New grants foster development of innovative tools, best practices for research

Posted Aug. 17, 2011

Julie Rainwater © UC Regents
Julie Rainwater

Investigators with the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC) received two $300,000 grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop innovative tools and share best practices among NIH-designated Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) research institutions to speed discovery and advance science to improve the nation's health.

Utilizing social network analysis

Julie Rainwater, director of the evaluation program at the UC Davis CTSC, is project director with Associate Dean for Research Lars Berglund on a grant that is using social network analysis to study relationships and connections between community research partners and the CTSA investigators who receive pilot grant funding. The project includes more than 40 CTSAs nationwide and will culminate in a training workshop held at UC Davis to foster the use of effective social network analysis tools and techniques that accelerate research.

"The new grant will help us to develop a better understanding of the outcomes of translational research while providing a collaborative learning opportunity for CTSA consortium members," said Rainwater.

Laurel Beckett, professor and chief of the Division of Biostatistics and vice chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences, is project director with Associate Dean for Research Lars Berglund on a grant that will develop new educational tools for scientists and educators who are training the next generation of researchers. Topics range from how to conduct reproducible research to how to perform retrospective chart reviews.

Laurel Beckett © UC Regents
Laurel Beckett

About the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center

The UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center is the academic home for innovative and collaborative medical research conducted at UC Davis Health System and its many institutional and community partners. By cultivating a collaborative scientific environment, the center is transforming how clinical and translational research is conducted, ultimately enabling researchers to provide new treatments more efficiently and quickly to patients. For more information, visit

Expanding wiki site CTSpedia

The current research project expands on the resources available on CTSpedia, a wiki site developed over the past five years. Sponsored by the NIH, CTSpedia is a repository of statistical tools and education materials for the design, analysis and presentation of research. It also is a resource for clinical and translational researchers who need timely advice and training. Developed by UC Davis, UC San Francisco, the University of Rochester and Vanderbilt University, the site includes content from other university collaborators, pharmaceutical companies and the Food and Drug Administration.

"The CTSpedia wiki has opened the door to a remarkable variety of collaborations to share our best ideas and practices in clinical and translational research," Beckett said. "CTSpedia offers case studies in biostatistics and ethics that are linked to short articles defining terms; statistical programs in R, SAS and other software languages; and examples of "best-practice" graphics for clinical trials from the FDA. Easy access and cross linking to many types of resources makes the CTSpedia wiki an extremely valuable research and information resource that has been used by hundreds of researchers since its inception." 

The projects described are supported by Award Number UL1RR024146 from the National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official view of the National Center for Research Resources or the National Institutes of Health.