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AAMC Suggests Enhancements to NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awards

April 13, 2012—In an April 6 comment letter , the AAMC recommended the National Institutes of Health (NIH) create new incentives for developing networks within institutions that receive Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs), including community-based medical schools and other organizations.  This recommendation was among several made by AAMC in response to a request for information from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) on ways to enhance the CTSA program [see Washington Highlights, March 9]. 

The comment letter states AAMC’s support for the original aims of the CTSA program, and calls for NCATS to incentivize creation of new networks among institutions, including some academic institutions outside the current CTSA consortia.  AAMC Chief Scientific Officer Ann Bonham, Ph.D., wrote, “Capitalizing on comparative advantages found at diverse institutions is in the best interest of science and makes economic sense.”  The AAMC also recommended that the CTSAs recognize inherent differences in expertise and focus among CTSA awardees, and not try to make each consortium replicate the same strengths as others.  The AAMC also stressed the importance of integrating training and career development for new clinical and translational scientists within the consortia. 

Management of the CTSA program, which currently includes 61 consortia centered mostly at academic medical centers, was transferred to NCATS when that center was officially established in December 2011.


Stephen Heinig
Director, Science Policy
Telephone: 202-828-0488


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