September 2011 Archives

Science Cafe sparks discussion about genetic disorders

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Science Cafe
Nearly 30 people attended CTSI's quarterly Science Cafe on Sept. 22 to hear about new therapies and alternative treatments used in clinical trials to treat rare genetic neurological disorders.

Chester Whitley, M.D., Ph.D. provided a detailed overview of clinical research that leads to improved health for those affected by rare genetic and metabolic disorders such as Hunter syndrome, Tay-Sachs disease, Sanfilippo syndrome, Gaucher disease and Hurler syndrome.

View Dr. Whitley's presentation here

Advice from the Nutrition Corner

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The UMN Farmer's Market is in its final weeks and Michelle Hanson, CTSI research dietitian, shares this 10-minute simple but tasty dish that is currently being used in a Native American study at CTSI.

4 c. cut green beans
1 t. olive oil
½ c. sliced green onions
4 cloves of garlic
2 c. plum tomato, seeded and thinly sliced (about ¾lb)
2 T. chopped fresh basil (or 2 t. dried basil)
¼ t. Salt
1/8 t. Pepper

1. Steam green beans, covered, 5 minutes or until tender. Drain well, and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high level heat.
3. Add onions and garlic; sauté 1 minute.
4. Add green beans; sauté 3 minutes.
5. Add tomato and remaining ingredients; sauté 2 minutes.

Yield: 4 (1 c.) Servings

The Farmer's Market is held on the east bank at the Church Street pedestrian mall every Wednesday from 11 am until 2 pm through October 5.

CTR Portal Enhancements to be released Thursday, 9/15

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Several enhancements will be available in the CTR Portal beginning Thursday, 9/15. Please review the list below and contact Beth Mohr or Trung Ngo with questions.

Request for Services 

  • A new "CTSI Cost Estimator" role has been added in order for users assigned in this role to access the Review Request Services module.

  • The CTSI ID has been added to the top of View Requests page, along with the project's Short Title at the top of this page.

  • When a request is submitted, re-opened, and re-submitted, user is now brought to a confirmation page upon subsequent submission, rather than to a read only version of the application.

  • Fixed issue with AHC ID users in which they were sometimes routed to the CTR Portal home screen rather than a confirmation screen upon submitting a New Project Registration Form.
  • The three tabs on the Request for Services form have been modified to be more distinguishable from one another.

  • On Request for Services - Gather Project Details tab - question #4, options of "Non-sponsored account" and "U of MN funding" have been added.

  • When logged in as the Checker role to the Review Request Services module, the Checker will now have the ability to remove all assigned Reviewers or Editors.

  • The Request for Services confirmation e-mails will now be sent to the individual who most recently submitted the request (along with PI and Key Contact).
My Projects 
  • Modified the formatting of the text in the My Projects' Actions column so that the text is more distinguishable on projects with multiple Actions options. 

  • A new Publications section has been added to the Basic Info tab, with the ability to collect multiple PMID's and PMCID's. 

  • Under Basic Info tab's Budgeted Hours section, Clinical Research Manager corrected to Clinical Research Coordinator, and "Hours per Visit" field updated to allow for a range of hours. 
  • The URL to access the CTR Portal has been updated from the production CTR Portal site to CTSI's Portal Overview landing page on the Project Registration and Request for Services confirmation e-mails and My Invoices e-mails. 

  • The CTSI News and Information widget on the Portal home screen is now populated by an RSS feed from CTSI's blog.

Job announcement posted

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CTSI is seeking an executive administrative assistant to provide primary support in the Education, Training and Career Development (EdTRCD) functional area. This position would assist the EdTRCD director, coordinator and faculty leaders in their daily operations. Check out the job announcement for more information.

IHI kicks off lecture series

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Learn about health informatics, record banks and strategies to build an effective public health information infrastructure. On Wednesday Sept. 28 at 3:30 pm in the Mayo Auditorium Dr. William Yasnoff, M.D., Ph.D. will present Integrating Public Health and Clinical Care Using Electronic Health Information.

Sponsored by the UMN's Institute for Health Informatics, this presentation covers guidelines established in 2001 by the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, which calls for public policy to establish a health information infrastructure.

A national leader in health informatics, Dr. Yasnoff is past senior advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Health Information Infrastructure. He also helped establish the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and has authored more than 300 publications and presentations on health informatics.

Input sought to formulate CTSI response to 'Common Rule'

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The Department of Health and Human Services is considering significant changes to the Common Rule regarding human subjects protections. The proposed changes are open for public comment.

By the end of October, Dr. Gordon Macfarlane will compile and submit a CTSI response to the proposed changes. Your informal perspectives or formal commentary is welcomed and appreciated.

CTSA newsletter available

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IHI kicks off student seminar

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The Institute of Health Informatics starts its student seminar on Thursday, Sept. 8 from 3:30 to 4:30 pm in 555 Diehl Hall featuring Dr. Subramani Mani of Vanderbilt University.
He will present "Predictive Modeling Using Machine Learning for Better Clinical Decision Making" that provides an overview of recent studies using machine learning methods for building predictive models. The models include:
~ Early detection of neonatal sepsis
~ Risk forecasting for type 2 diabetes
~ Early prediction of tumor response to neoadjuvant therapy with quantitative MRI

Dr. Mani's presentation will describe modeling methods derived from electronic health records that can be used to build models with the potential to improve clinical decision making and pave the way for personalized medicine.

The weekly IHI seminars, held in 555 Diehl Hall from 3:30 to 4:30 pm, are geared toward students but open to the public. Contact Jessica Whitcomb-Trance with questions.

CTSI launches UMN Profiles for research networking

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The Clinical and Translational Science Institute's Biomedical Informatics team launches UMN Profiles, a web-based tool to help create meaningful connections among the research community in Minnesota and around the world.

What is UMN Profiles?

UMN Profiles is a research networking software tool and an expertise database. It not only shows traditional directory information (e.g., name, phone number, office location), but also illustrates how each person is connected to others in the broad research community.

How does UMN Profiles help make connections?

A researcher can search UMN Profiles using keywords, like "diabetes" or "cancer," and receive a list of potential University of Minnesota colleagues working in that area. UMN Profiles displays a visual network map for each expert, showing how that individual is linked to others in the research community by publishing together or acting as a mentor, for example.

UMN Profiles is also part of a national research network that currently includes 30 research institutions. This network is accessible at and provides access to approximately 50,000 experts and potential collaborators. Likewise, users of the national network can search for expertise and collaborators at UMN.

Watch this video to learn more, including how Christine Blue of the School of Dentistry found a colleague and developed a new research partnership using Profiles.

Who can use UMN Profiles?
Anyone with access to the internet--from a physician researcher in rural Minnesota to a nursing student across the globe--can search UMN Profiles to locate experts and potential collaborators. Health sciences researchers at the University of Minnesota have access to another level of functionality when they are automatically added as users with a system-generated profile. That profile includes demographic information, publications, and connections to colleagues.

The UMN Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) aims to expand Profiles to connect researchers across disciplines, including biological sciences and engineering, and in community-based organizations. This expansion is supported by the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Consortium, a group of 60 medical research institutions--including the University of Minnesota--that are transforming the way biomedical research is conducted. UMN Profiles and other research networking tools create the meaningful connections necessary to achieve CTSA goals: to accelerate the translation of laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients; to engage communities in clinical research efforts; and to train a new generation of clinical and translational researchers.

What kind of information is included on an individual's profile?
When you view a person's profile, three types of information are displayed:

Managed Descriptions include demographic information, including name, titles, affiliation, phone number and email address.

Passive Networks are formed automatically when researchers share common traits such as being in the same department, working in the same building, co-authoring the same paper, or researching the same topics.

Active networks are defined by the user. When users view other people's profiles, they can mark those people as collaborators, advisors, or advisees.

How is the information in UMN Profiles maintained? Is it up to date?
New users are added to UMN Profiles once each quarter by pulling in associated demographic information from the PeopleSoft human resources system on a regular basis. Publications are added from the National Library of Medicine's PubMed database, and passive networks are automatically updated, once each quarter. Individual users may also log in at any time to update their photo, list awards and presentations, or manually add publications which are not available through PubMed.

What's next for UMN Profiles?
CTSI, together with a team from UMN Biomedical Health Informatics and the Health Sciences Libraries, is working to make research networking software more useful for those outside of traditional health sciences disciplines. Future enhancements include the addition of information about grants and expertise profiles of community partners.

Other research networking tools will be deployed and will integrate with UMN Profiles to provide institution-wide, cross-disciplinary identification of experts. The integrated seamless research networking system will be a leading example of our investment in collaborative research and will provide University of Minnesota researchers with a premier networking system.

Who created UMN Profiles?
This service is made possible by the Profiles Research Networking Software developed under the supervision of Griffin M Weber, MD, PhD, with support from Grant Number 1 UL1 RR025758-01 to Harvard Catalyst: The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center from the National Center for Research Resources and support from Harvard University and its affiliated academic healthcare centers.

For further information, questions, or demonstrations, please contact the CTSI Front Door at 612-625-2874 or

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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October 2011 is the next archive.

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