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Dear iTHRIV Community,

​It is my great pleasure to take time at the end of the year to thank you all for your commitment to iTHRIV and to update you on our accomplishments during 2022. Our successes are due to the valuable input and outstanding work contributed by so many of you. On behalf of the leadership of iTHRIV, we thank you all for your partnership.

iTHRIV has been identified on the national stage as leaders in the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) with members of our iTHRIV Informatics core, taking the lead to support research queries from across the CTSA network. Our iTHRIV Research Concierge Portal (iTHRIV Portal) is now being requested outside of iTHRIV demonstrating the value of this resource. The iTHRIV Research Data Commons continues to be enhanced with input from early users at UVA, and code for implementation of the Commons has been shared across all iTHRIV partner institutions. We are already hearing interest in this resource outside of iTHRIV and hope that this resource too will be broadly shared in coming years. 

As we all anticipate the upcoming NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy (effective January 25, 2023) and the new White House Guidance to Ensure Federally Funded Research Freely Available Without Delay (deadline December 31, 2025), iTHRIV will continue to enhance the iTHRIV Research Data Commons to support us all in meeting these new requirements. We also worked with the Patient Privacy Office to establish a guidance for making patient-derived datasets fully public.

In 2022 we funded Clinical and Translational Research proposals which will provide insight into potential treatment options for obesity, lung transplantation, several aspects of mental health, and innovative AI based approach to reducing surgical waste. These pilot projects include researchers from all of our partner sites. Our Community Partnership grants funded projects in obesity in LatinX youth and educational approaches to combat Hepatitis C. We look forward to sharing the results of these research projects when they are complete.

We also received many excellent applications for 2023 Pilot award programs and are excited to launch the awarded projects in February, 2023. We thank all of you who have submitted research proposals to our Pilot Translational and Clinical Studies Program as well as our Community Partnership Grant Program and we regret that we can’t fund them all.

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As an organization iTHRIV has committed itself to justice, diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging for all, and in 2022 we deepened our offerings to promote diversity. Our inspiring Diverse Researchers in Virginia (iDRIV) program welcomed its second cohort, while our summer programs SOAR, CUBE, and the Data Justice Academy supported diverse groups of high school and college students, paving the way for potential careers in health-related research. One of the teams had the opportunity to present their research at the Annual CTSA Meeting. Our iTHRIV Scholars Program welcomed its sixth cohort of early career researchers. This cohort contains two iDRIV alums and serves as a strong example of our commitment to diverse team science. iTHRIV proudly launched a new speaker series designed to lift underrepresented voices in research across the iTHRIV partnership. The series was recorded and we encourage you to listen and learn from those who have broad backgrounds and perspectives. Additionally, throughout 2023 iTHRIV will continue to strengthen our collaboration with Virginia State University, a Historically Black University (HBCU) in Richmond, VA. All of this work contributes to growing the next generation of diverse translational research teams.

Our training programs for research faculty, clinical research coordinators, other research professionals and trainees continue to reach a broader workforce. Our growing programs for career development of research/grant administrators now includes a formal mentoring pilot program across Grounds at UVA. Our research mentoring training program continues to grow with > 160 mentors participating to date! This program is for early career to advanced career mentors as it offers ways for each of us to optimize research mentoring relationships. Check out all of our training offerings on the iTHRIV Portal.

iTHRIV continues to build trust and has been working with community partners to co-develop future research programs. Join us as we strive to make sure that research is inclusive and our clinical trials are representative of the communities we serve.   

Finally, I will also share with you our excitement about the next steps for iTHRIV as we prepare our new NIH-NCATS proposal submission which includes the development of new programs and innovations to support the research workforce and our communities across Virginia.  As we look to the next year and the next chapter of iTHRIV, we continue to welcome your voice and the voice of our broad community.  Please reach out to us and let us know how we can support your research. On behalf of iTHRIV, we wish you a wonderful Winter Holiday Season and very happy and healthy New Year.

Warm Regards,

Karen C. Johnston, MD, MSc

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