UTMB’s Clinical and Translational Science Award
The ITS is the academic home of a five-year, $24 million Clinical Translational Sciences Award (CTSA) by the National Institutes of Health - National Center for Research Resources. Currently, there are 46 CTSA institutions, including 4 in Texas (UTMB, UTHSC Houston, UTHSC San Antonio, and UT Southwestern).
The National CTSA Consortium, which will include 60 institutions by 2012, is working to improve human health by transforming the research and training environment to enhance the efficiency and quality of clinical and translational research. CTSA programs share a common vision to reduce the time it takes for laboratory discoveries to become treatments for patients, and to engage communities in clinical research efforts. They also are fulfilling the critical need to train a new generation of clinical researchers. These goals build upon the experiences of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, as well as extensive community input, and are widely regarded as crucial to the future progress of medicine.
Aligned with the goals of the ITS, UTMB’s CTSA seeks to facilitate translational research as a rigorous discipline, develop translational research training programs at all levels in the graduate continuum, effectively conduct and bridge step 1 translational research to steps 2 and 3, and interface productively with the national CTSA consortium. In particular, our CTSA builds teams of researchers with diverse skills who can work effectively toward positive health outcomes. These teams serve as exemplary learning environments for the next generation of translational investigators.
These Multidisciplinary Translational Teams (MTTs) are supported by the CTSA’s Key Resources - aggregations of established university core laboratories and existing and new intellectual resources. Using a variety of transformational approaches, the Key Resources are working to address barriers to clinical and translational research. This process is coordinated through the CTSA Operations Committee, and the CTSA Coordination Core. The CTSA is governed by an NIH-style Executive Committee , as well as Internal and External Advisory Committees.
Principal Investigator Allan Brasier attributes much of the success of UTMB’s CTSA application to its strong leadership team as well as its tradition of collaboration among researchers, identifying UTMB’s multidisciplinary Sealy Centers as crucial incubators for that collaborative culture over the last two decades. He also credits the vision and strong support of the university’s administration.