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Two collaborative teams awarded first round of Collaborative and Stakeholder Engaged Pilot Grants

October 11, 2019 -- The Community and Collaboration Component (C&C) of the CTSC has selected two collaborative teams to receive the first round of Collaborative and Stakeholder Engaged Pilot Awards. Recipients needed to demonstrate they were a multidisciplinary research team with a special focus on the integration of community, clinical and/or industry stakeholders as part of the research endeavor, working together on translational research projects to improve population health.

Translation, as defined by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, is described as “the process of turning observations in the laboratory, clinic, and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and populations – from diagnostics and therapeutics to medical procedures and behavioral interventions.”

The two inaugural CTSC C&C pilot recipients are ( pending NIH approval ):

“Virtual Assistant System to Enhance Patient Self-Medication Outcomes”

An interdisciplinary approach, in direct collaboration with a community care facility, to identify medication management challenges and develop a new interactive “virtual assistant” decision-support technology platform that can be tested to see how well it improves medication adherence, patient quality of life and outcomes.

TEAM

Principal Investigator: Colin Drummond, PhD  (CWRU Biomedical Engineering)

Shanina Knighton, PhD, RN, Celeste Alfes, DNP, RN, and Elizabeth Zimmermann, DNP, RN (CWRU School of Nursing)

Scott Frank, MD, MS  (CWRU Population and Quantitative Health Sciences/Family Medicine/Public Health)

Miriam L. Pekarek, BS (Outpatient Therapy, and Ohio Living Home Health and Hospice at Breckenridge Village) (Stakeholders)

Patients and their Caregivers at Breckenridge Village (Stakeholders)

 

“Translating A Product That Prevents Surgical Adhesions into a Large Animal Model”

This multidisciplinary team identified a low-cost, biocompatible device coating that can prevent or reduce post-surgical complications including fibrosis, scarring, and unwanted adhesions. The successful findings of this work in rodent models proved the need to provide key data in a clinically relevant pig model to continue the translation of these findings eventually into the patient population, where the burden of post-surgical complications could be greatly reduced, especially among those with greater risks for complications. The findings from this pilot effort will be crucial in forming commercial partnerships with major mesh manufacturers in biomedical engineering.

TEAM

Principal Investigator: Horst von Recum,PhD (CWRU Biomedical Engineering)

Co-Investigator: Michael Rosen, MD , Professor, Surgery (Cleveland Clinic) (Stakeholder)

Julius Korley, PhD, MBA , CEO of Affinity Therapeutics, Cleveland, OH (Stakeholder)

Community of local surgeons (Stakeholders)

CTSC Regulatory Steering Group convened to promote city-wide interaction and collaboration

August 14, 2019 -- Faculty, staff members, and invited guests supporting research administration from all four of our partner institutions convened for the CTSC Regulatory Steering Group Meeting. This gathering of over 20 individuals from Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Medical Center, and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center was an opportunity for increased interaction and collaboration, which will continue into the future with standard quarterly meetings.

We discussed two initiatives of the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) in which the CTSC is actively involved. In these projects, the Cleveland CTSC is among more than 60 participating CTSA hubs nationwide.

  • Trial Innovation Network (TIN) – Noreen Roman, MBA gave an overview of the TIN and its mission to enhance the execution of multi-center clinical trials. Noreen is the Manager of Clinical Research Unit Operations at MetroHealth and the Point-of-Contact for the CTSC TIN Hub Liaison Team. If you are planning a multi-center study and would like to learn about resources available through the TIN, contact Noreen at (216) 778-3130 or nroman@metrohealth.org.
  • Common Metrics Initiative – Clara Pelfrey, PhD (CTSC, Evaluation Director) described the IRB-related metrics that are tabulated nationally for all Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Programs. This particular work is part of the national evaluation teams working on “Turn the Curve” metrics which are intended to decrease regulatory burden on investigators and their staffs while increasing efficiency in regulatory processes.

Philip Cola, PhD (CTSC Regulatory Knowledge and Support Lead) also reviewed the various regulatory-based metrics that are collected locally to measure our CTSC’s progress and to support the aims of the regulatory components of the current active grant. Discussion was held on the similarities and differences between the regulatory-based metrics and the common metrics.

Our guest speaker, Kathy Lawry, MSSA, CIP (SMART IRB Ambassador), provided education regarding the SMART IRB and IREx systems which support reliance agreements and single IRB review. We encourage you to learn more by signing up for the SMART IRB mailing list ( https://smartirb.org/contact/) , accessing webinars ( https://smartirb.org/reliance/), and utilizing the shared tools & resources ( https://smartirb.org/resources/).

For more information on any of these topics, contact Ellen Divoky, CCRP at (216) 368-5976 or ellen.divoky@case.edu . Ellen is the Director of Regulatory, Compliance and Contracting in the Center for Clinical Investigation who will be working closely with all of the above CTSC-related efforts and is the local regulatory liaison for Trial Innovation Network (TIN) studies.

Welcome Ellen Divoky!

Ellen Divoky, Director of Regulatory, Compliance and Contracting, in the Center for Clinical Investigation

May 2019 -- Please join us in welcoming Ellen Divoky, Director of Regulatory, Compliance and Contracting, to the Center for Clinical Investigation (CCI)! Ellen will provide leadership, coordination, and regulatory expertise for the Clinical & Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC) and other government sponsored programs housed within the CCI.

Ellen will consult with faculty and staff on research compliance topics and assist with the submission of research protocol applications relating to these programs as well as the Trial Innovation Network (TIN) and the SMART IRB platform for multi-site research.

Contact Ellen at (216) 368-5976 or ellen.divoky@case.edu.

Six multidisciplinary research teams selected to turn collective ideas into translational projects

March 22, 2019 -- The CTSC Community and Collaboration Component has selected the multidisciplinary research teams to turn collective ideas into translational research projects, with a special focus on the integration of community, clinical and industry stakeholders as part of the endeavor. Teams range from six to 18 investigators from all eight schools and colleges at the university.

The overall goal of the projects will be to turn observations in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and populations, ranging from diagnostics and therapeutics to medical procedures and behavioral interventions.

The six teams will be provided a package of support to help develop their translational ideas, including a four-hour retreat, professional group facilitator, graphic recorder and administrative support to pursue their projects. In return, the teams are responsible for developing a team action plan that outlines three specific translational project ideas.

The selected teams had to include investigators from multiple disciplines and at least one translational stakeholder—one who has a stake in the outcome and whose input could greatly enhance the research endeavor.

The six selected teams in this inaugural program are:

Human Fusions Initiative

Goal: To transform the relationship between humans and technology by using neural engineering technology that allows, for example, the brain of an individual wearing a prosthetic limb to recognize the prosthesis as a part of the human body.

Reinventing Health Surveillance to Leverage Developing Technology for Health Improvement

Goal: To reexamine our approach to health surveillance through the lens of rapidly developing, disruptive technologies that combine big data, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, spatial and digital epidemiology and social media analytics.

Team Science for Interprofessional Education

Goal: To study the role and impact of interprofessional student teams on patient outcomes and how to translate these findings into more refined interventions.

Building a Translational Research Agenda to Promote Environmental Health in Northeast Ohio

Goal: To develop a collaborative, community-engaged translational research agenda for the Swetland Center to advance health equity at the crossroads of the environment and health.

Achieving Health Equity through Cross-Sector Collaboration Focused on Systems Change

Goal: To better understand and measure the impact of HIP-Cuyahoga on health inequities in Cuyahoga County through system change operationalized within our partnership.

Addressing Tobacco Use Disparities in Cleveland

Goal: To develop a comprehensive, citywide plan to develop, implement and evaluate effective interventions to reduce the extremely high rate of tobacco use among Cleveland residents, within the context of better understanding the underlying drivers of addiction to nicotine and tobacco in this population.

Article originally posted in The Daily.

InfoReady is Live

January 10, 2019 -- We have transitioned to our new grant management software, InfoReady, and applications for the next round of Core Utilization Pilot Grants can be submitted.

The next Core Utilization Pilot deadline is February 1st!

Apply for a Core Utilization Pilot Grant through InfoReady.

The CTSC of Cleveland is awarded $46 million to catalyze high-quality clinical and translational research

June 26, 2018 -- CLEVELAND -- With a new federal grant totaling $46 million, Greater Cleveland has again demonstrated the power of partnership in maintaining the region as a medical powerhouse.

The commitment marks the third consecutive time that Case Western Reserve University has received significant funding to support its collaboration with Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Medical Center, University Hospitals and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. Including this latest award, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has invested nearly $175 million in the effort since 2007.

“Our thriving inter-institutional relationship among researchers is now well-established, and the fruits of that enterprise are paying off in a big way,” said School of Medicine Dean Pamela B. Davis, now an associate principal investigator on the grant after being its leader from 2007 through 2015. “This renewal grant is testimony to the idea that when experts are brought together from different institutions, and you provide them with the necessary resources, many of the complex problems facing medical science and health care today can be addressed.”

The NIH’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program seeks to help speed research breakthroughs to help patients, whether through direct interventions, changes in practice guidelines, or other advances. By supporting cooperation among multiple organizations, the program increases both the number and diversity of the researchers and patients involved—both of which increase the likelihood of discoveries with meaningful practical impact.

Achievements of the last decade include:

  • New, evidence-based guidelines that have lowered recommended blood pressure readings (research that involved, among others nationwide, Case Western Reserve, University Hospitals, and the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center);
  • Patented algorithms that identify which breast cancer patients are candidates for hormonal therapy alone and which would also benefit from chemotherapy (research involving, among others nationwide, the Case School of Engineering);
  • Discovery of a connection between certain gut flora and risks of cardiovascular disease (involving, among others nationwide, Cleveland Clinic);
  • A portable, rapid, battery-operated test device for detecting malaria and sickle cell disease from a single drop of blood (involving CWRU’s medical school and physics department);
  • A prototype software program that helps families make difficult end-of-life decisions (involving CWRU’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing); and
  • A new type of magnetic resonance imaging to track the effect of drugs on multiple sclerosis (involving CWRU).

While past accomplishments play a role in securing CTSA renewals, those evaluating each round of applications also assess of the value of proposed uses of new funds. The number of regions receiving awards has decreased over the years, as have the size of many grants.

“We are honored that the NIH recognized our outstanding multi-institutional biomedical research team in Cleveland with such a significant award,” said Serpil Erzurum, chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute and an associate principal investigator for the full award. “This collaborative CTSA grant will expedite the important work of our researchers as they translate discoveries to improve the health of patients in Northeast Ohio and beyond.”

As technologies have evolved since the first CTSA grants, so too have activities within this region and others. For example, researchers have been able to expand and deepen their analyses of medical data to inform approaches to treatment and care. MetroHealth’s David Kaelber is co-lead of the informatics part of the CTSA collaboration.

“The CTSA funding allows MetroHealth to use its informatics and nearly 20 years of electronic health record infrastructure to support researchers in Cleveland and around the country to make groundbreaking discoveries,” said Kaelber, the hospital’s chief medical informatics officer and a CWRU professor.

Meanwhile, Lara Jehi, research director of Cleveland Clinic’s Epilepsy Center, will co-lead the region’s participation in a national network of CTSA programs’ clinical trials. She and her local colleagues will provide operational support through a robust, centralized infrastructure focused on improving recruitment and streamlining research processes.

Raed Dweik, interim chair of Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Institute, will lead the portion of the grant that supports training of early-stage clinical and translational career research investigators. This mentored training program supports and enhances career development to prepare the next generation of researchers from all disciplines to lead successful, cutting-edge research programs.

Clifford Harding, chair of pathology at CWRU’s School of Medicine, will lead the portion of the grant that provides students considering clinical and translational research meaningful experiences in this area. Harding designed and leads the school’s training program for Immunology and Cancer Biology and also directs the Medical Scientist Training Program.

Northeast Ohio’s consortium also works to raise awareness of health disparities and improving the health of residents in Cleveland’s inner-city neighborhoods. Among the initiatives are support of training for providers who will work in underserved areas and programs that target infant mortality and childhood obesity.

“Case Western Reserve’s CTSC program will continue to provide the best environment to conduct translational research and to develop the next generation of the translational workforce,” said Michael Konstan, vice dean for translational research at the School of Medicine, the program’s overall principal investigator, and vice chair of clinical research at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, “ultimately raising the stature of Cleveland as a major contributor to improving human health not only in our region, but nationwide.”

Mark Chance, the medical school’s vice dean for research, also is an associate principal investigator on the award.

Article originally posted in The Daily.