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VUMC lands renewal of Clinical and Translational Science Award

Jun. 8, 2017, 9:32 AM

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) has competed successfully for a second renewal of its Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The grant, which was announced last week, will provide nearly $46 million for another five years to support the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR) and its efforts to speed the translation of scientific discoveries from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside.

VICTR Program Director Gordon Bernard, M.D., Executive Vice President for Research, said Vanderbilt received the best score among the academic medical centers competing for renewal of their grants in this cycle.

Nearly 60 medical research institutions in 31 states and the District of receive CTSA funding through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the NIH. Members of the national CTSA consortium are called “hubs.”

“Vanderbilt can be proud of its leadership role in the CTSA Consortium,” said Bernard, who also is the Melinda Bass Owen Professor of Medicine and senior associate dean for Clinical Research.

Not only is VUMC a CTSA “hub,” it also serves as the consortium’s only Recruitment Innovation Center (RIC) and — in partnership with the Duke Clinical Research Institute — is one of three Trial Innovation Centers, he said.

The RIC was launched last year with a five-year, $14-million NIH grant to develop and test innovative approaches to engaging minorities, women and older adults in clinical trials. The Vanderbilt RIC is a key component of NCATS’ Trial Innovation Network and Trial Innovation Centers (TICs).

The Vanderbilt-Duke TIC was also established last year with a seven-year, $26.5 million NIH grant. It is investigating how multisite clinical trials of new drugs and therapies in children and adults can be conducted more rapidly and efficiently.

VUMC’s CTSA was initially funded in 2007 and renewed in 2012. Some of the innovations coming out of VICTR have had national and worldwide impact. They include:

  • ResearchMatch, an online national volunteer recruitment registry that matches potential research subjects with researchers throughout the country;
  • REDCap, a Web-based application for building and managing online research databases that currently serves nearly 2,400 institutional partners in 111 countries around the globe;
  • BioVU, with approximately 235,000 samples from different individuals stored to date, the world’s largest collection of DNA and other biological materials stored at a single site;
  • A drug “repurposing” program, conducted in partnership with a public charity, Cures Within Reach, to find new uses for drugs already on the market; and

• Application of a Learning Health System (LHS) platform to maximize innovation, quality, safety and value in the conduct of large-scale clinical trials.

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