Published April 4, 2019
Clinical Research Achievement Awards were presented to three University at Buffalo researchers at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Annual Form, which took place on March 20 at the Clinical and Translational Research Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
Anne Curtis, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, presented the awards. In her opening remarks, Curtis stressed that the researchers being recognized were having a direct impact on patients’ lives as a result of their work.
The top award was presented to Jeffrey Lackner, PsyD, Professor; Chief, Division of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Medicine, Jacobs School. His study was titled “Improvement in Gastrointestinal Symptoms After Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Refractory Irritable Bowel Syndrome,” which was published in the journal Gastroenterology in June 2018.
After accepting the award, Lackner described his 20 years of research in the chronic disorder irritable bowel syndrome, which affects 11 percent of the population and results in a significant loss of quality of life for patients with symptoms. His research showed that cognitive behavioral therapy – even when patients are taught to conduct therapy themselves at home – effectively reverses the brain’s informational process, helping to ease symptoms in a significant number of patients. Lackner predicted a continued evolution of this line of research into the mind-body connection, and said it could change conventional thinking about the impact of the thought process on the microbiome.
Recognized as a finalist was Michael LaMonte, PhD, MPH, Research Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Health Professions. His study was titled “Physical Activity and Incidence of Heart Failure in Postmenopausal Women.”
LaMonte, who said 80 percent of all heart failure cases occur in people over 65, used data from the longitudinal Women’s Health Initiative to correlate walking to the incidence of heart failure in older women. A self-administered questionnaire was used to measure participants’ level of activity at study enrollment in 1993-1998. The results showed that walking at levels in accordance with current national guidelines (e.g. 150 minutes/week) had a positive impact on lowering the women’s risk of developing heart failure over a 14 year interval.
Another finalist, Paresh Dandona, MD, PhD, SUNY Distinguished Professor; Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism; Department of Medicine, Jacobs School, was recognized for his research, titled “Efficacy and Safety of Dapaglifloxin in Patients with Inadequately Controlled Type I Diabetes/DEPICT-1 52-week Study.” Dandona was unable to attend the forum; his award was accepted by Husam Ghanim, PhD, Research Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Jacobs School.