GHUCCTS celebrates 10 years of discovery through diversity

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2020 marks the tenth anniversary of GHUCCTS becoming a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) hub. Funded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health, GHUCCTS is a multi-institutional consortium forged from a desire to promote clinical research and translational science broadly. The members of the GHUCCTS consortium are: Georgetown University, Howard University, MedStar Health Research Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center. GHUCCTS is one of 60 national CTSA hubs that are recognized as centers of excellence for clinical and translational research.

Infographic summarizing GHUCCTS accomplishments from the past ten yearsOver the last 10 years as an NIH-funded Center for Clinical and Translational Science, GHUCCTS has:

    • secured $65.5 million in NIH CTSA funding to GHUCCTS institutions;

    • provided support to the research of more than 800 investigators and trainees resulting in over 550 peer-reviewed publications and many successfully funded research grants;

    • maintained active Clinical Research Units at Georgetown and Howard Universities that have supported over 500 active research protocols from 226 individual investigators;

    • enhanced the capacity for communities and researchers to work as equitable partners in research by maintaining a highly engaged Community Advisory Board and promoting community scholarship;

    • provided consultation for plans to increase the diversity of clinical research participants, including people with limited English proficiency;

    • developed methods and procedures for data analysis utilizing the MedStar Electronic Health Record database for medical students, trainees, and investigators, and provided biostatistical support to >3,000 research projects;

    • galvanized multi-disciplinary teams to create high-impact health data science and informatics tools, and curate/standardize high-value clinical and research datasets from multiple research consortia to drive clinical and translational research across GHUCCTS institutions; also established massive open online courses and a graduate program to train over 6000 students and the next generation of informatics leaders from across the globe;

    • created opportunities for investigators to participate in national multicentered trials through the CTSA Trial Innovation Network, and enhanced recruitment of research subjects into clinical trials by partnering with community organizations in the DC- metropolitan area and by creating the WePartner4Research virtual community;

    • greatly expedited clinical trial start up via adoption of a master agreement for contract facilitation and enrollment of GHUCCTS institutions in the SMART IRB reliance agreement;

    • created multidisciplinary teams by pairing basic science investigators from Oak Ridge National Laboratory with clinical and translational investigators from GHUCCTS institutions to address unsolved problems via the use of promising new methodologies in translational science;

    • developed a novel program to study Environmental Determinants of Health by utilizing the big data analytic and supercomputing capabilities of Oak Ridge National Laboratory in collaboration with GHUCCTS clinical and translational investigators to study the effect of environmental factors on the health of residents of the District of Colombia;

    • funded 64 pilot studies that promoted inter-institutional and inter-disciplinary collaboration, community engagement, use of electronic health data, and interrogation of environmental influences on health; 63% of GHUCCTS pilot grants resulted in publications, and 26% successfully supported external funding;

    • established and maintained a GHUCCTS-wide IRB that has streamlined the review process to 16 days from IRB submission to study approval, provided data safety board monitoring services, and facilitated acceptance of central single IRB approvals for multi- site clinical trials; currently the IRB has an oversight of 176 protocols of which 76 are multi-site;

    • enhanced our capacity for career development by devising and implementing innovative “Entering Mentoring” programs for mentors and mentees in training grant programs, and facilitated extramural grant applications by sponsoring regular workshops in grant writing, biostatistics, and Good Clinical Practice;

    • established a new Master of Science degree and certificate program in Clinical and Translational Research that has graduated >80 MS-CTR students;

    • established a KL2 career development program that has helped to launch the careers of 18 faculty members via three years of protected time for mentored research, resulting in >500 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and over 50 successful extramural grants and 30 successful sponsored clinical trials;

    • established a TL1 training program that has graduated 15 predoctoral and 15 postdoctoral trainees during its first 4½ years, the majority progressing to postdoctoral fellowships and faculty positions, respectively; Nine have obtained individual research fellowships and four have received research grants as a principal investigator.
In addition to reaching the milestone of celebrating its tenth year as a CTSA hub, GHUCCTS recently received a $24.3 million CTSA grant from NCATS. This competitive renewal represents the third successive 5-year award for the center, which has secured $89.8 million in research funding for GHUCCTS institutions over 15 years.

GHUCCTS receives third consecutive CTSA from NIH

GHUCCTS has received a $24.3 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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