The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) recently submitted a joint, competitive application to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). The CTSA program helps support high quality translational clinical research locally, regionally, and nationally and fosters innovation in research methods, training, and career development. From the UMB President, Dr. Jay Perman...
Translating biomedical discoveries into clinical applications that improve human health is a complex process with high costs and substantial failure rates. This can result in a delay of years or decades before discoveries in biomedical research result in health benefits for patients and communities. Recognizing the need to improve translation, the NIH established the CTSA program in 2006. In 2011, the CTSA program became part of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). NCATS’s mission is to identify and instantiate the general scientific and operational principles underlying each step of the translational continuum, thus transforming translation from an empirical process to a predictive science.
Significance for UMB
With this award, UMB will join other CTSA hubs across the nation in a collaborative effort to build a national CTSA network. This national network will allow for the efficient planning and implementation of high-quality, interdisciplinary research; harmonize standards and best practices; enhance translational research training through sharing curricula and online training modules/courses when appropriate; and, provide opportunities for unique, interdisciplinary research training and career development opportunities, both within and outside of the CTSA hub.
Significance for the Baltimore Community
The CTSA will provide the vision and structure needed to create a multiuniversity hub that will make the state of Maryland an exemplary region for discovery in the biomedical sciences. We can demonstrate the value of having universities and health systems committed to moving discoveries from ideas to health for the good of the entire community. We are grateful to JHU for recognizing the significant opportunity in forging this partnership and inviting us in their application for a third CTSA renewal. This is an exciting time as we share expertise and resources for the betterment of our communities.
Under the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) leadership, the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program supports a national network of medical research institutions - called hubs - that work together to improve the translational research process to get more treatments to more patients faster. The hubs collaborate locally and regionally to catalyze innovation in training, research tools, and processes.
CTSA program support enables research teams of scientists, patient advocacy organizations, and community members to tackle system-wide scientific and operational problems in clinical translational research that no one team can overcome. Program goals are to:
- Train and cultivate the translational science workforce
- Engage patients and communities in every phase of the translational process
- Promote the integration of special and underserved populations in translational research across the human lifespan
- Innovate processes to increase the quality and efficiency of translational research, particularly of multi-site trials
- Advance the use of cutting-edge informatics