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UB researchers receive Clinical Research Achievement Awards

By PATRICK KLINCK

Published December 14, 2016

Local researchers competed this year for the first time in a clinical research competition sponsored by UB’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) to recognize the most promising advances in clinical research. Last week, four UB researchers learned that they had won and will have the opportunity to present their research at the annual CTSA Forum to be held in March in Buffalo.

With the support of the CTSA, top winner Gil I. Wolfe will move on to the prestigious Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards sponsored by the Clinical Research Forum, which takes place in Washington, D.C., in April.

Clinical researchers from UB and Roswell Park Cancer Institute whose work was published in major journals during 2016 were eligible to compete in the CTSA Clinical Research Achievement Awards, made possible by the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award that was granted to a consortium of academic and health care institutions in Western New York in 2015. UB is the lead institution.

“These Clinical Research Achievement Awards are exactly the kinds of opportunities that are now available to our researchers since we received the Clinical and Translational Science Award,” says Anne B. Curtis, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and a Buffalo Translational Consortium (BTC) board member.

“The variety and quality of submissions we received is a testament to the innovative, creative and potentially life-saving research that’s being conducted on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus right now,” Curtis says. “We’re proud to reward that kind of work.”

Formed in 2009, the Buffalo Translational Consortium includes the leading academic, health care and research institutions in the Buffalo region, along with key community partners. In addition to serving on the BTC board, Curtis is president and CEO of UBMD Internal Medicine and a member of the board of directors of the Clinical Research Forum.

The winners of the CTSA Clinical Research Achievement Awards for 2016 are:

Gil I. Wolfe

Gil I. Wolfe, professor and chair of the Department of Neurology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Randomized Trial of Thymectomy in Myasthenia Gravis, New England Journal of Medicine 2016: 375:511-522.

Thymectomy — surgical removal of the thyroid gland — has been a mainstay in the treatment of myasthenia gravis, a rare autoimmune disease that affects neuromuscular function, but there is no conclusive evidence of its benefit. In a multicenter, randomized trial comparing thymectomy plus prednisone with prednisone alone, Wolfe and co-authors found that thymectomy does provide significant benefit in patients.

Timothy F. Murphy

Timothy F. Murphy, SUNY Distinguished Professor, senior associate dean for clinical and translational research, director of the UB Clinical and Translational Research Center, and principal investigator of the CTSA.

Effect of Fluoroquinolones and Macrolides on Eradication and Resistance of Haemophilus influenzae in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, July 2016: Vol. 60, No. 7.

Despite widespread use of antibiotics in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), little is known about their effect in eradicating the most common bacterial cause of COPD, nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHI), or the rate and mechanism by which antibiotics induce resistance. This study tested the two most common antibiotics and found that, unexpectedly, one of them had no effect on eradication of NTHI.

Sebastian G. Ciancio

Sebastian G. Ciancio, SUNY Distinguished Service Professor and chair of the Department of Periodontics and Endodontics, School of Dental Medicine.

Comparison of 3 Intranasal Mists for Anesthetizing Maxillary Teeth in Adults, The Journal of the American Dental Association, 2016: Vol. 147, Issue 5 (May).

This phase 3 study was one of the pivotal studies that resulted in FDA approval of a new dental anesthetic spray that overcomes the need for the use of injections when anesthetizing most teeth in the upper (maxillary) arch of patients. Fear of painful injections and subsequent avoidance behavior are significant barriers to regular dental care.

Rina Das Eiden

Rina Das Eiden, senior research scientist in developmental psychology, UB’s Research Institute on Addictions, and research associate professor in the departments of Pediatrics and Psychology.

Developmental Cascade Model for Adolescent Substance Use from Infancy to Late Adolescence, Developmental Psychology, Oct 2016: Vol 52 (10), 1619-1633.

Children of parents with alcohol problems are at much greater risk for underage drinking and developing alcohol use disorder. In order to understand unfolding developmental processes and inform timing and content of interventions for this high-risk group, Eiden and co-authors examined three developmental pathways to underage drinking and marijuana use from infancy to adolescence and found support for two pathways.

The Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards, a signature program of the Clinical Research Forum, honors outstanding accomplishments in clinical research that mark major advances resulting from the nation’s investment in research to benefit the health and welfare of its citizens. Awardees will be recognized at the Clinical Research Forum’s annual meeting and Top 10 Clinical Achievement Awards event in Washington, D.C., on April 18.

UB’s CTSA provides the research tools, support, training, resources and coordination that investigators in clinical and translational research need to accelerate the development of innovative new methods of prevention and treatment to improve health and reduce health disparities in the community. The CTSA is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the NIH under award number UL1TR001412.