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National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, September 18, 2007

NCRR Communications

NIH Expands National Consortium to Transform Clinical and Translational Research

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., today announced the expansion of the national consortium that is transforming how clinical and translational research is conducted at academic health centers across the country. Ultimately, this consortium will enable researchers to provide new treatments more efficiently and quickly to patients. Funded through Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs), the consortium adds 12 more academic health centers to the 12 announced last October. When fully implemented in 2012, 60 institutions will be linked together to energize the discipline of clinical and translational science.

“As the consortium grows, we are fulfilling our charge to transform clinical and translational research,” said Zerhouni. “Through collaboration and leadership, these sites are serving as discovery engines that can rapidly translate research into prevention strategies and clinical treatments for the people who need them. The CTSA consortium also represents our investment in the future as it prepares the next generation of clinical researchers to meet tomorrow’s health care challenges.”

Led by the National Center for Research Resources, a component of the NIH, the CTSA program funds diverse and far-reaching approaches related to all aspects of the research enterprise. This round of awards includes: partnerships with three minority research centers; three institutions led by women principal investigators; and connections with an additional four national primate research centers, which will help bring discoveries in animal models more quickly into clinical practice.

The following institutions are receiving awards in the second round of CTSA funding (view descriptions of the 2007 CTSA awardees at www.ncrr.nih.gov/ctsa2007):

Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio)
Emory University (Atlanta, Ga.), partnering with Morehouse School of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.)
University of Chicago (Chicago, Ill.)
University of Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa)
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, Texas)
University of Washington (Seattle, Wash.)
University of Wisconsin (Madison, Wis.)
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tenn.), partnering with Meharry Medical College
Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.)
Weill Cornell Medical College (New York, N.Y.), partnering with Hunter College

“By expanding the consortium, we are better able to leverage expertise and resources across the CTSA institutions,” said Barbara M. Alving, M.D., NCRR Director. “At the same time, our goal is to extend the CTSA philosophy of interdisciplinary interactions and connectivity to generate partnerships and collaboration beyond the consortium to organizations involved with health care throughout the nation. It is through multiple partnerships that CTSAs will transform clinical and translational research and bring new scientific advances to health care.”

Contributions from the new grantees will further enable the consortium to:

  • Provide enriched environments to educate and develop the next generation of researchers trained in the complexities of translating research discoveries into clinical trials and ultimately into practice;
  • Design new and improved clinical research informatics tools for analyzing research data and managing clinical trials;
  • Support outreach to underserved populations, local community and advocacy organizations, and health care providers;
  • Assemble interdisciplinary teams that cover the complete spectrum of research—biology, clinical medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, biomedical engineering, and genomics; and
  • Forge new partnerships with private and public health care organizations, including pharmaceutical companies, the Veterans Administration hospitals, health maintenance organizations, as well as state health agencies.

The CTSA initiative grew out of the NIH commitment to re-engineer the clinical research enterprise, one of the key objectives of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. Funding for the CTSA initiative comes from redirecting existing clinical and translational programs, and from Roadmap funds. Total funding for these new awards will be approximately $574 million. This total represents a nearly five-year budget period.

A third funding opportunity announcement for CTSAs has been issued, calling for the next round of applications to be submitted by November 7, 2007, with the awards expected in June 2008. This funding announcement and other information about the CTSA Program are available at www.ncrr.nih.gov/ctsa.asp.

The CTSA Consortium Web site which provides information on the current members and the new grantees can be accessed at www.ctsaweb.org.

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) provides laboratory scientists and clinical researchers with the environments and tools they need to understand, detect, treat, and prevent a wide range of diseases. Through the CTSA consortium and other collaborations, NCRR supports all aspects of translational and clinical research, connecting researchers with one another, and with patients and communities across the nation. For more information, visit www.ncrr.nih.gov.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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