Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative: Key Achievements, 2007-2012

The first Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) nurtured rich new partnerships, enhanced educational opportunities and catalyzed extraordinary medical advances.

The CTSA's leaders leveraged this federal investment to support research that attracted more than $150 million in additional grant funding and $740 million in private sector investment in medical products and technology. As a result of this collaboration and the resources it drew, greater Cleveland is healthier – not only in terms of residents' physical well-being, but also with regard to the region's economy.

Over the past five years, the CTSA has supported literally dozens of discrete initiatives – in fact, more than 1,300 individuals have participated in CTSA-related efforts. When considered in total, many of the most remarkable successes fell into one of three categories: community engagement, teaching and mentoring, and acceleration of medical research and discovery.

Community Involvement

The CTSA assisted in efforts that secured $51.4 million in new grants for neighborhood projects designed to enhance human health and increase understanding of the most effective ways to spur health improvements in communities nationwide.

  • Better Health Greater Cleveland, one of 11 Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRN) with federal support, collaborated with Cleveland health care providers to begin to reverse the ravages of diabetes in 27,000 low-income patients.
  • In all, the PBRNs initiated 115 projects – including 60 launched by faculty in academic health centers – involving doctors' offices across the region
  • The Community-Based Research Consult Service supported grass-roots efforts among a dozen local organizations committed to providing education, care and key tools required to benefit overall community health.
  • The CTSA also co-sponsored the creation of a new Partners in Education, Evaluation, and Research (PEER) Program, a training program for individuals from community organizations to study research process and methodologies to implement in their organizations.
  • The CTSA enabled participating institutions to provide training in cultural competencies to 275 researchers.

Teaching and Mentoring

  • The CTSA provided support for intensive training and advising of 90 promising scientists in the early stages of their careers. The interaction among veteran researchers provided settings where junior faculty could learn how to develop stand-out proposals, and also how to think more strategically about their long-term scientific goals. Nearly three quarters of these faculty have gone on to secure significant funding to launch their own ambitious projects.
  • Nearly 150 medical students are pursuing master's degrees in clinical research even as they earn their MD's. One of those master's degree programs also enrolls current medical school faculty; so far, 41 of its graduates have published 884 papers and earned citations in other journal articles 8,500 times.

Acceleration of Clinical Research and Discovery

The CTSA:

  • Established a peer-reviewed pilot grant funding program that awarded $5.4 million to more than 300 individual projects.
  • Provided cross-institutional biostatistical, epidemiologic and research design support for more than 400 projects.
  • Supported efforts that led to the creation of eight novel clinical informatics tools to aid in biomedical research informatics management, including several that formed the basis of new startups.