The Institute for Translational Sciences (ITS), established in 2009, is the academic home of UTMB’s Clinical Translational Sciences Award (CTSA), funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). Currently, more than 60 institutions are active members of the CTSA Consortium. These CTSA institutions work together to speed the translation of research discoveries into improved health by transforming the way biomedical research is conducted. Our programs are designed to train a new generation of clinical and translational researchers, engage stakeholders and communities in research, address barriers to clinical and translational research, and advance translational research through team-based approaches.
Aligned with the goals of our institution, the ITS seeks to facilitate translational research as a rigorous discipline, develop translational research training programs at all levels in the graduate continuum, effectively conduct basic science research, translate discoveries from the lab bench into clinical trials, bring these research findings into the community, and ultimately influence clinical practice and improve public health. Throughout these initiatives, we interface productively with the national CTSA consortium.
Main programs and initiatives in support of our translational research enterprise include:
- Team Science: We systematically support the formation, conduct, evaluation and translational outcome of our competitively selected multidisciplinary translational teams (MTTs). These collaborative teams develop, demonstrate, and disseminate innovative methods and technologies relevant to a broad range of diseases and conditions, including asthma, women’s health, addiction, obesity, diabetes, burns, and vaccine development. MTTs serve as exemplary learning environments for the next generation of translational investigators. Additionally, we develop scholarship in the field of team science and team leadership, and we seek to promote best practices in collaborative research.
- Enhancing Research: We offer numerous resources for enhancing and streamlining the clinical research process. In addition to our educational programs, multidisciplinary collaborations of scientists, and support throughout all stages of the translational research process, our programs include:
- Clinical Research Center: The Clinical Research Center is a comprehensive physical facility and laboratory space that focuses on accelerating discoveries to improve health. As an optimal, cost-effective setting for Phase I and II clinical trials, its services include: bionutrition consulting, an experienced team of research nurses, state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, and clinical research training programs.
- Clinical Trials Studio: The Clinical Trials Studio is an initiative supported by a multidisciplinary team of accomplished clinical trialists who assist UTMB investigators with beginning and refining their clinical trials. It assists researchers at any career level, and it provides feedback on trials at any stage of development.
- TREx: The Translational Research and Entrepreneurial eXploration (TREx) program facilitates technology development and commercialization at UTMB by supporting investigators through technology management tools, intellectual property assistance, mentorship, and funding.
- Engaging Communities: Our programs facilitate research recruitment, increase involvement of special populations in clinical trials, and enhance communication of research findings to the public and stakeholders. We strongly support bidirectional communication among stakeholders and scientific literacy within the public via initiatives like the REACH public/private coalition, our SCI Café public discussion series, and our Bench tutorial program for young scientists.
- Education: We support and provide resources to graduate and medical students, research fellows, junior and senior faculty, physicians and nurses, investigators, and all involved in research teams. The ITS supports degree and certificate programs, including: a PhD in Human Pathophysiology and Translational Medicine, a Master in Medical Science, a PhD or MS in Clinical Science, and various post-doctoral and pre-doctoral certificates in translational research. Additionally, through diverse mentorship and development programs, we aim to encourage junior investigators to pursue clinical and translational research.
The ITS provides access to its resources through a single point of contact and is governed by an NIH-style Executive Committee, as well as Internal and External Advisory Committees.
Citing the ITS:
All publications resulting from research using any ITS resource, including the Clinical Trials Studio, the Clinical Research Center, or pilot funding, should cite the ITS CTSA grant as a source of support. Please include the following citation when publishing articles:
"This study was conducted with the support of the Institute for Translational Sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch, supported in part by a Clinical and Translational Science Award (UL1 TR001439) from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health."
We appreciate your cooperation in acknowledging the ITS’s support of your published research.