Latest News from the Office of Sponsored Projects
Welcome to my first Senior Director’s Corner!
My background is in developing and testing programs, practices, and policies with the goal of reaching a broad and representative proportion of patients and achieving clinically meaningful effects that can be sustained overtime. As such, my vision for research at Carilion Clinic is that we take a patient-centered approach to developing research questions, designing studies, and interpreting our results. The ultimate goal is to conduct innovative research that ethically, safely, and effectively improves the health of our patients. Our current work in basic science, applied clinical science, and clinical trials aligns well with this overarching goal.
One of my charges is to continue to support a strong research climate within Carilion Clinic. As I have met with a number of department chairs, one of my initial strategies in this regard is to ask for their support to have research returned to a measurable factor on the organizational scorecard. I’m also working through a summary assessment of the current infrastructure that includes the function and services offered by of the Office of Sponsored Projects. We are hoping to identify current opportunities for improvement and strengths in our current infrastructure. It will also provide information for methods to better match our research to timely and important practice needs.
Overtime, we also plan to collaboratively develop a formal mission statement for Carilion Research that highlights the intention for an integrated research-practice enterprise that is beneficial to patients, physicians, employees, researchers, research groups, clinics and departments within Carilion. A related goal is to refine the organizational structure to allow for research and practice activities to become integrated with facilitative policies that make research-practice interactions easier to engage in while adhering to necessary ethical, patient safety, and privacy issues.
I also have a charge to develop areas of research that are distinct from, yet complimentary to, current and future work of faculty at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. It is my belief that a strong Carilion Clinic research department will be one that facilitates opportunities for research in collaboration with both VTCRI and VTCSOM; it will also be one that develops an infrastructure that can support patient-centered research conducted by internal investigators.
If you have any ideas on the direction we need to take in the research department please let me know! On a more specific level, we plan to make some changes to our quarterly newsletter. We will continue to highlight one of our investigators each quarter and I am hoping we can get an interview with one of the department chairs each quarter to talk about research, hot topics, or future directions relative to their discipline. Finally, we want to highlight Carilion Clinic researcher publications and to report our success in obtaining extramural funding.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear from you about your ideas for research!
The Research Acceleration Program (RAP) Submission Deadline is Friday, March 1, 2013
Guidelines will be available soon.
Carilion Clinic Research Day 2013 is Thursday, April 25, 2013.
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM). Additional details will be distributed soon.
Carilion Clinic Basic Science Research Lab Acquires a new Gene Pulser Xcell Electroporation System by Bio Rad
As mentioned in the last newsletter, the research lab has just acquired a new Gene Pulser Xcell Electroporation System by Bio Rad. This equipment was purchased with grant funding from the Thomas F. and Kate Jeffress Memorial Trust of Richmond awarded to Dr. Jayasimha Rao, Senior Research Associate for the Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, at Carilion Clinic for his study entitled, "Mutational Analysis of RsmA Binding Sites and Regulatory Targets in Pseudomonas aeruginosa". This electroporation system is a much needed and appreciated addition to the research laboratory.
A Progressive New Viral Therapy Now Available at Carilion Clinic
Recently, the Gynecological Oncology Clinic opened the GOG 186H clinical trial offering cutting edge cancer treatment for ovarian cancer patients. Ovarian cancer is diagnosed in approximately 22,000 women annually and is responsible for an estimated 14,000 cancer deaths each year. This trial should make history by raising the bar for Carilion Clinic's cancer treatments that were only available previously at cancer centers located miles from the patient’s home.
The GOG 186H is a phase II trial that offers two arms of therapy. A patient is randomized to either receive standard chemotherapy or standard treatment plus the new virus called Reolysin. This new drug is derived from the human reovirus and has proven to demonstrate the ability to seek out cancer cells, penetrate the cell wall, replicate within the cell and subsequently destroy the cancer. The reovirus is an acronym for Respiratory Enteric Orphan virus that is believed to inhabit the respiratory and bowel systems of humans. By the age of 12, half of all children show evidence of exposure to the virus and by adulthood, most people have been exposed. This virus is found naturally in water supplies and sewage systems. It is also in lakes, rivers and streams. It is important to note that the virus is considered non-pathogenic which means that usually no symptoms occur from exposure to the virus.
Reovirus was found to be capable of reproducing in various cancer cell lines. More specifically, it can penetrate the cancer cells that demonstrate the activated RAS pathway. Tumor cells that show an activated RAS pathway are not capable of producing an anti-viral response that is normally mediated by the host cellular protein called PKR. This protein is responsible for preventing reovirus replication in healthy cells. As the reovirus replicates within the tumor cell and then eventually kills the host tumor cell, the virus particles are released and seek out additional cancer cells. The cycle of infecting the tumor cell, replicating, and cell death is believed to be able to repeat until all cancer cells are destroyed. In addition, this process may also stimulate the immune system to recognize and kill other tumor cells. You can view an excellent video demonstrating the mechanism of action for Reloysin.
Currently, there are a limited number of options for women who present with recurrent ovarian cancer. This trial is showing promise, and the Gynelogical Oncology team is very excited to be able to offer this revolutionary treatment option to patients in our area. Notably, it has taken the hard work and dedication of various departments within Carilion to develop a treatment plan and set guidelines for the safe handling and administration of this exciting new therapy. It truly is a great time to be a part of the Carilion Clinic!
Charlene Viers, RN, BSN, OCN, CCRP
Carilion’s Active Clinical Trials’ List
For a snapshot view of all Carilion’s active clinical trials, we have developed an Active Clinical Trials Index. This index can be found by going to the Carilion Clinic homepage, select Education and Research, Research at Carilion, then looking at the left-hand side of the page, you will find Active Clinical Trials Index as the first item “In This Section.”
Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) Listserv Announcement
Carilion Clinic OSP distributes a list of new and current grant opportunities. This list includes new opportunities from federal agencies, as well as grant announcements from foundations and other organizations. Notices from federal agencies on e-submission, compliance or other subjects are also included in the e-mail.
If you are interested in subscribing to funding opportunities and announcement e-mail list, please e-mail email@example.com with "subscribe to OSP listserv" in the subject line.