Since 2005, the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) has been the academic home for clinical and translation research, providing a “one-stop shop” for investigators across the academic health center (AHC) and beyond in need of guidance, information, support, resources and training.
“The vision of the CCTST is for it to be the go-to place for clinical and translational researchers to get support for their work,” says James Heubi, MD, Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research. What does the CCTST do? The center’s functions include:
- Providing consultation to investigators on research design and implementation
- Providing support for faculty and fellows pursuing NIH career development awards
- Assisting young faculty in building careers in clinical and translational research
- Assisting faculty in preparing large multi-disciplinary, multi-school, and multi-institutional grants
- Spearheading efforts to write institutional training grants
- Coordinating clinical and translational research, and related training programs
A Breadth of Resources
The CCTST offers consultations and voucher programs that provide investigators access to data management, statistical analysis and study design support. As of November 2019, consultations have supported over 370 unique investigators. Faculty who received these services represented 61 different specialties across campus. The center’s biomedical informatics (BMI) program offers collaborative clinical data, technology development, and research IT services. Its REDcap service provides deidentified clinical data to more than 650 investigators a year.
The CCTST community engagement program engages both local community members and AHC investigators interested in community engaged research. Community engagement efforts include specialized grant offerings, a leadership development training program, practice-based research networks, a community partner council, and a speaker and awards series.
Since inception of CCTST funding (2009) through 2019, 128 Pilot grants have been awarded to investigators at University of Cincinnati (UC) and Cincinnati Children’s in the amount of $8,828,325, resulting in 678 publications and 264 extramural grants worth $115,576,000 (ROI:14.6).
The CCTST is a central hub for education programs related to clinical and translational research for all levels of learners from undergraduate and graduate students, residents, fellows and faculty through its MS and certificate programs. More than 200 students have graduated from the MS program and more than 180 from the certificate program.
Through its website and digital communications, the center provides members with detailed information about grant opportunities, application deadlines, and upcoming events. It hosts numerous speakers, trainers and work-shops. It also helps investigators here find collaborators and seed funding.
Spearheading National Efforts
Among the largest of its responsibilities, the CCTST spearheads the AHC’s application for an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). This funding supports activities ranging from computational infrastructure to research ethics and community engagement.
Our first CTSA grant was funded in April 2009, and another renewed in August 2015.
“The CCTST team has devoted much of the past year to another renewal application which was submitted in April 2019,” Heubi says. “We are hopeful for a renewal that will provide five more years of funding so we can continue supporting the impactful work of our investigators.