OSCTR News Update

March 6, 2019


In this issue: Welcome, Upcoming Events, Local Funding Opportunities, OSCTR Clinical Resources Core,

Policy Update: 2018 Revised Common Rule, Mentoring Resources, Neuroinflammation Research by Bob Axtell



We’ve heard from several of you that we need better ways to share information about events, opportunities, and resources for clinical and translational research in Oklahoma. We hope this quarterly newsletter will be a step in the right direction. The newsletter will focus on opportunities for research related to health inequalities and conditions that lead to poor health in Oklahoma: cancer and tobacco use, diabetes and obesity, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and autoimmunity, opioid abuse, and child health. We’ll also use the newsletter to celebrate research successes in these areas.


The newsletter is being sent out to leaders of the OSCTR and people who have received OSCTR support, such as pilot funding and core services. You can unsubscribe at any time using the link at the bottom of the e-mail. If you know of any opportunities or research that should be highlighted in the newsletter, or you have other suggestions, please e-mail us at osctr@ouhsc.edu.


Tim VanWagoner, PhD

OSCTR Deputy Director and Program Coordinator



Mentoring Workshops from the Oklahoma Center for Mentoring Excellence

March 7, March 21, and April 11 from 8-10 a.m.

This workshop series uses an evidence-based, interactive approach to enhance mentoring skills through collective problem solving. The series is recommended for faculty who mentor junior faculty, trainees, or students. Participants who complete the series will earn a certificate and gain access to mentoring resources from the NIH National Research Mentoring Network. Sponsored by the OUHSC Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs & Faculty Development and the OSCTR. There is no fee, but registration is required (https://ouhsc.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3IDlc8YdkB0iuwZ). Contact Natasha-Mickel@ouhsc.edu for details.


2019 Proteomics Faculty and Student Workshop

April 4-5, 2019 in Little Rock, AR

The 2019 IDeA Proteomics Workshop will emphasize new approaches that researchers can implement in their own laboratories and how to best utilize the resulting data for extramural funding applications. This workshop is provided by the IDeA National Resource for Proteomics through a supplement to the Arkansas INBRE (P20GM103429) and Oklahoma INBRE (P20GM103447). Deadline to apply is March 2019. http://idearesourceproteomics.org/discovery-phase-proteomics-faculty-and-student-workshop/


2019 Oklahoma Geroscience Symposium: The Role of Inflammation in Aging and Age-Associated Diseases

April 24, 2019 at OMRF

The 2019 Geroscience Symposium features sessions on inflammation and aging, pathways leading to inflammation, and inflammation and age-associated diseases. The Keynote Speaker is Luigi Ferucci, MD, PhD, Scientific Director of the intramural program at the National Institute on Aging.  His talk is entitled “Blood Inflammatory Mediators and Aging: Causes and Consequences.” This event is sponsored by the OUHSC Office of the VPR, OKC-VA Medical Center, Reynolds Oklahoma Center on Aging, the Oklahoma Nathan Shock Center, OMRF, the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, and the Geroscience Center. For details and registration, visit https://gerosciencemeeting.omrf.org/.


2019 IDeA Central Region Conference

June 12-14, 2019 in Oklahoma City

The 2019 IDeA Central Regional Conference will bring together investigators, students, and research leadership from Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The conference will offer sessions with NIH program officers, faculty and student research presentations, several thematic breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. OSCTR, INBRE, and COBRE investigators are encouraged to participate. Senior NIGMS leadership will attend. Registration deadline is May 15, 2019. Abstracts are due May 3, 2019.  https://okinbre.ouhsc.edu/Details-Events/2019-idea-central-region-conference-in-okc



PHF Grant Applications Due in March.

These awards are designed to impact research and research growth at OUHSC. See applications and full instructions at https://research.ouhsc.edu/Resources/PHF-Funding-2019

Clinician Scientist Development Grant: March 8. Designed to advance the applicant’s research project to a level that will be competitive for funding through a federal career development award mechanism. Applicants must have an appointment at OUHSC. 


Equipment Grant: March 15. Partial funding (50% match) for research equipment.  Priority is given to research equipment that will permit OUHSC investigators to be more competitive for external funding and provides support to multiple users.


Symposium Grant: March 15. Partial funding (50% match) to support a national or international symposium to be held at the OUHSC campus or in Oklahoma City. 


Team Science Grant: March 22. Designed to foster innovative, collaborative research involving multiple investigators. At least half of the investigators must be at OUHSC.


Seed Grant: March 29. One-year grant for OUHSC faculty to initiate new projects.


Research Support Grant: March 29. Provides stipend support for senior doctoral graduate students working on an externally funded research project.


Bridge Grant: April 19. Provides funding for OUHSC faculty who have submitted an external application that was scored but not funded within the past 18 months.


Oklahoma COBRE in Structural Biology Pilot Project Proposals Due March 29.

For projects that combine structural biology approaches (defined broadly) with other functional characterization of important biomolecules relevant to improving human health. Investigators are not allowed to hold more than one IDeA grant at a time. http://structuralbiology.ou.edu/call-for-pilot-project-proposals


Oklahoma Center for Respiratory and Infectious Diseases Pilot Project Proposals Due April 15.

For projects that fit into the central theme of the Center, i.e. infectious diseases of the respiratory system. Full-time faculty at OSU, OUHSC, OU-Norman or OMRF are eligible to apply. Investigators are not allowed to hold more than one IDeA grant at a time. https://ocrid.okstate.edu/pilot_grant



The OSCTR Clinical Resources Core assisted investigators with >170 IRB processes, provided >1,100 clinic visits and distributed >1M biospecimens in the last year. These services enable Oklahoma investigators to pursue new lines of clinical and translational research while making the most efficient use of their resources. These services are available to investigators at the Oklahoma Health Center and other institutions statewide through the following service units.


The Clinical Service Units provide study recruitment, subject visits, and sample collection in our clinical research areas at OUHSC (HHDC Ste. 2201) and OMRF (Rheumatology Research Center). In addition, our skilled personnel can travel to clinics to accommodate specialized equipment, patient requirements, or investigator needs.


The Regulatory Assistance Unit helps researchers navigate the regulatory requirements necessary for clinical research, clinical trials, dissemination/implemental research, or device studies at academic, tribal or community locations.


The Registry and Repository Unit helps investigators establish new registries, repositories, and collections, and provides access to existing collections. The available resources include both cross-sectional collections and longitudinal studies with extensive data from clinical encounters, biospecimens, and associated laboratory and experimental data. The Registry and Repository Unit also provides central repository services for NIH-funded and investigator-initiated clinical trials. These services are possible through the skilled personnel and specialized infrastructure of the CAP-certified OMRF Biorepository (https://aci-cores.omrf.org/biorepository/).


For additional information about the Clinical Resources Core, please select “Need assistance?” at osctr.ouhsc.edu, or contact Katlyn Beecken (e-mail: Katlyn-Beecken@ouhsc.edu, phone: 405-271-3480 ext. 34881).



The Revised NIH Common Rule for human subjects research is effective January 21, 2019. The Revised Common Rule (45 CFR 46) eliminates continuing review for some minimal risk studies, adds new requirements for informed consent, and establishes new exemption categories.  Under the Revised Common Rule, informed consent documents are presented in a different order and provide new types of information to help participants understand the proposed research. This includes a concise presentation (e.g., bullet points) of key information about the research and participation in the study. In addition, the document must provide full disclosures for (1) how the samples will be used, (2) whether genetic/genomic information will be obtained, (3) if samples/data will be stored and for how long, (4) if samples will be shared with other researchers, and (5) how the knowledge gained will be shared publically.


For more information or assistance please contact your institutional IRB, or see the OUHSC IRB Common Rule Guidelines (https://compliance.ouhsc.edu/hrpp/OUHSC/Revised-Common-Rule).



The Oklahoma Center for Mentoring Excellence (OCME) is a new resource launched by the OSCTR in collaboration with the OUHSC Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Faculty Development. The goal of OCME is to strengthen Oklahoma’s research environment through mentoring. OCME offers evidence-based training in effective mentoring and research skills, maintains a pool of highly qualified and well-trained mentors, coordinates one-on-one mentoring, and evaluates mentoring outcomes. These resources are available for new and experienced mentors, mentees, and programs with mentoring components.


The next mentor training workshop series begins on March 7. Mentors who complete the workshop series will receive a certificate and have an opportunity to become a Master Mentor. OCME workshops use validated curriculum from the NIH National Research Mentoring Network. The workshops are offered on a regular basis, and the series can be completed in any order. Contact Natasha-Mickel@ouhsc.edu for details.



Bob Axtell, PhD, a former OSCTR pilot investigator, studies immune dysfunction in multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica. His long-term goal is to develop a molecular medicine approach to understanding and treating neuro-inflammatory diseases by defining how the different arms of the immune system interact in neuroinflammation.


Bob’s approach to research is highly collaborative and translational. He combines in vivo mouse studies with in vitro human studies to identify the impact of multiple sclerosis therapies on the functions and interactions of T-cells, B-cells, neutrophils, and interferon pathways.


Bob joined OMRF in 2013, where he is now an Associate Member in Arthritis and Clinical Immunology. His early studies on the molecular stratification of multiple sclerosis and related disorders were funded by an NIH K99/R00 award, and a highly competitive international grant from Merck KGaA. In 2015, Bob received an OSCTR pilot award for a project on Functional Interaction between T-cell and B-cell Immune Pathways in Neuro-inflammatory Disorders. In addition to OSCTR pilot funding, the OSCTR Clinical Resources Core helped Bob obtain RNA and PBMCs from patients with neuroinflammatory diseases, as well as preliminary data for an R01 application.


Bob is currently leading NIH-funded research projects focused on the roles of type I interferon and TH17 in neuromyelitis optica and other autoimmune diseases (R01AI37047) and pathogenic B cell and T helper cell interactions in neuromyelitis optica (R01EY027346). 





To subscribe or unsubscribe, please e-mail your preferences to OCTSI@ouhsc.edu