CCTS Digest 6.26 .15 | www.uab.edu/ccts
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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
CCTS Summer Training in Full Swing

The CCTS welcomes our 2015 Summer Trainees, taking part in our Short-Term Research Training Program. The Summer Enrichment Series provides an introduction to general principles of research and an introduction to CER/PCOR. The series began Monday, June 15, and is open to all trainees.  Topics are listed below, with sesssion taking place at 10 am on videoconference connection available. Visit us online: www.uab.edu/ccts/training-academy/short-term-research-training-program


June 29   Information Finding and Evaluation of Literature
July 6      Study Design 101
July 13    Team Science
July 20    Stats 101

July 27    End of Program Presentations


The trainees are taking part in the CCTS' 8-week Summer Program in Comparative Effectiveness and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, now through July. This 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.


2015 Summer Trainees: (Left to right) Claire Bourgeois, UAB SOM; Phillip Higginbotham, UAB SOM; Regan Wade, Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy

Also in training, on Tuesday, June 23, the CCTS sponsored the "Tour Through an R01" session, featuring Dr. Jeff Engler presenting, and Dr. David Chaplin and Dr. Gareth Dutton (left to right, below) providing a mock NIH grant review. 

Seminars, Symposia and Conferences

Wednesday, July 1

CCTS Forum


PCAMS, 1924 7th Avenue South


This month's topic is the Clinical Trials Office, whose mission is to bring innovative therapies to the patients we serve.  We will accomplish this by developing and continually enhancing clinical and operational excellence in the conduct of clinical trials at UAB. This will, in turn, make us nationally competitive for participation in new studies.



The CTO offers its services to:

  • UAB researchers and research teams, assisting with study start-up, implementation and administration
  • Patients, Partners, and the general public, providing opportunities for study participation
  • Sponsors, helping them identify UAB investigators for participation in their research

During the Forum, we'll discuss the goals of the CTO as articulated by the office's leadership. Join us for hors d'oeuvres and refreshments at the Pittman Center for Advanced Medical Studies. 



Thursday, July 2

CCTS/CTO Research Seminar Series 

Recruitment and Retention

Dr. Cathy Roche


Noon-1pm, PCAMS Library, 1924 7th Ave. S.



Partners: Please join us remotely via GoToMeeting:

Wednesday,  July 15
Entering Mentoring group session
1-4pm, PCAMS (1924 7th Ave. S.)  

Join with other faculty to expand your mentoring skills and knowledge using mentoring  curriculum  built around six main competencies:
  1. Maintaining effective communication
  2. Aligning expectations
  3. Assessing understanding
  4. Addressing equity and inclusion
  5. Fostering independence
  6. Promoting professional development
Please submit your name to the CCTS ( ccts@uab.edu) to learn more;  www.uab.edu/ccts/training-academy/mentoring



October 22-23, 2015 
UAB Comprehensive Cardiovascular Center-4th Annual Symposium


"Inflammation and Cardiovascular Disease"


William W. Featheringill Keynote Lecture:

Charles N. Serhan, PhD

Director, Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury

Brigham and Women's Hospital

The Simon Gelman Professor of Anaesthesia (Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology)

Harvard Institutes of Medicine

Professor, Harvard School of Dental Medicine


Taking place at the Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa, Birmingham, AL

Please visit the CCVC website for more information; Registration and Trainee Abstract Submission are Open.


UAB Research Orientation Program - a NEW RESEARCH TRAINING OPPORTUNITY for Faculty, Coordinators, Budget & Regulatory Staff

New to the UAB platform of education offerings for research is a program designed for young investigators and research staff who are new to research (possibly within the first 2 months of starting in research).  
The program will be a basic review of how to implement a sponsored- or investigator-initiated study including clinical, regulatory and financial aspects. The intent of this program is to provide a basic overview of implementing a study, familiarize attendees with the language, and hopefully provide guidance on avoiding pitfalls when starting out.  This is not an all-encompassing program, but will provide basic tools and some of the necessary language in order to successfully conduct a research study.
We encourage new faculty, coordinators, budget and regulatory staff to attend.  
At this time there is no cost for the program.    

Fourth Thursday of each month 8am - 12noon in PCAMS (1924 7th Avenue S.).
Registration is limited, so please REGISTER early by contacting   Dharti Patel :  Dpatel80@uab.edu.

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: 



Featured Funding :


The CCTS Mentored Career Development Program (KL2 scholars) is for junior faculty in a clinical or related discipline. The overall goal of this training program is to impart knowledge, experience and perspective to a network of junior scientists who will emerge as independent investigators.

Scholars, selected through a competitive application process, receive KL2 Clinical and Translational Science career development support for up to five years with protected time for both formal training and hands-on research. Scholars enroll in an educational program, usually the MSPH in Clinical and Translational Science, which include the CTS core curriculum. In parallel, they enter a research apprenticeship with a primary mentor who has an excellent training record and commits to extended close interaction with the scholar. Training will culminate in lead author manuscripts and an extramurally-funded research grant submission (e.g., R01).


The KL2 program is now accepting Letters of Intent, due July 13, 2015. Please see the attached flyer for full details. Questions? Contact: ccts@uab.edu


*NEW*  Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences

The Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences provides funding to young investigators of outstanding promise in science relevant to the advancement of human health. The program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding individuals who are in their first few years of their appointment at the assistant professor level.


The current grant level is $240,000; $60,000 per year for a four-year period. In 2016, Pew will name the next Class of Pew Scholars. For the 32nd series of awards, to be made in 2016, one nomination will be invited from each of the participating institutions. Participating institutions have been selected on the basis of the scope of their work in biomedical research and recommended to The Pew Charitable Trusts by the National Advisory Committee of the Program. The application for the 2016 awards will open on August 3, 2015.


  • Candidates must have been awarded a doctorate in biomedical sciences, medicine or a related field.
  • As of November 16, 2015, nominees must hold full-time appointments at the rank of assistant professor. (Appointments such as Research Assistant Professor, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor Research Track, Visiting Professor or Instructor are not eligible.)
  • On July 16, 2015, candidates must have been in such an appointment for less than three years (not appointed before July 16, 2012), whether or not such an appointment was on a tenure track. Time spent in clinical internships, residencies, or in work toward board certification does not count as part of this three-year limit
  • Candidates may be nominated by their institution two times in total. ALL applicants must be nominated by their institution and must complete the 2016 online application.
  • If an applicant's university has more than one eligible nominating institution or campus, that applicant may only apply from one institution; they may not reapply in a subsequent year from a different one.

Additional information concerning the 2016 Pew Scholars Program can be found here. 

Candidates who would like to be considered for UAB's nomination should contact Dr. Kent T. Keyser at ktkeyser@uab.edu.


*NEW* Searle Scholars Program

UAB has been invited to submit the name of one nominee to the Searle Scholars Program. This program makes grants to selected academic institutions to support the independent research of outstanding young scientists who have recently been appointed as assistant professors on a tenure-track appointment. Grants are $300,000 for a three-year term with $100,000 payable each year of the grant, subject to the receipt of acceptable progress reports. Generally, the program makes 15 new grants annually.


Applicants for awards which will be activated on July 1, 2016, will be expected to be pursuing independent research careers in biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and related areas in chemistry, medicine, and the biological sciences.

Candidates should have begun their appointment as an independent investigator at the assistant professor level on or after July 1, 2014. The appointment must be their first tenure-track position (or its nearest equivalent) at an invited institutionAdditional information concerning eligibility for the 2016 Searle Scholars Program can be found here.


If you meet the eligibility requirements, and are interested in being considered to be UAB's nominee, please contact Dr. Kent T. Keyser at ktkeyser@uab.edu .







Survey data of specific population groups is essential to investigators with an idea or proposal for a grant application, yet is often difficult to come by even in existing data sources such as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).  ROSA is a new investment in research infrastructure that offers investigators access to the resources of the School of Public Health's Survey Research Unit (SRU) to develop, collect, and compile preliminary survey data.  ROSA will be offered quarterly as either a short single investigator survey or a multi-investigator survey targeting a specific demographic (e.g., children) or theme (e.g., access to health care services).   Investigators interested in using ROSA will submit their request/idea to the ROSA Group, a nimble committee of senior investigators who will review the questions, determine the size of the survey, and facilitate analysis of the results.  A single-investigator ROSA may take 6 weeks from contact with the ROSA Group to completion.  A multi-investigator ROSA may take 8 weeks or more depending on the number of investigators, demographics, and the like.


The Survey Research Unit (SRU) and the Center for the Study of Community Health will fund up to 4 survey project proposals for a total of $20,000. Four-page proposals are due June 20, 2015. The proposals must summarize the research hypotheses to be tested, their significance, empirical methodology to be employed, and must involve collecting primary data from residents of Alabama through a telephone survey conducted by the SRU.  Data collection is not limited to health-related information.

The award will cover SRU faculty and staff time required for the development and implementation of the CATI survey instrument and assistance with development of any subsequent full-scale proposal. This opportunity is open to all full-time UAB faculty.  The proposals will be reviewed and selected for funding by a committee appointed by the SRU Executive Committee.  Please submit inquiries and project proposals to: CSCH_ROSA@UAB.EDU.


Additional information on the SOPH and the SRU and may be found at: http://www.soph.uab.edu/csch/infrastructure/service/sru


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)




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


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. 


UCEM logo
Congratulations to the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine

NIH Common Fund launches physical activity research program aimed at identifying molecules that contribute to a variety of health benefits

It is well-known that exercise is good for you, but how exactly does physical activity improve the function of different tissues and organs in the body? What molecules underlie how physical activity is translated into better health? 


The National Institutes of Health's Common Fund launched a program that aims to catalogue extensively the biological molecules that are affected by physical activity in people, identify some of the key molecules that underlie the systemic effects of physical activity, and characterize the functions of these key molecules.


"The new Common Fund initiative, which will likely be based largely on a U-grant program, is the exciting result of a concerted effort over the past two years between several NIH institute leaders and many of us in academia," says Marcas Bamman, PhD, Professor, Department of Cell, Developmental, & Integrative Biology and Director, UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. "With this bold $170 million investment, it is clear that Dr. Collins recognizes the potential impact of molecular exercise biology on both health and disease. The future is indeed very bright for large-scale, multi-site trials." 


This program, Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity in Humans, is the largest targeted NIH investment of funds into the mechanisms of how physical activity improves health and prevents disease. Through the program, investigators at research institutions across the United States will receive about $170 million over five years, pending availability of funds.


"This program will lay the foundation for our understanding of how physical activity affects the human body, and ultimately, advance our understanding of how activity improves and preserves health," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.  "Armed with this knowledge, researchers and clinicians may one day be able to define optimal physical activity recommendations for people at various stages of life, as well as develop precisely targeted regimens for individuals with particular health needs."



Save the Date:

UAB Center for Exercise Medicine - 3rd Annual Symposium

"Innovative Research from Discovery to Treatment to Prevention"

Friday, September 25, 2015 

Bradley Lecture Center at Children's Harbor

Birmingham, AL


Details and registration information will be posted soon at www.uab.edu/exercise.  

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