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Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) receives $56 Million National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Award

Prestigious NIH grant provides five years of funding to Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center

BOSTON (May 7, 2018) – Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center today announced that the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences has named Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) a recipient of the 2018 Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA). This award, Tufts CTSI’s third since 2008, provides more than $56 million in federal funding to support the Institute’s local, regional, and national research initiatives over the next five years.

Tufts CTSI accelerates the translation of research into clinical use, medical practice and impact on health. With an engaged network of partners and collaborators, including hospitals and medical practices, academic institutions, community stakeholders, and industry, Tufts CTSI supports the full spectrum of translational research. Additionally, Tufts CTSI fosters broadly-engaged team science; collaboration; and continuous research process improvement; and advances rigorous, role-specific education and training.

Harry P. Selker, MD, MSPH, Tufts CTSI Dean and Principal Investigator, leads the award in collaboration with Karen Freund, MD, MPH, Tufts CTSI Director of the Faculty Career Development (KL2) Program, and David Kent, MD, MSc, CTSI Director of the Research Fellowship (TL1) Program and the Clinical and Translational Science Graduate Program

“Over the last decade, we have brought together purposely-selected partners, and existing and new programs and activities with a singular focus on how best to contribute to clinical and translational research,” says Dr. Selker. “This has allowed us to provide unique and outstanding services, resources, education, and mentorship as a hub for our New England partners and nationally as a participant in many CTSA collaborations and as a leader of CTSA Consortium initiatives. We are delighted to have the opportunity to continue and expand this important work.”

Some key accomplishments since 2008 include:

  • Led for NIH the implementation of the nationwide Common Metrics Initiative to assess the effectiveness and impact of the CTSA Program.
  • Conducted a CTSA Consortium national pilot study of Scientific Review Committee processes.
  • Established the Johns Hopkins-Tufts Trial Innovation Center to provide high-quality design and operational support to investigators conducting multi-center clinical trials.
  • Launched the Tufts CTSI Clinical Research Network comprised of affiliate hospitals Tufts Medical Center, Baystate Medical Center, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Maine Medical Center, New England Baptist Hospital, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. 
  • Formed the Research Collaboration Team with experts in every phase of translational research to connect partners, build research teams, spawn new research ideas, critique research proposals, and develop training opportunities in Team Science.
  • Established Addressing Disparities in Asian Populations through Translational Research (ADAPT) to foster community-academic research collaboration and stakeholder engagement in research.
  • Continued to grow the nation’s first Clinical and Translational Science Graduate Program spanning a hospital and a biomedical graduate school. 
  • Provided 83 pilot grants to the Tufts CTSI community. 
  • Since 2014, assisted investigators in preparing more than 500 projects for grant submission via our Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design (BERD) Center.

“The first 10 years of Tufts CTSI has delivered tremendously valuable clinical and translational science training and mentorship opportunities for our faculty and staff,” said Errol Norwitz, MD, PhD, Chief Science Officer at Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children. “The next five-year cycle promises to bring a new round of innovation to our important work and we look forward to engaging broadly with our collaborators locally and nationally so that every patient at every encounter can benefit.”  

Initiatives and deliverables for the next five-year grant cycle include:

  • Creating a new pre- and early-clinical research and development T.5 Capacity in Medical Devices Program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that will de-risk medical device translation by accelerating iterative research and development cycles.
  • Advancing methods and performance of multi-site clinical trials by creating a clinical data warehouse; expediting the recruitment of research participants through shortened and easily accessible informed consent forms; and integrating clinical study centers across Tufts CTSI’s Clinical and Translational Research Center, the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging’s Metabolic Research Unit; and MIT’s Clinical Research Center.  
  • Building the Tufts Analytics Platform, which will provide integrated access to clinical, physiologic, and biochemical informatics and data analytics.
  • Developing predictive models in research relevant to special populations.
  • Launching an expanded and improved online learning environment, I LEARN.

“This support will greatly enhance our ability to promote research collaborations among our affiliated teaching and research partners with the goal of introducing new, innovative therapies for the treatment of diseases still awaiting a cure,” said Harris A. Berman, MD, Dean, Tufts University School of Medicine. “Ultimately, patients will be the beneficiaries.” Tufts CTSI is one of more than 50 hubs that comprise the CTSA Consortium’s national network of medical research institutions. These organizations work together to improve the translational research process to get more treatments to more patients more quickly, collaborating locally and regionally to catalyze innovation in training, research tools and processes.

About Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)

Tufts CTSI, established in 2008, supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is dedicated to stimulating, supporting, and expediting innovative clinical and translational research, with the goal of improving the public’s health. Founded by Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center, it also includes other academic institutions (including all the schools of Tufts University, Brandeis University, MIT, Northeastern University; and RAND), the hospitals affiliated with Tufts University School of Medicine, community stakeholders, and various members of the health care industry. Tufts CTSI’s purpose is to accelerate the translation of laboratory and medical research into clinical use, widespread medical practice, and into improved health care delivery and health policy. It connects people to research resources, consultation, and education, and fosters collaboration with scholars of all disciplines and with community members, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of the public. Tufts CTSI is funded by a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, award number UL1TR002544.

About Tufts University

Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.

About Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children

Tufts Medical Center is an exceptional, not-for-profit, 415 bed academic medical center that is home to both a full service hospital for adults and Floating Hospital for Children. Conveniently located in downtown Boston, we’re the principle teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine. We offer a level one trauma center with a rooftop helipad, are the largest heart transplant center in New England and our renowned research program ranks among the top 10 percent of independent hospitals to receive federal research funding. Our physician network of 1,800 New England Quality Care Alliance doctors represents our strong commitment to health in the community. Tufts Medical Center is a founding member of Wellforce.