Pitt’s CTSI Receives $67.3 Million to Translate Science Into Therapies

Issue Date: 
September 6, 2011
Steven E. ReisSteven E. Reis

A University of Pittsburgh institute aimed at accelerating the pace of translating science into real-life treatments for patients has received $67.3 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to expand its work over the next five years.

Pitt’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is among 10 institutes nationwide to receive renewed funding in recognition of its successes during the first five years of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program. The program is administered by the NIH’s National Center for Research Resources (NCRR).

“This funding validates the important work being done by University of Pittsburgh researchers and physicians who are dedicated to advancing science in a meaningful way,” said Arthur S. Levine, Pitt senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean of Pitt’s School of Medicine.

The renewal underscores the success of Pitt’s CTSI, through which researchers have used novel computer software to improve the diagnosis of breast cancer, brought researchers together as part of the Sleep Medicine Institute to advance research into sleep disorders, and funded research into the efficacy of low-cost prescription drug programs, among many other initiatives.

“This funding helps us take science from the laboratory to real life in ways that are useful to people. We’re grateful to be a part of the CTSA,” said Steven E. Reis, director, CTSI, and Pitt associate vice chancellor for clinical research, health sciences.

The other institutions that received renewed funding are the Columbia University Medical Center; the Mayo Clinic; the Oregon Health & Sciences University; Rockefeller University; the University of California, Davis; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Pennsylvania; the University of Rochester; and Yale University.

“These institutes were the pioneers in this program and are to be commended for the work they have done in bridging the traditional divides between laboratory research and medical practice,” said NCRR Director Barbara Alving. “They were tasked with transforming the way their institutions coordinate research to make it more proactive and effective in producing real-world results, and, in the process, they have served as innovative models nationwide.”

Together, the institutes represent a $498 million renewed commitment on the NIH’s part to speed translational research nationwide. The renewal awards endorse the success of Pitt’s CTSI and its sister programs in creating a framework for scientists to move beyond the traditional silos of science to collaborate on promising research and find the training and resources to move those projects ahead.

Pitt’s CTSI was established in 2006 with an $83.5 million NIH grant. It is a collaboration between Pitt, UPMC, Carnegie Mellon University, and, as community partner, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, among others.