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Translational Science Expert Panel (TSEP)-CCTS


Program Manager: Erica Cantu, MPH – UTHealth School of Public Health - – 832-904-0082

Created in late 2019, the Translational Science Expert Panel (TSEP) was designed by the CCTS to expand our knowledge in community engaged basic science research. TSEP brings scientific experts and community experts together to discuss and identify ways that community members can be involved in early-stage translational research (i.e., basic science research). This is a new area of study that presents both challenges and opportunities for tremendous growth.

These efforts will improve our understanding of the factors that facilitate and hinder the collaboration between basic science researchers and communities by:

  • Leading to the development and testing of collaboration strategies between community members and basic scientists?
  • Disseminating these strategies nationally to support better working relationships between basic scientists and community members?
  • Ultimately improving the speed and efficiency of science improving health outcomes

Community Engagement (CE) is currently working on modifying a Model of Community Engaged Basic Science Research-previously established by both community members and scientists-by interviewing additional community members and basic science researchers. The focus of these interviews is to understand how community members and basic scientists partner in research. This does not mean partnering in a way of being a research subject, but rather how community members and basic scientists do basic science research together. While a new field, this partnership is already occurring. Vanderbilt University has a community member panel that reviews protocols for patient centeredness.  If the panel deems the protocol is not patient centered, the protocol must be edited by the scientists to include a patient centered approach before they can access data.

Opportunities for Research and Community Engagement

We are currently recruiting basic science researchers and community members to discuss the factors necessary for successful community-engaged basic science research in 1 hour and 15-minute individual interviews. The ultimate goal is to develop a model that provides a framework for collaboration that interested basic science researchers and community members can use, based on each group’s responses of experiences (or lack thereof) of working together.  

To be interviewed as a community member you must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be able to read and speak English? with a minimum of an 8th grade fluency level
  • Live in one of the following Texas regions: Rio Grande Valley, Houston, or Northeast Texas?

To be interviewed as a basic researcher you must:

  • Currently conducting basic science research (e.g., microbiology, genetics, biochemistry, etc.)
  • A current Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas Tyler Cancer Center, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, or Rice University

If you meet one of these sets of qualifications, fill out this form: If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at