Published April 7, 2021
In addition to a keynote address on COVID-19 vaccines from internationally recognized researcher John R. Mascola, MD, the University at Buffalo Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Annual Forum on March 17 highlighted CTSI achievements from the last 12 months and exemplary research from 2019 and 2020. (See story on Mascola’s address here.)
Following a welcome from Michael Cain, MD, VP for Health Sciences, University at Buffalo and Dean, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, CTSI Director Timothy F. Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor, gave a “State of the CTSI” address. Both Murphy and Cain highlighted the efforts of CTSI researchers and staff during a tumultuous 12 months.
“Buffalo and the world have been through a turbulent year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what has been very visible social injustice, and a challenging economy,” Cain said. “But importantly, despite this very true and real triple threat assault, our institute never took a day off and has actually thrived.”
Similarly, Murphy called attention to the COVID-related research that occurred after the start of the pandemic.
“In March, most clinical research was paused. But we as a CTSI placed a priority on facilitating research related to the pandemic,” Murphy explained. “Our university and our investigators really stepped up to contribute to this national and global problem.”
Murphy praised the ongoing efforts of CTSI core directors, steering committee members, community partners, and staff. He explained that staff members made key contributions to COVID research happening at UB.
“Our staff worked incredibly hard in order to be able to facilitate that response that our investigators and our faculty have made in response to the pandemic,” he said.
In addition, Murphy outlined the impact of the CTSI’s Translational Pilot Studies Program. “We prioritize proposals that focus on health disparities and underserved and special populations,” Murphy explained, adding that this focus “[aligns] with the overall vision and goal of our CTSI.”
After the keynote from Mascola, Anne Curtis, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor; Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and Chair, Department of Medicine, Jacobs School, and Clinical Research Achievement Awards Committee Chair, introduced the 2019 and 2020 Buffalo Translational Consortium Clinical Research Achievement Award winners and finalists. The awards annually honor the outstanding accomplishments of clinical researchers in the Buffalo Niagara region.
The 2020 CTSI Annual Forum was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the 2021 virtual event included presentations by award winners and finalists from the previous two years.
Presentations followed from 2019 award winner John Leddy, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, Jacobs School, and 2019 finalists Dhyan Chandra, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Brian Clemency, DO, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Jacobs School (watch Clemency presentation here).
Next was the 2020 award winner, Teresa Quattrin, MD, UB Distinguished Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Research Integration, Jacobs School (watch Quattrin presentation here), followed by 2020 award finalists Steven E. Lipshultz, MD, A. Conger Goodyear Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, Jacobs School, and Gil I. Wolfe, MD, FAAN, Professor and Chair, Irvin and Rosemary Smith Chair of Neurology, Department of Neurology, Jacobs School (watch Wolfe presentation here).
As the forum ended, Murphy praised the award winners and finalists for their work.
“This is exciting work that we’ve heard [about] from the six investigators all afternoon,” Murphy said. “These are the kinds of things that really make a difference.”
Watch for details on the 2022 CTSI Annual Forum in the months to come. Additional videos from the 2021 forum will be posted soon.