Lerner Research Institute News

Read about the latest advances from Lerner Research Institute scientists, including new findings, grant awards, innovations and collaborations.

 

Not All Mutations are Bad: Researchers Identify Differences between Benign and Pathogenic Variants
10/26/2020

Dr. Lal’s team conducted the first big data characterization of missense variants from 1,300 disease-associated genes to identify features associated with pathogenic and benign variants.

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Possible Target Identified to Prevent Recurrent Blood Vessel Blockages Following Vascular Procedures
10/21/2020

The TRPC6 gene plays a role in arterial healing after an injury, according to a new study led by Dr. Graham. This could lead to the development of therapies to reduce the occurrence of intimal hyperplasia and stenosis.

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Advancing the Study of Rare Genetic Disorder Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome
10/16/2020

Dr. Corey and team have successfully genetically engineered a model of zebrafish that mimics Shwachman-Diamond Syndrome pathologies observed in patients, which will help advance research into developing new therapies to treat the disease.

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Cleveland Clinic Joins New Consortium to Map Nuclear DNA in Four-Dimension
10/16/2020

Dr. Hu and a group of international collaborators will investigate how chromatin is spatially organized within the nucleus of various cell types and how this organization changes over time—the fourth dimension—in an effort to identify targets for treating a host of diseases.

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Cleveland Clinic Joins Multi-site Study and International Network to Study Parkinson’s Disease
10/14/2020

Dr. Chan will serve as the core investigator at Cleveland Clinic, one of four institutions working together as part of this collaborative study funded through Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s.

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A 3D Epigenomic Characterization of the Developing Human Cortex
10/14/2020

In collaboration with researchers across the country, Dr. Hu used a multi-omics approach to define the epigenetic characteristics of cell types critical for cerebral cortex formation, revealing potential targets for neuropsychiatric diseases related to faulty cortical development.

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LRI Names 2020 Awards for Excellence Winners
10/05/2020

In a virtual ceremony hosted by the Research Education and Training Center, 11 students, trainees and staff members were honored with Awards for Excellence for their 2020 accomplishments.

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Cleveland Clinic Study Finds No Association Between Influenza Vaccine and COVID-19 Risk
09/21/2020

Using patient data from Cleveland Clinic’s COVID-19 registry, Dr. Zein found that receiving the flu vaccine does not increase risk for COVID-19 or worsen associated disease outcomes, suggesting it is safe and advisable to receive the influenza vaccine this flu season.

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$2.6M Grant Awarded by NIH to Identify Possible Targets for Treating Alcohol-Related Organ Damage
09/18/2020

Dr. Cresci will explore how increasing levels of two molecules commonly depleted as a result of chronic alcohol exposure may help to rescue pathologies of alcohol use disorder, including bacterial imbalances, leaky gut and increased circulating toxins.

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$10M NIH Grant Will Advance Research Into Sex Differences in Brain Cancer
09/17/2020

This new award will fund a research consortium led by Lerner Research Institute and Case Western Reserve University to study differences in glioblastoma between males and females.

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Department of Defense Funds Research for Potential New Drug to Treat Obesity and Pre-Diabetes
09/14/2020

Investigating inter-organ cross-talk between the gut and immune system, Drs. de la Motte and Nagy will test HA35 as potential therapeutic for Western diet-induced metabolic syndrome.

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Study Finds Air Pollution Can Impact the Pathology of Respiratory Syncytial Virus Common in Children
09/01/2020

Dr. Rezaee showed that nanoparticles of titanium dioxide, a pollutant found in many household and personal care products, exacerbates RSV-associated airway inflammation and other disease-related changes.

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New NIH Grant Awarded to Interrogate a Novel Bronchodilator Candidate to Treat Asthma
08/31/2020

Dr. Ghosh will use the support to investigate for the first time how targeting the nitric oxide receptor may offer alternative bronchodilatory benefits that can help treat severe asthma.

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NIH Awards Grant to Study Creeping Fat and Develop Crohn’s Disease Treatments
08/28/2020

Dr. Rieder seeks to identify new mechanisms responsible for fibrosis and stricture formation that leads to the development of novel preventive and therapeutic treatments for Crohn’s disease.

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Adapting Ideas from Quantum Physics to Calculate Alternative Interventions for Infection and Cancer
08/24/2020

A team co-led by Dr. Scott shows for the first time how ideas from quantum physics can be translated and applied to biological problems, laying the foundation for a potential new area of study entirely, called quantum-inspired biological control.

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Identifying Protein Makeup of Valvular Vegetations Can Help Diagnose Infective Endocarditis
08/12/2020

A team of researchers, led by the Department of Biomedical Engineering, found that differences in the protein makeup of vegetations may help to identify the pathogen of infective endocarditis and cast new light upon the deadly disease.

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New Prediction Model Can Forecast Personalized Risk for COVID-19-Related Hospitalization
08/11/2020

Drs. Jehi and Kattan have developed their second COVID-19 nomogram—this latest one helping physicians to anticipate which COVID-19 patients are most likely to be admitted to the hospital for related symptoms and complications.

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$2.8M Grant Awarded to Develop Vaccine to Counter Emerging Tick-Borne Virus
08/10/2020

The funds, the first to go to Cleveland Clinic’s new Center for Global and Emerging Pathogens, will support Dr. Jung’s work to test four vaccine candidates against the virus that causes severe fever with thrombocytopenia.

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Cleveland Clinic Names Chair of Department of Cancer Biology
08/10/2020

Jae Jung, PhD, a renowned expert in virus-induced cancers and immunology research, will lead Lerner Research Institute’s Department of Cancer Biology and will also serve as director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Global and Emerging Pathogens Research.

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NIH Awards $3.1M to Identify Novel Parkinson’s Disease Genes in Latinos
08/10/2020

Dr. Mata and collaborators aim to pinpoint therapeutic targets for treatment and improve diagnosis and risk prediction in Latino populations.

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Meet the 2020 Class of Molecular Medicine PhD Students
08/05/2020

Ten new students have joined Lerner Research Institute’s Molecular Medicine PhD program, a five-year, degree-granting program that offers traditional class instruction and immersive research experience for the next generation of biomedical scientists.

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New Analysis Shows Surgery for Drug-Resistant Temporal Lobe Epilepsy is Cost-Effective
08/03/2020

The first U.S. cost-effectiveness analysis in decades supports more surgical evaluations, suggesting the up-front cost of evaluation is significantly smaller than the price paid by patients, society and healthcare systems when medications alone are used.

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Potential New Drug Target for Steroid-Resistant Inflammatory Diseases Uncovered
07/27/2020

Dr. Min and colleagues uncovered a key contribution of regulatory T cells during glucocorticoid-mediated treatment of inflammation, elucidating a possible new, related target for treating aggressive inflammatory diseases.

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Research Reveals Potential Drug Target for Treating Obesity and Other Metabolic Conditions
07/23/2020

Dr. Wu and his team show that targeting the protein hepsin may be a viable option for treating diabetes and other diseases, finding that inhibiting its expression prevented or reduced obesity and diabetes severity in preclinical models.

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A Possible Genetic Cause for Racial Disparities in Preeclampsia
07/21/2020

Dr. Bruggeman shows in a new study that genetic variants to the APOL1 gene are associated with increased risk for pregnancy-induced hypertension in African American women.

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Genetic Factors May Influence COVID-19 Susceptibility
07/15/2020

Dr. Cheng's team found a possible association between ACE2 and TMPRSS2 polymorphisms and COVID-19 susceptibility.

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Cleveland Clinic Florida Opens Florida Research and Innovation Center
07/08/2020

The new center, which will complement and expand research underway at Lerner Research Institute, will focus on research related to cancer and infectious diseases, including COVID-19 and immune system response.

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Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland State University Receive $1.2 Million NIH Award to Recruit Underrepresented Minority PhD Students
07/02/2020

With new federal support for this longstanding cross-city collaboration in education and training, research teams at Lerner Research Institute and CSU seek to increase the number of minority scientists in the Cleveland area.

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Non-Cancer Cells and Sex Differences in Glioblastoma: The Latest on the Tumor Microenvironment’s Role in Disease
07/02/2020

Dr. Lathia found that in female disease models, a protein commonly expressed in glioblastoma tumor cells, called JAM-A, suppresses microglial activity and drives disease metastasis differently than in males.

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Targeting WISP1 Shows Early Promise in Treating Glioblastoma in Preclinical Model
06/30/2020

Dr. Bao’s team found that WISP1, a key protein in the Wnt/β-catenin-WISP1 signaling pathway, contributes to glioblastoma progression by maintaining glioma stem cells and tumor-associated macrophages, and that blocking the pathway helped control the disease in preclinical models.

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Promising Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Secures Significant Dollars and Support from NIH for Next Phase of Study
06/29/2020

Dr. Perez will conduct dose and efficacy testing for an Alzheimer’s disease drug candidate in preclinical models.

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Chronic E-Cigarette Use Linked with Long-Term Lung Injury in Teens, Reports New Study
06/23/2020

New research led by Dr. Rezaee builds upon a growing body of evidence that points to vaping products containing THC as most harmful for teens and adolescents.

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NIH Awards $3M to Develop a Quicker, More Reliable Way to Diagnose Osteoarthritis
06/22/2020

Dr. Li seeks to identify a faster and more efficient non-invasive method to identify patients at risk for osteoarthritis by improving magnetic resonance imaging techniques.

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Researchers Develop First Model to Predict Likelihood of Testing Positive for COVID-19 and Disease-Related Outcomes
06/15/2020

The first-in-class individual prediction model, developed by Drs. Jehi and Kattan, reveals new characteristics that affect a person's risk for testing positive, including taking certain medications and vaccination history.

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Breathing New Life into Lung Transplant Allocation: Policies Require Dynamic Forecast Modeling
06/10/2020

With a new grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Drs. Dalton and Valapour will develop an improved risk modeling approach to help prioritize patients with advanced lung diseases who need a transplant.

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A Promising New Candidate for Overcoming Multiple Myeloma Treatment Resistance
06/08/2020

Dr. Zhao found that sensitivity to daratumumab, an approved multiple myeloma treatment, may be rescued and restored using miR-26a.

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Researchers Set Their Sights on “Intelligent” Contact Lens to Manage Glaucoma
06/01/2020

An “intelligent” contact lens offers breakthrough diagnostic and therapeutic potential, from monitoring intraocular pressure on a continuous basis to delivering glaucoma medications directly into the eye.

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WWP1 Inactivation of PTEN Drives Cancer Predisposition
05/28/2020

A study co-led by Drs. Eng and Pandolfi identified why patients without PTEN mutations may still experience the high cancer risk associated with PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome.

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Unraveling the Genetic Underpinnings of Gastric Cancer in Hispanic/Latino Patients
05/06/2020

Dr. Hwang and a group of external collaborators found that Hispanic/Latino gastric cancer patients exhibit a higher incidence of CDH1 mutations, which may explain some of the observed racial disparities in disease incidence.

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Germline Genomic Profiles of Children, Adolescents and Young Adults with Solid Tumors Inform Management and Treatment
05/05/2020

Researchers led by Dr. Eng conducted the largest-to-date evaluation of germline mutations in children, adolescents and young adults with solid tumors and demonstrated the value of genetics evaluation and genetic testing for this patient population.

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Defining Sex-Based Differences in Glioblastoma Biology
05/01/2020

Dr. Lathia found that the subpopulations of myeloid-derived suppressor cells differ significantly between males and females with the aggressive brain cancer, and that they each contribute to disease pathology differently.

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Cleveland Clinic Names Director of Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology
04/28/2020

Timothy Chan, MD, PhD, a renowned cancer researcher and a pioneer in using genomics to determine patients’ response to immunotherapies, will lead the newly created center, which exists at the intersection of cancer research, therapeutics and care.

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Cleveland Clinic Establishes Center for Global and Emerging Pathogens Research
04/22/2020

The new center, which has been in the planning stages for more than a year, aims to broaden scientific understanding of emerging diseases, including COVID-19, and develop new therapeutics and vaccines.

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$3.3M NIH Grant for Alzheimer’s Drug Repurposing
04/08/2020

Dr. Cheng will develop and implement computational tools to identify and test novel repurposable drugs and drug combinations for Alzheimer’s disease.

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Seven-Year Prostate Cancer Project Reaches Drug Discovery Phase
04/03/2020

With support from a new Department of Defense grant, Drs. Sharifi and Stauffer will continue work on a promising prostate cancer drug target, which has already reached in vivo proof of concept studies.

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Researchers Develop COVID-19 Case & Mortality Dashboard
03/26/2020

Staff in the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences have created a dashboard to help stay current on COVID-19 case and mortality U.S. data.

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Department of Defense Awards $2.4M for Bladder Cancer Immunotherapy Research
03/24/2020

Drs. Mian, Gupta and Hwang—a multi-disciplinary team of researchers and clinicians—will look for ways to optimize immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy, including testing novel combinatory treatments and identifying predictive biomarkers of treatment response.

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Network-Based Drug Discovery for the Emerging COVID-19 Epidemic
03/16/2020

By harnessing the powers of systems pharmacology and predictive modeling, Dr. Cheng identified 16 drugs and three drug combinations that may be candidates for repurposing as potential COVID-19 treatments.

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Researchers Calculate Incidence Estimates for More than 100 Rare Brain Disorders
03/12/2020

Dr. Lal adjusted and used a statistical model based on mutation rate to predict the annual number of new cases of over 100 rare monogenetic neurodevelopmental disorders caused by de novo variants, offering previously unavailable estimates for disease burden.

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Sensing Changes in Tissue Stiffness Central to Many Neurological Disorders
03/11/2020

Dr. Byzova found that microglia sense and respond to changes in tissue stiffness, a hallmark of many neurological and retinal disorders, and identified a related signaling cascade that may be targeted to correct microglial response and potentially treat the associated disorders.

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New Diet-Associated Gut-Microbe Metabolite Linked to CVD
03/05/2020

Dr. Hazen found that a metabolic byproduct of phenylalanine, called PAGln, increases risk for adverse cardiac events, and that part of beta blockers’ potent efficacy may be due to blocking the activity of this metabolite.

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Characterizing Copper’s Role in Colon Cancer Progression
03/02/2020

Researchers led by Dr. Li identified a novel signaling cascade that links inflammation and colorectal cancer, where elevated levels of the pro-inflammatory protein interleukin 17 leads to an accumulation of intracellular copper and ultimately disrupts anti-tumoral defenses.

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Link Between Genetic Variant and Poor Outcomes in Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer Validated
02/13/2020

Bringing a long-running research project to the patient bedside, Dr. Sharifi validated that men with the HSD3B1(1245C) variant more quickly develop treatment-resistant cancer and have shorter survival, suggesting genetic testing may be helpful in personalized treatment planning.

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Harnessing AI for Drug Repurposing
02/12/2020

A systems biology and network medicine expert, Dr. Cheng developed a deep learning methodology to more accurately predict drug-target interactions, which will help accelerate drug repurposing efforts.

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NIH Awards $2M to Evaluate t-PA Nanoconjugate for Stroke Treatment
02/11/2020

With this new support, Dr. Labhasetwar will test the ability of a novel dual-action agent, which combines a tissue plasminogen activator with an antioxidant-loaded nanoparticle, to dissolve blood clots and protect the brain from reperfusion injury following stroke.

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Clarifying Genetic Autism Risk in PTEN Patients
02/03/2020

In Dr. Eng’s latest study, she discovered why some patients with mutations to the PTEN gene present with cancer while others with the same mutation present with autism spectrum disorders.

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Neural Stem Cells: A Possible Link Between Pathology and Clinical Manifestations of MS
01/31/2020

Dr. Suh found that demyelination of nerve cells in the brain stalls the early stages of hippocampal neurogenesis and neuronal integration, and that these brain changes ultimately result in the cognitive impairment characteristic of multiple sclerosis.

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Loss-of-Function APOL1 Variants and Environmental Stress Together May Drive Chronic Kidney Disease
01/30/2020

By studying a model of HIV-associated nephropathy, a group of kidney disease researchers and clinicians discovered that in patients with the APOL1 risk gene, the presence of an environmental stressor, like a virus, can trigger cell changes that lead to chronic kidney diseases.

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From Bench to Bedside: Low-Dose Chemotherapy Reduces Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Glioblastoma
01/21/2020

In a great story of research translation at Cleveland Clinic, basic research findings from Dr. Lathia’s lab—which elucidated the mechanistic role elevated levels of a certain type of immune cell plays in glioblastoma development—have reached early-stage clinical trial.

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Genetic Variant Related to Androgen Synthesis Linked to Treatment Resistance in Asthma
01/13/2020

Together with a team of respiratory researchers, Dr. Sharifi found that the genetic variant HSD3B1(1245A) correlates with lung function in patients with severe asthma, specifically those taking glucocorticoids, and that this variant may serve as a biomarker of treatment response.

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Cancer Treatment with Nanoparticles Changes Course of Bone Metastasis
01/13/2020

Dr. Labhasetwar engineered a sustained-release biodegradable nanoparticle loaded with the cancer drug docetaxel and found that in a preclinical model of prostate cancer it effectively halted cancer metastasis in the bone when administered with a monoclonal antibody.

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Cleveland Clinic Appoints Lara Jehi, MD, Chief Research Information Officer
01/10/2020

In this newly created position, Dr. Jehi will establish a robust research informatics environment to advance biomedical research at Cleveland Clinic, helping to bridge research and patient data with clinical care.

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Mapping the Connection Between Genetics, Obesity and Liver Disease
01/07/2020

Using pharmacological and genetic approaches, Dr. Brown found that silencing the gene MBOAT7 drove the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in models fed a high-fat diet, and that obesity may contribute to this process by naturally suppressing MBOAT7 expression.

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Using Machine Learning to Better Assess Stroke Risk
01/07/2020

With a new award from the Department of Defense, Dr. Vince will use non-invasive ultrasound and a novel artificial intelligence algorithm that predicts carotid artery plaque composition to detect patients at high risk of future stroke.

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