Two of Year’s Ten Most Outstanding Biomedical Research Papers Published by School of Medicine Investigators

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researchers have been honored by the prestigious Clinical Research Forum for their groundbreaking clinical investigation of blood pressure and colon cancer in African Americans, providing findings that could transform how care is delivered.

Earlier this month, the Forum recognized “A Randomized Trial of Intensive versus Standard Blood-Pressure Control,” published November 2015 in the New England Journal of Medicine, and “Novel Recurrently Mutated Genes in African American Colon Cancers,” published January 2015 inProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, as two of the year’s ten most outstanding biomedical research papers written by teams from across the nation at its fifth annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

“These papers represent the best and brightest work in medicine and can lead to advancements that change lives worldwide,” said Pamela Davis, MD, PhD, dean of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and senior vice president for medical affairs at Case Western Reserve University. “To have two publications in which Case Western faculty members played leading roles is truly a remarkable achievement, reflecting the high quality of our researchers and research programs.”

Jackson Wright, MD, PHD, FACP, FASH, FAHA, professor of medicine and director of the clinical hypertension program in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, is lead and corresponding author of “A Randomized Trial of Intensive versus Standard Blood-Pressure Control,” which was awarded the Herbert Pardes Award for Clinical Research Excellence.

The study received extensive global coverage including major stories in the New York Times. The trial recruited 9,361 participants at 102 clinical centers, including 40-percent minority and 30-percent African American, and compared the effect of treating hypertensive patients to a systolic blood pressure goal of

Twelve of the 14 co-authors of “Novel Recurrently Mutated Genes in African American Colon Cancers” are affiliated with Case Western Reserve University, including lead author Kishore Guda, DVM, PhD, assistant professor of general medical sciences (oncology); and co-senior authors Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD, Markowitz-Ingalls Professor of Cancer Genetics; and Joseph E. Willis, MD, professor of pathology.

This study used gene sequencing to examine gene mutations in over 200 cases of colorectal cancer --103 in African Americans and 129 in whites. It identified 20 new genes as significantly mutated in colorectal cancer and found mutations in a set of 15 of these genes that appear to be unique to colon cancers in African Americans – the population with the highest incidence and death rate of any group for this disease. These previously unsuspected differences suggest divergent routes of onset of colon cancer between the two groups and may have implications for ethnicity-associated differences in tumor incidence and outcome.

Additional Case Western Reserve co-authors are Martina L. Veigl, PhD; Vinay Varadan, PhD; Arman Nosrati; Lakshmeswari Ravi; James Lutterbaugh; Lydia Beard; W. David Sedwick, PhD; Zhenghe John Wang, PhD; Neil Molyneaux; Alexander Miron, PhD; and Robert C. Elston, PhD.

The Clinical Research Forum works to promote understanding of and support for clinical research and its impact on health and healthcare.

Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Nine Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the School of Medicine.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 800 MD and MD/PhD students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report's "Guide to Graduate Education."

The School of Medicine is affiliated with University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002.

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