The National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health announced today that Rockefeller University has been awarded one of the first Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), a component of the NIH Roadmap designed to transform clinical and translational research so that new treatments can be developed more efficiently and delivered more quickly to patients. The CTSA program will support 12 research institutions around the country over a funding period of four years and nine months. Rockefeller University has established a new Center for Clinical and Translational Science in conjunction with its award, which is more than $45 million over the funding period.
“We are extremely pleased that the NIH has awarded a CTSA to Rockefeller University,” says university President Paul Nurse. “The medical and translational studies conducted at Rockefeller are an integral part of our commitment to science for the benefit of humanity, and this award will allow us to build even further on our strong programs.”
“This prestigious award will provide vital resources to enhance our infrastructure to help both basic and clinical investigators translate their scientific discoveries into improved health for the public,” says Barry Coller, David Rockefeller Professor and physician-in-chief of The Rockefeller University Hospital. “Clinical and translational science is a multidisciplinary team effort in which research nurses, bioethicists, bionutritionists, biostatisticians, research pharmacists, experts in regulatory issues and others work with the clinical and basic investigators to convert their ideas into a study involving humans.”
The Center for Clinical and Translational Science will be directed by Coller and James Krueger, professor and head of the Laboratory for Investigative Dermatology at Rockefeller and medical director of The Rockefeller University Hospital. The Center will bring together translational researchers at Rockefeller University and its affiliated and collaborating institutions, including the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, the Rogosin Institute and the Strang Clinic. In addition, the award will support a new training program, under the NIH Mentored Clinical Research Scholar Program, for physician-scientists entering careers in translational research. Trainees will be mentored by a senior faculty member in the conduct of a study involving human subjects and will actively participate in a structured curriculum in clinical and translational research including bioethics, protection of human subjects, biostatistics, bioinformatics, regulatory issues and methods of partnering with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Rockefeller University is currently applying for New York State approval to award Master’s degrees to those who successfully complete this training program.
“This award will allow us to build on our rich educational tradition and expand our teaching efforts to develop the next generation of outstanding clinical and translational investigators,” says Krueger.
Rockefeller University has a long history of clinical and translational research. The Rockefeller University Hospital, built in 1910 as an integral part of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (the university’s original name), was the birthplace of American biomedical and translational science, being the first hospital in the United States devoted primarily to medical research. Many scientific discoveries made at Rockefeller have had a dramatic impact on medicine, including the landmark 1944 discovery by Oswald Avery, Colin MacLeod and Maclyn McCarty that DNA is the chemical substance of heredity, which grew out of studies of patients with pneumococcal pneumonia; the development of methadone treatment to manage heroin addiction by Vincent Dole, Marie Nyswander and Mary Jeanne Kreek; and the development of multiple-drug regimens to treat HIV/AIDS, based on human studies of the dynamics of viral replication by David Ho and his colleagues.