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ACTRI News and Funding Opportunities - May 2018

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute Newsletter:
May 2018, Vol. 3, Issue 5

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 1,400 members. The ACTRI News and Funding Opportunities is a monthly newsletter.

ACTRI Special Announcements

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials Made Easy

A new video, “Clinical Trials Made Easy,” has been created to help the public learn about trials and navigate an easy-to-use website called ClinicalTrials. Co-developed by UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI), ClinicalTrials lets volunteers (and investigators) search through thousands of clinical trials throughout the University of California health system to find studies and opportunities relevant to them. Importantly, they can focus their search not just by disease or condition, but by closest university. “It’s a much more streamlined and efficient approach than older options,” said Gary S. Firestein, MD, dean and associate vice chancellor of translational medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine and ACTRI director. “UC Health ClinicalTrials links to nearly 4,000 trials within the UC Health system, but it also lets you zero in on relevant trials at UC San Diego.” Read the UC San Diego Health story. Find out more about this and other ACTRI Participant Recruitment tools.

ACTRI Leader Mah Honored for Integrity

Eric MahEric Mah, Assistant Dean for Clinical and Translational Medicine, has received the 2018 UC San Diego Annual Integrity Award. The awards program recognizes individuals, departments, organizational units and students who have made outstanding contributions in support of UC San Diego’s commitment to integrity. Mah was specifically recognized for “actively promoting integrity locally and internationally, through institutional efforts, mentoring, and social justice.” “Now more than ever integrity matters to build trust with others—locally, nationally, and internationally. As a public university and academic medical center we cannot take the public’s trust for granted,” Mah said. “I am honored and grateful to be a member of the UC San Diego community.”

Read more

Funding Opportunities

ACTRI Seeks Proposals for Administrative Supplements

ACTRI Vouchers for ACTRI Research Services (In-kind)

NCATS Open Funding Opportunities

Courtesy Postings

ACTRI News and Features

Q&A with Dr. Rohit Loomba
The Liver, a Fascinating Organ

Rohit LoombaDr. Rohit Loomba, an internationally recognized thought leader in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), is the featured speaker at the ACTRI Seminar on July 19 at 2 p.m. at the ACTRI Building Auditorium, where he will present, “Innovations in Non-invasive Imaging Assessment of Treatment Response in NASH.” Dr. Loomba, a prolific user of the ACTRI research clinic, describes the liver as a “fascinating organ,” drawn to it as an area of specialty while being mentored by outstanding hepatologists at medical school, during his residency, and as an NIH fellow. But foremost, he is a teacher, listing that as his title on Profiles. During a recent Q&A in his ACTRI Building office, he discussed mentoring, the upcoming talk and his research.

Q: Tell us about your upcoming seminar at ACTRI.
A: We lead the world in advanced imaging in liver fibrosis. The first trial to use an MRI as the primary endpoint was designed by me and we did it here. Now there are 25 other trials using an MRI for treatment response assessment. We collaborate closely with the liver imaging group, which is headed by Dr. Claude B. Sirlin, and with Dr. Michael Middleton, now focusing on central reading for multicenter studies. We are also working on genome-based biomarkers, microbiome biomarkers, plasma-based biomarkers, and urine-based biomarkers to determine the NASH or liver fibrosis.

Q: Describe your experience mentoring students, especially through the TL1 program. What is the most important aspect of mentoring? And what did you learn?
A: I have gained so much from my mentors and my goal is to “pay it forward.” I’ve probably worked with more than 40 students and trainees (among them TL1). Many students are looking for clinical research opportunities and that’s why they come to our lab. Our projects are exciting and diverse, ranging from biomarker-based studies, imaging assessment, epidemiology of NAFLD, familial risk, twin genetics to microbiome.

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UCTV Features 2018 ACTRI Translational Science Symposium Keynote Speaker Califf and ACTRI Posts Research Highlights Presentations

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf, MD, talked about his experiences running the FDA for President Obama and how big data is being used in academic and commercial research in his keynote address for the 2018 Translational Science Symposium hosted by UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI). The event also featured “research highlights” presentations by ACTRI-supported scientists Drs. Aaron Carlin, Gabriel Wagner, and Jeannie Huang, and Professor Frank Talke.

Watch Dr. Califf’s talk, “The Role of ‘Real World Evidence’ and Big Data in Development and Assessment of Therapies,” on the UC Wellbeing Channel.

View the research highlights PowerPoints

Cover Story: Manuscript by ACTRI-Supported Researchers Makes the Cover of JNS

Wali Murphy“Markov modeling for the neurosurgeon: a review of the literature and an introduction to cost-effectiveness research,” an article written by ACTRI-supported researchers James D. Murphy, MD, and first author Arvin Wali, along with their colleagues, was featured as the May cover story of the Journal of Neurosurgery (Neurosurgical Focus). Murphy is a former KL2 grant awardee and Wali is a former TL1 program awardee. Both programs are administrated by the Education, Training and Career Development Unit at ACTRI.

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In This Issue

Upcoming Seminars

ACTRI-Seminar Series

Development and Application of Computational Methods for Analysis of Flow and Mass Cytometry Data: A Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Illustration

Thursday, June 7, 2018
2 p.m.

ACTRI Building, First-floor Auditorium

Seminar presented by:
Richard H. Scheuermann, PhD
Director, La Jolla Campus
J. Craig Venter Institute; Adjunct Professor, Department of Pathology
UC San Diego

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ACTRI-Seminar Series

Innovations in Non-invasive Imaging Assessment of Treatment Response in NASH

Thursday, July 19, 2018
2 p.m.

ACTRI Building, First-floor Auditorium

Seminar presented by:
Rohit Loomba, MD
Director, NAFLD Research Center; Director of Hepatology
Vice Chief, Division of Gastroenterology
UC San Diego

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ACTRI Communications Seminar for Early Career “K” and Equivalent Awardees

UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) is hosting a year-long career development seminar series, “Communicating: Your Academic Life Depends on It,” for early career “K” and equivalent Career Development awardees from UC San Diego, San Diego State University, and ACTRI partner institutions. The tenth session in the series, “Project Management, Part 2; Tracking Grant Finances and Progress; and Negotiating,” by Adriana Tremoulet, MD, is scheduled for Tuesday, June 5. The session will take place at the ACTRI building. RSVP is required to

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ACTRI Co-Hosts 2018 SoCal Dissemination, Implementation & Improvement Science Symposium

Creating Learning Health and Population Health Systems

Thursday, June 28, 2018
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The California Endowment, downtown Los Angeles

Read more and register

ACTRI-Supported Ethics Forum

Engineering “Selfish” Genes in Mice: Risks and Benefits

Wednesday, June 6, 2018
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Fleet Science Center
Balboa Park, San Diego

Presented by:
Kim Cooper, PhD
Assistant Professor in the Cell and Developmental Biology Section of the Division of Biological Sciences
UC San Diego

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ACTRI Co-Hosts Human Research Training Symposium on July 11

Registration is now open for the Human Research Training Symposium, which will take place on Wednesday, July 11, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Atkinson Hall/Qualcomm Institute on the main campus of UC San Diego. The symposium was created to help study teams navigate the research processes more efficiently. This ongoing training series features presentations and information exhibits related to the clinical trials process and is hosted by UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI), Human Research Protections Program, Office of Coverage and Analysis Administration, and Office of Clinical Trials. Click here to register.

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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