Published April 20, 2022
Training and fostering the next generation of UB researchers is a key contributor to the University at Buffalo Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) vision to improve health and reduce health disparities in the community.
The CTSI’s Educational Modules are new tools in these instructional efforts. The modules are an online library of videos created by UB faculty and staff content experts in order to contribute to a diverse and well-trained workforce of investigators and research staff. The videos generally run from 5 to 15 minutes, and are housed on the UB CTSI YouTube page and accessible on the CTSI website’s Educational Modules page.
CTSI Associate Director Sanjay Sethi, MD, Professor and Chief, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, and Assistant Vice President for Health Sciences, Department of Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, sees the videos as an essential resource to increase researcher knowledge.
“We know there is a need for educational content, especially for junior investigators at the university,” Sethi says. “We also understand that timing can be an issue when it comes to attending live workshops and presentations. This is why our Educational Modules are brief, concise, and available on-demand. Whenever a researcher has the time to learn about these topics, the videos are there to be watched.”
The videos generally feature PowerPoint presentations and voice-over narration, along with links to additional resources for those with questions or seeking more information.
“These videos are in response to feedback from researchers for easily accessible, efficient educational modules with practical instruction in performing clinical research in our environment,” says CTSI Director Timothy F. Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor. “We are hoping that these learning materials will help to increase the number of principal investigators and research team members at UB and our partner institutions.”
Sethi adds that identifying the proper presenters for each module is critical.
“These are experienced individuals with an understanding of the complexities of conducting clinical trials,” he says. “In addition, they have a passion for helping to increase the knowledge and performance of clinical researchers at UB and its affiliated institutions.”
One of these content experts is Carlos Peña, PhD, MS, Chief Regulatory Officer and Chief Quality Officer, Jacobs Institute. The leader of the Institute’s newly-established Office of Regulatory Services, Peña has served in federal government for more than two decades, including roles with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There, he was responsible for providing leadership in the development of neurological and physical medicine devices to support FDA’s mission.
“Developers and innovators (also called sponsors) in Buffalo who would like to study a significant risk device must submit a complete and successful IDE application to the FDA,” Peña explains. “The sponsor must demonstrate that there is reason to believe that the risks of the proposed investigation are outweighed by the anticipated benefits to subjects. A successful IDE study is critical to moving higher risk medical devices to market and ultimately to patients.”
Peña’s analysis of IDE studies is an example of the variety of topics the modules have featured since launching on the CTSI website in 2021.
UB CTSI Clinical Research Facilitator Alexis O’Brien says that covering a diverse list of topics is an important element of this project. “We want the videos to be practical, easy to understand, and directed to individuals who are beginners in clinical research,” O’Brien explains. “As our library of modules grows, the subject matter will become even more varied.”
The Educational Modules created so far include:
Upcoming modules will focus on such topics as closing awards and studies; grant budgets; and the use of MyNCBI, a tool that retains user information and database preferences to provide customized services for many National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) databases. To receive a notification each time a video — including new Educational Modules — is posted to the CTSI YouTube page, subscribe here.
The CTSI’s modules team welcomes suggestions for new topics, updates to past videos, and feedback. These can be sent to UB CTSI Clinical Research Facilitators Alexis O’Brien and Marchelle Brooks, MPH, at email@example.com.