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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.


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!

The University of Minnesota and the University of California - Los Angeles Clinical and Translational Science Institutes have teamed up to support three new pilot projects that address health disparities and health systems problems in Minnesota and southern California.

The Cross-Institutional Award for Health Disparities Research and Health Systems Change funds research where community-based organizations participate fully with faculty in the research process, and projects include co-Principal Investigators from both UMN and UCLA.

Please join us in congratulating the recipients of this inaugural round of funding!

  • William Riley, UMN, for the HIE Use project with Hector Rodriguez and Jeffrey McCullough, UCLA
  • Joshua Chodosh, UCLA, for the Alzheimer's Disease project with Joseph Gaugler, UMN
  • Robert Jones, UMN, for the Dental Caries/Obesity project with Francisco Ramos-Gomez, UCLA

Please join us in congratulating nine new Clinical and Translational Science Institute scholars, recipients of career development awards designed to support junior investigators as they build independent research careers.

The New Investigator Pre-K Pilot Grant provides mentorship, oversight, and pilot funds to junior investigators interested in clinical and translational research. The program is designed to prepare investigators to successfully compete for NIH K or R awards.

Naomi Duke, Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, Pediatrics, Medical School
Identifying Mechanisms for Health Disparities: Exploring the Impact of Youth Survival Expectations on Future Health

Stephanie Misono, Department of Otolaryngology, Medical School
Development of online intervention for distressed voice-disordered patients

Rebecca Shlafer, Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, Pediatrics, Medical School
Nutritional Status and Unmet Needs among Incarcerated Women of Reproductive Age

The K to R Transition Grant aims to place junior investigators, who have K awards, further on the path to be competitive for R01 awards.

Cari Clark, Department of General Medicine, Medical School
Impact of Yoga on Violence Survivor's Mental and Cardio Metabolic Health: A Feasibility Study of a Cluster Randomized Trial

Terri Laguna, Divsion of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, Pediatrics, Medical School
Biomarkers of Injury and Destruction in the Cystic Fibrosis Lung

The R to R Pilot Grant provides research funds for first time R01 awardees in clinical and translational research or funded junior faculty in the basic sciences who need pilot data to transition to translational work. This program provides supplemental funds to ensure that awardees compete successfully for a second NIH R01.

Alvaro Alonso, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health
Comparative Effectiveness of New Oral Anticoagulants in Atrial Fibrillation

Robert Jones, Division of Pediatrics, Developmental/Surgical Sciences, School of Dentistry
Examining Combination Antimicrobial Therapies to Control Pathogenic Oral Biofilms in Young Children

Erik Peterson, Division of Rheumatic & Autoimmune, Medicine, Medical School
PTPN22: genetic determinant of vaccine efficacy

Marnie Peterson, Division of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy
Alpha toxin: Role in biofilm formation by MRSA wound isolates and therapeutic target

Meet CTSI recruitment specialist Melissa Mueller, whose expertise and experience make her a critical member of research teams at UMN. Her work with ResearchMatch is connecting University of Minnesota researchers with volunteers who have expressed interesting in participating in research studies.Thumbnail image for head shot.jpg

Why do you work in clinical and translational research?
I chose to pursue a job in clinical and translational research because I recognize its importance in simple everyday things we often take for granted, as well as its role in developing cutting edge methods that change how we view health and disease.

What does your typical work day at CTSI look like?
Since this is a new position for me as well as for the University, my "typical" workday is still in development. As each day passes, however, it becomes clearer that my position will likely not have "typical" workdays, which makes me really excited! Some days I meet with researchers to discuss recruitment goals for their study and develop targeted strategies. Other days I give presentations to different groups on campus, teach researchers how to use ResearchMatch, work with the IRB to streamline certain procedures for our researchers, attend community outreach and networking events, participate in discussions on various health topics across the Academic Health Center schools, help develop training materials, host internal meetings, collaborate on nation-wide efforts to promote research volunteer participation, and continue to learn about the dynamic world of research at the University. I am lucky to work on such a wide variety of projects and with very intelligent and diverse people!

What do you like to do when you're not at CTSI?
When I am not at CTSI, I enjoy outdoor activities (especially running!), traveling, exploring the nooks and crannies of the Twin Cities, and spending time with my family and friends.

What is your favorite or current read?
I just finished reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. It was great! Next, I'm starting No Time To Lose: A life in pursuit of deadly viruses by Peter Piot.

Favorite quote?
Many of my favorite quotes come from my friends and family so I'll share one that is a bit more recognizable: "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." -Oscar Wilde