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Washington University Gets $50M for Translational Center, Genomic Medicine

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Washington University School of Medicine has landed a $50 million grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to support science involving a wide swath of the university's biomedical research areas, including a genomic medicine program.

The award is a renewal of the university's Clinical and Translational Science Award funding and it will fund projects led by the school's Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS), which will collaborate with various other departments and centers at Washington University, the school said on Monday.

"The ICTS is not built around one specific disease or clinical specialty," Bradley Evanoff, director of the ICTS at Washington University, said in a statement. "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."

Over the coming five years, the ICTS will pursue cross-disciplinary and translational research and focus on promoting three core areas: translating genetics and genomics research into patient care, developing and evaluating new therapeutics, and finding better ways to disseminate and implement research findings into clinical medical practice.

Evanoff views genomics as a central part of the ICTS mission, and the institute has established a Genomics Medicine Program to enable investigators to access a range of new technologies and techniques for use in translational research projects.

The institute also will collaborate with other Washington University faculty and other regional partners like St. Louis University and the St. Louis College of Pharmacy to develop new medical devices, diagnostic tests, drugs, and biologics.

The ICTS aims to support projects in the later stages of translational research which are more likely to make it to the clinic soon, and in particular it will work closely with BJC HealthCare, a non-profit healthcare network, to pursue these projects.

The ICTS also provides financial support and training for new investigators, funding for new infrastructure to support translational research, and it encourages collaborations among faculty members in a range of disciplines.