Washington University School of Medicine has received a $50 million grant to help speed the translation of scientific discoveries into improvements in human health.
The grant, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), supports the school’s Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS), one of 60 such centers in the United States.
“We’re working to advance clinical and translational research throughout the university,” says ICTS director Bradley A. Evanoff, MD, assistant dean for clinical and translational research. “The ICTS is not built around one specific disease or clinical specialty. We are charged with speeding the application of research findings in prevention, diagnosis and treatment across a wide spectrum of health conditions and research disciplines.”
The grant is a renewal of a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), funded through the new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), which is a part of the NIH.
The Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences serves as a bridge between basic and clinical science.
Evanoff says the ICTS will support Washington University’s strengths and, in doing so, help pursue the goals of the BioMed 21 initiative to encourage cross-disciplinary and translational research. Over the next five years, the ICTS will increasingly focus on promoting three areas: translating research in genetics and genomics into patient care, developing and evaluating new therapeutics, and improving ways to disseminate and implement research findings so they become part of regular medical practice.
Other major goals of the ICTS include providing financial support and training for new investigators in clinical and translational research, building new research support infrastructure, encouraging collaborations among faculty across disciplines, and creating pathways for investigators to find and utilize existing research resources.
Evanoff also emphasizes that the ICTS is a regional consortium that includes important partnerships with BJC HealthCare, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Saint Louis University, the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, the Goldfarb School of Nursing, and the nursing schools at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.
“Together with our regional and national partners, our mission is to connect research findings to their eventual application in improving the health of the public,” Evanoff says. “That’s the exciting part of translational research.”