Through New Website, SC CTSI Offers Research Funding, Support to USC Faculty
The Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI), a USC-based research institute that offers faculty members across the university funding, education, and resources to help advance their research from discovery to practical health applications, has launched a new website to bolster support for researchers.
The site, at www.sc-ctsi.org, is designed to offer easy access to the resources and advice that investigators need most and features a news section and a calendar of events and deadlines.
Carmen A. Puliafito, dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, called the CTSI “a critical force helping accelerate USC discoveries through the research pipeline and into the community.”
To help fill funding gaps, CTSI offers faculty over $1 million per year in funding opportunities for career development, academic community-partnered research, development of novel methods or technologies, team-building activities and pilot clinical/translational research.
For investigators seeking additional training, the institute offers two mentored training programs—one for clinically trained faculty and one for pre-doctoral students. The institute also helps investigators obtain crucial regulatory approvals and guides them as they anticipate and respond to ethical issues.
CTSI provides biostatistics and bioinformatics consultations to investigators during study design and helps them analyze their data. In addition, the institute supports data capture and data management for research studies through a secure Web application called REDCap.
Tom Buchanan, director of CTSI, said, “We know that research is a complex arena to navigate, so we aim to equip investigators with practical resources that can help them take their projects to the next level.”
Some of these practical resources include helping pre-clinical researchers assess the feasibility of their study concept and working with them to develop and manage customized project plans.
When pre-clinical discoveries move to human application, CTSI helps clinical researchers with feasibility and design consultations and preliminary budget development, as well as providing resources such as space and experienced research staff at the Clinical Trials Units on the USC Health Sciences Campus and at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
CTSI also assists with the last stage of translational research—translation into clinical and community settings. It offers community-engaged research trainings and individualized consultations, and helps USC faculty connect with community partners through program evaluation and dissemination of best practices.
In addition to matching investigators to community partners, CTSI fosters research team-building efforts through topic-focused networking sessions and theme-focused “speed dating” to match investigators with specific clinical challenges to those with technological solutions.
The institute also plans to host symposia and programs to help investigators build effective and sustainable research teams.