Published February 14, 2018
Two publications in prestigious, peer-reviewed journals which explore treatments for substance use disorders were selected as winners of the Buffalo Translational Consortium 2017 Clinical Research Achievement Awards.
The awards honor outstanding accomplishments in clinical research by University at Buffalo or Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center investigators published in major journals in the preceding year.
Winner of first place is Andrew Talal, MD, MPH, professor of medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, for a paper titled, “Hepatic Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics With Ombitasvir/Paritaprevir/Ritonavir Plus Dasabuvir Treatment and Variable Ribavirin Dosage,” published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases in September 2017.
The top finalist in the competition was Robert G. Rychtarik, PhD, senior research scientist in UB’s Research Institute on Addictions, for a paper titled, “Randomized Clinical Trial of Matching Client Alcohol Use Disorder Severity and Level of Cognitive Functioning to Treatment Setting: A Partial Replication and Extension,” published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors in August 2017.
“The Clinical Research Achievement Awards competition is a way to identify and recognize major advances resulting from the region’s investment in research to benefit the health and welfare of our community,” said Anne B. Curtis, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and chair, Department of Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Curtis serves on the board of UB’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the sponsor of the awards program, and she chaired the Clinical Research Achievement Awards Committee. She is a board member of the Clinical Research Forum, which sponsors a national Top Ten Clinical Research Achievement Awards program upon which the UB CTSI awards program is modeled.
“We wanted to recognize the accomplishments of UB and Roswell researchers who are pushing at the forefront of clinical research and helping to translate basic scientific discoveries into practical, viable therapeutics," said Timothy Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Medicine and director of the CTSI.
This is the second year that Clinical Research Achievement Awards have been presented by the CTSI. Both of the 2017 winners have been invited to present their work at the CTSI Annual Forum to be held in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences M&T Bank Auditorium on March 21.
Talal is an expert in diagnosing and treating liver disease, including hepatitis C virus, especially in hard-to-treat populations. He is principal investigator on a $7 million Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) award to study innovations he has helped develop to treat liver disease, especially HCV, in people with substance use disorders. These innovations include telehealth approaches and the use of methadone treatment clinics in effectively diagnosing and treating liver disease in patients of these clinics.
Rychtarik’s research areas include substance abuse treatment outcome research and the development and evaluation of coping skill training programs for family members of those with addictive disorders.
The mission of UB’s CTSI is to improve health and reduce health disparities in the Western New York community through the development, testing and sharing of novel approaches to health care. The program 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.