ACTRI Announcements

ACTRI-Supported Ethics Forum: Should We Ask Terminally Ill Patients Infected with HIV to Donate Their Bodies to Science?

January 23, 2018 – The goal of the Last Gift study is to better understand how HIV remains hidden from both the person’s immune system and current HIV therapy. By discontinuing HIV therapy from terminally-ill volunteers, the return of the virus can be tracked with periodic blood draws, and the residual reservoirs can subsequently be identified at autopsy. Results of such studies could help develop ways to clear these reservoirs with future therapies. What are the challenges to ensuring that these patient can give truly informed consent to participate in this human subjects research? What measures are already in place to protect the interests of the patient and her or his family? How can we achieve the goals of the research while still respecting the autonomy and dignity of these terminally ill patients?

ACTRI Invites Researchers to Translational Science Symposium

January 18, 2018 – UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) invites researchers and staff to the Translational Science Symposium on Thursday, April 5, 2018, at the ACTRI Building. Dr. Robert Califf, a former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, is scheduled to deliver the keynote talk at 4 p.m. in the ACTRI Auditorium. Dr. Califf is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in cardiovascular medicine and former vice chancellor of clinical and translational research at Duke University. He served as FDA Commissioner from February 2016-January 2017. This annual symposium features presentations by ACTRI-supported researchers and a distinguished keynote speaker, as well as information about ACTRI resources.

ACTRI-Supported Ethics Forum: Should We Use Genetically Engineered Plants to Help Mitigate Climate Change?

December 11, 2017 – Expansion of the human population increases CO2 levels which result in decreased crop yields due to weather extremes. Solutions are emerging to help remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Molecular plant biology and plant engineering provide a way to mitigate climate change. How do we balance the risk of unchecked climate change with the risk of creating genetically modified plants? How can we anticipate the long term effects of using genetically modified plants?

ACTRI-Supported Ethics Forum—Social Media: How should researchers balance your privacy with public health benefit?

November 9, 2017 – Social media use is now ubiquitous. Popular platforms such as Facebook and Twitter command millions and even billions of users, making their online communities larger than the population of many countries. As the number of users interacting continues to grow, so does the amount of data generated. And much of that data is in the public domain – accessible to companies, researchers, and the government. This presentation will highlight some of these challenges from the perspective of a researcher exploring the social media risk environment for prescription drug abuse who often asks himself where the line in digital ethics resides.

ACTRI-Supported Ethics Forum: Are We Ready to Edit Our Children’s Genes?

October 16, 2017 – Just ten years ago, questions about editing genomes of the next human generation were largely hypothetical. The prospect of erasing fatal or debilitating diseases was seen as a goal worth pursuing, even as some worried about the slippery slope of using this technology to create “designer babies.” Since then, the science has progressed rapidly. We now have a variety of tools that move these possibilities from theoretical to plausible. read more

ACTRI Co-hosts Implementation Science Seminar

October 6, 2017–UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) is co-hosting an Implementation Science Seminar by Dr. Byron J. Powell on Wednesday, November 15, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center (CASRC).

Trial Innovation Network Announces Two New Opportunities in Efficacy to Effectiveness Trial Design

August 3, 2017–The Trial Innovation Network (TIN) is now offering researchers two new opportunities in Efficacy to Effectiveness (E2E) trial design. Through the E2E approach, an effectiveness trial would commence seamlessly upon completion of the efficacy trial. E2E trials are prospectively designed to address the effectiveness and safety gaps that often occur in standard randomized controlled trials, and offer an opportunity for improved understanding of how a treatment will work in more usual real-world clinical settings.

ACTRI and Pfizer Offer Pre-Proposal Meetings for Drug Discovery Collaboration Opportunity
Call for Proposals Will Be Announced in August

Pre-proposal meetings are available to UC San Diego Health Sciences faculty interested in an upcoming collaboration opportunity for drug discovery with Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI). UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) and Pfizer will announce the collaboration opportunity next month. Dr. Mary Faris, Director, Partnership & Strategic Alliances, Pfizer CTI, is available to meet with investigators interested in working with Pfizer and discussing their projects for suitability for a drug discovery partnership. Proposals will be due Oct. 10, 2017.

Save the Date! February 27-28, 2018 – Office for Human Research Protections and UC San Diego to Host Research Community Forum 

The federal Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) is teaming up with University of California San Diego and local research institutions to host a two-day Research Community Forum in San Diego. The forum, aimed at Institutional Review Board (IRB) members, IRB administrators, clinical investigators, research scientists and support staff, sponsors, contract research organizations, government regulators and members of the research community, includes a workshop on day one and a conference on day two. The workshop is an opportunity for the research community to engage directly with OHRP staff to explore and understand how to interpret and apply the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations and policies on human research protections. The Conference will foster thought-provoking topics and stimulating discussion and will include break-out sessions covering a broad range of research topics including central/single IRBs and related issues, innovative care, quality improvement, technology, the learning healthcare environment and more. The event has planning support from Scripps Health, Sharp HealthCare, San Diego State University, Stanford University and Quorum Review IRB.

ACTRI Invites Applications for 2018 Pilot Projects

May 15, 2017–UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) is pleased to announce the availability of Pilot Project Grants for 2018. These grants are one-year awards (up to $30,000) to provide funding for early stage projects. The award categories are: Clinical and Translational Research; and Life Course Research.

Trial Innovation Network Launched to Facilitate Multi-site Clinical Studies
ACTRI is a TIN Hub Liaison Team

April 4, 2017—The Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program has launched the Trial Innovation Network (TIN) to facilitate multi-site clinical studies and is seeking Network proposals. UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI), funded in part through a CTSA grant, is a TIN Hub Liaison Team and is available for consultation on Network proposals.

The Trial Innovation Network addresses critical roadblocks in clinical trials and accelerates the translation of novel interventions into life-saving therapies. The Network focuses on operational innovation, operational excellence, and collaboration while leveraging the expertise and resources of the CTSA Program. Features include a single institutional review board system, master contracting agreements, quality-by-design approaches, and a focus on evidence-based strategies to recruitment and patient engagement. Key TIN elements for increasing efficiency and flexibility of multi-site studies are the single IRB reliance using the SMART IRB Exchange and the utilization of master/standard agreements.

The Trial Innovation Network is accepting Network Project Proposals for basic consultation or services, or comprehensive consultation. The Network prioritizes proposals for multi-center clinical trials and studies with patient-oriented endpoints with potential for impact on clinical practice and operational innovation.

UC San Diego investigators are required to contact the ACTRI Hub Liaison Team to discuss their TIN proposal and submit it for a pre-review by the ACTRI Scientific Review Committee. Please contact ACTRI team medical director Mark S. Wallace or team project manager Archana Bhatt to begin the consultation and pre-review process. These initial consultations provide guidance in developing your Network project proposal to the NIH.

Learn more about the Trial Innovation Network and the ACTRI Hub Liaison Team

ACTRI Co-Hosts April 5 Dissemination, Implementation and Improvement Science Webinar

March 14, 2017— A webinar, “Lessons Learned with Implementation of a Pragmatic Trial of Physical Activity Coaching in COPD,” will be presented by Dr. Huong Q. Nguyen on Wednesday, April 5, from Noon to 1 P.M.

ACTRI and IEM Invite Engineering Applications for 2017 Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine (GEM) Awards

February 28, 2017–UC San Diego Altman Clinical and Translational Research Institute (ACTRI) and the Institute of Engineering in Medicine (IEM) invite engineers to submit proposals for Phase II of the Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine (GEM) awards. The GEM challenge is composed of two phases with the overarching goal of building a collaborative ecosystem that leverages UC San Diego’s outstanding strengths in clinical care and engineering to develop and implement innovative healthcare solutions. Phase I of the competition invites clinically active UC San Diego faculty to submit a proposal identifying a specific challenge in patient care that is amenable to an innovative engineering solution. Phase II of the competition invites engineers to propose solutions to the top ranking Phase I proposals, with the aim of incentivizing engineers to work with clinicians to solve some of the most pressing challenges.

UC-Optum Labs Call for Proposals—Deadline is Feb. 2

January 31, 2017 – The University of California-OptumLabs partnership was established to help accelerate improvements in patient care and value. The 10-year strategic relationship will help transition California to a value-based health care system while leveraging the expertise of each organization to examine broader trends in care delivery. As part of the strategic relationship between UC and OptumLabs, OptumLabs will provide up to 7 UC researchers with complimentary access (aka: “research credits”) to its data warehouse. We are soliciting proposals for research ideas that leverage the OptumLabs data.