CICATS receives $25,000 grant to continue bringing clinicians and researchers together

The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translation Science at the University of Connecticut recently received $25,000 in investments from The Kavli Foundation to continue their Science Café program known to bring together faculty, scientists and clinicians for casual conversation.  (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translation Science at the University of Connecticut recently received $25,000 in investments from The Kavli Foundation to continue their Science Café program known to bring together faculty, scientists and clinicians for casual conversation.  (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translation Science at the University of Connecticut recently received a $25,000 investment from The Kavli Foundation to continue their Science Café program.

The Science Café program brings together faculty, scientists and clinicians for casual conversation. It began with an initial $10,000 investment from The Kavli Foundation, an organization that “is dedicated to advancing science for the benefit of humanity, promoting public understanding of scientific research, and supporting scientists and their work,” according to their website.

“Their continued support with this new funding shows that we are on track with what we’re doing, in terms of being able to encourage and develop research opportunities here at the university,” said Dr. Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., CICATS Chief Executive Officer.

Science Café participants focus on today’s most pressing scientific and medical concerns, including obesity, cancer control and prevention, and cardiovascular disease, according to a press release.

“We see a big need in bringing faculty, scientists and clinicians together across the region and across the university,” said Dr. Laurencin. “The cafés are a part of that because they’re a convenient meeting place for discussion to happen.”

Its biggest success story has come from the personalized immunotherapy group, led by Dr. Pramod Srivastava, Ph.D., M.D., Director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Center for Immunotherapy of Cancer and Infectious Diseases, according to the press release. The support and funding received from CICATS helped Dr. Srivastava advance a vaccine he created that was recently approved by the FDA as a Phase 1 trial for ovarian cancer.

On the heels of this success, The Kavli Foundation has now more than doubled its initial development to $25,000, which will continue this valuable program and the spirit of collaboration, according to the press release.

“We’ve done a lot of high-profile activities over the past several years that have translated into a return on investment that goes beyond dollars and cents,” said Dr. Linda K. Barry, M.D., FACS, Assistant Director and Chief Operating Officer, CICATS. “We’ve increased in our faculty and facilitated new partnerships that have translated into increased publications and increased grants.”

Barry said the support they’ve received from The Kavli Foundation will allow them to continue these efforts, which she called a win-win for both UConn and the communities they serve.

For more information about this grant, visit the UConn Alumni website. For more information about the UConn Foundation, visit www.foundation.uconn.edu.


Gabriella Debenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at gabriella.debenedictis@uconn.edu.