Clinical Research

Rodica Pop-Busui, MD, PhD

“This year has showcased the many strengths of the Department of Internal Medicine and the immense value of our missions of research, education and patient care. Through our creativity, innovation, dedication, and teamwork, we were able to mobilize and provide vital care on the frontlines while continuing to pursue new answers and solutions that will make a difference for many in the future.” - Rodica Pop-Busui, MD, PhDLearn more about Dr. Pop-Busui.

COVID and Post-COVID-Related Clinical Research and Care

From the beginning, many of our faculty became engaged in COVID-19-related research, whether to unveil distinct mechanisms for complications, to develop and validate the best therapeutic strategies for the acute care to prevent severe forms, to understand the impact of social determinants of health, to pioneer new drugs or to participate in the new vaccine trials.

Michigan Medicine COVID-19 Cohort

The Michigan Medicine COVID-19 Cohort (M2C2) was established to examine and understand the impact of the acute inflammatory and immune pathways triggered by COVID-19. M2C2 is a funded and ongoing multidisciplinary cohort which has currently enrolled more than 1,500 adult patients with severe COVID-19 who had previously been admitted at University of Michigan Health. The purpose of M2C2 is to define the in-hospital course of these patients and understand the role of inflammation as a determinant of organ injury and outcomes in COVID-19.

Clinical & Health Services Research Connection

Internal Medicine has a sizable and accomplished history in health services research. Researchers from our department make up the largest group within U-M’s Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation (IHPI). Because our health services research footprint is so vast, we have the perfect opportunity to stimulate the development of clinical research projects that address pressing topics already being investigated by our IHPI colleagues, from healthy aging to the opioid epidemic. As our clinical trialists identify effective interventions, our outcomes researchers can examine them in clinical practice. And if an intervention falls short in practice, our trialists can compare alternatives. With our health services and clinical researchers working together, we can make quicker advancements to improve patient care.

The Clinical Trials Academy, offered jointly by the Department of Internal Medicine and the Medical School, is a hands-on training program in clinical research and clinical trial design. Learn more.

The Clinical Research Spotlight shines a light on faculty members who are advancing clinical research here at Michigan Medicine and around the globe. Learn more.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, Michigan Medicine and five other U.S. research institutions launch the first-ever multicenter network to study diabetic foot ulcers. Learn more.

Michigan Medicine launch two new clinics aimed at treating and studying COVID-19's long-term outcomes in vulnerable adult and pediatric populations. Read more.

The Michigan Medicine/Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) Joint Institute for Translational and Clinical Research funded 10 projects for 2021, 5 of which were co-led by Department of Internal Medicine researchers. Learn more.

Older Adults with Rheumatoid Arthritis Still Undermedicated, Despite Aggressive Guidelines

Jiha Lee, MD, MHS and team find that while prescription rates for disease-modifying drugs have improved, there is more work to be done to ensure older adults are on optimized treatment. Read more.

High Blood Sugar and suPAR Levels Independently Worsen COVID-19 Outcomes

Salim Hayek, MD; Matthias Kretzler, MD; Rodica Pop-Busui, MD, PhD; and team investigate the role of inflammatory biomarkers in hospitalized COVID patients and uncover risk factors for worse health outcomes in those with diabetes. Read more.

Half of Older Adults Now Die with a Dementia Diagnosis

Julie Bynum, MD, MPH finds that nearly half of all older adults now die with a diagnosis of dementia listed on their medical record, up 36% from two decades ago. Read more.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities Exist in Prescribing Rifaximin for Patients with Hepatic Encephalopathy

Elliot Tapper, MD; Neehar Parikh, MD, MS; and team find that Black Americans experience significant health inequities when receiving treatment for this cirrhosis-related disorder. Read more.

Medicaid Health Plan Community Health Workers Have Positive Impact on Care

Michele Heisler, MD, MPA and team show that emergency care and costs went down, while outpatient care went up, among low-income Detroit residents who connected with a community health worker. Read more.