Last month, the Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia (THRIV) held the 1st Annual THRIV Scholars Clinical Translational Research Symposium. THRIV was established in January 2017 as the cornerstone of our Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program application; a mechanism to promote excellence in clinical and translational research across UVA. One of the first major milestones was to create a mentored career-development program to support training for junior faculty, which we wrote about here (“THRIV Hits Milestone with Inaugural Class of Scholars”) and here (“THRIV Welcomes Second Class of Scholars”).
At our research symposium, Christopher Austin, MD, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) delivered the keynote address for research, “Catalyzing Translation Innovation.” Philip Bourne, PhD, Stephenson Chair of Data Science; Director of the Data Science Institute; and Professor of Biomedical Engineering, delivered the keynote presentation focusing on careers in translational research.
Dr. Austin was impressed with our team science, saying it showed in the Scholars’ presentations and in the conversations with THRIV leadership. Leveraging the expertise of the UVA Data Science Institute is invaluable in training the Scholars. This aspect of our program is a differentiator from other mentored career-development programs in the CTSA national network.
This was our first public-facing event to highlight work of the THRIV Scholars and it was a tremendous success.
Presentations from our second-year THRIV Scholars included:
- Pulse Oximetry Cardiorespiratory Scores to Predict Adverse Events and Outcomes in Premature Infants” (Brynne Sullivan, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, School of Medicine)
- “Affordable Care Act’s effects on persons living with HIV (PLWH) in Virginia” (Kathleen McManus, MD, MSCR, Assistant Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine)
- “A pragmatic clinical trial evaluating impact of continuous predictive monitoring on nurse-driven outcomes in a dynamic intensive care setting” (Jessica Keim-Malpass, PhD, RN, School of Nursing)
- “Bioengineered Hydrogels to Facilitate 3D neural Stem Cell Survival and Growth in a Stroke Environment” (Kyle Lampe, PhD, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences)
The first-year Scholars began their projects this summer, and they provided brief introductions to their research as well:
- “Application of a Ketogenic Diet in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis” (J. Nicholas Brenton, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, School of Medicine)
- “Predicting injury risk after motor vehicle collisions using occupant and vehicle telemetry data” (Thomas Hartka, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine)
- “Use of an Internet-based intervention to prevent cognitive decline in older adults with mild cognitive impairment” (Meghan Mattos, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor of Acute and Specialty Care, School of Nursing)
- “Computational Modeling of Intestinal Mucosa: Image Analysis and Multiomics” (Sana Syed, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, School of Medicine)
Several second-year Scholars have already begun to receive extramural funding for their work. Watching this group of junior faculty from diverse backgrounds and with very different research programs — pediatrics, data science, microbiome, nursing, neurology, and more — build this strong community of learning has been wonderful. I am thrilled by the program’s emphasis on team-science and data-science training for clinical-translational researchers, and look forward to the impact on our research programs across Grounds in future years.
Applications are now open for the next cohort of THRIV scholars. Visit the website for more details or contact Sandra Burks with questions. The THRIV Scholars program is open to all junior faculty from across Grounds at UVA who are pursuing careers in clinical or translational science.
Margaret A. Shupnik, PhD
Gerald D. Aurbach Professor of Endocrinology
Senior Associate Dean for Research