About the CTSA Program
Transforming Clinical and Translational Research
The CTSA program is designed to address the development and implementation of national standards and best practices for the full range of translation, from basic discovery to clinical and community-engaged research. The program supports a national network of medical research institutions collaborating to transform how clinical and translational science is conducted nationwide.
CTSA-supported investigators are transforming basic discoveries into tangible improvements in human health through work to improve:
- Data-sharing and informatics tools
- Translational research training
- Innovative collaborations
- Multi-study regulatory hurdles
- Patient recruitment
- Other key areas of research involving people
NIH launched the CTSA program in 2006 to:
- Create academic homes for clinical and translational research
- Provide investigators and research teams with research cores, tools and a local environment that encourages and facilitates the conduct of clinical and translational research, including with community and industry partners.
- Train the scientific workforce needed for the translational sciences.
In 2012, NIH commissioned the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to assemble an ad hoc expert committee to evaluate the CTSA program. Committee members reviewed existing evaluations and stakeholder input, and they sought input through public workshops and other means. In June 2013, the IOM committee released its report, and NCATS Director Christopher P. Austin, M.D., issued a statement in response.
To provide guidance on the IOM’s recommendations, NCATS established the Advisory Council Working Group on the IOM Report: The CTSA Program at NIH. This group provided advice on changes to the CTSA program with a focus on establishing measurable goals and objectives. The working group issued a report on May 16, 2014.
Petra Kaufmann, M.D., M.Sc.
Director, Division of Clinical Innovation
Currently, about 60 medical research institutions in 30 states and the District of Columbia receive CTSA program funding to improve clinical and translational research nationwide.
Tackling Trial Recruitment
CTSA hubs are forming a national network to overcome barriers to participant recruitment for clinical trials. Learn more.
IRB Reliance Models
The CTSA consortium is working to remove or minimize common translational barriers, such as those involved in institutional review board (IRB) approvals. Improving this process could ease the burden on investigators, encourage more multisite studies and obtain trial results faster. Learn more.