2013 CTSI Novel Biostatistical and Epidemiologic Methods Awardees

Three URMC faculty members earned CTSI Novel Biostatistical and Epidemiologic Methods (NBEM) pilot awards for 2013-2014. The CTSI’s NBEM program offers investigators one- or two-year awards for up to $20,000, to stimulate the development of novel biostatistical and epidemiologic methods to help overcome specifically identified limitations that will significantly enhance the validity, accuracy, scope or speed of translational research.  Click here to see the newly-released RFA for 2014 pilot awards. The 2013 NBEM awardees are:

Anthony Almudevar

Anthony Almudevar, Bsc, Msc, PhD

Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Computational Biology

Predictive Models for Longitudinal Technological Home Monitoring Data

Technological monitoring systems are widely used to assess elderly or at-risk subjects living at home. Recent years have seen significant improvement in the accuracy, range and cost of a wide variety of sensor devices and supporting computing and communication network components. What remains is the development of statistical models and algorithms able to convert the output of sensor networks into clinical outcome measures and predictions. The current proposal addresses this need.

Changrong Feng

Changyong Feng, PhD

Associate Professor of Biostatistics and Computational Biology

Allowance for center effects in the analysis of randomized clinical trial with time-to-event outcomes

Many randomized clinical trials (RCT) have time-to-event outcomes. The log-rank test is widely used to analyze such event-time data, however the log-rank test assumes that individuals in the same treatment group are all homogeneous. Heterogeneity among individuals in a randomized study does not invalidate the log-rank tests, but it may make them less efficient. It is common to control heterogeneity using a stratified log-rank test (SLRT). In this proposal we will compare the relative efficiency of SLRT and ULRT under two different scenarios and obtain an optimal linear combination of these test statistics which maximize statistical power.

Xing Qiu

Xing Qiu, PhD

Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Computational Biology

A Unified Method for Differential Expression and Differential Association Analyses

Thousands of basic research projects use the microarray technology, yet very few of them have been successfully translated into clinical applications. This proposal responds to this challenge by integrating normalization, DE analysis, and DA analysis, in such a way that not only the computational cost is reduced, but also false positives/negatives are reduced by using one MTP for both analyses simultaneously.

CTSI Announces 2013-14 Trainee Pilot Awardees

Two URMC trainees earned CTSI pilot awards for 2013-2014. The CTSI’s pilot program offers trainees one-year awards for up to $25,000, to obtain new skills, develop technologies, generate critical preliminary clinical data, test new collaborative approaches, and create new outcome assessments and biomedical informatics advances. All UR pre-doctoral students, fellows and residents are eligible to apply. Click here to see the newly-released RFA for 2014 pilot awards. The 2013 trainee awardees are:

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Hsi-min (Jim) Hsiao, BS, MS

Hsi-min (Jim) Hsiao, BS, MS

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Novel pro-resolving lipid mediators reduce cigarette smoke-induced emphysema

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, emphysema and chronic bronchitis) is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Current therapies for COPD attempt to relieve the symptoms but do not alter the course of the disease; therefore, new therapies for COPD are desperately needed. This study will provide critical pre-clinical data needed to prepare for human clinical trials of resolvins in lung disease.

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Jonathan Stone, BA, MD

Jonathan Stone, BA, MD

Neurosurgery

Intraparenchymal Stent for Obstructive Hydrocephalus (IPSOH): a Novel Technology

Hydrocephalus is a common debilitating neurologic disease affecting a significant portion of the pediatric and adult population. The current surgical treatment options are frought with complications and excessive costs heralding the need for new technology. This project will not only test the efficacy of this new shunt system in an animal model, but will also evaluate the movement of interstitial fluid in hydrocephalus before and after interventions.

CTSI Announces 2013 Faculty Pilot Funding Awardees

Three URMC faculty members earned CTSI pilot awards for 2013-2014. The CTSI’s pilot program offers faculty members one year awards for up to $50,000, to obtain new skills, develop technologies, generate critical preliminary clinical data, test new collaborative approaches, and create new outcome assessments and biomedical informatics advances. Click here to see the newly-released RFA for 2014 pilot awards. The 2013 faculty awardees are:

BurackW. Richard Burack, MD, PhD
Associate Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Project: Quantifying Tumor Diversity to predict and target Cancer progression
Identifying the basis for genetic diversification of tumor genomes would have a far-reaching impact on cancer prognostics and potentially for cancer maintenance therapies. The data from this study could directly affect clinical trial planning for the most prevalent non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, affecting more than 250,000 Americans who are living with follicular lymphoma.

CalviLaura Calvi, MD
Associate Professor, Medicine (Endocrinology)
Project: Osteoblastic Function in Human Leukemia
Emerging data suggest that leukemia inhibits the function of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells), which in turn decreases support for normal hematopoiesis (the formation of blood cellular components) while fostering the resistance of leukemia stem cells to chemotherapy. Therapies restoring normal function in this setting are lacking. If inhibition of bone-forming cells in Acute Myeloid Luekemia (AML) is confirmed and reversible, Dr. Calvi’s strategy would develop highly innovative targets for AML treatment, which will mitigate bone marrow failure and improve therapeutic response.

smrckaAlan Smrcka, PhD
Professor, Pharmacology and Physiology
Project: Inhibition of G protein beta/gamma signaling as a therapeutic approach to treatment of lupus
This project proposes a translational combination of basic science pharmacology and clinical Rheumatology, combining expertise in pre-clinical animal models, developing proof of concept human clinical trials (with co-investigator Dr. Jennifer Anolik) and expertise in manipulation and analysis of chemokine signaling pathways (Dr. Alan Smrcka). Additionally, a specific oral agent for the treatment of lupus would be truly novel.

CTSI KL2 scholar wins competitive fellowship

Matt-KottmannMatt Kottmann, MD, a CTSI KL2 scholar from 2010-2012, received a highly competitive Parker B. Francis Fellowship grant. Like the KL2 award, the Parker B. Francis Fellowship supports junior investigators on their path to independence. Matt’s project for the CTSI KL2 was  “Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Ligands and Pulmonary Fibrosis.” The CTSI KL2 Career Development Program supports junior investigators for 2 years who are interested in a career in clinical and translational research. The next RFA for the CTSI KL2 award will be released in September 2013. More information on Matt’s award can be found at the Research @URMC blog.