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UCI receives prestigious federal research award to hasten medical advances

Irvine, Calif., July 14, 2010 The Institute for Clinical & Translational Science at UC Irvine will get $20 million over five years from the National Institutes of Health to speed the transformation of scientific discoveries into medical advances for patients.

UCI is the first medical research institution in Orange County and the eighth statewide to receive the competitive Clinical & Translational Science Award. It enters a prestigious national consortium of CTSA beneficiaries whose membership will be capped at 60 by 2012. The NIH announced nine awardees today.

The sixth-largest grant in UCI history, the CTSA will foster multidisciplinary research involving the community in a wide range of fields such as genetics, diabetes, gerontology, pediatrics, cancer and infectious diseases while funding efforts to overcome impediments to biomedical innovation.

"With this award, UCI joins a select group of institutions supported by NIH to forge a new direction for clinical research in the U.S. for a generation to come," said Dr. Dan Cooper, ICTS director and primary CTSA investigator. "The grant will jump-start our endeavors to build effective multidisciplinary research teams to tackle important health issues, and it will bolster efforts to involve our community in the excitement of clinical discovery as partners."

Specifically, he said, the CTSA will support:

  • Development of novel technologies, such as devices that can detect diseases like diabetes in exhaled breath.
  • Innovative pilot studies, such as one for the early identification of cerebral palsy in babies.
  • Successful navigation of regulatory barriers to clinical studies.
  • Research into biostatistics, study design and bioethics.
  • Vigorous efforts to involve community partners in a meaningful way with new research projects particularly relevant to Southern California residents.
  • Creation of outstanding research facilities and the hiring of research nursing and study coordinators for UCI translational scientists.
  • Training of the next generation of clinical scientists through certificate and master's programs in clinical research.

"A critical goal of biomedical research is to transform discoveries into preventions, treatments and cures," said NIH director Dr. Francis S. Collins. "By working together, CTSA institutions are removing barriers to research, training new generations of clinical and laboratory research teams, and providing them with the equipment and resources they need."

Founded in 2006, the ICTS is the lynchpin of UCI's clinical research efforts. Housed at UC Irvine Medical Center, it encompasses hundreds of studies by faculty and staff members.

"Our expectation is that with the CTSA's considerable support, the ICTS will generate new knowledge of immediate and long-term importance to the healthcare of people everywhere," Cooper said. "The ICTS will inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals to focus on the possibilities of medicine and turn these ideas into reality."


Contact: Tom Vasich
University of California - Irvine

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