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National Institutes of Health Renews Medical College of Wisconsin’s Five-Year Clinical and Translational Science Award

Milwaukee, June 3, 2020 – The Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) has been awarded a five-year, $24.4 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) renewal from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This achievement marks the third five-year CTSA awarded to MCW.

This grant renewal will fund the work of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin (CTSI), a consortium of eight regional organizations dedicated to clinical and translational research and research training.

The CTSI was founded in 2010 with a five-year CTSA with a $20 million five year award, followed by a five-year $22.5 million award in 2015. The CTSI comprises Children’s Wisconsin, Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Froedtert Hospital, Marquette University, MCW, Milwaukee School of Engineering, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin.

“The composition of the CTSI is unique because of the engagement of multiple academic institutions locally and nationally. It offers invaluable research resources and opportunities for collaboration with students and faculty of all the institutions in the consortium,” said Reza Shaker, MD, associate provost for clinical and translational research at MCW and CTSI Director. “The awarding of this competitive grant renewal demonstrates our strength as an innovative and cutting-edge research collaborator and national thought leader.”

The CTSI will use this funding to continue accelerating the translation of research discoveries into patient care, bringing new therapies and interventions to patients, improving health outcomes and building training programs and community engagement. During the past five years, CTSI service centers have supported almost 1,300 research studies/projects.

A few highlights of CTSI’s achievements during the past five years include:

  • CTSI Biomedical Informatics (BMI): BMI has established requisite capacities to provide clinical and translational research community with a number of tools and related services. During the past five years, CTSI BMI has supported almost 1,025 research studies/projects.
  • Translational Research Units (TRU): Since 2015, the CTSI has supported 151 NIH-funded studies through TRU, CTO and BMI services. The CTSI Pediatric TRU has averaged 2,030 research visits annually over the last four years and has executed 100 protocols. The Geriatric/Veteran TRU at the Zablocki VA has been the major driver of the Million Veteran Program and has supported clinical/translational studies involving veterans and the elderly averaging almost 1,900 visits per year. During the past five years, CTSI Adult TRU has supported nearly 220 research studies/projects.
  • Multi-disciplinary Team-based Integrated Clinical and Research Ensembles: CTSI piloted a novel approach to team science, which actively affords the formation of multidisciplinary “ensembles” to study and address patient’s unmet needs and problems.
  • CTSI Advancing Medical Product Development (AMPD) Module: CTSI’s AMPD Module is a multi-institutional collaboration that aggregates and makes readily accessible essential medical product development resources within partnering institutions and the community. The initiative is designed to overcome inefficiencies in developing innovative academic discoveries into healthcare products by more effectively linking biomedical science researchers with commercialization and development experts and potential investors.
  • All of Us Research Grant: CTSI of Southeast Wisconsin and ICTIR (UW-Madison’s CTSA collaboration) received a $5.4 million NIH All of Us research grant that benefits communities across the state of Wisconsin and the country to aid in engagement and recruitment of research participants for this important national agenda.

Only about one-third of all medical schools in the country have received a CTSA award since the program’s inception in 2003. In the federal government’s fiscal year 2019, there were 60 CTSA awards nationwide at academic medical centers.

“This extremely competitive award reflects MCW’s role as a national leader in building academic and research partnerships to address the community’s greatest health needs,” said Joseph E. Kerschner, MD, Provost and Executive Vice President and Dean of the School of Medicine at MCW. “The collaborations and partnerships fostered through the CTSI already have paid off in innovation and translation of new technologies and advancements. We are deeply grateful to our faculty, staff, students and many partners across the region for their invaluable contributions to the CTSI as we continue to build healthier communities.”

This work is supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under award number 2UL1TR001436-06.

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