The NIH funding will help clinical and translational researchers make important health discoveries that lead to treatments and cures for Minnesotans
The University of Minnesota’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) received more than $42 million in renewed National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences’ Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program.
The five-year CTSA award is one of the University’s largest federal research grants and enables clinical and translational researchers across the UMN System and state to accelerate their discoveries to help Minnesotans live healthier, longer lives.
“CTSI provides resources and promotes collaboration among researchers across the University while growing and changing as Minnesotans’ health needs grow and change,” said Jakub Tolar, U of M Medical School dean and interim vice president for health sciences. “A successful CTSA application and the resulting CTSI are critical to the University’s continued strength as a research institution. The NIH places a high value on academic research institutions having this mechanism for sharing research across institutions and for developing the future of team science.”
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The CTSA award also will help train an outstanding multi-disciplinary, diverse workforce skilled in team science, streamline methods and processes to increase clinical and translational research capacity locally and nationally, engage communities and stakeholders to improve the process of such translation to support healthcare delivery, and contribute unique U of M resources to the national CTSA network with our shared goal of improving population health across the nation.
Additionally, the award helps CTSI advance the University of Minnesota’s clinical and translational research goals of integrating clinical and translational research into clinical care at University of Minnesota (M Health) clinics, supports collaboration with colleagues at the Mayo Clinic CTSA and on the U of M Duluth campus, and supports opportunities for enhanced research participation by its partners including Hennepin Healthcare, the Minneapolis VA Health Care System and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, amongst others.
University of Minnesota and community clinical and translational researchers and research professionals engage CTSI for programs and services, funding and support, research education, training and career development and resources and tools developed through CTSA funding.
The CTSA program also enables University of Minnesota and community researchers to tap into a national network of nearly 60 medical research institutions across the country that have CTSA funding. Institutions in the consortium work together to improve the way clinical and translational research is conducted. The University of Minnesota initially joined the prestigious CTSA consortium in 2011 with its first award totaling $51 million.
“Being part of the CTSA consortium gives the University of Minnesota a seat at the national research table,” said Bruce Blazar, CTSI director and Academic Health Center associate vice president for Clinical and Translational Science. “The consortium is a vast network of academic medical research institutions with unique ideas and resources that we can tap into and learn from, and it’s a powerful group with a formidable voice that helps shape and influence clinical and translational science, legislation and policy nationally.”
Since 2011, more than 170 research projects have been conducted utilizing $22.2 million in CTSI funding, which has resulted in 650+ publications citing the CTSA award and six start-up ventures. Additionally, more than 20 University of Minnesota assistant professors have graduated from CTSI’s cornerstone research career development program and 12 already have received additional NIH funding to continue their research.
“Projects we have funded have led to community forums tackling rural Minnesota heroin and opioid challenges, a rapid infection diagnostic tool, and even influencing policy changes in Minnesota and beyond to improve health outcomes for incarcerated women and their families,” Blazar said.
Additionally, CTSI has developed enterprise-wide tools and resources that help manage clinical trials, streamline financial reporting and compliance and enhance clinical and translational research projects across the UMN System.
“Having a center funded by a CTSA allows us to continue to build our clinical research profile and impact,” said Allen Levine, vice president for research. “It reinforces our role as the state’s comprehensive research university and as a top ten public research university nationwide, and it signals to potential partners that we are a site for serious science, discovery and translation of research into new cures and treatments.”