Statewide Bioscience Group Awarded NIH Planning Grant

Grant lays groundwork for a statewide application for a multi-million dollar Clinical and Translational Science Award

Phoenix, AZ, October 12, 2006--Arizona has received a planning grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support a statewide program to foster innovative multi-institutional partnerships to increase patient access to new medical breakthroughs. If the planning process is successful, Arizona will pursue a multi-million dollar Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA). This prestigious and competitive grant from the NIH is designed to further develop statewide collaborations, programs, and research projects focused on translational science.

Co-principal investigators for the grant are TGen's Scientific Director, Dr. Jeffrey Trent, and Dr. Keith Joiner, Dean of The University of Arizona College of Medicine. They are joined on the grant's Executive Committee by Dr. George Poste, Director of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, and Dr. Vicki Chandler, Director of the Bio5 Institute at The University of Arizona.

"The impact that the CTSA funding could have on Arizona is immense," said Dr. Joiner. "It has the potential to generate new partnerships and spur innovative research efforts across the state with far-reaching implications on developing new therapies for patients."

In addition to receiving the top score out of all applicants, Arizona was the only state to secure a planning grant.

The purpose of the national CTSA program is to assist institutions to create a uniquely transformative, novel, and integrative academic setting to conduct clinical and translational research. The program also provides resources to train investigators and give them access to innovative research tools and apply them to patient care.

"This planning grant is the first step for Arizona to receive a CTSA," said Dr. Trent. "It is remarkable the number of individual groups across Arizona that are part of this-including universities, research institutes and health care providers. This level of interaction and interface is simply remarkable and adds to the power of our potential."

The CTSA initiative grew out of the NIH commitment to re-engineer the clinical research enterprise, one of the key objectives of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. The program begins with a consortium of 12 academic health centers located throughout the nation, including the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, which received a $72 million CTSA grant last week. An additional 52 centers, including Arizona's bioscience group, are in the process of receiving planning grants to help them prepare applications to join the consortium. When fully implemented in 2012, the initiative is expected to provide a total of $500 million annually to 60 academic health centers.

"Arizona will use the CTSA grant to build upon existing programs in basic research and translational science to improve outcomes for patients across Arizona and the entire medical community," said John Murphy, president and CEO of the Flinn Foundation. "The grant will allow Arizona's medical school, research institutes, and principal teaching hospitals to join forces in serving patients and training a new generation of investigators in interdisciplinary clinical research."

Participating institutions include:
Arizona State University
Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University
Banner Health
Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
Critical Path Institute
Flinn Foundation
Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genomica
Maricopa Integrated Health System
Phoenix Children's Hospital
Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch, NIDDK
Phoenix Indian Medical Center, Indian Health Service
Scottsdale Healthcare
Southern Arizona VA Health Care System
St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center
Sun Health Research Institute
Translational Genomics Research Institute
University of Arizona
University of Arizona BIO5 Institute
University of Arizona Cancer Center
University Physicians Healthcare Hospital at Kino Campus

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Media Contacts:
Amy Erickson, TGen

George Humphrey, The University of Arizona
Katie Riley

Kimberly Ovitt, The Biodesign Institute at ASU

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