The CTSA program is designed to strengthen and support the entire spectrum of translational research from scientific discovery to improved patient care.
- December 2016
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- January 2016
A team of bioinformatics scientists from the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) invented a web-based technology platform to arrange biomedical literature into a format that is easier for computers to organize and analyze.
- The Trial Innovation Network is a new collaborative initiative within NCATS’ CTSA Program, composed of three key organizational partners: Trial Innovation Centers, a Recruitment Innovation Center and CTSA Program hubs. Features will include a single institutional review board system, master contracting agreements, quality-by-design approaches, and a focus on evidence-based strategies for recruitment and patient engagement.
- In fall 2016, NCATS funded the set of first CTSA Program Collaborative Innovation Awards, which are designed to stimulate team-based research across the program’s network. The funded projects reflect program goals and cover a broad spectrum of translational science, ranging from diagnostics and clinical trial design to patient-reported outcomes and community engagement.
Stanford University researchers have developed a new test for diagnosing diseases, including thyroid cancer, HIV and type 1 diabetes. The method appears to be many times more sensitive than some traditional diagnostic tests, meaning that it potentially can detect illnesses earlier, enabling clinicians to treat patients sooner and possibly slow disease progression.
Older adults often face aging-related ailments that can be costly and shorten lifespans. However, some people live long lives without encountering these common health problems. What sets apart healthy agers from their peers? Researchers at Scripps Translational Science Institute are conducting a study of the “Wellderly” to find out.
With support from NCATS’ Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Program, scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles recently produced the clearest-ever image of telomerase, an enzyme involved in cancer and aging. This knowledge could inform the development of anti-cancer and anti-aging therapies.
On May 2, 2016, NCATS held a workshop for Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program representatives and other innovators in clinical research management to educate them about using its new single institutional review board (IRB) reliance platform for multisite clinical studies. The NCATS Streamlined, Multisite, Accelerated Resources for Trials (SMART) IRB Reliance Platform is based on the successful experiences of NIH single IRB initiatives and from CTSA Program demonstration projects using a model called IRBrely.
- Support from the CTSA Program is helping Suhrud Rajguru, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the University of Miami Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Otolaryngology, improve cochlear implant surgery. With a pilot grant from the university’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Rajguru refined and tested a device to prevent damage to inner ear cells during surgery by delivering mild hypothermia. He also has leveraged CTSA Program resources to successfully apply for additional grants and engage with a potential industry partner to advance the device from the laboratory to the clinic.
- CTSA Program representatives recently collaborated with patient advocacy groups to host four national meetings promoting public engagement in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects. Federal agencies released the NPRM to garner public comment on proposals to improve and modernize the Common Rule, which is a set of federal regulations to protect human subjects involved in trials while facilitating valuable research and reducing burden, delay and ambiguity for investigators. More than 1,400 people attended the meetings.
CTSA Program hub researchers at the University of New Mexico, University of Kansas Medical Center, and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, collaborated to establish the Drug Rescue, Repurposing and Repositioning Network to more rapidly test existing drugs and advance those showing promise into clinical trials. The Network provides CTSA Program investigators with access to state-of-the-art technology, innovative tools, and guidance in translating pilot projects from pre-clinical to clinical stages via drug repurposing.
Ronald L. Hickman Jr., Ph.D., R.N., ACNP-BC, FAAN, an associate professor at Case Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and an acute care nurse, is applying the knowledge and guidance he gained as a CTSA Program Clinical Research Scholar (KL2) to help develop a new tool called Interactive Virtual Decision Support for End of Life and Palliative Care (INVOLVE). The tool helps users make end-of-life decisions well in advance of an emergency in the intensive care unit.