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University of Iowa News Release

 

Sept. 18, 2007

UI awarded $33.8 million for clinical and translational research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today announced the University of Iowa as one of 12 academic health centers nationwide to receive a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). The five-year, $33.8 million award is the second-largest research award in UI history.

The CTSA will support the University's Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, formally approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa in December 2006, to expand and enhance "bench-to-bedside" research -- laboratory discoveries that lead to patient-based studies in clinical settings.

"The University of Iowa is the recipient, but the planning and application for this award came from the entire state of Iowa. Over the past two years we have worked to create a statewide network of hospitals, physicians and community health centers that will participate in the Institute," said UI President Sally Mason. "The fact that we are among an elite group of institutions to receive a CTSA is yet another indication of our status as one of the nation's top research universities."

"This major award from NIH marks a new era in health care in Iowa," said Jean Robillard, M.D., vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. "Because of this award and the Institute it supports, new therapies based on cutting-edge research discoveries will be more readily available to Iowans through their local hospitals and physicians who are part of this statewide research network."

Meredith Hay, Ph.D., UI vice president for research, noted that the CTSA and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science reflect the most comprehensive collaboration in the history of the university, one that will involve all 11 of the UI colleges and nearly 40 centers and institutes, as well as Iowa State University and the University of Arizona.

"The UI's tradition in multi- and interdisciplinary research was no doubt a key strength in our application," Hay said. "The NIH is committed to turning the latest scientific advances into new treatments as quickly and efficiently as possible. With this award -- and the research collaborations and partnerships that follow -- we will play an important role in making this happen. This is a tremendous opportunity for the state of Iowa."

As part of its mission, the UI Institute for Clinical and Translational Science will:

-- Engage the state of Iowa as a partner in clinical and translational research. Working with communities and health care systems across the state, the Institute will establish a network of providers to help conduct clinical trials, bringing cutting-edge treatments to patients. Partners include Iowa Health System, Mercy Health Network, the Iowa Hospital Association, Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Iowa Medical Society, Unity Health System and Genesis Health System.

-- Expand and pursue multidisciplinary research opportunities involving the UI Carver College of Medicine and collaborators in the Colleges of Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Law, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health and the UI Graduate College.

-- Create an infrastructure for training programs designed to prepare more students and junior faculty for careers in clinical and translational science.

-- Partner with Iowa State University and the University of Arizona to foster new research collaborations and maintain a diverse pool of study participants for clinical trials.

-- Forge new and strengthen existing partnerships with industry sponsors involved in clinical and translational science.

The UI is among 24 institutions nationwide to receive CTSAs so far. The NIH, as part of its "Roadmap for Medical Research," established the consortium of research centers to lead the way in translating scientific advances into new treatments for patients. Twelve institutions first received CTSAs in October 2006. When fully implemented by 2012, the initiative will support 60 academic medical centers that are part of the consortium.

More than 150 UI researchers, administrators and staff members, and collaborators from around the state, were involved in preparing the CTSA proposal to the NIH, beginning in 2005, noted Gary Hunninghake, M.D., the Carver College of Medicine's associate dean for clinical and translational science and director the Institute.

"This has been a detailed, coordinated effort involving the work of many colleagues and partners," said Hunninghake, who also is the Sterba Professor of Internal Medicine at the UI. "We have formed an incredible team of researchers, clinicians, administrators and community leaders around the state -- all working together to improve the health of Iowans and the world."

For more information on the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Awards, see http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2007/september/CTSA_backround.html

For more information on the University of Iowa Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, see http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2007/september/UICTS_backround.html

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Maravetz, 319-335-8033, steven-maravetz@uiowa.edu