University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences
David D. McPherson, M.D., University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHSC-H) has established a Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS) at the Texas Medical Center (TMC) in Houston. Participating faculty and trainees in CCTS include those from the UTHSC-H component degree-granting schools, including its Medical School, School of Public Health, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Health Information Sciences, School of Nursing, Dental Branch, and Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, as well as collaborating faculty/facilities of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), which also is located in the TMC. The academic home for CCTS is housed in 11,422 square feet of recently renovated space at the UT Medical School, which is physically joined to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and serves as its partner and primary teaching hospital. The CCTS home administers all aspects of CCTS and provides space and resources for faculty and trainees, along with expertise in study design, biostatistics, regulatory issues, ethics, bioinformatics, funding of pilot and feasibility studies, provision of resources, protected time for clinical and translational faculty and trainees, and interactions/collaborations with the various communities and industry. For participant and clinical interactions resources, CCTS has subsumed the UTHSC-H General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) at Memorial Hermann, the satellite UTHSC-H GCRC at Brownsville, Texas, and, in part, the MDACC Clinical and Translational Research Center, to enhance research productivity and efficiency. In its educational component, CCTS has subsumed, in part, the current Center for Clinical Research and Evidence-Based Medicine, which has developed and currently provides formal classes, mentoring, and a Master of Clinical Research degree at UTHSC-H, and an active K30 award at MDACC. Also proposed in the original application was a novel T32 application offering combinations of master's and doctoral degrees in community health sciences, biomedical sciences and/or biomedical informatics — primarily for pre-doctoral students — and a K12 application for post-doctoral trainees and junior faculty. CCTS also has subsumed core translational laboratories, including a genotyping/sequencing core; a biomarkers core offering DNA microarray, RT-PCR and proteomics services; an immune monitoring core; an MRI core; and a biobanking core. A CCTS think tank composed of highly accomplished translational and clinical investigators, basic scientists and educators, and community representatives has come together as an engine for innovation to bring forward and recommend the application of novel and emerging scientific information, methods and technologies to research into human health and diseases across specialties, disciplines and communities.
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science
San Antonio, Texas
Robert A. Clark, M.D., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Michael J. Lichtenstein, M.D., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Kenneth M. Hargreaves, D.D.S., Ph.D., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Paula K. Shireman, M.D., M.S., University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio established the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science (IIMS) in 2006 to improve health and reduce regional disparities by speeding scientific discoveries and applications across the translational research spectrum. IIMS focuses on prevalent challenges in South Texas, including the health needs of an underserved Hispanic population, health issues facing active-duty military and veteran populations, and limitations in the translational science workforce. South Texas encompasses 38 counties, including the U.S.-Mexico border region, in an area the size of Ohio.
IIMS has expanded the number of clinical research units that extend to the border, increased the number of Practice-Based Research Networks that focus on diverse outpatient populations, and established new joint translational science doctoral and certificate programs. IIMS also developed a robust translational pilot grant program, shared among its partners, with a remarkable 15-to-1 return on investment. IIMS aims to:
- Speed innovation and effective team science along the entire clinical and translational research spectrum by providing an academic home that is integrated with strategic partner institutions.
- Expand, diversify and enhance the workforce of interdisciplinary translational biomedical scientists.
- Continuously evaluate services, increase efficiencies, improve processes and reduce costs across all IIMS programs.
These strategies will encourage clinical and translational science evolution, bring together research teams, and support programs that produce creative, collaborative and culturally diverse scientists.
University of Texas Medical Branch Institute for Translational Sciences
Allan R. Brasier, M.D., University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston, through its Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), seeks to facilitate translational research as a rigorous discipline, develop translational research training programs at all levels in the graduate continuum, effectively conduct and bridge step one translational research to steps two and three, and interface productively with the national CTSA consortium. In particular, this CTSA helps UTMB to build teams of researchers with diverse skills who can work effectively toward positive health outcomes. These teams also serve as exemplary learning environments for the next generation of translational investigators. Training activities include a Clinical and Translational Scholars program, an Academy of Mentors, a seminar series and team training workshops.
The CTSA is administered by UTMB's Institute for Translational Sciences (ITS), which facilitates many aspects of translational research and support at the university, enhancing researchers' ability to quickly and effectively translate basic science discoveries into improvements in human health. ITS' operations are guided by three overlying principles: 1) proactively identifying new team-oriented research opportunities; 2) prioritizing trainee involvement in a team-based culture; and 3) integrating systems biological approaches into translational research. Through the CTSA, ITS has organized 12 key resources — combinations of university core laboratories and intellectual resources, integrated by a single point of investigator/trainee contact. Key resources are designed to respond to the needs of investigators and trainees and to break down communication, technology and regulatory barriers, thereby transforming how UTMB conducts patient-oriented research.
University of Texas Southwestern Center for Translational Medicine
Robert D. Toto, M.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Support for clinical and translational research at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern’s Center for Translational Medicine has led to many successful pilot grant awards and programs in education and training, biomedical informatics, biostatistics, population research, community health sciences, and patient-centered outcomes research. UT Southwestern has invested in clinical and translational research by recruiting new researchers into leadership positions; creating a new research institute that focuses on stem cell biology and cancer; and expanding work in the cutting-edge fields of genomics, metabolomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and systems biology. To more quickly translate new discoveries into clinical practice, UT Southwestern will draw on its scientific strengths and centralized resources to encourage collaborative research. The Center aims to:
- Create a research environment to speed the translation of discoveries into practice. The Center will serve as a new, integrated home to coordinate and expand clinical research efforts while educating clinical and translational researchers at every level.
- Draw on new and existing resources to further develop innovative translation programs, including target identification and validation, discovery in humans, intervention in humans, and population science and community engagement.
- Share knowledge and contribute to the leadership of the national CTSA Consortium. The Center will share gains from its educational and translational research programs and help lead the discovery and commercialization of new medical interventions and devices.
The Center’s new and improved programs will enable investigators to discover, translate and disseminate knowledge to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat disease.