The University of Kansas has announced and celebrated a five-year nearly $25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health that will fund Frontiers: University of Kansas Clinical and Translational Science Institute (KU CTSI). This grant currently is the largest at the university, and the second-largest all time.
“The University of Kansas is proud to celebrate this accomplishment,” said Douglas A. Girod, M.D., chancellor of the University of Kansas. “The impact of this grant goes far beyond its direct funding, as it will spark new ideas, collaborations and innovations. This work helps ensure KU is ahead of the curve nationally.”
Housed at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Frontiers: KU CTSI accelerates research by connecting scientists to resources; facilitating collaboration among researchers, communities and institutions; and offering training. The institute is part of a network of 57 such hubs nationwide that are funded with a grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health that work to improve the translational research process.
Girod also noted the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) propelled KU into a unique class. “KU is one of only 26 U.S. universities with a cancer center, Alzheimer’s disease center and a clinical and translational science institute all recognized with a national designation by appropriate agencies within the National Institutes of Health,” he said.
Robert D. Simari, M.D., executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas Medical Center and executive dean of the KU School of Medicine, noted that the $24,972,674 grant would assist with the overall mission of the university and the medical center.
“One of our primary missions is to encourage discovery and collaboration to find treatments and cures to benefit the health of Kansans and beyond,” Simari said. “This CTSA award puts the university in a great position to ensure continued growth and acceleration of our research efforts.”
Richard J. Barohn, M.D., vice chancellor for research at the University of Kansas Medical Center, is the principal investigator on the grant and the director of Frontiers. Barohn noted that the creation of Frontiers has involved efforts throughout the medical center and the university as a whole as well as collaborations with researchers from other universities and health care systems.
“We are grateful for support from our partners in the region, particularly the University of Missouri—Kansas City, Children’s Mercy and St. Luke’s Health System, as well as our institutional partners – the University of Kansas in Lawrence and the University of Kansas School of Medicine—Wichita,” Barohn said. “It is these collaborative relationships that have made us successful and propelled us to another five years of funding, and now, the largest grant currently funded at the University of Kansas ‒ nearly $25 million over five years.”
Barohn also noted that in the brief time between the university being notified of its funding and being able to announce it publicly, Frontiers: KU CTSI has already awarded nearly $1.3 million to fund 37 different research projects as well as training and educational support to faculty members, post-doctoral students and medical students interested in research.
“These grant and trainee recipients are from across our regional partnerships and include projects and individuals in Lawrence, Wichita, and in Kansas City from both the Kansas and Missouri sides of the state line,” Barohn said. “The Clinical and Translational Science institute is committed to accelerating research at the University of Kansas and throughout the region. Together, our work will result in new discoveries and faster ways to help patients and communities in Kansas and beyond.”
The video includes sound from Dr. Barohn, Dr. Girod and Dr. Simari.