Research at the CMU SOM


Three main research programs facilitate pursuing research at the CMU SOM. These programs are led by three Principal Investigators with more than 40 years experience each in medicine and clinical research: Dr Michael Light MD leading the Program in Nutrition and Weight Management, Marek Malecki MD PhD, leading the program in Vaccines and Vaccinations and Joseph Varon MD leading the program in Intensive Care.

Research involving Clinical Cases is pursued on the individual basis. To apply please contact Prof Varon as Coordinator of Research.


Prof Michael Light MD
Nutrition and Weight Management
PubMed Michael Light

Michael Light MD and Romy Moujaes M Nutrition

“Over the past few years it has become clear that weight is an important health issue. Some people who need to lose weight for their health don’t recognize it, while others who don’t need to lose weight want to get thinner for cosmetic reasons. We understand that in some ways your weight is different from, for example, your cholesterol level or your blood pressure, because you can’t see what these are by looking at someone. Many patients have had health care providers who approached their weight in a less-than-sensitive or helpful manner. Some patients may have had health care encounters in which they felt blamed, but not helped. Successful weight management is a long-term challenge.”



Prof Marek Malecki MD PhD
Vaccines and Vaccinations
PubMed Marek Malecki

Marek Malecki MD PhD and Sogand Taheri MD

For many deadly viruses, there are no preventive and / or therapeutic vaccines approved by health authorities World-wide (e.g., HIV, Ebola, Dengue, and many others). Although, for some viruses, prophylactic vaccines are very effective (e.g., HBV, and many others).In this realm, we design, manufacture, test, and streamline into the clinics novel viral universal vaccines (VUV). VUV have such unique features, that medical vaccination or natural infection induced immunity against some viruses (e.g., HBV) upon the VUV’s administration to the infected with other, different viruses patients, is redirected against these other, newly infecting viruses (e.g., HIV).



Prof Joseph Varon MD
Intensive Care
PubMed Joseph Varon

Joseph Varon MD

Despite decades of research, therapy for sepsis remains limited to supportive care, including early identification and intervention directed towards elimination of the physical focus of infection (commonly referred to as source control), and appropriate antibiotics. While advances have been made with respect to sepsis prevention, early recognition, and molecular understanding of sepsis pathways, there are no targeted therapies for sepsis. Over 100 clinical trials attempting to modulate the immune response to sepsis have failed. This failure is, in large part, due to the heterogeneity of the sepsis syndrome. Patients vary by pathogen, site of infection, comorbidity, host response, and duration of infection prior to receiving care. There is significant interest in strategies to rationally subgroup sepsis patients based on underlying biology. Multiple investigators have attempted to use transcriptional data to create gene expression profiles for both prognostic and predictive enrichment.