Buffalo Translational Consortium News

BTC researchers encouraged to apply for PCORI grants

Posted on 01/17/17 at 02:33 pm

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is now accepting on-line letters of intent (LOIs) in four broad Priority Funding Areas (PFAs):

  • Addressing Disparities
  • Improving Healthcare Systems
  • Communication and Dissemination Research
  • Assessment of Prevention Diagnosis and Treatment Options

The LOIs are due February 14. LOI templates, some reflecting new page limits, were made available on the PCORI website on January 17.

“These grants represent an outstanding opportunity for Buffalo Translational Consortium researchers,” said Timothy F. Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor and director of the University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Science Award. “The priorities for patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research spelled out in the PCORI announcement are aligned with our CTSA goals.”

Researchers interested in applying for the Cycle I 2017 round of PCORI grants are encouraged to take advantage of the support services provided by UB’s Clinical Research Office. The CTSA’s clinical research facilitators will respond to service requests posted on line to the CTSA Service Request Portal.  

Pilot studies program continues to grow

Posted on 01/04/17 at 11:39 am

In 2015-16, a total of $600,000 was provided to the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Pilot Translational and Clinical Studies Program. That meant eight clinical research teams in the Buffalo Translational Consortium (BTC) were able to pursue promising lines of inquiry into the cause, prevention and treatment of health disorders. Concrete data collected in pilot studies can be decisive when applying for additional funding from extramural sources, and in advancing clinical research further along the translational spectrum.

You can read more about the 2015-16 grant award winners here.

The eight projects launched in 2015-16 were the most that have been funded through the pilot studies program in a single year since it was launched in 2010. The $600,000 budget was equal to the combined budget of the previous three years, and for the first time it included a contribution from the CTSA, which was granted to UB by the NIH in the summer of 2015.

Institutional support for the program continues with funds provided by UB’s Office of the Provost, Office of the Vice President for Research and Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the deans of UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Professions, and School of Nursing. New funding from the CTSA has expanded the number of pilot study awards.

The Pilot Translational and Clinical Studies Program has a proven track record of success, having generated 41 publications and nearly $8 million in extramural funding in its first three years. That’s a return on investment ratio of greater than 13:1.



Number of Awards

Total Awarded

Extramural Funding


















Investigators who received CTSA pilot study awards in 2014-15 presented their findings at a colloquium held in the Clinical and Translational Research Center in October. A similar colloquium will be held next fall with presentations given by the researchers who were awarded funding in the 2015-16 cycle.    

Grants for the 2016-17 pilot studies have already been awarded. All BTC institutions were represented among applicants to the program in 2016.

Awardees for the first round of 2017-18 studies are scheduled to be selected in February of 2017.

The Request For Applications (RFA) for the second round of 2017-18 studies is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2017. More information will be posted to the CTSA Pilot Translational and Clinical Studies Program webpage as it becomes available. CTSA Pilot Translational and Clinical Studies Core Director Steven J. Fliesler, PhD, has posted a set of helpful hints and guidelines for submissions on line. 

New i2b2 dashboard unveiled at CTSA Open House

Posted on 12/29/16 at 02:35 pm

Clinical research teams in the Buffalo Translational Consortium (BTC) have a powerful new tool for accessing the de-identified electronic health records (EHRs) of some 700,000 UBMD patients. (UBMD is the practice plan of UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.) Created by UB’s Institute for Healthcare Informatics (IHI), with the support of the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), a new desktop dashboard connects investigators to the massive i2b2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside) database from the convenience of their own desktops.

The new data retrieval and processing system was unveiled by Jonathan Blaisure, IHI senior database architect, at the CTSA Open House held at the Clinical and Translational Research Center in December. Blaisure and colleagues -- including Daniel Rodman, an i2b2 programmer affiliated with the CTSA via the UB Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development -- custom-designed the dashboard and its capabilities based on CTSA priorities. The IHI team is headed up by Executive Director Peter Winkelstein, MD, MBA, professor of clinical pediatrics and chief medical informatics officer for UBMD and Kaleida Health.

Investigators throughout the BTC are now able to directly identify cohorts for clinical trials and other research projects. Demographics, providers, diagnoses, medications, lab results and procedures, among other data points, are now available in de-identified form, allowing investigators to easily add inclusionary and exclusionary search criteria in order to assess the feasibility of proposed clinical trials in the Buffalo Niagara region. With IRB approval, investigative teams will then be able to use those results to begin patient recruitment.

The project supports the CTSA’s goal of establishing a “translational science pipeline” to enhance the BTC’s ability to integrate multiple types of data and share results more effectively between researchers, and then translate the results of successful research more rapidly into practice. Standardizing data storage and retrieval methods makes it easier for investigators to collaborate with one another and disseminate best practices from research results, and it makes meta-analyses and programmatic research much easier and faster.

UB’S IHI is a secure, HIPAA-compliant academic data center that opened in 2012. Its servers in the Center for Computational Research (CCR) provide a secure environment where health care data are stored, aggregated and analyzed. All translational research pipeline data are housed on secure IHI servers in the CCR.

To register for access to the new i2b2 dashboard, go to the Institute for Healthcare Informatics home page, click on the request access link at the top of the page and fill out the form. IHI personnel will provide log-in credentials.

More than a good idea, citing the CTSA is required by the NIH

Posted on 12/22/16 at 10:19 am
NIH Image Gallery

All publications, press releases and other documents that result from the use of any University at Buffalo Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) resources are required by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to credit the CTSA. In addition, the NIH Public Access Policy requires that publications be submitted to PubMed Central and include the PMC reference number (PMCID).

Translational research and clinical studies at UB and its Buffalo Translational Consortium (BTC) partner institutions were given a powerful boost by the granting of a National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award in 2015. Our consortium is one of just 64 university or medical center coalitions nationwide to be selected as an NIH CTSA hub. The number of publications attributed to the award is a key indicator of the CTSA’s success, and ability to obtain future funding.

You must cite the CTSA in your manuscript and any downstream publications that flow directly from the project if you are:

  1. An individual who uses CTSA resources and services for a research project
  2. An individual directly funded by pilot funding provided by the CTSA
  3. A BTC scholar funded by the CTSA.

Here is the proper wording for citing the CTSA:

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number UL1TR001412 to the University at Buffalo. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

More detailed information about the CTSA citation policy is available here.

If you have questions about citing the CTSA in your work, or linking your publications to an NIH grant using the MY NCBI My Bibliography tool, contact CTSA Chief Financial Officer Erin Bailey at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for clarification.

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