Director’s Message: Spring 2012

Dr. Firestein

If you haven’t visited us in a while, welcome back to all of our colleagues and partners. To newcomers: the CTRI’s mission is to help move scientific discoveries to patients as quickly, safely, and efficiently as possible. We do this by bringing together groups that, historically, did not often work together—basic and clinical researchers, physicians, patients, other research institutions, and biotech companies—and we support them with scientific, clinical, and educational collaborations and services. For all of our members and friends, we’d like to highlight our recent progress.

CTRI researchers can now use several new informatics tools—Velos clinical trial management software and CRIQueT, which enables investigators to search the clinical data warehouse for research. PIs can use CRIQueT to determine the number of patients meeting criteria for potential recruitment into a research protocol. Later this year we will be adding features such as laboratory values and medications to the search criteria. With IRB approval, the CTRI Biomedical Informatics team can help investigators use CRIQueT to identify people who can be asked to participate in research projects.

Clinical studies can now be conducted in our new outpatient clinic at the recently completed East Campus Office Building (ECOB). With the move to ECOB late last year, the CTRI is now located in UC San Diego’s La Jolla clinical hub, where it has experienced a marked increase in clinical trial activity. The new infusion center has generated considerable interest, especially for phase I studies and clinical trials testing new biologics. Through the UC BRAID initiative (UCBRAID.org), we have simplified IRB approvals, so that full review is only required at a single UC site for multi-UC campus trials.

The new TL1 program supports medical students in both short-term and long-term research training. The TL1 Winter Poster Session was a big success, and we honored three medical/pharmacy students for their outstanding work in basic, translational, and clinical science: Jonathan Copp, Michelle Hughes, and Alex Pratt.

The UCSD Rady School of Management has partnered with the CTRI to launch the new Health Sciences MBA Program. In addition, we have expanded our pilot and catalyst grant programs to include community-based projects and the use of mass spec to identify novel biomarkers. Our CTSA funding was enhanced by two supplements totaling nearly $1 million. The first is designed to explore mutations that occur in breast cancer patients (Kelly Frazer), and the second works with community agencies to understand how to increase community involvement in research.

Plans for the new Altman CTRI building are progressing well. After formal Regent approval in February, preparation has begun on the planned site near the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center. Groundbreaking is slated for next year. Please visit our website for updates about this and other exciting developments in the CTRI.

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