CTSI programs fostering excellence across colleges

By Nicki Karimipour and Claire Baralt for The POST

Summer might be quiet for some, but two UF Clinical and Translational Science Institute programs are busy launching new endeavors.

The newly established CTSI Academy of Research Excellence recently welcomed its first class of 14 investigators pursuing a six-month Master Certification for Excellence in Human Subject Research and Protections. The CTSI also recently awarded its newest round of one-year intramural pilot grants, providing just over $280,000 in support of 17 projects.

A reflection of the multidisciplinary and collaborative nature of research at UF, trainees and faculty across the two cohorts represent all six colleges of the UF Health Science Center plus the UF colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Health and Human Performance, and Journalism and Communications.

“These two application cycles demonstrated the incredibly diverse expertise that thrives here at UF,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., director of the UF CTSI. “We are pleased to be able to bring so many disciplines together to foster research excellence and help lay the groundwork for future collaborations.”

The next application round for each program is expected to open this fall.

CTSI Academy of Research Excellence

Directed by Ray Moseley, Ph.D., the CTSI Academy of Research Excellence helps develop and recognize exemplary investigators. It promotes high-quality, innovative clinical research through programs that emphasize research integrity, ethics and professionalism. The academy’s first offering is the Master Certification for Excellence in Human Subject Research and Protections, completion of which leads to membership in the academy. The 14 investigators below were selected as the program’s inaugural participants.

College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Peggy R. Borum, Ph.D., Professor, Food Science and Human Nutrition

College of Dentistry

Katherine Karpinia, D.M.D., M.S., Associate Professor, Periodontology

College of Medicine

Michael R. Bubb, M.D., Associate Professor, Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology
Thomas J. George, M.D., FACP, Assistant Professor, Hematology and Oncology
Jacqueline A. Hobbs, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
Emina H. Huang, M.D., Associate Professor, General Surgery
Samsun Lampotang, Ph.D., Professor, Anesthesiology
Todd Manini, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Aging and Geriatric Research
Ramon L. Rodriguez Cruz, M.D., Associate Professor, Neurology
Latha Ganti Stead, M.D., M.S., FACEP, Professor, Emergency Medicine
Gary P. Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Infectious Diseases
David E. Winchester, M.D., M.S., Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine

College of Nursing

Barbara Lutz, Ph.D., RN, CRRN, FAHA, Associate Professor, Health Care Environments and Systems

College of Pharmacy

Reginald Frye, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Pharmocotherapy and Translational Research

CTSI 2012-13 Pilot Project Awards

Directed by Christopher Batich, Ph.D., the CTSI Pilot and Collaborative Projects Program awards intramural grants to support the growth of interdisciplinary and investigator-initiated research. Areas of special interest for the 2012-13 awards included collaborations with CTSI-affiliated health communication researchers and the CTSI’s biobehavioral, biomedical mass spectrometry, biorepository, genotyping and metabolomics core labs. The CTSI funded 17 awards across three categories: trainees, junior faculty and novel methods and technologies.


Taj Azarian, M.P.H., Ph.D. Student, Epidemiology, College of Medicine/ College of Public Health and Health Professions
Project Title: “Utilization of Phylogenetics as a Novel Epidemiological Tool to Investigate an Outbreak of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit”

Sankarathi Balaiya, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate, Ophthalmology, College of Medicine-Jacksonville
Project Title: “Targeting Sirtuins for Diabetic Retinopathy”

Ellie Chan, M.D., Fellow, Hematology and Oncology, College of Medicine
Project Title: “A Pilot Study to Determine cMet Expression and other Genomic Resistance Patterns in Response to Chemoradiotherapy in Patients with Esophageal Adenocarcinoma”

Yenisel Cruz-Almeida, Ph.D., MSPH, Postdoctoral Fellow, Oral Biology, College of Dentistry
Project Title: “Saliva as an Alternative to Plasma to Measure Biomarkers Associated with Pain Mechanisms”

Chen Ling, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate, Pediatrics, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Treatment for Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Hepatoblastoma Based on Recombinant Adeno-associated Virus Serotype 3 Vectors”

Andrew D. Smith, D.V.M., Resident, Large Animal Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine
Project Title: “Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in an Experimental Equine Model of Osteoarthritis Treated with Self-complementary Adeno-associated Virus-mediated Delivery of Equine Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein”

Junior Faculty

Philip A. Efron, M.D., Assistant Professor, Acute Care Surgery, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Emergency Myelopoeisis in Human Trauma and Sepsis”

Joseph Larkin III, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Cell Science, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Project Title: “The Role of Suppressors of Cytokine Signaling in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus”

Romina Lomónaco, M.D., Assistant Professor, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, College of Medicine
Project Title: “A Metabolomic Approach for the Discovery of Novel Biomarkers in Patients with NASH”

Michael Leland Stellefson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Health Education and Behavior, College of Health and Human Performance
Project Title: “Design and Feasibility Testing of Patientflix.com for COPD Self-management Education”

Catherine L. Striley, Ph.D., MSW, MPE, Assistant Professor, Epidemiology, College of Medicine/ College of Public Health and Health Professions
Project Title: “Comorbidity and Diagnostic Communication Preferences among Patients with Movement Disorders”

Novel Methods and Technologies

Brian L. Hoh, M.D., Associate Professor, Neurosurgery, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Effect of CYP2C19 Polymorphism and/or P2Y12 Residual Platelet Reactivity on Risk of Ischemic Stroke or TIA in Patients with Symptomatic Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease Treated with Clopidogrel (Plavix)”

Mansour Mohamadzadeh, Ph.D., Professor, Infectious Diseases and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine
Project Title: “Induction of Immune Regulation by L. acidophilus”

Lyle L. Moldawer, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chairman of Research, Surgery, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Validation of a Genomics-Based Prognostic in Severe Trauma”

Carolynn Patten, Ph.D., PT, Associate Professor, Physical Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions
Project Title: “Novel Techniques to Study Corticospinal Tract Function during Walking”

Naohiro Terada, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Generation of Disease-Affected Cell Types from Patient iPS Cells for Clinical Translational Research”

Deborah Treise, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, College of Journalism and Communications
Project Title: “Predictors of the Efficacy of CDC Recommendations for Prevention and Spread of Infection”