School of Medicine
Since its founding in 1843 Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has been a national leader in health care education, biomedical research, and commitment to its community, creating an intellectually sophisticated, service-oriented culture that enables bold ideas and new ways of thinking to take root and flourish.
Building on a stellar legacy, including praise in the seminal 1910 Flexner Report, today the School of Medicine is consistently ranked among the top-25 medical schools in the United States as well as earning distinction as the #1 medical school and largest biomedical research institution in Ohio. It also regularly places in the top tier of U.S. medical schools for NIH research funding.
Our educational offerings comprise nearly two dozen programs and degree options for prospective students, including the MD degree, the PhD, the joint MD-PhD, numerous MS degrees, and our physician assistant program. All are led by nationally recognized experts in their fields and feature faculties of wide-ranging distinction.
Continuing to steer the conversation in biomedical education, we have opened the doors of a new 485,000 square foot, high-tech Health Education Campus developed in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic. The facility takes our longstanding emphasis on interprofessional education to the next level by bringing together under one roof medical students from our various programs (described below), CWRU’s School of Dental Medicine, the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, and the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, as well as the medical school’s physician assistant program.
The School of Medicine offers three outstanding programs leading to the MD degree: the University program; Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, known as the College program; and the Medical Scientist Training Program, the nation’s oldest MD-PhD track.
Our students learn and practice in a wide range of clinical settings at some of the best teaching hospitals in the region and country:
- Cleveland Clinic – consistently chosen one of the nation's best hospitals
- University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (including UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, and UH Seidman Cancer Center) – one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers
- MetroHealth – a nationwide leader among public hospital systems
- Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center – one of the U. S.’s largest veterans’ health care facilities
The University Program
The University Program (four-year MD), our largest MD course of study, trains well-rounded physicians by emphasizing four cornerstones: clinical mastery, research and scholarship, leadership, and civic professionalism. It features our innovative Western Reserve2 (WR2) curriculum, which integrates medicine and public health – emphasizing the relationship between health and social and behavioral factors. Learn more about the University Program at https://case.edu/medicine/admissions-programs/md-programs.
Case Inquiry (IQ)
Case Inquiry (IQ), a student-centered learning approach, is a foundation of the WR2 curriculum. Small groups of students join with a faculty facilitator to examine specially chosen medical cases – jointly developing learning objectives and carrying out pertinent reading and research. As with other components of WR2, IQ promotes deep-concept learning, enabling students to gain superb skills and a life-long orientation towards teamwork, professionalism, critical thinking, and wide exposure to primary literature. Learn more about IQ at https://case.edu/medicine/admissions-programs/md-programs/curriculum/curriculum-overview/foundations-medicine-and-health/case-inquiry-program.
Our Pathway programs are health care concentrations for medical students seeking to gain extra knowledge in special aspects of health and patient care. Examples include the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Wellness and Preventive Care Pathway, Andrew B. Kaufman World Health Pathway, and pathways in the humanities, health innovation and entrepreneurship, and urban health. Learn more about Pathways at https://case.edu/medicine/admissions-programs/md-programs/pathways-programs.
The College Program
The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University (five-year MD), is a research-focused curriculum that prepares students for careers as physician-investigators. Students graduate with an MD with special qualifications in biomedical research. Learn more about the College program at https://portals.clevelandclinic.org/cclcm/.
The Medical Scientist Training Program – our MD/PhD track – develops physician-scientists who will spend most of their time doing research while still caring for patients. Established in 1956, this was the first MD/PhD program in the country, created nearly a decade before the NIH developed the Medical Scientist Training Program to similar training. Learn more about the MD/PhD program at https://case.edu/medicine/admissions-programs/md-phd-program.
The School of Medicine partners with the Case Western Reserve University School of Graduate Studies to offer many high-quality programs leading to PhD and MS degrees, such as the physician assistant program and master of science in anesthesia, as well as certificates in a number of disciplines and sub-fields in the School of Medicine. Learn more about the medical school’s graduate education offers at https://case.edu/medicine/admissions-programs/graduate-programs.
The School of Medicine has earned a sterling record of national leadership as a research institution, consistently ranking in the top tier of U. S. medical schools for federal research funding from the National Institutes of Health. A recent Academic Medicine study placed the School in the top 15 medical schools nationally based on the achievements of its graduates. Faculty and trainee research is routinely reported in the top journals of all fields.
Within a wide and interdisciplinary research portfolio, the School has special strengths in the areas of cancer, big data, imaging, regenerative medicine. and brain health. We are home to more than 30 highly regarded research and teaching institutes and centers ranging from the Center for AIDS Research and Center for Global Health and Diseases to the Digestive Health Research Institute and Stem Cell Ethics Center.
The School is a foundational partner in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, which links the cancer research activities of CWRU, Cleveland Clinic, and University Hospitals. Our researchers are supported by eight core facilities such as translational research and clinical trials, computational analysis, and omics and sequencing. We house two highly competitive Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) programs – gastrointestinal and cancer disparities – established by the National Cancer Institute. We are the organizing partner for the Cleveland Brain Health Initiative, which includes all of our hospital affiliates and draws on our internationally recognized brain experts to address brain-based diseases such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
Among numerous research-centered awards, we have earned a highly competitive Clinical Translational Service Award in partnership with our hospital affiliates – testimony of our entrepreneurial and team-oriented view of science and scholarship.
On the international setting, our Center for Global Health and Diseases focuses on AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other serious medical conditions that threaten world health and quality of life. Our Uganda-CWRU Research Collaboration, began in 1986 to assist with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, has expanded its remit to include building capacity and providing training through research on such topics Out as epidemiology, clinical trials, nursing, anthropology, bioethics, biomedical engineering, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Our collaboration with Taipei Medical University includes exchange programs and joint research efforts in the areas of cancer, brain science, biomedical engineering, medical device and drug development, geriatrics, and long-term care.
We also partner with the business community on technology development and transfer, helping our researchers develop ideas, secure funding, and commercialize their technology – in the process transforming Cleveland into an “ideapolis.” A growing number of faculty-founded start-up companies have emerged from this effort – with many more in the pipeline.
COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY
The School of Medicine demonstrates our commitment to the community in many ways. We have many programs aimed at improving the health of the community, ranging from healthy-eating initiatives to partnered projects to reduce infant mortality. Our Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods fosters partnerships in Cleveland’s urban neighborhoods to prevent and reduce rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems – including culturally appropriate interventions as well as evaluating and strengthening existing community programs. The Office of Cancer Disparities Research in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center works to reduce the disproportionate burden of cancer on minority populations by promoting health equity-focused research and outreach. Our Youth Enjoy Science (YES) program brings diversity to cancer research by engaging underrepresented minorities in Cleveland-area schools in cancer investigation and study.
Since our founding in 1843 Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has been widely recognized for innovative, inclusive medical education and pioneering biomedical research.
We were one of the first medical schools in the country to employ instructors devoted to full-time teaching and research. Six of the first seven women to receive medical degrees from accredited American medical schools graduated from Western Reserve College (as it was then called) between 1850 and 1856.
Already a leading educational institution for more than a century, in 1952 the School of Medicine initiated the most advanced medical curriculum in the country, pioneering integrated education, a focus on organ systems, and team teaching in the preclinical curriculum. This curriculum instituted a pass/fail grading system for the first two years of medical school to promote cooperation among students instead of competitiveness, introduced students to clinical work and patients almost as soon as they arrived on campus, and provided free, unscheduled time for our students in an era when doing so seemed unthinkable. Many other medical schools followed suit on all of these fronts, and these components remain at the core of medical school curriculums everywhere.
In 1971 the Health Sciences Center was completed to house the university’s medical, dental, and nursing schools, as well as the Health Center Library. The proximity of these research and educational centers to other university departments, including the sciences, engineering, and social sciences, stimulates creative interaction between researchers and educators. We expand on this emphasis on intellectual cross-fertilization in our brand new Health Education Campus described above.
Another leap in research capabilities came in the early 1990s with the Richard F. Celeste Biomedical Research Building, which added 154,000 square feet of cutting-edge research space. In 2002 the University and Cleveland Clinic entered into an agreement to form the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, with the first class matriculating in 2004. The subsequent years saw additional new research space added, resulting in a complex of facilities on par with the best anywhere.
As described above, in 2006 the School of Medicine launched Western Reserve2, the latest evolution in our medical school curriculum. That same year we partnered with the Cleveland Municipal School District to create the School of Science and Medicine at John Hay High School, the first such school in the nation. That partnership lives on today in the form of numerous initiatives aimed at exposing Cleveland’s young people to careers in science and healing. Our medical and graduate students play vital roles in these initiatives, including mentoring, teaching, and providing shadowing opportunities. The next historical highlight came in 2007 when Pamela B. Davis was appointed the School’s first woman dean of the medical school.
Curricular advancements continued throughout the next decade. For example, in 2015 CWRU and Cleveland Clinic partnered with Microsoft to develop medical and engineering platforms as part of the new HoloAnatomy curriculum – a revolutionary way of learning the intricacies and cross-connections of the human body and its workings. HoloAnatomy plays a central role in the interprofessional education featured at our Health Education Campus. And our physician assistant program, begun in 2016, is fast becoming a national destination for those interested in this popular field.
A Rich Legacy
Eleven Nobel Prize holders have had ties to Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine:
- John J.R. Macleod, a Physiology Professor, shared the 1923 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of insulin. Dr. Macleod completed much of his groundwork on diabetes in Cleveland.
- Corneille J.F. Heymans, a Visiting Scientist in the Department of Physiology, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1938 for work on carotid sinus reflexes.
- Frederick C. Robbins, a Pediatrics and Virology Professor, shared the 1954 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his pioneering work on the polio virus, which led to the development of polio vaccines.
- Earl W. Sutherland Jr., Professor of Pharmacology, won the 1971 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for establishing the identity and importance of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (AMP) in the regulation of cell metabolism.
- Paul Berg, who earned his Biochemistry degree from CWRU, received the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for groundbreaking research in recombinant DNA technology.
- H. Jack Geiger, an alumnus of the medical school, is a founding member and past President of Physicians for Social Responsibility, which shared the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize as part of the international campaign to ban landmines.
- George H. Hitchings, an Oncology Professor, shared the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for pathbreaking research leading to the development of drugs to treat leukemia, organ transplant rejection, gout, herpes virus, and AIDS-related bacterial and pulmonary infections.
- Alfred G. Gilman, a graduate of the medical school, shared the 1994 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for identifying the role of G proteins in cell communication.
- Ferid Murad, a graduate of the medical school, shared the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for novel discoveries concerning nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system.
- Paul C. Lauterbur, PhD, a Visiting Professor of Radiology, shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for pioneering work in the development of magnetic resonance imaging.
- Peter C. Agre, who completed a Fellowship in Hematology at CWRU, shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for major discoveries that clarified how salts and water are transported out of and into the cells of the body, leading to a better understanding of diseases of the kidneys, heart, muscles, and nervous system.
Two other distinguished alumni have served as U.S. Surgeon General: Jesse Steinfeld, from 1969 to 1973, and David Satcher, from 1998 to 2002. Dr. Satcher also served as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1993 to 1998. Another medical school graduate, Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, followed in his footsteps in 2002 becoming the first woman to be named CDC director.
Stanton Gerson, MD
Interim Dean, School of Medicine, and Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs
Lindsey Whitling, MA
Vice Dean for Development and Alumni Relations
Cynthia Kubu, PhD
Interim Vice Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity
Lia Logio, MD, MACP
Vice Dean for Medical Education
Mukesh Jain, MD
Vice Dean for Medical Sciences
Stanton Gerson, MD
Vice Dean for Oncology
Mark Chance, PhD
Vice Dean for Research
Michael W. Konstan, MD
Vice Dean for Translational Research
Lisa M. Mencini, CPA, MBA
Senior Associate Dean, and Chief of Staff
Matthew J. Lester, MBA, MHA
Vice Dean for Finance and Administration
Brian Cmolik, MD
Senior Associate Dean for Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Bernard Boulanger, MD
Senior Associate Dean for the MetroHealth System
J. Harry Isaacson, MD
Executive Dean for Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Lina Mehta, MD
Associate Dean for Admissions
Jeffrey L. Ponsky, MD
Associate Dean for Alumni Affairs
Neil Mehta, MBBS, MS
Associate Dean for Curricular Affairs for Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Amy Wilson-Delfosse, PhD
Associate Dean for Curriculum
Gene H. Barnett, MD
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs for Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Marvin Nieman, PhD
Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Education
Susan Nedorost, MD
Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education
Fabio Cominelli, MD
Associate Dean for Program Development
Jill Stanley, MBA
Associate Dean for Space and Facilities Planning
Steven Ricanati, MD
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Christine Warren, MD
Associate Dean for Student Affairs & Admissions for Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Assistant Dean for Administrative Operations
Christine D. Schomisch Moravec, PhD
Assistant Dean for the Basic Science Curriculum, CCLCM
Colleen Croniger, PhD
Assistant Dean for Basic Science Education
Wei Xiong, MD
Assistant Dean for Clerkship Education - UH
Susan Padrino, MD
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Craig Nielsen, MD
Assistant Dean for Clinical Education for Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Nicole Deming, JD, MA
Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs and Human Resources
Brian J. Foss, MBA
Assistant Dean for Finance and Planning
Cheryl Thompson, PhD
Assistant Dean for Educational Initiatives
Mamta Singh, MD
Assistant Dean for Health Systems Science
David M. Pilasky, MHA, MCIS
Assistant Dean for Information Technology
Colleen Croniger, PhD
Assistant Dean for Medical Student Research
Linda M. Graham, MD
Assistant Dean for Research Education for Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine
Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew, MD
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Marjorie Greenfield, MD
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Todd Otteson, MD
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Jill Azok, MD
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Siu Yan Scott, MS, LSW
In 2002, the university and Cleveland Clinic entered into a landmark agreement to form the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, with the first students matriculating in 2004. The "College Program" is a program within the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Cleveland Clinic serves as an outstanding clinical teaching site for all medical students in the School of Medicine, in addition to being the site for pre-clerkship education in the College Program.
Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four Case Western Reserve faculty members, three of whom are counted among the alumni of the Case School of Medicine, with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, where much of the activity associated with the program occurs, is located near the Case Western Reserve campus.
Cleveland Clinic is a 6,026-bed health system that includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 18 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England.
Among Cleveland Clinic’s 67,554 employees worldwide are more than 4,520 salaried physicians and researchers, and 17,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties.
In 2019, there were 9.8 million total outpatient visits, 309,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 255,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries.
Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Learn more about Cleveland Clinic.
Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
The Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) is a major teaching hospital of the School of Medicine and is an important site for the education of medical students. The Cleveland VAMC also supports more than 100 residency and fellowship training positions in medicine, surgery, and psychiatry and their subspecialties. Most VAMC physicians hold faculty appointments within the School of Medicine. The affiliation is overseen by the Deans Committee, consisting of the dean, department chairpersons from the School of Medicine, and key VAMC officials.
The Cleveland VAMC is a part of the VA Healthcare System of Ohio, linking VA health care facilities in Ohio in an integrated service network. Inpatient care is provided at the Wade Park location and includes medicine, surgery, psychiatry, spinal cord injury, neurology, and rehabilitation medicine as well as a nursing home and a domiciliary. Outpatient care is delivered in primary and specialty care clinics located at Wade Park, Akron, Canton, Cleveland, East Liverpool, Lorain, Mansfield, New Philadelphia, Painesville, Ravenna, Sandusky, Warren, and Youngstown. The medical center serves more than 100,000 individual veterans annually through approximately 11,600 hospital admissions and 1,884,000 outpatient visits.
An active research program includes activities funded through the Department of Veterans Affairs and other governmental and private funding sources. Total funding of approximately $21.5 million annually (from all sources) supports more than 50 principal investigators in a broad range of research endeavors.
The MetroHealth System is one of the largest, most comprehensive health care providers in Northeast Ohio, caring for people in and around Greater Cleveland for more than 170 years. This academic health care system is committed to the communities it serves by saving lives, restoring health, promoting wellness, and providing outstanding, lifelong care that is accessible to all.
Affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine since 1914, MetroHealth is a center for medical research and education, with all active staff physicians holding CWRU faculty appointments. More than 400 primary care and specialty care physicians practice within The MetroHealth System. At the core of the MetroHealth system, is the MetroHealth Medical Center. The system’s main health care provider, research facility, and teaching hospital is also home to the region’s only Level 1 trauma and burn center. However, The MetroHealth System also serves Greater Cleveland with more than a dozen urban and suburban primary and specialty healthcare centers in Cleveland, Strongsville, Westlake, Lakewood, Pepper Pike, and Beachwood.
MetroHealth has received many accolades for its high level of care and the innovation of its physicians. Surgeons at MetroHealth are pioneering new techniques in minimally-invasive surgery for faster recoveries, while its primary care physicians are developing cutting-edge ways to manage common and chronic diseases through the use of electronic medical records and a patient-centered medical home model called Partners in Care. Its maternal-fetal medicine specialists are successfully managing the riskiest of pregnancies and saving the tiniest of lives. In addition, MetroHealth is nationally recognized by the American Heart Association for cardiac and stroke care and the cancer center has earned outstanding achievement awards for the treatment of cancer patients. Every year, MetroHealth provides care to more than 28,000 inpatients and delivers approximately 3,000 newborns. More than 790,000 visits are recorded each year in the medical center's outpatient centers, and patient visits to the emergency department exceed 99,000.
University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of hospitals, outpatient centers, and primary care physicians. At the core of the health system is University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center is home to some of the most prestigious clinical centers of excellence in the nation and the world, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics and spine, radiology and radiation oncology, neurosurgery and neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, organ transplantation and human genetics. Its main campus includes the internationally celebrated UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.
- Advanced Platform Technology Research Center
- Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Case Cardiovascular Center
- The Center for AIDS Research
- Case Center for Imaging Research (CCIR)
- Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences
- Center for Antimicrobial Resistance and Epidemiology
- The Center for Child Health and Policy at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital
- Center for Clinical Investigation
- Center for Community Health Integration
- Center for Global Health and Diseases
- Center for Health Care Research & Policy
- Center for Medical Education
- Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics
- Center for Psychoanalytic Child Development
- The Center for RNA Science and Therapeutics
- Center for Science, Health and Society
- Center for the Study of Kidney Biology and Disease
- Cleveland Brain Health Initiative
- Cleveland Digestive Diseases Research Core Center
- Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Center
- Institute for Transformative Molecular Medicine
- The Mt. Sinai Skills and Simulation Center
- National Center for Regenerative Medicine
- Neural Engineering Center
- Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods
- Skin Cancer Research Institute
- The Swetland Center for Environmental Health
- The Visual Sciences Research Center
- Tuberculosis Research Unit
- Willard A. Bernbaum Cystic Fibrosis Research Center
Advanced Platform Technology Research Center
Ronald J. Triolo, PhD, Executive Director
Clay Kelly, MD, Medical Director
The Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center (LSCVAMC) is one of 13 designated Centers in the Rehabilitation Research and Development Service. The APT Center focuses on serving veterans with sensorimotor dysfunction, cognitive impairment, or limb-loss using cutting edge technologies and rehabilitation techniques, translating them from proof of concept to viable clinical options. Advances in material science, microfabrication and microsystem design, neural engineering, mechanics, and communications are captured and integrated for applications in prosthetics/orthotics, neural interfacing, wireless health monitoring and maintenance and all forms of enabling and emerging technologies. The APT Center is able to provide or facilitate access to the following resources:
• Neural modeling and analysis of interface designs
• Polymer and bioactive material development
• Microelectromechanical (MEMS) systems design and fabrication
• 3-D and laser printing/prototyping, mechanical testing and dynamic simulation
• Pre-clinical in vitro and in vivo verification of device performance
• Circuit, sensor and software design and fabrication
• System validation and design control documentation
• Professional engineering support and project management
• Administrative support for intellectual property protection, regulatory affairs, and quality systems.
The APT Center was established in 2005 as a collaboration between the LSCVAMC and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Over 50 Engineers and Clinician Scientists at the LSCVAMC, CWRU, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Cleveland State University, Kent State University, University of Michigan, and Cornell University are affiliated with the APT Center and contribute to its mission.
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Stanton L. Gerson, MD, Director
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC) based at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is a partnership organization supporting cancer-related research efforts at CWRU, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, and Cleveland Clinic. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the Case CCC serves the cancer research and clinical needs of an urban manufacturing and rural agricultural region containing over 4 million people in Northern Ohio.
The Case CCC provides a unique forum and academic network for cancer researchers across our community to accomplish more than they may individually. Through the Case CCC, our medical institutions are linked in a stronger and more unified effort to understand the causes and progression of cancer and to use that understanding to develop treatments and to reduce the likelihood that our population will develop cancer and suffer from its consequences. The Cancer Center advocates for cancer research support across the institutions; provides funding for promising pilot grants, shared resource development, training programs, and recruitments; and catalyzes multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary cancer research across institutions, emphasizing innovative discovery that will have an impact on cancer patients.
The mission of the Case CCC is to:
- Improve the prevention, diagnosis and therapy of cancer through discovery, evaluation and dissemination.
- Stimulate and support innovative, coordinated interdisciplinary clinical research on cancer diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control.
- Develop clinical applications of discovery and make these available to Northern Ohio residents as quickly as possible through the integrated efforts of the major health systems in the region.
- Develop cancer prevention and control activities that build on the expertise of the Center and result in a reduction of cancer morbidity and mortality in Northern Ohio and the nation.
The research efforts of the Case CCC members are organized into seven interdisciplinary scientific programs. The clinical research effort is supported by 12 Clinical Trials Disease Teams that develop and prioritize clinical trials, and a single Protocol Review and Monitoring System, Data Safety and Monitoring Plan integrate cancer research, cancer therapeutics, and prevention services at the partner institutions and throughout the region.
Research programs of the Case CCC are also extending into community medical centers operated by University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic. Outreach programs for clinical practice-based prevention and screening initiatives, educational programs, minority recruitment, and facilitation of patient referrals are also supported by the partner institutions.
In addition to successfully competing for a Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute, the Center must meet specific criteria for:
- Breadth and depth of basic cancer research; clinical cancer research; and prevention, control and population/behavioral sciences research in cancer; and
- Strength of interaction among these three major research areas.
The Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of only 51 NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation. Learn more about the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Centers program at cancercenters.cancer.gov.
Case Cardiovascular Center
Sanjay Rajagopalan, MD, Director, Case Cardiovascular Research Institute
Aaron Proweller, MD, Associate Director, Case Cardiovascular Research Institute
The Case Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI) is home to investigators focused on translating fundamental discovery from the bench to pre-clinical models and, ultimately, first-in-human studies. Major research areas include inflammation, metabolism, myopathy cardiovascular development, angiogenesis and stem cell biology. The diversity and collaborative interactions within the Institute and broader university community foster a multidisciplinary approach to basic and translational research. We set ourselves apart from other programs by embracing a strong culture of developing and promoting the careers of young scientists and physician-scientists in clinical, translational and basic research.
The net result of these efforts has been:
- The establishment of premier research programs in basic/translational/and clinical research
- Recruitment of outstanding clinician-scientists and research scientists
- Acquisition of robust funding including multiple K-grants, R01s, and a T32 Cardiovascular training grant.
Major Research Areas:
- Vascular Biology – Research efforts focus on the role of vascular cells in blood vessel development, angiogenesis, inflammation, injury and repair.
- Cardiac Myocyte Biology – Research efforts are focused on understanding fundamental mechanisms governing the development, progression and complications of cardiac hypertrophy and failure.
- Gene Regulation – Research efforts are directed towards understanding basic molecular mechanisms governing gene regulation with a focus on DNA-binding proteins and chromatin-modifying factors.
- Inflammation & Immunity – The main focus is on the role of innate immunity – especially the development, differentiation and activation of myeloid lineage cells and their impact on the development of atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and insulin resistance syndromes.
- Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine – These research efforts are investigating the potential of several types of adult stem cell (umbilical cord, bone marrow, and circulating EPCs) in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. These efforts include elucidating molecular mechanisms aimed at reprogramming, expanding and genetically modifying adult stem cells and evaluating their therapeutic potential.
- Arrhythmias – Using cardiac electrophysiological and pharmacological techniques, research efforts are focused on understanding mechanisms underlying the development of atrial flutter/fibrillation as well as novel pharmacologic and mechanical approaches to the treatment of this arrhythmia. In collaboration with the Department of BioMedical Engineering in the School of Engineering, faculty members are investigating OCT-based methods to image the atrial wall and monitor ablation procedures. Further, a novel OCT-based pace-maker is under development.
The Center for AIDS Research
Jonathan Karn, PhD, Director
Michael Lederman, MD, Associate Director
Since its founding in 1994, the Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Center for AIDS Research (CWRU CFAR) has been a center of excellence for both clinical and basic science AIDS research. Investigators participating in the CWRU CFAR draw on resources from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, MetroHealth Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the Joint Clinical Research Center in Kampala Uganda. As one of only 19 CFARs nationally, the CFAR plays an important role in ensuring that cutting-edge AIDS research and well-received community outreach is supported in our region of the country. Major strengths in the CWRU CFAR include international research, especially with respect to research in tuberculosis and HIV malignancy, microbicides, pathogenesis, virology, clinical trials, and training, at the national and international levels. As the first CFAR to make a major investment in international research, we have been able to expand a highly productive and long-standing scientific relationship with Makerere University, Kampala.
The CWRU CFAR shares and supports the mission of the National CFAR program to support a multi-disciplinary environment that promotes basic, clinical, epidemiologic, behavioral, and translational research in the prevention, detection, and treatment of HIV infection and AIDS. The CWRU CFAR provides: Leadership and strategic planning that promotes and supports outstanding HIV/AIDS research at our participating institutions, a vibrant series of seminars and meetings regularly bringing leaders in HIV research to our campus, laboratory cores with expertise, state-of-the-art instrumentation and technologies; pilot grant awards and mentoring to develop junior faculty interested in HIV; educational and training efforts which encompass the whole range of contemporary HIV/AIDS research; community outreach programs, and the promotion of and participation in collaborative research efforts within the national CFAR network and in Uganda.
Case Center for Imaging Research (CCIR)
James Basilion, PhD, Director - CCIR
Chris Flask, PhD, Scientific Director - Imaging Research Core
The CCIR is a joint venture between Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. The CCIR, through its numerous faculty members and state-of-the-art clinical and preclinical imaging capabilities, promotes interdisciplinary and translational imaging research. As the imaging research program at CWRU continues to grow, we strive to make the CCIR imaging capabilities available to the broader research community. This overriding goal has led to a strong collaborative relationship between the CCIR imaging faculty and both basic and clinical researchers in many disciplines.
Within the CCIR, the Imaging Research Core provides facilities for both preclinical and clinical imaging studies. The Imaging Research Core serves as a shared resource for CWRU’s Cystic Fibrosis Center, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC), the Cleveland Digestive Diseases Research Cores Center, and the SMART Center in the School of Nursing. The preclinical facility includes two high-resolution MRI scanners, a microPET/CT scanner, an ultrasound scanner, an X-ray scanner, and three bioluminescence and fluorescence systems. Magnetic relaxometers are also available for high throughput screening of developmental MRI contrast agents. In addition, a novel cryo-imaging imaging system provides high resolution, 3D optical imaging capabilities. The Core also provides support for quantitative analysis of all imaging data.
A human 3T MRI scanner and an ultrasound scanner are also available through the Core for clinical research studies. Other clinical imaging options are also available within the Department of Radiology. The creation of a new radiopharmaceutical facility within the CCIR, together with our existing cyclotron and radioisotope delivery system, now provide the capacity to conduct a variety of molecular PET imaging studies from preclinical animal studies all the way to routine clinical studies.
Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences
Mark Chance, PhD, Director
Since its inception by Prof. Mark Chance in 1994 at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in NY, the Center for Synchrotron Biosciences (CSB) has provided the research community with access to state of the art synchrotron-based tools to address a range of important problems in biomedical research. With funding support primarily from the National Institutes of Health (NCRR and later NIBIB), as well as several academic and government partners, the CSB supported beamline capabilities at the original NSLS for 20 years for X-ray absorption spectroscopy, macromolecular crystallography, synchrotron infrared spectroscopy, and hydroxyl radical X-ray footprinting. These resources collectively enabled nearly 2500 publications and 2900 structure deposits in the Protein Databank from the user community, while training a generation of scientists in the application of synchrotron-based structural biology methods.
Following the closure of the NSLS in 2014, the CSB migrated operations to the new NSLS-II, a state-of-the-art 3rd-generation synchrotron facility providing 4 orders of magnitude greater photon brightness and improved stability over the original NSLS facility. In partnership with NSLS-II, and with support from the NIH and NSF, the CSB constructed and now operates the XFP (17-BM) beamline for X-ray footprinting, as part of the NSLS-II Structural Biology science program. The CSB has also increased its emphasis on multi-modal approaches to structural biology via an Integrated Biophysics program that uses the unique resources available at NSLS-II, as well as complementary tools available in the Case Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics and elsewhere in the CWRU School of Medicine.
Center for Antimicrobial Resistance and Epidemiology
216.791.3800, ext. 4788
Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC)
Robert A. Bonomo, MD Chief, Medical Service
As antibiotic resistance has become a national and global public-health problem, top academic centers are preparing to launch ambitious programs addressing research on the basic, translational and clinical aspects of antibiotic resistance. The CWRU-Cleveland VAMC Center for Antimicrobial Resistance and Epidemiology (Case VA CARES) aims to translate research findings into clinically useful tools for the diagnosis and treatment of patients infected with multidrug-resistant (MOR) Gram-negative organisms and mycobacteria. The center’s long term goals are: 1) to continue and expand this dynamic research program directed at understanding the mechanistic bases of resistance in order to develop innovative clinical and therapeutic approaches to deal with MOR organisms; 2) to develop a strong clinical research program of translational medicine on antibiotic resistance; 3) to incorporate drug discovery, whole genomic sequencing and other rapid diagnostic technologies into the management of patients infected with MOR organisms and mycobacterial pathogens, including tracking of outbreaks and molecular epidemiology of these organisms; 4) to enhance educational activities of trainees in aspects related to antibiotic resistance; and 5) work with existing services available at the School of Medicine, University Hospitals, and the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative to disseminate research and educational activities both nationally and internationally.
The Center for Child Health and Policy at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital
Ann Nevar, MPA, Manager
Established in 2007, the Center for Child Health and Policy at Rainbow focuses on major health policy issues that are central to the well-being of children and youth. The Center recognizes that health policy forms a framework for all health care delivery and that health policy is therefore essential to improving children’s health. In this way, the Center focuses on the nexus between policy and practice of pediatric medicine.
The Center fills the need to amalgamate expertise in pediatric medicine and research with expertise in health policy. Operating as a think tank, the Center brings together experts in child health, health finance, law and policy to perform policy analyses, consultations, research, educational programming, and community outreach to advance child health through policy. Work is focused on several areas including: Maternal/Fetal/Newborn Health; Chronic Illness; Quality; and Care Delivery Systems. The Center is the only program devoted to child health policy in Cleveland and one of few nationwide.
To date, the Center has accrued many products and achievements including: Ohio Health Policy Researcher of the Year in 2006; Ohio Health Policy Researcher of the Year for Independent Research in 2009; programs designated Centers of Excellence; multiple white papers, reports, and peer-reviewed publications; grants and awards from the National Institutes of Health, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and numerous foundations; and invited/elected memberships in state and national policy committees.
Center for Clinical Investigation
Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD, Director
The Center for Clinical Investigation (CCI) was founded in 2007 and is part of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine’s Division of General Medical Sciences. The CCI serves as the academic home of Cleveland’s Clinical & Translational Science Collaborative, a partnership of 4 local institutions (Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the MetroHealth System, and University Hospitals) and member of a national consortium of approximately 66 institutions funded by the National Institutes of Health to increase the efficiency and speed of clinical and translational research across the country.
The CCI’s mission is to enhance clinical and translational research efforts across the Cleveland area by: (1) spurring advances in knowledge of risk factors, outcomes and treatment effectiveness in the population; (2) facilitating the transfer of scientific advances to the community; and (3) developing a new generation of clinical researchers equipped with the skills needed to efficiently design, implement and interpret novel studies that address important public health questions. To accomplish its mission, the CCI provides computer systems and applications support for basic science and clinical research activities and works closely with basic science and clinical investigators in the CWRU Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Dental Medicine, as well as the University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, and MetroHealth System. The CCI has supported hundreds of clinical research and epidemiology projects, including local and national multicenter, longitudinal studies. The CCI has two cores that provide research support to all investigators: the Academic Development Core and Statistical Sciences Core.
The Academic Development Core manages the newly created PhD Program in Clinical Translational Science, the Master’s Degree Program in Clinical Research (Clinical Research Scholars Program - see "Clinical Research MS" tab above), and the Graduate Certificate Program in Clinical Research. The Academic Development Core also delivers seminars and short courses in clinical research and works to coordinate educational activities in interdisciplinary clinical research across the CTSC’s institutional members. The programs target investigators and other key members of the research team, including data managers and study coordinators. Training efforts in research design, research data management, statistical sciences, statistical software, and scientific communication are emphasized.
The Statistical Sciences Core provides data management and statistical support for study design and data analysis. Members who provide data management consist of skilled data managers and programmers who consult and collaborate with investigators on data collection instrument development and coding, database development and administration, data cleaning and quality assurance, statistical programming, and dataset preparation. Members providing statistical support collaborate and consult with clinical investigators on proposal development, study design, study monitoring, and data analysis. "The Statistical Sciences Core currently consists of 1 PhD biostatistician and 1 MS biostatistician. Statistical software packages that are supported by the CCI Statistical Sciences Core include SAS, SPSS, R/S-Plus, NCSS PASS and Minitab. In addition, the Statistical Science core serves as a gateway for connecting investigators with the broad expertise available through the biostatistics faculty in the Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences.
Center for Community Health Integration
The Center for Community Health Integration (CHI) conducts collaborative research and development to advance community health and integrated, personalized health care. We work with colleagues across multiple levels of a complex system to develop a shared understanding of the effects of social, environmental, and human systems, and to use that understanding to improve the health of individuals, vulnerable populations, and communities.
Building on three decades of work with partners in Cleveland and around the world, this new center is in an early phase of making and reinforcing connections that challenge problems often perceived as intractable. We are investing in relationships, analytical capacity, and novel ideas. We welcome conversations to explore collaborative opportunities.
Center for Global Health and Diseases
James W. Kazura, MD, Director
The Center for Global Health and Diseases links the numerous international health resources of the University, its affiliated institutions, and the northern Ohio community in transdisciplinary programs of research and education related to global health. The scope of the Center's activities also includes education and service as these are related to molecular, clinical and population studies of human health and disease.
The Center is currently a national leader in National Institutes of Health-supported studies of the major infectious diseases of developing countries. Cutting-edge approaches are implemented in order to examine the molecular, genetic and immunologic basis of susceptibility to infectious diseases of public health significance - malaria, river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, HIV and other viral diseases such as Rift Valley fever. Clinical research in endemic countries is concerned with testing and implementing cost-effective public health interventions that are aimed at the control of malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases (worm infections of children, elimination of lymphatic filariasis). The Center has ongoing research and educational collaborations with academic and governmental institutions in Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Kenya, Uganda, and several other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Educational programs sponsored by the Center include electives in international health, population biology, and genetics of infectious diseases (available to undergraduate, graduate and professional school students), a weekly World Health Interest Group (WHIG) seminar series, overseas rotations for graduate and professional school students, and training programs at the university and abroad for scholars from developing countries (with support from the Fogarty International Center at NIH).
A certificate in Global Health is available (see Certificates).
Center for Health Care Research & Policy
Randall D. Cebul, MD, Director
The mission of the Center for Health Care Research & Policy is to: 1) improve the health of the public by conducting research that improves access to health care, increases the quality and value of healthcare services, and informs health policy and practice; and 2) lead education and training programs that promote these goals. Formally established in 1994, the Center’s mission is carried out by a cross-disciplinary faculty who both lead and collaborate with other scholars in Northeast Ohio and beyond. A core faculty of 17 is extended by affiliated Senior Scholars throughout the university, assisted by an able staff and over 30 grant-supported research associates. The Center’s home at MetroHealth’s Rammelkamp Research and Education Building is an outstanding venue for collaborative research, mentoring of students and junior faculty, and cross-disciplinary seminars.
The Center’s research and training focus in programmatic areas that reflect national health care priorities as well as high impact problems in adults. Center Programs pertain to chronic conditions, especially stroke, obesity and diabetes, and kidney disease. Programs are supported by methods units, including biostatistics and evaluation, health care decision making, and health economics and health policy. Research using clinical informatics capitalizes on growing institutional capacities in electronic medical records (EMR) and clinical decision support. Center faculty view Northeast Ohio as a laboratory for research, recognizing the national relevance of regional challenges and opportunities. For over four years, the Center has served as the administrative home for Better Health Greater Cleveland, an EMR-catalyzed initiative to measure, publicly report, and improve health outcomes for the region’s residents with chronic medical problems. Center faculty also assume leadership roles in federally-supported degree programs in Health Services Research and Clinical Investigation and teach in the core curriculum of the School of Medicine.
Center for Medical Education
Lia Logio, MD, Director
The Center for Medical Education, established in 2010, provides an organizational home for teaching and learning programs in the School of Medicine and a supportive environment for those who want to develop special skills in medical education.
The Center also sponsors faculty appointments, both full- and part-time, for faculty whose roles are predominantly focused on teaching medical students and physician assistant students. These include community clinicians who welcome medical students into their clinics and practices.
The Center for the Advancement of Medical Learning (“CAML”) operates its programs under the auspices of the CMEd. CAML supports and promotes the development of teaching and lifelong-learning skills among students, faculty, staff, residents, and alumni. CAML pursues research into educational innovations to advance our knowledge of medical learning and teaching. The Center offers workshops to faculty locally, regionally, and nationally to enhance faculty teaching, research and evaluation skills.
Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics
Biomedical Research Building, Ninth Floor
Mark R. Chance, PhD, Director
The Case Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics was created, in part, to strengthen Cleveland's presence in modern proteomics and bioinformatics research to make the region a leader in the field. The vision for the Center has been shaped over the past several years by the leadership of the Center's Director, Mark Chance, PhD, with over $120 million in grants awarded to the Center and its collaborators since its inception in February 2006. One of the primary goals of the CPB is to develop an infrastructure of sophisticated equipment that facilitates and maximizes shared equipment usage, as well as to offer a wide array of proteomics, and metabolomic services including protein and small molecule mass spectrometry, protein expression/interactions, systems biology, and biostatistical analyses.
The CPB has expanded its vision to include education of graduate students in systems biology and bioinformatics. The Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics developed a graduate program in Systems Biology and Bioinformatics in collaboration with Schools and Departments across the campus. For more information regarding the SYBB graduate program please see "Systems/Bioinformatics" tab above. You may also visit http://bioinformatics.case.edu/.
In studying proteins and metabolites, bioinformatics analysis enables researchers to take an integrated pan-omics approach for discovering networks involved in human disease. The School of Medicine has established the Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics to perform research to better understand the genetic and environmental bases of disease as well as provide new technologies to diagnose diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Utilizing bioinformatics enables researchers to take an integrated -omics approach for discovering networks involved in human disease.
New technologies in mass spectrometry are also allowing protein expression, localization, structure, post-translational modifications, and interactions to be studied in increasing detail and on a genome-wide scale. The Center is also developing and applying state-of-the-art-structural proteomics technology, metabolomic and small molecule analysis, especially for pharmacokinetic (PK) studies to support clinical, translational, and structural research.
The CPB has three major research areas: Proteomics and Bioinformatics, Metabolomics, and Macromolecular Structure.
Proteomics and Bioinformatics faculty and staff support research in protein expression analysis, protein modifications, and protein interactions in a wide variety of biological contexts as well as develops new bioinformatics tools in Proteomics research. This includes multiple Proteomics Cores to support these activities.
Metabolomics faculty and staff support metabolite small molecule quantification research in the CWRU community. The services provided range from drug PK studies to quantification of endogenous metabolites in clinical and preclinical samples.
Macromolecular Structure faculty and staff supports interdisciplinary research in new methods of structure determination, the combination of computational and experimental structural biology approaches and developing and maintaining the infrastructure for macromolecular structure determination.
The CPB also offers a wide range of seminars, workshops, and possibilities for individual training. These activities are posted on the CPB Web site. For a list of services and to explore opportunities to collaborate, please visit the Web site: https://case.edu/medicine/nutrition/case-center-proteomics-and-bioinformatics
Center for Psychoanalytic Child Development
Kimberly Bell, PhD, Director
The Center for Psychoanalytic Child Development was established in 2001 in memorial to John A. Hadden Jr., past President of the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Center for Research in Child Development and of the Hanna Perkins School. The mission of the center is to advance the science of psychoanalytic child development at the School of Medicine.
The Center offers medical students and residents who are interested in working with children the opportunity for observational learning in the Hanna Perkins school. In addition, didactic courses, case conferences, and supervision are available to deepen students’ understanding of the relationship between physical and psychological development in the first 5 years of life.
The Center for RNA Science and Therapeutics
Eckhard Jankowsky, PhD, Interim Director
The Center for RNA Science and Therapeutics is a free-standing academic unit in the basic sciences within the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. The RNA Center was established in the mid-nineties as a core entity in recognition of the strong cadre of research laboratories devoted to studying post-transcriptional mechanisms of gene expression focusing on various aspects of RNA Biology. The current mission of the RNA Center is to parlay the strengths of RNA Center scientists towards the development of unique therapeutic initiatives. The RNA Center is combining the usage of nanoparticle technology with RNA science to develop new classes of drugs, leading towards the amelioration of a variety of diseases. Current efforts are focused on metabolic disorders, cancer immunotherapies, immunity, and protein replacement. In addition, we are developing new technologies that promise to improve diagnostics, allowing for earlier detection of a variety of human diseases, especially cancer.
The RNA Center contains one of the largest concentrations of RNA scientists in the nation. The faculty of the RNA Center cover nearly every aspect of RNA research. Current research in the Center focuses on several problems ranging from extremely basic questions such as the mechanism of RNA catalysis and how proteins interact with RNA to the roles of RNA processing in disease. Specific research interests include splicing and its regulation, RNA editing, tRNA maturation, mechanisms of translation regulation, RNA degradation, RNA trafficking, RNA interference and regulation of gene expression by microRNAs and non-coding RNAs.
Collectively, the RNA Center provides a valuable resource for collaborative efforts within the University and its affiliated institutions: the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, MetroHealth Medical Center, the Cleveland VA Medical Center, and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. In addition, the official journal of the RNA Society “RNA” was founded and continues to be housed in the RNA Center. The members of the RNA Center have an excellent funding record and the research performed is regularly published in highly visible journals such as Science, Nature, Molecular Cell, NSMB, Molecular Cell, etc.
Center for Science, Health and Society
Nathan A. Berger, MD, Director
Recognizing that the successful futures of Case Western Reserve University, the City of Cleveland, and Cuyahoga County are integrally related, the Center for Science, Health and Society (CSHS) was created in 2002 to focus the efforts of the University and the community in a significant new collaboration to impact the areas of health and healthcare delivery systems through community outreach, education, and health policy. The Center, based in the School of Medicine, with university-wide associations, is engaging the many strengths of the University and the community to improve the health of the community.
The Center has engaged the community at the level of the individual and the neighborhood, in public and private schools, at civic and faith-based organizations, and at the level of governmental agencies and community leadership to identify community problems, perceptions, assets, and resources; advise the community of faculty skills, assets and expertise; and, catalyze that community service based scholarship that benefits community interests and promotes mutual enhancement. The Center coordinates the Scientific Enrichment Opportunity outreach program that brings Cleveland high school students on to the medical school campus in the summer to work along with our distinguished faculty in their research labs, to introduce and stimulate the students and help prepare them to enter careers in the health career professions and biomedical workforce. The Center also coordinates the Mini Medical School Program presented every Spring and Fall to educate the community about the latest developments in healthcare, particularly those developed at CWRU. The overall goal of these programs is to educate and empower the community to become better consumers of healthcare and more informed and stronger advocates for healthcare policy and legislation in their own interests.
Center for the Study of Kidney Biology and Disease
John R. Sedor, MD, Director
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a growing public health problem in the United States. More than seventeen percent of US adults—more than 40 million Americans—have CKD. CKD generally progresses over time and can cause cardiovascular disease, anemia, bone disease, fluid overload, and eventually end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). Patients with ESKD need renal replacement therapy, either from dialysis or a kidney transplant, to live. The risk of death for patients receiving dialysis is nearly eight times higher than the non-ESRD population, leading to a 20% annual probability of death. Kidney disease disproportionately affects minorities and vulnerable populations. Kidney disease treatment is expensive and uniquely tied to federal expenditures through the Medicare entitlement program. The cost of care for ~ 550,000 ESKD patients is nearly $34 billion annually, exceeding the total NIH budget. Treating all health conditions of CKD and ESRD patients consumes nearly 25% of the Medicare’s budget.
The Center’s mission is to accelerate discovery and its translation for treatment and cure of kidney diseases in an interdisciplinary environment within the rich, research environment of the CWRU School of Medicine. The faculty is an accomplished and highly interactive group of investigators, based in the adult or pediatric Divisions of Nephrology in CWRU-affiliated hospitals (Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, Stokes VAMC, University Hospitals) as well as other clinical and basic science departments at the School of Medicine and Lerner Research Institute. Research interests of the faculty include digital pathology image analysis using machine learning tools, glomerular diseases, diabetic and other chronic kidney diseases, epithelial cell biology and ion transport, tubular physiology, genetic epidemiology, health services research, renal transplantation, health disparities research and clinical trials. Center faculty are members of the NIDDK-funded Kidney Precision Medicine Project and the APOLLO, NEPTUNE and CureGN consortia, all of which use “omics” tools to generate deep molecular phenotypes for discovery of new treatment targets and biomarkers. Research projects use cellular, molecular biological, computational, genetic, genomic and epidemiological methods to study in vitro and animal models and/or patients. Projects by Center investigators use health data, culled from electronic health records, and biological samples from patients with kidney diseases in order to generate novel hypotheses, which can then tested with animal models and cell lines. Training opportunities are available for undergraduate, pre- and post-doctoral students.
Cleveland Brain Health Initiative
Lin Mei, MD, PhD, Director
Eleni A. Markakis, PhD, Assistant Director for Scientific Programs
CBHI has the goal of engaging scientists and physician scientists across departments in each of our member institutions, to develop collaborative, impactful research that will lead to improved brain health for the residents of northeast Ohio and beyond. Our members include faculty from:
- Case Western Reserve University
- Cleveland Clinic
- Kent State University
- Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center
- MetroHealth Medical Center
- Northeast Ohio Medical University
- University Hospitals
CBHI has three mandates:
- Scientific Programs
Scientific Programs, like our study groups, are meant to foster novel collaborations leading to new knowledge that will impact upon lifespan brain health and the treatment of disease. Our Education mandate disseminates knowledge to undergraduate, graduate and medical students, and postdoctoral fellows representing the next generation of brain health physicians and scientists. Our Community Outreach efforts aim to make our scientific discoveries accessible and understandable to our community in such a way as to improve lifespan brain health for all.
Cleveland Digestive Diseases Research Core Center
Fabio Cominelli, MD, PhD, Director
The Cleveland Digestive Diseases Research Core Center (DDRCC) is a cross-institutional and multi-disciplinary program between Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and Cleveland Clinic Foundation. The center’s two major themes are digestive inflammation and metabolism, both of which represent well-established areas of collaborative investigation at CWRU.
The mission of the Cleveland DDRCC is to integrate, coordinate, and foster interdisciplinary research in digestive diseases by Center investigators with active, innovative, and high-quality research programs that relate to the common themes of the Center (i.e., Digestive Inflammation/Tumorigenesis and Liver Disease/Metabolism). In fulfilling this mission, our goal is to provide the capability for accomplishments in digestive diseases research greater than those that would be possible by individual research grant support alone, and to establish the Cleveland DDRCC as a national model for excellence and highly innovative research in digestive diseases.
The DDRCC aims to enhance the basic research capabilities of center investigators and develop and implement programs to support independent development of young investigators in digestive inflammation and metabolism research. The DDRCC also seeks to attract established investigators who are not currently involved in digestive disease research to apply their expertise to this important area and help translate basic research discoveries to the clinical arena.
The Cleveland DDRCC is focused on what produces the digestive diseases that affect millions of people in the U.S., such as inflammatory bowel disease, hepatitis, metabolic syndromes and obesity.
Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Center
Robert F. Kirsch, PhD, Executive Director
Robert Ruff, MD, PhD, Medical Director
The Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) Center is a consortium of three nationally recognized institutions: Department of Veterans Affairs, MetroHealth Medical Center, and Case Western Reserve University. Through the support of these partners, the Cleveland FES Center is able to provide a continuum of advancement. Created in 1991 with a grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the FES Center currently has research funding at the federal, state and local levels and additional industry and foundation funding in excess of $17M in order to achieve its mission.
The Center focuses on the application of electrical currents to either generate or suppress activity in the nervous system. This technique is known as functional electrical stimulation (FES). FES can produce and control the movement of otherwise paralyzed limbs for standing and hand grasp, activate visceral bodily functions such as bladder control or respiration, create perceptions such as skin sensibility, arrest undesired activity such as pain or spasm, and facilitate natural recovery and accelerate motor relearning.
Founded to introduce FES into clinical practice, the Center provides innovative options for restoring neurological health and function by developing advanced technologies and integrating them into clinical care.
Institute for Transformative Molecular Medicine
Jonathan S. Stamler, MD, Director
The Institute for Transformative Molecular Medicine (ITMM), which operates under the combined aegis of Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals, is composed of physician-scientists and basic discovery researchers who work to acquire fundamental scientific knowledge within the field of molecular medicine. Founded in 2010, the ITMM provides physician-scientists with the opportunity for professional advancement based on their contributions to life sciences, protected from demanding clinical schedules or administrative responsibilities. The mission of the ITMM is to foster the unrestricted pursuit of new knowledge that can be cultivated as the basis for therapeutic innovation and to inspire new generations of physician-scientists.
The operation of the ITMM is based on a new model that unites academic medical centers, physician- and discovery-scientists and commercial partners to maximize the conversion of basic science discoveries into novel, high-value therapeutics. Thus, the ITMM facilitates connectivity between medical disciplines and the basic research community in order to catalyze fundamental discovery and its transformation into therapies that benefit humankind. Creativity and innovation are highly valued in the culture fostered by the ITMM. Expertise in interdisciplinary science is prioritized, including signal transduction, receptor biology, regenerative medicine, RNA biology and chemical biology, in the pursuit of cutting-edge advances that can impact human disease.
The Mt. Sinai Skills and Simulation Center
Andrea Bryner, BA, MSM, Administrative Director
The Mt. Sinai Skills and Simulations Center (MSSSC) was initially conceived in response to common concerns over the nationwide increased incidence of medical errors, the rising costs of healthcare, and the need for improved patient-caregiver communication. Since its founding in 2006, the MSSSC continues to work with an ever-expanding list of healthcare partners to become an integral resource for the education of healthcare students and professionals in the Northeastern Ohio region and throughout Ohio.
Simulation develops confident practitioners who can significantly contribute to the goal of improved patient outcomes. By providing a variety of simulation tools, such as life-like computerized manikins and standardized professionals performing within carefully crafted scenarios, we can replicate the complex environment of the clinical setting. Participation in these specially designed scenarios allows learners to practice the critical skills needed to provide safe, quality care to patients, including communication, technique development, decision making and data analysis. These models have allowed us to have ongoing research projects in education development and intervention and advanced our partnership for the development of new techniques and materials.
The MSSSC has all the tools available for simulation training, including Standardized patients – individuals trained to portray situations or conditions; Task trainers – devices used to teach individual techniques; High fidelity trainers – manikins with programming capabilities; Virtual reality – real-life interactive trainers for surgery, cardiology and other disciplines; and Hybrid combinations of the above.
During the past five years, the Center has provided educational opportunities and course for learners at all levels from high school students, medical, physician assistant, dental and nursing students at Case Western Reserve University and The Lerner College of Medicine, residents and fellows from training programs at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, The Cleveland Clinic and VA Medical Center, graduate education for practicing physicians and surgeons, nursing and other healthcare providers at all levels.
National Center for Regenerative Medicine
Stanton L. Gerson, MD, Director
Timothy A. Chan, MD, PhD, Co-Director
The National Center for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) is a platform to facilitate translational research, clinical application and commercialization of regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and stem cell therapeutics across a consortium of institutions. NCRM is driven by three nationally ranked, medical research powerhouses, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals. Through this network of researchers and clinicians, research discoveries are actively being translated into cell-based therapies for patient care.
NCRM is leading the way in Northeast Ohio in the following areas:
- Regenerative medicine and stem cell research
- Cellular manufacturing
- Clinical trials for cellular therapeutics
Global partnerships have been established with academic institutions and biotechnology companies to further expand research and discovery efforts.
Neural Engineering Center
Dominique M. Durand, PhD, Director
Kenneth Gustafson, PhD, Associate Director
The Neural Engineering Center (NEC) is a coordinated group of scientists and engineers dedicated to research and education in an area at the interface between neuroscience and engineering. They share the common goal of analyzing the function of the nervous system, developing methods to restore damaged neurological function, and creating artificial neuronal systems by integrating physical, chemical, mathematical, biological and engineering tools.
The center was started in 2001 and replaced the Applied Neural Control Laboratory (ANCL) started in 1972. The center offers breadth and depth in Neural Engineering research and education in a highly ranked biomedical engineering department and medical school. The center is located on the campus of Case Western Reserve University and its members collaborate with four major hospitals in the Cleveland area.
The center provides core facilities in tissue culture, microscopy and histology. The center facilities also include an electrode fabrication laboratory, surgical suite for acute and sterile surgery, staffed by two full-time animal technicians. The center also holds several laboratories in neural regeneration, neural interfacing, neural prosthetics, materials for neural interfacing computer modeling and in-vitro electrophysiology. The students, research associates, and faculty can carry out research at many levels starting from cellular and molecular to animal experimentation and into the clinic. Many other facilities such as electronic design, microfabrication, and rapid prototyping are also available in collaboration with other closely related centers, the Functional Stimulation Center (FES) and the Advanced Platform development Laboratory (APT). Center members work closely with the partner hospitals and the technology transfer office of CWRU for translation and clinical implementation of solutions restore neural function such as development of electrodes for communication with the nervous system, regenerating neural tissue, restoring function in paralyzed patients, preventing seizures, motor disorders, incontinence aspiration or obstructive sleep apnea.
The center provides financial support for students through research and training grants. The graduates of this program have made significant contributions to the development and the growth of this fast-growing area of neural engineering in academic, industrial and federal institutions.
Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods
Erika S. Trapal, PhD, Director
The Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN) at Case Western Reserve University was established in 2009 with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Built upon the foundation of two previous centers that merged to become the PRCHN - the Center for Health Promotion Research and the Center for Adolescent Health - the PRCHN seeks to foster partnerships within Cleveland’s neighborhoods for developing, testing, and implementing research strategies to prevent and reduce the burden of chronic disease. The PRCHN, midway into its second 5-year cycle of CDC funding, is a highly responsive and collaborative community-based research center that partners with public health agencies, community organizations, neighborhood leaders and residents to address significant environmental and lifestyle issues strongly linked to chronic disease and influenced by the conditions, disparities and resources of the neighborhood itself. Its faculty and staff have also served as an active partner and leader in the transformative process occurring in Cleveland around the concepts of health equity, collective action, and the understanding of multiple determinants of health.
The PRCHN supports a comprehensive research agenda that centers around food access and community nutrition, tobacco prevention, and cessation, environments supporting healthy eating and active living, place-based health and health behavior surveillance, and community-clinical linkages and chronic disease management research. This includes core research project, Freshlink, that aims to increase nutritional food access (NFA) in low-income neighborhoods throughout Cleveland. A goal of the PRCHN is to build capacity for community-based research among University and community partners by offering formal training programs (i.e., PEER Program, PRCHN Student Internship Program) monthly seminars, workshops and webinars, and by providing technical assistance, evaluation services and subject matter expertise to its community partners.
The PRCHN partners include experienced community based researchers, heads of local boards of health, more than 50 community and health organizations, neighborhood leaders and residents, and Affiliated Faculty from five schools within the University (College of Arts and Sciences, the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, and the School of Dental Medicine), to support the mission of the Center. Representatives from these local agencies and organizations serve on the PRCHN’s Network of Community Advisors (NOCA), offering guidance to identify emerging issues, set research and programmatic priorities, and ensure that the community’s voice informs our work.
Skin Cancer Research Institute
Kevin D. Cooper, MD, Director
The Skin Cancer Research Institute engages the foremost experts in dermatology and oncology to work collaboratively across disciplines to identify new ways to treat and prevent skin cancers. The Skin Cancer Research Institute (SCRI) at Case Western Reserve University exists to discover causes of skin cancers, prevent skin cancers more effectively, and to develop new therapies for skin cancer treatment.
The Department of Dermatology is poised to create a research institute unique in scope on a national scale. Its efforts are validated by generous grant funding from the National Institutes of Health as well as through its continuous stream of groundbreaking discoveries over the past decade. What exists now within this rich infrastructure is an opportunity to transform discovery in skin cancer research. CWRU plans four new centers exclusively dedicated to the study of skin cancer, which will complement existing centers of excellence in the Department. The emerging centers will include a melanoma center, a basal/squamous cell carcinoma center, a photo medicine center, and an environmental agent center.
The Skin Cancer Research Institute has an opportunity to be unique in the nation in its capacity to bring new therapies "from lab to life" by aligning specialized skills and catalyzing new knowledge through these centers.
The Swetland Center for Environmental Health
Darcy Freedman, PhD, MPH, Director
The mission of the Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health is to study the complex interplay between the environment and health. The center places special emphasis on investigating the environmental determinants of health disparity and translating the findings into practices and programs that promote community and population health.
The environments in which we live, work and play have a great impact on our health. Environmental health embraces all the physical, psychosocial, and biological factors that affect health. Today, the Swetland Center continues Mary Ann Swetland's legacy, promoting awareness of the environment’s disparate impact on disadvantaged populations.
The strategic vision of the Swetland Center is:
- Promoting translational environmental health research
- Integrating environmental health science into medical education
- Engaging the community in environmental health sciences
The Visual Sciences Research Center
Irina Pikuleva, PhD, Director
The Visual Sciences Research Center (VSRC) was founded at Case Western Reserve University in 1996 and its mission is to promote the study of basic and clinical problems of the eye and visual system, expectantly leading to improvements in the prevention and treatment of major blinding disorders. The VSRC now comprises a multidisciplinary and comprehensive research program in vision and ophthalmology, with 30 members in different departments including Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Biomedical Engineering , Chemistry, Medicine, Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, Population and Quantitative Health Sciences (formerly Epidemiology & Biostatistics), Neurosciences, Pathology, and Pediatrics. VSRC scientists study basic and clinical aspects of the eye and focus on Retinal Degeneration, Aging and Diabetes, Biochemistry of Aging Lens, as well Glaucoma. Also, through multidisciplinary and comprehensive research involving both basic and clinical departments, the VSRC seeks to advance the visual sciences at the University and to promote its efforts to the scientific community.
The P30 grant supports four core modules in the Visual Sciences Research Center: Tissue Culture and Hybridoma, Molecular Biology and Genotyping, Histology Microscopy and Imaging, and Specialized Animal Resources. There is also an additional pilot module for Bioinformatics and Biostatistics.
Each module provides essential research support to the many Case Western Reserve University departments that comprise the VSRC, providing genotyping services, high quality images, microscopy training, image analysis, high quality parrafin or cryostat sections and slides, histological stains, cloning and construction of the purest strains of mice. The VSRC Core Modules are here to enhance the quality of research in the most accurate and economical manner.
The four primary areas of study in the Visual Science Research Center include:
- Histology, Microscopy and Imaging
- Molecular Biology and Genotyping
- Specialized Animal Resources
- Tissue Culture and Hybridoma
Tuberculosis Research Unit
W. Henry Boom, MD, Director
The Tuberculosis Research Unit (TBRU) at CWRU conducts multi-disciplinary research combining epidemiologic studies and clinical trials in TB endemic countries with modern microbiology, immunology, and genetics is essential to make progress in the fight against TB. The TBRU at CWRU continues to lead worldwide efforts conducting vital clinical studies for TB and addressing critical gaps in TB translational research. Our U.S. and international partners expand as our work in TB changes to meet global challenges. Our Coordinating Center continues to evolve beyond our TB research, supporting CWRU researchers from all disciplines as well as supporting operations of the Uganda-CWRU Research Collaboration.
Willard A. Bernbaum Cystic Fibrosis Research Center
Mitchell Drumm, PhD and Michael Konstan, MD, Co-Directors
Constance May, Administrative Assistant
The Cystic Fibrosis Research Center is a translational center composed of investigators from Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland. The Center’s research is supported annually by funds from the National Institutes of Health, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and other sources. The Center provides core facilities and services for investigators carrying out research related to cystic fibrosis, including a Clinical Studies core that provides clinical data for research studies and aids in IRB generation and study design, an Animal Models core that maintains the world's largest assortment of CF mouse models, a Bioanalyte core that measures a range of biomolecules (proteins, lipids, mRNA) from blood, tissues or cell culture, an Animal Imaging core that uses such technologies as MRI, PET and SECT to generate high resolution images of rodents, a Biostatistical core to carry out complex statistical analyses of CF-related studies, a Histology core that generates slide-mounted and stained sections of tissues from animal or human samples and a Cell Culture core that provides facilities and media for cultured cells. These cores facilitate translational, or "bench to bedside" projects that take very mechanistic, basic research on CF-related biochemistry and cell biology to in vivo studies in animal models and on to humans. Center members have access to all the cores as well as involvement in the weekly seminar series focused on CF or pediatric pulmonary research.