University of Maryland Newsdesk.www.newsdesk.umd.edu
For Immediate Release
UM in Consortium Seeking NIH Grant to Advance Health Research in DC Area
The consortium, known as the Washington Regional Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences (WRICTS), will create a "home without walls" for translational and clinical research in the greater DC metropolitan area by bringing together the University of Maryland, Children's National Medical Center, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University, MedStar Health and MedStar Research Institute, and the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
WRICTS is seeking an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) to support research in the Washington area over a five-year period.
"WRICTS is an enormous opportunity for the University of Maryland to contribute to finding solutions for some of our most important health issues," said Norma Allewell, dean of the University of Maryland College of Chemical and Life Sciences and leader of the Maryland consortium team. "We are excited about the impact our strengths in basic biomedical research, bioengineering, bioinformatics, public policy, and public health can bring to this partnership and to the people in the greater DC metropolitan area."
WRICTS institutions are committed to more rapid translation of discoveries in basic research into new clinical approaches, and to making already-established treatments available throughout the greater DC metropolitan area, where demographic diversity creates both clinical and public health challenges
"The NIH grant is designed to get research from the bench to the bedside," said James Hagberg, professor in the University of Maryland , School of Public Health and member of the Maryland consortium team. "We can take the research we do here on the College Park campus and work with our partners in the medical institutions to test it in clinical settings."
Research in a number of University of Maryland units will be involved in WRICTS projects: College of Chemical and Life Sciences with ongoing research in areas such as pathogens that cause disease, vaccine and drug development, and neuroscience; School of Public Health, with research in a variety of public health issues, including health disparities, genetics, and lifestyle intervention; College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, with research in areas including sociology and psychology; School of Public Policy, with studies of health policy; College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, with strengths in using information technology in health research; and the university's Office of Information Technology.
CTSA funding may also benefit the area economically. A University of Rochester analysis of downstream economic effects of its recent CTSA award found it will inject approximately $12 million in new revenue streams into the region each year.
For more information on WRICTS, visit http://www.wricts.org.