Prolonged sitting is awful for your health. These tips can help.

By Brian McNeill
VCU University Public Affairs

Garten, who has conducted research on the topic, offered a few practical tips to counteract the impact of prolonged sitting and other sedentary behavior.

What exactly are the health impacts of sitting at a desk all day? 

Overall, sitting causes or is associated with many negative health outcomes (i.e. obesity, diabetes). My research has observed that sitting for long periods can harm the function of the blood vessels in the legs. This dysfunction can lead to stiffer, less-responsive blood vessels that, over time, can put a large amount of strain on the heart, increasing an individual’s risk for heart disease. This heart disease risk is further increased when coupled with weight gain associated with excessive sitting. There is currently speculation that sedentary behavior, to which sitting is the most common type, may be as bad for you as smoking! Thus, the importance of understanding the impact of sitting and how to counteract this effect has never been higher.

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Short Distances to Large Gaps in Health

By Sarah Blackburn
VCU Center on Society and Health

Recent research from the Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health found that life expectancy across the metropolitan Washington region varies by as much as 27 years and health can differ drastically within a single county, from neighborhood to neighborhood. The report – Uneven Opportunities: How Conditions for Wellness Vary Across the Metropolitan Washington Region – was commissioned by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in order to better understand health status and health disparities across the region. The study examines the health of the community, focusing on life expectancy and the factors that shape health. Wright Center Co-Director of Community Engaged Research Steven Woolf, M.D., was the lead author of the study. He presented the research at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Region Forward Coalition meeting on Oct. 26.

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Graduate student, who researches cancer biology, competes on ‘Jeopardy!’

By Anne Dreyfuss
VCU C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research

While watching “Jeopardy!” in December 2016, Virginia Commonwealth University M.D.-Ph.D. student Dhruv Srinivasachar was inspired by a contestant named Cindy Stowell, who was battling stage 4 colon cancer when she completed a six-game winning streak. Stowell never got to see the episodes, which were taped in August and September. She died just a week before they aired.

“My research is in cancer biology — specifically focused on finding new drugs for cancer,” Srinivasachar said. “I would like to make strides in developing more effective treatments, and possibly even cures, for cancers that we have not had much success in treating.”

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Interdisciplinary VCU research team overcomes obstacles to improve health for people with diabetes

By Anne Dreyfuss
VCU C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research

At first, it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen. An interdisciplinary research team of Virginia Commonwealth University faculty members and students had applied for federal funding to create a virtual diabetes education program that would empower people living with diabetes to manage their disease, but their grant application was denied.

“We thought we were going to receive funding,” said Alex Krist, M.D., a family medicine professor at VCU School of Medicine. “At the last minute we didn’t, but Privia Medical Group offered to help us as part of their clinical mission.”

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Wright Center leadership and distinguished chairs honored at Investiture Dinner

By Anne Dreyfuss
VCU C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research

Virginia Commonwealth University honored more than 50 faculty members who have recently been awarded endowed professorship and chair positions at the VCU Investiture Dinner, which was held on Sept. 27 at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Va.

“It is an honor to see this remarkable group of colleagues recognized for their work to advance our missions of education, patient care and discovery,” said VCU School of Medicine Dean Peter F. Buckley, M.D., who presided over the ceremony with VCU School of Business Dean Ed Grier.

Dr. Melissa Moeller, Dr. Frederick Moeller, Mary Macrina and Dr. Frank Macrina pose for a photo at the Investiture Dinner on Oct. 22
Left to right: Melissa Moeller, O.D.; Frederick G. Moeller, M.D.; Mary Macrina; Frank Macrina, Ph.D. (Photo courtesy Chris Ijams)

In addition to recognizing the recipients of endowed professorships and chairs, the event honors the donors whose generous contributions to the university made the positions possible. Donors sat among the faculty recipients at the event, where faculty members were formally invested and presented with medallions. Read More

Family medicine physician is sixth faculty member at VCU to be elected to the National Academy of Medicine

By Anne Dreyfuss
VCU C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research

Alex Krist, M.D., a professor of family medicine in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, has been elected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine, considered one of the highest honors in the fields of medicine and health.

Krist, a practicing family medicine physician, teaches resident physicians at the VCU-Fairfax Family Medicine Residency and serves as vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine. He is the co-director of community-engaged research at the VCU C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research, the only institution in Virginia to receive a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. The five-year, $21.5 million award is the largest NIH grant ever bestowed to VCU. It allows the center to support clinical research, integrate research and clinical practice and provide training to develop the clinical research workforce.

“I blend being a practicing family physician, teaching new physicians, conducting research and evaluating evidence to inform policy,” Krist said. “Each activity informs the other. For example, being a busy family physician helps shape my research to address the problems real-world patients and physicians face. Likewise, most of my research helps guide the steps I need to take to be a better physician.” Read More

A study in the science of play: Does early engagement help premature babies thrive?

The team of researchers was awarded a $2.84 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to facilitate the multi-site clinical trial, “Efficacy of Motor and Cognitive Intervention for Infants Born Preterm (SPEEDI2).”The program is based on two smaller studies using Supporting Play, Exploration and Early Developmental Intervention (SPEEDI) developed through a series of studies at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Stacey Dusing, Ph.D., a board-certified pediatric physical therapy specialist and associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at VCU and the Department of Pediatrics at CHoR, is the principal investigator for the project and the impetus behind the study concept. Read More

Interested in helping us advance Clinical and Translational Research?

VCU Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research seeks talented individuals for the following positions to promote translational workforce development and experienced based training in clinical and translational research (CTR) and advance CTR methods and processes to speed translation, build collaborations and optimize resources within VCU and within the CTSA network.

Education Coordinator –

The Educational Coordinator assists with workforce training initiatives organized by the Wright Center graduate educational programs and Translational Workforce Development training efforts. The Educational Coordinator provides student support, coordination of educational and training activities, and is committed to the goals of Wright Center. This position regularly interacts with the Graduate School, School of Medicine, and Student Accounts, on behalf of new and continuing students and trainees.

Hub Research Program Administrator –

The position is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the planning, implementation and tracking of projects related to the Wright Center Hub Research Capacity Core, which seeks to provide innovative methods for recruitment of diverse research participants into VCU clinical trial, promote high quality in clinical and translational research (CTR) through scientific review and discovery, and develop, demonstrate and distribute innovative methods and approaches that improve efficiency in clinical and translational research (CTR).  Incumbent will manage all aspects of the program including, but not limited to, collaborating with Hub leads and team members on project plans, VCU/VCUH interface for key initiatives; facilitating committee events, supporting, maintaining and tracking project plans and performance metrics, and communicating with institutional, regional and national colleagues of the NIH Clinical and Translations Science Award (CTSA) network.

Research Navigator –

This position acts as an education and compliance expert with regard to, federal regulations, human subjects research requirements, and Virginia Commonwealth University policies and procedures for the protection of human subjects involved in research. Incumbent develops and coordinates procedures and programs to enhance principal investigator (PI) understanding and compliance as it relates to human subjects research and the related policies and procedures impacting VCU, such as:  Create and oversee an institution-wide program for planning, delivery, monitoring, and evaluation of compliance with and related policies and procedures impacting VCU; Develop, implement and evaluate education and outreach materials, tools and programs for principal investigators (PI) and study teams in consultation with the Office of Research and external stakeholders that improve quality and consistency in clinical and translational research (CTR) at VCU; Advise and guide translational workforce development by identifying knowledge gaps and helps to address those needs with the development of additional education and outreach materials, tools and programs as deemed essential.

Request for Applications – Diversity and Re-entry Scholars Program

The C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research is now accepting applications for two additional funding opportunities. The Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health Related Research (PA-18-906) and Supplement to Promote Re-entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers (PA-18-592)represent two funding mechanisms to support investigative careers.
PA-18-906:This administrative supplement is designed to provide support for research experiences for individuals from diverse backgrounds throughout the continuum from high school to the faculty level.In all cases, the proposed research experience must be an integral part of the approved, ongoing research of the parent award, and it must have the potential to contribute significantly to the research career development of the candidate.
NIH Definition of Diversity:
PA-18-592:This program is designed to offer opportunities to women and men who have interrupted their research careers. Candidates must have a doctoral degree, such as M.D., D.D.S., Ph.D., O.D., D.V.M., or equivalent; and must have been accepted in a postdoctoral or faculty position at the time they left active research. All candidates must be planning a career in biomedical, behavioral, clinical, or social science research. In general, the duration of the career interruption should be at least one year and no more than eight years. Examples of qualifying interruptions would include a complete or partial hiatus from research activities for child rearing; an incapacitating illness or injury of the candidate, spouse, partner, or a member of the immediate family; relocation to accommodate a spouse, partner, or other close family member; pursuit of non-research endeavors that would permit earlier retirement of debt incurred in obtaining a doctoral degree; and military service.
Please note: US citizens, non-citizen nationals, and permanent residents are eligible to apply
For additional information, please see:
Application Materials Requested:
  • Letter of intent (1-2 pages) that briefly outlines the applicant’s current research project, current mentorship and plans for career development
  • CV
Application Timeline:
  • Phase 1: Application Due Date: October 5, 2018
  • Phase 2: Two applicants for each funding opportunity will be selected to then partner with members of the Wright CCTR for formal submission to the NIH by November 1, 2018
Application Contact/Questions:
Please submit application materials (letter of intent and CV) and other inquiries to:
Dr. Pamela Dillon, Research Liaison
Phone: 804.827.1519

KL2 On-Line Information Session – View It Here!

If you were not able to attend or view the on-line information for the KL2 Scholar Program, you may view the video now.

You may also refer to our FAQ page here –  KL2 FAQs 2018-08-31