The UofL and its Health Partners serve a highly diverse patient population, including many underrepresented and medical underserved groups. Our overall goals are to develop a collaborative clinical and translational research infrastructure across Kentucky and with partnering IDeA CTRs (Clinical and Translational Resources) and CTSAs (Clinical and Translational Science Awards) that will positively impact the health outcomes; and to develop an interactive professional development program that will create a pipeline for the next generation of clinical and translational investigators. We will achieve these goals through the following 4 Specific Aims:
- Expand and fully integrate the “academic home” for clinical and translational research (CTR). This academic home will provide a physical and intellectual home for investigators from multiple disciplines to interact and synergize. It will serve as an interaction hub for members of the community, academic and community physicians, industry, and foundations, to communicate and build alliances and IDeA-CTR collaborations. Our alliances now extend to a healthcare network across Kentucky (KentuckyOne) and across the U.S. (Catholic Health Initiatives-CHI). This CTSI/IDeA-CTR has an established governance structure to oversee and coordinate all aspects of the CTSI as well as to transcend intra- and inter-institutional boundaries.
- Create a multidisciplinary program in research training, education and career development, including utilizing advanced degrees to train the next generation of clinical and translational investigators. This mentoring program supports “Strategy to Optimize Success (SOS)” scholars and utilizes multiple other interdisciplinary training/mentoring programs created since obtaining a CTSA Planning grant in 2007 for diverse types of translational investigators. It focuses heavily on mentoring/career development. Mentoring teams have been developed as part of our education/mentoring program, with multiple interactions among translational investigators across UofL, including those in the schools of dentistry, nursing, public health, engineering, arts and sciences, social work, and basic sciences, as well as collaborating institutions other IDeA CTRs and CTSAs. A comprehensive pilot program will further support the development of these translational investigators.
- Develop Key Component Activities (KCA) that provide the necessary clinical research resources and translational technologies to create novel, clinical and translational research. A coordinated infrastructure of core research resources will be provided and regularly monitored for use and quality assurance. Important training relating to areas such as biostatistics, clinical trial design, and core translational tools, such as “omics” are critical components of our KCAs. These research resources will provide investigators, especially junior investigators, with “one stop shopping” for performing clinical research and accessing translational research technologies.
- Support community and academic scientists/educators to fully engage with the unique and highly diverse population of Kentucky in research, health care and medical advances to reduce chronic diseases and improve the overall health/well being of Kentuckians. Kentucky is unfortunate in that it leads the nation in many chronic diseases and in many environmentally related problems. Community clinicians and UofL serve a unique patient population. Our African-American, Hispanic, Appalachian, and indigent populations as well as those experiencing health disparities are large, and they are disproportionately afflicted with chronic diseases. Thus, the CTSI and community partners are uniquely well situated to perform clinical and translational research and positively impact health with multiple diverse/minority populations.