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Thu, February 26, 2015

Joel Howell is co-author in a paper published in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, “The heartfelt music of Ludwig van Beethoven.”  The paper analyzes several of Beethoven's compositions for clues of a heart condition some have speculated he had.

“His music may have been both figuratively and physically heartfelt,” says co-author Joel Howell, M.D., Ph.D, a professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation. “When your heart beats irregularly from heart disease, it does so in some predictable patterns. We think we hear some of those same patterns in his music.”

Goldberger ZD, Whiting SM, Howell JD. The heartfelt music of Ludwig van Beethoven. Perspect Biol Med. 2014 Spring;57(2):285-94. doi: 10.1353/pbm.2014.0013.

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Thu, December 08, 2011

The Risk Evaluation and Education for Alzheimer's disease Study (REVEAL) is a series of clinical trials taking place at U-M's School of Public Health, along with other sites including Harvard University, Howard University, and the University of Pennsylvania. An audio interview with Dr. J. Scott Roberts can be found in the press release.

PIHCD Working Group

Thu, January 08, 2015, 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Jake Seagull will be speaking about prostate cancer shared decision making.

Jeff Kullgren was recently awarded a MICHR pilot grant for “Translating insights from behavioral economics and self-determination theory to promote sustained weight loss among obese employees.”

Joel Howell, MD, PhD


Joel D. Howell is a Professor at the University of Michigan in the departments of Internal Medicine (Medical School), Health Management and Policy (School of Public Health), and History (College of Literature, Science, and the Arts), as well as the Victor C. Vaughan Professor of the History of Medicine. He received his M.D. at the University of Chicago, and stayed at that institution for his internship and residency in internal medicine. At the University of Pennsylvania, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, and received his Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science.

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Funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

Funding Years: 2009-2015

PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT This study seeks to understand the barriers facing junior physician faculty researchers, and women in particular, in order to inform efforts to improve gender equity in academic medicine. Despite a dramatic increase in women's participation in the medical profession over the past four decades, women remain in the distinct minority in the senior positions of academic medicine. Some have dismissed these disparities as resulting from gender differences in preferences regarding the balance between work and other pursuits or between research and clinical activity. The proposed work focuses upon an extremely selective cohort of highly apt, research-oriented junior faculty members: physician-recipients of K08 and K23 mentored career development awards from the NIH. In so doing, it minimizes the impact of potential gender differences in the desire to pursue research and in access to monetary support, allowing for the impact of other challenges and barriers to be isolated. In a preliminary study, we discovered that female K08 and K23 awardees were significantly less likely to obtain a subsequent independent R01 grant than their male colleagues. In this application, we propose a mixed-methods and interdisciplinary study to illuminate why this disparity exists. Specifically, in order to identify the key elements of academic success and to investigate and promote gender equity among these highly motivated and accomplished physician-researchers, we propose a three-phase study. In the first phase, we will conduct a large-scale survey of the entire population of 1425 physicians receiving K08 and K23 Awards from the NIH in 2005-2008, in order to assess gender differences in access to critical resources, such as protected research time and mentoring. We will then proceed to conduct a qualitative analysis of interviews with 120 relevant stakeholders, including 60 former K08 and K23 recipients and their mentors. Finally, we will conduct a follow-up survey of the 1425 physicians receiving K08 and K23 Awards in 2005-2008 to determine which resources, individual, and institutional characteristics are associated with academic success, including publication, attainment of independent funding, satisfaction, promotion, and retention within academic medicine, as well as to identify which factors primarily mediate gender differences in these outcomes. In this way, this study will illuminate the key elements of academic success for men and for women, including revealing which elements are common and which are unique, allowing for the informed design of targeted interventions to improve gender equity in academic medicine. For more information, visit NIH Reporter

PI(s): Reshma Jagsi 

Funded by the National Institutes of Health

Funding Years: 2015-2020

Every year, one in 10 older people fall and sustain injury requiring medical care. Fall-related injury is the number one cause of accidental death in older Americans. However, fall injury is rarely considered as a outcome in controlled trials, which have traditionally focused on death and cardiovascular events. Until recently, we lacked methods of capturing fall-related injury in large healthcare databases. We will first use the Health and Retirement Study, a national study of older Americans, to develop a method of classifying severe fall injury in found in Medicare claims data across acute, ambulatory, and long-term care. Next, we will study how a national healthcare system, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), delivers aggressive hypertension care (AHC) and whether AHC results in net benefit or harm due to cardiovascular events and severe fall-related injury. Hypertension is the single most common chronic condition in older adults. Medication treatment prevents important cardiovascular events (strokes, myocardial infarctions and heart failure), however also contributes to risk of falls. We do not fully understand the net benefits and harms among our oldest patients in clinical practice, especially after age 75 - those most prone to severe fall-injury. Thus, we aim to study the net harms and benefits associated with AHC.

PI(s): Lillian Min

Co-I(s): Timothy Hofer, Kenneth Langa, Neil Burton Alexander, Andrzej Galecki, Eve Kerr, Hyungjin Myra Kim

Erica Sutton, PhD


Dr. Erica Sutton was a CBSSM Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2013-2015. She is an interdisciplinary social scientist engaged in social and behavioral science research that explores the health care experiences of individuals living with rare genetic conditions; the manner in which biotechnologies shape personal experience and social life; and the ethical implications of these technologies for individuals, public health, social policy, health care institutions, and communities.

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Thomas Valley, MD, MSc


Tom Valley is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan. He received his undergraduate degrees in history and chemistry from Emory University, and his medical degree from the University of Miami. He completed his internal medicine residency and chief residency at the University of Texas-Southwestern/Parkland Memorial Hospital.

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