Comellas Named ICTS CRU Director

The announcement below is from Dr. Pat Winokur, Executive Dean and Director of the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science.

I am pleased to announce Dr. Alejandro Comellas’ appointment to Director of the ICTS Clinical Research Unit and Study Coordinator Core. In this role, Dr. Comellas will oversee all operational aspects of research within the ICTS CRU, Study Coordinator Core, and other activities related to improving the efficiencies of the clinical trials process.

Dr. Comellas is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Occupational Medicine. He is an exceptional physician scientist who practices an iterative methodology to study hypotheses and innovative questions identified in his clinical practice in his basic science laboratory. He then tests his basic discoveries in clinical experiments in the clinical research unit. He is an amazing team leader. He has led the pulmonary clinical research core (17 research assistants and nurses), that helped him with his clinical research as well as several other pulmonary faculty (a total of 16). He has been an outstanding mentor to pulmonary fellows and post-doctoral fellows. Dr. Comellas has wonderful leadership skills. Since he arrived at the University of Iowa 8 years ago, he has collaborated with investigators in cardiology, chemistry, psychology geography, genetics, and radiology. Dr. Comellas has published more than 65 manuscripts in the areas lung injury and repair mechanisms, ambient particulate matter on mechanisms of lung injury, and clinical trials on COPD and asthma. He is funded by the NIH multicenter grants COPDGene and SPIROMICS. Dr. Comellas was also the recipient of one of our Team Science Pilot Grant Programs from the ICTS.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Joel Kline, MD for his steadfast leadership of the Clinical Research Unit and Study Coordinator Core as well as other ICTS initiatives, and congratulate him on his new appointments as the Vice Chair for Clinical Strategy in the Department of Internal Medicine, and Associate Chief of Staff for Education, VA Health Care System.

Finally, I would like to thank Marlan Hansen for serving as the interim CRU Director.