The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) has established the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science (IIMS) as the home for our Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). Our mission is to achieve optimal integration of clinical and translational research, education, training, and career development across all UTHSCSA schools and among our partner organizations in the South Texas region. IIMS will focus existing and newly developing resources and intellectual capital on advancing the discipline of clinical and translational research for the improvement of human health. Meaningful bidirectional community participation has promoted buy-in from all stakeholders and will remain a key principle as IIMS continues to evolve. IIMS partners have brought together major talent and a broad array of resources to create synergies that add value to all participating organizations, residents of our region and the CTSA network. Key function working groups have developed many innovative approaches to providing optimal support for IIMS investigators and programs. Distinctive features of IIMS include: 1) thriving partnerships with key public and private organizations (academic, health care, public health, military), 2) major investments in research resources and infrastructure, 3) the largest cadre of military health care and biomedical research operations in the US, 4) one of the world's largest primate research colonies, 5) a 46,000 square mile service area populated by predominantly Hispanic residents comprising some of the country's poorest people, plagued by high rates of health disparities, providing an opportunity, challenge and obligation for us to make a significant impact on human health. Within the context of our collective resources, community focus, and unique regional demographics, we have identified four Specific Aims as the core elements of our CTSA application:
Aim 1 - To support transformative clinical and translational research by providing a comprehensive infrastructure integrated effectively among our partners for the creation of multidisciplinary clinical research teams;
Aim 2 - To create the optimal intellectual environment and nurturing atmosphere necessary for the training of future clinical and translational career investigators, building upon existing strengths, partnerships, a diverse trainee pool and strong faculty dedication to mentoring;
Aim 3 - To develop community-based models that address the best means for translating research findings, focusing on our unique population-specific risk factors, disease burdens and health disparities;
Aim 4 - To implement robust tracking and outcome evaluation systems across all IIMS programs. The mission of IIMS is sharply focused on public health. Indeed, our primary vision is to work closely with all partners to translate the results of our academic and community-based research for the direct benefit of our regional population.