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News Roundup
March 9, 2021
Updates from CLIC  

Registration Open for Telehealth Un-Meeting

Telehealth is an emerging field. Prior to the pandemic, telehealth was shown in several chronic conditions to improve access, reduce hospitalization rates, and have lower costs to the patient than traditional in person visits. These interventions are adaptable and have the potential to impact healthcare in communities which are medically underserved and under-resourced. Telehealth has also been shown to reduce health disparities among African Americans, improve screenings of chronic conditions and improve access to mental health care in rural areas. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a dramatic increase in utilization of telehealth and there is an urgent need to identify the barriers and limitations of the current system to improve care delivery for patients.

Register HERE.

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Careers in Clinical & Translational Research Metric Update

The goal of the Careers in Clinical & Translational Research (CCTR) metric is to measure and develop strategic management plans to advance the training and support of scientists to remain engaged in the scientific research workforce. In support of this goal, the CCTR Metric Quality Improvement Committee has worked to improve the reporting of the metric to meet the needs of the consortium and the hubs.

The committee has updated the Operational Guideline to address current reporting challenges and to reflect newly identified measures. These changes will be presented during the Careers Metric Update webinar on Tuesday, April 6 at 3:00 pm ET. We encourage all hubs to register for this webinar.

CLIC Twitter Highlight
Tweet: Meet @WFCTSI's Dr. Kathryn Weaver. Dr. Weaver studies cancer survivorship, health equity and health care delivery. Recently, she published a study about cardiovascular health in breast cancer survivors. Check it out here: pubmed.ncbi.nln.nih.gov/33475511/ #HeartMonth #CTSAProgram. Headshot of Dr. Kathryn Weaver
View this post on Twitter. Follow and engage with us here
CLIC Education
Gateway Logo, four circles surrounding one larger circle

The CLIC Education & Career Development Gateway is a collaborative space featuring:

  • The Education Clearinghouse, where the CTSA community can find and share a variety of education and translational workforce development resources from across the consortium.
  • An Opportunities Board, the go-to resource for members of the translational science community looking to find and post jobs, training opportunities and more.
  • A Navigator for users to directly ask the education team questions about finding education resources and identifying potential education, training or career development collaborations with other CTSA hubs.
  • Discussion Forums to share learning and training resources, discuss career development opportunities or request assistance from colleagues from around the consortium.

If you have any questions about collaborating further with CLIC, please reach out to our team at education@clic-ctsa.org.

News from around the CTSA Program Consortium
Rev. Elvin Clayton plays the guitar
Rev. Elvin Clayton joined the COVID-19 vaccine trial which sought to assess the efficacy and safety of the vaccine for the prevention of disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Credit: Robert Lisak

COVID-19: Being a part of research to make a change

Much like the rest of the world, I have been very aware of just how serious the COVID-19 pandemic is--a health crisis in need of immediate action with African Americans dying at twice the rate and hospitalized at almost three times that of our white counterparts. So, when I was given the opportunity to participate in the vaccine trial to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus, I knew right away that it was my inherent duty as a community leader to sign up. As a Yale Cultural Ambassador and pastor for Walter’s Memorial AME Zion Church, it felt like such a significant way to further encourage members of my community to participate right alongside me, to drive health equity in our own community and advance science at the same time.

Fireside chat with Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)


Watch the recording of a Fireside Chat with Nora Volkow, MD, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Volkow discusses NIDA’s strategic priorities for research in the COVID-19 era

This event was jointly sponsored by the UC Irvine Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTS) and the University of California Biomedical Research Acceleration, Integration, & Development (UC BRAID).
Soundcloud of Getting the Diagnosis Right: Sarah Wheeler. Headshot of Sarah Wheeler on the right

Getting the Diagnosis Right: Sarah Wheeler

The clinical laboratory is at the heart of hospital systems because it’s responsible for the majority of medical diagnoses and decisions. Lab tests can detect and confirm diseases, which helps inform individualized treatment plans. This real-world application drew Sarah to clinical chemistry and ultimately landed her in Pittsburgh, where today she is both a translational researcher at the University of Pittsburgh and the medical director for multiple UPMC testing laboratories. Her expertise in diagnostics, though, may be rivaled by her talent as a competitive dancer. 

Grey shape in background, green shape in front on top followed by orange, red and blue
Double-faced peptide-based boosters are computationally designed to allow recognition of SARS-CoV-2 (grey, schematic) by Hepatitis B antibodies. One booster face made of ACE2-mimic peptides (red) can bind to the receptor binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 (blue). The other booster face composed of a Hepatitis B core-antigen (orange) can target the Hepatitis B antibody fragment (green). This approach can provide a cheap and efficient neutralization of emerging pathogens by generic antibodies.

Retrained generic antibodies can recognize SARS-CoV-2

The SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus behind the current pandemic, infects humans by binding its surface-exposed spike proteins to ACE2 receptors exposed on the cell membranes.

Upon a vaccination or a real infection, it takes several weeks before the immunity develops antibodies that can selectively bind to these spike proteins. Such antibody-labeled viruses are neutralized by the natural killer and T cells operated by the human immunity.

An alternative approach to train the immunity response is offered by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago and California State University at Sacramento who have developed a novel strategy that redirects antibodies for other diseases existing in humans to the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2.

ICYMI: News from the Science & Research World

Graphic of a syringe filled half-way
Credit: NYT

How the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Works

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is studded with proteins that it uses to enter human cells. These so-called spike proteins make a tempting target for potential vaccines and treatments.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is based on the virus’s genetic instructions for building the spike protein. But unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, which store the instructions in single-stranded RNA, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses double-stranded DNA.

CTSA Program Coordinating Centers' News

Trial Innovation Network logo

Open Forum: Recruitment Innovation Center COVID-19 Recruitment and Retention Toolkit

Nan Kennedy, BA,  Tiffany L. Israel, MSSW  &  Julia Dunagan, MBA

Purpose: The COVID-19 Recruitment and Retention Toolkit provides practical information on how the Recruitment Innovation Center integrates community feedback into the operations of recruitment and retention planning for COVID-19 research.

Target Audience: Investigators, study teams, liaison teams, innovation teams

The Trial Innovation Network Open Forum Sessions are optional webinars for interested attendees across the CTSA consortium and Trial Innovation Network. These 60-minute forums are informal, interactive meetings.  This Open Forum format promotes an open dialog with all attendees.

For more information or additional requests, please contact the organizer.

March 18, 2pm ET

National Center for Data to Health logo

CU Anschutz Physician Publishes First Paper from Data in the National COVID Cohort Collaborative

They say necessity is the mother of invention. In terms of healthcare, one of the most remarkable inventions begat by the pandemic is something called the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C). The vision of the scientists and researchers behind the N3C is to turn massive amounts of already available data into new knowledge urgently needed to study COVID-19 and identify potential treatments.

The speed at which the N3C has moved is astonishing: In just a little over six months, the initiative was launched, made available to biomedical researchers and has already produced its first publication.

If you have a story, opportunity, project or event that you'd like included in the News Roundup, please contact CLIC Communications: clic_comms@clic-ctsa.org or visit the CLIC Library to learn how to post  content to the CLIC website

The University of Rochester Center for Leading Innovation and Collaboration (CLIC) is the coordinating center for the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program, funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Grant U24TR002260.
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