Welcome to the blog of the Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC), your destination for CTSC news, upcoming events, and opportunities.

Established in 2007, the Weill Cornell CTSC supports the translation of basic research into clinical care in order to improve the health of all New Yorkers.  Founded on a commitment to “innovation through collaboration,” the CTSC works with our multiple partners throughout the New York City area to help our investigators realize their research; to train the next generation of translational researchers; and to build relationships with the communities we serve.

The CTSC offers an impressive array of services and activities. Please visit weill.cornell.edu/ctsc for more information and follow our blog to keep abreast of the latest from the CTSC.

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Weill Cornell CTSC KL2 Scholar researcher selected to participate in novel NCATS-Eli Lilly externship program

Ju Youn Kim, Ph.D.

Ju Youn Kim, Ph.D.

Ju Youn Kim, Ph.D., from the CTSC at Weill Cornell Medicine has been selected through a national competition by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to partner with Eli Lilly in a novel pilot program—the NCATS-Eli Lilly Scholars Externship Program.

Dr. Kim began her three month externship at Eli Lilly earlier this month. At Lilly, Dr. Kim is working with a research mentor in Lilly’s department of Global Regulatory Affairs (GRA), Dr. Daniel Brady, on a project within a neuroscience drug development team to advance a new chemical or biological entity through the earliest phase of drug development. The project will provide her with an opportunity to develop a regulatory strategy and regulatory filings while working within a medical team developing the study protocol(s) and executing the clinical study(s).

Dr. Kim graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA in 2005 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and molecular biology. She attended the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at NYU School of Medicine for her doctorate degree in Cell and Molecular Biology, with her thesis focusing on virology and the herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1) in peripheral neurons. Her thesis work was primarily centered on finding more effective treatments and potential cure for HSV-1. She is currently at Weill Cornell Medical College as postdoctoral research associate working in Dr. Samie Jaffrey’s laboratory, one of the world-wide leaders in the analysis of local translation. Her current goal is to study the relationship between local translation in primary neurons and maintenance of HSV-1 in latency using the powerful in vitro model that she developed as a graduate student. This project strategically combines her expertise in HSV-1 and with her current laboratory’s expertise in mRNA translation in neurons.

The NCATS Lilly Externship Program supports the training and education of participants in techniques and principles needed to pursue research in one of the world’s premier pharmaceutical companies. The primary objective of the externship program is to enhance scholars’ core competencies in clinical trial design, clinical pharmacology, toxicology and other areas critical to the drug development process.

For more information about Weill Cornell Medicine’s research, visit weillcornell.org. To learn more about the research and work of the CTSC at Weill Cornell, visit weill.cornell.edu/ctsc.

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Register NOW for CTSC Clinical and Translational Education Program Fall 2016 Courses

The Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC)

2016 Fall Semester Courses

Survey Research and Questionnaire Design

Tuesdays (4:30 – 6:00pm)
September 1 – November 11, 2016

This course will provide an overview of survey research methods for health-related research with patients or other population groups. The course goals are to provide students with an understanding of survey research by hands-on experience designing a survey research project in an area of interest. This will include reviewing the relevant literature, generating hypotheses, and making decisions about measurement, survey design, sampling, recruitment, data collection methods, and statistical analysis.

Multicultural Approaches to Community Health and Disease Prevention

Days, Times & Dates TBA

This course will provide an overview of cultural diversity and its impact on the development and implementation of health promotion policies, programs, and health services research. Students will learn how to recognize human differences, identify their own biases, and foster the development of awareness, sensitivity, knowledge, and skills required to implement effective health promotion and disease prevention care for culturally diverse populations. The use of qualitative research in understanding cultural differences will also be explored. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand how cultural differences impact their research.

Genomics Workshop

Wednesdays (4:00 – 5:00pm)
August 31 – October 5, 2016

This course is designed to give students an overview of genomics technologies including microarray and next-generation sequencing and their applications in the biomedical field leading to design, analysis and interpretation of microarray and next-generation sequencing experiments. The course will cover all the latest techniques and theories and will be organized by a combination of lecture and practical sessions.


Tuesdays and Thursdays (11:40am – 12:55pm)
August 25 – December 1, 2016

This course covers the basics of biology and the principles and practice of microfabrication techniques. Course lectures are largely from guest faculty with expertise in the presented topic areas. The course focuses on applications in biomedical and biological research. A team design project that stresses interdisciplinary communication and problem solving is one of the course requirements. The course meets twice weekly with 75-minute classes. All lectures are video-conferenced from Cornell University, Ithaca, to Weill Cornell Medical College and other cooperating institutions.

Free and open to all to register for credit

Please email ctsc-education@med.cornell.edu by August 5th

Questions? Contact: My Linh H. Nguyen-Novotny at myn2001@med.cornell.edu

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Register Now for ACRP Classroom Certification Prep Course, July 23, 2016

Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) Classroom Certification Prep Course

Sponsored by the Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC)

The Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Science Center is pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring the New York Metropolitan Chapter of ACRP’s Classroom Certification Prep Course on Saturday, July 23, 2016, from 9:00AM to 4:00PM with registration beginning at 8:30AM. It will be held at the Weill Greenberg Center, 2nd Floor, Room A/B.

This ACRP Certification Exam Preparation classroom course provides guidance on how to prepare for an ACRP Certification exam (e.g., CCRA®, CCRC®, and CPI®) to candidates eligible to take the exam. Familiarize yourself with the format of the exam, tackle example questions, and conduct a personal gap analysis to ensure you are fully primed to earn your ACRP Certification.

This classroom course was prepared by ACRP experts and includes PowerPoint presentations/handouts, interactive classroom exercises, discussions and question-and-answer sessions.

ACRP Certification is the formal recognition of clinical research professionals who have demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform ethical and responsible clinical research by passing one of three role-specific certification exams based on international standards.

By committing to ACRP Certification, you will be promoting professionalism, validating your competence, dedicating yourself to quality standards, and elevating yourself above the crowd.

Please visit the New York Metropolitan Chapter’s website to download the flyer and for information on how to register for the course and fees associated with registration. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided by the New York Metropolitan Chapter.

For more information, visit the New York Metropolitan Chapter’s Upcoming Events page.

Questions? Please contact James P. Holahan, MPH, CCRP at jph2003@med.cornell.edu

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The Clinical Research Methodology Curriculum (CRMC) Program for 2016-17 is now accepting applications


The Weill Cornell CTSC in partnership with the MSKCC Clinical Research Methodology Curriculum Program is pleased to announce the 2016-2017 Request for Applications.

This training program is conducted at MSKCC and is supported by the Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Science Center. The CRMC is designed to provide supplemental education for individuals who are either full-time faculty, residents, and fellows in training, or other professionals conducting human subject related research. The program is conducted simultaneously with specialty or subspecialty clinical research training overseen by mentors within training programs or simply as a “stand-alone” supplementary program for those performing research.

The program schedule includes:

One-Day Symposia

  • Conducting Clinical Investigations in the Modern Era: Ethical Conduct, Regulations Involving Human Subject Research, Data Management, Reporting Responsibilities, and Institutional and Cooperative Group Oversight (September 28, 2016)
  • Clinical Trials Design: Phase O, I, II, III Trials, Integrating Biological Correlates (October 31, 2016)
  • Drug and Medical Device Development: From Pre-Clinical Testing to FDA Approval (November 30, 2016)
  • Clinical Research in Outcomes Analysis, Psychometric Measurements, Clinical Genetics, Biological Markers, Early Detection, Epidemiology, and Chemoprevention (December 16, 2016)

Multisession Courses

  • Biostatistics in Clinical Research (tbd)
  • Protocol Development Workshop (tbd)
  • Grant Writing Workshop (tbd)
  • Clinical Epidemiology (tbd)

Web-Based Certification

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Requirements for Researchers in Medicine; Human Subjects Research


For instructions and link to the online application, please visit here.

The deadline to submit a completed application is Friday, August 5, 2016.

For additional information please contact Meghan Bohan at bohanm@mskcc.org.

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Register for CTSC Skills Acquistion Workshops – June 2016


Sponsored by the Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC)

Preparing IND Submissions: How to Organize, Write, Submit, and Track Submissions

This course teaches participants how to: find the required regulations and guidance documents for drug and biologic submissions; use regulations and guidance documents to outline and construct a variety of drug and biologic submissions; formulate a working knowledge of regulatory submissions, publishing, and style guides; create checklists that encompass timelines and sections needed from contributors.

June 13, 2016

8:15am – 5:00pm
Belfer Research Building, 413 East 69th Street, Room BRB 302 B/C


Investigator-Initiated Trials: Role and Responsibilities of the Investigator

This course provides an overview of: the applicable regulations for Investigator-Initiated Trials (IIT), including the role and responsibilities of the individual investigator who acts as an investigator and a sponsor in conducting the study; a review of the reporting requirements and essential documentation required for these trials and the risks involved; helpful information on what sponsors look for in industry-sponsored clinical trials.

June 17, 2016

8:15am – 5:00pm

Belfer Research Building, 413 East 69th Street, Room BRB 302 B/C


Seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

For more information please email: sec3001@med.cornell.edu

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Training Session: Reproducible analysis pipelines in the cloud with NextflowWorkbench

NB: The last session of the academic year is scheduled for Tuesday, June 7. Note that we have greatly simplified installation instructions and reduced computer requirements. Any laptop Mac/Linux with 4GB of memory is sufficient to take the course. The course will demonstrate how to run workflows in the cloud.

The biomedical informatics core of the CTSC is offering the NextflowWorkbench language to help write data analysis pipelines/workflows. NextflowWorkbench takes advantage of the Nextflow middleware and makes it possible for beginners in bioinformatics to quickly assemble efficient, parallel and reproducible workflows.

The developed workflows are portable: they run either on a personal computer, on institutional Linux clusters or on a commercial cloud (new since April 2016).

The training session (2hrs) will provide an introduction to the development of workflows with NextflowWorkbench. For training, we will use a cluster running on the cloud. In this session, trainees will create a workflow useful to analyze RNA-Seq data, including:

1.    Download read files from the Short Read Archive (SRA)

2.    Estimate quality control measurements (with FastQC)

3.    Estimate counts against the human transcriptome (with Kallisto and an Ensembl Transcript sequence database)

4.    Combine these counts into one matrix, a pre-requisite to using these counts for differential expression (e.g., with the MetaR Limma Voom analysis protocol)

See http://campagnelab.org/software/nextflow-workbench/training/ for more details.

NextflowWorkbench is part of the Data Analysis Workbench and is being developed to facilitate data analysis for biomedical scientists with minimal computational skills. The software is fully functional, open-source and provided free of charge.

The software runs as a desktop application with an interactive user interface, on MacOS X (10.8.3+) and Linux (with Java 8).

Training and assistance in the use of the software are offered to investigators who hold an appointment in one of our CTSC institutions (i.e., Weill Cornell, MSKCC, HSS, and Hunter College).

See http://workflow.campagnelab.org for software and video tutorials.

Training Sessions:

Users interested in learning how to use the software are encouraged to attend one of the monthly training sessions. Training sessions are held on select Tuesdays at 10:30 AM.

The sessions are limited to a maximum of 10 participants and pre-registration is required. Please use the registration form (http://goo.gl/forms/tW13LBjjkr) to reserve a seat.


You must have a MacOS or Linux laptop with at least 4GB of memory. No programming or UNIX skills are required. Trainees will be requested to follow the installation instructions to download and install the software on their laptop before attending the training session.

This software is provided by the Biomedical Informatics Core of the Clinical and Translational Science Center and by the Campagne laboratory. Please contact Dr. Fabien Campagne if you have any questions or comments at 646-962-5613.

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Winter/Spring 2016 Highlights from the CTSC

Community Research Symposium on December 2, 2015

This winter, the CTSC offered a one-day symposium to provide a primer on the process of Community-Based Participatory Research. Topics included advice for community organizations interested in getting involved with research, strategies to engage and partner with diverse communities, opportunities for conducting community research, and regulatory challenges. Over 80 attendees spent the day with our expert panelists and were also offered a unique networking session during the day with community researchers and academic investigators. Participants were given the opportunity to receive a $5,000 planning grant if they formed a research team following their networking. In total, grants were awarded to three teams. Two teams will conduct community research in the Bronx focusing on post-partum depression and prostate cancer, respectively, while the third will work on the Lower East Side in partnership with Henry Street Settlement to develop a pediatric health education and awareness initiative.

 Optimizing the Practice of Mentoring Workshop, March 29-30, 2016


Drs. Weber-Main and El-Fakahany address attendees of the mentoring workshop.

This 2-day workshop provided lectures in the mornings and small group discussion in the afternoon to prepare junior and senior faculty to be effective research mentors. We were joined by expert presenters Dr. Anne Marie Weber-Main, Director of Faculty Mentoring at University of Minnesota Medical School, and Dr. Esam El-Fakahany, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at University of Minnesota College of Pharmacology. The event was attended by 39 faculty members and staff from Weill Cornell Medicine and our partner institutions.

April 7, 2016, Cultural Competency Training on LGBT Communication and Health Needs


Dr. Sanchez provides invaluable information about LGBT health needs.

Dr. Nelson Sanchez, Chair of Weill Cornell Medicine’s LGBT Steering Committee, returned for a second year to lead an insightful and interactive discussion on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Inclusive Communication and Health Needs. The 25 diverse participants were comprised of physicians, nurses, not-for-profit patient advocates, medical students, and more. Throughout the afternoon, the group discussed how to provide care that is sensitive and inclusive for their LGBT patients and families and learned about local and national LGBT health disparities and best practices in the care of LGBT patients.


Participants engage in an interactive exercise matching terms with definitions.

Research in Progress Luncheons

The CTSC has hosted two recent Research in Progress Luncheons. On February 5, our luncheon was hosted by CTSC Associate Director Dr. Marcus Reidenberg and featured two presentations:

  • Outcomes of Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia After Discontinuing Idelalisib, by CTSC Master’s Degree Candidate Jacqueline Barrientos, MD
  • Rho Kinase Activity In Giant Cell Arteritis, by CTSC Master’s Degree Candidate Lindsay Lally, MD

On May 13, CTSC Associate Program Director Dr. Kendall Smith hosted the Research in Progress Luncheon which featured three research presentations:

  • Assessing Insulin Sensitivity and Diabetes Risk in Childhood Cancer Survivors Treated with Abdominal Irradiation, by CTSC KL2 Scholar Danielle Novetsky Friedman, MD
  • SEER-Medicare and Meta-Analyses of Small Renal Mass Management, by CTSC Master’s Degree Candidate Adam Talenfeld, MD
  • Identifying Shared Mechanisms of Action between Colorectal Cancer Chemo-preventative and Chemotherapy Drugs: Thymidine Depletion by DFMO/Sulindac, by CTSC TL1 Trainee Mavee Witherspoon, PhD
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Announcements: Spring 2016 Edition

Call for Abstracts: Symposium on Statistical and Computational Methods for Pharmacogenetic Epidemiology of Cancer

This two-day symposium, held August 11-12 at Memorial Sloan Kettering, will bring together junior researchers, leading experts, and graduate students working on statistical and computational methodologies with applications to studies of predictive biomarkers of cancer to discuss contemporary analytic issues, to exchange ideas, to stimulate collaborations, and to promote the use of novel statistical methods in the general cancer research community. The topical sessions will include: gene-treatment interactions in statistical models, heterogeneity of cancer etiology, progression, and response to treatment, targeted screening and intervention in clinical and population-based studies, novel sampling designs for evaluating treatment effects according to biomarker status, and statistical and computational software packages. The symposium is co-organized by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Abstracts are now being accepted and must be received by 5:00pm EST on June 15th. For more details, please see the submission instructions.

Ethics class starting June 1 with new Course Director


Dr. Inmaculada de Melo-Martin

Ethical, Social and Legal Issues in the Responsible Conduct of Research will begin on June 1 with newly named course director Dr. Inmaculada de Melo-Martin, CTSC Director of Regulatory Knowledge, Ethics, and Support Components, who has revamped the course from previous iterations. This class is the second part of a two-part series designed to heighten students’ awareness of ethical considerations relevant to conducting research. It will inform trainees of federal, state, and institutional policies, regulations, and procedures, and provide trainees with critical analysis and problem-solving skills for ethical decision-making. If you have not yet taken part one, Tri-Institutional Responsible Conduct of Research, it is offered in the fall term.

CTSC New Student Orientation in August

New Student Orientation for the education programs of the Clinical & Translational Science Center will be held in August. During this meeting, incoming students will have an opportunity to meet CTSC staff and learn more about the myriad programs and support services offered by the department. Lunch will be served during orientation. Details will be released closer to the event.

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News & Congratulations: Spring 2016 Edition

Congratulations, CTSC Graduates!

It is our pleasure to announce that this year, the following students had their Master’s Degree in Clinical & Translational Research conferred:

  • Tony Chen, PhD, Research Associate in Biomechanics at Hospital for Special Surgery. Dr Chen’s research explored load bearing characteristics of implants for osteochondral defect repair.
  • Judith Dattaro, MD, Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine in Clinical Surgery at Weill Cornell. Dr. Dattaro explored Vitamin D levels in patients presenting to the Emergency Department with fragility fractures.
  • Jayme Burket Koltsov, PhD, Instructor in the Healthcare Research Institute at Hospital for Special Surgery. Dr. Koltsov’s research was titled “The Paradox of Choice:  Uncertainty in Total Hip Arthroplasty Bearing Selection.”
  • John Lee, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology at Weill Cornell Medicine, and a CTSC KL2 Scholar who worked on an exciting pilot study that identified significant alterations in gut microbiota following kidney transplantation. Dr. Lee was recently awarded a K23 grant from NIH to continue his research.
  • Alana Levine, MD, Fellow in Rheumatology at Hospital for Special Surgery, studied “The Effect of Short-term Hydroxychloroquine Use on the Criteria and Selected Non-criteria Antiphospholipid Antibody Tests.”
  • Catherine Thomas, BS, Research Coordinator for the Weill Cornell Comprehensive Weight Control Center, and her MS thesis focused on the evidence of bias against adoption of anti-obesity pharmacotherapies. Her research showing carbohydrates consumed after proteins and fats have a less dramatic effect on blood sugar and insulin levels of patients with Type 2 diabetes than when eaten beforehand was recently published in Diabetes Care.

Dr. Kendall Smith, CTSC Associate Program Director, Education, presenting the Cornell University Seal to our MS Degree graduates during the WCGS Convocation ceremony. In attendance were (from left to right) Catherine Thomas, BS; John Lee, MD; Judith Dattaro, MD; and Jayme Burket Koltsov, PhD


CTSC Summer Intensive Fellowship in C/T Research for Medical Students

We are pleased to announce this year’s CTSC Summer Intensive in Clinical and Translational Research Fellows. The CTSC Summer Fellowship is an 8-week continuous program that provides up to five medical students per year with an introduction to basic, translational or clinical research.

  • Orrin Belden, BS, will be working with Dr. Mark Rubin, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, on a research project titled “Evaluating Chemotherapies on CRISPR/Cas-9 Edited Organoids.”
  • Cara Berkowitz, BS, will work under the mentorship of Dr. Richard Isaacson, Department of Neurology, to research “Dietary Intervention to Prevent and Slow Memory Loss Due to Alzheimer’s.”
  • David Hess-Homeier, BS, will work with Dr. Zachary Grinspan, Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, on his research titled “Newborn Screening for Epilepsy: Which Disorders Should We Screen For?”
  • Olivia Sutton, BS, will be mentored by Dr. Sunitha Thakur, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Department of Medical Physics and Radiology, and spend the summer researching “3D MR Spectroscoping Imaging for Monitoring Treatment Response.”
  • Trent Walradt, BS, will be working with Dr. Marcin Imielinski, Institute of Computational Biomedicine, on a research project titled “Using Bayesian Modeling to Evaluate False Negative Rates in Clinical Sequencing.”

2016 CTSC Travel Award Winners

Every year the CTSC sponsors Travel Awards for scholars and trainees to attend and present research abstracts at the Translational Science Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The Translational Science Annual Meeting is a great venue for our students to gain national exposure and network with others working in clinical and translational research. To date, 17 students have been accepted for this award. This year, travel awards were granted to:

  • Alec Stranahan, BS, PhD, Candidate and TL1 Award Trainee, presented his research “Targeted Inhibition of 5-Lipoxygenase Increases Chemosensitivity in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.”
  • Mary Clare McCorry, BS, PhD, Candidate and TL1 Award Trainee, presented her research “Investigating Mesenchymal Stem Cell Co-Cultured Tissue Engineered Menisci for Clinical Application.”

Celebrating Alumni Achievements

Recent TL1 Trainee Alumnus David Montrose, Ph.D., Research Associate in Medicine, gave a talk at Weill Cornell’s Department of Medicine Monthly Junior Faculty Mentoring Conference. Dr. Montrose spoke about his TL1-supported research which explored the effect that certain cancer drug treatments have on the microbiota, under the mentorship of Dr. Andrew Dannenberg, Department of Medicine. Their paper on the topic is currently under review for publication in the American Association for Cancer Research journal Cancer Prevention Research. More details about the research can be found on the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center news page.

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CTSC Investigator Christopher Mason, PhD, Awarded Gates Foundation Grant



Christopher Mason, PhD, won a prestigious grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Science Center congratulates our colleague Christopher Mason, PhD, on winning a prestigious Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Mason led an exciting and provocative study in 2015 to develop a “PathoMap” of the microbes found in the New York City subway system. This latest grant, which provides $100,000 in funding for its first phase, will enable scientists to develop similar maps of 54 international cities. Such maps would have enormous potential to help public health efforts, monitoring of diseases, and city planning.


Dr. Mason has served as a mentor in the CTSC’s Clinical and Translational Education Program (CTEP) and in 2012 was co-Principal Investigator on a CTSC seed-funding grant for the project “A Combined Metabolomics and Genomics Approach to Vancomycin Resistance in Enterococcus faecium.”

The CTSC is thrilled by the success of Dr. Mason’s lab and excited to see how his work will evolve our understanding of our surroundings and disease.

To learn more about Dr. Mason’s Grand Challenges Explorations project, visit here.

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