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NCATS Announces Changes to CTSA Program

September 26, 2014— The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Sept. 19 held an Advisory Council meeting to discuss changes to the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program, among other items.

NCATS is focused on facilitating a pipeline of discoveries made in the laboratory and clinic into the development of new health interventions. A central component of its research mission is carried out through the CTSA program, which is a consortium of medical research institutions across the nation.

NCATS Director Christopher Austin, M.D., along with staff, described the center’s overhaul of the CTSA program following the Institute of Medicine (IOM)’s June 2013 review. Changes to the program’s funding opportunity announcements include an increased emphasis on patient and community engagement, and a need for more collaboration among CTSA hubs.

At the meeting, NCATS Clinical Innovation Director Petra Kaufmann, M.D., M.Sc., outlined the development of two different centers to streamline processes for clinical trials, including a Clinical Trial Support Center (CT-SC) and a Clinical Trial Recruitment Center (CT-RC). The CT-SC would focus on central institutional review boards (IRB) for multi-site trials, and the CT-RC on recruitment planning and support, specifically utilizing electronic health records (EHRs) to understand target populations and assist in patient outreach.

Meanwhile, NCATS Sept. 18 released a new CTSA request for applications, which will be accepted through Jan. 15, 2015, and the next NCATS Advisory Council meeting will be held in January 2015. 


Anurupa Dev, Ph.D.
Lead Specialist, Science Policy
Telephone: 202-862-6048

Irena Tartakovsky, M.D.
Director, Constituent Engagement
Telephone: 202-862-6134


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806