Research Triumphs Begin With Collaboration

NIH grant funds innovative young investigators

petri dish

Collaboration has always, and will always, further discoveries in science and medicine.

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Recently, I’ve witnessed the renewal of a six-year, $64.6 million dollar NIH grant awarded to Cleveland’s Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative (CTSC).

The grant will be shared by Cleveland Clinic, University Hospital Case Medical Center, MetroHealth System, and the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center, which represents great minds all working together. Richard Rudick, MD, of Cleveland Clinic will be the Co-Principal Investigator along with Dean Davis.

The grant offers young investigators access to much needed start-up funds to test innovative ideas.

Research at the CTSC can be termed “physiologic” research; a few patients are studied in great detail to determine mechanisms of disease and innovative treatment options.

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I have been on the Cleveland Clinic CTSC grant review committee for the better part of a decade and am always impressed by the high quality of the proposals and the new ways of thinking about disease pathogenesis by investigators.

Members of our committee are constantly working with investigators to provide guidance and improve their proposals.

In gastroenterology, CTSC funding has advanced our knowledge about:

  • New treatments for non-alcholic fatty liver disease
  • Determinants of hepatitis C treatment response
  • The inflammatory process in Crohn’s disease
  • Novel nutritional treatments of chronic diseases

There has even been a study of weightlessness on bone mineral density to help NASA better understand this problem among astronauts.

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There are 61 CTSC sites across the country, including three in Ohio (Ohio State University and University of Cincinnati are the other two). Cleveland’s CTSC grant is unique since it is a collaborative venture that shares resources and is so large.

The available research funds are sure to attract young scientific investigators with much enthusiasm and expertise who want to “take their talents to” Cleveland!

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Bret Lashner, MD

Bret Lashner, MD, is a gastroenterologist, Director of the Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and a Professor of Medicine at Cleveland Clinic.
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