Event: CICATS Science Cafe on Structural Biology Meets Drug Discovery @ UConn – 9/11/17 @ 4:00PM

Date: Monday, September 11, 2017

Time: 4:00-7:00 PM

Place: Nathan Hale Inn on the Storrs Campus

Sponsored by the UConn Partnership for Excellence in Structural Biology, CICATS and The Kavli Foundation

Featuring: Dr. Jonathan Moore, Senior Research Fellow and Vice President, Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Followed by Group Discussion on Challenges and Opportunities moderated by Drs. Sandra Weller (UConn Health) and Dennis Wright (UConn Pharmacy), co-leaders of the CICATS Drug Discovery Core Interest Group

Light supper will be served.  Attendance is free and open to the public.

Registration required via email to pschultz@uchc.edu


New Course in the Master’s program in Clinical and Translational Research

CICATS’s Master of Science Program in Clinical and Translational Research is offering a new course in Fall 2017, entitled “CLTR 5360: Critical Issues Involving Science Publication:  The Scientific Review (3 credits, class # 17063).” The course will be taught by Cato Laurencin, MD, PhD; Helen Wu, PhD; Kevin Lo, PhD; and Jorge Escobar Ivirico, PhD.  The course registration via Graduate School is open to clinicians, residents, medical students, MPH students and graduate students who are interested in clinical and translational research.

If you have any inquiries, contact Dr. Helen Wu.

CICATS Luncheon Seminar Series featuring Mary Woolley, President and CEO of Research!America on December 16

mwheadshotcolor2012We are exited to announce an upcoming CICATS Luncheon Seminar Series on Friday, December 16, 2016 in the Low Learning Center at UConn Health, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Mary Woolley, President and CEO, of Research!America, the nation’s largest nonprofit public education and advocacy alliance, will present on the topic, “Your Role in Changing Hearts and Minds for Science,” which will focus on the state of research relating to the incoming White House administration:

For the first time in six years both legislative branches and the White House will be in the same party’s hands. During this unprecedented time of transition, scientists must help ensure that the public, media, new and current policymakers hear about the benefits of research from the standpoint of how science contributes to economic growth and prosperity, national security, and better health. At a time when Congress and the public may be taking medical progress for granted, if they think about it at all, and given heightened public and policymaker demand for less government spending as well as more transparency and accountability, scientists themselves need to be more engaged in public outreach. Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America will discuss the current state of federal science and health research agency budgets, share relevant public opinion survey data and provide insights on how to effectively communicate with the public, policymakers and the media.

Lunch will be provided starting at 12:30 p.m.
Registration is now closed. The seminar may be viewed by visiting our MediaSite page and selecting “CICATS Seminar Series.”

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


Two-day OHRP Research Community Forum coming to Hartford, October 25-26

ohrpHartford HealthCare and the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) are hosting a Research Community Forum, “Foundations of Trust: Connecting Our Community to Research” on Tuesday, October 25-26, 2016 at the Hartford Marriott Downtown. The two-day event will include exhibits, presentations, interactive workshops and networking opportunities.

Dr. Linda Barry, chief operating officer and assistant director of CICATS, will be a featured speaker at the forum.

For more information and to register, please visit the symposium website.

The “Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour” – Pursuing the Frontiers of Brain Science

The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) at the University of Connecticut  is excited to report on the beginnings of the “Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour” program and extends our thanks to the Kavli Foundation for their generous gift in the amount of $10,000.

This program aims to serve as an incubator to UConn Health, affiliated institutions and investigators in the preparation of proposals to the national BRAIN Initiative.

Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative funding opportunities for research, study, applied science and technology are channeled through the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the National Science Foundation.

As a national initiative with an initial federal commitment of $100 million in FY 2014, it is clear that the Obama administration believes in the future of this research. A further demonstration of commitment comes from a recent press release concerning FY 2015 funding:

“The President’s 2015 Budget proposes to double the Federal investment in The BRAIN Initiative from about $100 million in FY 2014 to approximately $200 million in FY 2015.

Given the audacious goals of the initiative, the President has called for this to be an “all hands on deck” effort involving not only the Federal Government but also companies, health systems, patient advocacy organizations, philanthropists, state governments, research universities, private research institutes, and scientific societies.”

Supporting our effort to identify and secure funding available through the BRAIN initiative is our own Investigator Advocate and Assistant Professor, Dr. Tao Jiang. Dr. Jiang  held the first official “Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour” program on Friday, April 4th at UConn Health. He was joined by four senior investigators, Drs. David Steffens, Richard Mains, Louise McCullough and Douglas Oliver. The group discussed strengths and possible opportunities of UConn’s neuroscience-related research and outlined a focus for response to future funding opportunities for the BRAIN Initiative.

The next step is to have a follow-up “Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour” in May with the inclusion of more investigators from both UConn Health and UConn Storrs for deeper discussions on the BRAIN Initiative.

The time is yet to be determined and the meeting location is tentatively in downtown Hartford area.

Please inform your colleagues who may be interested in joining the “Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour” and contact Dr. Jiang at Jiang@uchc.edu or 860-679-7161 with any inquiries.

CICATS Announces Recipients of M1 Mentoring Awards

As a new and innovative program, the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) at UConn has launched the M1 Mentoring Award. The M1 Award is aimed at increasing and sustaining successful research funded faculty to serve as mentors in increasing underrepresented minority students among the pool of academic scientists. Through the M1 Award program, CICATS at UConn will develop a cadre of accomplished investigators who will participate in developing an academic environment that will elevate and reward mentorship at the University and in the region.

CICATS at UConn is excited to announce it has concluded the competition and selected 3 recipients to be awarded a three year M1 Award. The M1 Award recipients are:

Anne M. Delany, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Center for Molecular Medicine, Department of Medicine at UConn Health

Elaine Choung-Hee Lee, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology at UConn Storrs

Syam Nukavarapu, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery at UConn Health

Each M1 Award recipient will receive $50,000 each, inclusive of 25% protected time for mentoring activities which include mentorship of individual students, participation in the development and execution of various CICATS led mentorship initiatives, and participating in training in the art and science of mentoring minority students. An additional $10,000 will provide for student related activities towards enhancing academic growth such as research training and travel to scientific meetings.

CICATS congratulates the 2014 M1 Mentoring Awardees. We look forward to seeing the outstanding results of their endeavors.

UConn Health Research in the Olympic Spotlight


The pioneering work of UConn Health researcher Dr. Cato T. Laurencin is featured in an educational video series on NBC called the “Science and Engineering of the 2014  Olympic Winter Games.”

A segment called “Injury and Recovery” describes new treatment advances in sports-related injuries, such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears – a relatively common injury in skiing and snowboarding. The piece highlights Laurencin’s invention of the L-C Ligament, the first bioengineered matrix shown to completely regenerate ligament tissue inside the knee. This patented technology is currently being tested in human clinical trials in Europe.

Laurencin specializes in regenerative engineering, an advanced form of tissue engineering that combines materials science, stem cell science, and developmental biology to      regenerate muscles, ligaments, and tendons. His work has been cited by National Geographic among ‘100 Scientific Discoveries that Changed the World.’

In the video, he explains his work: “By understanding how cells interact with materials, we can create three-dimensional matrices that when implanted into humans can regenerate the ACL. The goal is not just to create a material that is like the ACL, the goal is to create a material that becomes the ACL.”

Laurencin is Van Dusen Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the UConn Health Center, founding director of the Health Center’s Institute for Regenerative Engineering, and University Professor in UConn’s School of Engineering.

Direct Link: http://nbclearn.com/2014olympics/cuecard/68290

CICATS Announces 2013 Pilot Study Awardees

The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) is excited to announce its award recipients of the 2013 CICATS Pilot Study. Over 50 applications were received and 8 proposals were selected for funding following a detailed peer review by a panel of experts.  The review criteria included:

1.      Significance of the project;
2.      Feasibility;
3.      Potential value to clinical and translation research;
4.      Innovation;
5.      Collaborative research; and
6.      Overall scientific merit.

Each awardee will receive $50,000 to fund their proposed projects.

Please visit the Pilot and Collaborative Translational and Clinical Studies Core page for information about the CICATS pilot program.

Biree Andemariam, M.D., UConn Health Center
“Identification of patient-specific vascular adhesion profiles and therapeutic signatures in sickle cell disease”
– Hector Aguila, Ph.D., UConn Health Center
– George Lykotrafitis, Ph.D., UConn Health Center
– William Zempsky, M.D., Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

Christopher D. Heinen, Ph.D., UConn Health Center
“Determining pathogenic significance of germline mismatch repair gene variants”
– Robin Schwartz, M.S., C.G.C., UConn Health Center
– Jennifer Stroop, M.S., C.G.C., UConn Health Center

Dmitry M. Korzhnev, Ph.D., UConn Health Center
“Translesion Synthesis DNA Polymerases as Targets for Anti-Cancer Drug Design”
– Matthew K. Hadden, Ph.D., UCONN

Xiuling Lu, Ph.D., UCONN
“Radionuclide therapy of Metastatic Ovarian Cancer with Mesoporous Nanoparticles: Translation of Results in Animal Models to Humans”
    – Molly A. Brewer, D.V.M., M.D., M.S., UConn Health Center
– Andrew Salner, M.D., Hartford Hospital
– Joel Sorosky, M.D., FACOG, Hartford Hospital

Renee Manworren, Ph.D., APRN, PCNS-BC, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
“Pilot study to advance personalized medicine in pediatrics: Identification of children and adolescents at risk for post-operative pain and adverse analgesic effects”
    – Gualberto Ruaño, M.D., Ph.D., Hartford Hospital
– Richard Seip, Ph.D., Hartford Hospital

John A. Taylor, M.D., M.S., UConn Health Center
“L-Selection as a marker of metastatic potential in invasive bladder cancer”
    – James F. Rusling, Ph.D., UCONN
– Dharamainder Choudhary, Ph.D., UConn Health Center
– Poornima Hedge, M.D., UConn Health Center

Tulio A. Valdez, M.D., Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
“Multi-wavelength video-otoscopy for the Diagnosis of Otitis Media”
– Donald Peterson, Ph.D., UConn Health Center/UCONN
– Jinbo Bi, Ph.D., M.Sc., UCONN

Andrew Winokur, M.D., Ph.D., UConn Health Center
“Development and Assessment of a sublingual Tablet Preparation of Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone to Enable New Therapeutic Applications”
    – Brian J. Aneskievich, Ph.D., UCONN
– Jayesh Kamath, M.D., Ph.D., UConn Health Center
– Robin H. Bogner, Ph.D., UCONN

Congratulations to all the award recipients!  We wish you much success in your research endeavors.

Cheryl Oncken, MD, MPH
CICATS Pilot Program
Sandra K. Weller, PhD
CICATS Pilot Program
Linda Barry, MD
CICATS Pilot Program

The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) partners with the Greater Hartford YMCA

July 31, 2013
The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) partners with the Greater Hartford YMCA REACH Coalition to Combat Health Disparities in Hartford
The Greater Hartford YMCA REACH (Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health) Coalition is holding a news conference to announce a partnership with the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) and other entities to combat health disparities in Hartford. This initiative will examine what changes are needed to mitigate obesity and nutrition-based health disparities within Hartford communities.

The announcement will take place at the Deluca Playground, Wilson-Gray YMCA, 444 Albany Ave., Hartford.


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