Translational and Precision Medicine Resources Core (TRAP)

The Translational and Precision Medicine Resources Core (TRAP) core was developed to expedite the translation of findings derived from basic science/bench research into novel therapies, by providing investigators with the services needed to advance into the translational and clinical realm. In addition, the services provided will allow non-dermatologist physicians to appropriately address concerns specific to cutaneous diseases that may be relevant to research in both primary cutaneous disorders, or disorders of other organ systems with cutaneous manifestations, or cutaneous reactions to therapies.

Precision medicine is inextricably linked to the continued advance of state of the art research and medical care. The TRAP will offer cutting edge approaches to assist investigators in biomarker discovery, assessment and validation. We will provide sophisticated computational analysis, bioinformatics and data management to drive the movement of novel biomarkers into the realm of clinical use for individual based/personalized risk assessment, monitoring of progression or disease, or predicting response to treatment.

The TRAP will bridge the gap between bench and clinic with four strategic services, each designed to address a particular barrier to translation. First, the TRAP will provide study design and biostatistical expertise in the development of pre-clinical and clinical studies. Next, the TRAP will offer services for the ascertainment and procurement of cutaneous tissue and hair follicle samples, a critical resource that has been in high demand at our institution, and we expect will be extensively utilized by resource community members. We will provide links to the National Alopecia Areata Registry Database, thereby allowing access to several thousand individuals who have given consent to be re-contacted for additional research in AA. Further, we will provide expert consultations in identifying genomic and molecular biomarkers that have the capability to predict or quantify treatment responses, as well as the bioinformatic and statistical guidance to glean useful biological insights from raw data generated from advanced genomic and molecular tools.

Service Clusters List:

Service Cluster A. Clinical Trial Design and Execution

  • A.1. Protocol drafting and study design, outcomes, quality of life
  • A.2. Regulatory issues: IRB, IND, FDA interactions
  • A.3. Power calculations, sample size, outcome measures and statistical tools
  • A.4. Imaging and quantitation of clinical responses


Service Cluster B. Human Tissue Procurement / Access to Patient Registries

  • B.1. Skin biopsy acquisition for clinical research studies
  • B.2. Human hair follicle acquisition for organ culture assays
  • B.3. AA Registry Sample access
  • B.4. CUMC Tissue Biobank access


Service Cluster C. Molecular Characterization of Human Samples

  • C.1. Genotyping for risk assessment
  • C.2. Serum cytokine measurements
  • C.3. Whole genome gene expression consultations
  • C.4. Whole exome/whole genome sequencing


Service Cluster D. Computational Analysis/Bioinformatics/Next Gen Data Management

  • D.1. GWAS and the impact of common variants on disease risk
  • D.2. Consultations for gene expression analysis from microarray or next generation sequencing experiments.
  • D.3. Analysis and interpretation of whole exome/whole genome sequencing
  • D.4. Genetic epidemiology resources for validation studies in underrepresented populations.