UC Irvine Medical Center

The Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS) at the University of California, Irvine, has been awarded $24 million over five years from the National Institutes of Health as part of its Clinical and Translational Science Awards program, marking the third successful and highly competitive funding cycle for UCI’s ICTS. The grant will be used to initiate and extend efforts to speed the transformation of scientific discoveries into medical advances for patients.

“As a top public research university and a major healthcare provider in Orange County, it is our mission at UCI to dedicate ourselves to supporting and encouraging the translation of biomedical research into new and better cures and treatments,” said Michael J. Stamos, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “This generous federal funding will sustain our pursuit of better healthcare for all.”

“With this award, the institute will continue to lead the development of innovative approaches,” added Dan M. Cooper, MD, ICTS director and professor of pediatrics at UCI. “It will also enable us to expand the reach of our work to diverse communities, setting new standards for clinical research in the U.S. for a generation to come.”

Projects supported by the grant include:

  • Training the next generation of clinical research leaders through programs that highlight diversity and accessibility

  • Boosting participation in UCI clinical trials among special populations, such as the homeless, babies and children, veterans, the elderly, and the Latino and Asian-American communities

  • Establishing a clinical data warehouse that will leverage the electronic medical record into a powerful tool for healthcare breakthroughs

  • Accelerating a wide range of discoveries and innovations, such as employing robotics in rehabilitation and harnessing the unrealized potential of school-based physical fitness testing to achieve and maintain optimal health across the lifespan

“A major goal of our ICTS is to partner with the 3.5 million people in our diverse communities and serve as a laboratory for translational science – integrating data gathering and evaluation to develop, demonstrate and disseminate novel research tools that can palpably advance health here in Orange County, across the country and throughout the world,” Dr. Cooper said.

Since receiving its first Clinical and Translational Science Award in 2010, UCI – through the ICTS – has drastically multiplied the number of incoming grants, stimulated important scientific discoveries, and worked with community partners to identify and resolve health needs in the region. To date, the ICTS has provided a safe and comfortable clinical center for more than 27,000 encounters with research volunteers, rendered services or support to 1,112 investigators, helped generate 1,468 peer-reviewed papers published in major biomedical journals, and been instrumental in securing $789 million in grants for UCI researchers.

Recent ICTS successes include:

  • Incubating UCI research in heart valve replacement technology, leading to the creation of a new biotech company

  • Partnering with Orange County’s Healthier Together initiative to identify and prioritize health challenges in the region

  • Providing mentorship and support for more than 100 UCI medical students engaged in research ranging from cervical cancer detection in Tanzania to novel ways to accelerate stroke rehabilitation

  • Collaborating with scientific leaders at Stanford University and UC San Diego to transform flow cytometry, an invaluable tool in cancer detection, using artificial intelligence

  • Building a coalition of Clinical and Translational Science Award recipients from UCI, UC San Francisco, UCLA, UC San Diego and UC Davis to integrate healthcare research across the state

UCI’s ICTS was the first medical research institution in Orange County – and the seventh statewide – to win a competitive Clinical and Translational Science Award. Today, it’s one of more than 60 organizations across the nation that receive such funding.

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