CCTS Digest 5.15 .15 | www.uab.edu/ccts
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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
Birmingham Nepalese Community Hosts 
Fundraiser  at UAB Tonight 
Earthmovers remove debris from a building that collapsed in an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, Tues., May 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Binaj Gurubacharya)

(By Jesse Chambers, Al.com)-For Birmingham residents who are natives of Nepal, it has been agonizing to watch from afar as their country has been hit by earthquakes that have killed over 8,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands more. 


"The main emotional challenge I, along with others, are facing is being helpless, not being able to be present physically back home for assistance in this dire situation," said Samir Rana, a graduate student in biomedical sciences at The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), in an email to AL.com on Wednesday. 


"We constantly worry about our family and friends as earthquake and aftershocks continue to hit," Prashant Shrestha, a programmer and analyst at UAB and a UAB graduate, said in an email Wednesday. "It is very stressful to wait and hope from afar." 


But now Rana, Shrestha and other members of the Birmingham Nepalese community - some of whom are members of the Alabama Nepalese Association (ALNA) - will host a fundraiser to help quake victims at The Edge of Chaos events venue on the UAB campus today at 5:30 p.m.

The Edge of Chaos is located on the fourth floor of the Lister Hill Library.  For more information about the event, call 205-934-7723 or go to http://theedgeofchaos.org.


To make an online donation, go to www.indiegogo.com/projects/alabama-unites-for-nepal#home.? 

To see the campaign's Facebook page, Alabama Unites for Nepal, go to http://on.fb.me/1HKYGbZ. 

Birmingham businessman Kent Stewart -- an avid mountain climber who survived the April 25 quake while preparing to scale Mt. Everest -- is to host another fundraiser for quake victims on June 6. To learn more about his event, go to www.facebook.com/events/1572283236379750.


To read the rest of the article and find out more about tonight's event, click here.
NCATS Collaborative Innovation Awards 

An Unique Funding Opportunity

The  National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, or NCATS, recently issued a funding opportunity announcement for a unique and exciting program.

These Collaborative Innovation Awards  (PAR-15-172 and PAR-15-173) provide funds of up to $1 million per year for up to 5 years, for pilot and demonstration projects for innovative ideas for translational research. The program supports innovative collaborative investigations among three or more CTSA hubs to improve research methods at any step in the translational process (T1-T4). Through these awards, NCATS will foster research collaboration by encouraging teams from multiple hubs to work together to develop, demonstrate and disseminate multisite experimental approaches that overcome translational science roadblocks.

The topics for possible application are broad, and may include the following characteristics: 

  • Community engagement methods and technologies 
  • Improving the consent process
  • Educating and training the translational research workforce
  • Developing mechanisms for CTSA-catalyzed networks to identify and fast-track particularly promising translational research projects
  • Adapting technology and methodology successful in other domains to address challenges in clinical and translational research
  • Fostering innovative multi-disciplinary collaborations that bring together new types of teams 
  • Innovative clinical research studies or trials that use mobile technology and web- or phone- based communication
  • Innovative clinical research designs, such as adaptive designs, serial "n of 1" design, or other approaches to small populations
  • Innovative approaches to the implementation of precision medicine
  • Innovative methodologies that address translational research roadblocks specific to pediatric, geriatric, or other populations throughout the lifespan 
Interested in proposing an idea? Contact us at: ccts@uab.edu or (205) 934-7442 The Letter of Intent deadline is  May 24, 2015 (June 24, 2015 full application due). Click here to learn more about this unique opportunity.

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.



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, May 21
"Different Structures of Research Offices" 
Speakers: Penelope Jester, BSN, MPH, CCRC
Karen Savage, BSN, CCRC 
Cynthia Joiner, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN




CME Credit Available



Partners: Please join us remotely via GoToMeeting:

Seminars, Lectures & Workshops

Thursday, June 4

UAB Multiple Sclerosis Symposium

"Multiple Sclerosis: Etiopathogenetic, Immunological and Clinical Concepts"



Alumni House

Click here for more information and to register


Registration and Breakfast: 7-7:55am

Theme Sessions:

Innate and Adaptive Immune Systems in Autoimmune Disorders and Pathogenesis: 8am-noon

Genetic and Environmental Risk Factor for Multiple Sclerosis: 1:30-3:35pm

Therapeutics and Clinical Aspects: 3:55-5:55pm

Lunch and Poster Session: 12:05-1:25pm

Reception: 6-7pm



Sunday-Thursday, June 14-18

3rd Annual 3rd Annual Workshop on Metabolomics

The course is jointly sponsored by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) as part of the  NIH Common Fund Metabolomics Initiative, and the Departments of Chemistry and Pharmacology and Toxicology at UAB. 

Visit the website for full details on agenda, registration, and more.


Monthly Mentoring Lunch: CCTS Training Academy

The CCTS Training Academy kicked off its first monthly mentoring lunch meeting at the PCAMS building on May 1, led by Dr. David Chaplin, Melissa McBrayer, and Ryan Outman of the CCTS Training Academy.  

A dozen individuals, representing departments from across campus-Collat School of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Public Health, School of Medicine-gathered to discuss current mentoring challenges. The impromptu discussion started with the age-old question: Who should be first author on a collaborative paper?
Dr. David Chaplin, CCTS Training Academy
This group will meet monthly on the first Friday of each month at PCAMS. In addition, two Entering Mentoring group sessions are scheduled to meet this summer, June 2 and July 15. You are invited to join and contribute to the conversation.

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

Visit us online to learn more: www.uab.edu/ccts/training-academy/mentoring

2015 CCTS Biomedical Informatics Summer Training Series

This series will consist of a series of seminars, presentations and online lectures covering key topics in biomedical and health informatics for clinical and translational science researchers and the resources related to these topics at UAB.  Reading materials will accompany the presentations-five live seminars and three online sessions.  Each live session will be approximately one hour on Wednesdays from 3-4 pm beginning June 3, in the PCAMS Building, 1924 7th Avenue South (NOTE: new location).  


Schedule of Presentations





June 3

What is informatics? (Introductory Presentation ) Topics include: Overview of biomedical and health informatics, key issues in the field, impact of informatics on medical research, education and patient care, informatics resources for researchers at UAB.

Eta S. Berner, EdD


ONLINE SESSION-- Electronic health records- Topics include: description, functionality, use for research, and challenges for both healthcare and research.


June 17

Accessing data in electronic health records- Topics include: Demonstration of tools and resources for accessing UAB's electronic health record systems,

Matthew C. Wyatt, MSHI

June 24

Literature searching using advanced electronic techniques- Topics include: Tools, strategies and resources for effective literature searching for researchers in clinical and translational science.

Lee Vucovich, MLS


June  25--July 7

ONLINE LECTURES-Databases, Health Information Technology Standards and Interoperability of Clinical Systems .Topics include: Advantages of databases for clinical research, Importance of standards and description of the kind of standards  that exist in healthcare


July 8

Use of the EHR for Research-Topics include challenges in using the EHR for research, strategies to make the EHR more usable clinically and for research

James J. Cimino, MD

July 15

Role of bioinformatics in study design and analysis of genomic data- Topics include: tools and resources at UAB  and nationally  for genomic and other  "--omic" analyses.     

Elliot J. Lefkowitz, PhD

July 22-July 29

ONLINE SESSION--Linking genomic and clinical data-The eMERGE Network


Students who would like to take this as a one-credit course can do so.  All interested individuals should email Eta S. Berner, EdD, Course Director, at eberner@uab.edu to be put on the mailing list for course information and if you need additional information.  



Sessions will be broadcast via GoToMeeting at: 


5th Annual NIGMS-funded Short Course on Statistical Genetics & Genomics 

July 27-31, 2015 Birmingham, AL 


Focusing on the state-of-art methodology to analyze complex traits, this five-day course will offer an interactive program to enhance the ability of the researcher, to understand & use statistical genetic methods, as well as implement & interpret sophisticated genetic analyses. Limited number of Travel Fellowships available, see website for details. Only participants residing in the US are eligible for Travel Fellowships! The knowledge of R and UNIX is desired. 


Topics to include: 

Intro (Biostatistics; Genetics & Genomics; Ethics); GWAS Design/Analysis/Imputation/Interpretation; Rare Variants Analyses; CNV Analysis; Gene x Gene and Gene x Environment Interaction; Pharmacogenetics/Pharmacogenomics; Analysis of DNA Methylation Microarray Data; Statistical Epigenomics; Transcriptome Analyses; Statistical Methods for NGS; Beyond GWAS: Pathway Analysis & Meta-Analysis. 

Software demos: 

Intro to R & Bioconductor; PLINK; SKAT; CpGassoc; NGS analysis with Bioconductor. 

To insure the depth and practicality of the training program, we will provide 5 laptops to students or student pairs in the classroom. Each computer will be loaded with the required statistical software. Participants are encouraged to bring their laptop. Many of the faculty have substantial expertise with the use of software for statistical genetics and have even authored some. Use of Whole-genome Methods for Analysis of Complex Traits and Diseases. 


Guests: Emidio Capriotti, PhD - UAB; Karen Conneely, PhD - Emory Univ.; Gustavo de los Campos, PhD - Michigan State University.; Nancy Cox, PhD - Univ. Of Chicago; Purvesh Khatri, PhD - Stanford Univ.; Carl Langefeld, PhD.-Wake Forest.; Hongzhe Lee, PhD - University of Pennsylvania.; Alison Motsinger-Reif, PhD - NC State Univ.; Marylyn Ritchie, PhD - Pennsylvania State Univ.; Hao Wu, PhD - Emory University; Michael Wu, PhD - Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/ UNC-Chapel Hill. 

UAB: Xiangqin Cui, PhD; Hemant Tiwari, PhD.; Degui Zhi, PhD 


For more details & registration, click here.

Funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)



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 :


Pre-application for Collaborative Innovation Award, Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program (X02; not required; NCATS)



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


2016 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science

The Vilcek Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of immigrant contributions to American society. The Vilcek Foundation is seeking applicants for the 2016 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. We are accepting applications from young, foreign-born researchers age 38 and under from now through June 15, 2015. Three winners will each receive a $50,000 unrestricted cash prize and will be honored at an awards ceremony in New York City in April 2016.


Complete eligibility requirements and online application can be found on Vilcek.org.  


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

Sam Brown Bridge Builder Award

2015 Award Announcement

The Sam Brown Bridge Builder Award was established in 2009 to recognize the remarkable career of Dr. Sam Brown.The award honors his unique ability to develop and nurture working relationships between faculty and staff across the UAB campus in ways that embodied the vision, character, and bridge-building talents vital to the future of UAB. Previous award recipients were:

2010 - Dr. Sarah Morgan
2011 - Dr. Kent Keyser
2012 - Drs. Diane Tucker and Lou Bridges 
2013 - Drs. Jennifer Kilgo and Cynthia Ryan
2014 - Dr. Jack Lemons

Nominations are now being accepted for the 6th annual Sam Brown Bridge Builder Award to be announced in late June.  Nominees should have demonstrated a deep and abiding commitment to facilitating collaboration and partnership across campus in ways that enhance the research and/or teaching activities of the University.  All full time UAB faculty and staff are eligible for this Award. 

All nomination packets must be received by the COB Friday, May 29, 2015. Click here for full details.


Questions should be addressed to Max Michael (maxm@uab.edu or 5-7742).

The Sam Brown Bridge Builder Award recipient will be recognized at an awards luncheon.  The award recipient will receive a cash award plus a special commemorative plaque.


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 | www.uab.edu/ccts
 Pittman Center for Advanced Medical Sciences
1924 Seventh Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294