UF CTSI: The Year That Was and The Year Ahead

The UF CTSI’s 2012 accomplishments and some of our major initiatives for 2013 are highlighted in the January and February columns of On the Same Page by Dr. David S. Guzick, UF senior vice president for health affairs and president of the UF&Shands Health System.

The UF CTSI’s 2012 achievements are recapped below and reflect the vision and hard work of collaborators across multiple colleges and institutes at UF. Read the full columns:

UF CTSI Achievements in 2012

The CTSI’s support of students, researchers and research teams continues to grow. In 2012, the research of close to 1,000 investigators benefited from CTSI services and resources.

The CTSI Training and Professional Development Program welcomed four new Ph.D. students as TL1 trainees; five junior faculty as KL2 scholars; seven medical fellows and junior faculty as scholars in the Advanced Postgraduate Program in Clinical Investigation; and 14 investigators as inaugural members of the new CTSI Academy of Research Excellence, which was created to promote high-quality, innovative clinical research through programs that emphasize research integrity, ethics and professionalism.

For its two rounds of pilot project funding in 2012, the CTSI received 92 proposals and made 31 one-year awards totaling close to $550,000.

In addition, several new CTSI-supported resources became available over the last year to expand, facilitate and strengthen translational research:

Participant Recruitment

  • As part of the CTSI Study Registry project, the CTSI maintains searchable listings for health research studies that are enrolling participants on the CTSI StudyConnect website and the patient-centric UFandShands.org site, both of which launched in 2012.
  • The CTSI helped facilitate the fall pilot of UF Consent2Share, a system-wide initiative to offer patients an opportunity to share tissue left over from their health-care visits for research and/or to be contacted about future research studies (see On the Same Page, December 2012).

Research Infrastructure

  • Supported in part by the CTSI, the UF Academic Health Center Integrated Data Repository team deployed the web-based i2b2 tool and developed an online training module to enable researchers to access IDR data for cohort identification and other research activities. The IDR collects and organizes clinical data from various clinical and administrative systems within the institution to support improved care and research in a secure and HIPAA-compliant environment.
  • In collaboration with the McKnight Brain Institute, the CTSI Human Imaging Core was established in June with the arrival of core director Song Lai, Ph.D.
  • In October, the CTSI Biorepository became one of the first 12 biorepositories in the country to be accredited by the College of American Pathologists.

Translation to Clinical Practice

On June 25, the CTSI’s Personalized Medicine Program led the implementation of a new standard of care to routinely screen interventional cardiology patients treated at Shands at UF for genetic variations that might affect how their bodies respond to clopidogrel, a common anticlotting drug. To date, more than 450 patients have been tested for CYP2C19, the genotype that affects how the body responds to clopidogrel. Approximately 22% of the screened patients have genotypes associated with impaired metabolism of clopidogrel and other drugs metabolized by CYP2C19. In collaboration with UF Pathology Laboratories, the program also launched a research study to test the feasibility of using a custom gene chip to safely and efficiently expand personalized medicine at UF&Shands.

Research Collaborations

Thanks to significant groundwork laid in 2012, several collaborative research initiatives supported in part by the CTSI are poised to reach new milestones in 2013: HealthStreet, Health IMPACTS for Florida, the national Hepatitis C Therapeutic Registry and Research Network, development of an integrated metabolomics center based in Florida, and emerging partnerships at Lake Nona with Orlando Health and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute.