SC CTSI Earns a “Perfect 10” on Application to NIH

September 29, 2021

The SC Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI) at the University of Southern California  (USC) and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) just received a perfect score of 10 – a rare  accomplishment – on its $50M application to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to renew the Clinical  and Translational Science Award that supports the SC CTSI. We anticipate that this outstanding score  will provide the SC CTSI with five years of funding to support clinical and translational research across USC, CHLA and with our surrounding communities, including communities served by the Los Angeles  County Department of Health Services.*

“This is the highest accolade our team could have gotten from NIH peer reviewers. It reflects the high  quality of the work we have done in support of research to improve health as well as our innovative  plans to do even more in the next five years,” said Thomas Buchanan, MD, Director of the SC CTSI  and Vice Dean of Research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “I couldn’t be prouder of the people  and work of the SC CTSI.” 

CTSAs are awarded by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at NIH to  help major universities translate observations in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions  that improve the health of individuals and the public. Awards are made on a competitive basis based on  each program’s past accomplishments and future plans. The perfect score of 10 reflects the SC CTSI’s  excellence on both fronts.  

Notable past accomplishments have resulted from support the SC CTSI provided to more than 1,200  investigators in 14 schools across USC and CHLA. Researchers working with LAC+USC Medical  Center developed improved approaches to clinical care to reduce hospital admissions and amputations  in patients with diabetes. Team science experts in the SC CTSI helped cancer researchers develop the  nation’s first center for Young Adult Cancer Survivorship. A partnership with USC Annenberg’s  Hollywood, Health & Society resulted in 17 clinical trial storylines in 10 television shows to help the  public better understand the importance of participating in clinical research. Currently, SC CTSI is  leading the charge in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by launching VaccinateLA, a community partnered vaccination campaign supported by the W.M. Keck Foundation that has reached over a  million residents in Los Angeles to date.  

The SC CTSI has already trained 40 new translational researchers who have published more than 900  papers and obtained over $73M in new grant funding. Their work has been very impactful. For  example, research advances by the Institute’s KL2 alumni have led to changes in post-surgery opiate  prescribing guidelines for children at CHLA; advances in the development of brain-computing interfaces  for control of artificial limbs; reduction of antibiotic exposure among children who require  tracheostomies; and advances in early detection of cystic fibrosis in infants and preschool children.  

“I am so proud of what we have accomplished but I am also really excited about how we build on this  foundation of success to launch new initiatives designed to improve the health of our patients and local  communities,” said Michele Kipke, PhD, Co-Director of the SC CTSI, Director of the SC CTSI  Community Engagement program, and Vice Chair of Research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.   

During the next five years, the SC CTSI anticipates to launch more than 30 new initiatives, including a  new internship programs to attract local high school and college students to careers in research, outreach programs to address health disparities in underserved communities, research to understand  COVID-19 long-haul symptoms in pediatric populations, an initiative to prevent type 2 diabetes and  obesity in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, continued work with the writers and  producers of popular television shows to address the health needs of high-disparity communities  throughout the U.S., application of Artificial Intelligence to predict and improve health outcomes, and  use of social and environmental determinants of health to advance precision research and clinical care. 

*Funding is not guaranteed until the Notice of Award is issued.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the  National Institutes of Health.

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.