Statewide partnership, Mayo awarded new NIH translational grants

October 19, 2006

By Flinn Foundation

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $150,000 planning grant to an innovative multi-institutional partnership in Arizona to increase patient access to new medical breakthroughs.

The planning process will help Arizona position itself to pursue a multi-million dollar NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA).

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

Co-principal investigators Dr. Jeffrey Trent, president and scientific director of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), and Dr. Keith Joiner, dean of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, will lead the grant. 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, will join them on the grant’s executive committee.

“The impact that the CTSA funding could have on Arizona is immense,” said 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 a separate application, Mayo Clinic, including its Scottsdale campus, recently received a $72 million CTSA—one of only 12 such grants awarded so far. Mayo’s Arizona facilities include a hospital in Phoenix, two research centers, a cancer center, and an outpatient clinic in Scottsdale. The nonprofit will use the grant to develop new drug treatments more efficiently.

In Arizona, the Mayo grant will help to streamline clinical trials, train doctors and scientists to do clinical research, and support Mayo’s collaborations with Arizona partners such as the TGen and ASU, according to Dr. Laurence Miller, Mayo Clinic Arizona’s director of research, quoted in the Arizona Republic.

Mayo Clinic was unable to participate in the Arizona collaboration given its institutional application also involving its campuses in Minnesota and Florida.

The CTSA initiative is part of a system-wide clinical research restructuring currently underway by the NIH. The Arizona consortium is one of 52 centers that are in the process of receiving planning grants to help them ramp up to apply for the lucrative awards.

The initiative is expected to be up and running in 2012, when it will provide an estimated $500 million annually to 60 health centers.

For more information:

Statewide Bioscience Group Awarded NIH Planning Grant, TGen news release (includes full list of participating organizations)

Grant to help get access to new medicine,” Arizona Republic, 10/14/2006

Mayo Clinic gets $72 mil grant for developing drug treatments,” Arizona Republic, 10/06/2006