Translate Discovery Into Practice
As an interprofessional campus engaged in ongoing research and community service, we seek to transform our world-class clinical and translational research enterprise in order to bring scientific discoveries into clinical application and to overcome barriers in translating knowledge into practice. In so doing, we intend to seize this opportunity to revamp graduate education in the health sciences, training physicians, scientists, and nurses for practice, research, and leadership in the information age.
Our goal is to move discovery into practice through successful translational research and dissemination and implementation with and within our community. To achieve this goal, we need to design space and implement systems and initiatives that promote interaction between basic scientists, clinical research specialists, and clinicians. As a combined entity, we must build and maintain the high-tech facilities that are needed to support both research and the delivery of state-of-the-art clinical care. Of equal importance will be the development of joint information stems to enable discovery, development application, and community health. Because we have invested in the infrastructure and environment to recruit and retain renowned basic scientists, we must do the same for clinical research specialists and clinicians. We have built a successful basic science enterprise. In order to reach the next level as a top academic health sciences center, it is essential to maintain that success while simultaneously building our clinical research efforts.
It is incumbent upon us to hire experienced senior faculty and clinicians to direct development of translational research while working aggressively to ensure continuity by retaining the best people already working with us. Finally, to ensure the required revenue streams, it will become increasingly important to enhance intellectual property as well as development connections with basic and clinical scientists.
Our research endeavors cannot be limited to the basic and clinical sciences, but must include efforts to evaluate and create with respect to health care delivery systems and financing. We seek to be an innovator in conceiving new models of health care delivery, which cannot be accomplished without a commitment to devote research time and resources to the design, testing, and evaluation of alternative models.
Scope of Translational Research Within the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science
The NIH Roadmap has reaffirmed the social contract implicit in the acceptance of NIH funding; namely, that the research community, in accepting taxpayer dollars, is obliged to be responsive to the needs of the U.S. population. In a similar manner, the community of UMass investigators, while retaining the prerogatives of academic freedom, nonetheless shares a responsibility to the citizens of the commonwealth to be responsive to their needs.
The NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) program is designed to enhance the beneficial impact that NIH-funded discovery has on the general public. In response to the call for CTSA applications, UMass has begun to construct a set of research and educational resources with the purpose of serving as a research home for clinical and translational researchers and of facilitating outreach to the community. This five-campus network will be known as the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS). Once actualized, the Center will facilitate the design, conduct, and analysis of patient- and population-oriented research and dissemination in all its forms. Also, it will serve as a home for education in the field of clinical investigation and will support faculty development in this area.
The underlying definition and scope of translational research within the UMass CCTS will include all efforts to enhance the impact of scholarly endeavors on benefiting the human condition. Thus, it will include, but not be limited to, the T1 (bench-to-bedside), T2 (bedsideto- community), and T3 (dissemination-topractice) realms.
The configuration of the CCTS reflects its fivecampus nature and the domains that must be served in order to be responsive to the CTSA RFA. All UMass faculty participating in any form of translational research, as defined above, will be eligible to become CCTS members and will be eligible to access core and educational resources at an on-campus fee rate. Also, they will be eligible to apply for pilot grant funding, to participate in an annual intercampus scientific meeting, and to share in certain common informatics and library resources.
We hope that CCTS will facilitate greater efficiency and productivity of UMass investigators across the five campuses, as each strives to make the greatest possible impact in translational research and the broader life sciences.
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The underlying definition and scope of translational research within the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science will include all efforts to enhance the impact of scholarly endeavors on benefiting the human condition. Thus, it will include, but not be limited to, the T1 (bench-to-bedside), T2 (bedside-to-community), and T3 (disseminationto- practice) realms.
Our priorities for translating discovery into practice are to:
- recruit and retain a cadre of outstanding leaders across the broad spectrum of clinical and translational research. We will prioritize recruitment of investigators in our four existing Centers of Excellence and other emerging areas of emphasis such as the neurosciences;
- build strong capabilities in clinical trials, population- and practice-based research, study design and analysis, medical informatics, and implementation science in the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences;
- develop research in emerging diagnostics and therapeutics through development of the bioinformatics program and the Advanced Therapeutics Cluster that will strive for the recruitment of superior scientists in RNA biology, gene therapy, and stem cell research;
- create a University-wide Center for Clinical and Translational Science as a vehicle to create a transformative, novel, and integrative academic home for clinical and translational science and core resources including an infrastructure for education and training, a data warehouse, and the Conquering Diseases Biorepository;
- maintain and augment our competitive edge as a world-class basic science enterprise by continuing to recruit and retain outstanding basic scientists while supporting and maintaining the basic science research infrastructure, i.e., state-of-the-art core facilities;
- develop research on new methods to ensure delivery of the highest quality efficient health care in order to change the way medical care is delivered in the future locally and globally; and
- actively participate in the University of Massachusetts five-campus Life Sciences Initiative.