Buffalo Translational Consortium News

Dr. Cevher Ozcan Wins NIH K08 Award for Research on Atrial Fibrillation

Posted on 05/08/14 at 04:21 am

Cevher Ozcan MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, has been awarded a K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The work focuses on elucidating molecular mechanisms of atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder. The central hypothesis of the proposal is that mitochondrial dysfunction plays a critical role in atrial fibrillation by causing electrical instability. Dr. Ozcan will use two novel model systems to study the role of mitochondria in the mechanisms of atrial fibrillation. She will use these observations to identify novel mitochondrial targets for treatment and prevention.

Atrial fibrillation affects 1% of the US population and is a major public health problem. Remarkably little is known about cellular and molecular mechanisms of atrial fibrillation. Dr. Ozcan’s work has enormous translational potential to better treat and prevent this common disorder.

Dr. Ozcan earned her MD at University of Cukurova followed by a residency in internal medicine at Medical College of Wisconsin. She completed a Research Fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine at Mayo Clinic, a Fellowship in Cardiovascular Disease at Yale University and a Fellowship in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology at Massachusetts General Hospital before joining the UB faculty in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine in 2011. 

NIH Awards Grant to Dr. Timothy Murphy’s Group to Develop a New Class of Antimicrobial Agents to Prevent Otitis Media

Posted on 02/14/14 at 05:57 am
Dr. Murphy’s group is developing antisense molecules as a new class of selective antimicrobial agents to prevent otitis media.

The National Institute for Deafness and Communications Disorders (NIDCD) has awarded a 2 year grant of $448,000 entitled “Selective eradication of nasopharyngeal colonization to prevent otitis media” to SUNY Distinguished Professor Timothy Murphy. The work proposes an entirely new approach to preventing recurrent otitis media.

Up to 10% of children in the US are otitis prone and experience recurrent episodes of otitis media. Otitis media is the most common reason for children to:
* Require office visits (other than well child visits)
* Receive antibiotics
* Undergo general anesthesia (for insertion of drainage tubes)

Children who suffer recurrent or chronic otitis media experience hearing impairment at a time that is critical for speech and language development. So these children may have delays in speech and language development and learning problems in school. Preventing otitis media would be the best way to prevent these sequelae.

Prophylactic antibiotic therapy to prevent recurrent otitis media has been studied extensively and invariably fails because antibiotics eradicate the normal flora and thus cause intolerable side effects that force discontinuation.

The novel approach that Dr. Murphy’s laboratory will use is selective eradication of the pathogens that cause otitis media while leaving the normal flora undisturbed. To accomplish this, antisense molecules that target specific genes required for bacterial growth are being developed and assessed.

Antisense molecules, which are promising therapy for some genetic disorders, would represent an entirely new class of antimicrobial agents. The long term vision is that otitis prone children could use nose drops or nose spray that would eradicate pathogens and prevent otitis media.

Research Match is Now Available to Clinical Researchers

Posted on 11/19/13 at 04:44 am

UB is now a member of Research Match, a national registry of volunteers who are interested in participating in clinical research studies. This registry is a powerful recruiting tool for clinical researchers to identify human subjects to enroll in their studies. The registry currently has 46,000 registered volunteers, with the number of volunteers living in Western New York growing steadily.

One of the most significant bottlenecks in successfully performing clinical trials is identifying volunteers to participate in the trials. Research Match provides investigators with an affordable, secure way to recruit volunteers into studies. The study must be IRB-approved. The registry includes healthy volunteers and also sub registries of people with selected disorders. Researchers can continue to use their current recruiting strategies in addition to the added value of Research Match.

Interested volunteers who are at least 19 years old can sign up at ResearchMatch.org.  They provide demographic and health information and indicate what types of research studies they would like to participate in, such as online only or those that require visits to a laboratory or physician’s office. Parents can register their children as well.

Researchers with approved studies enter the inclusion and exclusion criteria of their IRB approved study. Research Match generates a list of volunteers who meet the criteria and contact the volunteers by email. Once the volunteer agrees to be contacted, their contact information is forwarded to the researcher.

See this link for a press release and story:

UB investigators interested in signing up as an investigator should complete and submit the online form that can be accessed at:
or contact one of the Research Match institutional liaisons whose contact information can be accessed here:

CTRC Hosts Biomedical Research Day for Student Trainees

Posted on 08/19/13 at 04:14 am
Poster session in the atrium of the Clinical and Translational Research Center at Biomedical Research Day.

Students who participated in 6 different summer research programs at UB, Roswell Park and the Hauptman Woodward Institute took part in a day-long program at the CTRC on August 2. In an enormously popular and successful event, the students presented their biomedical research projects in poster format and in oral presentations.

The program featured a total of 98 posters and 8 oral presentations by student trainees. Lively poster sessions afforded students the opportunity to present and their discuss their research with student colleagues and faculty.

The undergraduate and professional graduate students who participated were supported by 6 different programs:

•    Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURE) at the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
•    Student Research Program at the UB School of Dental Medicine
•    Summer Research Experience Program in Cancer Science at Roswell Park Cancer Institute
•    T35 Research Program in Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Immunology at the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Roswell Park Cancer Institute
•    Summer Apprentice Program at the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute
•    Collaborative Learning and Integrated Mentoring in the Biosciences Undergraduate Program (CLIMB UP at UB), with several students funded by the Institute for the Strategic Enhancement of Educational Diversity (iSEED)

A highlight of the day was an insightful and entertaining talk by UB Provost Charles Zukoski about early influences as he began his long and productive career in research.

See this link for a Press Release on the event

Photo Credit:  Gloria J. Del Bel, Hauptman-Woodward Institute

Page 28 of 38