Michael E. Wechsler, MD, MMSc

Michael E. Wechsler
Michael E. Wechsler, MD, is a pulmonologist at National Jewish Health. Dr. Wechsler is in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine.
Director, The Cohen Family Asthma Institute
Professor
Department of Medicine
Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
America’s Top Doctors 2019 — Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd.

Special Interests

My primary research focuses on clinical and translational asthma research, with three main foci of investigation: (i) asthma genetics and personalized medicine; (ii) clinical trials in asthma; and (iii) Churg-Strauss Syndrome. Regarding the genetics of asthma, I have investigated the role of numerous candidate gene polymorphisms in the pathogenesis and management of asthma. I was the Principal Investigator of the Lancet-published, NHLBI-funded Asthma Clinical Research Network’s LARGE trial, which prospectively investigated the effect of beta-adrenergic receptor polymorphisms on the asthmatic response to salmeterol. I also led a recently completed Partners Genetics Enters Medicine Initiative funded trial examining genotype-stratified treatment with anticholinergics vs. beta-agonists (long acting) and exacerbations (GABLE) in asthma (currently undergoing analysis).

I was a site Principal Investigator examining the effects of a novel therapy for asthma (bronchial thermoplasty) that utilizes thermal energy to disrupt airway smooth muscle and presented study data to the FDA Medical Advisory panel in 2009, leading to its 2010 FDA approval. I was also awarded an NIH sponsored R21 award to examine the effects of placebo on lung function in asthma, and completed this clinical trial work in more than 40 subjects. Having reported on the importance of using placebos in clinical trials and on the relevance of patient reported outcomes in clinical trials, my NEJM manuscript reset the standard for clinical trial design in this condition. I am a member of the Steering Committee of the NIH-sponsored Asthma Clinical Research Network (ACRN, /Asthmanet), a multi-center asthma clinical trials consortium that has conducted numerous trials that have clarified our understanding of asthma phenotyping and asthma management, laying the foundation for current asthma guidelines. As a member of this consortium, I was the lead investigator who described an association between asthma treatment failures and beta agonist use in African Americans, and am a lead investigator in two separate trials examining race-specific differences in response to asthma therapy.

A major focus of my research is elucidating the pathophysiology of Churg-Strauss syndrome, a rare form of eosinophilic vasculitis. I was the first to describe the relationship between CSS and leukotriene modifiers, and between CSS and anti-IgE therapy for asthma. I clinically follow one of the largest cohorts of CSS patients in the country and serve as a referral base for patients with severe asthma from all over the USA. This expertise, and two research awards, have enabled me to recruit the largest cohort of CSS patients, which are serving as the primary test population in a genome-wide association study of CSS. I have examined the role of anti-IL5 in the treatment of CSS patients and have received NIAID R34 funding do a double blind placebo controlled trial in this patient population.

Education

Education
University of Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, Denver, CO, University of Colorado Mentoring Training Program
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, Leadership Development Program for Physicians and Scientists
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, MMSc, Medical Science
Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, Scholars in Clinical Science Program
McGill University School of Medicine, Montreal, Quebec, MD, Medicine
Internships
Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA, Intern, Internal Medicine
Residency
West Roxbury VA Medical Center, W. Roxbury, MA, Chief Medical Resident, Internal Medicine
Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA, Resident, Internal Medicine
Fellowship
Harvard Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, Research Fellow
Beth Israel Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, Clinical Fellow, Harvard Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Fellowship

Awards & Recognition

Present: Associate Editor, Allergy
2019: America’s Top Doctors 2019 — Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd.
2018: America’s Top Doctors 2018 — Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd.
2017: America’s Top Doctors 2017 — Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd.
2014: AAAAI ARTrust™ and Dr. William and Judith H. Busse Lectureship: Investing Together in Our Future Award
2013:  Colorado alliance for CME award “Most outstanding CME activity” Improving the quality of care for patients with asthma (Chair)    
2012:  American Society for Clinical Investigation
2005:  Abstract Second Prize, Massachusetts Thoracic Society
2003: Research Award, Clinical, Merck
2002: Research Award, American Lung Association
2001: Young Investigator Special Project Award, Respiratory, Merck
1999: Young Investigators Meeting (participant), Respiratory, Merck
1998: Investigator Award, Clinical Research, American College of Chest Physicians, CHEST Foundation
1993: Campbell Howard Prize, Clinical Medicine, McGill University
1993: Dr. A Macdonald Award, Medicine, McGill University
1990: James Q Bliss Prize, Medical Physiology, McGill University
1986-1989: Dean’s List, Harvard College
1986-1989: Harvard College Scholarship, Harvard College
 
Ad hoc reviewer:
New England Journal of Medicine
JAMA
The Lancet
The Lancet Respiratory Medicine
British Medical Journal
Nature Clinical Practice
American Journal of Medicine
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
American Journal of Respiratory Cellular Molecular Biology
Annals of the American Thoracic Society
Asthma and Allergy Proceedings
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Chest
Clinical and Experimental Allergy
Thorax
Drug Safety
The Pharmacogenomics Journal
Respiratory Care Journal
Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine
European Respiratory Journal
Journal of Asthma
Revista Portuguesa de Pneumologia, Portuguese Journal of Pulmonology
The Medical Letter
Recent Patents on Anti-Infective Drug Discovery
Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine
Rheumatology
Arthritis and Rheumatism
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
European Respiratory Review
Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine
Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation

Board Certification

1993 (Recertified 2018) Advanced Cardiac Life Support, certification by American Heart Association
1993 (Recertified 2018) Basic Cardiac Life Support, certification by American Heart Association
2000: Certificate, Clinical Effectiveness, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health
1999 (Recertified 2009): Diplomate, Subspecialty of Critical Care Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine
1998 (Recertified 2009): Diplomate, Subspecialty of Pulmonary Disease, American Board of Internal Medicine
1996: Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Professional Memberships

2019-present: NHLBI Data Safety Monitoring Board Member. Anti-inflammatory Lipid Mediators in Asthma
2017: National Jewish/University of Colorado Pulmonary Senior Scientific Strategy Committee
2017: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Effective Healthcare Program Peer Reviewer
2017: United Kingdom Medical Research Council Grant Review Committee
2016-present: National Jewish Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Executive Committee
2016-present: World Allergy Organization, Collaboration on Severe Asthma (COSA) Advisory Board
2016-present: Member, Data and Safety Monitoring Board, Sentien Biotechnologies, Inc. A Multi-center, Randomized, Sham-controlled, Double-blind, Ascending-dose Study of Extracorporeal Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Therapy (SBI-101 therapy) in Subjects with Acute Kidney Injury Receiving Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT)
2015-present: NHLBI Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (RDCRN) Data Safety Monitoring Board Member
2014: ATS Taskforce on OTC epinephrine for bronchospasm
2013-present: Member, NIH sponsored Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for the Therapeutic Strategy for LAM study group (1UH2TR000961-01). “Saracatinib in LAM (SLAM)”
2013-present: Member, National Jewish Health Grant Writing Committee.
2012-present: Medical Licensure, State of Colorado
2012-present: Member, National Jewish Health International Collaboration Committee
2012-present: Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation
2012-present: Member, International Eosinophil Society2011-2012 Member, NIH Taskforce Investigating Research in Eosinophilic Disorders (TREAD)
2010-present: Steering Committee European Respiratory Society Taskforce on the Diagnosis and Management of Churg-Strauss Syndrome
1993-present: Member, Massachusetts Medical Society
2002-2005: Member, American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology
2003-2012: Steering Committee, NIH/NHLBI Severe Asthma Research Program
2003-2004: Chairman, Ethics Sub-Committee, NIH/NHLBI Asthma Clinical Research Network (ACRN)/Asthmanet
2000-present: Steering Committee, NIH/NHLBI Asthma Clinical Research Network (ACRN)/Asthmanet
1996-2000: Member, American College of Chest Physicians
1993-1999: Member, American Medical Association

Publications

Wechsler ME, Szefler SJ, Ortega VE, Pongracic JA, Chinchilli V, Lima JJ, Krishnan JA, Kunselman SJ, Mauger D, Bleecker ER, Bacharier LB, Beigelman A,  Benson M, Blake KV, Cabana MD, Cardet JC, Castro M, Chmiel JF, Covar R,  Denlinger L, DiMango E, Fitzpatrick AM, Gentile D, Grossman N, Holguin F, Jackson DJ,  Kumar H, Kraft M, LaForce CF, Lang J, Lazarus SC,  Lemanske Jr. RF, Long D, Lugogo N, Martinez F, Meyers DA, Moore WC,  Moy J,  Naureckas E, Olin JT, Peters SP, Phipatanakul W, Que L, Raissy H, Robison RG, Ross K, Sheehan W, Smith LJ, Solway J, Sorkness CA, Sullivan Vedder L, Wenzel S,  White S, Israel E, NHLBI AsthmaNet. Step-up Therapy in Blacks with Inadequately Controlled Asthma. N Eng J Med. 2019. 381:1227-39

Steinfeld J, Bradford ES, Brown J, Mallett S, Yancey SW, Akuthota P, Cid MC, Gleich GJ, Jayne D, Khoury P, Langford CA, Merkel PA,  Moosig, F,  Specks U, Weller PF, Wechsler ME. Evaluation of clinical benefit from treatment with mepolizumab for eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019 (in press)

Bleecker ER, Wechsler ME, FitzGerald JM, Menzies-Gow A, Wu Y, Hirsch I, Goldman M, Newbold P, Zangrilli JG.  Baseline Patient Factor Impact on the Clinical Efficacy of Benralizumab for Severe Asthma. Eur Respir J. 2018. 18;52(4)

Wechsler ME, Akuthota P, Jayne D, Khoury P, Klion A, Langford CA, Merkel PA, Moosig F, Specks U, Cid MC, Luqmani R, Brown J, Mallett S, Philipson R, Yancey SW, Steinfeld J, Weller PF, Gleich GJ, the EGPA Mepolizumab Study Team. Mepolizumab or placebo for eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis. N Eng J Med. 2017. 376:1921-1932

Cahill KN, Katz HR, Cui J, Lai J, Kazani S, Crosby-Thompson A, Garofalo D, Castro M, Jarjour N, DiMango E, Erzurum S, Trevor JL, Shenoy K, Chinchilli VM, Wechsler ME, Laidlaw TM, Boyce JA, Israel E.  KIT Inhibition by Imatinib in Patients with Severe Refractory Asthma. N Eng J Med. 2017; 376:1911-1920

Hospital Affiliations

  • Colorado Acute Long Term Hospital
  • Rose Medical Center
  • St. Joseph Hospital - Denver
  • Swedish Medical Center

Website Information

Asthma Program

Conflicts of Interest

National Jewish Health physicians and scientists may collaborate with pharmaceutical or other industries to develop medical and scientific breakthroughs or to provide education on trends in quality medical practice and outcomes to physicians and health professionals around the country. National Jewish Health maintains a strict conflict of interest policy to ensure that all potential conflicts are clearly visible and that management plans are put in place in order to further innovation and education while ensuring the protection of our patients and the integrity of our research. National Jewish Health publicly discloses any payment to our physicians or scientists. View this faculty member’s industry relationships and collaborations.

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Contact Information

  • Office: 877.225.5654
  • Fax: 303.398.1780
  • Email: WechslerM@njhealth.org

 

Locations

  • National Jewish Health Main Campus
    1400 Jackson St.
    Denver, CO 80206

  • Saint Joseph Hospital
    1835 Franklin Street Denver, CO 80218

Patient Ratings

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to care provider related questions on our independent rating system, the Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. This survey is about the patient care experience and does not address crucial characteristics like medical decision-making, prescribing the best therapy, and patient outcomes.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Learn more about our patient satisfaction survey.
 

Provider showed concern
4.9

Friendliness
4.9

Spoke using clear language
4.9

Provider explained things clearly
4.9

Amount of time spent with you
4.9

Provider included you in decisions
4.9

Confidence in your doctor
5

Likelihood of recommending this provider
5
 

Comments

Comments are collected in our Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Surveys. Patients are de-identified to protect confidentiality and patient privacy. Learn more about our patient satisfaction survey.
 

National Jewish Health PatientApril, 2019
He's one of the best minds treating [my condition]. I wouldn't want anyone else.

National Jewish Health PatientApril, 2019
It is always a pleasure to see Dr. Wechsler - he has had a profoundly positive impact on my quality of life and he is a distinct pleasure to meet with, be treated by.

National Jewish Health PatientMarch, 2019
This Doctor is outstanding and really cares.

National Jewish Health PatientDecember, 2018
Dr Wechsler has been remarkable and, I believe, has had a profoundly positive impact on my quality of life. I look forward to his continuing care, a word that he makes truly relevant.

National Jewish Health PatientNovember, 2018
LOVE Dr Wechsler.

National Jewish Health PatientOctober, 2018
*Dr. Wechsler should be cloned multiple times.

National Jewish Health PatientJuly, 2018
*Dr. Wechsler is awesome!

National Jewish Health PatientJune, 2018
I have never been to a doctor who took as much time as Dr. Wechsler did. He did not rely on what he already knew about my condition which had been ongoing for over a year, but instead, wanted me to give a detailed description of what had happened. He was also interested in me as a person. My daughter was with me, and he answered all of her questions as well. I am very grateful to have found Dr. Wechsler.

National Jewish Health PatientMay, 2018
Caring, thoughtful, informative.

National Jewish Health PatientMarch, 2018
*Dr. Wechsler is by far the best [CONDITION] doctor I have ever had.

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