2017.04.28 CTSA Program Update


April 28, 2017




Thank you!

We, the CTSA Program Meeting Planning Committee, sincerely thank the numerous individuals who helped plan our spring meeting! Over 25+ investigators from 11+ CTSA Program hubs along with 14+ members from the NCATS Team helped to develop this meeting. It is their dedication – from submissions of grand opportunities, to preparing presentations, to leading breakout group discussions, to reporting of key ideas back to our CTSA Program community – that helped to achieve this meeting’s purpose of bringing together thought leaders to discuss approaches to catalyze grand opportunities in translational science.

In addition, we deeply appreciate all of you who were able to attend the meeting on April 18th. We were inspired by the enthusiasm in our community to discuss new ideas and collaborate amongst each other. Simultaneously, we have learned a lot from this meeting and will consider your feedback in making future meetings even better!

We thank all of you again, and look forward to sharing our report which will contain ideas, slides and pictures from the event within a few weeks. The report will be prepared by NCATS, but relevant sections will be sent out to presenters/moderators from each breakout group for comments. Once finalized, the report will be available via ctsacentral.org.

Questions?  Contact Amit Chaudhari.




CTSA Program hubs have made great progress in collecting the IRB, Careers and Pilot metrics for 2015. Many hubs have already collected data for these same metrics for 2016.  Please enter 2016 metric values, and update your Turn-the-Curve (TTC) plans, for these first three metrics by August 30, 2017. Updating the Turn-the-Curve plan includes describing changes to underlying factors, progress you have made implementing selected strategies, and the results of any additional measures you are using to track progress with strategies.

Questions? Contact Samantha Jonson.




Harmonizing Core Competencies /Personalized Pathways Workgroup: The WG presented the approach, framework and preliminary data of their survey questionnaire. The questionnaire was constructed to assist those working with training programs to identify relevant core competencies and intensity of training for specific research roles with focus on three levels of training intensities – Exposure, Acquisition and Integration mapped to six unique career phenotypes. To date, there are data from 63 respondents that have mapped phenotypes. The survey core members are seeking additional survey responses for career phenotype mapping in the domains of Public Health Researcher and Data Sciences/Analytics Researcher. Next steps are to continue data collection in May – June, 2017, and work on deliverables from the survey data in July, 2017.

Career Sustainability Workgroup: The WG presented the preliminary data from their KL2 Career Sustainability Survey which was designed to identify key CTSA Program KL2 program elements that contribute to scholar success. The future goals of the WG are to 1) conduct further data analyses on scholar characteristics and sustainability outcomes, 2) obtain a 100% survey response rate, 3) share data for individual vs CTSA Program-wide benchmarks, and 4) disseminate survey results.

“IGNITE Sessions” at the In-Person Meeting: “IGNITE” presentations are quick presentations that are one-slide each for a duration of five minutes. 17 hubs responded to a call for IGNITE presentations and 9 presentations were selected for presentation at the Workforce Development DTF in-person Meeting on April 19th in Washington, D.C. 3 IGNITE sessions (with 3 presentations per session) featured locally developed educational resources that demonstrate value and sustainability for dissemination with other hubs or the entire consortium. Some of the highlights from the IGNITE session were 1) to share information through the Federated Platform which include a Kaizen Gamification program and mentoring/career development guidance, 2) conduct a landscape analysis of teams/team science related to experiential training and methodologies, and 3) strategize ways of engaging individuals for more personalized learning.


In-Person Meeting: The Informatics DTF held an In-Person meeting on March 31st from 8 – Noon in San Francisco after the AMIA Joint Summits on Translational Science Conference.  The meeting went very well and the group especially appreciated having time to ask Ken Gersing questions.

The final agenda included:

  1. Welcome from Justin Starren
  2. Ken Gersing (NCATS) Presentation with Q&A
  3. 5-minute rapid-fire presentations (12 total presentations)
  4. An unconference session where participants split into 6 groups based on the topics that received the most votes, topics and group leaders are as follows:
    1. Clinical Research data request services (Umberto Tachinardi – University of Wisconsin – Madison)
    2. High throughout phenotyping (Peter Elkin – University of Buffalo)
    3. Maturity and Deployment Models for Institutional Informatics Planning (Bill Barnett – Indiana University)
    4. Imaging informatics (Dan Marcus – Washington University in St. Louis)
    5. State of research reproducibility for healthcare data (Patricia Kovatch – Mount Sinai Hospital)
    6. Toward a data commons (Michael Becich University of Pittsburgh)
  5. Closing Remarks


Imaging Informatics Workgroup: The WG sent out a survey to all informatics representatives at each of the CTSA Program hubs. If you are interested in providing information about your institution’s imaging informatics, please contact C4.


Sustainable Informatics Workgroup: The WG is continuing to refine the content and focus of their paper.



In-Person Meeting: The in-person meeting will take place May 6, 2017 from 10 – Noon PST in San Francisco. The agenda will 1) review accomplishments of the past year, 2) set priorities for the upcoming year, and 3.) identify mission, aims and goals for the new Toolkit workgroup.

Early Life Exposure (ELE) Workgroup: The ELE Survey identified 137 lifespan research databases and is developing a conceptual model for early life exposures and incorporating information gained from a survey. The anticipated completion date of the final two deliverables is December, 31, 2017. Identifying the core team for the common data model will take approximately two months. We anticipate the development of the common data model to take 3 – 4 months and the dissemination of the results to take 1 – 2 months.

Aging Workgroup: The group has been identifying/cataloging CTSA Program resources.

Single Disease Workgroup:  A white paper is expected to be completed by December, 2017.



In-Person Meeting:  The Collaboration/Engagement DTF held an in-person meeting on April 19th at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Over 60 people registered to attend the meeting and were guided through an interactive discussion format called the World Café model that allowed participants to engage and network with one another as they address specific questions. Attendees included community members, colleagues from the CTSA Program hubs and NIH representatives.

The meeting objectives were to broadly discuss how to incorporate diverse stakeholders into the translational science spectrum, how to leverage the strengths of the team science models by incorporating the expertise of community members and academic partnerships, learn and confer on strategies to measure and assess collaboration in team science work within the CTSA Program consortium and talk about collaborative dissemination efforts within the CTSA Program consortium.

Summarization and Key Discussion Points from the In-Person Meeting:

Successful integration of community engaged research and team science.

Negotiated balance and sharing knowledge and governance e.g. having an understanding of all the parties at the table. Defining the value of everyone participating.

How do we get to success?

Culture change. Need a success story to illuminate and showcase how to integrate community engaged research and team science.

Identify, cultivate, incentivize, activate, and evaluate “bridgers”. “Bridgers” are defined as scientists who can liaise or link community engaged research concepts with bench scientists who may be conducting basic or clinical research projects.

Approaches to employ towards advancing the integration of non-academic team science partners, particularly community residents or leaders, into team science models.

Importance of thinking more broadly about the community. [We need to] Think about opportunities to engage T1 and T2 communities and maybe even the business community, architects, and policy makers.

How to address power differentials between academic and community members being addressed, beyond research capacity building training, towards more systematic community integration into team science models within CTSA Program hubs.

Training for everyone on power, privilege and implicit bias. Deep and thoughtful diversity training.

Next steps towards vetting/sharing/presenting these [collaborative engagement] models through the Collaboration/Engagement DTF.

Assess the landscape of models that are out there and bring out common tenants of the models and bring to the DTF.

When using self-reported perceptions of collaboration process/quality or outcomes, how do you best weigh data from different respondents (e.g. community partners, academics, for-profit etc.) to get a “total picture” of the collaboration?

Don’t think that weighting is a good idea. Collect measures from community members and academics separately. Maybe have the pragmatic clinical trials model, e.g. a figure that could be superimposed like a wheel to show the measures that were important to both parties; domains could include governance, shared decision making, respect, process, etc.

How should dissemination of collaborative research be done within your CTSA Program or across all CTSA Program hubs?

An online platform to access resources. It is critical to educate people within the hubs and provide the big picture of the CTSA Program, e.g., website, apps, ROCKET, online library.

How should the findings of collaborative research be implemented within your CTSA Program or across all CTSA Program hubs? 

Promote to a different audience.

Have multiple messaging to multiple audiences.

CTSA Program “pub crawl” or bring a PI to the DTF.

What are the Collaborative Research exemplars that should be disseminated and implemented across CTSA Program hubs?

The Vanderbilt-Meharry model

Cincinnati’s Community Leaders Institute

Medical College of Wisconsin’s Health Sciences

University of Rochester’s Research Methods Forum



In-Person Meeting: An in-person meeting was held on April 19th from 8:00 -11:30 am at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.  The meeting was productive with over 65 attendees (45 in person and 20 via web conference).

Institutional Readiness for Team Science Workgroup: The WG presented a poster on Promotion and Tenure at the ACTS Conference in Washington, D.C.

DACTPerM Workgroup: The WG continues to work on finalizing simulations and is writing a white paper.

EMR-based Research Recruitment Workgroup: The WG is working on a final version of their white paper draft.
Regulatory Science to Advance Precision Medicine – Joint Effort with Workforce Development DTF: The WG held their first meeting on April 20th.  The WG reviewed a list of topics to determine the workgroup’s focus and is planning for a regulatory science meeting this coming fall.

Assessment of CTSA Institutions Strategies for Engaging Community Partners Workgroup: This is a new collaborative workgroup with the Collaboration & Engagement DTF. The WG is currently planning their first meeting in May.

Questions? For more information on the DTFs (including points-of-contact), click here.




The All of Us Research Program Data and Research Center (DRC) is working to prospectively design a research platform that allows the broad research community to use All of Us Research Program data in a secure environment. In an effort to begin exploring design needs for this researcher space, DRC is soliciting input from the research community. Participate in this information gathering exercise here. This tool will close on Monday, May 1, 2017.

Questions? Contact Celecia Scott.


CTSA Program hubs can upload information about important meetings they host on the C4 Coordinating Center website, CTSA Central, in order to spread the word about sponsored conferences, activities, and/or items relevant to the CTSA Program and the advancement of translational science.  Hubs can upload conference or meeting information here.

Recent requests for addition are listed below. Please click the event name for more information on the event!


Date Hub Sponsored Event Institution
May 3, 2017

9 – 4 p.m. ET

DC Research Collaborative: A Regional Connections Event The Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children’s National (CTSI-CN), The George Washington University, and Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R)
May 5, 2017

8 – 1 p.m. ET

19th Annual Clinical and Translational Science Graduate Program Symposium Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)
May 10, 2017

9 – 1:30 p.m. ET

2017 Academic & Industry Intersection Conference – From Sensors to Big Data: Personalized & Population Health in the Digital Age Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute
May, 12 2017

7:30 – 3:45 p.m. ET

Technology and Rare Neurological Diseases Symposium (TRNDS) University of Rochester Center for Human Experimental Therapeutics and Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute
June 7, 2017

9 – 4 p.m. ET

4th Annual Comparative Effectiveness Research Symposium Plus Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)


Questions? Contact Colleen Lawrence.


Upcoming NCATS Events
Event Date Location
CTSA Program Steering Committee Webinar 5/8, 6/12, 7/10, 8/14../2017

Second Monday of the month; 2:30 – 4 p.m. ET

CTSA Program PI Webinar 5/24, 6/28, 7/26, 8/23../2017

Fourth Wednesday of the month; 2 – 3 p.m. ET

NCATS Advisory Council 5/4/2017 Bethesda, MD
NIH Collaboratory Grand Round Presentation – Collaborations and Synergies: CTSA Program/Trial Innovation Network and PCORnet 5/19/2017

1 – 2 p.m. ET





NIH NCATS: Improving Health Through Smarter Science

Connect with us!: https://ncats.nih.gov/connect



















NIH NCATS: Improving Health Through Smarter Science

Connect with us!: https://ncats.nih.gov/connect