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:
Spotlight on: CCTS KL2 Awardee
Dr. Brandon Rocque
UAB Neurological Surgery
Brandon Rocque, MD, MS is a pediatric neurosurgeon at UAB who had some experience applying for a K award before he heard about the CCTS KL2 opportunity. He had applied twice before to the PCOR K12. This application, he says, was "very straightforward and fit my research aims well."
Those aims seem simple but haven't yet been implemented at UAB. Rocque's project proposes to create an intervention for pediatric neurosurgery patients in the hospital setting.
The title of his project is, "
Psychosocial risk and distress in families of newly diagnosed pediatric brain tumor patients."
"I'm often the first point of contact for patients with brain tumors, and this is a very distressing time for them and for their parents," he says. "We have a very well established, well-run network of psychosocial support in the oncology clinic. However, we don't have that in the hospital, where I'm involved."
Hospitalization and surgery often follows swiftly on the heels of a diagnosis in these patients, and Rocque's idea is to try to quantify the stress of this situation, and identify psychosocial interventions. He plans to interview families who have been through similar situations, and then design tailored interventions.
"Once your child has an established diagnosis of cancer or something like it," Rocque explains, "there are all types of resources available. We don't have that for inpatients, in the hospital, where I'm involved. We find a mass; the family meets with a neurosurgeon, has an operation, and then they stay in the hospital a week or two for recovery."
The interventions he envisions designing, he says, could likely be scaled to other institutions. "For example, pediatric neurosurgeons in Jackson, Mississippi, could use the same protocols. I'd hope this would be applicable to any child in an acute situation-trauma, newborn, et cetera."
The project, Rocque says, requires a good deal of qualitative work, in terms of interviews and focus groups, followed by developing ways to measure pediatric stress. For the latter, Rocque has worked a mini-sabbatical into his KL2 plan, which includes travel to Delaware to work with a pediatric team who designed a psychosocial assessment tool.
"I'm hopeful that this grant will allow the development of hospital protocols that will improve family support for a wide range of children."
Wednesday, December 16
Repeat based on popular demand:
"New Year, New NIH Expectations:
Are You Ready?"
Presented by Dr. David Redden and Dr. Jennifer Croker
PCAMS, 1924 7th Avenue South
Pizza lunch served
Join the UAB CCTS on Wednesday, December 16, as we reprise the recent changes announced by the NIH related to expectations on reproducibility, rigor, and transparency in grant applications, progress reports, and and peer review. These will affect
anyone submitting a grant to the NIH or AHRQ. We will review the changes in detail so you'll be well prepared for your next application. If you missed our Forum on Dec. 2 but want to learn more about what you need to do to be NIH compliant in 2016 and beyond, we'll see you there!
Seminars, Symposia and Conferences
Wednesday, December 16
"Adventures in the Rising Era of Individual Genome Sequences: Enabling Everyone to Use and Share Public Datasets"
A UAB Informatics Institute Lecture
Presented by Ben Busby, PhD
Genetics Outreach Coordinator
National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Library of Medicine
Shelby Building - Room 515 - 1825 University Boulevard
Lunch will be served. We look forward to seeing you there!
Questions? Please contact Dr. James Cimino, Director, Informatics Institute:
Dr. Busby will describe how NCBI has enhanced several of its genomics resources in the last several months and how some of its public databases can be queried for computational biology and clinical questions. We have indexed the exons of over 1.2 million samples from over 1 million individuals housed in the dbGaP database at every position in the human genome. We have also improved access to the underlying genomic data in several ways, including making it possible to BLAST into our large genomic databases. For less computationally sophisticated users, we have introduced variation viewer and variation reporter; powerful tools for researchers and clinicians to investigate disease causing variants found in several populations reported in the ClinVar database, and comparable to backgrounds given by 1000 genomes and the index mentioned above. Access to genomic datasets and reference genomes across many phyla and conditions will be discussed. There are several gaps between public genomics data and open-source software used by the community. There will be a brief discussion about functional software prototypes developed in NCBI hackathons to bridge these gaps, as general strategies for hosting data science hackathons at any institution, including a future one at UAB.
20 Days Left in the Year!
Don't Forget: You Must Complete Continuing IRB Training by Dec. 31!
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:
-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.
Research Voucher Requests will be accepted electronically as a single PDF by
CCTS Research Commons
) 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:
ACTS Travel Awards Now Available!
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 the
Translational Science 2016 Meeting, taking place April 13-15, 2016
, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.
What You Will Experience at ACTS:
Learn more about the meeting and
- 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.
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:
Please submit your application for a travel award to Angie Schmeckebier/CCTS Research Commons at
- 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.
no later than January 11, 2016.
BIOSTATISTICS & BIOREPOSITORY*(*new!)
Epidemiology/Biostatistics Clinic in The Edge of Chaos
This clinic provides the UAB community access to epidemiology and biostatistics resources. Available most
in The Edge of Chaos (Lister Hill Library, 4th floor). Check the
Edge of Chaos calendar
for confirmation of meeting dates and times.
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
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 Clinics
are 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 group
s. A light lunch is served.
The weekly Wednesday Biostats Clinics will take a break for certain dates during the holiday season.
The final clinic in 2015 will be held Wednesday,
The first clinic of 2016 will be held on January 6.
BERD Design Consultation Available Today
Pittman Center for Advanced Medical Sciences
1924 Seventh Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294