The Clinical and Translational Pilot Project Program (PPP) of the Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC) is a key component in the efforts to gain a better understanding of the health disparities that are present in the Puerto Rican and Latino populations. It is also a vital piece in promoting the translation of basic science knowledge to the bedside or the community. Through this program, the PRCTRC supports and promulgates the critical tenets of the National Institute of Minorities and Health Disparities and the translational research roadmap. The overall goal of this core is to catalyze the formation of investigators working in multidisciplinary teams and science that will help reduce the existing health disparities in Latinos.

  • To promote the development of new knowledge and methodologies in clinical and translational research in health disparities through the support of early stage, new and established investigators via strategically oriented pilot projects.
  • To provide limited but critical support to ongoing projects with potential impact in the health disparities through a directed supplement program.
  • To increase the number of underrepresented minority scientists applying translational and clinical research methods to the study of health disparities.
  • Provide resources and support to minority investigators’ through the establishment of the Translational Health Disparity Investigator and the Community-Based Research pilot projects awards.
  • In collaboration with PDC and AC, establish a structured career development and mentoring plans for funded investigators.
  • Establish the Senior Research Advisory Panel for enhanced support of Clinical and Translational Pilot Project funded investigators.
  • Provide assistance in grant development for re-submission or alternative funding opportunities for pilot project applicant with good scores but who did not receive funding.
  • Establish the ‘Let Me Help Your Project’ program to support existing and funded meritorious projects.
  • In collaboration with EC, provide monitoring and feedback among overall funded investigators.
  • 7 Call for Pilot Projects have been launched.
  • 116 pilot project applications have been submitted
  • 25 clinical and translational studies have been awarded
    • HIV (27%)
    • Cancer (23%)
    • Neuroscience (9%)
    • Cardiometabolic (23%)
    • Others (18%)
      • Emerging Infections
      • Bronchial Asthma
      • Oral Health
      • Bioinformatics

Call for Pilot Projects

Call for Pilot Projectsn
SubmittedAwarded
2010-2011176
2011-2012193
2012-2013254
2015-2016114
2016-201792
2017-2018233
2018-2019123
Total11625

 

Community Based Pilot Projects

  • 19 community-based pilot projects were submitted
  • 5 (26.3%) projects were awarded
Call for Pilot Projectsn
SubmittedAwarded
2010-201100
2011-201230
2012-201322
2015-201660
2016-201721
2017-201831
2018-201931
Total195

 

 

 

Community Based Pilot Projects Awarded Characteristics

 

InvestigatorCollaboratorCommunityResearch Area
PhD, psychologyCBO, ColaíHIV, stigma
MDPhD in educationCBO, Taller Salud – Community-AcademicHIV, Stigma
MDCommunity-Academic, LoizaChronic Diseases
PhD, basic scienceMDCBO, Salud para Piñones, Community-Academic, LoizaBronchial Asthma and environment
PhD, psychologyMDCBO, SanosHIV, Drug abuse
CBO – community-based organization

 

Awardees Success

  • 216 scientific presentations offered by awardees.
    • Posters (69.4%, n=150) and Orals (30.5%, n=66).
  • 119 peer-reviewed articles have been published by awardees.
  • 41% (n=9) of awardees received external funding
  • 87 grants applications have been submitted by awardees, 50.8% of success rate, resulting in $10,919,498 funds obtained.
Scientific Funding Awardsn=44; Overall Awards Success Rate (50.6%, n=44/87),

NIH Awards (79.5%, n=35), Foundations (6.8%, n=3), and Other (13.6%, n=6). Awards type include R01 (1), R21 (5), K99 (1), K22 (1), SC3 (1), R25 (1), 16 U54/U01/X01/S21; 8 U54/U01/G12 pilots

 

By promoting the development of new knowledge and methodologies the Clinical and Translational PPP supports the development of underrepresented minority scientists applying translational and clinical research. The PPP promotes the translation of basic science knowledge to the bedside or the community and supports the investigators efforts to gain a better understanding of the health disparities that are present in the Puerto Rican and Latino populations. Please see the PRCTRC Translational Research Approach.

EARLIER INVESTIGATOR

≤ 10 years after his/her completed high professional degree or after his/her completed medical residence (or the equivalent)

Represents those investigators with not previously independent funding as PI or Multi-PI. Still considered a New Investigator for the following grants: all Fellowships (F awards), all individual and institutional career awards (K awards), G07, G08, G11, G13, G20, L30, L32, L40, L50, L60, R00, R03, R13, R15, R21, R25, R34, R36, R41, R43, R55, R56, R90, RL5, RL9, S10, S15, S21, S22, SC2, SC3, T32, T34, T35, T90, D43, and X01. For more information regarding these definition please click here.

Our Services

The overall goal of this core is to catalyze the formation of investigators working in multidisciplinary teams and science that will help reduce the existing health disparities in Latinos. The PPP will aid in the integration of existing infrastructure, training and mentoring investigators, and helping the process of translation of knowledge from the bench all the way to the community and vice versa.

The purpose of this activity is to provide support for limited additional expenses, not contemplated in their original budget, to investigators that are currently funded and active in an area with potential application to the study of health disparities. By providing this additional mechanism we are able to help active and productive investigators in more advance stages of their careers than those supported by the pilot project program, and in that way promote and facilitate the study of health disparities.

 

The requirements for this supplement program are as follows:

  • The principal Investigator must have an active and funded research project
  • The funded project must be in area of emphasis of the health disparities or with potential applicability to the study of health disparities
  • Funds should be requested for expenses not contemplated in the original budget of their funded study
  • The PI must be a faculty member of one of the three consortium institutions
  • Funds will be limited to research expenses and cannot be used to support travel, salary or administrative costs

Request “Let me Help your Project” Here

In order to process your request, we need:

  • Letter of request, budget and budget justification
  • NOA of active funded research project
  • Bio sketch – PI (if we have yours on our database, no need to re-send)

If you need additional information, please contact Ms. Antonia L Ortiz, Program Coordinator Antonia.ortiz@upr.edu

  • Translational Health Disparity Investigator Award (THDIA) – will provide funding for preliminary and proof-of-concept type studies that will move research findings from the laboratory to the patients and from the patients to the community, following the principal stages of translational research.
  • Community-Based Investigator Award (CBIA) – will provide funding to establish and generate preliminary or proof-of-concept studies by creating a partnership approach to research involving community members and researchers.
  • Let Me Help Your Project – provides support to investigators that are currently funded and active in an area with potential application to the study of health disparities by providing limited additional expenses, not contemplated in the original investigator’s budget.
InvestigatorInstitutionHealth Disparity AreaProject TitleAward Year
Coralee Pérez Pedrogo, PhD
UPR-Medical Science CampusHIVReducing self-stigma in persons with HIV and drug use disorders in Primary Health Care Settings2018-2019
Demetrio Sierra, PhD
UPR-Medical Science CampusNeuroscienceEffects of concussion on avoidance reward conflict in rodents2018-2019
Yancy Ferrer-Acosta, PhD

Universidad Central del CaribeCancerFolate receptor-assisted targeting of non-small cell lung carcinoma with ligand-decorated nanoparticles2018-2019
Guillermo Armaiz-Peña, PhD

Ponce Health Sciences UniversityCancerRole of adrenergic activated tumor associated macrophages in breast cancer progression2017-2018
Benjamin Bolaños, PhD

UPR-Medical Science CampusAsthmaSeasonal outdoor aeroallergens as risks factors for triggering children's asthma in low income communities in Puerto Rico2017-2018
Amaya Miquelajauregui-Graf, PhD

UPR-Medical Science Campus, Neurobiology InstituteNeuroscienceDevelopmental characteristics of brain activity signals in infants at high risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Puerto Rico2017-2018
Yelitza Ruiz, MD

Universidad Central del CaribeCancerACT to improve sexual health in breast cancer patients with adjuvant therapy2016-17
Mary Helen Mays, PhD

UPR-Medical Science CampusHealth LiteracyMejorando la Salud a traves de la Tecnologfa (Improving Health through Technology)2016-17
Janaina M. Alves, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Universidad Central del CaribeHIVUtility of LIF to protect against HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorders2015-2016 (Translational Health Disparity Investigator Award)
Nelson D. Cruz Bermudez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
UPR-Rio PiedrasNeurosciencesNeurocognitive mechanisms involved in the processing of attentional biases for negative information in Latino Adolescents2015-2016 (Translational Health Disparity Investigator Award)
Giovanni Tirado Santiago, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
UPR-Rio PiedrasNeurosciencesNeurocognitive mechanisms involved in the processing of attentional biases for negative information in Latino Adolescents2015-2016 (Translational Health Disparity Investigator Award)
Idali Martínez Martínez, Ph.D.
Professor
UPR-Medical Sciences CampusHIVIdentification of Biomarkers of Chronic Arthralgia after Chikungunya Infection2015-2016 (Translational Health Disparity Investigator Award)
Carlos E. Rodriguez Diaz, Ph.D. Assistant Professor
UPR-Medical Sciences CampusHIVContacto-dos: Feasibility of an intervention to manage stigma among HIV-MSM in Puerto Rico2015-2016 (Community-Based Investigator Award)
Carmen J. Buxo-Martinez, Dr.Ph.
Assistant Professor
UPR-Medical Sciences CampusDental HealthOral Clefts: Genetic Risk Factors and Maternal Exposures2012-2013
Wanda I. Figueroa-Cosme, M.D.
Associate Professor
Universidad Central del CaribeHIVPilot testing the effectiveness of Arte con Salud: A Sexual-Health Intervention for Puerto Rican Adult Women2012-2013
Enid J. Garcia-Rivera, M.D.
Assistant Professor
UPR-Medical Science CampusCardiovascularA multi-level intervention for self-management of chronic disease in the community2012-2013
Ignacio Pita-Garcia, M.D.
Assistant Professor
UPR-Medical Science CampusNeurosciencesGenetic Factors Associated with Pharmacoresistance in Childhood Epilepsy2012-2013
Raul D. Bernabe-Dones,
Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
UPR-Medical Science CampusCancerHPV in colorectal cancer2011-2012

Yamil Gerena-López,
Ph.D.




Assistant Professor
UPR-Medical Science CampusHIVSoluble Insulin Receptor & Insulin Resistance in HIV-Seropositive women using CART2011-2012

Michelle M. Martínez-Montemayor, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Universidad Central del CaribeCancerEqual Detection in Puerto Rican woman as biomarker for metastatic breast cancer2011-2012
Carlos A. Baez-Pagan, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
UPR-Rio PiedrasHIVBupropion as adjunctive therapy to improve immune profile in HIV seropositive smokers2010-2011
Karen G. Martinez-Gonzalez, M.D.
Assistant Professor
UPR-Medical Science CampusNeurosciencesNeuropsychological tests as predictors of fear learning and learning and extinction2010-2011
Antonio H. Martins-Baccin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Universidad Central del CaribeHIVTobacco Cembranoid as a Potent Annti-HIV Drug: Therapeutic Implications for AIDS2010-2011
Lynette A. Ruiz-Ortiz,
Ph.D.

Investigator
UPR-Medical Science CampusCancerEstablishment and validation of the rhesus macaques as a model of endometriosis2010-2011
Marta Suarez-Rivera, M.D.
Assistant Professor
UPR-Medical Science CampusCardiovascularCardiometabolic Risk Factors, Adipokines, Oxidate Stress, and Vitamin D: A Cross Sectional Analysis of Junior and High School Students in Puerto Rico2010-2011
Pablo E. Vivas-Mejia, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
UPR-Medical Science CampusNeurosciencesMicro-RNA (miRNA) expression signatures in Puerto Rican brain tumor samples2010-2011

VALERIE WOJNA-MUÑIZ, MD
CORE LEADER
valerie.wojna1@upr.edu

ANTONIA ORTIZ-RODRIGUEZ, BS, MT
COORDINATOR
antonia.ortiz@upr.edu

Pedro Santiago-Cardona, PhD
Co-Program Director PHSU
psantiago@psm.edu