SCHOLARLY ACTIVITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES

Type Title Division End Date Post Date
Clinical HOPE Study

HOPE – it is a retrospective chart review which is quite labor-intensive and a resident could help performing the chart reviews. It’s all about reviewing cases of hospital onset bacteremias and determining the source of the bacteremia and if it was preventable.

Minimum Training: Student
Site: UIH
Stipend: No
Contact name: Scott Borgetti
Contact email: [email protected]
Post date: 10.19.2020
Infectious Diseases 10.29.2023
Clinical A Retrospective Review of Hospital onset bacteremia

Chart Review patients retrospectively to look at patient who have had bacteremia while in the hospital.

Minimum training: Student
Site: UIH
Stipend: No
Contact name: Scott Borgetti
Contact email: [email protected]
Posting start date:2020-10-19
Infectious Diseases 10.29.2023
Translational Study of a PST-Trained Voice-Enabled Artificial Intelligence Counselor (SPEAC) for Adults with Emotional Distress (Phase 1)

Depression and anxiety are the leading causes of disability and lost productivity, and are often underdiagnosed and undertreated owing to access, cost, and stigma barriers. Novel and scalable psychotherapies are urgently needed. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) offer a transformative opportunity to develop intelligent voice assistants as virtual health agents accessible on personal devices. Meanwhile, major advances in human neuroscience have fueled a paradigm shift to study brain mechanisms underlying behavioral health interventions. Leveraging emerging science in these transdisciplinary areas, this project aims to develop and rigorously test a novel voice-enabled, AI virtual agent named Lumen, trained on Problem Solving Therapy (PST), for patients with moderate, untreated depressive and/or anxiety symptoms. The project will investigate the effect of Lumen on engagement of a priori neural targets—amygdala for emotional reactivity and dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) for cognitive control—as putative mechanisms. The project has 2 phases: R61 (years 1-2) and R33 (years 3-5). Focusing on Lumen development and refinement as well as pilot testing, Phase 1 has 2 specific aims. Aim 1 on Lumen development and refinement will proceed in 3 stages: (1) focus groups (n=24 participants), 2) scenario-based clinician evaluations, and (3) a formative user study (n=20 participants). Aim 2 is to pilot test Lumen in a 2-arm randomized clinical trial (pilot RCT), among 60 participants with moderate, untreated depression and/or anxiety who are randomized in a 2:1 ratio to receive PST with Lumen (n=40) on a secure study iPad or be on a waitlist (n=20). At weeks 0 and 14 participants will complete functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to assess neural target engagement as well as validated surveys of patient-reported outcomes (PROs) (e.g., depressive and anxiety symptoms, functioning, quality of life). In addition, participants will complete ecological daily diaries of mood, stress, appraisal and coping for 7 days every 2 weeks during the 14-week follow-up period. The Phase 1 milestones are (1) establishing the functionality, usability, and treatment fidelity of Lumen; and (2) demonstrating feasibility, acceptability, and neural target engagement. Achieving these milestones will provide the basis for the future R33 phase (Phase 2) focused on examining target engagement and PROs in a larger 3-arm RCT by comparing Lumen with a waitlist control arm and an in-person PST arm.

Minimum training: Student
Site: Institute for Health Research and Policy or remote during pandemic
Stipend: No
Contact name: Jun Ma
Contact email: [email protected]
Contact phone number: (312) 413-9830
Posting start date: 2020-07-23
Academic Internal Medicine & Geriatrics 06.30.2022
Translational Virtual Health Coach

Health coaching is an effective process for improving health behaviors by providing education on health-related topics, setting personalized and realizable health-related goals, monitoring and encouraging progress towards those goals, and sequencing or refining a progression of health goals over time. Though useful, its highly personalized and labor-intensive nature makes the cost of effective health coaching prohibitive for many underserved populations that could benefit significantly from it. This project will develop a virtual health coaching system that learns from human health coach demonstrations to interact with patients via the smart message system (SMS) to set appropriate health goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (SMART). The virtual coach will become progressively more independent, but will not be fully autonomous for two reasons: first, at this stage of research, one cannot trust the system to always send appropriate messages when it encounters unique situations; second, the virtual coach would not substitute, but supplement/collaborate with a human coach. Successful development of these capabilities represents an important step towards more scalable health coaching systems that do not sacrifice the effectiveness realized by a human health coach.

This project develops the two key components of a virtual health coaching system: a dialogue management and sentiment analysis component that guides and analyzes communication with users; and an imitation learning component for learning high-level SMART goal-setting and coaching strategies from the human health coach’s interactions with users. Significant technical advances that address the underlying problems from these sub-areas are needed to achieve human-level health coaching efficacy and positive health outcome rates. These include: novel natural language processing methods to process informal, concise SMS including the emotion and mood they convey; expression of increasing autonomy via linguistic proxies such as initiative; and inverse optimal control methods for rationalizing observed behavior. Building on an initial feasibility study, this project will assess the benefits of a developed virtual health coach with varying degrees of autonomy for SMART goal setting and additional health coaching for a diverse range of users through SMS and fitness tracking devices.

Minimum training: Student
Site: UI Health
Stipend: No
Contact name: Ben Gerber
Contact email: [email protected]
Contact phone number: 312-996-8872
Posting start date: 2020-01-14
Academic Internal Medicine & Geriatrics 01.24.2022
Clinical Web-based prediabetes treatment decision aid

Women who had gestational  diabetes (GDM) during a pregnancy  are at high risk  for developing type 2 diabetes.  Treatment to  prevent diabetes in  these women  include an intensive lifestyle program or the medication metformin. Effective implementation of prediabetes treatment for women with prior GDM necessitates communication regarding the: (1) higher risk of progression to type 2 diabetes, (2) benefits of diabetes prevention for future pregnancies, (3) similarity of effectiveness between metformin and a lifestyle program, (4) preference-sensitive nature of treatment choice, and (5) personal risk for diabetes. Decision aids are effective in encouraging patient engagement, increasing knowledge transfer and risk perception, reducing decisional conflict and promoting preference sensitive, informed decision-making.

We have developed a web-based decision aid for women with GDM. We are looking for someone to assist with recruitment, subject intervention (remotely), and data collection.

Minimum training: Student
Site: UI Health
Stipend: No
Contact name: Bernice Man
Contact email: [email protected]
Contact phone number: 312 413 5454
Posting start date: 2018-07-03
Academic Internal Medicine & Geriatrics 12.31.2021
Basic Science NAFLD/NASH – Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and diabetes

We use mouse models to study the role of hepatocyte-specific PPARgamma regulated mechanisms in the development of NAFLD/NASH and how these mechanisms impact hepatic insulin resistance in obese mice. In our lab we use:

1 ) molecular biology techniques to characterize the gene and protein expression of genes involved in the pathogenesis of NASH.

2) physiological test to assess glucose homeostasis: glucose clearance, glucose production and insulin-mediated glucose disposal.

3) biochemical techniques to determine the composition of fatty acids in plasma and livers (GC/MS) and or the composition of lipid subspecies (LC/MS/MS).

4) colorimetric assays to determine plasma metabolic and endocrine endpoints.

5) Histochemical techniques to assess the histological changes in mice with NAFLD/NASH.

The use of these techniques will help the student/fellow to expand their skill portfolio and increase their knowledge in animal physiology, in order to assess the source of endocrine/metabolic hepatic dysfunction.

Minimum training: Student
Site: College of Medicine West Tower (Lab #604)
Stipend: No
Contact name: Jose Cordoba-Chacon
Contact email: [email protected]
Contact phone number: 312-355-3565
Posting start date: 2018-03-22
Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism 04.01.2021
Basic Science Basic research in type 2 diabetes and obesity

The Layden group focuses its research on type 2 diabetes and obesity. Our laboratory based studies look at novel genetic pathways involved in these diseases utilizing transgenic mouse models and studies with human tissues.  A few examples include investigating how the gut microbiota mediates these metabolic diseases through nutrient sensing receptors, developing novel receptor agonists to treat these diseases, and understanding how glucose is intracellularly metabolized through novel genetic pathways.  Please contact us if interested, to discuss possible projects.

Minimum training: Student
Site: Laboratory
Stipend: No
Contact name: Brian Layden
Contact email: [email protected]
Contact phone number: 773-505-0169
Posting start date: 2017-02-04
Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism 02.14.2023
Clinical Health Disparities and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Chronic Kidney Disease

Epidemiological research involving health disparities and cardiovascular outcomes in chronic kidney disease.

Minimum training: Student
Site: COM, UIC
Stipend: No
Contact name: James P Lash
Contact email: [email protected]
Contact phone number: 312-996-7729
Posting start date: 2016-06-03
Nephrology
*StARR Research*
12.31.2022 9/28/2021
Translational Role of Alternatively Activated Macrophages in Allergic Asthma

There is a great amount of evidence for the presence of alternatively activated M2 macrophages in asthmatic allergic inflammation. Our published studies indicated that the macrophage is necessary for asthmatic inflammation. Despite ample reports showing that the alveolar macrophages of asthmatics express different cell-surface markers and unique patterns of gene expression, the mechanism of phenotypic transformation of the macrophage to the M2 phenotype, along with its cellular functions involved in asthma pathogenesis, are not fully elucidated. In aim 1, using both the human SBP-AG protocol and a comparable mouse model, we will precisely measure macrophage trafficking and population shifts of alveolar macrophage in acute allergic inflammation. We reported a rapid development of chemotactic gradient for macrophages and the appearance of newly recruited alveolar macrophages in acute allergic inflammation. We will examine if blocking of monocyte recruitment attenuates allergic inflammation. In aim 2, we will investigate CSF-1 as a key regulator for M2 macrophage transformation, and interrogate our recently reported ATX-LPA pathway as a CSF-dependent effector product of M2 macrophages in allergic airway inflammation. Autotaxin (ATX) and its enzymatic product, lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of asthma, and alternatively activated macrophages are potential main sources of ATX protein in the asthmatic lung. We will investigate the mechanism for regulating ATX and LPA production in macrophage by employing novel cell-specific targeted knock-out mice. In aim 3, we will investigate biochemical pathways of LPA production in allergic lung inflammation, focusing on PLA2 group 7, which is a candidate enzyme that produces lysophosphatidyl choline (LPC). Although ATX action on LPC was identified as the final step of the enzymatic pathway of LPA production, production of LPC from corresponding phosphatidylcholine (PC) is yet to be defined. Our supporting data strongly suggested that macrophage-produced PLA2 group 7 is a strong candidate for the reaction, and could be a target for therapeutic intervention. The proposed study would lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of asthma, which will eventually improve management of asthma.

Minimum training: Student
Site: College of Medicine, UIC
Stipend: Yes
Contact name: Karen Gorden
Contact email: [email protected]

Contact phone number: 312-996-5023

Posting start date: 2016-04-19
Pulmonary, Critcal Care, Sleep & Allergy 12.30.2020
Clinical Statin Adherance

Looking to improve statin adherence in the JBVA

Contact Name: Kevin Desai
Contact Email: [email protected]

JBVA 2023
Clinical Reducing HF readmission

Project that looks at outcomes of counseling ADHF patients on discharge

Contact Name: Aamir Twing
Contact Email: [email protected]

JBVA 2023
Clinical COVID-19 QI Project

Large database of COVID-19 patients where multiple projects can occur if trainee interested.

Contact Name: Min Joo
Contact Email: [email protected]

JBVA 2023
Clinical FIT Testing

Large database to look at FIT testing follow-up if interested in GI/oncology.

Contact Name: Jake Kibrit
Contact Email: [email protected]

JBVA 2023
Clinical TAVR Treatment Delay

Reducing the days between TAVR referral and implementation

Contact Name: Sanket Ghokale
Contact Email: [email protected]

JBVA 2023
Clinical Endoscopic Mucosal Resection Databse

Retrospective

Contact Name: Brian Boulay
Contact Email: [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical EUS elastography for pancreatic cancer

Prospective

Contact Name: Brian Boulay
Contact Email: [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical Dental foreign body ingestion

Retrospective

Contact Name: Anna Lipowska
Contact Email: [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical Esophageal databse

Prospective and retrospective

Contact Name: Tim McGorisk, Anna Lipowska
Contact Email: [email protected], [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical Comparison of 24-hours versus 72-hours of octreotide infusion in preventing early rebleed from esophageal varices (LOVARB)

Prospective, RCT, Multi-center

Contact Name: Asim Shuja
Contact Email: [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical The effect of concomitant hepatitis B infection and inflammatory bowel disease on mortality, hospital cost and length of stay: a nationwide inpatient sample study

Retrospective

Contact Name: Asim Shuja
Contact Email: [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical Trend and incidence of Nephrolithiasis in hospitalized patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) from 2007 to 2016.

Retrospective

Contact Name: Asim Shuja
Contact Email: [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical Comparison of different bowel preparations (Suprep vs. Golytely) in the inpatient setting

Prospective, RCT

Contact Name: Asim Shuja
Contact Email: [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical Role of pharyngeal anesthesia in Upper Endoscopy performed with conscious sedation

Prospective, RCT

Contact Name: Dr. Asim Shuja
Contact Email: [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical Voluntary childlessness in women with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Prospective

Contact Name: Itishree Trivedi
Contact Email: [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical Inpatient opioid reduction in hospitalized IBD patients

Prospective

Contact Name: Itishree Trivedi
Contact Email: [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical Cutaneous Crohn’s disease: a case series

Case  Series

Contact Name: Dr. Trivedi
Contact Email: [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical Diet, visceral adiposity and fatty acids in acute pancreatitis severity

Prospective

Contact Name: Cemal Yazici, Edward Villa
Contact Email: [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical Mechanism of diabetes from acute pancreatitis in African Americans and Hispanics

Prospective

Contact: Cemal Yazici

Email: [email protected]

GI 2023
Clinical Perioperative DVT/PE outcomes at UIH

Quality improvement project looking at how to decrease DVT/PE perioperatively

Contact Name: Darlene Evans
Contact Email: [email protected]

UIH 2023
Clinical CLABSI rates at UIH

There is a HAPI committee you can join- email contact with individual project

Contact Name: John Penalosa
Contact Email: [email protected]

UIH 2023
Clinical Sleep/circadian related glucose metabolism research

This project looks at the different ways glucose metabolism affects sleep and the circadian rhythm.

Stipend: No
Contact Name: Sirimon Reutrakul
Contact Email: [email protected]

Endocrinology 2023
Basic Science Role of selenium and selenoproteins in arsenic-induced metabolic dysfunction

This project is geared towards medical students. Skills of use include molecular and cell biology techniques, e.g. qRT-PCR, immunoblotting, SDS-PAGE, etc.

Stipend: No
Contact Name: Rob Sargis
Contact Email: [email protected]

Endocrinology 2023
Clinical Environmental exposure to metals/metalloids as drivers of cardiometabolic disease

This is an epidemiological project using data from Starr County, Texas, a predominantly Mexican American region of the country with markedly high rates of diabetes and diabetes-associated mortality.  The goal is to understand the relationship between urinary metal/metalloid levels and cardiometabolic outcomes.  Skills of use include advanced statistical approaches such as SAS, STATA, and R.

Stipend: No
Contact Name: Rob Sargis
Contact Email: [email protected]

Endocrinology 2023
Clinical Disparities in Endocrine Care

Literature review to document disparities in care across all realms of endocrinology, including diabetes, thyroid, pituitary, adrenal, calcium/bone, etc.  It is anticipated that this will be a collaborative project with endocrine fellows and medical students.  This is a new initiative.

Stipend: No
Contact Name: Rob Sargis
Contact Email: [email protected]

Endocrinology 2023
Clinical Land Use, Urban Planning, and New Urbanism in the Genesis and Prevention of Cardiometabolic Diseases

Initially this will be a literature review examining evidence linking land use to cardiometabolic disorders with a primary focus on diabetes.  Extension of this work will examine how land use patterns across Chicago and the U.S. may influence cardiometabolic disease rates.  It is anticipated that this will be a collaborative project with endocrine fellows and medical students.

Stipend: No
Contact Name: Rob Sargis
Contact Email: [email protected]

Endocrinology 2023
Clinical Clinical Care as a Vehicle of Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

This project builds off of prior work discussing the ethical implications of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in medications and medical devices.  Opportunities here would include further evaluations of existing literature as well as potential collaborations with the College of Pharmacy to better understand the extent of the risk.  There is potential here to pursue various facets of clinical care.

Stipend: No
Contact Name: Rob Sargis
Contact Email: [email protected]

Endocrinology 2023
Clinical COVID-19 Registry for Research Projects

The core UIC database is housed in REDCap and is derived from data extracted retrospectively from UI Health patient electronic medical records. UIC investigators can apply to use this core database by submitting a Research Concept Form, which will be reviewed by the Registry’s Steering Committee. Upon approval, the investigators will be provided with a deidentified dataset with the requested variables, following the IRB approved process.

Stipend: No
Contact Name: PI Kirstie Danielson, PhD
Contact Email: [email protected]

Endocrinology 2024
Translational Islet cell transplant (ICT) as Treatment for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)

Islet cell transplant (ICT) can functionally cure type 1 diabetes (T1D) by restoring insulin-producing β-cells. However, human donor islets are scarce and many recipients convert back to T1D. While ICT is slowly improving, few consistent predictors of ICT outcomes, in particular recipient factors, have been identified. Consequently, there is a critical need to identify modifiable recipient predictors of ICT success. The long-term goal is to further improve ICT precision medicine. Therefore, the objective of this study is to identify modifiable recipient baseline factors that predict ICT clinical outcomes, to focus the development of feasible, effective pre-ICT interventions to enhance success. Our compelling preliminary data found that greater β-cell function up to one year following first ICT was significantly related to recipient baseline levels of markers of better vascular health: higher HDL, lower blood pressure, narrower carotid intima-media thickness (all clinically available), and lower intercellular adhesion molecule-1. These data are the basis for our central hypothesis: favorable recipient baseline vascular health predicts better ICT outcomes, mediated by enhanced recipient insulin sensitivity and lower β-cell death. Please contact PI for further information.

Stipend: No
Contact Name: PI Kirstie Danielson, PhD
Contact Email: [email protected]

Endocriniolgy 2024
Quality improvement Lung cancer screening of high risk veterans QI project

Educating high risk veterans at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center on the need  to undergo lung cancer screening with low dose CT of the chest using a short, professional video we’ve developed with experts at the VA.

Stipend: No
Contact Name: Israel Rubinstein, M.D.
Contact Email: [email protected]

Pulmonary, Critcal Care, Sleep & Allergy 2023 9/13/2021
Translational/ Basic Microbiome in health and disease

Our research interests are host-microbiome interactions in health and disease. Our research is supported by the NIH, DOD, VA, and a few other research awards.

https://cancer.uillinois.edu/member/jun-sun-phd/

Minimum training: Resident, Fellow
Stipend: No
Contact Name: Jun Sun, PhD
Contact Email: [email protected]
Contact Phone: 312-996-5020

Gastroenterology and Hepatology
*StARR Research*
2023 9/17/2021
Clinical/
Translational
Study of a PST-Trained Voice-Enabled Artificial Intelligence Counselor (SPEAC) for Adults with Emotional Distress

Project Description: https://reporter.nih.gov/search/5zEMeGHv8k-cUrP4eZmT2A/project-details/10031359

Minimum training: Student, Resident, Fellow
Site: UIC Westside Research Office Bldg. 1747 W Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60608
Stipend: No
Contact Name: Jun Ma, MD, PhD/ Study Coordinator: Amruta Barve
Contact Email: [email protected]

Academic Internal Medicine & Geriatrics
*StARR Research*
2023 10/13/2021
Clinical/
Translational
The ALOHA trial: Addressing Quality of Life, Clinical Outcomes, and Mechanisms in Uncontrolled Asthma Following the DASH Dietary Pattern

Project Description: https://reporter.nih.gov/search/qKpOCxOvFUa9yemAI8aLNg/project-details/10295652

Minimum training: Student, Resident, Fellow
Site: UIC Westside Research Office Bldg. 1747 W Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60608
Stipend: No
Contact Name: Jun Ma, MD, PhD/ Study Coordinator: Amruta Barve
Contact Email: [email protected]

Academic Internal Medicine & Geriatrics
*StARR Research*
2023 10/13/2021
Clinical Ventricular Arrhythmias in Patients with Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is one of the most common structural genetic disorders of hemoglobin, affecting around 100,000 patients in the U.S.,1 most often African-Americans.2 Advances in the care of SCD have improved life expectancy and quality of life but the improved survival of patients has resulted in a rise in the incidence of chronic cardiopulmonary manifestations of the disease such as myocardial infarction (MI), pulmonary hypertension (PH), left ventricular diastolic dysfunction and cardiac arrhythmias.3  Although cardiac autonomic dysfunction, ischemic episodes, QT interval prolongation and myocardial fibrosis have been proposed, the underlying mechanisms for the increased incidence of cardiac arrhythmias in SCD patients remains unclear.4,5,6 Previous studies showed that a prolonged QT interval and ventricular tachyarrhythmias were significant predictors of worse outcomes including greater hospital length of stay and increased mortality as compared to a cohort without arrhythmias.7,8 However, the risk factors associated with increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with SCD remains unknown.We hypothesize that hemolysis per se leads to structural and biochemical changes that increase the risk of developing ventricular arrhythmias in patients with SCD. We will evaluate the incidence and prevalence and identify risk factors for the development of ventricular arrhythmias in hereditary hemolytic anemias (HHA) in a single center, retrospective analysis. Utilizing our well-characterized registry of 1039 HHA patients, we will examine demographic, comorbid, laboratory, and echocardiographic parameters and correlate cardiac structural and hemodynamic parameters and hemolytic profile with ventricular arrhythmia development.

Minimum Training: Ideally for Resident-scholar
Stipend: No
Contact Name: Dawood Darbar, MD
Contact Email: [email protected]

Cardiology & Hematology/Oncology
*StARR Research*
2023 10/13/2021

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