A Note from new PAVIR CEO, Mike Hindery:

Dear Colleagues,
I started work on February 1 as PAVIR’s CEO, and I am extremely grateful to be a member of the PAVIR and VAPAHS communities and for the impact you have on me. Spring, clearly, is with us, with new blossoms, fresh fragrance, and eagerness budding everywhere. Every day I'm able to learn and grow professionally and personally and to work with an outstanding team to provide the grants and contracts administration and fiscal environments that support our research and education communities. I'm impressed with the high quality and commitment of our staff. I also enjoy my daily opportunities to laugh and to look at the views of the foothills. 
PAVIR wants to serve and support you in your roles. Those of us working in Grants and Contracts Administration, Human Resources, Finance and IT are committed to providing you with outstanding service and being collaborative colleagues. We want to hear your needs and your ideas on what we should be doing and how we should be doing our work; please contact us with your questions and ideas. 
We want this newsletter to be useful and informative to you. If you have suggestions for topics to cover, please let me know. I hope you will continue reading this newsletter to find out about PAVIR’s activities.
It has been a busy winter with a lot of exciting things happening, so let's jump right in with some highlights.

Tax Day is Tuesday, April 17th!  
You should have received your W-2 for calendar year 2017 in the mail. If you would like to view an electronic copy, please log onto ADP and go to Myself > Pay > Annual Statements. Please contact payroll@pavir.org if you have any questions.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Effective for calendar year 2018, the family contribution limit for HSAs has been lowered to $6,850 from the previously set amount of $6,900. Please note there is no impact to the individual contribution limit ($3,450) or catch-up contribution limit ($1,000).

2018 Changes to Paid Family Leave (PFL) & State Disability Insurance (SDI) Benefits
As of January 1, 2018the one-week waiting period for PFL claims has been eliminated (but remains in place for SDI claims). Also, the wage replacement rate for both PFL and SDI increased to:
  • 70% for individuals who earned less than one-third of California's average quarterly wage during the highest quarter of their base period
  • 60% for individuals who earned one-third or more of California's average quarterly wage during the highest quarter of their base period
Congratulations! We are happy to report that Dr. Constance Chu's "Novel Strategies to Combat Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis (PTOA)" DoD grant for $9.5M has been recommended for funding. The program will consist of five projects involving 19 investigators.

  • Project 1 will examine the mechanisms that sustain inflammation and contribute to PTOA, develop biomarkers, and optimize treatment strategies. 
  • Project 2 will be a randomized clinical trial using tranexamic acid (TXA) acutely after joint injury to see if it reduces inflammation and delays joint degeneration.
  • Project 3 will use MRI color maps and evaluate how the use of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal cells and of induced pluripotent stem cells can reduce inflammation after ACL injury in young patients.
  • Project 4 will use info from Project 3 to see whether these patients can be retrained to walk more efficiently, thereby reducing inflammatory and structural markers of elevated OA risk.
  • Project 5 will evaluate the effectiveness of continuous gene therapy to prevent or delay PTOA.
We are grateful to Dr. Chu for her sincere appreciation shown to Elaine Staats and PAVIR's Contracts & Grants staff for their guidance, professionalism, and dedication to making Dr. Chu's grant application the best it could be.
Additional Recent Awards
We would like to share the below list of newly funded projects for 2018.

Reminder: 2018 NIH Grant Application Summer Due Dates Approaching
The NIH Cycle II proposal submission due dates are right around the corner. Please contact Elaine Staats if you intend to submit a grant proposal to NIH for the May/June/July deadlines. 
NIH Grant Application Due Dates
Successful NAVREF Visit 
PAVIR is a member of NAVREF (National Association of Veterans Research and Education Affiliates), which is the non-profit organization of research and education non-profit corporations (NPC’s) affiliated with VA medical centers. Of the 83 NPC’s, PAVIR has the second-largest sponsored research portfolio. Rick Starrs, NAVREF’s CEO, visited PAVIR on March 14 and spent the day meeting with VAPAHCS leadership and PAVIR staff, and touring our research labs. We had an opportunity to learn how we can collaborate on and grow our clinical trials activity, and to provide Rick and NAVREF with examples of PAVIR’s research programs. Rick was impressed with the breadth of our research activities and the quality of our staff and programs.
Upcoming Holidays
PAVIR follows the federal holiday schedule, so please mark your calendars with the following upcoming holidays:

          • Monday, May 28, 2018 – Memorial Day
          • Wednesday, July 4, 2018 – Independence Day

The PAVIR administrative office will be closed on these dates.

Copyright © 2017   PAVIR   All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research (PAVIR)
Bldg 101, Suite A2-210
PO Box V-38
Palo Alto, CA 94304

Core Office: (650) 858-3970
For more information contact us at info@pavir.org or visit us at www.pavir.org

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