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CTRI News and Funding Opportunities - April 2016

UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute Newsletter:
April 2016, Vol. 1, Issue 4

The UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) is part of a national Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) consortium, led by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Established in 2010, CTRI provides infrastructure and support for basic, translational and clinical research throughout the San Diego region to bring discoveries from the laboratory to the bedside, and facilitates training and education of the next generation of researchers. CTRI carries out its activities in collaboration with institutional and corporate partners and currently has more than 1,100 members. The CTRI News and Funding Opportunities is a monthly newsletter.

CTRI Special Announcements

life course

CTRI Creates Center for Life Course Research

UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) is pleased to announce it has created a Center for Life Course Research to incorporate special populations and all age groups into research. This integrated program is the first of its kind at UC San Diego and provides unique multi-disciplinary opportunities to bring pediatricians, neonatologists, internists, family medicine physicians and geriatrics specialists together to study special populations and life course transitions.

Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, is director of the CTRI Center for Life Course Research.

Broadly, life course research investigates the long term effects of social, behavioral and biologic determinants of disease across the life span or across generations. Through the study of biologic pathways by which these determinants operate, both independently and jointly, researchers strive to elucidate the origins and trajectories of disease. Through collaborations across multi-disciplinary teams, clinical researchers seek to bridge developmental transitions throughout the life course, enabling a continuum of care and investigation into biologic plasticity, fetal programming, and critical periods of growth and development. Life course research develops and incorporates methodologies specific to analytical techniques appropriate for modeling repeat observations, hierarchical data, latent exposures, or multiple interactive effects. Read more about the Center’s funding and educational opportunities, seminars, and training and education.

Funding Opportunities

REMINDER: CTRI and IEM Seek Engineering Applicants for Phase II of the Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine Awards
Deadline for Phase II Proposals: April 29, 2016

CTRI Life Course Research Proposal Development Support for Pilot Projects

NCATS Open Funding Opportunities

CTRI News and Features

Camille Nebeker, EdD, MS; Christina Holub, PhD, MPH; Siaosi Veimau of Rawmana Fitness

From left to right are: Christina Holub, PhD, MPH; Camille Nebeker, EdD, MS; Siaosi Veimau of Rawmana Fitness.

CTRI Supports Pacific Islander Health Study

Sharing a good story could be the start toward better health. Researchers supported by the UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) are employing Talk Story – the tradition of sharing stories – in a study to increase physical activity through a culturally tailored, community-led intervention among Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiians.

“The study has two components: health training and leadership training,” said Christina Holub, PhD, MPH, one of the principal investigators on the CTRI-supported academic-community pilot project. “The format of the leadership group is actually Talk Story, a tradition among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders who place a high value on passing down knowledge through stories and preserving culture.”

Holub, a researcher at San Diego State University (SDSU), joins co-principal investigator Camille Nebeker, EdD, MS, of the UC San Diego Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, and community partner Siaosi Veimau of Rawmana Fitness in the study. The primary goal is for participants in the 12-week intervention to increase their physical activity level and intensity to meet recommendation guidelines for adults (i.e. 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week). Culturally-inspired activities include canoe paddling and traditional dance. The overarching goal is to foster an academic-community relationship with Rawmana Fitness, and prepare the organization for future full-scale research and collaboration. “Rawmana, native owned by a Tongan family, is helping train community health workers to assist with delivering the intervention itself,” Holub said. Read more

Sameer Nath, MD; Brent Rose, MD; and Daniel Simpson, MD

From left to right are: Sameer Nath, MD; Brent Rose, MD; and Daniel Simpson, MD.

UC San Diego Shapes the Next Generation for Careers in Academic Medicine

T32 awardees Nath, Rose and Simpson become junior faculty

They were like the three musketeers of radiation oncology training, swapping swords for therapies in the battle against cancer. The year was 2009. Sameer Nath, Brent Rose, and Daniel Simpson – then UC San Diego medical students – were supported by T32 (now TL1) training grants along their path to becoming clinical investigators. Now each is a junior faculty member: Nath at Yale University; Rose and Simpson at UC San Diego.

“The grant did exactly what it was intended to do. Each received education and training, completed a residency, and now has a faculty position,” said Carolyn Kelly, MD, director of the TL1 program at the UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI). The T32 rolled into the TL1 program, which is aimed at providing training in clinical research for students enrolled in health sciences doctoral programs.

Loren Mell, MD, was a mentor to all three. Nath, Rose, and Simpson were the first students to work with him after he joined UC San Diego as a junior faculty member in 2008. “Together they comprised a veritable triple-threat, providing some much needed academic firepower to our burgeoning radiation oncology program,” said Mell, now an associate professor in the Department of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences at UC San Diego. “I was impressed by both the breadth and depth of their commitment to academic excellence and their willingness to take on intellectually challenging tasks. More importantly, they routinely exhibited their genuine compassion for patients, even caring for my own grandmother while she was a patient here.” Read more

Carlos RojasCTRI Welcomes Carlos Rojas

Carlos Rojas has joined the CTRI as a Senior Project Manager, leading special projects for Clinical Trials at UC San Diego Health Sciences and campus. His present focus is on clinical research billing and reconciliation.

Rojas is a Project Management Professional (PMP) and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt with 10 years of experience in project and program management, management consulting, and business process. His role has evolved from data analysis and benchmarking to project leadership efforts and serving as the primary interface with initiative sponsors. He has worked in the health care, high-tech, financial services, aerospace, government, and professional services industries. Lean Six Sigma is a training certification program for process improvement.

Prior to coming to UC San Diego, he was a senior associate at Point B in the San Francisco Bay Area, working as a healthcare IT project manager for EPIC Tapestry implementation. Rojas was also employed at other organizations, including as a senior program control analyst and senior manager. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard University in 2004.

“I hope to bring to CTRI the perspective of someone who has broad experience with many different organizations and can use my insight to keep our projects and processes moving in a positive direction,” said Rojas. “As a project manager, I provide structure. Often, people have ideas and solutions, but I try to capture these ideas in a way that is actionable.”

Rojas grew up in Las Vegas and has lived in many areas of the U.S., from Washington, D.C. and Boston, to the San Francisco Bay Area, and in other countries, including Peru and Chile. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his wife, surfing, biking, hiking and playing the occasional game of Scrabble.

Rojas can be reached by email.

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In This Issue

Upcoming Seminars

Rady Children’s Hospital Seminar

Jeannie S. Huang, MD, MPH, an associate professor at the UC San Diego Department of Pediatrics, will present a talk, “Mobile Technology in Pediatric Clinical Research: Current Practices and Future Research Directions,” on Tuesday, April 19, at Noon at Rady’s Medical Office Building, Suite 113. To find out more information or to RSVP, please send an email.

CTRI Seminar Series

“Gene List Search Engines for Large-scale Cancer Datasets” will be presented by Aaron Chang, PhD, Director of the UC San Diego Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, on Tuesday, July 19, at 3 p.m. at the School of Medicine campus. Read more

Recent CTRI Events


CTRI Center for Life Course Research Cannabis Symposium Draws Crowd

“Cannabis Across the Life Course: What Do We Know and What Do We Need to Know,” a special symposium hosted by the CTRI Center for Life Course Research, drew 150-plus researchers, medical staff and members of the public on April 13. The event took place at the UC San Diego School of Medicine campus. Among the topics presented and discussed were developmental effects of cannabis in animal models and human studies, breastfeeding exposure, use in older populations, substance abuse treatments and future research.

“It is important to study the effects of cannabis on all phases of life, from fetal development to older populations – and its potential for treating disease,” said Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at UC San Diego. “This symposium brought together a range of experts, from cognitive science and neuroscience researchers, to pediatrics and addiction behaviors scientists, to begin the discussion.” Chambers added that societal attitudes over cannabis use in the U.S. are undergoing shifts, resulting in a decline in perceived risks, which makes the symposium theme especially important. She co-directed the event with Dilip Jeste, MD. Read the list of symposium topics, speakers and sponsors.

Cite the Grant

citegrantdocDon’t forget to cite the grant!

To help ensure resources are available for future research, please cite the UCSD CTRI CTSA grant.

Projects and Publications using UCSD CTRI resources must cite the UCSD CTRI grant and follow the NIH Public Access Policy.

NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)


CTRI News and Funding Opportunities

Gary S. Firestein, MD
Director of CTRI

Eric Mah
Assistant Dean

Patricia Wieser
Communications Director

Tracy Dezenzo
Graphic Designer

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