Basic and Translational Research

Basic and Translational Research
J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD

J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD, Vice Chair for Basic and Translational Research, is the Giles G. Boles MD and Dorothy Mulkey MD Research Professor of Rheumatology and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Dermatology. Dr. Kahlenberg completed her undergraduate degree at Denison University, her MD, PhD, and internal medicine residency training at Case Western Reserve University, and her fellowship in rheumatology at Michigan Medicine. Learn more about Dr. Kahlenberg.

John Y. Kao, MD

John Y. Kao, MD, Associate Vice Chair for Basic and Translational Research, is a Professor of Internal Medicine and co-director of the NIH T32 Basic and Translational GI Research Program. Dr. Kao completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, his MD at the University of Southern California, his internal medicine residency at UC Davis, and a combined basic research and clinical gastroenterology fellowship at Michigan Medicine. Learn more about Dr. Kao.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, all of our research labs closed except for very essential activities. With new protocols in place, they are all back up and running. While these efforts have been successful at safely getting our teams back to their research, it has been a setback for many. On the other end of the spectrum, it also inspired many investigators to pursue new ideas to address COVID-19 and conduct research work in a shorter amount of time.

At Michigan Medicine, we have many researchers who are doing cutting-edge work in different areas who may not know about each other’s work. We would like to encourage more of these individuals to get team funding and work collectively on projects to promote more impactful research.

One avenue for researchers to interact and see what others are working on is the Department of Internal Medicine Annual Research Symposium. We held successful virtual symposiums in 2021 and 2022, with a record number of abstract submissions and thematic mini-symposia featuring researchers across divisions and research arenas.

We have also introduced a new thematic multi-speaker format research conference, Internal Medicine Research Rounds, which is held quarterly. This disease-based discovery science forum will allow us to populate ideas across divisions, increase interaction among investigators, and hopefully lead to new collaborations across basic science departments.