MOTRD UP, or Mechanisms of Translation, Realizing Discovery and Understanding the Pipeline is a postdoctoral training program funding by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through the NC TraCS Institute.

The goal of MOTRD UP is to immerse postdoctoral scientists in the actual translation of research products within one of three tracks in the translational pipeline.

CTSA TL1 Program

MOTRD UP, or Mechanisms of Translation, Realizing Discovery and Understanding the Pipeline is a postdoctoral training program funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through the NC TraCS Institute.

The goal of MOTRD UP is to immerse postdoctoral scientists in the actual translation of research products within one of three tracks in the translational pipeline:

  • clinical trials/regulatory (CTR)
  • entrepreneurship and commercialization (EC)
  • health systems (HS)

Through MOTRD UP we want to address some of challenges to translation. These challenges differ by the type of translation but include:

Clinical trials/regulatory Entrepreneurship and commercialization Health systems
What steps do I take to bring a discovery from the lab into a clinical trial? When is the right time to begin taking steps toward commercialization (i.e. patenting, development, startup formation)? How do I know when there is enough evidence to support implementation of trial results into practice?
What permissions do I need and from what bodies- local, national? How do I determine the right application/market for my technology? How do I identify and interact with leaders of health systems?
How do I get funding? What UNC and other resources are commonly used to advance technology development/commercialization? What type of expertise do I need- clinical expert, local opinion leader, implementation scientist?

 

National CTSA meeting 2019 - TL1 trainees Rima Janusziewicz and Andrew Satterlee discuss research with KL2 Scholar, Gauri Rao.

Mentorship is a key component of successful translation. MOTRD UP fellows will have the following types of mentors:

Scientific/content mentor: individual who will help you with the scientific direction of the project

Resource experts: have extensive experience in overcoming regulatory, logistical, and other obstacles to conducting research activities, often the critical day-to-day individuals that expedite project implementation

Informatics experts: tailored to the needs of the project (e.g. CDW-H, "big data")

Stakeholders: people/organizations who have an interest in the project

National CTSA meeting 2019 - Scott Davis presents his work.

NC TraCS will help fellows integrate with relevant services at TraCS and with resource mentors who can provide day to day mentoring in the activities needed for translation.

The program consists of training and research components:

Training Component

MOTRD UP fellows will undergo training in six core components that will be tailored to the type of translation: stakeholder engagement, communication skills, leadership, informatics, strategic thinking and teamwork. Applicants will receive assistance from TraCS to identify how each of these core areas applies to their type of research and the best ways to obtain training while moving the project forward.

Research Component

Applicants should apply when they have a product/idea/research finding that is ready to move to the next translational stage. For example, laboratory discoveries leading to preparation of a regulatory application to the FDA, data that is ready to support a clinical trial, or a discovery that will move to dissemination across a health system. The role of the scientific mentor is to help the applicant judge whether the time is right to move to the next stage and to provide ongoing oversight and advice on the scientific aspects of the project.

Funding mechanism

MOTRD UP follows most of the NIH guidelines for T programs including stipend levels, the requirement for payback, and progress report requirements. These will be reviewed at the orientation meeting for selected applicants. Note: there is no support for tuition.


An interest meeting was held on March 29, 2019.  Listen to a recording of the interest meeting

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Download application

Current trainees

Charles Askew, PhD Charles Askew, PhD
(Scientific mentor: Chengwen Li, PhD)

Project: A Novel Method to Potentially Block Neutralizing Antibodies Against Gene Therapy Vectors
Andrew Satterlee, PhD Andrew Satterlee, PhD
(Scientific mentor: Shawn Hingtgen, PhD)

Project: Overcoming GBM resistance to iNSC therapy by repeat administration and multi-agent delivery in a novel heterogeneous GBM resection model
Megan Srinivas, MD Megan Srinivas, MD
(Scientific mentor: Joseph Tucker, MD)

Project: Spatiotemporal Analysis of Legislative Fiscal Restrictions on Family Planning Health Centers to Demonstrate their Impact on Creation of Healthcare Deserts
Andreea Waltmann, PhD Andreea Waltmann, PhD
(Scientific mentors: Alex Duncan, MDPhD, Marcia Hobbs, PhD)

Project: Experimental human infection with Neisseria gonorrhoeae
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