CTSI Blog

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) announced eight new scholars will join its Translational Research Development Program (TRDP).

The program gives postdoctoral and predoctoral trainees an opportunity to gain experience in clinical and translational research through a mentoring team and up to $16,000 in research funds to help advance their research. Investigators will begin the program on June 1, 2015.

Congratulations to our newest TRDP scholars:

Mariam Ahmed, MS, College of Pharmacy (Experimental & Clinical Pharmacology)
Title: A Model-based Approach to Optimize Lorenzo's Oil Therapy in X-Linked Adrenoleukodystrophy
Primary mentor: Richard Brundage
TRDP mentor: Gerald Raymond

Tyler Bosch, PhD, Medical School (Endocrinology)
Title: The Effect of High Intensity Interval Training on Liver Fat and Insulin Sensitivity in Adults with Obesity
Primary mentor: Lisa Chow
TRDP mentor: Patrick Bolan

Nicholas Brady
, Medical School (Microbiology, Immunology & Cancer Biology)
Title: JAK Inhibition Disrupts Inflammatory Homeostasis in Human Macrophages
Primary mentor: Kathryn Schwertfeger
TRDP mentor: Douglas Yee

Michael Burns, PhD, College of Biological Sciences (Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development)
Title: Using Virulence Genes in Stool as Markers of Colorectal Cancer
Primary mentor: Ran Blekhman
TRDP mentor: Timothy Church

Emily Pisetsky, PhD, Medical School (Psychiatry)
Title: Negative Affect and Substance Use as Momentary Mechanisms of Suicidality in Eating Disorders"
Primary mentor: Scott Crow
TRDP mentor: John Hughes

Anja Srienc, Medical School (Neuroscience)
Title: Cortical Spreading Depression as a Biomarker of Brain Injury During Neurosurgery
Primary mentor: Eric Newman
TRDP mentor: Matthew A. Hunt

Alena Svatkova, MD, Medical School (Pediatrics)
Title: Revealing the Core of White Matter Alteration and Cognitive Deficits in Mucopolysaccharidosis Type 2
Primary mentor: Igor Nestrasil
TRDP mentor: Kyle Rudser

Tonya Ward, PhD, College of Biological Sciences (Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology)
Title: Infant Fungal Microbiome and Allergic Disease Development
Mentor: Cheryl A. Gale

Five research projects were awarded through the Translational Product Development Fund (TPDF) program, a joint initiative between CTSI and the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS), in conjunction with the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics (MNP). The program supports health research projects that intend to develop a novel therapeutic compound, device, diagnostic, or IT product, and have the potential to be commercialized.

Congratulations to the newest awardees!

TPDF award recipients

Project Title: Combination Radiofrequency and Electroporation Energy for Balloon-Based Ablation and Drug Delivery: A Novel Treatment Modality for Atrial Fibrillation

  • Samuel Asirvatham, MD, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester
  • David R. Holmes, Jr., MD, MACC, Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester

Project Title: Minimally Invasive Pericardial Resection to Treat Heart Failure

  • Barry Borlaug, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine/Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester

Project Title: A Novel Antimicrobial Peptide for Drug-resistant Bacterial Infections

  • Sven-Ulrik Gorr, PhD, Professor, College of Dentistry, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota

Project Title: Novel Biotechnology for Rapid, Point-of-Care Diagnosis of Bacterial Infection

  • Valerie Pierre, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota
  • Robin Patel, MD, Professor of Medicine, Professor of Microbiology, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester

Project Title: Development of Hexyl-Benzyl-Biguanide for Breast Cancer Therapeutics

  • David Potter, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota
  • Robert Schumacher, PhD, Scientific Director, Center for Translational Medicine, Academic Health Center, University of Minnesota

CTSI team member and School of Public Health Professor Kathleen Call, PhD, has received the University of Minnesota President's Community-Engaged Faculty Scholar Award.

The award annually recognizes one faculty or P&A individual for exemplary engaged scholarship in partnership with the community and for embodying the University's definition of public engagement. At an awards luncheon on April 3, Dr. Call was selected among 11 finalists to receive this year's honor.

Dr. Call serves as CTSI's Faculty Liaison for Community-Engaged Research, and helps to advance research that adds real value to the lives of Minnesotans. She's part of CTSI's Populations and Community Engagement function, which provides an infrastructure so University and community researchers can work together to address the health issues most important to Minnesota communities.

In a School of Public Health blog post, Dr. Call explained the importance of community-engaged research as well and the significance of the award:

"Working with partners in local communities and in state agencies guarantees that the information we gather will be relevant and used to make progress on issues. The award confirms for me that the University takes its charge as a land-grant institution seriously and values working with others around the state to improve quality of life for Minnesotans."

Dr. Call's own research focuses on measuring health insurance coverage, and the extent to which health insurance coverage translates into access to health care services among culturally diverse, immigrant, young, and low-income populations. In addition, she serves as co-director of the Community Engagement Core for the Center for Health Equity as well as the co-director of the School of Public Health's Health Disparities Working Group.

View Dr. Call's finalist video for the 2015 University of Minnesota President's Community-Engaged Scholar Award:

CTSI has released RFAs for the following funding programs:

Translational Product Development Fund

  • Supports health research projects that intend to develop a novel therapeutic compound, device, diagnostic, or IT product, and have the potential to be commercialized.
  • Open to University of Minnesota and/or Mayo Clinic researchers
  • Offers either up to $50K to assess feasibility or establish merit, or up to $200K to advance past feasibility toward commercialization (i.e., funding for research that would specifically support the formation of a start-up company or license agreement).

Mandatory letters of intent due May 1.

View the RFA | Learn more


Pediatric Medical Device Translational Grant Program

  • Supports the development of pediatric medical devices, with the ultimate goal of improving pediatric patient outcomes and quality of life through technology-driven medical solutions.
  • Open to University of Minnesota faculty, including affiliated faculty at the VA, HCMC, Regions Hospital, and the Children's Hospitals of Minnesota.
  • Offers each funded project a maximum of $50K for one year.

Mandatory letters of intent due May 1.

View RFA | Learn more


CTSI's Dissemination & Implementation Awards program is now accepting proposals.

  • Provides funding to research teams so they can apply research to the real world, with the ultimate goal of improving human health.
  • Will award a total of $20,000 to 6-12 collaborative research teams to support the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based health strategies into our communities.
  • Requires collaboration between University researchers and Minnesota-based community organizations.

Proposals are due April 27, 2015.

View the RFA | Learn more and apply

For questions or more information, please contact ocehfund@umn.edu or 612-624-4247.