The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $25.4 million grant to the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), a collaboration between The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital created to accelerate basic science discoveries into life-saving medical advances.
“This award is a confirmation that Ohio State has successfully created a strong clinical and translational research environment where basic scientists and clinicians can leverage the resources of a nationally recognized pediatric hospital, Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, seven health science colleges, as well as other resources from one of the largest public universities in the nation,” said Charles Lockwood, MD, dean of the Ohio State University College of Medicine. “We find that the barriers to such multidisciplinary research collaboration are virtually non-existent here.”
The NIH’s endowment is funding of a multi-million dollar Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) that was originally given to the CCTS in 2008. Since then, the center has helped connect hundreds of researchers across the state of Ohio with the resources needed to discover new techniques and treatments for today’s deadliest and costliest diseases including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, as well as a variety of disabling childhood illnesses like muscular dystrophy.
Steven Gabbe, MD, chief executive officer of OSU’s Wexner Medical Center, believes one reason that the CCTS program has been successful is that leaders from both Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s Hospital recognize how important translational research and training clinician-scientists is to the evolution of healthcare.
“Translational research is critical to our mission of transforming sick care into healthcare, and we’re committed to creating an environment where discovery fuels innovation in patient care,” Gabbe said. “The design of the new James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute and Critical Care Center is an excellent example of this. It combines research and education space on every patient care floor, which will accelerate the creation of new diagnostic tools and treatments.”
“Both the Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s campuses have dedicated substantial resources and infrastructure to grow our translational research capabilities," said John Barnard, MD, president of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s. “This investment has delivered some major breakthroughs, particularly with gene therapy for some of the most deadly and debilitating muscular diseases. Our partnership is giving us new insights in the continuum of care as children with chronic disease grow into adults, and offering new possibilities for preventing disease altogether.”
The CCTS has been also been successful in creating partnerships, infrastructure, and programs that drive innovation, training the next generation of scientists, and making the research process more efficient– three of the NIH’s key goals.
“Earlier this year, we signed an historic agreement that includes the two other institutions in the Ohio CTSA network and their partners that centralized our review process, making it dramatically easier for our researchers to collaborate with seven different facilities across the state,” noted Rebecca Jackson, MD, director of the CCTS. “We also joined six other Midwest CTSAs to create a regional consortium that minimizes duplication and makes data capture for multi-site studies more standardized and efficient.”
The CCTS facilitated the development of a similar network of institutional partners in Appalachia – the Appalachian Translational Research Network – which is focused on addressing the significant health challenges and disparities specific to Appalachia.
The CCTS has also helped create shared research resources with sustainability in mind. Two of these resources include the Clinical Research Center, a full service research laboratory, and the Laser Capture Microdissection Core, a lab that collects precise, nano-sized tissue samples. The services were originally fully-funded by the CCTS, but by building them around a sustainable business model, both are close to being self-sufficient operations and are used by researchers across campus.
“We’re honored to have been recognized and refunded by the NIH. The CCTS has grown considerably since it first launched in 2008, and that’s because of critical support by leadership, faculty, staff, and state representatives that provided the underpinnings for cultural shift of collaboration,” said Caroline Whitacre, PhD, vice president of research at Ohio State. “We’re excited to see what discoveries and ideas the next five years will bring us.”
About The Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science
Dedicated to turning the scientific discoveries of today into the life-changing health innovations of tomorrow, the CCTS is a collaboration of experts across the university, including the College of Engineering as well as scientists and clinicians from six Ohio State health science colleges, Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Funded by a multi-year Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health, the CCTS provides financial, organizational and educational support to biomedical researchers as well as opportunities for community members to participate in credible and valuable research. Since its launch in 2008, the CCTS has supported more than 800 pieces of published research. The CCTS is led by Rebecca Jackson, MD, director of the CCTS and associate dean of clinical research at Ohio State’s College of Medicine. For more information, visit http://ccts.osu.edu.
About the Clinical and Translational Science Awards
The Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) program creates a definable academic home for clinical and translational research. CTSA institutions work to transform the local, regional, and national environment to increase the efficiency and speed of clinical and translational research across the country. In 2012, the CTSA Consortium expanded to approximately 60 medical research institutions located throughout the nation, linking them together to energize the discipline of clinical and translational science. The CTSA Consortium is funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program (UL1TR001070, KL2TR001068, TL1TR001069). The CTSA program is led by the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). The content of this release is solely the responsibility of the CCTS and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.