Scientific Research is Basic to Winthrop's Mission

Vol. 17, No. 1
Winter 2006/2007

  • Advanced Cardiology Techniques Enhance & Expand Treatment Options at Winthrop's Institute for Heart Care

  • Winthrop Elects New Members to Board of Directors

  • Scientific Research is Basic to Winthrop's Mission

  • Weight Management Program Takes Aim at Obesity

  • New Translation Service Breaks Language Barrier

  • Jay's World Foundation Dedicates Fifth Room in Cancer Center Unit

  • Winthrop's Lung Cancer Center: Cutting-Edge, Compassionate & Comprehensive Care

  • Winthrop's Home Health Agency Among Nation's Elite

  • Winthrop's MS Treatment Center Continues to Elevate Standard of Care & Research

  • New Pre-Diabetes Intervention Program Takes Flight at Winthrop

  • Organ Donor Network Medal of Honor

  • McCormack Fund Shows Support for Cardiopulmonary Stress Lab

  • A True Champion

  • Bay's Big Bash

  • The Franceschini Family Supports Colon Cancer Research

  • Evening of Tasting and Giving

  • Lippert Family Dinner Dance Raises $35,000 for Cancer Center for Kids

  • Residency Programs Get the Nod

  • Truckloads of Toys

    Back to Publications

  • While scientific research is at the heart of nearly every major medical discovery, most "medical miracles" occur only after numerous, diversified research studies -- which do not make headlines -- are conducted over many years and pieced together to provide the foundation for major medical advances. For example, many of today's life-saving surgeries would not have been possible without years of little-heralded research into how the blood clots or how antibiotics fight infection.

    At Winthrop-University Hospital, scientific research is an integral part of the Hospital's mission. Physician and laboratory scientists concentrate on finding answers to basic questions that could foster new approaches to disease prevention, treatments and cures in order to extend healthy life and reduce the burden of illness.

    "As a teaching institution that trains physicians of the future, we must have a robust research program," said John Aloia, MD, Winthrop's Chief Academic Officer, Director of its Osteoporosis Diagnostic, Research and Treatment Center and Director of Bone Mineral Research. "An environment that supports asking questions, which lead to new knowledge, can only benefit the community -- globally and locally."

    Translational Research

    Recently, national medical research leadership societies have been stressing the importance of translational research, which integrates state-of-the-art clinical medicine with basic biomedical research in a bidirectional manner -- questions generated by patient care issues are investigated in the basic research laboratories, and discoveries made in those labs return to benefit clinical care. These benefits may include new diagnostic tests, therapies or procedures.

    "Winthrop's environment is ideal for conducting translational research," said Steven Carsons, MD, the Hospital's Chief of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology. "We have a rich and varied patient base, a sophisticated physician faculty with strong and, in many instances, nationally recognized research backgrounds and interests, and fully equipped science laboratories."

    In these laboratories, Winthrop scientists work independently, in collaboration with one another and with researchers across the country.

    Vascular Biology Institute (VBI) - Under the direction of Louis Ragolia, PhD, VBI investigations focus on numerous aspects of blood vessel formation, function and pathology. Scientists are examining the development of cardiovascular complications associated with a variety of diseases, including diabetes, hypertension and arthritis.

    Allison Reiss, MD, head of VBI's Inflammation Section, and Dr. Carsons recently published the results of a study in which they discovered a possible explanation for the increased risk of heart attacks in patients taking Vioxx and other painkillers in its class. Furthermore, the paper, which was published in Arthritis Research and Therapy, offered a solution for how the risk could be eliminated while the benefits of the drugs were preserved.

    Bone Metabolism Lab - Dr. Aloia and James Yeh, PhD, Director of the Metabolism Lab, use a wide range of biochemical methodologies, including molecular biology, to examine reasons behind skeletal fragility and osteoporosis. They and their staff are also looking at specific genes responsible for bone formation, investigating a class of drugs that inhibit the restoration of bone, and, in collaboration with adolescent medicine specialists, seeking to find the link between Vitamin D and osteoporosis prevention in teenagers.

    Osteoporosis Diagnosis, Treatment and Research Center (ODTRC) - With Dr. Aloia at the helm, the ODTRC offers the most comprehensive and advanced approaches to the detection and treatment of osteoporosis. Internationally recognized for research into the disease and current treatment modalities, the ODTRC is presently examining the effect of Vitamin D supplementation in Caucasian and African American women.

    Cardiopulmonary Research Institute (CPRI) - Winthrop laboratory scientists, as well as pulmonologists, pediatricians and cardiovascular specialists, are pursuing a better understanding of heart and lung disease through studies of cell development and function, as well as tissue injury, recovery and the role of heredity. The goal is to prevent lung and heart damage in children and adults. Their interests include examining gene therapy in the treatment of acute and chronic lung disease and the development of a novel class of antibiotics to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    Clinical Trials Center (CTC) - Winthrop has been at the forefront of clinical trials for many years, furthering its commitment to providing patients and the community with access to the most advanced treatment options. Under the direction of Robert Krishoff, MS, with the support of experienced clinical research coordinators, research pharmacists, laboratory personnel and ancillary staff, the CTC follows stringent federal research guidelines to ensure the safety of all participating patients. The CTC has pioneered a host of important clinical research investigations, and is currently conducting studies on new treatments/medications for diabetes, hypertension, asthma, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and a host of other illnesses.

    Office of Health Outcomes Research - Winthrop recently established an Office of Health Outcomes Research that will promote collaborative, interdisciplinary research throughout the Hospital. Under the direction of Donald A. Brand, PhD, physicians, nurses and other members of the health care team will focus on outcomes of care, and how to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of care provided to patients.

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