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Stanford University Develops Photovoltaic Retinal Implant to Possibly Restore Functional Sight


Photovoltaic retinal implant could restore functional sight, researchers say. So far, the researchers have tested the device only in animals, but a clinical trial is planned next year in France. A team led by Stanford University researchers has developed a wireless retinal implant that they say could restore vision five times better than existing devices. Results in rat studies suggest it could provide functional vision to patients with retinal degenerative diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration. A paper describing the implant was published online April 27 in Nature Medicine.

“The performance we’re observing at the moment is very encouraging,” said Georges Goetz, a lead author of the paper and graduate student in electrical engineering at Stanford. “Based on our current results, we hope that human recipients of this implant will be able to recognize objects and move about.”

Republished with permission from the Stanford School of Medicine's Office of Communication & Public Affairs.

To read more about Stanford's clinical trial, please click here.



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NIH Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program –Apply Now!

The NIH is excited to support early-stage, independent clinical researchers through their Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program. The program provides 5+ years of full-time, funded research in the NIH intramural program for tenure-track level clinical investigators, followed by 3 years of NIH funds at an extramural medical center/research institute or by continuation in the NIH intramural program. NIH Lasker Scholars may be able to maintain an affiliation with their previous institution during their time at the NIH. The deadline for applications is August 27, 2015. The general start date for the positions is summer 2016, but is flexible.

More information can be found at our website, here or by email to Dr. Chuck Dearolf here.
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ACTS Member Highlight

Coming soon in the next issue of the ACTS Newsletter:
Jonathan M. Davis Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Director of Regulatory Affairs and Chief of Newborn Medicine at Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, and a multi-institution team of child health researchers instituted the Point-Person Project, a pilot study that built a national network of navigators to find investigators with the bandwidth and expertise to respond to pediatric clinical research opportunities.

Share Your Exciting News Stories With Us! Does your institution have news you want to share with the ACTS Connection readership? Do you have an investigator doing something innovative? Let us know! From innovative projects, star scholars and trainees, to award winning faculty, help us share the news that is important to you by submitting it through our online form.

Your news may be shared on the ACTS website, and other ACTS social media sources!
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June CTS Journal Now Available



The latest issue of Clinical and Translational Science are now available with abstracts from Translational Science 2015. To access the most recent edition click here.



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New From the Hill--ACTS Advocacy NewsIssues of Clinical and Translational Science Journal Now Available

The House of Representatives is presently working to advance the chamber’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education (LHHS) Appropriations Bill, which includes annual funding for many federal clinical and translational medical research programs. The House bill was recently approved by the LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee in a party-line vote with Republicans supporting the measure and Democrats opposed. While the measure seeks to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health in FY 2016, it also would eliminate support for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. As the bill moves through the House, the Senate is preparing to release their version of the FY 2016 LHHS Appropriations Bill that should have some significant differences from the House proposal.

To read more about this story or more advocacy news, visit ACTS Advocacy.
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News from ACTS


Save the Date Now for Translational Science 2016

Translational Science News


FDA Looks to Online Patient Safety Forum for Drug Safety Data
'Exceptional Responders' to Cancer Drugs Draw Scrutiny From Scientists
Chimps Just Got Major New Protection From Medical Researchers
Bill to Speed FDA Approvals Includes Rewards for Drugs Designed for Kids

Grant Opportunities


NSF: Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program
NIDDK Centers for Diabetes Translation Research (P30)
PHS 2015-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC, FDA and ACF for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (Parent SBIR (R43/R44))


News from ACTS


Save the Date Now for Translational Science 2016

Mark Your Calendars! Translational Science 2016 will take place April 13-15 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. Registration for Translational 2016 is expected to open in December 2015.

Your news may be shared on the ACTS website, and other ACTS social media sources!
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Translational Science News


FDA Looks to Online Patient Safety Forum for Drug Safety Data

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking at PatientsLikeMe, a patient-networking site, to help obtain more information about adverse events associated with medications. With 350,000 members, the site claims to be the largest and most active patient network online, and members frequently report their experiences with medications, symptoms, and any hospitalizations. "We're hoping we can find information on the impact of adverse events on patients' day-to-day lives," said Gerald Dal Pan, director of the Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology at FDA. While the agency counts on patients, providers, and drug manufacturers to report adverse events, PatientsLikeMe says it has collected more than 110,000 adverse-event reports involving 1,000 different drugs.

From "FDA Looks to Online Patient Safety Forum for Drug Safety Data"
Bloomberg (06/15/15) Chen, Caroline; Edney, Anna
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'Exceptional Responders' to Cancer Drugs Draw Scrutiny From Scientists

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) last fall launched a nationwide search for people with a variety of cancers who had unique responses to treatments. Barbara Conley, associate director of NCI's Cancer Diagnosis Program, said the goal is to identify genetic markers that could lead toward better treatments for other patients--involving, perhaps, drugs that were abandoned in early-phase trials because they did not work for most participants, or approved medications that might benefit more patients than doctors realized. Researchers are hoping to figure out which genetic wrinkles cause an "exceptional responder" to react so profoundly to a certain drug, believing they then might be able to find others--people whose tumors had the same mutations--who would have the same extraordinary response.

From "'Exceptional Responders' to Cancer Drugs Draw Scrutiny From Scientists"
Washington Post (06/14/15) Dennis, Brady
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Chimps Just Got Major New Protection From Medical Researchers

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced new rules that will end scientific testing on captive chimpanzees, bringing them under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. The rules, which take effect in September, will require federal permits to import and export chimpanzees across U.S. and state borders for biomedical research. While the rule will impact the industry that trades chimps for entertainment uses, it will have the most effect on U.S. medical research, as the United States is now the only developed nation that still uses the animals for research.

From "Chimps Just Got Major New Protection From Medical Researchers"
Washington Post (06/12/15) Fears, Darryl
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Bill to Speed FDA Approvals Includes Rewards for Drugs Designed for Kids

The bipartisan 21st Century Cures bill, which would streamline the Food and Drug Administration's approval process, includes a provision that would extend a federal rewards program for companies that develop treatments for children. Pharmaceutical companies are hesitant to test medications designed for children due to concerns about negative outcomes, a child's inability to consent to treatment, and the perception of a limited market for these drugs. Advocates say the rewards program can help the families of the approximately 15 million children diagnosed with rare diseases. Under the program, creators of medicines for rare pediatric diseases receive a voucher that they can sell, or use to have another one of their drugs approved sooner than usual.

From "Bill to Speed FDA Approvals Includes Rewards for Drugs Designed for Kids"
Kaiser Health News (06/08/15) Gillespie, Lisa
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Grant Opportunities


NSF: Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program

The National Science Foundation is offering a grant under the Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program (I/UCRC), which develops long-term partnerships among industry, academic centers, and the government. The grant will fund science and technology, as well as other research and development. The estimated total program funding is $12 million. The deadline for applications is Sept. 25, 2015.

From "NSF: Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program"
National Science Foundation (06/18/15)
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NIDDK Centers for Diabetes Translation Research (P30)

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) has issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to invite applications for a grant program under the Centers for Diabetes Translation Research (CDTR). CDTRs support and enhance translation research for type 2 diabetes. The FOA specifically encourages research to reduce diabetes-related health disparities. NIDDK intends to commit $3 million in the 2016 fiscal year to fund up to seven awards. The application due date is Nov. 23, 2015.

From "NIDDK Centers for Diabetes Translation Research (P30)"
NIH Grants (06/11/15)
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PHS 2015-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC, FDA and ACF for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (Parent SBIR (R43/R44))

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Administration for Children and Families have issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to invite eligible U.S. small business concerns (SBCs) to submit Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant applications. The SBIR program is meant to stimulate private-sector innovation, strengthen the role of small businesses in meeting R&D needs, increase commercial application of research results, encourage participation by socially and economically disadvantaged businesses, and improve the return on investment from federally funded research. SBCs with the research and technological capabilities to contribute to the agencies' R&D missions should submit SBIR grant applications. The number of awards is contingent on NIH appropriations and the number of meritorious applications, but total funding support normally may not exceed $150,000 for Phase I awards and $1 million for Phase II awards. This FOA has an open submission date, the earliest being Aug. 5, 2015.

From "PHS 2015-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC, FDA and ACF for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (Parent SBIR (R43/R44))"
NIH Grants (06/04/15)
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June 25, 2015


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