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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded a $29 million grant to for translational science research to a university partnership consisting of Rutgers, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Princeton University, through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program (CTSA).

Translational science takes findings made in clinical research, laboratory settings and the scientific community and applies them to patient care and treatment more quickly. These rapid interventions aim to improve the health of individuals and populations in a wide range of medical applications.

“The ultimate goal is bringing more evidence-based treatments to more patients more quickly,” said Reynold Panettieri, vice chancellor for translational medicine and science and director of Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine and Science, in a statement.

“Translational research in health care is a critical step to validate and further develop innovation to transform patient care,” said Atam Dhawan, senior vice provost for research at NJIT. “This NIH grant provides a unique opportunity to enhance collaboration among institutions and accelerate translation of research to clinical applications.”

NJIT’s participation in this program includes members of The Henry J. and Edna D. Leir Research Institute for Business, Technology, and Society (LRI), launched at Martin Tuchman School of Management (MTSM) last year: Reggie Caudill, MTSM dean; Yi Chen, director of the LRI; and Dantong Yu, associate professor. It also includes faculty from Ying Wu College of Computing, James Geller and Zhi Wei, and the Healthcare Delivery Systems iLab at New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII), an NJIT corporation, with Van Ly as the representative. Several NJIT members are taking leadership roles in various core components of the program.

“The NJIT team will contribute significant expertise on informatics, machine learning and biostatistics research, as well as bring the New Jersey Health Information Network managed by NJII to this cross-institution and inter-disciplinary project,” commented Chen. “We are excited to develop advanced AI technology on big medical data to build a new infrastructure for clinic and translational research, and to improve health care outcomes.”

NIH supports a national network of more than 50 programs at medical research institutions nationwide that collaborate to speed the translation of research discoveries into improved patient care. It enables research teams, including scientists, patient advocacy organizations and community members, to tackle system-wide scientific and operational problems in clinical and translational research that no one team can overcome.

The grant will allow the research partners to train and cultivate the translational science workforce; engage patients and communities in every phase of the translational process; promote the integration of special and underserved populations in translational research across the human lifespan; innovate processes to increase the quality and efficiency of translational research, particularly of multisite trials; and advance the use of big data information systems.

For more information, visit the Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine and Science at ritms.rutgers.edu.