The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded a five-year $54.6 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health. With the award, UNC-CH will partner with two institutions, RTI International and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, to accelerate the pace at which clinical and translational research directly benefits patients and communities in North Carolina.
The grant is NIH’s second to support the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute. The project is expanding to include RTI International as a research partner and N.C. A&T as a planning partner.
The partnership with A&T will give UNC researchers access to the state-of-the-art laboratories at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, while providing NC A&T faculty collaborative opportunities and financial resources to accelerate discoveries in the lab to patients, particularly those from underrepresented minorities.
“Together, we will develop a robust pipeline of minority clinical and translational research scientists in a manner that can be a model for the nation,” said Barry L. Burks, N.C. A&T’s Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development.
The institutions will focus on three strategic initiatives:
- Next-generation technologies to transform the nature of clinical research and practice
- Robust comparative effectiveness studies to provide definitive evidence of the benefits and or harms of tests and treatments
- New paradigms and resources to accelerate drug development
Launched in 2006, the NIH-led CTSA program has enabled innovative research teams to speed discovery and advance science aimed at improving the nation’s health. Institutional CTSA awards are at the centerpiece of the program, providing academic homes for translational sciences. The program currently supports a consortium of approximately 60 academic medical institutions that is fostering team science, leveraging national resources and transforming the way biomedical research is conducted across the country.
“The goal and mission of NC TraCS will continue to enable investigators, research units and academic programs to be even more successful in making lives better in our state’s communities,” said Marschall S. Runge, principal investigator of the CTSA at UNC, and executive dean for the School of Medicine.