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HemeChip timeline retrospective case study published in JCTS

CTSC Team Publishes First Ever Retrospective Case Study Publication in JCTS

"Investing in innovation for underserved populations saves lives."

October 19, 2021 -- In 2014, Dr. Umut Gurkan, associate professor in the Case Western Reserve University School of Engineering, received a CTSC Annual Pilot to develop HemeChip, an accurate, low-cost, point-of-care diagnostic, specialized for low-income countries, to diagnose sickle cell disease. CTSC pilot funding was the critical catalyst for this study, as Dr. Gurkan has gone on to receive multiple publications, grants, and patents based on this blood assay technology.


A group of evaluation researchers at Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) hubs are conducting retrospective case studies to evaluate the translational research process. CTSC members Dr. Kelli Qua, Shannon Swiatkowski, and Dr. Clara Pelfrey teamed up with Dr. Gurkan to investigate the successful translation of the HemeChip using a protocol for retrospective translational science case studies of health interventions developed by the CTSA evaluation researchers.

Their findings have recently been published in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science: A Retrospective Case Study of Successful Translational Research: Gazelle Hb Variant Point-of-Care Diagnostic Device for Sickle Cell Disease

This retrospective case study publication was the first-of-its-kind in JCTS. Earlier this year, Dr. Clara Pelfrey and the CTSA evaluation researchers petitioned JCTS to include retrospective case studies as a manuscript category. The objective of these studies is to deepen knowledge of the transitional process and identify contributors to successful translation.

The team identified several barriers to translation which included proving novelty, manufacturing costs, fundraising, and academic-industry relations. Facilitators to translation were CTSA pilot program funding, university resources, entrepreneurship training, due diligence, and collaborations. The barriers to translation, how they were overcome, and the key facilitating facilitators identified in this case study pinpoint areas for consideration in future funding mechanisms and the infrastructure required to facilitate successful translation.


The Journal of Clinical and Translational Science (JCTS) is the official journal of the Clinical Research Forum and the Association for Clinical and Translational Science, published through Cambridge University Press. The journal aims to provide exceptional academic content in all areas of clinical and translational science research.

HemeChip timeline retrospective case study published in JCTS