CCTS Digest 2.6.15 | www.uab.edu/ccts
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In This Issue
Measles Outbreak; Designer Babies: Week in Science News
image credit: The Daily Mail

It's been a week of swings in medical science news. A measles outbreak has led to great debate over the safety of vaccines; articles published more than 5 years ago touted their safety (Nature, Discover); likewise a Nova article on their website, " The Autism-Vaccine Myth," which includes a timeline. See CNN's "Measles Outbreak: How Bad is It?" coverage and visit the CDC for the most up-to-date information.


This week the U.K. voted to allow so-called "three-parent babies," who have DNA from a third parent to cut out the risk of certain genetic disorders. In the same week, Cancer Research UK released estimates stating one half of UK residents will get some form of cancer in their lives. 


Finally, President Obama announced the Precision Medicine Initiative, a partnership with the  National Institutes of Health that is being touted as a $215 million DNA sequencing project. Critics of the program published articles in the New Yorker and Forbes, among others, with articles praising the program published in the same (Forbes).

Are you a mentor? Do you want to learn how to be one?

Each April for the past couple of years, the 
Office of Postdoctoral Education together with the Vice Provost for Student and Faculty Success has facilitated a UAB Mentoring Academy for new and junior faculty from across campus. The purpose of this event is to provide these faculty with information about best mentoring practices as well as the nuts and bolts of hiring and training grad students and postdocs here at UAB.

This year, we are excited to announce that this event has evolved into a 'Mentoring Week' with the following activities planned:

Tuesday, April 21, Dr. Kenneth Gibbs from the NIH will serve as our keynote presenter and will speak on effective mentoring practices. This event will be held in the Edge of Chaos at noon and will be open to all trainees and faculty.

Wednesday, April 22, Theater Delta, from Raleigh, NC, will perform an interactive mentoring skit and Q&A session. This event will be held in Bevill Biomedical Research Building (BBRB), Room 170 at 12pm and will also be open to all trainees and faculty.

Thursday, April 23, the full-day Mentoring Academy will be begin at 9am in the DoubleTree Hotel and will include interactive discussions and networking opportunities for participants; it will end at approximately 4pm. This day will be open to only new and junior faculty from across campus who have either been nominated by you or signed up directly.

Space for the all-day 'Mentoring Academy' on April 23rd will be limited. If you are interested in having any of your new and junior faculty participate and/or have questions about this event, email Lisa Schwiebert at lschwieb@uab.edu.

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. 





February Theme: Proper Reporting and Documentation


Topic: This program will provide an overview of the reporting SAEs and how to appropriately use Notes to File.  Tools and checklists will be provided. The Journal club will provide a review of relevant literature.  Courses are not sequential and can be attended separately.


Attendees: Investigators, Research nurse coordinators and managers, research nurses, and administrators.


Thursday, Feb. 12


Journal Club


Thursday, Feb. 19


Proper Use of Notes to File 

Partners: Please join us remotely via GoToMeeting:

Seminars, Lectures & Workshops

Tuesday, February 9

UAB-VA Health Services, Outcomes, and Effectiveness Research (HSOER) Training Program 

"Community Health Advisors (CHAs): Who They Are, What They Do,

and How They Could Benefit Your Research"



Andrea Cherrington, MD, MPH


Associate Professor Professor 

Division of Preventive Medicine, Dept. of Medicine, School of Medicine




PCAMS, 1924 7th Avenue South


Thursday, February 12

Professional Skills Development Series

"Writing the Candidate Sections for K Applications"

Melissa McBrayer, Investigator Advocate



PCAMS, 1924 7th Avenue South


For our Partner Network colleagues, please join us via GoToMeeting https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/906992477



Tuesday, February 17

SciENcv Biosketch Development Workshop 


PCAMS, 1924 7th Avenue South


The NIH is requiring biosketches to be in a new format for any materials being submitted after May 25, 2015. Lee Vucovich of Lister Hill Library will provide information on the development of biosketches using SciENcv. Please bring your laptop.  The last half of the session will be for hands-on help.  For information click here.


Monday, March 16

UAB World Rare Disease Day Symposium


Children's Harbor, 1600 6th Avenue South, #200

For more information, contact Shaila P. Handattu (hande@uab.edu)



Tues-Wed, March 17-18

10th Annual UAB Health Disparities Research Symposium 2015   

"The Science of Health Disparities: From Social Causes to Personalized Medicine" 

 DoubleTree Hotel, 808 20th Street South




Click Here to: View Abstract GuidelinesSubmit an AbstractRegister for the Event


Check out the CCTS Funding Opportunities page on our website. 


UAB CCTS Short-Term Research Training Program

8 Week Summer Program in 
Comparative Effectiveness and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
June 8 - July 31, 2015
Deadline for application:  5 pm, March 4, 2015
Notification will be by:  March 24, 2015
(Download a PDF of application guidelines)


This 8-week program provides mentored research training experiences in patient centered outcomes research (PCOR) and comparative effectiveness research (CER) for medical students or other clinically-oriented doctoral students that have completed their first year of training.

Why CER and PCOR?  With an increasing, ongoing national focus, there is a growing need for training in these areas especially in the earliest stages of clinical training.

Who may apply?  Many applicants have finished their first year of medical school.  Students in other clinical doctorate programs and those that have been admitted to a pre-professional, clinical program are eligible to apply if they are able to meet the requirements of the program.

What else?  Trainees must devote full-time effort (40 hours week) for the duration of the program (June and July).   A stipend is provided; on-campus housing is available. 


In a time of accelerated scientific discovery, researchers are needed to translate research to the clinical setting. A national shortage of such investigators is well documented and specialized training is needed early in the career development process. Furthermore, with a continued national focus on comparative effectiveness research (CER) and patient centered outcomes research (PCOR), there is a growing need for training in these areas.

Clinically focused students in the earliest stages of training may have an interest but limited experience in research in PCOR, CER and related topics. The summer program at UAB provides an opportunity for a hands-on research experience leading to the generation of research products, all within a supportive, mentored research environment.

Questions?  Please contact the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS):  ccts@uab.edu  /  205.934.7442


  PCORI logo





PCORI issued six new PCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs) today. Five offer up to $88 million in support for a range of patient-centered comparative effectiveness research (CER) proposals under our national research priorities, with a pool of up to $12 million set aside for rare disease-focused studies. We also issued a new PFA targeting hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, offering up to $50 million for up to four studies of key research questions in HCV diagnosis and treatment. Required Letters of Intent (LOIs) are due by 5 p.m. ET Friday, March 6. Find out more on the Funding Opportunities page on the PCORI website. 


The Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education (COERE), and the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) invite letters of intent for K-Scholar career development awards in Patient Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR).  These awards are supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institutional Award (K12).


This opportunity will support 3 PCOR K-Scholars for a period of two years to build capacity for the conduct of PCOR to enhance patient-centered care.  


Candidates must be junior-level, full-time UAB faculty OR be able to provide assurance of a staff appointment on or before August 1, 2015. Non-UAB candidates are eligible to apply.  Additional eligibility criteria are included with the full Letter of Intent instruction packet, available upon request. 


Please see the attached flyer for additional information about the program.We would greatly appreciate your help in promoting this opportunity by posting flyers in your area and circulating this announcement to your colleagues and possible candidates.


Important Dates:

March 2, 2015 - Last day for receipt of letters of intent

May 4, 2015 - Full applications due


CONTACT:  For questions regarding eligibility, program requirements and the selection process or to request a Letter of Intent instructional packet, please contact Ryan Outman at routman@uab.edu. 


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. 


UAB CCTS Biostatistics Clinic                                                    


Weekly on Wednesdays, 11:30am-1pm

February 4, 11, 18, 25 

PCAMS Building 1924 7th Avenue South


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