It’s been a decade since the University of Minnesota received an NIH grant that would transform the way we conduct research. That grant—then the largest in University history—funded the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.
As CTSI was preparing its application, I remember being struck by the complexity of what it hoped to accomplish. Their vision was almost impossible to comprehend at the time, but what it has done since has become vital to our institution and beyond.
Rather than building silos, CTSI built an infrastructure that serves the University’s entire health sciences community. It is staggering in scope, with services, training, funding, and tools for our entire research community. And woven throughout is a deeper focus on understanding the communities we serve as part of our land grant mission.
By building a cohesive research infrastructure, CTSI created a smoother path to breakthroughs, treatments, and real-world outcomes. This has catalyzed the success of many individual researchers and our institution as a whole. And the institute has touched countless lives, from the next generation of investigators trained through its scholar programs to the patients and communities who benefit from life-changing innovations.
CTSI showed the rest of the University what is possible when you dream big and put in hard work to bring it to life. Here’s to many more decades of improving health for all.
Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD
Vice President for Clinical Affairs
Driving Innovation and Discovery
New Guidance on Email and Potential Research Participants
The Health Information Privacy & Compliance Office recently developed this new guidance on research participant recruitment: researchers can use email without proofpoint to send out emails to potential participants, but must move to proofpoint when discussing any protected health information.
Community-Centered Dissemination Toolkit available to support research teams
The Community-Centered Dissemination Toolkit is designed to support highly collaborative health research projects and to help research teams incorporate community-engagement principles into dissemination. Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Program in Health Disparities Research partnered to create the toolkit, using University research expertise and lessons learned from past projects that successfully integrated community in dissemination planning.
Health Discovery Hub Update
Dozens of faculty and staff have provided input and ideas for the reimagined Health Discovery Hub through several discussion sessions hosted by OACA. Each session has focused on various aspects of the facility intended to support the future of clinical research to improve the health and wellbeing of patients and our communities. Among the consistent messages is a call for enhanced technology to support trials statewide to improve access and engagement for all Minnesotans. In addition, each session noted a need for flexibility in design to support trials with adequate storage for materials and equipment, as well as the ever-present need for parking. Review the sessions that have occurred and add your input.
Advancing Interprofessional Education and Training
Student Interprofessional Internship Application Opens Aug. 15
The Office of Academic Clinical Affairs is proud to host an internship program that competitively identifies student interns and matches them to projects proposed by healthcare system partners. We invite student applications for an internship position during the 2021-2022 academic year. Selected interns will be partnered with a community partner organization and undertake a project focused on advancing interprofessional practice and education. Interns can be enrolled in any University health professions program, with interest in health care systems, community health interprofessional practice and/or education. Internships occur over one academic year and will average 5 hours/week. Application deadline: Sept. 15.
The Nexus Fair is back this September at Nexus Summit 2021. Through this interactive networking session, Nexus Summit attendees can share their interprofessional tools, educational models, and other practical resources with colleagues across practice and education. Submissions for Resource Exchanges at the Nexus Fair are being accepted now and approved on a rolling basis through Aug. 31.
Partnering With Communities
Collaborative Pilot Effort to Address COVID Vaccine Hesitancy
In June, a collaborative pilot effort between the Institute for Molecular Virology (IMV), Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC), and the Mobile Health Initiative took place at the New City Church in Minneapolis and the Center for Asian Pacific Islanders in Brooklyn Center. The pilot focused on addressing COVID vaccine hesitancy. Individuals were surveyed about their concerns and verbal responses were collected. IMV and CUHCC staff offered information regarding the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Approximately 60 people were vaccinated.
U-Wide Events and Opportunities
Aug. 18 - Town Hall: Preparing for Fall 2021
President Joan Gabel, the Senate Consultative Committee, and other University leaders will discuss the recently updated Get the Vax 2.0 plan and the upcoming fall semester at a virtual town hall Aug. 18, 9 am. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to submit questions in advance using this form. A link to access the Town Hall will be available soon.
The 2021 Ovarian Cancer Midwest Focus (OCMF) Conference will be both an in-person and a virtual conference that will include live streamed discussion rounds with national and international speakers, short talks based on abstracts, and group discussions. Topics will include Early Detection, Immunotherapy, Novel Therapeutics, Metabolism, Preclinical Models of Ovarian Cancer, Personalized Medicine, Microenvironment, Epigenetics, PARP Inhibitors, Chemoresistance, Combination Therapy, Clinical Studies, Technology Commercialization, and Career Development (lunch and learn).