2017 Top Ten Awardees
The Clinical Research Forum hosted its sixth annual Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Awards Ceremony at the National Press Club on April 18, 2017. See press release

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. 

Over 60 institutions in the U.S. and from around the world are represented in this year's Top Ten Awardees. The awardees are: 

  • Baricitinib in Patients with Refractory Rheumatoid Arthritis – award accepted by Dr. Mark Genovese from Stanford University. This study looked at a new drug for rheumatoid arthritis, and tested it in over 500 patients with hard-to-treat disease. This new drug was found to be safe and effective, significantly improving disease in over 50% of patients within 12 weeks. 
  • Extended‐Release Naltrexone to Prevent Opioid Relapse in Criminal Justice Offenders – award accepted by Dr. Charles O’Brien 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. This study was further recognized with the Distinguished Clinical Research Excellence Award. See press release. 

  • Genetic Risk, Adherence to a Healthy Lifestyle, and Coronary Disease – award accepted by Dr. Maurizio Fava from Massachusetts General Hospital. This study is the first to use large data sets to discriminate the effects of genes and lifestyle in heart disease. The researchers found that genes can double the risk of heart disease, but a good lifestyle cuts that risk in half. 

  • Helmet Ventilation Reduces the Need for Endotracheal Ventilation in ARDS – award accepted by Dr. Bhakti Patel from the University of Chicago. This clinical trial found that the use of a helmet for treatment of patients with ARDS reduced the need for ventilator use compared to the use of the standard face mask, and also prevented one death out of every five patients. This study was further recognized with the Distinguished Clinical Research Excellence Award. See press release

  • How Environmental Exposures Protect Against Asthma – award accepted by Dr. Anne Sperling from the University of Chicago. This study looked at the prevalence rate of asthma by examining Amish children with Hutterite children, who have similar lifestyles but different farming practices. The study found that the more mechanized farming practices led to greater prevalence of asthma in Hutterite children, while the Amish environment provides protection against asthma by shaping the innate immune response. This study received the Herbert Pardes Clinical Research Excellence Award. See press release

  • HSD3B1 and Resistance to Androgen‐Deprivation Therapy in Prostate Cancer: A Retrospective Multi-cohort Study – award accepted by Dr. Nima Sharifi from the Cleveland Clinic. This study established the clinical relevance of the first example of a genetic variant in an androgen synthesizing enzyme for lethal prostate cancer (CRPC) and overall survival. These findings will allow doctors to consider different treatment options for patients with this genetic variant. 

  • Life Expectancy After Myocardial Infarction, According to Hospital Performance – award accepted by Dr. Emily Bucholz from Boston Children’s Hospital. This study accessed the largest, most comprehensive evaluation of hospital quality, the Cooperative Cardiovascular Project, and found what we all thought was true – that hospital quality does matter in terms of life expectancy. The article in the New England Journal of Medicine stimulated national conversation about the lifespan cost of poor quality care and the potential to save years by improving quality.

  • A Randomized Trial Comparing Skin Antiseptic Agents at Cesarean Delivery – award accepted by Dr. Methodius Tuuli from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Through a randomized, clinical trial, the researchers found that chlorhexidine alcohol reduces by nearly half the risk of surgical site infection following a cesarean, compared to iodine alcohol. This is significant because cesarean section is both the most common major surgical procedure among U.S. women and is associated with higher rates of surgical site infection than other surgical procedures. 

  • Re-engineering Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells for Targeted Therapy of Autoimmunity – award accepted by Dr. Aimee Payne from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Payne and colleagues have devised an exceptionally innovative approach to re-engineer chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells for therapy of autoimmunity. As a result, these researchers have developed a breakthrough technology that can now be applied to a broad range of antibody-mediated diseases.

  • The Use of Focused Ultrasound for Essential Tremor – award accepted by Dr. Paul Fishman, University of Maryland School of Medicine. These investigators developed and implemented a new treatment for essential tremor consisting of using focused ultrasound applied to the brain to create a lesion in a part of the brain that regulates movement.

For full study descriptions, complete list of authors, and journal article citations, click here