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NIH launches major program to transform clinical and translational science

Bethesda, Md. --National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., today announced a new program designed to spur the transformation of clinical and translational research in the United States, so that new treatments can be developed more efficiently and delivered more quickly to patients.

"We are truly at a crossroads in medicine," Zerhouni said. "The scientific advances of the past few years, such as the completion of the Human Genome Project, dictate that we act now to encourage fundamental changes in how we do clinical research, and how we train the new generations of clinician scientists for the medical challenges of this century."

The Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) program, unveiled today in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), is designed to energize the discipline of clinical and translational science at the academic health centers around the country.

"This program will give research institutions more freedom to foster productive collaboration among experts in different fields, lower barriers between disciplines, and encourage creative, new approaches that will help us solve complex medical mysteries," said Zerhouni. "Ultimately, patients will be better served because new prevention strategies and treatments will be developed, tested, and brought into medical practice more rapidly."

The grants will encourage institutions to propose new approaches to clinical and translational research, including new organizational models and training programs at graduate and post-graduate levels. In addition, they will foster original research in developing clinical research methodologies, such as clinical research informatics, laboratory methods, other technology resources and community-based research capabilities. Potential benefits to patients include: new medical monitoring devices that they can use in their own homes; improved methods for predicting the toxicity of new
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Contact: Ann Puderbaugh
puderba@mail.nih.gov
301-435-0888
NIH/National Center for Research Resources
12-Oct-2005


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