Self named co-principal investigator of Vanderbilt’s Clinical and Translational Science AwardSep. 22, 2022, 9:40 AM
by Bill Snyder
Wesley Self, MD, MPH, a physician-scientist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been named co-principal investigator (co-PI) of Vanderbilt’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA).
Nationally known for designing and conducting clinical research and advancing the treatment of patients with severe infections, Self is VUMC Vice President for Clinical Research Networks & Strategy, and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine.
The CTSA from the National Institutes of Health supports the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR). Since 2007, the CTSA has fostered development of innovations including BioVU, Vanderbilt’s DNA repository, ResearchMatch, an online national volunteer recruitment registry, and REDCap, a web-based research management application used worldwide.
In his new role in the CTSA, Self also will serve as the deputy director of VICTR, and he will continue to lead the clinical research infrastructure at VUMC.
At the national level, he will help the clinical research infrastructure respond rapidly and efficiently to pressing public health challenges by leading the innovation and implementation of clinical trials networks and by exploring new ways to recruit research participants.
Self joins VICTR director Gordon Bernard, MD, the Melinda Owen Bass Professor of Medicine and VUMC Executive Vice President for Research, and Consuelo Wilkins, MD, MSCI, professor of Medicine and Senior Vice President for Health Equity and Inclusive Excellence at VUMC, as co-PIs of the CTSA.
He will work closely with Bernard, Wilkins and VICTR executive director Jill Pulley, MBA.
“Part of VICTR’s mission has always been to train the next generation of faculty leaders in the management of complex infrastructural organizations,” said Bernard, who also serves as senior associate dean for Clinical Research at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
“Dr. Self epitomizes that new cadre of individuals who are at the right stage of their career and have the right leadership style to take on the ever-changing and complicated environment of clinical and translational research,” he said.
“Dr. Self brings an incredible synergy to our leadership team,” said Wilkins, senior associate dean for Health Equity and Inclusive Excellence in the School of Medicine.
“He adds expertise in areas such as emergency medicine, rapid surveillance studies, and the nurturing of sites in the creation of strong national trial networks,” she said. “Dr. Self embraces diverse teams and perspectives in creating successful research programs, and I look forward to working more closely with him in the coming years.”
A highly seasoned clinical researcher, Self leads an extensive research portfolio, supported last year by over $30 million in research funding, including awards from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and major industry partners.
“I am incredibly excited and humbled by the opportunity to work with the VICTR team and investigators from across VUMC on the highest quality clinical and translational science,” Self said. “VUMC is a special place for discovery and innovation and is poised to continue making biomedical breakthroughs that improve human health.”
Self has designed and implemented numerous practice-changing clinical trials and studies evaluating the epidemiology of influenza, COVID-19 and Streptococcus infections, and vaccine effectiveness studies for preventing severe diseases from these pathogens.
He is the founder and PI for the Influenza and Other Viruses in the Acutely Ill (IVY) Network, an $80 million national research program supported by the CDC.
Self is the clinical coordinating center PI for multiple NIH-supported clinical trial platforms, including:
- The ACTIV-4 Host Tissue program, supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which is testing investigational therapies for patients with severe COVID-19.
- The Strategies and Treatments for Respiratory Infections and Viral Emergencies (STRIVE) initiative, supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which will study new therapies for hospitalized patients with severe respiratory infections.
He also is science committee co-chair for the STRIVE initiative, which involves leading the scientific direction of the 240-site international program.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Self as the deputy director of VICTR,” said Jennifer Pietenpol, PhD, Chief Scientific and Strategy Officer at VUMC.
“He is a nationally recognized investigator and leader in advancing clinical research and knowledge that improves the treatment options and quality of care for patients with infectious diseases and critical illness,” Pietenpol said.
“In addition to his expertise in multisite clinical trials networks, pragmatic comparative effectiveness trials and surveillance studies, Dr. Self is highly respected by his peers at Vanderbilt and worldwide and brings leadership skills and vision to our clinical investigation and operations,” she said.