Indiana CTSI retreat to focus on advancing the science of translational medicine

December 8, 2010

Researchers collaborating with the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute will meet Dec. 17 in Discovery Park to highlight the year's efforts and success stories in advancing the science of translational medicine.

The institute's third annual retreat will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 131, Hall for Discovery and Learning Research. Researchers from the Indiana School of Medicine, Indiana University-Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, University of Notre Dame and Purdue will participate.

To register for the free event, go online to For a PDF of the complete schedule, go to

Anantha Shekhar, principal investigator of the Indiana CTSI and professor and associate dean for translational research at the Indiana University School of Medicine, and CTSI deputy director Connie Weaver, a distinguished professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue, will discuss future perspectives of the Indiana research initiative.

Presentations are planned by Purdue's George Wodicka, head of the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering; William Van Alstine, professor of veterinary pathobiology; Lynetta Freeman, associate professor of biomedical engineering and veterinary clinical sciences; and Steven Frankel, professor of mechanical engineering.

Project updates also are scheduled from IUPUI biology professor Dave Nelson,  IUPUI medicine and social epidemiology professor Bobbie Van Der Pol; and Rachel Vreeman, professor of pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine.

An afternoon session on bio-nutrition will feature talks by Purdue's Wayne Campbell, professor of foods and nutrition, and Sophie Lelievre,  associate professor of basic medical sciences; as well as Judith Ernst, professor of nutrition and dietetics at IUPUI, and Michael Sturek, professor of cellular and integrative physiology at the IU School of Medicine.

Concurrent afternoon sessions will offer discussions on implementing research in the area known as "omics," next-generation sequencing, and data management and sharing with a focus on Alfresco Share & REDCap computer software applications.

Pete Kissinger, professor of chemistry at Purdue,  and Eric Davis, president and chief executive officer of Kylin Therapeutics Inc. in West Lafayette, will discuss the challenges of commercializing research discoveries. The day will close with a "Town Hall" discussion titled "How Can We Make the Most of the Indiana CTSI."

A poster session during lunch is planned in the atrium of the Hall for Discovery and Learning Research.

Earlier this year, 10 university-led research teams garnered $750,000 in one of the grant programs through the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute to encourage statewide collaborations and speed development of new medical treatments and services. Teams of researchers from Purdue, IU and Notre Dame each received grants of up to $75,000.

The grants are designed to help the scientists conduct early-stage research projects designed to attract larger grant awards from external sources, such as the National Institutes of Health. To foster collaboration, the program required that each grant proposal include participation from scientists from two or more sponsoring academic campuses: Purdue, IU Bloomington, IUPUI, IU School of Medicine and Notre Dame.

The Indiana CTSI is a statewide collaboration of IU, Purdue and Notre Dame, as well as public and private partnerships, which facilitates the translation of scientific discoveries in the lab into clinical trials and new patient treatments in Indiana and beyond. 

It was established in 2008 with a $25 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health, together with nearly $60 million from the state, the three member universities, and public and private donors. The Indiana CTSI is a member of a national network of 55 CTSA-funded organizations across the United States.