News & Press: General News

Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awardees

Wednesday, April 15, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kimberly Durante
Share |



Media Contact                                                                                             April 15, 2020
Jeff More


Follow us on Twitter: @CRForumUS, #TopTen


Study that developed wireless monitoring technology for NICU neonates wins award from Clinical Research Forum

Other award-winners include diabetes medication that lowers the risk of kidney failure and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for multiple sclerosis


Washington, D.C. – April 15th, 2020 – The Clinical Research (CR) Forum, a non-profit membership association of top clinical research experts and thought leaders from the nation’s leading academic health centers, awarded its most prestigious honor, The Herbert Pardes Clinical Research Excellence Award, to Northwestern University for an innovative NICU wireless monitoring technology that replaces traditional wire-based systems. This wireless system – a single, skin-like sensor placed on an infant’s chest and one placed on its foot – dramatically improves medical outcomes for the most fragile patients.

This study was recognized during the CR Forum’s annual Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Awards, which was recently transformed into a virtual event due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. The Top Ten Awards highlight outstanding research advances that involve both innovation and impact on human diseases. A complete list of the 2020 Top Ten Award Winners can be found at:

“This year’s award winners demonstrate the immense value of our nation’s investment in clinical research, and the direct impact of that work on the health of millions of people in the United States,” said Harry P. Selker, MD, MSPH, CR Forum Board Chair and Dean of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Tufts University. “For many, these innovative studies and related clinical trials may represent the only hope for surviving a life-threatening disease. They also pave the way to advance new therapies and treatments that improve public health.”

The Herbert Pardes Clinical Research Excellence Award, named in honor of CR Forum Board Vice Chair Dr. Herbert Pardes for his profound impact on clinical research and academic medicine, is awarded to the research study that best shows a high degree of innovation and creativity, advances science, and has an impact upon human disease. (Dr. Pardes currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and was the long-time Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University.) It includes a $7,500 cash prize.

Led by John Rogers, Skin-like Devices for Wireless Monitoring of Vital Signs in Neonatal Intensive Care was published in the journal Science in March 2019. Dr. Rogers and his engineering team at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine collaborated with clinicians to develop a wireless system – a single, skin-like sensor placed on an infant’s chest and one placed on its foot – that dramatically improves medical outcomes for the most fragile patients.  Rogers and his team’s sensors explicitly address the needs of the NICU because of their high mechanical compliance and noninvasive skin adhesive interface, their water resistance, and their compatibility with essential medical imaging and inspection. In addition to advanced monitoring capabilities, the sensors’ skin-like profiles and fully wireless operational modes promise to cause less harm to the delicate skin of very premature infants. Importantly, the low cost of these devices allows them to be quickly deployed to underserved sites worldwide, where improved monitoring has the capacity to dramatically improve outcomes.

Two additional studies received Distinguished Clinical Research Achievement Awards for their creativity, innovation, and novel approach that demonstrates immediate impact on the health and well-being of patients:

·       Canagliflozin and Renal Outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes and Nephropathy, nominated by Stanford University, and represented by Dr. Kenneth Mahaffey, Professor of Medicine (Cardiovascular Medicine). This landmark clinical trial showed that an approved drug, canagliflozin, lowered the risk of kidney failure by 30% in people with Type 2 diabetes and kidney disease. In addition, the trial demonstrated that canagliflozin reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events such as death from heart causes, heart attacks and strokes, as well as hospitalization for heart failure. It is the first time that there is a therapy for patients with Type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease that decreases kidney failure. This double-blind, randomized trial involved 4,401 participants in 34 countries.

·       Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) for Frequently Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis, nominated by Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and represented by Dr. Richard Burt, Chief of Immunotherapy and Autoimmune Diseases in the Department of Medicine. This randomized trial demonstrated that HSCT reverses neurologic disability, patients continue to improve for over 2 years after transplantation, and most patients show no further progressive disability or evidence of new disease activity over 5 years. HSCT is markedly superior to the current, ongoing drug therapies in preventing relapses, slowing disease progression, decreasing the burden of disease in the brain, and improving a patient’s quality of life.  HSCT also leads to significant cost savings for both private insurance companies and public health: it carries a one-time cost of roughly $98,000, while MS drugs cost roughly $80,000 per year. More important, in reversing MS and stopping new disease activity, HSCT is a win for the patient because it accomplishes what no drug has done before

Each Distinguished Clinical Research Achievement Awardee will receive a cash prize of $5,000.

Since 1996, the Clinical Research Forum has enabled the sharing of best practices in clinical research, informed meaningful policy dialogues and increasingly played a national advocacy role in support of clinical research.

CR Forum congratulates all of the 2020 Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Award recipients and finalists for groundbreaking, clinical and translational research advances that benefit the health and welfare of all Americans, and reflect the influential work being done by investigators at nearly 60 research institutions and hospitals across the United States, as well as partner institutions around the world.

Videos showcasing each of the Top Ten studies and more information are posted on CR Forum’s website,


# # #


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