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University of Utah Gets $20.4M Grant for Translational Science Center

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Utah announced yesterday that it has received a $20.4 million award from the National Institutes of Health to support its Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

According to the University of Utah, it is one of just 15 institutions selected this month to receive an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award. The CTSA program was started by NIH in 2006, and the University of Utah received its first CTSA funding in 2008.

The center leverages the University of Utah's capabilities in genetics and bioinformatics to translate bench science into clinical practice and serves as an academic home for clinical and translational research.

"The importance of this center to the State of Utah is that it brings resources together that support the full range of clinical research, from basic discovery science to how research findings are best implemented into the practices of our community physicians," Donald McClain, one of the center's directors and associate vice president for clinical and translational science at the university, said in a statement. "The center facilitates the communication among all of our stakeholders, so that investigators making basic discoveries can speak with experts in turning those discoveries into new cures or diagnostics, and they in turn can speak to experts in partnering with industry to get the products to market."

Utah's center consists of eight core areas focusing on biomedical informatics; clinical services; community outreach and collaboration; patient-centered outcomes research methods; recruitment, retention, and safety; research education, training, and career development; study design and biostatistics; and translational technologies and resources.

The university said that one of the efforts the center is planning is the development of a National Research Mentoring Network for those under-represented in medicine.

It added that among its goals is to provide special expertise to a CTSA consortium in the areas of human genetics, genotype/phenotype correlation, and health services research including comparative effectiveness studies.

The University of Utah's announcement comes a few days after Stanford University announced that its Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Education was awarded $45.3 million over four and a half years to push forward translational research in medicine.