest that many children infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus do not show symptoms of COVID-19. If correct, they pose a significant risk of spreading the virus while undergoing common minimally invasive surgical procedures such as removal of lung nodes, hernia repair and laparoscopic appendectomy.

Arna Banerjee, MD

VUMC uses computerized mannequins to teach proper technique for caring for COVID patients
Arna Banerjee, MD, associate professor of Anesthesiology/Critical Care and director of CELA  and the Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment (CELA) deploy unique resources for training and innovation to support advanced COVID-19 patient care.

Josh Peterson, MD, MPH

VUMC team creates COVID-19 research registry

“Over the next year there will be an urgent need to understand the biological underpinnings of COVID, involving researchers from almost every medical specialty,” said the leader for the registry project, Josh Peterson, MD, MPH, professor of Biomedical Informatics. “And one big-data approach is to aggregate cases from the EHR and curate key outcomes and phenotypes within the data, to make it easier for researchers to conduct more complex analyses."

Confronting Racial Inequities in Medical Education
Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Office of Health Equity's plan for confronting racial inequities provides a guide for discussion and implementation of changes at the Medical Center.

The Office of Health Equity offered a panel discussion on how racism creates and perpetuates health inequities. Racism, Health and Health Care: Where do we go from here? 

Resources for enhancing community engagement and health equity in clinical research are available through the Office of Health Equity and VICTR, including a variety of training modules developed by Community Engaged Research Core (CERC) faculty, staff and community partners specifically for academic researchers. 

Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI

Equitable Pandemic Preparedness and Rapid Response: Lessons from COVID-19 for Pandemic Health Equity
Early data assessing the primary language of those who received COVID-19 tests at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and tested positive, illustrates the disproportionate impact the pandemic is having on racial or ethnic communities. Consuelo Wilkins MD, MSCI and colleagues, Elisa Friedman, MS, Sunil Kripalani, MD, MSc, and others across VUMC, are working to disaggregate data by language as well as race, ethnicity, ZIP code and insurance status about who has been tested, tested positive, hospitalized or deceased.

Sophia Kostelanetz, MD, MPH

Eliminating Race as a Variable in Estimating Kidney Function
"Through this project, we hope to challenge the medical community to re-examine the inappropriate use of race as a proxy of biologic or genetic difference and its resulting impact on patients, including the unjust diversion of attention and resources away from Black patients,” Sophia Kostelanetz, MD, MPH, an instructor in the Department of Medicine at VUMC, said on behalf of the group. She is co-leader of the Nashville Chapter of the Campaign Against Racism.

Derek Griffith, PhD

Griffith raising awareness about men’s health equity and structurally based risks for COVID-19

Reports of COVID-19 deaths do not often provide a full explanation of patterns, tending to focus on people’s race or ethnicity, where they lived and with whom, whether they were affluent or poor, elderly or young, women or men—one factor at a time. According to Derek Griffith, PhD, professor of medicine, health and society and founding director of the Center for Research on Men’s Health, such information may more accurately indicate risk for contracting and dying from COVID-19 than how people behave.

Shailja Shah, MD

Shah looks a gastric cancer screening demographics 
New findings point to the severest impacts by race and ethnicity, anatomic site. Non-white Americans, especially Asian Americans, are at disproportionately higher risk of developing noncardia gastric cancer (the most common type of gastric cancer globally) compared to non-Hispanic white Americans.

MPH students dive in to support COVID-19 response

Graduates from Vanderbilt’s Master in Public Health (MPH) program didn’t plan to become front-line soldiers against the COVID-19 global pandemic, but several have found themselves putting their training - and their career goals - front and center.
Jonathan  Metzl, MD, PhD
Jonathan Metzl, MD,PhD and colleagues at the Department of Medicine, Health, and Society present a suite of new course content on COVID-19 and Racial Justice for the fall 2020 semester.

Angela Jefferson, PhD

Grant supports research on abnormal brain aging

With the aid of an $18.2 million, five-year grant renewal from the National Institute on Aging, the Vanderbilt Memory and Aging Project (VMAP) will advance interdisciplinary research into abnormal brain aging and cognitive decline in older adults, with continuing emphasis on the role of blood flow changes in the heart and brain.

Faculty members honored at Fall Faculty Assembly
Chancellor Daniel Diermeier and Faculty Senate Chair Catherine McTamaney presented faculty awards.

Velma McBride Murry, PhD received Chancellor’s Award for Research on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Jonathan Metzl,MD, PhD received Chancellor’s Award for Research
William Schaffner, MD received Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award
Melinda Aldrich, PhD received Chancellor’s Award for Research on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Jeffrey Blume, PhD received Chancellor’s Award for Research on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH

Stephen Patrick, MD, MPH, director of the Vanderbilt Center for Child Health Policy, has been awarded the fifth annual Gale and Ira Drukier Prize in Children’s Health Research.

Wei Zheng, MD, PhD

A step toward cancer prevention 
Wei Zheng, MD, PhD, and colleagues have applied polygenic risk scores (PRS), which summarize the combined effect of multiple genomic variants, to predict risk for common cancers including those of the prostate, breast and colon. 

Edge for Scholars @EFSInsideScoop    Doris Duke PARTNERS

Friday, September 18 | 2 PM- 3 PM
VCLIC Keynote and 2020-2021 Focus Area Kickoff Seminar:
"Making Health Care More Equitable through Technology" 
Presenter: Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI
Friday, September 18 | 12 PM -1 PM
The Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research Scholarly Series:
"Mixed Methods study in Mozambique" 
Carolyn Audet, PhD, MSc
Tuesday, September 23 | 12 PM -1 PM
The Center for Health Services Research Works in Progress:
"Biostatistics: Clinical Trials-Part II" 
Robert Greevy, Jr., PhD
Zoom details will be emailed to Vanderbilt community on Fridays; contact
Friday, September 25 | 12 PM -1 PM
The Center for Clinical Quality and Implementation Research Scholarly Series:
"Renal Risk Reduction in HIV study in Nigeria"
Muktar Aliyu, MD, DrPH, MPH
Friday, October 2
Vanderbilt Translational Research Forum 
"Renal Risk Reduction in HIV study in Nigeria"
Guest Speaker: Patti Katz, PhD

Vanderbilt Institute for Medicine and Public Health
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
2525 West End Ave | Suite 1200 | Nashville, TN 37203

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