Welcome Message from Robert S. Sherwin, MD
Director of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation
The four years since YCCI received the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) have been a time of tremendous growth and progress. I’m gratified at the enthusiasm demonstrated by my colleagues regarding our efforts to develop innovative models for supporting clinical and translational research. I’m thrilled by the level of financial and programmatic support we continue to receive from the University and Yale-New Haven Hospital, as well as the commitment by the School of Medicine in the form of exceptional faculty recruitments, the expansion of research facilities, the development of new translational programs, and funding of our programs and core research resources. I believe we have made significant progress in bringing together basic, translational and clinical investigators along with community clinicians, regional networks and industry to advance Yale’s research efforts.
One of our major goals has been to establish a home for training the next generation of clinical and translational scientists and I am especially proud of our progress in this area. Perhaps the best example of this is our YCCI Scholars program, which provides training and mentoring to junior faculty members from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health and Engineering. One indication of the program’s success is the track record of its 44 trainees. Collectively, this outstanding group has published 144 papers and received a total of $47.5 million in independent funding.
Another key goal has been to provide an infrastructure for researchers that fosters the translation of disease-related discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic and then into the community. YCCI’s Office of Research Services provides assistance with study design and protocol development, regulatory approval, biostatistics and bioinformatics, patient recruitment, access to inpatient and outpatient research facilities, financial support and budgeting. This “one-stop shopping” approach, which has markedly reduced the barriers that typically stand in the way of launching and conducting research studies, supported 357 projects and 225 investigators over the last year.
Other YCCI initiatives that have enhanced clinical and translational research at Yale include:
- An innovative partnership with the School of Public Health to expand support in biostatistics and study design
- New pilot grants supporting interdisciplinary research and state of the art technologies
- The development of integrative collaborations with NIH-funded Centers, especially the Yale Cancer Center, that have broken down silos by utilizing shared resources
- Research partnerships between the Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health directed at improving health in the local community and beyond
I believe our efforts have paid off - almost $200 million per year of NIH grant support is now directly connected to YCCI. We are now poised to be the engine driving clinical and translational research at Yale, yet we still have much to do. During the next few years, we aim to further strengthen the infrastructure we have created to support research, expand local, regional and global partnerships with the goal of improved care, and continue fostering the development and mentoring of young clinical scientists. Given Yale’s strength in the basic sciences, we plan to develop new ways of breaking down the barriers that have traditionally impeded collaboration between basic scientists and clinicians and to provide training to scientists in translational research, thereby tapping into a pool of talent that could ultimately help transform the practice of medicine. We look forward to the renewal of the CTSA and are confident we will continue to find ways of strengthening clinical and translational research at Yale.
Robert Sherwin, MD