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CTSI-RAP Milestones: 7th Year at Undergraduate Research Week, Virtual Graduation Alumni Night Celebration



UCLA CTSI News Archive


By Laurie Shaker-Irwin, PhD, MS

UCLA Undergraduate Research Week was held May 18 – May 22 and the CTSI Research Associates Program (RAP) was well-represented with six presentations at the virtual events. Hosted by the Undergraduate Research Center – Sciences and the Undergraduate Research Center – Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, the week was held remotely due to the current COVID-19 campus restrictions on in-person events. The showcase event held annually highlights the research performed by undergraduates in all fields on the UCLA campus.

Overall, there were 14,221 views of 481 student videos, 109,417 page views with a peak on May 19 of 62,597 views and 314 oral presentations moderated by faculty in 76 simultaneous sessions.  
Several CTSI-RAP students (underlined below) presented their projects to faculty, fellow students, and staff. These included: 
•  Joshua Hughes, Muskaan Mehra, Varshni Nandakumar and Laurie Shaker-Irwin1, Noah C. Federman2 , “UCLA CTSI Research Associates Program: Promoting Clinical Research and Cultivating the Next Generation of Medical Scientists”
•  Joyce Ma, Isabelle Ruedisueli, Jeff Gornbein and Holly Middlekauff3
“When Are 3 ECG-Leads Better Than 12? Streamlining and Optimizing ECG Assessment in Sudden Death Prediction”
•  Aditya Mamtora, Jessica Osanyinpeju, and Noah C. Federman2 , “A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Phase 3 Trial (NCT03785964) of Nirogacestat Versus Placebo In Adult Patients With Progressing Desmoid Tumors/Aggressive Fibromatosis (DT/AF)”
•  Bryanna Reinhardt, Xena Morataya, Omar Habib4, and Donald Kohn3 ,“Long-Term Outcomes After Gene Therapy for Adenosine Deaminase-deficient Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (ADA-SCID)”
•  Manpreet K. Singh, Lisa Zhu, Caroline Siegel, Lori Sahakian and Maureen McMahon3 , “Assessing the Effect of Cumulative Hydroxychloroquine Dose on Lifetime Disease Damage vs Risk of Retinal Toxicity in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients”
•  Angela Wang, Jordan Lo, Diana Trujillo, and Michael J. Irwin3 , “Differences in Inflammatory Response to Endotoxin in Older Adults by Sex”


1CTSI-RAP Clinical Research Advisor; 2CTSI-RAP Medical Director and Faculty Mentor; 3Faculty Mentor; 4RAP Alumnus and current UCLA staff member 

Visit UCLA Research Week to learn more about the week-long series of events.

In parallel with Research Week, the RAP student Research Ambassadors hosted two virtual workshops entitled “What is Clinical Research?”  consisting of a student-led clinical research presentation with a question/answer session and a discussion of RAP application requirements. Attendance at the two workshops was excellent with 35 and 47 students, respectively, tuning in remotely.

Graduation-Alumni Night Celebration
This year, CTSI-RAP hosted the largest ever Graduation Celebration/Alumni Night on May 27 with over 50 attendees connecting on Zoom, including 17 graduating seniors and 15 RAP alumni. Some of the alumni were from the charter 2013 RAP cohort.  Dr. Steven Dubinett, director of the CTSI and Associate Vice Chancellor for research, was a guest speaker at the event to express gratitude on behalf of the CTSI and the Health System for the students’ dedication to the research mission. Alumni have gone on to medical school, graduate school, and health and research jobs. This impressive remote alumni attendance is proof that the traditions and values instilled by CTSI-RAP leadership and the individual faculty mentors to pay it forward are actualized by encouraging the next generation to follow biomedical career paths. 
The mission of CTSI-RAP is to expose a diverse group of pre-health career students to clinical research in the Health System and support faculty with their research projects. As part of this career exploration program, some of the remotely-presented topics from the spring quarter included COVID-19 Clinical Research, Regulatory Science, MD/PhD Careers, Good Clinical Practice, Clinical Research Data Management, Neurodiversity, Computational Medicine, Biostatistics, and Bioinformatics. Further RAP information and a spotlight video may be found on the website at www.ctsi.ucla.edu/pages/rap.