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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / April 2024 / Letter from the Co-Directors: Spring 2024

Letter from the Co-Directors: Spring 2024

Dear UR CTSI community,

Across the institute, faculty and staff have been hard at work preparing our application to renew our Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

Wilson and Zand stand in front of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute sign in the Saunders Research BuildingCo-Directors Wilson and Zand

Our grant application outlines our support for clinical and translational science and research for the University and region and serves as a roadmap for how we will continue and expand that support. Our focus for the next award is on promoting translational science through a health equity lens, creating more health innovations and interventions so all people can reach their full health potential.

This month we are welcoming a new cohort of Career Development K Award scholars who will receive two years of support for their clinical and translational science and research projects starting on July 1. Annamarie Defayette, PhD, of Psychiatry, Lee Kehoe, PhD, of Surgery-Cancer Control, Sarah Mohajeri Moghaddam, MD, MPH, of Imaging Sciences, and Sandhya Seshadri, PhD, MA, MS, of Neurology are all exemplary researchers whom we are proud to support.

Several of our faculty and trainees were able to attend the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) meeting in Las Vegas in April.  Martin Zand MD, PhD attended a national Three-Minute Thesis competition, where he cheered on Michelle Koplitz, MHS who presented “Bilingualism as a Protective Factor for Toxic Stress in Deaf Populations” and Muhammad Sadeqi Nezhad, who presented "Development of a New Class of Anti-Metastatic Approach for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) Patients." The presenters are PhD candidates in our Translational Biomedical Science program, strongly representing both their excellent research and the institute. Another trainee, Nafisa Islam, presented a poster on "PM2.5 and NO2 Exposure During Pregnancy and Effects on Fetal Ultrasound Growth Measures and Size at Birth,” placing in the top 50 at the meeting.

Karen Wilson, MD, MPH had the privilege of co-chairing the Integration Across the Lifespan Enterprise Committee meeting at the Spring CTSI conference, which followed ACTS in Las Vegas, where she received updates from NCATS and attended presentations from trainees.

Around the office, Susanne Pallo, PhD, and Cody Gardner produced a top-notch video for the service with Harry Reis, PhD, to promote the service’s value to researchers, and Cody presented to the liaison group’s national call about the video’s purpose and efficacy. We love to see our efforts to deliver high-quality service and support get recognized by our peers.

If you have visited our website recently, you may have noticed it has a new look and structure. We have streamlined and improved much of the content and created a directory system to make it easier for researchers to find funding, services and support, and education and career resources. Please take a moment to explore the new version of the site when you have the chance.

With the challenge of the grant renewal effort almost complete, we are looking forward to continuing to deliver and improve our service to clinical and translational scientists across the University and beyond.


Co-Directors Karen Wilson, MD, MPH, and Martin Zand, MD, PhD

Jonathan Raab | 4/24/2024

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