CTSI Seminar Series: Ultrasound technologies for tissue engineering

ultrasound-machineThe CTSI Seminar Series for Spring 2014 continues on Tuesday, March 4th with a presentation by Diane Dalecki, PhD and Denise Hocking, PhD. Drs. Dalecki and Hocking will be presenting their research in a seminar entitled “Ultrasound technologies for tissue engineering.” Research in the Hocking lab focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which the extracellular matrix protein, fibronectin, affects cell and tissue functions that are critical for wound repair. The Dalecki laboratory is dedicated to advancing the use of ultrasound in medicine and biology. To read more about the topic of their seminar, 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.

The Research Coordinator Development Initiative

For years, somewhere between 20 and 30 different Human Resources (HR) job titles have been used to employ staff research cdowhose primary job duties include coordination of human-subject research. This wide range of titles has made it challenging to recognize people who perform these important professional duties, both to ensure standardization of training and continuing education and also to support a career path. CTSI and HR have collaborated to develop a standardized job series, as recommended by the contributors* to the Research Coordinator Development Initiative (RCDI).

The RCDI working group met a total of 7 times, from March through August of last year, with contributions from 39 individuals–coordinators, administrators, personnel from HR, OHSP and CTSI. The work product of the RCDI included a proposed 3-level job series, delivered to HR with a recommendation to develop an implementation plan and to share that plan in an open forum, prior to rolling it out. Working with the language of the recommended series, HR and CTSI collaborated to bring the RCDI recommendations to reality. Starting April 1st, new coordinators meeting specified criteria will be hired into this standardized series.

At the March 5th CTSI Town Hall, details of the roll-out plan will be shared along with updates about other initiatives. The Town Hall provides an opportunity to share information and to participate in the conversation. All members of the University Community are invited to hear what is planned, and to share feedback. Please join the research community in Helen Wood Hall Auditorium, March 5th at 4pm.

*The RCDI workgroup was led by Adam Tatro and Nancy Needler.  The CTSI and HR thank and recognize the other participants in this group for their dedication to professionalising the human subject research coordinator role:  Alison Diehl, Allison W. McIntyre , Amy Marra, Barbara Baisch , Kate Burns, Carol Alarie, Catherine A. Bunce, Catherine A. Muzytchuk, Christine Annis, Cindy MacDonald, Cindy Westfall, Cynthia J. Irish, Debbie Campbell, Liz Werner, Eric Rubinstein, Evelyn Sheffer, Jennifer Silverstein, Jennifer T. Foley, Jill Bowman, Karen Vitale, Kelly Unsworth, Lauren Farberman, Laurie S Passalacqua, Lisa Rodgers, Lori C. Caufield, Maria Fagnano, Mary Lou Pollock, Nancy E. Wood, Nancy Nix, Nicole J. Driffill, Noreen Connolly, Pam LaDuke, Pamela M. Sawdey, Patricia Oschmann-Landers, Patty Smith, Rachel David, Rebecca Rowley, Ryan Jones, Sarah M. Farash, Sherry Cruz, and Susanne Heininger

The Six Pillars of the CTSI

Image

You’ve heard this before: “Connect. Learn. Get Help. The CTSI helps research teams work faster and better.” But do you know exactly how we help? In order to better communicate what we do and how we do it, and also to help create a more accountable management structure, the CTSI is moving toward an organization based on six “pillars” – organizational components that group our programs and new initiatives into logical categories.

Here’s the quick version: Since its inception, the CTSI has provided (1) research education to help people learn to do research; (2) pilot funds to jump start new research projects and programs; (3) a place to do research – the Clinical Research Center – and a professional team to support it; (4) connections to collaborators and expertise to accelerate and enrich research programs. Going forward, the CTSI will also devote increased attention to two domains where Rochester has unusual strength: (5) support for research to understand the impacts of health care reform and other policy changes on population health; and (6) support for research into innovative methods and technologies to bring the practice of clinical trials into the 21st century.

Image

Now that you have the gist of it, here are a few more details:

  1.  Research education. Programs include our KL2 career development program, our TL1 predoctoral training program, our PhD program in Translational Biomedical Science, non-degree programs such as our week-long Academic Core Curriculum for junior faculty, our Mentor Development Program, and others.
  2. Funding Programs. The CTSI provides financial support to research teams to help them get new ideas off the ground. Programs include the Voucher Program, a small project funding mechanism that provides access to expertise in biostatistics or access to core facilities; the Clinical and Translational Pilot Program which funds year-long pilot research projects through a competitive application process; and the Incubator Program, a “super-pilot” mechanism that provides two years of funding for especially meritorious projects that show promise of establishing innovative multidisciplinary research programs.
  3. Clinical Research Center. The CRC, formerly one of the first funded General Clinical Research Centers in the country, forms the nucleus of this pillar. Now part of the CTSI, it provides a convenient place, and skilled nursing, nutrition and research coordination staff, to support all types of clinical research.
  4. Research Collaborations and Services. Through this pillar, the CTSI provides direct support for research teams in three ways. First, it provides specialized research services directly to investigators, such as expertise and tools in recruitment and retention of volunteer research subjects, support for FDA regulatory filings, and others. Second, it links research teams to other research services and resources across the University and elsewhere through the Research Navigator Program, which among other things supports a “research help desk” providing a concierge-like service to researchers that need specific tools or expertise to support their work. Third, it supports and drives new research collaborations by linking investigators with complementary interests, through partnerships with other institutions through the UNYTE Network of research institutions in Upstate New York, and through supportive networks such as as the Greater Rochester Practice-Based Research Network.
  5. Population Health. The CTSI is extraordinarily well-positioned to support research that seeks to understand the impacts of policy changes on population health because it is part of an institution that is the largest health care provider in a diverse urban/suburban/rural region, is the largest employer in the region, and provides an academic home for some of the nation’s top researchers in population health, health services and comparative effectiveness, and biomedical informatics. With extraordinary access to and understanding of a wealth of population health data, the CTSI will be instrumental in developing, testing and assessing policies that improve population health.
  6. Clinical Trials Methods and Technologies. The theory and practice of clinical trials have not kept pace with changes in health care practice and in technology. New methods and technologies must be developed for clinical trials to improve efficiency and timeliness, and produce results relevant to the modern day. The CTSI, in partnership with some of the world’s foremost clinical trials experts at the University of Rochester and at other like-minded CTSA institutions, will bring clinical trial methods into the 21st century.

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.

CTSI Seminar Series: Calorics Pharmaceuticals: Linking yeast longevity to age-associated diseases

goldfarbThe CTSI Seminar Series for Spring 2014 continues on Tuesday, February 11th with a presentation by David Goldfarb, PhD. Dr. Goldfarb will be presenting his research in a seminar entitled “Calorics Pharmaceuticals: Linking yeast longevity to age-associated diseases.”

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.