Partnership for a Healthier World

John M. Eisenberg Memorial Lectureship on Therapeutics Research Announced

Durham, N.C. — The John M. Eisenberg Memorial Lectureship on Therapeutics Research, in honor of John M. Eisenberg, M.D., former director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and a leader in the field of health care quality, was announced today by Robert M. Califf, M.D., associate vice chancellor for clinical research and director of the Duke Clinical Research Institute. This lectureship is supported through an unrestricted educational grant of $100,000 from Pfizer Inc.

“As the delivery of medical care continues to change at a rapid rate, the importance of ‘evidence-based medicine’ has become increasingly clear,” Califf said. “This evidence provided by cutting-edge research keeps health care providers informed in making the daily decisions in the care of their patients.”

“The late Dr. Eisenberg, before his untimely death in 2002, was supportive of this type of research and was committed to ensuring that patients have the highest quality and safest health care possible. It is therefore fitting that a lectureship be named in his honor and established under the auspices of the AHRQ, and its Centers for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) program,” Califf added.

“I was fortunate enough to be influenced on a personal basis by Eisenberg, who energized me on many occasions to continue to pursue my interest in clinical research. Through the lectureships, we are hopeful that we can transmit the same enthusiasm to medical centers throughout the country,” said Califf.

Due to the foresight of Eisenberg and the vision of many others, the CERTs program has developed this unique lectureship program to extend the reach of the CERTs network into a broader array of academic medical centers nationwide. The goals of the lectureship include: educate future leaders about the academic discipline of therapeutics research; increase awareness about the risks and benefits of new, existing or combined uses of therapeutics; and emphasize the importance of applying CERTs research in clinical practice. These lectureships will include an extended stay aimed at providing trainees at these institutions with an overview of opportunities in the field of therapeutics research and education.

“Pfizer is pleased to support the John M. Eisenberg Memorial Lectureship on Therapeutics Research. This lectureship will help disseminate cutting-edge knowledge in the field of therapeutics research and education to advance patient safety, medication compliance and efficacy,” said Lisa Egbuonu-Davis, M.D., vice-president, US Medical, Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer Inc.

The lectureships will be provided by CERTs investigators at the following institutions: Baylor College of Medicine, Houston; Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, Neb.; Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C.; Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta; Regenstrief Institute at Indiana University, Indianapolis, Ind.; University of California, San Francisco, Calif.; and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver.

“Once again, the powerful legacy and vision of John Eisenberg play out in this wonderful program. The best minds in research and education need to be engaged to realize the promise of therapeutics, and avert the disappointments, even tragedies, of therapeutics gone wrong, medical errors and mishaps, and failure to intervene effectively,” said Hugh H. Tilson, M.D., chairman, CERTs Steering Committee, and on the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The CERTs program conducts research and provides education to advance the safe and effective use of therapeutics (drugs, medical devices, biological products). It is administered as a cooperative agreement by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The CERTs is a national initiative consisting of seven research centers and a Coordinating Center. They work with public and private collaborators on projects which allow each center to expand the number of its projects and extend their potential impact.

AHRQ is the lead federal agency charged with supporting research designed to improve the quality of health care, reduce its cost, address patient safety and medical errors and broaden access to essential services. AHRQ sponsors and conducts research that provides evidence-based information on health care outcomes; quality; and cost, use and access.

“This tribute is particularly fitting because Dr. Eisenberg’s research is evidence of his persistent interest in the safe and cost-effective use of pharmaceuticals,” said Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The program proposal is administered by the CERTs Coordinating Center located at Duke University Medical Center. As a public-private partnership program, the CERTs welcomes proposals from other organizations for sponsorship of similar or other educational activities to be carried out through the CERTs program.

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