Jimenez Among 2024-2025 CTRFP Awardees

Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS) and The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital awards 20 investigators as part of the 17th annual Clinical and Translational Research Funding Program (CTRFP). The CTRFP is the largest internal grant funding program of the ICTS. Applicants are required to submit proposals for projects that promote the translation of scientific discoveries into improvements in human health. For 2024, awards were considered across three project categories: clinical/translational, community-engaged research, and biostatistics, epidemiology, and research design.

This year the CTRFP received around 70 letters of intent and awarded approximately $1M for investigator-initiated projects. These grants are supported with funding from the ICTS, The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital and ICTS partner institutions: Saint Louis University and the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Jesus Jimenez, MD, PhD of the Washington University School of Medicine Cardiovascular Division has been awarded for “Advances in the Diagnosis of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Myocarditis”.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors, which work by activating the immune system to target and kill cancer cells, are increasingly being used to treat patients. Unfortunately, these drugs may cause serious side effects in the heart including life-threatening myocarditis. The current approach for diagnosis is to obtain an endomyocardial biopsy. This proposal seeks to perform the first-in-patient CCR2 molecular imaging to identify patients with immune checkpoint inhibitor myocarditis. The use of noninvasive CCR2 radiotracer imaging may identify inflammatory cells to improve diagnosis of immune checkpoint inhibitor myocarditis and has the potential to track response to therapy in the long-term.