Last fall the National Institutes of Health announced a bold new initiative, the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), that promises to change the conditions under which medical research receives federal funding in this country.
Below are some excerpts from an article that explains the vision behind this new initiative. The article appeared in the October 13, 2005, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. (Read the full article.)
We now aim to stimulate the development of a brighter vision for translational and clinical research, to ensure that these disciplines remain powerful engines of creativity. We offer the opportunity for change to those who share a vision and commitment to innovation and experimentation. As the world’s largest public funding agent for clinical research, the NIH has the responsibility to work toward dissolving the artificial barriers that inevitably spring up in any large organization. We persevere in our determination to provide opportunities for the research community and to challenge the status quo in transformative ways, through a “bottom-up” consultative approach. …
It is our intention and hope that this focused and significant commitment to the creation of a new, vital, and reinforced academic discipline and home for translational and clinical science will ensure that extraordinary scientific advances of the past decade will be rapidly captured, translated, and disseminated for the benefit of all Americans.
— Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.
Director, National Institutes of Health