Advancing Clinical and Translational Science
N.C. A&T is partnering with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and RTI International in the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute.
The latest NC TraCS news
The mission of NC TraCS is to accelerate clinical and translational research from health science to discovery to dissemination to patients and communities. It seeks to overcome barriers to translation by improving efficiency, training the research workforce and sharing successful research methods.
NC TraCS aims to:
- Expand to support the full spectrum of clinical and translational research.
- Focus on three strategic initiatives: next-generation technologies to transform clinical research and practice, new paradigms and resources to accelerate drug development, and comparative-effectiveness research to provide definitive evidence of the benefits and harms of tests and treatments.
- Train, support and motivate the next generation of clinical and translational researchers.
NC TraCS is the integrated home of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program at UNC-CH. It is supported through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), grant 1UL1TR001111. The CTSA program is led by the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).
Initial A&T projects: Triple-negative breast cancer and COPD
Two projects led by A&T researchers have been funded.
- Dr. Perpetua Muganda, professor of biology, is leading an investigation of triple-negative breast cancer and the role that certain viral RNA play in its aggressiveness and survival. The team for the pilot study includes Dr. Scott Harrison, assistant professor of biology at A&T; Dr. Dukka KC, assistant professor of computation- al science and engineering at A&T; and Dr. Jan Prins, professor of computer science at UNC-CH.
- Dr. Jenora Waterman of the Department of Animal Science will study the respiratory systems of pigs to identify potential biomarkers that could serve as diagnostic or prognostic markers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in agricultural workers. Dr. Waterman has been accepted into the NC TraCS K-Scholar program, a career development program for early-career researchers.
Improving biomedical research
The NC TraCS Institute is one of 62 CTSA medical research institutions, a national consortium to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country.
The partnership with A&T gives UNC researchers access to the state-of-the-art laboratories at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, while providing N.C. A&T faculty collaborative opportunities and financial resources to accelerate discoveries in the lab to patients, particularly those from underrepresented minorities.
“Together, we will develop a robust pipeline of minority clinical and translational research scientists in a manner that can be a model for the nation,” said Dr. Barry L. Burks, N.C. A&T’s Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development.
Fostering team science
Launched in 2006, the NIH-led CTSA program has enabled innovative research teams to speed discovery and advance science aimed at improving the nation’s health. Institutional CTSA awards are at the centerpiece of the program, providing academic homes for translational sciences. The program currently supports a consortium of approximately 60 academic medical institutions that is fostering team science, leveraging national resources and transforming the way biomedical research is conducted across the country.
“The goal and mission of NC TraCS will continue to enable investigators, research units and academic programs to be even more successful in making lives better in our state’s communities,” said Marschall S. Runge, principal investigator of the CTSA at UNC, and executive dean for the School of Medicine.