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CICATS’ Science Cafes highlighted in the Hartford Business Journal

In the May 8 edition of the Hartford Business Journal, staff writer John Stearns highlighted the CICATS Science Cafe concept and how it played a role in funding the research of Dr. Pramod Srivastava.

Science Cafes, which are hosted by CICATS’ Core Interest Groups, are informal events designed to engage the public with interactive discussions in the topic area of the host CIG, and increase opportunities for collaborative research. To learn more about CIGs or Science Cafes, please click here or contact Dr. Kevin Lo.

Here’s the full article from the Hartford Business Journal.

CIG directors lead world’s first ovarian cancer vaccine trial

Three directors from two of CICATS’ Core Interest Groups:  Women’s Cancer Consortium Core Interest Group (CIG) and the Personalized Immunotherapy CIG: Dr. Pramod Srivastava, Dr. Susan Tannenbaum, and Dr. Molly Brewer, are part of the world’s first personalized genomics-driven ovarian cancer vaccine clinical trial. Recruitment for the trial, which will take place at UConn Health, has begun and will be led by Dr. Tannenbaum. Dr. Srivastava, who is the director of the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at UConn Health, invented the groundbreaking vaccine, and Dr. Brewer and Karen Metersky, APRN, will serve as co-investigators.

To read more about this exciting announcement, check out the original article on UConn Today.

Update: Additional coverage includes a cover story from the May 8 edition of the Hartford Business Journal

Join us for the 2nd Annual STEAM Career Expo – Saturday, April 22

The 2nd Annual S.T.E.A.M Career Expo is coming up on Saturday, April 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Martin Luther King School in Hartford. Hosted by the Urban League of Greater Hartford Young Professionals (ULGHYP), the career expo offers girls and boys in grades 5-12 opportunities to participate in a variety of fun, hands-on exhibits and learn about the many types of careers they can pursue in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M).

Live music, healthy snacks, and lots of fun are on tap for the day, and we hope you can join us! Please feel free to print the flier for sharing or display.

For more information, please contact Janice Castle at yp@ulgh.org or Dr. Linda Barry at lbarry@uchc.edu.

CICATS Seminar Series: A Kavli BRAIN Event to feature Elisabet Borsheim, Ph.D. on March 24

We will be hosting a CICATS Seminar Series: A Kavli BRAIN Event on Friday, March 24, 2017 in the Low Learning Center at UConn Health, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

EBElisabet Borsheim, Ph.D., from the Arkansas Children’s Nutrition Center and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, will present on the topic, “Muscle protein synthesis and breakdown; regulation by nutrients and exercise.”

Dr. Borsheim will discuss how muscle plays an essential role as the primary reservoir for amino acids to maintain needs in vital organs during catabolic periods, including between meals and in response to injuries. Hence, the regulation of muscle protein metabolism for adequate metabolic function is of high importance in health and disease.  Stable isotope methodology enables measurements of muscle protein synthesis and breakdown rates. Intake of amino acids, specifically essential amino acids, stimulates muscle protein synthesis, and improves the net balance between synthesis and breakdown. During aging, there is a loss of muscle mass and function (sarcopenia) that may partly be explained by anabolic resistance. Optimal nutritional intake and exercise is of importance for maintenance of muscle mass with aging. After burn injuries, whole body and muscle protein turnover are increased, with a net loss of muscle protein and thus muscle mass. Anabolic interventions after pediatric burn injuries can improve muscle protein net balance via various mechanisms, including improving the response to feeding.

Lunch will be provided for seminar attendees.

The UConn School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)tm. Physicians should only claim the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

RSVP by March 17 to Cheryl Steciak at csteciak@uchc.edu.

This luncheon seminar is hosted by the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) at UConn, the CICATS Biostatistics Center,  and The Kavli Foundation.

Kavli Foundation Increases Investment to CICATS

The Kavli Foundation has announced it will renew and increase its investment in the “Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour” program hosted by CICATS. Also called Science Cafes, these programs are led by CICATS’ Core Interest Groups and are designed to engage the public and generate interactive discussions. Spurred by CICATS’ initial success, the grant from The Kavli Foundation will ensure that the cafes will continue and expand in the pursuit of advanced scientific knowledge and research.

The full announcement is available on the UConn Foundation website.

CICATS accepting applications for M1 Mentorship Award

CICATS has announced it is currently accepting applications for the second cycle of the M1 Mentorship Award. Open to full-time faculty from UConn Health or UConn Storrs, the deadline to apply is Friday, March 10, 2017.

Created in 2015, the M1 Mentorship Award aims to develop a cadre of accomplished mentors who will participate in creating an academic environment to elevate mentorship to a discipline with consistently high standards and practices. The M1 Award provides support to successful research-funded faculty to serve as mentors in developing the next generation of research scientists. The M1 Award is specifically targeted towards developing a sustainable academic pipeline to increase underrepresented minority students among the pool of academic scientists. Besides providing individual mentorship, recipients of the award will be involved in the development of mentorship programs at the University of Connecticut encompassing each level of educational training (middle school, high school, undergraduate, graduate, and junior faculty).

FUNDING

The M1 Award is a three year program. Funding will cover up to 25%, to a maximum of $40,000, of a faculty’s full-time salary appointment. Awards will provide protected time for mentoring activities, including mentorship of individual students as well as participation in the development and execution of various mentorship initiatives.  In addition, up to $10,000 will be allocated to the development of new and innovative initiatives focused on student-related activities that promote their academic growth and increase the number of students in the pipeline. M1 Award recipients are required to attend at least one mentorship conference per year and to participate in further training in the art and science of mentoring minority students.  Renewal of the M1 Award is subject to an annual program performance review and availability of funding.  The M1 Award will not be renewed at the end of the three-year period.

ELIGIBILITY

  • Full-time faculty from UConn Health or University of Connecticut Storrs campus
  • Documented history of successful research funding (National Institutes of Health (NIH) or other sources)
  • Evidence of extensive mentoring experience

For more information on the M1 Mentorship Award including how to access the online application, please visit the M1 Request for Application web page: http://cicats.uconn.edu/m1-rfa.

Application deadline: Friday, March 10, 2017

Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley visits UConn Health

On Friday, December 16, Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America, the nation’s largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance, gave a presentation in the Low Learning Center of UConn Health. This presentation, as part of the CICATS Luncheon Seminar Series, was hosted by CICATS and the Kavli Foundation.

CICATS CEO, Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, introduced Mary, who spoke about the importance of advocacy and how scientists should do more to build relationships with their elected officials and policymakers. She referenced the recent passage of the “21st Century Cures” bill as proof that forging that relationship can produce positive results.

To read more about Mary’s presentation, view this article from Research!America. Please visit our MediaSite page and click “CICATS Seminar Series” to watch Mary’s presentation.

2nd Annual National Health Disparities Elimination Summit a great success

The 2nd Annual National Health Disparities Elimination Summit was held on Saturday, October 29 in Keller Auditorium on the campus of UConn Health in Farmington, Conn. Close to 200 attendees heard from speakers who touched upon health disparity topics afflicting communities nationwide including asthma, environmental justice, gun violence in urban communities, and environmental racism.

The day-long program was divided into three sessions to show the impact of how environments are creating or exacerbating health disparities: Physical Environments: Where We Live and Work; Healthcare Environments – Acknowledging the Impact and Value of Diversity: Providers, Patients & Communities; and Social Environments – Addressing Social Structural Issues Impacting Health Outcomes through Policy and Community Engagement.

The distinguished cadre of speakers and their presentations cultivated an engaged audience whose questions and commentary spurred productive discussions and debate.

To read more about the 2nd Annual National Health Disparities Elimination Summit, view this article from UConn Today. The Summit website can also provide a wealth of information about the event, including the agenda and list of speakers.

Mustafa Santiago Ali

Indian National Academy of Engineering elects Dr. Cato Laurencin

Dr. LaurencinDr. Cato T. Laurencin, CICATS Chief Executive Officer, has been elected a Foreign Fellow by the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) for his outstanding accomplishments bridging engineering and medicine. It is the second time Laurencin has been honored by India, as he was elected a Foreign Fellow by the Indian National Academy of Sciences in 2015. Laurencin is now the first American-born scientist to be elected to both of these academies of India.

To read more, check out this article originally published on UConn Today.

FOX 61 Connecticut’s ‘The Stan Simpson Show’ previews upcoming National Health Disparities Elimination Summit

ss-show_100816Dr. Linda Barry, chief operating officer and assistant director of CICATS and co-chair of the 2nd Annual National Health Disparities Elimination Summit, appeared on “The Stan Simpson Show” and highlighted many of the topics that will be discussed during the upcoming summit. Dr. Barry explained the theme, Living in America Today: Transforming Environments to Eliminate Health Disparities, and how it will drive discussions focusing on the impact physical (e.g. Flint, Mich. lead water contamination), health care (e.g. role of diversity in improving patient outcomes), and social (e.g. societal structural issues such as gun violence) environments and how they create and exacerbate health disparities.

The segment featuring Dr. Barry is available for viewing. If you would like to learn more about the 2nd Annual National Health Disparities Elimination Summit, please head to the website where you can also register to attend.