$19.8 million award puts UK among nation’s ‘elite’ health research sites

The UK Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) announced Wednesday that it has received a four-year, $19.8 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Center for Advancing Clinical and Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The mission of UK CCTS is to accelerate the process of translating scientific discoveries into tangible applications for individual and community health, with particular focus on health disparities in Kentucky and Appalachia. CTSA grants promote this mission by supporting innovative solutions to improve the efficiency, quality and impact of scientific discoveries that can improve the health of individuals and communities.

UK officials were joined by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Congressman Andy Barr for the announcement.

This is the second CTSA grant that the UK CCTS has competed for and received. In 2011, the CCTS received a five-year, $20 million award. These grants are extremely competitive and place UK in elite company. Other institutions funded in this round include Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Yale University, Rockefeller University and UCLA. Additionally, UK is one of only 21 institutions in the country with federally designated research centers in translational science, aging and cancer.

“While this trifecta of competitive grants positions us to recruit the brightest scientific minds of our generation and host potentially transformational clinical trials, it is the impact on community that is the heart of the CTSA and, indeed, our work as a University for Kentucky,” UK President Eli Capilouto said.

“Our capacity to engage at the intersection of research disciplines – which we translate from the cellular level to the community and to the Commonwealth – will be emboldened by this highly competitive award.”

A “disease agnostic” center, the CCTS does not focus on one particular disease but supports research on an array of diseases across the lifespan in order to quicken the process of moving new science, treatments and tools to the patient bedside or into communities.

UK’s research enterprise has benefited from many CCTS efforts. The CCTS pilot funding program, which supports innovative, early-stage research, has provided $4 million in awards that have yielded $38.5 million in competitive extramural research funding at UK — a return on investment of more than 8 to 1. These pilot awards support diverse research studies from new treatments for Parkinson’s disease to increasing lung cancer screening in Appalachia.

Next steps:

  • Learn more about the groundbreaking translational research happening at UK CCTS.
  • Researchers are working hard to identify new treatments and strategies to improve health, but they need healthy participants and those with medical conditions to participate in clinical studies. Find out how you can participate in clinical research at UK HealthCare.