Research gets a $24 million boost
For the third time in 10 years, UT Health San Antonio has garnered highly competitive National Institutes of Health grants to speed the translation of research discovery into improved patient care.
The university will receive $24 million over the next five years under the Clinical and Translational Science Award Program. The university is a CTSA Program hub and collaborates with eight regional partners, including University Health System, San Antonio Military Health System and The University of Texas at San Antonio.
“This is an enthusiastic vote of confidence in our institution’s ability to affect the future,” said William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of UT Health San Antonio. “We are proud of our track record of accomplishment in advancing community health.”
The program will bring cutting-edge treatments to San Antonio in new clinical trials to affect the most complicated illnesses, said Robert A. Hromas, M.D., FACP, dean of the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs.
“This CTSA Program funding emphasizes maintaining the health of our communities and not just the treatment of illness,” he said.
It will also enable the university to compete for other research awards open only to CTSA institutions, said Andrea Giuffrida, Ph.D., vice president for research and professor of pharmacology.
UT Health San Antonio received its first CTSA designation in 2008 and repeated in 2013.
“We compete with many other prestigious institutions for this funding,” said Robert A. Clark, M.D., MACP, director of the Institute for Integration of Medicine and Science, which administers the CTSA Program at UT Health
San Antonio. “There are only approximately 60 of these CTSA Program hubs throughout the nation, and it’s all the best places.”
Moreover, the university is one of only 43 academic medical centers to function as a CTSA Program hub while at the same time meeting the needs of patients and families through medical practices, including the UT Health San Antonio Physicians practice and the Mays Cancer Center, the newly named home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center.
CTSA funding does not focus on research of a specific disease but is very broad-based, Dr. Clark said. It supports pilot projects in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, regenerative medicine, aging, neuroscience and a plethora of other areas. Pilot projects are funded based on their potential to mature into major research investigations that can benefit humanity.