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Acad Med. 2009 Apr;84(4):424-32. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31819a7d81.

Clinical and Translational Science Awards: can they increase the efficiency and speed of clinical and translational research?

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  • 1Division of Outcomes and Effectiveness Research, Department of Public Health, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA. cah2021@med.cornell.edu

Abstract

Most agree that the recent decades-long boom in biomedical research discoveries has not had a sufficient effect on the public's health. To overcome some of the barriers to speeding clinical and translational (C/T) research, the National Institutes of Health has established the Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). To explore whether the CTSA proposal addresses major C/T barriers and whether funded institutions offer adequate solutions, the authors reviewed the obstacles to C/T research described in the literature and examined the completeness of the solutions offered by the 12 initial CTSA awardees. Through an analysis of the literature, the authors categorized C/T barriers into three categories (research workforce, research operations, and organizational silos). They then analyzed each CTSA proposal regarding the types of programs offered to address these barriers. They found that, in general, institutions developed detailed programs to address research workforce and research operations barriers but had limited to no solutions for organizational silos. The authors suggest that differences in how barriers are addressed are consistent with the degree of control that CTSA centers have over these obstacles and solutions. They argue that although CTSA centers might have an important role in successfully addressing some of the barriers to C/T research, CTSA centers might ultimately have difficulties achieving their purported goal of facilitating and increasing the efficiency and speed of C/T research because of a lack of control over solutions to some important obstacles facing such research.

PMID:
19318771
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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