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National Institutes of Health Announces National Consortium to Transform Clinical and Translational Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced the initiation of a national consortium aimed at speeding the translation of laboratory findings into novel treatments available for patients. The consortium, funded through Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs), will transform how clinical and translational research is conducted. The first set of awards will establish 12 academic health centers around the nation, and 52 academic health centers will receive planning grants to help them prepare applications to join the consortium. When fully implemented in 2012, the consortium will link together approximately 60 academic health centers. The specific goals of the CTSA institutions include developing better clinical trial designs to ensure that new medical therapies are available to patients with rare and common diseases; creating environments conducive to the education of the next generation of translational researchers; improving clinical research informatics tools; enhancing initiatives to engage minority and medically underserved communities; assembling partnerships with public and private health care organizations; and fostering the creation of interdisciplinary teams spanning the spectrum of research.

The CTSA consortium, which will be led by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), is consistent with the NIH commitment to revamp the clinical research enterprise, one of the foremost priorities suggested by the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. Existing clinical and translational programs, such as the NIH Roadmap Initiative, will provide funding for the CTSA initiative. The total funding for the first year of the awards will be approximately $100 million, and funding is expected to reach $500 million in 2012, when all 60 academic health centers have been integrated. A description of the second request for applications for CTSAs that has been issued can be found in the Grants and Contracts section of this issue of JIM. For a complete listing of the institutions to receive …

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