LA JOLLA, Calif.—The Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) has received over $34 million in renewed funding from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) to advance medical research and clinical care through genomic and digital technologies. This is the third five-year Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) to be awarded to STSI, which is part of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).
“We are thrilled to have the NIH’s continued support for our efforts to advance individualized medicine, both in care of patients and in training of young physicians and scientists,” said Dr. Eric Topol, who is the principal investigator for the CTSA, director of STSI and an executive vice president at TSRI.
Supported in part by the CTSA since 2008, STSI has been leading the charge to advance healthcare through the use of genomics, digital medicine and bioinformatics. The CTSA Program supports a national network of academic medical research institutions—known as “hubs”—that work together to improve the translational research process of turning findings from basic science into effective interventions that improve human health.
The new round of funding will provide resources and infrastructure support for STSI to further its mission of applying genomic and digital technologies, coupled with bioinformatics tools to better understand each individual and ultimately render more effective care.
As part of the CTSA, STSI has formed a new partnership with Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine (RCIGM), a leader in ultra-rapid, whole-genome sequencing programs in acutely ill infants.
“Genomic medicine research programs at STSI and RCIGM synergize significantly, especially as related to the genetics of rare and infectious diseases,” says Dr. Stephen Kingsmore, president and CEO of RCIGM. “We are looking forward to working closely with Dr. Topol’s team to advance the implementation of genomic medicine in our region of southern California and through the national CTSA consortium.”
In addition, the CTSA renewal features a drug discovery collaboration between STSI and another of TSRI’s affiliated institutes, the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr), which focuses on the translation of basic research to new medicines that address unmet medical needs.
“We are thrilled to enable the broader Scripps Research mission by partnering with STSI to engage the CTSA network, bringing to bear drug discovery tools that could enable rapid translation of new therapeutic approaches to patients,” says Dr. Matt Tremblay, chief operating officer of Calibr.
STSI will continue to work with long-standing clinical partner Scripps Health, and with the San Diego Supercomputer Center, which provides infrastructure support for a number of big data projects in genomics, digital medicine and informatics.
In addition to supporting research, the CTSA at STSI funds the training of future leaders in translational science through a professional development award that allows for early career clinical researchers to pursue specialized training in translational research. It also supports translational research training for doctoral students at TSRI.