The National Institutes of Health has awarded $54 million over a seven-year period to the CCTSI at CU Anschutz. The grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) will fuel biomedical research and training across the state. This is the fourth consecutive time the NIH has funded the CCTSI since 2008 through its Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA) program.
“This powerful grant will allow the University of Colorado to conduct leading-edge research that can directly impact health and patient care, reduce health disparities across our state and remain poised to respond to public health emergencies of the future,” said University of Colorado President Todd Saliman.
The CCTSI is a research partnership between CU Anschutz, CU Boulder, CU Denver and Colorado State University. Hospital partners include Children’s Hospital Colorado, UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, National Jewish Health, Denver Health and Hospital Authority and the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System, as well as many community organizations across the state.
“At the CCTSI we are committed to translating discoveries into better, equitable public health and patient care for all,” said Ronald J. Sokol, MD, distinguished professor of pediatrics-gastroenterology in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, who will lead the institute in partnership with Janine Higgins, PhD, professor of medicine at the CU School of Medicine. “We are thrilled that Dr. Higgins, who has led the operations of the CCTSI for many years and is an esteemed research scholar in her own right, will join me as a principal investigator leading the grant.”
In recent years, some notable accomplishments supported by the CCTSI include:
- Establishing the standard-of-care worldwide for youth with type 2 diabetes through a 15-year, national multicenter study called TODAY 2;
- Conducting groundbreaking research on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments;
- Helping to develop the largest national, publicly available HIPAA-limited dataset in U.S. history–the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C), which has been used to study multiple aspects of COVID-19 treatments and more;
- Advancing precision medicine treatments for cystic fibrosis that target the defective protein caused by specific gene mutations. These treatments have dramatically lengthened and transformed the lives of individuals living with cystic fibrosis;
- Discovering the role inflammation plays in lung disease occurring in children with primary ciliary dyskinesia, a rare genetic disease similar to cystic fibrosis;
- Building bridges for asthma care through a school-centered program that connects schools, families and community health-care providers in underserved Denver neighborhoods;
- Engaging with underserved communities across the state to address health issues of importance to them;
- Pioneering innovative solutions to address the lack of participant diversity in clinical trials, including the training of Older Adult Research Specialists to increase the inclusion of older adult peers in clinical trials;
- Leading a national network for human and veterinary medical health centers developing novel research to benefit human health;
- Training the next generation of researchers: the CCTSI has funded 165 Research Scholars and Pre- and Post-Doctoral Trainees since it was established in 2008.
Over the next seven years, the CCTSI will advance clinical and translational science by promoting collaboration and team science and developing innovative research programs to address health issues of importance to communities, including health inequities and disparities. And, importantly, it will promote a safe and nimble research environment that can rapidly respond to urgent public health needs.
“I am honored to help lead the CCTSI as we prepare to train the next generation of clinicians and scholars who will lead discoveries and solve some of the thorniest problems in human health,” Higgins said. “We are energized and excited to continue this challenging yet critical work.”