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Innovative Asthma Study Wins CR Forum’s Clinical Excellence Award

Tuesday, April 18, 2017  
Posted by: Andrea Van Hook
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Study looking at environmental exposures and asthma among the Amish wins highest award; two other studies receive special distinction


Washington, D.C. – April 18, 2017 – The Clinical Research (CR) Forum recognized the year’s ten most outstanding research papers, and awarded its top honor, the Herbert Pardes Clinical Research Excellence Award, during its sixth annual awards ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, April 18th.  Two additional Top Ten studies received Distinguished Clinical Research Achievement Awards.  

The Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Awards recognize major research advances that involve both innovation and impact on human diseases. These studies represent a portion of the annual return on the nation’s investment in the health and future welfare of its citizens. For a complete list of the 2017 Top Ten Awards, click here.

The highest honor of the evening, the Herbert Pardes Clinical Research Excellence Award, is awarded to the research study that best shows a team science approach with a high degree of innovation and creativity, advances science, and has an impact upon human disease.

This year’s top honor was awarded to How Environmental Exposures Protect Against Asthma, led by Carole Ober, PhD, University of Chicago; Anne Sperling, MD, University of Chicago; and Donata Vercelli, MD, University of Arizona. This study looked at the prevalence rate of asthma by comparing Amish children with Hutterite children, who have similar lifestyles but different farming practices. The study found that the more mechanized farming practices led to increased asthma rates in Hutterite children, while the dust in the Amish environment due to greater proximity to farm animals provides protection against asthma by shaping the innate immune response.

Two studies were further honored with special awards. The Distinguished Clinical Research Achievement Awards are presented to the top two studies that demonstrate creativity, innovation, or a novel approach that demonstrates an immediate impact on the health and well-being of patients. This year’s distinguished research projects are:

  •  Extended‐Release Naltrexone to Prevent Opioid Relapse in Criminal Justice Offenders, led by Charles O’Brien, MD, PhD, from the University of Pennsylvania; this study looked at a completely different approach to opioid addiction using naltrexone, which is not an opioid like methadone. It doesn’t produce side effects, such as drowsiness, and can be stopped without withdrawal symptoms. It also helped significantly to prevent relapse and overdose in opioid patients.
  • Helmet Ventilation Reduces the Need for Endotracheal Ventilation in ARDS, led by Bhakti Patel, MD, from the University of Chicago; this clinical trial found that the use of a pressurized helmet proved more beneficial for the treatment of patients with ARDS than the use of the standard face mask and reduced the need for ventilator use.  The research showed that use of the helmet would prevent one death out of every five patients.

“The 2017 awardees represent the enormous potential that properly funded research can have on patients and the public,” said Harry P. Selker, MD, MSPH, Chairman of the CR Forum Board of Directors. “It is our hope that the significance of these projects and their outcomes can help educate the public, as well as elected officials, on the important impact of clinical research on human health.”

About the Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Awards

Recognizing the need to celebrate our nation's clinical research accomplishments that involve both innovation and impact on human disease, the Clinical Research Forum conducts an annual competition to determine the ten outstanding research accomplishments in the United States. These major research advances represent a portion of the annual return on the nation's investment in the health and future welfare of its citizens. 

About the Clinical Research Forum

The mission of the Clinical Research Forum is to provide leadership to the national and clinical translational research enterprise and promote understanding and support for clinical research and its impact on health and healthcare. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
William Braun