ICTS News Success Stories

KL2 Scholar Utilizes CTSA Resources to Advance MRSA Research

Stephanie A. Fritz, MD

Breakthrough research is rarely accomplished in a vacuum. Years of training, time spent writing and countless hours coordinating resources is an inherent part of any researcher’s work on the path to a successful study. Such is the case for Stephanie Fritz, MD, MSCI, ICTS member and senior author of a new study on how the superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is introduced into households and how it can spread among family members. Recently published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Fritz attributes much of her research success to the resources provided by the ICTS. 

Prior to Fritz’s work on this study, the ICTS helped to foster her success as a scholar with both the KL2 Career Development Awards Program and the Postdoctoral Mentored Training Program in Clinical Investigation (MTPCI). Fritz’s training in the KL2 program and subsequent awards with the ICTS’ own internal funding programs, the Clinical and Translational Research Funding Program (CTRFP) and the Just-In-Time Core Usage Funding Program (JIT), made a significant impact in her early research focused on community-associated MRSA. Fritz also utilized the ICTS Research Forum service while refining her initial grant applications, drawing on the Forum’s subject matter experts to increase her applications’ competitiveness. “This current study was built on the training and initial funding I received over ten years ago,” reflected Fritz. “The ICTS has been a part of this work from the beginning.”

For this specific study, Fritz’s team utilized a variety of core resources available to ICTS members. The Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research Design (BERD) core provided grant writing assistance, particularly with statistical analysis design and power calculations. Washington University’s Pediatric and Adolescent Ambulatory Research Consortium (WU PAARC) offered consulting around community-based patient recruitment. In addition, the community pediatricians affiliated with WU PAARC practices were instrumental in referring their patients for study participation. “This study was successfully executed through the services provided by the ICTS,” commented Fritz. “It has been an invaluable resource in accomplishing our work.”

Fritz continues to remain actively involved in the ICTS, contributing her time to help early career scientists as a mentor. She currently serves as chairperson of the Mock Study Section and is a member of the ICTS Liaisons committee. “The resources from the ICTS have made all the difference in my research and career,” said Fritz. “And, now, it is truly rewarding to pass along my expertise and knowledge to the next generation of translational scientists.”

Read more about Dr. Fritz’s research on drug-resistant staph in The Record, the official newsletter of Washington University in St. Louis.

Read more about this study.