For Immediate Release
July 14, 2010
Karen Mallet - Georgetown University
Ron Harris - Howard University
University Medical Center and Howard University
$38 Million NIH Grant to Form Center for Clinical and Translational
be named Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical & Translational
WASHINGTON -- In support of
a critical partnership between Georgetown University Medical Center
and Howard University, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded
a $38 million Clinical and Translational Sciences Award to aid the universities’
effort to transform health care and preventive practices in communities
through medical discoveries made in laboratories and clinical settings.
The two Washington institutions
will form the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and
Translational Science (GHUCCTS). The $38.2 million grant
will be provided to the universities over five years, beginning July
As part of the GHUCCTS, researchers
will collaborate with MedStar Health/MedStar Health Research Institute. in Hyattsville, Md., Oak Ridge National
Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and the Washington DC Veteran's Affairs
Medical Center to form one of the nation’s largest biomedical and
clinical research networks.
The Center will be led jointly
by Joseph Verbalis, MD, professor of medicine and chief of the Division
of Endocrinology and Metabolism at Georgetown, and Thomas Mellman, MD,
professor of psychiatry and associate dean for clinical and translational
research at Howard. They will serve as principal investigators.
Additional staff and faculty
from each of the collaborating institutions will also contribute to
the leadership of the Center. The grant will support 109 positions,
including faculty, research staff, administration and nursing.
“The GHUCCTS underscores
our commitment not only to excellent biomedical research, but to rapidly
translating research findings that can impact our broader community,”
says Howard J. Federoff, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President for Health
Sciences at Georgetown University Medical Center and Executive Dean
of its School of Medicine. “This highly collaborative network
will make significant contributions to scientific knowledge and should
impact human health by better informing our decisions about prevention,
diagnosis and treatment of a variety of diseases.”
“The GHUCCTS extends Howard
University Health Sciences’ commitment to research that addresses
the disparities that affect diverse and underserved populations,”
says Robert E. Taylor, MD, PhD, dean of the College of Medicine at Howard
University and professor of pharmacology, medicine and psychiatry.
“It also provides a vehicle for further integrating research with
the educational and service missions of our institution.”
“The collaboration of multiple
major teaching hospitals in the Washington, DC area will create one
of the largest clinical research networks in the country, says Verbalis
of Georgetown. “We will creatively combine considerable institutional
strengths and talents in ways to enable the application of a larger
breadth of resources for clinical and translational research than are
available at each of our individual institutions.”
The Center builds on long-standing
relationships between Howard and Georgetown, and incorporates respective
strengths of both institutions, Mellman says.
“We’ve also partnered with
three strong collaborators to create an unprecedented research partnership,”
he says. “It is our expectation the Center will stimulate significant
scientific discoveries that will provide health benefits to the diverse
communities of the Washington metropolitan area and the nation.”
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes
Norton (D-DC), a long-standing advocate for the health care needs of
District residents, says the new Center allows physicians and researchers
to effectively address issues of those who historically have been underserved.
“This vital collaboration
between Georgetown University and Howard University is unique in its
deliberate and thoughtful focus on clinically important research that
will directly impact underserved populations in the District including
minorities, the aged and disabled,” she says.
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
a program of the U.S. Department of Energy, is a science and technology
laboratory. Oak Ridge is home to the world’s premier center
for high performance supercomputing to enable scientific discovery.
Oak Ridge’s partnership with the GHUCCTS will offer unparalleled opportunity
in high speed high volume computing to develop novel translational methodologies
in drug discovery and genome-environment interactions.
MedStar Health is a
not-for-profit community-based healthcare organization based in the
Baltimore/Washington, DC area and is the largest healthcare system in
the mid-Atlantic region. With a network of nine hospitals, seven
of which are teaching hospitals, and 20 other healthcare businesses
throughout the region, its collaboration with the GHUCCTS will transform
one of the largest healthcare networks in the mid-Atlantic region into
one of the largest clinical research networks in the country. MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health,
which has facilitated biomedical research for the NIH and other federal
agencies for 39 years, with a track record of conducting research in
underserved communities. In addition, MedStar Health Research
a long-standing program of outstanding biomedical-epidemiologic investigations
particularly in cardiovascular disease in underserved and understudied
populations throughout the country.
The Washington DC Veteran’s
Affairs Medical Center is a tertiary care teaching facility that
provides acute general and specialized services in medicine, surgery,
neurology and psychiatry. The Medical Center brings to the GHUCCTS
well-established strengths in clinical research, particularly in areas
related to aging, rehabilitation and recovery from trauma, state-of-the-art
electronic medical record systems and collaborative ties to other Veteran’s
Center for Clinical and Translational Science Aims
The goal of translational science
is to translate laboratory findings into the clinic to benefit patients.
One of the aims of the GHUCCTS is to accelerate improvements in human
health through innovative and multidisciplinary research. The Center
will also stimulate clinical and translational research with underserved
populations, in the Washington region and nationally, prominently including
minorities, the aged and the disabled.
“The Novel Translational
Methodologies component of the Center will connect clinical investigators
with collaborators at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in order to apply
state-of-the-art technology in supercomputing, nanotechnology, genetics
and particle science to medical problems in a manner that will greatly
enhance new applications that can be quickly translated into medical
practice for the improvement of people’s health,” says Verbalis.
The Community Engagement and
Research component of the Center will ensure community input into research
priorities and representation of minority groups in our clinical research
studies, thereby ensuring the validity and relevance of our results
to our communities, Mellman says.
“This will help our institutions
and our community in the Washington area benefit from the generation
and application of new discoveries in clinical and translational science,”
Another major component of
the Center is the career support of clinical and translational investigators
through education and mentorship. GHUCCTS institutions will be accompanied
by a strong research education, training and career development program
that will prepare a new generation of researchers. These programs include
a new Clinical and Translational Scholars K12 program and a new master’s
degree program in clinical and translational science.
The Center’s innovative SOAR-Health
program will increase the participation of underrepresented minority
trainees in clinical and translational research through engagement,
recruitment, and training of well-qualified college undergraduates and
pre-doctoral students in an innovative specialized summer program.
“We will offer a much wider
spectrum of courses, degrees and training opportunities via innovative
distance-learning and web-based techniques in clinical and translational
research to a greater pool of young investigators and health professions
students than would be possible at individual institutions,” says
More information about Clinical
and Translational Sciences Awards can be found at www.CTSAweb.org.
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, students pursue studies in more than 120 academic
areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since
1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars,
21 Fulbright Scholars and 10 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces
more on-campus African-American Ph.D.s than any other university in
the world. For more information about Howard University, call 202-238-2330,
or visit the University's Web site at www.howard.edu.
About Georgetown University
Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC) is an internationally recognized
academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching
and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried
out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the
Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis -- or "care of the
whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine
and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked,
the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical
Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), home to 60 percent of the university’s
sponsored research funding.