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A man in his 20s in a dark suit and a blue and white checked shirt stands in front of the Penn State Old Main bell tower. Penn State
Translational science training programs credited with student success

Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Scott Graupensperger is making the most of his Penn State education – delving into a number of training programs and experiences to prepare him for a research career. The dual-title kinesiology and clinical and translational sciences doctoral student has been a regular presence at Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which he credits with preparing him for his current successes and his future endeavors.

“The most salient aspect of my training at Penn State, that I believe is contributing to my future success as an independent scientist, is the opportunities for mentorship and development through the University’s institutes and centers,” Graupensperger said. “The Clinical and Translational Science Institute has been instrumental.”

Graupensperger has participated in two of the institute’s programs: the Translational Science Fellowship summer program and the year-long TL1 Translational Research Training Program. Both programs are currently accepting applications. 

January 17, 2019

Mice image
UCSF CTSI Catalyst Awardees Apply CRISPR-mediated Activation to Obesity

UC San Francisco CTSI

Many diseases are caused by haploinsufficiency, where one of the two copies of the gene is non functional. In a recent Science publication, the authors used CRISPRa (CRISPR based activation) to upregulate the expression from the functional copy of the gene Sim1 or Mc4r to rescue the obesity phenotype in mouse models. The UCSF CTSI Catalyst project awarded in Spring 2017 to Nadav Ahituv, PhD and Navneet Matharu, PhD  (the last and first authors) uses the same CRISPRa approach applied to polycystic kidney disease which is also caused by haploinsufficiency.

Catalyst consultations refined their project plan for the polycystic kidney disease application. Catalyst interns helped them explore other potential diseases with haploinsufficiency and assisted with putting together a target product profile. See full article in Science Magazine, linked below. 

January 16, 2019

Reviewing research Getty Images
A Model for Accelerating Translational Research in Real Time

Clinical & Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin at the Medical College of Wisconsin

Before a clinical trial can begin, an institutional review board (IRB) must determine that the study is ethical and that participants’ rights are protected. This oversight step is crucial, but it can take a long time and delay studies from starting, particularly those at multiple sites. In response to numerous calls to reduce review times, the Clinical & Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin at the Medical College of Wisconsin devised "Real-Time IRB," a process that drastically reduces IRB review time.

In this, investigators and study staff attend the IRB meeting and make changes to the protocol while the IRB continues its meeting, so that final approval can be issued at the meeting. This achieved an overall reduction in time from submission to the IRB to final approval of 40%. While this process is time and resource intensive, and cannot address all delays in research, it shows great promise for increasing the pace by which research is translated to patient care.

January 03, 2019

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