Division Research

Faculty in the Division of General Internal Medicine are engaged in a broad range of clinical and translational research activities, including: clinical epidemiology, outcomes, health services, population health, comparative effectiveness, disparities, quality of care, patient safety, predictive analytics, clinical informatics, and medical education research. Our projects span the inpatient, outpatient, post-acute care, and community settings with a focus on preventive medicine, chronic disease management, cancer prevention and early detection, and end of life care, among other topics.

Current Studies

Predicting Diabetes Risk Using Glucose Data

Dr. Michael Bowen

Principal Investigator: Michael Bowen, M.D., M.P.H.
Funding Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Objective: This K23 award will harness data in the EMR to detect patterns of abnormal random glucose that identify patients with suspected but undiagnosed diabetes/pre-diabetes, conduct a prospective diabetes/pre-diabetes screening study in those at high risk, and develop EMR-enabled decision support to flag and prompt definitive testing of those at high risk.


Optimizing Colorectal Cancer Screening Precision and Outcomes in Community-Based Populations: Parkland-UTSW PROSPR Center

Dr. Ethan Halm

Principal Investigators:MPIs: Celette Skinner, Ph.D. and Ethan Halm, M.D., M.P.H.
Funding Source: National Cancer Institute
Objective:The Parkland-UT Southwestern PROSPR Center is part of a 4 health system, NCI-funded U01 colorectal cancer (CRC) screening research consortium. Our site is following a prospective cohort of 70,000 adults in our safety net health system for processes and outcomes of CRC screening over 10 years. The U01 will assess: harms, benefits, and accuracy of screening, variation and outcome of surveillance, and the multilevel factors influencing underuse and overuse of CRC screening.
Study website: PROSPR
This five-year, $6.3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute examines the processes and outcomes of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in an EMR-enabled, population-based safety net health system, and also includes: 1) a comparative effectiveness trial of two system-based CRC screening outreach programs, 2) study of a personalized, clinic-based in-reach programs; 3) examination of the impact of organizational factors and social disadvantage on screening. We are one of seven sites in this NCI PROSPR cancer screening consortium


UT Southwestern Center for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

Dr. Ethan Halm

Principal Investigator: Ethan Halm, M.D., M.P.H.
Funding Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Objective: This five-year R24 grant aims to enhance and expand the research infrastructure, databases, training programs, personnel, natural laboratories and collaborative relationships needed to conduct high quality patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and comparative effectiveness research (CER) at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas (UTSW), Parkland Health and Hospital System (Parkland), Children's Medical Center (Children's), and the North Texas Veterans Administration Health Systems (Dallas VA). All of the proposed infrastructure activities and research projects are focused on conducting PCOR and CER in underserved patients, populations, and settings, including those served by safety-net systems, people who are economically disadvantaged, racial/ethnic minorities, immigrant populations, and those lacking health insurance or access to care.


Implementation of an evidence-based colorectal cancer screening outreach program among socioeconomically disadvantaged patients in a safety net health system

Dr. Ethan Halm

Principal Investigators: Amit Singal, M.D., M.P.H. and Ethan Halm, M.D., M.P.H.
Funding Source:Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas
Objective:This is a large scale dissemination and implementation study of a population health mailed FIT kit outreach intervention to increase uptake of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in 15,000 community primary care patients in the Parkland Health and Hospital System


Understanding Patterns and Predictors of Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalizations Among Patients with Active Cancer

Dr. Arthur Hong

Principal Investigator: Arthur Hong, M.D., M.P.H.
Funding Source: Texas Health Resources Clinical Scholars Award
Objective: This work focuses on understanding the patient, provider, system, and treatment predictors of Emergency Department visits and hospitalizations among patients with active cancer in several different health systems. It will also assess the impact of a cancer urgent care clinic as an alternate site of care strategy to provide more timely, efficient and patient-centered acute care for selected patients.


Post-acute Care in the Elderly: The Role of Long-term Acute Care Hospitals

Dr. Anil Makam

Principal Investigator: Anil N. Makam, M.D., M.A.S.
Funding Source: National Institute on Aging
Objective: This 5-year K23 grant will examine variation and outcomes of care of comparably sick elderly individuals discharged to long-term acute care hospitals (LTACs) versus those discharged to skilled nursing facilities. It will use national Medicare data, EHR data from a regional hospital network, and prospective data collection to understand patterns of post-acute care, the patient, provider and system factors influencing LTAC use, and their associated clinical outcomes and costs.


The Role of Long-term Acute Care Hospitals in Caring for Non-ventilated Older Adults

Dr. Anil Makam

Principal Investigator: Anil N. Makam, M.D., M.A.S.
Funding Source: National Institute on Aging
Objective: This GEMSSTAR R03 grant will use national Medicare data to: 1) examine why hospitalized older adults are discharged to long-term acute care hospitals (LTAC) versus remaining in the acute care hospital, the principal alternate to LTACs; and 2) comparatively assess the effectiveness of LTACs versus continued care in the acute care hospital on outcomes, utilization, costs, and spending.


Understanding long term harms and benefits of statins for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases among physically active individuals

Dr. Ishak Mansi

Principal Investigator: Ishak Mansi, M.D.
Funding Source:North Texas VA Health Care
Objective: This study aims to examine statins beneficial cardiovascular protective effects as well as adverse events among active duty military personnel who are at high level of physical fitness. Since physical activity is associated with beneficial cardiovascular protective effects, it is important to understand the interaction between statin therapy and physical activity on both cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health in those individuals.


Optimizing statin use for cardiovascular disease prevention in patients with diabetes mellitus

Dr. Ishak Mansi

Principal Investigator: Ishak Mansi, M.D.
Funding Source: North Texas VA Health Care
Objective: This study aims to examine the magnitude of statin beneficial effects and adverse events in relation to diabetes mellitus severity


Social Vulnerabilities to Prevent Readmissions in Adults with Cardiovascular Disease

Dr. Oanh Nguyen

Principal Investigator: Oanh Kieu Nguyen, M.D., M.A.S.
Funding Source: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
Objective:  This K23 grant will use EHR data to develop predictive models to identify hospitalized patients with congestive heart failure and ischemic heart disease at high risk for readmission, and to stratify individuals by medical severity and social vulnerabilities. It will also develop a pilot intervention to address health-related social vulnerabilities in addition to medical needs to prevent readmissions.


Assessing the Comparative Effectiveness of Scheduled Versus Emergency Dialysis in End-stage Renal Disease

Dr. Oanh Nguyen

Principal Investigator: Oanh Kieu Nguyen, M.D., M.A.S.
Funding source: UT Southwestern Center for Translational Medicine Translational Pilot Program
Objective: This translational research pilot study will establish a cornerstone of the foundational evidence base that is needed for a robust, definitive cost-effectiveness analysis of dialysis strategies for ESRD. This knowledge will enable the translation of evidence into policy to enable universal access and use of the most cost-effective and evidence-based dialysis strategy for all individuals with ESRD.


Coping with Cancer III

Dr. Elizabeth Paulk

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth Paulk, M.D.
Funding Source: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
Objective: This is a multi-center, prospective, observational study to identify specific culturally influenced beliefs and socio-cultural factors that significantly contribute to Latino/non-Latino disparities in advance care planning and end-of-life care. The research focuses on patients with advanced cancer and their caregivers.


Planning for the Care You Want: An Intervention for African Americans in the Outpatient Setting

Dr. Ramona Rhodes

Principal Investigator: Ramona Rhodes, M.D.
Funding Source: American Cancer Society
Objective: The overall objective is to design and implement a novel intervention in the outpatient setting to improve physicians’ abilities to identify those patients most appropriate for in-depth discussions about end-of-life care planning options and to change knowledge and beliefs about these options among African Americans diagnosed with cancer.


Inborn Errors of Metabolism

Dr. Rody Cox Dr. Max Wynn

Principal Investigators: Rody Cox, M.D. and Richard Wynn, Ph.D.
Funding Source: UT Southwestern, Department of Internal Medicine
Objective: This work focuses on the molecular genetic basis of mitochondrial multienzyme complex deficiencies, e.g. Maple Syrup Urine Disease.


Mitochondrial Multienzyme Complexes

Dr. Rody Cox Dr. Max Wynn

Principal Investigators: Rody Cox, M.D. and Richard Wynn, Ph.D.
Funding Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases
Objective: These grants examine the structure and function of mitochondrial multienzyme protein complexes including X-ray structural analysis of the catalytic and regulatory subunits.