The National Institutes of Health (NIH) last week awarded
a $64.6-million, five-year grant for the continuation of a collaborative effort to bring medical research to hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices, improving the health of patients in the region. The federal grant is the largest in Northeast Ohio history.
The NIH founded the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA
) six years ago to accelerate the transition of medical ideas to medical applications. “Five years ago the NIH decided a program was needed to help bring basic decisions from the science lab to patients,” says Pamela B. Davis, CWRU School of Medicine
dean and principal investigator.
Cleveland is one of 61 institutions in the country to have a CTSA. Along with CWRU, the program is a collaborative effort between the Cleveland Clinic
, MetroHealth System
, University Hospitals Case Medical Center
and Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center
In addition to Davis, Richard A. Rudick, MD, vice chair of the Neurological Institute at Cleveland Clinic
, serves as the effort’s co-principal investigator. The two applied for the original $64 million grant five years ago, which at the time was the largest in the region’s history.
More than 1,300 individuals have participated in CTSA-related efforts in the past five years in three categories: community engagement, teaching and mentoring, and acceleration of medical research and discovery.
For instance, doctor education on type 2 diabetes resulted in lowering three-month blood sugars in patients by an entire percentage point. “That’s enough to change the risk of complications,” says Davis. “It gives us the ability to make a real impact.”
Other efforts included retaining children with high blood pressure to run a portion of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, resulting in significant long-term drops in blood pressure.
“We’re trying to reach into the community and make a difference,” says Davis. “We have done a lot of partnerships in town, and we’re looking forward to expanding that.”
Source: Pamela B. Davis
Writer: Karin Connelly