CCTS grant renewed, $22 million for five years

In the wake of its 11-year anniversary, the UIC Center for Clinical and Translational Science is celebrating the award of $22 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health after receiving the highest score possible on its grant renewal application.

This award will fund the center’s exceptional work in promoting clinical and translational science for five more years. Since its start in 2009, the CCTS has played a vital role in catalyzing translational health research at UIC, developing needed research infrastructure, and providing multidisciplinary training to foster the career of hundreds of faculty, researchers, and staff at UIC.

“We look forward to continuing to help push clinical translational research forward rapidly so we can be most responsive to the complex needs of our communities,” said Robin Mermelstein, PhD, CCTS co-director and distinguished professor of psychology.

The grant is funded by the National Institutes of Health National Center for Advancing Translational Science’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program. CTSA Program biomedical research institutions – called “hubs” – provide critical resources and support needed to strengthen the entire spectrum of our nation’s clinical and translational research enterprise.

“Never has the value and need for clinical translational research been more evident and important as during the current COVID-19 pandemic, when teams of researchers have been pulling together to address the critical health needs of the population,” said Mermelstein.

CCTS prides itself on bridging the gap between research faculty studying a wide variety of health issues and the communities they seek to help. The center provides fundamental research services and tools- such as access to clinical data, informatics support, biostatistical support and consultation, and data management tools like REDCap- as well as mentoring and training.
CCTS also provides opportunities to develop innovative research addressing health issues through pilot funding, mentored career development and support for team science and interdisciplinary collaborations.

“The CCTS fosters collaborations between different disciplines with infrastructure, training, expertise and pilot funding as well as through conferences focused on critical research topics designed to bring researchers from all disciplines together,” said Richard Novak, MD, CCTS co-director and chief of the division of infectious diseases.

CCTS’s strengths mirror those of UIC and are reflected in its robust community engagement initiatives. Reviewers of the recent grant renewal praised the center’s attention to addressing health disparities and meeting the population’s diverse needs from infancy to old age.

The center’s future work will continue to focus on how to best meet the needs of local, state and national communities through every stage of the translational research process.

The University of Illinois at Chicago Center for Clinical and Translational Science is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through Grant UL1TR002003.