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NIH Expands National Network for Transforming Clinical and Translational Research

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Nine health research centers have received funds to develop ways to reduce the time it takes for clinical research to become treatments for patients. The funds were awarded as part of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program which is led by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), part of the National Institutes of Health.

"A critical goal of biomedical research is to transform discoveries into preventions, treatments, and cures," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "By working together, CTSAs are removing barriers to research, training new generations of clinical and laboratory research teams, and providing them with the equipment and resources they need."

Now in its fourth year, the CTSA consortium has generated resources that transform the research and training environment to enhance the efficiency and quality of clinical and translational research. Examples include a Web-based national recruitment registry that connects researchers with volunteers interested in participating in clinical studies, establishing public-private partnerships, and a portal that connects researchers with potential investigational drugs that may be useful in new ways.

The 2010 CTSAs expand consortium representation in new areas including New Mexico, Virginia and the District of Columbia, growing the consortium to 55 member institutions. The nine new institutions are:

• Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
• Georgetown University with Howard University, Washington, D.C.
• Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
• University of California, Irvine
• University of California, San Diego
• University of Massachusetts, Worcester
• University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque
• University of Southern California, Los Angeles
• Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond

"The nine institutions that have received CTSAs this year extend the geographic reach of the consortium and bring additional talent and expertise in such areas as children's health, outreach to underrepresented communities, and systems to share research information," said NCRR Director Barbara Alving, M.D.