URMC gets $24.3M for translational science
The University of Rochester Medical Center has been awarded $24.3 million from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science at the National Institutes of Health to continue its efforts to turn scientific discoveries into health benefits faster. This new award brings URMC’s total funding from NCATS to $132 million, dating back to 2006 when it became one of the first 12 institutions in the nation to receive one of these awards.
“The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the clear and urgent need for biomedical research – especially translational research,” said University of Rochester President Sarah Mangelsdorf. “As one of the nation’s leading research universities, we are devoted to advancing scientific understanding and promoting health and this award will help us continue those efforts.”
The award continues funding for the University of Rochester Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which provides funding, training and resources to help researchers rapidly translate discoveries into therapies. The UR CTSI was one of the first institutions in the nation to be accepted into the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, which is the largest single grant program at the NIH. As a testament to its leadership in translational science, the UR CTSI was also selected as the coordinating center for the CTSA Program in 2017.
“The UR CTSI has been a leader in translational science since its inception 14 years ago,” said URMC CEO Mark Taubman, M.D. “In those years, the institute has brought nearly $132 million to the university, which it used to build a research infrastructure that is helping our researchers move quickly at a time when the entire world is experiencing a shared crisis and desperately awaiting solutions.”
Before a global pandemic forced the world to stay home, the UR CTSI was working on ways to bring research to the community and cut travel and parking out of the equation. To help more people – and a more diverse set of people – participate in health research, the UR CTSI plans to improve the university’s ability to conduct research remotely (over the phone or computer) and to build a research bus that can bring the clinic to participants.
“These remote research efforts are just a few of the ways we hope to ensure that our studies reflect the diversity of our communities,” said Martin Zand, M.D., Ph.D., UR CTSI co-director and senior associate dean for Clinical Research at URMC. “Being virtually and physically present in the community will help us address health disparities – like those seen in COVID-19 – and ensure that therapies work for everyone.”
With continued funding for these efforts, the UR CTSI will ramp up efforts to connect with communities that experience health disparities and are typically underrepresented in health research including Black, Latinx, Deaf, pediatric, elderly and rural communities.