By David J. Hill
Published April 20, 2023
Ekaterina “Katia” Noyes, PhD, MPH, team science core director at UB’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), has received the 2023 Team Science Award from the Association for Clinical and Translational Science.
Noyes, whose research has repeatedly demonstrated that team-based approaches in research and care delivery significantly outperform services provided by individuals working alone, received the award April 18 at Translational Science 2023 in Washington, D.C.
ACTS is a nonprofit membership association of translational scientists from the nation’s leading academic medical centers. The organization presents its annual Translational Science Awards to recognize investigators for their outstanding contributions to the clinical research and translational science field. Individuals and teams are nominated by their colleagues and peers.
“The ACTS awards recognize talented investigators who translate their findings ultimately from the bench to the community. Awardees are in all phases of studies and disciplines throughout the workforce, which includes investigators, trainees, educators and research teams, as well as the advancement of diversity, inclusion and health equity,” said ACTS President Linda B Cottler.
“These award winners and their work represent the values and mission of ACTS and we are happy to celebrate their achievements at Translational Science 2023 right here in our nation’s capital,” Cottler added.
The ACTS Team Science Award acknowledges and catalyzes the growing importance of interdisciplinary teams to the translation of research discoveries into clinical applications and eventually widespread clinical practice. Proactive interaction between academic and industry researchers is particularly crucial to continue progress and accelerate drug development.
In addition to her CTSI position, Noyes serves several roles within UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, including associate dean for translational and team science; director of the Division of Health Services Policy and Practice; director, MPH concentration in health services administration; and professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health.
Noyes’ research topics over the past 20 years include health outcomes and quality of care assessment, economic evaluation of health care programs and regional care delivery in surgical oncology. She is among the academics “who are pioneering, globally, the study of team-based cancer care delivery, with a particular interest in communities that are underserved,” Nick Sevdalis, professor of implementation science and patient safety at King’s College London, wrote in a letter supporting Noyes’ nomination for the ACTS award.
In recent years, Noyes has shifted her research focus from identifying problems and challenges in health care delivery to proposing and testing innovative solutions to these problems, with an emphasis on implementing multidisciplinary interventions.
In the spirit of team science, Noyes has spearheaded several collaborations with other health sciences researchers across UB, including partnering with the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ Department of Surgery, where she is clinical outcome research director, to found the UB Surgical Outcomes and Research Center, which received funding from the New York State Department of Health to fund the first two surgical research fellowship programs in Buffalo.
Working with the UB Institute for Healthcare Informatics, she has built a partnership and negotiated data use agreements with local health insurance company Independent Health to inform policies for reducing disparities in access to care and improve health outcomes among underserved urban and rural populations in Western New York.
Her most recent study examining teamwork among UB faculty and departments demonstrated that units with more diverse research teams receive higher levels of external funding.
“Her work has provided evidence to demonstrate that an interdisciplinary team approach is the most effective strategy to bolster creativity and provide the flexibility required to tackle complex modern problems, whether in medicine, public health, technology or social policy,” Pauline Mendola, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, wrote in her letter of support for Noyes.
Noyes’ extensive work on the science of team science has had “a transformational impact on team building and team functionality at our hub,” wrote Timothy F. Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of medicine and CTSI director, adding that “she has transformed the culture of team science throughout our institution through her inspirational leadership, innovative programs, and expertise and commitment to team science and especially the science of team science.”
Noyes credited UB CTSI, her UB colleagues in the School of Public Health and Health Professions, her project coordinator Liz Bengert, and her research team for their creativity and passion for promoting team-based approach in translation science.
“I have been extremely fortunate to have colleagues and mentors who genuinely value collaborative work and create a culture of success that is shared and where challenges are tackled together,” she said. “I am thrilled to showcase nationally all the terrific innovative work we are doing here in Buffalo.”