UF CTSI Year in Review

The UF CTSI’s 2014 accomplishments are recapped below and were included in the two-part January issue of On the Same Page:

CTSI Research Day 2014 Poster Session
CTSI scholars, trainees and pilot project awardees present their research at a 2014 poster session in the Clinical and Translational Research Building.

The CTSI continued to serve as a catalytic hub for translational research by leading transformative programs, providing services and resources for research teams, offering a diverse portfolio of training programs and community engagement opportunities, and collaboratively developing a vision for the next five years. The CTSI served more than 1,000 investigators in 2014.

The CTSI also welcomed two new program directors who joined the university through the UF Preeminence initiative: William R. Hogan, M.S., M.D., a professor of health outcomes and policy in the College of Medicine and director of the CTSI Biomedical Informatics Program, and Janice L. Krieger, Ph.D., an associate professor of advertising in the College of Journalism and Communications and director of the CTSI Communication Research Program.

CTSI accomplishments reflect the dedication of hundreds of faculty, staff and students from across the university and of partners throughout the state.


CTSI efforts to transform the research environment gained significant momentum in 2014.

OneFlorida: In June, the Florida Department of Health’s James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program awarded a $1.6 million grant to UF to help establish the OneFlorida Clinical Research Consortium. The grant is supporting development of the statewide OneFlorida network and its related infrastructure; a pragmatic clinical trial examining practice interventions to enhance provider screening, counseling and referrals for tobacco cessation; and a new minority education program in collaboration with Edward Waters College and Florida A&M University. Led by the UF CTSI in collaboration with Florida State University and the University of Miami, the OneFlorida network has been the site for two completed implementation science studies and three ongoing pragmatic clinical trials involving more than 120 different physician practices and 15,000 patients.

Personalized Medicine: Developed within the UF CTSI, the UF Health Personalized Medicine Program continued its work on multiple fronts to develop, implement, study and refine methods that allow genetic information to be used as a routine part of patient care. The program published the results and lessons learned from its successful first year of implementing genetic testing to guide antiplatelet therapy for interventional cardiology patients at UF Health, implemented clinical genetic testing services for additional medications and launched new education programs. As part of its dissemination strategy, the program also created a new website with resources for patients, clinicians and researchers, including SNP•its, an online publication for health care professionals interested in the clinical implications of pharmacogenomics research.

Pilot Programs: CTSI pilot support for interdisciplinary and investigator-initiated translational research was augmented by two new opportunities launched by CTSI programs in 2014. In collaboration with the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Education at UF Health, the CTSI Implementation Science Program awarded four Pipeline to Proposal Development grants to create new opportunities for patients to help shape research priorities related to autism, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dental emergencies and obesity. The Southeast Center for Integrated Metabolomics awarded its first round of competitive Pilot & Feasibility Project Awards, which enhance metabolomics research by providing support for investigators new to the field, the development of new teams and partnerships, and high-risk/ high-impact research. The 2014 awards supported 11 projects led by investigators at UF as well as Cornell University, the University of Illinois, the University of Miami, the University of North Florida and Yeshiva University.

Research Services & Resources

The CTSI developed its new Service Center to help research teams efficiently access the CTSI’s 45 research services, navigate the UF research landscape and connect with potential collaborators. New services supported in 2014 include the Center for Cellular Reprogramming, which is using CTSI support to initiate services, resources and training for induced Pluripotent Stem Cell derivation and related reprogramming technologies, and the Center for Safety, Simulation & Advanced Learning Technologies, which is using CTSI support to help to align, advance and expand access to novel simulation resources available at UF.

Education & Engagement

Education: The CTSI enhanced and expanded its career and professional development programs, including reconfiguring its long-standing Advanced Postgraduate Program in Clinical Investigation to create the Training and Research Academy for Clinical and Translational Science (TRACTS). A unique two-year, tuition-funded mentored training program for UF clinicians, TRACTS is designed to provide junior faculty and senior fellows with sufficient research experience, didactic knowledge and publishable research outcomes to be competitive for NIH K-level mentored research awards. The CTSI welcomed new KL2,TL1 and TRACTS scholars as well as the CTSI Mentor Academy’s first cohort of Master Mentors.

Engagement: The CTSI developed new opportunities for community engagement, including Our Community, Our Health. Launched by HealthStreet and the CTSI in 2014, Our Community, Our Health is a quarterly public forum that brings together researchers and the community to foster an open dialogue to help patients and consumers understand health research findings, and to identify community-driven research priorities. In the spring, the CTSI also teamed up with UF Health Communications and the UF Center for Precollegiate Education and Training to engage the campus community and Florida science teachers in the National Institutes of Health Common Fund 10-Year Commemoration video contest, resulting in UF’s creative science videos claiming three of the top six spots nationwide.

Vision for the Future

During the last four months of 2014, the CTSI collaborated with more than 90 faculty and staff as well as its Community Advisory Board to develop a grant application for its next five years of funding through the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Award program. The application lays out a vision for building on UF’s unique strengths to chart new pathways for translational workforce development, embed translational science throughout our learning health system, expand statewide collaborations and accelerate the collective impact of the national CTSA network.