UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center Holds 16th Annual Scholar Symposium

April 23, 2021

This week, the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) celebrated the graduation of its newest cohort of scholars who conduct innovative applied health research. During its 16th annual CTSC Scholar Symposium, 43 researchers presented their work to mentors and colleagues.

The event commenced with a welcome from Frederick J. Meyers, the director of the Research Training, Education, and Career Development (RTECD) Program at CTSC. It unfolded into three online sessions with presentations covering research on a wide range of diseases and conditions. The core themes of the event included patient-centered care, women’s health and cancer studies.

The scholars presented many innovative approaches to different health issues, such as the development of a rapid breath chemical analyzer for fast, personalized diagnostics and a novel West Nile Virus control strategy using birds. They also addressed neurological diseases and disorders, including the use of stem cell-based regenerative treatments and the development of dynamic vascular diagnostics for dementia.


UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center Holds 15th Annual Scholar Symposium

May 21, 2019

Julie Schweitzer, Rajpreet Chahal, Nick Kenyon - CTSC TL1 Pre-Doctoral Training Program Julie Schweitzer, Rajpreet Chahal, Nick Kenyon - CTSC TL1 Pre-Doctoral Training Program.

Thirty-four scholars presented their translational science research over two days at the 15th annual CTSC Scholar Symposium. The event (May 12-13) celebrated the work of the graduating scholars and provided the opportunity to share their research with the faculty, staff and the clinical research graduate group.

July 24, 2021

CTSC Welcomes New TL1 Scholars

Vanessa HullVanessa Hull, B.S./B.A., M.S.
Graduate Student in Neuroscience

Ms. Hull is currently studying potential therapies for Canavan disease, an inherited and devastating pediatric leukodystrophy. Canavan disease is characterized by extremely elevated levels of the abundant brain amino acid N-acetyl-L-aspartate (NAA) in the brain due to the loss of aspartoacylase, an oligodendroglial-enriched enzyme responsible for the break down of NAA.

Pablo Juarez, B.S.Pablo Juarez, B.S.
Graduate Student in Integrative Pathobiology

Mr. Juarez’s long-term career goal is to become a translational researcher that focuses on designing and implementing effective therapeutic approaches to improve the health and quality of life in autistic individuals. As a TL1 student, he seeks the knowledge and mentorship to ensure the success of his research and growth as a translational research scientist.

Morgan Kumro, B.S.Morgan Kumro, B.S.
Medical Student

Ms. Kumro’s research interests are in the field of neuroscience and intricacies of the central nervous system and studied patient morbidity and mortality regarding surgical treatment modalities for traumatic brain injury (TBI) in geriatric patients. As a TL1 student, she seeks to develop skills, knowledge, and breadth of experience working as a research investigator with the guidance of mentors who have significant experience conducting translational research.

Niraj Punjya, B.S.Niraj Punjya, B.S.
Medical Student

Mr. Punjya’s research interests include using gene therapies to treat genetic disorders. At UC Davis, he works with Dr. David Segal and Dr. Kyle Fink to study 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (DiGeorge syndrome) using CRISPR activation technologies to upregulate the deleted genes characterizing the disorder. His previous research experiences involved developing gene­-editing technologies to study myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) in the Porteus lab at Stanford University.

July 24, 2021

CTSC Welcomes New KL2 Scholars

Temitayo Oyegbile-ChidaTemitayo O. Oyegbile-Chidi, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Clinical Professor
Department of Neurology

Dr. Oyegbile-Chidi has a special interest in understanding sleep disorders in relation to co-existent neurologic and psychiatric conditions in both adults and children. She conducts clinical research in the field of epilepsy with a focus on understanding the mechanisms underlying cognitive impairment in children with epilepsy by evaluating sleep abnormalities and functional neuroimaging.

Meagan Talbott, Ph.D.Meagan Talbott, Ph.D.
Assistant Professional Researcher
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Talbott's research focuses on gesture and language development, early identification and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and telehealth approaches to evaluating infant development and treatment efficacy. She is currently studying the utility of a telehealth-based assessment for identifying infants at high likelihood of ASD, and the developmental trajectories and clinical outcomes of infants with very early symptoms.


June 1, 2021

UC Davis Distinction Awarded to Heather Siefkes, CTSC KL2 Scholar

Photo of Heather SiefkesHeather Siefkes

Heather Siefkes, assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Pediatrics, has received the 2021 Eli Gold Prize. Siefkes works in the Pediatric and Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at UC Davis Children’s Hospital and serves as medical director of Project ADAM Sacramento, which helps schools prepare for a sudden cardiac emergency through AED and CPR training.

The prize was named for Eli Gold, former professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Pediatrics, who supported and encouraged many young aspiring pediatricians. The annual award of $3,000 supports winners’ research and career development.

“In her relatively short time in our department, through a unique combination of focus, persistence and vision, Dr. Siefkes has established herself as a leader in clinical research,” said Jennifer Plant, division chief of pediatric critical care medicine at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, who nominated her for the award. “Dr. Siefkes has also made considerable contributions to the Department of Pediatrics, related to service, education and clinical work. She is a thorough and thoughtful clinician worthy of recognition for the quality of her work.”

Read the full story.


October 27, 2020

The CTSC Paves the Way for Promising Medical Researchers Through KL2 Awards

Jennifer Rosenthal and Stephanie CrossenJennifer Rosenthal and Stephanie Crossen

The Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) serves as UC Davis’ powerhouse for translational biomedical research. Its wide range of services and resources provides essential training and infrastructure for medical researchers to develop their studies and boost their careers. One great way the CTSC supports researchers is through the KL2 Mentored Career Development program.

“The KL2 Mentored Career Development program is an excellent opportunity for our junior faculty who conduct multidisciplinary, patient-centered clinical research,” said Allison Brashear, dean of the School of Medicine. “The program helps accelerate the career development of promising scholars and puts them on track to become independent clinical investigators.”

Under the KL2 program, qualified junior faculty are mentored by senior researchers and receive two years of financial support, with a possible one-year extension through a fund from the School of Medicine.

Read the full story.


October 2, 2020

UC Davis CTSC KL2 Scholar Stephanie Crossen Transitions to K23 Award

Stephanie CRossen

Stephanie Crossen, a pediatric endocrinologist and assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at UC Davis Health, will begin a four  year K23 training award funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Dr. Crossen will study several ways to leverage telehealth and connected health technology to improve care delivery and outcomes for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition with onset in childhood and requires close self-monitoring as well as frequent contact with a specialized medical team.

Pediatric endocrinologists are sparsely distributed, and patients often live several hours away from their diabetes providers. The use of telehealth and connected health technology to improve data-sharing and remote delivery of care has the potential to improve patient experiences as well as health outcomes for the growing population of youth living with type 1 diabetes.

“I see how hard they work to take care of themselves and their family, and how many hurdles they face in trying to achieve their goal. My role is to empower them with knowledge, support them with empathy and encouragement, and work hard to improve the way healthcare is delivered so that it is more accessible, equitable and effective,” said Crossen, who also shared that her clinical work and personal connections with patients and their families motivates her.

Dr. Crossen was selected to participate in the CTSC KL2 program in 2017. Her research, particularly timely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, will complement state and national efforts to develop innovative telehealth programs.

In 2006, the UC Davis CTSC was one of the inaugural 12 centers established across the United States in the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program supported by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS). Currently, in its third 5-year award period, the CTSC is one of approximately 60 NIH-supported centers funded to facilitate and accelerate the study of human health and disease to bring new treatments to patients and communities through biomedical research.

The project described was supported by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through grant number UL1 TR001860 and linked award KL2 TR001859. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.


October 2, 2020

UC Davis CTSC KL2 Scholar Jennifer Rosenthal Transitions to K23 Award

Jennifer Rosenthal

Jennifer Rosenthal, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics, will begin a four-year K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to study pediatric interfacility transfers.

Pediatric interfacility transfers are frequent but poorly studied events. Dr. Rosenthal's project, “Telemedicine Consultations to Improve Care Quality of Pediatric Hospital-to-Hospital Transfers” seeks to validate an instrument to measure family-centeredness for children in need of transfer from an Emergency Department to a higher level of care. The project will evaluate the feasibility and potential impact of telemedicine versus telephone communication with these transfers.

Dr. Rosenthal began her formal research career with the CTSC as a KL2 Scholar in 2017. She continued to build her research program and skills in the areas of telehealth and pediatric transition of care. Rosenthal credits the KL2 for helping her establish incredible professional relationships with other researchers at Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) hubs across the nation.

Currently, she serves as the CTSC KL2 scholar representative. She is one of the first to serve as a representative on the national leadership team and positioned to collaborate further on activities such as the 2020 Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) Conference Workforce Development Collaborative Planning Committee.

In addition, she is on the working group to establish a "CTSA Visiting Professorship" for KL2 Scholars to receive mentorship and training at other CTSA hubs and create new opportunities for them by fostering exchange of ideas and collaborations.

The K23 award will further support her career goal to become an independent investigator using technology to improve care quality during pediatric transfers and other care transitions. Dr. Rosenthal noted that the novel coronavirus pandemic drastically changed the adoption of telehealth. She considers this is an exciting time to be part of the team that is creating, adapting, and implementing innovative methods to provide quality care to patients.

In 2006, the UC Davis CTSC was one of the inaugural 12 centers established across the United States in the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program supported by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS). Currently, in its third 5-year award period, the CTSC is one of approximately 60 NIH-supported centers funded to facilitate and accelerate the study of human health and disease to bring new treatments to patients and communities through biomedical research.

The project described was supported by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through grant number UL1 TR001860 and linked award KL2 TR001859. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.


May 28, 2020

CTSC KL2 Scholar, Ian Koebner, — The Virtual Museum Experience: Can it Help Reduce Social Isolation?

Image of audience looking at art in a museum“Chronic pain is a complex condition,” said Ian Koebner, an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and the director of Integrative Pain Management at UC Davis Medical Center. “It affects the body, the mind, and can significantly impact social interactions. More than 100 million American adults suffer from chronic pain, which is more than those stricken with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined. We are trying to identify ways to more effectively address the problems associated with ongoing pain.”

February 2, 2020 — 22 min Art Rx PSA on Entercom radio stations (Sacramento)

Kat Maudru, Entercom Radio personality, Sacramento, CA. interviews Ian Koebner on the healing benefits of art as a modality when addressing chronic pain.


November 19, 2019 

CTSC KL2 Scholar Lisa Brown —  Lung Cancer Awareness, Importance of Screening

Lisa BrownAs part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a Facebook Live conversation was held on November 19 with thoracic surgeon, Lisa Brown, of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. Lisa Brown is assistant professor in the department of surgery.

View the recording to learn about lung cancer screening and more.

 

 

 


October 2, 2019

CTSC KL2 Scholar, Heather Siefkes, Receives NIH Grant to Establish Blood Flow Threshold

Jennifer SiefkesHeather Siefkes, assistant professor of pediatric critical care at UC Davis Children's Hospital, was awarded a Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) grant last month. She is working on improving critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) detection in newborns by measuring their blood flow levels in addition to the blood oxygen levels.

With the NICHD grant, Siefkes and her team will enroll 700 newborn babies at five hospitals, including UC Davis Children’s Hospital. Based on the blood flow screening of the babies, the researchers will develop a machine learning/artificial intelligence model to identify the perfusion (blood flow) value that can predict CCHD.


November 27, 2018

CTSC KL2 Scholar, Stephanie Crossen, Receives Judges' Award for Home-Based Telemedicine Project for Children with Diabetes at National Conference

Stephanie CrossenStephanie Crossen, an assistant professor of pediatrics, received the Judges’ Award for her exceptional presentation to improve care delivery for pediatric patients with poorly controlled Type 1 diabetes. She was recognized at the Society for Education and the Advancement of Research in Connected Health‘s Telehealth Research Symposium in San Diego on October 24, 2018.

September 16, 2021

Angela Jarman Named Women's Health Research Scholar for BIRCWH K12 Program

Image of Angela JarmanAngela Jarman, an assistant professor and the director of sex  and gender in emergency medicine, was selected as an Interdisciplinary Women’s Health Research (IWHR) scholar in the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) K12 program. She joined the faculty after completing a two-year fellowship in Sex and Gender in Emergency Medicine at Brown University, where she also earned a Master of Public Health degree. Angela is a North Carolina native and majored in Gender Studies at Duke University before attending medical school at the University of Kentucky. She trained in emergency medicine at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Her research interests include sex differences in venous thromboembolism, health disparities, and gender bias in medicine and leadership. Personally, Angela enjoys spending time in the mountains with her family and good books.


August 3, 2021

BIRCWH Scholar, Alicia Agnoli's Study on Opioid Dose Tapering Published in August Issue of JAMA

Alicia AgnoliAlicia Agnoli is an assistant professor of Family and Community Medicine at UC Davis School of Medicine. She is first author of a study published Aug. 3 in JAMA, in which a team of UC Davis Health researchers examined the potential risks of opioid dose tapering. Their study found that patients on stable opioid therapy who had their doses tapered had significantly higher rates of overdose and mental health crisis, compared to patients without dose reductions.

Read More


August 27, 2020

BIRCWH K12 Program Scholars, Laura Kair and Candice Price, Collaborate to Promote Black Breastfeeding Week

Candice Price

Laura Kair Laura Kair, a UC Davis Children’s Hospital pediatrician and clinical researcher, and Candice Price, a UC Davis  School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Molecular Biosciences clinical researcher, recently collaborated with several colleagues and community partners about the importance of black breastfeeding the week of August 25 - 31, 2020.


July 8, 2019

Laura Kair Named Women's Health Research Scholar for BIRCWH K12 Program

Laura KairLaura Kair, a UC Davis Children’s Hospital pediatrician and clinical researcher focused on breastfeeding and maternal-child health, was selected as an Interdisciplinary Women’s Health Research (IWHR) scholar in the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) K12 program.

Kair’s mentors on the project are Caroline Chantry, Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, Jim Marcin and Dan Tancredi. This two-year award will fund Kair’s ongoing research career development and a clinical trial. 

The clinical trial, registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, will evaluate the effect of at home-based telemedicine lactation support visits on breastfeeding duration among women who deliver late preterm (four to six weeks early). The trial begins enrollment this summer and will follow participants for one year after delivery.

September 7, 2021

Chengfei Liu Receives R37 National Cancer Institute (NCI) Award

Chengfei LiuChengfei Liu has received a $2 million R37 National Cancer Institute (NCI) award for prostate cancer research. Dr. Liu is the first early-stage cancer investigator at UC Davis to receive an R37 award. Dr. Liu was a dean’s scholar in the UC Davis Paul Calabresi Career Development K12 program, which was of immense importance in his trajectory toward the R37. K12 program director and Comprehensive Cancer Center Director, Dr. Primo Lara said, “This award will help him further develop his career and his research, while making important contributions to our understanding of what’s driving resistant prostate cancer.”


November 7, 2019

Paul Calabresi K12 Scholar - Guobao Wang, Awarded "Trailblazer" Grant for Hybrid Imaging Research

Guabo Wang

Guobao Wang, associate professor in the Department of Radiology, has received a "Trailblazer R21" grant ($628,000 over three years) from the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIH/NIBIB).

With this grant, Wang will develop the algorithms and test the feasibility of a new method combining positron emission tomography (PET) and X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning. The proposed method provides new applications for human molecular imaging and adds spectral CT imaging as a dimension of information to clinical PET/CT.