UCSD gets $37.2 million for clinical and translational research

UCSD PRESS RELEASE

The UCSD Health Sciences and its expanding Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) have received a five-year, $37.2 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Center for Research Resources, part of the National Institutes of Health.

UCSD joins a consortium of institutions in a national network dedicated to improving biomedical research by accelerating the application of laboratory discoveries into effective treatments for patients, more actively engaging communities in clinical research, and by training future generations of varied types of clinical and translational researchers.

"Medical science is evolving and growing exponentially. The need and demand for creative research projects, programs and people who can translate this basic research into real, beneficial therapies and treatments will only increase," said David Brenner, M.D., vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the UCSD School of Medicine.

"UC San Diego has a long, proven track record in translational science. From the Moores Cancer Center and the many research institutes on campus to our deep involvement in major clinical trials and status as one of the nation's top teaching hospitals, the university has established itself as a vital hub for this kind of inspired work. This grant allows us, with the CTRI leading the way, to push ahead in new and even more imaginative ways, to advance medical research further, faster."

Launched in 2006, the NCRR's Clinical and Translational Science Awards program emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists and innovative approaches that resolve difficult medical challenges.

The mission of the Clinical and Translational Research Institute is ambitious, yet also grounded in real-world needs and expectations, said Gary S. Firestein, MD, professor of medicine, dean of translational medicine at UC San Diego's School of Medicine and director of CTRI.

"The institute will produce not just outstanding science, but also translate the discoveries into improved health care, enhanced well-being and prevention," said Firestein who is also the principle investigator of the CTSA grant. "We are bringing together the best people possible, from diverse disciplines and institutions, to work in an open, flexible and dynamic environment that allows them to fully bring their talents and strengths to bear upon the health care needs and problems of the day."

The institute emphasizes five primary goals:

  • Establish and refine a multidisciplinary educational pipeline that trains and supports clinical and translational scientists in a fast-changing field.
  • Develop a robust — and integrated — clinical research infrastructure that includes research tools and cores like statistics and informatics to produce and analyze data.
  • Create novel technologies that improve research and push science forward, in particular focusing on new imaging techniques and biomarker analysis to improve efficiency of testing innovative therapies.
  • Form innovative translational research alliances with other institutes and with industry.
  • Establish partnerships with community physicians and the public to translate scientific discoveries into best practices, improve research into health care disparities, and engage and educate citizens in biomedical science.

CTRI involves four professional schools of health sciences spanning two universities: the School of Medicine and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at UC San Diego and the School of Nursing and School of Public Health at San Diego State University (SDSU).

Other partners include the UCSD Medical Center, the UCSD Rady School of Management, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the Sanford/Burnham Institute for Medical Research, the J. Craig Venter Institute; the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology; the Rady Children's Hospital Research Center, the Veterans Administration Medical Center in La Jolla and Palomar Pomerado Health System.

The institute also draws upon three powerful computing resources: the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Cal IT2) and the UCSD division of biomedical informatics.

For additional information about the CTRI, visit http:

//ctri.ucsd.edu

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