WASHINGTON – The Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) has received a $24.3 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science, a part of the National Institutes of Health.
The competitive renewal represents the third 5-year award for the center, which has secured $89.8 million in research funding over 15-years for its member institutions: Georgetown University, Howard University, MedStar Health Research Institute, the Washington DC VA Medical Center and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Led by principal investigators Joseph Verbalis, MD, from Georgetown University and Thomas Mellman, MD, from Howard University, the mission of GHUCCTS is to advance research and training with excellence, innovation, collaboration, and efficiency while realizing the potential of the unique capacities of its constituent institutions for developing new technologies, promoting ethical clinical and translational research, and engaging the diverse populations of our communities that have been historically underrepresented in clinical research, including people from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, people with disabilities, and older adults.
“One of the major missions of GHUCCTS has been to stimulate and support the growth of team science,” says Verbalis, a professor of medicine at Georgetown. “Advances in solving the complex and challenging health problems we face today can be achieved more quickly and efficiently by collaborations among investigators from different scientific disciplines working together on common problems.”
“GHUCCTS was built on a unique model of co-leadership between Georgetown and Howard University, a Historically Black University,” says Mellman, a professor of psychiatry at Howard. “The partnership has influenced prioritizing health disparities and diversity in our training and research missions. Diversity of institutional cultures and of the disciplines represented in our programs has been a founding and enduring strength of GHUCCTS.”
As one of 60 national CTSA programs, GHUCCTS has transformed research in the greater Washington DC region. Verbalis and Mellman along with faculty members from all of the GHUCCTS institutions and numerous collaborators across the region have achieved impressive goals over the last 10 years, including:
- created an academic home for clinical and translational scientists and trainees;
- stimulated an increase in research involving underserved populations;
- provided training and education programs to support the full lifespan of an investigational career, including support for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty members;
- established a Master of Science degree program in Clinical and Translational Research, and supported another MS in Health Informatics and Data Science;
- established system-wide biostatistics and informatics capabilities;
- promoted team science and encouraged interdisciplinary research through pilot grants and novel technology cores;
- streamlined processes for initiation of research projects and reduced the regulatory burden for investigators by creating a single IRB for GHUCCTS institutions;
- engaged our communities to produce new partnerships between investigators in academia and community-based programs; and
- established an efficient local trial innovation team to partner with the CTSA Trial Innovation Network in order to speed completion of multi-center clinical trials that will get more treatments to more patients more quickly.
With this new award, GHUCCTS will continue to develop and promote innovative clinical and translational science research to improve the health of the greater Washington DC population.
For more information about GHUCCTS and its programs, visit http://www.georgetownhowardctsa.org/.