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ACTRI News and Funding Opportunities - October 2018

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute Newsletter:
October 2018, Vol. 3, Issue 9

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) is part of a national Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program (CTSA) consortium, led by the National Institutes of HealthNational Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Established in 2010, ACTRI 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. ACTRI carries out its activities in collaboration with institutional and corporate partners and currently has more than 1,500 members. The ACTRI News and Funding Opportunities is a monthly newsletter.

ACTRI Special Announcements

Blood Mobile

ACTRI Collaboration Aims to Draw More Clinical Trial Participants through Blood Banks

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) and partners are teaming up with local blood banks to create remote clinical trial sites as a way to increase trial participation. ACTRI, Stanford University and Medical College of Wisconsin, along with local blood donation centers for each partner, recently received a $477,000 one-year grant from the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) to support the collaboration. “We are thrilled to receive funding for this unique collaboration between academic medical centers and regionally located blood banks to address the issue of recruiting and retaining trial participants,” said Howard Taras, MD, director of the ACTRI Community Engagement unit. “The aim of this multi-site project is to increase research trial enrollment and diversity by enabling trial visits to happen closer to under-represented communities.” If your clinical trial may be a good match for the program, please contact Rodney von Jaeger at or by phone at 858-822-0734. Read more


GEM Program Kicks Off Seminar Series

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) and UC San Diego Institute of Engineering in Medicine (IEM) are pleased to announce a new seminar series that highlights the research projects from the Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine (GEM) grant program. GEM, a collaboration between ACTRI and IEM, was established in 2013 to bring engineers and clinicians together to develop innovative technologies to solve challenging problems in medical care. GEM has funded 19 projects. “This year, we are introducing a seminar series “Healthcare Horizons – Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine” that will showcase the GEM projects and provide a forum for establishing more collaborations between clinicians and engineers,” said Deborah Spector, PhD, Co-director of the ACTRI Translational Science Alliance and one of the leaders of the GEM initiative. Read more

Funding Opportunities

NEWACTRI and Pfizer Invite Pre-Proposals for Biotherapeutic and Small-Molecule Targets—Due 11/2

REMINDERACTRI Invites Applications for 2019 Academic-Community Pilot Project Awards—Due 10/15

REMINDERACTRI Invites Applications for 2019 Dissemination & Implementation Pilot Project Awards—Due 10/22

REMINDERACTRI Invites Applications for KL2 Training Support for Junior Faculty—Due 11/12

ACTRI Vouchers for ACTRI Research Services (In-kind)

NCATS Open Funding Opportunities

Courtesy Postings

ACTRI News and Features

Tia Levine

ACTRI Welcomes Tia Levine as Operations Director

Tia Levine (formerly Thompson) has joined UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) as the new Director of Operations. She came on board in early September. Levine previously had been at Human Resources, where she managed a large team and led key process improvement initiatives that have had a positive impact on UC San Diego Health, the School of Medicine and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Prior to joining UC San Diego in 2013, Levine served as the Business Officer of the Instructional Development Department at UC Santa Barbara for nine years, where she managed all financial, recharge, and administrative functions, and served as liaison to faculty across campus. In her new role, Levine looks forward to working with all the ACTRI units, faculty, clients, and community to support the translational mission. “I am delighted to join ACTRI, with an eye on fully supporting the teams and providing infrastructure for all the areas,” Levine said. “What is most appealing to me is that ACTRI is not a traditional group or department at all. There is always something new to learn and many opportunities for outreach to the community.” Read more

Gretchen Bandoli, PhD Carla Marienfeld, MD Alison Moore, MD, MPH Sayone Thihalolipavan, MD, MPH
Bandoli, PhD
Marienfeld, MD
Moore, MD, MPH
Thihalolipavan, MD, MPH

Presentations Posted from ACTRI Opioid Roundtable Discussion

The PowerPoints from the August 10 seminar, “Opioid Use and Opioid Use Disorders in San Diego County: A Roundtable Discussion,” are now available to view online. The seminar, which took place at the School of Medicine campus, was hosted by the Center for Life Course Research at UC San Diego ACTRI and led by Gretchen Bandoli, PhD, assistant professor in the department of pediatrics. The event, which drew 41 attendees, included the following speakers and talks: Sayone Thihalolipavan, MD, MPH, Deputy Public Health Officer at the County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency, “Opioid Use & Public Health Response”; Carla Marienfeld, MD, UC San Diego Health, “Opioid Use Disorder: General Population and Pregnancy”; and Alison Moore, MD, MPH, UC San Diego School of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology, “Opioid Use and Misuse in Older Adults.” View the PowerPoint presentations

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In This Issue

Upcoming Seminars

ACTRI Seminar Series

Ignorance is Not Bliss: The Need for Better Data on Medication Safety in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Tuesday, November 6, 2018
2 p.m.

ACTRI Building, First-floor Auditorium


Presented by:
Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH
Co-Director, Center for Better Beginnings
Professor, Div. of Dysmorphology and Teratology
Dept. of Pediatrics
Director, ACTRI Center for Life Course Research
UC San Diego

Healthcare Horizons—GEM Seminar Series

Injectable Biomaterial for Treating Pelvic Floor Disorders

Monday, November 5, 2018
5 p.m.

Center for Neural Circuits and Behavior, Marilyn G. Farquhar Seminar Room

Presented by:
Karen Christman, PhD Bioengineering
Marianna Alperin, MD/MAS 
Reproductive Medicine

ACTRI-Supported Ethics Forum

My Brain Made Me Buy It: The Neuroethics of Advertising

Thursday, November 1, 2018
5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.

Shiley Special Events Suite
Central Public Library
San Diego, CA

Presented by:
Carl Marci, MD
Chief Neuroscientist
Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience
Faculty, Harvard Medical School

Read Montague, PhD
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

Uma R. Karmarkar, PhD
Assistant Professor
Rady School of Management and
School for Global Policy
UC San Diego


ACTRI KL2 Awardees Publish Findings

Aaron Carlin, MD, PhD
“Zika Virus Strips Immune Cells of their Identity”
UC San Diego Health News Release
View the PNAS article

Anjan Debnath, PhD
“Cancer Drug and Antidepressants Provide Clues for Treating Fatal Brain-Eating Amoeba Infections”
UC San Diego Health News Release
View the PLoS Pathogens article

Cite the Grant


Don’t forget to cite the grant!

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

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

NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)


ACTRI News and Funding Opportunities

Gary S. Firestein, MD
Director of ACTRI

Eric Mah
Chief Administrative Officer

Patricia Wieser
Communications Director

Tracy Dezenzo
Graphic Designer

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Phone: (858) 822-0268

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