News and Updates

CTSA team develops smartphone app to aid in recruitment

The app allows patients to quickly and easily evaluate clinical trials, the time commitment involved and the location of the nearest study. Photo: UB Reporter

“A key goal of the CTSA grant is to improve patient access to medical innovations available in our region through clinical trials,” says Peter L. Elkin MD, professor and chair of biomedical informatics at UB and director of the Informatics Core of the CTSA. That's why he and his CTSA informatics team developed a smartphone app to help overcome common obstacles to engaging clinical trial participants. The app is easy to use, allowing potential volunteers to search for clinical trials by simply entering the name of their disorder. Using the phone's GPS function, the app connects users to nearby clinical studies. When patients find a study that interests them, they send their contact information to the study coordinator who can then reach out to begin recruitment.

Find out more about this innovative new app here.

Peter Elkin, MD, and Christina Joshi of the CTSA Informatics core.

Telemedicine study receives $7m grant to fight hepatitis and drug addiction

Dr. Andrew Talal, MD, MPH, professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in UB's Department of Medicine. Photo: Douglas Levere

CTSA-based researcher Andrew H. Talal, MD, professor of medicine in UB's Department of Medicine, and his team recently received a $7 million Patient-Centered Outcomes Institute (PCORI) award to study a novel approach to treating hepatitis C virus infection among intravenous drug users. Building on a promising pilot study, the scaled-up study will engage an international team of disease experts and clinicians to compare the efficacy of distance “telemedicine” sessions (using live, two-way videoconferencing) versus standard on-site delivery of care.

Read more about this team-based approach to battling the ongoing, worldwide opioid epidemic here.

CTSA hosts ‘My NCBI' workshop

CTSA Chief Financial Officer Erin Bailey and Director of the Office of Research Administration at Thomas Jefferson University Timothy Schailey

Twenty-seven principal investigators and research assistants attended a half-day, hands-on workshop on how to associate NIH grants to publications using the My NCBI tool developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Timothy Schailey, MS, Director of the Office of Research Administration at Thomas Jefferson University, presented "NIH Public Access Policy: Accelerating the Delivery of Tomorrow's Advancements," and three representatives from UB Libraries were on hand to answer questions during the presentation. The event was organized by CTSA Chief Financial Officer Erin Bailey, MSM, CRA, to help bring all CTSA-linked publications into compliance with NIH guidelines.

Read more about the My NCBI workshop here.

Anne B. Curtis named SUNY Distinguished Professor

Anne B. Curtis, MD, Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and chair of UB's Department of Medicine and president and CEO of UBMD Internal Medicine

Anne B. Curtis, MD, is one of just 29 scholars and researchers across the 64-campus State University of New York system to have been selected as a SUNY Distinguished Professor this year. She is internationally acknowledged as a leading expert on heart health and cardiac devices and she serves on the board of the Buffalo Translational Consortium, the governance organization for the CTRC.

Read more about Dr. Curtis's award here.

Workshops train researchers to be effective mentors

Participants were more confident in their abilities as research mentors following the series of workshops.

The CTSA Workforce Development core conducted a Mentor-Protégé Mentoring Workshop series from February through July of 2016. About 10 mentor-protégé teams participated. Participants were required to spend 30 minutes weekly and engage in online learning activities.

Read more.

New portal opens pathway between researchers, CTSA services

Services provided by the CTSA are now just a few clicks away from a researcher's desktop, clearing the way for improved communication between CTSA experts and UB's health science research community. The new portal, which launched in June, is placed prominently on the CTRC homepage. All it takes to get started is a click of the “Request a CSTA Service” button.

Researchers, trainees or staff can then create an account and gain access to a menu of the services available to them. A CTSA representative from the appropriate core will then follow through on any requests.

CTSA Cores' services:

  • Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design
  • Clinical Research Facilitators
  • Community Engagement
  • Drug Development
  • Education and Training
  • Imaging
  • Laboratory Core Facilities

Read more about the portal to the services provided by the CTSA Cores here.

‘CTSA Research Riders' raise funds for Roswell Park Cancer Institute

CTSA Research Riders saddled up to help raise money for Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Faculty and staff from the CTRC participated this June in the 2016 Ride for Roswell. The bicycle ride is an annual fundraiser for Roswell Park Cancer Institute, a key partner in the Buffalo Translational Consortium. Billed as North America's largest single-day cycling fundraiser, the event brought in $4.5 million for cancer research and patient care programs at Roswell.

Get the whole story here.

UB establishes Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences

A student in the lab of Gene Morse, PharmD (left), director of the new Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences. Photo: Douglas Levere

Several prominent CTSA faculty members will serve on the scientific leadership committee of UB's newly formed Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences (CIGBS), an international hub addressing global health challenges through pharmacological research and drug and vaccine development. They are: Gene Morse, PharmD, SUNY distinguished professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, core director of Drug Development at the CTSA, and the CIGBS director; CTRC Director and SUNY Distinguished Professor Timothy Murphy, MD; Andrew Talal, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Center for Clinical Care and Research in Liver Disease; and Stanley Schwartz, MD, PhD, UB distinguished professor, chief of the Division of Allergy-Immunology and Rheumatology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and chief of medicine at Kaleida Health.

Learn more about the CIGBS and its mission here.

Primary care research and workforce education get big boost at UB

John Taylor and Linda Kahn (center), wrote the grant for the Primary Care Research Fellowship Training Program; its first trainee is Christine Verni (right).

The Department of Family Medicine at UB was awarded three prestigious grants in July, totaling more than $6 million, to support primary care research and training. The grants support a Primary Care Research Fellowship Training Program, funding for workforce development and funding to advance interprofessional education in primary care. The grants also address some of the CTSA program's most critical goals, including the recruitment and training of a translational research work force that parallels the make-up of the Western New York community.

There's more to learn about this collaborative effort to boost primary care here.

Undergrads learn about translational science

Students learned about the PhD and medical degree programs in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Fifty summer undergraduate research students visited the Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) in June for an afternoon of interactive activities and discussions about clinical and translational research, and their next career opportunities.

Read more.

Upcoming Events

CTSA BERD Statistical Workshop Series, Sept. 2016 - May 2017

Center for Computational Research Computer Visualization Laboratory. Photograph: Douglas Levere

Experts from the School of Public Health and Health Professions are presenting a series of workshops on statistical topics throughout the academic year. Organized by the Translational Workforce Development and Biostatistical, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) cores, the emphasis of the series will be on methods relevant to translational and clinical research. Topics will cover three out of 14 core competency areas offered by the TWD core. Click here for a schedule and list of topics.

CTSA Pilot Studies Colloquium, Oct. 13, 2016

A crucial aim of the CTSA is to create a context for creativity and innovation in clinical and translational science. Photo: Douglas Levere

Winners of the 2014-15 CTSA Pilot Studies Awards will present their research projects at the CTSA Pilot Studies Colloquium on October 13 at the CTRC. Supported by a combination of funds from the CTSA and institutional support, eight teams of researchers were awarded pilot studies for their research to develop innovative clinical and translational methods and technologies, based on: scientific merit and innovation; significance and impact on the field; and potential to leverage major external funding.

Message from the CTRC Director

August 12, 2016 marked the one-year anniversary of National Center for Advancing Clinical and Translational Sciences (NCATS) NIH funding to the Buffalo Translational Consortium for the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). During the first year of CTSA support, we have made great strides. We have established several Cores to provide clinical and translational research support to research teams. Core services can be accessed easily from the CTRC website. The Clinical Research Office continues to expand its services. Implementation of the OnCore Clinical Trials Management System (CTMS), which will increase efficiency, revenue, compliance and tracking of clinical trials has begun. After two rounds of Pilot Studies, we will host a Pilot Studies Colloquium on October 13 at the CTRC when the 2014-15 pilot studies awardees will present their results and we will hold a session with tips on how to write a successful pilot studies grant. Stay tuned as we continue to expand support to researchers and training programs during our second year.

Timothy F. Murphy MD
Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Director of UB's Clinical and Translational Research Center and CTSA Principal Investigator