June 3, 2010

Societies honor faculty, trainees

Björn Knollmann, MD, PhD

Societies honor faculty, trainees

Several Vanderbilt University Medical Center physicians and trainees were recognized at the 2010 joint meeting of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the Association of American Physicians (AAP).

Bjorn Knollmann, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Medicine and Pharmacology, was elected into the ASCI.

Bjorn Knollmann, M.D., Ph.D.

Bjorn Knollmann, M.D., Ph.D.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by peers at the highest national level,” Knollmann said.

“At the meeting it was exciting to meet previously inducted members who are now leaders in American medicine.”

Knollmann's research is focused on studying the biology of cardiac arrhythmias and developing effective drug therapies.

“The ultimate goal is to develop therapy that can be used with heart failure patients,” Knollmann said.

The theme of the meeting was Cell Biology, Signaling, and Human Disease.

Vanderbilt Medical Scientist Training Program students Josh Smith and Indriati Hood received the Stanley J. Korsmeyer Young Investigator Award, presented by the AAP for an Outstanding Poster Session Presentation.

Smith's research is focused on mechanistic insights into colorectal cancer signaling pathways and translation of these basic findings to the patient.

He presented a poster entitled, “SMAD4 suppresses Wnt signaling through down-regulation of b-catenin.”

“We were surprised and pleased that our group was selected. As surgeon-scientists presenting to this prestigious group, we received confirmation regarding the potential wide-ranging impact of our findings,” Smith said.

Hood presented, “An innate immune-enhancing therapeutic for the treatment of Acinetobacter baumannii pneumonia.”

“Winning an award at this meeting, one in which the research interests of the attendees are very broad, provided some degree of affirmation that the research questions I am pursuing are of broad medical and scientific importance,” said Hood.

The ASCI was founded in 1908 and has more than 2,800 physician-scientist members. At the time of induction, members must be 45 years of age or younger and are chosen based on their significant accomplishments in biomedical research.

The AAP was founded in 1885 by seven physicians and now is composed of about 1,200 active members and 550 emeritus and honorary members from across the world. Members support the pursuit of medical knowledge and advancement through experimentation and discovery of basic and clinical science.