Translational Pharmacology & Physiology Update
The mission of the TPP program is to develop a dynamic, meshwork of collaborative faculty and projects that facilitates and expedites the translation of pre-clinical research into approved or proven drugs and therapies with real-world benefits, through maximizing the use of spontaneous animal diseases and veterinary species in this process. Faculty in this program have clinical and non-clinical expertise in gastrointestinal physiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, neurology and oncology.
A significant part of the TPP is the Clinical Studies Core (CSC) (https://cvm.ncsu.edu/research/research-labs/clinical-studies/). This is a service core facility that consists of 3 expert technicians (Janet Bogan, Lyndy Harden, Alexa King) embedded within the College of Veterinary Medicine, whose role is to facilitate your research if that research involves procuring samples from healthy or diseased animals, through to running clinical trials of drugs or devices using owned animals with naturally occurring diseases.
The CSC therefore plays a critical role in translational research – whether that is bench to cage side, or bench to bedside The CSC is financially supported by the CMI. The amount of clinical research the CSC is supporting is rapidly increasing, and we’ve been able to expand the unit to match this. Dr. Lascelles has been working to secure support for an FCHOP-approved Internship in Clinical Research, and develop a training program for this position. In July 2016 our first Intern will start, Dr. Carrie Muller DVM. The position will provide hands-on DVM expertise to the daily activities of the CSC, and will be one of only a very few such training programs in the US for DVMs wishing to gain training in clinical research. The training program has been carefully developed to encompass all the day-to-day basic skills needed to successfully set up and run clinical research, and also involves didactic training in clinical research, training in electronic data capture systems and also incorporates statistics and epidemiology classes. Dr. Steve Suter has stepped forward to be a co-mentor in this exciting development.
Additionally, we have worked to bring electronic data capture capabilities to the core. REDCap (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redcap_(Research_Electronic_Data_Capture) infrastructure is now installed and ready at NC State. The infrastructure and software support was complicated, and so a big thank you to Chris Eichman, Julie Tilley and Bill Coker for facilitating this. The CSC will be starting the process of training on how to use REDcap through NCTraCS training sessions so that we can offer this to investigators in the near future.
I have been working with Ken Satterwhite at the CVM to identify alternative space to house the CSC as we have outgrown our current space, and that refurbishment will be taking place shortly.
A big focus of the TPP is on the usefulness of naturally occurring diseases in animals as models for human translational research. One of our members recently gained a competitive grant from the CTSA One Health Alliance to produce a video and manuscript to highlight the potential of naturally occurring disease in human translational research.
We organized our first TPP faculty round-table event on May 12th, 11 :30 am to the end of the day. The meeting took place at the NC State University Club. The agenda was simple – all attendees presented a short (3-5 minute) overview of their research interests and expertise with the goal being to get to know other TPP members. The TPP is incredibly diverse, but that diversity is full of possibility, and we need to start exploring that! The day also included discussions on the path forward and opportunities to collectively support graduate training while collaborating. Part of the day was spent determining what events the TPP will support in the coming months.
Please share your stories or events with Dr. Lascelles for inclusion in subsequent newsletters.