The Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Center for Health Equity are now accepting applications for the Undergraduate Research Program (URP).

The research program lasts for 12 weeks during the summer of 2015, and provides awardees with:

  • An opportunity to develop knowledge, skills, and experience in translational science and health equity research

  • A structured core curriculum, including a mentored research project, weekly seminars, networking activities, small group discussions, and a final poster presentation

  • A stipend of approximately $424/week for full-time engagement from June 1-Aug. 21, 2015

To apply, students must be enrolled at a Minnesota college or university. In addition, applicants must be interested in health equity or minority health research, or from a population underrepresented in research.

Applications are due by noon on Feb. 6, 2015. Visit z.umn.edu/urp2015 to learn more, download the request for applications (RFA), and apply.

Investigators from the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic have a new opportunity to advance their research, thanks to the launch of a collaborative grant program that is now accepting applications.

The University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) and the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCaTS) established the Translational Product Development Fund (TPDF) program in conjunction with the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics (MNP).

The TPDF program supports the advancement of projects that have the potential to be commercialized, such as projects that aim to form a start-up company or create a license agreement with an established commercial entity. Ultimately, the program aims to impact the lives of Minnesotans by translating research discoveries into new therapies and treatment approaches for patients.

All full-time University of Minnesota faculty (all campuses) and Mayo Clinic Associate Consultant to Consultant investigators from the Rochester campus are invited to apply. Mandatory letters of intent (LOIs) are due by 5pm on December 19, 2014 (Cycle 1) and May 1, 2015 (Cycle 2), and must be submitted via an online form. Select applicants will be invited to submit full proposals.

The program offers two levels of possible funding:

  • Tier 1: Awards up to $50,000 in total direct costs to support projects that aim to establish scientific and technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential.

  • Tier 2: Awards up to $200,000 to advance projects past the feasibility assessment as described in Tier 1, and toward the creation of a commercial entity or licensing agreement; applications for this tier require approval from program administration.

In addition, awardees will receive a customized project development team (PDT) to help advance projects along the translational development pathway.

To learn more about this grant program, download the RFA, and view other current CTSI funding opportunities, visit z.umn.edu/ctsifunding.

CTSI_UMN_Portal_Request_For_Services.pngInvestigators and research teams now have an easier, more intuitive way to request services, thanks to an updated module on the Clinical Translational Research Portal (CTR Portal).

Enhancements are designed to create a more user-friendly and intuitive experience on the CTR Portal, a web-based system that enables research teams to request research services, as well as access and share information about their project. The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) manages the CTR Portal, and made these improvements using feedback from the CTR Portal's users.

The newly designed Request for Services (RFS) module enhances the overall user experience through features such as a clean interface, a flexible workflow, and a streamlined inquiry process that eliminates irrelevant questions and redundant steps.

The module now also includes an activity log, so investigators and research teams can view brief, relevant updates about their projects. For example, team members can see when a project has been updated, a service request has been made, or if additional information is requested by CTSI.

Visit the enhanced RFS module | Learn more about the CTR Portal

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute will implement a new, simpler rate structure for investigators using CTSI's clinical research facilities and support staff, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Rather than paying for each procedure, research teams will pay a simple, hourly rate in 15-minute increments. The new, University-approved rate structure will charge UMN investigator-initiated studies either $60/hour for a CTSI-staffed clinic room or $25/hour for a clinic room only.

Only a few highly specialized or equipment-intensive procedures will continue to be itemized, including iDXA and pQCT scans, glucose clamps, and GFRs. Under this new policy, investigators will be charged for the use of clinic rooms at the Delaware Clinical Research Unit (DCRU) and the Masonic Clinical Research Unit (MCRU). To view the rate sheet, visit z.umn.edu/ctsirates.

CTSI made this change to make it easier for University research teams to plan and manage their budgets, and to support efforts to build a University-wide research infrastructure that's sustainable, efficient, and equitable. The change responds to feedback from University investigators and research teams, who made it clear that they want a simpler rate structure.

The new rates are still below the real cost of these services, which investigators will continue to be shielded from.

CTSI is currently assessing how the new rate structure will impact individual projects that are currently using clinic staff or space, as well as projects that have received an estimate for this kind of support but have not yet started. Affected investigators have been contacted about the change, and CTSI will work closely with them to ensure a smooth transition.

The new structure only affects the rates of CTSI's Clinical Research Implementation Services (CRIS), including clinical research facilities (Delaware Clinical Research Unit and Masonic Clinical Research Unit), support staff, and procedures. It will not apply to investigators who use Clinical Research Coordinators, Research Project Managers, statisticians from our Biostatistical Design and Analysis Center, our Nutrition Research Center, or the Lillehei Clinical Research Unit (LCRU).

To learn more about the new rate structure, investigators and research teams are invited to attend a Q&A session on Nov. 20 from 1-2pm in Mayo 3-125. Refreshments will be provided. For budget assistance, contact CTSI's Research Navigator at 612.625.CTSI (2874) or ctsi@umn.edu, or, for other questions or feedback, contact Lisa Johnson, Assistant Director of Clinical Translational Research Services, at lisaj@umn.edu.

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) announced 10 new scholars will join its Translational Research Development Program (TRDP), which gives early-stage investigators an opportunity to gain experience in clinical and translational research.

The program, formerly known as the F&T Trainee Program, provides postdoctoral and predoctoral trainees with a mentoring team and up to $16,000 in research funds to help advance their research.

Congratulations to our newest TRDP scholars:

Jeff Flynn, PhD, Department of Microbiology
Project title: Anaerobic bacterial consortia sustain the growth of pathogens in the upper airways of cystic fibrosis patients
Primary mentor: Ryan Hunter, PhD
TRDP mentor: Jordan Dunitz, MD

Diego Garcia-Huidobro, MD, Department of Pediatrics
Project title: Feasibility of a One-To-One Parenting Intervention to Prevent Substance Use in Latino Youth
Primary mentor: Michele Allen, MD, MS
TRDP mentor: Iris Borowsky, MD, PhD

Rachel Hardeman, PhD, MPH, Department of Medicine
Project title: Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Birth Outcomes: Examining the Role of the Patient/Provider Relationship
Primary mentor: Diana Burgess, PhD
TRDP mentor: Katy Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA

Christopher Janson, MD, Department of Neurology
Project title: High-Throughput Discovery with Unique Alzheimer's Cellular Model
Primary mentor: Cornelius Lam, MD, PhD
TRDP mentor: Gunda Georg, PhD

Sakeen Kashem, BA, Department of Dermatology
Project title: Langerhans cell function in controlling fungal immunity and commensalism
Primary mentor: Daniel Kaplan, MD, PhD
TRDP mentor: Maria Hordinksy, MD

Liliane Mukaremera, PhD, Department of Microbiology
Project title: Alteration of the innate immune response by different Cryptococcus neoformans morphologies in HIV and healthy individuals
Primary mentor: Kirsten Nielsen, PhD
TRDP mentor: David Boulware, MD, MPH

Justin Ryder, PhD, Department of Epidemiology
Project title: Longitudinal assessment of novel biomarkers for predicting cardiovascular disease in youth
Primary mentor: Aaron S. Kelly, PhD
TRDP mentor: Kyle Rudser, PhD

Elizabeth Thompson
, MS, College of Biological Sciences
Project title: Gene therapy for Fanconi anemia using Cas9/CRISPR-mediated gene targeting
Primary mentor: Eric A. Hendrickson, PhD
TRDP mentor: Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD

Diana Wallin, BS, Department of Neuroscience
Project title: The effect of recombinant human erythropoietin (RhEpo) therapy on the hippocampus of anemic neonatal mice
Primary mentor: Michael K. Georgieff, MD
TRDP mentor: Gregory Vercellotti, MD

Andrea Wolf, BS, Department of Surgery
Project title: Formulation Optimization of a Low-Volume Resuscitation Fluid for Hemorrhagic Shock
Primary mentor: Greg Beilman, MD
TRDP mentor: Raj Suryanarayanan, PhD