Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is rated the top research university in Ohio and receives in excess of $400,000,000 in external awards yearly. CWRU is home to eight academic schools and faculty from the School of Medicine (SOM) and the School of Engineering (SOE) are active KUH-TL1 faculty trainers. In addition CWRU with its four affiliated hospital systems is home to the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative of Cleveland (CTSC). The following table shows the research funding (2019) attributable to the major CWRU schools and academic health system affiliates (excluding the VA) that participate in the Cleveland Clinical Translational Sciences Collaborative.
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (CWRU SOM)
The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (CWRU SOM) ranks 24th among 185 U.S. medical schools in research (USNWR, 2021) and 20th in NIH funding (when SOM and CCLCM-CWRU are combined; Source: Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, 2019). The full-time faculty of the SOM number 2,724 and consist of basic and clinical/translational researchers and physicians based at the SOM and the four hospital systems. CWRU SOM is the home for many NIH, CDC, and foundation supported research centers, including the Center for the Study of Kidney Biology and Disease, Center for AIDS Research, Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods, National Center for Regenerative Medicine, the Stem Cell Ethics Center, the Neural Engineering Center, Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Center, Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics, and the Case Center for Imaging Research among others. Although the programmatic and administrative functions of these Centers are based at the SOM, subject participation occurs within the clinical and clinical research facilities of the academic health institutions, including their expansive community sites throughout northeast Ohio. Many technology and support cores at the SOM (see section F below) provide services to our basic, translational, and clinical research programs throughout the city. The Institute for Computational Biology (ICB), jointly supported by CWRU, CC and UH, is housed at the SOM and several KUH- TL1 trainers hold ICB appointments. The ICB facilitates high-level analytic and computational methods across the intersection of computational, biomedical, and translational research. It has developed a successful process for translating patient information across health systems and electronic health records. The ICB uses CLEARPATH (The Cleveland Area Research Platform for Advancing Translational Health), a data warehouse that represents a centralized, limited data set that aggregates and normalizes EHR data, various disease registry databases, and biobank databases from the multiple contributing health systems. For studies with IRB approval, CLEARPATH supports utilizing an honest broker process to take the researcher’s identified patient cohort, perform a re-identification process, and then migrate the patient records into the OnCore and Labmatrix systems to support on-going research data collection and analysis.
CWRU SOM training programs for MD students include a large Medical Scientist Training Program and Clinical Translational Scientist Training Program. In addition, up to 32 students per year are accepted to the CCLCM. These students spend an additional year in research, and many obtain the MS or MPH in addition to the MD degree (anatomy, bioethics, clinical research are most popular). The CWRU SOM also has over 1000 graduate students (MS and PhD), and has served the important and longstanding role as a pipeline program for undergraduates from underrepresented minority groups. The SOM stands among the top 10% of US medical schools in graduating African American physicians, and among the top 15% for contributing medical school faculty.
Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative of Cleveland
The Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative of Cleveland (CTSC) is the product of a collaboration between CWRU and four academic health systems in the city of Cleveland: Cleveland Clinic (CC), MetroHealth System (MH), University Hospitals (UH) and The Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Administration Medical Center (VA). The CWRU School of Medicine (SOM) is at the heart of the collaborative, and serves as the hub for the four hospital partners. Leadership of the CTSC is drawn from all participating entities, where all of the leaders and investigators are faculty members at CWRU.
The CTSC infrastructure has both directly and indirectly facilitated the recent success of the Research Training Programs across the city of Cleveland including the longstanding NIDDK Nephrology T32, which is now sunsetting by organizing the complex research ecosystem into a structure of common support systems that have promoted the faculty interactions that are characterized our KUH TL1 Program Trainer Pool. Over the last decade, the CTSC has promoted seamless sharing of institution-specific resources across partners, generated enthusiasm for multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary research by encouraging team science, and utilized technology to support the cutting-edge research programs in Cleveland. The CTSC is a member of the NCATS Trial Innovation Network, which provide study investigators with a broad range of services to optimize clinical trials and studies. Among its many core services, the Cleveland CTSC has several resources particularly useful for our KUH-TN faculty and trainees discussed in detail below in section F.1. In addition the CTSC hosts TL1 and KL2 training programs (see details below in E.1.a and E.1.b.), which are focused on the identification and development of young trainees with an emphasis on translational research. These programs are natural partners for the KUH-TL1 training program and constitute the basis for a community of young trainees across the Cleveland Metropolitan area.
Case Western Reserve University School of Engineering
The Case Western Reserve University School of Engineering (CWRU SOE) includes the department of Mechanical and Aerospace engineering and the department of biomedical engineering. Both of these departments have top-ranked research programs innovating new approaches to core-health issues and debilitating disease. The department Biomedical Engineering spans both the Case School of Engineering and the School of Medicine, and leverages partnerships with other leading medical research organizations, including Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and major academic centers across the globe. Its faculty are national research thought leaders in biomedical imaging and analytics, biomaterials, neural engineering, metabolic systems, and biosensors. These techniques are applied to many clinical challenges, including cancer. The BME faculty and students are entrepreneurial, as illustrated by the Case-Coulter Translational Research Partnership and several educational programs focused on translational research and commercialization. CWRU SOE is the home of many NIH, and foundation supported research centers, including the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics (CCIPD) led by Dr. Anant Madabhushi, a KUH-TL1 trainer. The CCIPD is involved in the development and application of novel quantitative image analysis, computer vision, signal processing, segmentation, multi-modal co- registration tools, pattern recognition, and machine learning tools for disease diagnosis, prognosis, and theragnosis. Recently Drs. Madabhushi and Sedor have worked collaboratively to apply these methodologies to renal histopathology in projects that have provided successful training vehicles for recent appointees to the sunsetting NIDDK Kidney T32. The group is also exploring the utility of these methods in studying correlations of disease markers across multiple length scales, modalities, and functionalities - from gene and protein expression to spectroscopy to digital pathology and to multi-parametric MRI and CT.