CCTS Digest 1.08. 16 | www.uab.edu/ccts
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter
In This Issue

Partner Network:
While we invite you to take part in all of our programs, items featuring this icon may be of particular interest. Look for the symbol throughout the Digest. Have news you'd like to share? Send it to: ccts@uab.edu
Spotlight on: CCTS KL2 Awardee 
Dr. Ceren Yarar-Fisher 
Ceren Yarar-Fisher, PT, PhD, Assistant Professor Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation UAB School of Medicine

Ceren Yarar-Fisher, PT, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UAB, is one of four current CCTS KL2 Awardees. Yarar-Fisher learned about the program via the  CCTS' Training Academy, specifically Director Ryan Outman.  She had been considering an award application, she said, and this one caught her eye.

"The application was very easy to follow, and Ryan was very helpful," she says. "It was well explained in the materials provided, and fairly straightforward."

Yarar-Fisher is a physical therapist-in training who completed her PhD and postdoctoral work on spinal cord injury and secondary health complications. Her career goal, she says, is to use nutrition and early rehabilitation interventions to improve neuro-recovery and metabolic health in people with spinal cord injury. Her CCTS KL2 grant is aimed at acute care in the form of a nutritional intervention to improve neuro-recovery in spinal cord injured patients. The title of her project is, "Utilizing a ketogenic diet to improve neuro-recovery following spinal cord injury."

"To date,  no pharmacologic therapy has demonstrated significant improvement effects in the neurological or functional recovery in spinal cord injury patients," Yarar-Fisher says. "Changing a diet to a more neuro-protective one during acute care of SCI can be implemented anywhere in the world at low cost and without major regulatory hurdles. Proposed nutrition intervention in animal models has shown promise. This would be groundbreaking if it worked in humans because it's very easy to do in clinics."

The idea is to feed patients high-fat, or "ketogenic" diets (KD), the KD is a high-fat, low carbohydrate diet designed to mimic the metabolic and biochemical changes seen during calorie restriction. Ketone bodies have been shown to exert their neuro-protective effects via preventing oxidative damage; attenuating neuroinflammation and glutamate excitotoxicity; and inhibiting apoptosis in the brain and spinal cord. The diets have been used in children with epilepsy who are resistant to prescription treatments for years, Yarar-Fisher says.

"No one has thought about using these diets in spinal cord injuries," she says. "Our goal in this study will not be to change how these patients are are already being treated, but to add this diet to support those approaches."

Yarar-Fisher is working with a big research team including trauma surgeons, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, scientists, and dieticians. Betty Darnell, Director of the CCTS' Bionutrition Unit, will design and implement the diets. "UAB Bionutrition Unit will provide all of the food for the study and transfer it to the hospital. The patients will be on the diet for eight weeks," Yarar-Fisher explains.

This KL2 grant will assist Yarar-Fisher with her salary support over its duration, as well as provide what she calls "stellar" training that includes a sabbatical at  Duke University's Department of Nutrition Sciences. In addition she will work with UAB's Dr. Barbara Gower to study metabolism, Dr. Amie McLain to study neuro-recovery and with the CCTS' Dr. Robert Oster for biostatistics training.

Seminars, Symposia and Conferences
Thursday, January 14
Clinical Trials Office Research Seminar
Theme: Proper Reporting and Documentation
"How to Register" with Penny Jester

PCAMS, 1924 7th Avenue South
Please join us remotely via GoToMeeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone: 
You can also dial in using your phone (267) 507-0008;Access Code: 930-891-813

Thursday, January 21
Professional Skills Development Series
"K is For Career Development"
Melissa McBrayer, MEd
Manager, Research Grants and Training
Department of Pediatrics

The goal of this session is to describe the purpose of the Career Development (K) Award 
funding mechanism, 
identify the elements of a K award (with emphasis on the 3 parts of 
the career development plan), and 
utilize examples and assistance provided by multiple 
resources to develop a K award for submission.

PCAMS, 1924 7th Avenue South

If you wish to connect to this meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone, go to: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/840329197  

You can also dial in using your phone: (Long distance): +1 (224) 501-3412 
Access Code: 804-329-197

Tuesday, January 26
Informatics Institute Lecture
"Capturing Phenotype Information from Pathology Image Collections for Prognostication and Phenotype-genotype Studies"

Lee Cooper, PhD
Assistant Professor (joint) 
Department of Biomedical Engineering Georgia Tech / Emory University School of Medicine Department of Biomedical Informatics Emory University School of Medicine 

Shelby Building Room 105 (1825 University Boulevard)

Please register; lunch will be served:

Friday, February 6
First Friday Mentoring Lunch

PCAMS, 1924 7th Avenue South

Please  RSVP  so that we have enough food: ccts@uab.edu; 205-934-7442. 

NEW! Clinical Investigator Training Program: 
A Practical and Pragmatic Approach For investigators

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new program which will begin January 21, 2016.  The Clinical Investigator Training Program: Clinical Research- A Practical and Pragmatic Approach for Investigators will take place from 8 am to noon at Cancer Center Boardroom, NP 2532.

This program is designed for those with MDs and PhDs, with a heavy emphasis on the responsibilities of investigators when overseeing clinical trials with humans. The content covers activities that are necessary after the protocol is written or received from a sponsor until the final study report. The program provides programmatic content as navigating the system at UAB, as well as, an exposure to what should be a requirement for all involved in clinical investigation. 

REGISTRATION FORM (PDF):  Please download and email to Dharti Patel.  
 Faculty Research Education Workgroup Curriculum for Investigator Training Program (ITP) - (PDF)

If you have questions, please contact Penny Jester (pjester@uab.edu) or Mansoor Saleh, MD (mns@uab.edu)
For registration, please contact Dharti Patel (dpatel80@uab.edu) or 975-2758. 

UAB Research Orientation Program


UAB Research Orientation Program is a program designed for the investigators and research staff that are new to research (possibly within the first 2 months of starting in research). 

The content of the program will be a basic review of how to implement a sponsored or investigator initiated study including clinical, regulatory and financial aspects. The intent of this program is to provide a basic overview of implementing a study, familiarize attendees with the language, and hopefully provide guidance on avoiding pitfalls when starting out. This is not an all-encompassing program, but will provide basic tools and some of the necessary language in order to successfully conduct a research study.

We encourage new faculty, coordinators, budget and regulatory staff to attend. 
At this time there is no cost for the program. 

The UAB Research Orientation Program will be offered the fourth Thursday of each month 8am - noon in PCAMS (1924 7th Avenue S).

Please complete the form and email to  dpatel80@uab.edu or for questions call 205.975.2758.

Announcing the CCTS Research Voucher Program
Accelerate Discovery with CCTS Research Vouchers

The CCTS Research Voucher Program provides direct research support to investigators throughout the partner network. Investigators may use vouchers to offset expense(s) for clinical and translational research services, including clinical research units, sample handling and biospecimen storage, necessary laboratory tests, study design and methodology, database handling, informatics and other CCTS-related resources across the Partner Institutions. 


Apply for up to $5,000 (direct) in research support to facilitate the rapid and efficient implementation of a study by working closely with shared facilities using state-of-the-art methodologies. 

Applications must outline:
-Experimental need
-What will be enabled by the investment (e.g., manuscript, grant application, additional aims)
-Provide a budget with justification

Proposals which seek to use CCTS Resources will be given special consideration. All lines of investigation supported by the CCTS Research Voucher Program require appropriate regulatory approvals (IRB, IACUC, as applicable) in advance of award and study implementation.  

Voucher Ideas (not an exhaustive list):

- I would like to use CRSP and the Clinical Research Unit to recruit, consent and collect blood specimens from a few participants to generate preliminary data for an R01.

- I need extended biostatistics consultation / methodologic assistance from USA's Translational Research Services Unit, which will inform the research strategy of an investigator-initiated clinical trial.

- I would like to image a few healthy controls at Auburn University's MRI Research Center to establish study feasibility for a potential career development award.

- I need help to develop a REDCap database to aid in the collection, management and archival of clinical research data.

Please visit  CCTS Research Commons to learn more about available CCTS resources and capacities across the  Partner Network. If you have any questions about eligible opportunities. 

Research Voucher Requests will be accepted electronically as a single PDF by  CCTS Research Commons ( ccts@uab.edu) on a rolling basis.  Applications will be reviewed by the CCTS Executive Council for scientific merit, mission alignment, appropriateness of the budget and justification of need.  

Questions? Contact the CCTS-- call: 205-934-7442 or email:  ccts@uab.edu
ACTS Travel Awards Now Available
MONDAY! January 11 Deadline-Don't Delay!

The Center for Clinical and Translation Science (CCTS) is pleased to offer travel awards to investigators and trainees across the CCTS Partner Network who are interested in presenting their work at the upcoming ACTS Translational Science Meeting.

Available for investigators and teams at all levels of career development, with special emphasis on junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. Requires an abstract submission as a presenter at theTranslational Science 2016 Meeting, taking place April 13-15, 2016 , at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. 

What You Will Experience at ACTS:
  • Translational Science 2016 will offer more continuing education than ever before!
  • Hear dedicated plenary sessions, view abstracts during expanded poster-hall viewing hours with dedicated oral presentation time, and over thirty 60-minute breakout sessions covering the following topic areas:
  • Translational Science in the Digital Age
  • Dissemination and Implementation Science
  • Team Science
  • Learning and Development Science
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurial Science
  • Integrity & Conduct of Clinical and Translational Science
  • Translational Science Acceleration
  • Informative Examples of Translational Science
  • The Translational Science Meeting spotlights cutting-edge achievements in clinical and translational investigation, research impact, networking and scientific community, exposure to novel methods, best practices and important resources, and career development programs.
Learn more about the meeting and  REGISTRATION INFORMATION  for Translational Science 2016.

Travel awards of up to $1,000 will be available from the CCTS to match funds from the researcher's department.

Please submit the following materials to the CCTS to apply for your travel award:
  • Copy of submitted abstract
  • Letter from the Chair of your Department specifying they will provide matching funds in the amount of $1,000 towards travel.

Please submit your application for a travel award to Angie Schmeckebier/CCTS Research Commons at ccts@uab.edu no later than January 11, 2016.

Epidemiology/Biostatistics Clinic in The Edge of Chaos
This clinic provides the UAB community access to epidemiology and biostatistics resources.  Available most Mondays, 10am-2pm in The Edge of Chaos (Lister Hill Library, 4th floor).  Check the Edge of Chaos calendar   for confirmation of meeting dates and times. 

UAB CCTS Biostatistics & Biorepository Clinics                                                   
Biostats: Weekly on Wednesdays, 11:30am-1pm
Biorepository: First Wednesday of each month, 11:30am-1pm
PCAMS Building 1924 7th Avenue South

We've expanded our Biostats Clinic to include members of our CCTS Biorepository Team. On the FIRST WEDNESDAY of each month, experts from our CCTS Core Lab will join the CCTS Biostats experts to answer questions and provide consultative services on any aspect of specimen collection, specimen management, specimen processing and biorepository needs.

The Biostatistics & Biorepository Clinicare open to all faculty members, post-docs, fellows, residents, and students. Attendees are invited to bring statistical and methodological questions about on-going research projects, projects being planned, manuscripts in progress, responses to peer reviewers, and published articles. They are also invited to bring their laptops. Assistance will be provided by members of the  CCTS BERD & Biorepository groups. A light lunch is served.    

BERD Design Consultation Available Today
If you can't visit the clinic, please contact the BERD  or the Core Lab at your convenience  by emailing ccts@uab.edu,  calling  (205) 934-7442, or connecting through  Research Commons on the CCTS home page. 

UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science |   ccts@uab.edu | www.uab.edu/ccts
 Pittman Center for Advanced Medical Sciences
1924 Seventh Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294