Buffalo Translational Consortium News
Dr. James Jarvis, UB Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, has worked tirelessly over the course of his career to improve the health and healthcare of American Indian and Alaska Native children. He uses state-of-the-art methods in his laboratory at the CTRC to study rheumatic disease and the effects of trauma and toxic stress among Native American children.
In his recent testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, Jarvis supported allocating $5 billion in discretionary authority to the Indian Health Service. The federal agency partners with tribal communities to provide health care for 2.2 million American Indian and Alaska Natives, more than a third of whom are younger than 15. Jarvis spoke on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, as chair of the Committee on Native American Child Health.
Dr. Jarvis played an instrumental role in the signing of an historic agreement between the Indian Health Service and UB Health Sciences Schools in 2013. Through the collaborative agreement, UB is working with tribal leaders to develop and offer public health programs.
The recently funded CTSA grant includes a significant commitment to integrating special populations into the clinical research activities of the Bufffalo Translational Consortium. In particular, it is important to include groups that are underrepresented in clinical research as participants in clinical trials, including children, the elderly and underrepresented minorities. Dr. Jarvis is working as part of the CTSA effort to better engage Native Americans in the Western New York Community in clinical studies.
Funded by New York State, the Buffalo Institute for Genomics (BIG) is a $110 million collaboration between the University at Buffalo and the New York Genome Center to create a national center for genomics research. Formed in 2014, BIG focuses on personalized medicine to advance the diagnosis and treatment of human disease.
Three UB centers on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus are providing high-performance computing, informatics and biomedical expertise as part of this major initiative:
- Center for Computational Research (CCR)
- New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS)
- Institute for Healthcare Informatics (IHI)
BIG hosted an update on January 22, 2015, at which leaders gave an overview and outlined plans. A key element in the plans is industry partnerships to develop marketable, diagnostic, genomic assays that will guide treatment strategies and drive economic development in the region.
Led by Thomas Furlani PhD, Director CCR, Norma J. Nowak, PhD Executive Director of the CBLS, and Peter Winkelstein MD MBA, Executive Director of the IHI, this unique initiative has the potential to usher in a new era of personalized medicine, leading to breakthrough treatments in serious diseases and improving doctors’ ability to identify individuals at risk of disease.
See here, here and here for more information.
Dr. Sanjay Sethi, Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine has been appointed Assistant Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Director of the UB Clinical Research Office. Dr. Sethi is an internationally recognized clinical researcher in the area of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), having led many clinical trials, including multicenter international trials. He was named one of the top 5 researchers in COPD nationally by Expertscape in 2013.
The university-wide Clinical Research Office (CRO) located adjacent to the Clinical Research Center on the sixth floor of the CTRC is steadily growing in staff and capacity. The CRO is a centralized office that functions to streamline and support researchers in performing their clinical research, providing assistance with:
- IRB and Regulatory Document Preparation
- Protocol Development and Review
- Contract Negotiation
- Budget Negotiation
- Accounts Receivable/Accounts Payable Set-up
- Coverage Analysis Review
- Clinical Research Coordinator Support
Over the next several months, the CRO will be implementing a Clinical Trials Management System, which will improve the quality and efficiency of clinical research at UB substantially.
Dr. Sethi will provide leadership and vision as the CRO continues to grow and expand its capacity to support clinical research.
Students who participated in 10 different summer research programs at University at Buffalo, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Hauptman Woodward Institute took part in a day-long program at the CTRC on August 1, 2014. In an enormously successful event, attended by ~120 people, the students presented their biomedical research projects in poster format and in oral presentations.
The program featured a total of 97 posters and 8 oral presentations by student trainees.
Lively poster sessions afforded students the opportunity to present and discuss their research with student colleagues and faculty. The undergraduate and professional graduate students who participated were supported by these programs:
• CLIMB UP for Summer Research at UB
o ASPET Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program
o Institute for the Strategic Enhancement of Educational Diversity (iSEED)
o CLIMB PRO
o BioXFEL Summer Undergraduate Experience (BSURE)
• Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURE) at the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
o Brain Network of Excellence (BNE) Summer Scholars Program
• UB School of Dental Medicine Student Research Program
• Roswell Park Summer Research Experience Program in Cancer Science
• T35 Research Program in Infectious Diseases, Microbiology and Immunology at the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Roswell Park
• Hauptman-Woodward Research Institute Summer Apprentice Program
Dr. Anthony Campagnari gave an insightful and entertaining talk about early influences as he began his long and productive career in research.