Recently in Education and Training Category

CTSI Poster Session 2014The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) recognized 12 researchers for having outstanding posters and presentations at the third annual CTSI Poster Session & Reception held on September 15. More than 150 people attended the event, including a group of Shattuck-St. Mary's students who are working closely with the poster presenters on a class project.

Judges evaluated more than 50 posters, and selected winners from each CTSI career development program as well as from the Community Collaborative grants program. CTSI will provide as much as $17,500 total in travel expenses so awardees can present their CTSI-supported research at a national or international conference.

Please join us in congratulating the 2014 travel award recipients!

Undergraduate Research Program (URP)
Samantha Carlson, School of Public Health
Stephanie Duong, Macalester College

Advanced Research Program (ARP)
David Matson, Medical School
Benjamin Otopalik, Medical School
Kinjal Sanghavi, College of Pharmacy

Translational Research Development Program (TRDP)
Alexa Weingarden, Medical School

New Investigator Pre-K Career Development Program
Stephanie Misono, Department of Otolaryngology, Medical School

KL2 Scholars Career Development Program
Ann Parr, Neurosurgery Department, Medical School
Guisheng Song, Department of Medicine, Medical School

K to R01 Transition to Independence Program

Melena Bellin, Department of Pediatrics, Medical School

R to R Pilot Grant
Robert Jones, Department of Development and Surgical Sciences, School of Dentistry

Community Collaborative grants program
Patricia Shannon, School of Social Work, College of Education and Human Development

2014 Mentor of the Year AwardLast evening at the CTSI Poster Session and Reception, CTSI recognized Kelvin O. Lim, MD, with the third annual Mentor of the Year Award, as well as Alicia Allen, PhD, with the Outstanding Junior Mentor Award, a new award that recognizes mentors with the rank of assistant professor. Both awards recognize outstanding research mentors, using nominations provided by the mentees themselves and faculty colleagues.

Mentor of the Year: Dr. Kelvin Lim
Dr. Lim serves as a professor of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota Medical School. His research focuses on applying advanced neuroimaging methods to the study of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Several individuals wrote letters in support of Dr. Lim's qualifications for the award, praising him for his enthusiasm, passion, dedication, and integrity. Following is an excerpt from one of these letters:

"His talents transcend departmental lines and he brings together collaborations within the University and internationally with a high level of enthusiasm and skill. His international reputation, his extensive network of collaborators, his ability to attract talented individuals, and his well-respected research programs all serve the University of Minnesota extremely well, especially in regard to the training and mentoring of young scientists."

Dr. Lim received $1,500 for this recognition, and accepted the award from Dr. Jasjit Ahluwalia (shown, with Dr. Lim), Associate Director of CTSI who leads CTSI-Ed, CTSI's Research Education, Training, and Career Development function.

Outstanding Junior Mentor: Alicia Allen

Dr. Allen is an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota. Her current research focuses on how sex hormones influence smoking behavior and smoking cessation outcomes.

Letters in support of Dr. Allen commended her for being kind, approachable, caring, and genuinely interested in helping mentees be more successful. Following are excerpts from these letters:

"Not only does Alicia care about her mentee's scientific progress and success, but she also cares about her mentees as individuals. Alicia wants only the best for her students, in and outside the office. She was always interested in my future career and academic development."

"She is approachable and available, has excellent communication and guidance, and motivates me to learn. She gives me the confidence and tools to step outside of my comfort zone, be independent, and experience clinical research."

Dr. Allen was awarded $500 for this honor.

Join us in congratulating Drs. Lim and Allen!

IUHE 2014.jpg
Each year, medical students, the Center for Health Equity, and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute host a three-day program focused on urban health equity for incoming medical students.

This year, the program -- called Introduction to Urban Health Equity (IUHE) -- expanded to include dental students and broke an attendance record. It attracted 70 incoming medical and dental students who are about to start programs at the University of Minnesota's Medical School and School of Dentistry.

Students enjoyed a wide range of presentations, activities, and discussions that included an introductory health equity talk by Jasjit S. Ahluwalia, MD, MPH, a poverty simulation hosted by 20 volunteers, neighborhood clinic tours, and cultural round robin discussions.

Dr. Ahluwalia, who is the faculty sponsor for IUHE, the Director of the Center for Health Equity, and Associate Director of CTSI said:

"The energy in the room is palpable. These students, who chose to attend this optional experience, will be our nation's leaders for solving the challenging problems of health equity."

CRC Orientation screen shot-Recruitment course.pngCoordinators who support clinical research teams at the U of M and Fairview have new resources to help them be more successful, thanks to expansions to the Clinical Research Coordinator (CRC) Orientation program.

The online training program now offers a new course about recruiting research participants (shown above), to help coordinators more effectively attract volunteers for clinical trials, and ensure they have a positive experience.

"Recruiting patients is vital to a trial's success, and sites invest a significant amount of time and resources on recruitment activities. I'm very exited about the development of the CRC Orientation program's latest course, which is designed to provide CRCs with the skills, training, and real-world examples that can help them more effectively recruit and retain research participants," says Denise Windenburg, Program Director of the U of M's Cardiovascular research team. Windenburg collaborates on the training program with other content experts and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Other new program features include an online forum that allows the U of M and Fairview CRC community to discover, share, and discuss resources, as well as digital badges that enable CRCs to showcase training progress, such as on their LinkedIn profile.

Recruitment is one of many courses included in the module, which addresses a wide range of topics, from good clinical practice and research ethics to policies and regulatory considerations. Courses can be taken anytime, anywhere, and are free to CRCs at the U of M.

"We originally created the CRC Orientation program to help drive high-quality research, while also supporting the career development of the coordinators who are critical to a clinical study's success," says Michelle Lamere, assistant director for CTSI's Education, Training, and Research Career Development function (CTSI-Ed). "We continuously add new features to keep delivering on this promise, and respond to the evolving needs of the CRC community."

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute developed and manages this program, while CRC experts and research managers serve as content experts, including for the new recruitment-focused course.

Visit the CRC Orientation page to learn more. To enroll, email crctrain@umn.edu or visit the CRC Orientation Moodle page (requires U of M login).

Two additional new members have been accepted into the Clinical and Translational Science Institute's research career development programs. These programs provide a career development infrastructure that supports junior investigators as they build independent research careers and pursue federal grants.

Drs. Lucie Turcotte and Alexa Pragman will start their respective programs on Sept. 1, along with several other recent awardees.

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The New Investigator Pre-K 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 career development awards.

Lucie Turcotte, MD, Department of Pediatrics
Project title: The Role of the Immune System in Development of Cardiometabolic Syndrome Among Survivors of Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation
Primary mentor: Michael Verneris, MD

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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.

Alexa Pragman, MD, PhD, Department of Medicine
Project title: Evaluation of the Lung Microbiota and Inflammation in the Progression of COPD
Primary mentor: Christine H. Wendt, MD