The University of Minnesota’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) recently received $53.9 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health to find better, faster ways to translate scientific advances into practice.
The seven-year award is one of the largest federal research grants the university has ever received and the university’s third Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA).
“CTSI is critical not only to the university but to the entire state of Minnesota in promoting collaborative, innovative research and education by connecting disciplines, institutions and communities to advance knowledge and human health to improve. This award signals confidence in the University of Minnesota’s ability to accelerate the delivery of additional discoveries to everyone in the state,” said Jakub Tolar, vice president for clinical affairs and dean of the U of M Medical School. “It strengthens our role as a top ten public research university, strengthens our research infrastructure at the University of Minnesota and beyond, and expands the opportunities of our researchers and Minnesota communities.”
Over the past 12 years, CTSI has contributed to and collaborated with a national network of more than 60 medical research institutions that are working together to improve the translational research process to deliver more treatments, faster, to more patients. By working together, researchers have the opportunity to address system-wide scientific and operational problems in clinical and translational research that individual teams cannot address.
CTSI’s recent work includes research showing metformin reduces the risk of long COVID, a telemedicine pilot to better support children with autism, training community educators “Stroke Champions” to reduce stroke disparities , and developing an app to integrate social determinants of health into patient care.
With the award, CTSI will continue to focus on accelerating clinical and translational research projects, training clinical research professionals, promoting community engagement, and—in all aspects of its work—health equity to ensure that all Minnesotans benefit from scientific innovations. CTSI will continue to address rural health disparities in Minnesota and beyond, including a leadership and policy training program for rural community stakeholders and one of the nation’s first postdoctoral fellowships focused on rural health equity.
The grant will also provide critical support to CTSI’s efforts to focus on local, regional and national partnerships. The work will be conducted in collaboration with CTSI’s three partners: the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute, M Health Fairview and the Minneapolis VA Health Care System.
“The grant provides critical funding so we can continue to serve the University of Minnesota research community, engage local communities and build on our existing work to expand the impact of health research,” said Bruce Blazar, Regents Professor of Pediatrics, founding director and CTSI co-principal investigator for the CTSA award. “Our vision is to improve healthcare for everyone.”
“CTSI has been critically important to many researchers at UMN and across the state,” said Daniel Weisdorf, professor in the School of Medicine, associate director of CTSI and co-principal investigator for the CTSA award. “Last year alone, we provided research project initiation, analysis and reporting support to 642 research teams conducting 1,578 separate projects. Through our collaboration with other CTSA hub sites, we can spread the impact of UMN research even further.”
Now that the CTSA grant award has been received, CTSI expects to receive additional funding from the NIH for a K-12 career development program as well as graduate student and postdoctoral training programs. The additional awards are expected to increase funding by $9.3 million, bringing the NIH total to $63.2 million. The four awards function as a coordinated series of programs with a shared vision, overarching goals, and shared leadership and activities and will enable the University to pursue appropriate additional funding opportunities in the future.
Through the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs
The Office of Academic Clinical Affairs is reimagining health by driving innovation and discovery through collaborations across the University of Minnesota, advancing interprofessional care and education, and being a strong partner for state, industry and the community. Learn more at clinicalaffairs.umn.edu.
About the Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Supported by a National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), the University of Minnesota Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) helps researchers and research professionals translate discoveries into clinical practice to improve human health. Through the CTSA program, CTSI is part of a national network of more than 60 medical research institutions working together to advance health discoveries. For more information, visit ctsi.umn.edu.