My experience with the UW CF P30
How I learned to stop worrying and love baby stool.
Luke Hoffman
Associate Professor, Pediatrics and Adjunct, Microbiology
December, 2013
The birth of my P30 baby poop pilot
The history: I was an Assistant Professor with an emerging lab.
•During the creation of the UW CF P30, an opportunity arose for
a gastrointestinal (GI) project.
•I (like most CF-minded microbiologists at UW) have been
focused on respiratory microbiology.
•A great deal of the early morbidity from CF is due to GI
• The was ample rationale for a fecal microbiome project,
and we have the resources to do it here.
•Bonnie and the P30 core directors asked me to consider writing
a P30 pilot project focused on the GI tract.
The birth of my P30 baby poop pilot
My considerations: The pros
•The P30 included people
and resources I had hoped to work with.
Among them were:
•Mentors I love working with and for.
•Thoughtfully assembled core facilities, representing a great
deal of expertise and research capacity
• A microbial genomics core (a particular interest of mine)
• An inflammation core (turned out to be important)
• A clinical core, with statistical resources (very important)
•Who couldn’t use more funding?
The birth of my P30 baby poop pilot
My considerations: The cons
•Every grant has associated bureaucracy, politics, and
• An important consideration, but it turned out to be
•This was outside the field I was most interested in pursuing at
that point. But…
•Wise mentors (aka Bonnie) reminded me that
academic careers are rarely linear.
In the end, the pros greatly outweighed the cons.
How working with the UW CF P30 has benefited my
• I hired a new, fantastic scientist for this project.
• That scientist brought new, vital expertise
• The training he got for the P30 project expanded that
expertise even further.
• I brought in a new collaborator who:
• Has worked with me on many projects.
• Has become a close friend.
• Wrote his own pilot application! (me= hero)
• This project, and the cores, have facilitated all of our projects.
• This project has generated fascinating new research directions
I wouldn’t have imagined.
How working with the UW CF P30 has benefited my
• My lab is bigger and better funded.
• This work led to:
• A new publication
• Another on the way; more to come.
• A new R01 application (scored, not funded,
resubmission planned 2014)
• A new, two-year Cystic Fibrosis Foundation grant.
• A funded pilot produced preliminary data, rather
than having to do this “on the side”.
• Productive new collaborations
• New research capacity I wouldn’t have had otherwise
How working with the UW CF P30 has benefited my
But most importantly, I gained:
•Unparalleled access to superb mentorship.
Thinking about a P30 pilot project: The advantages
and disadvantages
This experience has been fantastic for my lab and my
career in all of the ways I just described, and more.
I had to forge a new research direction, fitting a narrow
For me, the pros GREATLY outweighed any cons.
UW Pediatrics
UW Microbiology Core
• Pete Greenberg
• Jane Burns
Inflammation Core
• Bill Parks
Subjects and Families
Clinical Core
Genomics Core
Sam Miller
Laurence Rohmer
Matthew Radey
Hillary Hayden
Mike Jacobs
Elizabeth Sims
Mitch Brittnacher
Genome sciences
• Elhanan Borenstein
• Roie Levy
Chris Pope
Laura Houston
Dan Wolter
Bonnie Ramsey
Ron Gibson
Margaret Rosenfeld
Jane Burns
Arnie Smith
Ron Gibson
Sharon McNamara
Alan Genatossio
Judy Gabrysiak
Sonya Heltshe
Pat Schloss (U. Michigan)
Kirk Harris (U. Colorado)
Scot Dowd (Mr. DNA, Texas)
Drucy Borowitz (SUNY Buffalo

Center Grants at UW_Example_Hoffman