18 Sep UW-Madison lands $41 million grant to move research from college to clinics
Madison, Wis. – As part of what is being billed as a major federal initiative to transform the nation’s translational research capabilities, the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s new Institute for Clinical and Translational Research has secured a $41 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.
The grant, one of the largest federal awards in the history of the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, should enable the university to find better ways to move biomedical and health sciences discoveries into healthcare providers’ offices, clinics, and hospitals.
To do so, it first will build a network of key partners from across campus and around the state, including representatives of the four UW-Madison health sciences schools (medicine and public health, nursing, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine), plus the College of Engineering and the Marshfield Clinic.
It also will leverage the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery and Interdisciplinary Research Complex, which will be built on the UW-Madison campus.
To ensure the research is relevant and reaches people and areas with the greatest need, the institute will seek input from public health departments and community health offices throughout the state.
In healthcare, translational research comes in two forms – the transfer of basic laboratory science to controlled clinical trials, and community- and population-based studies that facilitate the transfer of discoveries from those clinical trials to clinics and hospitals.
According to the university, one of the missions of the institute, created last winter in response to the NIH “Roadmap for Medical Research,” will be to produce scientists trained in interdisciplinary research and who understand the complexities of moving fundamental laboratory discoveries through clinical trials.
In addition, the institute would like to affirm research results in community-based settings, and build a core group of biostatisticians and medical informatics experts to help with study design, data analysis, and management.
Marc Drezner, director of the institute and professor of medicine and associate dean for clinical and translational research at the School of Medicine and Public Health, cited aspirin and heart disease as one example of where clinical discoveries have yet to make their full impact on healthcare.
“Scientists have shown that taking an aspirin a day can reduce a person’s risk of heart attacks, yet only about 60 percent of the people who could benefit use aspirin,” he said in a release. “Many complicated factors contribute to this breakdown in the translation of fundamental knowledge, and we have set up an expansive plan and structure to ameliorate the problem.”
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