Gil Wolfe, MD (left), and Timothy Murphy, MD, won awards for research on thymectomy in myasthenia gravis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respectively.

Researchers Receive Awards for Clinical Research Achievements

Published January 17, 2017

Faculty members from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences have been honored with Clinical Research Achievement Awards for their promising advances in clinical research.

“These Clinical Research Achievement Awards are exactly the kinds of opportunities that are now available to our researchers since we received the Clinical and Translational Science Award.”
SUNY Distinguished Professor and Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and chair of medicine

The research competition was sponsored by the University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), which was granted to a consortium of academic and health care institutions — with UB as the lead institution — in 2015.

Winners Include Neurologist, Infectious Disease Expert

Clinical researchers from UB and Roswell Park Cancer Institute whose work was published in major journals during 2016 were eligible to compete for CTSA Clinical Research Achievement Awards.

The awardees will have the opportunity to present their research at the annual CTSA Forum March 28 at the UB Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) in Buffalo.

The 2016 awardees from the school of medicine are:

Gil I. Wolfe, MD

With the support of the CTSA, Gil I. Wolfe, MD, the top winner, has been nominated by UB to be considered for a prestigious Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award, a signature program of the Clinical Research Forum, which takes place in Washington, D.C., in April.

Wolfe, Irvin and Rosemary Smith professor and chair of the Department of Neurology, won the award for his work on “Randomized Trial of Thymectomy in Myasthenia Gravis,” published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

For over a half-century, thymectomy, the surgical removal of the thymus gland, has been a mainstay in the treatment of myasthenia gravis, a rare autoimmune disease that affects neuromuscular function. However, the evidence for its benefits has been inconclusive.

In a multicenter international randomized trial comparing thymectomy plus prednisone with prednisone alone, Wolfe and co-authors found that thymectomy does provide significant benefit in patients.

Timothy F. Murphy, MD

Timothy F. Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of medicine and senior associate dean for clinical and translational research, received the award for his work on “Effect of Fluoroquinolones and Macrolides on Eradication and Resistance of Haemophilus influenzae in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease,” published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Despite widespread use of antibiotics in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), little is known about their effect in eradicating the most common bacterial cause of COPD, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI), or the rate and mechanism by which antibiotics induce resistance. 

This study tested the two most common antibiotics and found that, unexpectedly, one of them had no effect on eradication of NTHI.

Murphy is director of the CTRC and principal investigator of the CTSA.

CTSA Has Expanded Opportunities for UB Researchers

“These Clinical Research Achievement Awards are exactly the kinds of opportunities that are now available to our researchers since we received the Clinical and Translational Science Award,” said SUNY Distinguished Professor Anne B. Curtis, MD, Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine, a member of the board of directors of the Clinical Research Forum.

“The variety and quality of submissions we received is a testament to the innovative, creative and potentially life-saving research that’s being conducted on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus right now,” said Curtis.

“We’re proud to reward that kind of work.”

CTSA Accelerates Development of Innovation

UB’s CTSA provides the research tools, support, training, resources and coordination that investigators in clinical and translational research need to accelerate the development of innovative new methods of prevention and treatment to improve health and reduce health disparities in the community. 

The CTSA is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.

Other Awardees: Experts in Addictions, Dental Medicine

Rina Das Eiden, PhD, and Sebastian G. Ciancio, DDS, also received awards.

Das Eiden is a UB Research Institute on Addictions senior research scientist in developmental psychology, research associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics and research associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Ciancio is a Distinguished Service Professor and chair of the Department of Periodontics and Endodontics in the School of Dental Medicine.