Washington University Team Wins Inaugural TL1 Debate, ‘Statin Wars’

Pictured from left to right: Adisa Kalkan, Jay Piccirillo, Ameen Awad, Annahita Fotouhi, Samuel Cortez, Alexandra Zdonczyk, and Ana Maria Arbelaez.

Congratulations to Washington University TL1 trainees, Ameen Awad, Samuel Cortez, MD, Annahita Fotouhi, and Alexandra Zdonczyk for winning the inaugural TL1 Debate on November 9, 2021, defeating a team from the University of Michigan. The debate, a new event developed from an existing training exercise for TL1 trainees at Washington University in St. Louis, featured four, pre and postdoctoral TL1 trainees from both Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Michigan discussing the pros and cons of statins around the theme: “Should statins be prescribed for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease among the very elderly (>=75 years old)?”.

Jay Piccirillo, MD, professor of otolaryngology and director, TL1 Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Programs at Washington University School of Medicine, opened the debate while Steven Nissen, MD, a cardiologist from Cleveland Clinic and national expert on statins, served as moderator.

The TL1 Debate was developed in an effort to help trainees practice their presentation skills and make arguments for or against a concept in clinical and translational science while allowing for networking and collaboration within the CTSA Consortium.

Adisa Kalkan, MA, Project Administrator TL1 programs, Clinical Research and Training Center at Washington University and Melissa Krasnove, MEd, Program Manager, Office of Clinical and Translation Scientist Development at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, are leads for the CLIC debate working group and planned and executed the inaugural event. “There is a lot of diversity regarding the career stage of trainees in TL1 training programs throughout the CTSA Consortium,” explains Kalkan. “Through the William Schnaper TL1 Visiting Scientist Program, we address this diversity by providing three types of forums: grand rounds, mini-symposia, and debate. The debate forum serves trainees who do not yet have sufficient data to present by honing their presentation skills through a debate format. With 96 registrants, 73 attendees, and 8 presenters, this inaugural event was well received and we are excited to start planning the next TL1 debate for spring of 2022.”

This event was supported by the Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS), the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) at the University of Michigan, the Center for Leading Innovation & Collaboration (CLIC), and the William Schnaper Visiting Scientist working group.