Clinical and Translational Science Institute Awards More Than $280,000

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The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UTHSC awarded four grants to experienced researchers. The first-time awards were made through the CTSI Pilot Projects Program.

On July 1, the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) awarded four grants to experienced researchers. The first-time awards were made through the CTSI Pilot Projects Program. The program’s goal is to provide funds for investigators and clinicians to enhance the quality and efficiency of translational research and its applications.

The 2008 Pilot Projects Program award recipients are Monica Jablonski, PhD, Ophthalmology; Karl Weber, MD, Cardiology; Ron Adkins, PhD, Pediatrics, and Betty Lew, MD, Pediatrics. This group of primary investigators each pulled together a team of colleagues from UTHSC, and from other institutions such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, National Eye Institute, University of Memphis and Cumberland Pharmaceuticals to develop their submissions. Collectively the researchers and their teams received more than $280,000.

Support from the Pilot Projects Program will lead to advanced training and education of faculty and collaborators in translational research. Findings from translational research allow the medical community to turn key results into clinical studies for medical practices and health care decision makers. All research projects adhere to CTSI’s “bench to bedside” and “bedside to community” mission.

“The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has been the leading force in shaping research opportunities for a number of years,” said UTHSC Chancellor Hershel P. Wall, MD. “The CTSI has created a practical platform that provides investigators with funding to advance translational research. We are extremely pleased with the impressive submissions and with these outstanding award recipients,” he added.

The CTSI received 39 letters of intent for the 2008 Pilot Projects Program and 18 teams were invited to submit full proposals. Applicants endured a rigorous selection process that required them to explain how utilization and development of innovative technologies will contribute to translational research. Although there were several valuable projects not awarded grants, the CTSI team will work with these researchers to improve their proposals for future Pilot Project Programs.

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute is a revolutionary interdisciplinary center at UTHSC with a mission to conduct research that translates scientific discoveries into clinical applications. CTSI staff work to garner funding from federal, private foundation and industry sources. The Pilot Projects Program is but one example of a proactive and supportive role CTSI plays for investigators in their efforts to obtain extramural funding for new research initiatives.