Highlighted Research

The Emory Department of Medicine is proud to boast a strong research program. Please review the information below for highlights of the research Emory Department of Medicine faculty are involved in.

Research Program Highlights  

Regenerative Engineering and Medicine (REM)

The Regenerative  Engineering and Medicine Research Center research center is a joint collaboration between Emory University and Georgia Tech. REM is specifically focused on endogenous repair or how the body can harness its own potential to heal or regenerate. Bone, muscle, nerves, heart, blood vessels, and other tissues each have a baseline ability to regenerate. REM investigators ask what can be done when trauma or disease in humans overwhelms the ability of tissues or organs to regenerate on their own.  

Some of the Emory regenerative engineering and medicine programs are:

  • Cell delivery
  • Cardiac regeneration
  • Critical limb ischemia
  • Cell reprogramming
  • Cell therapy

Learn more about Regenerative Medicine at Emory:

Enhancing Quality of Provider Practices for older adults in the ED (EQUiPPED)

EQUiPPED is a quality improvement program focused on medication safety for older adults discharged from the Emergency Department. EQUIPPED was developed by an interdisciplinary team comprised of ED physicians, geriatricians, gerontologists, clinical pharmacists and quality improvement nurses in the VA. View website

Learn more about EQUiPPED:

Gut Motility Lab

Emory gastroenterologists Drs. Shanthi Srinivasan and Jennifer Christie (Division of Digestive Diseases) have an NIH R01 grant to study the association of fecal metabolites with neuronal survival/impairment and their relationship to gastrointestinal motility disorders. Their gastroenterology-motility lab studies the mechanism of enteric neuronal damage in mice with high-fat diet intakes. Read more

Pulmonary hypertension studies at the Atlanta VA Medical Center

A team of investigators at the Atlanta VA Medical Center led by Mike Hart, MD and Roy Sutliff, PhD (Emory Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine) is researching multi-dimensional strategies to address pulmonary hypertension (PH), or high blood pressure in the lungs. They aim to better define the underlying causes of this devastating lung disease in the hope that these discoveries will lead to better and more effective therapies. Read more

Metabolomics

Dean P. Jones, PhD is a professor of medicine in the Emory University Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. His central research focus is on redox mechanisms of oxidative stress. He currently directs the Emory Clinical Biomarkers Laboratory, which is focused on oxidative stress biomarkers and applications of 1H-NMR spectroscopy and Fourier-transform mass spectrometry for high-throughput clinical metabolomic analyses of nutritional and environmental factors in human health and disease. Read full article 

Learn more about Metabolomics research at Emory:

Using DNA to "decode" lupus

A team of Emory scientists led by researcher Ignacio Sanz, MD—Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, director of the Lowance Center for Human Immunology, and director of the Department of Medicine’s Division of Rheumatology—has been exploring several questions about lupus. Where do the cells that produce the self-reactive antibodies come from? And are they all the same? Read full article

Microbiome

Drs. Frank Anania and Shanthi Srinivasan teamed up with other investigators at Emory and the University of Michigan to study the relationship between a “Western” (i.e. high-fat) diet, intestinal bacterial flora (i.e. microbiota), and NAFLD. They hypothesized that a diet high in fat, sugar, and cholesterol causes an imbalance in natural intestinal microbiota. This imbalance—called dysbiosis—leads to local inflammation and altered gut permeability. They recently extended these findings by showing that feeding a high-fat diet to mice lacking a protein important to intestinal epithelial permeability led to features in the liver also seen in NASH. The changes in liver histology were reversed by oral administration of antibiotics. These findings confirmed the link between a high-fat diet, intestinal microbiota and permeability, and NAFLD. Read full article.

Urea Transporters

Emory Division of Renal Medicine (Nephrology) Director Jeff Sands, MD investigates mechanisms for concentrating urine in the inner medulla of the kidney. Current Emory research projects focus on defining the molecular physiology of urea transporters, since urea transport is a key component in the urine-concentrating mechanism. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop strategies to improve kidney function in patients with nephrogenic diabetes insipidus, a disease that causes frequent urination. These strategies could involve repurposing existing medications to improve patients’ urine-concentrating ability. Continue reading on the Emory Daily Pulse blog.

Zika Virus Vaccine Study

Emory's Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU) received a new contract from NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases entitled “A prospective natural history study of U.S. patients with a history of Zika virus infection.” Dr. Mark Mulligan serves as the principal investigator for this study. Learn more about the VTEU on their website.

Immunology

Abnormal immune responses are fundamental aspects of a wide spectrum of human diseases including multiple allergic and autoimmune conditions as well as cardiovascular, bone and malignant diseases. Therapeutic manipulation of immune responses is becoming a frequent part of today’s disease treatments.  A number of multidisciplinary groups in the Lowance Center for Human Immunology, the Fecal Transplant Center, the Emory Transplant Center, the Influenza Pathogenesis & Immunology Research Center and the Malaria Host-Pathogen Interaction Center are conducting immunology-based basic, translational, and clinical research. These highly collaborative studies include investigators from Emory School of Medicine, Yerkes Primate Center, Emory Healthcare, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Grady Health System, the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Georgia Institute of Technology with critical infrastructure provided by the Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute (ACTSI). 

HIV/AIDS

The HIV/AIDS research program strives to improve treatment for HIV infection, develop approaches to possibly cure HIV, test methods to prevent HIV infection and to develop an effective HIV vaccine. The research also includes improving the effectiveness of currently available therapies through decreasing treatment disparities among populations and through increasing retention of infected patients in care. Much of the research is done through collaborations with the Rollins School of Public Health, the Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR), the Emory Vaccine Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the Grady Health System, the Veterans Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the countries of Georgia, Kenya, Rwanda, Thailand, and Zambia. Clinical trials for treatment, prevention and vaccine testing are primarily coordinated through the Emory-CDC HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (CTU).

Learn more: Emory Center for AIDS Research, Emory Vaccine Center, Emory-CDC HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (CTU), and Rwanda/Zambia HIV Research Group (RZHRG).