The national commitment to clinical and translational research, as evidenced by NIH support for the CTSA program, is strong and growing. The vision of an efficient research infrastructure that rapidly harvests new knowledge, methods and candidate therapeutics to move them rapidly into clinical testing and then into widespread practice remains fundamental to the NIH Roadmap. The optimal means to that end, however, remain to some extent a grand experiment of program management and organizational interactions on a national scale that is without precedent. The NCRR-funded CTSA sites provide the homes for clinical and translational research nationally, supporting thousands of studies and tens of thousands of researchers investigating human health. Collectively, the CTSA consortium represents a new network paradigm that includes a potentially changeable group of academic health centers subject to periodic re-competition, which work with NIH program management structures that are also subject to change. Yet, the consortium has tremendous potential to impact improve human health by transforming the research and training environment to enhance the efficiency and quality of clinical and translational research. A forward-looking Coordinating Center which shares the vision of CTSA awardee institutions and supports the CTSA administratively and organizationally in a proactive 'customer-friendly'way is arguably the single most important missing component that will enable the consortium to fully realize its potential and mission as the science, the economy, and technologies change and evolve. To meet the specific objectives of the RFA ~ enabling collaboration, enhancing communication and outreach, coordinating and providing administrative support - we will: (1) Create a highly visible and accessible national home for the CTSA including web portal (2) Provide meeting/communications/project management and orchestrate consortium output;(3) Organize the consortium's networking resources;and (4) Create and disseminate software (e.g. REDCap) and other tools that support translational research.
The CTSA consortium has tremendous potential to impact improve human health. A supportive, proven Coordinating Center which supports the CTSA administratively and organizationally in a 'customer-friendly' manner will enable the consortium to fully realize it's potential. The CC will enable collaboration, enhance communication and outreach, coordinate the network, and provide administrative support.