Title: CTSI newsletter
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090016/00014
 Material Information
Title: CTSI newsletter
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Florida
Publisher: Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: December 2009
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Bibliographic ID: UF00090016
Volume ID: VID00014
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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From the Director
Biomedical Mass
Spectrometry Labo-
ratory: Exploring the
Molecules of Life
NIH Announces First
National Research
Study Recruitment
The CTSI Web Portal:
The Right Technology
at the Right Time
Pilot Project Grants
NIH Student Intern-
ship Opportunity
The Last Page....

Volume 2, Issue 8 December 2009


Clinical and Translational Science Institute University of Florida Gainesville, FL 352.273.8700

We have several holiday treats stuffed in this issue of the CTSI
Newsletter, from molecular phenotyping through metabolomics to
research opportunities at NIH for students. There's also a wonder-
ful new resource, called Researchmatch, that connects investigators to patients
interested in participating in clinical trials. An update on the CTSI's Research
Portal fills the stocking. Last of all, we have specially gift-wrapped the an-
nouncement of awards from those who applied to our latest RFA for seed funds
to jump-start new clinical and translational research initiatives.

The CTSI will be taking an extended holiday break next month, so the
Newsletter will resume in February. In the meantime, all of us in the CTSI
extend our very best wishes to you for a Holiday Season filled with health,
happiness and peace.

Happy Reading!

Peter W. Stacpoole, PhD, MD
Director, Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Associate Dean for Clinical Research and Training

Volume 2, Issue 8 December 2009

Superman and Ironman have joined forces with UF
researchers in the battle to unravel the chemical
complexities of the human body.

They are the aptly nicknamed newest and oldest analytical
instrument s in the UF's Biomedical Mass Spectrometry
Laboratory. Superman, the newest member of the lab's
team, got its moniker because of its increased capacity, and
better, faster and cheaper technology, while after a decade
of demanding labor, Ironman is still churning out data
about some of the body's most mysterious compounds and
processes. The Mass Spectrometry lab is one of four facili-
ties that comprise the CTSI's Metabolomic Core which
also includes existing the Chemistry and Analytical Toxi-
cology labs and one planned in Nutrition where scientists
study the chemical processes involving the byproducts of
metabolism in living organisms.

In conjunction with their human colleagues, Superman,
Ironman and four other mass spectrometry instruments
work to help increase understanding of the small molecules
contained in blood and urine and the body's other biologi-
cal fluids by determining their chemical compositions
and structures. The purpose of the laboratory is to aid UF
researchers in developing procedures for testing and mea-
suring the activity of these molecular compounds, which
ultimately will result in better care and treatments for
patients with a variety of diseases and conditions, includ-
ing cancer, Alzheimer's, and organ transplantation, said Dr.
Tim Garrett, PhD, the laboratory's director.

"Mass spectrometry can't necessarily solve everything but
it can solve a lot of puzzles, and so it's one of the more
widely used analytical tools because of its high sensitiv-
ity and specificity," he said. Part of the goal of the lab is to
work with researchers to develop a way to analyze small
molecules within a body fluid that would provide some
measure of progression, status or other clinical marker of
the disease being investigated, and then if it works in a
research setting to move it into a clinical diagnostic appli-
cation, he said.

Dr. Garrett and two senior doctoral-trained chemists who
staff the Mass Spectrometry lab help to identify the mo-
lecular information that's contained in a fluid and the best
approach for measuring it, and then analyze the samples
collected through the study, and quantify the data. Once
they know the concept a researcher is interested in investi-
gating, the chemists conduct research and literature reviews
to see if it has been measured previously, and what has and
hasn't worked. If it hasn't been measured before, they try
to figure out a way to do it. This method development stage
is the most difficult and time consuming, and depending on
how difficult the procedure is, how many chemical com-
ponents are involved, and the problems that may come up
along the way, it sometimes can take several months even
for the lab's molecular experts.

One project with which Dr. Garrett and the Mass Spectrom-
etry lab are currently involved is a pediatric liver transplan-
tation study, in collaboration with Dr. Vikas Dharnidharka,
investigating the amino acid tryptophan, and one of its
metabolites called kynurenine in blood and urine. These
compounds measure the activity of the immune system, but
have also been linked to changes in the brain associated
with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. How the tryp-
tophan is broken down by the body can determine whether
the byproducts or metabolites of these compounds are
beneficial or toxic, and understanding those processes is
important for the clinical care of patients.

"In this organ transplantation project, if a patient's immune
system is activated [as measured the by ratio of kynurenine
to tryptophan] that means they may be rejecting the organ,"
he said. "We want to know before rejection occurs," so
what we're trying to figure out is a technique or assay
- that can be used in clinical situations to monitor and mea-
sure a patient over time before a rejection occurs so it can
be predicted, prevented or handled more effectively.

"It's just preliminary right now so we don't know, but
hopefully that will be a measure of success or failure of the
organ transplantation" that would eventually be a diag-

Clinical and Translational Science Institute University of Florida Gainesville, FL 352.273.8700

Volume 2, Issue 8 December 2009

nostic measure for all transplant patients, Dr. Garrett said.
"There are some studies that seem to suggest that it will be
useful, but we don't know right now."

He and the Mass Spectrometry lab also are involved in
a joint UF-Moffitt Cancer Center project investigating

tryptophan and kynuren-
ine with respect to breast
cancer prognosis, through
a similar approach, he
said. The study is looking
at whether the assay can
be used to determine if
the immune system plays
a critical role in cancer
prognosis and treatment
using banked human
blood samples. Dr.
Garrett expects to ex-
amine other metabolites
of tryptophan as well,
including quinolinic acid,
which has been found in
elevated concentrations in
the brains of people with

a host of small molecules and their components. After the
proteins have been precipitated out of a sample (proteins
are not small molecules and so are analyzed in a different
lab), Superman or another mass spectrometer utilizes the
liquid portion to generate charged molecules or molecule
fragments and then measures the mass of this charged spe-

Dr. Tim Garrett, director of UF's Biomedical Mass Spectrometry
Laboratory, stands next to "Superman," the lab's newest instrument
for analyzing blood and other biological fluids. Superman is a mass
spectrometer that has enhanced sensitivity, and can identify and mea-
sure compounds in samples in about half the time and more cheaply
than some older models.

"What we want to do is
measure not just two analytes [components], we want to
measure multiple analytes in one pathway multiple mol-
ecules that are related by metabolism or structure," Garrett
said. "We want to understand tryptophan metabolism better
and that's where metabolomics comes in." This also has
value for measuring drugs that may be used in these condi-
tions as well as in examining them to determine the path-
ways they follow in the body to see how they are working.

Mass spectrometry is a complex technique that measures
ions, which are positively or negatively charged particles.
Only a very small sample of blood or fluid is needed, yet
the technique can provide very specific information about

cies (mass-to-charge ra-
tio). These measurements
can be used to determine
the composition or
structures of a sample or
molecule and quantify the
precise amount present.

At any given time, the
Mass Spectrometry lab
is assisting with seven to
10 studies, but Dr. Gar-
rett hopes to make the
lab a resource for more
researchers. He welcomes
those involved in stud-
ies that may benefit from
molecular analysis to talk
with him or the Mass
Spectrometry lab's other
chemists. They will not
only help identify the best

technique for analyzing the molecular substances of spe-
cific interest, but also can provide insight on other related
substances that may be valuable in a study. In addition,
the staff can suggest ways to properly prepare samples to
ensure they are usable, including when it should be drawn,
and whether it must be frozen or contain preservatives in
order to ensure the samples are usable.

"We want investigators to know that we're here to help
them," Garrett said, by providing support and advice that
can assist them in making their next conclusion or perhaps
in getting their next grant.

Clinical and Translational Science Institute University of Florida Gainesville, FL 352.273.8700

Volume 2, Issue 8 December 2009


Nationwide Registry to "Match"
Volunteers with Researchers

Individuals who want to participate in research studies
now can connect online with researchers nationwide
through the first disease-neutral, volunteer recruitment

Researchmatch.org is a not-for-profit secure Web site, de-
signed to provide people who are interested in participating
in research the opportunity to be matched with studies that
may be the right fit for them.

Researchmatch offers an easy-to-use, free and safe way for
volunteers to connect with thousands of researchers who
are conducting research on a wide range of diseases.

The site is a collaborative effort of the national network
of medical research institutions affiliated with the Clinical
and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs). The CTSA
program, which is led by the a part of the National Insti-
tutes of Health, is focused on enhancing local and national
efforts to enhance the translation of laboratory discoveries
into treatments for patients.

"Participant recruitment continues to be a significant barrier
to the completion of research studies nationwide recent
NIH data indicates that just 4 percent of the U.S. popula-
tion has participated in clinical trials," said NCRR Director
Barbara Alving, M.D. "Researchmatch is a tool that can im-
prove the connection and communication between potential
participants and researchers providing opportunities for the
public to contribute to advancing new treatments."

The convenient and user-friendly registry employs a fa-
miliar research matching model that is complementary to
Clinicaltrials.gov. One key difference is that Researchmatch
places the burden of connecting the right volunteers with
the right study on the researchers, whereas Clinicaltrials.
gov asks volunteers to identify the trials that could work for

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"Researchmatch offers a convenient solution to the com-
plex, competitive and often costly participant recruitment
system," said Gordon Bernard, M.D., principal investigator
of the Vanderbilt CTSA, which hosts the national registry.
"NIH data indicates that 85 percent of trials don't finish
on time due to low patient participation, and 30 percent of
trial sites fail to enroll even a single patient. We aim to help
combat these challenges with Researchmatch."

How Researchmatch Works

Researchmatch will match any interested individual
residing in the United States with researchers who are
approved to recruit potential research volunteers through
the system. After an individual has self-registered to
become a volunteer, Researchmatch's security features
ensure that personal information is protected until
volunteers authorize the release of their contact information
to a specific study that may be of interest to them.
Volunteers are notified electronically when they are a
possible match and then make the decision regarding the
release of their contact information. It also will promote
choice as there are no obligations on the volunteer to
participate in studies.

Clinical and Translational Science Institute University of Florida Gainesville, FL 352.273.8700

Volume 2, Issue 8 December 2009

For the first year of the project, only researchers affiliated with participating CTSA institutions are eligible
to use ResearchMatch. However, plans are in place to make ResearchMatch available beyond the CTSA
consortium by 2011. Currently 52 individual institutions associated with 40 CTSA sites are part of the
ResearchMatch network. A list of these institutions may be viewed here (http://ncrr.nih.gov/clinical_research_
resources/clinical and translational_science_awards/researchmatch).

To learn more about ResearchMatch and to register as a volunteer, visit: www.researchmatch.org.

The nascent Web portal is the virtual home for the CTSI, providing quick and easy access to a variety of resources

beneficial to translational scientists. The portal was developed by the Clinical and Translational Research Infor-
matics Program (CTRIP) and is administratively housed within the Regulatory Knowledge and Research Support
(RKRS) core of the institute. As envisioned in the CTSA grant, the portal is eventually intended to provide access to many
CTSI activities and services, and currently contains the following:

The latest News & Events in translational research;
CTSI Lecture Series announcements and archived seminar videos;
Repository of CTSI Newsletters;
Online course registration and document repository for GMS 7093: Intro to Clinical/Translational Research;
Up-to-date information about each CTSI program, its goals and contact information for program leads;
Quick Links to local and national resources on interest;
Shands Clinical Research Unit electronic protocol applications and consultation request forms;
Details about current funding opportunities as well as prior awardees;
Connection to ResearchMatch research volunteer network;
CTSI Annual Report upload mechanism.

In all, it has been a successful four months since the portal 'went live', but much more is planned in the near future. As we
move into year two of the CTSA, additional features will be rolled-out, including document sharing & collaboration tools,
distributed content management and the implementation of workflows to facilitate processes that currently take place via
less efficient methods.

We look forward with excitement to building new portal tools that will benefit translational research here at UF. Got an
idea? We'd love to hear it. Provide your feedback here.

Clinical and Translational Science Institute University of Florida Gainesville, FL 352.273.8700 5

Volume 2, Issue 8 December 2009

In September we announced an RFA for seed money support through our Pilot and Collaborative Projects Program.
We received 38 proposals by the September 16 deadline for receipt of applications. The Programs' Executive Commit-
tee made the following awards on December 1, 2009 with funding available by December 1, 2009.

CTSI Pilot and Collaborative Project Program Awards (December, 2009).
Category Academic
Title of Project Award
Awardee Affiliation
Graduate Student
Emily Plowman Prine College of Neural Mechanisms of Oral Motor Dysfunction in an Ani- $ 7,500
Medicine mal Model of Parkinson's Disease.
Catherine Marcinkiewcz College of Elucidating the role of the organic cation transporter 3 $ 7,500
Medicine (OCT3) in the pharmacological response to antidepressant
Junior Faculty
Azra Bihorac, M.D. College of Hypoxia-induced angiogenic factors, progenitor endothelial $ 15,000
Medicine cells and urinary markers of hypoxic injury as an early tool
for the assessment of endothelial injury and repair in severe
trauma and hemorrhagic shock.
Ginger Clark, M.D. M.S. College of Assessment of Liver Test Abnormalities in Adults with $ 20,000
Medicine Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency.
Major Initiatives Program
Michael Haller, M.D. College of Reversing Type 1 Diabetes After it is Established: A Pilot $ 49,668
Medicine Safety and Feasibility Study of Anti-Thymocyte Globulin
(Thymoglobulin) and Pegylated GCSF (Neulasta) in
Established Type 1 Diabetes.
Hartmut Derendorf, Ph.D. College of Pharmacokinetic / Pharmacodynamic Modeling of the Psy- $ 62,250
Pharmacy chomotor Vigilance, Simulated Driving, Go/No-Go Perfor-
mance, and Electroencephalogram Effects of Armodafinil
in Sleep Deprived Healthy Adults.
John F. Valentine, M.D. College of Genetic and Microbial Interactions in Crohn's Disease. $ 48,921
Roger B. Fillingim, Ph.D. College of Effects of OA-Related Pain on Telomere Length and $ 38,938
Dentistry Telomerase Activity.
C. Leeuwenburgh, Ph.D. College of Diaphragm Mitochondrial Dysfunction During Prolonged $ 45,869
Medicine Mechanical Ventil.
Erin M. Dunbar, M.D. College of Phase I, Open-Label, Single-Arm, Clinical and Metabolo- $ 54,861
Medicine mic Study of Dichloroacetate DCA in Adults With Recur-
rent Malignant Brain Tumors.

Clinical and Translational Science Institute University of Florida Gainesville, FL 352.273.8700

Volume 2, Issue 8 December 2009

CTSI Pilot and Collaborative Project Program Awards (December, 2009) (Continued).
Category Academic
a r Afatio Title of Project Award
Awardee Affiliation
Major Initatives Program
Connie J. Mulligan, Ph.D. College of Pilot investigation of the role of epigenetic methylation $ 47,655
Liberal Arts and in mediating risk of hypertension in a study population of
Sciences African Americans in Tallahassee.
Novel Methods* and Technology

Peter P. Sayeski, Ph.D. College of In vivo characterization of a novel Jak2 tyrosine kinase $ 25,000
Medicine inhibitor for the treatment of Jak2 mediated human patholo-
Mark D. Tillman, Ph.D. College of Health Wheelchair Ergonomic Hand Drive. $ 24,756
and Human Per-
Total $ 447,917
*Multiple co-investigators and/or colleges were represented by these proposals, but only the PIs and their
colleges are listed.

Congratulations to the awardees! Competition was stiff and many meritorious proposals could not be funded.
For those who did not apply or who were unsuccessful this round, we plan to announce the next RFA in the
Spring of 2010.


Clinical and Translational Science Institute University of Florida Gainesville, FL 352.273.8700

Volume 2, Issue 8 December 2009

NIH Student Research and Education Awards
Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities (MHIDD)
Children's Hospital, Boston, Harvard Medical School

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) sponsored Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities (MHDD)
Research and Education Program based in the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
(UCEDD) at the Children's Hospital Boston, in collaboration with Harvard Medical School and the Institute for
Community Inclusion, invites applications for NIH Student Internship Awards. These internships aim to stimulate
interdisciplinary research interests and early experiences in mental health aspects of developmental disorders affect-
ing children, adolescents, and young adults. The program includes participation in a research education practicum
with mentored-experience, participation in relevant lectures and coursework. The program activities are expected to
lead to scholarly presentation and peer-review publication.

There are two levels of awards for medical students:
(1) NIH Summer Internships in MH/DD for end-of-first-year medical students with a seven-week full-time commit-
ment in Boston usually from mid-June to end of July. Awardees receive a $4,000 stipend plus support for well-justi-
fied travel to conduct scientific presentations. (2) NIH Scholars Program in MH/DD for more advanced year medical
students (3rd year or above) interested in developing in-depth national or international research projects related to
MH/DD. Awardees receive a flexible stipend that is pro-rated to the duration of their program commitment. Award-
ees may also receive support for additional research related coursework and well-justified travel for scientific presen-

Eligibility: US citizenship or permanent resident status is required. Women, minorities and individuals with a special
commitment to disabilities affecting developing children are particularly encouraged to apply. Eligible applicants
should submit: (1) an up to date CV; (2) official copy of college and medical school transcripts; (3) two letters of
reference (one from a current academic dean/faculty adviser); and (4) a personal statement (500 words) describ-
ing interest in MH/DD and related interests. Applications are rolling. Applications received by February 15 will be
decided by March 1.

Areas of study include research projects on autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disabilities, or related mental
health aspects of behavioral phenotypes of known genetic and metabolic developmental disorders. Clinical, epide-
miological, operational, services, policy, and/or research ethics questions in MH/DD are particularly welcome.

For inquiries and applications please contact:
Dr. Kerim Munir, Program Director ; Beverley Gilligan, Program Coordinator
Division of Developmental Medicine & Department of Psychiatry
Children's Hospital Boston, 300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Tel 617 818 1853; Fax 617-730-0049
E-mail: kerim.munir@childrens.harvard.edu ; beverley.gilligan@childrens.harvard.edu

Clinical and Translational Science Institute University of Florida Gainesville, FL 352.265.273.8700

Volume 2, Issue 8 December 2009


Did you know that there are multiple venues through which both internal and external jobs are posted?

For Job Seekers
https://jobs.ufl.edu University of Florida jobs postings.
http://www.union.ufl.edu/jobs/ Reitz Union student job listings.
http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/programs/workstudy Federal Work-Study Program.
http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/programs/ops.html Other Personnel Services jobs.
http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/programs/oce.html Off-Campus jobs.
http://www.sfa.ufl.edu/programs/vaworkstudy.html Veteran's Affairs Work-Study.

Subscribe to the CTSI Listserv
Ensure that you receive future editions of this Newsletter by subscribing to the CTSI-ANNOUNCE-L Listserv.
It's quick and easy to do and will allow you to also receive other CTSI announcements as they are distributed.
To subscribe, simply send an email to listserv@ lists.ufl.edu with the message:
SUBSCRIBE CTSI-ANNOUNCE-L your-first-name your-last-name

Publication Acknowledgement

For all publications, CTSI investigators and trainees should remember to acknowledge the CTSI thusly:
This work was supported in part by NIH grant 1UL1RR029890 (Clinical and Translational Science Award)

Clinical and Translational Science Institute University of Florida Gainesville, FL 352.265.273.8700

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