Three New Awardees Join KL2 Training Program

Three early-career faculty have received the ICTR KL2 Career Development Award, starting July 1, 2021. These early-stage investigators join seven continuing scholars participating in the NIH-funded program that provides training, mentoring, and dedicated research time. Scholars are appointed for an initial two years, with the possibility of an additional two years. Please join us in welcoming the 2021 cohort:

Profiles of ICTR KL2 scholars can be found on the Career Development Awards page.

KL2 Scholars come from across the UW and Marshfield Clinic Research Institute and are diverse in degree, school, discipline, research topic, career development goals, and position on  the translational spectrum.

 The KL2 program employs a precision training approach, providing common training components and additional elective components. Corrine Voils, PhD, co-Director of the KL2 Program notes,

Our precision training approach carefully tailors the KL2 experience to each scholar’s needs. We ensure that scholars gain knowledge and skills to achieve personal, scientific, and career goals in an inclusive learning environment

The common component is delivered in the Mentored Scholars Seminar Series with cohort-specific sessions corresponding to year in the program. This training series targets 11 research competencies critical to scholars’ success as independent scientists, while also creating a cohort structure for peer support and collaboration. Manish Shah, MD, MPH, co-Director of the KL2 Program, adds,
Manish Shah

Our training curriculum is open to other career development award recipients at UW, both those with independent awards and others in institutional programs across campus. This provides additional peer support for our scholars and allows ICTR to ‘give back’ to the larger UW ecosystem of research training.

>> Nominations for 2022 Start Dates Due July 30

>> FAQ about the KL2 Program (PDF)

CTSA One Health Alliance Names 2021 Translational Research Fellows

UW ICTR is excited to share that our partners from the UW School of Veterinary Medicine have selected the COHA Translational Research Fellows for 2021. COHA, the Clinical and Translational Science Award One Health Alliance (COHA), is a consortium of veterinary schools partnered with medical and other colleagues through the CTSA program including UW-Madison.

The Translational Research Fellows program leverages the clinical specialty training of veterinary clinician-scientists into interdisciplinary research teams to address human health problems from diverse perspectives. Funding is for two years through a CTSA Innovation Award from NIH (NCATS). For more information about the program, contact Dr. Lauren Trepanier, or Dr. Rob Rebhun

The 2021 Fellows are:

Benjamin Curtis, DVM (Resident, Anatomic Pathology, Colorado State Univ)
Development of Mucosal Vaccines Using a Systems Immunology Approach
Evaluation of probiotic adjuvants for the development of oral vaccines against SARS CoV2, feline enteric coronavirus, and human and murine rotaviruses.
Mentor Team at Colorado State University
Gregg Dean, DVM, PhD (Primary Mentor); Zaid Abdo, PhD; Marcela Henao-Tamayo, MD, PhD; Allison Vilander, DVM, PhD

Ellen Sherrick, DVM (Resident, Medical Oncology, North Carolina State Univ)
Neuronal Regulation of Acute Chemoradiotherapy-Associated Pain in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer
Characterization of the role for neurons that express the TRPM8 ion channel in acute orofacial radiation-associated pain and performance of pain phenotyping in humans and dogs undergoing chemoradiation for spontaneous head and neck cancers.
Mentor Team at North Carolina State University
Michael Nolan, DVM, PhD (Primary Mentor); Matthew Breen, PhD; Margaret Gruen, DVM, MVPH, PhD; Duncan Lascelles, PhD; Santosh Mishra, PhD; Yvonne Mowery, MD, PhD

Mentors Needed for 2022 Applicants

COHA is currently accepting short descriptions from potential mentors for collaborative mentored research opportunities for veterinary specialists. The deadline for this short submission is July 15, 2021. The 2022 cohort will consist of four 2-year research fellows from the 15 veterinary school-affiliated CTSAs that make up COHA. Full applications with a specific fellow will be due in January 2022 for start dates in August 2022.

D&I Launchpad Supports Public Health Training with E2I Award

The Dissemination & Implementation (D&I) Launchpad™ team announced their sixth Evidence to Implementation (E2I) Award this spring. With support from the Wisconsin Partnership Program, E2I awards support the creation of a unique service package to support the dissemination and implementation of an evidence-based intervention or innovation.

This year’s award was made to Susan Zahner, DrPH, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professor of Nursing, for the New to Public Health (N2PH) Residency Program.

N2PH is a 12-month online residency program for new public health professionals in their first year of employment in a governmental health department. The N2PH Program seeks to support their transition to public health practice, help them gain greater competency for evidence-based public health practice, enhance their confidence in addressing the challenges of public health work, and develop high satisfaction and clear intentions to remain in public health practice. Jane Mahoney, ICTR Director of the D&I Launchpad, comments,

We are very pleased to support Dr. Zahner’s innovative approach to supporting the public health workforce through a residency program. This E2I award will support course completion, creation of a robust website to support the program, and development of recruitment, marketing, communications, and business planning for program sustainability.

Early testing of the program has shown that there is a strong demand for online public health trainings in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Significantly, the National Association of Public Health Nurses has committed to future collaboration on national dissemination of N2PH.

Zahner leveraged several ICTR resources to develop N2PH, including the Wisconsin Public Health Research Network, the Wisconsin Network for Research Services, and the ICTR Pilot Award Program (2019 D&I Research Award). Most recently, she was one of three 2021 Champions of Humanistic Care named by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation for compassion and courage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

Now in its third year, the E2I Award Program assists investigators who have developed high impact, evidence-based health care interventions to implement their research findings in clinical and community settings. Beyond direct financial support, each E2I team receives D&I Launchpad resources to develop toolkits, marketing materials, and business plans.

Launchpad Program Offers Evidence to Implementation Awards for 2021

The 2020 Evidence to Implementation (E2I) RFA has been released for a third round of applications. New in 2018, the purpose of the E2I award is to expedite dissemination of evidence based practices, interventions, and innovations to appropriate end-users using the D&I Launchpad Program. These include self-management or other health promotion workshops and interventions, and health services innovations that improve delivery of care in the health care or community setting. Previous awards are described here.  Jane Mahoney, Director of the ICTR D&I Launchpad program, notes,

The Launchpad team’s expertise will help with the future growth and sustainability of these healthcare innovations. These programs have incredible potential to make a significant impact on the health of Wisconsin and beyond.

Preproposals are due November 30, 2020

These awards will support creation of a Launchpad Package to support the dissemination and implementation of the evidence-based intervention or innovation. The elements of the Launchpad Package will be unique to each project, but may include a business plan – value proposition, marketing, sales, financials, intellectual property review, and any necessary tools and supporting materials.

More information, all deadlines, and application materials are available on the funding opportunities page.

Corrections: Preproposal deadline extended.

ICTR Joins National Trial for Diversifying the Biomedical Research Workforce

UW ICTR will participate in the Building Up study developed at the University of Pittsburgh to test the effectiveness of a career development intervention designed for postdoctoral trainees and junior faculty who come from populations underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis. As a participant in the intervention arm of the multi-site study, local scholars will receive specialized career development webinars, mentoring, coursework, and networking opportunities intended to promote their retention in the translational research workforce.

Twenty-five institutions including UW-Madison are participating in the national NIH-funded trial of Building Up a Diverse Workforce for Biomedical Research. Olayinka Shiyanbola, PhD, BPharm, and Michelle Chui, PharmD, PhD, both former ICTR KL2 scholars, will serve as leads for the local Building Up program. Dr. Shiyanbola notes,

Building Up is one of the programs that arose from efforts of the NIH National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN). Our ICTR mentorship group has been a key player in NRMN and we are very fortunate to have their expertise available as we roll out our local implementation of the intervention.

Most recently, the ICTR Mentorship group has served as the national Coordination Center for NRMN and UW has a substantial number of faculty who have received Research Mentor training. Dr. Chui, also a co-Director of the ICTR TL1 Career Development Program, adds,

This is an exciting opportunity for ICTR. By participating in this trial we are able to enrich our mission-central initiatives to advance diversity and inclusive excellence.

Many of the other career development programs directly or indirectly supported by ICTR are eager to see the outcomes of this model and how it might ultimately be applicable to their initiatives. We consider the Building Up program as an evidence-based addition to the ICTR research career development portfolio built on effective mentoring relationships.

Drs. Chui and Shiyanbola have long-standing relationships with career development programming and health equity initiatives at ICTR. In addition to being former KL2 Scholars, Dr. Shiyanbola is a past participant in the annual Health Equity Leadership Institute and both are affiliated with the UW Collaborative Center for Health Equity.

The ICTR site has enrolled six early career investigators to participate in the Building Up study and the study is now closed to additional enrollment. Participation criteria were determined by the national trial organizers and scholars will be followed for two years beyond the one-year intervention.

ICTR-Led Team Receives RAPID-COVID19 Award for N3C-Based Project

With a new award from NIH, an interdisciplinary group led by Drs. Elizabeth Burnside and Jomol Mathew will develop a proof of concept data intake and management infrastructure, Real-time Access to Patient’s Integrated Data for COVID-19 (RAPID-COVID19). Under the auspices of the Clinical and Health Informatics Institute (CHI2) housed in ICTR, , this project will provide the first opportunity at UW to leverage real time clinical data for research and contribute to the new National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) data repository.

RAPID-COVID19 is an innovative collaborative partnership between ICTR, as the representative Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) site, the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Marshfield Clinic. RAPID-COVID19 will enable integration and submission of near real time clinical and imaging data to N3C to discover early disease predictors, rapidly evaluate diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, and efficiently enroll individuals infected with COVID-19 into rapidly emerging clinical trials. Burnside, Deputy Executive Director of ICTR and a Professor of Radiology, comments,

Elizabeth BurnsideTypically, research data warehouses are infrequently updated. They are refreshed on a weekly or even a monthly basis, a timeframe clearly inadequate to meeting the fast-moving needs of COVID-19 research.

In addition, these data warehouses often do not contain imaging data, which has the potential to powerfully predict disease progression and outcomes, because imaging data files are large and can be difficult to de-identify. This award will support development of informatics solutions that will enable real-time, secure data submission, including imaging, to N3C.

A second challenge addressed by this award is that N3C only integrates data from CTSA hubs, an important source of clinical data nationwide, but by no means the only treatment sites for COVID-19 patients. The second aim of this application is to create new data pipelines for health systems and hospitals from diverse healthcare settings. Mathew, Chief of Biomedical Informatics for SMPH and Director of CHI2, adds,

Jomol Mathew, PhDMarshfield Clinic Health System has agreed to serve as the participating healthcare system on this pilot project. As an integrated rural healthcare system within Wisconsin, with foundational expertise in health informatics and health information technology, they are uniquely positioned to help us design and establish the required infrastructure.

In addition, Marshfield Clinic is a leader in rural health research. Inclusion of their patient populations will enhance our N3C data repository with greater geographic and socio-economic diversity. Such diversity is essential to discovering early disease predictors, and rapidly evaluating the generalizability of potential diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

UW investigators interested in accessing the N3C Data Enclave for research purposes, should fill out a CHI2 consult form and a staff member will assist you with N3C data access.


Elizabeth Burnside Named UWMF Team Science Professor

John Maniaci/UW Health

ICTR Deputy Executive Director, Elizabeth Burnside, has been awarded the inaugural UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) Professorship in Team Science. This honor is in recognition of her impressive leadership accomplishments in guiding the local clinical and translational research enterprise and provides some discretionary funding to support her ongoing research and leadership activities. Allan Brasier, ICTR Executive Director, comments,

Dr. Burnside was recognized for her excellence on multiple fronts: mentorship, leadership, clinical practice, and scholarship. In addition to my partnership with her in leading ICTR and our CTSA award, she also plays substantial leadership roles in the NIH-funded All of Us (AoU) Wisconsin program, the SMPH Clinical and Health Informatics Institute (CHI2), and the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Training Program.

Moreover, Beth has been playing a significant role in the system wide adoption of team science throughout the new strategic plan in ICTR. Congratulations, Beth!

The new UWMF professorship is a partnership between UWMF and SMPH to advance and support an outstanding faculty member engaged in a transdisciplinary leadership role in team science and clinical and translational research.

Burnside, an SMPH Professor of Radiology, also has affiliate appointments in the Departments of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Population Health Sciences, and Biostatistics & Medical Informatics, in addition to serving as SMPH Associate Dean for Team Science & Interdisciplinary Research. She responds,

It is a true privilege every day to be able to undertake my work in Radiology, ICTR, SMPH, and UW-Madison. I feel incredibly lucky to be striving, in partnership with other gifted leaders, to tackle difficult and important challenges. Thank you everyone for laying and sustaining the foundation that makes my contributions possible.

Read more about Dr. Burnside and her affinity for Team Science in this  2019 profile from the UW SMPH Quarterly magazine.

ICTR Team Science Services

2020 Pilot Awards Total $1.5 million, 24 projects

ICTR is pleased to announce 24 new Pilot Grant Awards for 2020 totaling $1.5 million. This outstanding group was selected in response to RFAs released in Dec 2019 including those for Clinical & Community Outcomes Research (CCOR), Dissemination & Implementation Research (D&I), Novel Methods, Stakeholder & Patient Engaged Research (SPER), Translational Basic & Clinical Research, and Marshfield Clinic/Marshfield Clinic Research Institute-UW Madison Collaborative Research.

These awards reflect ICTR’s support of interdisciplinary research teams, junior-senior investigator collaborations, research across the lifespan, and health equity research.  ICTR is funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), through a Clinical and Translational Science Award most recently renewed in 2017.

Complete roster of the 2020 awards.

The pilot awards supporting community-engaged research are funded through a strategic grant to UW ICTR from the Wisconsin Partnership Program (WPP).

All awards are subject to a rigorous scientific review process, but post-review, institutional partners may select projects for co-funding that strategically align with their individual research priorities. We are grateful for this year’s co-funding partnerships with the UW Stem Cell Regenerative Medicine Center (two awards, $50K total) and the UW Skin Disease Research Center  (two awards, $50K total), which allowed us to extend CTSA funds to support additional deserving research.

Scientific reviewers for the Pilot Awards Program represent interdisciplinary expertise from across campus and the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute. Christine Sorkness, Senior Associate Executive Director and Director of the Pilot Awards Program, comments,

Our Pilot Awards Program would not be possible without the generosity of campus experts and community partners who provide thoughtful critiques and feedback for the applications they review. While this spring has been a particularly challenging time for all those engaged in translational research, our reviewers and scientific review panels allowed us to move forward virtually, but effectively! Thank you for your outstanding work!

Other ICTR awards announced this spring include:

Sorkness continues,

ICTR Pilot Grant Awards are particularly valuable and timely during this COVID19 pandemic, which has impacted the entire translational research spectrum. We hope that these pilot funds and the associated ICTR research resources provided, complement campus and community research recovery efforts essential for these investigative teams.