Investigator-Initiated Research

Newsworthy Highlights

Investigator-Initiated Research Weekly Meeting

Research MeetingInvestigator-Initiated Research (IIR) seeks to stimulate exploration of new ideas and novel approaches by meeting once a week to discuss ongoing projects and to review new opportunities that have significant potential for leading to better outcomes. IIR also invites outside speakers for seminar presentations.

Click here to see the IIR Schedule (Word, 49 KB) for information on future speakers and topics.

IIR Noteworthy Highlights

The study activity conducted by IIR scientists is diverse and results in a broad range of patient-centered outcomes. Watch this page for regular updates to the IIR’s growing list of publications, presentations, grant awards and other accomplishments.


Patient-Centered Outcomes

Anti-Coagulant Pharmacogenetic Clinical Trial Simulations tor Predict Improved Patient Outcomes
the study has developed a normalized "anticoagulation" database containing more than 110,000 unique patients treated with warfarin. The database provides an invaluable resource for research on deeloping algorithms supporting health providers in determining safe warfarin dosing for individual patients more quickly.
Co-PIs: Michael Michalkiewicz, PhD, and Peter Tonellato, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Grants/Contracts – Funded:

Tetrahydrobiopterin in Neonatal Hyperoxic Lung Injury
PI: Ru-Jeng Teng, MD, Medical College of Wisconsin; Aurora Co-I: Scarlet Shi, PhD

CTSI Pilot and Collaborative Clinical and Translational Research Grants
$2,297 subaward to Aurora (Total CTSI award amount: $50,000)

REDS III: Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study III
PI: Alan Mast, MD, PhD, Blood Center of Wisconsin; Aurora PI: Michael Michalkiewicz, PhD
National Institutes of Health - National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
$184,874 Phase I subaward to Aurora

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

  1. Krum D, Hare J, Gilbert C, Choudhuri I, Mori N, Sra J. (2013) Left Atrial Anatomy in Patients Undergoing Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation. Journal for Atrial Fibrillation. Mar-April:5(6):36-43.
  2. Parhizi S, Steege LM, Pasupathy K. (2013) Mining the Relationships between Psychosocial Factors and Fatigue Dimensions among Registered Nurses. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics. 43, 1, 82-90.
  3. Dumont N, Liu B, DeFilippis RA, Chang H, Rabban JT, Karnezis AN, Tjoe JA, Marx J, Parvin B, Tlsty TD. (2013) Breast Fibroblasts Modulate Early Dissemination, Tumorigenesis, and Metastasis through Alteration of Extracellular Matrix Characteristics. Neoplasia.


Krum D, Sra J. (2013) CT Imaging of the Left Atrium. In: Sra J, Akhtar M, Natale A, Wilber D (eds). Practical Electrophysiology. Minneapolis: Cardiotext Publishing. (In press.)

Peer-Reviewed Conference Proceeding:

Agarwal A, Nfor T, Ortiz D, Tyszkowska A, Lazarov L, Cho C, Palakuru S, Jahangir A, Bajwa T, Allaqaband S. Age-related differences in survival and predictors of survival for patients undergoing hypothermia after cardiac arrest. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv 2013 (peer-reviewed abstract, in press).

National and Regional Meeting Poster/Presentations:

  1. Judy A. Tjoe, MD, James Marx, PhD, Maharaj Singh, PhD, Brittany Tybinko, Gary Nietzel, MD. Breast Atypia:  Questioning the Reliability of Diagnosis When Considering Therapeutic Intervention for Risk Reduction. To be presented at14th Annual meeting of American Society of Breast Surgeons, Chicago, Illinois, May 1-5, 2013. (Abstract accepted for presentation.)
  2. John Lung, MD Anna Karst, Ariba Khan, MD, Michael Malone, MD, Maharaj Singh, PhD. An Electronic Medical Record Marker for Delirium in Hospitalized Elderly.To be presented at Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society, Grapevine, Texas, May 3-5, 2013. (Abstract accepted for presentation.)
  3. Laila Hasan, Anna Karst, Ariba Khan, MD, John Lung, MD, Michael Malone, MD, Maharaj Singh, PhD. The Unique Needs of Older Patients Who Are Readmitted to the Hospital. To be presented at Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society, Grapevine, Texas, May 3-5, 2013. (Abstract accepted for presentation.)

Educational/Local Presentations

Aurora Scientific Day – May 22, 2013
Abstracts accepted:

  1. Ahmed Dalmar, MD, Thomas Chua, MD, Maharaj Singh, PhD, Christopher Stoming. Weight Loss after Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding: The Role of Race, BMI and Age.
  2. Vani Nilakantan PhD, Brittany Tybinko, BA, Maharaj Singh PhD, Ahmed Dalmar MD and Scarlet Shi PhD.Racial Disparities in Graft Loss Following Kidney Transplantation - A Single Center Experience.
  3. Maharaj Singh, PhD, Laura Kohler, PT, Joseph. F. Davies, MD. The Effect of Using Guided Mental Imagery for Patients Receiving Knee or Hip Replacement.
  4. Judy Tjoe, MD, Maharaj Singh, PhD, Brittany Tybinko, Gary Nietzel, MD. Breast Atypia: Timing of Progression to Subsequent Clinically Significant Evidence
  5. John Lung, MD, Ariba Khan, MD, K. Singh, MD, Maharaj Singh, PhD, Michael Malone, MD. An Electronic Medical Record Marker for Delirium in Hospitalized Elderly.
  6. Chris Cho, MS, Jo Ann Simmons, RN, Jennifer Farrell, RN, Mark W. Mewissen, MD.  Adherence to Standard of Care for Patients Who Underwent Endovascular AAA Repair Procedure.  \
  7. Mahek Mirza, MD, Yeneneh Beeletsega, Anton Strunets, MD, Chris Cho, MS, Indrajit Choudhuri, MD, Nangia Vikram, MD, Atul Bhatia, MD, Niazi Imran, MD, Jasbir Sra, MD, Arshad Jahangir, MD.  Presence of Obesity is Associated with Lower Mortality in Patients with Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator.
  8. Anushree Agarwal, MD, Tonga Nfo, MD, Daniel Ortiz, MD, Anna Tyszkowska, MD, Ludmil Lazarov, MD, Chris Cho, MS, Surya Palakuru, MD, Arshad Jahangir, MD, Suhai Allaqaband, MD. Gender-Related Differences in Survival and Predictors of Survival for Patients Undergoing Hypothermia after Cardiac Arrest.
  9. Larisa Emelyanova, PhD, Zain Ashary, BS, Mahek Mirza, MD, Chris Cho, MS, Farhan Rizvi, PhD, Ross Gracious, PhD, Ekhson Holmuhamedov, PhD, Arshad Jahangir, MD.  Persistent but Not Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation is Associated with a Reduction in Mitochondrial Electron Transport Chain Complexes I and II Activities in Human Atria.

Editorial Board

Vani Nilakantan, PhD
BioMed Research International

Reviews for Scientific Journals:

Michael Michalkiewicz, PhD
Journal of Hypertension – 2 reviews

Vani Nilakantan, PhD
Prostaglandins and Other Lipid Mediators

Kalyan Pasupathy, PhD
Journal for Healthcare Quality
American Journal for Health System Pharmacy
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – Transactions on Engineering Management

Scarlet Shi, PhD

Editorial Board:

Vani Nilakantan, PhD
BioMed Research International

Reviews of Grant/Contract Applications:


Michael Michalkiewicz, PhD
Aurora IIR Patient-Centered Research – 3 proposals
Aurora Cancer Research Award – 4 proposals

Vani Nilakantan, PhD
Aurora UW Medical Group Research Committee – 4 abstracts/publications

Kalyan Pasupathy, PhD
IIR Patient-Centered Outcomes Projects – 3 proposals
Aurora Cardiovascular Surgery Research Award – 6 proposals
Aurora Cancer Care Research Award – 3 proposals

Scarlet Shi, PhD
Aurora Cardiovascular Surgery Research Award – 4 proposals

Aurora Institutional Service:

Michael Michalkiewicz, PhD
Member, Aurora Institutional Review Board 
Scientific Advisor, Aurora Biorepository - ORBIT

Vani Nilakantan, PhD
Founded Investigational New Drug/Investigational Device Exemption (IND/IDE) Committee

Kalyan Pasupathy, PhD
Cardiovascular Information System Committee Member

Scarlet Shi, PhD
Member, IND/IDE Committee

Maharaj Singh, PhD
Member, Aurora Institutional Review Board

2013 Noteworthy Highlights (Word, 106 KB)