The CTSA has transformed UT Southwestern's clinical research and education infrastructures in a mere 3.5 years. The UT Southwestern Clinical and Translational Alliance for Research (UT-STAR) CTSA will build on this foundation and make further transformative changes to improve and accelerate the pace at which biomedical discoveries are translated to positively impact the health of North and Central Texas and our nation. Our bold approaches will be based on the following new goals: 1) Catalyze translation by broadening the scope, depth and quality of all key functions. These include establishing an alliance of the UT-STAR leadership across the entire T1-T4 spectrum of translational science; creating a new Phase I Clinical Trials program; deploying integrated information technology platforms to enable large-scale clinical trials, comparative effectiveness research (CER) and population- and community-based studies; revolutionizing our Clinical and Translational Research Center by incorporating the Dallas Heart Study infrastructure and database, creating new blood and tissue biobanks, and implementing more effective strategies to increase participation of underserved populations including children and underrepresented minorities in clinical and translational research; 2) Train translational scientists by developing new education programs for Clinical Research Scholars and MSc degree candidates that include an innovative Tl/Phase I Trials training track and expanded instruction in CER and community engagement research. We will also extend MSc-level training in Clinical Sciences to translational PhD students enrolled in our Howard Hughes Medical Institute-supported Med to Grad program; 3) Stimulate innovation in Translational Science by establishing a 'real time' repository of potential research participants for large-scale clinical trials (T2), using emerging digital technologies to improve research communication, novel imaging technologies to advance phenotyping of common diseases including cancer, cardiovascular and neuropsychiatric illnesses, and developing a large community-based blood bank program to launch new studies in CER (T3) and population science (T4); and 4) Advance community-engaged research by establishing new partnerships with both urban and rural communities to enhance fair and equitable opportunities for community members' participation in research; deploying electronic medical record systems to engender: a) participation of underrepresented minorities in community-based participatory research and b) interactions with local practitioners to build confidence and relationships that facilitate recruitment into research studies.
Improving the health of our nation requires a concerted effort by medical scientists, health care providers and public health policymakers. This grant application will provide the crucial infrastructure necessary for medical scientists to discover and apply new diagnostics and therapeutics for the detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease, and thereby achieve the goal of improving our nation's health in a safe, ethical and responsible manner that ensures the individual's well-being and the public's trust.
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