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Clinical and Translational Science Awards

Goal 4: Innovate Processes to Increase the Quality and Efficiency of Translational Research, Particularly of Multisite Trials

Doctor examining patient
The CTSA Program is designed to strengthen and support the entire spectrum of translational research from scientific discovery to improved patient care. Read the latest in CTSA Program news about improving the quality and efficiency of translational research, particularly multisite clinical trials.

December 2017

CTSA Program Supports Research on Translating Evidence into Practice
CTSA Program-supported researchers explore the dissemination and clinical implementation of therapies, interventions and policies to ultimately improve human health.

November 2017

CTSA Program-Supported Investigators Validate Biomarkers for NPC1 Treatment
With support from the Sharing Partnership for Innovative Research in Translation (SPIRiT) consortium, Daniel Ory, M.D., of Washington University in St. Louis, and Charles Vite, D.V.M., Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, collaborated to validate biomarkers intended to monitor the response to therapy for Niemann-Pick diseases type C1 (NPC1).

October 2017 

CTSA Program-Supported Researchers Test Low-Cost Treatment for Deadly Illness
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have discovered a low-cost and potentially lifesaving treatment for sepsis. Support from the CTSA Program helped streamline translation of this promising therapy to multisite clinical studies. 

July 2017

NCATS Supports Novel Methods to Improve Institutional Review Board Efficiencies
NCATS’ Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program support helped a University of Wisconsin–Madison Ph.D. student discover new ways of identifying factors affecting institutional review board (IRB) review times.

April 2017

NCATS Trial Innovation Network Investigators Tackling Clinical Trial Inefficiencies
Through NCATS’ new Trial Innovation Network, CTSA Program-supported investigators are working collaboratively to tackle inefficiencies in clinical trials.

March 2017

NCATS SMART IRB Platform Agreement
All CTSA Program sites have signed on to the NCATS Streamlined, Multisite, Accelerated Resources for Trials (SMART) Institutional Review Board (IRB) Platform agreement, which will enable all participating study sites to rely on one IRB for each study.

February 2017

North Carolina CTSA Program Hubs Create Regulatory Expertise Platform
Three North Carolina CTSA Program hubs collaborated to create a platform for sharing regulatory expertise. Regulatory Guidance for Academic Research of Drugs and Devices features a best practices website to help researchers better navigate the complex regulatory environment in translational science.

CTSA Program Good Clinical Practice Standards Published
Investigators leading the CTSA Program good clinical practice (GCP) standards initiative published three papers in the Journal of Clinical and Translational Science. GCP incorporates established ethical and scientific quality standards for the design, conduct, recording and reporting of clinical research involving human subjects.

Optimizing Translational Veterinary Trials to Advance Human Outcomes
The CTSA One Health Alliance has established a primary mission of creating an organized network of veterinary academic centers that will conduct translational clinical trials in veterinary patients with spontaneous disease.

SPARC: The Strategic Pharma-Academic Research
The Strategic Pharma-Academic Research Consortium aims to spark innovative collaborations between CTSA Program hubs and the biopharmaceutical industry. The vision is to establish a public-private partnership for patient-focused discoveries that generate greater knowledge and better approaches to next-generation and targeted therapies.

December 2016

NCATS Presents Early Plans for Trial Innovation Network, Solicits Project Proposals
Efforts to align and harmonize three Trial Innovation Centers and the Recruitment Innovation Center are underway within the NCATS Trial Innovation Network, a new collaborative initiative made possible through the CTSA Program.

October 2016

NCATS Launches Trial Innovation Network
NCATS launches its Trial Innovation Network, which features 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.

NCATS Funds Collaborative Innovation Awards
In fall 2016, NCATS funded the first set of CTSA Program Collaborative Innovation Awards, which are designed to stimulate team-based research across the program’s network.

September 2016

CTSA Program Supports New Ultrasensitive Diagnostic Test Development
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.

June 2016

CTSA Program Resources Help UCLA Scientists Visualize Key Enzyme in Cancer and Aging
With support from NCATS’ CTSA Program, scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 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.

May 2016

NCATS Introduces Plans for New Single IRB Reliance Platform
On May 2, 2016, NCATS held a workshop for 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.

February 2016

CTSA Program Collaboration Provides Investigators with Access to High-Throughput Screening and Drug Discovery Expertise
CTSA Program hub researchers at the University of New Mexico, the University of Kansas Medical Center, and the 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.

September 2015

Progress Toward a National CTSA Program Institutional Review Board Reliance Agreement
CTSA Program investigators made progress toward creating IRBrely, a national institutional review board (IRB) reliance agreement to streamline the review and approval of multisite clinical trials.

May 2015

Michigan CTSA Program Supports Development of Blood Analysis Device
A Michigan research team funded in part by NCATS’ CTSA Program and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has developed a life-saving diagnostic device that can test extremely small blood samples.

CTSA Program Supports Streamlined Clinical Trial Recruitment
Researchers at the University of New Mexico Clinical and Translational Science Center recently established the Participant Recruitment Service. Supported through NCATS’ CTSA Program, the goal is to streamline and improve recruitment rates for clinical trials while maintaining patient privacy.

February 2015

CTSA Initiative Yields Standard Agreement for Industry-Sponsored Clinical Trials
A standard agreement intended to reduce the contract negotiation time for industry-sponsored multisite studies, including Phase IIB and Phase III trials, is now available to download.

Creating Review Standards for Investigator-Initiated Research Studies
The NCATS Scientific Review Standards initiative aims to develop a consensus CTSA Program scientific review process that can ensure feasibility and scientific validity for research projects before reviews by institutional review boards.

Establishing Good Clinical Practices for Clinical Study Personnel
At the February 2015 CTSA Program principal investigators meeting, Thomas Shanley, M.D., of the University of Michigan shared progress and next steps for the CTSA Program’s Good Clinical Practice initiative.

May 2014

IRB Reliance: A New Model for Accelerating Translational Science
Within the CTSA Program, several institutions are participating in institutional review board (IRB) reliance networks to streamline this complicated process.

October 2013

Five CTSA Program Hubs Enable NIH-Funded Research on Innovative Allergy Therapy
Finding a new way to treat and possibly prevent the severest food allergy reactions could improve the lives of millions. A consortium of scientists at five institutions that receive NIH funding, including through NCATS’ CTSA Program, took up this challenge.

January 2013

Pitt Researchers Work to Restore Function in Paralysis Patients
A team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and its medical center have published breakthrough brain-computer-interface research that provides hope to nearly 6 million paralyzed individuals and another 1.7 million amputees nationwide.

March 2012

Converting Brain Signals into Action
A multidisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh received critical help from CTSA Program regulatory experts to develop a micro-electrocorticography grid that may help paralyzed individuals move again.

Designing Solutions to Improve Health for All
A team in Stanford University’s Biodesign program designed the OneBreath ventilator for use in emergency pandemic situations and for patient care in resource-poor countries. 

Last updated: 12-22-2017
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