The CTSC Hits the road to the Translational Science 2024 conference in Las Vegas

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Members of the Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative of Northern Ohio made their way to the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV from April 3-5 for Translational Science 2024, a national conference focusing on Innovating to Increase Equity across clinical research and translational science, emphasizing diversity, and translational and team science.

Among those in attendance were CTSC Principal Investigator and CTSA Steering Committee Member, Grace McComsey, MD; Jeri Jewett-Tennant, MPH, MCHES; Lora Parent, MBA; Clara Pelfrey, PhD; Gelise Thomas, JD, MS; and Mary Louise Tatum, MSN, Nora Singer, MD, and Johnie Rose, MD, PhD.


Action in Attendance

The CTSC not only attended the conference, but had a noticeable presence with multiple members presenting and speaking on various topics and panels. 

Lora Parent, MBA, CTSC Director of Strategic Partnerships and Research Development was invited to speak on a panel discussing knowledge transfer in leadership and beginning a new role. 

Clara Pelfrey, PhD presenting her poster at TS24
Clara Pelfrey, PhD presenting her poster at TS24

Clara Pelfrey, PhD, CTSC Director of Evaluation, held two other impactful talks in addition to her presentation at the Evaluation Special Interest Group Meeting on “Success Stories of Translational Science: From Discovery to Health Impact”; the first of which was "Integrating Translational Science Benefits Model (TSBM) into Research and Programmatic Planning, Evaluation, and Dissemination Processes" - a collaborative session between CTSA hubs at Case Western Reserve University, Oregon Health Science University, and University of California, Irvine. This session brought attendees new ideas for integrating TSBM into hubs to display research impact and connect CTSAs to solve current barriers together.

Dr. Pelfrey’s third well-attended presentation was focused on her poster “Leadership Development for Women in Academic Medicine: Impact of Leader Self-Efficacy Change and Sustainability Over Time”, an evaluation of the FLEX Leadership Development Program for Women Faculty in the Case Western School of Medicine to determine whether women faculty develop leader self and means efficacy.


Gelise Thomas and Mary Louise Tatum presenting at TS24
From left: Gelise Thomas, Mary Louise Tatum

Gelise Thomas, JD, MS, CTSC Director of Research Health Equity and CTSC Colleague, Mary Louise Tatum, MSN of the Cleveland Clinic, delivered an oral poster presentation titled “Building a Health Equity Research Workforce for the Future Now”, based on the LGBTQ+ Inclusivity For Researchers Workshop they co-created in Fall 2023. Among the presentation goals, the session aided participants in identifying gaps in knowledge regarding the health equity research process. 


Gelise Thomas, JD, MS presenting her poster at TS24
Gelise Thomas, JD, MS presenting her poster at TS24

Gelise also presented her poster titled ”Answering the Call for Greater LGBTQ+ Research Inclusivity by Co-Developing A Workshop for Researchers” aimed at building awareness of and discussing the history of the LGBTQ+ community in medical and public health research, and providing inclusivity frameworks.  Additionally, Gelise was named as an author for the collaborative poster project “Using LGBTQ+ Community Expertise to Co-Develop Inclusive Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Screening for Research Studies”.


Lora Parent, Grace McComsey, and Nora Singer at TS24
From left: Lora Parent, Grace McComsey, and Nora Singer

CTSC Colleagues and ATLAS Program participants Johnie Rose, MD, PhD and Nora Singer, MD were also among those in attendance at the conference. Dr. Singer presented on her poster “Novel approach for childhood Sjögren’s Disease therapies: multistakeholder design of a series of N-of-1 trials” with the goal of designing a series of N-of-1 trials for Childhood Sjögren's Disease (cSD), a rare autoimmune disease that currently lacks pediatric-specific clinical trials, where participants are used as their own controls.


CTSA Steering Committee TS24

Grace McComsey, MD, FIDSA, CTSC Principal Investigator sits aboard the CTSA Steering Committee. During the conference, the Steering Committee met to discuss strategy, share mentoring tools, and discuss approaches to career development for the CTSA Program.


A Two-Way Learning Opportunity and Lasting Impressions

The team came home with new knowledge and tools in their belts, eager to apply what they’ve learned.

A key takeaway from the conference for Jeri Jewett-Tennant, MPH, MCHES, CTSC Assistant Director of Concierge Services, was how CTSAs can use NIH’s All of Us (AoU) Research Program for data collaboration. AoU is an extremely large, extremely diverse health database for use by any researcher. The AoU Workbench is an interactive space with access to several tools, including shared collaborative workspaces for registered researchers to access, store, and analyze data; analysis tools to query and analyze AoU datasets using cloud-based analysis tools; and cohort and dataset builders that are point-and-click tools allowing researchers to search and save collections of data, and create, review, and annotate cohort data within the AoU dataset.

Opportunities for networking allowed our team to learn of new initiatives from each of the CTSA hubs, new ways approaching similar topics, and spark new collaborations with CTSA Program colleagues doing complimentary work.

Likewise, other attending CTSA hubs were eager to learn a few things from our hub as well.


“I met quite a few people from other CTSAs who are interested in learning about how we built our research health equity program. We've had follow up meetings with representatives from other CTSAs who want to collaborate. I always enjoy the post-session and poster conversations that create opportunities for future collaboration!” - Gelise Thomas, JD, MS


From the conference’s diverse lineup of sessions including didactic learning, oral presentations, poster session and special interest group (SIG) meetings, our CTSC team members came home inspired and motivated to implement freshly learned best practices and ideas, and showcase more of our collaborators' and researchers' success stories.


“Beyond formal sessions, the conference facilitated networking and professional development with new collaborative opportunities with colleagues from academia and government agencies.” - Jeri Jewett-Tennant, MPH, MCHES


“As a first time attendee, it was a great opportunity for both personal and professional growth.” - Lora Parent, MBA

Gelise, Clara, and Jeri at TS24
From left: Gelise Thomas, Clara Pelfrey, and Jeri Jewett-Tennant at TS24


Top 10 Recognitions

Clinical Research Forum honored two University Hospitals Investigators with a 2024 Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Award at TS24 - Dr. Mehdi Shishehbor, DO, MPH, PhD, and Dr. Amrou Sarraj, MD.

Mehdi Shishehbor, DO, MPH, PhD and Amrou Sarraj, MD.
From left: Mehdi Shishehbor, DO, MPH, PhD and Amrou Sarraj, MD


Dr. Mehdi Shishehbor, DO, MPH, PhD, Professor at Case Western Reserve University, President, Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute and Professor of Medicine, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, and CTSC KL2 Scholar, was recognized for his and his team’s work on The PROMISE II Trial, Percutaneous Deep Vein Arterialization for the Treatment of Late-Stage Chronic Limb-Threatening Ischemia (PROMISE)

Dr. Amrou Sarraj, MD, Professor at Case Western Reserve University and George M. Humphrey II Endowed Professor of Neurology, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center was honored for the exceptional work of he and his team on  A Randomized Controlled Trial to Optimize Patients Selection for Endovascular Treatment in Acute Ischemic Stroke - SELECT2

Congratulations to your exemplary work and for shining light on research in Northern Ohio! Read more about the Clinical Research Forum Top 10 Award Winners Here.