APRIL 2010

APRIL 2010
Drs. Beth Parker, Donna Polk and Cardiology/ Institute of Living Collaborators Awarded $1.2 Million to Study Effects of HighDose Statins on Cognition and Memory
The Research Program is pleased to announce that Beth Parker, PhD and Donna Polk, MD have been awarded a three-year, $1.2
million dollar R01 through the NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to study the effects of high-dose statins on neuronal
activity and cognitive function. Statins are the most effective medications for managing elevated concentrations of low-density
lipoprotein cholesterol and are the most prescribed drugs in the United States and the world. A growing body of evidence suggests
that treatment with high potency statins may be associated with the development of cognitive deficits, a trend that is alarming
given that increasing numbers of adults are treated with high-doses of potent statins. To date there have been no randomized
clinical trials examining cognitive function in healthy adults on these drug regimens. The new study will assess neuronal activation
and cognition in adults treated with 80 mg atorvastatin for six months vs. placebo using subjects currently enrolled in the NHLBIsponsored, randomized, double-blind clinical trial, The Effects of Statins On Skeletal Muscle Function (The STOMP Study; Dr. Paul
Thompson, PI). Neuronal activation will be measured via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during memory-based tasks
while subjects are on study drug and two months after they have ceased study-drug treatment. Cognitive tests will also be
administered to assess cognitive performance including different forms of memory. The study will test the hypothesis that adults
treated with high dose atorvastatin will demonstrate altered patterns of neuronal activation when on-drug vs. off-drug in contrast to
adults treated with placebo.
Preliminary data collected from subjects in the STOMP study were generated through an Open Competition award funded in 2005 by
the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff. These data indicated that adults treated with atorvastatin exhibit reduced activation during the
encoding phase and exaggerated activation during the recognition phase of two different memory tasks, thus providing the scientific
impetus for the application to NIH that resulted in the new award. The new study, scheduled to start this spring, is important given
the present widespread use of statins at high concentrations. Statins are lifesaving medications, but anecdotal evidence, case
reports, and survey data indicate that they may evoke adverse changes in memory and cognition in otherwise healthy adults.
Understanding if and how a high-dose, potent statin affects cognitive function in healthy adults is critical to further evaluate the
risk and benefit of these drugs and to design treatment strategies to reduce cardiovascular disease risk. The new project will involve
Co-Investigators Paul Thompson, MD (Hartford Hospital Cardiology Department) and Godfrey Pearlson, MD (Olin Neuropsychiatry
Research Center). Joe Kulas, PhD and Sarah Bullard, PhD (Psychological Testing) will perform the cognitive testing.
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Department of Neurosurgery Expands Research Efforts Through New Clinical Trials
The Department of Neurosurgery, under the direction of Dr. Inam Kureshi, has recently initiated several clinical trials with the
assistance of Hartford Hospital's Clinical Research Center. STICH II, a surgical trial focusing on lobar intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH)
is being sponsored by Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals in the United Kingdom. A second trial, CLEAR III, will enroll patients with
intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) secondary to ICH in order to compare treatment options using extraventricular drainage (EVD)
with or without recombinant tissue- Plasminogen Activator (rt-PA). A third study, MISTIE, will evaluate the use of minimally invasive
surgery plus rt-PA for ICH evacuation. Dr. Marc Palter, Medical Director of the Neurosurgical ICU, will serve as an investigator in the
INTREPID study. This trial, funded by the Department of Defense and Neuren Pharmaceuticals, will investigate treatments for the
prevention of secondary injury and disability following traumatic brain injury. Lynne Hosig, CCRP, Clinical Research Associate in the
Clinical Research Center, will provide research support to conduct these trials. Mid-level practitioners and nursing staff in the
Department of Neurosurgery will play integral roles in these research efforts.
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The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) Update
The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS) was officially launched on September 29, 2009. The
mission of CICATS is to: 1) educate and nurture new scientists; 2) increase the number of clinical and translational research
projects conducted at the Health Center, regional hospitals, the Storrs campus of the University, and other healthcare organizations
throughout the greater Hartford metropolitan area, and 3) work collaboratively with regional stakeholders to improve healthcare
conditions that are among the leading causes of morbidity, mortality, disability and health disparities in the region and the nation.
One important component of CICATS is the availability of an electronic portal through which investigators and others can maintain a
profile and register to receive information on CICATS activities and resources. Registration is now active at:
http://cicats.uchc.edu/. Interested readers may find a detailed description of CICATS in the January 2010 Research Rundown,
available at: (http://www.hartfordhealth.org/research/News_Publications.htm).
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Research Mentorship Volunteer Program: Opportunities Available Through the Department of Volunteer Services
The Research Mentorship Volunteer Program, now coordinated by the Department of Volunteer Services, offers opportunities for
college students and others to assist with research projects. Investigators who are interested in having a volunteer assist with a
research project may contact Volunteer Services to submit a request. The role will be posted electronically and Volunteer Services
will help recruit and screen potential volunteers. Investigators who have a specific volunteer in mind to assist with a project should
direct that person to Volunteer Services for the required processing including orientation, HIPAA education, health screening, photo
ID, parking and meal pass benefits. Please contact Eileen Pelletier, Co-Director of Volunteer Services at X52448 or
[email protected] with any questions.
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Internships in Health Disparities Research Offered through CEHDL
Hartford Hospital invites applications for four Research Assistant positions under the auspices of CEHDL (www.cehdl.uconn.edu).
CEHDL is an EXPORT Center funded by the NIH Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. CEHDL is structured as a consortium
led by The University of Connecticut in close partnership with The Hispanic Health Council, and Hartford Hospital.
The available positions are in the area of health disparities and will require an 8 week commitment. Ideal candidates should be
enrolled in a degree program in any health care field, should have an interest in understanding multicultural issues and should have
some basic data analysis skills using either SPSS/MS Access/Excel. The curriculum includes 1) Clinical Exposure, 2) Data Analysis, 3)
Research and Scholarly Activity, and 4) Report writing or Poster Presentation of research work.
The positions will start on May 31st, 2010. Interested applicants may send applications by email to Jyoti Chhabra, PhD at
([email protected]). Applications must include: (1) curriculum vitae/resume, (2) an explanation of applicant's interest in the
position and how he/she will incorporate the experience into his/her overall career-goals, and (2) names, addresses, e-mails, and
telephone numbers of at least two references.
The positions will involve a stipend commensurate with hours worked. The closing date for applications is 5/15/2010.
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Hispanic Health Council (HHC) Seeks Director, Center for Community Health Research
The HHC's Center for Community Health Research (CCHR) conducts community-based participatory research and provides data to
inform HHC's public policy agenda and evidence based service interventions. The HHC is currently seeking a Director for this
research center. The successful candidate will be responsible for overall leadership of the CCHR and for the development of the
broad research services agenda in congruence with the organization's mission and goals and in accordance with innovations in
research methodologies and emerging analytic techniques. The Center for Community Health Research shares its research results
through publications, collaboration, and conference participation. Qualifications include a PhD with a concentration in public
health, epidemiology, community health, psychology, education, medical sociology, medical anthropology or community/public
health nutrition or a related field and five to eight years of applied research experience. Previous experience securing NIH funding
for research is preferred. For more information please visit http://www.hispanichealth.com/hhc/employment.
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Registration Open for 2010 SBIR National Conference, Hartford, CT
The 2010 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) National Conference will once again be held in Hartford, CT, April 21-23, 2010.
Confirmed keynote speakers include Dr. Henry Lee, Chief Emeritus of the Connecticut State Police, Founder and Professor of the
Forensic Science Program at the University of New Haven and Dr. Kristina Johnson, Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy. The
conference will also offer one-on-one private meetings with SBIR agencies and large companies, "Speed Dating" networking sessions,
a poster session for Small Technology Companies and University Tech Transfer to showcase technologies, products and services, as
well as workshops, panels, presentations, an Exhibit Hall with Cyber Cafe and a Pre-Conference Workshop on April 20, 2010.
Registration is open at http://www.SBIRnational.com.
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Inaugural Lawrence G. Raisz, M.D. Visiting Lectureship in Clinical and Translational Research
The inaugural Lawrence G. Raisz, M.D. Visiting Lectureship in Clinical and Translational Research will be held at the University of
Connecticut Health Center's Patterson Auditorium on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 4:00pm. Eric Topol, M.D. will present a lecture
entitled, "Medicine Goes Digital: How Genomics and Wireless Will Change the Future of Health Care." Dr. Topol is a noted American
cardiologist and geneticist with over 1,000 publications. He is Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, Chief Academic
Officer for Scripps Health, and The Gary and Mary West Chair of Innovative Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla,
CA. Dr. Topol is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. He was named Doctor of the Decade by
the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the top 10 most-cited medical researchers. The lecture will be followed by a wine
and cheese reception in honor of Dr. Raisz. The event is open to all. Please RSVP to Kathy Donnald at 860-679-3076,
[email protected]
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Hartford Hospital to Host BEACON'S 5th Meet and Greet Event
Hartford Hospital will host the 5th BEACON Meet and Greet event to be held on May 12, 2010 in the Educational Resource Center
Building, 560 Hudson Street from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. This event is designed for BEACON members and invited guests to meet in a
comfortable networking atmosphere. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Parking is free on the street or in the Hartford Hospital
Employee Lot on Hudson Street (same side of the street as the Resource Center). RSVP requested: 860-547-1995 or
[email protected]
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Other BEACON Events and Updates
The following are other upcoming BEACON (Biomedical Engineering Alliance and Consortium) events. Some information is still to be
announced. Visit Beacon at www.beaconalliance.org for more information.
APRIL 14 - "Tri-State Get Together" sponsored by BEACON, New Hampshire Bio/Medical Council and Medical Development Group
(MDG) will be held at the UMASS Medical Center, Worcester, MA. A Networking Reception will be held from 4:00 - 5:30pm with
presentations from 5:30 - 7:00pm. BEACON is joining with the New Hampshire Bio/Medical Council and the Medical Development
Group (MDG) in Massachusetts to present the "best and most innovative" medical technologies from each state. The event will
include a long networking reception so that attendees can meet and greet and learn from each other. Registration is $25 in advance
and $45 at the door. To register, visit: www.meddevgroup.org.
APRIL 20-22 - Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) National Conference held at the Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford,
CT - BEACON is a sponsor and will have a booth. Register at: www.sbirnational.com
APRIL 28 - SEMINAR - "Regenerative Medicine" presented by Dr. Koudy Williams, Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Wake Forest
University School of Medicine, North Carolina. Sponsored by PFIZER, this seminar will address the organ shortage by engineering
replacement cells, tissues and organs using adult, progenitor, or human embryonic stem cells. There is no charge to attend, but
please RSVP to: 1-877-723-2266 or [email protected] The event will be held at Hospital of Special Care, New
Britain, CT beginning with a networking reception at 5:00pm and Presentation at 6:00.
SEPTEMBER 15 - SEMINAR - "Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2010" presented by James Beaty, Signal Analysis Team Lead, Johns Hopkins
Applied Physics Lab, Laurel, MD. Event will be held at the Connecticut Science Center, Hartford, CT. It will begin with a networking
reception at 5:00pm, followed by talk in the 3D Science Theater and possible tour of the facility when the event is concluded. Cosponsored with the Connecticut Science Center. More details to follow. Free to attend.
Maneeley's Banquet & Conference Center, South Windsor, CT. Early confirmed sponsors: Hartford Hospital; Trinity College; Saint
Francis Hospital & Medical Center Foundation. 4:30-6:00 pm - Meet & Greet networking event for those attending dinner.
6:00-8:00 pm - Celebration Dinner with presentation of the BEACON Medical Technology Award and Keynote Speaker Larry V.
McIntire, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology.
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Aetna Foundation Announces 2010 Grant Program Funding Priorities
To improve the quality and delivery of health services to everyone, and to drive toward improved health status for the American
public, the health care system must be repaired. The Aetna Foundation seeks national and regional partners with the vision to make
these goals a reality. Grant-making is focused on the following three areas:
Obesity: Addressing the rising rate of obesity among U.S. adults and children
Racial and Ethnic Health Care Equity: Promoting equity in health and health care for common chronic conditions and
infant mortality
Integrated Health Care: Advancing high-quality health care by improving care coordination and communications among
health care professionals; creating informed and involved patients; and promoting cost-effective, affordable care
Grant applications that address more than one of these areas will receive priority consideration for Aetna Foundation funding. In
2010, applications will be accepted in quarterly cycles with submission closing dates of:
February 15
May 15
August 15
November 15
Types of Grants:
Research: Grants that will generate new knowledge, making use of either quantitative or qualitative techniques
Projects: Grants that will test, apply or disseminate new practices; designed to improve health and health care
Policy: Grants that analyze and promote policies to ensure that programs and practices to improve health and health care
can be replicated and disseminated broadly
Additionally, applications are considered for sponsorship of fundraising events such as galas and walks; outreach activities (e.g.,
health fairs); and other community based health and wellness initiatives that are aligned with our funding priorities. For more
information please see: http://www.aetna.com/about-aetna-insurance/aetna-foundation/aetna-grants/grants-for-2010-andbeyond.html
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Michael J. Fox Foundation Announces Funding Opportunities
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is committed to accelerating promising Parkinson's Disease research toward clinical testing and
patient benefit. While there is a strong emphasis on translational and clinical research, funding is also available for high-risk/highreward discovery work to help keep novel approaches flowing into the drug development pipeline. MJFF sponsors a Pipeline Program
to fund investigator-initiated proposals focused on critical points along the translational pathway to new therapies for Parkinson's
disease. Deadlines for this program are in June 2010. MJFF also funds Critical Challenge Programs which provide funding for top
MJFF research priorities and areas of particular emphasis. Previous programs have included biomarker development, validation of
disease subtypes, directive focus on top therapeutic targets such as LRRK2 and alpha-synuclein, funding for research into dyskinesia
and untreated symptoms, and programs dedicated to the development of critical research tools such as improved animal models of
Parkinson's Disease. The deadline for this program is April 28, 2010. New funding initiatives are announced throughout the year.
Interested parties may sign up to receive e-mail alerts whenever a new program is announced. Please visit
http://www.michaeljfox.org/research_fundingOpportunities.cfm for more information.
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U.S. - Israel Binational Science Foundation: A Special Call for Proposals in Transformative Science
The U.S. - Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) is pleased to announce the opening of the first round of applications in its new
program devoted to Transformative Science grants. For complete details of the new program and submission instructions please
consult the BSF website (www.bsf.org.il) under 'Download forms'. Some of the terms of this competition are as follows:
The BSF definition of Transformative Science has been adopted from the NSF and is: "Research driven by ideas that have potential to
radically change our understanding of an important scientific concept, or lead to the creation of a new paradigm, or a new field of
science. Such research is also characterized by its challenge to current understanding or by its pathways to new frontiers". Proposals
will be evaluated first and foremost on their transformative nature, but naturally also need to exhibit scientific excellence.
Applications must be submitted jointly by at least one Israeli and one American scientist, as required in all BSF programs and must
be submitted through a non-profit institution or agency. The BSF accepts research applications from institutions of higher learning,
government research institutions, non-profit hospitals and other non-profit research organizations. Collaboration with industry
partners is permitted but the industry partner may be a PI only if he does not request funding. Grants will be managed through the
institutions that made the application.
Transformative Science projects may be up to 3 years in duration, and will receive up to $100,000/year, which may be divided
among the PIs, according to their preference. Applications to the Transformative Science program will be processed using a two tier
submission process, starting with a short pre-proposal, followed by full proposals of selected applications. Pre-proposals will be
submitted online using the relevant BSF submission system, not later than May 11, 2010. The BSF website will be open for submission
on April 12, 2010. Announcement of the applications that are selected for submission of full proposals is expected to be made by
July 15, 2010. Full proposals will be submitted online using the relevant BSF submission system, not later than Oct. 12, 2010. Final
results are expected around Feb. 20, 2011.
Applicants are requested to acquaint themselves with the BSF regulations before they submit an application, and are encouraged to
discuss the proposal with the BSF management, Dr. Yair Rotstein ([email protected]) or Dr. Rachel (Heni) Haring ([email protected]).
Questions regarding the online application system should be directed to Ms. Orli Rosencweig ([email protected]) or Eti Alfandary
([email protected]).
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Grants and Contracts Update: Unfunded Study In-kind Contribution Form
Hartford Hospital and Research Administration are now required to account for the community benefit activity associated with
unfunded research studies. Examples of the kind of research activity that would benefit the community and that must be included in
this reporting would include a research study on how to reduce disparities in cancer, or a study on how to triage ER patients.
Examples of research activity that would not be subject to this reporting would include evaluation or quality improvement projects
(e.g., evaluating the need for a new cardiac unit or a quality assurance study on reducing medication errors). Investigators
submitting an application for an unfunded study that meets the community benefit reporting requirement are reminded that they
must now complete and attach an Unfunded Study In-kind Contribution Form when submitting an electronic research application
through the Trintech system. This form maybe be accessed at
It must be attached to the electronic application submitted through the Trintech system. If you have any questions regarding this
requirement, please contact Grants & Contracts at 860-545-4592.
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Weekly NIH Funding Updates Available
Individuals who are interested in receiving weekly funding updates via email from NIH may register for the NIH weekly listserv at
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Invitation for Research-related News Items for Research Rundown
The purpose of Research Rundown is to keep the hospital community abreast of the many exciting research advances that take place
at Hartford Hospital. Towards this goal, investigators and others with research-related news to share (e.g., new grant awards,
publications, honors, recognitions) are invited to contact Tara McLaughlin, PhD at [email protected] Newsletter content is
subject to final review and approval by the Vice President for Research.
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Internal Funding Update
Requests for support through the Small Grants program (for research projects requesting $10,000 or less) may be submitted at any
time through the Research Program's online form system. The goal of the Small Grant program is to provide seed money for pilot
projects with the potential to generate external research support. Medical Staff funding is also available to support data analysis
and database development through the Research Program. Contact Ilene Staff, PhD (545-0178) for more information.
The following projects were supported through the generosity of the Hartford Hospital Medical Staff:
Tod Alberghini (Transplant): Clinical Significance of Solid-Phase Assay (Flow Cytometric and Luminex) Detection of Pre-Transplant
HLA Antibody as Measured by Graft Survival in Renal Transplant Recipients: A Retrospective Analysis
Inam Kureshi, MD (Neurosurgery): Craniotomy for Intraventricular Lesions
Nora Lee, MD (Neurology): Variability in Stroke Outcomes Across the Population.
Minita Patel, MD (Urogynecology): PAC-SYM: The Use of SennaS for Prevention of Post-operative Constipation After Urogynecologic
Surgery: A Randomized Double Blinded Placebo Controlled Trial; Body Image Following Urogynecologic Surgery
Andrew Salner, MD (Oncology), Joseph Wagner MD (Surgery): Clinical and Quality of Life Outcomes Following Diagnosis of
Prostate Adenocarcinoma
Adam Steinberg, DO (Urogynecology): The Impact of Flatal Incontinence on Quality of Life and Sexual Function
In addition Robert McComb, PhD (Clinical Chemistry) received assistance with manuscript preparation.
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Research Rundown is a monthly newsletter published by Research Administration at Hartford Hospital. If you would like to
contribute to this publication, please contact Joe ([email protected]) or Tara ([email protected]) for more information.