Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance to Receive Nearly $74 Million to Expand Research Collaboration
National Institutes of Health and institutional funding will allow alliance to accelerate
clinical and translational research across Georgia and beyond.
ATLANTA – OCTOBER 6, 2022 – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded $58.6 million over the next five years to the Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance (Georgia CTSA) to continue its efforts to advance the quality of clinical research and transform research results to impact health in Georgia and beyond. In addition to NIH funding, the Georgia CTSA will receive $15.1 million in institutional support from its academic institutions.
The Georgia CTSA is a collaborative research alliance that accelerates clinical and translational education, research, workforce development, and community engagement. Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and the University of Georgia (UGA) form the Georgia CTSA, with partners that include Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
"We're excited to continue this long-standing Georgia-wide partnership, providing an environment where clinical and translational research can flourish," said David S. Stephens, MD, interim executive vice president for health affairs at Emory University.
As the only NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award in the state, Georgia CTSA has served as a hub for innovation and scientific discovery across Georgia and the southeast region since its inception in 2007. This latest funding award will allow researchers to continue providing support and new tools in bioinformatics and biostatistics, piloting grants to fuel new research, and helping train the next generation of clinical and translational science investigators.
"As in so many industries, Georgia is proud to lead the way in developing healthcare solutions that improve outcomes for all," said Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. "This funding award is just the latest recognition of the importance and cutting-edge position of the Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance. I want to congratulate its members on this achievement and the positive impact it will have across our state and far beyond."
To ensure Georgia CTSA's emphasis on improving treatments reaches the communities and populations at highest risk for poor health outcomes, Georgia CTSA will establish its central theme aimed at addressing health disparities amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Health equity will be incorporated as a core component of all Georgia CTSA's proposed work over the next five years.
"The renewal of the Georgia CTSA provides critical support for our institutional alliance as we work together to tackle the major health issues facing the citizens of Georgia," said W. Robert Taylor, MD, PhD, contact principal investigator at Emory University. "We will continue our focus on reducing the tragic health disparities that exist across our state."
One example of how Georgia CTSA can leverage its resources to advance health equity is by creating opportunities to increase representation of ethnic or racial minority groups in clinical trials and other clinical studies. The Integrating Special Populations program focuses on extending research testing and discovery to all populations in Georgia, with emphasis on rural health concerns. These types of measures can advance health equity, but more will need to be done to sustain progress.
"Our stated goal of enhancing health equity across the state of Georgia will require a sustained effort to address diversity and inclusivity in collaborating with impacted communities and mentoring diverse early-stage investigators across the Georgia CTSA," said Elizabeth Ofili, MD, MPH, principal investigator at Morehouse School of Medicine.
Over the next five years, Georgia CTSA plans to build on the resounding impact it's already made on statewide research efforts. Through the first four funding cycles, the alliance has awarded 472 pilot grants, contributed to more than 4,000 scientific publications, and assisted over 2,500 investigators.
"We are thrilled to continue our innovative and impactful partnership accelerating clinical and translational education, research, and community engagement with a focus on enhancing health equity across Georgia and addressing the needs of the rural, poor, and underserved populations statewide," said Andrés J. García, PhD, principal investigator Georgia Tech.
Additionally, Georgia CTSA will address the critical need to train a new generation of clinical and translational science investigators. Trainees will be equipped to lead scientific teams that are urgently needed to generate new discoveries and translate discoveries from the laboratory to the bedside and into the community to improve health for all, including underrepresented communities. These mentored research training activities are supported by the KL2 and TL1 research training components of the Georgia CTSA led by multiple principal investigators Henry M. Blumberg, MD; Igho Ofotokun, MD, MSc; and Vasiliki Michopoulos, PhD, MSc.
"The Georgia CTSA has achieved so many great milestones in research, outreach, education, and workforce development," said Bradley G. Phillips, PharmD, principal investigator at UGA. "With amazing faculty, students, and communities across the state, I am confident that the best is yet to come."
The Georgia CTSA is comprised of a statewide group of investigators who collaborate across its premier academic institutions to unify their complementary and unique strengths.
- Morehouse School of Medicine, a nationally recognized historically Black institution, brings ethnic diversity to biomedical research, addresses health disparities through successful community engagement research, and serves as a pipeline for training minority researchers.
- Emory University is home to one of the nation's premier academic medical centers and is a worldwide leader in health sciences and biomedical research and clinical and translational research training and education.
- Georgia Tech has a national reputation for its biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, and the application of innovative systems engineering to health care solutions.
- UGA has a proven track record in outstanding basic and translational research and, as the state's land-grant institution, offers a robust statewide network that enhances community outreach, service, and research.
Georgia CTSA is one of more than 60 Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program hubs at medical research institutions across the country supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.
For more information about Morehouse School of Medicine, please visit MSM.edu.
About Morehouse School of Medicine
Founded in 1975, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is among the nation's leading educators of primary care physicians, biomedical scientists, and public health professionals. An independent and private historically-Black medical school, MSM was recognized by the Annals of Internal Medicine as the nation's number one medical school in fulfilling a social mission — the creation and advancement of health equity. MSM faculty and alumni are noted for excellence in teaching, research, and public policy, as well as exceptional patient care. MSM is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctoral and master's degrees. To learn more about programs and donate today, please visit MSM.edu or call 404-752-1500.
Morehouse School of Medicine