The Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation (MMRF) is a subsidiary of Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., and operates as the research arm of Hennepin County Medical Center, an acute care research and teaching hospital in Minneapolis. MMRF is one of the largest nonprofit medical research organizations in Minnesota and consistently ranks in the top ten percent of all institutions receiving research funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more about our research programs.
MMRF 2016 Year in Review
Researchers at the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation (MMRF) were busy advancing medicine through scientific innovation in 2016. Our researchers were actively investigating the causes of potential treatments for a wide-range of diseases in our four areas of focus: Acute Care/Trauma, Addiction, Infectious Disease (HIV/AIDS) and Health Services. Here are just some of the highlights in research at MMRF from the past year.
New SRTR Website
Living Donor Registry
Community Health Collaboration
Brain Research at the Fair
Advancing Heart Health
IRB Turns 50!
MMRF Website Redesign
Grants / Awards / Recognitions
NEW WEBSITE MAKES IT EASIER TO SEARCH FOR AND ASSESS TRANSPLANT PROGRAMS
A redesigned Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) website is making it easier for patients and providers to access information about organ transplants in the United States. The new site launched in December 2016 improves the way users can search for and evaluate national transplant programs, helping them understand, interpret and use the data effectively so they can make better-informed decisions about transplantation.
The site supports SRTR’s new 5-Tiered Outcome Assessment system, which allows users to sort national transplant programs by a 5-tiered assessment of first-year transplant outcomes. Search results are sorted by the 5-tiered outcome assessment by default; however, users may choose to sort transplant hospitals by other measures, including distance from a particular ZIP Code, the number of transplants performed in a recent year or the transplant rate.
Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation’s (MMRF) Chronic Disease Research Group division operates SRTR under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. SRTR is responsible for providing statistical and other analytic support to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) for purposes that include the formulation and evaluation of organ allocation and other OPTN policies.
Click MORE to visit the new SRTR website.
SRTR TO LAUNCH LIVING DONORS REGISTRY
The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR), under contract with the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is launching a pilot project with 14 transplant programs that will establish a registry of living donors to follow their long-term health outcomes after living donation.
A living donor is a living person who donates an organ, such as a kidney or a segment of the lung, liver, pancreas or intestine, for transplantation.
The pilot project will allow SRTR to explore the logistics of enrolling potential living donors and test direct follow-up with registered participants without relying on data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). Once the pilot phase is complete by the end of 2018, the registry can be incrementally expanded to include most, if not all, potential living donors evaluated at transplant programs in the United States.
MMRF’s Chronic Disease Research Group division operates SRTR under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. SRTR is responsible for providing statistical and other analytic support to the OPTN for purposes that include the formulation and evaluation of organ allocation and other OPTN policies.
Click MORE to read the press release about the Living Donors Registry.
HENNEPIN HEALTH MODEL IMPROVES HEALTH, SAVES MONEY
Hennepin Health, Hennepin County’s safety-net accountable care organization (ACO), brings health care and social services together to serve the expanded community of Medicaid beneficiaries.
MMRF investigator Kate Diaz Vickery, MD, MSc, and her team of Hennepin Health and Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) partners are studying the impact of this innovative integrated model of payment and care delivery. Early outcomes suggest that Hennepin Health is helping to improve patients’ health, while reducing the number of Emergency Room visits and saving the government money.
HCMC, Hennepin County Human Services and Public Health Department, NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center and Metropolitan Health Plan collaborated to create Hennepin Health in 2011. They began enrolling patients in January 2012. The pilot program focuses on about 10,000 people who became eligible for Medicaid when the state expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most pilot program participants are men who have faced significant physical, behavior and social challenges.
Hennepin Health has no set end date. It offers lessons for other local governments and public hospitals searching for alternative approaches to serving Medicaid populations and other communities with high social services needs, while wisely using public money.
Click MORE to visit Hennepin Health’s website.
BRAIN INJURY RESEARCH AT THE STATE FAIR
New to the Minnesota State Fair in 2016, along with candied bacon donut sliders and selfie spots, was the opportunity for fair goers to participate in leading-edge brain injury research conducted by MMRF and HCMC.
The Minnesota Healthy Brain Initiative study, led by MMRF investigator and neurosurgeon Uzma Samadani, MD, PhD, FACS, FAANS, is exploring ways to improve classification of brain injury to make it easier to identify people who do not recover from their injuries.
After completing a questionnaire, research subjects watched a music video or short film clip while a camera measured their eye movements. The sophisticated eye-tracking technology used in the study identifies patterns associated with brain injury or other abnormalities and does not need a baseline for comparison.
The Minnesota Healthy Brain Initiative is also studying the impact of alcohol on brain function via eye tracking.
Dr. Samadani is the Rockswold Kaplan Endowed Chair for TBI Research at MMRF/HCMC and an associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota.
Click MORE to learn more about Dr. Samadani and brain injury research on the HCMC campus.
ADVANCING HEART HEALTH
Cardiac biomarkers, proteins released by diseased heart tissue, are key to determining if a person is having a heart attack. They also help doctors decide the course of treatment to take. Fred Apple, PhD, and his team from the MMRF/HCMC Cardiac Biomarkers Trial Laboratory (CBTL) carry out clinical studies, trails and analytical evaluations on cardiac biomarkers. Here are a few of the highlights from CBTL in 2016.
- CBTL won the Division Award for Excellence in Research at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) conference in Philadelphia, PA, where they also presented their poster Measurable and Undetectable Cardiac Troponin Concentrations in Men and Women Using High-Sensitivity Assays with Sex-Specific 99th Percentiles.
- The American Heart Association (AHA) also accepted CBTL’s abstract to present at the AHA conference in New Orleans, LA.
- The CBTL group participated in the “Driven to Discover” research building at the Minnesota State Fair for the second year. There they collected blood from fair goers as part of establishing a reference range for high sensitivity cardiac troponin.
Click MORE to learn more about cardiac biomarkers research at MMRF.
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD TURNS 50!
For half a century, an Institutional Review Board (IRB) has been reviewing, approving and monitoring research involving human subjects at MMRF and HCMC. In July 2016, the IRB commemorated its 50th Anniversary.
The IRB at MMRF/HCMC was called the Research Advisory Committee when it began here in 1966. In 1987 it was renamed the Human Subjects Research Committee (HSRC).
IRBs are committees charged by the federal government with protecting the rights and welfare of human subjects in research. No human subjects research on the HCMC campus or by its faculty may proceed without IRB approval.
The committee, made up of hospital and community representatives, scientists and non-scientists, reviews research proposals, considers the risks and benefits to human subjects, and ensures that research subjects provide voluntary and informed consent. Once a research study is approved, the committee monitors its progress and addresses any problems that human subjects may encounter.
Click MORE to view a timeline about the history of human subjects research and the IRB on the HCMC campus.
The Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation (MMRF) launched its new website in January 2016 with an updated look and easy-to-navigate format. Here, visitors will find the latest news and information about the groundbreaking researching conducted at MMRF. The site’s responsive design adapts for viewing on desktops, tablets and other mobile devices.
One of its highlights is the Office of Research Services section. In this portal, investigators can access the tools and resources they need to facilitate their research projects, from forms and policies, to external funding opportunities, to online training videos and more.
Click MORE to explore what’s new on mmrf.org.
GRANTS / AWARDS / RECOGNITION
- David Darrow, MD, MPH, and Uzma Samadani, MD, PhD, (co-investigators) received a Minnesota Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant.
- Chard Richardson, MD, and Dr. Samadani (co-investigators) received a Minnesota Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant.
- Sarah Rockswold, MD, and Resident Dr. Molly Hubbard received a Minnesota Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Grant.
- Jason Baker, MD, MS, is midway through his Clinical Career Development Program project award funding. He has used the funds to build his HIV/AIDS research lab, hiring additional staff and leveraging the preliminary data generated with the award to secure two R01 NIH awards.
- Nicholas Vogenthaler, MD, MPH, and the Positive Care Center at Hennepin applied to Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) for additional funding to support capacity in their department. Not only did they secure the grant, but they also scored 100% in the peer review process!
- Gavin Bart, MD, PhD, was welcomed into the fold of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) Clinical Trials Network, “an enterprise in which National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), treatment researchers, and community-based service providers work toward new treatment options in community-level clinical practice.” Dr. Bart is a Principal Investigator in the Northstar Node.
Click MORE for additional MMRF news from the past year.
Posted on November 18, 2016
BRINK study finds patients with moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD) have increased risk for dementia
Approximately 3 million patients live with this level of CKD in the United States
Patients with moderate chronic kidney disease (CKD), who have lost more than half of their kidney function score worse on tests of memory and decision-making skills than those without CKD, according to the BRain IN Kidney disease (BRINK) study.
Approximately 3 million people live with moderate CKD in the United States, more often affecting the elderly. In patients with CKD their kidneys are no longer functioning at full capacity, but they don’t yet need dialysis.
“What I and others have found is that as kidney function declines, so does brain function,” Dr. Anne Murray, Principal Investigator of the BRINK study said. Patients with CKD have a 50-60 percent increased risk of dementia. (Read the full story about the BRINK study)
New policy on the dissemination of NIH-funded clinical trial information goes into effect January 18, 2017
Early next year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will expand its registration requirement to all clinical trials funded in whole or in part by the NIH. NIH funded Principal Investigators will now be expected to ensure that all trials are registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, and that the studies’ summary results information is submitted to site in a timely manner.
Grants.gov is updating its process to make it easier for applicants to apply for federal grants. In December 2017, Grants.gov will phase out the Legacy Application Package, and applicants will instead apply through Grants.gov Workspace.
Watch the video to learn about our history