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Events

Science Café on Structural Biology Meets Drug Discovery Finds Great Success

The UConn Partnership for Excellence in Structural Biology, a CICATS Core Interest Group, held a Science Café on Structural Biology Meets Drug Discovery on September 11, 2017 at the Nathan Hale Inn on the UConn Storrs campus. The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Jonathan Moore, Senior Research Fellow and Vice President of Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston. Dr. Moore’s insightful remarks focused on the intersection of structural biology and drug discovery and touched on targeting disordered proteins as a new mode of action. Dr. Dennis Wright, of UConn Pharmacy, briefed the group on the PITCH and NPDD academic drug discovery initiatives at UConn. The Science Café attracted a broad cross section of interested faculty as well as administrators, who engaged in a lively discussion of challenges and opportunities.

To learn more about our Science Cafe’s click here.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

 

Dr. Linda Barry previews National Health Disparities Elimination Summit on Philadelphia’s 900AM WURD

Chief Operating Officer and Assistant Director of CICATS, Dr. Linda Barry, who is also co-chair of the 2nd Annual National Health Disparities Elimination Summit, previewed the upcoming summit on 900AM WURD Philadelphia’s “The MOJO” with Stephanie Renee. During the twenty-minute segment, Dr. Barry highlighted the three primary areas in which the summit will focus: including the impact of your environment – specifically the physical, social, and health care environments within communities, and how they create or exacerbate health disparities. Every community experiences their own health disparities, from Philadelphia to Hartford to Flint and beyond, and Dr. Barry emphasized the importance of gathering thought leaders together to create solutions.

The interview has been archived on the CICATS website. If you would like to learn more about the National Health Disparities Summit, which is open to the public, please head to the Summit website.

CICATS announces 2nd Annual National Health Disparities Elimination Summit

The 2nd Annual National Health Disparities Elimination Summit will be taking place on Saturday, October 29, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Keller Auditorium at UConn Health.

This year’s Summit will take a holistic approach and focus on how different environments, such as the physical environment (e.g. Flint, Michigan water crisis), healthcare environment (e.g. role of diversity in improving outcomes) and social environment (societal structural issues such as gun violence), are creating or exacerbating health disparities. Where you live matters. Therefore, patients, health care providers, political leaders and community leaders can each make a positive impact to improve their environment, resulting in improved health outcomes in their communities.

Mustafa Santiago Ali, Senior Advisor, US Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization, has been announced as the keynote speaker. Presenters throughout the day will share information regarding efforts to eliminate health disparities and will discuss the current state of African American and Latino Health in America today. The discussion will also include an emphasis on community involvement in the development of promising, effective strategies to reduce and eliminate disparities.

Please visit the Summit website for additional information and to register.