Vol 8. Issue 18 / June 2, 2008
NIH Awards $20 Million CTSA Grant to Scripps Translational Science Institute
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced today that Scripps Translational Science Institute is one of 14 research centers to receive a highly competitive $20 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) this year. Scripps Translational Science Institute, led by eminent physician-scientist Eric J. Topol, 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, Scripps Translational Science Institute 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 who is also chief of Genomic Medicine and Translational Science at Scripps Health, senior consultant in the Division of Cardiology at Scripps Clinic, and professor of translational genomics at Scripps Research. "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."
Scripps Translational Science Institute 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.
Scripps Translational Science Institute'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 Scripps Translational Science Institute. 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.
For an interview with Topol on his work, see News&Views article "From Science to Medicine."
Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu