A Beautiful Mind

Dr. Najm (pictured at right) was among the guests of honor during a gala in January in Dubai, hosted by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (left), Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai.

Hani Najm, MD, is the first winner of the GREAT ARAB MINDS AWARD IN MEDICINE in recognition of his outstanding contributions to cardiac surgery, including his innovations to surgically treat congenital heart diseases. 

In addition to the medicine prize, awards were bestowed in five other categories: engineering and technology; economics; architecture and design; natural sciences; and literature and arts. 

Dr. Najm, a native of Saudi Arabia, is Chair of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Children’s. Previously, he was head of heart surgery at the Heart Center of King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh. He has performed more than 10,000 complex heart surgeries on newborns, children and adults. 

“I have said many times that we work so hard for our patients’ improved outcomes, not ever for our own recognition,” Dr. Najm says. “However, it is nice to be recognized for the pioneering work that I have done. And, more importantly, I hope to be the shoulders for my colleagues to stand on to improve the field of cardiac surgery.”

Read more about Dr. Najm's work in our cover story.

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Frank Xie, PhD


Award-Winning Innovation 

Frank Xie, PhD, of Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute has received a NEW INNOVATOR AWARD from the National Institutes of Health, an honor reserved for exceptionally creative investigators in the early stages of their careers. Dr. Xie studies the structure, mechanisms and dynamics of the regulatory genome in cancer and infectious disease. He was awarded $1.5 million from the NIH to advance his research into chromatin, a combination of DNA and proteins that controls how genes are expressed. 

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Tim Chan, MD, PhD


AI Advantage

A team from Cleveland Clinic and IBM has developed a strategy for identifying NEW TARGETS FOR IMMUNOTHERAPY THROUGH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI).

Researchers found that AI models that account for changes in molecular shape over time can accurately depict how immune systems recognize a target antigen. Going forward, these models could home in on which processes are critical to target with immunotherapy treatments such as vaccines and engineered immune cells.

The team published its findings in the journal Briefings in Bioinformatics. It marks the first peer-reviewed publication from the Discovery Accelerator, a collaboration between Cleveland Clinic and IBM for advancing research in healthcare and life sciences.

“In the past, all our data on cancer antigen targets came from trial and error,” says study co-author Tim Chan, MD, PhD, Chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology and holder of the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Endowed Chair in Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology. “Partnering with IBM allows us to push the boundaries of artificial intelligence and health sciences research to change the way we develop and evaluate targets for cancer therapy.”

In related news, Dr. Chan was recently elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine. 

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Jeffrey Cole and Patricia O’Brien Cole
Photo: Don Gerda


Expanding Eye Care

Jeffrey Cole and Patricia O’Brien Cole signed the final steel beam before it was hoisted into place atop the new JEFFREY AND PATRICIA COLE PAVILION on Cleveland Clinic’s main campus. The 150,000-square-foot new building will expand the clinical and surgical capabilities of the Cole Eye Institute, in addition to enhancing its research and educational mission. The project, which also includes the renovation of the current facility, is scheduled to be completed in late 2025. 

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James Stoller, MD, MS
Photo: Lisa DeJong


"I am delighted to be initiating these new awards to recognize young bright minds in service of great work. My parents’ appreciation for the impact and importance of education and virtue was quite high. This gift means a lot to our family."
– Dr. James Stoller, MD, MS

Dr. Stoller is Chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Education Institute and holder of the Samson Global Leadership Academy Endowed Chair. In honor of his parents, Alfred and Norma Stoller, Dr. Stoller and his family made a generous gift to endow a chair for the Education Institute and to establish annual awards for virtue-based leadership.

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Photo: Marcus Chen, MD, NIH


Imaging Is Everything

Cleveland Clinic and Canon Inc. are teaming up for a STRATEGIC RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP to develop innovative imaging and healthcare IT technologies aimed at improving diagnosis, care and outcomes for patients. Joint research projects focused on cardiology, neurology and musculoskeletal medicine will have three major components: preclinical imaging, human imaging and image analysis. “By combining our strengths, we aim to create breakthroughs in imaging and work together to rapidly translate these innovations to improve patient care,” says Cleveland Clinic CEO and President Tom Mihaljevic, MD, holder of the Morton L. Mandel CEO Chair. In the new Cleveland Innovation District, the partnership expects to establish a comprehensive imaging research center, which may include shared workspace adjacent to Cleveland Clinic’s main campus.

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Matthew Kroh, MD
Photo: Shawn Green


Less Pain, More Gain

Cleveland Clinic is the first medical center in the U.S. to use a MAGNETIC-ASSISTED SURGICAL ROBOT to perform gastric sleeve surgery. The minimally invasive procedure — among the most common in bariatric surgery — removes a large portion of the stomach, leaving behind a narrow “sleeve.” Matthew Kroh, MD of Cleveland Clinic’s Digestive Disease Institute led the surgical team, which could utilize the magnetic technology to gently manipulate tissue and organs. The robot has been approved for abdominal surgeries by the Food and Drug Administration. “Advances in robotic technology allow surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgery with fewer incisions,” Dr. Kroh says. “As a result, patients experience less pain, fewer scars and a quicker recovery.” 

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Cleveland Clinic London


Another Outpatient Option

Cleveland Clinic London is now seeing patients at its MOORGATE OUTPATIENT CENTRE in the heart of the British capital. It provides a variety of outpatient services, including diagnostics, general practice appointments and consultations for cardiology, neurology, ophthalmology and other specialties. “We’re delighted to open this state-of-the-art facility,” says Robert Lorenz, MD, Cleveland Clinic London President. The new location joins Cleveland Clinic London’s 184-bed hospital (opened in 2022) and Portland Place Outpatient Centre (opened in 2021). Across its U.K. facilities, Cleveland Clinic has welcomed more than 42,000 patients.