Recently in Education and Training Category

CTSI is now accepting applications for two programs aimed at supporting translational researchers. The new Pediatric Medical Device Translational Grant Program will support the development of pediatric medical devices, while the KL2 Scholars Career Development Program will support U of M junior faculty investigators.

Pediatric Medical Device Translational Grant Program
This funding 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. The program's partners, CTSI's Office of Discovery and Translation (ODAT) and the Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium (PDIC), will provide funded investigators with work strategy guidance, frequent feedback, and access to comprehensive internal and external services. ODAT and PDIC anticipate funding up to three projects, awarding each a maximum of $50,000 for one year. Mandatory letters of intent are due April 10, 2014. Learn more and apply.

KL2 Scholars Career Development Program
This career development program provides mentorship, training, and funds to assistant professors (rank ≤ 6 years) conducting clinical and translational research. Up to one awardee will receive 75% salary support, up to $26,000 per year in research and travel funds for three years, training, and ongoing support from mentors and CTSI's Research Education, Training, and Career Development team. The structured training program aims to help awarded investigators be more successful, equipping them with skills to chart their academic career path, secure extramural funding, and pursue scholarly publications. Applications are due May 15, 2014 by 5pm. Learn more and apply.


The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) has released a new video in which two U of M faculty researchers - Drs. Bhargava and Shlafer - talk about how CTSI has helped them be more successful.

Maneesh Bhargava, MD, is an assistant professor with the U of M's Department of Medicine and a CTSI K to RO1 Scholar who's studying biomarkers that can predict outcomes in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). "CTSI has had a huge impact on my career," says Dr. Bhargava, citing how CTSI helped him protect his time so he can devote most of his time to research. He also notes benefiting from CTSI's support on study design and statistics, as well as the weekly seminars he attends as a CTSI scholar.

The video also features Rebecca Shlafer, PhD, an assistant professor at the U of M's Department of Pediatrics and a CTSI KL2 Scholar. Dr. Shlafer's research focuses on incarcerated parents in Minnesota and their minor children. In the video, she describes how she benefits from CTSI's "intentional link with community partners," as well as mentors who have helped her with everything from survey development to distilling her research for a conference at the White House.

Drs. Bhargava and Shlafer are part of CTSI career development programs that provide support via mentorship, training, and funds.

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute has accepted ten junior faculty investigators into its research career development programs. As CTSI scholars, they will receive mentorship, training, and funds to help advance their research careers and compete for federal grants.

Investigators have the opportunity to move through CTSI's career development pipeline, joining as early-stage investigators and competing for advanced career development awards as they build independent research careers.
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The New Investigator Pre-K Pilot Career Development Program provides mentorship, training, and funds to new investigators interested in clinical and translational research. The program is designed to prepare investigators to successfully compete for NIH K or R21 awards.

Erica Schorr, PhD, BSBA, RN, School of Nursing
Project title: Utilizing Wearable Technology to Monitor Physical Activity and Sleep After Coronary Revascularization
Primary mentor: Ruth Lindquist, PhD, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN
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The KL2 Scholars Career Development Program is designed to develop the next generation of clinical investigators through a structured training program with a mentored, multidisciplinary clinical research emphasis, salary support, and research funds. This three-year program aims to place junior investigators on the path to be competitive for NIH K- or R-series awards.

Xiufeng Li, PhD, Department of Radiology
Project title: Advanced Multi-Parametric MR Imaging for Renal Transplantation
Primary mentor: Gregory Metzger, PhD

Ann Parr, MD, PhD, Neurosurgery Department
Project title: Autologous Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells for Transplantation in Spinal Cord Injury
Primary mentor: Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD

Rebecca Shlafer, PhD, Department of Pediatrics
Project title: Incarcerated Parents in Minnesota and their Minor Children
Primary mentor: Michael Resnick, PhD

Guisheng Song, PhD, Department of Medicine
Project title: The combination of miR-24-ASO and miR-30e-ASO as a therapeutic agent for both NAFLD and hyperlipidemia
Primary mentor: Clifford Steer, MD
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The K to R01 Transition to Independence Program aims to place junior investigators, who have K awards, further on the path to be competitive for NIH R01 or equivalent awards and independence. This two-year program provides scholars with mentorship, training, and pilot funds.

Maneesh Bhargava, MD, Department of Medicine
Project title: Biomarkers to predict outcomes in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
Primary mentor: Chris H. Wendt, MD

Melena Bellin, MD, Department of Pediatrics
Project title: Assessing beta cell loss and islet engraftment after islet autotransplantation
Primary mentor: Antoinette Moran, MD

Kathryn Cullen, MD, Department of Psychiatry
Project title: Intravenous Ketamine in Adolescent Treatment-Resistant Depression: Efficacy and Brain Mechanisms
Primary mentor: Kelvin O. Lim, MD

Paul Drawz, MD, Department of Medicine
Project title: Treatment of Masked Hypertension
Primary mentor: Hassan Ibrahim, MD, MS

Kristine Talley, PhD, RN, GNP-BC, School of Nursing
Project title: Preventing Toileting Disability in Frail Older Women
Primary mentor: Jean F. Wyman, PhD, RN, GNP-BC, FAAN, FGSA

2013 CRI-blog2.jpg
Over the past several weeks, ten local organizations enhanced their capacity to develop research projects that address health issues facing their communities.

They attended Community Research Institute (CRI), a six-week workshop that trains community leaders and staff in health-related research methodology for developing and conducting grant-fundable research projects. CTSI collaborates on the annual event with two other University organizations, the Center for Health Equity and the Program in Health Disparities Research.

Real-world Research Skills
For example, Susen Fagrelius of the Little Earth of United Tribes is studying how diabetes and other chronic, food-related conditions impact the local Native American community, with the hopes of helping its members make positive choices about their health.

"The benefits of the Community Research Institute are beyond what I could ever imagine," said Fagrelius. "Getting study funding that could last several years used to be only a dream. Now, I know it's possible."

Participants (shown) learned how to apply the research skills they learned to a real-world project, and increase their capacity to develop grant-fundable research projects. In addition, they received expert feedback on their project proposals via one-on-one consultations with University faculty, developed a better understanding of the University research resources available to help them, and had the opportunity to network with researchers at the University and in the community.

The Power of Partnerships
Sue Everson-Rose, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine and Associate Director of the Program in Health Disparities Research, stressed the importance of the relationship between the University and the broader community during the final session, telling participants, "We're trying to do community-based participatory research better, and we can't do that without community."

Fagrelius echoed this cooperative sentiment, noting, "It's so important to approach research collaboratively, and in a way that honors, respects, and protects the community."

This year's CRI participants represented a diverse group of participants, with representatives from Arubah Emotional Health Services, East Philips Park Sports Association, Junior League of St. Paul, Little Earth of United Tribes, Minneapolis Urban League, Native American Community Clinic, New American Alliance for Development, Open Cities Health Center, Rainbow Health Initiative, and SEWA-AIFW (Asian Indian Family Wellness).

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CTSI honored Carol Lange, PhD, with the 2013 Mentor of the Year Award on Tuesday evening. Dr. Lange accepted the award from Dr. Tucker LeBien, PhD, (shown) in front of a crowd of students, faculty, staff and community members at the CTSI Poster Session and Reception.

Dr. Lange serves as a professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center. She is also a director of the Masonic Cancer Center's Cell Signaling and Cancer Biology Training Program.

The award is driven by the compassion of the mentees who nominate their research mentors. Letters nominating Dr. Lange's were full of praise and admiration for her commitment to mentorship, her dedication to knowing students on an individual level, her professional integrity and the success of her scientific career.

"Since joining the Lange lab, I have flourished under her mentorship. Dr. Lange is, and will be, my template on how to become an independent and productive female scientific investigator."

"Dr. Lange takes her role as a mentor very seriously and works with trainees to make sure they are developing the necessary skills to succeed in a career in research. She also makes a sincere effort to understand the individual goals of her trainees."

"Dr. Lange has an amazing generosity of spirit. Her engaging energy and tremendous capacity for intellectual creativity has created a stimulating and productive scientific environment that I am excited to work in every day."

Dr. Lange received $1,500 for this honor. Congratulations, Dr. Lange!