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A ‘far-reaching’ federal grant is renewed

Medicine@Yale, 2016 - Sept Oct


Beneficiaries of the five-year award include junior faculty poised to conduct clinical and translational investigations

The School of Medicine has received $53.6 million from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to renew its five-year Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) to accelerate research discoveries that can have a positive impact on health.

This is the second renewal for Yale, which was among the first 12 institutions nationally to receive CTSA funding when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) started the program in 2006. The award supports the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation (YCCI), established in 2005 as part of the medical school’s strategic plan to develop an infrastructure to support research and educate the next generation of investigators.

“We’ve made incredible strides under the CTSA in establishing a robust infrastructure and resources for investigators,” says Robert J. Alpern, M.D., dean and Ensign Professor of Medicine. “I am delighted that CTSA support will allow us to continue to expand our research enterprise to support the acceleration of treatments from the bench to the bedside.”

CTSA hubs are expected to streamline the research process to get studies up and running more quickly; collaborate with one another; and, with community providers, patients, and industry, to use tools and resources to their best advantage; to promote team science; and develop effective ways of improving the recruitment and retention of clinical trial participants.

Educating tomorrow’s clinician scientists is also a top priority under the CTSA. “I am very proud of the success of our educational programs to train medical students, physicians, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty,” says Robert S. Sherwin, M.D., principal investigator of the CTSA, director of YCCI and the C.N.H. Long Professor of Medicine (endocrinology). “Continuing these efforts under the CTSA is a critical part of our mission that will have far-reaching impact going forward.”

Scholars and trainees interested in pursuing translational research have been drawn from a range of disciplines across Yale’s Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health, and from the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Under the renewal, Yale has expanded the number of slots in its TL-1 Multidisciplinary Pre-Doctoral Training Program in Translational Research from 10 to 20, the maximum number allowed. The KL-2 Mentored Clinical Scholars Program is also expanding from seven partially funded scholars to nine.

During the next five years, YCCI will also pursue new partnerships to develop and market therapeutics that address unmet clinical needs. In addition, with a goal of making funded research especially robust, YCCI will encourage investigators to tap into Yale New Haven Health’s database of more than 4 million electronic health records, which reflect a large and diverse patient population. Support from CTSA continues to help transform Yale into a “learning health system” that generates innovative strategies for disease prevention, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

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