The UR School of Medicine and Dentistry was recently awarded a $40 million grant by the National Institutes of Health. The NIH grant is the largest UR has received to date.

The grant will be used to establish the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

As a part of the Medical Center, the Institute will provide an academic home to the development of clinical and translational research.

Clinical research includes studies that involve human test subjects.

Translational research involves using the results of laboratory trials, developing experiments to be conducted on animal subjects and translating this into procedures to make clinical trials suited for humans.

The institutions given funding in this initial stage were selected on a competitive basis, based on proposals submitted earlier this year.

Thirty-two applications from academic health centers were submitted to the NIH for review.

UR is one of twelve national research institutions selected by the NIH to receive funding.

“The NIH award for Clinical Translational Science represents a magnificent achievement for the School of Medicine and Dentistry,” UR President Joel Seligman said. “The award not only recognizes the high caliber of research currently occurring at the University of Rochester but also sets the stage for further great achievements in the application of medical research.”

The CTSA funds will be provided over a time period of five years.

The cross-disciplinary program aims to find ways to advance the development of new prevention strategies and treatments. Patients will benefit from an expedient system where cutting-edge treatments are incorporated into the patient care system more rapidly.

“Our proposal includes a number of exciting innovations, including upgrades in facilities for clinical research, several new training programs featuring new postgraduate degrees, new research technologies, pilot studies to launch new studies and programs to assist researchers in meeting ethical and regulatory requirements for research,” School of Medicine Dean and program director of the Clinical and Transnational Research Institute David Guzick said.

The new Institute will bridge the gap between the academic community at the School of Medicine and the regional medical community. The Institute will recruit from within the region as a part of its long term goals for community engagement.

“This is an important milestone for the UR Medical Center as it formally recognizes our potential to be a major contributor in the area of translational research,” Professor Howard Federoff of the School of Medicine said. “Receiving the CTSA will enable many opportunities for investigators throughout the school and also in the region.”

Local physicians and medical staffers will have the opportunity to join committees or advisory boards to aid in the creation of research studies.

“The Clinical and Translational Research Institute might be viewed as an academic-community partnership,” Guzick said. “We plan to make the process easier for local residents to learn about and volunteer for clinical research studies.”

In addition, the University will be able to train physicians and researchers to take scientific discoveries made in laboratory conditions and apply them to develop clinically useful drugs, devices and diagnostic tests.

“This is yet another vote of confidence in UR’s groundbreaking research capabilities and in the Rochester region’s future as a world-class research center,” US Senator Hillary Clinton said.

As a product of the CTRI, a regional network for translational research will be established representing 10 biomedical research institutions in upstate New York. The consortium will allow the utilization of shared resources, talent and regional marketing between institutions.

Among the local academic institutions named to participate are SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, SUNY Binghamton, Cornell University Division of Nutritional Sciences, Albany Medical College and the Albany College of Pharmacy.

The establishment of this network has long-term economic benefits for the region.

“Biomedical research has been frequently identified as a leading source of future economic growth in Rochester and upstate New York,” Guzick said.Pomaranski can be reached at apomaranski@campustimes.org.



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