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CTRI News and Funding Opportunities - May 2016

UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute Newsletter:
May 2016, Vol. 1, Issue 5

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 HealthNational 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 1,200 members. The CTRI News and Funding Opportunities is a monthly newsletter.

CTRI Special Announcements

CTRI Creates Center for Accelerating Drug Development (CADD)

CTRI Creates Center for Accelerating Drug Development (CADD)

UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) announces the creation of the Center for Accelerating Drug Development (CADD). The CADD integrates our biomarker laboratory, computational biology, and phase I unit to facilitate novel early stage clinical trials.

There is a pressing need to accelerate the early stages of drug development. Given the high attrition rate for drugs in clinical development, with estimates of successful phase I therapeutics gaining regulatory approval as low as 8 percent, improved drug development methods that provide data for rapid “go/no-go” decisions are required. Biomarkers can potentially be used to achieve this goal, particularly in phase I drug studies, by improving the speed and accuracy of drug safety, efficacy and dosing assessments.  

The CADD combines resources and expertise to support early evaluation of therapeutic agents and enhanced multi-center clinical trials capabilities, providing a development pathway from initial drug assessment to registration. The focus of studies we support is first-in-disease rather than healthy human volunteers. This takes advantage of our clinical registries and provides early access of treatments to patients.

The CADD brings together three key elements of early drug development: the CTRI Biomarker Laboratory; the CTRI Phase I Unit; and the Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (CCBB). The biomarker lab designs and validates assays; the phase I unit and project management team execute the study; and the biomarker lab performs assays on the biosamples. The CCBB assists with analysis of data generated by the Biomarker Laboratory and other omics technologies, and correlates with clinical and laboratory data from the research participants. Co-directors for the CADD are David Boyle; Aaron Chang, PhD; and Mark S. Wallace, MD. Read more about how the CADD can support your research.

Funding Opportunities

NEW! CTRI Seeks Applicants for 2017 Pilot Project Awards
Deadline for First Stage of Applications: June 30, 2016

CTRI Vouchers for CTRI Research Services (In-kind)
Eligible: Unfunded Projects Designed to Gather Preliminary Data for Grant Submissions or CTRI Pilot Projects and CTRI KL2 Awardees

CTRI Life Course Research Proposal Development Support for Pilot Projects

NCATS Open Funding Opportunities

CTRI News and Features

Meet the Nurses of CTRI

The CTRI nurses are (from left): Lee Vowinkel, Jessica Nasca, Patricia Moraes, Maeve Taaffe (Nurse Manager), and Dennis Perpetua.

Meet the Nurses of CTRI

As we celebrate Nurses Week this month, we honor our nursing staff at the UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) Center for Clinical Research (CCR). Research nurses are active members of investigative studies. They interact with human subjects involved in clinical trials, administering injections and infusions, performing biopsies and lab work, measuring vitals, and observing. The CCR presently includes three Registered Nurses (RNs) and two Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs). They recently reflected on what it means to be a research nurse. Read more

Murray D. Stein, MDCTRI Names Murray B. Stein, MD, MPH as Co-Director of Translational Research Alliance

UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) is pleased to announce that Murray B. Stein, MD, MPH has been named co-director of the Translational Research Alliance (TRA). Stein, a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego, will also join the CTRI Executive Committee. Dr. Stein has successfully led the CTRI Pilot Project Program since 2012, and will continue to oversee the program.

“We are delighted Dr. Stein is joining the leadership of the CTRI,” said Gary S. Firestein, MD, director of the CTRI. “As head of our pilot project program, he has demonstrated remarkable strength in helping us create infrastructures that facilitate collaboration and actively bring various groups together.”

The CTRI established the TRA as a coordinating entity to develop new pathways for clinical investigators to collaborate with basic science researchers outside UC San Diego and to provide new tools for basic scientists across the San Diego region to translate discoveries into new treatments. Dr. Stein will co-direct TRA with Deborah Spector, PhD. He also serves as the faculty lead for the UC Cures for Alzheimer’s Initiative RFA launched earlier this year by the University of California.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Spector to co-direct the Translational Research Alliance and assist her in expanding its outreach and utility to UC San Diego and our research partners,” Dr. Stein said.

Dr. Stein graduated from the University of Manitoba and completed his residency and post-residency fellowship at the University of Manitoba, the University of Toronto and at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He subsequently completed a master of public health degree at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. His research interests include the epidemiology, neurobiology, and treatment of anxiety and trauma-related disorders, especially social phobia, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. He has written or co-written over 550 peer-reviewed scientific articles on these topics, including in journals such as Journal of the American Medical Association, New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet,American Journal of Psychiatry, and JAMA Psychiatry.  Read more

CTRI Welcomes Crystal Groom

Crystal Groom, lab manager at the CTRI Center for Clinical Research.

CTRI Welcomes Crystal Groom

Crystal Groom joined UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) in April as the lab manager for CTRI’s Center for Clinical Research (CCR). Groom is responsible for drawing blood, processing samples, and monitoring vital signs of clinical trial participants.

Groom, a licensed phlebotomist with medical assistant certification, has seven years of experience as a laboratory assistant. She plans to study nursing at Grossmont Health Occupations Center, where she is presently enrolled in pre-nursing courses.

She became interested in the medical field following a family tragedy. When she was 12, her father died as a result of an accidental fall. Neighbors had wanted to help him, she said, but no one knew how to administer CPR. Since that time, Groom’s wish has been to serve as a medical advocate. “I wanted to be able to help save others,” she said.

In more recent times, Groom has been that advocate for her mother, who just celebrated the one-year anniversary of a liver transplant. And at CTRI, Groom enjoys the hands-on aspect of her work, from contact with participants in clinical trials to centrifuging blood in the lab.

Off hours she keeps busy as the mother of a six-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son, both active in sports and outdoor pursuits. “I’m a children’s Uber,” Groom said.

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In This Issue

Upcoming Seminars

CTRI Seminar Series

Collaborating with the Innate Immune System to Treat Multidrug-Resistant Superbugs” will be presented by Victor Nizet, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Pharmacy, UC San Diego and Vice Chair of the Research Department of Pediatrics, on Thursday, June 23, at 3 p.m. at the School of Medicine Campus. Read more

CTRI Co-hosts Implementation Science Seminar

An Implementation Science Seminar is scheduled for Wednesday, June 1, at 12:30 p.m. at the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center, NPSP conference room, 3665 Kearny Villa Rd., Suite 200N (Rady Children’s Plaza). This special Implementation Science Seminar, co-hosted by the CTRI, will showcase research projects developed by two doctoral students from the SDSU/UCSD Joint Doctoral Program in Public Health: Jessica Hawks, MPH, MSW, and Katy Sileo, MPH. For further information, please contact Joella Phillips, (858) 966-7703, ext. 2695.

CTRI Co-sponsors May 26 UCSD Symposium on Healthy Aging

Key topics will be health care and housing, with an emphasis on how technology will influence each in the future. Read more

CTRI Hosts Communications Seminar for Early Career “K” Awardees

UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) is hosting a year-long career development seminar series, “Communicating: Your Academic Life Depends on It,” for early career “K” awardees from UC San Diego, San Diego State University, and CTRI partner institutions beginning June 7. RSVP to Read more

CTRI In the News

Nature Editorial Notes CTRI/Pediatrics Dept. Human Milk Biorepository

A Nature editorial about the safe use of medications during breastfeeding notes the Mommy’s Milk Human Milk Research Biorepository, which was established in 2014 by UC San Diego Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) and the Department of Pediatrics Center for Better Beginnings to support a wide range of research interests in maternal and infant health. The editorial was published May 12.

CTRI Vouchers

CTRI Vouchers are Available for Research Services

The CTRI offers vouchers for CTRI research services to support early-stage projects that need preliminary data for subsequent application for federal or foundation grants. Vouchers for up to $5k can only be used for in-kind services. Unfunded projects to gather preliminary data for grant submission and funded CTRI pilot projects and CTRI KL2 awardees are eligible. Read more

CTRI Offers Grant Writing Services

If you need assistance with:

  • writing and technical editing
  • organizing and managing timelines to meet submission deadlines
  • engaging key staff on collaborative projects
  • ensuring all grant proposal documents are in place

Click here for more information

Cite the Grant

Cite the Grant

Don’t forget to cite the grant! To help ensure resources are available for future research, please cite the UCSD CTRI CTSA grant.

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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