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Department of Medicine

Research + Clinical Trials

The Department of Medicine is home to a wide variety of clinical and basic research programs. Many members of our department conduct their research throughout the divisions or within the Molecular Cardiology Research Institute, the Molecular Oncology Research Institute and the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies. Below, learn more about our research projects that are currently underway. 

Research from the Divisions

Cardiology
Cardiology continues to bring in major funding from industry groups and the NIH. Major research projects include:

  • Improving the quality of inpatient and outpatient care and satisfaction through the establishment of the Specialized Primary and Networked Care in Heart Failure project.
  • Participation in the NHLBI Heart Failure Network, which encompasses a select group of sites focused on the development and execution of trials for therapeutic interventions in heart failure. 
  • In 2012, there were 25 clinical trials either active or in the planning stage in the Division of Cardiology.

Learn more about Cardiology research at Tufts Medical Center.

Clinical Decision Making, Informatics and Telemedicine
The Division focuses its research on clinical decision analysis, cost-effectiveness and health policy analysis. Current projects include:

  • Information content of the medical history, physical examination and diagnostic tests
  • Determining the optimal diagnostic tests or test sequence
  • Selection of optimal therapies
  • Evaluation of new medical technologies

Learn more about our Clinical Decision Making research.

Clinical Nutrition
Most of the members of the Division of Nutrition conduct research at the HNRCA, which is one of six USDA supported nutritional research centers. At the HNRCA:

  • Dr. Mason directs the Vitamins and Carcinogenesis Lab
  • Dr. Rosenberg directs the Neuroscience and Aging Lab
  • Dr. Saltzman directs the Metabolic Research Unit and is a member of the Energy Metabolism Lab
  • Dr. Dwyer and Dr. Russell also hold high positions in the Dietary Supplements Office at the NIH

Learn more about Clinical Nutrition at Tufts Medical Center.

Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Dedication to research is a major focus of the Division of Endocrinology. Current research projects are investigating: 

  • The relationship between vitamin D and patients at risk for diabetes
  • A new syndrome of paraganglioma, somatostatinoma and polycythemia associated with mutations in HIF-2a
  • Skeletal muscle mass in aging individuals
  • Fasting glucose and insulin levels in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes mellitus

Learn more about Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism research at Tufts Medical Center.

Gastroenterology
The Division of Gastroenterology/Hepatology combines basic and clinical research to make advances across a number of gastroenterology subspecialties. Our researchers have receives funding primarily from NIH and the pharmaceutical industry. Current research projects include the investigation of:

  • Endoscopic ablation therapies
  • Biomarkers for eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Colorectal cancer risk
  • Helminthes interaction in preventing IBD and reversing ongoing disease

Learn more about Gastroenterology research.

Geographic Medicine and Infectious Disease
Faculty conduct state-of-the-art research in bacterial, HIV, other viral and parasitic diseases span basic science, clinical research and translational outcomes across the globe. Major research initiatives include:

  • Clinical AIDS research and HIV pathogenesis
  • Hospital and transplant related infections
  • Microbial pathogenesis and host response
  • Global health research
  • Lyme disease and babesiosis
  • Cytosporidosis

Learn more about the research being conducted by our Geographic Medicine and Infectious Disease faculty.

Hematology/Oncology
The Division's research spans the spectrum from basic, translational and patient oriented to therapeutic and interventional clinical trials in cancer and blood diseases. Clinical research often takes the form of cooperative group trials, industry-sponsored trials and investigator-initiated trials. Much of the basic and translational cancer research is done within the Molecular Oncology Research Institute. Major clinical trials and research currently happening within the Division include studies focused on:

  • Locally advanced breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer
  • AML and MDS
  • Solid tumors
  • Cancer fatigue
  • Stem cell transplants
  • Immune function and tumor behavior in people with hematologic malignancies, bone marrow disorders and immunologic diseases

Learn about our cancer research programs and clinical trials.

Internal Medicine and Adult Primary Care
Internal Medicine is an important source of patients for clinical research trials at Tufts Medical Center. With more than 34,000 patients in the practice and an electronic medical record which enables researchers to identify patients with specific diagnoses, the Division is able to work collaboratively with research projects across the institution.

Learn about Primary Care at Tufts Medical Center.

Nephrology
The Division of Nephrology is focused on solving clinical problems. Extensive research programs within the Division of Nephrology include:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Acute kidney injury
  • Assessment of kidney function
  • Aging and nutrition
  • Dialysis and transplantation
  • PKD
  • Hypertension

Learn about Nephrology research at Tufts Medical Center.

Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Dr. Nicholas Hill has expanded the clinical research activities in the Division since he became the Chief in 2002. Current clinical trials and research in the Division include studies on:

  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia
  • Treatment efficacy for COPD
  • Influence of sleep deprivation on patient outcomes

Learn about Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine research.

Rheumatology
The Division of Rheumatology focuses its research programs on a number of rheumatic diseases and issues including:

  • Structural effects of intra-articular corticosteroids on knee osteoarthritis progression
  • Disease-modifying investigational treatments of osteoarthritis
  • Use of complementary and alternative medicine (Tai Chi) for chronic rheumatic diseases
  • Effect of antibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Active rheumatoid arthritis

Learn more about Rheumatology and Arthritis research at Tufts Medical Center

Research from the Institutes

The three major research institutes within Tufts Medical Center are nationally known for their basic and clinical research activities:

Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies (ICRHPS)
ICRHPS is a hospital-wide enterprise that includes members of many clinical departments of Tufts Medical Center. The Institute's research involves the study of clinical features of disease, the optimal use of treatments and evidence, measurement of health care intervention outcomes and the influence of socioeconomic, organizational and policy favors on healthcare. As a result of this research, Tufts Medical Center has had the world's highest average ISI citation index in health care research and has been most often ranked first of any institution.

2012 Highlights:

  • Receipt of over $6.3 million in new funding for 31 new research projects
  • 166 publications authored by faculty
  • Faculty participation in numerous national panels

Learn more about the ICRHPS

Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI)
The MCRI focuses on the study of molecular mechanisms of human cardiovascular disease, translation of bench findings to new bedside strategies for diagnosis and therapy and the mentoring of MD and PhD trainees committed to a career in academic cardiovascular research. Since its inception in 1997, the Institute has invested in three principle areas: recruitment of scientists of the highest quality, establishment and growth of cardiovascular research programs and creation of state-of-the-art Core facilities.

2012 Highlights:

  • Recruitment of new, innovative scientists
  • Richard Karas, MD, PhD awarded the Tufts University School of Medicine Distinguished Faculty Award
  • Iris Jaffe, MD, PhD and team published an important paper in Nature Medicine

Learn more about MCRI

Molecular Oncology Research Institute (MORI)
The mission of MORI is to explore the molecular mechanisms of neoplastic transformation and to promote the translation of basic research findings into the clinic. MORI scientists carry out research that spans the spectrum; from gene discover to target validation for drug development.

2012 Highlights:

  • Institute investigators gave more than 40 invited lectures
  • 41 publications authored by MORI faculty
  • Received 16 new research awards totaling $4.8 million
Learn more about MORI

Our doctors are conducting research that affects clinical decisions across the globe.

Learn more