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Director's Corner

CCTSI Director Ronald J. Sokol, MD

minute read.

Written by Ronald J. Sokol, MD on September 27, 2022

Dear CCTSI research community,

I was so delighted to see many of you at our tenth annual CU-CSU Summit, which we held on September 14. Faculty and staff from every CCTSI partner institution were present, demonstrating the high level of engagement, enthusiasm and collaboration among all of our partners. The topic was Research in Health Equity and Social Determinants and we were fortunate to be able to meet at the beautiful new Elliman Conference Center in the Anschutz Health Sciences Building. Chancellor Elliman himself helped launch the conference and we had a full day of presentations, interactive sessions, discussions and a poster session.

The event was fully in-person, but you may find the slides from the presentations on our website. One of the highlights was Dr. Shale Wong’s presentation on “Mental Health Equity: How is Data Shaping Policy?” addressing the challenges of using data to inform policy. Dr. Wong described how policy influences data collection, how inequities are built into our systems and efforts to address these through advocacy and policy. Special thanks to organizing committee co-chairs Anita Walden, MS, and Donald Nease, MD. It was an inspiring day in so many ways.

The CCTSI is thoroughly committed to addressing health and health inequities through research. Indeed, Dr. Nease who leads the CCTSI’s Community Engagement Research Core announced at the Summit that, going forward, the core will be renamed the Community Engagement and Health Equity Core. To that end, you may want to consider applying for a Community Engagement (CE) Pilot Grant. You still have time as the mandatory Intent to Apply deadline is midnight of October 3. The form is easy and quick to complete.

If you are seeking a CE pilot grant, emerging community-academic partnerships may apply for either a Partnership Development Award or a Joint Pilot Award.
a) Partnership Development Awards provide seed funding to support activities related to the development of new or emerging community-academic research partnerships.
b) Joint Pilot Awards are open to established community-academic partnerships who seek funding for a well-defined translational research project that may produce preliminary data for future competitive grant applications.

Apparently, in the world of politics, there is some debate about whether the pandemic is officially over. But at the CCTSI, data scientists continue to employ the massive national dataset called N3C to learn about the disease. Clinicians and staff in the CCTSI’s adult Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC) are engaged in the national RECOVER project, led locally by Kristine Erlandson, MD, recruiting participants in the effort to learn about, and ultimately treat, long COVID. Moreover, the era of remote work has not magically disappeared. Rather, it continues to evolve and redefine what the workday looks like. Heather Gilmartin and Bethany Kwan share their thoughtful reflection on the era.

Whatever role you play in biomedical research as a member of the CCTSI, I believe your work makes a difference. The impact we can make together is what inspires me to continue to develop and promote translational science at our campus and partner institutions.

All the best,

Ron