Event Recap: CTSI Research Day

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute, or CTSI, hosted its annual Research Day on April 14 – an event that celebrated research excellence in clinical and translational science across the University of Florida and Florida State University, or UF+FSU, Clinical and Translational Science Award hub. The event consisted of a special keynote presentation on community-engaged health research as well as a poster session that showcased the breadth of research being conducted across UF’s academic health center.

The event was kicked off with a keynote presentation by Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of clinical internal medicine from the University of California, or UC, Davis School of Medicine. Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola is also the founding director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at UC Davis Health and serves as director of the Community Engagement Program of the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center. As someone who specializes in community-engaged research, Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola presented valuable insights on needs-centered approaches to achieving health equity for underserved communities in the Solano County area of California. His experiences include implementing a collaborative intervention to increase access to care and use of services, called the Solano County Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Cultural Transformation Model, or ICCTM. This project involved using an interdisciplinary approach to create and implement health strategies defined by community needs and incorporating appropriate linguistic and cultural considerations to address unmet mental health service needs.  

After the keynote, attendees were given the opportunity to attend a special lunch with Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola. This lunch allowed them to engage in meaningful discussions, network with colleagues, and gain insights from Dr. Aguilar-Gaxiola’s extensive experience. The casual and interactive atmosphere facilitated open conversations and enabled participants to deepen their understanding of the research process, learn about potential collaborations, and explore new avenues for future investigation.

The poster session was another central component of CTSI Research Day, featuring an impressive lineup of 41 presenters showcasing their innovative research endeavors. These posters highlighted the complex and multifaceted nature of clinical and translational research, as well as the importance of collaboration in advancing scientific discovery and improving patient care. The posters on display represented many clinical research areas, including public health, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and biomedical engineering. One of the remarkable aspects of this year’s CTSI Research Day was the incredible diversity of participants involved in the event. Attendees included students, trainees, scholars, pilot awardees, faculty and staff from various scientific disciplines and research backgrounds. This rich diversity fostered an interdisciplinary collaboration and learning environment, allowing for a free exchange of ideas, knowledge, and perspectives between attendees and participants.

Overall, CTSI Research Day succeeded at highlighting the innovative research being conducted at UF and beyond and served as an excellent platform for participants to share their findings, exchange ideas, and receive valuable feedback from their peers.