BETHESDA, Md. -- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., today announced the launch of a national consortium that will transform how clinical and translational research is conducted, ultimately enabling researchers to provide new treatments more efficiently and quickly to patients. This new consortium, funded through Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs), begins with 12 academic health centers (AHCs) located throughout the nation. An additional 52 AHCs are receiving planning grants to help them prepare applications to join the consortium. When fully implemented in 2012, about 60 institutions will be linked together to energize the discipline of clinical and translational science.
"The development of this consortium represents the first systematic change in our approach to clinical research in 50 years," said Zerhouni. "Working together, these sites will serve as discovery engines that will improve medical care by applying new scientific advances to real world practice. We expect to see new approaches reach underserved populations, local community organizations, and health care providers to ensure that medical advances are reaching the people who need them."
Applicants were encouraged to develop institutes, centers or departments for these awards and were challenged to devise innovative and far-reaching approaches to build academic homes for clinical and translational science. In response, the CTSA institutions are planning to:
Develop better designs for clinical trials to ensure that patients with rare as well as common diseases benefit from new medical therapies
Produce enriched environments to educate and develop the next generation of researchers trained in the complexities of translating research discoveries into clinical trials and ultimately into practice