Lab to LifeAgain

Lab to Life-Again

Case Western Reserve’s partnership with area health care providers recently won a $64.6 million federal grant to continue the collaboration.

Officially known as a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), the grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) aims to accelerate the process of making medical discoveries and then taking them to patients. Case Western Reserve led the cooperative effort that first earned the prestigious CTSA in 2007, and then rallied institutions to submit a grant renewal last summer. The first award totaled $64 million, while this one, also for five years, totaled $600,000 more.

“Five years ago Cleveland’s leading biomedical institutions came together in an unprecedented partnership that put improved health at the center of everything we do,” says School of Medicine Dean Pamela B. Davis, MD, PhD, the grant’s principal investigator. “With this new award, the National Institutes of Health sent a powerful message to all of us: Keep up the good work.”

In addition to Case Western Reserve, the partnership includes Cleveland Clinic, the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center, MetroHealth and University Hospitals Case Medical Center. During the first grant period, more than 1,300 scientists and physicians participated in CTSA activities, and their efforts attracted another $150 million in additional grant funding and $740 million in private sector investment. Initiatives ranged from comprehensive mentoring programs to help junior scholars learn how to secure initial funding, extensive neighborhood outreach to promote healthier eating and activity, and focused efforts to bring breakthroughs to market much more quickly.

“At that time, none of us knew for sure how this attempt at cooperation actually would work in practice,” says Richard A. Rudick, MD, vice chair of the Neurological Institute at Cleveland Clinic, who serves as the effort’s co-principal investigator. “But what we found over time was that our shared commitment to work together to advance the health of all patients in our region has driven scientists and investigators in the partner institutions to overcome barriers. Progress has exceeded all expectations. It’s been an honor to work on a project that brings our amazing health care institutions together on behalf of our community.”