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November 2008 Issue

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Center Offers Support for 'Bench to Bedside' Efforts

Published November 2008

Pediatrics professor James Heubi, MD, can spout off acronyms and abbreviations faster than the mind can sort them out.

He manages to squeeze four into one sentence without even a hint of hesitation.

Heubi is no stranger to research lingo. But his favorite “four-letterword” might be CTSA—the Clinical and Translational Science Award.

He and colleague Joel Tsevat, MD, have spent the last three years leading the CTSA application effort and building UC’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training—the “academic home” for clinical and translational research.

Winning a CTSA from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would mean more resources for the Academic Health Center’s clinical and translational science focus.

But regardless of a CTSA win, what’s been built within the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training—shortened to CCTST, of course—will remain.

Bench to Bedside
Bench to bedside (translational research) is a common phrase in medicine, and turning laboratory findings into diagnostic tools or therapies for patients—and then working to make sure those tools are adopted within the community—is the goal of most academic medical centers.

The CCTST, formed in 2005, is a collaborative effort among UC, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, University Hospital and the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center aimed at supporting the translational research community across campus.

The center offers research support, including study design and biostatistical expertise, individual and institutional training grant preparation assistance, clinical and translational research training, and funding opportunities, including the successful Dean’s Scholars program.

The Dean’s Scholars program provides up to $50,000 over as many as three years to junior faculty focused on clinical or translational research, epidemiology, or outcomes or health services research. The goal of the program is to prepare young faculty for federal granting opportunities that will provide salary support as they work to grow their research programs.

Of the 10 faculty so far who have received Dean’s Scholars awards, four have gone on to receive research or career development awards.

Three others are currently pursuing similar funding.

The CCTST has also helped departments obtain NIH training grants to support fellowship positions. Six of the 22 funded “T32” training grants on campus were obtained with CCTST assistance.

In addition to funding assistance, the CCTST—which is physically located on the 10th floor of Cincinnati Children’s new S Building—is working to track clinical and translational activity and create an environment for researchers that facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration.

The center’s Research Central service provides investigators with consultations on their study design and execution of research projects.

The center also serves UC’s educational mission. It helped to form the recently approved master’s of science program in clinical and translational research through the environmental health department and has worked directly with the office of research to facilitate compliance training for research faculty and staff.

In the future, the CCTST hopes to expand its efforts beyond the academic setting by forming relationships with partners who can help bring discoveries to application, or by engaging the broader community in clinical and translational research efforts.

Here to Stay
While Heubi, Tsevat and many others around the university hold their breath in anticipation of the next round of CTSA announcements, they are confident that what they have already built on campus puts UC and its partners ahead of the game in terms of the clinical and translational research effort.

“We know that the development of the CCTST has put us ahead of some of the sites already funded through the CTSA program,” says Heubi.

“A CTSA award would give us the resources to do even more. But with or without the CTSA, our center is here to stay.”

To learn more about the CCTST, visit

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