USC News

Menu Search
Health

Pilot Grants Awarded by Science Institute

Pilot Grants Awarded by Science Institute
Thomas A. Buchanan, director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute

Building upon an increased focus on translational research at USC, the Los Angeles Basin Clinical and Translational Science Institute has awarded a total of $700,000 to 24 pilot grants recipients.

Based at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the institute received a $56.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health last summer to accelerate the pace at which research discoveries are translated into clinical practice.

Principal investigators and their collaborators include many multidisciplinary teams and represent a wide variety of institutions, schools and departments, including the Keck School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Pilot grants awarded by the institute’s Office of Research Development will support a range of projects, from pre-clinical development of novel diagnostics and therapeutics to community-based research that ultimately will improve patient and community health.

“One of the main goals of the institute is to promote the development and conduct of new clinical and translational research. The pilot grant program is the centerpiece of our plans to achieve this goal,” said Thomas A. Buchanan, director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and associate dean for clinical research at the Keck School of Medicine.

“We were able to provide funds for 24 projects that represent a wide range of translational research directed at a wide range of health problems that matter here in Los Angeles. We look forward to moving more projects forward with future pilot funding.”

According to Carlos Pato, director of the institute’s Office of Research Development and professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine, 205 applications for pilot grants were received.

“Investigators were given a short period to propose a project and describe their proposed plans for development of their translational research,” he said. “Given the short turnaround, we expected a much smaller number of applications. The response was extraordinary.”

Pato said 80 top applicants were chosen based on feasibility, innovation and relation to the institute’s strategic focus. The applicants then were reviewed by an executive committee, which chose the final 24. These teams are characterized by their translational focus and multidisciplinary nature.

Pato said a major aim is to pilot projects that facilitate new translational work from new and established investigators who, with this support, move into the translational arena.

“We are particularly interested in fostering the development of new interdisciplinary teams that bring new approaches to translational research – biologists working with engineers and chemists, behavioral scientists working with filmmakers or artists – things like that,” Buchanan said. “We want to see new approaches that go beyond traditional biomedicine and are applied to important problems in urban health.”

A full list of pilot grant recipients is available at http://www.labctsi.org/

More stories about:

Pilot Grants Awarded by Science Institute

Top stories on USC News