Clinical Research Highlights

Joint Institute for Translational and Clinical Research

The Joint Institute for Translational and Clinical Research, a Michigan Medicine partnership with the Peking University Health Science Center (PUHSC) in Beijing, China, finished its fifth year and was renewed for another five years. It was originally established in 2010. Through this partnership, Michigan Medicine and PUHSC hope to enable scientists to translate basic research more quickly and efficiently into medical practice and improve outcomes for patients in the US, China, and around the world. U-M hosted the largest JI Symposium at U-M in fall 2016. In all, 75 PUHSC faculty members made the 14-hour journey from Beijing for the meeting, the largest single delegation of visiting scholars ever hosted by the University of Michigan Medical School. One of the main topics discussed included clinical trials. Real advancement in global health means taking discoveries from the lab into a clinical setting.

The Joint Institute’s achievements include:

  • 49 projects funded from 143 submitted
  • 117,806 patients/samples under study
  • 62 peer-reviewed publications from JI projects
  • One project with patent application China & US
  • $20M USD allocated (of which $13M spent); $8M remaining of original $28M for JI
  • 9 research teams have received over $14M external (outside of China) funding in addition to Fogarty Fellow support

Clinical Trial Demonstrates Success of Low FODMAP Diet

In a first of its kind study in the U.S., those with IBS overcame symptoms with diet changes compared to control. Learn more

Transforming Heart Treatments

The U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center performed its 500th transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a minimally invasive procedure that’s transforming aortic valve care for elderly adults. U-M participated in clinical studies showing the survival benefit of TAVR and is also testing the next generation of heart devices designed to allow doctors to replace an aortic valve without opening a patient’s chest. Cardiovascular specialists and internal medicine faculty Stanley J. Chetcuti, MD, P. Michael Grossman, MD, and Daniel Menees, MD, are part of the team leading the treatment transformation, performing more TAVR procedures than any other heart team in Michigan. Learn more

Developing Precision Medicine for Kidney Disease

U-M researchers and their colleagues presented promising results from a clinical trial of the experimental drug baricitinib in people with diabetic kidney disease at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions in 2015. In a randomized, controlled Phase II study, they found it reduced a key sign of kidney damage, with higher doses producing the largest effect, few side effects, and signs of sustained impact even after patients stopped taking it. That connection resulted from the work of a team led by Matthias Kretzler, MD and Frank Brosius, MD, who not only helped conduct the clinical study – their scientific discoveries set the trial in motion. It’s a fast-track example of the new treatment-development approach known as precision medicine. Learn more.