In the 21st century, scientists are poised to transform our understanding of the factors that contribute to exceptional health – or its decline – by turning discoveries made in the laboratory, the patient’s bedside, and the community into effective health interventions through a process known as translational science. Translational science is the field of investigation focused on understanding and addressing the scientific and organizational challenges underlying each step of the translational process.

Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA)

The NIH created a program to foster clinical and translational science. Now under the director of the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), the CTSA program seeks to transform research through workforce development and collaboration/engagement through integration and methods/processes.

UC BRAID

The University of California Biomedical Research Acceleration, Integration, and Development (UC BRAID) is a consortium of University of California health campuses - Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, each of which is a recipient of an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award.

Building on the combined strengths of the individual campus, UC BRAID aims to accelerate research and improve health through collaboration, resource sharing and infrastructure development. We aim to catalyze, accelerate, and reduce the barriers for biomedical, clinical, and translational research across the UC system. The effort includes identifying shared challenges and developing system-wide solutions.

Areas of continued attention include industry contracting, institutional review boards (IRBs), and participant recruitment. UC BRAID’s early successes in sharing data and infrastructure were demonstrated in the cohort identification tool UC ReX, which now serves as a model for the shared benefit of a nationwide collaboration.

NCATS CTSA Program Interview

Watch Petra Kaufmann, M.D., M.Sc., director of the NCATS Office of Rare Diseases Research and Division of Clinical Innovation, discuss how the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program support is speeding the translation of research discoveries into health benefits.

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