New call for DHSA Pilot Grant Proposals issued

Submission Date June 15, 2011
Project Launch Date September 1, 2011

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Pilot and Collaborative Translational and Clinical Studies (PCTCS)

The primary goal of the Pilot and Collaborative Translational and Clinical Studies (PCTCS) in the Delaware Valley Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (DVICTS) is to promote translational research across the T1-T3 research spectrum at the four DVICTS partner institutions Thomas Jefferson University (TJU), the Nemours Alfred. I. duPont Hospital for Children (Nemours/AIDHC), Christiana Care Health System (CCHS) and the University of Delaware (UD). In doing so, DVICTS will foster training, education, and career development. It will also drive intellectual property development and private sector collaboration with its member institutions. In order to maximize the most creative opportunities for translational research, PCTCS intends to create new opportunities for building collaborations that span disciplines, institutions and generations within the DVICTS community.

PCTCS will catalyze the cultural shifts needed to foster collaborations in translational research in these four institutions by supporting a diverse portfolio of pilot programs. PCTCS will facilitate recruitment of skilled faculty and integration of new institutions, sustain their participation, and ensure their success in DVICTS. To accomplish these goals we propose an operational and management structure that will promote collaborations among researchers, practitioners, and communities across the Delaware Valley. The PCTCS will pursue the following three specific aims:
  • Aim 1. Create and foster the growth of a multi-institutional, collaborative T1-T3 translational research culture. This aim will be supported by funding pilot projects, facilitating creation of collaborative research teams, and establishing an infrastructure that facilitates clinical translational science (CTS) research.

  • Aim 2. Drive the discovery-development-application paradigm to facilitate development and growth of projects that are essential to improve health outcomes and reduce disparities of people within the Delaware Valley. Pilot grant funding will be used as an engine of innovation to support projects on cancer, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and infant mortality.

  • Aim 3. Establish a post-award analysis program. Features that lead to success or failure of PCTCS pilot grants will be determined by continuous analysis of the impact of these awards on the institutional culture, investigator careers and CTS, enabling the PCTCS program to develop strategies to improve success and efficiently utilize resources.

This formal program of pilot and collaborative projects will provide a venue for senior and junior investigators to address some of the most critical health problems in the region. We recognize that to succeed, such a program must go beyond just providing funds. Consequently, we have designed a plan that will channel longterm partnerships between institutions, disciplines and generations within DVICTS.

Currently funded DVICTS/DHSA Pilot Projects

"Novel Approaches to the Study of Determinant of Childhood Obesity utilizing Health Information Systems"
Deborah Ehrenthal, Kristin Maiden CCHS, Judith Ross - TJU/Nemours, Samuel Gidding, David West, Lou Barteshesky Nemours, Ben Carterette and Michael Peterson - UD

"Relationships between Cortical Motor Organization and Response to Exercise Interventions in Children with Cerebral Palsy"
Co-Investigators: Stuart Binder-McLeod, Samuel Lee, Trisha Kesar – UD, Freeman Miller – Nemours, Susan Duff – TJU and Kert Anzilotti – CCHS

"Linking Genotype to Phenotype: A pilot project to create a research data warehouse of biospecimen and omic information"
Co-Investigators: Jack London, TJU, Cathy Wu, UD, Ed Ewen, CCHS, and Timothy Bunnell, Nemours

"Discovery of inhibitors against the ubiquitin specific protease 11 in human DNA damage response"
Co-Investigators: Zhihao Zhuang, UD, Andrew Napper, Nemours, Jonathan Brody, TJU, and Zohra Ali-Khan Catts, CCHS

Previously funded DVICTS/DHSA Pilot Projects

"JAM-A - A Potential Risk Factor for Dilated Cardiomyopathy"
Co-Investigators: Ulhas P. Naik, UD, Takeshi Tsuda, Nemours, Walter Koch, TJU, and William Weintraub, Christiana Care

"Mechanisms of Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer involving the Androgen Receptor in the Bone Microenvironment "
Co-Investigators: Robert Sikes, UD, Karen Knudsen, TJU, Ayyappan Rajasekaran, Nemours, and Charles Schneider, Christiana Care.