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METHODOLOGY The Research and Education Newsletter of Houston Methodist


Houston Methodist and Texas A&M join forces to enhance physician education and research innovation Houston Methodist and Texas A&M Health Science Center are partnering to bring more innovative research and medical education to the state through new health professions degree programs in the Texas Medical Center. Beginning in 2015, 24 Texas A&M medical students will begin clinical training and graduate research in Houston, with plans for that number to double by 2016.

“Our programs will mentor young physicians to nurture their ideas for new cures and treatments, and provide them with the skills they need to turn these ideas into realities that improve health for patients everywhere,” said Timothy Boone, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of the Houston Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine and the

Photo: Gabriel Chmielewski

Front row, from left: Marc L. Boom, M.D. and Brett Giroir, M.D.; Back row, from left: Paul Ogden, M.D.; Regent John D. White, JD; Rep. John Zerwas, M.D.; Robert Robbins, M.D.; Regent Charles W. Schwartz, JD; Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D.

new regional vice-dean for the Texas A&M College of Medicine.


“ The Texas A&M and Houston Methodist joint degree programs combine the strengths of our institutions to train the next generation of physician leaders. - T imothy Boone, M.D., Ph.D. Co-director, Houston Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine

Contents Contents

Message from the President Welcome to the fall issue of Methodology, an issue that highlights our newest affiliation with Texas A&M and our commitment to innovative education. You will also find exciting updates on our national clinical trials for early phase blood and lung cancers lead by Drs. Swaminathan Iyer and Eric Bernicker of the Cancer Center, and for the CoreValve SURTAVI interventional trial lead by Drs. Michael Reardon and Neal Kleiman of the Houston Methodist

by xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Featured News Houston Methodist and Texas A&M join forces ..................................... 1 John F. Bookout auditorium...........3 RoboDoc on call............................ 6 New drug may save $1 billion annually for hemodialysis patients...............8

DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center.

Two new drug targets for triple negative breast cancer...................9

Research Highlights...........10 Factors regulating repair of DNA damage identified.......................10 Alzheimer’s and cancer link found.....................................11

Clinical Research Highlights ...............................12 Identifying brain structures initiating urination via functional magnetic resonance imaging....................... 12 Clinical Trials: Now open & enrolling.................. 14

Inside the Institute.............16 Translational Research Initiative intramural RFA.............................16 Grants & contracts updates........16

Education News....................20

The education pillar of Houston Methodist is dedicated to training the next generation of academic medical leaders, and the principle that leadership requires innovation and a dedication to research. Just as we have focused our research around the concept of translating innovations into real clinical applications, we are growing our educational programs in the translational medicine space. Our educational programs will teach the art and science of translational medicine as a core principle of clinical practice and medical research. Texas A&M shares this vision, and has joined with us to create joint programs for their medical and graduate schools. Future leaders in these programs will practice translational and clinical research and medicine at Houston Methodist during their rotations and thesis work in the Texas Medical Center. We have also partnered with the University of St. Thomas to create a Master in Clinical Translational Management degree program for students interested in the biomedical sector and the bridge between research and business. This program offers students a capstone project experience in translation of technologies at Houston Methodist. Together we join the University of California at San Francisco and Johns Hopkins University to offer the third program of its kind in the nation to teach this critical skill set. As you begin your journey through Methodology, I’d like to invite you to join us in honoring Mr. John F. Bookout. The Houston Methodist Research Institute auditorium now bears the name of this visionary leader who inspired our I CARE values and galvanized the academic affiliation between Houston Methodist and Weill Cornell Medical College more than a decade

MERLIN roll out............................20

ago. I extend my deepest gratitude to Mr. Bookout and his family for their dedication to

Master in Clinical Translational Management degree, University of St. Thomas..............................21

Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D.

I CARE Moments...................22 Awards & Accolades..........24 New Employees....................26

Houston Methodist and our mission of leading medicine.

Ernest Cockrell Jr. Presidential Distinguished Chair President and CEO, Houston Methodist Research Institute Director, Institute for Academic Medicine Executive Vice President, Houston Methodist, Houston, TX Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Medicine Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY

Read more online:

John F. Bookout Auditorium Mr. John F. Bookout is a true Houston stalwart – not only helping make this city the energy capital of the world, but also generously giving his time and talent to further the mission of Houston Methodist. He joined the board in 1979 and served as its chair from 1991 to 2007. Today, he continues as senior chairman. During his long tenure as chair, he led this institution through prosperity and adversity, and eventually reshaped our culture and helped establish our I CARE values as the cornerstone for the work we do on a daily basis.

With his steady hand at the wheel, Mr. Bookout guided us through negotiations that led to an affiliation between Houston Methodist and Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital 10 years ago. In April, the Research Institute auditorium was dedicated in his name as Mr. Bookout was vital in founding the Houston Methodist Research Institute, which is now a center for innovation, discovery, and translation.

Mr. Bookout has had some role in everything that Houston Methodist has accomplished in the last 36 years – and he has helped build a strong foundation for everything we will accomplish in the future.

John F. Bookout and Marc L. Boom, M.D.

- M  arc L. Boom, M.D. President, Chief Executive Officer Houston Methodist



Houston Methodist Texas A&M join forces >> CONT. FROM PAGE ONE


The medical degree program will begin with two

“These are exciting times for the Aggie family as

years of basic medical science and preclinical

we continue to build our Houston campus, and

training at Texas A&M Health Science Center

in turn, lead world-class research and medical

College of Medicine in Bryan and continues with

education in the most important health-related

the third year rotation and options for fourth

district in the world,” Giroir said.

year electives at Houston Methodist Hospital. The partnership is part of a larger Houston As part of a joint M.D./Ph.D. degree program,

expansion plan for the Texas A&M Health

Texas A&M University will work with Houston

Science Center. This follows the recent

Methodist to provide translational research

announcement of a two-year ground lease

opportunities at the Houston campus. Those

in the Texas Medical Center for future

individuals pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. degree

construction of a multidisciplinary research

will take their medical and graduate sciences

and education building adjacent to the

classes at Texas A&M campuses and complete

Albert B. Alkek Building that currently houses

three to four years of doctoral thesis work at

the Texas A&M Institute for Biosciences

the Houston Methodist Research Institute or

and Technology.

the Institute for Biosciences and Technology.

Through combined efforts, Texas A&M and Houston Methodist are offering aspiring physicians and clinician scientists a unique, unparalleled educational opportunity in an academically rich environment renowned for scientific discoveries and translational clinical research.

- Brett P. Giroir, M.D. CEO, Texas A&M Health Science Center


First row, from left: Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D.; Brett Giroir, M.D.; Marc L. Boom, M.D.; Rep. John Zerwas, M.D.; Second row, from left: Regent Charles W. Schwartz, JD; Robert Robbins, M.D.; Paul Ogden, M.D.; Third row, from left: Regent John D. White, JD; Timothy Boone, M.D., Ph.D.; Tong Sun; Forth row, from left: Gregory V. Nelson, JD; Edward A. Jones; Mary A. Daffin, JD.

between two prestigious members of the Texas Medical Center, Houston Methodist and Texas A&M Health Science Center,” said Robert Robbins, President and CEO of the Texas Medical Center. “This is a great example of the new spirit of

These are the kinds of programs Texas needs to cut through the barriers to medical innovation.

“We are pleased with the announcement of this partnership

collaboration that is emerging across the Texas Medical Center.” Participating Houston Methodist doctors and scientists will receive Texas A&M faculty appointments and titles.

– Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D. President and CEO Houston Methodist Research Institute

“This partnership will afford Texas A&M medical students the opportunity for specialized training alongside worldclass doctors and scientists at Houston Methodist as

Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Houston

they complete their journeys toward becoming the next

Methodist Research Institute and director of the Houston

generation of health care leaders,” said Paul Ogden, M.D.,

Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine, said initiatives

interim dean of medicine and vice president for clinical affairs,

like this one join the strengths of two Texas institutions in

Texas A&M Health Science Center. “Together we are opening

a way that benefits Texans. “They empower physicians at

new doors for the future of medical education, all the while

our nationally recognized hospitals, to partner with our

ensuring Aggie doctors are amply prepared to address the

excellent universities and our growing biotechnology industry

ever-changing health care needs of Texans.”

to use research dollars more efficiently and achieve real progress in treating the worst diseases,” said Ferrari.


RoboDoc on call Photo:


Houston Methodist and NASA partner to train a Robot in performing medical procedures by Maitreyi Muralidhar

science fiction, Houston Methodist and NASA are partnering to train a humanoid robot to perform medical procedures.

Blurring the line between medicine and

Training the Robonaut was not very different from training a resident. Just a lot faster.

Zsolt Garami, M.D., from the Transcranial

- Z  solt Garami, M.D. Director, Transcranial Doppler Center Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center

Doppler Center, Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, has been working closely with NASA researchers to make this happen. The robot is called

So far, Robonaut 2 has been trained in

robot is simply not possible given the time lag

Robonaut 2, or `R2.’

ultrasound-guided venous access. This

that results from the great distances involved.

Astronauts are currently trained in basic medical and surgical skills, in addition to all the other demanding training and conditioning they undergo before space missions. Dr. Garami was initially brought on-board to train astronauts in ultrasound procedures. With the objective of easing the burden on astronauts, the idea to use a robot was born. This seemed possible as NASA already had access to a robot with previously demonstrated learning skills. “We wanted the robot to provide the astronauts with that much needed extra

involves finding a vein in a mannequin’s ‘neck’ using an ultrasound transducer held by Robonaut 2 in one hand, and sticking the vein with a needle and syringe held in Robonaut 2’s other hand. Robonaut 2 is being trained to perform these procedures while being guided remotely by physicians. Physicians are provided with gloves that help control the robot’s actions through their hand movements. Using cameras

multiple fields and are seemingly limitless. For example, Robonaut 2 could be used to perform intricate medical operations like endovascular surgery, as well as function as a telemedicine doctor in remote and hostile areas. Potential applications in the manufacturing sector are also being considered. The Houston Methodist-NASA collaboration

what Robonaut 2 is doing. This is an apt

on the Robonaut 2 project grew from the

example of telemedicine at work.

networks that were established through the

The plan eventually is for Robonaut 2 to

would be that unlike humans, robots are

function independently. The desire to

not prone to factors like fatigue and stress,

automate the robot completely is driven

making them an ideal ally in challenging

by NASA’s plans to explore deep space.

environments like space.

In such missions, real-time control of the

and the Robonaut 2 team

this project on earth, the prospects transcend

placed on its body, physicians can watch

hand,” said Garami. Another advantage

Zsolt Garami, M.D. (far right)

From the standpoint of future applications of

Pumps and Pipes program. This is a great example of how talented scientists from very different industries can work together to build a technology platform that transcends traditional boundaries.

Quick Facts Houston Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine

540 120 55 890 1460 580 562

Thousand Sq Ft Research Space

New drug may save U.S. $1 billion annually for hemodialysis patients by Leif Peterson, Ph.D.

Houston Methodist Research Institute and Houston Methodist Hospital researchers recently reported that the drug ferric citrate, a novel phosphate binder, has the potential to reduce the usage of expensive anemia management drugs used during hemodialysis in end-stage renal disease patients. The peer-reviewed study was published by the International Journal of Nephrology and Renovascular Disease. Prior to this study, the potential health care cost savings on a national scale due to the use of ferric citrate in end-stage renal disease, also

Million in Research Expenditure

known as ESRD, were undetermined. Approximately 500,000 ESRD patients require hemodialysis three times/week. The number of patients with ESRD is also increasing annually due to the growing

Million in Extramural Funding

obesity epidemic. For such patients, costs for anemia-management drugs like erythropoietin stimulating agents and intravenous iron are at least $10,000 annually and the total annual CMS cost for ESRD is $30 billion. The study results indicate that if ferric citrate usage nominally reduced utilization of erythropoietin stimulating agents by 20% and IV iron usage by 40%, a cost reduction of $1 billion

Clinical Protocols

Credentialed Researchers


could potentially be realized for hemodialysis patients with ESRD.

The cost saving from the use of ferric citrate is expected to grow annually because of the increasing prevalence of ESRD. This could significantly impact medical costs not only for dialysis patients but also for others with related conditions like anemia-non dialysis. Ferric citrate or Zerenex from Keryx Biopharmaceuticals, is approved for use in Japan, and new drug applications have been submitted by Keryx in the US and Europe.


The report was authored by Anila Thomas, Pharm.D., BCPS of the Houston Methodist Hospital Clinical Pharmacy Services and Leif Peterson, Ph.D., from the Center for Biostatistics at the Houston Methodist Research Institute. Thomas A, Peterson LE. Reduction of costs for anemia-management drugs associated with the use of ferric citrate. Int J Nephrol Renovasc Dis. 2014 May 20;7:191-201.


Two new possible drug targets for triple negative breast cancer by David Bricker

The suppression of two genes reduce breast cancer tumor formation and metastasis by interfering with blood vessel formation and recruitment, report a team of Houston Methodist and five other institutions in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The findings may help medical researchers identify effective drug targets for triple negative breast cancer also referred to as TNBC.

About 42,000 new cases of triple negative

The scientists also learned that mutations in

In preliminary studies, the combination of siRNA

breast cancer (TNBC) are diagnosed in the

these genes in patients were associated with

and chemotherapy agent docetaxel significantly

United States each year, about 20 percent of

worse survival in triple negative breast cancer.

reduced tumor volume relative to chemotherapy

all breast cancer diagnoses. Patients typically relapse within one to three years of being treated. TNBC is distinguished from other breast cancers in that it does not express the genes for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and Her2/neu and is frequently harder to treat.

The researchers went a step further, determining which configurations of small inhibitory RNA (siRNA) were most efficient at shutting down MLF2 and RPL39 in breast

alone and also appeared to prolong survival. Separate analyses showed suppression with siRNA appeared to yield fewer metastases to lung tissue.

cancer stem cell lines. siRNA molecules interfere with the cell’s ability to express genes and have proven to be effective drug

By suppressing close to five hundred

tools for a wide variety of diseases, including

TNBC-related genes, Jenny Chang, M.D. and

some cancers.

Dave B, Granados-Principal S, Zhu R, et al. Targeting RPL39 and MLF2 reduces tumor initiation and metastasis in breast cancer by inhibiting nitric oxide synthase signaling. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2014 Jun 17;111(24):8838-43.

her research group found interference was strongest with MLF2 and RPL39 in triple negative breast cancer model tissue. The genes, MLF2 (myeloid leukemia factor 2) and RPL39 (a ribosomal protein), were found

We have found two unique genes that may affect the most lethal type of breast cancer. Most importantly,

to most profoundly impact the production of

we have drugs that can block nitric oxide signaling

nitric oxide synthase, which helps regulate

and will begin a clinical trial in the Cancer Center

for the recruitment of new blood vessels to growing tumors. These genes impact the spread of TNBC throughout the body, and have

in the near future.

blood vessel behavior and could be crucial

- Jenny Chang, M.D. Director, Houston Methodist Cancer Center

not been linked with breast cancer so far.


Research Highlights

3D glasses–From movie theaters to operating rooms

Factors regulating repair of DNA damage identified by David Bricker

If you think that 3D glasses are only for

The gene “MOF” (males absent on the first)

watching movies, think again. Surgeons at

plays a role in histone modification that is critical

the Houston Methodist Hospital are using

MOF has also been implicated in the recruitment

performing laparoscopic surgery. During surgery, surgeons wear 3D glasses to

of key DNA binding proteins that aid in the

view TV monitors that project 3D images from an HD scope inside the body.

repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Houston Methodist Research Institute cancer

3D technology in the operating room while

3D glasses define the tissues very precisely, and allow us to do parts of the procedure that would be extremely challenging.

geneticist and radiation biologist Tej K. Pandita,

- Eric Haas, M.D. Colorectal surgeon, Houston Methodist

Ph.D., and colleagues from Houston Methodist and three other institutions, reported to Cell Reports the intricate sequence of interactions that allow MOF to regulate DNA double-strand break repair in a cell cycle specific manner. Regulation of genetic repair is critical for the suppression of cancer development.

for cell survival as it is involved in transcription.

With this innovative minimally invasive technology, patients undergoing surgery for colon cancer, diverticulitis, and Crohn’s disease can leave the hospital much faster after surgery, return to their daily routines sooner, experience less pain, and have smaller scars. Dr. Haas is the only surgeon in Houston using this technology for colorectal laparoscopic procedures. Go to to learn more.

Houston Methodist scientists receive $250,000 to learn why ALS nerve cells die by David Bricker

Houston Methodist Research Institute scientists will receive about $250,000 from the Muscular Dystrophy Association to determine whether an absence of the protein TDP-43 in the cell nucleus causes nerve cells to die. The three-year project is an investigation of how TDP-43’s expression and location within nerve cells contributes to errors in DNA repair. Researchers will also see whether the resulting accumulation of DNA


damage is responsible for the loss of brain cells during the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disorder sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“What we learn may lead to new drugs and therapies that slow or stop the disease’s progression,” said neuroscientist and radiation oncologist Muralidhar L. Hegde, Ph.D., the project’s principal investigator. ALS affects about 2 of every 100,000 people worldwide. Disease progression is fairly rapid; 50 percent are alive two years following diagnosis, with only 10 percent surviving more than 10 years. Effective drug therapies have so far proven elusive.


Research Highlights

Alzheimer’s and cancer link found Scientists witness ‘a new era of digital biology’ using biomedical data and supercomputing. by Jorge Salazar

A team led by Houston Methodist Research Institute scientists has found that Alzheimer’s disease and cancer share a common pathway in gene transcription, a process essential for cell reproduction and growth. The findings were published in the open access journal Scientific Reports by the Nature Publishing Group. According to the lead investigator, Stephen Wong, Ph.D., P.E., of the Houston Methodist Research Institute, this study showed a new link between Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent form of neurodegenerative disease, and glioblastoma multiform (GBM), the most aggressive form of brain cancer. The scientists used the Lonestar and Stampede supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), The University of Texas at Austin, to analyze and compare data from thousands of genes and to narrow the search for common cell signaling pathways of the two diseases. By finding which genes were active in the two diseases, the active genes could be mapped to known pathways through a process called pathway analysis. The research is supported by a gift from the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Foundation, and by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH program officer for the grant, Dan Gallahan, deputy director of the Division of Cancer Biology with the National Cancer Institute remarked: “This work of Dr. Wong’s is quite exciting in that it shows connections between two of the most intractable diseases in modern society. And while our focus is on cancer, the great hope is that as we make these connections we can leverage that knowledge to find new targets and opportunities that can provide meaningful intervention for either disease.” Visit to read more about this work.


Clinical Research Highlights

Identifying brain structures initiating urination via functional magnetic resonance imaging

Clinicians and researchers from the Departments of Urology and Translational Imaging used functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, to identify brain activation centers associated with initiation of urination in normal healthy females. Their findings were recently published in The Journal of Urology.

This is one of the first reports on the activation of a brain network consisting of regions for motor control, executive function, and emotion processing. In a discussion with Nature Reviews Urology which

This was a pilot observational study where brain

covered this study as a news story, Rose Khavari,

activity was observed via fMRI during simultaneous

M.D., the lead author of the story said, “When we

urodynamics testing. The study evaluated the

researched the literature, we realized that a majority

blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signals

of the published studies had used positron emission

recorded during fMRI of the brain when normal

tomography and computerized tomography

subjects underwent urodynamics testing. This also

(PET CT) or fMRI to evaluate the bladder in the

included the pressure-flow voiding phase. You can

filling phase. This was mainly due to challenges

learn more about this research in the Nature

that exist with voiding in the fMRI machine.�

Reviews Urology news story.

There is only one other study in the literature that had actually examined functional brain activity during bladder emptying. The current study was therefore designed to expand on this data and evaluate the etiology of voiding dysfunction.


Shy M, Fung S, Boone TB, et al. Functional magnetic resonance imaging during urodynamic testing identifies brain structures initiating micturition. J Urol. 2014 Apr 21.

by David Bricker

A new chemotherapy drug being investigated

Lung cancer study focuses on a more targeted treatment option by Katie Wooldridge A new study offered at Houston Methodist Hospital will compare an emerging immunotherapy drug to an existing chemotherapy drug and look at the effects both drugs have on the development of non-small cell lung cancer, a type of cancer which

for its potency against two types of cancer

makes up about 85 percent of lung cancer cases. Lung cancer is the second most

was found by scientists at Houston Methodist

common malignancy in the United States.

in about one-third of the 58 patients who participated in a phase I study.

The drug, alisertib or MLN8237, inhibits the enzyme aurora A kinase, which is known to be very active during cell division. The present study, published in the journal Investigational New Drugs, looks at the safety, tolerability, and preliminary success of alisertib in treating non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. “An advantage with this drug is it is oral and very effective in a significant number of patients with aggressive lymphoma when used at that dose for 7 days out of a 21 day cycle,” said hematologist Swaminathan Iyer, M.D., who led the multi-site study. Although about half of patients participating in the phase I study experienced side effects, most were fairly tolerable and manageable.

For many years, researchers had hoped to find a way to manipulate the immune system to attack tumors. Immunotherapy stimulates the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells through manmade proteins. With so many different studies looking at immunotherapy, this particular study offered at Houston Methodist Hospital is important because it hopes to see how the new therapy stacks up against standard chemotherapy. “From a research standpoint, we need to be able to offer new options to our patients using less toxic therapies, with fewer side effects,” said Eric Bernicker, M.D., thoracic medical oncologist with Houston Methodist Cancer Center and the study’s principal investigator. This study is sponsored by Genentech. Houston Methodist is the only study site in the city of Houston.

Researchers are beginning to recognize that the immune system can be better harnessed to help fight disease. For the first time, we are using targeted therapy and relying on the patient’s immune system to help fight the cancer.

and seven other institutions to be effective

- E  ric Bernicker, M.D. Director, Medical Thoracic Oncology Houston Methodist

Alisertib is not yet approved for general medical use by the FDA. Its impact on T cell lymphoma is being investigated in a separate, phase III trial for a specific type of lymphoma called the T cell lymphoma. Houston Methodist is a participating study site for that project. The work was funded by Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company.


Clinical Research Highlights

New drug for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia passes early test

Clinical Research Highlights

Clinical Trials:

Now Open & Enrolling Diet and Physical Activity in Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, and Primary Peritoneal Cancer Progression-Free Survival Investigator: Aparna Kamat, M.D. Study Coordinator: Jaya S. Kamath, MS, MT (ASCP), CCRC/ 713-441-6616 The purpose of this study is to find out if a change in diet and exercise in women with stage II, III or IV ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer, has an effect on the length of time she is cancer free following initial treatment.

Ciprofloxacin for Prevention of BK Infection Investigator: Samir J. Patel, Pharm.D. / 713-441-2168 BK virus infection is an important cause of graft dysfunction and graft loss after renal transplantation. This study hopes to

Clinical Trials

determine whether routine, short-term ciprofloxacin administration post-transplant can lower the incidence of BK infection.


Abbott COAPT Trial for Functional Mitral Regurgitation Investigator: Neal Kleiman, M.D. Study Coordinator: Candice Blaylock, BSN, RN/ 713-441-3629 MitraClip is a percutaneous device developed for the treatment of clinically significant mitral regurgitation. The COAPT trial will provide new data on the safety and effectiveness of the MitraClip System specifically in heart failure patients who have functional mitral regurgitation and are extremely high risk for mitral valve surgery.

HeartWare® Ventricular Assist System (Supplemental Trial) for Heart Failure Investigator: Brian Bruckner, M.D. Study Coordinator: Emily Taylor, MS, BSN, RN, CVRN, CCRP / 713-441-3963 This study will evaluate the incidence of stroke in patients implanted with a HeartWare® HVAD who receive optimal blood pressure management. HeartWare® HVAD is implanted as a destination left ventricular assist device or LVAD therapy.

NOBLE Study for Alzheimer’s Disease Investigator: Joseph C. Masdeu, M.D. Study Coordinator: Jennifer Garrett, RN / 281-222-9983 NOBLE study will evaluate an investigational drug specifically for people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The drug called T-817MA, uses neuroprotectant qualities that could help suppress disease progression in this population. Houston Methodist is the only study location in Texas to offer this randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study.

by Maitreyi Muralidhar Michael Reardon, M.D. and Neal Kleiman, M.D. from the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, along with the U.S. CoreValve Clinical Investigators reported the results of the CoreValve high risk study in the New England Journal of Medicine publication titled “Transcatheter Aortic-Valve Replacement with a Self-Expanding Prosthesis.” This is the first and only trial to show superior survival for a transcatheter aortic valve versus a surgical aortic valve in a randomized study. SURTAVI - now open and enrolling - is the follow-up trial to the CoreValve high risk study, which will investigate the outcomes in intermediate and moderate risk patients. Dr. Reardon is the national surgical Principal Investigator for this study. According to Dr. Reardon, this study will likely be pivotal in helping define the patient risk pools most appropriate for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. Adams DH, Popma JJ, Reardon MJ, et al. Transcatheter aortic-valve replacement with a self-expanding prosthesis. N Engl J Med. 2014 May 8;370(19):1790-8.

Cockrell Clinical Trial Centers The Cockrell Clinical Trial Centers promote and support clinical research operations throughout Houston Methodist. They offer approximately 5000 sq. ft. of office space throughout the greater Houston area including the Texas Medical Center, Sugarland, West Houston, and a new facility in Pearland, to support clinical trials closer to study participant homes or workplaces. The Cockrell Clinical Trial Centers provide a full range of outpatient clinical care and study management services, including regulatory submissions and budget management support for all phases of clinical trials. The Cockrell Clinical Trial Centers are staffed by highly skilled and experienced medical and research professionals. The Phase 1 Clinical Research Unit located in the Houston Methodist Hospital’s Main 6 Southeast wing, is involved with conducting phase 1 clinical trials and advanced pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic evaluations. Contact Julie Sicam, Director Clinical Research Services at for more information.


Cockrell Clinical Trial Centers









5 15

Clinical Research Highlights

CoreValve TAVR study reports lower death rate in high risk patients

Inside the Institute

Translational Research Initiative Intramural RFA Houston Methodist announces the Translational Research Initiative for product development or clinical trials based on Houston Methodist inventions. The Translational Research Initiative will support development of projects that are ready to advance beyond the laboratory. Proposed projects should be poised for product development [Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) production, Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) studies] or clinical trials from phase I through IIa. This RFA or Request for Applications solicits projects in any area of medicine.

Grants & Contracts Updates

Please contact for further details on eligibility or submission guidelines.


Important NIH Announcements New funding mechanisms for sustained support To provide sustained support for investigators in all stages of careers, NIH is piloting the concept of awarding longer-term grants. This will hopefully reduce the amount of time investigators spend in writing grant applications. The NIH Pioneer Award, supported by the Common Fund, is one example of the new approach. The Pioneer Award will support individual scientists with transformative or pioneering ideas and will grant $500,000 annually in direct costs for five years. Various NIH Institutes and Centers will soon be announcing similar funding opportunities.

NIH and AHRQ policy for application submission The NIH and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) have announced that for application due dates after April 16, 2014, following an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application, applicants may submit the same idea as a new (A0) application for the next appropriate due date (NOT-OD-14-074).

Progress reports The Research Performance Progress Report or RPPR module is required to submit progress reports for Streamlined Non-competing Award Process (SNAP), fellowship, and multi-year funded awards (NOT-OD-14-079).

Inclusion data reporting NIH is in the process of transitioning to a new module in the eRA Commons for reporting gender, race, and ethnicity information as required by the NIH Policy on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities in Clinical Research.

National biosafety stewardship month To raise awareness about critical biosafety issues and to focus special attention on safe laboratory practices, the NIH and other federal agencies are initiating the National Biosafety Stewardship Month. All recipients of NIH funds are invited to join federal agencies in taking the month of September to focus special attention on biosafety practices (NOT-OD-14-127). Houston Methodist Research Institute is participating in this recommitment to biosafety.

Go to for more information on these updates.

inside the institute

Houston Methodist REP As part of the Research and Education Profiles (REP) project, Houston Methodist now has access to SciVal® Funding and Scopus databases. Access is available from any Houston Methodist computer through the Houston Methodist library: Funding at-a-glance • Daily updated funding opportunities from over 3,500 public and private funding bodies • Over 2.8 million awarded grant records • Ability to filter by eligibility and advanced options • Tailored alerts for new funding opportunities Scopus at-a-glance • The largest database of peer-reviewed research literature and conference proceedings from around the world • More than 21,900 titles from more than 5,000 international publishers and 105 different countries • Over 53 million records, 23 million patents from 5 patent offices worldwide


Updates to Research Credentialing

For questions regarding Scopus & SciVal® Funding, contact Houston Methodist librarians:

Linné Girouard: or Bob Bartlett:

In response to feedback received from

the research community as well as peer research institutions, Houston Methodist

Houston Methodist

Research Institute re-credentialing will now

Research & Education Profiles

be due for renewal on a three-year cycle.

Scopus & Library

SciVal Funding

What does this mean?

Instead of having to complete your online CITI training every two years, your renewal

Online will now be due every three years.profile Individuals collaborators Find working with comparative medicine models Format biosketches will still have to undergo an occupational

Largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature

health assessment on a yearly basis.

Largest funding opportunity database 6,000 sponsors 19,000 active RFAs Sign up for alerts

Please contact hmricredentialing@ with any questions.

Collaboration Concierge

Conferences & Seminars

Publication Resources 17

Writing & editorial service

Inside the Institute

Houston Chronicle Research Philanthropy

Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing

Mission Nano game available on NISE website

In an article titled “Philanthropy keeps

The Senate Appropriations Committee held

Funded by a Nanoscale Informal Science

wheels of research turning,” the

a hearing on “Driving Innovation through

Education Network mini-grant, the Houston

Houston Chronicle featured Houston

Federal Investments” in April, to evaluate

Methodist Research Institute and Rice University’s

Methodist Hospital’s David S. Baskin,

how federal investments in R&D affect our

Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning

M.D. and Mrs. Donna Peak, a biochemist

nation and citizens. The Houston Methodist

partnered to develop a nanotechnology-based

and the wife of the late Kenneth Peak.

Research Institute provided a written

multimedia game app. The product, Mission: Nano,

The article leads with Dr. Baskin’s

testimony that focused on the need to

is now available online. It educates players about

research work, and features the

commit funding for translational research.

the uses of nanotechnology in medicine and inspires them to consider careers in science,

Kenneth R. Peak Center for Brain and Pituitary Tumor Treatment and Research

Visit to read the

further into the story.

full testimony.

technology, engineering, and mathematics. Go to

Go to to learn more.

for more information.

New Endowed Chairs Houston Methodist is pleased to announce that 10 faculty members were recently appointed or reappointed to prestigious endowed chair positions. We now have a total of 37 endowed chairs, made possible by some of the most generous philanthropic supporters.

Now Available!

• Mohammed Attar, M.D. - Lynn and Oscar Wyatt, Jr. Chair in Cardiology in honor of Dr. Mohammed Attar

• David S. Baskin, M.D. - Kenneth R. Peak Presidential Distinguished Chair

• John P. Cooke, M.D., Ph.D. - Joseph C. “Rusty” Walter and Carole Walter Looke Presidential Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Disease Research

Houston Methodist researchers and

• Stuart M. Dobbs, M.D. - Lenny C. Katz Chair in Health Outcomes and Quality in honor of Dr. Stuart M. Dobbs

scientific editing, writing, and consulting

• Joseph C. Masdeu, M.D., Ph.D. - The Graham Family Distinguished Chair for Neurological Sciences in the Institute for Academic Medicine

specializes in meeting the scientific writing

• Eamonn M. Quigley, M.D. - David M. Underwood Chair of Medicine in Digestive Disorders

community, and they will soon be available

Scientific Writing and Editing Services clinicians now have access to professional services. BioScience Writers LLC and editing needs of the global research at our location to assist faculty and staff with manuscript publishing and grant

• Lawrence Rice, M.D. - Dottie and Jimmy C. Adair Distinguished Chair in Hematology

• William L. Winters, Jr., M.D. - John S. Dunn, Sr. Chair in Clinical Cardiovascular Research and Education

how BioScience Writers can assist you,

• Stephen Wong, Ph.D. - John S. Dunn, Sr. Presidential Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Engineering

Manager dedicated to serving Houston

• William A. Zoghbi, M.D. - Elkins Family Distinguished Chair in Cardiac Health in honor of Dr. William A. Zoghbi

com to schedule a time to meet with her.


funding projects. To learn more about contact Kimberly Busiek, Ph.D., the Project Methodist at HM-onsite@biosciencewriters.

Inside the Institute

Healthy Knowledge blog now live Cyclotron facility begins 18F-FDOPA production Houston Methodist Research Institute Cyclotron and Radiopharmaceutical core is now one of only three sites in the US producing clinical grade 18F-FDOPA for adult glioblastoma PET-CT imaging. Contact to work with the Cyclotron and Radiopharmaceutical facility.

Healthy Knowledge, the new official blog for Houston Methodist, is now live. Go to to access it. Contact Jason Lauritzen at with any suggestions for blog topics.

New book details the history of cardiovascular surgery and medicine in the “heart capital of the world”

JoVE – ­­ Updates and New Features

by George Kovacik

JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments,

and Medicine and the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center at Houston

the world’s first peer reviewed scientific

Methodist Hospital.” Written with Betsy Parish, a former columnist with the Houston

video journal, has recently come out with a

Post, the book details the story of how Houston became synonymous with heart

new look and some enhanced features.

care and became known as the heart capital of the world.

• Ask JoVE: Users can now download an “Ask JoVE” button to their Bookmarks Bar. This allows users to pull up relevant JoVE articles while researching a topic in another journal or on PubMed, thus visualizing applicable experiments or

William Winters, M.D., a cardiologist for nearly 50 years with Houston Methodist Hospital, has published “Houston Hearts, A History of Cardiovascular Surgery

“The book looks at the vast history of Houston Methodist’s leadership in the field of cardiovascular surgery, research, and clinical care,” Winters said. “We cover everything from the rise of great surgeons like Dr. Michael E. DeBakey to the pioneering studies, experiments, and groundbreaking surgeries that have made Houston Methodist a world leader in cardiovascular care.”

procedures, and saving time and energy. • Case studies: JoVE has recently published two case studies - one on catheter implantation, the other on a bioprinter. These case studies illustrate the value of using scientific-video articles and the savings institutions see in time, energy, resources, and money spent.

“Houston Hearts” tells the story of the many men and women who helped create, develop, and nourish the pioneering advances made in cardiovascular surgical and medical care that people around the world have access to today.


Education News

MERLIN Roll Out by Trevor Burt

MERLIN, the Methodist Education and Research Learner Information Network, is a new online rotator application system that the Institute for Academic Medicine will roll out later this fall. The system will allow rotating residents, medical students, and other learners coming to Houston Methodist to submit application materials in a secure environment.

MERLIN will eliminate the paper application process by allowing the learner to upload required forms and documents which will get routed to the appropriate programs for review. Once applications are routed through the approval process, an electronic notification of the status will be sent to the applicant’s email address. MERLIN allows learners, approvers, and staff to review the status of the application during the course of review and will ultimately provide a more robust metrics report. Please contact Trevor Burt, Director of Education Administration at for additional information.


Gastroenterology Is Newest ACGME-Accredited Fellowship Program


Houston Methodist is happy to announce the initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for the Gastroenterology Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) fellowship program. Bincy Abraham, M.D. serves as the program director of the three-year, six trainee fellowship program that opened in July 2014.

Mentored Clinical Research Training Program 2014 Three Houston Methodist physicians, Drs. Robert Schutt (Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center), Tejal Patel (Oncology), and Deepa Gotur (Critical Care) were among the eight selected to participate in the Mentored Clinical Research Training Program for 2014. In this accelerated clinical research program offered jointly by Weill Cornell Medical College and Houston Methodist, the selected trainees had the opportunity to attend a four-day workshop with didactic coursework, group sessions, and invited speaker sessions on the clinical research process.

New Program

College of Engineering and the Houston Methodist

Master in Clinical Translational Management Degree

Research Institute, provide a unique opportunity

by Maitreyi Muralidhar

Graduate Fellowships in Translational Research offered by The University of Houston Cullen

Education News

Graduate Fellowships in Translational Research 2014

for Ph.D. students to pursue a degree in engineering and translational research. The second class of

The University of St. Thomas

fellows entered the program on August 25.

Cameron School of Business and the Houston Methodist Research

Summer Diversity Fair

Institute are offering a unique new Master in Clinical Translational Management degree to bridge the

The Houston Methodist Academy hosts diversity

gap between science and business. Currently, there are only two

fairs to promote awareness about different

such programs in the U.S., offered by University of California,

cultures and diversity in the workplace. The

San Francisco (UCSF) and Johns Hopkins University.

summer diversity fair held on July 2, showcased the country of Brazil. Employees celebrated

By breaking the silos within which professionals in fields such as basic research,

Brazilian culture, customs, and food, followed

clinical practice, and business traditionally operate, this program can help expedite

by games, activities, and prizes. The Consulate-

the translation of research discoveries from bench to bedside, reducing the time

General of Brazil, Roberto Ardenghy, was the

needed to bring effective therapies to patients. The program is designed to fit the

guest of honor for the event.

needs of both researchers and healthcare professionals interested in the business side of medical technology, or entrepreneurs looking to gain insights into the biomedical sector. The application for the program went live on August 1, 2014

Houston Methodist Academy Summer Internships The Houston Methodist Academy conducted a

for the first class starting spring 2015. The Houston Methodist Research Institute is pleased to announce the AbramsonFinger Scholars Fund to help support students enrolled in the program. The scholarship fund was made possible thanks to the generosity of Rolaine and Morrie Abramson, and Elaine and Marvy Finger.

ten-week summer internship program attended by over 50 summer interns. The interns pursued research projects under the guidance of faculty

First row, from left: Marvy Finger; Morrie Abramson; Robert Ivany, Ph.D; Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D.; Back row, from left: Judge Ewing Werlein, Jr.; Timothy Boone, M.D., Ph.D.; Beena George, Ph.D.; Dominic Aquila, Ph.D.; Tong Sun; Amy Wright; Bert Edmundson, Jr., M.D., Ph.D.

members at the Houston Methodist Research Institute. The program included didactic lectures, interactive MITIE tour, journal clubs, and a retreat where all students presented their research projects.

Contact Amy Wright, Program Manager Houston Methodist Academy at for more information.


I CARE Moments

Houston Methodist celebrates NanoDay 2014 with games, education by David Bricker Photo:

More than 250 children, their parents, and Houston Methodist staff gathered at the Houston Methodist Research Institute Saturday, April 5, to celebrate NanoDay 2014. Future medical scientists aged 3-12, played educational games and did mini-experiments designed to introduce them to the world of nanoscience. Children who attended, performed scientific experiments, and learned about nanotechnology and its applications. This is the fourth year that the Houston Methodist Research Institute has hosted the annual event, part of the Nano Days festival sponsored by the Nanoscale Informal Science Education initiative (NISE) and funded by the National Science Foundation.







Advocacy in Our Community by Maitreyi Muralidhar Houston Methodist Research Institute employees have been actively promoting STEM education in the greater Houston community. Jason Sakamoto, Ph.D. and Hannah Kim visited the Dodson Montessori Magnet School on their College and Career Day, and answered a gamut of questions from young minds on how Nanomedicine research can impact everyday life. Rebecca Hall, Ph.D. and Amy Wrightz visited Elrod Elementary - A Health and Nutrition Magnet with a focus on pre-med and medical technology. In their presentation at Elrod, Dr. Hall and Amy provided an overview of Houston Methodist research & education activities and highlighted career pathways in the world of health and science for interested students.


I CARE Moments

“Healing Hearts” - Looking for a deeper purpose and meaning In the hustle and bustle of busy schedules, to-do lists, and deadlines, we can often lose sight of the deeper meaning of our work. To promote contemplation around what we do and why we do it, the Center for Cardiovascular Regeneration embarked on a unique exercise of designing a graphic that visually depicts the purpose and goal of the Center for Cardiovascular Regeneration. Here we feature one of the few thought provoking submissions.

The mission of the Center for Cardiovascular Regeneration is to restore cardiovascular health through translational research, by focusing on the determinants of cardiovascular plasticity, reprogramming, and aging. Simply stated, we are ultimately in the business of “Healing Hearts.” Healing cannot be achieved without the human touch, represented in this graphic by the hands enveloping the heart. As researchers, we are deeply committed to the mission of Healing

Hearts either by preventing cardiovascular ageing or by regenerating cardiovascular tissue though breakthroughs in our research.

– Palas Chanda, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow Houston Methodist Research Institute

Fitbit challenge To encourage the culture of health and fitness, Houston Methodist provided all employees with an opportunity to purchase a Fitbit at an extreme discount of over 50% off retail. As an added incentive, the Beat your CEO Fitbit contest was also launched. Anyone who averaged more steps per month than their CEO, was entered into a drawing to win prizes by earning a Pick Up Your Pace credit. From the Houston Methodist Research Institute, three people averaged an impressive greater number of steps per day than CEO Mauro Ferrari. The winners are:

• Emily Taylor (23,711 steps)

• Jonathan Otto Martinez (20,541 steps)

• Martha E. Silva (19,973 steps)

A total of 153 Houston Methodist Research Institute employees became members of the Houston Methodist HealthyDirections Fitbit Community. Each one of them was entered into a drawing to win an iPad. The lucky winner is Leif Peterson! Congratulations! 23


Awards & Accolades

President’s Awards Excellence in Peer Reviewed Publications: Xian Li, M.D., Ph.D., for the Lancet publication titled “A new era for organ transplantation in China.” Research Excellence: Alessandro Grattoni, Ph.D. for Nanomedicine research Other Academic Achievements: Members of the Cyclotron and Radiopharmaceutical Core for cGMP production of 18F-FDOPA for non-invasive imaging of recurrent glioblastoma.

New Funding Awards Radiation Oncology $ 1,212,200, Sankar Mitra, 4 yrs, National Institute of General Medical Sciences $ 1,184,139, Sankar Mitra, 4 yrs, National Cancer Institute * $ 1,212,200, Tej Pandita, 4 yrs, National Institute of General Medical Sciences $ 1,594,532, Tej Pandita, 5 yrs, National Cancer Institute * $ 311,403, Tej Pandita, 1 yr, National Cancer Institute * $ 40,000, Muralidhar Hegde, 1 yr, ALS Association $ 17,007, Sanjay Adhikari, 1 yr, National Institute on Drug Abuse *

Cardiovascular Sciences $ 1,587,025, Prasanna Krishamurthy, 4 yrs, National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute * $ 658,125, Yohannes Ghebremariam, 5 yrs, National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute * $ 139,338, Stephen Little, 2 yrs, American Heart Association

Transplant Immunology $ 1,886,719, Xian Li, 5 yrs, National Institutes of Allergy & Infectious Disease $ 1,602,130, Roger Sciammas, 4 yrs, National Institutes of Allergy & Infectious Disease

Pathology and Genomic Medicine $ 300,000, Adriana Rosato, 1 yr, National Institutes of Allergy & Infectious Disease

Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases $ 308,000, Tuo Deng, 4 yrs, American Heart Association

Nanomedicine $ 598,125, Alessandro Grattoni, 3 yrs, National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Systems Medicine and Bioengineering $ 249,972, Stephen Wong, 2 yrs, US Army $ 175,000, Stephen Wong, 1 yr (Supplement), National Cancer Institute

Biostatistics $ 239,894, Leif Peterson, 2 yrs, NASA * New Faculty Transfers


AWARDS & ACCOLADES Philip Cagle, M.D., leader of the multi-organization CAP/IASLC/AMP Lung Cancer Biomarkers Guideline task force and the co-directors, received the prestigious Power of a Gold Award from the American Society of Association Executives in recognition of their innovative guidelines which impact the care of many lung cancer patients.

Alan Garber, M.D., received the 2014 National Lipid Association’s Honorary Lifetime Member Award, in recognition of his accomplishments in the field of Lipidology.

Malgorzata Kloc, Ph.D., was named the “Distinguished Fellow of the Koscuiuszko Foundation Collegium of Eminent Scientists” for outstanding achievements and contributions to the Polish scientific community.

David Haviland, Ph.D., C.Cy., has been elected to a four-year term as Councilor of the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC).

Zheng Yin, Ph.D., earned first prize in the poster competition at the Multiscale Cancer Systems Biology Symposium.

Academic Press of Elsevier published the book ‘Cancer Theranostics’, authored by Stephen Wong, Ph.D, P.E.

Lenis Sosa, MSN, BSN, RN, OCN, published an article in the “Houston Methodist Nurse” magazine in March 2014 on positive work culture and employee development.

Travel Awards: Timo Nazari-Shafti, M.D., German Academic International Network Meeting Gianfranco Matrone, Ph.D., International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Haibo Wang, Ph.D., Environmental Mutagenesis and Genomics Society (EMGS) Xiaomin Shi, Ph.D., World Transplant Congress (WTC)


New Members, Employees, and Promotions Promotions Randall Olsen, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Member, Pathology and Genomic Medicine Lenis Sosa, MSN, BSN, RN, OCN, Regional Clinical Trial Manager New Members Qi Cao, Ph.D., Assistant Member, Center for Inflammation and Epigenetics Yihui Fan, M.D., Ph.D., Instructor, Transplant Immunology Research Program Eugene Golanov, M.D., Ph.D., Full Member, Neurosurgery Joshua Harris, M.D., Assistant Member, Orthopedic Surgery Soma Jyothula, MBBS, Assistant Member, Medicine Joseph Masdeu, M.D., Ph.D., Full Member, Neurology Reginald Munden, M.D., DMD, MBA, Full Member, Radiology Tej Pandita, Ph.D., Full Member, Radiation Oncology Alexandria Phan, M.D., Associate Member, Cancer Center Bryce Portier, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Member, Pathology and Genomic Medicine Corina Rosales, Ph.D., Instructor, Cardiovascular Sciences Amy Schefler, M.D., FACS, Assistant Member, Ophthalmology Martyn Sharpe, Ph.D, Associate Member, Neurosurgery Department of Nanomedicine Hailong Li, Postdoctoral Fellow, Nanomedicine Research Jonathan Otto Martinez, Postdoctoral Fellow, Nanomedicine Lab Lyle R Hood, Postdoctoral Fellow, Nanomedicine Lab Marco Farina, Graduate Research Fellow, Nanomedicine Lab Megumi Kai, Postdoctoral Fellow Nanomedicine Lab Sarah Diane Hmaidan, Research Assistant, Nanomedicine Lab Suhong Wu, Postdoctoral Fellow, Nanomedicine Lab Usha Thekkedath, Scientific Writer, Nanomedicine Lab Yiyang Wu, Research Assistant I, Nanomedicine Lab Department of Financial Reporting and Budgets Christina Clements, Senior Financial Analyst RNAcore Colleen Fisher, Research Assistant II Department of Neurosciences Valeria Miss Guglielmi, Postdoctoral Fellow I


Cancer Research Baohua Sun, Research Associate II, Cancer Lab Saikat Saha, Postdoctoral Associate, Cancer Lab Zhebin Liu, Postdoctoral Fellow IV, Cancer Lab Clinical Trials Support Andrea De Hester, Medical Assistant, AOCT Bela Jain, Clinical Trials Manager, AOCT Erica J Garcia, Medical Assistant, AOCT Jason Gardner, Financial Analyst, AOCT Semahat Eiswirth, Clinical Research Nurse, AOCT Grants and Contracts Vivian Yvette Robinson, Grant & Contract Specialist Diane Smith, Grant & Contract Specialist Comparative Medicine Bari Gibson, Animal Care Technician I Debra Bruce, Veterinary Technician I Roger Ramirez, Project Specialist Ryan Barrett Vance, Research Assistant Bench Center for Inflammation & Epigenetics Chuang Sun, Postdoctoral Fellow Meng Lin, Graduate Research Fellow Qin Tang, Graduate Research Fellow Radiation Oncology Anjana Tiwari, Research Associate I Avijit Majumdar, Project Specialist Clayton R Hunt, Research Scientist Dharmendra Sharma, Research Associate I Durga Udayakumar, Research Scientist Erika Nicolle Guerrero, Graduate Research Fellow Joy Mitra, Graduate Research Fellow Kazi Mokim Ahmed, Research Associate II Nobuko Horikoshi, Research Assistant Bench I Nobuo Horikoshi, Research Scientist Raj K Pandita, Manager Research Laboratory Sharmistha Chakraborty, Research Associate II Shashank Hambarde, Postdoctoral Fellow Tej K Pandita, Scientist Vijaya Kumar Charaka, Postdoctoral Fellow Exp/Phase I Therapeutics Anna Rogojina, Senior Research Associate Executive Administration Sabitha Prabhakaran, Scientific Writer Tissue/Serum Core Hannah Brister, Research Assistant Bench I Nathan Garcia, Research Assistant Bench I

Surgery Alice Esther Li, Undergraduate Research Fellow, Surgery - Outcomes Research Mark David Hatfield, Graduate Research Fellow, Surgery - Outcomes Research Rabera Onyango, Project Analyst, Surgery - Admin Research Technology Development Paras Bhatt, Business Analyst II Immunobiology Research Li Jia, Postdoctoral Fellow Rui Jin, Postdoctoral Fellow Veena Krishnamoorthy, Postdoctoral Fellow I Infectious Diseases Jesus Eraso, Research Scientist Department of Cardiovascular Sciences Bahij Kreidieh, Postdoctoral Fellow, Electrophysiology Research Darukeshwara Joladarashi, Postdoctoral Fellow Dedipya Yelamanchili, Research Assistant II, Atherosclerosis Evgeniy Bovshik, Research Assistant, Cardiovascular Sciences Li Lai, Postdoctoral Fellow, Cardiovascular Sciences Liu Chun, Postdoctoral Fellow, Cardiovascular Sciences Longhou Fang, Scientist, Cardiovascular Sciences Lynnanna Shawn Bender, Clinical Research Nurse Manuel Angel Rojas, Financial Analyst, Cardiology Odeaa Al Jabbari, Postdoctoral Fellow, Cardiovascular Surgery Prasanna Krishnamurthy, Scientist, Cardiovascular Sciences Rachel Barosh, Research Assistant I Rajarajan Amirthalingam, Postdoctoral Fellow III, Cardiovascular Sciences Rock DeLane Rickel, Undergraduate Research Fellow, Cardiology Imaging Research Sahana Suresh Babu, Postdoctoral Fellow Sergio Hugo Ibarra Cortez, Postdoctoral Fellow, Electrophysiology Research Zia Ali, Financial Analyst, Heart Center Research Systems Medicine and Bioengineering Richard Ogunti, Project Specialist Xiaohui Yu, Research Programmer

Houston Methodist Research Institute 6670 Bertner Ave. Houston | TX 77030

UPcoming events


October 9-10

October 28

 George and Angelina Kostas Research Center for Cardiovascular Nanomedicine Annual International Meeting

November 22

CME credit available

October 10

 ITIE - Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy & M Endoluminal Therapy

October 15

 Houston Methodist J.C. Walter Jr. Transplant Center Frontiers in Organ Failure and Transplant Management

Image-Guided Therapy Seminar

CME credit available

CME credit available

December 8

October 25

Inaugural Neurosurgery Symposium

December 4-6

 Study Startup/Deconstructing a Clinical Research Trial for Excellence

 esearch Institute Employee Town Hall R October 2014 Update

Pumps & Pipes 8: Ideas to Insight

December 11

2014 Annual Clinical Research Professionals Training

October 27

Swansea University Research Showcase

Go to for more information.


The Research and Education Newsletter of Houston Methodist Editor-in-Chief Rebecca Hall, Ph.D. Managing Editor and Writer Maitreyi Muralidhar, MS Design & Creative Lead Doris Huang Content Coordinator Michelle Shemon

Contributing Writers David Bricker Trevor Burt Colleen Kelly George Kovacik Leif Peterson Jorge Salazar Katie Wooldridge

Read more online: Office of Communications and External Relations Institute for Academic Medicine Houston Methodist Email: IAMNEWS-003 | 10.2014 | 1590

Methodology Summer/Fall 2014