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Public Health Burden
Delivering new and effective treatments and disease prevention approaches to improve the nation’s health depends on a research continuum that efficiently translates basic biomedical research findings into clinical practice. The NIH supports programs for bringing basic research discoveries to human studies, optimizing the conduct of clinical research, and facilitating the transfer of new knowledge into clinical and community practice. For example, the Clinical and Translational Science Award program is geared specifically towards enhancing translational research at biomedical institutions throughout the United States.

Biomedical Technologies
Biomedical technologies enhance the full spectrum of translational biomedical research, from bench to bedside.
  • The Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Structural Biology Resource will support collaborations with: the Stanford and Scripps Clinical and Translational Science Centers, University of California, San Francisco and Exelixis Inc., to develop an automated high throughput drug discovery pipeline. This new technology can identify chemical components that bind to drug targets and may be the basis for a new drug. The project includes specific applications to HIV and cancer targets.1
  • Researchers at the Proteomics Resource for Integrative Biology at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Oregon will work on duplicating the prototype next-generation platform for ultra-high throughput (thousands of samples per month) proteomics.  This will be implemented by utilizing resources that are part of the Oregon Clinical Translational Science Award for high throughput sample preparation and data analysis systems to be used for the first broad population-based mass spectrometry-based biomarker discovery experiment in a very large, well characterized study population (n>5000).2
Discovery Phase of Translational Research
The discovery or early phase of translational research is a continuum of scientific endeavors that starts with fundamental laboratory discoveries that move to the preclinical development of studies to be conducted in humans.
  • The West Virginia Institutional Development Award Network of Biomedical Research Excellence will study health risks, including obesity, affecting the Appalachian region to identify biomarkers that can be used either to predict future cardiovascular risk or as future therapeutic targets.3
  • The Center for Colon Cancer Research at the University of South Carolina will isolate and characterize cancer specific stem cells, determine how tissue around the stem cells affects their growth, and determine the sensitivity of cancer cells to 5-fluorouracil, an anti-cancer drug.4
  • The Research Center for Study of Gene Structure and Function at Hunter College of the City University of New York will use functional magnetic resonance imaging to study psychiatric disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and autism.5
Pre-Clinicial Research Using Animal Models
Non-human primates (NHPs) are closest to humans in regard to physiology and genetics. NHP models of human disease are often critical components of T1 translational research and can be integral to the design of human clinical trials.
  • The Washington National Primate Research Center (NPRC) will develop pilot projects specifically targeted to systems biology approaches to solve human infectious disease problems using non-human primates.6
  • The Yerkes NPRC will examine genome-wide mRNA and microRNA expression in a monkey model of Huntington’s disease. This research is expected to result in the development of biomarkers in blood that can be used in clinical studies of human Huntington’s disease.7
  • The New England NPRC, in collaboration with the Harvard University Clinical Translational Science Center, will develop new NHP models aimed at understanding the relationship between common metabolic disturbances that occur prior to the development of type 2 diabetes and age-associated cognitive decline.8
  • Collaborators in the department of Pathobiology at the University of Washington will conduct translational research activities in monkeys that include point-of-care diagnostics and the development of assays to follow herpes virus infection, latency, and reactivation.9,10
Clinical Studies/Clinical Trials
Clinical research is patient oriented and involves clinical trials with human subjects. Clinical trials are the best method for determining interventions that are safe and effective in people as well as identifying side-effects or other complications.
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at the Houston Center for Clinical and Translational Science will accelerate progress in clinical research through a program that transfers novel personalized cancer treatments into clinical practice.11
  • Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania will study the genomic basis underlying individual differences that result in side-effects from medication. The study specifically aims to understand why COX-2 inhibitors, such as Vioxx and Celebrex, drugs used to reduce inflammation, have the unwanted side-effect of causing cardiac complications in certain individuals.12
  • Louisiana State University - Tulane, Center for Experimental Infectious Disease Research will examine the impact of a low carbohydrate diet as compared to the currently recommended low fat diet, on cardiovascular disease risk factors in obese subjects with and without hypertension.13

  1. 3P41RR001209-30S1 -- Synchrotron Radiation Structural Biology Resource -- Hodgson, Keith (CA)
  2. 3P41RR018522 -A Proteomics Research Resource for Integrative Biology -- Smith, Richard (OR)
  3. 3P20RR016477-09S1 - West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence -- Rankin, Gary (WV)
  4. 3P20RR017698-08S1 - Center for Colon Cancer Research -- Berger, Franklin (SC)
  5. 3G12RR003037-25S2 -- Research Center for Study of Gene Structure and Function -- Raab, Jennifer (NY)
  6. 3P51RR000166-48S1 -- Washington National Primate Research Center -- Somerman, Martha (WA)
  7. 3R24RR018827-05A1S1 -- Establishment Of A Transgenic Monkey Model Of Huntington’s Disease -- Chan, Anthony (GA)
  8. 3P51RR000168-48S2 -- New England National Primate Research Center -- Flier, Jeffrey (MA)
  9. 3R24RR021346-04S1 -- CODEHOP: Unique Web-Based Technology for Gene Discovery -- Rose, Timothy (WA)
  10. 3R24RR023343-03S1 -- Herpesvirus Latency and Reactivation in Macaque Models of Human Disease -- Rose, Timothy (WA)
  11. 3UL1RR024148-04S1 -- University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston -- McPherson, David (TX)
  12. 3UL1RR024134-04S1 -- Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award University of Pennsylvania -- Fitzgerald, Garrett (PA)
  13. 3P20RR017659-08S1 -- Tulane COBRE in Hypertension and Renal Biology -- Navar, Luis Gabriel (LA)

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