CTSInsider: Quarter 4

Introduction & Welcome

Welcome to CTSInsider, the newsletter of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin! In this issue you will find news and announcements, including upcoming opportunities and events, and research trainings, as well as an overview of services available to support you. Happy reading!

CTSI & You

One of the goals of the CTSI, and CTSA program nationally, is to train and cultivate the translational science workforce. CTSI’s 500 Stars Initiative is one several ways in which CTSI is working to enrich the southeast Wisconsin translational research workforce through promoting inclusion and diversity. The 500 Stars mission is to provide training and educational opportunities to students of diversity in middle and high school, undergraduate, and graduate programs who are looking for a career in clinical and translational science.  Do you know high school students in the Milwaukee area who are passionate about research? Or have an interest in medicine as a career choice?  If so, then share the 500 Stars flyer with them! November 1st the application opens. Spending the summer with researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and CTSI partner institutions, is a great way for young people to explore clinical and translational research. Watch for updates and progress on the initiative early next year.

About CTSI

We have a motto at CTSI:  To achieve together, what we cannot achieve alone, because we recognize we cannot achieve our mission and goals without engaging and ccollaborating with others. The CTSI infrastructure was created to enable researchers across the 8 partner institutions to collaborate regionally and nationally, and this past quarter we saw evidence of how such infrastructure can help benefit communities across the state of Wisconsin. Learn more.

News & Announcements For You


CTSI Events & Programming

Upcoming Science Cafes

Join us October 31, 2017 @ 5:30 p.m. for a discussion around understanding food and nutrition labels and how they can lead to healthy food choices and weight loss. If you missed a topic that interests you, stream or download it todayLearn more and register today.


CTSI Academy: Current and Upcoming Training Opportunities

Check out the current CTSI Academy offerings today! Current and upcoming training opportunities include clinical and translational research seminars,  boot camp for clinical research management, and a human research practices and compliance course. Stay tuned for future offerings later this year. Learn more and register for current offerings here.


8th Annual Milwaukee Regional Research Forum

Please join the CTSI and the Milwaukee Regional Research Forum for a luncheon and panel discussion on the Opioid Epidemic: Why Us, Why Now, What to Do? Addressing Our Community in Crisis Through Research and Discovery.

Friday, October 27
10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Crowne Plaza Milwaukee West

This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Timothy Westlake, MD, FACEP, FFSMB, an Emergency Physician at Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital. Dr. Westlake is Vice Chairman of the State Medical Examining Board, a member of the State Controlled Substances Board, and a Member of the Governor’s Taskforce on Opioid Abuse. He has worked with both Wisconsin US Senators on several opioid reform bills (the VA opioid reforms as found in title IX of the recently passed CARA Act, also the pain scale ending PROP Act, as well as the fentanyl analog scheduling SOFA Act.) He has worked closely with state legislators, agencies and policy makers and guided and became the physician architect of the State’s prescription opioid reform strategy. He was named the 2017 Physician Citizen of the Year by the Wisconsin Medical Society for all his volunteer efforts in shaping prescription opioid reform.

A panel discussion will be moderated by Rob Henken, of Public Policy Forum, followed by questions and answers. This year’s panelists include:

  • Wisconsin Attorney General, Brad Schimel
  • Dr. Timothy Westlake
  • Dr. E. Brooke Lerner, PhD
  • Fire Captain Joshua Parish

We hope to see you there! Learn more about MRRF by visiting the CTSI website.

NCATS Highlights CTSI Discovery Radio

NCATS highlighted CTSI’s Discovery Radio expansion into the podcast world! We are excited to see CTSI Discovery Radio’s reach grow as we share stories about translational research happening across our communities. Learn more or stream or download the show today! 


 Join us for the 19th Annual HHS SBIR/STTR Conference:  In The Heartland of BioHealth Innovation

November 7 – November 9 2017
Hilton Milwaukee City Center

Join us November 7-9, 2017 for the 19th annual SBIR/STTR conference. Check out the recently updated agenda – we are excited to have former Governor & 19th HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson join us for a lunch keynote! Register today before it is too late! Visit the event page online for more details or download the event flyer.

Minority Supplements for your RO1

Have you considered NIH Diversity/Minority supplements for your R01? Diversity supplements support students, postdocs, and early career faculty collaborators from backgrounds underrepresented in science for the remaining life of your research grant. Considering one? Then check out these great tips! Learn more.

National News and Announcements


Become a AAAS Leshner Fellow

Consider applying for a AAAS Leshner fellowship and engage the public on food and water security. The deadline to apply is November 1.

Attend a Trial Innovation Network Webinar

The CTSA Trial Innovation Network offers webinars throughout the year focusing on various aspects related to clinical trials, recruitment, and retention. An upcoming webinar discusses special populations: measurement and engagement approaches for including LGBT populations in clinical trials on October 24.

NIH Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Common Fund Program

The Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Common Fund Program advances a mechanisms-focused, experimental medicine approach to behavior change research. Currently, awardees in the SOBC Research Network are developing, adapting, and testing experimental manipulations meant to engage specific health-behavior-related targets, developing assays intended to verify target engagement, showing that these putative targets can be influenced by a manipulation, and that thus changing target activity leads to behavior change. To encourage the adaptation, validation, and translation of these assays in a broader range of ongoing studies and populations, the NIH is now inviting applications to four available Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) that involve using one or more of the SOBC Research Network assays. Applications are due on December 5, 2017. Learn more.

Attend an Upcoming SMART IRB Webinar

Join an upcoming SMART IRB Webinar! The NIH SMART IRB team regularly hosts a series of webinars to help institutions, IRBs, and investigators learn more about how the SMART IRB Agreement, SOPs, and complementary tools and resources can help them implement single IRB review arrangements for their studies. Learn more.

CTSI At Your Service: Highlights

CTSI offers more than 20 different services and resources all aimed at supporting you and your clinical and translational research. Here are two you should know about.

IRB Pre-Review Services

IRB pre-review services are available to clinical and translational investigators and their research staff. The regulatory specialist will review your submission and provide feedback on errors and potential issues prior to submission. Learn more. 

Bionutrition Services

The CTSI Bionutritionist assists with planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating the nutrition and body composition components of research protocols and community programs. Learn more.

Investigator’s Corner: You & CTSI Advancing Research & Discovery

Dr. Meredith Adams accepted into the NIH NCATS funded Buffalo Innovation Lab

CTSI congratulates Dr. Meredith Adams, who was accepted into the NIH NCATS funded Buffalo Innovation Lab!  Dr. Adams is a former CTSI Clinical Research Scholar whose research focuses on identifying opioid response phenotypes in low back pain, using electronic health data. The goal of Innovation Lab project is to facilitate the development of novel transdisciplinary collaborative grant proposals among early-career scholars. The theme of this lab is Radical Solutions to the Opioid Misuse Epidemic. Congratulations Dr. Adams!

MCW Researchers Leverage The Greater Plains Collaborative Clinical Data Research Network

The Medical College of Wisconsin is a member of the Greater Plains Collaborative (GPC), a network of 12 leading medical centers spanning eight states committed to a shared vision of improving healthcare delivery through ongoing learning, adoption of evidence-based practices, and active research dissemination. Two MCW researchers, Dr. Erin Doren and Dr. Julie Panepinto, will be leveraging the GPC infrastructure to advance breast cancer and sickle cell disease research. Read brief summaries below to learn more. 

Comparison of Outcomes and Cost-Effectiveness of Unilateral Mastectomy and Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy with Reconstruction in a Multicenter Cohort
Erin L. Doren, MD
In 2017 there will be over 250,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in the United States. Many of these women with a unilateral breast cancer will opt for a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM), with rates found to be increasing over the years. The specific goals of this project are to assess outcomes of unilateral mastectomy and contralateral prophylactic mastectomy with reconstruction in a multicenter cohort focusing on patient satisfaction and implications for healthcare costs. This research study includes patients already recruited from the original Greater Plains Collaborative (GPC) breast cancer pilot study who have had a mastectomy with breast reconstruction.

Building blocks of a learning health system for children with sickle cell disease
JA Panepinto, B Taylor, A Singh
Sickle cell disease is a rare, genetic disease. Acute, recurrent pain is most common and can result in emergency department visits. Hydroxyurea is a disease modifying drug that prevents this pain. Historically it has been underutilized; the specific goals of this project are to determine effectiveness of hydroxyurea based on laboratory and demographic characteristics. This research study will leverage the Greater Plains Collaborative (GPC) to identify a cohort of sickle cell disease patients and a cohort subset of patients with sickle cell anemia. Once these cohorts are defined, the study will further identify patients receiving hydroxyurea and compare the results and demographic characteristics. A sub aim of the study focuses on learning about hydroxyurea prescription practices at GPC partner sites and determining the frequency and characteristics of patients with sickle cell anemia.

CTSI Staff & Faculty: At Work for You


Each newsletter we will highlight staff and faculty working to support you and your research. Christine Zeller, MA is the CTSI Pilot Award Program Manager. She oversees the application and award processes for our Pilot Program which supports early stage translational and clinical research. Christine has been with the CTSI just under a year but has worked for the Medical College of Wisconsin for nearly nine years. She currently manages six active funding pipelines; one of our newest is a joint award with the MCW Community Engagement Core. One of her highlights this year is working with MSOE seniors whose capstone project focuses on solutions and efficiencies for award processes. She also enjoys building relationships with her peers at other CTSA institutions within our national consortium of Pilot Program Directors and Managers. She’s happy to be a part of the exciting team at CTSI! In her spare time, Christine is an avid tennis player, loves to play Sheepshead, and especially enjoys the company of her children.

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important Reminder – Please acknowledge the NIH when publishing papers, patents, projects, and presentations resulting from the use of CTSI resources by including the NIH Funding Acknowledgement.


Zablocki VA Medical CenterMedical College of WisconsinMSOE