Director's Message: Spring 2013

Dr. Firestein

Coinciding with the start of the 4th year of our CTSA funding from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science, a new round of CTRI pilot projects were awarded. The quality and diversity of the proposals submitted for this funding cycle were outstanding and are a testimony to the exceptional research being done at academic and research institutions in San Diego. It is particularly rewarding to see the highly diverse group of investigators that are funded in this cycle, as well as the increasing number of researchers at our partner institutions.

Four types of applications were solicited –Clinical Research Projects (up to $25,000 in direct costs); Translational Research Projects (up to $25,000 in direct costs); Innovative Technology Research Projects (up to $50,000 in direct costs); and new for this funding cycle, Personalized Medicine Research Projects (up to $50,000 in direct costs). The process for funding of these awards was a competitive two-part review with a limited submission in round one and full proposal submission in round two. Over 50 applications in a broad range of topics were received. Applicants with the highest overall scores in round one were asked to submit a full proposal packet in round two. Final awardees were chosen in early March.

The awardees are listed below. Read the abstracts for these projects.

Clinical Research Pilot Projects

Amy Guzik, MD
UCSD Department of Neurosciences
Title: Smartphone Application for Verifying Information in Emergency-Stroke: SAVE-Stroke

Dawn Schiehser, MD/PhD
UCSD Department of Psychiatry
Title: Neurocognitive and neural changes associated with cognitive rehabilitation in Parkinson’s disease

Pam Taub, MD
UCSD Department of Medicine (Cardiology)
Title: Effects of epicatechin on functional capacity, skeletal muscle structure and diastolic function in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF)

Adriana Tremoulet, MD
UCSD & Rady Children’s Hospital – Department of Pediatrics
Title: Immunoglobulin G sialylation in patients with treatment-resistant Kawasaki disease

Translational Research Pilot Projects

Dean Acheson, PhD
UCSD Department of Psychiatry
Title: Intranasal oxytocin as a putative facilitator of virtual reality-based exposure therapy for arachnophobia

Beatrix Bartok, MD
UCSD Department of Medicine (Rheumatology)
Title: The novel role of YAP in regulating synoviocytes behavior in rheumatoid arthritis

Karen Christman, PhD
UCSD Department of Bioengineering
Title: Novel biomaterial for preventing cardiac adhesions

Todd Costantini , MD
UCSD Department of Surgery
Title: Taxonomically restricted gene expression in injured patients

Yo Suzuki, PhD
J. Craig Venter Institute, Department of Synthetic Biology
Title: Using Yeast to Understand Malaria Drug Mechanisms of Action

Innovative Technology Pilot Projects

Albert Remacle, PhD
Sanford Burnham Research Institute – Cancer Center
Title: Imaging of metastatic breast cancer cells via the active cell-surface proteinase

Personalized Medicine Pilot Projects

Douglas Conrad , MD
UCSD Department of Medicine (Pulmonary)
Title: Metabolites as biomarkers in Cystic Fibrosis

Daniel O’Connor, MD
UCSD Department of Medicine (Nephrology)
Title: Natural human genetic variation and the metabolism: Studies in twin pairs

The CTRI is proud to be able to support these researchers, and we look forward to learning the outcomes of these exciting projects.

Gary S Firestein, MD, Director of CTRI
Professor of Medicine Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine

transmed@ucsd.edu
Phone: (858) 822-3824