CTSI Seminar Series: CTSI Year Out Trainee Presentations Part I

presentations1-241x262The CTSI Seminar Series for Spring 2014 continues on Tuesday, April 15th with a presentation by three CTSI Year Out Trainees. The CTSI supports medical students interested in a year-out experience of mentored research in clinical or translational research. The following three trainees will be presenting their research:

David Paul – “Using DTI to measure changes in occipital lobe white matter after decompression of the optic chiasm”

Jarrod Bogue – “Investigation of the fundamental biochemistry and conformational properties of a specific riboswitch from Neisseria gonorrhoeae”

Melissa Squires – “Analysis of Inpatient Data on Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at Strong Memorial Hospital”

The learn more about the CTSI Year Out program, click here.

The theme of the Spring 2014 series is “Crossing Elmwood: River Campus-Medical Center Research Collaborations” and will showcase ongoing research collaborations between the University research community and the Medical Center. The series also aims to stimulate new research teams and areas of investigation capitalizing on the existing strength of faculty and programs. The Organizing Committee for the series includes Robert Holloway, MD, MPH, Peter Lennie, PhD, Rob Clark, PhD, Stephen Dewhurst, PhD, Karl Kieburtz, MD, MPH, David Williams, PhD, Richard Waugh, PhD,  and Joanna Olmsted, PhD.

The series takes place on Tuesdays from 12:15-1:15 pm in the Helen Wood Hall Auditorium. You can access the full schedule here. Lunch is provided. Please provide your own beverage. The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

CTSI Seminar Series: Mobile phone-based asthma self-management aid for adolescents (mASMAA): “Txt4ASMA”

textingThe CTSI Seminar Series for Spring 2014 continues on Tuesday,April 8th with a presentation by Hyekrun Rhee, PhD, RN, PNP and James Allen, PhD. Drs. Rhee and Allen will be presenting their research in a seminar entitled “Mobile phone-based asthma self-management aid for adolescents (mASMAA): Txt4ASMA.” Dr. Rhee is an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing and Dr. Allen is the John H. Dessauer Professor of Computer Science on River Campus.

Abstract: Adolescents report high asthma-related morbidity that can be prevented by adequate self-management of the disease. Therefore, there is a need for a developmentally appropriate strategy to promote effective asthma self-management. Mobile phone-based technology is portable, commonly accessible, and well received by adolescents. The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of a comprehensive mobile phone-based asthma self-management aid for adolescents (mASMAA) that was designed to facilitate symptom monitoring, treatment adherence, and adolescent–parent partnership. The system used state-of-the-art natural language-understanding technology that allowed teens to use unconstrained English in their texts, and to self-initiate interactions with the system.

Drs. Rhee and Allen published their findings in the journal “Patient Preference and Adherence.” To read the entire publication, click here.

The theme of the Spring 2014 series is “Crossing Elmwood: River Campus-Medical Center Research Collaborations” and will showcase ongoing research collaborations between the University research community and the Medical Center. The series also aims to stimulate new research teams and areas of investigation capitalizing on the existing strength of faculty and programs. The Organizing Committee for the series includes Robert Holloway, MD, MPH, Peter Lennie, PhD, Rob Clark, PhD, Stephen Dewhurst, PhD, Karl Kieburtz, MD, MPH, David Williams, PhD, Richard Waugh, PhD,  and Joanna Olmsted, PhD.

The series takes place on Tuesdays from 12:15-1:15 pm in the Helen Wood Hall Auditorium. You can access the full schedule here. Lunch is provided. Please provide your own beverage. The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

CTSI Seminar Series: When Erythrocyte Biology and Mechanics Collide

RedBloodCells3The CTSI Seminar Series for Spring 2014 continues on Tuesday, April 1st with a presentation by Richard Waugh, PhD and James Palis, MD. Drs. Waugh and Palis will be presenting their research in a seminar entitled “When Erythrocyte Biology and Mechanics Collide.” Dr. Palis is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Hematology and Oncology at the Medical Center and Dr. Waugh is Chair and Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering on River Campus. Dr. Palis and Dr. Waugh are Co-Principal Investigators on a CTSI Incubator award with Michael Bulger, PhD titled “Extensively Self-Renewing Erythroblasts as an Ex-Vivo Source of Human Blood.” In response to the increased blood transfusion need in the United States, their project will explore ways to artificially generate human blood. Click here to read more about their project.

The theme of the Spring 2014 series is “Crossing Elmwood: River Campus-Medical Center Research Collaborations” and will showcase ongoing research collaborations between the University research community and the Medical Center. The series also aims to stimulate new research teams and areas of investigation capitalizing on the existing strength of faculty and programs. The Organizing Committee for the series includes Robert Holloway, MD, MPH, Peter Lennie, PhD, Rob Clark, PhD, Stephen Dewhurst, PhD, Karl Kieburtz, MD, MPH, David Williams, PhD, Richard Waugh, PhD,  and Joanna Olmsted, PhD.

The series takes place on Tuesdays from 12:15-1:15 pm in the Helen Wood Hall Auditorium. You can access the full schedule here. Lunch is provided. Please provide your own beverage. The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

CTSI Education Spotlight: David Paul, ART Student

david paulAs a child, I always dreamed of pursuing a career that would combine my interests in science, engineering, business and the arts. After reading the book, Gifted Hands, by Dr. Ben Carson, a Johns Hopkins, neurosurgeon, I knew that medicine would fulfill my interests and allow me to make a lasting impact on my community. Driven to one-day be a physician, I went on to continue my education at Hope College, in Holland, MI; obtaining a B.S. in chemistry. During my time as an undergraduate, I conducted biophysics research in the laboratory of Dr. Brent P. Kreuger at Hope College and was awarded a Cyberinfrastructure Experiences for Graduate Students (NIH-CIEG) Fellowship to study under Dr. Ross Walker at the San Diego Supercomputer Center – University of California, San Diego.

In 2010, I was accepted into the MD program at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. During my first two years of medical school I became increasingly fascinated with the human brain; wanting to know more about it’s function after injury. This prompted a summer research project within the Departments of Neurosurgery, and Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester; where we used anatomical and functional magnetic resonance imagining to characterize the trajectory of visual recovery and cortical plasticity after surgical tumor resection in patients with pituitary tumors that compress the optic nerves. My background in computational methods and biophysics research prepared me to analyze complex neuroimaging data under the supervision of Drs. Bradford Mahon, PhD and G. Edward Vates, MD PhD.

After spending a summer in Dr. Mahon’s lab and shadowing Dr. Vates, a URMC neurosurgeon, my eyes were opened to the plethora of questions that remain unanswered concerning vision loss in pituitary tumor patients. Funding from the CTSI and support from the Academic Research Track Fellowship, in conjunction with the Academic Honors Program in Medical Neurobiology, provided me with an opportunity to answer these question through a dedicated 2-year research fellowship. This spring I will graduate with a masters in Neurobiology and Anatomy and begin the clinical years of my medical education. I am truly grateful to the CTSI for their support of my dreams.

CTSI Seminar Series: Listening through noise: Search for Autism biomarkers

Autism_Awareness_RibbonThe CTSI Seminar Series for Spring 2014 continues on Tuesday, March 25th with a presentation by Anne Luebke, PhD and Loisa Bennetto, PhD. Drs. Luebke and Bennetto will be presenting their research in a seminar entitled “Listening through noise: Search for Autism biomarkers.” Dr. Luebke is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Neurobiology and Anatomy at the Medical Center. Dr. Bennetto is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology on River Campus. The research done in the Bennetto Lab is broadly directed at examining the neurocognitive bases of developmental disabilities, with the ultimate goal of understanding how atypical neurocognitive development relates to deficits in social-communication functioning as well as everyday difficulties with adaptive functioning. The goal of the Luebke lab is to understand the role of cochlear outer hair cells in hearing and hearing loss both at the molecular and at the systems level. Specifically, they are interested in agents that block or enhance the action of receptors on outer hair cells of the cochlea, which enhance hearing and decrease hearing loss.

The theme of the Spring 2014 series is “Crossing Elmwood: River Campus-Medical Center Research Collaborations” and will showcase ongoing research collaborations between the University research community and the Medical Center. The series also aims to stimulate new research teams and areas of investigation capitalizing on the existing strength of faculty and programs. The Organizing Committee for the series includes Robert Holloway, MD, MPH, Peter Lennie, PhD, Rob Clark, PhD, Stephen Dewhurst, PhD, Karl Kieburtz, MD, MPH, David Williams, PhD, Richard Waugh, PhD,  and Joanna Olmsted, PhD.

The series takes place on Tuesdays from 12:15-1:15 pm in the Helen Wood Hall Auditorium. You can access the full schedule here. Lunch is provided. Please provide your own beverage. The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

CTSI Seminar Series: Progress toward noninvasive vision correction

knox huxlinThe CTSI Seminar Series for Spring 2014 continues on Tuesday, March 18th with a presentation by Krysten Huxlin, PhD and Wayne Knox, PhD. Drs. Huxlin and Knox will be presenting their research in a seminar entitled “Progress toward noninvasive vision correction.” Dr. Huxlin is Professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology, Neurobiology & Anatomy, Brian & Cognitive Sciences and the Center for Visual Science. Dr. Knox is the Associate Dean of Education and New Initiatives and Professor in the Departments of Optics and Physics and Visual Sciences. Click here to learn more about their research collaboration.

The theme of the Spring 2014 series is “Crossing Elmwood: River Campus-Medical Center Research Collaborations” and will showcase ongoing research collaborations between the University research community and the Medical Center. The series also aims to stimulate new research teams and areas of investigation capitalizing on the existing strength of faculty and programs. The Organizing Committee for the series includes Robert Holloway, MD, MPH, Peter Lennie, PhD, Rob Clark, PhD, Stephen Dewhurst, PhD, Karl Kieburtz, MD, MPH, David Williams, PhD, Richard Waugh, PhD,  and Joanna Olmsted, PhD.

The series takes place on Tuesdays from 12:15-1:15 pm in the Helen Wood Hall Auditorium. You can access the full schedule here. Lunch is provided. Please provide your own beverage. The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Summer course for PhD students interested in clinical and translational research

Rochester GroupThe NIH Clinical Center invites graduate students to apply to the Clinical and Translational Research Course for Ph.D. Students, to be held at the NIH main campus in Bethesda, MD July 7-18, 2014. During the two-week intensive course, students will learn the process of clinical and translational research from concept to implementation. This training is offered by the Clinical Center at no cost. Participants are responsible for their travel and housing. Application deadline is April 1, 2014. For additional information, please call (301) 435-8015 or visit http://cc.nih.gov/training/phdcourse.

Last year, 4 PhD students from the University of Rochester attended the course; Amanda Croasdell, Katie Lanin, Marina Feigenson and HsiMin Hsiao.  Some of those students describe their experience below:

Amanda Croasdell:
It was really incredible to learn about the programs involved in one of NIH’s newest divisions, NCATS. Not only is this division doing cutting edge research, they are also working to improve toxicology techniques and increase collaborative research efforts. I have been considering work at the NIH as a potential career path, and this course definitely increased my interest! It was inspiring to see the research opportunities available and to experience the collaborative and supportive research system first hand.

Katie Lanin:
The two week NIH course was a great opportunity to network with clinical researchers in my field at the NIH clinical center.  This intensive course focused mainly on clinical trial design, procedures, and analysis.  We participated in workshops and attended seminars highlighting cutting edge research at the NIH.  One day of the course was spent at the FDA, learning about regulatory science and the process required to approve a drug or device for clinical use.  This was of particular interest to me and provided the opportunity to learn about postdoctoral positions at the NIH and FDA.  This course certainly enhanced my knowledge of clinical translational sciences and helped to shape my research and career path.  I would highly recommend this course to any student who is interested in clinical translational research or postdoctoral positions at the NIH.

HsiMin Hsiao:
First we were able to get insight of what NIH has been focusing and its central mission. We are able to appreciate NIH as a “leading research institute”, rather than a “funding agency”. By attending to different modules, we were able to learn to carry our research from the benchside to bedside, which is apparently a core value of this course. At the end, it is especially beneficial to students like me who is seeking a career opportunity given that NIH has variety of fellowship programs that we might interested in. Overall we had great experience at the NIH, and will definitely recommend people who are planning to go this year to prepare ahead of the deadline. Due to the growing popularity of this course, they are expecting significantly more applicants this year than previous two years!

CTSI Seminar Series: Using MRI to predict visual recovery after tumor resection

MRIThe CTSI Seminar Series for Spring 2014 continues on Tuesday, March 11th with a presentation by Brad Mahon, PhD. Dr. Mahon will be presenting on a research collaboration with G. Edward Vates, MD, PhD in a seminar entitled “Using MRI to predict visual recovery after tumor resection.” Dr. Mahon works in the Concepts, Actions and Objects (CAO) Lab and his research addresses the processes involved in categorization and recognition of the visual input, the engagement of motor knowledge necessary to manipulate objects, and the dynamics of information retrieval within the speech production system.

The theme of the Spring 2014 series is “Crossing Elmwood: River Campus-Medical Center Research Collaborations” and will showcase ongoing research collaborations between the University research community and the Medical Center. The series also aims to stimulate new research teams and areas of investigation capitalizing on the existing strength of faculty and programs. The Organizing Committee for the series includes Robert Holloway, MD, MPH, Peter Lennie, PhD, Rob Clark, PhD, Stephen Dewhurst, PhD, Karl Kieburtz, MD, MPH, David Williams, PhD, Richard Waugh, PhD,  and Joanna Olmsted, PhD.

The series takes place on Tuesdays from 12:15-1:15 pm in the Helen Wood Hall Auditorium. You can access the full schedule here. Lunch is provided. Please provide your own beverage. The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

CTSI Seminar Series: A multidisciplinary effort toward identifying and mitigating closed-head brain injury

football_researchThe CTSI Seminar Series for Spring 2014 continues on Tuesday, February 18th with a presentation by Jeffrey Bazarian, MD, MPH, Eric Blackman, PhD, and Jianhui Zhong, PhD. Drs. Bazarian, Blackman and Zhong will be presenting their research in a seminar entitled “A multidisciplinary effort toward identifying and mitigating closed-head brain injury.” Traumatic brain injury, especially as it relates to sports such as football, has been a frequent topic in health news as of late. Drs. Bazarian, Blackman and Zhong were all authors on the article “Consequences of repeated blood-brain barrier disruption in football players.” You can watch Dr. Bazarian talk about his research in a series of videos found here.

The theme of the Spring 2014 series is “Crossing Elmwood: River Campus-Medical Center Research Collaborations” and will showcase ongoing research collaborations between the University research community and the Medical Center. The series also aims to stimulate new research teams and areas of investigation capitalizing on the existing strength of faculty and programs. The Organizing Committee for the series includes Robert Holloway, MD, MPH, Peter Lennie, PhD, Rob Clark, PhD, Stephen Dewhurst, PhD, Karl Kieburtz, MD, MPH, David Williams, PhD, Richard Waugh, PhD,  and Joanna Olmsted, PhD.

The series takes place on Tuesdays from 12:15-1:15 pm in the Helen Wood Hall Auditorium. You can access the full schedule here. Lunch is provided. Please provide your own beverage. The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry designates this live educational activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Regulatory Science Competition Spurs Innovation

Regulatory Science Winner Photo_020514

(L to R) Scott Steele, PhD, Karl Kieburtz, MD, MPH, David Brodell, Joan Adamo, PhD

A new UR contest is encouraging students and trainees, as well as the whole research community, to think about how to turn advances in basic and applied sciences more quickly – and safely – into new ways to improve health.

The FDA launched its Regulatory Science initiative in 2010.  The intention is to foster the development of new tools, standards, and approaches to assess the safety, efficacy and quality of any products regulated by the FDA.

These objectives, including creating ways to improve the complex drug and device development process, as well as strengthening social and behavioral science to lead to informed decisions, compliment the NIH’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program.  The CTSA program, which URMC has participated in since 2006, was designed, in part, to create a new generation of researchers, physicians, and research professionals with the skills to undertake successful clinical research.

Last week, the UR Office of Research Alliances and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) hosted and sponsored the inaugural “America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent Competition.” Entrants were asked to submit and then present ideas that addressed FDA priority areas such as improving clinical studies and evaluation, harnessing diverse data through information sciences to improve health outcomes, developing prevention focused food safety systems, and strengthening social and behavioral science leading to informed decisions.

Three teams submitted proposals for the competition:

Team Cardioid (David Brodell) – The process of determining whether an experimental drug will be toxic to the heart could be transformed through the use of advanced computational simulations. In collaboration with IBM, URMC researchers are working to better understand the mechanisms associated with drug-induced ion-channel dysfunction through work with a complex computer model of the human heart made using the University’s Blue Gene/Q supercomputer.

Team Bio-Logic (Michael Moses and Allen Bennett) – E-cigarettes sales are increasing at an alarming rate. The long-term safety of E-cigarettes has not been scientifically tested nor are they currently regulated by the FDA unlike traditional cigarettes.  It is proposed that product standards be established for e-cigarettes which include toxicology data to support safety and labeling to increase awareness and educated decision-making for consumers.

Team Report-It (Abeer Abu-Zeitone) – A FDA-approved user friendly, smart phone application that links (via a QR code) dietary supplement products and information about the product could facilitate the reporting of adverse events associated with their use and make this information more accessible to the public.

Competition organizers Joan Adamo, PhD, Associate Director of Regulatory Services at the University and Scott Steele, PhD, Director of Research Alliances agreed that the entrants went above and beyond to assemble insightful projects which touched on several FDA Regulatory Science Priority Areas.  Steele noted that “Given our research and educational programs, the CTSI, the Center for Medical Technology and Innovation, and participation in a number of national networks, the University is well positioned to address Regulatory Science challenges.  This competition is an important element of increasing awareness of how our research and training initiatives can directly impact national Regulatory Science needs”.  Competition co-organizer Joan Adamo said, “Many of the faculty here are already doing work which has regulatory implications not that far down the road.  We hope that by engaging them and their students in informal ways like this, we will be able to help them to see the practical application of their work to the formation of Federal Regulations.  This will also help them as they apply for grants which ask them to speak to the Regulatory Science aspects of the proposed projects. ”

The competition is a partnership with the University of Maryland, which is home to a FDA-supported Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation.  The winner – David Brodell of Team Cardioid – will be traveling to Washington, DC to meet the winners from the Maryland competition and present their ideas directly to the FDA.

Judges for the competition came from UR (Greg Gdowski, PhD from the Center for Medical Technology and Innovation and Biomedical Engineering), URMC (Eric Rubinstein, JD, MPH – CTSI) and from a local industry (Christine Ehmann, MS from Carestream Health).

Said one of the competition contestants, pathology graduate student Michael Moses, “I really learned so much in researching this project.  While it is not the focus of my graduate studies, during the past few weeks, our team has learned a great deal about the current tobacco regulations and how the FDA could have an even greater presence.”

The competition is one of several events and initiatives organized by the CTSI and the Office of Research Alliances to promote Regulatory Science awareness and opportunities.  A list of Regulatory Science news, events, and funding opportunities can be found at www.urmc.rochester.edu/ora/RegulatoryScience.cfm.