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Policy

Translational Program At NIH Gets Good Review

by Britt E. Erickson
July 1, 2013 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 91, ISSUE 26

NIH’s program aimed at translating scientific discoveries into clinical therapies is a worthwhile investment, concludes a report from the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine (IOM). But the program would be more effective if all institutions funded under it worked together as a tightly integrated network, says the report, which was released last week. The program, called the Clinical & Translational Science Awards, was created in 2006 to provide training and research support for academic medical centers to move forward with promising therapeutics. The effort has grown from 12 initial sites to 61 today. Each award is funded through five-year agreements, with budgets ranging from $4 million to $23 million annually. NIH’s budget for the program in fiscal 2012 was $461 million. Since 2011, the program has been managed by NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). The IOM report recommends that NCATS strengthen the program’s leadership and streamline its governance, as well as increase collaboration across and beyond the 61 sites.

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