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Research at URI


July 2013

A Message from Peter Alfonso, PhD, Vice President for Research and Economic Development:

"Welcome to the eNewsletter from the Division of Research and Economic Development.Our aim is to use this medium to keep you posted on recent and ongoing activities within the Division. Please feel free to direct your feedback to Melissa McCarthy at"


In this issue:

Office of Research Development

Office of Sponsored Projects:
Cayuse 424 Performance and Stability Enhancements Forthcoming July 20, 2013

Office of Research Integrity:
China, Espionage, Conspiracy - The importance of completing the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form

Changes in the IACUC: New forms, new policy, annual reports

What happens during the IACUC review process?

Office of Intellectual Property Management and Commercialization           

Office of University Research External Relations:
Research & Innovation Research Magazine

STAC 2013 Collaborative Research Grant Awards Six Teams to Share $810,000

Karen Markin, Director
(401) 874-5971

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Mary Kate De Marco, Director
(401) 874-2775

424 Performance and Stability Enhancements Forthcoming July 20, 2013
Cayuse 424 Customers:
We have two exciting announcements. First, get ready for Cayuse 424 Version 5.4, coming Saturday, July 20, 2013. This release is full of customer requested enhancements and form updates. Please see the highlighted text below for additional information on necessary down time.
Cayuse 424 Version 5.4 delivers:

  • Several new form versions and updates, including compatibility with FORMS-C
    • PHS398 Cumulative Inclusion Report, Research Plan, Cover Page Supplement and Research Training Program Plan
    • Planned Report V1.0
    • NEA Organization
    • NEH Supplementary Cover Sheet
    • FORMS-C
  • Improvements to routing emails, including the addition of the deadline date
  • Summary and Documents pages may now be hidden
  • Electronic Submission page now includes helpful guidance when the opportunity is superseded
  • Additional fixes and agency validation updates

On the same day, we will also be performing vital infrastructure upgrades as follows:

  • Hardware upgrades to database servers to increase capacity, and enable failover changes
  • Replace/upgrade all networking equipment for capacity and stability, and to enable security and failover enhancements
  • Deploy new storage platform for capacity, performance, stability, and failover enhancements
  • Deploy new load-balancing firewall hardware to support future product design, performance, security, and failover enhancements
  • New power distribution for capacity and management
  • Deploy new virtualization environment to support failover and deployment enhancement for current and future products

We know you rely on Cayuse 424 to make the proposal submission process easier, and all of these safety features and performance enhancements boil down to a faster, more reliable platform.
Due to these infrastructure upgrades, ALL instances of Cayuse 424 and Cayuse Research Suite will be unavailable from 8:00 AM to Midnight on Saturday, July 20th. Upgrades to Cayuse 424 v5.4 will be performed at the same time. If you have any questions or concerns about the upgrades or the associated down time, please feel free to contact me directly.
Your Research Suite Experts,
Desiree & Evisions, Inc.
Desire Fitterer
| Customer Support Team Lead
(503) 297-2108 Ext. 201
**Please note our new support email address | 2525 SW First Ave., Suite 201, Portland, OR 97201         
Visit and join our listserv

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OFFICE OF RESEARCH INTEGRITY (formerly Office of Research Compliance)

Ted Myatt, Director
(401) 874-2636

China, Espionage, Conspiracy - The importance of completing the Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form
As you are aware, URI investigators must complete a disclosure of significant financial interests when submitting a grant proposal. This process is required due to federal regulations and granting agency policies.  If a significant financial interest is disclosed, the information will be reviewed by Office of Research Integrity and potentially the Conflict of Interest Management Committee.  In most cases, if a significant financial interest is determined to represent a potential conflict of interest for the research, a plan can be developed that will manage or eliminate the conflict.

Disclosure forms were recently in the news. The FBI released a statement regarding a case in New York that highlights the importance of the conflict of interest regulations. Three Chinese investigators working at a New York university were charged with allegedly acquiring proprietary, federally funded research on behalf of a Chinese company and government supported entity. These investigators were receiving funds from NIH for research involving MRI technologies.  At the same time, they were receiving payments from the Chinese company in exchange for providing non-public information about this research. This arrangement was not disclosed through the disclosure process. One of these investigators is being charged with falsification of the disclosure, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. For more information about this story, see CNN.

For more information about the URI COI disclosure process, please contact Ted Myatt, Director of Research Integrity

Changes in the IACUC - New forms, new policy, annual reports
The URI Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) has made several significant changes to the IACUC review process in the past several months that we believe will increase transparency, reduce the administrative burden and ensure we meet our ethical responsibilities and regulatory requirements.

  • New Form - As you may have seen, the IACUC has rolled out a new Adobe based protocol submission form. The form is available on the Office of Research Integrity website and We believe the forms will reduce back and forth between the IACUC and the investigators and thus streamline the review process. Please review the instructions on the first page of the form carefully.
  • New IACUC Operating Policy - The ORI has developed a new IACUC operating policy that fully describes all aspects of the IACUC, from how a review is conducted to training requirements.  If there is something you have always been dying to know about the IACUC - this is the document for you!
  • Annual Reports - In an effort to reduce the administrative burden on investigators, the IACUC will no longer require annual continuing review form submissions for research not covered by the USDA Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Therefore, most research involving mice will no longer require the annual submission of this form. Research that is covered by the AWA is required through this regulation to be updated annually.

We hope to continue to address concerns of the faculty to streamline processes and be as user-friendly as possible.  In coming months, we will roll out new website and updated and revised policies that we clarify a number of issues.  If you have ideas for changes you would like to see, please contact Ted Myatt, Director of Research Integrity.

What happens during the IACUC review process?
The URI Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is made up of faculty members, the attending veterinarian, community members and others. They graciously volunteer their services to the committee. When a protocol proposal or amendment is submitted to the IACUC, it undergoes a pre-view screening by the IACUC coordinator to ensure that all appropriate questions are answered and information expected by the IACUC is present.  The pre-review comments are sent back to the PI so that the PI can make suggested revisions.  If there is no response to the pre-review comments, the proposal remains with the PI until they complete them or indicate that they are choosing to submit without making some or all of the suggested pre-review revisions.

Following acceptance of a pre-reviewed protocol, the protocol is placed on the agenda of the next available meeting (the IACUC meets monthly) and shared with the IACUC for review. Typically, the agenda is set 10 days prior to the meeting and therefore submissions received after that time are placed on the following meeting agenda. At the meeting, the IACUC will either approve, require modifications to secure approval, table, or withhold approval. When modifications are required, the IACUC coordinator will send a letter to the PI following the meeting explaining the changes required.  Once changes have been re-submitted to the IACUC, there are reviewed as quickly as possible.  If the changes are acceptable, it will be approved.  Work cannot commence until an approval is granted.

Because the IACUC meets monthly and much of the technical expertise is donated by busy faculty, the process can be time consuming. Therefore, a minimum of 6-8 weeks should be used when planning for review/approval time. Please refer to our meeting calendar when submitting your proposals and review the instructions carefully to ensure a timely review.

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James Petell, Ph.D., Patent Agent
Associate Vice President Intellectual Property Management & Commercialization
(401) 874-4807

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Melissa McCarthy, Director
(401) 874-2599

The current issue of the Division of Research and Economic Development's research magazine Research & Innovation is on-line and in distribution.

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Jennifer Specker
(401) 874-6858

Rhode Island Science and Technology Council Collaborative Research Grant Awards

The Rhode Island Science and Technology Council (STAC) Collaborative Research Grant Awards provide seed funding to help Rhode Island scientists, businesses and research institutions work together to advance ideas that can eventually create new products, companies and quality jobs in the state while growing our innovation and technology driven industries.

Funding for the Collaborative Research Grant Awards represents the match requirement for the $20 million five-year NSF EPSCoR grant to Rhode Island. These awards illustrate the value of the state's investment in the integration of teaching and research. The scientists receiving these awards stand as models of collaboration and student training. They are preparing the next generation of scientists to secure jobs and to be fully prepared for their careers in research.

In addition to the remarkable gains in research and education, these collaborative grants also enhance the state’s economy with follow-on funding and growth of our job base. They help drive competitive efforts to secure strong partnerships while providing for the future success of our citizens, schools, businesses and industries.

To date, $8.5 million of STAC investments in collaborative research have yielded a return of nearly $36 million back to the state in the form of grants for continued research, new equipment, commercialization of new products and venture funding for new companies.

Award recipients include academic and industry scientists pursuing research in aquaculture diseases, climate change, chronic wound healing and other areas of cutting-edge exploration. The awardees represent 32 scientists from 9 research organizations pursuing projects in marine life sciences, nanotechnologies and medical device development. The scientists are from the University of Rhode Island, Brown University, Rhode Island College, Roger Williams University, Salve Regina University, Rhode Island Hospital, Narragansett Bay Estuary Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and two private companies.

STAC 2013 Collaborative Research Grant Awards Six Teams to Share $810,000

1. RI Seaweed Biodiversity Project
This team is using genomics to identify and catalogue invasive species of algal marine bio-invaders to improve coastal management and biosecurity in Narragansett Bay.
Collaborators: Christopher Lane, University of Rhode Island; Brian Wysor, Roger Williams University.

2. Temperature-Mediated Changes in R.I.'s Benthic Community
This team will work to return winter flounder to R.I. waters through better understanding the evolving population dynamics of the blue crab and summer flounder, two of its natural predators.
Collaborators: David Taylor, Roger Williams University; Jeremy Collie, University of Rhode Island.

3. The Pathogenic Cause and Impact of the Local Sea Star Wasting Disease

This collaboration will bring together six researchers with ecological, veterinary, molecular, microbial and aquaculture expertise to determine the mysterious cause of a deadly infectious disease attacking starfish from New Jersey to the Gulf of Maine.
Collaborators: Gary Wessel, Brown University; Roxanna Smolowitz, Roger Williams University; Marta Gomez-Chiarri, Edward Baker, Niels-Viggo Hobbs, University of Rhode Island.

4. Estimating the Potential for Evolutionary Adaption of Marine Organisms to Climate Change
This team will use native shrimp to study the evolutionary potential of marine species to adapt to warming waters.
Collaborators: Jason Kolbe, Carol Thornber, University of Rhode Island; Jason Grear, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

5. Electric Microcable Bacteria in Narragansett Bay Sediments
Working in the new area of electro-microbiology, this team will pursue their hypothesis that microbial bacteria are evolving to detoxify sediment in coastal dead zones.
Collaborators: Jeremy Rich, Brown University; Bethany Jenkins, University of Rhode Island.

6. Ocean Acidification Effects on Plankton Community Composition and Food Web Energy Flow
This team will look at how whole marine communities respond to ocean acidification.
Collaborators: Susanne Menden-Deuer, Tatiana Rynearson, University of Rhode Island; Breea Govenar, Rhode Island College; Jason Grear, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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