The Louisiana Clinical and Translational Science (LA CaTS) Center, with Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as the lead institution, will have at its mission to "encourage, support, and expand clinical and translational research through partnerships both among researchers and with the people we serve". As a primary objective, the LA CaTS Center intends to build upon the structure of our COBREs and INBREs of the state and to involve the COBRE/INBRE investigators in every key component activity of the Center. To accomplish our goals, the Center will have close collaboration with the major academic, research and health care delivery institutions of Louisiana, and the primary collaborating institutions are LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Tulane University Health Sciences Center and LSU Health Care Services Division (hospitals and clinics). The LA CaTS Center plans to achieve the following Specific Aims: 1) Create a collaborative infrastructure for clinical and translational research both within and across participating institutions;2) increase the critical mass of investigators performing clinical and translational research;and 3) Improve and sustain bi-directional relationships with our communities. To achieve these aims, the LA CaTS Center identifies 9 Key Component Activities: Pilot Grants Program;Education, Mentoring and Career Development Core;Design Epidemiology and Biostatistics Core;Clinical Research Resources;Community Engagement and Outreach Resource;Biomedical Informatics Core;Ethics and Regulatory Knowledge Resource;Health Literacy Core;and Communications Core. The LA CaTS Center harnesses the existing strengths in clinical research in the Gulf Coast region into a vital, growing enterprise, capable of, and committed to, addressing the region's unique health problems. Systems already in use at Pennington Biomedical Research Center serve as a template for all LA CaTS Center Clinical Research Offices (CROs), giving us the advantage of a uniform, systematic approach and a magnified potential for regional and state-wide efforts to serve our population. The LA CaTS Center will also partner with another IDeA state, South Carolina, specifically from the fact that South Carolina shares similar health care issues with Louisiana, has similar socio-economic conditions, and that our institutions have a record of successful collaborative efforts.
The LA CaTS Center will promote training and enhance clinical and translational research to with the following being major areas of research focus: 1) nutrition and chronic disease, 2) health disparities, 3) preventative approaches to health, including vaccine development. The theme of the LA CaTS Center is prevention, care and research of chronic diseases in the underserved population.
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