Month: April 2018

Cato T. Laurencin Travel Fellowship Awarded to Timothy Mason and Mary Omotoso

L-R (David Kohn, PhD – SFB Immediate Past President – Timothy mason – Cato T Laurencin, MD, PhD)

Timothy Mason, a UConn undergraduate student, recently received the Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. Travel Fellowship Award from the Society for Biomaterials (SFB). The award supports under-represented minorities in the field of biomaterials by providing an undergraduate student resources to attend the annual meeting of the Society For Biomaterials, and to become a member of the Society. The goal of this initiative is to stimulate/encourage recipients to pursue a career in biomaterials.

Mary Omotoso was also selected as a recipient of this award.

Dr. Cato Laurencin, CICATS CEO and for whom the fellowship has been named, is well known for his commitment to mentoring. He is the recipient of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Mentor Award, the Beckman Award for Mentoring, the Alvin F. Crawford Award for Mentoring, and received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Engineering and Math Mentoring from President Barack Obama in ceremonies at the White House. To read more about this Fellowship visit the Society for Biomaterials website.

CICATS Supports 3rd Annual STEAM Career Expo

For the third year in a row, CICATS was pleased to host an interactive table at the Urban League of Greater Hartford’s Young Professionals Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Career Expo. This event was designed to provide hands-on, exploration and interaction for Greater Hartford students (elementary school, middle school and high school) with professionals in S.T.E.A.M fields. It was also designed to create a pipeline of students with a strong focus on diversity, who can continue on to be leaders within these fields. The event aligns with CICATS mission of increasing the number of underrepresented minority students in the educational pipeline.

CICATS Attends NAI Annual Meeting

The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) 7th Annual Meeting took place in Washington, DC earlier this month. Dr. Steven L. Suib, of UConn, was formally inducted as a Fellow by NAI President, Paul R. Sanberg and the U.S. Commissioner for Patents, Andrew H. Hirshfeld. Inductees received a signature trophy and medal at the time of their induction.

Additionally, Dr. Lakshmi Nair attended the meeting on behalf of the UConn NAI Chapter, which is supported by CICATS. The UConn NAI Chapter displayed an informative table and established connections with other chapters across the country.

For more information about NAI visit their website.

CICATS Supports YWCA Hartford Region

Several CICATS staff and UConn-affiliated students and faculty attended the YWCA Hartford Region’s In the Company of Women Luncheon in mid-April. The YWCA Hartford Region is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Their mission aligns with CICATS efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities, as well as our work mentoring the next generation interested in STEM fields. At the luncheon the YWCA announced their new Executive Director, Adrienne Cochrane, who CICATS worked with for many years in her previous role at the Urban League of Greater Hartford.

CICATS Selects Seven UConn Junior Faculty as Pre-K Development Award Scholars

The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) at the University of Connecticut has announced the selection of seven new Pre-K Development Award Scholars. CICATS Pre-K Scholar Award Program is a two-year interactive program designed to equip junior faculty with the knowledge and competencies to effectively apply for an NIH Research Career Development Award (K award) as well as become leaders in clinical and translational science.

The primary goals of the Pre-K program include developing skills to write a successful K award, promoting collaborative learning with CICATS investigators and research staff, and selecting the optimal mentorship team to support a successful research career.

“Developing a K Career Development Award Application can be confusing and overwhelming for junior investigators,” said Dr. Lisa Barry of the UConn Health Center on Aging, who serves as a co-director of the program. “The Pre-K program addresses these challenges by guiding Scholars through each element of the application process, such as finding mentors and writing the career development plan.  Scholars also benefit by receiving feedback and support from a cohort of peers who are going through the same process.”

The 2018/2020 Pre-K Scholars are:

  • Stephanie Gernant, PharmaD, MS, UConn Pharmacy, Research Title: Improving MTM Delivery through Community Pharmacy Workflow Re-Design.
  • Eliane Dutra, DDS, MSD, PhD, UConn Health Orthodontics, Research Title: Anabolic Responses of Intermittent PTH Treatment in the Mandibular Condyle.
  • Jenna Bartley, PhD, UConn Health Center on Aging, Research Title: The Effect of Metformin on Influenza Vaccine Responses and T Cell Function in the Elderly Significance.
  • Jeffrey Pella, PhD, UConn Health Psychiatry, Research Title: The Costs and Benefits of a Teacher Delivered Intervention for Pediatric Anxiety.
  • Minjung Kim, PhD, UConn Health Cardiology, Research Title: Mobile Adherence Evaluations in Heart Failure Care Management.
  • Insoo Kim, PhD, UConn Health Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Research Topic: Smart Sensing Platform for Upper Limb Prosthesis Monitoring and Functional Evaluation.
  • Alexander Hogan, MD, MS, CCMC Pediatrics, Research Topic: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Decreasing Late Asthma Readmissions.

This will be the third cohort of Pre-K Scholars since the program began in 2013. “The CICATS Pre-K program has helped tremendously in providing the time and resources in order for me to submit a NIH K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award,” said Dr. Kevin J. Manning of UConn Psychiatry who is a graduating Pre-K Scholar. “I have really valued the guidance and feedback from my CICATS peers and instructors through the submission process.”

The Pre-K Scholar Award Program is at the core of CICATS work. “Increasing the number of researchers applying for NIH K and other awards is critical to the mission of CICATS and results in increased collaboration and groundbreaking scientific discoveries,” said Dr. Cato Laurencin, CEO of CICATS. CICATS Pre-K Scholars are awarded 30% protected time as well as funding for travel to national conferences.

May 2018 Science Cafe: Family Violence Research & Intervention

Each month CICATS hosts a science cafe with the Kavli Foundation on a different scientific topic. Our science cafe series aims to engage researchers, professionals, and the broader community in an informal and productive dialogue around an important clinical or public health topic.

Our May Event is organized by Dr. Damion Grasso, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at UConn Health, and focuses on children’s exposure to family violence. We will hear brief presentations from invited researchers, providers, advocates, and community members spotlighting cutting-edge research and practice as it pertains to improving prevention and intervention efforts. There will be ample time for informal discussion and networking. This event is free and all are invited to attend. Food and beverages will be provided.

Topic: Family Violence Research & Intervention: Strengthening partnerships

Organizer: Dr. Damion Grasso

When: Friday, May 11, 2018, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Where: J. Timothy’s Tavern, 143 New Britain Ave, Plainville, CT 06062

Note: There is plenty of free parking available.

Pre-registration is closed but you can still register at the event itself.

For questions please contact