The NIH has awarded a $69.6 million 5-year grant to support continued development of the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), a research partnership designed to speed up development of new treatments to address the greatest health needs of Los Angeles County.

The partnership consists of UCLA, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute. NIH funding for the partnership stands at more than $152.7 million, including the initial $83.1 million Clinical and Translational Science Award through which the agency established the CTSI.

Since then, CTSI said, its researchers have published more than 1600 papers and won 370 pilot grants, enabling data that, according to the Institute, has helped them receive an additional $58 million in additional outside funding.

CTSI added that over the past 5 years, it has supported the training of more than 950 junior faculty members, professional students, and pre- and postdoctoral scholars through fellowships in clinical informatics, a master’s degree program in biomedical informatics, and fellowships in population research.

The research partnership has also led to the creation of the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Computational Medicine at UCLA; partnered with Los Angeles County to study improving care for the nearly 700,000 people treated annually by the county’s health system; and created the Los Angeles Data Repository, a federation of clinical data warehouses from six institutions—UCLA, Cedars-Sinai, Charles Drew, USC, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and City of Hope.

The CTSI is one of more than 60 research partnerships established by the NIH. The partnerships are designed to accelerate the translation of laboratory discoveries into more effective treatments for patients, actively engage communities in clinical research, and train future generations of researchers to work across scientific disciplines.

Looking ahead, CTSI said, it will work to achieve five goals:

  • Preparing staff, students, scholars, and faculty to conduct high-quality, multidisciplinary, team science.
  • Engaging stakeholder communities in research.
  • Ensuring research includes children, older adults, and groups that have experienced health disparities because of race, ethnicity, gender, poverty, disability, and other factors.
  • Improving research methods, streamlining research processes, and supporting multisite studies.
  • Using informatics to process and understand scientific and medical information to increase the impact of CTSI research.

“This funding is helping us develop new means to retain, recruit, and empower scientists to work together across disciplines, departments, institutions, and geography,” said CTSI Director Steven M. Dubinett, M.D. Dr. Dubinett is also senior associate dean for translational research and associate vice chancellor for research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

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