CCTS Digest 12.19.14 | www.uab.edu/ccts
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In This Issue


Named Inspirational Leader in Hospice and Palliative Medicine Under the Age of 40 by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

UAB News-Jessica Merlin, MD, MBA, an assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, has been named an inspirational leader in hospice and palliative medicine under the age of 40 by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.


AAHPM asked its 5,000 members to nominate the young leaders in the field. Merlin is one of these physicians singled out by peers for innovation in and dedication to the medical specialty of hospice and palliative medicine.

"These individuals are enhancing care for seriously ill patients and their families through innovation, education, mentoring and clinical care," said Jean S. Kutner, M.D., president of AAHPM.


Hospice and palliative medicine focuses on improving quality of life and relieving pain and other symptoms in seriously ill patients. Palliative care can and should be provided to patients who continue to receive treatments to try to cure or control their disease, regardless of their prognosis.


Merlin, who earned her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania, is particularly interested in management of chronic pain within the context of palliative care. Her clinical and research focus is on patients with HIV.


"These patients have higher rates of mental illness and substance use, and I am particularly interested in treating pain and emotional suffering among individuals with these complex co-morbidities," Merlin said. "There is little research on chronic pain in HIV, and few palliative care physicians choose chronic pain as their focus. This award is very meaningful to me as it brings attention to this understudied area."


Via word of mouth, Merlin learned about and applied for a CCTS pilot grant, with the purpose of investigating the impact of pain and age in the context of substance abuse and psychiatric issues in HIV-infected patients. She was awarded the pilot for 2012-2013. Merlin subsequentlyapplied for and received an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institutional Award (K12) to further her research on the chronic pain scale.


More information on this award, including the list of winners, is on the academy's website, www.aahpm.org.

Dr. Jessica Merlin, assistant professor in the
UAB Division of Infectious Diseases 




Do you have a major grant proposal that is almost ready for prime time but could use an extra boost?


The UAB CCTS, in conjunction with UAB School of Public Health's Office of Energetics, invites you to take part in a 闭关 or "biguan." 

The Chinese term 闭关 loosely translates to a period of retreat to a quiet place for meditation. The 闭关 or cloistered sessions for grant application development and writing hosted thus far receive heavy support from senior investigators.


Read more about this process and how you can apply, here.


If this controlled and non-chaotic environment for grant-writing appeals to you, we encourage you to email Richard Sarver (rsarver@uab.edu) with cc to Madeline Jeansonne (mmjean@uab.edu) and Jennifer Croker (jcroker@uab.eduand let us know which grant cycle are you interested in submitting.


Present Your Research at Translational Science 2015

Translational Science 2015, sponsored by the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) and the American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR), will be held from Thursday April 16 through Saturday April 18, 2015, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. This meeting offers a variety of ways for you to share your experiences, challenges and fresh approaches with professional from around the country.

ACTS is accepting abstracts for consideration from all levels of training, including:

  • Pre-Doctoral Trainee (TL1 Scholar): Students conducting research who are recipients of an NIH CTSA funded TL1 Clinical Research Training Award
  • Pre-Doctoral Trainee (T32, F32, Foundation, Intramural or other): All other Pre-Doctoral students conducting research.
  • Post-Doctoral Trainee (T32, F32, Foundation, IDEA, Intramural awards): All post doctoral trainees and clinical fellows conducting research
  • KL2 or IDEA Funded Scholar: Junior faculty conducting research who are funded by a NIH KL2 (institutional) award or an IDEA Grant.
  • K-Funded Scholar: Faculty conducting research who are funded by a NIH K12 (institutional) award, or any other K series awards.
  • Mid-Career and Senior Scientists: Individuals conducting research who are mid career, senior level faculty/staff scientists.
  • Education/Career Development: Individuals designing, planning executing, administrating career development programs

Abstract Submission Categories

Prepare your abstract submission for one of the following categories:

  • Best Practices/ Resources
  • Clinical Epidemiology
  • Clinical Trial
  • Ethics
  • Health Services Research
  • Methodology
  • Outcomes Research
  • Mechanistic Basic to Clinical

Distinct categories have been developed for those submitting under the Education/Career Development distinction which include the following:

  • Collaboration/Team Science
  • Education / Program Innovation
  • Mentoring
  • Career Development

Submit your presentation abstract to the Translational Science 2015 Abstract Submission site by Tuesday, January 20, 2015. You must register to attend Translational Science 2015 in order to have your poster accepted. Registration for the meeting will open in the next few weeks. 


Contact the CCTS with your ideas for submission: ccts@uab.edu, (205) 934-7442.





Seminars, Symposia and Conferences

CCTS/CTO Research Seminar Series

Critical research implementation and management topics will be presented on the first and third Thursday at noon in PCAMS (1924 7th Avenue South). These topics will be of interest and relevance specifically to clinical research personnel including investigators, regulatory personnel, study coordinators and financial administrators. The goal of this new program is to fill in the gaps in information related to the implementation of clinical trials that have been identified by investigators and their research teams. Presented by Penny Jester, co-director UAB Clinical Trials Office. 




Thursday, January 8


"Overview of ClinicalTrials.gov" 

Presented by Penny Jester, co-director, UAB CTO

Pittman Center for Advanced Medical Studies (PCAMS)

1924 7th Avenue South


Thursday, January 22


"Proper Use of Notes to File"

Presented by Penny Jester


Partners: Please join us remotely via GoToMeeting:


Save the Date 

Genetics and Genomics in Clinical Research

Genomics Immersion Course


January 26th-30th, 2015



Location: Edge of Chaos

1700 University Blvd. 4th floor

Birmingham AL 35294


$50 - Faculty

$25 -Post-Doc

$10 - Students


This course will review the principles, major technologies, and experimental approaches in genetics and genomics through both lectures and hands-on activities. Course will be taught by Department of Genetics and HudsonAlpha faculty. CME credit application submitted. Registration information will follow. Please save your spot by emailing Shaila Handattu at hande@uab.edu.

Happy Holidays from the CCTS!


Check out the CCTS Funding Opportunities page on our website. 





Gulf States Health Policy Center Seeks Applicants for Research Projects Focusing on Health Policy


The Gulf States Health Policy Center (Gulf States HPC) invites applications for community-based health research projects lasting up to two years. The research projects should examine whether or how socioeconomic, environmental, and/or health and health-system policies may contribute to health outcomes in communities. The results of this research should assist in providing evidence to inform policy change and health system improvements that will increase community resilience and ultimately improve the health outcomes of citizens in the Gulf States region (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and Texas). 


Letters of Intent Due: January 15, 2015

Project Start Date: July 1, 2015


Click here for more information on the program.


Click here to submit an LOI.


For further information, please contact Eboni Bryant at (205) 934-1277, or via email at ebonibryant@uabmc.edu.


For questions regarding application format and online submission, please contact Gabriela Oates at (205) 975-7940, or via email at goates@uab.edu. 





The UAB-VA Health Services, Outcomes, and Effectiveness Research (HSOER) Training Program, a coordinated mentored research fellowship program, is accepting applications for the following postdoctoral positions with July 1, 2015 start dates.

UAB National Research Services Award (T32) Fellowships in Health Services, Outcomes, and Effectiveness Research (Kenneth Saag, MD, MSc, Program Director; Monika Safford, MD, Co-Director)


These are full-time, 2-year mentored research training positions funded through National Research Services Awards T32's supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).


Eligibility: Clinical or research doctoral degree required (e.g., MD, DMD, PharmD, PhD, ScD, DrPH, or equivalent). Must be a U.S. Citizen or have permanent resident status.

Includes: NRSA stipend, health insurance, and tuition & fees to obtain the MSPH in Outcomes Research or Epidemiology with a concentration in pharmacoepidemiology and CER.

Program content areas include but may not be limited to:


�         Healthcare efficiency and disparities

�         Healthcare quality measurement and improvement

�         Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

�         Comparative Effectiveness Research

�         Pharmacoepidemiology and Patient Safety 

�         Translating Research Evidence into Practice and Policy

�         Economic Evaluation and Decision Analytic Modeling

�         Health Informatics


Fellowships may be coordinated with clinical specialty or subspecialty residency training programs to support research training for residents and fellows interested in outcomes and effectiveness research.


The application deadline is Monday, December 15, 2014.


For questions regarding eligibility, program requirements and the application process and to request an application packet, please contact Ryan Outman at routman@uab.edu


Deep South Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR) (RFA-RCMAR-15-001) Invites Letters of Intent for 1-Yr Pilot Grant Applications

Focusing on Minority Aging & Health Disparities in the African American Population



www.uab.edu/MHRC.  No paper submissions are accepted.

Please click here to see the full RFA for more information on the LOI and application process.

Please  click here to submit an LOI and application.


Application Submissions Contacts:
If you have questions concerning the submission of these LOIs or proposals, please contact Ann Smith, MPH, at 205-934-9903 or annsmith@uab.edu. Other questions could be directed to Patricia Sawyer, PhD, at 205-934-9261 or psawyer@uab.edu.



Call for Applications for 2015 MHRC Health Disparities Research Training Certificate Program (HDRTP)


The UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center (UAB MHRC) is delighted to announce the call for applications focusing on health disparities research in cancer, aging, cardiovascular disease, HIV, and other disease conditions. We invite you to recommend appropriate faculty who might be interested in the two-year research training program occurring February 2015 through February 2017, coordinated by the UAB MHRC.  Individual scholars who complete program requirements will receive a Certificate in Health Disparities Research.

  • Interested faculty members should apply.
  • All candidates must submit an application, CV, Statement of Intent, and Letter of Support (LOS) through the UAB MHRC website.
  • Request your LOS now - from a supervising senior faculty person, Director, Dean, or Chair, in order to upload with other documents. 
  • LOS should address support of research career and release time to participate in the HDRTP.
  • Please have all materials ready to upload in Adobe PDF format and submit at one time.
  • Application deadline is Wednesday, January 7, 2015, by 11:59 PM Central Time.

 Click here for more info on program

Click here to submit application




The MHRC is also soliciting abstracts for its 2015 Health Disparities Research Symposium. Visit this link for more information and to submit.



Contact the CCTS Research Commons (ccts@uab.edu; 4.7442) to learn more. Visit the site now for these and ongoing additions to the list!


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. 


Weekly Wednesdays, 11:30am-1pm

Resuming January 7


PCAMS Building 1924 7th Avenue South

UAB CCTS Biostatistics Clinic                                                    


The Biostatistics Clinic is 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 group. A light lunch is served.  


BERD Design Consultation Available Today

In support of Pilot & Feasibility Projects, the CCTS is offering design consultation through its Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Division (BERD).  A team of methodologists, including experts in Epidemiology (Gerald McGwin, Russell Griffin), Biostatistics (Robert Oster, David Redden, Leslie McClure, Paul Lin), and Statistical Genetics (Hemant Tiwari, Xiangqin Cui) are available to collaborate in the design of  the pilot proposals as well as in their review.  If other methodological expertise is required in the project design, the BERD will recruit the required expertise from among the network of UAB methodologists.


Please contact the BERD and request design consultation by emailing bstchair@uab.edu, calling 

(205) 934-4905 or connecting through Research Commons on the CCTS home page. 


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

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