Happy Pi Day! Let’s Celebrate Some Amazing PIs!

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Today is Pi Day (3/14), frequently celebrated by eating delicious pie in honor of the mathematic concept of pi (3.14159…). At Deep 6 AI, we wanted to take a bit of a different spin on Pi Day and celebrate some inspirational PIs (principal investigators) who are conducting amazing clinical research at some of the hospitals we work with.


So please join us in honoring these amazing PIs, who are furthering medical research in a variety of different fields. And if you have a great PI you think we should highlight, please nominate them here! We’ll be sharing the stories of phenomenal PIs in our future newsletters (and sending them some delicious pie!)


Dr. Grace McComsey

University Hospitals of Cleveland


Dr. Grace McComsey, has been serving as the VP of Research, Director of the UH Clinical Research Center and Associate Chief Scientific Officer at the University Hospitals of Cleveland since 2017. She is a pediatric infectious disease specialist with over 20 years of medical experience, including work in HIV and AIDS research. Currently, she is working on a study titled Observational Study of Cardiometabolic Risk in HIV Infected Subjects After Initiation of Antiretroviral Therapy: The Cleveland Cardiometabolic Cohort, which looks to investigate relationships between lifestyle factors, including diet, physical activity and illicit drug use, with changes in body composition after ART.


Dr. Josephine Chan

University Hospitals of Cleveland


Dr. Josephine Chan has held the position of Director of the Clinical Trials Unit at the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals of Cleveland since 2014. She received her Ph.D. in Genetics in 2005. Prior to her role at UH Cleveland, Dr. Chan worked at Cleveland Clinic in the Endocrinology and Metabolism Institute for about 9 years, with a focus on hematology clinical research.


Dr. Reynold Panettieri

Rutgers University


Dr. Reynold Panettieri serves as Director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Science and Vice Chancellor for Translational Medicine and Science at Rutgers University. Formerly, Dr. Panettieri held several positions at the University of Pennsylvania where he completed his medical education, including Director of the Airways Biology Initiative and Deputy Director of the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology. Specializing in pulmonology, he is involved in many research projects and serves as a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and Association of American Physicians. Dr. Panettieri is the PI on The CHRONICLE Study: A Longitudinal Prospective Observational Study of the Characteristics, Treatment Patterns and Health Outcomes of Individuals with Severe Asthma in the United States. This study aims to describe the epidemiology and medical management of adults with severe asthma who are not controlled with high-dose ICS therapy and additional controllers, as well as describe the outcomes associated with recently approved monoclonal antibody therapies for severe asthma.


Dr. Benjamin Smith

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center


Dr. Benjamin Smith is a board-certified radiation oncologist at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, specializing in breast cancer radiation treatment. His other current positions in the Department of Radiation Oncology include Director of Clinical Informatics, Director of Cancer Network Research, and Research Director, Breast Radiation Oncology Section. Dr. Smith is also active in the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), serving as Vice-Chair of the Clinical Affairs and Quality Council. He is currently the PI of clinical trial “Hypofractionated Partial Breast Irradiation in Treating Patients with Early Stage Breast Cancer”. This trial is investigating the use of higher doses of radiation therapy over a shorter period of time, which may kill more tumor cells and have fewer side effects.  Aiming to treat only the part of the breast where the cancer started may result in fewer side effects than current standard treatment.


Dr. Shannon Westin

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center


Dr. Shannon Westin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Reproductive Medicine in the Division of Surgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is very active in research, serving as the Director of Early Drug Development and Phase I trials and principal investigator of several clinical trials for gynecologic cancers. Currently, she is working as the PI for a multi-arm Phase Ib trial combining PARP inhibition with agents that target the PI3K pathway in endometrial and ovarian cancer. This study will allow Dr. Westin to study samples of tissue from enrollees in the laboratory, which may help doctors learn more about the effects of the study drug on cells and may help doctors understand how well patients respond to treatment.


Dr. BJ Rimel

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center


Dr. BJ Rimel has worked as a Gynecologic Oncologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center since 2011, with the title of Assistant Professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Prior to joining Cedars, she held a fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. Dr. Rimel is heavily involved in clinical research, placing emphasis on clinical trial accrual, patient recruitment and informed consent. She is the PI of  “Diet and Physical Activity Change or Usual Care in Improving Progression-Free Survival in Patients With Previously Treated Stage II, III, or IV Ovarian, Fallopian Tube, or Primary Peritoneal Cancer”, a study being done to investigate whether positive lifestyle changes can increase the length of survival without the return of cancer compared with current standard of care in patients with previously treated stage II, III, or IV ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer.


These are just a few of the many, many amazing PIs doing important work to further medicine. Take a minute to nominate a great PI you work with so we can include them in a future PI spotlight! And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you get future spotlights sent straight to your inbox.

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