Eric Topol, MD, founder and director, Scripps Research Translational Institute. Credit: Scripps Research

Scripps Research awarded $46.8 million by NIH to promote human health through innovative translational science and training

The Translational Institute is harnessing genomic and digital technologies with machine learning to revolutionize health research.

June 14, 2023

LA JOLLA, CA—The Scripps Research Translational Institute has received $46.8 million in renewed funding over a seven-year period from the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). As part of the nationwide Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program, the funds will support the institute’s continued progress in transforming human health research through technology-focused innovations.

The institute, led by founder and director Eric Topol, MD, is a leader in individualized medicine, combining genomic and digital technologies with cutting-edge artificial intelligence to transform personal health data into clinically useful knowledge.

“We’ve been very fortunate to be part of the CTSA consortium for the past 15 years,” says Topol, who is also a professor of Molecular Medicine and executive vice president at Scripps Research. “In that time, we’ve made tremendous strides in leveraging genomic, wearable sensor technologies, and AI for the capture and interpretation of huge, multimodal datasets into actionable health information.”

The CTSA Program consists of a national network of over 60 ‘hubs’—biomedical research institutions and universities working together to advance translational science. The Scripps hub, led by the Translational Institute at Scripps Research, includes Calibr (the drug development arm of Scripps Research) as well as long-standing partners Scripps Health and Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine. As part of the latest award cycle, the Scripps hub also established a new partnership with San Diego State University.

“We’re delighted to combine our decades of experience in effective, inclusive public health initiatives and population genomics with the expertise of our colleagues at Scripps Research,” says Hala Madanat, PhD, vice president of Research and Innovation at San Diego State University. “Together, we can develop better programs, drugs and diagnostic tools to benefit communities locally and internationally.”

The Translational Institute has been supported by the CTSA Program since 2008, having received three prior five-year awards from NCATS. The new funding cycle will support research, workforce development and community engagement activities at the institute and partner institutions over the next seven years.

In addition, the NIH has renewed support for the institute’s K award, a mentored research career development grant for clinical researchers who seek to pursue translational science research as part of their careers. The new funding cycle for the scholars’ program, which will span five years, begins in July 2023.

“This renewed funding is testament to the progress we’ve made, but also a commitment to keep driving advances in translational science, equitable access to healthcare and research training,” Topol says. “With the recent developments in large language model systems, I’m more excited than ever about our momentum to revolutionize medical care.”

The grant numbers for these awards are: 1UM1TR004407 and K12TR004410.

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