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NIH Awards $20 Million CTSA Grant to Scripps Translational Science Institute

Researchers and clinicians will accelerate transfer of new scientific discoveries from the laboratory to patient care

Photos:  http://www.scripps.edu/news/press/images/topol_eric/20080529Topol/

LA JOLLA, CA—May 29, 2008—The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) is one of 14 research centers to receive a highly competitive  $20 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) this year. STSI, led by Eric J. Topol, M.D., is a collaborative program between The Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Health, partnering with a number of institutions in San Diego.    

With today's announcement, Scripps Translational Science Institute joins a national consortium of institutions working to accelerate clinical and translational research, in order to catapult scientific discoveries that improve medicine.  To date, STSI is one of only four California programs to receive CTSA funding and the first in Southern California.  It is also the only program to be selected to the consortium that is not a university.

"Our program capitalizes on this unique time in biomedical research with momentous progress in such areas as genomics, stem cells, and applications of wireless technology," said Dr. Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and principal investigator of the grant. "This funding and participation in the consortium allows us to make even greater progress in developing individualized treatment and prevention strategies. We will harness the excitement of today's scientific advances to create tomorrow's preventions, improve health, and train the future leaders of academic medicine."

STSI is a unique community collaboration. In addition to The Scripps Research Institute  and Scripps Health, participating institutions and investigators include a diverse network: J. Craig Venter Institute, The Neurosciences Institute, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, San Diego Supercomputer Center, The Salk Institute, San Diego State University and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

The grant was awarded on the Institute's first application, a rare occurrence in the rigorous and highly competitive process. It will have a major impact on the San Diego region since the grant supports community-based research and education to prevent obesity and diabetes, enhances the collaboration with the extraordinary life science industry on the bioscience-rich Torrey Pines Mesa, and will attract talented young physicians and scientists from all over the United States to undergo advanced research training here.

STSI’s application had unanimous support from the region's congressional delegation. 

"Congratulations to Scripps Translational Science Institute and Dr. Eric Topol for winning a prestigious Clinical and Translational Science Award," said Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Co-Chair of the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus.  "With this award, the Scripps Translational Science Institute takes a quantum leap forward in understanding the genetic underpinnings of diseases such as heart disease and cancer which may some day translate into groundbreaking therapies."    

The consortium created by CTSA members was formed in 2006 and currently includes 38 organizations across the nation, including STSI. When the consortium inducts its final member institutions in 2012, it will be comprised of 60 institutions, each focused on accelerating research that impacts health.

About The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute is one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations, at the forefront of basic biomedical science that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases, and synthetic vaccine development. Established in its current configuration in 1961, it employs approximately 3,000 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, scientific and other technicians, doctoral degree graduate students, and administrative and technical support personnel. Scripps Research is headquartered in La Jolla, California. It also includes Scripps Florida, whose researchers focus on basic biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development. Currently operating from temporary facilities in Jupiter, Scripps Florida will move to its permanent campus by 2009. More information can be found at www.scripps.edu.

About Scripps Health

Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Healthis a $2 billion non-profit community health system based in San Diego, Calif.  Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,600 affiliated physicians and 11,600 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, and an ambulatory care network of clinics, physician offices and outpatient centers. Scripps is recognized nationally for delivering high quality health care and in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. Scripps is also at the forefront of clinical research and graduate medical education.  In 2007, Scripps committed more than $150 million in capital and facility improvements across the San Diego region, while providing significant charity care to the community—more than $236 million in uncompensated care in 2007.  Scripps Health Foundation generated $74 million in charitable donations in 2007 to support the Scripps mission. More information can be found at www.scripps.org.


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