CCTS Digest 4.3 .15 | 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
"BAH" Humbug to Bad Science
The winner of BAHFest receives a 3D-printed statuette of a skeptical-looking Charles Darwin. Photo by Christina Xu

Have you ever heard a news story or read an article about a scientific or medical discovery that sounded too good to be true, or just a little off? Radio program Science Friday's host and executive producer Ira Flatow today talked with Zach Weinersmith, creator of BAHFest:  "a satirical festival that challenges science fans to construct real arguments for completely bogus hypotheses." 

The contest challenges real-life scientists to argue for fake hypotheses, such as the one that one last year's event, which posits that the amount of sleep mammals get is directly correlated with the happiness they experience in their lives. Sarah Hird, postdoctoral fellow at UC Davis Genome Center, proposed this hypothesis at last year's BAHFest West 2014 and won, using real facts that had real correlation to make her case.

Read more about the program here, and test your own B(ad) S(cience) detecting skills in a fun quiz, here. (And happy belated April Fool's Day!)
SAVE THE DATE: CCTS Forum Wednesday, April 8


The CCTS will host our monthly Forum event on Wednesday, April 8, with a program highlighting our Multidisciplinary Pilot Program. The RFA for the program is now live. Several past pilot awardees will discuss how the pilot mechanism was instrumental in their work, including: 

  • Jessie Merlin, MD - How the pilot program served as a catalyst to launch her scientific interests into NIH-sponsored initiatives, specifically her success in acquiring an K23
  • Henry Wang, MD - How the pilot program served as a catalyst to launch his scientific interests into NIH-sponsored initiatives, specifically his success in acquiring an R01
  • Rajesh Kana, PhD - How the pilot program played a role in moving his imaging work across the translational spectrum, which has informed the use of such in diagnosing autism with a high degree of accuracy.  

In addition, Drs. Stu Frank and Kent Keyser will lead a panel discussion to review the current RFA and to offer a few tips for potential applicants.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 8, for the CCTS Forum starting at 4:45pm in the PCAMS building, 1924 7th Avenue South.

This program funds new interdisciplinary clinical and translational research projects to grow mature research programs in these areas. The RFA is now live, with pre-applications due May 1, 2015, 5pm CT. For additional dates and full description, click here. 
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. 


April Theme: Consenting



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 

managers, research nurses, and administrators.


Thursday, April 9



"Practicing Consenting"
Speakers: Penelope Jester, BSN, MPH, CCRC; Cynthia Joiner, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN; Meredith Fitz-Gerald, MSN, RN 



Partners: Please join us remotely via GoToMeeting:

Seminars, Lectures & Workshops

Tuesday, April 7

UAB Center for Exercise Medicine

2014-15 Distinguished Lecture Series

Featuring: Scott Trappe, PhD

John and Janice Fisher Professor of Exercise Science

Director of the Human Performance Laboratory

Ball State University, Indiana



"Skeletal Muscle Health and Plasticity: Insights from Astronauts, Aging and Athletes"

Skeletal muscle constitutes 40-50% of a person's body weight and has the ability to change in response to a variety of stimuli. This lecture will highlight how muscle adapts to extreme environmental conditions such as microgravity during long duration space flight, aging and physical activity.


8:30 am in Tinsley Harrison Towers - 740

A light breakfast will be served


Tuesday, April 7

Coordinated Works in Progress (WIP) Seminars in Health Services, Outcomes and Policy Research

"The Science of Surviving... Lessons Learned from our Cancer Survivors"



Presenter: Smita Bhatia, MD, MPH

Professor, Division of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology,

Vice Chair, Dept of Pediatrics

Director, Institute of Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship

Associate Director, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center

Co-Director, Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education


Medical Towers 634

(Lunch provided)

Please RSVP at http://drsmitabhatiatalk.eventbrite.com

Thursday, April 9
Professional Skills Development Series
"Strategy for Designing the Research Plan for Your NIH Grant" presented by
David Chaplin, MD, PhD, Professor, School of Medicine, Associate Dean for Faculty Development


11am-12:15 pm 

PCAMS, 1924 7th Avenue South

Register today: http://april2015-psds.eventbrite.com 


Join  us remotely via GoToMeeting at:

Announcing the 2015 Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance  Seminar Series


Taking place  Tuesdays at noon at PCAMS, 1924 7th Avenue South


Presented by the Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance and the UAB CCTS:



April 7: Intellectual Property Aspects in Drug Discovery - Kathy Nugent (UAB)

April 14: Medicinal Chemistry: From Hit to Lead - Corinne Augelli-Szafran (SR)

April 21: How to Submit an IND - Penny Jester and Maaike Everts (UAB)

April 28: Toxicology in Support of Preclinical Drug Development - Charles Hebert (UAB)


To access slide decks from past presentations, visit: http://www.uab.edu/medicine/adda/

Light lunch provided.  For more information email: adda@uab.edu

Join us remotely via GoToMeeting at:
Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance Seminar Series
Training Opportunities

***CCTS  Spring Research Training Program starts April 7***



This workshop will provide research staff (study coordinators, billing staff, regulatory coordinators, etc.) with the basics implements and managing a clinical trial with emphasis on good clinical practices (GCPs), research compliance, and other key topics. This is a six-session course to be held on consecutive Tuesdays, April 7 - May

12, 2015. All classes will be held in the Children's Harbor Bradley Conference Center. Cost is $125 and payable with registration. Enrollment is limited, so please register early. CEUs will be offered and attendance at all of the six sessions will meet initial IRB training requirements. Please remember to bring your nursing license to each session to receive CEUs.


Link to registration: Spring 2015 Research Training Program

Direct questions to Sara Davis - sadavis@peds.uab.edu  Penny Jester -

pjester@peds.uab.edu, or Susan Branscum - sbranscum@peds.uab.edu



NEW this month in TRAINING: 

Mentoring: A new group is forming around mentoring, facilitated by Dr. David Chaplin, CCTS Training Academy, with mentors engaging in two, 3-hour sessions in late spring. WHO? Anyone who would like to hone their mentoring skills, ranging from junior faculty just starting out, to more senior faculty wanting to sharpen their skills. This is an in-person only event; and registration is limited. INTERESTED? Please send your name and email address to ccts@uab.edu


K Writing Group: A new K writing group will convene for five sessions beginning April 17th at  2pm. The April 17 session provides an overview of a K section and follows with discussions of writing strategy, challenges, and progress. Group size is limited; you must be eligible to apply for a K award to engage. Commitment to all five sessions is strongly encouraged. Sessions will be presented via videoconference for our partners.  


Please submit your name to the CCTS (ccts@uab.edu) to learn more.



Continuing next month, the UAB College of Arts and Sciences will offer training to junior faculty who are planning to apply for a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award. The NSF awards CAREER research grants to new faculty at universities who are at the rank of Assistant Professor (or equivalent) in any of the broad science and social science disciplines that are eligible for NSF grants.  


UAB's training will be led by former NSF CAREER awardee David Hilton (Department of Physics), with support from current awardees Ragib Hasan (Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Eugenia Kharlampieva (Department of Chemistry), and Karolina Mukhtar (Department of Biology). The three-session training program will walk applicants through the process of applying for and winning prestigious CAREER Awards from the NSF. All UAB faculty are invited to attend.


Sessions (content builds from session to session; attendance recommended at all 3):



April 10 and May 8 sessions -  Heritage Hall Room 500


Questions may be directed to Dr. David Hilton: dhilton@uab.edu




The Alabama Launchpad Innovation Awards celebrate and honor contributions to Alabama's innovation economy. Visit Alabama Launchpad for more information.


Award Categories:

  • 2015 Lifetime Achievement in Innovation
  • 2015 Corporate Innovator of the Year (small corporation)
  • 2015 Corporate Innovator of the Year (large corporation)
  • 2015 Outstanding Public-Private Partnership for Innovation
  • 2015 Outstanding Achievement in Innovative Manufacturing


March 30: Nominations Open

May 17: Nominations Due 

Mathematical Sciences in Obesity Research: Short Course Enrolling Now

You are invited to participate in a five day short course on "The Mathematical Sciences in Obesity Research" at UAB, taking place Monday, June 22-Friday, June 26.


The mathematical sciences including engineering, statistics, computer science, physics, econometrics, psychometrics, epidemiology, and mathematics qua mathematics are increasingly being applied to advance our understanding of the causes, consequences, and alleviation of obesity.  These applications do not merely involve routine well-established approaches easily implemented in widely available commercial software. Rather, they increasingly involve computationally demanding tasks, use and in some cases development of novel analytic methods and software, new derivations, computer simulations, and unprecedented interdigitation of two or more existing techniques. Such advances at the interface of the mathematical sciences and obesity research require bilateral training and exposure for investigators in both disciplines. This course on the mathematical sciences in obesity research features some of the world's finest scientists working in this domain to fill this unmet need by providing nine topic driven modules designed to bridge the disciplines.


For full details of the course, including application materials, please refer to this website.


Limited travel scholarships are available to young investigators. 


Please apply prior to Friday, May 1. Accepted applicants will be notified no later than Friday, May 8.

Women, members of underrepresented minority groups and individuals with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. We look forward to seeing you in Birmingham this summer!



Featured Funding

We have added a "Featured Funding" section to our Funding Opportunities page. Some highlights include:


Pre-Application for Collaborative Innovation Award, CTSA Program (X02)

PAR-15-173        http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-15-173.html    

Deadlines:           June 24, 2015; November 10, 2015;

                                March 8, 2016; July 6, 2016; November 8, 2016;

                                March 7, 2017; July 11, 2017; November 7, 2017


Collaborative Innovation Award, Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program (U01)

PAR-15-172       http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-15-172.html 

Deadlines:           February 3, 2016; July 7, 2016; November 10, 2016;

                                March 9, 2017; July 13, 2017; November 9, 2017;

                                March 8, 2018; July 11, 2018


These FOAs encourage (pre-)applications for innovative collaborative investigations (involving three or more CTSA sites) into improvements of the methods of translational research, at any step in the translational spectrum (T1-T4).  Of particular interest, the specific objectives may address innovative strategies in community engagement, education, participant recruitment, multidisciplinary research, study design, precision medicine and research across the life course.


Those with ideas should contact Dr. Robert Kimberly, Director, UAB CCTS at: rpk@uab.edu.


Click here to see these and other opportunities today!



Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program Funding Opportunities

The CCTS wants to help position investigators to apply for Department of Defense (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) announcements. Check out a new page on the CCTS website highlighting these opportunities, which are rolling out now. It includes:


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!

Check out the CCTS Funding Opportunities page on our website
Now featuring:      PCORI funding opportunities 

Need Grant Help? Visit COCA SWAT




Help Center - How Can We Help You?

Through the CCTS Research Commons, we can connect you to a breadth of expertise in pre- and post-award administration, as well as research implementation. Whether it's proposal development or grant assembly, electronic submissions or sample applications you seek, we can help, t ogether with the Council of Center Administrators (COCA) SWAT Team.

The Council of Center Administrators brings together a breadth and depth of expertise in pre- and post-award administration as well as research implementation.  As the operational arm of UAB's University-wide Interdisciplinary Research Centers (UWIRCs), this group is well versed in:
  • Grant Submissions (NIH (ASSIST), NSF, PCOR, Foundation, Industry), with special emphasis on multi-investigator programs
  • PMCID submissions
  • Grants Writers & Content Editors
  • Project Management
  • Document Formatting
  • Collaborative Agreements
  • Grants / Contracts Accounting
Visit us today at: www.uab.edu/cocaswat


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

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 ccts@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