Research

          

While we are a clinical department within the U-M Medical School, the Department of Internal Medicine is also home to more than 130 basic, translational, and clinical research faculty members. Spread across 12 divisions, our research community successfully competes for funding from national agencies, foundations, and industry sponsored projects. Our scientists are dedicated to identifying and implementing real solutions to redefine how we practice medicine. We understand that great science can dramatically transform the lives of our patients here in Michigan and beyond.   

"During 2015, the Department of Internal Medicine produced nearly 2,800 publications and was awarded nearly $162 million in federal and non-federal grants, a six percent increase from the previous year." - Dr. Benjamin Margolis                         

Recent Research Highlights

  • James Shayman, MD, Agnes C. and Frank D. McKay Professor of Internal Medicine and professor of pharmacology at the Medical School was named U-M’s Distinguished Innovator Award for 2016 for his work that has led to a simpler and more effective approach to treating lysosomal storage diseases such as Gaucher disease. Read more.  
  • Forbes' $17.5 million gift to stimulate cancer research which will create the Senior Forbes Scholars and Emerging Forbes Scholars programs in cancer discovery. It will also establish the Madeline and Sidney Forbes Professorship in Oncology awarded to Max S. Wicha, MD. Read more
  • Lona Mody, MD, speaks with NPR radio- "Issues Of The Environment: Fighting Superbugs And Hospital Infections". Read more.  
  • U-M joins new national initiative to enhance microbiome project. Thomas Schmidt, PhD, head of the Michigan Microbiome Project, attended the launch at the White House. Read more.  
  • After helping to clarify the beneficial role of naturally occurring gases such as nitric oxide and carbon monoxide in the cardiovascular system, David Pinsky, MD, shows that the enzyme CD39 can prevent atherosclerosis in mice. A membrane-bound enzyme that lines human blood vessels, CD39 expression is greatest where blood flow is smooth and reduced at bend and branch points where blood flow is turbulent — which is also where plaque naturally tends to accumulate. His group is hopeful that the protective role of CD39 will have implications for the manage­ment of cardiovascular disease. Read more.  
  • U-M team seeks to outsmart C. difficle with new $9.2 million effort. The research will seek new ways to prevent and treat infections that kill more than 14,000 Americans each year. Read more.
  • David Markovitz, MD, publishes the first demonstration that two func­tions of a lectin (sugar-binding protein) can be separated through targeted molecular engineering. The resultant molecule, which is derived from a compound found in bananas, could become a clinically effective broad-spectrum antiviral agent, as it is highly active against influenza, MERS, SARS, Ebola virus, HIV, and hepatitis C virus. Engineer­ing of lectins also holds promise for helping to unravel the mysteries of the Sugar Code, the mechanism by which complex sugars transmit information in the body. Read more.  

Taubman Scholars

The state of the current funding environment also underscores the need for philanthropic support of our research. It was great news to hear that four of the six U-M clinician-scientists appointed to the 2014-2017 class of Taubman Scholars by the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute are from our department. Each will receive an unrestricted grant of $150,000 per year for three years, to be used to pursue high-risk, high-reward translational medical science. The Taubman Scholars from internal medicine are:

  • Kathleen Collins, MD, PhD, Infectious Diseases — Improving therapies for HIV
  • Pavan Reddy, MD, Hematology/Oncology — Understanding and harnessing the role of inflammation in mitigating the graft-versus-host disease after bone-marrow transplant
  • John Carethers, MD, Chair, Department of Internal Medicine — Understanding the role of inflammation in colon cancer
  • Sharlene Day, MD, Cardiovascular Medicine — Understanding the disease mechanisms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy