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ITRAC on track and bridging gap between academic research and applied discovery
Date:1/25/2008

INDIANAPOLIS -- In a novel manner which gives new meaning to the word transformative, researchers from the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center are integrating some of the best practices of industry into the strengths of the academic research process to propel the development of innovative cancer treatments from the bench to the bedside.

The IU Simon Cancer Center has initiated the Translational Research Acceleration Collaboration (ITRAC) and is providing rapid response funding and expertise to speed early discoveries to improve patient care, solve perplexing treatment problems, and lead the way to future therapies.

Traditionally, external academic grant funding applications take nine to 12 months from time of submission to funding, if approved. With ITRAC, researchers can receive incremental funding in a fraction of that time.

"ITRAC also helps investigators form research teams and break down silos that are naturally found in any research environment, said Mark Kelley, Ph.D., associate director for basic science research at the IU Simon Cancer Center. "The ITRAC process requires that research teams, including basic and clinical scientists, work together to speed the velocity of the science from the bench to the clinic as well as from the clinic back to the bench. With science becoming ever more complex, the formation of multi-disciplinary teams is the most effective and correct way to undertake complex problems in cancer prevention, detection, treatment and delivery.

This initiative also helps investigators forge new collaborations, share costly resources such as reagents, and develop interactions internally and externally. To date, ITRAC has supported collaborators from the Purdue Cancer Center, the University of Notre Dames Walther Cancer Research Center and the IU Simon Cancer Center.

According to Dr. Kelley, the ITRAC process requires greater accountability by researchers of how funds are
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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