NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health is aiming to improve upon the time it takes to move critical medicines and treatments from bench to bedside, and to expand genomics and genetics research programs, by pumping $533 million over five years into fourteen medical research institutes for its Clinical and Translational Science Award consortium.
The CTSA, which began supporting research centers in 2006, is part of the NIH’s aim to “re-engineer the clinical enterprise,” one of the "key objectives" of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, the National Center for Research Resources said today.
Most of the $533 million to support these 2008 grants will come from terminating grants to General Clinical Research Centers and some will come from the NIH Roadmap. NCRR said that when the CTSA program, which now includes a total of 38 member institutions, is fully implemented in 2012 it will fund a total of 60 centers with a total annual budget of $500 million.
"With more than half of NIH's funding allocated for basic research, the CTSA consortium is perfectly poised to help move discoveries in the laboratory to improved patient care,” NIH Director Elias Zerhouni said in a statement.
"Through the consortium, we are better able to leverage expertise and resources across the CTSA institutions, and ultimately maximize NIH’s investment in basic research, which should remain a top priority,” he added.
The CTSA centers also will expand research in genetics and genomics, support pediatric research, and enhance research in behavioral immunology and infection risk, according to the NCRR.
Barbara Alving, director of the NCRR, said the consortium “is elevating clinical and translational research from a single research enterprise to a network of exceptional collaborations" that will result in "tangible benefits" for the American healthcare system.
Harvard University netted the biggest funding haul in this round of grants, landing $118 million. The University of Colorado, Denver, will receive $76 million and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will pull in $61 million.
Additional allotments include: $22 million for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University; $23 million for Boston University; $25 million for the Indiana University School of Medicine; $29 million for Northwestern University; $34 million for Ohio State University; $20 million for the Scripps Research Institute; $30 million to Stanford University; $20 million to Tufts University;$27 million for the University of Alabama at Birmingham; $26 million for the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; and $23 million for the University of Utah.
The CTSA program so far has assembled interdisciplinary teams including geneticists, biologists, clinical researchers, nurses, pharmacists, and a variety of other specialists, and it has funded a number of programs that have promoted partnerships and expansion of translational research partnerships and programs at many institutions.