Clinical and translational research

UD-led team awarded $25 million to support research infrastructure development

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9:41 a.m., Oct. 2, 2013--The University of Delaware, along with partners Christiana Care Health System, Nemours/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children (Nemours), and the Medical University of South Carolina, has received $25 million to support the growth of clinical and translational research over the next five years. The total includes almost $20 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $5 million from the state of Delaware, with an additional $3.3 million in matching funds provided by the four participating institutions.

The new program, called Delaware-CTR ACCEL, will be led by Stuart Binder-Macleod, associate vice provost for clinical and translational research at UD. The program executive committee includes members from each of the participating institutions: Thomas Buchanan, director of the Delaware Rehabilitation Institute at UD; William S. Weintraub, chair of cardiology at Christiana Care; Julia S. Barthold, associate chief of urology at Nemours; and Steven Kautz, professor and chair of the Department of Health Sciences and Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. Buchanan is also the program coordinator for the project.

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The NIH funding is provided via the IDeA (Institutional Development Award) program, which builds research capacities in states that historically have had low levels of NIH funding by supporting basic, clinical and translational research; mentoring, education and faculty development; and infrastructure improvements.

“The CTR grant builds on the partnerships established through the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance over the past four years and has the same goal — to build the pipeline from basic discovery to clinical practice,” said Kathleen Matt, dean of the UD College of Health Sciences and executive director of DHSA. “By enhancing our ability to compete for large interdisciplinary grants across institutions, these programs and alliances provide the foundation for research that has tremendous potential to impact human health.”

The program includes a number of key components to support the growth of this infrastructure, including pilot grants, education and mentoring, clinical research design, recruitment of mid-career professionals, and community engagement.

“This is really a comprehensive package that will facilitate the growth of clinical and translational research in both Delaware and South Carolina,” said Binder-Macleod, who is also Edward L. Ratledge Professor and chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at UD.  “All of these components are aimed at developing the infrastructure and human resources for investigators to collaborate and successfully compete for funding in the future.” 

In his new appointment as associate vice provost for clinical translational research, Binder-MacLeod will report to vice provost for research Charlie Riordan and will work with faculty, staff and administrators to advance clinical and translational research across campus and UD’s partner institutions.

“The awarding of the CTR grant by NIH represents an important next step in building the biomedical research infrastructure in the state of Delaware,” said Riordan. “I look forward to the enhanced collaborations with our state clinical partners, Christiana Care and Nemours, and with our newest strategic partner, the Medical University of South Carolina. This partnership will help us grow the clinical and translational expertise in Delaware, as well as enhance the health of Delawareans through community engagement and outreach.”

Article by Diane Kukich

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