January, 2012 Edition

Welcome to the monthly newsletter of the Buffalo Clinical and Translational Research Center. The purpose of the newsletter is to update leadership, faculty, trainees, and community partners of the Buffalo Translational Consortium on activities.

Message from the CTRC Director

The opening of the CTRC building in May is fast approaching. Planning is under way for a ribbon cutting with UB and Kaleida in May and a Grand Opening for the CTRC in September. While we await the opening of our new hub of clinical and translational research, our various programs and events are being held at UB and Roswell Park sites on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

Timothy F. Murphy MD
Director, Buffalo Clinical and Translational
Research Center

Featured Key Function: Translational Technologies and Resources

Director: Norma Nowak, PhD

  • Professor of Biochemistry, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Director of Science and Technology, NYS Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences
  • Director, Genomics Core Facility, Roswell Park Cancer Institute

The overall goals of the Translational Technologies and Resources Key Function are:

  1. Coordinate core usage, enhance services and increase utilization across cores throughout the Buffalo Translational Consortium to minimize redundancy and increase efficiency.
  2. Assist investigators in identifying the resource(s) best suited to achieve their research needs.
  3. Develop new resources and expand current core capabilities to build the translational research pipeline in the Buffalo Translational Consortium

Highlighting a project from the Next Generation Sequencing and Gene Expression Core:

  • Next generation sequencing assays are rapidly transitioning from the research environment to the clinic. New projects are focusing on disease signatures for the transcriptome and epigenome.
  • Epigenetic signatures of disease are being studied by chromatin immunoprecipitation studies, MNase (micrococcal nuclease) seq and FAIRE (formaldehyde assisted isolation of regulatory elements) seq.
  • For example, transcriptome studies are underway to study RNA from platelets from individuals with platelet disorders. The approaches include RNA seq and microRNA profiles from tumor samples identifying noncoding RNAs associated with disease phenotypes utilizing laser captured microdissected (LCM) samples.

For additional information see the core website: http://ubnextgencore.buffalo.edu/

CTRC Building Update

Ground Floor: Main lobby

Construction continues on schedule for a May 2012 opening. Installation of the paneling on the wall that spans the fifth through eighth floors in the atrium continues. The casework and lab benches on the fifth floor are complete and sixth floor labs are nearing completion.

Sixth Floor: Laboratories nearing completion


The NIH funded T35 training grant jointly awarded to the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Roswell Park Cancer Institute is now accepting applications. The fellowships for first year medical students are in the area of infectious diseases, microbiology and immunology.

Click for more details
Click for application info

The Center for Immunotherapy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute last week announced that it will conduct a Phase I clinical trial to test a cancer vaccine based on dendritic cells. Developed by a team of basic, translational and clinical scientists, the vaccine involves harvesting the patient’s own dendritic cells, binding a specialized form of the protein NY-ESO-1 to the cells, and then giving the cells back to the patient as a vaccine.

Click for video
Click for more details

The series continues every Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. The fourth of four sessions on Biostatistics will be on February 1 and this will be followed by a 4 week block on Biomedical Informatics.

Titles of the sessions, location and other details are posted on the School of Medicine calendar at this link.

Click for more info on the seminar series
Click here to see the slides of each of the seminars

The NIH has established the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) which administer the Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) program. NCATS is formed primarily by uniting and realigning existing NIH programs that play key roles in translational science. NCATS anticipates releasing a new RFA (Request for Applications) for CTSAs in June 2012.

Click here for an interview with NCATS Acting Director Thomas Insel