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2017 CICATS Lawrence G. Raisz, M.D. Lectureship in Clinical and Translational Research

The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) at UConn will host the 2017 CICATS Lawrence G. Raisz, M.D. Lectureship in Clinical and Translational Research. This year’s keynote speaker is Hannah Valantine, MD, MRCP, Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, NIH Office of the Director and Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Transplantation Genomics, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Hannah Valantine, M.D., MRCPNIH Addresses the Science of Diversity: Focusing on Institutional Change

The University of Connecticut School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Thursday, October 5, 2017 – UConn Health, Keller Auditorium
Keynote Lecture: 3 to 4:30 p.m. | FREE
Registration starts at 2:30 p.m.

Reception: 4:30 to 5:30 pm, Keller Lobby | FREE

Directions to UConn Health Main Building

RSVP to Attend

About Dr. Hannah Valantine

Background
Hannah Valantine is the first NIH Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity, and a Senior Investigator in the Intramural Research Program at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Prior to starting this position in April 2014, Dr. Valantine was Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and the Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Leadership at Stanford, a leadership position she held since November 2004. She is nationally recognized for her transformative approaches to diversity and is a recipient of the NIH Director’s Pathfinder Award for Diversity in the Scientific Workforce. She is currently leading NIH efforts to promote diversity through innovation across the NIH-funded biomedical workforce through a range of evidence-based approaches. Dr. Valantine maintains an active clinical research program that continues to have high impact on patient care. Current research extends her previous finding that an organ transplant is essentially a genome transplant, and that monitoring the level of donor DNA in a recipient’s blood as a marker of organ damage will detect early stages of rejection. She is currently overseeing a multi-site consortium of mid-Atlantic transplant centers to validate these findings clinically toward the development of a non-invasive tool for detecting early signs of organ rejection.

To read more about her NIH diversity activities, visit the links below.


About the CICATS Lawrence G. Raisz, M.D. Lectureship in Clinical and Translational Research

The Lawrence G. Raisz, M.D. Lectureship is designed to feature the important role of advancing translational research in areas such as health policy, health disparities, regenerative engineering, chronic diseases and much more. The Lectureship was inaugurated in 2011 to commemorate the memory and work of the late Dr. Lawrence G. Raisz.

Dr. Raisz was the Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Emeritus at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine who was dedicated to raising awareness of osteoporosis and metabolic bone diseases among physicians and the public. Each year a distinguished researcher or physician, notable for producing significant research related to clinical and translational research, is invited to give a public lecture at UConn Health or the University of Connecticut.

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 announces new cohort of the M1 Mentorship Award Program

The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) at UConn, a cross-university translational institute, has announced its next cohort of the M1 Mentorship Award Program.

The aim of the M1 Mentorship Award is to develop a cadre of accomplished investigators who will participate in cultivating an academic environment that elevates mentorship to a discipline with consistently high standards and practices. The program focuses on the recruitment and mentorship of underrepresented students at all stages of the academic pipeline.

The M1 Award recipients, selected through a peer review process, include:

Jennifer Cavallari Sc.D., CIH

Jennifer Cavallari, Sc.D., CIH Dr. Cavallari is an assistant professor in the Department of Community Medicine and Healthcare and the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at UConn Health. Dr. Cavallari is an epidemiologist and Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). She received her doctorate in Environmental Health from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) in 2007 where she also completed a post-doctoral fellowship.

Dr. Nicholas Leadbeater, M1 Mentor

Nicholas Leadbeater, Ph.D. Dr. Leadbeater is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at the UConn Storrs campus. A native of the United Kingdom, he received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nottingham and his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.

Dr. Bill Zempsky, M1 Mentor

William Zempsky, M.D., M.P.H. Dr. Zempsky is a professor of Pediatrics at the UConn School of Medicine and is the Head of the Division of Pain and Palliative Medicine at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Dr. Zempsky received his undergraduate degree from Cornell University.  He graduated from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and completed a pediatric residency on the Harriet Lane Service at Johns Hopkins Hospital. 

“I am pleased to welcome this next cohort of M1 Mentors, comprised of yet another talented group of faculty representing UConn and UConn Health,” said Dr. Cato Laurencin, chief executive officer, CICATS. “Mentorship is a fundamental component of student success, and I look forward to the impact from our mentors across CICATS and the UConn community.”

The inaugural cohort of the M1 Mentorship Award Program included Dr. Anne Delany and Dr. Syam Nukavarapu, UConn Health faculty, and Dr. Elaine Choung-Hee Lee, a faculty member from UConn Storrs.

Each M1 Award recipient utilizes program funds to guide and lead the development of their mentees towards becoming academic scientists. The activities focus on promoting the development of these students starting in high school through to junior faculty. CICATS aims to expand the M1 Mentorship Award Program nationally, using this model to promote pipeline development at other academic institutions.

For additional information about the M1 Award, please contact Lana Angelo at langelo@uchc.edu, or visit our website at http://cicats.uconn.edu/m1-mentorship-award-program/.

Regenerative Engineering Science Cafe featured notable panel

The first Regenerative Engineering Science Cafe took place on Thursday, July 6 at local restaurant “Butchers and Bakers” in Farmington to a large crowd. The Cafe panel, facilitated by Paulos Mengsteab, included six exciting leaders in the field who discussed their work and vision in an interactive fashion: Dr. Lakshmi Nair, Dr. Yusef Khan, Dr. Joseph Walker, Dr. Thanh Nguyen, and Dr. David Gardiner. Over 40 people, including students, faculty, researchers, engineers, clinicians, and staff attended the event.

Regenerative Engineering is a new field focusing on the Convergence of Advanced Material Sciences, Stem Cell Science, Physics, Developmental Biology and Clinical Translation for solving next generation challenges in tissue regeneration. This event was sponsored by the Kavli Foundation and CICATS.

To view additional photos from the event, please visit our Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cicats/albums. For more information about upcoming Science Café events, please visit: http://cicats.uconn.edu/science-cafes/.

Dr. David Gardiner - Regenerative Engineering Science Cafe
Crowd at Regenerative Engineering Science Cafe
Dr. Cato Laurencin - Regnerative Engineering Science Cafe

CICATS Science Café on Mentorship kicks off monthly series

On June 30, CICATS launched its 2017 Science Café Series: A Kavli BRAIN Event with its first program featuring a focus on mentorship. Over 35 people, including students, faculty, researchers, and staff attended the event which was held in the Academic Lobby of UConn Health.

A panel of two faculty mentors: Dr. Nicholas Leadbeater and Dr. Bill Zempsky, and three students: Archibald Agyekum-Yamoah, Aiyana Ponce, and Obum Umerah shared their experiences as mentors and mentees guided by moderator, Lauren Branche. Through engaging conversation and audience questions, the Mentorship Science Café was well-received and generated positive feedback from attendees.

The CICATS Science Cafe Series: A Kavli BRAIN Event was developed to bring faculty, scientists, clinicians, and the general public together on a monthly basis to discuss a specific topic. Previously, CICATS had hosted "Kavli BRAIN Coffee Hour" events, and as a result of their initial success, this spring The Kavli Foundation announced their renewed and increased support. The next Science Café is scheduled for the first week of September with a theme of “Innovation.”

These programs would not have been possible and successful without the support of CICATS faculty, partners, affiliates, the Connecticut Legislative Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and especially, The Kavli Foundation.

To view additional photos from the event, please visit our Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cicats/albums. For more information about upcoming Science Café events, please visit: http://cicats.uconn.edu/science-cafes/.

Mentorship Science Cafe
MentorshiP Science Cafe - CTL
Mentorship Science Cafe panelists

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.