CTSI Translational Science Pilot Studies Program awards 11 new grants for 2018-19

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Published March 8, 2018

The University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), with local institutional support and an award from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), National Institutes of Health, has awarded 11 new grants to support promising translational research projects in Western New York.

“In addition to supporting innovative, high-impact, clinical-translational science, the program looks for projects that foster cross-disciplinary collaborations and mentoring relationships.”
Steven J. Fliesler, PhD, UB Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Translational Pilot Studies program
Department of Ophthalmology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
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Recipients of the 2018-19 CTSI Translational Science Pilot Studies Program awards are:

  • Hospital Observation Upon Reversal (HOUR) with Naloxone: A multicenter decision rule validation
    Principal investigator: Brian Clemency, DO, Department of Emergency Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Nivolumab-augmented vaccination against decitabine-induced NY-ESO-1 in MDS/AML
    Co-principal investigators: Elizabeth Griffiths, MD, Departments of Medicine, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Michael Nemeth, PhD, Department of Medicine, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Development of biomarkers for circadian rhythm of radio-sensitivity using non-invasive collected samples of oral mucosa of healthy individuals
    Principal investigator: Fangyi Gu, MD, ScD, Department of Cancer Prevention and Control, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Is there a lead diet? Harnessing population-based evidence for translatable public health messages on lowering childhood lead exposure
    Principal investigator: Katarzyna Kordas, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Health Professions
  • Aligning Schools to Help Manage Asthma (Project ASTHMA)
    Principal investigator: Lucy Holmes, MD, MPH, Department of Pediatrics, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Biomarkers of ischemic stroke subtype to aid post-thrombectomy workup
    Co-principal investigators: Adnan Siddiqui, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Hui Meng, PhD, Departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Linking New York State databases to identify risk factors for health disparities in lung cancer
    Principal investigator: Darryl Somayaji, PhD, RN, School of Nursing
  • Assessment of phosphodiesterase-4D as a novel target for neuropsychiatric indications in treatment of memory-related disorders using a translational mouse-model approach
    Prinicpal investigator: Ying Xu, MD, PhD, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy
    and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Pre-clinical evaluation of a novel antibody-based therapy to improve cardiac repair after acute myocardial infarction
    Principal investigator: Brian Weil, PhD, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Chronic kidney disease associated dysbiosis effects on cardiovascular diseases
    Principal investigator: Rabi Yacoub, MD, Department of Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Detection of cancer mutations in circulating tumor DNA using CRISPR-Cas13a
    Principal investigator: Edwin Yau, MD, PhD, Departments of Medicine and of Cancer Genetics and Genomics, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

The pilot studies program provides seed money to help advance promising new technologies and therapeutics from the conceptual stage to clinical studies. Having preliminary, proof-of-concept studies in hand greatly enhances a proposal’s chance of attracting outside funding for further testing.

Funding for the CTSI Translational Science Pilot Studies Program is provided by: UB’s Office of the Provost, Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development and Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and the deans of UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Professions and School of Nursing. Increased funding from the NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award has expanded the number of pilot study awards in recent years.

“In addition to supporting innovative, high-impact, clinical-translational science, the program looks for projects that foster cross-disciplinary collaborations and mentoring relationships,” said Steven J. Fliesler, PhD, UB Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and co-director of the Translational Pilot Studies program. “Priority is given to projects that address health care disparities in underserved populations in Western New York and allow applicants to generate sufficient preliminary data to secure future extramural funding.”

Brahm Segal, MD, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Institute and a member of UB’s Department of Medicine, is the program’s other co-director.

Investigators who received CTSI pilot study awards in 2016-17 will present their findings at a colloquium to be held in the Clinical and Translational Research Center in October.

The Request for Applications (RFA) for the 2019-2020 round of studies is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2018. More information will be posted to the CTSI Pilot Translational Studies Program webpage as it becomes available.

The research is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number UL1TR001412 to the University at Buffalo.