Physicians Deliver Research Results at NYHQ Symposium

Five Research Projects Earn Excellence Awards, Norton Luger Lectureship Established

Flushing, NY, June 7, 2011 - The 240 medical residents and fellows at New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) have a unique educational opportunity that also benefits patients, the Queens community and the global medical knowledge base. Clinical research is an essential component of medicine, however, new physicians are often not exposed to it during training.

The Theresa and Eugene M. Lang Center for Research and Education, the research division of the hospital, has a program that develops the research skills of young physicians. Residents and Fellows are encouraged to conduct clinical research during their training with the support of the Lang Center. The results are then presented during "Residents and Fellows Day."

The 2011 symposium featured 60 research projects. The keynote address, "Bad Bugs and Me," covered antibiotic-resistant bacteria and was given by the Norton M. Luger, M.D., Visiting Lecturer, Robert A. Weinstein, M.D., the widely known and respected epidemiologist. In 2011, this lectureship was established to honor Dr. Luger, the first chairman of Medicine at the former Booth Memorial Medical Center (now, NYHQ).

"Our clinical research program is thriving, and as young physicians come to NYHQ for training many of them want to be involved in our research program for its level of quality and sophistication. We created this program because we recognize that an investment in early exposure to research techniques and principles better prepares physicians to become superb clinicians," said Phyllis August, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Lang Center.

"For example, research presented at this year's symposium highlighted new approaches to radiation therapy for cancer treatment, clinical documentation for patients with heart disorders, as well as advances in infectious disease," Dr. August added. "I'm confident that the energy and creativity shown by our young physicians in identifying topics for study will continue to expand the boundaries of medical knowledge."

During the symposium, the NYHQ Scientific Advisory Board recognized five of the presentations with "Awards in Excellence" based upon the soundness of research methodology, potential impact on patients and the quality of the presentation itself. Award winning oral, poster and case report presentations included:
Alarming Antimicrobial Resistance in Gram Negative Isolates from Long Term Care Facilities - Celestine Tchikounzi, D.O., fellow, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease
 Research identified that there are high levels of drug resistance in many bacteria commonly found in long-term care facilities. The bacteria are able to survive exposure to antibiotics, which poses threats to patients who are admitted to long-term care facilities.
Identification of CTX-M-β-Lactamases in Escherichia coli from the Community - Hemavarna Tiruvury, M.D., fellow, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease
 Research identified that the most prevalent antibiotic-resistant enzyme, CTX-M-15, in community-acquired e. coli (EC) is resistant to third generation antibiotics. This enzyme is responsible for resistance in β-Lactam antibiotics like penicillin. Additionally, carbapenems were the only type of antibiotics that would be therapeutically effective in patients with EC that possess the CTX-M-15 enzyme.
Clinician Documentation of Significant Electrocardiographic Findings in Adults Presenting to the Emergency Department with Dysrhythmias and/or Conduction Disorders- Nidhi Garg, M.D., resident, Department of Emergency Medicine
 Research identified that electrocardiographs are not as likely to be documented in patients younger than 65 years of age and when patients are admitted with a non-cardiac diagnosis.
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) Reduces Toxicity Compared to Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy (3D-CRT) and Achieves Dose Escalation Safely with ADCT Simulation in Clinical Thoracic Radiation - Weisi Yan, M.D., resident, Department of Radiation Oncology
 Research identified that intensity-modulated radiation therapy with the ability of four-dimensional CT imaging, which plans and executes radiation treatment to increase concentration on the tumor and decrease concentration near normal tissue, is significantly advantageous in the treatment of thoracic malignancies compared to 3D-CRT. The combination of 4-D imaging and concentrated therapy helps achieve dose escalation safely in patients receiving thoracic radiation and/or concurrent chemotherapy.
A Case Report of Neuromyelitis Optica in a Pediatric Patient: Distinguishing Neuromyelitis Optica from Multiple Sclerosis - J. Cooperman, M.D., resident, Department of Pediatrics
 Research identified that although Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) presents many clinical similarities to multiple sclerosis (MS) and was previously under the spectrum of MS, it is a distinct disorder. It is important to distinguish between these disorders since treatment strategies differ. Drugs that prevent activity of the immune system, specifically, the humoral immune response, have become the therapy of choice in preventing NMO relapse.

The Lang Research Center was made possible through an endowment by long-time NYHQ benefactors Eugene Lang and the late Theresa Lang. Today, the Center has more than 120 active clinical study protocols.

New York Hospital Queens is a member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and is an affiliate of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University.