Cleveland Researcher Receives Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award

National Award Celebrates Landmark Discovery in Gut Flora and Cardiovascular Disease

News Release: Thursday, April 19, 2012

CLEVELAND - Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D., was recently honored with an inaugural Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award from an organization comprised of the nation's most acclaimed academic medical centers and other groups, in recognition of Dr. Hazen’s Nature article, “Gut flora dependent metabolism of dietary phosphatidylcholine contributes to cardiovascular disease.” The discovery promises to bring about new diagnostic tests and therapeutic approaches for the detection and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Hazen, a professor of molecular medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and vice chair of translational research at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, and his research team discovered a link between gut flora – an individual's intestinal microbes – and heart disease risk. Preliminary studies have shown gut flora impacts development of heart disease in both animal models and in humans.

The Clinical Research Forum, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing national leadership in clinical research, is comprised of the nation's most acclaimed academic medical centers, professional organizations and industry, whose goal is to sustain and expand a cadre of talented, well-trained clinical investigators at all stages of career development, and support nurturing environments and comprehensive research capabilities within academic institutions. The mission of the organization is to provide leadership to the national clinical and translational research enterprise and promote understanding and support for clinical research and its impact on health and healthcare.

Dr. Hazen and the other award-winning researchers were honored recently during the Clinical Research Forum’s annual meeting and awards dinner in Washington, D.C.

"These studies are particularly exciting," said Dr. Hazen, “because they show an entirely new path for generating new classes of therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of heart disease."

Dr. Hazen’s next step in the research will test the theory that gut flora metabolism is linked to cardiovascular disease. This research seeks to identify gut flora-generated by-products in the blood that contribute to development of heart disease and serve as diagnostic markers of cardiac risk.

About Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation's top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School's innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes--research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism--to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine

in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Eleven Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the school.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 800 M.D. and M.D./Ph.D. students and ranks in the top 20 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report "Guide to Graduate Education."

The School of Medicine's primary affiliate is University Hospitals Case Medical Center and is additionally affiliated with MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002.